Autopsy Report Details Death of Rolling Stone Journalist

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 20 2013 7:00 PM

Autopsy Report Details Death of Rolling Stone Journalist

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 19: Flowers are placed at a makeshift memorial at the crash site for award-winning journalist Michael Hastings on June 19, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The autopsy of journalist Michael Hastings found that the 33-year-old had traces of amphetamine, indicating possible methamphetamine use, and marijuana in his system when he was killed in a car crash in June. The Los Angeles county coroner’s report said that neither drug was considered a factor in the one-car crash that killed only Hastings.

The report provided the first official details of the death of the journalist who shot to fame with his 2010 Rolling Stone profile of General Stanley McChrystal that led to McChrystal’s resignation as U.S. commander in Afghanistan. At the time, conspiracy theories swirled that Hastings’ death was the result of foul play. The rumors prompted the FBI to a release a statement after the crash, saying that “[a]t no time was journalist Michael Hastings ever under investigation by the FBI." The Los Angeles Police Department said there were no signs of foul play.


According to the report, Hastings had been believed to have been sober for 14 years, but had been begun using drugs again not long before the accident. 

Here’s more from the Los Angeles Times:

A medical marijuana card was found in Hastings wallet and had been prescribed for treatment of post-traumatic stress resulting from his time as a war journalist in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hours before the crash, Hastings had last been seen by one witness "passed out" sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. The crash occurred just before 5 a.m. 


Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.



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