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  • Richard Mellon Scaife: a key player in the Clinton scandal

  •   Scaife Probes Background of Suicide

    Associated Press
    Monday, March 15, 1999; Page A10

    PITTSBURGH, March 14—Conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife has a private investigator digging into the background of a man who killed himself in a bathroom outside Scaife's office, to see if he was being stalked by the man.

    Steven R. Kangas, 37, who championed liberal causes with a Web site titled "Liberalism Resurgent," died of a gunshot wound to the head on the 39th floor of One Oxford Center on Feb. 8. Scaife did not run into Kangas on the day of his death.

    For the last month, private investigator Rex Armistead of Mississippi has been traveling the country to investigate Kangas.

    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said Scaife is interested in whether Kangas was after him because Scaife funded conservative causes, including giving a magazine, the American Spectator, $1.8 million to investigate President Clinton.

    Scaife has questioned the finding of suicide in the death of White House aide and former Arkansas lawyer Vincent W. Foster Jr. Scaife has said Foster's death is the "Rosetta stone" of the Clinton administration.

    The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where Scaife is publisher, reported that Kangas posted a message on the Internet six days before his death blaming Scaife for all of Clinton's troubles.

    "Clinton is, in my mind, a moderate Republican, and it is only the insanity of Richard Mellon Scaife that is causing them to go after this man," Kangas wrote.

    Kangas's Web site also criticized Scaife, the Knights of Malta and Katharine Graham, chairman of the executive committee of The Washington Post Co.

    Kangas recently had sold his share of a gambling business in Las Vegas.

    On Feb. 8, building engineer Don Adams checked a men's room down the hall from Scaife's office and found Kangas alive and lying on the floor.

    Adams asked "Are you okay?" and Kangas mumbled something in return, police said.

    Adams went for help, and when he returned he found Kangas seated on a toilet with a gunshot wound to the head, according to a police report.

    Police said they found a pistol Kangas had bought two weeks earlier in Las Vegas. He had $14.63 in his pockets and his backpack contained 47 rounds of ammunition and a copy of Hitler's "Mein Kampf."

    Kangas's blood-alcohol level was 0.14 percent. In most states, a driver is considered drunk at 0.10 percent.

    Kangas's mother, Jan Lankheet, said One Oxford Center officials showed her a videotape indicating her son was in the building nearly nine hours before Adams found him.

    "We still don't know if Steve was running or if he was after somebody," Lankheet said.

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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