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It was mid-February, 1996, Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown flashed his badge for White House security. He nodded hello to familiar faces, many of whom had never seen him this late at night.


Brown arrived at Clinton's private quarters, where the president greeted him in stocking feet hidden away. Dear why the secretary had called this very urgent meeting. But Brown insisted they shut the doors and discuss matters privately.


Later, when Brown left the White House, a cold sweat peppered his brow. The anxiety from that discussion followed him home.


Over the next several weeks, Brown's daughter Tracey sensed that something had changed in her father. The secretary was never a religious man, yet he started going to church, stowing prayers in his briefcase and collecting gold medallions of the Virgin Mary.


On March twenty nine days before Brown was set to leave for Croatia. He begged his wife, Alma, to get out of bed. She was sick with the flu, but he needed her to come down to the bank with him. She had to sign off on a new mortgage for their home.


Alma asked if it could wait until his return. He insisted it couldn't.


Just a few days later, on April 3rd, a plane carrying Secretary Brown and 34 other passengers crashed into St. John's Hill, a peak just outside Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia.


Brown's body was recovered that night. His religious keepsakes and prayers were found amongst the wreckage.


The meeting with President Clinton had clearly made Ron Brown so uneasy, he turned to religion for solace. The question was, what did they discuss? And did it somehow lead to Brown's death?


Welcome to Conspiracy Theories, a Spotify original from cast 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 Troy. And I'm Ali 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 Parkhurst for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.


This is our second episode on Ron Brown as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He helped elect President Clinton to office in 1992. From there, Brown became the secretary of commerce until his death in 1996.


Last time we spoke about Brown's lofty political career, his civil rights initiatives and the boundaries he broke as the first black man to head the Department of Commerce, this time will uncover some conspiracy theories that confound Secretary Brown's legacy.


The exemplary family man may have taken on mistresses and accepted dangerous bribes, causing problems for the Clinton administration will also examine the suspicious details of the plane crash and see if foreign powers or the Clintons themselves actually planned it. We have all that and more coming up. Stay with us. Before you tune into the next episode, let Mitsubishi Motors take the wheel first. The redesigned 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is changing. Everything you think you know about compact SUV was upgraded connectivity with Mitsubishi connect and head up display sophisticated coupe like design, reliable super all wheel control for smooth, confident driving.


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It helps keep an eye on their well-being when you can't be their terms and conditions apply. Learn more about Symfony at CVS Dotcom Symphony or find it at your nearest CVS health hub. This episode is brought to you by three am, what are the adhesives used in both Post-it notes and airplanes have in common? They're both made with innovations from 3M. In fact, there are lots of 3M products hiding in plain sight that you might not realize, including a ninety five respirators in response to covid-19.


3M is increased respirator production to make more respirators than ever before, helping those on the front lines continue the fight. Learn more at 3M dot com slash covid. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown was a man with many faces to his family. He was a loving patriarch, committed, admirable, protective, even sacrificial. His daughter, Traci, dedicated years of her life to penning her father's memoir and preserving his legacy to others.


He was a pioneer, an emblem of overcoming racial boundaries. Brown was the first black pledge at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, the first black partner at law firm Patton Boggs and Blow and the first black chair of the Democratic National Committee, or DNC.


However, some who work closely with Brown saw a darker side, one that was volatile, disloyal and conniving, whether he was lending the Duvalier regime as a client or allegedly accepting bribes. Brown always found a way to manipulate the narrative, claiming it was for the greater good.


These naysayers also saw through Brown's confidence and charm, he was a man who should have had a hard time sleeping at night if it weren't for the company of fresh faced young women. Which brings us to a conspiracy theory. Number one, Ron Brown was corrupt, taking on secret mistresses and accepting bribes.


One of the most crucial players in Ron Brown's life was a woman named Knowland Hill as a white businesswoman from Texas with an affinity for rodeo, he'll seem like an unlikely match for the workaholic lawyer. But when she was introduced to the mustached, well-dressed Brown, her heart skipped a beat.


The two met at Patton Boggs and Blow in the early 1980s. Hale had her own TV station and hired the firm to help out with some legal troubles. Her first impression of Brown was like most, he hit Matteis her with his sophistication and charisma.


Hill says she was Brown's trusted confidante, his living diary throughout his career. He apparently went to her for advice on everything from taking on the Duvalier regime to his problems with Clinton.


She also posed a threat to the secretary's career.


The problems began back when Brown was DNC chair at the time he and Hill established an investment company called First International. But when Brown was selected as secretary of commerce in 1992, he could no longer be involved with any foreign industry that might influence international deals. So Hill offered him a buyout agreement.


Hill paid Brown out in installments. Problem was, Brown didn't report it on his financial disclosure forms, a crooked move for any political official.


It wasn't long before Attorney General Janet Reno caught wind of the transaction to her. The payments looked like illegal bribes for Brown's influence over Capitol Hill.


But Brown had lied about something else in those financial disclosure forms a secret townhouse he'd bought for a second alleged mistress, a woman named Lillian Madsen.


The two met in the early 80s when Brown was on business in Haiti, and his relationship with Madson was the gateway to a career altering event, one far worse than his dealings with Nalanda Hill.


In November 1992, just before his nomination as Secretary of Commerce, Ron Brown allegedly flew to Florida to meet with Lillian Mattsson there. The couple had dinner with a man named Wynn Van Howe, a former high ranking official in communist Vietnam.


Over dinner, Howe shared his plans on how to stimulate Vietnam's economy. The most important thing was getting the U.S. to lift the trade embargo. Lucky for him, Brown had sympathy and experience when dealing with questionable regimes.


According to author Jack Cashell, Brown offered to be the exclusive lobbyist for the communist nation. He was so enamored by the idea that he even called his other supposed mistress, Nalanda Hill, to get her support.


Hill says she told him it was a ludicrous, if not lethal idea. But that apparently didn't stop Brown from proceeding.


Except there was one major problem by the time how got the go ahead to hire Brown, he was no longer a lobbyist or a DNC official. He was the secretary of commerce. Accepting money to lift a trade embargo was now a highly illegal transaction. In other words, it was a bribe.


But according to Cashel, all Brown saw were dollar signs. After all, he'd taken a massive pay cut by accepting the commerce position. He reportedly went from making a few hundred thousand dollars a year as a lawyer to about one hundred and forty five thousand dollars if he wanted to maintain the lifestyle he was used to. He needed more cash, even if that meant accepting it from a communist regime.


He was also paying for Lilyan Mattson's expensive townhouse, which stood mere blocks from his own family's home. And he'd also neglected to file this apartment on financial reports, although Brown may have been hiding his mistresses home for a good reason.


It's here that he allegedly met with Howe and his business associates after his nomination as secretary. Together, they drafted how the deal would unfold.


According to Jack Kasrils book, Ron Brown's Body, the secretary created an eight step agenda to assist Vietnam. Those points included lifting the trade embargo, as well as proposals for industrial development and financial relief in return. How would wire 700000 dollars to an offshore account in Singapore? He also threw in some oil royalties and 30 percent interest on a few other Vietnamese businesses to sweeten the deal.


Except there was one huge problem.


House associate Lee Tan bin Bin was a Vietnamese American consultant who'd helped formulate this plan to restimulate Vietnam, but he didn't see it going like this.


In fact, Ben was so terrified over the idea of bribing an American elected official that he went to the FBI. And in August 1993, the press got wind of the story.


When Brown was questioned about the transaction, all he could say was, quote, I don't know anything about it.


Meanwhile, the FBI received anonymous death threats aimed at bean. Got so bad, the bureau reportedly put the whistleblower under protection.


Over the next several months, evidence piled up bin took a polygraph test suggesting he was telling the truth in. Brown's attorney acknowledged that the secretary had met with our three different times.


Authorities revealed that Vietnamese officials had set up a bank account for Brown in Singapore. The FBI also uncovered two fax documents between Howe and Vietnamese officials saying Brown was in on the deal.


Despite the evidence, President Clinton publicly showed his support for the commerce secretary and Ron Brown was oddly confident that he'd be exonerated. He was right in February 1994, the federal grand jury ruled that there was no proof to support Binz claims Brown was absolved of all accusations.


It's clear that Ron Brown had a few torrid affairs mingled with dubious transactions. Whether or not he was guilty of political corruption, however, is still up for debate.


I will say the money coming from Nalanda Hill could have been a simple miscommunication. Tracy Brown claims that her father did list the money on those forms, but he put it in the transaction section rather than the income section. Perhaps Attorney General Reno was looking for something to stick to Ron Brown, a man who had a history of getting away with too much.


There is certainly evidence that Ron Brown met with Howe, but there's no indication the secretary ever received those funds or followed through on his end of the bargain, according to the L.A. Times. Brown played no part in Clinton's decision to relax the trade embargo with Vietnam in September 1993. I think it's true that Ron Brown was unfaithful to his wife, but I'm not sure he willingly partook in criminal activity. So on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most likely, I give this theory a four.


I agree. Now, after his nomination, Brown wasn't making nearly as much money as he had at Patton Boggs. And Blow in May have been looking to increase his income, and he was a pro at negotiating his way out of difficult situations. Whether or not Brown got the money and followed through on the deal is up for debate. So I'm giving this theory a four out of 10 as well.


In an interview with The New Yorker, Nalanda Hill admitted that Brown's death spared him from other risky endeavors, possibly even jail time. The question is, did those questionable affairs caused that plane to go down? Coming up, the bizarre details behind Brown's fiery crash.


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Now back to the story. According to his detractors, everyone from White House staffers to Brown's wife, Alma, knew the secretary was unfaithful. The real travesty was the trouble his mistresses caused. In the early 1990s, Lillian Madsen introduced Brown to two Vietnamese businessmen, leading to accusations of corruption and bribery.


President Clinton stood behind the secretary of commerce despite the complications he caused the administration. After all, Brown got him elected and he was doing an excellent job of sparking business with new countries.


It was on one of these trade missions that Brown met his fate. On April 3rd, 1996, he and 34 others died in a plane crash while attempting to land at Shilpi Airport in Dubrovnik, Croatia.


The pilots were well trained Air Force captains. The weather conditions were poor, but not impossible to navigate, and ground control received no sign of the plane's distress before it collided with St. John's Hill. This brings us to conspiracy theory number two. Ron Brown's crash was not accidental. It may have been an act of terrorism.


Hours after Brown's plane went missing from radar, media outlets began looking for statements, Defense Secretary William Perry and Hillary Clinton had both flown on that same jet just the week before. Perry told reporters it was an accident that could have been easily prevented.


Lieutenant General Hal Estos claimed that other flights had landed at Shilpi Airport before and after Brown's flight that day. They had zero difficulties.


On the other hand, the ambassador to Croatia, Peter Galbraith, said the city was undergoing the worst storm in over a decade on the day of the crash.


The conflicting accounts built up with no survivors. The real story had to be pieced together detail by detail.


Unfortunately, the plane was missing. One of the biggest solutions to this puzzle, a cockpit voice recorder.


Senior officials said that while this was unfortunate, it wasn't unusual. The plane was designed for training purposes, which, according to them, means they don't install a voice recorder or black box. Whether that's for security reasons or otherwise, we aren't sure. But it did mean that the pilot's final words were taken to their graves.


So something could have happened in that three minute window between when the crew paged the tower and the plane collided with St. John's Hill. If, say, a hijacker had commandeered the cockpit in the final moments of descent, we'd be none the wiser.


It's certainly possible, but there's another glaring detail that could have caused the pilots to overshoot their landing. They had to use a tricky non directional radio beacon or NDB to find the runway.


Unlike modern systems that offer specific directional information to airplanes and Debby's emit a radio frequency, it's like a Morse code that helps guide the craft to the landing strip.


It's a complicated system for a pedestrian, but not for Air Force pilot Ashley Davis, the captain of that flight. He had recently been tested on this kind of approach and was marked proficient in his use of NEBs. So it wasn't his lack of knowledge that crashed that plane.


Rather, someone may have sabotaged his landing deliberately through a process known as Mekonnen during World War Two.


Germany used radio signals like these in DHBs to guide their bombing efforts. They proved successful even in the worst weather. But the British found a way to thwart these efforts.


They jammed the Nazis radio waves. They also copied the signals coming from these beacons to lead the Germans astray. The enemy wasn't sure which signal was theirs and which was the impostor. They were guided off their course and ended up dropping bombs on desolate land rather than city centres. The British coined the term meaning or masking the beacon.


Today, pilots are taught to look out for this disruption when dealing with non directional beacons, but it's hard to spot. Jack Cashel, author of John Brown's Body, spoke with many airline pilots and flight instructors who agreed Brown's plane could have easily been a victim of mechanising, leading the pilots on a crash course with St John's Hill.


Even more suspicious details came to light days after the crash on Saturday, April 6th, a maintenance chief responsible for the airport's navigation system was found dead.


His name was Niko Yuku, which it appeared that your Couhig had shot himself a suicide over a failed romance, according to The New York Times. But Cashel thinks that's a convenient excuse.


The 46 year old technician wasn't working the day of the crash, but Cashel believes he was involved in your car, which may have known exactly how to mask that beacon and may have been approached by someone to do so. In fact, your car, which might have been out of office that day because he was tinkering with that NDB just as Brown's plane was coming in for a landing.


The Air Force may have wanted to seek your coach for questioning, but before they got the chance to bring him in, your coach was found dead with a bullet through his chest.


Suspicious timing for a heartbroken suicide or someone did the deed for him, as in the same people who asked him to tamper with the beacon. There are a couple of groups to consider when looking into Brown's plane crash. For starters, it happened less than five months after the Dayton Accords were established. This was a peace agreement ending a three year war, one negotiated between Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia.


The United States played a critical role in overseeing these accords. They even inserted American troops in Bosnia to maintain the peace after it was signed. But it was a move that angered Muslim guerrilla fighters.


Any group looking to upset these Dayton Accords could have benefited from crashing a plane full of American diplomats. It would have sent the message that they were not going to stand for the U.S. intervening in their affairs.


And if terrorists did crash Brown's plane, it would be in America's best interest to cover that up. If we're got out, the United States would have to intervene with military force undoing the diplomatic progress they'd made in the region. This is something Clinton would have wanted to avoid seeing as he was up for reelection that year.


Even the first lady showed extreme caution when she and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, visited Bosnia. Their trip was just nine days before Brown's trade mission.


Hillary and Chelsea had to wear body armor and sit in a reinforced cockpit knowing that enemy missiles or snipers were a probable threat. Their pilot was also told to take a specific route to minimize risk.


But a terrorist attack is usually deliberate. They want their work to be known. If Brown's plane was the victim of a missile or a hijacking, then Muslim extremists might make sense. But there was no indication that the plane was shot down or that anyone on board was a threat. Instead, the rogue beacon seems to have been the weapon of choice. And the terrorist theory doesn't explain why the Croatian government played a part in the cover up.


If you remember from part one, Dubrovnik wasn't originally part of Ron Brown's itinerary. He was supposed to meet with Croatian President Tuzman in Zagreb until their government insisted on changing plans just two days before McCastle points to a press release from Tuzman on the day Brown died. That suggests the president never left the city of Zagreb. If that's true, it means he had no intention of meeting with Ron Brown that evening as planned.


Cashell writes that Major Rocky Swearingen at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, also claims that Croatian officials were uncooperative during their investigation of the crash. They gave NATO the wrong coordinates of the site and incorrectly told the U.S. Air Force that the plane went down over the Adriatic Sea.


Also, the Croatian interior minister in charge of state security was the one to write off your koufax's death as a suicide with no connection to the crash. And the person overseeing your Couch's case was reportedly none other than Miroslav Tuzman, chief of intelligence and son of the Croatian president. Convenient to say the least.


While those details are suspicious, Croatia seemed to have very little motive. The country was benefiting from their relationship with the United States. America brought in new business and helped them expand their economy. One of those companies was Enron and Energy Corporation. Because Tuzman allowed Enron to expand into his nation, the U.S. allegedly offered the Croatian president other benefits, like helping him evade imprisonment for war crimes. He wouldn't have benefited at all from killing a plane of American diplomats.


That may well be true, but I'm still apprehensive about the crash itself. These were two very experienced Air Force pilots who were trained in using non directional beacons, even if the weather was that bad. Other planes had no problem landing before and after the crash. I think the flight was sabotaged, which is why I'm giving this theory an eight out of 10.


I'm not sure we have enough evidence to rule out an accident. I know pilot, but I'd imagine those three minutes spent preparing for landing are crucial without a black box. Who knows what really happened? Faulty instrumentation, a lapse in judgment. There's so much we'll never have the answers to. But do I think terrorists were involved? It's doubtful. Which is why I'm giving this theory a five out of 10.


Yeah, I understand your reasoning, but there's still one avenue we haven't explored. Perhaps the Croatians were doing someone else's dirty work, someone who wanted to take a hit out on Ron Brown, specifically like the Clinton administration. Coming up, evidence suggests the U.S. president crashed Brown's plane. This episode is brought to you by Uber, it's figuring out what's for dinner, why not eat local tonight? I'll be eating a turkey burger with lettuce, tomato pesto, caramelized onions, pepper, jack cheese, no pickles.


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3M is increased respirator production to make more respirators than ever before, helping those on the front lines continue the fight. Learn more at 3M dotcom slash covid. Now back to the story. The world was shocked when Ron Brown's plane crashed on April 3rd, 1996, investigative journalist Jack Cassells spoke to a veteran flight instructor who insisted something had to have happened in that cockpit. The instructor said with a day's training, even a novice pilot would know enough not to fly into a mountain.


The plane didn't appear to be shot down or hijacked. So provided you believe in some conspiracy at work, the most likely scenario was that the pilots followed a rogue beacon into St. John's Hill, a defense tactic used during World War Two.


And don't forget about the alleged 45 caliber bullet hole in Brown's head. Perhaps someone wanted all of this to look like an accident, someone with the power and contacts willing to do their dirty work and whose life or lives may have been less complicated with Brown dead.


Which brings us to conspiracy theory number three.


The Clintons orchestrated Ron Brown's death on April 10th, 1996. Brown's family, colleagues and important dignitaries gathered at Washington National Cathedral. There they paid their respects to the late secretary of commerce. Amongst that crowd was Brown's supposed mistress, Nalanda Hill.


That afternoon and anonymous, yet knowledgeable friend allegedly confronted Hill. He shared a detail about the crash site with her. Brown's body had been found 40 yards away from the plane as if he was trying to escape.


This reveal was just the tip of the iceberg. While some media outlets reported that all 35 passengers had died on impact, this didn't appear to be the case.


Around eight thirty p.m. the night of the crash, a Croatian policeman discovered the bodies of two women lying near the tail of the plane. The passengers were both presumed dead until an hour later when one of them let out a moan.


Shelley Kelly, a 36 year old technical sergeant for the Air Force, was badly injured, but she was alive. Rescuers tried to airlift Kelly from the scene, but the weather made it impossible. She had to be transported back down the hill and taken by ambulance.


Unfortunately, a Croatian physician pronounced Kelly dead on the way to the hospital, but others reported that she didn't die from her injuries. She had a slashed femoral artery. It seems someone couldn't risk the chance of Kelly sharing her story.


Kelly wasn't the only one who may have survived the crash on Easter Sunday in 1996, a woman named Kathleen Chinaski watched as all 33 American bodies were unloaded at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Genachowski was a forensic photographer for the armed forces and she got a firsthand look at Brown's cadaver despite the brutality of the crash.


Brown's body was still intact. He had a broken pelvis, a few lacerations and chemical burns. But in her professional opinion, nothing that appeared fatal until she took a closer look at the secretary's skull.


Brown appeared to have a 45 caliber gunshot wound in his head. Colonel William Gormley, the pathologist in charge of the examination, agreed with Chinaski. It certainly looked like he'd been shot, but then Gormley had made a very odd choice. He did not alert the FBI as protocol. He never performed an autopsy. He didn't even search for an exit wound.


Instead, he had another lieutenant colonel returned to the crash site. Ghormley insisted they search for an object that could have pierced the same size hole in Brown's head. A rod, a pipe, anything that might explain the wound. They found nothing.


In the fall of 1996, Chinaski learned another startling detail through a naval criminal investigator. Ron Brown's X-rays from the examination were destroyed.


Genachowski told Castle that the investigator claimed the X-rays revealed a, quote, led snowstorm, meaning they showed a cluster of metal fragments in his skull. Further proof the secretary had been shot.


Brown's children never got a final look at their father. He was given a closed casket ceremony, but they were reportedly never told why.


In fact, Brown's family apparently didn't even know about the alleged gunshot until a year and a half later. It seemed like someone powerful had gone to great lengths to keep the truth hidden, like the president of the United States.


As you may have learned by now, Ron Brown wasn't the most sincere politician to take office, he created a lot of bad press for Clinton and jeopardized his chances at re-election. Many of the president's closest advisers suggested he replaced Brown as secretary.


But if Brown threatened to blackmail Clinton, the president had to know it wouldn't be that easy. Casual describes Brown as the bagman for Clinton on numerous occasions throughout his career. But the public only caught wind of one of their schemes in early 1996, just before Brown's death.


According to Nalanda Hill, the White House forced the secretary to sell seats on his trade missions. This was in exchange for donations to the Democratic campaign.


Hill says the plan was actually Hillary's idea. Brown grew irate at having to become what he called a tour guide for the first lady. Now he's having to do her dirty work as well.


Brown also knew that the president had allegedly accepted campaign donations from businessmen in China and Indonesia, mainly because Brown helped to raise those funds during Clinton's campaign in 1992. Of course, only U.S. citizens and legal residents can make political donations. Taking money from foreign nationals is off limits.


So perhaps the secretary had career ending dirt on both Hillary and Bill, and he planned to use it to his advantage when he got desperate.


According to Cashell, that time came in the fall of 1995, Brown's 30 year old son, Michael, found himself in serious legal trouble. The Justice Department learned he donated over the maximum amount to Senator Edward Kennedy's campaign. Now, Michael was facing jail time and a 100000 dollar fine.


Brown went to Clinton for help, according to Hill, on a cold February evening. In 1996, Brown met the president and his private quarters and begged him to call off the dogs. But Clinton insisted his hands were tied, so Brown used his bargaining chip.


If Clinton didn't end the Justice Department's investigation, he'd expose the truth about the trade secrets and the illegal donations. If the truth came out, the president could kiss a second term goodbye. Maybe he'd even go to jail himself.


Clinton probably wouldn't have appreciated being threatened if Brown was volatile, unhinged, desperate. Replacing him wouldn't fix a thing. Maybe Clinton needed to silence him.


Shortly after this meeting, Brown was told he'd be going to Bosnia and Croatia. Nalanda Hill had a bad feeling about the trip. She said this trade mission made zero sense.


First, the trip was ordered by the State Department, a branch that rarely interacted with the Department of Commerce. Second, it had been under a year since the Dayton Accords were signed. The war was still settling down. The cost of security would be through the roof, not to mention there were hardly any businesses willing to invest in those developing nations. Brown had to beg CEOs to come along on the trip.


And while these trade missions were usually seamless, this one was disorganized. According to Hill, Brown asked Clinton if he could find someone else to go in his place, but the president insisted that it should be him.


The timing of Hillary and Chelsea s visit to the region was also curious. The two made a journey to Bosnia a week and a half before Brown. It was a last minute leg added to their Greece and Turkey trip in Hillary's book, Living History.


The first lady claimed they went to thank the troops and send a signal that the Dayton Accords were to be, quote, honored and enforced.


But did it make sense to put herself and Chelsea in harm's way? Or maybe she had some business to attend to regarding Ron Brown.


There's no evidence Hillary met with a conspirator on that trip. But even though Lauderhill found the whole thing suspicious. She noted that Brown was a nervous wreck from the moment he left his meeting with Clinton that February night until his trip to Europe in April, he started going to church and forced Alma to refinance their home.


Maybe Brown knew he was in danger. He just wasn't sure how or when it would manifest. Jack Cassell suspected that if the Clintons were to blame, they likely conspired with Croatian intelligence who may have tampered with the beacon to make it look like Brown's crash was an accident and nothing more.


As we mentioned, the Croatian president was greatly indebted to the U.S. government. They'd help broker the peace deal with Bosnia and spark trade in the developing nation if they were in cahoots.


It's possible that Croatian intelligence went to the scene early to put a bullet through Ron Brown's head. If his body was in fairly good shape, like Genachowski said, they'd want to be certain he was dead. Well, the Clintons did appear to have motives for not wanting to work with Brown, assassinating him seems extreme. If Brown was the target, why take another 34 people down with him?


I guess it's possible they bargained with Croatia to get rid of Brown, but maybe they weren't sure how the Eastern European country would get the job done. So given that it wound up being a plane crash that killed 34 other people, they would have done everything in their power to cover it up.


Of course, this is just speculation and we can't always trust what we hear. Case in point, after rumors swirled that Shelly Kelly died of a slashed femoral artery, a credible autopsy confirmed this wasn't the case. She actually died of a broken neck and internal injuries. Not to mention if the president wanted to silence the secretary, it would have been so much easier to just give in to his demands up front and pardon his son, which is why I have to give this theory a two out of 10.


I agree the Clinton administration may have been threatened by the spiraling brown if he exposed the alleged trade deals and the relationship with Chinese business. It could be trouble for Clinton. But all of the accusations come from Nalanda Hill and we have no way to know if she's a credible source for those reasons. I'm giving this theory a zero out of 10.


The truth about Ron Brown's death lies somewhere in those one hundred and eighty seconds between the plane's last contact with ground control and their collision with St. John's Hill, was it all a freak accident or did the secretary clutch his religious medallions as the proximity alert rang?


Perhaps he said his prayers as he and 34 others braced for impact. Maybe he knew the plane was going down because of him. Thanks for tuning in to conspiracy theories, we'll be back next time with a new episode. Out of the many sources we used, we found Ron Brown's Body by Jack Cashel helpful to our research. You can find all episodes of conspiracy theories and all other Spotify originals from podcast 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 from Park Cast. It is executive produced by Max Cutler, Sound Design by Dick Schroder with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Travis Clark. This episode of Conspiracy Theories was written by Lori Gottlieb with writing assistants by Nix Weren't and Ali Whicker, fact checking by Unneighborly and research by Bradley Klein. Conspiracy Theory stars Molly Brandenberg and Carter Roy.


Hi, listeners, it's Vanessa again. Before you go, don't forget to check out the Spotify original from podcast Serial Killers each week.


Join me and my co-host Gregg for a deep dive into the minds and madness of history's most notorious murderers. You can binge hundreds of episodes, four years worth and catch new episodes every Monday and Thursday. Listen to serial killers free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcast.