Report: Michael Hastings Sent Panicked Email About FBI Probe Hours Before Death
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.’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.
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.
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.
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.
Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.The FBI denied Hastings was under investigation and police continue to examine the circumstances of the fatal crash.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 19, 2013