An upcoming book by a veteran investigative reporter Nick Schou will attempt to answer the many questions surrounding the life and death of former Mercury News writer Gary Webb, author of a controversial 1996 series that attempted to link the CIA to the crack cocaine epidemic in urban America. Webb died Dec. 10, 2004 from two gunshot wounds to the head in what authorities termed a suicide. Schou, who knew Webb and covered some of the same drug-related issues, has written “Kill the Messenger,” which is due out in October via Nation Books. According to Editor & Publisher online, Schou claims the Merc’s editors focused the series and its lead more on the CIA link to the crack epidemic than Webb had wanted. Schou also points out that while papers such as the Los Angeles Times and New York Times were quick to debunk Webb’s CIA-crack link, they underreported a CIA Inspector General’s report in 1998 that admitted certain CIA connections to drug trafficking. Schou also challenges theories that Webb was murdered and agrees with those who believe he took his own life following a bout of depression.

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