Questions Remain in Apparent Suicide – April 12, 1999


In a strange twist in the Clinton scandal, Steve Kangas, 37, - former Army intelligence specialist (Berlin + Central America Soviet eavesdropper/analyst) and proprietor of a comprehensive liberal Internet site: "Liberalism Resurgent" ( was found shot to death, victim of an apparent suicide, on the 39th Fl. outside Pittsburgh offices of philanthropist Richard Mellon Scaife Feb 8 - the billionaire who has given millions to right wing groups trying to destroy President Clinton, including the Heritage Foundation, Landmark Foundation, Free Congress Foun., + Western Journalism Center.

Kangas was found in the men's room; according to police + ambulance EMT's, 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 Fl. 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. According to Allegheny Co. 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% 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 purchased + registered Jan 26 before leaving Las Vegas. 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 + put in a gun... you will see more external trauma... The only way they can do it is if there are 3 or 4 more powerful (guys)... and any adult... will try to defend himself." A former Iraqi, Mr. Shakir may know whereof he speaks, although in my experience, guns induce instant cooperation. An 11 year veteran of the coroner's office, Mr. Shakir and his 2 colleagues perform about 1000 autopsies a year.

Arguably, Scaife 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 (a main newspaper) and DC based American Spectator, which broke the Paula Jones story. The groundbreaking Washington Post May 2-3 opus quotes Scaife saying to a Nantucket group including Democrats in '94 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 '97, they were sacked, reportedly on Scaife's instigation. According to Wash. 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 is 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 Mng Editor Chris Potter derides Scaife’s tactics: "Dick Scaife + 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, Rex 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 Ark. 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 Ark. prosecutors by Ken Starr. Since Nixon's Presidency, Scaife has allegedly personally contributed over $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. Kangas’s Website is well done, impressively researched (more like 2 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.

It’s possible Kangas went to Scaife 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. It’s also conceivable this erratic potentate, who has flown into rages at the intrusion of reporters, confronted by an threatening character at his seat of power... reacted in self-defense. Though shot on Feb 8, no link between Kangas and Scaife was known until March 14, when the Pittsburgh paper first reported it, attributed to the fact that no one in Pittsburgh knew who Kangas was... and Scaife didn't enlighten them, though detective Armistead 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 9 hours in the bldg. and was found 60 ft. from Scaife's door. Dep. Police Chief Charles Moffett said it was "under investigation in the homicide section".

Kangas, who had been trained in Russian at the famed Army Monterey Defense Language School, was a doctoral candidate at Univ 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/yr. as a partner in a computerized horse betting operation. Kangas's conservative Christian father- Robert Esh- tried to get Internet provider (Santa Cruz) to shut down Kangas's Website, but supporters paid the bills and have established as many as 4 duplicate mirror sites, so Kangas's thoughts will remain. Reportedly his life had spiraled downhill in his recent days as his finances and romances plummeted.

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 ME 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 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, 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.




WASHINGTON POST front page 20 page Scaife series- May 2-3  




KANGAS’s WEBSITE- Liberalism Resurgent (mirror),  Mirror,      Mirror-,


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE ARTICLES -(dominant Pittsburgh daily paper)

Death sparks conspiracy theory Sunday, March 14, 1999 By Dennis B. Roddy, Post-Gazette Staff Writer-- A former Army intelligence officer shot himself to death last month in a restroom outside conservative philanthropist and publisher Richard Mellon Scaife's Downtown offices, and Scaife has assigned a (14,882 bytes)


Suicide leaves more questions than answers, Sunday, March 14, 1999 By Dennis B. Roddy, -- After he set up a Web site championing the political left, Steve Kangas posted his photograph alongside the story of his transformation from the son of conservative Christians to free-thinking liberal (11,695 bytes)


Police seek to question Scaife in man's suicide Wednesday, March 17, 1999 By Dennis B. Roddy,--- Pittsburgh homicide detectives want to question conservative philanthropist and publisher Richard Mellon Scaife in a widening investigation into the death of a man who shot himself (6,501 bytes);


After his suicide here, liberal's Web site lives on... Monday, April 19, 1999 By Dennis B. Roddy

Almost three months after he shot himself to death in a Downtown office building and touched off a flurry of conspiracy theories, Steve Kangas, a seeming loner, has left behind an (10,214 bytes)


John G. Craig Jr. Mission: Implausible---- Dick Scaife couldn't keep his probe of Kangas a secret Sunday, March 28, 1999 The Steven Kangas case is a textbook example of the dangers of trying to hide what will not stay hidden for very long. John G. Craig Jr. is editor of the Post-Gazette.. Kangas came to Pittsburgh (8,012 bytes)


SCAIFE's PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW - (about half circulation of Post- Gazette) Most informative article, if obviously slanted March 14.. Scaife-obsessed man sought him, but took his own life... by Richard Gazarik  |||    Editorial- March 21- Virulent attack on Roddy + P/G


Washington Weekly- Editorial- April 1. ’99  Defense of  Kangas by reader of site w his last postings


PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER- editorial on Tribune’s hypocrisy and virulence-  March 17?


Scaife Photo’s - Photo's of the reclusive philanthropist  - Scaife photo site lo res files Tuesday, April 06, 1999 Copyright, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1998 (3,383 bytes)


Other Kangas Stories + TIMELINE (chronology) -


Interesting Long Story on Kangas -




Allegheny County Coroners Office- Forensic Pathologist A. Shakir 1/2 hour


Dennis Roddy- reporter Pittsburgh Post/Gazette- 1/2 hour


Chris Potter- mng editor Pittsburgh City Paper- 3/4 hour


Pittsburgh Dep. Police Chief  Charles Moffet


Nuri Aizenman - reporter- New Republic (form. Washington Monthly)


King County Medical Examiner- Forensic Pathologist Donald Ray (20 minutes)





Scaife’s income tax returns and lists of contributions from Scaife Foundation, Allegheny Foundation, Sarah Scaife Found., + Carthage Foun.


~100 pages articles about Kangas + Scaife fm Salon, Newsweek, Wash Monthly, CNN,


~60-90 pages of articles fm "Liberalism Resurgent".



Ken Starr has been lying low as his jihad crumbles and the weight of public disgust comes to rest on his head. How low was indicated by his turning on his spokesman Chas Bakeley for leaking grand jury material to the press- (Ken, of course, knew nothing) “The government should prosecute Chas” intoned Kenny, before retreating to his burrow, praying that some sacrifice would appease the millions who want to see Starr’s head on a spike. In that vein, in a statement of stunning hypocrisy and inconsistencies of logic, Starr came out against the special prosecutors law, whining how he's been subject to political pressures. In his defense, he actually said, "Law becomes politics by other means". This guy is truly contemptible- supposedly Bush was going to nominate him to the Supreme Court. Susan McDougal was finally found not guilty of obstruction and jury hung on the other 2 counts. The one semi-noble figure in this miserable soap opera, McDougal stuck to her guns and refused to cooperate in what she saw was a witchhunt... and spent years in jail for it. Chances are she won't be reindicted, Star is trying to get out of town before his overt conspiracies become front page stories and HE winds up in prison. On March 17, bullying Starr deputy Jackie Bennett (who trapped Monica in that hotel room) quit for less mine-laden pastures AND a judge threw out a suit by the right-wing Landmark Foundation (another Scaife-funded group) to block the Justice Dept. investigation into Starr. Incredibly the Landmark Foun. were arguing that no one had authority to control Starr, which has essentially been the case anyway. The McCarthyites are trying to fade away like an earlier McArthur, but they will pay for their 5 year abuse of the Constitution and the legal process. The audacity of that pipsqueak Starr, lecturing the Congress on how unfair the OIC law is and how it can be abused.... after what he did!

After our + other’s suggestions, the DC Bar Association is doing preliminary investigations into PULLING STAR’S LEGAL LICENSE for his many crimes and abuses. David Hale, Starr’s only witness against the McDougals + Jim Tucker + the Clintons in the Whitewater case, was convicted again- of deceiving regulators by juggling $150,000 between accounts to appear solvent. Hale, who had been improperly protected from Ark. prosecutors by Starr for years, had defrauded poor blacks and pensioners in a $3.2 million insurance scheme. Hale also had received payments from Scaife, but because of 2 heart attacks and surgery... he only received 21 days jail (though he got 20 months before).

Starr’s malicious prosecution of Julie Steele has hit a major snag: Kathleen Willey friend Harolyn Cardoza has told the FBI that (as Steele testified) Willey sounded pleased and eager to be seeing the President and boasted she could become famous as a paramour of Clinton’s, comparing herself to Judith Exner. She also failed one of two lie detector tests. So there are 3 people now that say Willey wasn’t “shattered” by Clinton’s groping, as she so sanctimoniously claimed; but was thrilled and excited: Linda Tripp, Julie Steele, and Cardoza. If there is any justice, the judge in Steele’s perjury + obstruction of justice case will dismiss this case immediately and sanction and fine Starr big time. Starr’s ulterior motive for what was obviously a losing case was displayed when Steele testified in support of Susan McDougal: that Starr had (like with McDougal) pressured her to lie about Clinton. That corroboration of his abusive tactics was what he obviously was trying to forestall by charging Julie Steele. Now this disgrace is using the power of his office to intimidate and destroy anyone who criticizes him.

Straining for her 15 minutes, the forewoman of the 23 member Clinton/Monica grand jury smashed the remaining panes of grand jury secrecy in her AP interview where she said she would have indicted Clinton for perjury, though she “absolutely love(d) him”. In the insanely long 1 1/2 years the grand jury functioned, she hugged Monica, was kissed on the hand by Monica’s sponsor to the internship (HE must be proud) Walter Kaye, and she “felt badly for” poor Ken Starr. Guess what- she’s going to write a BOOK.


Mr. Bill, perhaps not leaving well enough alone, said in his Dan Rather interview that he didn’t consider his impeachment “some great badge of shame”, and that history would explain the political motives behind it. Maybe, but then what was that 4 months of abject groveling he was forced into by the peculiar requisites of our circus culture, apologizing to everyone including Monica (where is Gordon Liddy when you need him). Doesn’t that negate all that and expose him to more charges of hypocrisy and insincerity? Wait a minute, I’m on HIS side. His unrepentence may have been provocation for Judge Susan Webster to find him in civil contempt. How can you be found in contempt AFTER a trial? and what is civil contempt anyway- isn't it all criminal, since judges usually jail people instantly?
* from Saturday Night Live skit


We still are on track to bring petition to Reno (they still are coming in). Questioned Colin Powell + Mike McCurry at a recent business conference, and gave McCurry the petition book afterwards. I’d met him before in Moscow when he was still State Dept. spokesman. A friend in Hawaii met James (I’m right + they’re WRONG) Carvelle and got his info, so we’ll send it to him also, as well as Gore, whom we’ve had some previous correspondence with. Read interesting article about his town- Carvelle, LA., which has huge government leprosy hospital that’s now being closed, after imprisoning those people for decades, they’re being tossed into the world.


This Esquire has chilling article about OPERATION PIPELINE, the systematic program to trash the 4th amendment and subject millions to illegal searches on the highways. Some 30,000 police (mostly Highway Patrol) have been trained by this DEA program (originated by a Florida cop who was investigated by the Feds and alleged to have ripped off thousands from his victims), whose purpose is to find any excuse infraction to stop your car and pressure you into allowing them to search... or just doing it anyway. Most disquieting is their list of indicators that you might be carrying drugs, which include having a cellular phone or beeper, having an air freshener on your mirror, or “refusing to consent to a search”. In other words, objecting to an utterly illegal search, is considered proof of guilt. Just incidentally, up to 75% of the searched people are black or Hispanic- guilty of DWB (driving while black), resulting in several suits. Though they’ve only found drugs in 2-5% of searched cars, police defend the program, which gives them incredible leeway for abuse.


Coordinately, advocates of law + order are agitating for a nationwide database of DNA, which sounds like a nice idea until you remember NY State cops were accused of PLANTING FINGERPRINTS in dozens of cases. It’s much easier to plant a few drops of blood- maybe that’s what happened to OJ (though I’m inclined to believe he’s guilty as sin). Sheeplike Americans, who’ve found no compelling reason to object to the constitutional outrage of mandatory drug tests for stupid jobs, schools, even proms; probably won’t even put up much of a fight, as the very fabric of our being is put under the microscope at any bureaucrat’s idle whim. Guilty until proven innocent, the end result of which thinking was the Clinton Witchhunt. And in such massive lab work, wouldn’t there be frequent mix-ups, contamination, false positives? The Republicans, despite their lame rhetoric about getting government off the backs of people, are natural fascists; and the Democrats will also chop away liberty under the name of political correctness: witness cigarettes being treated as an illegal drug. Clinton’s heralded “deadbeat dads” measure that forces companies to report everyone’s SS #'s is another tool agencies are using to monitor and track citizens. Nonsense concerns with terrorism (terrorists have fake PASSPORTS- think they’d have a problem with a lousy state ID) means the government now can track where everyone goes or is by checking airline passenger lists. TV cameras tracks us in stores, banks, elevators, now street corners. We now have more people in prison than any country but Russia, almost 2 MILLION, about half on violence-free drug charges. Meanwhile via unconstitutional “taking” laws, police depts. administratively seize (steal) hundreds of thousands of cars, homes, and assets of anyone who has anything to do with drugs; an outrage that they’re now trying to extend to DWI. Land of the free??

With the growing integration of databases, erosion of privacy, and computerization of police + corporations; America is about 5 years from being a full-fledged police state. I fear that not enough people understand or care enough to stop it, because with the coarseness of the growing mediaization and carnivalization of our lives... who will even notice?


In Kosovo, I think we should finally hunt down that brushy-headed bastard Milosovic who started this nationalistic garbage back in ‘87 (+ the other war criminals), though of course there are big questions why we should intervene there as opposed to Rwanda, or Indonesia, or North Korea, where as many as 2 million have died of starvation only because of the pathological secrecy of the paranoid scum leadership (working on a commentary piece on this). Essentially it’s because it’s in the media, in the middle of NATO, and threatens to involve Greece + Turkey- both NATO members and bitter enemies; if we can’t stop genocide there- where can we? (Spent several months in Greece in '92- the Greeks were then threatening war over the Macedonians just using the NAME as their country.) On 3 major fault lines of empire: Moslem + Christian, Slavic and Western, Ottoman and Habsburg, capitalist and communist: the hatreds extend back 900 years and all parties have been reprehensible at some point. The hard-core Serbs are particularly distasteful: whining how they’re persecuted as they’re slaughtering unarmed civilians. We and the UN declared Srebenicka a “safe refuge”, then did nothing as the Serbs murdered 7000 people. These lunatics are avenging scores from 1389, when the Moslems won a decisive victory in the 1st (2nd?) battle of Kosovo and dominated Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia for 500 hundred years. The “Balkan obsession with suffering and pride” and “interest in nowhere plainer than among the Serbs” and “may find it’s truest expression in defeat” according to a book I have on the Balkans. It’s virtually impossible to beat people who idealize bloody noble defeats.

We are now #1 in Yahoo search for "FIRE STARR".