Somebody on Bellgab the other day referenced the murder of Eugene Mallove, 13 years ago this year, and expressed the usual conspiradroid assumption that Mallove was murdered by agents of Big Physics and Big Energy, fearful that Mallove was on the verge of a breakthrough in free energy that would threaten their own entrenched dominance. At the time, Tom Bearden wrote "Since Mallove was increasingly successful in his attempts to make cold fusion accepted by the scientific community at large… then obviously Mallove was an unacceptable threat and he had to go." Brian O'Leary wrote "Most of us in the field believe that this murder was an assassination." Bearden and O'Leary are (or were) enthusiasts for so-called "Free Energy" who were never able to demonstrate a working device. Even Richard Hoagland said on Coast to Coast AM "I can’t believe it’s just coincidence.”note 1
Who was Eugene Mallove? A qualified aeronautical engineer who had a prodigious talent for writing on technical and scientific subjects. He taught science journalism at M.I.T. and became a strong proponent of cold fusion and other forms of "Free Energy." He came to believe that the original Pons & Fleischmann cold fusion experiment of 1989 was what it seemed to be—the beginning of a whole new physics. He created the New Energy Foundation and launched the periodical Cold Fusion, which became Infinite Energy but still under Mallove's editorship until his death. He was a conspiracy theorist, I suppose, to the extent that he promoted the view that Pons & Fleischmann were the victims of an organized campaign of ridicule by mainstream physicists.
The facts of Mallove's brutal murder have been proved in a court of law by witnesses, and cannot really be disputed. He had recently evicted tenants from the home where he was raised in Norwich CT. He was in the process of junking the tenants' possessions when the tenants' son, Chad Shaffer, happened by. Shaffer was accompanied by Mozelle Brown and Shaffer's girlfriend Candace Foster. An argument ensued, and Shaffer and Brown eventually bludgeoned Mallove to death. The wheels of justice ground exceedingly slowly in this case, but Schaffer copped to manslaughter on 20 April 2012 and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Brown was convicted of murder in October 2014 and got 58 years.
As evidenced by the opinion expressed on Bellgab last week, conspiracy-minded people remain convinced that Mallove was offed by agents of Big Physics and Big Energy, rather than by two derelict thugs who Mallove had annoyed very grievously. There are three reasons why I reject this view of the tragedy.
ONE. To make the story work, BP&BE would have to have recruited Shaffer & Brown, and paid them enough to do the foul deed even though their entire lives would then be ruined. BP&BE would have to have known of Mallove's plan to ditch his tenants' belongings, and instructed Shaffer & Brown to show up at the time and place. This strikes me as utterly unbelievable. Of course I know that powerful people employ hit-men to off their enemies, it happens all the time. But the enemies get whacked in private, not out in the open in front of witnesses. That way the hit-men stay out of jail and are available for the next job. BP&BE would have had unbelievable good luck in finding a thug who would a) agree to the deal, and b) have a plausible motive of his own.
TWO. Mallove's rôle in the "Free Energy" movement was as a promoter and reporter of other people's work. He himself was developing nothing at all that was any threat to BP&BE. Surely, if anybody was going to feel the power of entrenched interests, it would be those engineers and physicists who were actually developing something in their labs that might actually work. The likes of Bearden and O'Leary would have something to fear, in this scenario.
THREE. If the motive of BP&BE was to suppress Mallove's strongly-expressed opinions, they were remarkably unsuccessful, let's face it. The periodical Infinite Energy lives on with a different editor. The Nov/Dec 2016 edition is currently on sale. Mallove's writings also live on, and his 1991 book Fire from Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor is still in print.
So for those reasons I find that the conspiracy theory in this case doesn't hold water. Personally I have nothing but encouragement for those who choose to try cheating the laws of physics, but cold fusion was first theorized in 1989 and we're still waiting for it to show social benefit. Mind you, you could say the same or worse about mainstream controlled fusion research, too.
 Transcript of C2C-AM, 15 May 2004