On May 10th, 2016, Apple Valley Police Department Detective Sergeant Jim Gummert sent me an email response to 21 questions related to the alleged double-murder suicide committed by David Crowley. The full transcript of my questions and the response is written below.
Sent by Greg Fernandez Jr. -3/16/2016 (8:35:42 p.m.)
Returned by Detective Gummert – 5/10/2016 (12:41 p.m.)
Police were first at the “scene” of the Crowley residence at 1:04 p.m. on January 17th, 2015. The scene was cleared at 5:09 p.m. that same day. After assessing the scene, Detective Sergeant Jim Gummert of the Apple Valley Police Department believed David Crowley was guilty of a double-murder suicide.
Police declined to provide us with “hundreds” of crime scene images. According to Detective Gummert there were no police reports withheld from the 94 pages of police reports released to the public. Det. Gummert never spoke to Komel’s father. The Department of Homeland Security was not involved in the investigation and neither was the FBI, according to Gummert.
Asked if he saw the bullet hole in the living room ceiling on January 17th, Gummert answered, “I saw it, unknown of exact date.” Even if he didn’t see the bullet hole on January 17th, he did see the images that prove a bullet hole was present on January 17th. Was Chris Cline mistaken when he told police he was in the Crowley house on January 19th, with Dan Crowley Sr. and Daniel Crowley Jr.? Dan Sr. told police he wasn’t in the house with Cline on that date.
I asked Det. Gummert if he knew who was telling the truth and who was not? “No,” Gummert responded.
He believed it was possible that Komel was shot before Rani. Rani’s flesh and blood was not found anywhere on Komel’s body. Asked if there were any latent fingerprints on the blood-smeared wall, the detective simply replied, “No.”
Body parts were “missing” from the scene. They were not found elsewhere inside the house; they were simply missing, and Det. Gummert implies that the dog ate the missing body parts.
21 Questions for Detective Gummert
- What evidence did you find to prove David Crowley was guilty of a double-murder suicide? MN BCA analysis results. How long did it take to come to that conclusion? It took them several months to send back results.
- Several reports state body parts, such as hands, were “missing”, can you clarify as to whether or not body parts were missing from the entire crime scene? (According to Detective Bone, Rani’s entire right arm and shoulder were missing from her arm socket. David’s right hand was “missing” and so was most of his skull. A “majority” of Komel’s head was also “missing,” according to Detective Bone. “Both of her hands were found to be missing.”) Parts were missing from scene.
- The murder weapon was found near David’s left hand. Yet there are many pictures that clearly show David pointing a gun with his right hand. Do you believe David was right-handed or left-handed? Right.
- Were there any latent fingerprints on the blood smeared wall? (“Allahu Akbar”) No.
- Images of the murder weapon were provided to Tom Lyden, Fox News 9 anchor, who I assume filled out the same disclosure form as I did. Yet I did not receive at 3 images that Tom Lyden did; including the image of the murder weapon on a living room table, red blood foot prints on a hardwood floor. If I file another disclosure request for those specific images, will I receive the images requested? I would also request an image of the murder weapon where it was found (even a censored version). Fill another one out with a specific request and I will see what I can do.
- Is it possible, based on evidence found at the crime scene, Komel was shot first and Rani was not immediately shot after? It is possible. Was Rani’s blood or flesh found on Komel’s body? No.
- Early media reports suggested Daniel Crowley Jr. went to David’s house on December 26th or December 27th, 2014. However, in police reports it is clear Daniel Crowley Jr. stated he was at his brother’s house on December 28th. Was Daniel ever asked about the various dates as to when he went to the Crowley residence? No.
- Is it true that police went to the Crowley residence on three separate occasions, once after the bodies were discovered, a second time after a “mushroom” bullet was discovered (page 51 of the pdf, image DSC_0032), and a third time on February 18th, 2015 (when they found a bullet hole near the living room ceiling)? Yes.
- Was water found in any of the toilets in the Crowley residence? How did the family dog, Paleo, survive for three weeks? Yes, see answer to question 2.
- Chris Klein/Klien/Cline – Do you know when a neighbor called the Apple Valley Police Department to report a “suspicious person” in the Crowley residence on January 19th, 2015? (pg. 78) Yes.
- The suspicious person was Chris Klien. How was Chris Klien identified as the “suspicious person” the neighbor was referring to? Unknown.
- Chris Klien stated he was in the house with Daniel Crowley Sr. and Dan Jr., even though the neighbor apparently only reported one “suspicious person.” Dan Sr. denied being in the house with Chris Klien (“He told me he was not aware of the bullet hole and had not gone into the home with Cline.” – Detective Sean McKnight, pg. 81). Do you know if it was ever discovered who was telling the truth and who was not? No.
- Are there images from 1/17/15 that show a bullet hole near the living room light? Yes.
- Did you see the bullet hole in the living room ceiling on January 17th, 2015? I saw it, unknown of exact date.
- Was the Department of Homeland Security or the FBI involved in your investigation or were they conducting their own investigation? Not contacted, no investigation.
- Did you ever speak to Anjum Alam? No.
- I received a 94 page pdf document full of police reports. Are there police reports that were excluded in the 94 page pdf? No.
- I received 464 images from the AVPD after filling out their disclosure request form. How many images were possibly withheld? Hundreds? Thousands? Hundreds.
- Is it possible to get censored images that will help prove three bodies were found at the Crowley residence on 1/17/15. No.
- Is it possible to get the medical examiners report or BCA reports in addition to what has already been provided? You will have to contact them.
- What did you find within hours after arriving at the crime scene that led you to believe David Crowley was guilty of a double-murder suicide? Assessment of scene.
In addition to answering the 21 questions, Detective Gummert took the time to explain his answers:
“Mr. Fernandez, I understand my answers are short and to the point, but based on your questions you have read all of our reports, and there is nothing more to add on my end. If we did not cover it in our reports than we did not feel it necessary to do so.
I have come to the realization that there is nothing I can say or do that will ever satisfy the people that believe there is a cover up and that the family was murdered by the government, or agents acting on behalf of the government. I will also never be able to satisfy people’s opinion that our department did a poor job investigating this incident even though most, if not all of those critics have never spent a day doing what we do.
I am not sure where you fall in your opinions, but I would hope we could agree on one point. That the lives lost in that home have greatly affected their families. I think we owe it to their families to move on and let them live in peace. They have suffered enough, and continual discussion of this case serves no purpose.
Moving forward I will no longer answer any other questions regarding this case. Time has come for our department to move on. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.
Take care, Jim.”
My Response to Detective Gummert’s 21 Questions
On May 10th, 2016, I received the answers to the twenty-one questions from Detective Gummert. After assessing the scene inside the Crowley residence, Detective Gummert began to believe that David Crowley murdered his wife and daughter before taking his own life. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s analysis results, which weren’t completed until months after the crimes were committed, convinced the detective that David Crowley was guilty of a double-murder suicide. I found it strange that it took months for the police department to receive the BCA results, yet it only took Detective Gummert hours to treat this case as a double-murder suicide.
The twenty-one questions for Detective Gummert were a collaborative effort, even if the collaborators had no idea they would help create a list of questions for one detective of the Apple Valley Police Department. This was our first and last chance to ask the investigator whatever wanted. I thought about all of the strange things surrounding this case. The murder weapon was found next to David’s left hand even though he fired a weapon with his right hand. The bullet-hole was found in the back of David’s head, leading some to wonder if David shot himself in the mouth. Latent fingerprints were not found on the blood-smeared wall in the living room. Since the rear slider was open 1/4th an inch when police arrived at the Crowley house I didn’t expect them to tell the media there were no signs of forced entry so early during their investigation.
Still, the biggest issue with this investigation for me is the bullet-hole in the living room ceiling. The bullet-hole allegedly led to the bullet that killed David Crowley. David’s body was found on January 17th, 2015, but the bullet that killed him wasn’t found in the Crowley house until February 18th, 2015. It was only after speaking with David Crowley’s friend, Chris Cline, that police eventually found the bullet in the attic above the living room ceiling. It was days after the murders when Mason Hendricks began searching in the Crowley’s home, looking for anything that would shed light on why David would kill his family and himself. Hendricks told me he found nothing that day, but he did see the bullet hole above his head in the living room while in the house with Cline.
When I asked Detective Gummert how police knew Chris Cline was the suspicious person a neighbor called police about on January 19th, 2015, he could only respond with, “Unknown.”
Cline is an important character on this stage, not because of who he is, but because of where he was on January 19th and what he saw inside the Crowley house. Though it’s not clear yet if he saw the bullet in the attic, we know police did not see the bullet in the attic until February 18th, a month later.
Even worse, after speaking with Cline and learning some valuable information about the bullet in the attic above the living room ceiling, police never follow up to see if Cline was telling the truth about being in the Crowley house with Dan Crowley Sr. on January 19th. Dan Crowley Sr., David’s father, told police he was not with Chris Cline that day.
So we know Chris Cline and Mason Hendricks claim to have seen the bullet hole in the living room on January 19th. Detective Gummert told me he also saw the bullet hole in the living room but he is not sure if it was on January 17th or at another date.
“I saw it,” wrote Detective Gummert, “Unknown of exact date.”
One of the most common questions related to the missing body parts inside the house. What did the dog eat? Most of David’s head was missing, along with his right hand. Not much was left of Komel’s skull either and both of her hands were missing. Despite Mason Hendricks’ claim that Rani’s body was not disturbed, Detective Gummert revealed something different. The daughter’s entire right arm was missing.
Neither Rani’s blood nor her flesh was found on Komel’s body, leading some to believe that Rani was not killed right after her mother. This was expressed to me by two people, and the possibility was confirmed by Detective Gummert. These body parts were never found, according to Det. Gummert. The detective assumes the missing body parts were eaten by the family dog, Paleo.
Gummert believes the dog survived off of the missing body parts and the water from inside the toilets. Two of the three toilet lids were left open in the house. Photographs taken by police show how little water was left in Rani’s bathroom toilet. The photograph of the basement toilet is not taken from the same angle as the bathroom toilet, leaving it impossible for us to see exactly how much water was in that particular toilet, if any.
Detective Gummert told me that neither the FBI nor the DHS were involved in their investigation, “Not contacted, no investigation.” This contradicts what Mason Hendricks told me, as well as something mentioned to me by Sean Wright. Hendricks believed the reason why the investigation took so long was because of the FBI and the DHS. Sean Wright advised me to stay away from people asking questions about this case, people like Dan Hennen and Thomas Lapp, so I could avoid being put under a microscope by the DHS.
Still the biggest contradiction in this case came from Detective Gummert himself. “Did you ever speak to Anjum Alam?” I asked.
“No,” Detective Gummert responded. Anjum Alam is the father of Komel Crowley. In a police report by Mr. Gummert, he made it seem like all communication between the police department and the Alam family would go through Komel’s sister Sidrah.
However, when Dan Hennen asked the detective if he ever spoke with Anjum Alam, Gummert told him Yes.
Unfortunately, police reports do not elaborate on the growing list of questions. In fact, the Apple Valley Police Department has decided they are no longer going to be talking about this case. They are moving on. Case closed. Mr. Gummert believes we owe it to the family to stop asking questions about the alleged double-murder suicide. His superiors concur. “Moving forward,” Detective concluded in his response to the questions, “I will no longer answer any other questions regarding this case. Time has come for our department to move on. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.”
A few days later, Mr. Gummert made sure to speak with independent researcher Dan Hennen at the Apple Valley Police Department. Dan Hennen went to the police department to pick up the contents of his second disclosure request about the alleged double murder-suicide. Dan was not expecting to meet with Detective Gummert that day, but the two men ended up speaking for about twenty minutes in the lobby of the police station. I’m glad the detective took the time to speak with Dan but why would he tell me he would not be answering questions about the case, and then initiate a meet-and-greet with Dan Hennen, offering to answer questions?
After reading the 94 pages of police reports provided by the Apple Valley Police Department, I assumed there were reports I had not read. Investigators seemed so confident of their theory that I found it hard to believe I had read every police report related to this case.
“You have read all of our reports,” Detective Gummert wrote in response to my list of questions, “and there is nothing more to add on my end. If we did not cover it in our reports than we did not feel it necessary to do so.”
The detective seemed convinced when he wrote, “I have come to the realization that there is nothing I can say or do that will ever satisfy the people that believe there is a cover up and that the family was murdered by the government, or agents acting on behalf of the government.”
What do we believe and why? The detective does not directly label me as one who believes in a government conspiracy, but in that particular sentence he is obviously speaking about those who are convinced of such a massive plot aimed towards David Crowley. Even if I ruled out the possibility of a government conspiracy, could the 94 pages of police reports and the 464 crime scene photographs ever convince someone David was guilty? I find it hard to believe. I would be shocked if anyone believed David was guilty based on the 94 pages of police reports and the 464 photographs of the crime scene.
Detective Gummert agrees that he will never be able to satisfy people’s opinion that his department did a poor job investigating this incident, “Even though most, if not all of those critic have never spent a day doing what we do.”
What do you do Mr. Gummert? Do you look up at the ceiling while you’re standing in the living room of a crime scene? Do you remember what date you saw the bullet-hole above your head? Especially when that bullet-hole is part of a crime scene? What do you do Mr. Gummert? You ask me to move on because we owe it to the families to live in peace, “They have suffered enough, and continual discussion of this case serves no purpose.” An officer serves their purpose by providing a thorough investigation to the citizens within their jurisdiction. No purpose is served by concluding this was a double murder-suicide within hours of finding of the bodies. Continual discussion coincides with transparency and truth. An officer should know that.
On June 2nd, 2016, I wrote back to Gummert, hoping to find out why he gave Dan Hennen and I two completely different answers tot he same question, “Hello Mr. Gummert, sorry to bother you and I know you are not discussing the case any more but for the purpose of accuracy in writing my articles I have to ask you to clarify question #16 when I asked if you ever spoke with Mr. Anjum Alam – Komel’s father. In the answer you stated No, but Dan Hennen told me you told him Yes. Can you please help clear this up? Did you ever speak with Anjum Alam?”
The following day, Gummert responded, “My apologies, I answered the question incorrectly. I have spoken to Komel’s father on several occasions. Hopefully that clears it up, have a good day.”
“Is there a reason why you answered incorrectly?”
“A mistake on my part,” Gummert wrote back, “not trying to hide anything.”
Up Next: Tom Lyden of Fox 9
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