June 20, 2013

Michael Hastings' death: I'm glad that's all cleared up


From the Los Angeles Times:
No foul play suspected in Michael Hastings' death, LAPD says
I watched a lot of the Mannix detective series in 1969 and expensive cars were alway crashing and exploding into flames in nice parts of Los Angeles, so this quick "no foul play" conclusion makes perfect sense to me.

Nothing to see here, folks, move along, nothing to see here. It's just the top investigative journalist of his generation charbroiled in his new Mercedes, so keep moving. Hey, did you hear about Kim Kardashian? Now, that's what I call news.

By the way, the two pictures don't seem to be of the same exact spot (deciduous trees and streetlamp v. telephoto-compressed palm trees on the median). I presume the cops moved the car to get it, and the stench of roasted reporter, away from the houses seen in the first picture. Or something ...

Update: No, it looks like the same spot: in the fiery picture, the lone palm tree that car ran into is lost from view behind the flames, while in the daytime picture the telephoto compression is so extreme that it makes the palm trees on the median look omnipresent when they are actually spaced rather far apart. In the fire picture, the car looks like it's up against the streetlight, which is not in the median, but the streetlight is actually about 40 feet or so beyond the car -- the misleading element is that the streetlight looks taller (and thus closer) than it is because it's reflected in the water a neighbor sprayed on the car with his garden hose in an attempt to extinguish it.

Now, the notion of a 33-year-old war correspondent driving dangerously fast in his new car hardly sounds implausible. Still, it would be helpful if, say, that Taiwanese TV network that does animated re-enactments of Tiger Woods running into a fire hydrant would animate the official story so we can see if it looks reasonable.

To continue with the Mannix theme, which usually ended with the car chase with the bad guys plummeting off Mulholland Drive on top of the Hollywood Hills, the most reasonable way to dispose of a dead body in a fake car crash in this area is to put the dead man in the trunk of his car, drive it up to Mulholland, put him behind the wheel, and push the car off. That seems far more likely than staging a gigantic crash in an upscale flat neighborhood.

There are a lot more guard rails on Mulholland now than in Mannix's day, but, still, cars go over the cliff now and then. Three years ago, for example, somebody propelled Charlie Sheen's reportedly stolen car off Mulholland and it was found wrecked 400 feet down with no bodies to be seen anywhere.
Sheen's Mercedes did not, however, explode
The usual theory is that a seriously impaired Sheen drove it off, but the notion that he crawled back up through the sage brush and walked home seems hard to imagine. Maybe 20 years ago, but Charlie's body had a lot of miles on it by 2010.

Around that time, as we learned later during his self-destruction, Sheen requested and obtained a huge advance on his actor's salary from Chuck Lorre's Two and a Half Men. My off-hand guess would be that the destruction of Sheen's car was a message to Sheen from his underworld creditors to get serious about paying his debts, or else, but I'm just making that up.

Has anybody been by the site of Hastings' death on Highland south of Melrose and north of Clinton? I really ought to drive over there and take a look; but that would involve me leaving the house, so that's probably not going to happen.

75 comments:

Chris Anderson said...

Occams Razor says "suicide" but the car bursting into flames is a little too Hollywood to not be a bit suspicious.

Steve Sailer said...

Has anybody been by the site?

I suppose I ought to drive over there and take a look, but that would involve me leaving the house, so that's probably not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

WikiLeaks says Michael Hastings contacted it just before his death. Are they implying he was murdered?

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100222652/wikileaks-says-michael-hastings-contacted-it-just-before-his-death-are-they-implying-he-was-murdered/

Steve Sailer said...

The notion of a 33-year-old war correspondent driving dangerously fast is hardly surprising, but it would be useful if that Taiwanese TV network that makes animated re-enactments of, say, Tiger Woods crashing into a fire hydrant would animate the official story to see if looks plausible.

Anonymous said...

on scene video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LSY3wVuASg

Anonymous said...

The engine was FORCIBLY EJECTED from the car upon impact, landing several dozen feet away. This alone should raise red flags as to the "accidental" nature of the collision. Quoth auto blogger Jack Baruth, ""I’ve seen dozens of cars hit walls and stuff at high speeds and the number of them that I have observed to eject their powertrains and immediately catch massive fire is, um, ah, zero. Modern cars are very good at not catching fire in accidents. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which is an evolutionary design from a company known for sweating the safety details over and above the Euro NCAP requirements, should be leading the pack in the not-catching-on-fire category. Nor is the C-Class known for sudden veering out of control into trees and whatnot."

Steve Sailer said...

Yeah, but that's not what I learned from watching Mannix.

Dave Pinsen said...

Seems like if some shadowy cabal wanted to kill a war correspondent the best chance to get away with that would be to do it in a war zone, rather than in a major US city, no?

Anonymous said...

I really ought to drive over there and take a look; but that would involve me leaving the house, so that's probably not going to happen.

Just make sure that your car does not have a "no-foul-play" accident.

ironrailsironweights said...

I don't know. Cars can and do catch on fire after frontal impacts, but it's pretty rare. And judging by the post-crash photo it wasn't even a square frontal impact, more of a sideswipe. Really not the sort of event that one would expect to cause a ferocious fire.

Peter

Anonymous said...

If you watched the Rockford Files you would be better informed.

Anonymous said...

> "Nothing to see here, folks, move along, nothing to see here. It's just the top investigative journalist of his generation roasted in his new Mercedes, so keep moving. Hey, did you hear about Kim Kardashian? Now, that's what I call news."

In this day and age, anyone who isn't at least an amateur conspiracy theorist is a fool.

Michael Daniloff said...

A Journalist killed? I'm sure that WSJ or Wash.Post will find a reason to blame Putin.

Anonymous said...

The car probably went airborne, causing him to lose control.

Anonymous said...

Right cause there is no reason to suspect that Putin has had journalists assassinated. I think an American citizen would have at least as much skepticism towards the leader of an enemy power than they would their own government. The paleocons pose of ever politicians a sociopathic murderer, except for the guy who swaggers around like a sociopathic murderer is just so strange.

Sam Haysom said...

The last line would have been funnier if you had just stolen Jim Gaffigan's "but then I'd have to put on pants" joke.

The Five Jays said...

The car probably went airborne, causing him to lose control.

If you watched the video referenced by Anon at 4:30pm, that's what the Mexican guy was trying to say in his poor English, that Hastings was going like a bat out of Hell, bottomed out hitting the cross street, and was flung out of control.

Also, speaking of that video, two other things: the first responder was an orthodox Jew with a garden hose, and it was filmed by a would-be paparazzo who was tooling around LA with a police scanner in his car.

Steve Sailer said...

"garden hose"

Yes, one of the conspiracy theories is that the water on the street in the fire pictures was put there to make the picture look more Hollywoody, but if you think about what you'd do if you were woken up in the wee hours by the biggest racket of all time, turning a garden hose on the flaming car would be totally reasonable.

John said...

Must everything be a conspiracy with you?

24AheadDotCom said...

I used to be familiar with the area, although I haven't been by there for a few years. Melrose is somewhat the dividing line between Hwd and the Hancock Park/Wilshire area. On Highland above Melrose it's commercial, but below Melrose it's residential with a divided road until Wilshire. Then, it swings around and joins La Brea.

Some of the side streets around the crash are quite leafy so that there would be deciduous trees on one side of the street isn't curious.

It's possible that if he was driving south on Highland at a high speed he wasn't prepared for the divided road and jumped the curb, but you never know.

Chris Anderson said...

In real life, the vast majority of car crashes don't result in fires, and the vast majority of car fires* are not the result of a crash.

Jim Rockford would find the truth by tracking down the hooker-with-a-heart of gold who knew the truth.

*admittedly a much smaller sample

Anonymous said...

"Seems like if some shadowy cabal wanted to kill a war correspondent the best chance to get away with that would be to do it in a war zone, rather than in a major US city, no?"

So, we can probably rule out a 'shadowy cabal' death squad training exercise, no?

Gilbert P.

Zoink said...

Hmm, I like to drive fast too, and the only time you can really do that in Los Angeles is in the middle of the night. The place to do that, however, is on one of the big wide freeways, not a street going through a residential part of hollywood, where there will be cross street traffic and random drunks and bums wondering into the road even in the middle of the night. Plus stop signs and stop lights.

Also the choice of a C250, the car he was reported to be driving, does not indicate someone who is a speeder.

The C250 starts at $38,000 but only has a turbo-4 with 201 hp, and is pretty heavy. While it is somewhat fast compared to a pickup truck or corolla, his car may well be the slowest $40,000 coupe you can buy.

In fact it is a bit of a dowdy car for a 33 year old celebrity war correspondent.

peterike said...

Message sent.

Steve Sailer said...

Sounds like the sensible car the married war correspondent would buy to reassure Mrs. Hastings he's finally settling down. Oh, well ...

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised at this sort of thing. I think as a journalist who never leaves his house and is not directly responsible for leaking any data, Steve is probably pretty safe. Though one should probably look at the statistics.

List of journalists who have died in suspicious circumstances, anyone? I see that there is a page on Russian journalists. There is a committee to protect journalists based in New York. It appears that this Hastings guy does not appear on their list, ergo he was not murdered. lol.

Anonymous said...

"Jim Rockford would find the truth by tracking down the hooker-with-a-heart of gold who knew the truth."

Naaa, Jim Rockford would just ask his shady buddy Angel Martin, who'd lie and get them in trouble with some mob hitmen.

ben tillman said...

By the way, the two pictures don't seem to be of the same exact spot....

That's quite an understatement.

Garland said...

Highland and Melrose is an odd place to be driving that fast.

Garland said...

Suicide isn't very believable.

Anonymous said...

Steve can stay safely in his house while getting a look at the boulevard with Google Street View.

Hastings apparently had a liking for liquor and drugs.

Anonymous said...

Quoth auto blogger Jack Baruth, ""I’ve seen dozens of cars hit walls and stuff at high speeds and the number of them that I have observed to eject their powertrains and immediately catch massive fire is, um, ah, zero.

Obviously Jack Baruth never watched an episode of ChiPS. There's a whole generation of TV watchers who think every car accident results in a fiery explosion.

Steve Sailer said...

The two pictures are _so_ different that I can't imagine any conspiracy theory explanation of a subtle plot. The reason has to be that the cops got a tow truck to haul the burnt car across the street and up on to the center median for some mundane reason, maybe so repairs could start on street fixtures damaged by the collision and fire.

But, since there's such a kibosh on respectable journalism even acknowledging concerns that everything that happens isn't completely random, that nobody respectable provides the public with any explanation for divergences between yesterday's news photo and today's news photo. What are you, some kind of conspiracy theorist?

Anonymous said...

"but that would involve me leaving the house, so that's probably not going to happen."

I can relate to that. It's funny 'cause it's true.

-meh

Anonymous said...

Boston brakes

Anonymous said...

"What are you, some kind of conspiracy theorist?"

Why, yes I am. In a world of decreasing transparency and increasing connectivity, conspiracies don't seem so wacky anymore.

harkin said...

"By the way, the two pictures don't seem to be of the same exact spot (deciduous trees and streetlamp v. telephoto-compressed palm trees on the median). I presume the cops moved the car to get it, and the stench of roasted reporter, away from the houses seen in the first picture. Or something ..."

Have to disagree here. One shot looks down the street along the palm-lined median and the other looks across the entire street showing the deciduous tree on the side of the road (ditto the streetlamp). The palm tree is hidden by the flame.

As bad as the LAPD is I can't imagine them moving that car until the investigators got their data.

harkin said...

"By the way, the two pictures don't seem to be of the same exact spot (deciduous trees and streetlamp v. telephoto-compressed palm trees on the median). I presume the cops moved the car to get it, and the stench of roasted reporter, away from the houses seen in the first picture. Or something ..."

Have to disagree here. One shot looks down the street along the palm-lined median and the other looks across the entire street showing the deciduous tree on the side of the road (ditto the streetlamp). The palm tree is hidden by the flame.

As bad as the LAPD is I can't imagine them moving that car until the investigators got their data.

Anonymous said...

Lots of "conspiracy" thinking going on here. And pictures!

http://jimstonefreelance.com/hastingsmurdered.html

bjdubbs said...

How did a guy working for buzzfeed buy a $40000 car?

Hunsdon said...

Chris Anderson said: In real life, the vast majority of car crashes don't result in fires

Hunsdon amplified: And in real life, the vast majority of car fires don't result in car explosions.

ben tillman said...

WikiLeaks says Michael Hastings contacted it just before his death. Are they implying he was murdered?

It was only a week or two ago that my conspiracy-theorist friend told me about the death of Mal Evans at the hands of LA's finest.

Evans was one of the Beatles' two joint road managers. After the Beatles stopped touring, he stayed in their employ, and on one occasion he and McCartney went overseas alone. My fiend's story is that the two basically co-wrote the Sgt. Pepper album, and Paul told Evans that Evans would get royalties.

Anyway, he didn't.

About 10 years later in '76, a week before Evans's memoirs were going to the publisher, the LA cops killed him, and the diaries the book was to be based on mysteriously disappeared.

I'm not sure how the story squares with my friend's belief that Paul really is dead (although presumably replacement Paul likes royalties as much as the next guy), but stories like this make the part about the LA cops totally plausible.

ExactaKing said...

When I first heard car accident in LA, I assumed a drunk "dreamer" (soon to be grateful for the 8 Amigos to that he'd start voting Republican) crashed into him after drinking too much Modelo, like what happened to the director of Porky's on the PCH a few years back

Mark Robinson said...

They can kill anyone they want, when just character assassination and humiliations don't work they can kill you for real.

Prof. Woland said...

In 1948 when Stalin was ramping up his persecution of the Jews in the USSR he targeted the famous Jewish actor Solomon Mikhoels to disappear. He would have put him in a show trial but he was too well known and by then everybody knew they were a sham. So the next best thing was to make it look like a car accident. Having typically killed their victims with impunity by putting a small caliber bullet in the back of their heads, his NKVD handlers were unused to staging deaths. The car Mikhoels was being driven in was crashed to a tree or wall to make it look plausible . Failing to kill him that way they helped him to get out of the car where he was hit by an NKVD car that had followed him. Failing again, he was simply run over by a truck several times. Learning from the incident, Sergei Eisenstein was murdered later that year. The listed cause was a heart attack.

Anonymous said...

on scene video:

Everyone is there but the fire department.

Anonymous said...

WikiLeaks says Michael Hastings contacted it just before his death. Are they implying he was murdered?

He also suddenly stopped tweeting about a week before his death, which was unusual for a regular, multiple-tweets-per-day type of person. These days even exotic travel rarely disrupts people from tweeting, and he was apparently in LA.

One possibility is that he started freaking out and became paranoid - perhaps he feared an investigation or something - and started acting recklessly, like staying out all night on a weeknight and speeding around.

Steve Sailer said...

Harkin says:

"Have to disagree here. One shot looks down the street along the palm-lined median and the other looks across the entire street showing the deciduous tree on the side of the road (ditto the streetlamp). The palm tree is hidden by the flame."

You are right.

The two pictures are a lesson in telephoto compression.

Traveller said...

If he had gone in Hong Kong it would not have happened.

Stay in the USA and they give you a fire trial.

(no, fair, they say fair)

Anonymous said...

Can someone find a link to the google streetview of the crash site?

Marc B said...

This incident brings to mind the suspicious deaths of Jim Purcey, Danny Casolaro, DC Madam and Gary Webb. Having a such a strident liberal become one of your most aggressive detractors removed a lot of the Left cover Obama has become accustomed to from the media, and it only encouraged deeper scrutiny.

I used to think Obama was running the country like a corrupt big city mayor, but now he seems more and more to be emulating an African despot.

Jack Hanson said...

Some good examples of gallows humor here. Apparently wikileaks is saying he was calling his lawyer, claiming that the FBI was following him.

Nothing to see here, nothing to see here. Everything is a coincidence.

Whiskey said...

Steve, KCAL 9 had an interview and video shot on dash cam from some local stringer, he had video of Hastings blasting through the intersection right before his crash. The stringer did not know it was Hastings or the crash, he just had his dash cam rolling all the time in the hope of getting footage. I got the idea he trolled around Hollywood in the wee hours looking for footage for local/network news and TMZ etc.

My guess, Hastings was just driving too fast and lost control. There was no one following him, and the video around him would make a full-on hit hard to pull off. Particularly since far too many line cops and detectives detest the feds and the oversight they used to penalize the LAPD.

You've talked about the ubiquity of cell phone and surveillance video -- well Hastings was caught on the stringer dash came just about 20 seconds before the crash. He blew a red light.

Rob said...

A journalist as smart as Hastings seemed to be would have made sure to have any important information kept safely and with instructions to have it made public in the event of his death.

Whiskey said...

If someone DID want to kill Hastings, hacking his car is way to do it. Connected, blue-tooth, wifi enabled high technology current cars have all sorts of goodies. And all sorts of holes and entry points into remote operation of the vehicle. The brakes, ignition, etc. could have been disabled and the accelerator remotely floored. Slashdot has some article there on their site a few months ago with a proof-of-concept hacking of a car.

Being a late model luxury Benz, it is likely multiple holes exist to enable such hacking.

The question is, why kill a journalist like Hastings? Why not simply intimidate sources, his laptop, phones, etc. are ridiculously easy for the NSA to tap and probably fairly easy for private agencies to do; apps on smart phones are very easy to compromise. They are not built for security.

If I had Hastings money, I would have gotten an older non-smart enabled car restored, something that could not be remotely hacked. I would have also eschewed smart phones aka built in surveillance/tracking devices.

Sharyl Atkinson of CBS News says her computer was remotely accessed and data regarding her Benghazi stories accessed during the time she was breaking that story last Sept/Oct. If a journalist is breaking a story, the threat is not the journalist so much as the leaker.

And killing leakers is a fools game. It works for a while but if there is one guy with a grudge, there will be a hundred more. The Russians, the foreign press in Britain, Hong Kong, Japan, all are conduits for info and thumb drives and remote access and such make damaging information a lot more easy to leak out than plans locked away in the Interior Ministry HQ circa 1955.

If Hastings car was hacked, it was amateur hour, likely not the government, because the government has power to simply jail sources for leaking, itself a crime under Eric Holder. Who is immune to scandal because he's Black. That's how it works. Obama would have been gone by now if he was White, but being Black has millions of Sandra Flukes worshiping him.

My question is, what is a family man doing out at 4 AM in Hollywood?

Whiskey said...

Last add, Elisa Lam, the Chinese/Canadian tourist who was found in a Downtown LA hotel's rooftop water tank, was ruled an accidental death. Please.

The last video of her showed her in the hotel elevators disoriented and pushing all the buttons, apparently fearful of something.

The news reports pointedly indicate at the time and at the LAT story that the roof access was locked, the water tower itself was locked, and accessible only by climbing (this was at night by the way) a twenty foot high ladder, and then unlocking the cover, which weighed over 45 pounds.

Very likely the LAPD knows who killed Lam, and the suspect is likely to be inconvenient: Black, connected/celebrity, and the cause of another Rodney King Race Riot. Chinese media however is aghast, and pressing for answers. I would not be shocked if the Chinese media had info leaked by the Chinese spy services about the likely real killer.

Whiskey said...

FINAL last add, NBC news reports that lawyers in murder and divorce cases are asking for NSA data, to show presence or absence in a crime, infidelity, etc.

All that metadata itself is valuable, and now lawyers want it. When it was invisible, no one could ask for it. But now, well why not?

If it can prove a man was not at the murder scene, or he was, why not? In a capital case? When the NSA already collects the data and everyone knows it? And from there, why not divorce?

Anonymous said...

Very likely the LAPD knows who killed Lam

This is by no means the first time the LAPD has covered up a murder. Probably won't be the last, either. Google "George Hill Hodel". Prime suspect in the Black Dahlia case, but connected with the LAPD brass. He was a doctor who ran a VD clinic and so had dirt on everyone.

scottlocklin said...

Dunno where the fuel pump is located on the C250, but if it's an electric one (probably) outside the engine compartment (also probable), it could cause a mess like that in a high speed car crash that removes the engine. Basically, the thing is spinning fast (as one would if you were going 100mph), it would squirt a lot of gasoline out and cause a pattern of fire like you see in the video. Check valves are in the fuel injection system, which was in the grass 60 feet away.
Anyway, I drive a diesel. If that happens to me; it's definitely a conspiracy, as diesel don't burn like that.

Uncle Joey said...

A million average jerks dying in car wrecks is a statistic; one blogosphere jerk dying in a car wreck is a troubling sign of Zeitgeist/conspiracy/woeful modernity

dearieme said...

Well, if you want a conspiracy theory, here's mine. The American security services know all about those circumstances in Obama's life that he has been so keen to conceal. Therefore he'll give them the green light on anything they want to do. Since they also have The Dirt on all legislators, SCOTUS judges, and journalists, it's rather unlikely that they ever will be reined in.

Anonymous said...

north by northwest remember the bad guys get cary grant drunk and put him his car...

NOTA said...

Modern cars can be hacked in ways that allow the attacker to cause a wreck, but I'm not sure how well you could use a software hack to make it catch fire. Maybe.

If his death was a murder, it seems kinda unlikely as an all the way to the top conspiracy, but a good investigative journalist presumably makes a lot of enemies. I think it's not all that shockingly uncommon for investigative reporters to die mysteriously, presumably when they're about to reveal the wrong person's secrets.

Anonymous said...

"Seems like if some shadowy cabal wanted to kill a war correspondent the best chance to get away with that would be to do it in a war zone, rather than in a major US city, no?"


You may not have noticed but since 9/11 the whole world has been defined as a war zone.

David said...

Please put some numbers to this story.

1. What is the percentage chance of an average person experiencing a fatal car crash?

2. What is the percentage chance it happens to a whistleblowing journalist who caused trouble for the government? There aren't quite as many of those, yet I wager the percentage is noticeably higher.

Of course, as Steve says, maybe 2 is higher only because 2s are more often reckless. But I still think numbers would be illuminating.

Anonymous said...

Operation Gladio has come home to America.
, switters

Just The Facts, Please said...

Frank Markus, technical director of Motor Trend, points out that “any impact at speeds high enough to rip the drive train out of a car is highly likely to force some object to rupture the fuel tank. There is a lot of potential chemical energy in a gas tank that's even a quarter full. Getting up to such speeds -- providing he didn't start a cold engine and floor the car into that tree -- results in a lot of red hot parts, particularly the catalytic converter and other exhaust system parts.”

A car’s interior, Kennerly says, is particularly flammable. “Your car is filled with fabric, foam and plastic, but the only federal standards relate to dropping a cigarette on it,” Kennerly says. “What happens in these higher-speed accidents is that hot parts leave the engine compartment and start coming into contact with plastic and other chemicals. The last time NTSB did testing on this, those fires spread in one to three minutes. That nice interior with shiny leather and chemicals that make it look and smell nice, all of it will catch fire. Once something like foam or plastic reaches the temperature of burning, it burns immediately. It looks like a bomb -- it looks like an incendiary was planted on [Hastings' car] because many times it produces the same types of chemicals as it degrades.”

Anonymous said...

If it was Gladio they would have just shot him dead in a 7-11 like they did at that Louis Delhaize in Brabant. That is if you actually believe that Gladio did half the stuff the left claims they did. Honestly, was there a strategy of tension in Italy probally. Did anyone care enough about what the Belgian's thought about the Cold War to pursue tension in Belgium? No.

pat said...

One of the reasons given for not implementing a flywheel power car was that if the bearings froze the whole car would spin itself to pieces. That, I always figured, was a feature not a bug.

I'm so tired of all cars in the movies bursting into yellow-orange flames. I want to see them go off Mulholland and suddenly erupt into a spectacular ferocious death spin.

Albertosaurus

maddens unitask said...

Did I just miss it? What was he working on that was so threatening to TPTB that people are moved to speculate about retaliation?

Anonymous said...

"was there a strategy of tension in Italy probally. Did anyone care enough about what the Belgian's thought about the Cold War to pursue tension in Belgium"

They did it in countries with a large communist party e.g. Italy.

Anonymous said...

Right Anon it was targeting Eurocommunists and like I said that's why it probaly did occur in Italy. But if you read the ur text for Gladio conspiracists, NATO Secret Armies, the author spins an entire yarn about multiple Gladio operations in Belgium. It made me suspicious that the whole Galdio conspiracy was an attempt to tie a largely Italian operation to the entire NATO network.

inspector said...

"Please put some numbers to this story.

1. What is the percentage chance of an average person experiencing a fatal car crash?"

One thing readers of any HBD site such as this, is the meaning of statistics.

A JFK assassination researcher got figures from Lloyd's of London and at least one other world-known insurance agency, on the likelihood of the death of so many witnesses with damning (to the WC) testimony dying when and how they did. The odds were a trillion to one or so.

Anonymous said...

On hacking modern cars--

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/can-your-car-be-hacked-feature

I've personally seen a car eject its engine in a high speed crash, it only connects to the car frame in 3 or so spots anyway. Snap a few bolts and its out.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the deaths of witnesses to the JFK assassination. JFK Calc is an online spreadsheet database of 115 witnesses, probability calculations, graphs and links to other data sources. It has all of the information required for a robust analysis: a) known witness universe, b) official cause of death, c) average unnatural mortality rates and d) relevant time period (1964-1978).

There were at least 115 suspicious deaths among an estimated 1400 JFK material witnesses. At least 83 (8%) were unnatural: 47 homicides, 24 accidents, 8 suicides, 4 unknown.

Given the 1964-1978 national average unnatural mortality rate (0.000808), only 17 unnatural deaths would be expected. The probability of 83 unnatural deaths is E-30 (ZERO). It's even lower (E-70) using the JFK-weighted witness rate (0.000232).

Assuming that some of the "accidents", "suicides" and "heart attacks" were actually homicides, the probabilities would be even lower. But it's a moot point since they are virtually ABSOLUTE ZERO given the official cause of death.
http://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/jfk-calc-a-spreadsheetdatabase-of-mysterious-witness-deaths/