COMMENT: In FTR #742, we examined a number of highly suspicious deaths linked to GOP power politics in Alabama. Those deaths tracked back to two overlapping investigations:
- The political destruction of former Democratic Alabama governor Don Siegelman and his replacement by the consummately, lethally corrupt administration of GOP governor Bob Riley.
- The investigations into the activities of convicted GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was involved with corrupted Native-American gambling activities in the state.
The storm swirling around Riley and associates tracks back to the political destruction of Democratic Alabama governor Don Siegelman, who had control over the records of George W. Bush’s Air National Guard record.
(Recall that Bush had been assigned to an Air National Guard base in Alabama, and appears to have spent his time there politicking on behalf of GOP candidates. Had this disclosure gotten the play it deserved, it would have denied Dubya a second term. Siegelman’s destruction–widely attributed to the sinister, Machiavellian Karl Rove–put the information in the hands of a trusted GOP hack, Bob Riley. In Family of Secrets, Russ Baker details the maneuvering around Bush’s military records and the deliberate destruction of journalistic and political sources pursuing the truth. Baker is interviewed about the book in FTR #‘s 711 through 716, 730, 743.)
Ray Crosby, a defendant in the bingo case, died on the eve of the case’s retrial. “Another one bites the dust.”
EXCERPT: Having lived as a progressive through the Karl Rove era in Alabama, this reporter is not easily shocked. But when word started spreading early yesterday evening that a defendant had died on the eve of the Alabama bingo retrial . . . well, that was a stunner.
Ray Crosby, a former legislative analyst in the Alabama Legislature, was found dead in his Montgomery home yesterday afternoon. He was one of seven defendants to be retried in the bingo case, which was to kick off again today in Montgomery.
The first word I heard was that Crosby committed suicide, which would make him No. 5 on our list of suspicious “suicides” that have ties to Alabama GOP politics over the past two years. The strange-deaths list grows to six if you include the apparent beating death of former Bob Riley aide Zoa White in her Mobile home. And I’m not even including some apparent heart attacks of folks connected to the bingo case.
What do we know about the Crosby death? Neal Vickers reports at examiner.com:
“One of seven defendants set to be tried again in the Alabama bingo corruption case is dead. Former legislative analyst Ray Crosby was found dead in his home late Sunday afternoon.
Authorities have not revealed a cause of death. The denial includes if it could have been from natural causes. Montgomery police simply say they are ‘conducting a death investigation’.” . . .