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“The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing.”

Apparently the local constabulary has a rather narrow definition of “suspicious.”

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  • Stay tuned and hear VoldeMurdoch’s lackeys:
    1. Explain why this is a terrible tragedy … for Rupert. So out of respect for the Great Man we should all shut up about the scandal and focus on Hoare’s personal problems.
    2. Scold us for paying any attention to this story, whatsoever. Except for Hoare’s personal problems, because that’s the REAL story.
    3. Speculate at length about whether Hoare’s personal problems made him a big liar or the biggest liar, ever.

    • 4. Union thugs did this to make Murdoch look bad. Probably black ones.

      • Black union thug assasins that Obama shipped to England in order to carry out his master plan.

      • Malaclypse

        Needs more secret Muslims.

        • I’d say they were pretty darn secret if the police don’t think the death was suspicious.

        • Uncle Kvetch

          That’s GAY secret Muslims, thankyouverymuch.

  • Hogan

    We haven’t decided whether he hanged himself in his cell or was shot trying to escape.

    • firefall

      I believe the traditional method is to stab yourself in the back, repeatedly, with a selection of salad forks (pace Bored of the Rings)

      • Hogan

        Back before its great Right Turn, National Lampoon had a news bit about the Chilean coup in 1973: “Ay yi yi! Our president Allende has committed suicide with a self-inflicted air strike and shot himself in the back with a machine gun from thirty feet, pausing only once to reload!”

        • What’s the line from Chicago? “And then he ran into my knife… he ran into my knife ten times”?

          • mark f

            “Um, I fell on a bullet and it, like, drove itself into me.”

            I guess that’s a different scenario.

            • “Some people just can’t hold their arsenic.”

              • SeanH

                “He fell down an elevator shaft… onto some bullets.”

  • Why does the name Dr. Stephen Ward drift in from the edges of my memory, do you think?

    • Ed

      Why does the name Dr. Stephen Ward drift in from the edges of my memory, do you think?

      Tom Wilkinson getting an injection between his toes crossed my mind. Such things only happen in the movies as we all know. Of course, Hoare had so many personal problems, was feeling depressed, very troubled man, don’t you know…..

      Even if they did conduct a real investigation, one wonders who could be trusted to run it.

      • DocAmazing

        Funny, I thought Danny Casolaro.

        • Bobby Thomson

          More like David Kelly.

        • Jay B.

          I still remember Spy, of all places, ran the definitive Casolaro story. I want to say Joe Conanson wrote the piece, but I’m too lazy to try and fire up the Google machine.

          Another one was the killing of Ruben Salazar, which Hunter Thompson did a great story about (it’s in the Great Shark Hunt — and it was also the spark for the decompressing lark of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), a prominent Chicano TV journalist who took a tear gas cannister from point blank range courtesy of the LAPD. They could be a little more up front about it of course. There was unrest.

      • Yeah, and Tilda Swinton could probably OWN the Rebekah Brooks role as well. This thing already was sounding like Michael Clayton.

    • Funny, Scott Ritter was the first name in my head.

  • SamR

    I’d like to think that comment is just part of the doublespeak police use now in an attempt to avoid lawsuits and try to keep suspects from fleeing (for example, there are no suspects anymore, only persons of interest). I’m not so hopeful about that, however.

  • How was it suspicious, Scott? Just because he was found dead with a bullet hole in his head behind locked iron doors bolted from the inside in a windowless room.

    OK, so no gun was found, but still!

  • wengler

    Yeah these things just sort of happen.

  • UserGoogol

    It’s a bit of an awkward bit of doublespeak, but I don’t think it’s wrong, exactly. In practice, when the police say they’re suspicious, it generally means they’re VERY suspicious. So when they’re only mildly suspicious, it would be misleading for them to say just they’re suspicious, so they say awkward circumlocutions like this.

  • Bruce Wilder

    I especially liked the second-to-last paragraph:

    [Hoare] also said he had been injured the previous weekend while taking down a marquee erected for a children’s party. He said he had broken his nose and badly injured his foot when a relative accidentally struck him with a heavy pole from the marquee.

  • I do have to say one thing in mitigating suspicions: I know people who have worked for Murdoch, both here and in the UK.

    The article states Hoare was let go from both The Sun AND News of the World for drink and drug problems.

    Which is a little like saying Dean Martin fired you for being a drunk. He had to be a seriously raging alcoholic in that environment for it to have been noticed.

    • Daragh McDowell

      I was about to make that point, and while I can’t say honestly that I don’t believe Murdoch would order a contract killing to save his leathery hide, a) Hoare didn’t exactly fit the profile of a budding centenarian b) it would be pretty fucking stupid to do it NOW when even a hint of murder would be enough to send Murdoch to the slammer. So yeah – unusual but not suspicious.

      • Ed

        It would be foolish and risky to get rid of Hoare right now but foolish and/or risky pretty much define the recent actions of Murdoch & Co. The fact that Hoare was known to have problems with drink and drugs makes him the perfect candidate for an untimely death. I can think of others who might have an interest in putting Hoare away as well. Motive is no evidence of conspiracy but it’s all rather fishy to say the least.

        • Daragh McDowell

          There’s no denying that its fishy as hell, and I sure as shit don’t trust the Met to tell me the Sky is blue. But I’d rather tag Murdoch for what he definitely did, not what he may have done.

          • Ed

            We don’t know what happened here and conspiracy is usually a stretch. But to say that none of the parties involved here would dispatch Hoare in this fashion because it’s reckless and stupid isn’t very persuasive.

        • Walt

          Why couldn’t he have been killed to send a message to future whistleblowers?

      • Marek

        Depends what he knew. It was possibly worth the risk to shut him up. Not that I know either way, of course.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, because as we all know, criminals never do anything foolish, especially when trying to cover up other crimes.

        • Daragh McDowell

          I wouldn’t entirely discount that possibility. But we’re dealing with very smart people, with very smart advisors.

          • Bobby Thomson

            Was it foolish for Tony to whack Big Pussy after he knew he was a rat?

  • Chet

    The first thing that came to mind was that “DC Madam” who mysteriously committed suicide.

  • Bart

    My money says the body is cremated within the next two days. At family request, of course.

  • A former employee of Rupert Murdoch named Hoare?

    Charles Dickens would approve.

    • I wondered who’d raise that point. I was going to but the drunk and drugged thing was more attractive to me.

  • Rupert Murdoch is exactly the kind of alpha-male captain of industry that Columbo would have brought down within a week.

  • Emma in Sydney

    Looks like they might be getting sloppy, though.

    • Oh fer chrissakes!

      “I put my computer and cell phone and documents into a bag, and put them in the garage – you know, like people do – and the maid must have thrown them out by accident. In a trash can outside a shopping center.”

      COME ON, MAN!

      • Emma in Sydney

        It will be interesting if Constable Plod can find out what was on it. Seems to show that these people were so complacent about being masters of the universe that they are crap at hiding their tracks.

      • SeanH

        And did so immediately following his wife’s arrest…

      • dave

        It is, on the other hand, a quite staggeringly stupid way to attempt to dispose of incriminating evidence, especially on a laptop. So perhaps it wasn’t.

        • Emma in Sydney

          But who knew you could get away with hacking phone calls and bribing coppers to turn a blind eye, for years on end? Maybe that messes with your risk assessment after a while.

      • “I put my computer and cell phone and documents into a bag, and put them in the garage – you know, like people do – and the maid must have thrown them out by accident. In a trash can outside a shopping center.”

        “It’s not MY fault the bin was on fire after my bag ended up in there, is it?”

    • How to win the gold in the Upper Class Twit of the Year Olympics.

      Step 1: Clumsily blame the servants for your clumsy attempt at a cover up.

      “The suggestion is that a cleaner thought it was rubbish and put it in the bin.”

      Step 2: Act on the erroneous belief Money = Intelligence so the silly little security guard will never see through your clever ruse.

      It is understood the bag was handed in to security at around 3pm, and that shortly afterwards Brooks’s husband, Charlie, arrived and tried to reclaim it. He was unable to prove the bag was his and the security guard refused to release it.

      “OK, I’ll PROVE it’s my bag. [Whips out cell phone] I’ll just call my cell phone -”
      “But you said your cell phone was in the bag.”
      “… Oh look! I just dropped a 20 pound note in your hand.”
      “Oh look! I’m calling the police.”

      Step 3: Get snippy with the cops.

      “The police took it away. Charlie’s lawyers got in touch with the police to say they could take a look at the computer but they’d see there was nothing relevant to them on it. He’s expecting the stuff back forthwith.”

      With that attitude forthwith is going to be a fortnight and the gear will have had more probes through it than an alien abductee.

      I admire the British for being able to go about their day as though everything is normal. If I were over there I’d be laying in the street laughing my ass off.

      • dave

        Yah, but this level of fuckstickery appears to be normal elsewhere – Palin [et al ad nauseam], Sarkozy, Berlusconi, Putin – so I’m always amazed foreigners can stand the shame. If I were a foreigner, I’d wish I wasn’t.

  • Bill Murray

    Will no one rid me of this turbulent Hoare

  • SeanH

    For extra context, a close friend of mine who is a policeman with the Met (a beat bobby, nothing to do with the NI investigation) has informed me that:

    -Hertfordshire police are very distinct from the Met and have no conflict of interest here, and

    -a declaration by the police that a death is “not being treated as suspicious” is a) provisional until the coroner’s report, and b) doesn’t make any difference in how thoroughly the body is examined, so shouldn’t have any real effect on the standard of investigation.

  • jon

    Suspicious? Its seems to me that when the coroner finds the cellphone blocking his throat, it will seem the most natural thing of all.

  • RepubAnon

    He died of natural causes – it was only natural to put out a hit on a squealer.

    Fortunately, Scotland Yard is putting its best investigator on the case: John Yates.

  • CBrinton

    If we’re doing movie references, I’m getting more _Hot Fuzz_ than _Casablanca_:

    “Wait a minute . . . you’re saying this _wasn’t_ an accident?”

    • ajay

      You suspect the News of the World Alliance?

  • pete

    Focus, people, focus. Emboldened by the success of my suggestion to watch the cops, made safely before they started resigning from the top, I now suggest that you follow the money. I don’t rule out the possibility that this dude was assisted out of the way (a generous gift of tainted blow being a plausible method), but both this and the magnificent Lulz hack of the Sun are basically distractions (I think). The computer could be the screw-up that clinches everything, could be a coinkydink, we’ll find out eventually. But the share price? That’s important. Rupert has lost a multi-billion-dollar takeover deal, and potentially a lot more than that. He probably won’t end up sleeping under the bridge, or as a guest of Her Majesty’s more junior employees. But he ain’t getting a Westminster Abbey funeral …

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