No Foul Play
In a very quick turnaround, a Colorado coroner pronounced yesterday that Enron founder Kenneth L. Lay died of coronary artery disease and that the 64-year-old had suffered a previous heart attack.
I doubt this will put all the conspiracy theories -- yes, they started the minute his death was announced -- to bed.
It's not hard to diagnose severe arterial blockage. It can be done on the living with EKGs, angiograms and CT scans to check for arterial plaque..
Lay was 64, had blocked arteries, had suffered a heart attack and was under extraordinary stress. He was a prime candidate for what happened to him. And I won't even go into the Houston diet.
Still, almost as soon as news of his death came out, the conspiracy theories started flying:
* He killed himself because he couldn't face prison.
* He was killed by someone (from disgruntled former Enron shareholders to anyone else you could think of).
* He faked his death and he's sipping mojitos in Buenos Aires.
Of course, all of these require some form of cover-up or exotic mixture of pharmaceuticals and poisons that would puzzle Miss Marple. ("It was Col. Mustard with a gas pipe in the study!") And if you believe in the whole Bush-Enron-Halliburton power troika, any cover-up is possible.
But 14th-century Franciscan logician Occam got it right when he wrote: "Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity." In today's language: "The simplest explanation is usually the best one."
Many will remain unconvinced. When you point out to the conspiracy-minded that Lay had an autopsy, they'd likely respond with: "Oh, yeah? JFK had an autopsy, too."
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