With news that the inquiry into Private Kovco’s death could take months, the absence of hard information has produced a glut of theories:

  • The “vehicle” theory: What appears to have really happened
    is that it was indeed an accidental death, but not from weapons
    cleaning… the unclassifed portion of Battle Update Brief report I got
    was that Kovco was riding in a vehicle with his rifle butt on the floor
    and he allowed his helmuted forehead to rest on the muzzle for just a
    quick moment… unfortunately the wrong moment. I don’t know what kind
    of rifle your army uses, but if a round could be chambered and a bump
    on the road could fire it, well, that’s what appears to have happened.
    An email doing the rounds

  • The “emailing” theory:
    Senior Defence officials have said the official investigation into the
    death would consider “all scenarios”. Privately, they have not ruled
    out suicide or dangerous gunplay, or the possibility Pte Kovco may have
    been emailing someone when his laptop fell on his pistol, causing it to
    fire. – The Advertiser
  • The “skylarking” theory: Serving soldiers in Iraq have told
    families and friends back home that Private Kovco was killed while the
    three soldiers in the barracks were playing a risky game. The troops
    report that one or two other soldiers were in the room with him when
    the gun went off and that they had tried to cover up what had happened.
    The speculation about suicide was furiously attacked by Judy Kovco
    yesterday when she said that she knew “100 per cent” that her son was
    not alone when he died in Baghdad. – SMH

  • The “lone soldier” theory: Private Jake Kovco was alone
    in his room when he died from a single bullet wound to the temple from
    his own pistol. The revelation, which contradicts information released
    by the military and the Government, has been passed to The Saturday Daily Telegraph by soldiers angry about what they regard as a disgraceful cover-up by authorities. –The Daily Telegraph

  • The “relationship” theory: Amid continuing speculation
    about the cause of his death, the parents of his widow Shelly today hit
    out at claims there was a rift in the couple’s marriage. – SMH