The Curious Death of Michael Hastings

Tragic Accident or Murder of a Journalist Who Threatened the Establishment?

Michael Hastings-The "Accident"

Michael Hastings Inferno

At approximately 4:30am on June 18th 2013, a shiny, new, silver Mercedes Benz C 250  blew through a red light at the intersection of  Highland and Santa  Monica Blvd.  This event was  captured with supreme serendipity by freelance news camera man Scott Lane.  Lane said that he was sitting in his car at a gas station on the corner of Highland and Santa Monica Blvd. listening to his police scanner right before the crash. Lane’s dash cam caught Hastings’ Mercedes running a red light at high speed.  At that moment, chillingly, Hastings was less than one minute from death.

Michael Hastings Blows Red Light

Hastings Blows Red Light

Some have said that Hastings appeared to be going 100 mph as he blew through that light.  Quite reckless, yet at least one of his close friends described him as a “grandma driver”.  In the dash cam video, we see no other vehicle.

However, John B. Wells of Coast To Coast AM recently reported that he had watched the video on his cell phone and had saved the URL.  He added that he had seen a jeep close behind Hastings but when he tried to replay the video later, he got a message that the video could not be found.  He noted that the  copies currently available do not show a jeep; Hastings is alone.

Scott was actually heading home for the night when he exited the gas station from a driveway in the rear that took him east along Santa Monica Blvd.   He had not noticed the Mercedes shooting south on Highland.

There are two driveways in the station that feed right into Highland south bound (the direction that Hastings was travelling),  Having gone east on Santa Monica Blvd he was heading away from Highland.  He heard the call come over the scanner about two minutes after exiting the station and made a series of turns to get back to Highland south bound.  Lane arrived at the crash scene approximately four minutes after the dash cam had recorded  the speeding car.   Had he exited the station  and turned right on Highland, he could have been there in 59 seconds.

An Examination of the Evidence

Michael Hastings' car

Hastings’ Mercedes

According to a witness residing across the street and down a few doors from the crash scene, the fire department took ten minutes to arrive.  She said she was awakened at 4:19 am by what seemed to be an extremely powerful bomb blast.  “It shook the house”. she told me.  “I am still traumatized”.  She paused and then added, “actually, there were three distinct explosions”.   None of the reports that I had read mentioned this, so I was surprised. “Three?”, I asked.  “Were the other two explosions as strong as that first one that shook the house?”  She thought for a moment and answered, “No”.

Look at the picture directly above.  What do you notice?  What jumps out? The driver side wheel isn’t there.  We can see deep onto the engine compartment.  The engine compartment looks empty.

The Final Turn

Hard Left

Hastings passenger side wheel position

Now study this photo. The passenger side wheel is chocked hard left.   The hood and front grill are all blown over to the right of the car.   The prevailing theory is that the car exploded upon impact to the tree.  If so, that would mean that the engine/transmission would have had to have been ejected from here.  Why would it have not gone into the tree?  Why is there so much debris in the street in the north bound lane so far south of the car?   The debris pattern is completely at odds with the  pat explanation that the car slammed into the tree at a high rate of speed and exploded into a fireball.

Significant Debris Field Concentrated in North Bound Lane

Debris field

Debris field

The debris field is across the street and not far from the corner of Clinton Ave.  The transmission/engine is out of frame, but  is even further down the street to the left of the photo.  Why would the heaviest component travel the furthest?

Wreckage well south of crash site

Wreckage well south of crash site


If Pigs Had Wings, They Could Fly

Hastings Transmission

Hastings Transmission

A well known journalist barreling down a residential street at 4:15 in the morning at a high rate of speed, a freelance reporter parked in a corner gas station with his dash cam turned on and pointed at just the right corner at just the right time…

All of that is strange, to be sure, but not as strange as the engine, transmission and drive shaft being hurtled to the corner far down the road and across the street.  

Here follows a Google map to give you an idea of the distances involved.  The first photo is the south bound view.  Hastings, you will recall, was traveling south when he blew through the red light at Santa Monica Blvd. Hastings’ car came to a stop at the first tree on the left in the photo.  It’s rear wheels rested at the edge of the curb.

The engine/transmission which has been estimated to weigh eight hundred lbs came to rest just a few feet in from Clinton Street on the north bound side!

Google south bound view:

Highland south bound view-Hastings tree to Clinton Ave

Highland south bound view-Hastings tree to Clinton Ave

Here is the Google north bound view:

Highland at Clinton Ave-north bound

Highland at Clinton Ave-north bound

You can see the storm drain to the bottom right and the engine was on top of that storm drain .  The tree is the fourth tree up the street.   As you count, be sure to include the short palm which is second in the line. That is quite a distance for something so heavy to travel.

Here it is again, in daylight:

the tell tale clue

Transmission and drive shaft many yards away

Update:  I went back on July 2nd.  That nick to the right of the red painted curb is not present at the site.  Also, it seems to me that the shaft in this photo is much longer than the one in the video.  At first, I thought perhaps it was just an issue of perspective, but combined with the discrepancy with the curb, I am ready to call foul on this photo 

Storm Drain Where Engine Landed

Storm Drain Where Engine Landed

You can see that this is a storm drain.   It is hollow underneath.  If the engine/transmission had sailed through the air and landed on top of this thin concrete slab, why isn’t it cracked?  Those hundreds of pounds of metal would have landed like a sledge hammer.

The missing driver side wheel?

missing tire?

missing tire?

It certainly looks like it to me right there near the man’s left ankle.  This area is located near Clinton St., across the street from the debris field and engine/transmission.

From where he is standing, the man would be looking at the  passenger side of the car from the rear.   The tire, given the direction that the wheels were chocked, should have ended up closer to Melrose Ave., not Clinton Street.   That car did not explode as a result of colliding with a palm tree…at any speed.

But we are not done yet…

Water pipe gone

There is more to come.  Next stop is a chat with a Mercedes expert and then, hopefully a chat with Jose, the only witness. ..

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