Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mika and "Morning Joe" are getting married, but photo surfaces of Lori Klausutis and draws reminders to a dark moment in Joe Scarborough's history

Lori Klausutis
The engagement of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski is the hot celebrity-media story of the moment. But a related story -- the unearthing of a photograph of Lori Klausutis -- might prove to be of much greater significance.

Who is Lori Klausutis, and how does she connect to the co-stars of MSNBC's Morning Joe?  Klausutis was the 28-year-old staff member who was found dead in Scarborough's office in summer 2001, when he was a Republican Congressman from Florida. Klausutis' death was classified as accidental, the result of an undiagnosed heart defect that caused her to fall and hit her head on a desk. But we have researched a number of articles that have been written, and evidence strongly suggests that Lori Klausutis' death was not an accident.

The story largely was ignored by the national press -- "covered up" might be a better term -- and that is a major reason no photograph of Klausutis could be found on the Web, until recently.

It's not clear how the photograph surfaced, but it appears to have come from a post at, possibly via a yearbook at the University of Georgia, where Klausuitis (then Lori Bolterstein) went to college. The reddit post is titled "My name is Lori Klausutis -- I was an Intern for Joe Scarborough but I was found dead in his office and nobody remembers."

Ironically, the post is based largely on a piece we published in September 2012 -- "Autopsy in Joe Scarborough Country Leaves Out Key Detail About the Mysterious Death of Lori Klausutis." From our post:

The autopsy of Lori Klausutis makes no reference to a time of death. That raises new questions about an investigation that started when the 28-year-old woman's body was found in the office of then U.S. Representative Joe Scarborough in summer 2001.

Accidental death was the official finding in the Klausutis case, with a cardiac arrhythmia causing her to fall and hit her head on a desk. But the recent discovery of human remains at a storage unit in Pensacola, Florida, casts doubt on that ruling. That's because the storage unit was rented by Dr. Michael Berkland, the man who conducted the Klausutis autopsy 11 years earlier.

Berkland now faces a felony charge of improper storage of hazardous waste, and the grisly nature of the discovery calls his competence--and perhaps his sanity--into question.

Was the Lori Klausutis autopsy conducted in a professional manner? Was foul play prematurely ruled out? Should the investigation be reopened, perhaps with renewed scrutiny for Scarborough and others who might have had access to his office at the time?

Why does time of death matter in a case like this? From our post:

Many Morning Joe viewers probably have forgotten, or never knew, that the body of a female aide once was found in Scarborough's Congressional office. Investigators quickly saw that a blow to the head, delivered accidentally or intentionally, was involved in Lori Klausutis' death. So it's hard to figure why the autopsy makes no reference to time of death. . . .

Why is that a key omission? Consider this from an online document titled "Determining Time of Death (TOD)":

Why is it important to know the time of death?

•TOD can set the time of murder

•Eliminate or suggest suspects

•Confirm or disprove alibis

Why did Berkland not include this critical detail? It's not as if his report does not provide plenty of other details. He tells us that Klausutis was wearing a white thong on the day of her death. (Page 7.) He tells us that she had a "shaved genital region." (Page 8.) But no time of death?

Mika Brzezinski is a big girl, and she does not need our advice. But I would not want to be in her shoes. Is she about to marry a murderer? We don't know that, but we do know that Lori Klausutis' death almost certainly was not an accident -- and there is no sign that anyone with the slightest bit of competence has investigated her death.

Joe and Mika
If Joe Scarborough did not kill Klausutis, the odds are strong that he knows who did. That would make "Morning Joe" an accomplice. Also, we know this about Scarborough:

* He's from the southeast Alabama/northwest Florida area, which we have called America's "Corridor of Corruption";

* He went to the University of Alabama, which might be the sleaziest campus in the country, driven by its infamous "Machine" politics;

* He is best buds with Rob "Uday" Riley, who might be the nastiest political snake ever created. And if Rob doesn't hold that title, his father, Bob Riley, almost certainly does;

* Alabama was a beset with a series of peculiar political deaths during Bob Riley's time as governor. There is much evidence to suggest the Rileys see murder as a possible solution to a political problem. And Joe Scarborough once pushed Bob Riley as a presidential candidate?

Makes you wonder.


Anonymous said...

So, we finally know what Lori Klausutis looked like. Good work, Schnauzer.

Anonymous said...

Even if he isn't a murderer, Morning Joe has been married and divorced twice already, so he's not exactly a great catch, even if you agree with his politics -- and I don't.

Anonymous said...

Have all the hot lights and makeup of television caused Mika to lose her mind.

S C said...

It's great you're bringing attention to this 'case'. It never set right with me. Florida politics might even put Bama to shame.

legalschnauzer said...

S.C. --

Good point. It's hard to believe it's coming up on 16 years since Ms. Klausutis' death. Must be incredibly difficult for her loved ones to live without knowing what really happened to her. Lack of closure.

Anonymous said...

Lots of crazy stuff happens in that Pensacola/Fort Walton/Panama City area. As you say, it's a "Corridor of Corruption," extending up into Alabama's Wiregrass, etc.

Anonymous said...

How does a loon like Dr. Berkland ever become a medical examiner? If a semi sane and competent ME had handled this investigation, the suspicions about Scarborough might have gone away. But they will never go away as long as Berkland's work remains central to the investigation.

Anonymous said...

I figured Lori K was cute, perky, and athletic looking. Right on all counts. I'm also guessing she had a mighty fine figure that caught the attention of an evil bastard.

Anonymous said...

LS...did I miss the actual autopsy report? I tried to go back to your previous article and it says that the document is deleted by owner. It may not matter much, but it would be interesting to see the whole autopsy report. Not trying to tell you how to run your blog...just a curious reader.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:50 --

No you aren't missing it. It's one of many documents that were lost when Ashley Madison bots attacked the blog and caused Scribed to wrongfully delete my account. Hope to sue both AM and Scribd for theft of intellectual property. Sorry material like that now is missing, but hope to have it back before too long. Price you pay for reporting accurately about Ashley Madison.

Anonymous said...

Do you think that Morning Wood led Morning Joe to Kill Ms. Klausutis? They did find her around 8am ish?

S C said...

The report isn't cached anywhere? Seems odd they can wipe the cache files--scary...

legalschnauzer said...

@7:23 --

Hah! It's hard to find much amusing about this story, but you managed to do it. Funny line. I guess Morning Wood comes first, followed by Morning Joe? In Scarborough's case, maybe the order was Morning Wood, Morning Murder, Morning Joe?

legalschnauzer said...

S.C. --

Yes, it is odd/scary. I had it in my Scribd account, along with hundreds of other documents, until someone caused Scribd to delete my account without warning. I think Ashley Madison bots or Trumpistas -- or both -- were behind that. Hope to get the files back at some point, but for now, they are MIA. It's quite possible that Roger Stone and/or sleaze balls connected to him were involved in my Scribd theft case. As you know, he's now in FBI cross hairs for collusion with Russia.

Anonymous said...

Any reason to believe Joe is mobbed up?

legalschnauzer said...

@11:25 --

I don't know. That kind of thing is above my pay grade. What do you think?

legalschnauzer said...

Memo to "Kate":

I don't remember you. Is there some reason I should?

Anonymous said...

Mika might want to be looking over her shoulder...especially after Woody Joe confessing his evil deeds in a moment of emotional weakness.

Anonymous said...

@11:15 --

I had not heard of Joe's confession. To what did he confess?

Anonymous said...

Please somebody hold Joe accountable. He really is a dark man that only cares about himself. I was actually around his 1st CD campaign and he only cares about people noticing him and women finding him attractive.
These comments on Imus show his true character.
“On May 29, 2003, Scarborough appeared on Don Imus’s radio show. While complimenting Scarborough on his sense of humor, Imus said, “Don’t be afraid to be funny, because you are funny. I asked you why you aren’t in Congress. You said that you had sex with the intern, and then you had to kill her.” Scarborough laughed and replied, “Yeah, well, what are you gonna do?”
He was/is well know around Pensacola for less than "good" behavior and well never live their again and who says you can't run from your past. He did a really good job of reinventing himself.