An updated round-up of theories as to how Private Kovco died:


    • The “lap-top on double bunk” theory:


      – Kovco was standing upright,
      facing the top tier of a double bunk when the fatal shot was fired.
      – While standing, he had been
      typing on a lap-top computer, open and facing him on the top bunk.
      – Two other soldiers who’d
      been in the room last saw him standing in this position.
      – Neither had seen the
      Browning that killed him.
      – The handgun had been
      concealed – accidentally or otherwise – before it fired.
      – Kovco had been handling the
      Browning shortly before the fatal shot. – The Bulletin


    • The “Browning game” theory:
      I am old enough to have friends who
      willingly or unwillingly fought in Vietnam. They tell me they played a
      silly and dangerous game with Browning pistols. They would put
      one round in the barrel and then after far too many drinks would throw
      the pistol from one to the other, fully armed and ready to fire if you
      grabbed it the wrong way. The military never admitted to such but
      the number of accounts I get of this confirm it did happen and still
      happens today … Accidental death or killed under enemy fire will be the
      conclusion of the inquiry. – Email sent to Crikey


    • The “several metres’ distance” theory:
      Initial reports were that he accidentally
      shot himself in the head while cleaning his gun in his quarters in
      Baghdad. However, the Department of Defence today said this was wrong,
      and that he was several metres from the weapon when it discharged. – The Daily Telegraph
    • 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