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Is "Morning Joe" Scarborough a Murderer?

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Headlined to H3 3/15/11

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Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, is sending signals that he might be ready to run again for public office. He was the subject of a fawning profile in Parade. An op-ed piece he penned at Politico made Scarborough sound like a reasonable Republican who might appeal to independent voters. A persistent rumor even has "Morning Joe" running on a presidential ticket with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

If "Morning Joe" does wind up on a ballot somewhere, voters might want to keep this question in mind: Is Joe Scarborough murderer?

Many Americans probably have forgotten, or never knew, that a 28-year-old female staff member was found dead in the summer of 2001 in the office of U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-FL). Officials in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, determined that Lori Klausutis died from an accident. The mainstream press largely ignored the case, but our review of several investigative reports indicates the official finding is highly questionable.

Does that mean Joe Scarborough is a murderer? No. But we suspect someone who had access to Scarborough's office in 2001 is a murderer. We find it unlikely that the head trauma that killed Lori Klausutis was the result of an accident.

We hardly are the first to raise the "murder" issue that surrounds Scarborough. Two liberal icons, filmmaker Michael Moore and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, made references to it and wound up in public spats with Scarborough.

Since Scarborough himself doesn't shy away from the topic, we won't either. The subject is of particular interest here in Alabama because Scarborough is a graduate of the University of Alabama and is pals with former Gov. Bob Riley and his son, Homewood attorney Rob Riley. The Rileys probably are one of the sleaziest father/son tandems in the history of American politics. Regardless of what one might conclude about the Lori Klausutis death, any would-be voter should be alarmed by Scarborough's ties to the Rileys--especially since dead bodies mysteriously kept popping up around Alabama  in the final year of Big Bob's reign.

Why should we doubt the finding of an accidental death in the Lori Klausutis case? Here are several reasons:

The nature of the head trauma does not suggest an accidental death--According to a report from American Politics Journal (APJ),  Dr. Michael Berkland, medical examiner, determined that Klausutis had an undiagnosed cardiac arrhythmia that caused her to faint and hit her head on a desk in Scarborough's office. Reports APJ:

There are several problems with the head injury. Generally, for a closed head injury to cause bleeding inside the skull, there is a much more severe injury on the outside of the skull. Do the autopsy notes, indeed, describe such a severe injury on the outside of the skull? In fact, the only closed head injury which usually may cause bleeding inside the skull involves a fracture of the temporal bone, with rupture of the underlying artery. The most important discrepancy that should be answered is how intracranial bleeding could continue if the cardiac arrhythmia had caused a cessation of blood flow to the brain.

The fainting story does not add up--What is the likelihood that an apparently healthy woman, who ran marathons, would faint and hit her head on a desk in such a way that would cause death? It's pretty unlikely, our research indicates. Reports APJ:

Presumably the heart valve condition alluded to is Mitral Valve Prolapse. This may be associated with arrhythmias, but rarely with VTach (ventricular tachycardia) or VFib (ventricular fibrillation), the only arrhythmias which would stop the flow of blood to the brain.

Generally, with syncope of whatever cause the "guarding reflex," wherein one raises a hand to protect the head, is preserved.

A report at onlinejournal.com, stated that such a fall in a healthy person is unlikely to cause death. Berkland's determination of an accidental death, however, brought the investigation to a virtual halt:

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
 
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Phony, for sure; anybody with a memory remembers S... by Jay Farrington on Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 at 4:12:48 PM
Lori Klausutis' death sounds very suspicious. Why... by Liz Foster on Saturday, Mar 26, 2011 at 9:18:58 AM
he needs to come clean!... by Scott Williamson on Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012 at 9:49:05 PM