'What's the chance of two ex-Navy SEALs turning up dead in the same room?'

By Paul Thompson In Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Disbelieving family and friends of an ex-Navy SEAL who died of an apparent drugs overdose on the ship made famous in the movie Captain Phillips are convinced of a 'cover-up' and have called for a US investigation into his death, MailOnline can reveal today.
The body of Mark Kennedy, a super fit, highly-decorated member of the elite fighting force, was found inside a cabin on the cargo ship Maersk Alabama - the vessel involved in a 2009 hijacking that ended with Somali pirates shot dead by SEALs.
Another former SEAL, Jeffrey Reynolds, was found alongside him, also dead from a suspected drug overdose. The men were seen partying with two women believed to be prostitutes the previous evening.

Heroin and a syringe were found by the bodies but friends who knew Kennedy, 44, a powerfully-built man who prided himself on staying fit, have questioned that he would turn to drugs.
Close friend Jeremy White, a former Navy reservist, said Kennedy had such chiseled features and was so clean cut that he called him 'Captain America.'
'I do not believe Mark took drugs,' White told MailOnline. 'That is not the Mark I knew. There is much more to this than is not being told right now.'
Mark's father Danny, 72, was so upset he could barely speak when approached by MailOnline at his remote home in the town of Baker, in East Baton Rouge County.

His eyes red-rimmed from weeping, he struggled to speak coherently when asked about his only son Mark. But he said: 'There has to be an investigation.'
Friends who grew up with Kennedy and trained alongside him at a local Cross Fit gym ridiculed suggestions that he had become a heroin user or hung out with hookers.
They said he was devoted to his wife, Julia, and 10-year-old son Mason and his final hours alive are in stark contrast to his healthy, clean-living lifestyle.
Kennedy was known to not smoke and as a combat medic was all too aware of the dangers of drugs, having served in Afghanistan where heroin use and its consequences were all around him.
Photographs posted on his Facebook page, where he used the alias Leroy Jenkins, show him bare chested and showing off his physique.

'Mark took great pride in keeping fit and working out,' said a friend from the Geuax Cross Fit gym in Baton Rouge where he would regularly work out.
'It is rubbish to say he was suddenly taking heroin. He did not even smoke so why is someone who as a SEAL has been taught to look after their body become a junkie. It does not add up and something is wrong.
'Mark served his country with pride and now they should repay that by carrying out an investigation.'
Mark's death on February 18 in the Seychelles has left his family and friends stunned. His wife Julia is believed to have returned to her parents home in Germany. 
Neighbours in the small community about ten miles from Baton Rouge said Danny and his wife Nanda were shattered by their son's death and the squalid reports of his demise.
'He was their hero and they were so proud of him serving his country overseas,' said neighbour James Carpenter. 'They are shattered by Mark's death.It is going to take a lot for them to get over this.'

Since news of the death last month the couple have rarely ventured out of their home.
Kennedy and his colleague Reynolds, 44, from Fallbrook, California, were working as armed guards employed by a Virginia-based maritime private security company called the Trident Group.
The two former special forces soldiers had been assigned to protect the Maersk Alabama on its run from Salalah, Oman with a port of call at Port of Victoria in the Seychelles.
Guards are now carried on almost all cargo ships sailing close to the African coast to thwart hijackers.
Three years ago the giant Maersk Alabama taken over by four pirates from Somalia.
The ship's Captain, Richard Phillips, was taken hostage by the gunmen and spent several days in a tense standoff that only ended when Navy SEALs snipers killed three of the hijackers by firing simultaneous shots into the lifeboat where Phillips was being held captive.  
A fourth hijacker was taken into custody and is serving a life sentence in a US prison.

Police in the Seychelles remain convinced, so far, that the unexpected death of both men was related to the use of drugs. The exact cause of death was given as respiratory failure and possible heart attacks. 
Results of toxicology tests will not be known for three weeks.
Kennedy was found lying face up with a syringe in his hand while Reynolds was slumped on the bed. Investigators found a brown powder, believed to be heroin, in their room.
Police on the Indian Ocean island said the pair were captured on CCTV cameras accompanied by  two prostitutes after leaving a casino at 3am on February 18.
The women, who were identified by police from the CCTV footage, claim they went with the men when they bought heroin.
Local police have said possible charges could be brought against the alleged suppliers as they continue their investigation.
Prior to meeting the women Kennedy and Reynolds had been drinking vodka and tequila shots with a group of sailors from New Zealand in a bar called Le Rendez Vous.

They later moved on to the Victoria International casino where staff remember the pair playing blackjack. 
Kennedy, distinctive by his muscled physique and bald head, was said to be flirting with female croupiers and bar servers. After four hours in the casino they were asked to leave at 3am when it was time to close.
CCTV footage from nearby restaurants caught them wandering off down an alleyway with the two women.
The men were logged back on the ship at 6am with police now trying to find out where they went for the three hours before their return.
It is not uncommon for former soldiers turned contractors to indulge in the shady temptations on offer in some of the most dangerous places abroad - away from the support and love of their families.
But to those who knew Kennedy, he didn't fit this cliche.
'I have known Mark for 30 years and never once in that time did I suspect he was involved in drugs,' said friend David Carlton, 44. 'Mark was as straight as an arrow. He was a Navy SEAL and they have to be in top condition.
'Why would he mess with drugs. We went to the same high school. He was a great football player back then and very fit. Drugs were never part of his life. There is something very odd about his death and the US Government should investigate it.'
Neighbours of Mark and his second wife Julia also expressed shocked that he would take drugs. The family posted a notice on the front door of their home requesting privacy. 
Two cars bearing 'Navy veteran' license plates stood in the driveway while unopened packages piled up in the doorstep.
Another neighbour, who said he had known Mark for 30 years, was incredulous his death was down to drugs.

'There has been a cover up somewhere. Mark did not do drugs. He took care of his body. I know he had retired from active duty, but you do not suddenly start shooting up heroin.'
Another close friend, who did not want to be named, went further and suggested others could have been involved in their deaths.
'What are the chances of two ex-SEALs dying at the same time in the same room?' said the friend. 'Isn't it the smallest bit suspicious that they both take the heroin and die. Yes, it could be a contaminated batch, but I just don't buy it.

'The Mark Kennedy I knew would not go near drugs. He was all about keeping fit, and if you take drugs the last thing you do is want to look after your body.'
A club member at Beaux CrossFit gym where Kennedy would work out, said: 'Mark hardly ever wore a shirt when working out. If he was doing drugs we'd see the track marks. It does not make any sense.'
Friends also said Mark adored his second wife Julia. Photos on his Facebook page show the couple in loving embraces and trips to Europe.
Kennedy had kept his involvement with the Navy SEALs a secret from many of his neighbours. 
Many knew he was in the military, but not a member of the elite fighting unit that was responsible for killing Osama bin Laden.

An obituary posted in the Baton Rouge newspaper The Advocate revealed that after graduating from college he joined the Navy and later became a SEAL. After Basic Underwater Demolition school he became a combat medic.
The obituary said Mark served as a Navy SEAL for more than 13 years.
It read: 'Mark was assigned to SEAL Team 8, SEAL Team 2, and the Naval Special Operations Medical Institute. In support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Mark deployed on multiple combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. Mark was a highly decorated Navy SEAL; his two most notable decorations being the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with "V" device for valour.'
On a more personal note, the obituary said : 'Mark was a great patriot, a loving husband, father, and son. He had many loyal friends and teammates' and added that he 'loved adventure' and 'enjoyed vacationing with his wife Julia.'
Mark saw combat duty in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Photographs posted on social media sites show him in full camouflage uniform and also in his dress uniform with medal ribbons on his chest.
Kennedy was also a trained medic with the Louisiana National Guard and joined the Trident Group after leaving the SEALs in 2010.

Many other friends chose not to comment about Mark saying they were waiting to hear the final results of the toxicology tests. Other SEAL colleagues contacted by Mail Online also chose to stay silent - staying true to the vow of secrecy when they join the unit.
Drug use is forbidden on the ships and guards with the Trident Maritime Security Group are subjected to mandatory alcohol and drugs tests. The shipping giant Maersk, which hired the Trident Group to guard its ships, said last week that Trident would be conducting random drug tests of its employees.
'Based on our experience with the contractor, this is an isolated incident,' Maersk said. 
But it said new drug tests would start immediately and the company's shore leave policy was under review. Police in the Seychelles said their investigation is still continuing and arrests could be made at a later date.
The island is popular with vacationers, particularly honeymooners drawn by the white, sandy beaches and azure blue sea. Prince William and his wife Kate have been among the many visitors.
But there is a dark side to the island, which has a population of just 91,000. According to the United Nations World Drug report it has one of the highest rates of injectable drug use, about 2.3 per cent of the population.
Drug enforcement agents have said heroin is increasingly becoming hard to get hold off leading to dealers to 'cut' their supplies to make it go further.
One possibility is that the heroin found in Kennedy's cabin could have been mixed with fertiliser or another chemical. The exact make-up of the brown powder found in the cabin will not be know for at least three weeks.



  1. Seychelles police says their investigation is still underway and as in all cases ,it would take years if not eternity.What is clear in this case,is that there seems to be lots of mysteries and cover up..But am I sure the family members would not give up until the truth come out.

    Jeanne D'Arc


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