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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Was Major Bashinsky the Target of Attempted Extortion Before He Died?

Sloan Y. Bashinsky Jr.

Alabama lawyer Major Bashinsky killed himself because someone was about to "out" him as bisexual, according to a recent blog post by his older brother, Sloan Y. Bashinsky Jr.

This information, by itself, is not news. Sloan Bashsinky Jr. has written it several times on various blogs from his base in Key West, Florida. The most recent post, titled "Major Bashinsky Suicide Redoubt," was published on July 1 at GoodMorningBirmingham.com. That came 11 days after my post titled "Was Major Bashinsky's Death Connected to a Lawsuit Involving Oil and Millions of Dollars?"

Bashinsky Jr. seems to make a hobby of trying to rebut my work, and this was just the latest example. I show that there are ample reasons to doubt the official finding of suicide in Major Bashinsky's death, while the deceased's older brother says, "Nope, move along, nothing to see here. He was bisexual, couldn't bear the thought of his Mountain Brook image being sullied, and shot himself in the head while trying to make it look like a murder."

The Web, of course, is a fine place for spirited debate on matters both big and small. But Bashinsky Jr.'s recent post, the most explicit so far on what he believes caused his brother's death, raises a big question: Was Major Bashinsky the victim of a crime?

I'm not talking about murder--although my review of the public record convinces me that the odds are at least 50-50 that he was murdered. No, I'm talking about extortion, what is sometimes called blackmail.

Here is one legal definition of blackmail:

Blackmail is the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging information about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless money is paid to purchase silence. It is a form of extortion. Because the information is usually substantially true, it is not revealing the information that is criminal, but demanding money to withhold it.

Alabama is one of several states that does not recognize a separate crime for blackmail, rather encompassing it under a statute for extortion (Code of Alabama 13A-8-13). Bashinsky Jr. seems to be describing a clear act of blackmail, but it apparently took place in Alabama, so we will use the term extortion.

In the most recent post about his brother, Bashinsky Jr. writes of a woman who claims to have knowledge of Major's secret gay life:

Recently, I received an email from out of the blue from someone who once had lived in Birmingham and who once had a gay friend who had invited her to a gay gathering in Birmingham. She was not gay, but went to the gathering for reasons she explained, which made sense to me but are not relevant to this telling. She said she learned after arriving at the gathering that it consisted of gay Birmingham men, some pretty well fixed in business and/or prominent Birmingham families, etc. One of the men she was told was so deep in the closet, that … She was told he was one of the Golden Flake owner’s sons … He had a nick name she thought might be a former US President’s … She wrote reams to me about her experiences with these men, fostered by her knowing one of them. She did not report getting to know Major, but her friend in the group told her a good bit about Major’s general and very involved relationship with that circle. It was all news to me, but it was not news to me that Major had a secret gay life. I had known that since around 1970. My first four wives also knew it. He did not tell us directly, but indirectly he told us without even realizing it.

Bashinsky Jr. uses this information to support the theory that his brother killed himself because he feared being outed:

My correspondent made me promise ahead of time not to write about what she was going to tell me, which I suspected was about Major being bi-sexual. That put me in a serious bind because her news was the first solid human evidence Major had a secret gay life in Birmingham. I had gone way out on a limb in numerous posts after Major went missing and his body was later found in the pond at the bottom of hole #1 on Highland Golf Course, writing Major killed himself and tried to make it look like someone else did it because he was bi-sexual and someone was going to out him and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

The post provides no clues about who wanted to out Major Bashinsky and why. It also provides no direct clues about how this person came to possess such information. But it does say that the younger Bashinsky was traumatized because "there was nothing he could do to stop it."

That hints this went beyond mere gossip. It suggests there was powerful evidence that could be distributed and cause Major Bashinsky significant embarrassment.

Why would someone do this? The post does not say, but Major Bashinsky was a wealthy man--and he came from a family with one of Alabama's most substantial business fortunes--so it appears the motive was money. And that would be a crime.

Taking Sloan Bashinsky Jr.'s theory as true, here are key questions that come to mind: What kind of evidence could prove that Major Bashinsky was bisexual, how did he become aware of the evidence, and how did someone threaten to distribute it?

Let's do a little common-sense psychological/legal analysis here: If I get word that someone is spreading potentially embarrassing information about me, the first question to myself would be, "Is this true or not?" If it's not true, I probably would shrug and not worry about it. I could, however, take legal action to stop it--and as a lawyer, Major Bashinsky certainly would have known how to do this. If it is true, I probably would see no reason to worry about it unless my antagonist had absolute proof. And I would ask myself, "How could they have proof?"

If my problem was a matter of public record, there would not be much I could do about it. I probably would just say, "Well, I screwed up back when, it's out there now, we'll see what happens." But if it was not something that could be found in public documents, how would the person have proof?

That's my primary question about Sloan Bashinsky Jr.'s version of events. Why would Major Bashinsky be shaken up about this information, assuming it was true, unless someone with ill intent had absolute proof--in the form of a photograph, an audiotape, a videotape?

How would someone get such proof? My guess is that it would take professional experience and resources to get it done--someone, either an individual or an organization, with high-level knowledge of surveillance.

That kind of thing costs money. And that tells me someone had serious motivation--a need to get leverage over a member of the Bashinsky family, for some reason. And that reason probably involved big bucks.

Sloan Bashinsky Jr. has a law degree, and he's a bright guy--I've read two of his books on legal issues--so he has to know that he is strongly hinting at criminal activity. And he knows this activity had ugly consequences--by his own account, it led to his brother's death.

So why, upon reading the post from GoodMorningBirmingham.com, do you get the uneasy feeling that Sloan Bashinsky Jr. is not particularly concerned about it? Why do you get the feeling that he hasn't reported anything to authorities? Why do you get the feeling that it hasn't even crossed his mind?


Anonymous said...

You use the word FEELING, LS.

I say the word, INTUITION.

My learning is in every cell of the body, our HUMAN MIND in the cosmic sense of FEELING what is "RIGHT" AND "WRONG," "INTUITION," IS VERY REAL.

Call it our "moral compass!"



This is the glaring intuitive VIBE that caught my attention.

Why did Jr. have to let the "others" that were-are studying this case know he was married FIRST FOUR? How many more?



legalschnauzer said...

I found it curious that Sloan Jr.'s first four wives would know about Major's bisexuality. How would they know? I assume only because Sloan Jr. told them?

This would make more sense if Sloan Jr. had said that Major's wives--he had two, I believe--knew of his bisexuality. But how would Sloan Jr.'s wives have any knowledge of this.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he has been threatened himself and he refuses to admit that it looks like a mafia hit instead of suicide. I have always found the whole matter suspicious. My main question is how could someone lay in the pond for as long as Major did and not be seen? Who in this day and time cares if they are outed at a homosexual or bisexual? Who cares????? That does not seem to be a reason to commit suicide. Just say none of your business and go on about your business. What is the old saying.. You can only have a secret between two people if one is dead? So somebody down the line was going to tell. I would have just said "go ahead and tell." Called their bluff.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:42--

I agree with you. If Major B was bi--and I don't know if he was or wasn't--he was 63 years old and had lived with this issue for a long time, so why lose it over someone's threat to tell? Major B had a gorgeous house on a Bham Country Club fairway, a very attractive wife, two young kids, two older kids, a successful law practice (it appears), and no apparent money problems. The autopsy report shows he was a healthy guy, with a slight cholesterol problem. He had a lot to live for, best I can tell. I talked with him briefly on the phone to ask about a legal matter one time, and he did not seem like the type to scare easily. Was abrupt, terse, not very friendly, and pretty arrogant. In fact, he was one of the coldest sounding individuals I've ever spoken with on the phone. He certainly did not come across as someone who would curl up in a ball over someone supposedly outing him as bi. As you state, I could see him saying, "Go ahead and tell. Make my day." And if legal action was required, he would know how to take it.

jeffrey spruill said...

The Bashinsky family was embroiled in a contentious lawsuit with a rather convenient settlement on March 1, 2010 for $300,000.

Think Sloan Bashinsky Jr. is doing everything to placate W&H Investments?

These guys sound as if they're REAL gangsters.

legalschnauzer said...

Sloan B writes in his recent post that "Chip clearly loved my father." I bet he did. I would love someone's father, too, if he invested $37 million with me and never forced me to keep any sort of books about it--and proceeds from those investments helped me live in a Mountain Brook mansion.

Anonymous said...

There are countless Bisexual humans in Heterosexual "secret" relationships. Since the beginning of time and in the U.S.? Since the beginning of time, too.

THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYNDICATE [Fed] does not allow one cent to be transacted in the U.S. without tracking and tracing the "money."

America is owned by REAL GANGSTERS alright and the name is the "Fed."

Thirty-seven MILLION dollars was a huge sum and the Fed's "people" are, I can almost bet 37mil on it, all bi and in on this big one.

Study Louis Brandeis who penned the Fed into our nanny state that has not been other than the same kind of nanny that decided Major was a liability and no longer an asset in the "family."

Where is the book review? THE WANDERING WHO, by Gilad Atzmon.

These kind of "happenings" like Major's are indeed an agenda to be certain the curtain stays up while the show goes on.

Busy counting wives, children, real estate and of course "money."

The money has been America's biggest problem to solve and we are not "progressing," except for reporting by the Legal Schnauzer moral compass people - be careful!

Anonymous said...

I was Majors room mate in 1965. We lived at the Denny Court apartments right across the street from the stadium. We spent a lot of time together and had many parties and other activities at our apt. There were many girls and a lot of fun! I can assure you that if Major was bisexual I would have known it. He was not!! I was a guest at Majors home in Mountian Brook on several occasions and he visited with my family in Memphis where he had relatives. Major was an unusual guy and that is what made him so interesting. He had a great laugh!! Gary McCrory

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for sharing, Gary. As you probably know, Major's older brother is the one who has spread the bisexual stuff. Feel free to contact me at my private e-mail--rshuler3156@gmail.com--if you would like to communicate further. I see nothing in the official story that makes me think Major committed suicide.