Pillow talk

Tessa Stuart rounds up a list of potential nominees to replace deceased Supreme Court associate justice Antonin Scalia. Of course, all such lists are purely speculative. The Obama administration will keep its deliberations close to the vest, unless they decide to leak some names to test reactions prior to any announcement.

Meanwhile those who are promoting dark theories that Scalia was murdered are having a field day. They use as their starting point that the owner of the resort said that Scalia was found in his bed with a pillow over his head. The murder theorists quickly took ‘head’ to mean ‘face’, and we were off to the races.

For any aficionado of murder mysteries, this theory of pillow asphyxiation would not make much sense. Even if the pillow was over his face, that would be strange because if someone had suffocated him so as to suggest natural causes, why would they then leave the pillow in place? Surely any minimally competent murderer would, after suffocating the victim, have removed the pillow? The bedclothes were not disarranged, suggesting that there was no struggle or, for the murder theorists, had been smoothed over which makes the leaving of the pillow even more inexplicable.

The owner later emphasized that he had said that the pillow was over his head and against the headboard, not over his face.

“I think enough disclosures were made and what I said precisely was accurate. He had a pillow over his head, not over his face as some have been saying,” John Poindexter, owner of the Cibolo Creek Ranch, where Scalia was found, told CNN over the phone. “The pillow was against the headboard and over his head when he was discovered. He looked like someone who had had a restful night’s sleep. There was no evidence of anything else.”

A U.S. law-enforcement source told CNN: “There was absolutely nothing out of the ordinary in Justice Scalia’s room. There were no signs of foul play.”

The source added that law-enforcement agents know know the difference between someone dying in their sleep and being suffocated to death with a pillow.

But it is too late to stop the rumors, especially once Donald Trump signed on. Amy Davidson explores the origins of the various theories floating around while Ashley Feinberg rounds up some of the more entertaining theories, all involving president Obama somehow.

One theory that I can suggest that they are overlooking is that the person who discovered Scalia realized that he had died peacefully in his sleep and then placed the pillow in such a way as to make it look like foul play. Why? What motive would there be? Give me time, I am still working on possible angles.


  1. Awesomium35 says

    @doublereed Wrong. It’s just a distraction to draw attention from Hillary’s server, which itself was just a distraction to draw attention from Benghazi

  2. Just an Organic Regular Expression says

    From that list of possibles scratch Kamala Harris, who has said she does not want to be considered. Which makes good sense; she’s an ambitious woman with an excellent shot at Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat. You have to figure that in her dreams of, say, 2024, she could be the one making appointments…

  3. says

    It’s still an odd phraseology. I sleep with a pillow under my head, not over it.

    Or was he saying the pillow was vertically up against headboard and Scalia’s head was on the mattress? Does anybody sleep like this? (I also wonder if maybe that phrase was some sort of local idiom.)

  4. Mano Singham says


    It is an odd phraseology. I prefer to sleep without a pillow. When I stay at a hotel, where they tend to provide a large number of fat pillows, I simply move them aside or put them on a chair. I never put them ‘over my head’, which I take to mean as a buffer between my head and the headboard. But it is possible that the pillow moved during the night and ended up between Scalia’s head and the headboard. This could happen with a fat pillow.

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