The internet is a breeding ground for conspiracy theories because it allows the like minded to confirm one another’s suspicions, even when those suspicions are nuts. That’s the way conspiracy theories work. That does mean all conspiracy theories are false. There are actual conspiracies and sometimes the explanation for some event involves shadowy elements working in secret. Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger is known to us because he was involved in a conspiracy that led to the assassination of Julius Caesar.
The murder of Seth Rich, a 27-year-old staffer at the Democratic National Committee at 4:30 AM in Washington DC is one of those events that is catnip for the conspiratorial. Throw in Assange claiming the guy was a source for WikiLeaks and it is not hard to start wondering if maybe there’s more here than just a horrible tragedy. As The Daily Mail reports, a lot of people associated with the Clintons have died under mysterious circumstances, often to the benefit of the Clintons.
What is known is whoever shot this guy did not rob him. They found the victims possessions, including his wallet, on him when they found the body. Maybe he had something else worth killing over that has gone unreported, but there’s no way to know it. The victim was shot in the back so he was either running away or had no idea the killer was behind him. The news reports say the victim had defensive wounds but that sounds like people watching too much television. Since DC does not release autopsy reports, there’s no way to verify it.
Talk to any cop who has worked the ghetto and they will tell you that the victims usually know their killer. Murder is almost always a crime of the moment. Person A gets into a beef with person B, who pulls a weapon and kills person A. Alternatively, there is a money or sex dispute that leads one person to kill their partner or associate. Even premeditated homicide almost always involves people that know one another. Even cold blooded killers need a reason and there’s rarely a reason to kill total strangers randomly selected off the street.
That’s why so many are tempted to jump to the conclusion that this was not a typical crime. This guy was not in the drug trade and he had nothing in his personal life that would indicate a crime of passion. He also lived in a sporty part of town where the cops do a good job keeping the streets safe. Calling it “recently gentrified”, as if it is still dodgy, is just what young urban hipsters like to say so it does not sound like they live in an urban daycare center, which is the case here. This guy was killed in one of the truly safe parts of Washington DC.
On the other hand, murder for hire is not a pointless act. If you just want someone dead, then you want it to look like an accident or a street crime. Otherwise, you are bringing unnecessary attention to something you want to keep quiet. In this case, shooting and robbing the guy would look like a robbery. You do it with a cheap handgun that you can toss in a nearby sewer, assuming the cops will find it. They always look at the local drains cause criminals tend to throw their weapons there, thinking no one will find them.
The thing that leads me to suspect something other than random street crime is the hour. Thug life is mostly nocturnal, but these people are not vampires who go to bed at dawn. They roll out of bed at noon and hang out into the small hours, but they are off the streets by two o’clock, even on weekends. They may still be up partying, but they are not out robbing people at 4:30 AM in a swanky part of town. It’s possible, but it strikes me as implausible. In the ghetto, just before sun up is the safest and most quiet part of the day.
The point here is that there is no obvious answer, based on the facts that are known. When a white bread honky turns up with holes in him just before dawn, it is natural to assume it is something other than street crime. The most probable answer is he was involved with something or someone that got him killed. Maybe it was a jealous boyfriend, a dispute at work or some sort of neighborhood beef that got out of hand, but it was most likely not two thugs trying rob him of his iPhone. It’s possible, but not very likely.
That does not mean Hillary Clinton did it, but that’s no more or less possible than the street thug theory. If you are going to murder people or have them murdered, political power is a pretty good reason, maybe the best reason. That said, people at that level can afford well trained and qualified hit-men. They don’t need to rely on amateurs who make it look like an assassination. Even crack hit-men have bad days so it is possible, but it just strikes me as slightly less plausible than the random street crime theory.