News Corp, parent company of News of the World tabloid is making headline news again today regarding their phone-hacking scandal and the dead former reporter who blew the whistle.
This morning shortly after 10 a.m., British police were called to do a safety check on a man who was missing. They found him dead inside his residence on Langley Road in Watford.
The man, Sean Hoare, a former reporter with News of the World had been previously fired from the paper but had been instrumental in blowing the whistle on alleged activity involving the tapping and listening of phones of prominent people, including celebrities and politicans, as well as tragedy death victims.
While Sean Hoare’s willingness to speak about the phone-hacking scandal had already resulted in the resignation of several of Rupert Murdock employees, he was just as outspoken last week to the media.
“There is more to come. This is not going to go away,” Sean Hoare told the New York Times last week.
But Hoare was found dead this morning. And it is unclear if his death is tied to the unraveling of a news giant or the result of his substance abuse issues.
Those affected by Hoare’s declarations prior to his death on Monday include Rupert Murdock and his son James, who will face grilling on Tuesday from parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee, according to Reuters.
Britian’s recognized top police chief, Paul Stephenson will face a home affairs select committee for his part in the scandal tomorrow as well. Reuters reported that Stephenson resigned Sunday after it was learned he had hired an editor of News of the World to work as a consultant for the police — and had accepted 20 free nights accommodation at a luxury spa the editor represented.
Other people impacted by Hoare’s declarations before his death on Monday include London Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who resigned on Monday due to the scandal. His faux pas was in not reopening the phone-hacking investigation in ’09 when new information surfaced following the scandal’s original outing in ’07.
One detective, Andy Hayman, who played a role during the initial scandal investigation went to work for NOTW owner Rupert Murdock in the capacity of a Times columnist in 2008. Reuters says he acknowledged having dinner with some News International people as the phone-hacking scandal inquiry was ongoing.
Rebekah Brooks, the editor of News of the World during the hacking scandal resigned last week only to be arrested on Sunday for her role in allegedly participating in police bribery and the phone hacking scandal.
Sean Hoare’s friend — and the man he pointed the finger at for authorizing the phone-hacking activity, Andy Coulson — was arrested July 8, according to Reuters for suspicion of phone-hacking and corruption. Both Brooks and Coulson deny culpability in the scandal.
Hoare’s death has not been ruled foul play as of yet, with police continuing to investigate the unexplained circumstances of the man most responsible for Rupert Murdock’s inability to complete a bid for BSkyB.
Sean Hoare’s declarations resulted in the resignation of a top law enforcement official, several top News Corp officials, as well as the investigation into one of the most prominent father and son businesses in the UK and the arrests of two editors of News of the World.
To say that Sean Hoare had made people mad enough to want him dead would be a gross understatement. To say whether he was murdered or died from abuse will lie with the investigating authorites, which will likely include friends of the police he pointed fingers at during the phone-hacking scandal interviews he gave in the past and the present.
This muddies the water considerably, making it unclear if Sean Hoare was really paranoid, as one of his anonymous neighbors has insinuated — or if Sean Hoare had very good reason to be paranoid that someone was coming for him.