It was the early hours of Sunday morning. In the dark, barren streets of East Williamsburg, the sidewalk filled with the trickling crowd of clubbers emitting from the Brooklyn Mirage, following a late set there by Zeds Dead, a pair of Canadian DJs who tour the country playing Diplo-adjacent house music; on the street, unlicensed cab drivers lurked, waiting for prospective fares to arrive, yelling at them exorbitant rates to make it out of Brooklyn.
Among those trying to leave that night was John Castic, a Chicago native with a degree from DePaul, described in his LinkedIn profile as a senior analyst at the New Jersey offices of Goldman Sachs. By the end of the weekend, his profile photo there would show up in the first of a number of Daily Mail stories, the first matter-of-factly headlined “Mystery as Goldman Sachs analyst John Castic, 27, vanishes after ‘Zeds Dead’ concert at iconic NYC venue Brooklyn Mirage.” Elsewhere, one of Castic’s friends told Fox News that Castic’s phone had died that night and he hadn’t been heard or seen since.
On Tuesday morning, the New York Post reported on the discovery of “a bloated, shirtless body,” floating near the Grand Street Bridge, connecting the tip of East Williamsburg to Maspeth in Queens. It was Castic.
Reached by phone by the New York Daily News, Castic’s father spoke highly of the police. “They really started cranking on this late Sunday, and we’re mid-Tuesday and they’ve found him already,” he told the newspaper.
Like the recent death of three businessmen in a submarine under the Atlantic Ocean, the saga of a midwestern asset manager found dead after visiting Bushwick captivated the internet. The news was covered ravenously, as content aggregators as varied as the USA Today, People Magazine, Business Insider and even the popular New Delhi-based Hindustan Times put out digital signposts to collect online traffic from Castic’s sudden demise. Characteristically, Newsweek asked: “Who Is John Castic? Goldman Sachs Analyst Missing Since NYC Concert.” Local news station PIX11 landed “exclusive surveillance video” of Castic leaving the club. Eventually, the Daily Mail published an explosive graphic of “John Castic’s Final Movements.”
More ambitiously, some connected Castic’s death with the recent, less-covered death of Karl Clemente, a Filipino-American psychologist the same age as Castic who was similarly found dead in the same creek in mid-June. The Post, which did not cover Clemente’s death, now warned in a headline that “another man was found in [the] same creek.” A writer at the Independent, a London newspaper, confidently assured readers that “the similarities between the deaths are impossible to ignore.”
In a report from the Mail, late on Wednesday, Castic’s father — after previously telling a Fox News reporter that “there’s something weird here” regarding the possible connection to Clemente — decided that it was actually more likely his son died as a result of a fatal interaction with some peanuts.
“He was allergic to peanuts and maybe ate something without realizing that it contained peanuts,” said Jeff Castic, perhaps the last word on the matter until an autopsy comes down.
Top image: Brooklyn Mirage.
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