In Martinsburg, Casolaro happened to meet the guy staying in the room next to him, Mike Looney. The two had drinks in the hotel lounge the night before Casolaro was found dead. I’m supposed to be meeting a source at nine, Casolaro said, but I’m getting the impression he’s standing me up. He left Looney at the bar, said he went to make some calls. Came back, told Looney that, I think I got blown off.
Casolaro talked to Looney about his work in mostly vague details, saying he was doing a criminal investigative story. He mentioned a book deal might be in the works.
Looney recalled him being a bit frayed, a little frantic. He scribbled stuff on cocktail napkins as they talked, almost like messages were being sent to his head as they talked and he had to transcribe them. He seemed like an odd person, a mad scientist type perhaps, but he seemed to have a good streak to him.
Looney seemed visibly shaken when he was informed that he was probably the last person to spend time with Casolaro. He tried not to contemplate the idea that perhaps he was murdered while I was asleep in the next room. The other possibility, that he killed himself, was no comfort either.