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Sunday, December 19, 2004

Two-shot "Suicide"

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office issued a statement Tuesday confirming that former investigative reporter Gary Webb committed suicide with two gunshots to the head.
I'm certainly no expert, and the Sacramento Bee's story is little help, but a two-shot suicide seems pretty suspicious. If it was some sort of automatic weapon I guess it would be possible, but if it's a one-shot gun, who's there to pull the trigger the second time?

Well, the weapon was a .38 caliber pistol; anyone out there know if it's likely that Webb could have reflexively fired a second shot after shooting himself in the head the first time?

The Bee is anxious for us to know that it was a suicide:
Webb's allegations spawned a following, including conspiracy theorists who have worked the Internet feverishly for days with notions that because Webb died from two gunshots he was killed by government agents or the Contras in retribution for the stories written nearly a decade ago.

Webb's ex-wife, Sue Bell, discounted such theories Tuesday, saying the 49-year-old Webb had been distraught for some time over his inability to get a job at another major newspaper.

"The way he was acting it would be hard for me to believe it was anything but suicide," Bell said.

She said that before he died Webb wrote and mailed notes to family members and placed his baby shoes in his mother's shed.

Webb had paid for his own cremation earlier in the year and had named Bell months ago as the beneficiary of his bank account, she said. He had sold his house last week, because he could no longer afford the mortgage, and was upset that his motorcycle had been stolen last week.
Bell may be right. Then again, those actions would also make sense if Webb had received death threats from people he knew would follow through. The stolen motorcycle may have been their indication to him that he couldn't run.

Xymphora has a long list of writers who have committed "suicide." A few years ago, I would have doubted that our government could be so criminal. But it is. The people who believe that the war in Iraq is protecting America and that George W. Bush took all the right steps after 9/11 are the "conspiracy nuts" who are operating without facts. The facts support completely different conclusions.