Hastings’ wife believes death was “tragic accident”

While conspiracy theories abounded following the journalist's death, Elise Jordon refuses to fuel them VIDEO

Topics: Video, Michael Hastings, Elise Jordan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, conspiracy theories, CNN, John Brennan, CIA, LAPD, ,

Following the tragic death in a fiery Los Angeles car crash of award-winning journalist Michael Hastings, conspiracy theories about a possible government assassination abounded. After all, Hastings was famed for taking on and taking down the upper echelons of U.S. power structures with his fierce, take-no-prisoners reporting.

At the time, I urged against wild conspiracy theorizing, largely on the grounds that ungrounded speculation did little justice to Hastings’ legacy of grounding his work in research and hard reporting. I noted:

Applying Occam’s Razor, it is entirely feasible that Hastings feared FBI investigation, given his work, that he was correct in his fear, that he was correct in his speculation, and that early Tuesday morning he went for a fast drive and lost control of his car, which exploded on high impact. A number of the writer’s friends have expressed that Hastings was going through a stressful period. No extra premise of a planted government bomb is necessary to offer a plausible picture at all.

On Monday night, Hastings’ widow, Elise Jordan spoke publicly for the first time and also erred away from conspiracy theories. She told CNN’s Piers Morgan that the fact of her husband working on a hot story was not evidence enough to suggest that he was therefore part of an assassination plot. Rather, Jordan described her husband’s death as a “tragedy” and — as is the case — a loss for us all:

“There have been, as there always are in these situations, wild conspiracy theories that he was chasing some hot story, maybe connected to that, his late night car crash in Los Angeles. Other theories, too. Do you subscribe to any of this?” Morgan asked.

“I have no doubt that he was pursuing a hot story. He always had at least five hot stories going — that was Michael,” Jordan said. “Right now, the LAPD still has an active investigation. I don’t really have anything to add. My gut here is that it was just a really tragic accident and I’m very unlucky and the world is very unlucky.”

Jordan added that Hastings’ story on CIA director John Brennan will be published in an upcoming issue of Rolling Stone.

Watch Jordan’s appearance below:



Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    "Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)

    "Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)

    The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...