The Octopus Murders

The 2024 Emmy Award winning series “The Octopus Murders” delves into the mysterious death of investigative reporter Danny Casolaro while researching the story of cutting edge spy software stolen by the Reagan Justice Department. Central to Casolaro’s investigation was software genius Michael Riconosciuto who was sent to prison on (he claimed) false drug charges after signing an affidavit that he had, at the request of Reagan associate Earl Brian (later sent to prison on fraud charges), written a secret back door into the software enabling the United States to spy on countries that used the software, such as Canada. Riconosciuto also claims to have been involved in Brian’s transfer at Reagan’s request of millions of dollars to Iran prior to the U.S. presidential election to assure there would be no release of U.S. hostages until after the election, resulting Reagan’s victory over one term president Jimmy Carter.

Riconosciuto was one of the persons interviewed by Green Cities Fund in connection with its investigation, with investigative reporter Peter Byrne, of the death of investigative reporter Gary Webb following his breaking the story of the Reagan administration’s allowing drugs to flow into the United States to provide funds for right-wing Contra forces in Nicaragua after Congress had banned further financial support for the Contras. When Webb’s newspaper, The San Jose Mercury News, refused to back the story (later confirmed by the C.I.A.) Green Cities Fund published a parody issue of the Mercury News.

Another person interviewed to corroborate Webb’s story was former Mossad agent Paul Lir Alexander who, when he traveled to Nicaragua to teach the Contras assassination techniques, allegedly observed C.I.A. warehouses filled with drugs for shipment to the U.S. Webb published a book on his story “The Dark Alliance” before he died.