Page 30 of 31

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:28 am
by cptmarginal

2 Sisters Were Found Dead in the River, Duct-Taped Together. Police Have Few Answers.

Oct. 29, 2018

A person strolling through Riverside Park last Wednesday afternoon spotted something jarring on the riverbank and called the police.

There, below a small pier that juts out from the park at 68th Street, lay the bodies of two young women, bound together by duct tape at their waists and ankles. They had not been in the water long, the police said. Clad in similar black leggings and black jackets with fur trim, their bodies bore no obvious signs of trauma.

The police initially had trouble identifying the young women. Hints that they might be related surfaced a day after they were found when police sketches revealed striking similarities: the same curly dark hair, the same build, the same skin tone.

By Friday, detectives had learned the women were sisters from Saudi Arabia who lived in Fairfax, Va.

Rotana Farea was 22; Tala Farea was 16. They had a history of going missing, and they had recently requested asylum in the United States, the police said.

But beyond that, the circumstances of their deaths have remained a mystery. Investigators have struggled to piece together how two young women from a city more than 250 miles away turned up along Manhattan’s Hudson River shoreline.

The police are investigating the possibility that the sisters may have carried out a suicide pact, taping themselves together and throwing themselves in the river. But detectives have not ruled out murder. The medical examiner’s office has yet to determine the cause of death. No one has claimed the bodies.

“We do not know that a crime took place,” Dermot F. Shea, the chief of detectives, said on Thursday. “We have a terrible tragedy for sure.”

At first, the police theorized the women might have leapt from the George Washington Bridge. People who jump from the bridge often end up in Riverside Park. But the women’s bodies would have had signs of trauma after falling from that height, investigators said. Plus they would have had to have jumped during the day, and a motorist would likely have seen them.

“We are currently looking for what might have been their entry point into the water,” one law-enforcement official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation. “We are checking both sides of the river.”

It remains unclear where the sisters were staying before they died. The Fairfax County police declined to provide any information about the sisters’ lives in Virginia, citing a law prohibiting sharing any information that would help identify a crime victim under the age of 18.

The Arab News, an English paper in Saudi Arabia, reported that Rotana Farea had been living in New York, while her mother and younger sister remained in Virginia. The mother had reported Tala missing two months ago, the newspaper said, but then called off the search when she discovered the girl was visiting her older sister. The sisters were in contact with their mother until about a week ago, the Arab News said.

But the police in New York said the mother, whom they did not identify, also reported her daughters missing last year. When the local police located the sisters, they asked for protection and were placed in a shelter, the police said.

Earlier this year, Rotana Farea was living in a fifth-floor apartment in a luxury complex on the edge of an outdoor mall in Fairfax Corner, Va., a suburban neighborhood about a 30-minute drive from Washington, a leasing agent there said. Ms. Farea moved out in July.

In late August, Tala Farea was again reported missing to the Fairfax County authorities, who distributed a missing-person poster online. The poster said she might be with her sister Rotana. In October, someone again reported the sisters missing in Virginia, the police in New York said.

The mother also received a call from the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington, informing her that her daughters had applied for asylum, the police said.

Bound Women Found Floating in River Were Not Decomposed, Medical Examiner Says

Family of Saudi sisters found dead in New York denies suicide reports

"Police initially struggled to identify the bodies as much of the city and the country was transfixed by another mystery: the package bombs sent to a dozen prominent Democrats and CNN’s New York City bureau."

(Was trying to identify who the "brother in Washington they were accompanying" was, but some reports say he was only 18 years old...)

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:58 pm
by JackRiddler

Oh shit, this was covered briefly last week or when they were found. Absolutely bizarre. From the police drawings, obvious sisters. Bound together face to face, washed up on shore of Hudson. One could only think, gangland murder of the kind currently common in Mexico. Or, possibly, Saudi Arabia.


Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:28 pm
by Cordelia
Next we’ll hear from The Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in N.Y. is that the sisters died in a fist fight.

Flippancy aside, the suspicious and traumatic deaths of these two young women is just so fucking sad.

Relatives of Saudi Arabian sisters found in New York City river reject suicide suggestion

Tala and Rotana Farea were discovered in the Hudson River on October 24 Credit: NYPD

Harriet Alexander, New York

31 October 2018 • 7:09pm

Relatives of two Saudi Arabian sisters found floating in a New York City river, bound together with duct tape, have rejected suggestions that the pair committed suicide.

Tala Farea, 16, and her 22-year-old sister Rotana were discovered in the Hudson River a week ago, on October 24.

The pair were facing each other, fully clothed in the water, and bound together with duct tape.

Police said their bodies bore no signs of trauma, which suggested they had not jumped off the nearby George Washington bridge. But they are still trying to work out how they died.

The pair, born in Jeddah, were living until the summer in Fairfax, Virginia.

Shortly before their deaths, they had applied for asylum in the US, their mother said.

She told detectives, according to the New York Post, that the day before their bodies were discovered, she received a phone call from the Saudi Arabian embassy informing her that the family's residency in the US was in jeopardy because the two had applied for immigration asylum.

She said that she had not seen her daughters since December 2017, when she reported them missing to police in Fairfax.

Virginia police found them soon after, but rather than return home they went to live in a local shelter, and police refused to tell them where it was, The New York Post reported

Tala was reported missing again by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in August, but the English-language, citing unnamed family members, reported that the mother called off the search when it was discovered the teenager was visiting her older sister at an unspecified college in New York.

The Saudi Arabian consulate in New York issued a statement confirming that the sisters were both Saudi Arabian citizens, and saying they were students, “accompanying their brother in Washington.”

New York police are treating their death as suicide, the NYPD told The Telegraph, but stressed that the investigation was still in its early stages.

“We do not know that a crime took place,” said Dermot Shea, the chief of detectives. He told The New York Times: “We have a terrible tragedy for sure."

However, a relative told Saudi newspaper Arab News that there had not been any family trouble, and dismissed reports they may had taken their own lives.

“They were a democratic family, they never had any issues and the eldest was sent to college in New York City with her family’s blessing,” said the family member. ... er-reject/

From up-thread...
Earlier this year, Rotana Farea was living in a fifth-floor apartment in a luxury complex on the edge of an outdoor mall in Fairfax Corner, Va., a suburban neighborhood about a 30-minute drive from Washington, a leasing agent there said. Ms. Farea moved out in July.


Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:25 pm
by Sounder ... iel_b.html

By Sabrina Eaton,
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Nov. 1 death of Daniel Best, a pharmaceutical executive from Bay Village who led U.S. Department of Health and Human Services efforts to lower prescription drug prices, has been ruled a suicide, officials in Washington, D.C., said Thursday.

Police say Best was found "unresponsive" near the garage door exit of an apartment building in Washington, D.C.'s Navy Yard neighborhood at 5:25 a.m. on Nov. 1, and was pronounced dead by medical personnel who responded to the scene.

The city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Thursday said Best died from "multiple blunt force injuries" and it ruled his death a suicide. It would not release further information.

In announcing his death, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the 49-year-old former CVSHealth and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals executive agreed to work at HHS "out of a desire to serve the American people by making health care more affordable."

"He brought his deep expertise and passion to this task with great humility and collegiality," Azar's statement said. "All of us who served with Dan at HHS and in the administration mourn his passing and extend our thoughts and prayers to his wife Lisa and the entire Best family at this difficult time."

So, Danial Best beat himself to death?

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:39 pm
by cptmarginal
Commanders getting fired, Carriers in the Gulf, does something stink? - May 24, 2007

6 Navy Commanders Sacked in 6 Weeks.

For the sixth time in as many weeks, the lead officer of a Navy ship has been suddenly relieved of command, DANGER ROOM pal Andy Scutro reports for Navy Times.

Oh gee, WTF are Bush and Cheney up to now? >sigh< SO lets have a look at these 6 officers:

1) April 16th Navy sacks EA-6B aircraft squadron CO.

The U.S. Navy said Monday it had relieved a top officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower who is under an internal investigation on unspecified charges.


Capt. Scott Stearney was sacked on April 16th, but today (May 24th) he is quoted upon his return to Norfolk Virginia with no mention of the incident.

Capt. Scott Stearney, commander of Carrier Air Wing Seven, said Virginia Beach-based F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets assigned to the Eisenhower strafed and bombed targets attacking coalition troops in both nations.

Those aviators, as well as crew members of electronic jamming and surveillance planes and helicopters, often spent 12 to 14 hours a day in the air, much of it over combat zones, Stearney said. Of the 12,000 sorties flown by the wing's 61 aircraft, more than a third were combat flights.

"We supported the soldier on the ground," Stearney said. "They were being engaged in dire situations."

U.S. Navy admiral Scott Stearney found dead in apparent suicide - Dec 1, 2018

Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, who oversaw U.S. naval forces in the Middle East, was found dead Saturday in his residence in Bahrain, officials said. Defense officials told CBS News they are calling it an "apparent suicide."

Stearney was the commander of the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. Rear Adm. Paul Schlise, the deputy commander of the 5th Fleet, has assumed command, the Navy said in a statement.

"This is devastating news for the Stearney family, for the team at 5th Fleet, and for the entire U.S. Navy," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said. "Scott Stearney was a decorated Naval warrior. He was a devoted husband and father, and he was a good friend to all."

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bahraini Ministry of Interior are investigating Stearney's death, the Navy said, but foul play is not suspected.

Stearney, a native of Chicago, joined the Navy in 1982 after graduating from the University of Notre Dame, according to his official biography. He became an aviator in 1984 and flew the FA-18 Hornet in several fighter squadrons and logged more than 4,500 "mishap free" hours of flight.

Previously the director of operations for U.S. Central Command, Stearney became commander of the 5th Fleet in May 2018, relieving Vice Adm. John C. Aquilino.

The 5th Fleet operates in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean, including the critical strategic choke points of the Strait of Hormuz and the Suez Canal.

Here is the confirmation (dug up just now by me) that he was "sacked" as described back in 2007, if that even matters:

Release Date: 4/16/2007 4:37:00 PM

From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, Persian Gulf (NNS) -- The commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Capt. Scott Stearney, relieved the commanding officer of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, Cmdr. Christopher Rankin, April 16 due to a loss of confidence in his ability to lead his crew and carry out essential missions aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).

I just think that Navy commanders are under some unusual personal pressures, as seen vividly in the ongoing Fat Leonard fiasco.


Today, the Navy remains in the grip of overlapping civilian and military investigations that are slowly unraveling long skeins of misconduct.

So far, four Navy officers, an enlisted sailor and a senior agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) have pleaded guilty to federal crimes and are already behind bars or are facing prison time. So have Francis and two other Glenn Defense executives.

On Friday, three more current and former Navy officers were charged in federal court with corruption-related offenses. Charges are also pending against two former Navy contracting officials who were arrested last year. Many others remain under investigation.

Exactly how many is a mystery. When he pleaded guilty, Francis admitted to bribing “scores” of Navy officials with cash, sex and gifts worth millions of dollars — all so he could win more defense contracts and overcharge with impunity.

A federal prosecutor hinted at the extent of the case last year when he said in court that more than 200 “subjects” were under investigation.

A striking portion of the Navy’s senior brass could be tarnished. In December, Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, summoned about 200 admirals to a special gathering in Washington.

Without naming names, he revealed that about 30 of them were under criminal investigation by the Justice Department or ethical scrutiny by the Navy for their connections to Francis, according to two senior Navy officials with direct knowledge of the meeting.

The damage to the Navy could match the toll from the Tailhook scandal of the early 1990s, when 14 admirals were reprimanded or forced to resign over an epic outbreak of sexual assault at a naval aviators’ convention.

Because all but five of the 14 defendants charged in the Fat Leonard case have pleaded guilty, and no trials have taken place, only a small fraction of the evidence has been made public so far.

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:26 am
by Cordelia
February 6, 2019

Family and Friends of James Brown Believe Singer May Have Been Murdered

Detailed three-part investigation by CNN suggests there may have been foul play involved in the death of James Brown and his third wife, Adrienne

Brown died on Christmas Day 2006 from a heart attack and fluid in his lungs, but there was never an autopsy on the singer’s body. The doctor who treated Brown before his death told CNN he “doubted Brown had died of natural causes. He suspected that Brown died of an overdose, accidental or otherwise.” At least 13 people connected with the singer feel his death should be investigated or an autopsy should be performed; that list included Brown’s daughter LaRhonda Pettit, who has since died.

This is the stuff of a TV series in the not-too-distant future: CNN sifts through an extensive web of lies and conspiracy theories, stories of shadowy figures and estate battles, all connected in some way to one of the most famous soul singers of all time. Many of those who knew Brown best have died, or died while CNN was investigating, making the investigative work that much more challenging.

The epic saga began when a reporter was contacted by Jacquelyn Hollander, a 61-year-old circus performer who was, at various times in her life, a songwriter and a member of Brown’s inner circle. She has collected tons of paperwork and documents about the singer’s life. Her stories seemed fanciful at first, but CNN discovered that many people, including a District Attorney in Gwinnett County, Georgia, thought Hollander was a reliable witness in general. She served as the CNN writer’s entry into the seamy underbelly of Brown’s world.

The first installment of CNN’s three-part investigation details Brown’s legacy of alleged assaults or threats — involving a backup singer, an employee and Adrienne Brown — before offering graphic details about the time in 1988 when Hollander claimed Brown raped her in the back of his van. By then, she was a member of his inner circle, sang onstage with him and helped him raise money for charity causes; they had met when he agreed to record a song celebrating the Atlanta Falcons in 1985.

Part two covers the death of Adrienne in 1996: Though it was ruled an overdose, CNN finds evidence that Adrienne feared for her life in the months leading up to her death, and a police informant alleges that the singer’s wife was murdered by a doctor — his name is kept out of the story “because he has not been named as a suspect in Adrienne Brown’s death” — who then made her death look like an accident. In addition, Brown’s fourth wife, Tomirae, tells CNN that the singer himself believed his third wife had been killed. When confronted, the doctor claimed he has Alzheimer’s Disease and denies any involvement in Adrienne’s death. “I know I had nothing to do with anything you’re talking about,” the doctor says.

The final part of the story is devoted to a list of 15 different questions — for example, why was no autopsy performed on Brown’s body? — that each form the basis for further investigation. Darren Lumar, Brown’s son-in-law, was among those who believed the singer was murdered, but he was shot to death. There are rumors of a second will that has never come to light, a theory that Brown was poisoned, and a story about a mysterious vial of blood taken from the singer’s body the night of his death that can reveal what killed him.

CNN’s research included travel to “nine states,” reading “tens of thousands of pages of police and court records” and interviews with approximately 140 people. CNN asked so many questions, in fact, that Russell Bauknight, the accountant running Brown’s estate, placed the outlet’s reporter on “trespass notice.” ... nn-788300/

James Brown and Adrienne

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:16 pm
by cptmarginal ... o-stearney

A U.S. and U.K. sailor assigned to U.S. 5th Fleet died suddenly in the days after the Dec. 1 apparent suicide of Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, USNI News has learned.

While investigations are underway into all three of the deaths, several defense officials have told USNI News the circumstances of all three deaths point to suicide.

The closeness of the deaths have raised defense officials’ concerns that Stearney’s high-profile status may have given tacit permission to the other two sailors to end their own lives, two officials told USNI News.

The U.S. sailor was assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 and “died of a non-combat related injury while temporarily stationed in Dubai,” on Dec. 9, according to a statement from U.S. 5th Fleet provided to USNI News.
“No foul play is suspected.” The Navy did not identify the sailor.

On Dec. 10, Royal Navy Lt. Steven Clark, who served with the U.K. Maritime Component Command (UKMCC) based in Bahrain, also died suddenly, Royal Navy spokesperson Lt. Charlotte Wood told USNI News.

“An investigation is underway, therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further,” Wood wrote. “Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

A Thursday message left with an NCIS spokesperson on the status of the investigation into Stearney’s and the riverine sailor’s deaths was not immediately returned.

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:18 pm
by cptmarginal ... ound-dead/

The veteran NYPD homicide detective who went missing on Thursday, sparking a massive manhunt, was found dead of an apparent suicide, police sources said.

The body of Joe Calabrese, 58, was found near bushes in Plumb Beach in Brooklyn Thursday afternoon, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police sources said.

“I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why he would do this,” said a stunned police officer who knew Calabrese.

The detective, who was assigned to the Brooklyn South homicide squad, was a longtime Detectives Endowment Association board member and union trustee.

“I am shocked and shattered beyond belief,” said Michael Palladino, president of the DEA. “Joseph Calabrese was a dedicated detective, union official, husband and father. He was the salt of the earth.”

Calabrese was last heard from around 2 a.m., after he left Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park, where his wife had undergone a minor procedure, according to sources.

His black Cadillac sedan was found by another detective near the beach just off the Belt Parkway around 3 a.m., about five minutes from his home, sources said.

Calabrese didn’t report to work Thursday and was unreachable, a high-ranking police source said.

Earlier Thursday, at least 100 uniformed and plainclothes officers swarmed the parking lot of the Plumb Beach rest area where Calabrese’s Cadillac was parked.

Two men could be seen collapsing in the arms of detectives on the beach.

Calabrese’s death comes just a day after Steven Silks, the NYPD deputy chief of Queens North, fatally shot himself in the head Wednesday, while sitting in an unmarked patrol car. The 62-year-old chief had been weeks away from his scheduled mandatory retirement.

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:32 pm
by Cordelia
U.S. Secret Service Agent Stephanie Hancock Killed In Kayaking Accident

By Mike Hellgren July 1, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A U.S. Secret Service agent died in a kayaking accident along the Severn River Saturday night in Maryland.

According to U.S. Secret Service officials, Special Agent Stephanie Hancock, 39, has been with the Secret Service since 2007. She last served on the Presidential Protective Detail.

“On Saturday, June 29, 2019, the Secret Service lost one of our own in a tragic kayaking accident in Maryland. Special Agent Stephanie Hancock had been with the U.S. Secret Service since 2007, last serving on the Presidential Protective Detail,” USSS said in a statement. “Our condolences, as well as our thoughts and prayers, are with the family of Special Agent Hancock.”

Hancock fell into the water along with another kayaker on the Severn River at mouth of Spa Creek around 3:20 p.m. Saturday. The other kayaker was rescued, however, Hancock’s body was found around 9:45 p.m.

Loved ones remembered her spirit of adventure and dedication to her job in various social media posts.

“Our condolences, as well as our thoughts and prayers, are with the family of Special Agent Hancock,” the Secret Service said in a statement.

Natural Resources Police Captain Melissa Scarborough said weather was not a factor in the death but noted Hancock was not wearing a life jacket.

“The fact is life jackets save lives,” Captain Scarborough said. ... -accident/


Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:18 pm
by Iamwhomiam

Drowned Maryland kayaker identified as Secret Service agent

Updated 9:25 am EDT, Tuesday, July 2, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A U.S. Secret Service agent has been identified as one of four who died in incidents on Maryland waterways over the weekend.

News outlets report Special Agent Stephanie Hancock died when her kayak overturned in Annapolis' Spa Creek on Saturday.

The Baltimore Sun reports Natural Resources Police Capt. Melissa Scarborough says Hancock was kayaking with her boyfriend when her kayak capsized for unknown reasons. Scarborough said Hancock's boyfriend abandoned his kayak and dove to rescue her. Another person joined the search, but their attempts were unsuccessful. Hancock's body was recovered Saturday night.

Hancock had been with the U.S. Secret Service since 2007, last serving on the Presidential Protective Detail.

Three others died in separate water-related incidents over the weekend and at least one more remains missing.

When I first read this article, I felt it belonged in this thread. Here's another:

Coal magnate Cline dies in crash
West Virginia entrepreneur was major GOP donor

Associated Press Published 9:13 pm EDT, Friday, July 5, 2019

Nassau, Bahamas

Billionaire coal entrepreneur Chris Cline, who worked his way out of West Virginia's underground mines to amass a fortune and become a major Republican donor, was killed in a helicopter crash along with six other Americans, his lawyer's office confirmed on Friday.

Cline and his 22-year-old daughter Kameron were on board the aircraft when it went down Thursday, said Joe Carey, a spokesman for attorney Brian Glasser, who planned to issue a family statement later Friday.

Leaders of industry, government and academics in West Virginia eulogized Cline as a coal industry visionary and a generous giver.

"He was a very farsighted entrepreneur," said Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association. "Chris was just one of those folks who had the Midas touch."

Forbes estimated his fortune at $1.8 billion this year. Cline donated heavily to President Donald Trump and other Republicans. Federal records show he gave the president's inaugural committee $1 million in 2017 and spread thousands more to conservative groups as well as committees representing prominent Republicans such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Bahamas Police Supt. Shanta Knowles told The Associated Press that they began searching when police received a report from Florida that Cline's helicopter failed to arrive in Fort Lauderdale as expected on Thursday.

The bodies of the four women and three men were recovered and taken to the capital in Nassau to be officially identified, Knowles said. The helicopter was still in the water, and based on preliminary information, she did not believe there had been a distress call before it went down.

A Royal Bahamas Police Force statement said authorities and local residents found the crash site two miles off Big Grand Cay, group of private islands Cline owned.

The helicopter was still in the water Friday, and Knowles said a specialized ship was coming from Florida with equipment to pull the helicopter from the water.

Aviation safety investigators in the Bahamas are working to determine the cause, said Jaime Nixon, an aviation safety analyst for the Air Accident Investigation Department of the Bahamas. The Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority told the Federal Aviation Administration that the Augusta AW139 helicopter was located in the water at about 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Cline started in the coal industry at 22 years old, working in an underground mine in southern West Virginia, as his father and grandfather did, according to a biography on one of his companies websites.

He quickly moved into management roles and soon formed his own energy development company, the Cline Group, which grew into one of the country's top coal producers.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice tweeted that he "lost a very close friend" in Cline, "a WV superstar."

"Chris Cline built an empire and on every occasion was always there to give. What a wonderful, loving, and giving man," Justice tweeted.

Cline also donated $5 million to support West Virginia's Marshall University Sports Medicine Institute and another $3.5 million for the school's athletics foundation.

"Our hearts are heavy," said Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert. "Chris's generosity to our research and athletics programs has made a mark on Marshall University and our students for many years to come."


W.Va. coal billionaire Cline killed in helicopter crash

Anthony Izaguirre, Associated Press Updated 4:01 am EDT, Saturday, July 6, 2019

Photo: Joannis S Duran / Freelance Photographer/Getty Images
Image 1 of 22 (A beach in the Bahamas is shown in this file photo.)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Coal tycoon Chris Cline, who worked his way out of West Virginia's underground mines to amass a fortune and become a major Republican donor, has died in a helicopter crash outside a string of islands he owned in the Bahamas.

Cline and his 22-year-old daughter Kameron were on board the aircraft with five others when it went down Thursday, a spokesman for his attorney Brian Glasser said Friday.
Recommended Video

The death of the 60-year-old magnate led to eulogies from industry leaders, government officials and academics, who described Cline as a visionary who was generous with his $1.8 billion fortune.

"He was a very farsighted entrepreneur," said Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association. "Chris was just one of those folks who had the Midas touch."

Raney said Cline began toiling in the mines of southern West Virginia at a young age, rising through the ranks of his father's company quickly with a reserved demeanor and savvy business moves.

He formed his own energy development business, the Cline Group, which grew into one of the country's top coal producers.

When he thought mining in the Appalachian region was drying up, he started buying reserves in the Illinois Basin in what turned out to be a smart investment in high sulfur coal, according to the website of Missouri-based Foresight Energy, a company he formed.

Cline sold most of his interest in Foresight for $1.4 billion and then dropped $150 million into a metallurgical coal mine in Nova Scotia, according to a 2017 Forbes article titled, "Chris Cline Could Be The Last Coal Tycoon Standing ."

The piece captured his opulence: A mansion in West Virginia with a manmade lake big enough to waterski on and a pasture that included a while stallion stud name Fabio. A gun collection so deep that federal officials would take stock once a month. A 200-foot (61-meter) yacht called Mine Games.

His deep pockets eventually opened to politics: He donated heavily to President Donald Trump and other Republicans. Cline gave the president's inaugural committee $1 million in 2017 and shared thousands more with conservative groups as well as committees representing GOP bigwigs such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, according to federal records.

Trump tweeted his condolences to the friends and family of those killed in the crash, calling Cline a "great businessman and energy expert" late Friday night.

Cline also gave to academia, bestowing at least $8.5 million on Marshall University in West Virginia.

"Our hearts are heavy," said Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert. "Chris's generosity to our research and athletics programs has made a mark on Marshall University and our students for many years to come."

Authorities began searching for the copter after police received a report from Florida that Cline's helicopter failed to arrive in Fort Lauderdale as expected on Thursday, Bahamas Police Supt. Shanta Knowles told The Associated Press.

The bodies of the four women and three men were recovered Thursday and taken to the Bahamian capital of Nassau to be officially identified, said Delvin Major, chief investigator for the Bahamas' Air Accident Investigation Department. The Augusta AW139 helicopter was still in the water on Friday, and based on preliminary information, she did not believe there had been a distress call before the helicopter when down. The cause of the crash is still undetermined, officials said.

A Royal Bahamas Police Force statement said authorities and locals found the site 2 miles (3 kilometers) off Big Grand Cay, a group of private islands Cline bought in 2014 for less than the $11.5 million asking price.

Bahamas real-estate agent John Christie, who sold the land, said Big Grand Cay was developed by the late Robert Abplanalp, inventor of the modern aerosol spray valve and a friend of President Richard Nixon. The property became known as an escape for Nixon in the 1970s.

Big Grand Cay comprises about 213 acres (86 hectares) distributed over about half a dozen narrow islands. At the time of its sale, the property's mansion sat on a bluff overlooking the ocean and had five bedrooms and four bathrooms.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice mourned Cline's loss, first in a tweet he sent out Thursday in which he noted that his and Cline's families had been very close for years.

"Today we lost a WV superstar and I lost a very close friend," Justice wrote in the tweet. "Chris Cline built an empire and on every occasion was always there to give. What a wonderful, loving, and giving man."

Cline, in his Forbes profile, defended coal and waved off some of the scientific evidence of climate change when he wasn't posing for photos in front of tall pyramids of the black stuff.

"People deserve the cheapest energy they can get," he said. "Tell the poor in India and China that they don't deserve to have reliable, affordable electricity."

And to that effect, he also spoke about solar panels, wind turbines and Tesla batteries on Big Grand Cay, saying "Where it makes sense, I'm absolutely for it."


Associated Press writer Michael Weissenstein in Havana contributed to this report.

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:21 pm
by cptmarginal
Real estate mogul Peter Wei found dead amid bitter family feud

By Kathianne Boniello - October 19, 2019

A wealthy developer apparently killed himself days before he was to answer allegations that he cut his family out of the hefty profits from their $200 million Manhattan high-rise.

Peter Wei, 66, died Oct. 10, his lawyers told a Florida court, where a lawsuit was filed against Wei in June by his brother, Tony.

Peter Wei was supposed to file a response to the suit the following Monday, on Oct. 14.

Miami cops confirmed they responded to a suicide at Peter Wei’s apartment, but would not identify the victim.

The Brazilian-based Wei family purchased 116 John St. in lower Manhattan in 1980 for just $4 million, but in 2010, Wei partnered with real estate developer Nathan Berman to convert the 412-unit building into high-end rentals — a deal that eventually paid off by churning out more than $9 million in annual income. The building’s value skyrocketed to more than $200 million in 2014.

Peter Wei was supposed to make sure those profits flowed through a family trust, which included parents Daniel and Emily and their sons, Peter and Antonio, but failed to do so, his brother claimed in the lawsuit.

The Miami resident was accused of scamming his relatives out of a sum “in excess of $50 million,” his brother charged in court papers.

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:55 am
by cptmarginal
James Le Mesurier's death on 11/11/19 is of course already being discussed in The Syria Thread 2011 - Present ("Because it's so easy to fall from your home's balcony.")

James Le Mesurier, a former British army officer and founder of the organisation that trained Syria's White Helmets search-and-rescue group, died in Istanbul on Monday, his office confirmed.


I am certain that there have been more incidents recently that should be added to this thread besides just the following, but here goes anyway:

Deutsche Bank Executive Who Signed Off On Trump Loans Kills Himself At Age 55

November 27, 2019 12:03 am
By Scott Stedman

Thomas Bowers, a former Deutsche Bank executive and head of the American wealth-management division, killed himself in Malibu, California, on Tuesday, November 19th, according to the Los Angeles county coroner’s initial report.

First reports of his death were shared by the New York Times’ David Enrich.

Bowers was the boss of Donald Trump’s banker Rosemary Vrablic, according to a New York Times article in early 2019. Vrablic approved over $300 million dollars in high risk loans for Trump starting in 2010. Bowers personally signed off on the Deutsche Bank loan for Trump’s Doral resort, according to the New York Times report. Vrablic’s other clients have included Jared Kushner and Stephen M. Ross.

Vrablic reportedly attended the Trump inauguration in the VIP section, and expects to be called before Congress regarding Trump’s relationship with the bank.

“Rosemary is widely recognized as one of the top private bankers to the U.S. ultra high-net-worth community,” Mr. Bowers said.

Deutsche Bank and Trump have connections going back to 1998, and over 30 years, Trump has received over $2 billion dollars in loans from the bank.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner/Coroner reported that Bowers died by suicide by hanging at his residence on the 19th.


One source who has direct knowledge of the FBI’s investigation into Deutsche Bank said that federal investigators have asked about Bowers and documents he might have. Another source who has knowledge of Deutsche Bank’s internal structure said that Bowers would have been the gatekeeper for financial documents for the bank’s wealthiest customers.

Bowers retired from Deutsche Bank in 2015 where he held the title Head of Wealth Management in the Americas, per a bank release in 2012. Prior to that, Bowers was the Head of Private
Wealth Management.

There is no indication that Bowers was or is ever the subject of any FBI inquiry, nor any other inquiry into wrongdoing by Deutsche Bank. There are no signs that his suicide was connected to his professional work life.

What, no dog leash this time? (Note that the linked article is also authored by David Enrich...)

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:26 pm
by Harvey
cptmarginal » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:55 pm wrote:I am certain that there have been more incidents recently that should be added to this thread besides just the following, but here goes anyway:

On that note, I was intrigued by the difference in tone here and I don't mean the sensationalism of the first article:

The blood-soaked body of a private detective who linked John and Tony Podesta to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been found at a mansion in Surrey, England.

Mystery surrounds the death of Washington D.C. based Kevin Halligen, 56, who presented himself as a ‘cloak-and-dagger, James Bond-style spy’ who took on the most difficult cases. Surrey Police confirmed Saturday that a probe has been launched into his death.

Kevin Halligen took over the private investigation into the Madeleine McCann case in May 2008 and was responsible for linking John and Tony Podesta to the disappearance of the 3-year-old girl in Portugal, sparking frenzied speculation that the brothers, both high-level Democratic Party operatives, were responsible for her murder.

The 56-year-old detective and his partner Henri Exton were responsible for the two e-fit sketches, that were released in the search for the Madeline McCann abductor(s), and which bore more than a passing resemblance to John and Tony Podesta.

A private detective accused of siphoning off money that had been donated to try to find Madeleine McCann has died.

Kevin Halligen, 56, was taken ill at his home in Normandy, Guildford, last Monday. Surrey Police said the death was being treated as unexplained.

He had denied misusing funds intended to aid the search for Madeleine, who went missing in Portugal in May 2007.

Halligen subsequently spent time in jail in the US over an unrelated fraud.

Adrian Gatton, a TV director and investigative journalist, who made a documentary with Halligen in 2014, confirmed his death to the Press Association, saying he had not been in good health.

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:38 am
by cptmarginal ... found-dead

Dec. 2 TOKYO - A Japan Display employee accused of taking 578 million yen ($5.4 million) of company money through fake deals died in an apparent suicide, according to Japanese media reports.

Police and Japan Display Inc declined to comment on the reports Monday.

NHK and other outlets cited unidentified investigators as saying the man was found unconscious at a Tokyo hotel on Friday and died at a hospital. Asahi Shimbun reported the fired employee left a note saying, "I apologize with my death."

The Tokyo-based maker of displays said in November that the worker had been fired and that it had filed a criminal complaint against him. It said the employee made the illicit payments over four years and the losses were discovered through a whistleblower.

It said in a separate statement last week that the employee claimed he was following orders. The company said it had expanded the investigation to the years before 2018.

Japan Display has apologized to shareholders, customers and other parties for the scandal.

The company was formed in 2012, when Japanese rivals Sony Corp, Toshiba Corp and Hitachi combined their display operations.

It has racked up red ink for the last five years and has been seeking help from various backers, including the government-supported Innovation Network Corp of Japan.

Re: "Suicides" and "accidents" - The official RI thread

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:31 pm
by DrEvil ... found-dead

Executive at Portuguese bank co-owned by Isabel dos Santos is found dead

Lisbon police say they are prepared to help with Angolan corruption investigation after death of EuroBic manager Nuno Ribeiro da Cunha
Juliette Garside and Hilary Osborne Thu 23 Jan 2020 18.58 GMT

A senior manager at a Portuguese bank co-owned by Isabel dos Santos, the Angolan businesswoman at the centre of the Luanda Leaks scandal, has been found dead in Lisbon.

The death of Nuno Ribeiro da Cunha, 45, was confirmed by police hours after the banker was named alongside Dos Santos and three other individuals as a suspect in a criminal investigation in Angola into alleged embezzlement at the state oil company, Sonangol.

The national director of Portugal’s judicial police, Luis Neves, said preliminary reports indicated Ribeiro da Cunha’s death was suicide and that nobody else was involved. He told reporters his staff were prepared to help with the Angolan corruption investigation whenever a formal request is made.

The banker held a senior role at EuroBic, a privately–owned lender whose largest shareholder is Dos Santos. He appears to have handled a number of transactions for companies controlled by Dos Santos, according to leaked files.

Dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president, José Eduardo dos Santos, has faced intense pressure this week after the Guardian and other media published stories based on the Luanda Leaks, a cache of 715,000 papers from the heart of her business empire.

The documents, passed to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), reveals the complex financial schemes that helped Africa’s richest woman amass a fortune at vast cost to the Angolan state.

Dos Santos denies accusations of nepotism and corruption and insists that her estimated $2.2bn (£1.7bn) fortune – which makes her the richest woman in Africa – is the result of legitimate business and says she is the victim of a politically-motivated “witch-hunt” by the new Angolan president.

Dos Santos issued further denials on Thursday, after it emerged she had been named as a criminal suspect in Angola, claiming “the rule of law has been undermined in Angola where the courts are subject to political pressure”.

“The allegations which have been made against me over the last few days are extremely misleading and untrue,” she said. “This is a very concentrated, orchestrated and well-coordinated political attack, ahead of elections in Angola next year.”

She added: “I am a private businesswoman who has spent 20 years building successful companies from the ground up, creating over 20,000 jobs and generating huge tax revenue for Angola. I have always operated within the law and all my commercial transactions have been approved by lawyers, banks, auditors and regulators.”

One of those auditors, the accountancy firm PwC, has terminated all work for entities controlled by the Dos Santos family, and initiated an investigation. The global chairman of PwC, Bob Moritz, told the Guardian heads could roll at his company. “We’ll wait for the investigation, I don’t want to rush,” he said earlier this week. “But we need to move with speed to take action to regain confidence.”

On Thursday, Angola’s attorney general, Heldér Pitta Grós, travelled to Lisbon to discuss the Dos Santos case with his Portuguese counterpart, Lucilia Gago.

The Angolan criminal investigation by government prosecutors is focusing on the period Dos Santos spent at the helm of Sonangol. The state oil company accounts for 90% of exports in a country where millions live below the poverty line, earning less than $2 a day.

“Isabel dos Santos is accused of mismanagement and embezzlement of funds during her tenure at Sonangol,” Pitta Grós said at a press conference on Wednesday evening.

He named four other individuals as suspects. They included Ribeiro da Cunha – the director of private banking at EuroBic who was found dead.

Earlier this week EuroBic announced that it had barred Dos Santos and her family as customers. On Wednesday it confirmed she had agreed to sell her 42.5% shareholding.

The Angolan authorities said they will now conduct a criminal investigation to determine whether Dos Santos and the other suspects should be formally charged. All those concerned will be notified of their status as defendants and asked to voluntarily return to Angola, said Pitta Grós.

He added international arrest warrants could he issued for those who do not come of their own accord.

In her statement, Dos Santos said “stolen documents” had been “leaked selectively to give a false impression of my business activities”. She added: “It is an attempt to neutralise me and to discredit the legacy of president dos Santos and his family. No one should be taken in by these diversionary tactics.”

Additional reporting by Sam Cowie