News and Commentary

Wikileaks-Linked DNC Staffer Seth Rich: What Happened Before His Death?

Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer who was murdered back in July, has been the subject of conspiracy theories after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange suggested that Rich was the source of the DNC email leaks, implying that his murder was tied to the Clintons. Such conspiracy theories seemed far-fetched from the get-go given that the details surrounding to Rich’s death pointed to a robbery gone bad. Now, the UK Daily Mail‘s Alana Goodman has conducted an extensively thorough investigation into the series of events that occurred before Rich’s death; they certainly don’t lend to credence to the conspiracy theories.

That night, Rich had been sitting at his usual stool at the sports bar Lou’s City Bar in the Columbia Heights area of Washington, D.C., and was reportedly by himself and depressed because he was “having problems with his girlfriend” Kelsey Mulka. Part-time manager Bernard Warren noticed that Rich was noticeably drunk, which Warren said “was very, very unusual for him.”

As Rich headed for the door, Warren offered to give Rich a ride home, but he declined, saying that he was headed for another bar in the Columbia Heights area called Wonderland Ballroom.

“I’ll always wonder if maybe if I had been more convincing with him…” Warren told the Daily Mail. “But he wanted to go someplace else and drink. That was for certain. And I wasn’t going to hang out. I had to get up the next morning for basketball.”

It is unknown if Rich made it to the Wonderland Ballroom, as no one recalled seeing him there. However, if he did make it, then the bar would have closed at around 2:30 am.

“It would have taken him approximately 30 minutes to walk the mile-long trek home to his Bloomingdale row-house – possibly longer if he had been drinking heavily,” writes Goodman. “That leaves as much as an hour and a half between the bars and the shooting unaccounted for.”

The Bloomingdale area that Rich had been walking in at the time of his murder had been terrorized by a recent string of armed robberies. In fact, Goodman found that Rich’s murder occurred at a street corner where two other robberies occurred. Goodman described the corner as “a desolate-looking residential block shielded by new construction sites and notably absent of surveillance cameras.”

Rich was shot in the back at that corner and was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He still had all of his possessions on him and was on a phone call with Mulka right before he was murdered.

Three men have been arrested for committing an armed robbery in the Bloomingdale area, and it’s not known if they’re connected to Rich’s murder.

It has also been reported that Rich was going to work for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign before he was murdered. Rich had also written an email draft that read, “All my life, I’ve only wanted to make a difference so that I might be able to one day tell people that I mattered.” It was not clear whom Rich was planning on sending that email to.

A memorial was held for Rich at Lou’s City Bar, where a plaque commemorating Rich was set at his favorite stool.