Philip Marshall was a former airline pilot, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, and an author of several books on the topic. He was found dead in his home in Murphys, California, along with his two teenage children and his dog, on February 2, 2013. The official verdict was that he had shot them all and then himself in a murder-suicide. But was this really the case? Or was there something more sinister behind his death?
The Official Story
According to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office, the bodies of Philip Marshall, his son Alex, 17, his daughter Macaila, 14, and their dog were discovered by a friend who had gone to check on them. The friend had not heard from them for several days and became concerned. The sheriff’s office said that they had found a Glock 9mm handgun next to Marshall’s body and that he had left a note confessing to the killings. They also said that there was no evidence of forced entry or struggle in the house.
The sheriff’s office concluded that Marshall had been suffering from mental health issues and had acted out of despair and anger. They said that he had been estranged from his wife, who had moved out of the house a few months earlier, and that he had been facing financial difficulties and legal troubles. They also said that he had been abusing prescription drugs and alcohol.
The sheriff’s office released a statement saying: “The apparent motive for this murder-suicide is unknown at this time; however, based upon the information obtained during this investigation it appears that Mr. Marshall was experiencing some emotional distress over marital issues and financial issues.”
The Alternative Theory
However, some people have questioned the official story and have suggested that Marshall was actually murdered by someone who wanted to silence him. They point out several inconsistencies and anomalies in the case that cast doubt on the suicide theory.
One of these is the fact that Marshall was right-handed, but he allegedly shot himself in the left side of his head. This would have been very difficult and unnatural for him to do. Another is the fact that the sheriff’s office arranged for the house to be cleaned up very quickly after the crime scene investigation, which could have destroyed potential evidence. A third is the fact that Marshall had been working on a new book about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which he claimed would expose new information and implicate some powerful people.
Wayne Madsen, a freelance investigative reporter and author who knew Marshall personally, traveled to Murphys to conduct his own investigation into the case. He interviewed several witnesses and neighbors who gave him a different picture of Marshall than the one portrayed by the authorities. They said that Marshall was a devoted father who loved his children and would never harm them. They also said that he was not depressed or suicidal, but rather optimistic and enthusiastic about his new book project.
Madsen wrote several articles challenging the official story and alleging that Marshall was murdered by professional hitmen who staged the scene to look like a suicide. He suggested that Marshall had uncovered some sensitive information that threatened some powerful interests who wanted to stop him from publishing it.
Madsen wrote: “Marshall was working on a new book about what he discovered about Iran-contra while working as a contract pilot for Barry Seal, who flew tons of cocaine into Mena, Arkansas on behalf of the CIA during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.”
He also wrote: “Marshall told me he was working on a new book about JFK’s assassination based on information he received from an old friend who worked as an investigator for New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison during Garrison’s probe of CIA links to JFK’s murder.”
Madsen claimed that Marshall had received death threats before his death and that he had told him to be careful. He also claimed that he had found evidence of tampering with Marshall’s phone records and email accounts after his death.
Madsen concluded: “The evidence strongly suggests that Philip Marshall and his children were murdered in a professional hit that was made to look like a murder-suicide.”
The case of Philip Marshall’s death remains controversial and unresolved. The official story has been accepted by most mainstream media outlets and authorities, but it has been challenged by some alternative media sources and independent investigators. The motives and evidence for both theories are disputed and debated.
The question remains: Was Philip Marshall cause of death a murder-suicide or a cover-up?