Aubrey McClendon – Accident? Suicide? Murder?

By | March 4, 2016

Wow…what to think. Would Aubrey McClendon be so convinced he was going to jail that he would have committed suicide? That may not be the case. OKC folks I know, many with long histories with McClendon and Chesapeake Energy say that the charges against him were hokie. They basically revolve around companies who had joint operating ventures (thus a JOA or Joint Operating Agreement) and who agreed to not bid on certain tracts that their partners were bidding on. This is common practice in the oil business, and was the standard operating procedure in offshore concessions as well. You simply don’t bid against your own partners for the same tract. 90% of the companies who bid on government (be it local, state, Indian, BLM, etc.) leases do the same thing. It was not a charge that couldn’t be beaten and likely would have been beaten. It wasn’t like these were secret deals.

So if he had no reason to commit suicide and no suicide note is found, what happened? First, he was driving a CNG car. That was the cause of the fire first and foremost. The tank ruptured but apparently did not really explode nor any indication that a bomb ignited the auto. McClendon, according to long time associates, often drove without his seat belt. No issue there. He owned property near Lake Arcadia, so being on Midwest Blvd. wasn’t unusual. He was supposed to appear in court later that day but had plenty of time. Did he typically speed? Perhaps. Why did he not brake prior to striking the abutment?

There can be several explanations. Perhaps he was distracted. Perhaps he dropped his phone or something else and was attempting to retrieve it out of the floor board. Also, did he have a heart attack (perhaps the autopsy can clear that up) or simply faint, go into a diabetic coma, etc. The people who knew him well think Aubrey died accidentally and one expressed the opinion that perhaps it was a murder somehow. But they all agreed that suicide simply didn’t seem to be a possibility.Aubrey McClendon in better times