Disclaimer for any government officials, mobsters, or assassins in general reading this: We don't really believe that any of the following conspiracy theories about mysterious deaths are true, disturbingly compelling though they may be. We're only funning around here. With that out of the way, here's some shady shit that definitely went down:
Gareth Williams was a code-breaker for MI6, the same British spy agency that funds James Bond's martinis and syphilis shots. He collaborated with the NSA to help thwart planned terrorist attacks in Berlin, Paris, and London. Obviously, with a job like that, an early death isn't completely unexpected. What was unexpected was where Williams turned up dead:
Via The Telegraph
Pictured: Gareth Williams. Also some socks and a tennis racket, probably.
In August 2010, only a week before Williams was due to be transferred to another agency, his body was found zipped inside a red North Face sports bag that had been locked from the outside. As in, literally locked with a small padlock, like this one. Because that wasn't weird enough, the bag had also been placed in Williams' bathtub. At first, authorities claimed that someone else would have to have been present for this to be possible, because duh ... but then in November 2013, they changed their mind, saying he probably did it himself. Somehow.
Erik Snyder/Photodisc/Getty Images
"It's pretty obvious," said the police captain, from his brand-new gold-covered yacht.
Is it even possible to bag and lock yourself like that? After 300 failed attempts to replicate such a feat, experts told the cops that it is in theory, but not without leaving some trace of DNA on the lock or on the bathtub. Which Williams didn't. In fact, there was barely any DNA evidence in Williams' apartment at all, leaving us with two options: A) he used Jedi and/or Harry Potter powers to move things without touching them, or B) someone gave the place a science-proof scrub.
Meanwhile, the police pointed out that Williams reportedly owned women's clothes and "visited bondage websites," implying that this was some weird sex thing. In that case, wouldn't there be DNA everywhere?
PA, via Independent.IE
"Looks like he subscribed to the LockingYourselfInDuffelBags subreddit. Case closed."
Add to this how Williams was unhappy at work and had been talking about quitting MI6, and that his bosses took a week to report his disappearance (which conveniently made it harder to determine his cause of death), and yeah, a paranoid person could think that instead of giving him a retirement package, they decided to turn him into one. Good thing American agencies would never pull any shit like that, huh?
Practical jokes are the lifeblood of the American workplace. Who hasn't hidden a co-worker's stapler, or changed their desktop image to something wacky, or spiked their drink with LSD as part of a mind control experiment? That last one seriously happened to CIA employee Frank Olson, who took the LSD without his knowledge and had a pretty bad trip, meaning he jumped out of a 10th story window.
Via H.P. Albarelli Jr
Coming down is always the worst part.
And that's only the official story. According to Olson's family, the CIA is hiding something even more fucked up.
As we've told you before, the CIA went through a period starting in the '50s during which they thought it would be cool to secretly slip people acid to see what happened. Frank Olson worked for the agency during that time as a bacteriologist and biological warfare scientist -- hard work they rewarded by drugging his ass off. According to the CIA, Olson was unable to deal with the effects of the LSD and committed suicide nine days later in the midst of a nervous breakdown. Again, the government has admitted all of this happened -- Gerald Ford personally apologized to Olson's family for that little workplace mishap.
"Hey, why haven't you touched your sodas?"
But the family ain't buying it. They say that Olson suddenly wanted to leave the CIA after a trip to Europe. He allegedly told people that he witnessed the same deadly biological agents he'd helped develop being used in interrogations that went well beyond the traditional good cop/bad cop techniques. His wife remembers an anguished Olson saying he made "a terrible mistake."
So in one hand the CIA have this scientist who's having second thoughts, and in the other they have this new drug that they're planning to use to delete agents' memories, Men in Black-style. Hmmm. After that, they sent Olson to New York for a psychological evaluation and put this supposedly mentally unbalanced man on a 10th floor with a chaperone ... who was shocked, utterly shocked, when he decided to eject himself through a closed window. The building's operator says she overheard the other agent make a phone call that went like this: "He's gone." "That's too bad."
"So ... Chinese for lunch?"
"Eh, I don't trust that MSG they put in it."
If you take away one lesson from this article, let it be this: Never tell anyone you're about to quit your government job. Just move to Uruguay and don't look back.
Karen Silkwood was part of a long tradition of employees who "borrow" stuff from their job and take it home -- in her case, plutonium radiation. The good news is that she didn't grow any extra arms or give birth to green babies. The bad news is that she didn't have a chance to, because a week later she died in a car crash.
Via UMKC School of Law
Unfortunately, the dosage of radiation wasn't enough to turn her into She-Hulk.
Man, talk about having bad luck, huh? That or murderous bosses. One of the two.
Silkwood worked at a Kerr-McGee nuclear fuel plant in Oklahoma and had been speaking up about the poor health and safety conditions there. As it turned out, she was on to something. One day, while wrapping up work, she did a routine self-check and tested positive for plutonium contamination. They even found traces of radiation at her home. You know when you look at an old bologna sandwich in the back of your fridge and think, "Ugh, that looks radioactive"? Well, that happened to her in a more literal sense.
"On the plus side, it doubled the half-life of my leftovers."
Naturally, Silkwood thought this was some major bullshit and wanted to go public with it. She contacted David Burnham of the New York Times, gathered some evidence about the extreme negligence of the power plant, and on November 13, 1974, drove out to meet the reporter. And what do you know, that's when she had a car accident so bad, the evidence she was carrying against Kerr-McGee apparently evaporated, because by the time the police discovered her body, it was gone.
Quaaludes were found in Silkwood's car, and twice the recommended dosage in her blood, which is enough to transform full-grown adults into drooling babies. However, as you all know, when you throw a drooling baby into a wall or out of a window, they tend to land floppily, and as a result incur less damage to their bodies. Silkwood's injuries, on the other hand, had all the signs of someone who was very alert and tense upon impact. Also, her bumper had evidence of rubber and dents, almost as if someone had rammed her off the road. Or exactly as if someone had rammed her off the road.
The Romero Institute
Kerr-McGee's involvement in the "accident" was never proven, but at least they ended up paying $1.38 million to Silkwood's family for the "getting poisoned" thing, and Silkwood was portrayed by Meryl Streep in a major motion picture. We're pretty sure she'd rather be alive than famous, but still, that's something.