Hastings Autopsy: Traces of Meth Found in Body, But Crash Caused Death

Reading Time: 4 minutesfireycrash

Toxicology tests showed traces of amphetamine in journalist Michael Hastings’s body after his fatal car wreck in Los Angeles on June 18, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department said Tuesday, though it said the drugs were “unlikely contributory to death.”

The coroner also released previously undisclosed details of the Los Angeles Police Department’s investigation, which showed that the journalist apparently had relapsed into narcotics abuse after years of sobriety. Two of Hastings’s siblings had arrived in California the day before the fatal wreck, the report said, and “the family was attempting to get decedent to go to detox.”

The coroner said small amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana were found in Hastings’s blood.

But a Hastings family member had a surprising reaction when contacted by WhoWhatWhy, calling the coroner’s report “irresponsible.”

“I can honestly say with absolute certainty that he wasn’t doing meth,” the family member, requesting anonymity, told WhoWhatWhy in an email. “‘Methamphetamine’ can be nasal spray, Sudafed, one of those upper drinks at the gas station, prescription amphetamines, etc.”

The family member continued, “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.”

Like the LAPD, the coroner ruled without equivocation that the death was an accident. Hastings’s widow, Elise Jordan, also called his death “a really tragic accident” in a recent TV appearance.

The post-mortem was conducted on June 20 by Dr. James K. Ribe, L.A. County’s senior deputy medical examiner. It was released Tuesday, four days after the coroner’s department received results from the toxicology tests.

The report, Case No. 2012-04353, said Hastings died of traumatic injuries from the crash.

Dr. Ribe concluded, “The cause of death was massive blunt force trauma consistent with a high speed front-end impact…Death was very rapid, within seconds. Loss of consciousness was likely instantaneous upon impact.”

He added that the carbon monoxide level in Hastings’s body “was consistent with instantaneous death.” The body was scorched, but the CO detail was a small kindness amid the gruesomeness: It means that he did not inhale combustibles; the body burned after he was dead.

Hastings, 33, was a muckraking journalist who won the prestigious Polk Award for his 2010 take-down of Stanley McChrystal, “The Runaway General,” in Rolling Stone. The spectacular nature of the high-speed, fiery one-car crash that killed him—at 4:20 a.m. on a 35 mph stretch of a four-lane city street in L.A.’s Hancock Park neighborhood—has led to speculation by some that he had been targeted for murder.

But the police and coroner’s reports give a sad narrative glimpse of recent troubles in Hastings’s  life that have been hinted at but never publicly confirmed by his loved ones.

The coroner said police had learned from his brothers that Hastings, sober for 14 years, “had started to use drugs again the past month or so.” He was using medical marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, a residual of his work as a war correspondent in the Middle East. (After the crash, authorities found in Hastings’s wallet his medical marijuana ID card, issued by the State of California.)

The police report said Hastings’s “social HX,” or medical history, included “polysubstance abuse.” It said Hastings had used marijuana the night before the crash and was also known to be using Dimethyltryptamine, the hallucinogen known as DMT.

Although names were redacted, the coroner’s report indicates that two of Hastings’s brothers had grown so alarmed about his narcotics abuse that they traveled to Los Angeles to urge him into rehab the day before the crash.

One of the brothers, apparently staying next door to Michael’s rental home, told police he visited there at between 12:30 and 1 a.m., about four hours before the wreck. He said Michael was “passed out,” and he left him there.

The police report said, “He [Hastings’s brother] had no idea where decedent may have been traveling to or from at the time of the collision.”

The brothers learned of the fatal crash when police went to the Hastings residence soon afterwards, seeking next of kin for the grim duty of death notification.

Dr. Ribe said in his autopsy report that the amphetamine found in Hastings’s blood sample was “consistent with possible intake of methamphetamine many hours before death.” He said traces of marijuana metabolite also indicated “intake hours earlier.”

In one incongruous detail, the coroner’s report said Hastings was wearing a seat belt when he crashed. It took firefighters 30 minutes to extricate his charred body from the scorched wreckage. Among many other injuries catalogued during the June 20 autopsy, Hastings’s skull was fractured at the crown of his head—presumably from contact with the steering wheel.

WhoWhatWhy has reported that video evidence showed Hastings’s speeding car, a 2013 Mercedes sedan, careen out of control and strike a towering palm tree in the median of North Highland Avenue near its intersection with Melrose Avenue. The car exploded in flames. The newly revealed details said police found “a couple of apparently empty alcohol bottles” near the car, but it wasn’t known if they had come from the Mercedes.

Investigators considered the possibility that the crash was a suicide:

“Upon inquiry, decedent’s history was not known to include any past suicide attempt/s or ideation/s; however, (name redacted) added decedent believed he was ‘invincible,’ believing he could jump from a balcony and would be okay. He added he would not be surprised if any stimulants were found within the residence, including cocaine.”

The report revealed that Hastings survived an eerily similar wreck when he crashed into a pole “several years ago,” during a period when he was abusing Ritalin. The location of that wreck was not specified in the report. The report said Hastings went through drug rehab for Ritalin abuse in 1999, at age 19.

Click to view Department of Coroner PRESS RELEASE and autopsy REPORT.

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121 responses to “Hastings Autopsy: Traces of Meth Found in Body, But Crash Caused Death”

  1. Curious1 says:

    Noticed the following comment in coroner’s report:

    “Hastings’s skull was fractured at the crown of his head—presumably from contact with the steering wheel.”
    Don’t late model Mercedes have air bags.
    Didn’t it/they go off and if not, why not?

    One more suspicious anomaly among the details of his “accident”.

  2. SOO says:

    Traces of meth were not found in the body, and the autopsy report did not say that traces of meth were found in the body.

  3. Marko says:

    Mercedes don’t have a reputation of exploding upon impact with trees, one organization came out in early days proclaiming innocence before the finger was even pointed in their direction…very unusual behaviour for the CIA

  4. Sam Weiss says:

    We will never know what happened, just like JFK, RFK, and MLK. My theory is why JfK files are still classified they will release it when all parties involved have died of old age. Just as I suspected classification is just a tool the CIA uses to cover up their crimes.

    • SO says:

      They won’t tell the truth after everybody is dead because the conspiracy is bigger than those dead people; it still runs the country today, and they plan to keep on running the country forever and ever.

  5. GuyMontag425 says:

    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 and friends, getting more CCTV video).

    A Hastings family member told WhoWhatWhy, “The LAPD has done a really sloppy job investigating his case … they had to insert speculation throughout their field report to compensate for their lack of an investigation. … It’s so irresponsible and they were hoping for a mother lode of drugs in his system ….” 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 the 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/).

  6. Dave Fryett says:

    Hastings murdered again by this website

    • SO says:

      They must be under orders. How can so many media clowns say meth was found when the autopsy report says that no meth was found? They OWN the media, and they own Russ Baker.

  7. concerned says:

    Why is no one mentioning that the drive shaft was cut in two, and the engine/transmission were 150 feet behind the vehicle. That sounds more like a bomb to me.

  8. SO says:

    If Michael Hastings’ “family” cares anything about Michael, they should stop talking to Russ Baker.

    • Dilla says:

      Really?! Why?

    • SO says:

      Because Russ Baker has misinterpreted the coroner’s report as saying that Michael Hastings smoked meth. This is not true and he must know by now that it is not true, and yet, he still leaves up the headline that says traces of meth were found in Hastings’ body. Traces of meth were not found in Hastings’ body. Baker is acting as a mouthpiece for Hastings’ murderers. Ergo, if the family cares about Michael, they should not talk to Russ Baker.

  9. SO says:

    The WhoWhatWhy “quicktake” on this article says,

    A riveting autopsy report on the remains of journalist Michael Hastings says he used marijuana and methamphetamines before the fiery crash in Los Angeles that killed him.

    The report does NOT say that he used methamphetamines. That is a lie.

  10. SO says:

    David J. Krajicek is a “true crime” author? Um, well. A true crime author. A TV crime expert. Lives in the Catskills. Well…I suppose.

  11. SO says:

    Since they can listen to anything we say, they must have known that the brothers were coming to LA, and when they were coming. Look at the timing of this. One brother in town and another one on the way. “The Family” is in town to get him into rehab, probably because he has been telling wacky stories about the FBI being after him. That brother sees him for a short time, sees that he is nervous and smoking weed. Of course, he assumes that there is more. Obviously, Michael is paranoid to the point of panic.
    There must be some cocaine or something else involved here. He mentioned DMT. Probably Michael told him about that. DMT is not generally a habitual drug of abuse, like cocaine. It is something many people will do as a special event sort of thing, for a transcendent experience. But bro probably thinks that Michael is just messed up on drugs and needs to get into rehab. This is a beautiful setup. Michael is deemed nuts by his brother, now is the time to kill him, before the other brother gets to town and some perspective might be added. “Hey, maybe the FBI really IS after him.” Michael asks his neighbor to use her car because he thinks that his been rigged to kill him. BOOM! Bye-bye, Michael…meth head!”

  12. SO says:

    It is significant that Russ Baker sticks to his “meth” title here, which we know is a lie. It not only means that Baker is a shill, but also that they consider this to be very important. This is a biggie. This is what Baker has built up his credibility for, to trumpet the lies of his masters when it matters. With the Hastings murder, apparently, it matters. This is a pivotal event. This is a big one.

  13. GuyMontag425 says:

    “The offıcıal cause of death was ‘massıve blunt force trauma consıstant wıth a hıgh speed front-end ımpact…'”

    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 suffered a similar fatal head injury).

    And notice how the car pivoted to the right just as Hasting’s car did.

    Note: Dvorak says 35 mph for the speed of Hastings’ car. More credible estimates are 80 to 120 mph (her assumed distances and travel time are incorrect)

    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. … 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”

    The crash killed Hastings (no explosion necessary) and ejected the engine FORWARD about 170 feet). The question is why Hastings was going fast?

    Perhaps car hacking (or old-fashioned messing with accelerator/brakes? Or, maybe PSTD and “paranoia”? Unfortunately, the LAPD didn’t bother to even look for such “foul play” so of course they found nothing!

    • Rod says:

      I’m so tired of people on various forums dismissing the 35 mph figure. In one minute a car travels .58 of a mile at 35 mph. That’s 3,062 feet, so, the car travels 51 feet per second. The distance between the restaurant camera and the impact point is about 260 feet – the time between the car appearing on camera and stopping is almost 6 seconds. So, 35 mph is a very good estimate. Time and distance screw with a lot of assumptions in this case. Hastings’ injuries are not consistent with a low speed crash.

    • SO says:

      You might have a point here, but the witness testimony has a powerful effect. How are we to deal with Jose Whathisnames “top speed” characterization?

    • Rod says:

      I would revise my estimate to just over 4 seconds – which is entirely reasonable. However, one must still use the “final” large explosion as a “stopping point”. Using anything else before that would of course make the speed of the car artificially faster. So, we are still dealing with a distance of about 260 feet (look at a map) and a car traveling at 35 mph would cover 204 feet in 4 seconds – a car traveling at 40 mph would cover 236 feet. Of course one may fiddle with time and come up with a myriad mph rates. You also have to consider the wide angle lens of the camera which makes the car first coming into view appear to be going faster. I’m confident the car was traveling no more than 40 mph and again his injuries are inconsistent with that speed. And Jose Whatshisname is a little unreliable with a name like Whatshisname. I’m sure he was pretty startled by whole the spectacle, for that’s what it was meant be, a spectacle. Also, if the frames per second of the camera is any significant amount below 30 fps, then the car was traveling even slower.

    • SO says:

      I just watched the pizza video with this in mind and it looks like it could not have been more than 3 seconds from the car passing the camera to impact. Assuming your numbers and math are accurate, that would mean no less than 70 mph.

    • GuyMontag425 says:

      Even Dvorak’s 35 mph estimate assumes only 3.8 sec (she used only 195 feet). My best guess is 2 sec until first “explosion” after hitting tree. Others have come up with similiar estimates.

      Perhaps it would be simpler to use the time and distance to the first “flash” when the car hit the curb or water piping (about 195 to 220 feet). What time do folks get for that?

      Just rewatched the You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gtRGIcUW_Q.

      Using http://www.calculateme.com/Speed/index.htm and assuming a distance of 195 to 200 feet and 1.5 to 2 sec, I still get a speed of 66 to 100 mph.

  14. Michael Calder says:

    The LA Weekly interview of his neighbor in the next apartment said Michael told her he thought his “mercedes was being tampered with.” The night of his crash he came to her apt around midnight and asked to use her car. He was “afraid to drive his own car.” Four hours is the car crash at 100 mph.

    • SO says:

      That doesn’t matter. Didn’t you read the title of this piece? Michael Hastings was a meth addict. No more need be said here. There’s some Mexican drug lords being persecuted, dood.

  15. Daughter of Liberty says:

    This story like every other one I’ve read in the past 24 hours make it appear Hastings was on drugs when
    his car crashed into a tree. When you read the coroner’s report, it said that there were traces of marijuana. Yes, he was on medical marijuana.
    The coroner also reported there were traces of an amphetamine like substance. it could have been Adderrol which Hastings was taking for his lifelongADD.

    The coroner states that these drugs did NOT play a role in the crash. but to read these stories, one would believe otherwise.

    My point is…
    We still don’t know what happened to Michael Hastings. It’s just bizarre that all these stories come out today after the toxicology report is released about all of his life struggles as if that caused the car crash. It’s a safe angle for them. These journos have a herd mentality that is just so distressing.
    They must be scared because they know they are spied upon. Their news organizations must be scared
    as well, but what a bunch of cowards!

    The fact is that law enforcement ruled out foul play immediately. In light of Michael’s work, his fears of surveillance and his warnings to friends about being interrogated by the FEDS, we should be very concerned about the media’s
    lack of interest lack of reporting until today and then only to promote the LAPD drug angle. They completely ignore the car. Whatever the coroner found in Hastings’ charred body did not make the car blow up and shoot the engine and transmission 150 feet away.

    Here are more questions for all of us to think about. Why was the passenger side of the vehicle burned more completely than the driver’s side? Why was the oil pan not attached to the motor? As someone in the repair business for almost 10 years, I can tell you that this crash was not normal. None of that stuff in the videos happens in a normal car vs. tree crash. Even if the car was going a 100 mph, it doesn’t happen like that. Is it possible someone put a phosphorus incendiary in the
    glove box? That would be the simplest way to blow up a car. The flash of light would cause any driver to jerk the wheel left.

    We must keep looking for the truth. Michael reported on important problems so that all of us could be more enlightened. We live in the United States of America and we have a Constitution that protects our freedom of speech through the First Amendment. The editor of The Guardian recently wrote how fortunate we are to have protected speech. We must exercise our rights and speak loudly. Michael Hastings was killed because he was exercising his.
    I say we spread the word about Hastings’ , the First
    Amendment and all the other journalists who committed “suicide” or died for the First Amendment. Let’s demand an independent investigation Even if Hastings did smoke pot, it doesn’t matter because that didn’t make his car blow up. Who is willing to look for the truth?

  16. dus7 says:

    If the crash caused Hastings’ death (not a surprising conclusion), then what caused the crash is the real question. Quoting relatives who live 3K miles away is not helpful and neither is citing alleged past drug abuse.

  17. Paul McClancy says:

    Sounds like Hasting’s family members fail to see eye to eye on the coroner’s report. One states that “he” wouldn’t put it past Hasting’s to have DMT and cocaine (whilst being invincible at times) while the other finds the coroner’s report “irresponsible”.

    I mean which is it?

    • Matt Prather says:

      would not your own family give divergent opinions if asked for a summary or characterization of yourself?

      Hastings seems to have not been biologically “lit up” high on anything (as far as modern toxicology tests can determine) but he also seems to have been dabbling in “polydrug abuse” — and just polydrug “use” (distinct from abuse) can be conceded to anyone who would insist that a driver’s drug use-abuse does not at all necessarily lead to a cause-of-death.

      But the fact remains, unless we find some trace of a second/third party at the scene, I suppose the blame will ultimately fall on him for reckless driving and death. (Not to say that single-driver crashes can’t be staged, but that the blame will be found in the court of public — and legal — opinion to be his.)

    • Paul McClancy says:

      Honestly, I think you’re correct. The burden of proof rests on those who claim foul play was at hand. We’ll have to wait for more updates on the case.

    • Paul McClancy says:

      Oh, and you’re first sentence is most certainly true about me.

  18. jimbo says:

    Neither marijuana nor amphetamines (?Ritalin?) are narcotics…

  19. odessa says:

    Some things don’t add up:
    1. The tree was undamaged. The engine a long way away.
    2. Witnesses attest to an explosion before the impact with the tree (Are they to be discounted?)
    3. The accident apparently was not caused by drugs or alcohol, leaving it a mystery as to how it happened. We are told he had a ‘history’ of crashing his cars into vertical structures .(e.g. the pole). But that proves nothing, as any hit team that had him in their sights would have looked for the most credible way to kill him, and would have scoured his past demeanor for tips. The pole crash incident could just as well indicate an opportunistic camouflage as a genuine pattern of behaviour on his part.
    4. We don’t know how he went from being comatose around 1 am to speeding in his car after 4 am. (Apropos of that, does anyone know where his wife was at this time? Weren’t they living together? Wouldn’t she have been in his house?)
    5. Apropos of the wife, her uber-National Security background does arouse suspicion, as does her change of story re her feelings about the death (Biggs recounts she told him “I’m going to track down who did this”; followed by her subsequent Pierce Morgan “It was an accident” statement.
    6. Finally -and perhaps most crucially for me-if you believe the authenticity of the “They’re after me!!!” email he sent just before his death, it’s just too much to believe that this was an accident. Simply too much. The burden of proof has got to be on the coincidentalists here.

    • SO says:

      The impression I get is that he was living alone in LA, the wife was not with him. He would sometimes talk to a woman who lived downstairs, and even asked to borrow her car on the night he died because he didn’t want to use his own car and he wanted to get out of town. It seems that one brother was in town when he died, and another was coming the next morning, both presumably from Vermont.

    • Paul McClancy says:

      Number 3. is problematic depending on who you ask. There are two camps of people who interpret the coroner’s report; those who erroneously claim intoxication caused the crash and those who say it had an indirect effect.

      The first camp can be ignored, but the second isn’t as easy to dismiss. How are we to know that the drugs didn’t have an indirect effect on his thought process long after intoxication? Granted this all sounds like voodoo pharmacology, but then others will mention that Hasting’s “personal demons” caused him to return to drug use. So, I would wager this is the reason people are taking the report at face value.

  20. Ross McKenzie says:

    Joking of course.

  21. Ross McKenzie says:

    Could be suicide or could be the military-industry complex took him out. For the sake of national security of course all in the name of terrorism. I don’t know about u but I’m a fearful coward and willing to give up all my rights and everything this country stands for to feel safe.

    • Greg M says:

      You can “feel” safe anytime you want and through whatever means you care to. Being safe, OTOH, means ridding the world of tyrannical despots who wish to exercise the power to murder innocent people by the hundreds of millions, should they so choose.
      There is nothing safe about appeasing an oligarchical, autocratic tyrant.

  22. sgtdoom says:

    Well, hopefully we all remember when the LA medical examiner, Dr. Thomas Noguchi refused to sign off on the police report (Ramparts precinct) when Sen. Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, a mysterious person was hired at the ME’s division who made false claims against the doctor, and he was fired.

    After taking the case to court, Dr. Noguchi was exonerated of all (if memory serves me correctly) sixty-one counts against him and Dr. Noguchi was rightfully reinstated. (It later turned out that the mysterious doctor hired, did not possess a medical degree, nor any other, and quickly disappeared????)

    • SO says:

      I’m sure that Russ Baker would say that there are legitimate concerns about the Bobby Kennedy murder, and he would probably add that there are many unanswered questions. The, he would probably wonder aloud, why all the records haven’t been released, and why even 45 years later this remains a mystery wrapped inside an enigma. He might even ask an anonymous family member for a comment on the American need to make sense of it all.

  23. SO says:

    No traces of meth were found in Michael Hastings’ body. None.

  24. Brian says:

    So it seems like a poster here has been endlessly spewing drivel and getting little to no response; much like the crazy person on a street corner shouting nonsense to everyone yet talking to no one…

    • Matt Prather says:



      by the way, I (for one, for what it’s worth) thought your (joking) comment yesterday was funny: “the most clear conclusion is that he was killed by remote control death squads”

      the truth is not quite established yet, and so for people who have some sense of perspective — some perspicacity, some sense of nuance — and even some sense of humor about the never-ending nature of Opinion On The Internet — for these people, it just seems silly to jump to a final conclusion

      If we were all jurors and for some reason the prosecution and defense rested right now, people would have to pick a place to plant their flag, but the fact is that the investigation is ongoing, and no one should be certain enough to plant a flag yet. As Russ Baker says, they try to play it “agnostic” here and not jump to conclusions

      Too bad people don’t commonly know the nuances of tox screens and what the specific ones administered and reported actually imply.

    • sgtdoom says:

      “remote control death squads” = MBRACE2 technology hacked?

  25. SO says:

    Maybe it really is about the drugs, and I’m including marijuana under that heading. Maybe our masters are telling us through their mouthpiece Russ Baker and others, that it is OK to murder druggies who are in positions of importance because they are just too dangerous to have any power. Michael Hastings had a kind of power, and you can’t let somebody like that be a pot head. Some people think that JFK was murdered because our masters concluded that his judgement had been poisoned by drug use. John McCain has even referred to the JFK assassination as an “intervention,” a supposed slip of the tongue. Maybe the Hastings murder was such an “intervention,” and, even though that would still be illegal, they think that it is necessary.

    • odessa says:

      Did McCain really say that? Where? Is it in the public domain? I would be utterly fascinated if he did. Gobsmacked more like it. My theory is that “our masters” (as you call them) had their own very selfish plutocratic reasons for taking JFK out but that they convinced the key middle echelon of the plot that they were doing it for solid reasons of “national security.” i think it’s quite clear that some people who participated in the plot thought they were doing so for patriotic reasons. after all, didn’t jim angleton tell such people that he had evidence that JFK was communicating with Khruschev behind the backs of the CIA/NSC? Angleton would also have thrown in the drug use with mary meyer for good measure.

    • SO says:


      Note that he rubs his nose when he says it.

    • odessa says:

      Thanks for this. While McCain’s body language is interesting he does say “intervention and tragedy,” so I don’t think we can make much of this. That said, I stand by my view that some “good men” participated in the plot to kill JFK, and that they did so under the mistaken belief that Kennedy’s judgment was impaired by his philandering and his drug use. I say “mistaken” because in my view you couldn’t have asked for better judgment from a President. See his heroic behaviour stairing down the generals during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He may have been on LSD or Speed when he did that. So perhaps I should add: God Bless LSD and Speed!

    • odessa says:

      That’s ‘staring.’ Ahem.

    • SO says:

      I don’t think this proves anything, but the hand up to the nose suggests he made a boo-boo, and it sounds to me more like, “interventio-tragedy,” meaning that he changed words, not added one. I will admit though, that he handled it very well after he said it. It was easy to miss. This is just one little tile in the MOSAIC.

    • gogetem1 says:

      At least McCain didn’t smile and slightly laugh after saying JFK was killed by “a deranged gunman” like Poppy Bush did.

    • SO says:

      There is no more vile creature than Poppy.

    • David J. Krajicek says:

      SO, the following is directly from the coroner’s press release:

      “TOXICOLOGY: Unlikely contributory to death. A small amount of Methamphetamine and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was detected. Levels indicate prior, but not recent usage. Carbon Monoxide level was consistent with instantaneous death.”

      As for your criticism of Russ Baker, he was the only journalist in America to successfully reach out to a family member for input about the coroner’s report on the day it was released. Your hostility is misdirected.

    • SO says:

      But, the toxocology report states that there is no methamphetamine detected, so Russ Baker is knowingly publishing a slanderous lie as his headline.

    • SO says:

      Repeating lies which know are lies from a coroner’s press release makes you a mouthpiece for the coroner. I thought you were journalists here, UNcovering the news. But no, you repeat the official line even when you know it is a lie, and fail to correct it, even though it would take only a few keystrokes.

    • olballcoach says:

      Shouldnt your article have contained this clarification. Instead, for your own reasons, you leave the innuendo wide open and up to the reader, who will most likely shake their head, sip the coffee and move on.
      Would not the responsible, ethical thing to do was insure the reader had the correct information and the proper context or intent of the information? Or was it your intent to leave the reader with a blatent misconception.
      Guys in the fourth estate – your audience is arousing from its slumber and demanding precise and exacting work from you – otherwise its on to the next fish wrap….

    • David J. Krajicek says:

      Page 7, Autopsy Report:

      “Toxicology shows a small amount of amphetamine in the blood, consistent with possible intake of methamphetamine many hours before death…”

    • SO says:

      What you yourself quote does not say that any meth was found, even if it was a correct statement. No meth was found. Amphetamine does not mean methamphetamine. But, your headline, along with everybody else’s, has done the job. Now the public thinks that Hastings crashed because he was smoking meth. Congratulations, shill.

    • SO says:

      Let’s finish the sentence, shall we, “Toxicology shows a small amount of amphetamine in the blood, consistent with possible intake of methamphetamine many hours before death, unlikely to have had an intoxicative effect at the time of the accident.” Shill.

      Amphetamine can be present as a metabolite of methamphetamine, but it is not necessarily there because of meth use. By stating in your headline that “meth” was found in his body, you branded him as a meth head, with an untrue statement. Meth was NOT found in his body. Alex Jones got this right from the beginning. Is he a better journalist than you? Even The Young Turks got this right. But, not Russ Baker.

    • olballcoach says:

      Okay – let cooler heads prevail. It must be stated up front that you are reporting on a coroners report that is obviously flawed. A coroners report is a scientific analysis of the cause of death. It should not contain heresay, opinion and editorializing. Benefit of the doubt, suggets your just reporting the facts of a report full of innuendo itself. I will consider it for the moment.
      But wouldn’t a journalist worth a his/her salt look askance at such attempts to manipulate public opinion? I cannot believe accomplished journalists and writers such as yourselves didnt look at each other and wonder what the hell was going on with this report. Why say any of “it” if it does not factor directly, unequivocally, into the cause of his death . It reads like something a two-bit family practice attorney writes to destroy a man or womens reputation with the classic – “So, tell me Mr/Ms Smith when did you stop beating your spouse?
      The problem of course is that Michael Hastings is not here to defend himself, and it is not altogether clear what agenda his family is pursuing either, by providing such non defensible or non testable hypothesis. Now that would be interesting to investigate considering how hot and cold they are running from week to week.
      I will finish by saying; with the brave reporting going on right now by Glenn Greenwald amoung others, isnt it about time all of journalism reflect, and shake themselves of the slimey tabloid mentality spawned by Murdoch et. all and start calling the game straight? We are living in some desperate times and straight talk, straight reporting is needed more than ever.

    • SO says:

      Benefit of the doubt is fine, but they must understand by now, and that headline is still up there calling Michael Hastings a meth addict.

    • GuyMontag425 says:

      The press release was wrong to claim meth. The coroner never claimed meth was found; the coroner’s office told the LA Weekly that the the amphetamine found was also “consistent” with Alderall:

      Breaking: Michael Hastings’ Coroner’s Report Reveals Likely Meth, Marijuana Use (Dennis Romero – La Weekly 8-20-13):

      “The coroner’s final report on journalist Michael Hastings, who died in a fiery one-car accident in June, revealed that he had marijuana and a trace of amphetamine, “consistent with possible intake of methamphetamine,”* in his blood.”

      *[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.

      Furthermore, a commenter (from salon.com? WWW? Infowars?):who claims he corresponded with the coroner’s office on this question:

      Sorry, just saw your question. Below is reply I received to my inquiry:

      re: meth assertion when no traces of meth were found.

      Thank you Chris for the correspondence and I cannot agree with you more as the opinion was issued without direct consultation of a Toxicologist. The Department is currently determining the best course of action.

      Dan Anderson, MS, FTS-ABFT, D-ABC

      Supervising Criminalist II-Toxicology/Quality Assurance Coordinator
      Los Angeles County Department of Coroner

      1104 N. Mission Road
      Los Angeles, CA 90033
      323-343-0660 Direct
      323-343-0530 Laboratory
      323-222-5171 Fax
      SOFT President 2013

      Finally, take a second look at the toxicology list results on p.15 of the report. They tested specifically for “Meth & MDMA” and found no trace of either (“ND” for Not Detected).

      For more, see p. 105 of my post “More Lies Borne Out By Facts, If Not the Truth” at http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com/

  26. gogetem1 says:

    A very long article about Hastings. I don’t know how much of this is truthful, but having Jonathan Kay quoted as some sort of expert makes it lose almost all of its credibility.

  27. SO says:

    “You’ve got to be mental to think that this is not something more than an accident.” Joe Biggs

  28. SO says:

    The slanderous lie in Russ Baker’s headline continues for another day. I guess Baker is just a mouthpiece for the military industrial complex, and not a journalist.

  29. lollardy says:

    First off the headline here is incredibly misleading. They didn’t find traces of meth. They found traces of amphetamine.

    Second, this should include in bold at the very beginning the conclusions that *no* DMT was found in his system, that the trace amphetamines found in his blood are consistent with many different types of mainly non-controversial drugs, and that he had not used weed or any amphetamine product for many hours.

    These facts should be the first thing you put in your article. This comes off as lazy and smearish imo.

  30. olballcoach says:

    I think the surprise here is that a scientific medical analysis is replete with heresay, opinion and editorializing. One expects this junk in the police report, but the coroner is supposed to let the science dictate his report.
    Based on what was said we can surmise the police report is going to ask us to suspend the laws of physics and accept the “immaculate ejection” of the engine some 200 feet down the street on faith alone. For there is no other way to describe the engine ejecting from that car after climbing up the median strip, plowing through the green metal cage, rupturing the water main and from that point, driving straight into that palm parallel to North Highland and after the smoke clears ending up at slightly more than horizontal to North Highland – as implied by the coroner statement.
    It will be entertaining reading how this rabbit gets pulled from the writers arce.

    • GuyMontag425 says:

      Here’s an excerpt 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 poleI.”

      t’a revealing to watch the frontal offset crash test of a MB C Class at only 40 mph at http://www.iihs.org/ratings/rating.aspx?id=1680&seriesId=464.

      Note: Dvorak used wrong assumptions to get a speed of only 35 mph; my calcs (and others) get 70 to 130 mph. That’s at least 4x the force of impact of 40 mph.

      Just like Hasting’s car, the test car pivots counter-clockwise to end perpedicular to the direction of travel. The engine was ejected forward 170 feet (plenty of stuff to avoid the tree).

      We’ve gone round before on this issue. I’ll try to post more details and pics on SAT in my latest post at the Feral Firefighter blog (rough draft there now).

  31. patrick says:

    author: did you get confirmation from the anonymous family member that some in the family were really trying to get him to go to rehab??

    • gogetem1 says:

      I was just wondering this myself. If the anonymous family member denies this then we have family members contradicting each other. Along with Dvorak, Biggs and Jordan all contradicting each other.

    • Paul McClancy says:

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to notice. Hopeful Russ will have more info to clarify this disparity.

  32. SO says:

    It would have been easy enough for the assassins to figure their angle. They didn’t need an inside mole; they had, “I Lost My Love In Baghdad,” in which Hastings wrote of his prior drug problems. He starts smoking medicinal marijuana, and of course they could know in various ways. Technology means they can know anything about anybody. And, it’s easy to spook a guy on weed, especially if he’s living alone. A little work, and his family and friends will think he’s smoking crack again. Of course, you can’t have them around for long; they’ll catch on. Hastings was killed on the first (or second) day that his brother was in town. At 4:20. It’s a joke. They like jokes.

  33. barabajaga says:

    Despite tox report there seems to be a major media push to portray Hastings as psychotic. The insinuating headlines of all articles are propaganda. Check out LA Weekly article by Gene Maddaus. A lot of summation, but few direct quotes of neighbor and friend.

    • SO says:

      I found this part interesting:

      “One night in June, he came to 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.”

  34. SO says:

    This lying title is still here! Have you no shame, Mr. Baker? Or are you just following orders?

  35. Brian says:

    Apparently people posting here fail to recognize some very basic facts, most importantly that his brothers were coming to put him BACK in detox/rehab. Additionally you are ignoring the fact that Hastings slammed into a pole a few years ago driving while high– the video shows him speeding through red-lights and another video shows him hit a dip and swerve off the street hitting a tree; with meth in his system and considering that his brother had noted that Hastings had been “passed out” circa 12:30/1am that same morning.

    But I guess you all are right, the most clear conclusion is that he was killed by remote control death squads….

    I think it is obvious that he was strung out, still a little high from meth (or meth-like substances) and I’d even hypothesize that noting he was on his way to rehab that he was having a little goodbye to drugs alone-party and was probably going to his dealer or heading home after meeting him.

    His condition was bad enough that his family came there to do an intervention and get him back in detox before he ended up dying.

    • SO says:

      Strung out on what? Meth-like substances? Yeah, sure. Maybe it was bath salts. This guy was told by a professional killer that he was going to be hunted down and killed, and you’re satisfied with this crap? I saw a video, too. The LOUDLABS unedited dashcam video. LOUDLABS was following that bus down Santa Monica Blvd. He knew where he was going. He pulled up next to some damned police surveillance-type vehicle, and then a man got out of that bus and walked back to the intersection to make sure it was clear for Hastings. Traffic stopped coming by on North Highland. Ha! North HIGHland at 4:20. I just got it. Traffic was stopped until Hastings’ staged red light run could be filmed by LOUDLABS. This was a planned event, and Hastings was murdered, and nothing in this damned medical report contradicts this fact.

    • TheAngryPeasant says:

      The toxicology report stated that the trace amounts of drugs, methamphetamine and marijuana, were too slight to have been a factor in the crash.

    • GuyMontag425 says:

      “A few years ago” was 14 years back in 1999!

    • beammeup says:

      WTF???? Are you a troll or just a dumbed down idiot? Guess you also trust EVERYTHING the government tells you. Go back to sleep dear, they truly do have your back!!

  36. SO says:

    It also seems gratuitous to mention empty beer bottles on the grassy whatever since the toxicology report says that zero alcohol was detected in the blood. Zero DMT, too, btw. Also zero cocaine, zero opiates. Yet, Russ Baker wants to lead with the drug angle. Curious.

    • AnonymousCoward says:

      you missed the points

    • Paul McClancy says:

      The press release mentioned DMT as Hasting’s drug of choice in the past month, not that DMT was found in his toxicology report. I do agree with the beer bottles snippet…

    • beammeup says:

      Isn’t it though? I have been following Russ for awhile now. Think I am done wasting my time.

  37. GuyMontag425 says:

    “Hastings’s skull was fractured at the crown of his head—presumably from contact with the steering wheel.”

    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 (the autopy report suggests Hasting’s head hit it).

    Here’s some excerpts from the crash test report (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. … 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.” The MB got a “poor” rating on this test.

    I think the evidence points to a fatal high-speed car crash (no explosion ejecting the engine backward, no explosion necessary for setting off the gas tank). The question is why was he going so fast? Car hacking or “Boston Brakes” is possible (but how would you prove it?), but his “falling off the wagon” simply suggests a sad scene.

  38. GuyMontag425 says:

    Once again, my condolences to Elise Jordan and the Hastings family. My tribute to Michael, Elise, and Andi can be found in my 135 page 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 (my take on the car crash is in Appendix G & H).

    During her Piers Morgan Interview, Jordan said: “It was absolutely ridiculous and totally classless. … If the obituary writer had bothered to go back and read the [DoD Rolling Stone] report, she would see what she put out there actually was factually inaccurate, I still feel very strongly that we should have a retraction, but clearly the New York Times management can’t step up to the plate and admit they made a mistake.”

    Ending her review of his great book about Gen. McChrystal & the Afghan War, “The Operators,” Kelly Vahlos wrote: “The overwhelming feeling is, well, sadness. … a million film plots of mortal men who flew too high and came down with a crash. The rest … is just plain sad.”

    • onedavide says:

      Yet in the book he made clear he believed pat tillman’s death was the result of “friendly fire,” when the investigating physician thought otherwise and the same Gen. McChrystal covered it up.

    • GuyMontag425 says:

      It was friendly fire. That’s the conclusion Jon Krakauer, and film maker Amir Bar-Lev also came to. Ditto for Stan Goff (retired Delta/SF guy who helped the family figure out military jargon and wnt thru the redacted docs with them; see his “Fog of Fame” pieces and his appearance in “The Tillman Story” DVD. He’s a great guy).

      Look, the coroner ASSUMED Tillman was hit by three aimed shots from an A2 from a short distance of maybe 10M. The SAW also fires 5.56 rounds at a cyclic rate of 700 rounds/min. From a distance of only 35m from a slowly moving Humvee, it’s no surprise that 3 of the bullets in a burst hit his head. Ask any 11B, there’s no mystery here!

  39. Infectious Chris says:

    I emailed the Coroner’s office late last night regarding the methamphetamine implication and received a reply early this morning. They confirmed the meth assertion is baseless, as only amphetamine was detected (indicative of Rx medication), and was made without consultation from the toxicologist. They’re currently planning how to best resolve the matter. We’ll see how it turns out…

    • Brian says:

      Would you post a copy of the email reply you were sent here to verify that your words are valid?

    • Paul McClancy says:

      I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    • Brian says:

      Oh, I’m not… there were many red flags in the content of his post, but I had hopes that a good forgery might be posted.

    • Infectious Chris says:

      Still alive?

    • Infectious Chris says:

      Sorry, just saw your question. Below is reply I received to my inquiry re: meth assertion when no traces of meth were found.

      Thank you Chris for the correspondence and I cannot agree with you more as the opinion was issued without direct consultation of a Toxicologist. The Department is currently determining the best course of action.

      Dan Anderson, MS, FTS-ABFT, D-ABC

      Supervising Criminalist II-Toxicology/Quality Assurance Coordinator

      Los Angeles County Department of Coroner

      1104 N. Mission Road

      Los Angeles, CA 90033

      323-343-0660 Direct

      323-343-0530 Laboratory

      323-222-5171 Fax

      SOFT President 2013

    • Brian says:

      You might upload the actual email to Dropbox, Google Drive or similar and share it with Russ & his team if you want to be taken seriously. (I suggest a cloud service and communicating directly with WWW employees to protect your identity from the general public reading this thread)

    • Infectious Chris says:

      I was going to just FWD the email to them, but couldn’t find their contact info. Know it? Can send to you if you like, it’s not a big deal.

    • Infectious Chris says:

      Or – maybe contact the Coroner’s office directly if you want?? They replied to me quickly.

    • Infectious Chris says:

      I should add – I wouldn’t normally post a private email reply publicly, but this seems reasonable given circumstances.

  40. Whiznot says:

    The mystery deepens. Passed out at 1AM followed by speeding recklessly at 4AM doesn’t pass the smell test. Narcotics? What narcotics? Cannabis and speed are not considered to be narcotics by medical science. I think reporters should look for the source of Hasting’s ingested speed.

    • Paul McClancy says:

      Narcotics used to be a term that indicates sleep inducing drugs. Nowadays, such classification no longer is used; narcotics is a blanket term for any scheduled substance.

  41. Gary Welsh says:

    Both Adderall and Ritalin contain amphetamine, which would explain the meth traces. The report said he had abused Ritalin in the past so the question should have been addressed whether he was still currently taking one of these drugs under prescription. There’s a suggestion he was bipolar but no confirmation that he had actually been diagnosed and treated for it. I found the innuendo and conjecture in this autopsy report to be highly irregular and unprofessional. He’s described as being “passed out” hours earlier, but it was midnight. Was he sleeping? The toxicology report sure wouldn’t support the notion that he had passed out after consuming drugs or alcohol.

    • Infectious Chris says:

      There were no meth traces, only amphetamine. Though he reportedly did abuse Ritalin in the past, it (methylphenidate; not amphetamine) was not detected in the analysis. He most likely consumed dextroamphetamine (e.g. Dexedrine) or an amphetamine salt (e.g. Adderall).

  42. SO says:

    Russ and his crew seem to think that the coroner’s report is good enough evidence to write this off as an accident. Why? Because the toxicology report says there wasn’t enough drug of any kind to impair Hastings’ ability to drive? That means it’s an accident? Having a medical marijuana card and traces of metabolites means this is an accident? His head being charred, but not the rest of his body means this was an accident? The fact that the last person to see him saw Hastings unconscious means that this was an accident? Move along! There’s no Who, What or Why here!

    • onedavide says:

      I keep going back to the fact their were no skid marks and no signs he hit that palm tree, yet the engine and transmission end up 100′ from the car.

  43. gogetem1 says:

    The mystery only deepens, as far as I’m concerned.

  44. SO says:

    The brother leaves him at 1 AM passed out, unconscious, in his room. WE don’t know, but maybe bro goes to sleep around 2, making it clear that he won’t be visiting Michael again that night. That should be enough time for the team to do it’s work and produce a 4:20 crash. Just as with 9/11, 4:20 might have some significance. Stoners will understand. It seems that Baker and his crew want the story to go this way, and prefer not to look into what is wrong with this story, just as one might expect from shills.

    • Brian says:

      That could be the craziest comment I’ve ever read; some of us have an open mind and investigate inconsistencies, others make their determination and (regardless of evidence) are so locked into their belief that nothing will sway their judgement. You are the epitome of the latter.

    • SO says:

      I think you might be getting personal, there.

    • Matt Prather says:

      I’d agree with it, after backing off the hyperbole.

      As far as getting personal, didn’t you just call the authors “shills”?

      Your comments all over this thread are full of illogic, and a predetermination (“prejudice”) that a conspiratorial explanation of the crash and death must be the truth.

      The way to prove that case is by cautious and complete investigation — and you might not have noticed it but the authors are investigating honestly with an eye toward conspiracy.

      This is another step in that honest investigation. Another piece of the puzzle. It’s not a one-time “shill” job that attempts to tell everyone “nothing to see here, move on!”

    • SO says:

      An honest investigator does leave a slandering lie up as his headline. Baker has had plenty of time to correct that, just as he had plenty of time to correct his slanderous lie on page 46 of Family Of Secrets before it came out in paperback. Russ Baker seems to like slanderous lies.

    • gogetem1 says:

      I’ve got a copy of Family of Secrets. What is this lie that you are referring to?

  45. SO says:

    The headline here is an editorial opinion. Traces of meth were NOT found according the medical report. It was traces of amphetamines, which is not the same thing. And the early crash into a pole was not “eerily similar” unless you want it to be. I bet he hit that pole going way slower, and I bet it didn’t produce a fireball. He was belted in? I bet he was!

    • jd says:

      No, the headline is a quote from the coroner.

    • SO says:

      The toxicology report says that no methamphetamine was detected. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Methamphetamine, for those of you who are unfamiliar with tweaking, is “meth.” This article leads with a slandering lie.

    • jd says:

      It’s in the press release linked to at the end of the article:

      TOXICOLOGY: Unlikely contributory to death. A small amount of
      Methamphetamine and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was detected. Levels indicate
      prior, but not recent usage. Carbon Monoxide level was consistent with
      instantaneous death.

    • SO says:

      A professional journalist would look at the toxicology report before repeating unfounded claims in the title of his piece.

    • Paul McClancy says:

      “Unlikely contributory to death”.

      This is going to be a really stupid question so bare with me; does “death” in this instance mean intoxication leading to a crash or that the drugs didn’t kill him?

      Such a distinction is important because most naysayers interpret the coroner’s report as, “he wasn’t intoxicated while driving” which is not what the report states.