News of the World Whistleblower’s Death Sparks Conspiracy Theories on the Web
It seems like a tale pulled from a Law and Order script or an HBO movie.
That’s probably why the reported death of whistleblower Sean Hoare shocked the public, and sparked a frenzy of conspiracy theories on the Web.
Hoare was the reporter who stepped forward to allege that phone hacking was widely used and even encouraged at News of the World under the guidance of then-editor Andy Coulson.
While officials released a statement that “the death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious,” the Internet had an outpouring of shock and conspiracy theories as soon as the news broke.
A New York Times reader probably captured the sentiment best, writing that “this is beginning to sound like a movie script...whistle blower found dead. Only problem is, it's NOT a movie. A real person has died.”
Many were more obvious with their disbelief that Hoare’s death could have been unrelated to the phone-hacking scandal.
“To cover up, now they are killing people!” commented one reader on The Hollywood Reporter’s post.
“It wasn't just Murdoch, the police were involved in the scandal too, so they have just as much to lose, and have access to weapons,” added another.
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Many questioned the authority of the police officials to take over this case.
“I'm sure the authorities wouldn't find anything wrong or suspicious in his death. Frankly I wouldn't trust the authorities to honestly handle this,” wrote one reader on MSNBC’s site. “Perhaps an outside agency should be found that can deal with the investigation with something amounting to integrity.”
“Yeah, like Scotland Yard is reliable with the Chief resigning,” agreed another poster, Bill Dundenin. “What were his options? This will play out like the movie Goodfellas, bodies turning up in meat lockers, dumpsters trucks, and fingers sticking out of the cement.”
Some readers pointed a finger at News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch directly.
“Murdoch can buy off anyone to do anything --- from cops to David Cameron to the Fox anchors to the GOP,” wrote Manny on Yahoo. “If the dead guy had a history of drugs all Murdoch had to do is get someone to point a gun to his head to swallow an overdose of something.”
“Timing is everything, and this guy was a marked man, worse than Casey Anthony,” wrote another poster on Yahoo. “Something is up when the whistle-blower who may take down the biggest media mogul since Hearst, and this Bloke has no security detail in his flat, now that smells of foul play.”
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Comments also flooded Twitter, with some speaking out in sadness, while others used sarcasm to express their disbelief that this event was just coincidental.
"I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for Sean Hoare's death. For example: Someone was paid to murder him and they did," wrote Scotty L. on Twitter.