London - The search for the illusive 'smoking gun' in the NewsCorpse hacking scandal took a macabre twist today.
Ex-NOTW writer Sean Hoare - who first fingered Andy Coulson in a New York Times hacking expose - was found dead at his home in Watford.
His September 2010 story blew the whistle on the disgraced No 10 spin doctor alleging he was 'up to his neck' in the paper's murky eavesdropping business.
Police said today Hoare's death was 'unexplained' amid pending toxicology tests at a local pathgology lab.
He was 50-something.
An early evening news bulletin tonight said booze and drugs were behind Hoare's firing from the Wapping newspaper.
But a former colleague and cryptology fan said he was suspicious after studying an anagram of the journo's name.
"Sean Hoare was 'A Sane Hero' as everybody knows," Luke Walm told QM NewsCorpse reporters.
"And now he's being smeared as 'On A Hearse'!"
An update is expected shortly.