At 12:30am on the morning he died, an agitated Michael Hastings went to his neighbor and friend Jordanna Thigpen and asked to borrow her car. He said he was afraid to drive his own car, because he believed that someone had been tampering with it. "He was scared, and he wanted to leave town," Thigpen recalls. But she declined, saying her car was having mechanical problems. When she woke up, Hastings was dead, his car having crashed into a tree.
That story leads a lengthy LA Weekly feature sure to throw a dash of gasoline on the smoldering conspiracy theories surrounding Hastings' death. It depicts Hastings as troubled—particularly by the surveillance he believed he was under. He believed, for instance, that the helicopters that frequented the hills near his Santa Cruz home were watching him. "The NSA stuff … really rocked him," one editor said. "I'm not a doctor, but he certainly was agitated in the last day or two of his life." He was also using marijuana to treat his PTSD, and once told his brother he thought he could jump off his balcony and be unharmed. (Click for more on Hastings' reported drug use.)