|Sloan Bashinsky Jr.|
Major Bashinsky's older brother strongly hints in a recent blog post that he knows who caused the Alabama lawyer's death in March 2010.
Sloan Y. Bashinsky Jr. has written several blogs from his base in Key West, Florida, and has consistently stated that he supports the official finding of suicide in his brother's death. Here at Legal Schnauzer, meanwhile, we have written a series of posts showing numerous reasons to doubt the medical examiner's findings.
Major Bashinsky, according to his brother, was bisexual and killed himself--trying to make it look like murder--because he was convinced someone was about to out him as having a secret gay life. Sloan Bashinsky has used his blogs to share different versions of this theory almost from the moment Major's body was discovered in a water hazard at Birmingham's Highland Park Golf Course on March 15, 2010.
But Sloan Bashinsky recently took it a step further on his blog Good Morning Birmingham. In a post with a lengthy, grammatically challenged title--"theravenspeaks wanders into the deep end, accusing me of causing my younger brother Major to kill himself"--Bashinsky hints that he knows the identity of the person who drove Major to suicide.
That points to a possible crime and again raises a question that we addressed in a recent post: Has Sloan Bashinsky reported this information to authorities? And if not, why not?
For the purposes of this post, we will assume that Sloan Bashinsky is right, and I am wrong about the manner of death in the Major Bashinsky case; we will assume that Major Bashinsky killed himself. Under either scenario, however, it appears a crime was involved. The death clearly was not an accident, and my reporting raises questions about the suicide finding, so that brings murder into the equation. Sloan Bashinsky discounts murder, but he points to other possible crimes--especially extortion or, at the least, harassing communications.
What prompted Sloan's recent revealing post? He received an e-mail from a reader who calls himself "theravenspeaks." This gentleman, in eloquent but firm language, accused Sloan of threatening to out Major and causing his suicide.
Sloan, naturally, took exception to such accusations. But in the process of defending himself, he revealed an awful lot about someone else. That person's identity remains unknown to the reader, but it sure appears to be known to Sloan. Consider this from the post:
When Major’s body was found, my father’s widow hired a body guard round the clock. My sister and Major’s wife and older children also probably wondered if they were next to be killed, if the anonymous letter writer’s demands were not met. It was a blessing the coroner and local police department ruled it suicide made to look like murder. They made that ruling about two weeks after I started posting it was suicide made to look like murder.
I caught hell for doing that. I caught hell for explaining even before the coroner and local pd came out with their suicide finding, that Major had done himself in because someone was going to out him for being bisexual, who could prove it, and there was nothing Major could do to stop it, and since his image was the most important thing to him, which everyone who knew him well, knew, he contrived his exit to look like murder.
This is a fascinating piece of writing. We learn how a wealthy family reacts--or at least how one wealthy family reacts--when a member dies under suspicious circumstances. We learn that the first instinct of certain family members was to think that Major had been murdered, and that they were in danger, too; they apparently saw no signs that he was a threat to kill himself. We learn that the family apparently had no confidence in the ability of law enforcement to protect them. Also, this scenario hints that the family felt under siege for some reason, that it was involved in controversy and had attracted the kind of enemies that might resort to lethal tactics.
The post then becomes even more fascinating:
I had no proof Major was bisexual. He knew I had no proof, and he knew I knew. He knew his first wife knew, and she had no proof. We were no threat to him. But the person who was going to out him was a very serious threat. Major was the toughest, meanest person I had known. No way he buckled to worrying what his brother and first wife knew, and to what others knew, for we were not the only straight people in Birmingham who knew.
The person who was about to out Major had it in for him. Something very nasty had happened between them. It was very personal. And it was very real.
Consider the first segment in bold above: Sloan tells us that Major had an enemy with a nasty disposition, someone who was a "very serious threat" to him.
Now, let's consider the second segment in bold. Sloan knows why this person "had it in" for Major. Sloan knows of a specific event--something "very nasty" and "very personal" had happened between them. In his own words, Sloan Bashinsky seems to be saying that he knows who pushed his brother to commit suicide--and why.
Sloan has a law degree, so he has to know this involves possible criminal behavior--that it at least merits a thorough investigation. If there was communication between Major and his antagonist that involved the U.S. mails or wires, that probably would make it a federal matter.
Even if criminal issues were not involved, Sloan's words suggest that someone has civil liability in the death of Major Bashinsky. Major had two children in their 20s or so from his first marriage, and he had two young children with Leslie Hewett Bashinsky, his second wife and widow.
Major's children and his wife have been deprived of his presence and support, and they would stand to have powerful claims in a wrongful-death action.
Has Sloan Bashinsky spoken with law-enforcement authorities? At the very least, has he used his knowledge--both legal and factual--to help Major's heirs seek justice against someone who intervened in their lives with tragic consequences?