....but Webb's death had its roots in his fateful decision eight years earlier to write a three-part series for the San Jose Mercury News that challenged a potent conventional wisdom shared by the elite U.S. news organizations - that one of the most shocking scandals of the 1980s just couldn't have been true:
Gary Webb's Death: American Tragedy
by Robert Parry 12-10-06
When Americans ask me what happened to the vaunted U.S. press corps over the past three decades - in the decline from its heyday of the Watergate scandal and the Pentagon Papers to its failure to challenge the Iraq WMD lies or to hold George W. Bush accountable - I often recall for them the story of Gary Webb.
Two years ago, on the night of Dec. 9, 2004, investigative reporter Webb - his career shattered and his life in ruins - typed out four suicide notes for his family, laid out a certificate for his cremation, put a note on the door suggesting a call to 911, and removed his father's handgun from a box.
The 49-year-old Webb, a divorced father of three who was living alone in a rental house in Sacramento County, California, then raised the gun and shot himself in the head. The first shot was not lethal, so he fired once more.
His body was found the next day after movers who were scheduled to clear out Webb's rental house, arrived and followed the instructions from the note on the door.
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