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This episode contains graphic depictions of death and suicide that some people may find disturbing. We advise caution for listeners under 13.


On August 8th, 1991, Mike Looney was enjoying a drink at the Sheraton Hotel Bar in Martinsburg, West Virginia, when a charming stranger approached and asked to join him.


The man introduced himself as Danny Castellano. He claimed he was a reporter chasing a big story. Intrigued, Clooney asked to hear more.


Kessler said he was investigating a massive conspiracy, one that had manipulated world events for decades. Allegedly, a shadowy cabal was behind the failed invasion of Cuba in 1961. Its agents had also paid the Iranian government to help get Ronald Reagan elected in 1980.


Most recently, they'd stolen a sophisticated tracking algorithm and sold it to governments around the world.


Cassol called this organization The Octopus. They'd remained hidden and nameless for years, but he wanted to drag them into the spotlight. And he was planning to meet a source that night that would help him do just that.


Clooney was initially excited by Casares tale of shadowy cabals and government intrigue. However, he became skeptical of his barmaid's story when the promised informant never arrived. Instead, the two got drunk and went back to their respective rooms.


48 hours later, the hotel was swarming with police when he learned that his new companion, Danny Castellano, was dead. As for his copious notes on the octopus, they had vanished into thin. Welcome to Conspiracy Theories, a Spotify original from Park Past, every Monday and Wednesday, we dig into the complicated stories behind the world's most controversial events and search for the truth. I'm Carter Roy. And I'm Molly Brandenberg. And neither of us are conspiracy theorists, but we are open minded, skeptical and curious.


Don't get us wrong.


Sometimes the official version is the truth, but sometimes it's not.


You can find episodes of conspiracy theories and all other Spotify originals from Park for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.


This is our first episode on Danny Cassel Lero, a reporter who uncovered a shadowy cabal he called the Octopus. Allegedly, they manipulated elections, orchestrated military invasions and had operatives and governments throughout the world.


In 1991, Castle Lerro claimed he was close to publishing an exposé on the octopus. But on a trip to meet a source, he was found dead, though it was ruled a suicide. Many believe Kassala. A search for the truth was what got him killed.


This week, we'll explore how a software company lawsuit set costs Lerro on the trail of the octopus and sucked him into a world of espionage, corruption and murder. Next week, we'll consider the validity of Casares claims and whether his informants could be trusted. We'll also examine the theory that Cancellara was murdered by an organization when the government claims does not exist. We have all that and more coming up. Stay with us. By all accounts, Danny Castellano was upbeat, intelligent and beloved by family and friends.


In the 1970s, the young journalists struggled to find success. He wrote several novels, short stories and articles. He was featured in publications like the National Enquirer and The Globe, but they earned him little recognition.


In the 80s, he wrote for an outlet called Computer Age Publications. He remained there for a decade, reporting on personal computing, software development and the Internet. Eventually, he became a part owner of the magazine. By 1990, he was ready for a change.


He sold his stake in computer age publications and set out once more as a freelance journalist. This time, he'd attained the professional recognition he desired.


Cancellara reached out to the contacts he developed over the years. He needed a story that could reinvigorate his career within a few weeks. He received a tip on an emerging digital scandal.


A friend pointed him towards a small technology firm that designs software for law enforcement agencies. It was called the Institute for Law and Social Research, or INS Law. INS law had supposedly developed a data management program years ahead of its time. Allegedly, their lucrative invention was then targeted and stolen by the U.S. government with carcel Leros background in computer journalism.


This was the perfect lead. He got in touch with Insulin's founder Bill Hamilton and learned the twisted history of the case.


According to Hamilton, Ehnes Law had licensed its data tracking program to the government a decade prior. This software sifted through large quantities of information quickly. Instead of a secretary searching through thousands of hard copy files, you could find any case with the click of a button. It might not seem like much now, but keep in mind this was the 80s.


It allowed attorneys to keep track of criminals and their files as they were transferred between various departments in. Zilong called it the Prosecutors Management Information System or promise.


The Justice Department agreed to pay in law ten million dollars to use promise for a three year period, except right after Hamilton sent them the software. He says the Justice Department stopped paying in law because the Justice Department refused to honor their contract.


INS law had to declare bankruptcy in 1985. During the proceedings, Hamilton received a very strange request. The Canadian government asked for instructions on how to use the promised software. But Enzler hadn't sold promise to Canada. Hamilton believes someone must have stolen the program and auctioned it off. Hamilton dug deeper into what he believed was corporate espionage. And soon the truth came to light. Several witnesses testified that the Justice Department itself was illegally selling promise to foreign entities. In 1986, Enzler sued the U.S. government for millions in damages thanks to witness testimony.


Hamilton won the lawsuit. The judge believed that the Justice Department had intentionally violated its contract with INS law and distributed promise to other entities. He awarded the software company six point eight million dollars in damages and legal fees, about 16 million dollars today.


But that wasn't the end of the NSA scandal.


After the ruling, Justice Department employees who testified during the trial were summarily fired. Even more ominous, the judge who ruled in Ms. Law's favor lost his judgeship without explanation. Lastly, despite his ruling, the government refused to pay in the case, got stuck in legal limbo.


Cancellara was hooked on the story, but he needed more information before it could go to print. So Hamilton referred the journalist to a man named Michael O'Connor.


Shuto record of Shuto was enslavers star witness against the Justice Department. Early on in the lawsuit, he'd contacted Hamilton for of Shuto, allegedly said that not only had the government stolen Promis, they had hired him as an outside contractor to alter it.


Allegedly, government agents wanted the program to track people instead of case files claiming to have worked with intelligence agencies in the past. Reconning, Shuto accepted the task. His new version of Promise worked with terrifying accuracy, according to one former spy.


The amended program could monitor the electric grid of an entire country based on the power usage of a building. It could accurately identify how many people live there and fleg minor fluctuations. This was useful in keeping track of spies who move from safe house to safe house.


The government also realized Promise could use data to predict the future, allegedly. The Justice Department shared the software with the military who used it to track Russian submarines in the Arctic Circle. Supposedly, Promis was able to analyze the location of submarine sightings and extrapolate where they might surface next.


In addition, before selling the software recon, Yuto Shuto says he was told to install a backdoor exploit. This meant that no matter what computer promise was installed on, the U.S. government could access that entire system.


Reconning Shuto wasn't happy with just providing vague allusions either. He came bearing specific information. He allegedly told Hamilton that in the 1980s, the United States sold their altered version of promise to 88 foreign governments around the world, including Great Britain, Egypt and Iraq. America's motive for giving this powerful software to other nations is unclear. Supposedly, the buyers paid a steep price and either cash or political favors.


But the biggest motive to sell must have been the back door recon issue. To build this hidden, people would have allowed the U.S. to access drives on foreign computers while these nations were spying on political dissidents, terrorists and their own citizens. America was spying on them.


Roxana Shuto actually testified about this scheme before the House Judiciary Committee. However, he was unable to provide hard evidence to back it up. It was his word against the federal government's. So after getting the scoop from Hamilton Castle, Lerro spent hundreds of hours trying to corroborate Roxana Shuto story. Eventually, the two men became close and Cassol Lerro gave his new friend a nickname he dubbed Rukhsana Shuto, the Dangerman.


Despite their burgeoning friendship, Castle Lerro had doubts about Ricardo Shuto as a reputable source. As a result, he dove deeper into his history to verify him.


He found that as a child, Dangerman was a scientific prodigy for a school project he built in argon gas laser system, a feat that earned him a. Job in a Nobel laureates lab at Stanford University, by all measures, he had a bright future ahead of him. But in the early 70s, record of Shuto was arrested for drug possession. He insisted he'd been framed, but Cancellara confirmed the charges were legitimate. In the aftermath of this disgrace, Dangerman felon with a dangerous crowd, including drug dealers and intelligence operatives.


These associations soon led to a lucrative new opportunity.


In 1980, reconning, Shuto says he was hired as the director of research for a private security company called Wackenhut. It was thought to be a front for the CIA, despite these purported bureaucratic ties recognised. Hutto's lab was on the Cabazon Native American Reservation in California. This meant it was exempt from government regulation and oversight. Allegedly, the company used this loophole to experiment with weapons, explosives and chemical warfare.


It was here that recons Shuto was told to alter the promised software after his job was done. He turned the program over to a man named Earl Brian. Allegedly, he was the one who went on to sell the program internationally.


Intrigued, Castellitto turned his investigation to this new player. Brian had been California's secretary of health and welfare under Governor Ronald Reagan. Now, as a private citizen, he was a businessman who owned a controlling stake in a company called Hadron Inc..


Like Instore, Hadron created and consulted on software programs for law enforcement agencies. In fact, the two companies were competitors.


Hamilton in law's founder, recalled that in 1983 he received a phone call from a Hadrien executive. They wanted to buy his company, but Hamilton refused the offer.


According to Hamilton, the Heidrun executive bragged about powerful friends in politics and said he had ways of getting him to sell. Soon after, insulin's problems with the Justice Department began.


This might have been seen as a government assisted incidence of corporate malfeasance, which would have been bad enough. But recons shuto wasn't done. He explained that people in the Justice Department had given promise to Brian as payment for services rendered services with explosive ramifications.


According to Recognize Shuto in 1980, Earl Brian had done a favor for the Reagan administration that bordered on treason. He'd conspired with the Islamic Republic of Iran to get Reagan elected. Allegedly, the people who directed Brian to interfere with America's democratic process were a nameless and shadowy organization on learning about them.


Casal Lero immediately turned his sights on this new target. During the course of his investigation, he referred to the mysterious organization as the Octopus.


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Now back to the story. In 1990, technology journalist Danny Carcillo was wading through the INS law scandal in the course of his investigation, he discovered that the Justice Department had allegedly stolen software, altered it and sold it to governments around the world. But this was just the tip of the iceberg.


According to Castellitto source Michael Shuto, the Justice Department had given Ehnes law software program to a man named Earl Brian. This was payment for a task Brian completed in nineteen eighty one that centered around the Iran hostage crisis.


In the 1970s, Iran was ruled by a constitutional monarch called the Shah. He was an ally of the United States. But in 1979, Iran experienced a political revolution led by Muslim clerics. The country was transformed into a theocratic Islamic republic.


The Shah and his family fled the country and were granted asylum in the United States by the new found government of Iran demanded that the Shah be returned. They wanted him to stand trial for his crimes of corruption and torture of political prisoners.


It was clear that the former monarch would be killed if he went home.


President Carter refused Iran's demands, leading to a tense diplomatic standoff. On November 4th, 1979, college students stormed the United States embassy in Tehran and took 66 Americans hostage. They demanded that the U.S. hand over the Shah.


These diplomats were held prisoner for 444 days as negotiations dragged on. The event tarnished Carter's reputation. And in 1980, amidst the crisis, he lost re-election to Ronald Reagan.


Surprisingly, the remaining 52 American hostages were released on January 20th, 1981, mere minutes after President Reagan finished his inauguration speech. It was hailed as a great victory for the Reagan administration.


Many believe that this was more than a coincidence. They think Reagan or his administration actually conspired with the Iranian government paying Iran not to release the hostages until after the 1980 election. According to recognize Shuto Earl, Brian was one of the people who negotiated that deal. Allegedly, Brian met with Iranian operatives in Paris. He offered them money in exchange for not releasing the American hostages until after the election.


This ensured President Carter looked weak and bolstered support for his opponent, Ronald Reagan.


There is no hard proof that this meeting ordeal ever took place. But witnesses have corroborated seen Brian in Paris leading up to the 1980 election.


If true, then perhaps the promise software was payment for Brian's role in an even bigger conspiracy.


But if Earl Brian was just a puppet, it begs the question who was pulling his strings in search of an answer?


Castle fell deeper down the rabbit hole. In June 1991, he met with a new source, Robert Booth Nichols. Nichols had worked with her shuto on the Cabazon Reservation, where the Promise program was first developed. His role was manufacturing and selling weapons. He allegedly had connections in both the CIA and the Gambino crime family.


In 1991, Nichols claimed to have been working with the CIA to organize a coup in the Dominican Republic while the plot never came to fruition. His intelligence experience meant that Nichols was able to guide Alero, helping the journalists navigate the shadowy world of espionage and spycraft. To that end, Nichols also introduced him to several key players in the intelligence community in this etherial world.


The truth was often shrouded with layers of misinformation and lies. The connections between people and events were subtle and hard to untangle, but Carso believed he saw a hidden order to it all.


He felt there was one single organization coordinating events behind the scenes.


One of the cornerstones of this group was a former CIA officer, E. Howard Hunt Solaro interviewed him several times to gather material for his story and also happened to be one of the original Watergate burglars in 1972.


He was ordered by someone in President Nixon's campaign staff to spy on the Democrats.


Hunt recruited a group of men for the job. On May 20th, 1972, they broke into the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. For weeks, they planted listening devices in offices and tapped phones of campaign staff.


The plot was uncovered in June of 1972. A security guard noticed tape covering the latches of a door in the building, which prevented it from locking. He removed the tape, but later that night it reappeared. The guard reported the incident to the police, who sent officers to stake out the Watergate complex on June 17th. The burglars were caught as they broke into the building to repair one of the devices.


The White House scrambled to cover up their connection. Eventually, the truth came to light. It was a national scandal that forced Nixon to resign.


In addition to being behind the Watergate calamity, Cancellara found that Howard Hunt was also deeply entangled with the CIA's plots in the communist nation of Cuba. Allegedly, several of the assassination attempts on dictator Fidel Castro were planned by Hunt in the 1960s. He also played a major role in the Bay of Pigs invasion.


In the early 1960s, the CIA sponsored an operation that placed fourteen hundred anti-communist troops on Cuban soil. This force was composed of Cuban exiles who had opposed Castro during his rise to power.


Their goal was to overthrow him and install a new government. If all went according to plan, the world would have no idea the U.S. was involved.


The operation was orchestrated under the Eisenhower administration. However, in 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected president. His advisers had doubts about the plan's efficacy. When the invasion took place on April 17th, 1961, it started strong, but later they ran into some issues. CIA planners didn't realize that the coral reefs in the Bay of Pigs would thwart landing craft. As they approached, several boats got stuck or disabled. Meanwhile, a surprise attack on Cuba's Air Force failed to destroy all of Castro's planes, the invasion supply ships were sitting ducks to stave off disaster.


The CIA pressured Kennedy to authorize American troops to intervene, but the president refused. If the world knew about America's involvement, it would have disastrous consequences. It could destabilize Cold War relations and escalate into nuclear war with Cuba's ally, the USSR.


As a result, the Cuban exiles were overwhelmed and captured, the operation was a failure and soured relations between the U.S. and Cuba.


For decades after this defeat, JFK blamed the CIA for the blunders. He learned that they'd kept several important details secret from him and his advisers. He reportedly promised, quote, to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds. Casso believe the shadowy organization he was chasing took JFK's threat to heart. And in 1963, they responded. President Kennedy was shot as his motorcade traveled through Dallas, Texas. He was pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital less than an hour later.


Judging from Casares notes, he believed Hunt played an integral role in JFK's assassination. But unlike most theories, he didn't believe Hunt was doing the CIA's bidding. Cancellara believed he was working for a different organization. Casal Lerro didn't view this as a hierarchical group like the CIA or the mob. Instead, he believed the mystery organization was a loose confederation of influential people who worked together to facilitate these earth shattering events.


If that seems far fetched, imagine a Venn diagram of the incidents we just mentioned Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis, JFK, his assassination. Cancellara discovered that certain names kept appearing in the shared space of that diagram.


These associations were tenuous at first. Often Castledare would identify a person like Howard Hunt and establish their relationships with other operatives he would find. Hunt worked with Operative X on one event. Then he would work with Operative Y on another. Then Operatives X and Y conspired on a third plan.


Well, one or two connections may have been a coincidence, Cécile Laro found dozens, he thought it was indicative of an agenda. In other words, he believed that these people who kept showing up behind the scenes of some of the world's most momentous occasions were coordinating their efforts.


Cancellara, their own this group, The Octopus. It included notable figures like Hunt, Earl, Brian and Michael Smerconish Shuto, except Cancellara found it hard to determine who was aware of the octopus and who was an unknowing pawn after doing further research.


He traced this intricate web of operatives and events back to 1950s Albania. This was where Cancellara believed the octopus was born.


At the very beginning of the Cold War, American and British intelligence tried to free Albania from USSR control. If they were successful, it could serve as a model to dismantle the entire Soviet Union.


Several CIA and British agents trained exiled Albanian resistance fighters. They then conspired to parachute them into their home country. Their mission was to inspire an uprising against Soviet leadership.


To their dismay, the vast majority of these operatives were captured or killed. The CIA planners were at a loss. How did the Soviet Union even know about these resistance fighters to begin with?


Turns out they'd been betrayed. A British agent named Kim Philby was a KGB mole. He presumably told the Soviet Union about the entire operation.


The CIA covered up the embarrassing failure of the Albanian incident for decades.


However, it's unclear why their Albanian failure motivated several CIA veterans to form the shadowy group.


But Castle Leros notes insist this event was the catalyst.


Even more confusing, Cancellara wasn't sure what their internal goal was either. All he could see was the imprint the group left on the world.


In addition, he knew that the organisation worked outside of international governments and was only concerned with its own survival.


It had eight mysterious founding figures. They oversaw loosely connected cells of operatives or, as Castle Lerro termed them, tentacles. These groups also fundraised through drug trafficking, arms sales and assassinations.


Castle Lero suspected that the Wacken hot lab on the Cabazon Reservation was just one profit turning tentacle. Furthermore, he believed Michael recon of Shuto and Earl Brian to be lower level operatives. They answered to Minteer agents like Howard Hunt. But Castledare was unable to identify the eight heads of the octopus that he suspected he was getting close and so did his sources.


As a result, supposed CIA operative Robert Nichole's warned Cancellara several times that he was on a dangerous path. The reporter was asking questions that could get him killed.


Luckily, Cancellara thought his investigation was nearing its end. He organized his notes and theories into a manuscript called The Octopus. By the summer of 1991, he was close to publishing it. All he needed were the identities of the organization's mysterious leaders. Unfortunately, he would not live to see them unmasked. Coming up, the final days of Danny Casso, Leros life. Now back to the story.


In 1990, investigative reporter Danny Casal Lero uncovered a shadowy cabal he called the octopus. He believed that they were the puppet masters behind events like the NSA scandal, the Iran hostage crisis and the Bay of Pigs.


After a year of investigating, Cancellara was ready to expose their existence to the world. He told others he'd lined up a book deal with a publisher. He also said Time magazine wanted to feature an article on his findings, but his work was also attracting negative attention.


Casal told a friend that he was receiving threatening anonymous phone calls. They all insisted he drop the octopus story.


Bizarre coincidences dominated Castle Leros life. He met a woman at a party who seemed to be overly familiar with his investigation. He ran into a Justice Department employee at a restaurant who asked him detailed questions about the Enzler case.


The company's founder, Bill Hamilton, believed Cancellara was being followed by an Army Special Forces officer, that the reporter was undeterred. He was going to finish the story. It was going to expose the octopus cabal to the world.


In August of 1991, Castle planned a trip to Martinsburg, West Virginia, to meet with a mysterious yet critical informant. Supposedly, this source would bring him the head of the octopus.


Castle Thero packed his notes and drove north to Martinsburg. Before he left, he told his brother that if he had an accident on his trip not to believe it.


Piecing together the final days of Castle Leros. Life is difficult. We have to rely on fragments of eyewitness testimony.


We know that he arrived at the Sheraton Hotel in Martinsburg around noon on August 8th, 1991.


Five hours later, a waitress at the hotel bar saw him in the lounge. He was talking to a surly man who may have been Arab or Iranian. They spoke for half an hour before Cancellara returned to his room alone.


At eight p.m., Cancellara went down to the hotel bar again. That's where he met Mike Looney, the man who was staying in the room next to his. The two spent several hours drinking together.


They're Cancellara told him about the octopus, he claimed that a source was meeting him at the bar that night, Loonie's said Cancellara was in high spirits, excited about what he'd uncover next, but the source never arrived.


At one point, Looney recalled Castle left to make a phone call. It seemed he was phoning this No-Show informant when Cancellara returned. He said that the source wasn't as valuable as he thought. He could only provide some travel documents, presumably about suspected members of the octopus. Castle suggested he and Looney get drunk. Despite this setback, the reporters seemed optimistic. The two men stayed at the bar until last call at 11 30 p.m. Then returned to their rooms.


Cancellara wasn't seen until two p.m.. The next day, Friday, August 9th, he met a man named Bill Turner in the parking lot of the Sheraton. Turner was another one of Castle Leros informants, and he gave the reporters some documents that proved the Pentagon was mismanaging funds. It may have been a cover for the octopus, his financial assets.


Turner reported that they spoke for about 45 minutes. Cécilia was upbeat and enthusiastic, but his last words to Turner were Bill old buddy, got to watch your PS and Qs and look over your shoulder. After Cancellara went to a nearby restaurant called the Stone Crab in, the bartender said the journalist looked lonely and introspective. The two men had a short conversation. Carcillo told him he'd had a rough night. This markedly different tone suggests that something must have changed between his interaction with Turner and his arrival at the stone crab in.


At six p.m. that night, Castle Lero called his niece from a phone booth near the hotel. He told her that his trip was taking longer than expected and he wasn't going to make it to the family dinner that night. She didn't think that was unusual. He was often late to familial gatherings if he showed up at all.


At 10 p.m., Cancellara entered a convenience store across from the Sheraton. The clerk brewed him a fresh cup of coffee and watched as he returned to the hotel. It was the last time anyone saw Danny Cancellara alive.


At nine a.m. the next morning, Castle Leros, housekeeper in Virginia, received several threatening phone calls. One anonymous voice said, I will cut up his body and throw it to the sharks. A half hour later, another man called and simply said, Drop dead.


The phone rang several more times that day, but the housekeeper said there was no one on the line, only music or silence.


Back in Martinsburg, a Sheraton maid entered Casa Leros hotel room at 150 p.m. She stepped into the bathroom and was horrified to find Casa Lero lying naked in the bathtub dead. Within an hour, officers arrived to assess the scene. The coroner noted that Carcel Laro had several deep lacerations on his wrists. On the desk was a short note. It reportedly ended with the reassurance, God will let me in. There was no sign of a struggle based on this evidence, Kessler, whose death was ruled a suicide.


However, there were some irregularities. Castle Leros research notes, including the documents he'd gotten from Turner, were gone.


Furthermore, the police report contained errors that couldn't be explained. It mentioned that there were plastic bags found in the tub with Castle, his body. There was also a used shoelace draped around his neck. As far as we can tell, these items weren't inspected or dusted for fingerprints and their presence was never explained.


Even stranger, the coroner didn't follow the standard procedure of filtering the water as they drained the tub, though, a razor blade was recovered. Other important evidence may have been washed away.


Authorities notified Kessler's family of his death two days later, on Monday, August 12th. They presented it as a clear cut case of suicide. The caseloads were shocked by the news.


Tony recalled his brother's warning that if something were to happen to him, not to believe it was an accident. Haunted by this, he asked what the autopsy had shown. Incredibly, the police hadn't scheduled one. Tony was also perturbed to learn that none of Casares research was recovered from the hotel room, either.


Tony demanded the police perform a thorough investigation and an autopsy. But Cassandra's body had already been transferred to a funeral home and embalmed, meaning it was injected with preservatives. This made an accurate autopsy far more difficult. It also seemed like yet another suspicious clue.


Before a body can be embalmed, the deceased's family has to consent for the procedure. So what happened to Castle Leros body wasn't just unusual, it was actually illegal. As a result, his brother Tony demanded to know how this happened, but he was simply told it was a mistake, one that couldn't be explained. Despite this obstacle, the West Virginia medical examiner attempted an autopsy. He found the cause of death to be blood loss from multiple deep slashes on the reporter's wrists.


This corroborated the conclusion of suicide.


But according to Castle Leros brother, the examiner also found two mysterious bruises on Castle Head Norm. This contradicted the original police report, saying there was no sign of a struggle.


Finally, the medical examiner found trace amounts of hydrocodone and an unidentifiable antidepressant in castle system.


Tony claimed his brother didn't have a prescription for painkillers or antidepressants due to these Incongruence sees the police returned to Kessler's room to search for additional evidence. Unfortunately, it had already been professionally cleaned in the aftermath, authorities maintain that the reporter's death was a suicide castle.


Leros body was brought back to Virginia at his funeral. The family was left with one final mystery before his casket was lowered into the ground.


A man in an army uniform appeared. He placed a medal on Castle Coffin and saluted. Then he hurried away.


After the funeral, Castle Hero's family spoke to his friends. No one knew who the military officer was. His connection to the reporter remained a conundrum.


Equally puzzling is Castle Lero himself. After his death, several inconsistencies about his story came to light. The first was the discovery that Castle Thero had lied about his book deal. His supposed publisher, Little Brown, claimed they had rejected several of his proposals. In addition, Time magazine denied ever asking him for an article.


Perhaps prompted by the many unanswered questions, the attorney general established a special counsel to reinvestigate the INS scandal. This task force was led by a federal judge, Nicholas J.


In 1993. After a year of exhaustive research, Bush and his team submitted their report to the attorney general. They concluded that there was no credible evidence the Justice Department had stolen the promised software.


This contradicted the findings of the first judge who presided over the Enzler case back in 1987. Booya stated that similar software was used by U.S. agencies like the FBI, but it wasn't based on insulin's product.


Furthermore, there was no evidence Promus was sold to foreign governments, who also claimed that Michael Jackson of Shuto was an unreliable witness. Shortly after he began working with Cassol Lero, he was arrested for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. It was determined Roxana Shuto was trying to trade false information for leniency on his drug charge.


They also looked into Cassol Leros death. According to the investigation, there was no credible evidence that the journalist had been murdered.


However, some witnesses suspected that Cancellara was living with depression. He was under considerable financial and professional stress.


The autopsy also found evidence of the early stages of a degenerative disease known as multiple sclerosis. To some, this supported the unfortunate conclusion that Danny Cancellara took his own life. The case was officially closed.


Next week, we'll take a closer look at Casa Leros investigation and his death. Many of his friends and colleagues suspect that there is more to the story than the government would have you believe. We'll examine several theories that may lead to the truth. Conspiracy theory.


Number one is that Michael recognize Shuto really was a CIA operative with intimate knowledge of the agency's unsavory dealings. After his involvement in the NSA case, he was framed for drug possession by the government.


Conspiracy theory number two is that the octopus really does exist. It's responsible for the greatest scandals of the 1980s. McCastle Leros methods and research were flawed.


Conspiracy theory number three is that Cassol Lero was murdered. Law enforcement classified his death as a suicide so that what he uncovered would never see the light of day. Castle Lero believed he was hunting the octopus, but he may have ended up as its prey.


Thanks for tuning into conspiracy theories. We'll be back next time with part two of Danny Castellano and the octopus of the many sources we used, we found the Octopus Secret Government and Death of Danny Castellano by Ken Thomas and Jim Keefe. To be the most helpful in our research, you can find all episodes of conspiracy theories and all other Spotify originals from our cast for free on Spotify.


Until then, remember, the truth isn't always the best story, and the official story isn't always the truth.


Conspiracy Theories is a Spotify original for podcast. Executive producers include Max and Ron Cutler, Sound Design by Anthony Vasek with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Freddie Beckley. This episode of Conspiracy Theories was written by Evan McGahey with writing assistance by Lori Gottlieb and Obiageli Idemitsu, Fact checking by Annibale and research by Bradley Klein, conspiracy theorist stars Molly Brandenberg and Carter Roy.


Listeners, don't forget to check out the new precast limited series, criminal couples from apocalyptic cult leaders to bank robbing bandits. These couples give new meaning to till death do us part enjoy two part episodes every Monday starting February 1st. Follow criminal couples free and exclusively on Spotify.