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News

Michael Hastings E-mail Said He Was Going 'Off The Radar,' FBI Was Interviewing Friends

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Michael Hastings participates in the Guardian's 'Post-Truth Politics & The Media's Role' discussion at The LongView Gallery on May 1, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Guardian)
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Shortly before he died in a fiery single-car accident, Michael Hastings sent an e-mail to his colleagues at BuzzFeed that alarmed a close friend.

Just hours before the crash, he wrote that the FBI was interviewing his "close friends and associates" and that he was going to "go off the radar for a bit" to work on a "big story." He warned his colleagues that if the feds came knocking, they should have a lawyer present before they started discussing their news-gathering practices. He CCed his friend Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, who shared the e-mail with KTLA. "It alarmed me very much," he told the TV station. "It didn't seem like him [...] and I just had this gut feeling that really bothered me."

He sent that e-mail around 1 pm on Monday, and early Tuesday morning he died at age 33 after his silver Mercedes slammed into a tree in Hancock Park and exploded into flames.

The FBI denied that it was investigating him, and investigators have ruled out foul play. Still, Hastings' death has spawned countless conspiracy theories simply because of the fact that he was a relentless journalist who investigated the NSA and CIA.

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Hastings was reportedly researching a story about Florida socialite Jill Kelley's privacy suit against the Department of Defense and the FBI, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was scheduled to meet up with someone connected to Kelley next week.

The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur told reporters Hastings was paranoid that the government was investigating him, and Wikileaks tweeted this out two days ago:

His car crash is being investigated, and it is believed that speed may have been a factor in the crash. It will take weeks before results from any toxicology reports come back, according to the LA Weekly.