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Report: Hastings Feared Tampering On Rented Mercedes

5_4_7A coroner’s report that found traces of narcotics in the remains of journalist Michael Hastings has helped frame the prevailing story of his death as a tragic, troubled-soul narrative.

He apparently had relapsed into drug use, and just hours before the muckraker was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles, a sibling had arrived to urge him into rehab.

But in the broadest post-mortem profile to date, Gene Maddaus writes in the LA Weekly that Hastings told a neighbor he feared that the rental Mercedes sedan he died in had been tampered with. Maddaus writes:

“One night in June, he came to (neighbor Jordanna) Thigpen’s apartment after midnight and urgently asked to borrow her Volvo. He said he was afraid to drive his own car. She declined, telling him her car was having mechanical problems.

“He was scared, and he wanted to leave town,” she says.

“The next day, around 11:15 a.m., she got a call from her landlord, who told her Hastings had died early that morning. His car had crashed into a palm tree at 75 mph and exploded in a ball of fire.”

The profile said Hastings was depressed and feared he was being watched by the government. “His behavior grew increasingly erratic,” Maddaus writes. He added, “Interviews with friends as well as the coroner’s report suggest that Hastings’ mental health was deteriorating.”

Hastings, 33, was a crusading journalist who died when his speeding Mercedes slammed into a palm tree at 4:20 a.m. June 18 on a 35 mph stretch of North Highland Avenue in L.A.’s Hancock Park neighborhood.

In its report released this week, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department concluded that the death was an accident.

Dr. James K. Ribe, L.A. County’s senior deputy medical examiner, said traces of amphetamine found in Hastings’s blood sample was “consistent with possible intake of methamphetamine many hours before death.” He said traces of marijuana metabolite in his blood also indicated “intake hours earlier.”

Ribe said Hastings died of “blunt force trauma consistent with a high speed front-end impact” and that narcotics were “unlikely contributory to death.”

The report’s narrative included several mentions of Hastings’s alleged use of various narcotics, apparently based largely upon comments from the brother who was attempting to intervene.

But another Hastings family member told WhoWhatWhy that the coroner’s report was “irresponsible.” The family member said via email, “The LAPD has done a really sloppy job investigating his case, and they were hoping for a mother lode of drugs in his system. When they didn’t get it in the toxicology lab results (science!), they had to insert speculation throughout their field report to compensate for their lack of an investigation. It’s so irresponsible.”

Dr. Ribe, who signed Hastings’s autopsy report, has been on the L.A. County coroner’s staff for more than 25 years. Like many big-city pathologists, he has been involved in a number of high-profile cases and controversies.

But Ribe is the rare coroner whose credibility has been officially called into question by a panel of judges.

In 2003, a California appeals court dismissed a murder conviction because prosecutors had failed to disclose to the defense that Ribe, a trial witness, had “credibility problems” and “a history of changing his testimony,” according to an account in the Los Angeles Times.

The ruling cited five instances in which Ribe changed his findings in homicide cases.

In addition, Ribe was involved in a controversy concerning the 2005 death of Eliza Jane Scovill, age 3. The coroner ruled that the child died of AIDS. Her mother, Christine Maggiore, is an HIV-positive activist–and a controversial figure in her own right–who has vehemently questioned Ribe’s ruling on the cause of death.

Finally, although an autopsy can prove that a person was killed as a result of a car wreck—no autopsy can prove whether or not that wreck was arranged.

 

 

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  • Mike R.

    Of course the coroner is “in on it.” Because the way to keep an assassination disguised as an accident a secret is to have a lot of people involved.

    • Ross McKenzie

      With the NSA does it matter who or how many they got involved they got dirt on him, his family, friends, all of us. It was done for the sake of national security so I don’t know what the big deal.

      • guest

        It was done for somebody’s security, certainly not for my nation’s (i.e. USA) security. Does anyone here feel more secure?
        Maybe whoever arranged for this “accident” feels a lot more secure,
        after all, in the words of the pirate Hiram Beakes “Dead men tell no
        tales.” Now who are the modern day pirates that would want to shut him up?

  • Caspin

    Michael Hastings, Gary Webb, Aaron Swartz, Barrett Brown

    • http://www.MakeItSoMindset.com/report Lianda Ludwig

      Senator Paul Wellstone

      • Caspin

        David Kelly, WMD weapons inspector

        Philip Marshall, wrote on 9/11

  • Kaleb Bowman

    Where is the information about the car? Don’t people know that the car can be controlled wirelessly? They can slow a car down and even make it pull of to the side.. whos to say they cant over-ride that and make it speed up and turn into a tree!? I hope to see what lie they come up with on that..

    • odessa

      Well, I think the lie is the claim that the car exploded after it hit the tree, and that those witnesses who say they saw it explode before hitting the tree are . . . uh . . . wrong. Just like the many people who say they heard shots from the grassy knoll were . . . uh . . . wrong. Just like Sandy Serrano was . . .uh . . . wrong when she claimed (within hours of RFK’s assassination) that she saw a “girl in a polka dot dress” run down the outside stairwell she was sitting on and heard her say, “We killed him! We killed the Senator!” The lie will be that all these folks are just plain wrong. Stupid people.

      • olball coach

        exactly! the immaculate ejection happened because the car swung around 27 times so fast and generated enough g forces to sling that bugger 200 feet. Stupid people.

  • Westcoastliberal

    Let’s not let the spin against Hastings go too far. Don’t forget he was threatened with murder several times by those in the military. And how ’bout dropping the “muckraker” title as well. Hastings was a truth-teller, a rare commodity in today’s world of “journalism”.

  • Pingback: Hastings feared that someone tampered with his rental car :: News From Underground

  • olball coach

    Fine, whatever…Your rewrite, while wordsmithed for clarity, does not change context nor apparently the agenda. I am okay with that. Others will complain, but so what, right? Dig those heels in, I say…
    Now guys, you really ought to move on and anticipate this epic police report. Cuz, it’s going to be a doozy. The coroner has given a few clues; to wit: “head on collision” after climbing the median, (plowing over the water main cage) and heading straight to the palm, a partially charred body, finger prints (seriously?), a final resting place of the vehicle at slightly more than 45 degrees to the collision point, slightly pointing north. Don’t these raise a red flag or 10? And, I am not even touching the “immaculate ejection” of the 700lb engine and tranny, making stops and turns in mid air, dodging palms and touching down 200 feet away. The rimless tire up on the sidewalk south of the vehicle is, yawn, mundane in comparison.
    Methinks, another “magic bullet” is in the works.

    • GuyMontag425

      I realized yesterday we’ve ALREADY seen the police report (the first few pages of the LAPD PDF). That’s it folks (I think). They assumed it was an accident, took some pictures, and talked to Hasting’s brother, and wrote up their report the next day.

  • GuyMontag425

    “traces of amphetamine found in Hastings’s blood sample was “consistent with possible intake of methamphetamine many hours before death.”

    Your previous piece, “Hastings Autopsy: Traces Of Meth Found In Body, But Crash Caused Death,” falsely says “traces of meth” were found. You should retract it. Man up, and admit you got it wrong. There’s already enough bull out there by Dvorak (whom you justly took to task for her sloppy reporting). It brings WWW’s credibility into question.

    Take a close look again at the toxicology results (P.15?). They tested SPECIFICALLY for Meth & MDMA and found no trace of either. Nor any other “hard drug” or alcohol. The coroner was speculating when he mentioned the “possible intake” of meth (and the LAPD press release was incorrect to claim that meth was found). True, meth breaks down into amphetamine, but amphetamine would also show up from ingestion of Adderal which Hastings has taken in the past.

    The 8-20-13 LA Weekly piece by Dennis Romero noted:*[Added at 1:53 p.m.]: A coroner’s spokesman told the Weekly that the amphetamine in his system could have been a result of taking attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall, which contains amphetamine. Hastings wrote that he had taken Adderall in the past.

  • sistercarrie

    Hemingway, Hounded by the Feds http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/02/opinion/02hotchner.html?pagewanted=all Just because you’re paranoid , doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

    • GuyMontag425

      Nice read. By the way, a piece came out about the guys who FOIA’ed the FBI for their investigation of Hastings; see http://news.msn.com/rumors/rumor-fbi-investigating-michael-hastings-before-death

      The FBI spokesman told MSN, “At no time did we have an investigation on Michael Hastings. Whether or not his name surfaced during another investigation, or his name is in our files for some reason, that’s another question.”

      FOIA supposed to be finished “processing” on Sept 9th

  • GuyMontag425

    “In its report released this week, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department concluded that the death was an accident. … Hastings family member told WhoWhatWhy … “The LAPD has done a really sloppy job investigating his case, and they were hoping for a mother lode of drugs in his system…”

    Unfortunately, the LAPD never found any evidence of hacking or tampering with brakes/accelerator because they never looked for it (see krikorianwrites posts). The Traffic detective merely assumed from talking to the brother that Hastings was coked up and filed his report the next day after spending 2 hours on the scene,taking 48 photos, and talking to Hasting’s brother. No homicide or bomb squad guys taking a look at it.

    Then, the LAPD did nothing for the past two months except wait for the toxicology report to show Hastings crashed because he was on the “hard stuff.” Opps, nothing much found there! IF there was “foul play” we won’t know because the LAPD failed to even investigate the possibility.

    My take on the matter (rough draft) take is found at the end of my post “MORE LIES BORNE OUT BY FACTS, IF NOT THE TRUTH — The New York Time’s Disingenuous Obituary of Michael Hastings & Their Whitewash of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s Role in “Le’Affair Rolling Stan” & “The Pat Tillman Story” at the Feral Firefighter blog. Hopefully get the time to update it on SAT.

  • GuyMontag425

    “Ribe said Hastings died of “blunt force trauma consistent with a high speed front-end impact”

    I agree with Ribe. And, I agree with you that Dvorak is full of bull; Hastings was killed by the high-speed car crash not by “explosions”, engine ejected forward (not before crash), and speed was not 35 mph (70-130.

    It’a revealing to watch the frontal offset crash test of a MB C Class at only 40 mph (http://www.iihs.org/ratings/rating.aspx?id=1680&seriesId=464). You can see the crash dummy’s head just miss the A pillar (Hasting’s apparently hit it and suffered a similar fatal head injury).

    Here’s some excerpts from the IIHS crash test article (http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr081412.html):

    “The test is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a car collides with …. an object like a tree or utility pole …”

    “Entrapment also was an issue with the Mercedes C-Class. The dummy’s right foot ended up wedged beneath the brake pedal as the left front wheel was forced rearward during the crash. …”
    (Ribe noted leg fractures and other injuries transmitted up the body)

    “…an airbag gray zone with gaps between what front airbags cover and what side airbags do … Without airbag protection, people in real-world small overlap frontal crashes can sustain head injuries from direct contact with the A-pillar … In several crash tests [included the MB], the dummy’s head barely missed the intruding structure of the vehicle”

    • olball coach

      Excuse me, how does that engine eject 200 feet when it has a palm tree 3 and 1/2 feet wide – less than 2 feet from the point, prior to impact, where the vehicle bumper and the palm touch in a “head on collision”? How does that work again? I am not familiar with the laws of nature that suggest a palm tree ducks when a 700 lb engine is going to hit…

      • GuyMontag425

        We’ve beat this horse to death a few weeks before. Did you bother to look at the crash test video above? The car hit the tree with the left front, then rotated to come to rest at a SE angle to the road. The engine is center-mounted and there’s plenty of room to miss the tree. I’ve got a rough draft of this in Appendix G of my latest post at my Feral Firefighter blog (hopefully have the time to put up some more pictures & discussion SAT.

        • olball coach

          I am looking at the Mozza video, thats were the event happened. We can draw general conclusions from the mock ups, but there were extenuating circumstances here that you and nobody is addressing – see above.

        • olball coach

          Dude the only one flogging the pony is you. Telling off Russ for impugning Hastings reputation while at the same time arguing that this accident is a perfectly natural phenomena is kinda like having your cake and licking it too.

        • GuyMontag425

          Never said it was “natural” in the sense that I’ve ruled out hacking/tampering with his car. But, the evidence points to his car crashing into the tree at high speed. No explosives needed to blow out the engine, etc.

        • olball coach

          Putting aside the engine conundrum for the moment. I am assuming that reasonable people looking at the same vid evidence can see the same thing or are open to similar interpretations of the images.

          To wit:

          I have stop started that Mozza tape 100’s times – this is what I observe:

          1. As the vehicle approaches the Mozza viewing area – the lighting is wobblying up and down.
          1a. We have seen estimates of the speed of the vehicle range anywhere from 35 mph to 100 mph. It seems the method for calculating the speed is generally agreed upon – being that one is extrapolating speed from the time it takes the vehicle to move from point on the vid to another. The catch is where are are your two end points. The farther out you calculate to the slower the speed and vice versa. So that has to quantified exactly to make any theory work.
          But as we will see, that does not take into account extenuating problems the vehicle may have encountered.
          The LL vid guy on his Utube page argues 80 mph as the vehicle passed in front of him at the mobile station, but he caveats this by saying the vehicle appears to have been slowing down slightly.
          2. The vehicle appears to correct and slightly but decisively veers towards the median.

          3. At an angle, the vehicle then climbs the median and in this process we can see the back lights jumble as the vehicle encounters uneven ground. The front lights clearly shine in wide angle fashion across the background and you can make out small features of front yards.

          4. The vehicle continues edging on to the median until at the two palms the last right back tire climbs the curb and the vehicle is now fully on the median. It is still pointed at an angle that shows the front lights to shine into the front yards across the street.

          5. In the next instant there is an “event.” IMO the left front head light hits the second palm sending light casing, plastic and debris into the air and to the left and immediately the left front head light goes out. This is confirmed by the lighting on the opposite side of the street going dark on the left side of the vehicle. As well as debris is found at the base of the palms in LL video. Marks from this collision are visible from the only picture I have found of the vehicle and the two palms. The picture is a telephoto of officers analyzing the car.
          6. The left side of the vehicle proceeds scraping along the palm tree and seriously mangles the driver side rear view mirror, scraping off the door handle and generally confirming exterior damage to the left side of the car.
          7. For an instant lighting is maintained on the right side of the car from the right headlight, and that is visible down the street, water main cage is in view as well at the next palm 50 feet away.
          8. In the next instant the back lights bob up as the vehicle encounters the uneven surface of the median. The dip prior to cement casing the metal cage sits on caused the front end to dip and turn slightly to the left. The vehicle then pops back up and runs over the casing, and the metal cage bolted to the casing sending sparks out. The metal casing is kicked to the left due to the angle of the vehicle and water is seen gushing from the broken water main as a result of the car running over it. The right front headlight is smashed on impact and the lights go out.
          9. The last instant before the lights go out we see the vehicle pointed in the direction to the west of the impact palm and it appears the vehicle is heading over the median into the north bound lanes of North Highland. However, the impact of the metal cage and the continued encounter with the uneven surface of the median (foot wide furrows run across the median every several feet apart) pull the car to the right. This can be seen with diligence and preserverance on the Mozza vid – quickly stop starting the tape up to 4 times before the first explosion relights the area. It can be seen in the stop starts of the vid subtle changes to the background texture of the dark “vanishing point.” The vehicle appears to veer right – towards the impact palm.
          10. In the next instant, it looks like an explosion occurs; one that is out front of the car because the light of the explosion silhouttes the vehicle at a slight angle, but is curiously absent the silouhette of the impact palm.
          11. In the next instant a second explosion occurs much brighter than the first and presumably much stronger than the first.

          Up to this point we are not arguing engine ejection theories – but what can be seen on the Mozza vid.

        • GuyMontag425

          Can you post the link to the video you are describing? I don’t see that amount of detail on the YouTube video I’ve watched. Or is there some settings I need to tweak? Thanks for your observations of the tape.

        • olball coach

          It’s right here on Russ’s site. The crash video. As I said, I have stop started this video hundreds if not over a thousand times – pinpointing each evidence available in each frame – I have over a 100 stills from start to finish if you want to discuss a specific piece of it.

          http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/07/28/the-crash-video/

  • olball coach

    How does that engine eject when it has a palm tree 3 and 1/2 feet wide – less than 2 feet from the point where the vehicle bumper and the palm touch in a “head on collision”? How does that work again?

    • https://sites.google.com/site/themattprather Matt Prather

      your car speeds so fast that it doesn’t stop dead at the tree and it careens around said tree

      the circular momentum throws the engine

      QED

      • olball coach

        How many times does it have to speed around the tree to generate the kind of centrifical force necessary to sling that bugger 200 feet?

        • https://sites.google.com/site/themattprather Matt Prather

          this conversation thread seems to be a waste of space and I won’t go further

          you may see the simulation shared by GuyMontag, and then you may pit, nit-pick, and destroy it as you please — no amount of remonstrating will change your mind if you “can’t believe” something — even something that’s well within the realm of physical possibility

          the answer to your inane question is less than once

        • olball coach

          I am not physics brain. But even I know there is not in all of physics anything that can explain how that engine ejects cleanly in a head on collision through or around that palm tree. You guys and the coroner have wedged yourself into an empiracle corner and all the esplainin in the world is not going to get you out of it.

          I have stop started that Mozza tape 100’s times – this is what I am certain of:

          1. As the vehicle approaches the Mozza view – the lighting is wobblying up and down.

          2. The vehicle appears to correct and veers towards the median.

          3. At on or around the two palms the vehicle eases up the median – this verified by the lighting from both headlights shine on the background of across the street and back lights are flatening out and jumbling a bit

          4. In the next instant there is an “event” either an explosion or the left headlight hits a palm and the car scrapes along the left side of the car mangling the rear view mirror and removing the door handle. I base this on: 1) the headlamp and plastic cover debris kicking out to the left, 2) the debris is visible in the LL video around the base of the palms and 3) also on the lighting going out on the left side – as seen again across the street in the background. Its dark over there. Lighting is maintained on the right side of the car from the right headlight, and that is visible down the street and the cage is in view as well at the next palm 50 feet away.

          5. In the next instant the back lights bob up and at the same time the spark appears. This is where the vehicle appears to straighten out from the sideswipe and hits the water main cage with the right side of the vehicle knocking out the right front lights. The cage clearly flys to the left and the water from the main appears. The car continues “bobbing” from the front end encountering the uneven landscaping of the median (there appear to be three shallow ditches, maybe a foot wide (?) running horizontal from the 2nd palm to the impact palm.

          6. in the next instant the “vanishing point” all appears dark. However, I can stop start about 3 times before the light of the 1st explosion appears out in front of the vehicle. In those stop starts I can see subtle changes to the area where the vehicle is supposed to be especially around the edge of the street light which is in the foreground. The vehicle appears to move to the right.

          7. In the next instant, it looks like a directional explosion occurs; one that is our front of the car because the rest of the car appears silhoutted by the light emerging from around it. The car has slowed due to the two prior impacts and pointed in the direction of where the motor winds up and it is rolling towards the tree when the largest explosion occurs this almost stops the car because of the amount of downward thrust needed to lift the engine out of the vehicle and send it on its way. In the next instance the vehicle rolls or slides gently into the tree.
          That has as much validity as the speed of car generating enough circular or centrifical force to unhinge the engine and then send it flying.
          Neither explanations are satisfactory – but one is next to impossible.

        • Bruce Hood

          olball just read the warren commission report….all you need to know is in there

        • barabajagal

          Assuming the car impacted the palm in the driver side front, creating an offset collision. If the speed was 90 MPH. The engine begins separating from the frame. The frame begins loosing speed instantly. Just enough forward momentum remaining to cause rear end to lift and pivot to the west. If the engine is ejected immediately with lots of momentum the tree is in its direct path. If it takes 3/7 of a sec to eject it will have lost momentum and be ejecting on the west side of tree. The resting location of the engine makes no sense from natural forces. Only a directional explosive force can explain the debris field. It is also observed on the surveillance tape. It is also witnessed by many who called 911 reporting an explosion.

  • iamfuddled

    Here’s an interesting site about the coroner, Ribe:

    http://www.justiceforej.com/ej-ribe.html

  • SO

    There’s no need to rag on the coroner. Nothing in the report, read soberly, accuses Hastings of anything more than smoking marijuana, which his brother said he saw him do. In fact, the report of the burn location supports what I said on July 18, that there was a fire bomb in the driver’s door. That’s why the burns are on his left side and his head.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYbNXCmDXBI

    • SO

      Also, if you watch the LOUDLABS video just after the LFD puts down the fire, you can see more flames jump up inside the door.

    • ©Dave ℗ Rickmers®

      Security cam footage shows a bright flash in the auto about half a second before impact.

  • Chuckie8

    The coroner’s report said that drugs almost certainly had nothing to do with Hastings’ death or crash — and yet nearly every news outlet spun the story to imply the opposite.

    Along with anonymous rumors about Hastings thinking he was so “invincible” that he could fly from balconies.

    Hastings had metabolites from Rx marijuana and Rx Adderall (which leaves the “meth” residue as many over-the-counter substances do), both of which were legal. And they had been taken many hours prior to the crash.

    And his suspicions of being monitored by the feds or that his car had been tampered with are being used as “proof” that he was paranoid, despite the fact that both things appear to have been completely true. (With little mention that Richard Clarke, security guru for 4 presidents and no tin-foil hat nutjob, suspected car-hacking within days of Hastings’ death).

    So now the image presented by the mainstream media is “meth addicted mental case” just in time to discredit his final piece due out any day now on CIA Director John Brennan.

    Sometimes paranoia is just rational thought.

    • SO

      It’s not clear in the report whether his invincibility occurred recently or years ago, but it was probably years ago. Somebody who thinks he is invincible doesn’t run to his neighbor to ask to use her car because he is afraid that his has been rigged to kill him, and he wants to get out of town to avoid being killed. It sounds to me as if Hastings had a healthy awareness of his vulnerability.

  • SO

    BTW, no meth and no traces of meth were found in Hastings’ body. No meth at all.

  • gogetem1

    This is the first I’ve heard that his car was a rental.

  • SO

    Actually, the autopsy report did not conclude that the death was accidental, but that it was caused by blunt force trauma consistent with high speed impact. One again, WhoWhatWhy seeks to *cover* the news.

    • samtalk

      This “SO” is *really* obnoxious. He also tries to dominate the comments. Very suspicious character.

  • 0ivae

    Sounds like Ribe is no Quincy.

  • Zack B

    So did CSI examine the car?

  • SO

    One thing to consider is the possibility that Hastings was incapacitated or even dead before the car even ran the red light. The coroner’s report says that he died from blunt force trauma, that he didn’t inhale the products of combustion and that the burns were all post mortem. This is not inconsistent with him being dead before the crash. Also, the toxicology testing is not all-encompassing; they do tests for particular substances. A different substance will not give a positive result. So, if Hastings had been rendered unconscious by some drug not tested for, the toxicology report would not mention it. There is nothing in the coroner’s report to prove that he was alive or conscious when his car impacted whatever it impacted.

  • SO

    I know that smaltak will be thrilled to hear that I have concluded that Hastings’ car must have been controlled remotely, and that Hastings could not have been driving. Since the LOUDLADS dashcam video makes clear that this was a planned event, they couldn’t let him drive the car and blow it up while he was driving. There’s no way to know whether he might turn left onto Santa Monica Blvd, and they didn’t want that. They wanted him to crash on North Highland because that’s where they controlled the traffic. Hastings could not have been driving. Therefore, they must have been controlling his car remotely, and Hastings need not have been conscious or even alive at the time.

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  • olball coach

    I pose the following question regarding the LL vid:

    In the LL vid as Lane (an interesting character all by himself) is approaching the old guy fireman we see the security car pulling to our left through the stream of water from the hose and the broken water main. Now, as the LL cam turns to the right we see only the water tracks of the security vehicle on the road before us. The LL cam driver (Lane) pullls up asks his questions and begins to drive through the water on the road ahead of us. What do we see – water tracks on the other side of the old guys hose stream – tracks that weeve close to the Hastings vehicle but are obliterated by the stream. We see at least 10 tracks. If every car produces 2 tracks that means there were 5 vehicles that drove through the water stream. If one of those was the security vehicle then that leaves 8 tracks, or 4 vehicles.

    4 vehicles drove through that water stream and not a single one stopped? 4 vehicles drove through that water stream and not a single one pulled over to see if they could help? 4 vehicles drove through that water stream, and from the LL video those tracks go well past where the LL car stopped and Lane got out of his vehicle and began to video with a hand held. Now, from the LL video we see at least one set of red brake lights way down North Highland. That means at least one car and undoubtedly more drove through that water stream in front of that old guy the fireman. Has anyone bothered to ask him if people just drove on through without helping – without stoping to hel.
    Since the coroner points to there being tire tracks on the median strip – is it possible other vehicles nearby were there to help position the Hastings Vehicle and make it look like a head on collision?
    Just asking.

  • SO

    Another thing. I’m no genius and there was no need to release the unedited LOUDLABS dashcam video. They must want “us” to know, but not the masses. The masses would need authoritative media figures to tell them what happened, people like Russ Baker. They will never take the time to study the dashcam video, and “we” we always be kooks to them, so they won’t believe us. They want us, the “kooks,” to know what happened.

  • SO

    So, we know the “What.” It was murder. What’s the “Why?” It can’t be what I said before about a pot head having power. That’s too silly. More likely, they consider Michael Hastings to be guilty of treason for taking down a commanding general “in the field,” Stanley McChrystal, in a time of war. Stanley is their boy and their general and this Hastings guy acts as a sniper for the enemy. It’s treason, to them, and the penalty for treason is death.

  • GuyMontag425

    “A coroner’s report that found traces of narcotics in the remains of journalist Michael Hastings has helped frame the prevailing story of his death as a tragic, troubled-soul narrative.”

    Two months after Michael Hastings’ tragic fiery car accident (or assassination?) the LAPD finally released their report. The lab tested specifically for Meth & MDMA but found no trace of either (nor any other “hard drug” or alcohol), although trace amounts of weed and amphetamine (he’s previously used Adderal and Ritalin) “were unlikely to have an intoxicative effect at the time of the accident.” The coroner was speculating when he mentioned the “possibility” of meth (and the LAPD press release was incorrect to claim that meth was found).

    However, most news reports suggested “drug use” was responsible for Hastings’ death and portrayed him as a relaped meth head whose “tortured soul” suffered from paranoia and PTSD and whose family was trying to get into detox. This was a media character assassination.

    The only thing we know for sure about his drug use is smoking weed for PTSD. Hasting’s neighbor disagrees with Hasting’s brother about the extent of his drug use (he suspected DMT and coke vs. she said no meth, just weed) and another “family member” adamantly denied he used meth. We need to hear more from the Hasting’s widow, family and friends before reaching conclusions.

    The key question is WHY Hastings’ car was speeding so fast that night. The night he died he asked his neighbor to borrow her car because he thought someone may have tampered with his car. Maybe Hastings had reasons to be scared (or maybe he was paranoid) and drove too fast, or maybe his car brakes/accelerator had been “hacked” or tampered with.

    Unfortunately, the LAPD didn’t try to answer these questions. The detective merely assumed Hastings was drugged up and crashed. The next day he filed his report after spending only 2 hours on the scene, taking 48 photos, and talking to Hasting’s brother (he took no evidence).

    During the past two months, it appears there was no further investigation (e.g. forensics of the car, talking to neighbors/friends, getting more CCTV video). A Hastings family member told WhoWhatWhy, “The LAPD has done a really sloppy job investigating his case, and they were hoping for a mother lode of drugs in his system … they had to insert speculation throughout their field report to compensate for their lack of an investigation. It’s so irresponsible.” Opps, nothing much found there! IF this crash was an assassination, we will never know since the LAPD failed to find any evidence of foul play since they never even looked for it.

    For more details, see my work-in-progress, “Michael Hasting’s Fiery Car Crash: Accident or Assassination?” and “The Character Assassination of Michael Hastings,” in the post “More Lies Borne Out By Facts, If Not the Truth” at the Feral Firefighter blog (http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com/).

    • cstahnke

      Hastings was unlikely to use meth since people like him do not use meth–that’s not what those in his social millieu would do. The most likely explanation is that he used Aderol or something like it for attention deficit problems as many do. To imply that either of these drugs would cause such an accident is absurd.

  • olball coach

    Putting aside the engine conundrum for the moment. I am assuming that reasonable people looking at the same vid evidence can see the same thing or are open to similar interpretations of the images.

    To wit:

    I have stop started that Mozza tape 100’s times – this is what I observe:

    1. As the vehicle approaches the Mozza viewing area – the lighting is wobblying up and down.

    1a. We have seen estimates of the speed of the vehicle range anywhere from 35 mph to 100 mph. It seems the method for calculating the speed is generally agreed upon – being that one is extrapolating speed from the time it takes the vehicle to move from point on the vid to another. The catch is where are are your two end points. The farther out you calculate to the slower the speed and vice versa. So that has to quantified exactly to make any theory work.

    But as we will see, that does not take into account extenuating problems the vehicle may have encountered.

    The LL vid guy on his Utube page argues 80 mph as the vehicle passed in front of him at the mobile station, but he caveats this by saying the vehicle appears to have been slowing down slightly.

    2. The vehicle appears to correct and slightly but decisively veers towards the median.

    3. At an angle, the vehicle then climbs the median and in this process we can see the back lights jumble as the vehicle encounters uneven ground. The front lights clearly shine in wide angle fashion across the background and you can make out small features of front yards.

    4. The vehicle continues edging on to the median until at the two palms the last right back tire climbs the curb and the vehicle is now fully on the median. It is still pointed at an angle that shows the front lights to shine into the front yards across the street.

    5. In the next instant there is an “event.” IMO the left front head light hits the second palm sending light casing, plastic and debris into the air and to the left and immediately the left front head light goes out. This is confirmed by the lighting on the opposite side of the street going dark on the left side of the vehicle. As well as debris is found at the base of the palms in LL video. Marks from this collision are visible from the only picture I have found of the vehicle and the two palms. The picture is a telephoto of officers analyzing the car.

    6. The left side of the vehicle proceeds scraping along the palm tree and seriously mangles the driver side rear view mirror, scraping off the door handle and generally confirming exterior damage to the left side of the car.

    7. For an instant lighting is maintained on the right side of the car from the right headlight, and that is visible down the street, water main cage is in view as well at the next palm 50 feet away.

    8. In the next instant the back lights bob up as the vehicle encounters the uneven surface of the median. The dip prior to cement casing the metal cage sits on caused the front end to dip and turn slightly to the left. The vehicle then pops back up and runs over the casing, and the metal cage bolted to the casing sending sparks out. The metal casing is kicked to the left due to the angle of the vehicle and water is seen gushing from the broken water main as a result of the car running over it. The right front headlight is smashed on impact and the lights go out.

    9. The last instant before the lights go out we see the vehicle pointed in the direction to the west of the impact palm and it appears the vehicle is heading over the median into the north bound lanes of North Highland. However, the impact of the metal cage and the continued encounter with the uneven surface of the median (foot wide furrows run across the median every several feet apart) pull the car to the right. This can be seen with diligence and preserverance on the Mozza vid – quickly stop starting the tape up to 4 times before the first explosion relights the area. It can be seen in the stop starts of the vid subtle changes to the background texture of the dark “vanishing point.” The vehicle appears to veer right – towards the impact palm.

    10. In the next instant, it looks like an explosion occurs; one that is out front of the car because the light of the explosion silhouttes the vehicle at a slight angle, but is curiously absent the silouhette of the impact palm.

    11. In the next instant a second explosion occurs much brighter than the first and presumably much stronger than the first.

    Up to this point we are not arguing engine ejection theories – but only what can be seen on the Mozza vid. Any theory that follows must be consistent with what is observable in the Mozza vid and/or the LL vid.

  • olball coach

    Stills from the LL vid as Hastings vehicle is crossing Santa Monica. LL photographer estimates 80 miles and hour. Obviously, we can see no driver in the foreground of inside the vehicle from the backlights outside that the vehicle passes in front of – why?

    While the rest of the car images are distorted – the empty space inside the vehicle offers no hint or clue of a driver – no distortions, trail lines, not even wiggles – nothing, zero, zilch, nada.

    Again, I am not arguing engine theory right now. How does this happen. I am not a big fan of the remote control driving. So, how does this happen? IDK – and before we even get to how the engine grew wings we have to understand how the evidence we see makes empirical sense.

    I have about 50-60 of these from various angles. I have about 100 Mozza vid stills to explain the narrative I put together below.

    • https://sites.google.com/site/themattprather Matt Prather

      you’re doing a lot of work and I think it’s awesome

      …”open-source intelligence…” “open-source journalism…”

      Welcome to the frontier!

    • olball coach

      The interesting thing is that there is not a trace of the headrest either. Below I am posting a pik of the background so you can see the bump in the above piks is actually a part of the back ground.

      • olball coach

        Different angles.

      • SO

        There aren’t many frames involved. With the digital technology, it would have been easy to edit out the driver, if they had wanted to. I could have done it myself in about half an hour.

        • olball coach

          Shop him back in then. Standing on the corner having a smoke? Maybe you could have him waving to Jose as he drove by in Hastings car?

  • olball coach

    So, to summarize I have three areas of empirical evidence that need to be pushed, pulled, teased and racked for every bit of specific pieces of evidence that can be gleaned.
    1. The LL vid as the Hastings vehicle is crossing Santa Monica shows from stills painstakingly taken as it crosses into view with the background lighting illuminating the inside of the car. There is no driver and no head rest. I have blown a couple of pictures up to over 800% and there is a hint of a small bump in the lower right hand corner of the open passenger window. Trails from the light post seen through the window bleen into the small bump – but it is impossible to tell what “it” is.
    2. The LL vid in the first 36 seconds show interesting wet tracks leading out of the stream of water on the street coming from the broken water main and the old guy hosing it down (and potentially destroying evidence no matter how good are his intentions). One set of tracks veer close to the burning car and away down the street. My question is that at least 5 sets of tracks are seen – one belongs to the security vehicle, so at least 4 cars drove through within a couple of minutes of the crash and stopped and did nothting or perhaps they were fleeing the scene, at a minimum the old guy has to be asked what he saw as he went out there with his hose. Second, the coroners report suggests there was a tire track or two that could be seen leading to the crashed vehicle – given the interesting number of vehicles going through the water stream and the fact that old guy potentially covered up evidence suggesting maybe one of those cars was on the median strip at some time postioning the Hastings vehicle – at a minimum shouldnt Hastings treads be analyzed to eliminate any question?
    3. The Mozza video needs to be professionally broken down frame by frame and analyzed for what exactly happened once that car climbed the median encountered two impacts and disappeared into the vanishing point before being illuminated by unusual explosions. At a minimum a trained investigator should have a copy of the original surveillance vid and with the proper technology break it down frame by frame by frame at a viewing quality we can all see what happened. My seat of the pants – stop start clicking with my mouse yields enough questions that this is not an open and shut case of a simple head on crash.
    4. The drugs and the trashing of his reputation is an attempt to sway public attention away from the contradictory evidence that is thus far evident to mere hobbyists and interested thinking people. Does’nt justice in this country deserve her own rooting section.
    I once again ask the professionals – the fourth estate to take themselves seriously and explain how this happens. If you dont take your work seriously or work for the government that’s an entirely different matter and – well ya got me there. But if you do take yourselves seriously – just remember Michael Hastings was simply a man, but his death under these suspicious circumstances respresents something every member of the 4rth estate should sit up and take notice of. If he’s not around to go after, or Barret Brown, or Aaron Swartz, or how many others around the world are being laid low and made to shut up – then who is next on their list?

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      Reporting is becoming dangerous. This makes it worthwhile eh. All the schlock we get filling mountains of trash is suddenly seen for what it is. Camouflaging the serious stuff.But when it is no longer hidden then it is dangerous.

  • SO

    So, why does the liar Russ Baker, leave up his lying headline about traces of meth being found in the body? Is it because he’s a liar?

    • Ubug

      well, the headline said it was the autopsy report that said that… and that’s completely true

      the standard toxic screen / battery formally calls the test “meth” but it really only tests for the amphetamine metabolite family… it’s unable to distinguish between meth-proper and other amph.-family metabolites… and that’s a fault of the standard battery, not any reporter

      …the WHO report you refer to was pretty well balancedd, and it also implies that the WHO team is open to conspiracy and cover-up

      Take your meds and go back to the Infowars boards, maybe? You’re just not classy enough to hang here.

      • SO

        The autopsy report does NOT say that traces of meth were found. It says that amphetamine was found, not “traces of meth.” It makes no difference that the test has meth in it’s name. Traces of meth were not found, and the autopsy report does not say that traces of meth were found. Russ Baker is a liar.

        • GuyMontag425

          True about what the autopsy report said. But the press release put out did state meth use (of course, that was overstating the evidence, either intentionally to sex up the results or incompetence).

        • SO

          Baker’s headline says: Hastings Autopsy: Traces Of Meth Found In Body… This is not true. The autopsy does not say that. Baker has had plenty of time to correct, but has chosen to stick with the lie.

        • GuyMontag425

          Yes, not true. As I said before, if you read the PRESS RELEASE (a link to it is posted along with the link to the REPORT pdf package with the investigation report, autopsy report, and toxicology report at the bottom of Baker’s piece). Perhaps Baker was going off the press release? Although, it wrongly claimed more than the coroner himself did in the report. He should retract the headline, I don’t understand why he hasn’t.

        • SO

          If Baker was faked out by the “PRESS RELEASE,” then he must realize it by now, but he has still not corrected his headline, so he must just be a liar.

    • onedavide

      Yo! I might agree saying, “methamphetamine” is a stretch or actually incorrect, but to constantly call russ a liar is a bit much. Have ya tried contacting him?

      • SO

        I don’t have his phone number, but I assume he reads his own web page, and has thus been contacted. I have commented on his YouTube account about his lie on page 46 of Family Of Secrets, and he has not responded there, either. A serious journalist would address these issues in some way. They are serious issues and he neither addresses them nor corrects them. I must assume, therefore, that he affirms them and is thus a liar.

  • Mike R.

    Debunking the Michael Hastings murder conspiracy: http://skeptoid.com/blog/2013/08/26/why-michael-hastings-wasnt-murdered/

    • olball coach

      Nothing to debunk until you can explain the Mozza vid in detail.

      http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/07/28/the-crash-video/

      • Mike Rothschild

        Explain what about it?

        • olball coach

          The act of debunking a narrative, a scientific truth, a crime, a faith or any category of human experience – is based on a certainty (theoretical or actual) of knowing something contrary to what it is you are debunking. (Really, do I have to explain this?) Otherwise why else would one be so compelled to diddle 3000 words on something that doesnt exist. Right?
          You say the police say it was an accident and that is good enough for you? But for a good many others, logical, straight thinking educated individuals – “cuz the policeman said so” is not good enough.
          The police have not provided any evidence it was an accident. The police have not provided explanation for how the crash occurred or how the engine might have ended up 200 feet away. Nor have the police released their examination of video evidence that suggests Hastings wasnt in the car as he crossed Santa Monica and North Highland. Nor have the police released their analysis of the video showing the vehicle engaging in two collisions, driving over 50 feet of a dozen foot deep furrows and still manage to crash head on into the palm tree with such force to cause at least three explosions as seen on the tape. Further there is no release of crime scene forensics, or a thorough and detailed examination of the vehicle which explains the dynamics of an engine ejection. Finally, there is no explanation of how a vehicle that engages in three explosions and burns flames 10-20 feet high for over 15 minutes produces a body that is only half burned and produces finger prints.

          Until you, or the police or anyone can gather the evidence and produce a clear explanation for what happened and how it happened – your theories of what didnt happen or how it didnt happen are just as conspiratorial as the next bloggers’.
          In fact, if anyone should have the arrow of conspiracy theory pointed in their direction, it should be pointed directly at the so called skeptics, who shoo away legitimate questions and legitimate inquiry. Why would you not want anyone to ask questions?

        • Spudmuffin

          The engine fell out a large distance BEFORE the crash, fyi.

        • http://adriaen22.wordpress.com/ Adriaen22

          “The engine fell out a large distance BEFORE the crash,”

          In which case, it reaches the tree…how?

        • olball coach
  • olball coach

    No conspiracy – No one can even define what one of those are anymore anyway. But there are three sets of evidence hanging in the air with no explanation – Before you can say theory or conspiracy – explain the data sets – simple. Its when you try to interpret the data that we begin to wander – like why did the engine grow wings or some such stuff.
    Explain the Mozza video.
    Explain the empty driver side via the background lighting through passenger window.
    Explain the water tracks.
    Simple – stuff.
    Whatever debunking theory you suscribe to must be consistent with the above data sets.
    Whatever remote control theory you suscribe to must be consistent with the data sets.
    Whatever engine theory you beleive – it must be consistent with the data sets.
    Whatever drug theory you suscribe to – it must be consistent with the data sets.
    The next data set to consider – is the coroners description of the body. How does a car burn the way that one did and the coroner is able to get fingerprints from the corpse? How does parts of his arms and clothes not burn? Anyway – enuff to chew on already.

  • SO

    If you look at the toxicology report, you will see that a blood test was done specifically to test for the substance methamphetamine, and none was detected. Why? Because there was not a trace of meth in the body. Russ Baker lies again! And again and again, every time he does not correct his METH headline.

  • GuyMontag425

    “… in the broadest post-mortem profile to date, Gene Maddaus writes. … “Interviews with friends as well as the coroner’s report suggest that Hastings’ mental health was deteriorating.”
    . . .

    Maddaus’ paints a picture of Hastings as a journalist who was “both brilliant and troubled,” who had relapsed into drug use and suffered from PTSD and paranoia. As a man struggling with his demons, with his mental health deteriorating in the weeks leading up to his death. For example, Maddaus wrote:

    “Interviews with friends as well as the coroner’s report suggest that Hastings’ mental health was deteriorating. … Hastings hung out with The Nation’s Jeremy Scahill when the reporter was in town promoting his documentary “Dirty Wars.” In May, Hastings was invited to a salon at director Oliver Stone’s house … “He seemed a little stressed …” A certain level of lighthearted paranoia would be unremarkable in such company [Cenk] Uygur says, “We joked that night that, if Scahill was there, we would have definitely had a drone strike on the house.”

    Maddaus’ piece is well-written, emotionally compelling and persuasive (and even had me convinced for about a day). However, after taking a closer look at the LAPD reports and his profile, I feel a bit suckered. I now think his portrait of Hastings as a “haunted soul” was too speculative, too thinly sourced, and “cherry-picked” quotes that supported his narrative (and omitted those that did not).

    I haven’t yet had time to analyze the piece in detail. But, today I found what appears to be an egregious example of his omitting Jeremy Scahills’ impressions of Hastings shortly before his death because they didn’t fit into his narrative.

    From the chronology of the above quote, a reader would assume that Hastings hung out with Jeremy Scahill sometime before the May salon at Oliver Stones’ house. However, they got together after the Oliver Stone salon, on JUNE 12, 2013 (just five days before Hastings’ death). Hasting spent that evening attending Scahills’ LA film premiere, the Q & A session, and then they hung out watching Scahill’s appearance on The Tonight Show. It was probably his last public appearance (and was the last time he tweeted).

    So, did Scahill’s recollection of that evening suggest that “Hastings’ mental health was deteriorating”? No. In his June 19th Hastings’ eulogy, Michael Caledrone wrote that Scahill described Hasting’s as “totally full of life” that night:

    “Nearly one week ago [June 12, 2013], Jeremy Scahill and several friends were hanging out in a Los Angeles hotel room to watch his taped appearance on the “The Tonight Show.” One of those friends was Michael Hastings … Scahill chatted with Jay Leno that night about “Dirty Wars,” his revealing new documentary … ‘He was so warm and effusive and excited, as if we’d just won the Super Bowl … was giddy that someone from our tribe had made it on one of those shows.’ … Scahill recalled Hastings talking excitedly last week about stories he was working on, including ones about the NSA. Hastings also spoke about the property he wanted to buy in Vermont. ‘Totally full of life,’ he said.”

    Just five nights later, Hasting’s died in a fiery car crash. Why did Maddaus merely mention and then quickly pass over Scahill’s night in LA? Was he unaware of Caledrones’ eulogy (although the use of the similar phrases “hung out” and “hanging out” suggests that he had read it)? Or, did he decide to omit Scahill’s “totally full of life” remarks since they didn’t fit into his narrative of a “haunted soul”?

    Either way, Scahill’s account calls into question Maddaus’ speculation that Hasting’s mental health deteriorating in the weeks leading up to his death, and the accuracy of his profile. Ultimately, he might be right, but I’ll need to read accounts by Hastings’ close family, friends, colleagues, and Elise Jordan before reaching conclusions.

    For more details, see the following chapters (a work-in-progress; some sections are done, others are mostly notes and citation links): “Michael Hasting’s Fiery Car Crash: Accident or Assassination?” and “The Character Assassination of Michael Hastings,” in the post “More Lies Borne Out By Facts, If Not the Truth” at the Feral Firefighter blog at http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com/

  • cstahnke

    There are several ways to look at this death. First, we can say the guy wanted to commit suicide–that seems unlikely, the second is that he was joy riding and that seems more likely. People who have been in combat often try to play the edges to induce the rush that combat gives–several people I have known admit that being in combat was, on the level of physical sensation was, at times, almost mystical.

    Now, if he was killed, then all the subsequent details fit. If he was killed there would be a long delay in the police report and the autopsy. The media would blow it out of proportion and explain it away as a character defect, i.e., they more or less accept my second option. If you believe, as I do, that the USG has assassinated people it considers enemies at least since WWII then it is not much of a step to assume that assassinating a guy like Hastings is possible.

    Let’s go back and look at another famous Coroner’s report: the death of RFK. The report was never entered into evidence at the Sirhan trial because it directly contradicted the official story, i.e., that RFK was shot from the back and below at point-blank range–and then of course there are the recordings of the shots as well as witness testimony which make the official story impossible. That means that, more than likely, he was either killied by gov’t agents and/or the gov’t covered up the crime. There is no speculation here–the official story is simply false. It is as false and demonstrable as the fact the Earth circles the Sun, in fact even more so.

    If you accept, as I do, that assassination is a technique used regularly by the security services at home an abroad then why not end the life of a reported like Hastings perhaps to send a message to troublesome independent reporters like Scahill or a handful of others? Besides you got to keep your stable of assassins working don’t you?

    Now, assuming that Hastings was assassinated then it would follow that the friends and family would stay quiet–in fact, it would be insane for them not to.

  • olball coach

    Until someone can explain how Hastings cannot be seen in the vehicle as the vehicle is crossing Santa Monica, AND
    someone can break down the MOZZA video and explain what happens to the vehicle after it sideswipes the two Palm trees 50 feet from the impact Palm, And
    what happens after its collision with the metal water main cage bolted into its cement casing, And how the vehicle traverses fifty feet of uneven, furrowed median strip landscaping without slowing down –
    Until your theory can account for these empirical facts its all speculation – and its no better or worse than any other.

  • SO

    “The front driver’s side front wheel was completely sheared off in the crash,” said White. giving that first flash a possible origin. The wheel hits the curb at high speed, is probably torn off right there and the Mercedes Benz drives over it, causing not only the flash, but also the often-questioned raising of the car’s rear end.”

    White is saying that the first flash in the pizza video is a metal trauma flash. I don’t believe it. It seems very bright for that, and also, that particular illumination continues through the second “explosion,” as you can see if you watch the video while stopping and starting it to slow things down. The light from the first event spreads out to towards the left of the screen and stays there until the video ends. The momentary flash of metal trauma wouldn’t do this. That must have been a fire bomb, unless you think the headlights were still on at this point. But, that wouldn’t be possible after the engine had been ripped out.

    “White confirmed that very first blip of light on the video is the brakes. The brakes most likely put the car into the swerve that sends it into the curb and ultimately crashing into the palm tree.”

    I wouldn’t say that it is impossible that that could have been the brake lights, but then the car’s own lights immediately disappear completely, as if the systems lost power, implying that that was the moment that the engine had it’s trauma.

    • SO

      The first even is not a flash, but a light that grows and then maintains itself until the video ends.

      Another problem with White’s analysis, which somehow, she is not nearly finished with, is that it is the driver’s side wheel that was sheared off. From the position of the pizza camera, this would be the near side of the car. But the first “flash” in the video occurs behind an object which it silhouettes, while the second “flash” obscures that object. That object must be the car, so the first flash occurred on the other side of the car where the wheel was not sheared off.

      • SO

        Also, things were moving very fast. The car was already stopped before the first of the last two flash events occurred. There is no detectable motion in the silhouetted object, the car. Both explosions occurred after the car had stopped.

    • olball coach

      Slow down. Your way ahead of her.
      She is talking about where the vehicle impacts the median infront of the twin palms (well before the spark your talking about) – I had asserted it was the Hastings vehicle side swiping the first or second palm. But her call on this makes sense – but only up to a point and does not eliminate a side swipe or impact with the left front head light.

      The investigator told him the “tire” sheered away from the rim as it climbed the median at 80 mph – that event alone would have slowed the car down. The rim was now in contact with the ground and it was encountering the furrowed rows of the median and it was going to, in the next instant, run over the cement casing and metal cage, which was bolted to the casing (pictures of it show bolts). That would have slowed it down more.

      Now the rim running over the median strip would have left two @12″ wide deep groves in the median lawn made by the rim edges. We dont see them. And if any of you have had the unique opportunity of driving a car at 80+ mph when a front tire blows – you slow down in a hurry and you pull hard towards the blown tire. The exposed rim does not roll – it scrapes and gouges into the ground. It brings you to a sliding stop.

      Now I havent entirely abandoned the idea that the Hastings car sideswiped one or both of the twin palms. The investigator has not addressed the debris in front of tree 1. In fact, if the car is running on the rim of the left front side its now very likely that it swiped the tree if not grazed it. As it passed those palms, directly in front of it was the metal cage covering the water mains. It rolled right on over it and kicked the cage to the left.

      This latest information strengthens my hypothesis that the car could not have had enough speed to eject that engine on impact. This seems even more clear after learning that the investigators are considering a third collision/impact prior to the impact tree. Secondly, it is hardly likely the vehicle would have been able to achieve the appropriate impact angle at a sufficient speed to cause the engine to eject in the direction and distance that it did. The angle here is important because after losing its left front tire the car would have pulled hard and slid to the left – and at a reduced speed following the previous collisions, the vehicle in all likelyhood would have over shot the impact palm to the left.

      I will leave it right there for the moment.

      • SO

        You have a very detailed idea of what happened that I find difficult to follow, but wherever the car is when it happens, she’s talking about “the first flash.” There are only three visible flashes that I can see. 1. The supposed brake light flash. 2. The first, smaller, explosion of light. 3. The final large explosion of light. What is she talking about if it’s not no. 2? And at the point, in my opinion based on the video, the car has already stopped, and the source of the flash was on the passenger side of the car. Ergo, scraping metal from the sheared wheel, or the denuded wheel, did not cause the flash.

        • olball coach

          She is talking about just after the brake light (which begins the cars veering towards the median) flashes. In the vid it is roughly equivalent to the first street to the right. In the next instant the car jumbles slightly as it rolls over the median. She says the tire sheers and Hastings car runs over the tire – Hmm? IDK? but in the next frame the plastic debris from the head light spits to the left and so on as I wrote above.

        • SO

          If that’s true, then she is talking about an invisible “flash.”

  • guest

    Did Mercedes Benz ever comment on the the performance of this vehicle in this crash? Why didn’t the airbags deploy upon impact? Why did his head hit the steering wheel? Here is a safety crash for a C model http://www.iihs.org/ratings/rating.aspx?id=1680&seriesid=464

  • SO

    This graphic taken from 3 frames of the pizza video shows the car just before the first explosion and while that explosion begins, all before the big explosion. The explosion occurs on the far side, the passenger side, of the car. The next one is on the driver’s side. How can this not be a bomb?

    • Spudmuffin

      The car fire looks more like a thermite fire than a gasoline fire. The metal itself is generating voluminous, bright white sparks. Very little red-orange flames and black smoke more typical of a gasoline car fire.

      • SO

        Of course, this video is not in color, so you can’t see that here. And, in the LOUDLABS video the flame color look the same as other LOUDLABS car fires. I checked. But, thermite, or something else, might have been used for the first explosion, the “brake lights” flash. It seems to me, especially given the autopsy report, that a concussive bomb was probably ignited first, causing the “injuries consistent with a high speed impact,” and separating the engine, probably located under the engine.

        • SO

          Alternatively, perhaps the drive train was sabotaged with a thermite-like bomb, sending the car into it’s crash, and allowing the engine to be thrown upon impact.

  • SO

    Why can’t the driver be seen in the LOUDLABS video? For one thing, “our driver” Scott parked his car so that you wouldn’t be able to see Hastings head-on. Plus, there’s a bush blocking the view. The car is only visible when it is moving at it’a apparent fastest, directly in front of the camera. Also, no frame captures the driver’s area at the perfect time, right in front of the drugstore door. I finally downloaded it, and looked at it frame by frame, and it seems to skip over that perfect spot. If I didn’t make an error in extracting the frames, I think one might be missing. The car moves more between frames at that point than before or after. As for the frames that are there, they are distorted enough that you might not be able to see the driver anyway. Apparently, at that intersection, he zoomed between two stopped cars. It would have been nice to see that, but Scott parked where he parked.

    • SO

      BTW, even though we can’t see the approaching car, Scott would have been able to…and so would anybody sitting in that weird truck thing he parked next to.

    • olball coach

      thats no Bush, thats his dashboard vinyl reflected against his windsheild – probably from the light of the camera.

      • SO

        There’s three bushes there, too. If you Google Map it at street level you’ll see them as baby bushes a couple of years ago.

    • olball coach

      I’ve got 49 shots from the limited angles because of where the car is parked – but I have shots of every window and all is clear. The last two are 800% blow ups of the passenger window and there is a visible a small bump. The light post bleeds into it some, so its impossible to tell if that is a head or not. If it is, it is reclined flat or almost flat – meaning if it was a driver – it would be impossible to drive.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/100340380@N08/

      • SO

        Those are nice quality captures, but I find them inconclusive regarding the question of whether or not a driver is present. I think I can see him a couple. And, in my opinion, given the speed of the car and the lighting conditions and the quality of the video, it might be normal to not be able to see the driver. I don’t think this line of inquiry leads anywhere, unless higher quality video is available.

        • olball coach

          I’ll say this, if nothing else – you sure as hell are entertaining. Keep up the good work, but you should really back off Russ – he’s just doing his job.
          And I still dont see him in that car, though.

        • SO

          Traces of meth were not found in the body. A metabolite is not a trace of something other than of itself. In Hastings’ case, traces of amphetamine were found in his body, according to the toxicology report. Amphetamine is not a “trace” of meth. It need not have originated in any meth. Why is it Russ Baker’s job to slander Michael Hastings?

        • olball coach

          Yes, yes you have made your point. No need to break out the sledge hammer.
          Lets just say, I am older and old school. It’s simply ill mannered to kick your host in the teeth in his own home…You can talk straight and ask direct questions as many of us here do; but gratuitous provocation is a sign of your upbringing. It will serve you well to read the room and the audience, but most especially, between the lines.

        • SO

          WhoWhatWhy is speaking between the lines?

        • SO

          Hello. This is SO. This is not someone without a Disqus account posing as SO.

          I just want to say that I will continue to beat on Russ Baker like he beats on the New York Times like a drunk beats on his wife, until the day that my yin-yang grows larger than 3.5 American inches.

          But until then, I will not back off Russ.

        • SO

          You have an even worse upbringing than I!

    • olball coach

      Down thread you said: “””There aren’t many frames involved. With the digital technology, it would have been easy to edit out the driver, if they had wanted to. I could have done it myself in about half an hour.””””

      And I replied: “””Shop him back in then. Standing on the corner having a smoke? Maybe you could have him waving to Jose as he drove by in Hastings car?””””
      Waiting.

      • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

        I know. Digital is so ambiguous. Art authenticaters won’t accept digital pictures of the work of art.

      • SO

        It is far easier to remove something than to insert it. All you have to do is some airbrushing. Putting him in would be much more work. And I’m just a rank amateur. A professional would have no trouble making an undetectable removal of that driver, if he ever was visible.

      • SO

        Some clown once was saying that Adolf Hitler was in Dallas and involved in the JFK assassination, so I slapped this together in about ten minutes. https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-9K2YjXkzGAA/UQqa7eH6vGI/AAAAAAAABtE/uDlZVGCVhJA/w702-h554-no/HitlerInAltgens2.jpg A professional can do better, and this was an insertion. Removal is far easier, and a video is just a sequence of stills, and 4 or 5 stills at most would have needed work.

  • Spudmuffin

    Yes, the drug use must have been the reason the car’s engine dropped out 90 ft. before it crashed into the tree.

  • SO

    At the risk of offending the host and audience, and at revealing my atrocious upbringing, I will suggest that the pizzeria video is a fake. When the car’s lights go out, *immediately” it is stopped and turned about 90 degrees to its left. I believe that this is impossible, there being too much forward momentum to overcome. This is a fixed camera with nothing else moving in the picture, so cutting frames would not be obvious, except in the motion of the car, and the motion of the car, as represented in the video, is impossible. As far as I know, only one witness, Jose Whatshisname, actually says he saw the car in motion and its crash as a continuous event. But, the condition of the car and trees suggest that it’s damage was not caused by its impact with them. What it looks like is that the video was “spliced” at the point that the brake lights disappear, implying that the car just kept on driving down the street, and that a stationary car was blown up.

    • SO

      As others have pointed out, that pizzeria video was taken off a screen with a hand-held camera. This introduces some unnecessary problems, but one that I now find interesting is that camera does not seemed to be centered on the screen. Perhaps our photographer was centering on the action and not paying attention to the screen. I believe it is customary on security videos such as this to have a running time stamp on the video. This clock, unfortunately, does not appear on the video which we are allowed to see, and perhaps explains why the video was presented this way. Since any simple “splice” would be revealed by a jump in the timing clock, it would be easier to just put the clock out of frame, so that the clock wouldn’t have to be faked, too. Not that it couldn’t be faked, but it might be harder than it sounds.

    • olball coach

      thats not very original, where’d ya get that “unique” theory – same place I assume most of your material is coming from. Thats okay – spread the word.

      • SO

        Original? Who cares? You, apparently. I’m talking about the murder of Michael Hastings, and you’d rather comment on my lack of originality. Fine, if that’s the way your parents raised you.

        • olball coach

          Yes spread the word. There is a growing body of analysis from several different sources and disciplines pointing to an empty vehicle, a demolition derby series of events prior to: 1) head on impact, 2) a series of explosions, 3) a staged event.
          Yes, spread the word. The head on impact and ejection of the engine is the least credible considering what the vehicle had to go through to get to that very special spot at that very special speed to achieve that very special and rare of occurance.
          Yes spread the word. I am sorry you are unable to break the Mozza vid down – but there is credible evidence for explosions prior to its slide into the impact tree. Patience is the key.
          Yes spread the word, a convincing arguement can be made that the LL vid is “doctored” shall we say and that Hastings vehicle is filmed speeding across Santa Monica several minutes after the explosions at the impact tree.
          Your original speculations were in fact quiet good and dove tail well into a theory it was a “staged” scenario. You should stick with your intuition.
          Yes indeed spread the word.

  • SO

    And, as for seeing “Hastings” in the LOUDLABS dashcam video, perhaps it would be instructive to look at the next car that drives by. I believe this person’s name has been reported somewhere. He is driving much more slowly, of course, but in my “perfect spot,” where Hastings’ car is not photographed, you can clearly see the driver. Yet in subsequent positions, it ain’t so clear.

  • SO

    Whoever took the hand-held video of the pizzeria video has done us a disservice by not capturing the whole screen and by ending the video too soon. What he should have done was excerpted the appropriate portion from the video in a video editor, so that we could see the full quality, full screen, and full fire, or at least a couple minutes of it,. Certainly, it was no journalist who made this recording.

    • olball coach

      It was Kirkorian – hand held it off his iphone. Its not the best, but its what we got to work with. And there is enough to make some determinations….Lots of folks are beating on him to release the original – patience. Its not like were going to bring him back from the dead.

      • SO

        Patience? Why is the information being controlled? Why put out a little piece quickly, and then wait months for the full context. This sounds like something that the LAPD would do. I can think of some reasons why Kirkorian might play it so close, but none of them are very good, and one of them is very ugly.

        • SO

          I don’t know what it is, perhaps my ill-breeding, which causes me to post this seemingly off-topic quotation here:

          Mr Lavrov said that evidence recently provided by the United States, Britain, and France showing regime culpability for chemical weapons attacks was too vague to stand up to scrutiny.

          “What we were shown before and what our American, British and French colleagues sent us more recently absolutely does not convince us,” he said.

          “It was very strange to hear my good colleague, Secretary of State John Kerry, say recently that Washington had sent Moscow indisputable proof that the regime used chemical weapons, but that the Russians deliberately refused to acknowledge this fact,” he told students at Moscow’s Institute of International Relations.

          “Yes, we were shown some calculations, which did not contain anything specific: neither geographic coordinates, nor name, nor any proof that samples were taken by professionals, nor any attempt to address the fact that many experts have serious doubts about the videos that have appeared on the internet,” he said.

          “There are no facts. When you ask for details they say it is secret and they cannot show you.”

          There are no facts. When you ask for details they say it is secret and they cannot show you.

  • SO

    There may be a timing problem here. The person who called 911, in an interview, described being woken up by the explosion and very quickly surmising what happened and calling 911. It seems to me that this should have happened within a minute; she should have been on the phone with 911 within a minute. Assuming the car travelled at an average speed of 80 mph from Santa Monica Blvd to the crash site, the time it should have taken to do that is 25.5 seconds. If you use the LOUDLABS dash cam video as a timer, the car passes by at 5:47, so the crash should occur by 6:13 dash cam video time, 26 seconds later. But, it’s not until 8:14, 2 minutes after the presumed crash time, that the call can be heard on LOUDLABS’ radio. Presumably, the call should go out immediately as soon as the dispatcher understands what has happened. This means that the radio call is about one minute late, if you accept my generous time allotment of one minute for the witness to be on the phone and talking to 911. I know this doesn’t prove the case, but there is plenty of room in that one minute for the apparent cut in the pizzeria video, during which another car, or even the same car, could have been positioned for it’s explosion. Of course, this would assume that Jose Whatshisname is a planted witness.

    • SO

      Now, if my suspicion here is correct, that means that the crash occurred not at 6:13 Dash-Cam time, but closer to 7:13. And it is at 7:03 that the distinctive voice appears on LOUDLABS’ radion and LOUDLABS immediately sets into motion to leave. So, I conclude that the crash probably occurred at about 7:00 Dash-CAM time. Then the two beeps start at 7:27, sending LOUDLABS into the street and on his way. Probably, an observer at the crash site had determined that things were going according to plan, and that it was time for LOUDLABS to start down Santa Monica Blvd.

  • SO

    This was a heapum big riddle for me. I had concluded that there was no impact. That the cut in the pizzeria video meant that another car had been at the ready, stripped of it’s engine, and was pushed up to the tree during the video’s cut. But that sounds very unlikely, towing a car and pushing at a time like that. But, of course! I might be accused of being unoriginal, but I really don’t look at conspiracy sites and videos all that much. They always look ridiculous to me. Maybe that’s why I’m behind the curve here. There was only one car. It sped through the Santa Monica intersection, to demonstrate to the LOUDLABS Dash-Cam that “Michael Hastings” was driving like a maniac. Then when it approached the accident scene it braked, as can be seen in the pizzeria video. Then the video is cut, and during this cut, the car is driven up to the tree and stopped. The driver gets out, and Michael Hastings, or his stand-in, is put into the driver’s seat. Then , the pizzeria video cuts in again. The concussive bomb explodes, creating the injuries consistent with a high speed impact, and…*blowing the hood off the car.* Perhaps they didn’t expect that. Then, the firebomb in the door goes off. Perhaps there were other firebombs, too. Why is the engine 90 feet down the road? No bomb could have blown it there without completely demolishing the car. It was placed there to “prove” that there had been a high speed impact. The engine was still in the car. That’s why the white sheet covered the engine compartment of the car, even as it was being towed away. Of course. They didn’t expect the hood to blow off, but, like good assassins, they improvised. Jose was lying. The LAPD is lying, at least, when they say anything. And the guy who shot the pizzeria video we got to see knows it.

  • olball coach

    Did Hastings “stand in” get his ashes sent to Elise in an urn too? LOL

    • SO

      Of course, you just want to ridicule what I say, but I think it is possible, not likely, that some cadaver was placed in the car so that nobody had to be murdered. Perhaps I give them too much credit. O, yeah, LOL.

  • SO

    This story is over now. They have controlled it well. Even if Hastings had been the president of the United States, it would be over now, just like the JFK story is over. When the authorities are the perps, the only resolution is revolution, and that won’t happen until the economy collapses, or until the lord of creation hurls a big rock at us from the heavens. Let us pray.

    • jandeen

      The JFK story is not over. Books are still being written with new links and information. The best overview of the American dark history of activities is Peter Lavenda Sinister Forces trilogy. A great work and highly recommended. The true enemy is distraction by media trivial reporting.

  • SO

    An “alternative media” person would be open to the idea that the government, or some group which had infiltrated the government, murdered Michael Hastings. And, to be open to this idea means also, therefore, to be open to the idea that the evidence provided by the government might be false or corrupted, since, if they did it, naturally they would attempt to evade responsibility. Therefore, anybody who concludes based upon government evidence that this was an accident is not an “alternative media” person. And, an investigative journalist would try to find out stuff, like why we were shown only a short clip and partial screen of the pizzeria video, evidence which presumably is not government-controlled. They wouldn’t say, “Well, Hastings is dead and this isn’t going to bring him back, so, what’s the hurry?” Those are the words of an apologist for the cover-up.

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  • jne4klpk

    It’s amazing how many very bright activist liberals die in mechanical failure crashes, must be a coincidence.

  • jandeen

    I am a true believer that nine eleven was simply an accident created by some foreign tourists who were anxious to stop for a Big Mac, and confused the twin towers for golden arches.

    • Ronald Patrick Marriott

      Sorry they were vegans… hahahahha great comment

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