It's been six years but we shouldn't forget Old #5...
(1) J. Clifford Baxter Found dead in his car, shot in the head. Mr. Baxter was vice chairman of Enron Corp. when he resigned in May 2001. Enron had been hot copy with the revelation that they were the largest campaign contributors for George W. Bush. Was J. Clifford Baxter a potential witness to Bush foreknowledge of their wrongdoings? His death was ruled a suicide.
(2)Charles Dana Rice He was the senior vice president and treasurer of El Paso Corp., an energy corporation swept up in the recent energy scandal. Two months after the "suicide" of Enron executive Clifford Baxter, in the midst of questions about the accounting practices of El Paso Corp., Charles Rice was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head. His death was ruled a suicide.
(3)James Daniel Watkins His body was found on December 1, 2001 in the Pike National Forest in Colorado, a gunshot wound to the head. Mr. Watkins was a consultant for Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm for Enron. He disappeared on November 13, 2001 after he left work. He was described as a devoted family man who always called home if he were going to be late. Officials initially said that the death was suspicious, but have changed their tune and have ruled his death a suicide.
(4) Jake Horton He was the senior vice-president of Gulf Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, a cohort of Enron in the energy industry, and a major contributer to the Bush agenda. According to reporter Gregory Palast, Horton knew of the company's appalling accounting practices, and "... had no doubt about its illegal campaign contributions to Florida politicans - he'd made the payments himself. In April of 1989 Horton decided to come clean with state officials, and reserved the company jet to go confront company officials. Ten minutes after takeoff the jet exploded
(5)Steve Kangas His web site, Liberalism Resurgent, was meticulously researched and presented such a problem to the "real boss" of George Bush, Richard Scaife, that he hired a private detective to look into Kangas' past (a not infrequent practice of Scaife's). In February 1999, Steve Kangas was found in a 39th-floor bathroom outside of Scaife's offices at One Oxford Centre, in Pittsburgh, an apparent suicide.
Mr. Kangas, a very prolific writer, left no note. He had brought a fully-packed suitcase of clothes with him to Pittsburgh. He bought a burglar alarm shortly before he left for Pittsburgh. Why did he need a burglar alarm if he was going to commit suicide? An avowed advocate of gun control, he nevertheless bought a gun. What was he afraid of? Why did he go to Pittsburgh? After his death, his computer was sold for $150 and its hard drive wiped clean. Everything in his apartment was thrown away.
(6) Danny Casolaro He was working on a book that tied together the scandals surrounding the presidency of George H. W. Bush. He told his friends he was going to "bring back" the head of the Octopus. Instead, his body was found in a hotel in Martinsburg, West Virginia, on August 10, 1991, an apparent suicide.
(7) Mark Lombardi He was an accomplished conceptual artist who, while chatting on the phone with a banker friend about the Bush savings and loan scandal, started doodling a diagram and was inspired to create a complex series of drawings and sketches that charted the details of the scandal. According to the New York Times, "He was soon charting the complex matrices of personal and professional relationships, conflict of interest, malfeasance and fraud uncovered by investigations into the major financial and political scandals of the day; to keep facts and sources straight, he created a handwritten database that now includes around 12,000 3-by-5-inch cards." On the evening of March 22, 2000, Mark Lombardi was found hanging in his loft, an apparent suicide.
(8) James Hatfield Mr. Hatfield was the author of Fortunate Son, an unauthorized biography of George W. Bush. The book detailed Bush's cocaine use and cover up of a cocaine arrest. He was found dead in a motel room, an apparent suicide, in July 2001.