Chesapeake Founder Aubrey McClendon Dies In Car Crash One Day After Federal Indictment

Tyler Durden's picture

Just one day after the DOJ unveiled its had indicted Chesapeake Founder and former CEO Aubrey McClendon on federal charges of conspiring to rig bids for oil and natural gas leases, moments ago the Oklahoma Police announced that he was found dead in a car accident, when while traveling in a 2013 Chevy Tahoe at a high rate of speed he slammed into an embankment in northeast Oklahoma City The car burst into flames before responders could pull McClendon’s body from the vehicle, Balderrama said.

"He pretty much drove straight into the wall," Balderrama said, according to KFOR News Channel 4 in Oklahoma City. "The information out there at the scene is that he went left of center, went through a grassy area right before colliding into the embankment. There was plenty of opportunity for him to correct and get back on the roadway, and that didn’t occur."

Oklahoma Police reveals more details on the crash in the CNBC clip below:


The police said that it responded at 9:12 am to a fatality accident involving McClendon, and that he was traveling south on Midwest Blvd., between Memorial and 122nd St.. 

McClendon crashed into an embankment while traveling at a "high rate of speed" in Oklahoma City on Wednesday morning, said Capt. Paco Balderrama of the Oklahoma City Police Department. McClendon's vehicle was engulfed in flame, he said.

"He pretty much drove straight into the wall," Balderrama said.

The scene of the crash:


This is all that was left of his car:


And this is the embankment into which McClendon crashed, with even the local police implying the crash was a suicide as McClendon had plenty of time to correct his approach and he did not:


As Bloomberg summarizes, McClendon’s rise in the North American energy arena was rapid. He grew to become a towering figure in the industry, building Chesapeake Energy Corp. from modest beginnings to vast energy empire, thanks to his nimble championing of controversial hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling at a time when larger, more established players were skeptical of shale’s potential. At its height in June, 2008, Chesapeake was valued at $35.6 billion.

McClendon’s fall from grace was just as swift. The very gas boom he helped create caused prices to crater, reducing the company’s value by more than half within years. A shareholder revolt by Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management Inc.’s O. Mason Hawkins cost the CEO his annual bonus and the chairmanship in 2012, and McClendon agreed to resign in January 2013.

He was charged Tuesday by a federal grand jury in connection with orchestrating a scheme between two “large oil and gas companies” to not bid against each other for leases in northwest Oklahoma from December 2007 to March 2012, the Justice Department said Tuesday in a statement. McClendon called the charge “wrong and unprecedented” in a statement last night.

“I’ve known Aubrey McClendon for nearly 25 years. He was a major player in leading the stunning energy renaissance in America. He was charismatic and a true American entrepreneur,” said T. Boone Pickens, chairman of BP Capital LLC. “No individual is without flaws, but his impact on American energy will be long-lasting.”

After his ouster from Chesapeake, McClendon formed American Energy Partners LP and raised more than $10 billion for acquisitions. With financial backing from private-equity heavyweights including First Reserve Corp. and Energy & Minerals Group, controlled by John Raymond, McClendon’s new vehicle amassed drilling rights and exploratory stakes from the Appalachian mountains to Australia and Argentina before commodity prices cut the company’s growth and restricted its access to credit.

Earlier today, McClendon released the following statement regarding the DOJ indictment:

“The charge that has been filed against me today is wrong and unprecedented. I have been singled out as the only person in the oil and gas industry in over 110 years since the Sherman Act became law to have been accused of this crime in relation to joint bidding on leasehold.  Anyone who knows me, my business record and the industry in which I have worked for 35 years, knows that I could not be guilty of violating any antitrust laws.  All my life I have worked to create jobs in Oklahoma, grow its economy, and to provide abundant and affordable energy to all Americans. I am proud of my track record in this industry, and I will fight to prove my innocence and to clear my name.” – Aubrey McClendon

Chesapeake released the following statement on news of his death:

"Aubrey's tremendous leadership, vision, and passion for the energy industry had an impact on the community, the country, and the world. We are tremendously proud of his legacy and will continue to work hard to live up to the unmatched standards he set for excellence and integrity," the company said in a statement. 


Chesapeake said in a statement that it is "deeply saddened by the news" and its "thoughts and prayers are with the McClendon family during this difficult time."

“I known him for many years -- we’ve been friends for a long time,” Charif Souki, former chief executive officer and co-founder of natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy Inc., said in a television interview with Bloomberg Wednesday. “He is probably one of the most important persons in the shale revolution and responsible for what’s happened to the energy situation in the U.S. This is tragic.” 

Moments ago even Carl Icahn chimed in:

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comrade rally monkey's picture

this is the oil buisness-There will be blood

Killtruck's picture

Too bad he wasn't driving a Mercedes...the engine would be 200 yards away....

hedgeless_horseman's picture



He will be playing tennis with the scam artisit formerly known as Ken Lay after a little reconstructive surgery.

researchfix's picture

Yes, a pre-designed ´death´.

CU in the Carribean...

Mr. Universe's picture

Whoever it was behind the wheel, I wonder what thoughts were going through his mind when he stepped on the brakes and nothing happened.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Mr. Universe Mar 2, 2016 3:16 PM

"Sue me now, bitches!!!"

NoDebt's picture



Call the doctor, I think I'm gonna crash

Doctor says he's coming but you gotta pay him cash

Life in the fast lane


Soul Glow's picture

We crashed some folks.

Four chan's picture

this is fucking crazy also i bought 10000 shares at 1.78 the other day. rip

0b1knob's picture

Nail guns and pillow suffocation are so last week.

Ghost of Porky's picture

Can we please indict Hillary now?

johngaltfla's picture

Weird how all these computer remote controlled cars keep accelerating and bursting into flames.....

Never by a Chevy with the Hastings option package.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Have you met Audrey, the new member at the trap club?  She is old friends with Kenna.

Manthong's picture

Hey.. if I wasn’t committed, a dark room and a paper bag with three holes might make that worth tapping…

But that was back in the day…

bought even a few more VXX at 3:42 pm.

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture
KesselRunin12Parsecs (not verified) Manthong Mar 2, 2016 3:54 PM

Fucking Gartman is probably trying to figure out how to TRADE this (after he gets 'debriefed by the CIA/FED of course)...

BobPaulson's picture

The crash was so dramatic that all his teeth exploded, making it impossible to identify the body from dental records.

cheka's picture

he got the ken lay deal

Automatic Choke's picture

i think he was on his way to the hardware store to buy a nail gun.

Save_America1st's picture

His name was Michael Hastings...


TPTB musta finally figured out that multiple nail-gun shots to the cranium doesn't pass for suicide these days. 

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) Save_America1st Mar 2, 2016 4:44 PM


Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Even Hastings death was faked.  Come on peeps...

Died in a Jewish neighborhood. Was Jewish as well, IIRC.  No witnesses.  Very dramatic but very little evidence.

johngaltfla's picture

Fucking OnStar: "Accelerate to 140 mph, turn left at concrete bridge embunkment. Prepare for airbag deployment."

Good thing the FBI/DHS/CIA don't control or have access to that. Oh, wait a second, maybe they do....

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

I hope they can figure out the guy was that was found in the car

weburke's picture

this could have been done from anywhere on the planet

johngaltfla's picture

I have an Android based Galaxy phone and trust me, it can't.

It would reboot in the middle of the app execution. Look for Blackberry and iPhone users.

palmereldritch's picture

I sense the genesis of the inaugural ad campaign for the Apple Car:

'Drive different'

WordSmith2013's picture


Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon Took Out Competitors Using Enviro Groups
JRobby's picture

Was Fletch involved in this?

Normalcy Bias's picture

Only because I'm a kindhearted, selfless, and caring humanitarian, I hereby volunteer to comfort his niece, Kate Upton, in her time of need.

Sanctuary2's picture

He was trying to create a noose when "he" lost control of the car

Manthong's picture

I do not mean to be disrespectful of the tragedy, but was the car running on nat gas?

Several thousand PSI in a pressurized vessel can make for a pretty big boom if subjected to a "high rate of speed" collision.



aVileRat's picture

No, just a normal 2013 Tahoe.

Reason he met the wall:

When Exxon or an Exxon kid calls bullshit, your name as a deal maker/landman is done.


Aubrey was a total fraud from day 1. There is CHK acreage from the 1995 trusts have yet to be drilled in 2015, held over by who knows what form of questionable GAPP accounting. Sandridge likely blew the whisle and it's only a matter of time before the GORR kiting & general land games come to light. Aubrey learned all he could from Senator Kerr, who at a high level was one of the most corrupt bastards to ever spud a well. He was even worse as a sitting Senator where he brazely walked cash sacks to grease Congress for Italian interests. Plenty of books documented the scandals of 1930-1960 and Senator Kerr was always near the center of attention.

Feel sorry for his kids, they'll never work the dirt off this one. With most of his wealth tied into those GORR deals, I could see a Federal clawback in the near future. Sharp traders should go google the "teapot scandal" and Sinclair Oil.


Moral of the story: "Cheaters never prosper"- Scrooge Mc Duck.


palmereldritch's picture

Maybe they were never drilled because he was paid to keep potentially massive and plentiful Alaskan oil reserves off the market to support price/production control through petro-FRN-town-KSA?

...and with oil prices and volume production going through the shitter now with Russian abiotic and NA domestic fracking proving the limitless physical abundance of petroleum thus leaving the Saudis to plum the Global petro-dollar price basement as necessitated by their UST petro-dollar ballast...they cut him loose. Who knows...

Can't say I miss those Peak Oil trolls these days...I wonder whatever happened to them?

Oh wait...once oil hits $50/bbl again and begins to rise under Saudi consolidation (lol...good luck with that given Russia/Iran production) expect them to start wielding the same old tried and true propaganda..."the Saudi's are tapped now squeezing the last of the reserves out with salt water schpiel..."(i.e. FRN priced petroleum scarcity and its requisite high price in FRNs is a great vacuum/sink for FRN debt note printing made possible by its principal shareholders the KSA and the FED...Translation: It's not Peak Oil it's about avoiding peak FRN until the FED are ready to crater the fucker)

Spigot's picture

What I find interesting about the "teeth exploded" detail is I have never, ever heard this included in a general news story about any kind of death before. Is this a 'tell', or possibly the reporter's flag of doubt?

Also, one would tend to wait a bit to allow the coronor to examine the charred remains, no?

We assisted some people's deaths.

0b1knob's picture

< So long sucker.

< Schlonged sucker.

Cheduba's picture

One more megalomaniac burning in hell.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



...a paper bag with three holes might make that worth tapping…


Have fun!  FYI: That body in the photo used to be Bruce Jenner. 

It is amazing what those surgeons can do these days.

As for me, there isn't enough booze in the world.

Manthong's picture

oh, F...

I was thinking that might have been the 30 minute to closing time solution to a sexual emergency, but you kinda' shattered that illusion.

Fuku Ben's picture

That tennis comment was great. It reminded me of the movie The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler. The new and improved Ken and Aubrey may have a tennis match already scheduled for all we know.

Last of the Middle Class's picture

Can't tell if that's Kaitlyn or Ozzie!


stacking12321's picture

option 1 - basking in the carribean

option 2 - someoe onstar'ed his onboard computer, aka hastings'ed, because he was going to name names in a plea deal

bamawatson's picture

party behind wheel --- antonin scalia

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Oh Aubrey, I understand driving into the wall, but a 2013 Chevy? Really? I am so let down. I thought you had more class.