In latest twist, News of the World whistleblower is dead

Joe Pompeo

In case you need any convincing that the U.K. phone-hacking mess has all the elements of some seedy soap opera or film noir, there's this: Sean Hoare, the former News of the World reporter who has repeatedly blown the whistle on some of the now-shuttered tabloid's past misdeeds, is dead.

"At 10.40am today [Monday 18 July] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street. Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after," British police told The Guardian in a statement. "The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."

It is perhaps worth noting that Hoare had a history of drug and alcohol problems. But the timing of his death is undeniably eerie--he had dished to the New York Times about alleged journalistic infractions at News of the World as recently as last week.

You can read more over at The Guardian.