Seth Rich was an innocent man who was drawn into a number of conspiracy theories.
Beautifully sitting in the top 10 trending Netflix tapes that are docu series right now Network Believe: Death, Lies, and the Internet. The six-part film, co-produced by Ron Howard, has opened audiences’ eyes to the dark and criminal side of the Internet – with a different episode exploring a new cyber issue.
The first episode introduced us to Tyler Press (Opens in a new tab) And 2017 Wichita swatting, while I heard Episode 4 of sextorter victims Ryan Vallee (Opens in a new tab). But it’s the second episode and the murder of Seth Rich that we uncover here. From who the police believe killed him to the MAD conspiracy theories that followed, we’ve broken down the need to know the details.
Who killed Seth Rich?
The murder of Seth Rich remains an open and unsolved case. But the Washington DC police that investigated his death still confirmed this Seth is killed by two unknown men who shoot him during an armed robbery, and he goes bad.
“Police say they believe the murder of Seth Rich was the result of a botched robbery at gunpoint,” NPR reporter David Folkenflick, who also contributed to the believe network documentary.
The Washington Post’s Keith L. Alexander agrees: “They believe – according to their sources and investigations – that Seth Rich was part of another random burglary. One random burglary that got worse,” he said in a video report. (Opens in a new tab).
“They believe that while Rich was drinking, when these individuals approached him with a gun to steal it – he resisted, rather than giving away his wallet, watch or valuables. Because he resisted, the assailants shot him and then fled.”
Several burglaries occurred in the Bloomingdale neighborhood – where Seth lived and was shot – days, weeks, and even a month before his death. He died of two bullet wounds in the back at about 4:19 am on July 10, 2016. He was returning home from a late drink at the pub.
Authorities in the Metropolitan Police Department immediately linked Seth’s death to these incidents. “We are aware of burglaries from that particular area. We look forward to the commonalities with the robberies and our cause,” Capt. Anthony Heath of the Metro Police Homicide Branch said during a news conference a day after the shooting.
Investigators are still actively working on Seth Rich’s case and continue to appeal to potential clients or any relevant information.
Who was Seth Rich?
Seth Conrad Rich was 27 years old An employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, he moved to Washington, D.C. shortly after graduating from college to start his career in politics.
According to Vox (Opens in a new tab)Seth’s first role in DC was in Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (Opens in a new tab) – A consulting company for opinion polls that conducts opinion and market research. After that he joined the DNC, where his job included helping people understand how to vote.
“His heart and soul were in the process of registering voters and getting the registration right,” Seth’s mother Mary said in a Netflix documentary. For him, everyone should vote.
Politics has always been a great passion for Rich. Vox reports that Seth has also volunteered to help with two Senate Democratic campaigns.
Mary Rich said in her book: believe network.
Why conspiracy theories?
It was Seth Rich’s career as an employee of the Democratic National Committee that eventually gave rise to conspiracy theories Allegedly Seth’s death was a premeditated attack linked to his political role.
The timing of Seth’s murder in July 2016 coincided with the race for the presidency of the United States that year. Donald Trump (and future president) was the front-runner for the Republicans, while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battled as representatives of the Democrats.
Theory 1. Hillary Clinton
According to a US federal officer in the Rich case, (Opens in a new tab), a Russian foreign intelligence service – called the SVR – sent out a bulletin three days after the murder. She claimed that Clinton’s “assassination squad” was behind his death. This in particular was the first conspiracy theory to emerge.
“The alleged details in the SVR account seem improbable on their face: that Rich, the data director for the DNC’s voter protection division, was on his way to alert the FBI to Clinton’s corrupt dealings when he was killed in the early hours of Sunday morning by the assassination squad to the former Secretary of State,” explains Yahoo News’ investigative reporter (Opens in a new tab) Michael Isikoff.
Numerous investigations and federal prosecutors have concluded that this claim is unfounded and untrue.
Theory 2. WikiLeaks and Fox News
Nearly a month after his death, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speculated that Seth Rich had been serving as the source for the anti-secrecy website. In an interview with a Dutch TV show news hour On August 9, 2016, Assange brought up the murder of Seth Rich. When pressed by a reporter about its relevance, Assange replied: “We don’t comment on who our sources are.”
On the same day, WikiLeaks continued to post a tweet announcing a $20,000 reward for any information linked to Rich’s murder.
Assange was publicly suggesting that Seth had some role in the thousands of leaked Democratic emails that WikiLeaks obtained and released to the public.
Assange wasn’t the only one claiming links between the two. Enter a former Metropolitan Police detective, Rod Wheeler – also hired by the Rich family to invest in Seth’s death. He told Fox’s affiliate channel WTTG-T (Opens in a new tab) There is “concrete evidence on Rich’s laptop that he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death.”
Wheeler also added that he spoke to someone at the police department who was also asked to drop the Rich investigation. It’s worth noting here that Wheeler never reviewed the information on Seth’s laptop – since he was in police custody as part of the murder investigation.
However, the same theory was later reported by Fox NewsMalia Zimmerman (Opens in a new tab). The May 16, 2017 article quoted an anonymous federal investigator telling Fox News, “I have seen and read emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks.” The far-right news organization later retracted the story — seven days later. in the statement (Opens in a new tab)They admitted that the story “was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny that we require in all of our reports.”
In response to the retreat, Brad Bowman, a representative of the Rich family, said: interested in trade (Opens in a new tab)The family would like to thank Fox News for retracting a story that caused great pain and distress to the family and damaged Seth Rich’s legacy.
In November 2020, Seth’s parents Marie and Joel agreed to a private settlement from Fox News (Opens in a new tab) After filing a lawsuit over the May 2017 article, they said in a statement that they “honestly hope the media will take real caution in the future.”
As for those emails leaked to the Democratic Party via WikiLeaks? Mueller Report (Opens in a new tab) – which looked at Russian interference during the 2016 election – found that these emails came from a character known as “Guccifer 2.0 GRU”. It was dispatched four days after Seth’s murder on July 14.
Aaron Rich said in a statement following the published report that this presents “firm facts that prove this conspiracy false.”
NEW: Seth Rich’s brother, Aaron Rich, issues statement after Mueller findings: “I hope the people who pushed, hurt, published, and ran the headlines, articles, interviews, talk shows and opinion… will bear the cause for us.” pic.twitter.com/88HfFGlN2zApril 19, 2019
Fact vs Fiction
“Detectives went through Seth Rich’s laptop looking for information because of all these conspiracy theories,” says Keith L. Alexander. (Opens in a new tab) From the Washington Post. “They found nothing. They found nothing on this computer at all that indicated that Seth Rich might have died as a result of anything more than a random robbery.”
He added that some conspiracy theorists continue to question the theft claim because things like Seth’s wallet and watch remained on his body. But he has an answer for this: “It was a botched robbery because he resisted.”
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