Monday, December 13th, 2004
Dec 13, 2004
Gary Webb, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who wrote a series of stories linking the CIA to crack cocaine trafficking in Los Angeles, is dead at age 49.
Webb was found Friday morning at his home in Sacramento County, dead of an apparent suicide. Moving-company workers called authorities after discovering a note posted on his front door that read, “Please do not enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance.” Webb died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Sacramento County coroner’s office. He is survived by two sons and a daughter.
Gary Webb’s 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News titled “Dark Alliance” revealed that for the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to Los Angeles street gangs and funneled millions in drug profits to the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contras.
It provoked a fierce reaction from the media establishment, which denounced the series. Following the controversy, San Jose Mercury News executive editor demoted Webb within the paper. He resigned and pushed his investigation even further in his book “Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion.”