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Alexander Litvinenko: The Who-Done-It Fraud -- Was He Really Murdered?

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The ubiquitous "who murdered Alexander Litvinenko" news story has turned out to be a fraud.

In late 2006, world media outlets were reporting that the former KGB spy was murdered on orders of Vladimir Putin. It was one of the biggest, most sensational news stories of the time. Now a new video turns that account upside down.

The video shows that Litvinenko wasn't a spy, he never worked for the KGB, and the claim that Vladimir Putin ordered the murder is not fact-based. It was merely an allegation made by an arch-enemy of Putin's. What's more, the London coroner hasn't ever concluded that Litvinenko was even murdered.

The widely-disseminated news stories about Litvinenko don't match the facts. The stories appear to have been fabricated.

The Who-Done-It Fraud video is the first in a series of supplements to my recent book entitled The Phony Litvinenko Murder. The book examines the media coverage of the purported poisoning of Litvinenko by radioactive polonium.

The new video presents actual, rarely-heard audio recordings of Litvinenko himself, speaking from his hospital bed less than 2 weeks before his death. In it he clearly suggests who he believes poisoned him -- and it isn't Putin. Also on the video is an exclusive recording of a close associate of Litvinenko who backs up Litvinenko's belief about his poisoner.

The video traces the strange odyssey of the changing stories told by the media about who was responsible for the poisoning. First the media reports accused one person, then another, and then still another. But the media never explained why their accusations were shifting.

Certainly there must be some significance to why the identity of the accused person has mysteriously shifted. But media reports didn't dig into that mystery. They just ignored this very significant aspect of the case. Was that a result of widespread journalistic incompetence? Or was there something sinister behind the curious nature of the media reports? We're just left to wonder.

But the real kicker in the story is this:

It's not even certain that Alexander Litvinenko was actually murdered!

That's right. The London coroner never ruled the death to be a homicide. The Who-Done-It Fraud video presents exclusive confirmation of this, direct from the coroner's office.

But the worldwide media have been mum on that issue, too.

In fact, the world media outlets were initially very quiet about the Litvinenko story altogether. Litvinenko was apparently poisoned on November 1, 2006. The BBC Russian Service ran the story on November 11, in its transmissions aimed at Russia's population. But there was nary a word about the case back home in London. Other British media weren't covering it either. Isn't that puzzling? The poisoning happened in London. Litvinenko was a British citizen. We know from the BBC Russian Service report that at least someone in the British media knew about the story. But there was no coverage.

It could be because Litvinenko just wasn't considered newsworthy. After all, his name wasn't exactly a household word at that time. Few people around the globe really knew who he was, much less cared. So perhaps the decision not to cover the poisoning of an unknown actually represented good journalistic judgment.

That all changed around November 19, however. News of the Litvinenko poisoning began bursting out all around the world. The Who-Done-It Fraud video explores this phenomenon, and suggests a foreshadowing event that may have been the game changer.

But come to think of it, if Litvinenko was basically not newsworthy, why was there such an enormous eruption of interest that late in the game?

Media outlets called the case a James Bond mystery. But to me, their coverage was more like Alice in Wonderland: a fantasy adventure filled with illogical nonsense, and without a factual basis. The underlying premises of the media coverage just don't hold up to scrutiny.

The Who-Done-It Fraud video can be viewed at or on


William Dunkerley is a media business analyst and consultant based in New Britain, CT. He works extensively with media organizations in Russia and other post-communist countries, and has advised government leaders on strategies for building press (more...)

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Thanks for keeping on top of this important story ... by Peter Duveen on Friday, Jan 13, 2012 at 11:37:16 PM