VI. Adjusted/Updated TimeLine —
The following is an attempt to give some context leading up to the fateful crash, and a tidbit thereafter.
February (?), 2013 – Michael Hastings moved cross-country, from the East Coast to Hollywood, California, in a professional
capacity with BuzzFeed – his new employer.
Apparently, sometime after arriving in L.A., MH acquired a prescription for marijuana to treat his diagnosed PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress
April sometime, 2013 – became acquainted with neighbor – Jordanna Thigpen…at the behest of the landlord of their apartments…because of
the sudden (recent) tragic loss of her boyfriend – and the common experience MH had suffered, when his fiancée was killed in a
car-bomb attack in Iraq.
April 18-19 (or so), 2013 – MH was the guest of a friend that had friends who secured a weekend getaway…to enjoy a music
festival in/at Cochella, California… MH reportedly impressed said “friends of his friend” poorly…by partying constantly (”smoking
marijuana and popping ‘molly/MDMA’”), in addition to some other less-than-considerate mannerisms and behavior/s.
May sometime, 2013 – after news broke of the NSA spying programs directed at (investigative) journalists…according to
‘neighbor Thigpen’, MH grew highly agitated and suspicious…with said suspicions bordering on (in appearance, anyway)
May 20, 2013 – in response to news of NSA spying on journalists…as a guest on
The Young Turks …Michael
boldly called for “(journalistic) war on the Obama Administration”…
~2 weeks prior to June 18th – MH spoke with his brother, Jonathan, by phone…and…according to Jonathan –nothing in the conversation betrayed
MH’s apparent downward spiral.
The weekend of June 9th, he and his wife (Elise Jordan) entertained their good friend, Ali Gharib
(Remembering Michael Hastings), on the
patio of his L.A. apartment.
Much/Most of June 12th was spent with Jeremy Scahill, and later that evening, with friends associates… … …none, of whom, noted anything out of
the ordinary in his behavior or conversation.
It is worth noting that MH was an active Twitter Tweeter and ReTweeter, and that, from mid-May (when news broke of the NSA, et al, spying on
–or targeting– investigative journalists) through the evening of June 12th, he only missed one three-day stretch, and one single-day
stretch of activity on said Twitter.
But, as of midnight-or-so, June 12th, there are no further Tweets or ReTweets from his account. It is worth further noting that through this entire
month+ frenzy of Twittering…–NOTHING–…Not one Tweet or word would/could/might have alerted anyone that MH was going off the deep end.
Sometime in the last week of his life, MH had called a friend fellow writer – Dave Cullen, telling that he was close to ‘a deal’ on writing a
book about “Hollywood”.
Saturday, June 15th, MH called one of his writing partners – Matt Farwell…with a ‘warning’ that Matt might be interviewed by the FBI. Farwell
was terribly unsettled at the ‘news’, and pressed for more information…but MH would not discuss anything more specific over the
phone…and Farwell arranged for MH to meet with a female friend for lunch, the following Thursday – with the intent being that MH could
disclose his concerns with said female friend, who would, upon returning back East (where Farwell lived), relay the details to
According to Jonathan Hastings (Michael’s older brother), MH called him ‘a few days’ before the accident.
Jonathan says that said conversation convinced him that MH had entered into a manic episode of similar caliber to one experienced 15 years earlier.
He stated that the earlier manic episode had been ‘drug related’, and he suspected that to be the case, this time, as well… and
…Jonathan…immediately…booked a flight to L.A. for the next day, intent on convincing MH to return to Vermont, to dry out,
or…go to rehab in L.A. .
Jonathan said that upon arrival in L.A., it was immediately apparent that MH was not going to ‘go’ willingly…so – he
(Jonathan) “started to make arrangements” to get the younger brother (Jeff) to fly out and help ‘possibly
force’ Mike into checking himself into rehab.
There is some confusion in the public accounts…to include the Coroner’s Report…as to when Jonathan arrived in L.A.
Should be fairly simple to determine…but…No-One…including Jonathan Hastings, seemed to care to clarify said detail…
He first said that Michael called him a few days before the crash…
Then said that he immediately arranged to fly to L.A., the following day.
According to Michael Krikorian, there was a journalist/writer from one of the most notable publications in the world…that claimed to have had dinner
with MH ‘the night before he died’.
Said writer was reportedly very shaken upon hearing of MH’s death…but would not discuss anything with Krikorian over the phone.
Krikorian said he would pass whatever he could, along to the readers of his blog, once he’d had an opportunity to meet privately with said
individual (Krikorian was out of the country at the time of said disclosure)…and – nothing of said meeting (if it ever
happened) made its way into his blogs…or, if it did – it was not identified in such a way as to identify said writer…nor much of anything
that might have been said.
If said Writer says they dined with Michael Hastings ‘the night before’ he died…and Jonathan made no mention that the writer was in/on
the scene, that last day – I’m thinking that they dined Sunday evening, being June 16th… (When news comes of something that happened
after bedtime but before awaking the following morning…we often count the event to have been a part of the previous day… …) …
The point of venturing into this is…I believe that Jonathan Hastings arrived in L.A., at some time on June 17th…
At around 1 p.m. (*) on June 17th, Michael sent an email to colleagues, while bcc’ing SSgt Biggs, regarding his conviction that ‘the
Feds’ were investigating his…and thus, by association, BuzzFeed’s…information gathering practices. Said he was “onto a big story”,
“will be going off the radat for a bit”, and “hope(d) to see” them all soon.
Within a couple/few hours, went to a retail outlet with his brother…spent about 15 minutes inside…purchased 2 t-shirts…and impressed the
shop’s co-owner as “in high spirits”.
MH had just finished a screenplay treatment based on a Rolling Stone piece he’d done, called “The Spy Who Cracked Up in the Cold,” and called his
co-writer, Justin Kremer, at about 8 P.M., saying that he’d “heard from his agent and was ready to go, and…was excited about portraying that
world as he’d seen it onscreen”.
(cont’d next post)