Richard Mellon Scaife and the Death of Steve Kangas

The pages which follow mirror the sources cited for each, and are provided only as a backup and convenience for users.

The Strange Death of Steve Kangas


This page is one of several questioning the death of Steve Kangas. In many ways it is a fusion of my own theories and a melting of both the work of Jason's and Doug's pages. The reader should view both sites as Jason provides many of the same questions but also the only time line of the events available along with links to all of the media articles through mid April.. Doug likewise sets forth the serious nature of many of the questions and sets forth on a proof of murder. A proof that is entirely consistent with the views presented in this paper. In effect both pages are extraordinary and preceded this page, making them a particularly valuable resource and resources the reader should consult.


The Mirror Sites for Liberalism Resurgent

Resurgence                      Live 20040315

Kangaroo                          Live 20040315

Resurgent                         Dead link

Kangaroo Resurgence     Live 20040315

Informative Sites

Jason's Site                        Dead link

Doug's Site: Who Killed Steve Kangas?   Dead link

Mike Huben's Eulogy        Live 20040315

On Feb 8, 1999 at 11:30 PM Steve Kangas was found lying on the restroom floor of One Oxford Center, Pittsburgh in a semi conscious state by electrician, Don Adams. Adams reported blood on the floor around the spot and left to call for help. Upon returning they found Steve sitting on the toilet slumped over covered in blood, the victim of an apparent suicide. On Feb 12 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette broke the news in a terse 46 word article that police had ruled the death a suicide. Note to the reader, the reader should refer to Jason's page as he presents the best time line as well as links to all of the news articles. The following is not a complete time line of events nor is it intended to be such.

But what appears to have been a simple suicide at first is much more complex and several questions has arisen from a set of bizarre circumstances. It is hoped that in airing these questions in an open an unbiased manner that a non-partial investigation can be triggered in an effort to get to the truth. The reader is referred to Doug's page for a similar view and mission. This page will present some of the more troubling questions of Steve's death in the mind of this writer as well as present links to other pages that likewise question the events around Steve's death. In addition links to mirror sites of Steve's award winning web site, Liberal Resurgent will be included. The man can be killed but his ideas can live forever.

At one point I was nearly convinced that the death was a suicide, but there was still the troubling question of why anyone would travel from Las Vegas to Pittsburgh just to commit suicide. And the more that several web warriors and myself dug the more unanswered questions we kept finding. In much the same vein as each new article from the media that was published more troubling questions were raised for which the answer went begging.

On March 14 Scaife's lap dog and reporter, Richard Gazarik for the Scaife owned Pittsburgh Tribune Review published a smear article on Steve. The article could be describe in no other terms other than a smear, it was inherently a vicious attack. Much of the article was factually incorrect and served no purpose other than to smear Kangas. But it was the beginning of a vicious mean spirited attack by the right wing media involving the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Tony Snow and Tucker Carlson. Gazarik made wild claims about Steve being obsessed with Scaife, the fact remains that only 7 pages in Liberal Resurgent even mentions Scaife and 5 of them only in passing. In one case the only mentioning of Scaife was in a list of right wing foundations. The reader is reminded that Steve's web page consisted of over 400 files. With only two percent of those files even mentioning the name Scaife one is very safe in concluding that Gazarik was only trying to inflame his readers. Its hardly the case of being obsessed.

Gazarik attacked with vigor Steve's page The Origins of the Overclass as being false. This is hardly a surprise for someone working for a member of that Overclass. Its inclusion could be to serve but one purpose to inflame the right wing reactionaries and mean spirited greed heads that are unfortunately all to common today. My own research has found that Overclass in this country to be real and a topic of scholarly research. Perhaps Gazarik could try and refute the book by G. William Domhoff entitled Who Rules America before sounding off on a topic that he obviously knows nothing about. It is a somewhat of a classic on the topic and is in its 3rd printing. Incidentally Domhoff was a professor at Santa Cruz where Steve had been working on his Doctoral degree, although he didn't know Steve.

Gazarik also attacked Steve's opinions of the close association of the media (reporters and editors) with the CIA. Probably in a vain attempt to build credibility for himself and to distance the fact that the Scaife foundations had served as a conduit for the CIA to funnel money through and in at least one case to be an out right front organization for the CIA to spread disinformation. Perhaps Gazarik isn't old enough to remember the Church committee back in the mid 70s in which the CIA's use of the press was made public in a congressional hearing. Perhaps Gazarik should spend less time investigating liberals in an effort to smear them and spend a little time getting the facts straight. If he had he would realize that the New York Times' web site has one page devoted to exposing the CIA-media connection. But then I doubt if the facts are any concern of Gazarik, the Tribune-Review or Scaife.

On March 28 the Post Gazette prints the article Mission: Implausible; Dick Scaife couldn't keep his probe of Kangas a secret. The Post-Gazette details the efforts of Scaife using Gazarik along with the hire thug Rex Armistead whose name has arisen in Ken Starr's fiasco and the possible bribery of some of Starr's witnesses. It's the first print article to raise the question of why Scaife hid his investigation from the police. If we are to believe Scaife that he was only concerned with his safety why then hide any information that he may have gathered from the very people that could help him the most and guards his home, the local Pittsburgh police? Also troubling is if we were to believe smears appearing in the Scaife owned paper portraying Steve as a loser down on his luck why did Scaife apparently still believe him to have been a threat and launch an all out mean spirited attack?

As autumn approaches it appears that the Pittsburgh police have yet to interview Scaife. Although on March 17 the Post Gazette printed an article entitled Police seek to question Scaife in man's suicide stating that the Pittsburg police were then wanting to take a second look at the case due to the information coming forth from the media coverage. The exact quote from the police was as follows "are going to interview Mr. Scaife, if he'll submit to an interview." Excuse me but just when the hell did police interviews in a crime investigation become voluntary for the rich elite?

But even more troubling is the reckless disregard for common decency displayed by the Tribune-Review towards Steve's family. We now know that much of the Tribune-Review stories was blatantly false. For example the story about Mein Kampf being one of the books in Steve's backpack has now been shown to be false. The media source of this information appears to have been from Steve's mother. She is unsure who had told her that and thinks she may have misunderstood the original statement and believes it may have referred to finding it in Steve's apartment instead. The only source of that information would have been through the Scaife organization and his private thug Rex Armistead. But Steve's parents mistakenly gave their ok for Armistead to search Steve's apartment and access his email.The police never conducted an investigation beyond the autopsy. This is evident from the Feb10 Tribune-Review article in which it was stated that the autopsy was ruled a suicide on Tues Feb 9th. Again we can see the rush to close the case, this would not have been time enough for the completion of toxicology tests. The reader needs to ask himself what kind of a low down snake would imply to a grieving parent that their child was a Nazi admirer. Apparently the answer is the same kind of low down snake that would publish knowingly false smears and call it news.

It was in this time frame of late March early April, that Scaife directed another member of the Tribune-Review, Adam Music into the lion's den of the Usenet political groups to quell stories concerning Steve's death. Mr. Music announced his presence as an editor and stated he hoped to clear up any questions. This is one writer among many web active warriors that hit Mr. Music with a barrage of questions. Unfortunately Mr. Music was long on bullshit and short on answers. His all too familiar refrain of not knowing the answers to questions and that the questions should be directed to the reporter was hardly reassuring and flew against his stated purpose for posting in Usenet. Needless to say Mr. Music probably still awakes nights in a cold sweat over his experience on Usenet. I am sure from some of his responses to queries from others as well as myself that the experience was less than pleasant for him. I am also left wondering just what kind of paper the Tribune-Review is when the reporters seem to know more than the editors. But that is a logical summation of Mr. Music's presence on Usenet.

In the course of a normal investigation the number of unanswered question first rises then falls as the scope of the investigation is established and testimony and evidence is gather. However this is not the case in the death of Steve Kangas with the passing of time and with each outside investigation the number of unanswered questions just keeps rising.

With this short background it is time to look at the serious questions that have arisen and the need for some straight answers if not a full investigation. Some of these questions may indeed have harmless answers. I would be willing to overlook a couple such questions and conclude that Steve's death was a suicide. But when not one or two but several such questions start clustering around an event its obvious that someone has not done a proper investigation or that someone is trying to feed the public a lot of hooey. Many of these questions Jason has asked on his web site a couple however are new.

1. Why Pittsburgh, Why Suicide??? This is perhaps the most troubling and elusive of all questions to answer. The fact remains most people commit suicide at home or work or in close proximity to one or both. No one travels 2000 miles to a town in which he's and unknown just to commit suicide. Nor do those planning to commit suicide make long range plans or even short range plans. In a later question we will show that Steve was indeed making some long range plans. As for the short range plans it is known now that Steve had a list with him. Was this a list of people to interview as part of his longer range plans? Or was it a list of people to interview for a job or some other reason? One thing is certain it established that he had a plan and given that he had only arrived that day in Pittsburgh he could have hardly spoken to more than one or two.

2. Why did Steve buy a gun and install a burglar alarm??? This is the question that troubles his mother the most. Was Steve trying to protect himself or something of value? There is no other answer for the burglar alarm. It has one purpose only. But then what was he protecting and who was threatening him? And why if we were to believe the Scaife stories about a man down on his luck and broke would he spend some of his last money on a burglar alarm? And what would he have to protect? Why would a person with strong anti-gun views even buy a gun? Why would a man planning suicide and yes most suicides are planed as long as six months in advance would bother to register the gun as reported by the media?

3. How Did He Remain Undetected for almost 9 hours in One Oxford Center??? How could anyone remain undetected wondering about a major upscale office building for a total of 9 hours while carrying a backpack. One guard from the building remembers observing that he was wearing expensive shoes. Sitting in the restroom down the hall from Scaife's offices is one answer but it's hardly satisfying. It's hard to imagine that no one else used that facility without observing the presence of someone else.

4. Why Did Scaife refuse to answer Steve's parents questions??? This is another question that troubles his mother. Why did Scaife refuse to answer her questions of whether he had met with Steve that day? Likewise why did building security officials refuse to answer her questions and in her own words give her a run around? Coupled with the immediate preceding question it raises only more questions and hoists a red flag.

5. Why does the police report and autopsy report differ??? This is the biggie. Why does the police report list the wound to the left temple area but the autopsy state it was through the roof of the mouth? The ambulance report also lists a gunshot wound to the left side of the head. How was it that the corner missed this wound? Why did the electrician state there was blood already on the floor when he first found Steve but there is no mention of that fact in the autopsy report? Once again we encounter a question that needs to be thoroughly answered before any doubt can be removed.

6. Why no exit wound??? Another biggie that has never been addressed. I find it impossible to believe that a 9mm would not have made an exit wound. I would with trouble accept the lack of an exit wound if it had been a 22 rimfire. (This writer has the scars in his left leg to know what a 22 can do even after ricocheting twice. Once off a rock, I saw the rock explode through my scope then of a car fender before hitting me in the calf and traveling through about 3 inches of muscle.) Even more troubling is from the articles printed in the media was the fact that two fragments was retrieved from the back of the skull. I will acknowledge that bullets can do strange things but I find it hard to believe a 9mm slug would fragment going through 4 inches of soft tissue. The normal expected outcome would be for the slug to remain intact and to mushroom not fragment. Nor has the media ever stated that these two fragments composed the majority of a 9mm slug. Were these fragments large or were they small? Combined would these fragments compose an entire 9mm slug or not? In light of further evidence an considering the other oddities surrounding this case it leads this writer to the conclusion that the slug was of a devastator type, the bullet of choice for an assassin. Once again until a complete thorough answer to the size and number of fragments is forthcoming all doubt must remain.

7. How was the death ruled a suicide within one day??? One day for an autopsy would not have allowed time for toxicological tests to be completed. Yet according to the news article of Wed. Feb 10 from the Tribune-Review the autopsy was completed on Tuesday. Was this just part of a rush to sweep it under the floor? Why didn't the corner check the mouth for powder burns? According to one of the articles it was because of rigormortis. If thats the case how did they determine the wound was through the roof of the mouth? Its just another example of how rushed this autopsy was. At the very least it shows a corner jumping to conclusions before all results are in.

8. Why no Nitrate residue on the hands.??? Another mystery from the autopsy report, no nitrate residue was found on Steve's hands. The corner tries to make a claim that only 50% of suicide victims show a residue. That some weapons have next to no blowback and that the residue could have been rubbed off in the handling of the body. Well maybe but then I am old enough to remember that Oswald went home washed his hands and changed clothes, yet they still found nitrates on his hands.

9. The blood alcohol content why the discrepancy??? Adams reported first finding Steve one the floor in an almost comatose state and unable to answer intelligibly. The toxicology report stated a blood alcohol level of .14. Certainly high enough to be arrested for drunk driving but far from the level to render a person semi-comatose. And even if factual then how did a stumbling down dead drunk pick himself up find his gun and commit suicide without anyone hearing the shot all in the manner of a few minutes.

10. Why did Scaife seek out Steve's parents??? We know that Scaife associates sought out Steve's parents. Scaife people obtained permission from them to search his Las Vegas apartment, to read his Email and who knows what else. What was Scaife looking for? Coupled with a question below it seems that it was more than just paranoia, but part of an almost hysteric search. From the text above it seems that the Scale organization used Steve's parents in one of the most iniquitous manner I have ever heard, to feed disinformation to the press as in the false story about Mein Kampf. Even Steve's mother admits to feeling somewhat used or taken advantage of in one of the media reports. Simply put taking advantage of another's grief is the lowest form of malevolent behavior.

11. What was Music doing in usenet??? From the text above we know that it was not for his stated purpose of answering questions and to clarify any questions. Was Music nosing around Usenet in hopes of stumbling onto whatever it was that Armistead couldn't find in Las Vegas? And remember Armistead is a top notch thug for Scaife.

12. Why the vicious mad dog media attack??? Why did Scaife launch and all out mad dog attack on Steve? It served no purpose other than maybe unwittingly attracting more attention to the case. There still is no evidence that Steve intended to threaten or in any way harm Scaife. Such rumors are solely based on conjecture and are noting more than playing fast and loose with the facts.

13. Why sell Steve's computer??? This is another puzzling question that defies logic. According to the media reports Steve's roommate had returned from an extended trip to find Steve hadn't paid his share of the rent so he sold the computer for $150. This roommate was also Steve's former business partner. A partner that had bought Steve's interest for $30,000 after telling him it was worth $100,000. But Steve had refuse the higher offer not wishing to become part of the 2% top income earners that he deplored in his web page. Are we to believe that a person that had received essentially a $70,000 gift from Steve would quibble over $150? It simply doesn't make sense.

14. What was Steve's plan??? This writer believes very firmly that Steve had a coherent plan and was in the process of executing it when he was killed. The story appearing on April 11 in the Washington Week mentions the first step of this plan. It refers to an October post in Usenet in which Steve sought out advice if the computer he had just purchased would be adequate for a high volume server application. The article concludes that if Steve had the funds, the time and the presence of mind to expand his political activism how could anyone believe the Scaife smears.

Confirmatory evidence from Deja News reveals that this is one of the first posts in which Steve used a new Email address of Liberalism Resurgent and that he also had registered the server as Resurgent. It fully destroys the Scaife smear that he was going to use the computer for a sex site. This I believe was the first step in the plan in January the second step of his plan is revealed on his web site. On Jan 9 he modified the file Help_the_Fight revealing his plans for Liberalism Resurgent. In it he detailed plans to hire writers in particular college students, as well as setting a maximum cap on income for any employee.

 Now we know beyond a doubt that he had a plan and what the computer was for. It also shows a continuing effort over an extended period requiring time, money and a presence of mind. But the plan doesn't end here. There is one final piece of evidence of this plan. It was found with his knapsack upon his death. It was the list of names. It is this writer's opinion that the list of names were people that Steve was going to interview for the initial expansion of his web site.

Up to this time there is every indication that Steve had but one plan and that he was diligently working toward that goal of expanding his web site. The list should be viewed in that light. When it is things begin to make sense.

The reader of this page is now invited to go back and reread each of the questions keeping in mind Steve's plan and notice how many of the previous questions have suddenly been answered. In fact if one assumes that Steve had other information as put forth in the final paragraph here it wipes out 7 of the preceding questions and leaves only the questions about the autopsy report left. But now even those questions have a plausible answer as part of an on going cover up.

These interviews with people on that list would then be used as the basis for additional pages. Perhaps even as collaborating evidence for additional information that he may have had. If such was the case it would certainly explain and remove any doubt about the Armistead search in Las Vegas and the presence of Music in Usenet.

Steven Kangas, 37, of Las Vegas, NV, a well-known Internet champion of liberal causes, died last Feb. 8, reportedly from a gunshot wound to the head, in a men's room just outside the Pittsburgh, PA, office of right-wing billionaire and Clinton-hater Richard Mellon Scaife, but to the major media Kangas' death has been a non-story.

Was Kangas' death a suicide, as Pittsburgh authorities claim?  Why have the police not questioned Scaife, since his newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, depicted Kangas as an obsessed lunatic who had come to that city with the intent of assassinating Scaife, but allegedly turned the gun on himself instead?  And if Kangas was of no concern to Scaife, why did the reclusive billionaire dispatch his No. 1 private detective, Rex Armistead, to dig into Kangas' past.

Moreover, isn't strange that those who still insist presidential adviser Vince Foster was murdered, a theory promoted by Scaife, have no interest in how or why Kangas died?

The major media may be afraid of Scaife, who is known for going after his critics, but veteran journalist Mike Snow is continuing his quest for the answers to all these questions.

Steve Kangas shot to death in Scaife building

New info unearthed about the strange death
of Steve Kangas

While ruled a suicide, questions still linger
about the death of Steve Kangas

The Kangas Kronicles
Steve Kangas shot to death in Scaife building

By Mike Snow

April 2-4, 1999 -- In a chilling and stunning development, Steve Kangas – former Army intelligence officer (Berlin Soviet eavesdropper/analyst) and proprietor of an excellent and comprehensive liberal site: "Liberalism Resurgent"  ( ) was shot to death in mysterious circumstances on the 39th floor, outside Pittsburgh offices of Richard Mellon Scaife, Feb. 8 – the right wing billionaire who has spent maybe $10 million trying to destroy Clinton. (see Salon account).

More than anyone, Scaife was responsible for the Impeachment travesty and has operated with shadowy impunity; because of his wealth, charity donations, and control of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (a main newspaper) and DC based American Spectator, which broke the Paula Jones story.

Allegedly reporters who did one of very rare stories on Scaife in Washington Monthly were subsequently personally terrorized; he is quick to sue and use private detectives against critics (as he was against Kangas). The private detective, Rex Armistead, was big friends with Starr deputy Hickman Ewing (Starr's most virulent Hater), who had also hired him for the OIC; Armistead had also investigated CNN correspondent John Camp and worked for the Scaife funded Arkansas Project (digging Clinton dirt).

Kangas was found in the men's room – shot in the temple OR in the roof of mouth depending on police or coroner accounts. Serious conspiracy nuts give me the creeps, so I want to very careful about this.

Kangas's Website is very well done, organized, incredibly researched (more like 2 doctoral theses), and reasonable, though there is some far out stuff about the Knights of Malta. It's possible Kangas went to Scaife and committed suicide as a frustrated last ditch effort to start a serious investigation of the malignant Scaife (who is reviled by his own family – Carnegie/Mellon, and most former associates). It's also possible this erratic potentate, who had almost managed to remove a massively popular President and is famous for obsessive grudges, confronted by an threatening character at his seat of power... dealt with him permanently (or one of his loyal subordinates overreacted)

If Gordon Liddy was willing to kill anyone Nixon ordered him to, what would a extremist security guy do about a perceived threat to his boss? One indication is the fact that this happened a month and a half ago, but is ONLY making news now, attributed to the fact that no one knew who Kangas was. Scaife (who was there) has refused to talk to police or press and his office claims they had no contact with Kangas, although he might have spent 8 hours in the building. and was found 60 feet from Scaife's door. Apparently Kangas shot himself with a gun he'd purchased before leaving Las Vegas, where he'd made as much as $150,000/yr. as a partner in a computerized horse betting operation.

As a major critic of Scaife, we've had to make difficult decisions about how intensively to pursue him S since media outlets are extremely chary of offending him. But this should spur a serious FBI investigation, because Pittsburgh police are not likely to have much predilection to shake the tree of the town's most powerful citizen.

April 10...  Little is happening in the Kangas death investigation. Not one media outlet, except for Pittsburgh papers and Salon, picked up the story (if anyone sees anything, let me know) which frankly is incredible, considering Scaife was peddling his "Clinton had Vincent Foster murdered" trash for years. Now, a liberal activist and sworn opponent is found blown away just outside his door... and he isn't even questioned? According to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Dennis Roddy, Scaife is almost impossible to write about because nobody will go on the record about the vindictive magnate, who "prevents people from working in this town again", says Salon. The Washington Post is supposed to be doing a big profile of Scaife any day now. First big question is whether ballistics match if bullet that killed Kangas came from his gun, though that isn't conclusive: if he was waiving it around it could have been taken away and used against him. We are looking into this.

Copyright © 1999 Mike Snow.  All rights reserved.
Republished with the permission of Mike Snow.

The Kangas Kronicles
New info unearthed about the strange death of Steve Kangas

By Mike Snow


We've dug up (or a major contributor has) suggestive, nay, ominous new info about the strange death of Steve Kangas- which we are attempting to place in some legitimate media outlet (unlike you Web creeps).

Despite the dynamite front page May 2-3 Washington Post 30-page opus  about Richard Mellon Scaife (see our site-KANGAS link), which essentially said the guy was vicious, cheap, uneducated, vindictive, and a drunk -- in the first three paragraphs -- papers are still terrified of Scaife's retaliation. When we said we had tapes, a reluctant Brit editor said that "against a billionaire, you'd need affidavits." Of course there you can be successfully sued even if it's all TRUE.

Within a week or two if nothing breaks, we will release it here.

Basically, though, the coroner who performed the autopsy said there was no powder residue on Kangas's hands and that his front teeth were broken.

Back to the better very late than never Washington  Post broadside ("Where did THAT come from?" said NCEC's Tom Bonier), which has Scaife in '93 saying to an audience that included Democrats, "You're going to be happy when Al Gore's  President because WE'RE GOING TO GET BILL CLINTON."

After only six years of enforced silence, the disaffected masses of the Washington Post, who saw their proud liberal tradition hijacked and sullied by the sanctimonious obsessions of Michael Isikoff (who flailed the sordid, sorry, stinking carcass of this story [Clinton-Lewinsky] around until he provoked a constitutional crisis), rose up. For THAT, the Press Association gave him an award, cementing the Monica reality that Fame is the Name of the Game, no matter how or what you've done to earn it. If John Wayne Gacy were still alive, he'd probably be a contestant on game shows.

The systematic blindness to the Scaife led anti-Clinton conspiracy, even as they ran thousands of Whitewater, FBI files, Travelgate stories... is the greatest failing of the press in the 90's.

Copyright © 1999 Mike Snow.  All rights reserved.
Republished with the permission of Mike Snow.

The Kangas Kronicles
While ruled a suicide, questions still linger about the death of Steve Kangas

By Mike Snow


Despite finding a broken front tooth and no powder burns on his hands, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on the body of Steven Kangas--a well-known Internet champion of liberal causes who was found shot to death last February in a bathroom a few feet from the office door of Pittsburgh billionaire and newspaper publisher Richard Mellon Scaife--stands by his ruling that Kangas probably committed suicide.

According to Allegheny County (PA) forensic pathologist Abdulrezak Shakir, who performed the autopsy, "It looks like a suicide," although sensitive neutron activation tests for powder residue on Kangas's hands "were inconclusive," no higher than ambient levels.

"If it is negative, it doesn't mean anything.... there are guns where you don't see much residue coming out the back," explained Shakir.

King County (Seattle) forensic pathologist Donald Ray confirms that: "It depends on how the body is handled, ... bringing the body in--if the hands are bagged. There was a study in Dallas [with] revolvers and semi-automatics:  only about 50 percent of the time you get powder residue on the hands after someone has fired the weapon."

Ballistics matched the fatal bullet to Kangas's gun, a 9mm Kel-tec semi-automatic, which he'd allegedly purchased and  registered Jan. 26 before leaving Las Vegas, where he resided.

Because of post-mortem rigidity, the mouth wasn't opened to check for powder burns, a mistake, Ray says.

Kangas's "right upper frontal tooth was broken," but Shakir doesn't see that as damning, "If you try to open a mouth and put in a gun... you will see more external trauma... The only way they can do it is if there are three or four more powerful [guys]... and any adult... will try to defend himself."

Born in Iraq, Shakir may know whereof he speaks, although in my experience, guns induce instant cooperation.

An 11-year veteran of the coroner's office, Shakir and his two colleagues perform about 1,000 autopsies a year.

Painted by the media as a fringe lunatic and drunk, who had traveled from Las Vegas to Pittsburgh with the intention of killing Scaife, but wound up killing himself instead, Kangas's web site is well done, impressively researched--more like two doctoral theses--and reasonable, though there is some far-out stuff about the Knights of Malta, and he did think the CIA has extraordinary reach--a faith in conspiracy shared by Scaife, who had once run a CIA front: the World News Forum in London. One article on the growth of the underclass under Reagan contains 150-odd graphs and charts. Scaife is mentioned, but not prominently featured in the Website. Recent articles on the CIA's influence in creating the "overclass" are more extreme, though still scrupulously documented.

Though shot on Feb 8, no link between Kangas and Scaife was known  until March 14, when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported it, attributed to the fact that no one in Pittsburgh knew who Kangas was... and Scaife didn't enlighten them, though detective Rex Armistead, Scaife's chief investigator, immediately crisscrossed the country, interviewing Kangas's parents and going through his belongings.

"It did not strike any strange [chord]... later on when we get the news about all these allegations... I was surprised, because... I didn't even remember which case that was," said Coroner Shakir.

Scaife, who was in his office at the time, has refused to talk to police or press and his office claims they had no contact  with Kangas, although according to security videos, he seems to have spent nine hours in the building that houses Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. and was found 60 feet from Scaife's office door.

Kangas was found in the men's room; according to police and ambulance EMTs, shot in the left side of the head, though the coroner only reports a wound in the roof of the mouth and no exit wound.

A building engineer, Don Adams, allegedly found Kangas, who was legally drunk (.14 blood alcohol), sprawled on the floor face up uninjured in the 39th floor bathroom at 11:30 pm and asked him if he needed help, when he returned a few minutes later, Kangas was sitting slumped on a toilet with a gunshot wound to the head and a pistol below his left hand. Paramedics declared him dead at 11:53 pm.

Pittsburgh Deputy Police Chief Charles Moffett said the case is "under investigation in the homicide section."

Arguably, Scaife--who has given millions to right wing groups trying to destroy President Clinton, including the Heritage Foundation, Landmark Foundation, Free Congress Foundation and Western Journalism Center, among others--was more than anyone responsible for Clinton's Impeachment and has operated with shadowy impunity because of his immense wealth, charity donations, and control of Pittsburgh Tribune/Review and the Washington-based American Spectator, which broke the Paula Jones story. The ground-breaking Washington Post May 2-3 opus quotes Scaife saying to a Nantucket group including Democrats in 1994 that: "We're going to get Bill Clinton. And you'll be much happier because Al Gore is going to be President."

When the publisher and editor protested The American Spectator's single-minded crusade against Clinton in 1997, they were sacked, reportedly on Scaife's instigation. According to Washington Monthly, "Scaife's reputation for reclusiveness is surpassed only by his reputation for vindictiveness"--he is quick to sue and use private detectives against critics (as he has on Kangas), and he carries obsessive grudges for years. The Westmoreland vs CBS suit was funded by Scaife.

A March Tribune editorial virulently attacks the Post/Gazette's editor and reporter Dennis Roddy (who previously had worked for Scaife) for publishing the story, as well as personally smearing Kangas: "...they hate his (Scaife's) politics, and because most of all, they are haters and that is their nature". Kangas was "a sad loser, drowning in his own political paranoia."

Pittsburgh City Paper Managing Editor Chris Potter derides Scaife's tactics: "Dick Scaife and the Trib pretend that they're the victims and then his paper is doing this sleazy crap where they write 'Dennis Roddy is a big jerk and his wife is ugly.' Everybody here just sort of rolls their eyes at Dick Scaife."

According to Roddy Scaife is a difficult subject because "nobody is willing to go on the record about him".

Scaife's private detective, Armistead, an ex-Mississippi lawman, is old friends with Starr deputy Hickman Ewing (an aggressive anti-Clintonite), who had also hired him for the Office of Independent Council. Armistead had also investigated CNN correspondent John Camp and worked for the $2.4 million Scaife-funded Arkansas Project (digging Clinton dirt). 

According to Salon Magazine, Scaife had funneled payments to David Hale, the only real witness against Clinton in Whitewater and against Gov. Jim Tucker and the McDougals. Banker Hale was accused of defrauding poor blacks of $3.2 million in a fraudulent insurance scheme, and convicted on several counts, after having been protected from Arkansas prosecutors by Ken Starr.

Since Nixon's presidency, Scaife has contributed more than $300 million to conservative causes ($20 million in 1995 alone) through the chain of charity foundations he runs, a heritage of granduncle steel magnate Andrew Carnegie and grandfather banker Paul Mellon.

It's possible Kangas, a former Army intelligence specialist (Berlin and Central America Soviet eavesdropper/analyst) and proprietor of a comprehensive liberal Internet site: "Liberalism Resurgent"  (, went to Scaife's Pittsburgh offices and committed suicide as a frustrated last ditch effort to start a serious investigation of Scaife (who is estranged from his own family-Carnegie/Mellon, and most former associates), a theory Kangas's father, conservative Christian Robert Esh espouses.

Kangas's break from his father's conservative upbringing was so complete that in 1992 he changed his last name to his mother's. Kangas, who had been trained in Russian at the famed Army Monterey Defense Language School, was a doctoral candidate at University of California Santa Cruz, where  he had headed of a chess club and was a respected debater in liberal Internet newsgroups, but had recently moved to Las Vegas, where he'd made as much as $200,000 a year as a partner in a computerized horse betting operation.

Kangas's conservative Christian father tried to get Internet provider (Santa Cruz) to shut down Kangas's web site, but supporters paid the bills and have established as many as four mirror sites, so Kangas's thoughts will remain. Reportedly his life had spiraled downhill in his recent days as his finances and romances plummeted.

It's also conceivable that Scaife, this erratic potentate who has flown into rages at the intrusion of reporters, confronted by a threatening character at his seat of power reacted in self-defense.

Ironically Richard Mellon Scaife has pushed outlandish "Clinton had Vincent Foster murdered" theories via Pittsburg Tribune-Review (a suburban paper with about half the circulation of the Post/Gazette) reporter Christopher Ruddy, who has also speculated darkly about the 50-60 people far-right fringe groups claim Clinton had killed. "Vincent Foster is the Rosetta Stone of the Clinton Administration,"  claimed Scaife. Now, a liberal activist and sworn opponent is found shot just outside his door... and he wasn't even questioned? 

Says Medical Examiner Donald Ray: "There are always outstanding unanswered questions- I think the police in a high profile case should... pursue them, because they will be criticized endlessly for not doing [so]."

This isn't the first time Scaife has been linked to a strange suicide. In 1973 former mentor and close friend Pittsburgh District Attorney Robert Duggan, under federal investigation for alleged mob payoffs, was found shot to death with a shotgun bearing no fingerprints.

Scaife had cut all ties with Duggan, who had married Scaife's sister Cordelia shortly before his death which was widely believed to be a mob ordered murder.

Chris Potter explained, "He marries Cordelia secretly. The theory of  law enforcement.. is that by marrying this heiress to the Mellon millions he wouldn't have to answer so many questions about where the money came from. Then he shot himself  on his hidden farm property on the day the grand jury returned the indictment for corruption.

But there were these questions: Was the shotgun too long to fit in his mouth.? Was the gun too far from his hand?  So all this stuff... Scaife went through 25 years ago." 

Cordelia reportedly hasn't spoken to Scaife since.

Copyright © 1999 Mike Snow. All rights reserved.

Steve Kangas


I was born at a relatively young age in the first year of "Camelot" -- no, not King Arthur's reign in the 6th Century, but President Kennedy's in 1961. You could say I was literally a child of the 60s, but love, peace and understanding had no chance to pervert my young mind, since my family was strictly Christian conservative.

I left religion at age 12, and conservatism at age 26, to become the godless pinko commie lying socialist weasel that conservatives find at right. I'm sure that liberals will recognize something of the kindly, gentle, good-humored progressive student I actually am in this photo, which makes this a political Rorschach ink-blot test (and probably about as attractive).

I've led an interesting life, even if it hasn't always taken me where I want to go. Upon graduating from high school in 1979, filled with high hopes and dreams of wealth and fame, I promptly ran into the back-to-back recessions of 1980-82, the worst since the Great Depression. So I did the politically correct thing to do -- for a conservative -- and joined the Army. I must have scored really low on their qualifications tests, because they relegated me to military intelligence. This included a year of learning a foreign language (Russian) while basking in the sun at the Presidio of Monterey, California.

I had just begun wondering why everyone complained about Army life when they shipped me off to Fort Bragg, to play G.I. Joe in the dirt. While my paperwork was still being processed, President Reagan decided to invade Grenada. I waved my comrades goodbye at neighboring Pope Air Force Base, unable to join them without my paperwork. (Damn bureaucracy!) No matter -- I got to see a war anyway, in Central America, doing things I am not at liberty to discuss (but which you can read about in any newspaper).

In 1984 they shipped me off to Berlin, to do more of the things I can't discuss. Basically this involved electronic eavesdropping on Soviet military units in Eastern Europe, analyzing the transcripts and reporting back to NATO. It was here that I learned that a Soviet invasion of Western Europe was impossible, because their soldiers lacked certain sophisticated training -- like, oh, say, driving skills. But I must not have been in the entire intelligence loop, for our leaders could often be seen on television solemnly warning us of the grave Soviet threat that hung over Europe like a pall.

And then there were the wake-up calls -- the terrorist bombing of a Berlin discotheque only a few blocks away from my living quarters. In response, Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya, even though it later turned out that we had no proof they did it. (The subsequent terrorist alert, however, forced me to cancel my vacation to Spain.) And then there was the Soviet's assassination of Major Arthur Nicholson, one of my intelligence compratiots, whose funeral I attended. The image of his 4-year old daughter clutching a Cabbage Patch doll throughout the entire service is one that is forever burned into my memory. This was a pivotal moment in my life, causing me to question my conservative beliefs and take a more serious look at the costs and benefits of the arms race. And I was also there when Chernobyl experienced the worst nuclear disaster in history, giving Berlin a nice radioactive bath in my last month of service. But other than this, I loved Europe.

With an honorable discharge in one hand, and the GI Bill in the other, I flew back to California in 1986 to recreate the college lizard lifestyle. Port of entry into said lifestyle was the University of California - Santa Cruz. This campus is one of the most beautiful in the world, sitting atop a small mountain of redwood forests, overlooking all 50 miles of Monterey Bay. It is also one of the most liberal places in America, only one of two U.S. cities to have ever elected a socialist mayor. Needless to say, Santa Cruz is often the target of Rush Limbaugh's wrath. UCSC is also famous for its appearance in the movie Pulp Fiction, albeit as an emblem on John Travolta's "dorky" T-shirt. (The yellow creature you saw was a banana slug, the school mascot.)

Going from the Army to USCS was like going from conservative heaven to liberal heaven at warp speed. There, kindly professors pointed out to me the illogic of defending life by taking it, destroying the planet for a buck and shutting down schools to build more prisons. I am now thoroughly brainwashed to believe that kindness and human decency are positive traits to be emulated and encouraged. I know this is a radical thought for a straight white male, but I suppose it proves that European traits are not really, reeeeeaallly genetic.

Today I have a major in Russian studies, with an emphasis on political science and economics. However, I am applying to grad school in U.S. political science, which has interested me much more since communism fell. I visited Russia in 1989, and the trip was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The Russians are the warmest, friendliest people I've met anywhere. But their country was in the final stages of collapse, with devastating environmental problems and economic stagnation. Yet more proof, if more be needed, that dictatorships are disastrous. Long live democracy...

I have many interests in life, among them traveling, writing, movies and socializing in Santa Cruz's deservedly famous coffee shops. But one of the biggest is chess. From 1992 to 1995, I served as the Santa Cruz Chess Club President, where I am both a tournament director and a strong A-player. Teaching chess to school children is one of my life's greatest joys.

A letter from John Van Matre

When I first heard that Steve Kangas may have died in Pittsburgh, I searched for an obituary and could find none.  I wanted to know about the circumstances.  I knew Steve Kangas had written an investigative essay on Richard Mellon Scaife and wondered whether there might be a connection, though I really didn't expect to find one.  Finally, someone with Lexus Nexus access verified that Steve Kangas had actually died, and sent me the short obituary from the the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of Feb. 12:

"The body of a 37-year-old man found in a 39th floor bathroom of One Oxford Centre late Monday night has been identified as Steven Kangas of Las Vegas. He died of a gunshot wound to the head. The Allegheny County coroner's office ruled the death a suicide."

I plugged in One Oxford Centre and Scaife -what popped up made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
Scaife Foundations
One Oxford Centre
301 Grant Street, Suite 3900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219-6401

Since then, the questions surrounding the death of Steve Kangas have snowballed.  There were two parallel tracks being taken.  One track was seeking more information about Steve's death and wanting a further investigation.  The other track was bent on smearing Steve's reputation and turning him into everything from an embezzler to a neo nazi to a down and out womanizing drunk to an assassin out to murder Richard Mellon Scaife.  For instance Tucker Carlson, in an article "Stalking Scaife" characterized Steve Kangas as, "Kangas, a 37-year-old Internet pornographer from Las Vegas" and Tony Snow, in an article "Steve Kangas Left-Wing Vince Foster" characterized Steve Kangas as, "Squeeky Frohme with intellectual pretensions."

For any who are unfamiliar with Steve Kangas and wish to make up their own mind, I suggest you visit his web page and read through his essays ("The Origins of the Overclass" is the essay that mentions Scaife).

He posted his last essay to his Web site on February 3, just five days before his untimely death.  In my opinion, it is not the writings of a man in throes of alcoholism, though people like Richard Scaife have suggested as much and he may well view Steve's work as pornography.  See:

There are more questions than answers.  Richard Scaife hiring a detective to try and dig up dirt on Steve Kangas raises a red flag.  He used the same detective, Rex Armistead, that was used to try and dig up dirt on President Clinton for the Arkansas Project.  The Pittsburgh police should have been so thorough.  I doubt the police even questioned Richard Scaife, though one report did say they were thinking about it.  The systematic attempted trashing of Steve Kangas' raises questions.  Discrepancies between the coroner's report, in which Steve was injured when first found, and the police report, with no mention of injuries when he was first found raises questions.  The quick cremation and the erasure of Steve Kangas' hard drive raises questions. 

If magically I could have three questions about the circumstances around this case answered, I suppose they would be
  1. (1) Is the checking of the circuit breakers in One Oxford Centre rest rooms sop, and is there a log to prove this?

  2. (2) Was the gun that killed Steve empty when found? The news articles infer this, stating 47 rounds were found in his backpack and in one pocket.  This is important because if Steve Kangas were in custody of Scaife security, they may have initially taken his gun away and emptied the clip.  There may even be prints on the bullets or the clip, if the gun is still in evidence. 

  3. (3) One intriguing puzzle piece that doesn't fit with the theory of suicide -- the bullet found around the time that Steve Kangas was found.  There was a bullet hole found in the window of a street level clothing store.  The slug was found inside the store.  The bullet got there somehow.  The location of One Oxford Centre doesn't appear to be a part of Pittsburgh where random bullet holes would be found.  I suspect this may be the first time ever that a bullet hole was found in a window of one of the shops.  Maybe some time after all the stores had closed, Steve Kangas had attempted to leave, was stopped by Scaife security, shots or a shot were fired, with Steve Kangas was forced to go back up to the 39th floor.  If that bullet is connected, suicide becomes implausible. 

I don't know what happened to Steve Kangas on the evening of February 8.  I can write several scripts from the facts, as reported in the various newspaper articles.  Many of the facts of the case seem suspicious and do not fit well with the theory of suicide.  When I started digging on my own, that is what I expected to find.  But from the burglar alarm system, to the \$300 gun, to the intensive work he'd been doing on his political web site, that does not seem to be where Steve Kangas was at. 

And then there is that bullet hole in the window of the Kountz and Rider clothing store. 

For Steve's sake, this case deserves to be investigated further by someone with the means and abilities far greater than I.  Hopefully someone, or some agency, will investigate the death of of Steve Kangas in the manner it deserves.

Rest in peace Steve Kangas.
            John Van Matre

Back to Who killed Web Warrior Steve Kangas?
Best of Human Intelligence about Steve Kangas

found at:

Author unknown:
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������������������������������������������Accounts of suicide
������������������������������������������I am tired of hearing about
������������������������������������������the reasons that they died
������������������������������������������I know in my heart that they lived
������������������������������������������I know in my heart that they soared
������������������������������������������I know in my heart that God understands
������������������������������������������All the love that is always ignored.

������������������������������������������Love does not surrender
������������������������������������������And accounts of suicide ignore
������������������������������������������the unforgiving hatred that betrays
������������������������������������������murderous tyrants who plant stories
������������������������������������������about suicide to evade justice.

������������������������������������������We are tired because we know why
������������������������������������������they call it suicide
������������������������������������������They want victims without villains
������������������������������������������They want to get away with murder
������������������������������������������But they never do
������������������������������������������Because God understands
������������������������������������������All the love that is ignored.

I n memory of Vincent Foster and Steve Kangas. Vincent Foster needs no introduction. Steve Kangas has been repeatedly slandered by a conservative media that demonized him, in order to make his death acceptable. Sooner or latter, the ministry of propaganda that libelled Steve Kangas, will be held accountable.

To his enemies, Steve Kangas was a godless, pinko, Commie, lying socialist weasel, and he deliberately admitted the same, to preempt the libel. To his friends, Steve Kangas was an intelligent, kind, compassionate, well reasoned man. That is the virtual reality of the award winning, successful website publisher. Beyond the images, Steve Kangas was a businessman who had landed a lucrative job in Las Vegas.

On Feb. 8 1999, the body of Steve Kangas was discovered in a washroom on the 39th floor of a building at one Oxford Centre in Pittsburgh, just outside the offices of conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. And what was Steve Kangas doing in an office building at one Oxford Centre, on the day that he was murdered? What is the intention of every businessman who carries a neatly packed suitcase full of clothes, boards a bus to another city, and enters the premises of a private office building? Given the logical assumption that Steve Kangas contacted a business prospect at one Oxford Centre, on the very day that he was murdered, there was nothing unusual about his journey to Pittsburgh. To be sure, given the tragic conclusion, Kangas was probably deliberately lured to one Oxford Centre, on the false pretense that he was there to do business.

At the very least, Steve Kangas did not plot his own murder, and despite the fact that Scaife�s private investigator, Rex Armistead, criss-crossed the country to assume control of all the evidence, he failed to whitewash the simple truth. And what is the simple truth?

The simple truth is that the obsessive fanatic who wields power from the shadows is Richard Mellon Scaife, it is not Steve Kangas. Richard Mellon Scaife is the fanatic who finances Clinton�s enemies, and he is so far gone that he funds private advocates like Larry Klayman, to finish the job that Starr abandoned.

Indeed, in stark contrast to the extremely secretive, well funded anti-Clinton cabal, Steve Kangas is an open book, and the attempt to label him otherwise will never wash. Mr. Armistead may think that he is very clever assuming control of all documented evidence, including Steve�s mail, but he clearly crossed the line when he minimized the fact that Kangas was essentially an intelligent, reserved, well reasoned young man. Moreover, the fact that Mr. Armistead�s exhaustive obsession to monopolize documentation did not produce conclusive evidence about what Steve Kangas was doing in Pittsburgh is very interesting because that is exactly what one would expect if Steve Kangas was murdered -the preoccupation to cover up rather than to expose the truth about Steve Kangas is clearly understandable.

The determination to fabricate absurd cover stories is equally clear, but under the circumstances, the conclusion that Kangas committed suicide is astoundingly frivolous. Arriving at One Oxford Centre at 2:45 p.m., Steve Kangas was in the building until about 11:30 p.m., when he was shot dead, and the suggestion that Kangas was trespassing in a private Office tower for about 9 hours before he conveniently committed suicide, is absolutely ludicrous.

We are talking about a private building armed with security cameras and security guards, not Hitler�s suicide bunker. All Star propagandists like Tony Snow may call Steve Kangas a �garrulous loser� and focus on foolish reports like the claim that Steve Kangas carried a copy of Mein Kampf, but inappropriate characterizations are absolutely meaningless. Richard Gazarik, who works for the Scaife propaganda mill, may claim that Steve Kangas apparently traveled to Pittsburgh to  confront, and possibly to kill, the man he believed to be evil incarnate, but what else do you expect from a predictable, ministry of propaganda? Despite the libel, Steve Kangas was a web publisher and a businessman, and if he traveled to Pittsburgh, he was merely there to conduct his business.

The behavior of the obsessive and the fanatic is well documented. As soon as Kangas was murdered, Scaife's hired hands questioned Steve's friends, and the intensive, self-serving investigation reflected the compulsive zeal to control information about Steve Kangas. At the same time, the absurd speculation that Steve Kangas was out to murder Richard Mellon Scaife, belied every reality.  Steve Kangas was in the process of publishing a completed book, launching a high traffic website and pursuing his lucrative business interests.  Steve Kangas did not waste time trying to understand what he called "the insanity of Richard Mellon Scaife."  The Scaife propaganda mill may thrive upon pure, unadulterated propaganda, but the foundation of everything that Steve Kangas accomplished was the persuasive power of his intelligence and his integrity, and that is something that Richard Mellon Scaife's billion dollar empire will never change.

Despite all the propaganda, Steve Kangas had friends who clearly defined the essence of the man.  Columbia University law student, Jason Gottlieb, summed it all up when he said: "I want people to understand that this is not the kind of person who was obsessed or driven by hate or anything like that. He was not the kind of person who would make his way to Pittsburgh on some mission of revenge. This was not the Steve Kangas that a lot of people knew." Could anybody say the same about Richard Mellon Scaife?  Could anybody doubt the vicious zeal of the man who lamented the failed, anti-Clinton Inquisition, and who is still in the process of funding his own, private assault, because Starr was effectively disgraced and discredited?

The propaganda that zealots like Richard Mellon Scaife routinely deploy, ultimately betrays the truth. Richard Mellon Scaife, the man who fanned the flames of the claim that Vince Foster was murdered, is suddenly suggesting that "wacko" Steve Kangas killed himself. Where is the consistency? When you are talking about a propagandist like Richard Mellon Scaife, the consistency is always there, but you have to dig deep.

When a man like Richard Mellon Scaife promotes the claim that Vince Foster was murdered, he knows what he is talking about and it is the further suggestion that Clinton is responsible for the crime, which reflects the calculated deception. The key to understanding a propagandist like Richard Mellon Scaife is to unravel the evident determination to blend truth and speculation, in order to produce an agenda-driven outcome.  In other words, the outrageous claim that Clinton is responsible for the murder of Vince Foster is as contentious and as self serving as the absurd suggestion that Steve Kangas was on a mission to murder Scaife.

In the final analysis, the claim that Vince Foster was murdered is evidently reliable and when one rejects the slander that "wacko" Foster conveniently killed himself to satisfy the delusions of his critics, the elusive truth that Scaife exposes about Foster's death, is relatively obvious. In retrospect, Vince Foster's death provided the focus for the Senate Whitewater Hearings, fishing expedition, and if Vince Foster was deliberately murdered to ease the launch of that phony crusade, it is at least understandable. 

Frivolous accounts of suicide merely occupy a vacuume of ignorance. As Scaife suggests, the controversy that surrounds the death of Vince Foster spells murder, but it is Bill Clinton's enemies, not Bill Clinton, who exploited the vacume of ignorance that Foster's death produced. 

Moreover, the tendency to demonize people who do not advance bizarre obstruction of justice charges that implicate the Clinton White House, further explains the determination to destroy rational, intelligent people like Vince Foster and Steve Kangas.

In the final analysis, we are witnessing nothing less than a wholesale assault upon the truth, because while every single bizarre, anti-Clinton allegation is well publicized, well reasoned charges are ignored, distorted or marginalized. At the same time, propaganda can only reduce the charge that Vince Foster was murdered, to the realm of the absurd conspiracy theory, if the propaganda is accepted. But what about the testimony of independent eyewitnesses like Patrick Knowlton, who filed a lawsuit claiming a conspiracy to obstruct justice into the investigations of the death of deputy White House Counsel Vincent W. Foster? Clearly, notwithstanding the ignorance, the propaganda and the cover up, it is not possible to avoid the conclusion that the deaths of Steve Kangas and Vincent Foster were not typical suicides.

In particular, Steve Kangas WAS NOT suicidal, he WAS NOT homicidal and he WAS NOT a lunatic. Steve Kangas had used his spare time to become the most successful Liberal activist on the Internet, and if, or when that becomes a crime, he had every right to be so.

Lee Harvey Oswald was a young, intelligent Patriotic Marine who hero-worshipped James Bond, and pretended to defect to the Soviet Union, to spy on the Commies. Oswald had absolutely nothing to do with the Kennedy assassination, he was just a patsy who was immediately labeled a "crazy" in order to divert attention away from the truth -a lifelong specialty of Hoover's propaganda machine. The tactic of labeling a 'crazy' to divert attention away from the truth is still used. Hoover's old friend Scaife, just used it to dismiss the murder of Steve Kangas.  Jack Ruby was a Mafia go-between and an FBI Informant. It was his responsibility to arrange the "contract" to silence Oswald, but Oswald smelled a trap and he fled.  A desperate Jack Ruby murdered Oswald on national television.  And to think that we had embraced the ludicrous claim that a thug like Jack Ruby had murdered Oswald because he felt Jackie Kennedy's pain.  Some people say that truth is stranger than fiction, but that is merely because we proved to be bigger suckers than anybody can possibly imagine. [posted June 18, 1999]


In early February 1999, Steve Kangas died and his body was found in a restroom near Richard Mellon Scaife's office.  This death was not reported in mainstream media until nearly a month later.  In the meantime, Scaife proceeded to send his investigator, Rex Armistead (who did so much work in the Scaife-funded get-Clinton snipe-hunt), to investigate Kangas.  To no ones surprise, Armistead returned with very non-flattering information about Mr. Kangas...information that is contradictory to information known about Kangas.
    Kangas' death is being called a suicide.  Yet there are many inconsistencies and downright holes in the story that is being put forth by Scaife and his staff.  
    There are many questions that have to be answered about Steve Kangas' death, and it is imperative that independent investigators review the work that has been done to date and make a public accounting of the facts surrounding Kangas' death.
    As it stands now, there are too many problems with the official explanation of Kangas' death for suicide to be believed..

         LINKS         ARTICLES


Thanks go to many people for sending in questions.  If you have questions you think need to be addressed, please email The Amazon..

     Here are a few questions for starters:

1. What would phone records of calls coming to Kangas apartment reveal?

2. Was a forensic autopsy performed? Are the findings available? How long after death was it before the authorities arrived on the crime scene? Who was in charge of the investigation?

3. What kind of relationship exists between Scaife and the Coroner? Police Department? Facility that does the testing for the Coroner and Police Department?

4. Is there a private bathroom that Scaife uses, or does he routinely use the one in which Kangas was found? (The myth is that Kangas was waiting in the bathroom to murder Scaife.)

5. Reportedly, Kangas had an elevated blood-alcohol level when he was found. Also, reportedly, he had been in the office building for nine hours before his death. What is the source of this alcohol? Is there a restaurant/bar in the building? If not, was an alcohol container that could be traced to Kangas found in the building?

6. Would it have been unusual for Kangas to drink alcohol during the day?

7. What are the circumstances surrounding the erasing of Steve's computer? According to one article, "About the same time, Robert Esh, the dead man's father, gave Armistead permission to collect Kangas' mail and examine any other records, which were later passed along to the family. The investigation, Esh said, yielded no conclusive evidence about what Kangas was doing in Pittsburgh." Was the computer part of the "other records" to which Armistead gained access?

8.  Who bought Kangas' computer?  What is their relationship to Scaife, Armistead, and others involved in the case?

9. Under what authority did Rex Armistead request the information from Kangas' family? Considering the circumstances surrounding Kangas' death, would this be considered interfering with a police investigation with the goal of destroying or altering evidence?

10. Has Armistead been queried by the authorities regarding his exact actions, contents, information he accessed, etc.?  If so, are the records of this interview available to the public?

11. Whose idea was it that the body be cremated?

12. Of concern is the fact that Kangas was reportedly anti-gun, yet he is said to have purchased a gun in Las Vegas. What are the circumstances surrounding this purchase? Is there a paper trail that can be verified? Has the person from whom Kangas purchased the gun been interviewed regarding anything Kangas may have said that would indicate his reason for purchasing the weapon?

13. Where was Scaife on the day in question? Precisely where?

14. What do phone records of all calls placed from Scaife's offices and any cell phones show on the day of the death? From Armistead's offices and phone calls? On the one-month intervening time between when Kangas' death occurred and when the story started hitting mainstream media?

15. Can the records, including phone records, of the private investigator Armistead be subpoenaed in an inquiry?

16. Are the films from the security cameras in the building intact? Who has them?

17.  Where was Kangas from the time the security cameras recorded him entering the building until the time he was found?

18.  By what method was the time of death determined?  Who determined it?

19.  Have the glaring discrepancies between the reported sequence of events concerning the discovering and reporting of Kangas' and his body ever been investigated and sorted out?  If so, by whom?

20. What was left behind in the locker at the bus depot?

21. Did Kangas' father ever work for  or with the CIA in any capacity?  

22. How is it possible that someone as controversial as Richard Mellon Scaife, who has such an extensive background in the CIA/intelligence community, doesn't have a manned security desk at the entrance to the building? Or is there one? Was Kangas recorded entering the building wearing a backpack?

23. Were Kangas' fingerprints anywhere inside Scaife's offices? Was this even checked by any of the police detectives?

24. Does Scaife have security measures in place for gaining entry to his own office ?  Does he have a secretary who screens his visitors?

25. Were there any unusual comings and goings that day? People carrying bags?

26. Did police check the trash?

27. Regarding the items found in Kangas' backpack:  Was it ever ascretained if there actually was a copy of "Mein Kampf" in Kangas' backpack?  If not, what was the source of this report? If there was a copy in Kangas' backpack, did it belong to Kangas? (I'm sorry; that book being in his backpack is just a little too convenient when you consider that Scaife went to such lengths to use Armistead to paint Kangas as a nutball.) Whose fingerprints on it? Was there any highlighting of text or areas where it was obvious that special attention had been paid?

28. Is there any connection between that which Kangas had been discussing regarding the CIA and Scaife's own history with the CIA?

29. Have Kangas' movements during his trip to Scaife's office been investigated? Could he have told anybody why he was going on the trip?

30. Has the company that installed Kangas' home security system been interviewed? Could Kangas have indicated to any of their staff his reasons for installing a home security system?

31.  Did Kangas buy a one-way or round-trip bus ticket?

32.  Why did he choose a bus as his mode of travel?  If someone was intent on committing suicide, saving money would unlikely be a consideration.

33.  According to a Gazette story, "Police also will examine any possible link between Kangas and a bullet slug that Woodyard said was discovered near one of the One Oxford shops around the same time Kangas killed himself. Woodyard said a bullet apparently pierced an outside window at the Kountz and Rider clothing store, which faces Grant Street, and said ballistics tests on the 9 mm pistol Kangas used to kill himself would determine whether the shot came from that gun. The hole in the window was not discovered until after Kangas killed himself."

I wonder how many rounds were in the pistol when they found the body?

34.  Was Kangas right- or left-handed?

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Eulogy for Steve Kangas

Author: Mike Huben
Published on: February 24, 1999

Related Subject(s): Not Indexed

Over the past 25 years, I've had many electronic friendships, friendships established through computer chat, mail, and now the web. But never have I established such a political kinship and strong working relationship as with Steve Kangas.

Just under three years ago, I received some admiring email about my Critiques Of Libertarianism site from Steve, which began our friendship. He had just encountered libertarian arguments the hard way: he had argued with David Friedman (one of the few decent anarcho-capitalist theorists.) He directed me to his web site where I found the beginnings of Liberalism Resurgent.

The reason Steve and I saw so eye-to-eye was very straightforward: we were both skeptics. We arrived at our positions and defenses not because of ideology, but from our desire to reject obvious false claims. We made a good team. Steve specialized in the latest real-world social research that supported populist liberalism. I specialized in the philosophical and theoretical faults in conservative arguments, and the practical presentation to internet audiences. Two different skeptical routes lead us to much the same conclusions.

Working together with Steve was entirely different than arguing with his public persona. I've reviewed my mail from the first 6 months I knew Steve: 128 messages, dealing with all aspects of constructing and promoting his site, and no arguments. Steve was playful, and had a wicked sense of humor. I'd make suggestions for reorganization, readability, new arguments, things that should have been removed, etc., and in a few hours or days a document would be reworked and resent to me. One or two of the documents underwent 5 revisions to boil them down, keep them on target, and give them punch. It was exhilarating: Steve was doing prodigious work, work that I had always wanted to see accomplished, and he was doing it in ways I would not have thought of myself. I was really happy to contribute.

But the real benefit to both of us was that we were working on a joint, coherent world-view. His needs for his documents drove me to better understand my own ideas and their implications. We both enjoyed numerous "aha" moments as we punctured standard conservative and libertarian arguments with new (to us) understandings. Many of those are described in Myth: No one has a right to my property. We used almost everything we discussed. The only project we didn't pursue was my idea for a graphic symbol of liberalism: three hands in scissors, paper, and stone positions, representing balance of powers.

Steve recruited me to Suite101. Sneaky guy: he first asked me to criticize a post on the 2001 hypothesis, knowing that I'd want to skewer it. Then he pointed me at his politics articles, and engineered encouragement for me to take an editor's topic. His Progressive Politics topic doesn't seem to be available at the moment: I'd like to see Suite101 resurrect it and preserve it in memory of Steve. They need to have a place for defunct topics, if only so that past discussions can be searched and links can be made to the old articles. Or else his articles ought to be copied to where ever his Liberalism Resurgent site ends up. (It won't be lost in the long run: a number of us have made backups to reinstall depending on the fate of the current site.)

Steve was a militant atheist. He was outraged at the vast harms committed by the fraud of religion, both in history and in his own personal and family experience. His religious skepticism developed around adolescence, as it does with many of us, a sense of outrage at having been mislead by those we trusted. A section of his

Long FAQ On Liberalism is devoted to this as well.

For the past year or so, Steve was hot on the trail of a major conspiracy theory of his, involving CIA relationships with big business and major conservative foundations. He gave a general outline of his ideas in The Origins of the Overclass. Steve apparently worked on his site until mere days before his death, and had long term plans to turn it into one or more books.

Thus, it's very strange that Steve should be found dead in a 39th floor bathroom at One Oxford Centre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, immediately outside the offices of 4 ultraconservative Scaife Foundations. An apparent suicide, with alcohol and handgun. It takes rather strong corroborative proof to make me consider conspiracy theories, but I do wonder about this one.

I never met Steve physically: the closest I came was a few lengthy phone calls. He seemed a very independent guy, revelling in his ability to pursue his own chosen ends, to follow his own convictions. I well remember being that way myself: its pleasures and its loneliness. We never discussed his personal position much: we were too excited by the subjects we worked on in common, and he sounded so optimistic about his future plans. Perhaps he didn't know how much he was appreciated, respected, and valued. It's so easy for guys not to share that way.

Ironically, about three years ago Steve told me that a friend of his had tried to commit suicide, and that he was wondering much to try to help her. I told him: "While you're not going to be responsible for her, you might wish for the rest of your life that you had had an opportunity to help, as I have wished for a dear friend who committed suicide when I was 21. I just hadn't known he was depressed or likely to commit suicide, and have wished that I could have tried to talk him down." I have this very sad feeling of deja vue. I'll truly miss Steve.

[NB: Steve's old Liberalism topic has been made available.]