DETECTIVE STILL ON THE CASE, NEW DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT HASTINGS AND THE CRASH
August 28, 2013
Despite the release last week of the coroner's report, the lead LAPD detective in the Michael Hastings' fatal car crash case said Tuesday the investigation is "far from over", but adamantly maintained the view that the investigative journalist's death was not caused by a criminal act.
"I'm not even close to being done with the investigation," said Det. Connie White in a small interview room at LAPD's West Traffic Bureau Division. "It was an accident. I understand it is very important we do as thorough a job as we can do before the final report."
From Detective White and other well -placed sources, some new details have emerged from the last morning of Hastings' life which ended June 18 when his speeding Mercedes Benz crashed into a palm tree on Highland Avenue near Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjaPHWNz
* Hastings was on his way to Las Vegas that morning.
* A pedestrian was nearly hit by Hastings' Mercedes at the traffic light on Highland at WIlloughby Avenue about halfway between Melrose and Santa Monica Boulevard, where the Benz ran a red light. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNhqKRugk8Q
* The momentary blip of light on the Mercedes before it hits the curb is from the brake lights
* The first obvious "flash", internet-gossiped to be a small explosion that caused the rise the rear end of the car, was most likely caused by the front wheel being sheared off by the impact with the curb. The flash and the "rise" of the rear may have been the car rolling over that wheel.
* There is no strong evidence to support the claim, stated in the coroner's report ( Here ıs the full report. ) that Hastings was using, or had ever even used the hallucinogenic drug known as DMT.
* Hastings had expressed an interest in running for political office in the state of Vermont.
* Hastings had talked of opening a marijuana-themed resort in Vermont, even though he thought that idea would be used against him in his hypothetical run for office.
* The beginning of the end of the car's fatal path, though not seen on tape, is the slight rise and fall at the crossroads of Highland and Melrose. At the speed the Benz is traveling through that corner. conservatively estimated at 80 mph, the car rose up on its suspension, came down hard enough to leave marks on the street near the valet station of the Mozza restaurant triplex, and as the video picks up, swerves.
In the interview, White presented a rational reason for what was the first major "flash" seen on the security tape that captured the crash.
"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 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.
Hastings was best known for his 2010 Rolling Stone profile of General Stanley McChrystal and his aides who bad-mouthed President Obama and V.P. Biden. McChrystal was basically fired because of the article.
McChrystal's army boss was Gen David Petraeus, was later brought in from the battlefield and became CIA head in September, 2011. But, a scandal, an extra-martial affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, brought him disgrace and he resigned in November, 2012. Reports have surfaced that Hastings was working on a profile of current CIA boss John Brennan. That combination - McChrystal, Petraeus, Brennan - turbocharged conspiracy theorists.
White said she understood the interest in the death of Hastings and the numerous conspiracy theories put out on the internet.
But, White once again ruled out any idea a bomb was placed in the car or any other foul play. "In my investigation, it appears to be that nothing else was going on other than this was a accident. We may never know exactly why he was speeding, but the speeding caused the crashed. This was, like I have said, a tragic accident."
One element of the crash "kinda astonished" White and her fellow investigators and that is the distance the ejected Mercedes Benz CL250 engine was catapulted away from the crashed car, about 170 feet.
"He had to hit the tree at such speed and at just the right angle for the engine to go that far," said White, a 22-year LAPD veteran who has spent 18 years as a traffic investigator and has never seen anything like that.
"It was amazing," White said. "I don't know any other way to say it besides "amazing". But, not amzing in a good way."
None of this report will sway -nor is it intended to sway - anyone away from the belief Michael Hastings was killed by some type of black ops car hacking. A friend of mine told me "what you are writing proves nothing. It sure doesn't prove he wasn't murdered." I agree, but I had a few more details that those following the case might find of interest.