Everyone please don your tinfoil hats in earnest now, because this story has all the elements of a really strange murder mystery.
Aubrey McClendon is a wildcatter and the former CEO of Chesapeake Energy. He's also a rabid right-wing funder of all sorts of causes for the oil industry, according to PolluterWatch. McClendon has been a major funder of hard-right candidates and campaigns for years. He was also one of the funders of the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry in 2004.
On Tuesday, a federal indictment was brought against McClendon for conspiracy to suppress oil and gas lease prices.
The Justice Department announced Tuesday night that it had charged Aubrey K. McClendon, an Oklahoma wildcatter whoturbocharged the shale revolution by buying up gas fields across the United States, with conspiring to suppress prices paid for oil and natural gas leases.
The indictment says that Mr. McClendon, who ledChesapeake Energy before he was forced to step down three years ago, orchestrated a conspiracy in which two oil and gas companies colluded not to bid against each other for the purchase of several leases in northwestern Oklahoma from late 2007 to early 2012.
According to the Justice Department, the companies decided who would win the leases, with the winning bidder allotting an interest in the leases to the other company.
“McClendon instructed his subordinates to execute the conspiratorial agreement, which included, among other things, withdrawing bids for certain leases and agreeing on the allocation of interests in the leases between the conspiring companies,” the department said in a statement.
On Wednesday morning, McClendon died in a crash where the one eyewitness said it was as if he "drove into the wall" at a high rate of speed.
Police officers confirm that a man killed in a car wreck early Wednesday morning is the former CEO of Chesapeake Aubrey McClendon.
On Wednesday afternoon, KFOR learned that the driver of that vehicle was Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO of Chesapeake.
Officials with the Oklahoma City Police Department held a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, confirming the fatality is McClendon.
Capt. Paco Balderrama says police are still investigating the crash, but added that he was traveling at well over the posted speed limit.
Balderrama says McClendon died instantly from the crash. After that, the 2013 Chevy Tahoe caught on fire.
“He pretty much drove straight into the wall.
It seems like a straightforward suicide attempt, at least on the surface. But those conspiracy charges, hmmmm. That suggests he might have some folks who would have liked to have kept him from squealing. On the other hand, it could be just what it is. I'm sure Alex Jones will concoct a great conspiracy theory, though.
I'll let you know if more surfaces on this. For now, some chickens came home to roost in one way or another.
MORE: Ex-Chesapeake CEO McClendon's car had "plenty of opportunity to get back on the roadway and that didn't occur": police
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) March 2, 2016