The reporter who blew open the phone hacking scandals now threatening to topple News Corporation has been found dead in his London home, according to a report in The Guardian.
Sean Hoare, who covered show business for the now-defunct British tabloid News of the World, was the first journalist to go on record as claiming his bosses knew about efforts to hack into the voicemails of top officials, soldiers, celebrities, a murder victim and others.
Hoare alleged in an interview with the BBC that World editor Andy Coulson had asked him personally to hack into phone accounts. Coulson was later hired to be the director of communications for British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was said to have met with Murdoch officials 26 times in his first 15 months in office.
Hoare in recent weeks has proved a source second-to-none in the ongoing hacking scandals, speaking with reporters at The New York Times and The Guardian about how News Corp. employees were able to obtain GPS location data from any phone they wanted to, simply by bribing police.
He also accused Coulson, with whom he worked at The Sun before moving to The World, of lying to investigators about the systemic hacking practices at Murdoch’s British newspapers. Hoare further named a private investigator who News Corp. allegedly paid to carry out even more invasive spying operations.
Hoare was reportedly fired from The World over drug and alcohol problems and had been in rehab therapy. There were no indications that authorities were treating his death as suspicious, but the timing of his death is likely to keep the questions he raised at the forefront as an investigation gets underway.
Image credit: BBC