February 8-10, 2014 — SPECIAL REPORT. The suicide of Ryan Loskarn: A Likely Story
Befitting the small town of Sykesville, Maryland is the fact that its small bookstore on Main Street is called “A Likely Story Bookstore.” That is because the official report on the January 23 suicide by self-hanging of Jesse Ryan Loskarn, the 35-year old former chief of staff to Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, is indeed a “likely story.”
A special investigation by WMR has discovered that Loskarn’s body was not subjected to an autopsy to make certain his cause of death.
On February 7, Bruce Goldfarb, a spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) for the State of Maryland in Baltimore, told WMR initially that the autopsy report on Jesse Ryan Loskarn had not yet been completed. But when Goldfarb returned our call 45 minutes later, he said there was no autopsy report on Loskarn. When Loskarn’s body was taken to the OCME morgue on January 23, an OCME inspection determined that the cause of death for the decedent was by hanging and that no full autopsy to determine the cause of death was necessary.
The disposal of the body, whether through burial or cremation, is private information, according to Goldfarb. A visit by WMR staff and volunteers to the Haight Funeral Home in Sykesville, which handled the funeral of Loskarn, in Sykesville identified a crematorium in the rear of the building. An employee of the funeral home earlier stated that there was no information on the disposal of Loskarn’s body or remains.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Department, which investigated Loskarn’s hanging, is not required to release the police report of the incident until 30 days after its final completion.
Sykesville’s “A Likely Story Book Store.” The official report on Ryan Loskarn’s “suicide” is a “likely story.”
The delay in Loskarn’s indictment by the Justice Department indicates that a possible plea agreement with federal prosecutors was in the works. However, with Loskarn’s death, any hope additional information leading prosecutors to others involved in the distribution and receipt of child pornographic materials came to an abrupt end.
Although most residents of the Washington, DC area were well aware of the Loskarn case, residents, including police officials and employees of businesses in Sykesville, feigned ignorance of the high-profile arrest and suicide of a member of a well-known family in the small Maryland town where a number of employees of the National Security Agency live. Maryland Route 32, which goes past NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, extends through Sykesville.
Loskarn was arrested at his Southeast Washington home near the Stadium-Armory Metro station on December 11, 2013 by officers of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on a probable cause basis for possession and distribution of child pornography, including videos. The children depicted in the hundreds of videos and thousands of photographs seized by authorities were as young as 6 years old. Loskarn was held in custody in Washington and arraigned the following day, December 12, at the U.S. federal courthouse for the District of Columbia.
Loskarn’s parents own CG Print and Promo at 7533 Main Street in Sykesville. CG stands for Consolidated Graphics.
Federal law enforcement agents seized materials and a computer from Loskarn’s residence and searched his computer in Alexander’s Senate office. Alexander removed Loskarn from his payroll on December 11. Loskarn’s indictment was not scheduled until February 10, the last day federal authorities had to bring formal charges against the fast-rising star in Congressional GOP circles. Loskarn had previously served as an aide to Republican Representatives Wally Herger of California and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. He also worked for the House Rules Committee. Before joining Alexander’s staff, Loskarn was the spokesman for the Senate Republican Conference, working for then-Senator Jon Kyle of Arizona.
Alexander told Politico that he was “stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Mi Yung Park argued against Loskarn’s release from jail at a detention hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse. However, Loskarn’s attorney, Pamela Satterfield, who is married to Chief Judge Lee F. Satterfield of the District of Columbia Superior Court, successfully argued that Loskarn was not a suicide risk. Loskarn was then released on his own recognizance with te provision that he wear an electronic ankle bracelet and stay at the home his parents, Chuck and Gay Loskarn, at 6496 Ken Mar Lane in Sykesville. It was at this address where Loskarn’s body was found hanging in the basement on January 23.
Ryan Loskarn was found hanging in the basement of his parents’ home in Sykesville, Maryland. The police report may or may not contain information on whether ground windows leading to the basement were tampered with or whether footprints leading to and from the house were seen in the snow on January 23.
Satterfield’s biography at the law firm of Schertler and Onorato in Washington states that she was “the Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1994 to 2003 where she was deputy chief of the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section, prosecuting adult criminal cases involving sexual abuse of adults and children, intra–family offenses, and child maltreatment.”
Federal prosecutor Park, who, in 2013, assumed the sex offense prosecutor’s position once held by Satterfield, argued against Loskarn’s release because she stated that he was considered a suicide risk. However,U.S. Judge John Facciola disagreed with Park and ordered Loskarn’s release to his parents custody.
The Haight Funeral Home, which handled Loskarn’s funeral arrangements, does have crematorium capabilities as seen from the rear facility with the metal smokestack from the roof. The funeral home did not disclose details of Loskarn’s funeral to WMR assistant.
In 2010, Satterfield prosecuted on obscenity charges John “Buttman” Stagliano, the proprietor of Evil Angel.com, a website that specializes in sado-masochistic pornography and distributed its material from a website in Baltimore. The case against Stagliano failed because of Satterfield’s weak legal arguments and overall lack of evidence.
Loskarn was arrested as part of the multinational Project Spade task force, which saw the arrest in November 2013 of several hundred people around the world for possession of child pornography. The operation specifically targeted Azov Films of Toronto, Canada. Azov Films and a related website called BoyJoy.com were run by Brian Way and his mother Sandra Waslow, who maintained an office in Stafford, Virginia, a Washington suburb and the location of a major airport serving private aircraft. Loskarn was under investigation by the Justice Department as a customer of and distributor for, via file sharing networks, of materials produced by the Toronto child porn operation since 2010. The Artek Camp, 50 miles southeast of the Sea of Azov, was the location of a 2009 child rape scandal involving senior members of the government of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Pro-Western protesters in Ukraine are demanding the release of Tymoshenko from prison where she is serving a sentence for abuse of power and bribery.
— First report in a series —