Investigative Reporter Danny Casolaro was investigating possible links between BCCI, Iran-Contra, and Inslaw. He called the covert operation, in which the CIA was involved, “The Octopus.”
The Justice Department started sharing the illegally obtained PROMIS software with other agencies, including intelligence agencies where PROMIS was modified for intelligence purposes and sold to foreign intelligence operations in Israel, Jordan, and other places. Michael Risconsciuto of the Wakenhut security firm has testified that he was contracted to install a “trap door” in the software to allow the CIA to tap into PROMIS software worldwide. It appears that the original petty crimes of the Justice Department have led to the exposure of a sensitive national security operation.
As Casolaro continued his investigation he started to receive death threats. He told his brother, “if there was an accident and he died, not to believe it.” On August 11, 1991, Casolaro was found dead in the bathtub of a hotel room in Martinsburg, Virginia, where he had a meeting with a U.S. Army Special Forces covert intelligence officer.
He was found with his wrists slashed. At least one, and possibly both of his wrists were cut 10 times. All of his research materials were missing and have never been recovered.
Following the death of Casolaro, Inslaw Attorney Elliot Richardson called for an investigation. “It’s hard to come up with any reason for his death, other than he was deliberately murdered because he was so close to uncovering sinister elements of what he called “The Octopus,” Richardson said. High level Justice Department officials conspired to steal the PROMIS software and secretly convert it to use by domestic and foreign intelligence services.