Michael Hastings sent panicked email about FBI probe hours before death: report

The journalist’s fiery 4 a.m. single-car crash in Los Angeles came 15 hours after he sent friends an email warning them the FBI was on his tail. ‘Hey — the feds are interviewing my “close friends and associates,”‘ the message said. ‘Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the [radar] for a bit.’

The Internet erupted shortly after journalist Michael Hastings’ June 18 death with debates about the fiery one-car crash, who was known as a tenacious reporter unbowed by threats. A community board on Reddit speculated last week that the car was either rigged to lose control or burst into flames at a certain time.

The Internet erupted with debates about the fiery one-car crash that killed journalist Michael Hastings, who was known as a tenacious reporter unbowed by threats. A community board on Reddit speculated last week that the car was either rigged to lose control or burst into flames at a certain time.    KTLA

SOURCE

He had a big story and wanted to get off the radar until things cooled down.

Hours later, Michael Hastings was dead.

The 33-year-old journalist’s fiery 4 a.m. single-car crash June 18 in Los Angeles came 15 hours after he sent friends a panicked email warning them the FBI was on his tail.

‘Hey [redacted] — the feds are interviewing my “close friends and associates,”’ reads the email that journalist Michael Hastings sent 15 hours before he died. ‘Perhaps if the authorities arrive “BuzzFeed GQ,” er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.’

‘Hey [redacted] — the feds are interviewing my “close friends and associates,”’ reads the email that journalist Michael Hastings sent 15 hours before he died. ‘Perhaps if the authorities arrive “BuzzFeed GQ,” er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.’                                Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Guardian

“Hey [redacted] — the feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates,’” reads the email, acquired Friday by KTLA-TV. “Perhaps if the authorities arrive ‘BuzzFeed GQ’, er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.

“Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radat (sic) for a bit.

“All the best, and hope to see you all soon,” Hastings signed off. The email was sent at around 1 p.m. Monday.

The email ‘alarmed me very much,’ said Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, one of the message’s recipients, who provided a copy of the note to KTA. ‘I just said it doesn't seem like him. I don't know, I just had this gut feeling and it just really bothered me.’

The email ‘alarmed me very much,’ said Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, one of the message’s recipients, who provided a copy of the note to KTA. ‘I just said it doesn’t seem like him. I don’t know, I just had this gut feeling and it just really bothered me.’    KTLA

Few probably saw him alive after that, and the story was never written. Instead, Hastings slammed his new Mercedes at high speed into a tree on Hollywood’s Highland Avenue.

The Internet erupted shortly after debating conspiracy theories about the death of Hastings, who was known as a tenacious reporter unbowed by threats.

Journalist Michael Hastings was killed   in a fiery car crash early morning June 18 in Hollywood, Calif. One theory being floated online speculates Hastings sped away down Highland Ave. as he tried to lose someone tailing him.

Journalist Michael Hastings was killed in a fiery car crash early morning June 18 in Hollywood, Calif. One theory being floated online speculates Hastings sped away down Highland Ave. as he tried to lose someone tailing him.   KTLA

Hastings, who wrote for BuzzFeed and Rolling Stone, famously brought down U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal in a 2010 Rolling Stone cover story. He was most recently covering Edward Snowden’s leak of the NSA’s classified domestic monitoring program.

The FBI denied Hastings was under investigation and police continue to examine the circumstances of the fatal crash.

Flowers and condolence notes shown here form a makeshift memorial for award-winning journalist Michael Hastings, whose reporting for Rolling Stone helped bring down Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan. The 33-year-old journalist died in Los Angeles when his car crashed into a tree and caught fire.

Flowers and condolence notes shown here form a makeshift memorial for award-winning journalist Michael Hastings, whose reporting for Rolling Stone helped bring down Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan. The 33-year-old journalist died in Los Angeles when his car crashed into a tree and caught fire.  Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

But the email’s content worried Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, who was blind-copied on the note sent to Hasting’s colleagues.

“It alarmed me very much,” said Biggs, who provided a copy of the note to KTLA. “I just said it doesn’t seem like him. I don’t know, I just had this gut feeling and it just really bothered me.”

One theory being floated online speculates Hastings sped away down Highland as he tried to lose someone tailing him. But a news photographer, Scott Lane, says his dashboard camera caught Hastings blowing through a red light at a high speed – minutes before the crash. The footage doesn’t show a car following the reporter, Lane said while speaking with the TV station.

A community board on Reddit speculated last week that the car was either rigged to lose control or burst into flames at a certain time.

Biggs, who got to know the reporter in Afghanistan while Hastings embedded with his unit in 2008, spoke affectionately of his friend, who was known for going after stories others would shy away from.

“I thought he was a great person,” he told KTLA. “He spoke the truth, he said what needed to be said, he said what a lot of people were scared to say. It does offend a lot of people but the truth hurts.”

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6 comments

  1. Pingback: Reporter’s Death — Were Feds Involved? | The Bold Truth
  2. elinor s leal

    Another potential Whistleblower take-down … obvious in my book …
    No one will ever know the truth …
    Very sad ending of yet, another meaningful life …
    Condolences to all that knew & loved him …

  3. te Deal

    Communism in the form of the unelected Bank for International Settlements, which rules the world’s economy, in relative obscurity — and also the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, which ensures that the world’s populations remain farmed for credit-debt profit and socially engineered for ignorance. This assassination is their work.

  4. Pingback: UPDATE Friend: Michael Hastings Was Working on “Biggest Story Yet” About CIA | Tat's Revolution

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