There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Readers may recall the mysterious death last November of Russian businessman Mikhail Lesin, who was found inside his room at the Dupont Circle Hotel. It took four months for the D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office to release what could not have been a difficult-to-determine fact: that the man who had once been an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, starting the administration’s propaganda network Russia Today, had suffered blunt force trauma to the head and other severe injuries to the rest of his body.
“Why was Mr. Lesin in Washington? What meetings did he hold, or plan? Why was the fact of the ‘blunt force trauma’ kept quiet for so long?” the Washington Post editorial board wrote in March. “Law enforcement authorities should rule out foul play or thoroughly investigate it, and tell the public what they find.”
Oh they have, ridiculous as it is. The U.S. Attorney’s Office issued a press release today saying that the matter is now closed, and that the finding of the District’s chief medical examiner is that Lesin, who also suffered from acute ethanol intoxication at the time of his last breath, died of an “accident.” The previous finding had been “undetermined.”
It doesn’t take a crackpot conspiracy theorist to conclude that this seems like a Cyclopean pile of nonsensical horseshit. “After review of the video footage and new evidence developed from the investigation, the Chief Medical Examiner has determined that Mr. Lesin died as a result of blunt force injuries to his head, with contributing causes being blunt force injuries of the neck, torso, upper extremities, and lower extremities, which were induced by falls, with acute ethanol intoxication,” the release reads.
Because remember the last time you tied one on and woke up looking like someone had taken a tire iron to your noggin—or rather, the time you didn’t wake up at all?
Other Russians who fell out of favor with Putin have met similar ends, of course. In 2013, Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who helped Putin in his climb to power but was later shunned, was found hanged in his home near London. Alexander Litvinenko, a spy who started informing on Russia, was extinguished in London by way of radioactive polonium. And don’t forget journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who met her fate riding in the elevator of her apartment building.
Given the paucity of information disclosed here, all we can say is, we’d love to see the staircase that did him in.
The comic release in full:
Investigation Into the Death of Mikhail Lesin Has Closed;
Manner of Death Determined an Accident
WASHINGTON – The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, with assistance from the FBI, have concluded a comprehensive investigation into the death last year of Mikhail Lesin, a Russian political figure, media executive, and adviser to Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia. As a result of the almost year-long investigation, the Chief Medical Examiner of the District of Columbia has amended Mr. Lesin’s manner of death from “undetermined” to “accident” with acute ethanol intoxication as a contributory cause of death. The investigation has now been closed.
Based on evidence gathered during the investigation, Mr. Lesin, 57, entered his room at the Dupont Circle Hotel for the final time at about 10:48 a.m., on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, after days of excessive consumption of alcohol. Based on the evidence, including video footage and witness interviews, Mr. Lesin entered his hotel room on the morning of Wednesday, November 4, 2015, after days of excessive consumption of alcohol and sustained the injuries that resulted in his death while alone in his hotel room. He was found dead late on Thursday morning, November 5, 2016.
After review of the video footage and new evidence developed from the investigation, the Chief Medical Examiner has determined that Mr. Lesin died as a result of blunt force injuries to his head, with contributing causes being blunt force injuries of the neck, torso, upper extremities, and lower extremities, which were induced by falls, with acute ethanol intoxication.