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Who Is Lori Klausutis? 8 Details And Theories About Joe Scarborough Intern Found Dead In Florida Senator's Office

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Who Is Lori Klausutis? 8 Details And Theories About Joe Scarborough Intern Found Dead In Florida Senator's Office

In 2017, President Donald Trump started a frenzy on Twitter that made people take a second look at another beloved morning show host. POTUS tweeted about an “unsolved mystery” involving NBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and an intern found dead in his office back in 2001 named Lori Klausutis.

Who is Lori Klausutis and what happened to Lori Klausutis?

According to police, the “unsolved mystery” Trump was demanding to be investigated was solved a long time ago.

But the president brought life back into a conspiracy theory about Lori Klausutis’ death.

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From 1995 until 2001, Joe Scarborough, 57, served as a U.S. Congressman in Florida. Lori Klausutis worked as an aide to the Republican congressman.

On July 19, 2001, Klausutis was found dead in Scarborough’s office, slumped over by a desk. A couple discovered the 28-year-old’s body the next day as they arrived at the office for an appointment around 8 AM.

Foul play was ruled out after an investigation by local police and Okaloosa County Associate Medical Examiner Michael Berkland. The aide had passed out from an abnormal heart rhythm, which caused her to fall and strike her head on the desk.

Klausutis’ head injury was determined to be responsible for her death. She had also reportedly told a colleague earlier that day that she was feeling unwell. 

"It kind of leaves me with a sorrowness, but I'm glad it's finally resolved," said Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Steve Hogue, who was in charge of the initial investigation into Klausutis’ death. "It brings some finality for the family."

A police investigator said that authorities investigating her death left “no stone unturned.”

Scarborough resigned from office two months after Klausutis’ death, stating he wanted to spend more time with his family. He also took to Twitter to quickly respond to Trump’s post.

Despite the medical reports ruling Klausutis’ death an accident, some turned to a conspiracy theory about the incident, where the former congressman was somehow involved in her passing.

A Twitter exchange between Scarborough and Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos blog, got Moulitsas banned from being on MSNBC. The banter that got him banned is as follows:

Markos: Like story of a certain dead intern. RT @JoeNBC: Luckily for the White House, the media has been negligent on this story since Day 1.

Markos: But if you want to talk about bullsh-t “scandals”, @JoeNBC, there’s this one about Joe Sestak and the White House you might’ve heard of.

JoeNBC: @markos Unbelievable. You have a long history of spreading lies suggesting I am a murderer. This is the 3rd or 4th time by my count.

Markos: @JoeNBC, I’ve never suggested you’re a murderer. I’ve noted media hypocrisy in going after Gary Condit. But he was Dem. You aren’t.

JoeNBC: Anyone in media who interviews @markos, know that you’re extending your credibility to someone who regularly suggests that I’m a murderer.

Markos: A bit touchy, @JoeNBC? Links for where I accuse you of being a murderer please.

This incident just fueled the conspiracy that Scarborough had something to do with Klausutis' death.

Another situation that conspiracy theories use to light their flame is an old article by Vanity Fair that tried to link Scarborough with the death of his aide.

Fox News reported that Scarborough said Vanity Fair's story was “shameful reporting spawned a thousand conspiracy theories.” He wasn't wrong — theories popped up left and right about the Republican and Klausutis, including some about a sex scandal between the two that led to her murder. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Lori Klausutis, the intern found dead in Scarborough’s office almost 20 years ago, and why people think she was murdered.

She was very involved with her church.

She sang in her church’s choir and often volunteered as a cantor at a local Catholic congregation.

Klausutis was married.

Her husband, Timothy, was a Florida native. He served in the U.S. Air Force and was devastated by his wife’s death. He wrote on an Internet account that “being married to Lori” was an honor.

Her nickname was “Little Miss Mary Sunshine.”

Her friends and family spoke nothing but good things about her. Her friends said Klausutis was a happy woman, and they often called her “Little Miss Mary Sunshine.”

She was taking college courses, and she and her husband were happily married and just moved into a new house.

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The medical examiner spent 80 hours determining her cause of death.

After an estimated 80 hours of examination and research, Okaloosa County Associate Medical Examiner Michael Berkland finally determined that Klausutis’ death was an accident. Berkland closed “an investigation that had dragged on despite an early determination that no foul play was involved.”

She was in a coma as a teenager.

In her teen years, Klausutis was involved in a traffic accident that put her in a coma. She also suffered from short-term memory loss after the incident.

She was an avid runner (and very healthy).

Klausutis was a member of the Northwest Florida Track Club and had run an 8K recently before her death.

She wasn't found until the next morning.

According to the medical examiner, she died on July 19, 2001 before the end of the workday. Her body wasn't found until July 20 at 8 AM when a couple came to Scarborough’s office for an appointment.

The medical examiner lost his license in two states for lying about autopsies, adding to conspiracy theories about her death.

Michael Berkland had lost his medical examiner license in both Missouri and Florida for lying about autopsies. His license was revoked in Missouri in 1996 for providing false information about an autopsy and in 1999 his ME license was suspended in Florida and finally withdraw in 2003.

Human body parts were also found in a storage unit belonging to Berkland in 2012.

Trump has once again tweeted about the incident.

Scarborough hit back at Trump, citing his part in the coronavirus pandemic.

Scarborough said, “He, again, said it was going to be zero, it was 11 to zero, 15 to five. Then he said it was going to magically go away in April, when things warmed up, it’d be gone in April. Then, of course, more Americans died in April of this pandemic that the president said wasn’t going to affect us.

[He] said the media is, yeah, overhyping it, it’s a hoax. It is very telling that the president of the United States, as he rushes headlong into reopening as much of the country as he can, going against his own White House guidelines, the guidelines he announced. It’s worth noting, before you go headfirst into a situation that could cause you a lot of pain and misery, and possibly even death, just stop for a minute and think, wait a second.”

He went on to say, “That’s why the polls that are coming out are all bad news for him. I know that drives him crazy, makes him do even crazier things. It makes him talk about disinfectants being injected, makes him talk about lights being disinfected, makes him say stupid things about Abraham Lincoln and insult George W. Bush, when the president is trying to bring us together.

Donald Trump is down 43 percent to 49 percent to Joe Biden. you look at a Dallas Morning Newspoll, unbelievable, in Texas, the Dallas Morning News has Donald Trump and Joe Biden tied.”

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Sarah Gangraw is a travel-addicted cat lady who writes about all things news, entertainment and crime.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on December 1, 2017 and was updated with the latest information.