Some peripheral facts you might want to consider (that should probably be accounted for in any legitimate attempt at putting forth a theory), are as
In a video interview with “air-date” of May 20, 2013,
Hastings states on TV:
"...government, 'we declare war on you'..."
According to SSgt Biggs, within the week or two preceding his demise, Michael Hastings contacted an attorney-other-than the WikiLeaks lawyer –
SSgt Biggs claims to have received an “anonymous email” from “an investigative group” in L.A., informing that the LAPD were out to Michael
Hastings’ residence within the week (or so) prior to his death, and that he (Mr. Hastings) had been seen “looking under his car” during the same
According to the broadly publicized email, sent to “close friends and associates” on June 17th, Michael apparently informed said ‘close friends
& associates’ that “the Feds” were investigating him…giving cautionary thoughts on what to do if they were contacted…and stated that he was
on to a “big story”, and would be getting off the “radat” for a bit…
According to the well-publicized tweet from WikiLeaks, Mr. Hastings contacted the lawyer – Jennifer Robinson – “only hours before” the fatal
While the email SSgt Biggs received from Michael Hastings’ account had a “time stamp” of “12:56 p.m.” on it – I don’t know if that would
be LA time or, ‘Biggs time (which – I believe to be a 2-or-3 time zone difference)… So – IF Hastings sent the email – I am unable to
conclude if it was sent at 9:56 a.m., 10:56 a.m. or 12:56 p.m. LA time.
Likewise – the WikiLeaks tweet does not give enough information to determine if Hastings contacted Jennifer Robinson during normal waking hours (on
June 17th)…or in the wee-morning hours of June 18th.
As is likely evident from the LoudLabs video #1
, Mr. Hastings’ Mercedes was travelling
southbound on North Highland Avenue at well above the posted speed limit (which was 35 mph) when running the red light at Santa Monica Blvd. I have
gauged the speed in said video footage at between 60 & 70 mph.
As the vehicle ran through the red light at Santa Monica, its tail lights were definitely ON
It further looks to me, as if the “white” brake lights are ON as well --- BUT, I cannot state that for certain.
According to “eye-witness” accounts, when “running through” said red light, the Mercedes avoided two vehicles that were waiting for the signal
to turn green. (…as it passed them – one witness stated that it shook his car like a passing freight train…)
By the time the Mercedes arrived at the intersection of Melrose Place, its speed had apparently increased…
There is a “dip” in the roadway just prior to Melrose’ for pedestrian crossings; Melrose, itself, provides a significant “rise”, and then,
on the other (south) side of Melrose’ is another pedestrian crossing (dip)…
According to eye-witness accounts (and other observations), the Mercedes left the ground, briefly, as a result of this series of dip-rise-dip
elevations…even leaving “skid marks” in front of the Pizzeria Mozza, that were later measured by police investigators.
At this point, the last relatively few feet were captured on security footage from the North Highland Ave-facing camera situated in the front door of
said Pizzeria Mozza.
While a “second-hand” version
is available on YouTube…and thus, the kind/s of detail that
are reported to have been derived by “close inspection & study” are not as discernible…we can still get a general drift of the last seconds and
corroborate certain details that have been put forth by Michael Krikorian (whose girlfriend owns the restaurant).
According to Krikorian’s account of the video footage…about 100 feet after the car passed the restaurant camera, it swerved…
Then – about 195 feet past the camera, it jumped the curb onto the median (don’t know if this means – all 4 wheels, or only 2 wheels)…
About 25 (or so) feet after jumping onto the median, the car hit the metal utility cover for the fire hydrant…accompanied immediately by a
Krikorian speculated that this flash could have been the fire hydrant doing damage to the undercarriage, and possibly, rupturing the fuel line.
The first flash was followed almost immediately by another flash…which Krikorian speculated “might have been brake lights”…but, might just as
well have been something else…
The second flash was followed by a “dark” frame.
As others have noted in reviewing this footage… All of the lights on the vehicle were “out/off” at this point.
Then (in the next frame), the vehicle began to explode, as it hit the palm tree.
The explosion was followed immediately by a fireball…which entirely engulfed the car…and did not settle down…until extinguished by the Firemen
many minutes later.
-note regarding the speed of the vehicle in those last seconds. ‘Krikorian guessed the speed at “80+ mph” to as much as “130
mph”… My calculations (based on an imprecise ballpark method) put the speed at or around 85 mph.
Should you care to see what happened to a similar C-Class Mercedes in a crash-test at 50 mph…where the front end met an immovable obstruction at or
near the same spot (on the car) as Mr. Hastings’ Mercedes met the tree…you can watch it
… (Thanks to JBA2848
for finding this!)
Might as well give a last “peripheral facts” note…before jumping in…
There are “eye-witness” statements, both of the crash and aftermath, and even, the body being removed from the vehicle…that might be considered
in any theory proffered.
A word of caution regarding such “statements” – it is always best to account for a/some degree of error in such accounts…and…if possible,
weigh them against other substantive facts…if you desire to arrive at a “working solution”.
When putting a theory forth for consideration – if “witness testimony” seems at odds with “substantive fact”, it is likely one of the first
aspects to be “attacked” (or – in more civilized forums – “questioned”).
So – in a case where you “choose” witness testimony over “substantive fact”, be prepared to answer “why” you made that choice.
As has been part of some lengthy discussions on this site, many other peripheral “facts” have been, and may be included…
In fact – without the “surrounding circumstances” there would be no story for us to consider, anyway.
Example: We do not know “where” the Mercedes was coming from…
Had he been on “the 101”?
Had he been on one of the many prominent boulevards between “the 101” and where we saw him enter the scene…or…otherwise?
Was he going somewhere in particular? (Reason for this question – Was he in control of the vehicle at all?)
Do we consider the family-friends-&-acquaintances comment – “he drove like a Grandma” – believable?
If so – how far can we take it? Driving like this was something he would NEVER do…? Driving like this is something he might
under some Extreme circumstance…? ETC…?