The Mail doesn't like to hang around. As Alison Pearson showed with her hate-fuelled venom aimed at a dead girl's grieving mother, there's no need to wait for the corpse to get cold before you stick the boot in. And why wait that long? While Carol Barnes was dying in hospital, the Hate took the chance to paint her as a miserable drunk.
So it should be no surprise that just hours after the body of Michael Todd was found in Snowdonia, they're quickly getting stuck in. It's partly the 24-hour newsroom culture of not waiting for the paper edition and getting rumours and suspicion flying in as soon as possible so as not to get turned over by their competitors; it's partly because I think they enjoy raking over the personal lives of the recently (or even soon-to-be) deceased. As ever, you just have to hope that no-one with relatives who die ever gets the Mail delivered. Not that they'd care anyway.
A chief constable who was found dead on a mountainside in Snowdonia is believed to have committed suicide over a series of affairs.
As I pointed out in 'Call the cops? Don't bother, the Mail knows...' the Hate doesn't like to wait for such time-wasting procedures as investigations or inquests. No need to care about due process or pre-judging the facts. They're clearly CSI and Quincy all rolled into one; they know exactly how people die, and why. Not only that, but they just love prurient details of other people's sex lives, especially when they're dead and they therefore can't sue.
Michael Todd's body was found slumped face down beside a half-empty bottle of gin and the 50-year-old's coat had come off. Some of his clothes were discovered nearby, a source said.
Probably not a fellow copper, this source, but you never know how low people will stoop for a few quid.
But the source, who did not want to be named, dispelled rumours that the Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable and former Assistant Commissioner of the Met was half-naked or that there were signs of his wrists being cut.
He also wanted to make it clear that aliens didn't land at the site and that Todd wasn't dressed as a chicken.
Mr Todd sent a series of worrying text messages on Monday - and it is these which prompted the search.
Plus the fact he was halfway up a mountain in a gale?
The source also confirmed that more texts were sent from Snowdon but said he did not know their content.
Who would know that, apart from a copper? Pretty low this, ratting on one of your own to get some cash from the Mail.
Today sources close to the police chief, who was tipped to take over at Scotland Yard, said it was "an open secret" that he had had at least one extramarital relationship with a woman police officer.
More 'sources'. Well you don't get paid unless you come up with something spicy... but of course I'm sure this is all true and above board. People are telling the Mail out of a sense of moral purpose and citizenship, not for the wonga.
There were also rumours that he had been engaged in an ongoing affair with a new female recruit to the force.
Keep kicking him, he's dead.
One report claimed that the 50-year-old father of three had an affair with a Metropolitan Police officer in London who had his illegitimate child.
Yet another claimed: 'He shagged me, can I have 200 quid now for telling you that?'
Tomorrow, rather than an inquest being opened and adjourned, pathologist Dr Anthony Caslin will outline his preliminary findings.
Dewi Pritchard-Jones, Coroner for North Wales, said: "Initially, it was just going to deal with evidence of identification but that has changed because of the post-mortem examination and because of all the rumours and stories floating around. Some are absolutely incorrect.
Yes, I wonder who might be responsible for these 'rumours and stories'? Definitely not the good old Hate, that's for sure.
Some of the comments beggar belief. Even in this story, the Mailites can't help themselves from attacking Jock McJudas:
What a terrible shame, thoughts with Mr. Todd's family. I hope there is a thorough investigation, but I doubt it with Labour in control.
- Karen, ex pat USA
Yes, that's right. They'll deliberately cover up won't they.
Nu Labour stooge...
- Donald Dehaviland, Fleet
I think that one's a pisstake. But the conspiracy theorists are here as well:
So he's investigating the CIA rendition flights and the next thing he's found at the foot of a cliff?
- Andrew, Wellingbrough, UK
And then there's a few 'what the fuck?' comments as well:
I hate to sound cold blooded and if Mr Todd did commit suicide then was not probably thinking rationally but why did he have to put other people's lives at risk?
- Col, N. Ireland
But also some:
Mr Todd's PRIVATE life should have remained exactly that; PRIVATE.
- Edwina Rigby, Blackburn
I don't care what happened in his private life - it's nothing to do with us. He seems to have been a thoroughly commendable man.
- Marty, Altrincham
Well, my view is different. Looks like he had various affairs, not something I would expect from a top police officer. He obviously couldn't live with the shame so did the honourable thing.
Not that this will be published.
- Aa, Herts
Don't worry Aa, this is the age of not giving a shit. Stick the boot in, not knowing the full facts, before the corpse has even got cold! Take your lead from the Mail...