Yet in addition, to the flustered response the news has cascaded in politics, the unexpected turn of events has prompted confusion, chaos and a whirlwind of conspiracy theories as no one can quite pinpoint how the justice died.
On the morning of Feb. 13, John Poindexter, owner of Cibolo Creek Ranch where Scalia had been staying, found Scalia’s body “in perfect repose.”
“We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled. He was lying very restfully,” Poindexter told the San Antonio Express-News.
Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes without even seeing the body or ordering an autopsy, which is legal under Texas law. She consulted with Scalia’s physician who disclosed he was dealing with health problems and sheriff’s investigators who determined there were no signs of foul play, thus concluding Scalia died of natural causes.
Despite reports that said Scalia died of “myocardial infarction,” Guevara clarified she only meant that his heart stopped.
“It wasn’t a heart attack,” Guevara said. “He died of natural causes.”
Yet the autopsy factor remains a contested issue. His family did not feel a private autopsy was necessary and requested his remains be flown to Virginia immediately.
“If it had been me .?.?. I would want to know,” Juanita Bishop, a justice of the peace in Presidio, Tex., told the Washington Post on Sunday.
Social media is already running rampant with ludicrous conspiracy theories amidst the foggy details of Scalia’s death.
Fave conspiracy theory: Leonard Nimoy (after faking his own death) killed Scalia so Obama can cancel election https://t.co/SHny80lt2E— Steven Levy (@StevenLevy) February 14, 2016
Justice Scalia's Death....conspiracy??? Well, it WAS Very Convenient for OBAMA and the LEFT....wasn't it? You do have to question it!— Andy Thompson (@AndyTho10107697) February 15, 2016
This is hilarious, but I'm sure there are lots of folks who believe Scalia's death is a diabolical Obama conspiracy: https://t.co/MLs3ZjroyN— Tony Norman (@TonyNormanPG) February 15, 2016
So apparently now the Scalia death is a conspiracy and Obama killed him. Yesterday I hated liberals, today I hate "conservatives".— Kyle Foley (@notkylefoley) February 15, 2016
William O. Ritchie, former head of criminal investigations for the D.C. police, insinuated the possibility of homicide in a Facebook rant posted on Sunday.
“How can the Marshal say, without a thorough post mortem, that he was not injected with an illegal substance that would simulate a heart attack,” he wrote.
“Did the US Marshal check for petechial hemorrhage in his eyes or under his lips that would have suggested suffocation? Did the US Marshal smell his breath for any unusual odor that might suggest poisoning? My gut tells me there is something fishy going on in Texas.”
The lack of an autopsy and barely any specifications of Scalia’s health conditions subtly imply we may never know what really happened to him.