"A tragic accident" was the conclusion after the extensive inquiry into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. However, new life has been given to one of the more bizarre conspiracy theories thanks to self-proclaimed "e-investigator" Eustace Grappler.
Mr Grappler, 36, had been carrying out his investigation since the tragedy in 1997. However, it was only after the untimely death of serial animal-botherer Steve Irwin that he began to make significant progress. "A week before Steve Irwin's encounter with the stingray, I received an e-mail from an unfamiliar source that featured three Irwin/Stingray jokes, which, at the time, made no sense at all. It was only when I read the papers the following week that their relevance became apparent."
Naturally, Mr Grappler was suspicious. "I wanted to contact the sender but frustratingly they were using a "no reply" address. Fortunately, though, one of my online contacts was more than happy to help."
After a couple of hours of probing, the contact got back to Grappler with some shocking information that was to re-open his Diana investigation.
Grappler's accomplice, known only by his internet alias, "Dark_Ham", had unearthed an underground joke-manufacturing organisation which, after a sharp decrease in tragic events in the mid to late nineties, had taken drastic measures to ensure a steady flow of work for it?s 56 full-time employees. "I was sickened to discover that not only had they spent two weeks in Queensland's barrier reef antagonising sea life and pouring fish hormones into the ocean prior to Steve Irwin's death, they had also spiked Diana's driver's drink less than an hour before her accident. And for what - A few cheap laughs? Those pranksters make my blood boil!"
Despite the new information, Lord Stevens continues to rule out any conspiracy. "I've spent the last ten years being inundated with ridiculous theories from crackpot thirty-something virgins like Grappler. If these nutters had left me alone from the start I could've finished the investigation in six months."