Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
A medical examiner's finding that prominent Alabama attorney Major Bashinsky killed himself in March 2010 is based almost entirely on reports that Bashinsky visited a hardware store to purchase rope and duct tape similar to that found on his body.
Reports from a private investigator, however, indicate that employees at the hardware store could not positively identify Bashinsky as the man who purchased the rope and tape. In fact, according to the PI's report, law-enforcement officials told store employees that it was Bashinsky, not the other way around.
Also, a recent report about former Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine and the shooting death of his longtime girlfriend, Angel Downs, provides new insights into the Bashinsky case.
The PI's findings add to an already substantial body of evidence that indicates the manner of death in the Bashinsky case should have been classified as "undetermined," followed by a serious investigation. Instead, the public is left with a suicide finding that is supported by almost no evidence of any kind.
We already have shown that the suicide finding in the Bashinsky case is filled with holes. ("Suicide Finding In the Major Bashinsky Case Springs Multiple Leaks.") We also have shown that the official finding from Jefferson County Coroner Gary T. Simmons is supported by zero forensic evidence. ("Suicide of Former Baseball Star Prompts Questions About the Major Bashinsky Case.")
In his summary, Simmons bases the suicide finding almost entirely on reports about Bashinsky's supposed visit to the Five Points Hardware. But now we know that visit might have never happened.
An Alabama-based private investigator took a look at the case several months ago . The PI was not being paid, so he was unable to conduct a full-scale investigation. But he visited the golf-course water hazard where Bashinsky's body was found, walked the path Bashinsky supposedly took from Five Points South to the Highland Park Golf Course, and stopped by the hardware store and a nearby coffee shop--both of which Bashinsky reportedly visited in the hours leading to his death.
A source tells Legal Schnauzer that the PI visited with hardware-store employees and found they had no idea if Bashinsky had visited the store. From our source, in an e-mail on the date of the PI's investigation:
Just got off the phone with my friend who went by the Hardware store. He spoke with the owner and he told me that he was not very friendly, rude actually. The FBI came in and told (the owner) that it was Major that came in and purchased the items and the case was closed. . . .
(The PI) then went to Starbucks and talked with two females. One said (Major) had come in with his son . . . I am assuming Brooks. They gave him a number to call to speak with another girl.
He went to the golf course and is there now. The guy at the golf course wouldn't say anything about it. Another fellow told him to leave. He is going down to the pond now and taking pictures.
To my knowledge, the investigation went no further. But we now know that law enforcement officials decided it was Major Bashinsky in the hardware store, regardless of what store employees could determine.
That blows a significant hole in the official finding of suicide.
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