On January 17th, 2015, David Crowley was accused of murdering his wife and daughter before killing himself. The theory of a double-murder suicide was being shoved down our throats from the very beginning of the investigation. The Gray State team began demanding admin access to both the Justice for David Crowley & family Facebook group as well as the Justice for David Crowley of Gray State Facebook page. Questions about the official theory were quickly frowned upon by the Gray State team, and they did their best to control the narrative; the official narrative that David Crowley was guilty. This seemed odd to me. How could this group of people keep such an open-mind about government corruption but not about the accusations against their close friend?
So I sought out answers to see why they believed David was guilty. In those first days after the deaths of the Crowley family, there were many videos speculating that David Crowley was murdered by the government. I felt some people in the videos raised many good questions, but those questions did not lead me to conclude that David was taken out by our government. The media gave us two choices, either David was guilty or the government killed him. Obviously, I assumed the truth was somewhere in between. We could speculate all day, or we could look at the evidence and see where it leads us. I was and am still open to the possibility that David is guilty. I am also open to the possibility that David is not guilty. The media moved on to other stories and forgot about this case. I did not. Others did not. We actually wanted answers, not just speculation. Why would I believe David was guilty without evidence?
Regardless of my view of Gray State. After all, I had a bias of my own, a bias those who interviewed m ALWAYS failed to mention. I did not support Gray State. I saw it as fear porn. I still do. I was listening to Infowars.com when Alex Jones told David Crowley and Danny Mason they didn’t need a big Hollywood budget to make their movie. The trailer proved that. The production quality amazing, but I felt the story was lacking what I was looking for in a movie that would tackle the real enemy we face. While being interviewed for the documentary, The Gray State, the director asked me the same question I ask myself all the time, “Why am I still researching this?” The short answer is because I have not been given the answers I seek. The longer answer is that I go where God leads me. What you are about to see might be very disturbing. I give my commentary on some of the new images recently released. There are many more to come.
Apparently, authorities who entered 1051 Ramsdell Drive on January 17th, 2015, did not notice a bullet hole in the living room while conducting their thorough investigation. Within hours of finding the bodies, Detective Jim Gummert assumed David Crowley was guilty after assessing the crime scene. Yet he too did not look up at the ceiling of the living room to see a bullet hole above his head. Is that truly a thorough investigation?
This case needs to be reopened, based solely on the conclusion provided by the Apple Valley Police Department and their lack of evidence to prove their theory. The Apple Valley Police Department have a theory. Their theory alleges that David Crowley “snapped” and killed his wife and daughter. Then David allegedly killed himself after leaving two notes in two separate rooms.
A hand-written note was left in the office bedroom. With the page flipped open, the contents read, “Open “The Rise” most recent version” and “Submit to Allah NOW.”
The other note was found on David’s laptop, “A message in a Text Edit window on the MacBook,” according to Detective Brian Bone.1
Like many others, the Apple Valley Police Chief believes David was the one who wrote “Allahu Akbar” at the top of the living room wall, after killing his wife and daughter. Where is the evidence?
Within 24-48 hours of finding the bodies did police truly believe David was guilty? What evidence led them to rule out foul-play so early into their investigation? What evidence led them to dismiss alternative conclusions? Unless this case is reopened we may never get the answers to those questions since the Apple Valley Police Department is no longer discussing this case.
Two Days Later
On January 19th, 2015, an unnamed neighbor called police about a “suspicious person” inside the Crowley residence.2 On January 20th, Bio-Tech Emergency Services, a company hired to clean the Crowley home, called Detective Sean McKnight “at the request of David’s father…a bullet had come out of the [living room] carpet and fallen to the floor.”3
On February 17th, 2015, Detective Brian Bone contacted the “suspicious person” by phone. During their thorough investigation, in two separate police reports, police spelled the suspicious person’s name three different ways. Klein, Kline and Cline. Christopher Cline told police about the bullet hole which led to a bullet in the attic.
“Cline reported to be a friend of the family,” Detective McKnight wrote in his report, “and said he had been inside the home with Dan Sr. and Jr. and had seen the bullet hole then.”4
Detective McKnight then asked Dan Crowley Sr. (David Crowley’s father) if he had been in the home with Cline on January 19th, 2015, “He told me that he was not aware of the bullet hole and had not gone into the home with Cline.” Police never followed up on the conflicting statements taken by Dan Sr. and Cline, but McKnight made sure to note that police were unable to “establish a definitive connection between [Chris Cline] and the family.” Of all the people involved in this case, Chris Cline is probably the one I know the least about so far. Who is Chris Cline?
Someone who did claim to be in the house with Chris Cline on January 19th was Mason Hendricks, also known as Mason Norsk Hest, who is featured in Tom Lyden’s video report of this incident.
Hendricks stated multiple people were there with he and Chris Cline, “We took and tore into everything, you know, ceilings, up in the attics, I mean we were everywhere.” Hendricks stated they were looking for anything that would help them understand why David would commit a double murder-suicide. He found nothing. Unlike police, and apparently anyone who entered the house on January 17th, 2015, Hendricks noticed the bullet hole in the living room as soon as he walked into the house on January 19th.
“I looked up,” Hendricks told me, he turned to someone else in the house and asked, “They couldn’t see the hole?…It’s pretty difficult to not see this hole in the ceiling.” Hendricks was willing to give authorities the benefit of the doubt, perhaps police did not see the bullet hole in the living room because the Christmas Tree was blocking their view.
Looking at the photographs of the crime scene, including the Christmas tree, I do not understand how police missed the bullet hole above their heads.
That leads us to the issue of the bullet found in the attic. This is the bullet police allege David killed himself with. Yet they do not discover the bullet until their third trip to the Crowley residence? I find that hard to believe.
Police returned to the scene of the crime for a third time on February 18th, 2015, and took several photographs of the bullet hole in the living room, as well as the bullet found in the attic. “We looked for access to the attic area of the house,” Detective Brian Bone wrote in one report, “and found that the attic access from the master bedroom closet was open. This had not been open at the time of our initial search of the house on 1-17-15.”5
Tom Lyden began his investigative segment declaring, “It’s important at this point to really get all the facts out on the table. I think that’s the most important thing here.” Mr Lyden, if you really want to get all the facts on the table, please consider researching the numerous facts you forgot to mention.
Chief Jon Rechtzigel described the Crowley family as “the ideal family, seemingly” before stating he believed “something went terribly wrong” inside the Crowley house. Without providing any substantial evidence, Chief Rechtzigel then claimed that David Crowley “snapped.”
“It looks like David snapped,” Rechtzigel told Tom Lyden, “and took the lives of his wife and daughter, and then ultimately himself.”
Chief Rechtzigel also believed “a great deal” of the Gray State movie was the reason why David killed his wife, child and himself. “From all accounts,” the police chief told Tom Lyden, “he was consumed with producing this film and it was a dark topic. Here you’re talking about conspiracy theories and potentially the fall of society, and if you’re focusing on that day-in-and-day-out, and these are materials you’re working with, and you’re filming exclusively on that topic, that can take you to a very bad place.”
“Judging by the mail piling up and a paper in the home, the murder-suicide took place the day after Christmas. David shooting Komel twice in the head, Raniya once, before shooting himself. Between their bodies, a Quran with pages torn out, opened to a traditional forgiveness prayer.” – Tom Lyden
Chief Rechtzegil told Tom Lyden that David Crowley used Komel’s blood to write Allahu Akbar at the top of their living room wall, close to a clock mounted on the wall. Asked why he believed David wrote the words in his wife’s blood, the chief responded, “We believe that was kind of a parting shot…probably at Komel for having a Muslim past.”
“This has nothing to do with Islam,” Mason Hendricks told Lyden separately, “but everything to do with a man that lost his way and ultimately killed his wife and his daughter and then himself.” Hendricks thought David was being sarcastic when he wrote Allahu Akbar in Komel’s blood, “That’s him possibly throwing a jab.”
“A jab at Komel’s family?” Lyden asked.
“Possibly.” Yet this has nothing to do with Islam?
“David did not kill himself right away,” Tom Lyden reported. “He left a trail of footprints, tracking Komel’s blood through the house. In the living room his bloody fingerprint is on a laptop, opened to a text file with only a single sentence, “I have loved you all with all of my heart.” In the home office on a notepad, more bloody fingerprints and the words, “Submit to Allah Now.””
“This was a person that was not thinking clearly,” Chief Rechtzigel told Lyden. “His mind at that point was deranged. He just was not in a normal state. He wasn’t thinking rationally.”
Tom Lyden made an interesting comment stating, “David’s brother left their Christmas presents on the front step to avoid a confrontation.” Lyden didn’t elaborate on why Dan Jr. would want to avoid a confrontation with his brother by simply leaving Christmas presents on the front door stoop.
Tom Lyden also made a strange comment about the rear slider being open “apparently for the family dog.” That doesn’t make sense to me. I won’t dispute the fact that Tom Lyden is an investigator but I do wonder how much investigating he did on this case before releasing his video report.
The last time Mason Hendricks saw David, in December of 2014, David “looked like he literally was eating, sleeping and breathing on his computer. Failure was not an option for him.” Yet Hendricks believed David murdered his wife and child before killing himself. That seems like failure to me. Lyden also reported that Hendricks stated David Crowley suffered from PTSD. Hendricks still believes David is guilty “and there’s no denying it.”
Even so, Chief Rechtzigel admitted he didn’t know what caused David to murder those closest to him before committing suicide, “We don’t know what the trigger was, what was the breaking point.”
Mason Hendricks once told me, “I don’t think anybody’s ever really gonna know what actually, how it all happened.” He may be right.
Danny Mason, heavily involved in the Gray State project, told Tom Lyden, “At the tail-end of it, [David] was living the Gray State…it almost embodied him, almost to the extent of where it would dictate a lot of his thoughts and his ideas, and his, I guess, outlook in reality.”
Don’t be surprised if Danny Mason and Joe Biggs move forward with the Gray State movie. If they do, please understand that this will be their version of Gray State and not David Crowley’s. If Gray State is ever produced, I want you all to understand this film will be made by those who believe David Crowley is guilty. Welcome to the Gray Stage. Take a seat and applaud on cue.
“Family members on both sides declined to talk on camera. Quite frankly, they’re afraid they’ll be harassed by some of these conspiracy theorists out there.” – Tom Lyden
On May 10th, 2016, Apple Valley Police Department’s Detective Sergeant Jim Gummert sent me an email response to twenty-one questions related to the alleged double-murder suicide committed by David Crowley.
Police went to 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 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. The detective first claimed he never spoke with Komel’s father, which turned out to be a lie. Gummert also stated the Department of Homeland Security was not involved in the investigation and neither was the FBI. Both Sean Wright and Mason Hendricks told me the opposite.
Asked if he saw the bullet hole in the living room ceiling on January 17th, Gummert answered, “I saw it, unknown of exact date.”
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 the detective if he knew who was telling the truth and who was not? “No,” Gummert responded.
Mr. Gummert 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 Gummert implied that the dog ate the missing body parts.
21 Questions for Detective Gummert
Sent by Greg Fernandez Jr. -3/16/2016 (8:35:42 p.m.) Returned by Detective Gummert – 5/10/2016 (12:41 p.m.)
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 twenty-one 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
I often think 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. 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.
My biggest issue with this investigation 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.
According to Detective Gummert, it was “unknown” how they determined Chris Cline was the suspicious person inside the Crowley house on January 19th, 2015.
Cline is an important character on this stage, not because of who he is, but because of where he was on January 19th, what he saw inside the Crowley house, and who he was with. 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 followed up to see if Cline was telling the truth about being in the Crowley house with David’s father. Dan Crowley Sr., David’s father, told police he was not in the house 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.
“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, the daughter’s entire right arm was missing. These body parts were never found, according to 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, and the basement toilet.
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? More so, why would the detective give Dan and I two different answers to the same question about Mr. Alam?
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. This was before Judy Prochnow told me about the audio recordings which accompanied certain police reports.
“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 that 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 critics have never spent a day doing what we do.”
What exactly 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 to the 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.”
Shortly before the Apple Valley Police Department released information meant to prove David Crowley was guilty of a double-murder suicide, I was able to ask David’s sister-in-law, Sidrah Alam, some questions about the investigation. Sidrah believed David murdered his wife Komel, his daughter Raniya, and then shot himself. It had been over a year since police found the deceased bodies inside the home at 1051 Ramsdell Drive. There was a time when Sidrah considered alternative views about the deaths of the Crowleys, but that changed when she “saw the facts.” After seeing those facts she knew “the only thing that could change my mind would be if my sister came back and told me herself that David didn’t do this.”
Sidrah did not believe David was suicidal, “But he was obsessed with my sister. I remember [Komel] told me she was done with him and couldn’t do this anymore, a year before all of this happened when she called my dad. I’m sure he started brainwashing her starting there when he realized she could leave him.”
Even though Sidrah didn’t think David was suicidal when she was around him, she still believed he committed suicide. Sidrah also believed David wrote a suicide note, “The note said to watch his Gray State new version video, and on the bottom it said to submit to Allah now. It was his writing, our family can vouch for that…we didn’t need comparison for the handwriting because we actually knew how he wrote.”
The note, allegedly written by David Crowley, was found on the computer desk in David’s office. The page was flipped open and read, “Open “The Rise” most recent version. Submit to Allah NOW.”
“That note is not listed as a suicide note,” I reminded Sidrah, “and police have said there was no suicide note. There were only the two notes.”
“It’s a suicide note duh?” she responded. “If there was no note then I’d be more suspicious he didn’t do this. Can’t you see it’s a play on words? Terrorists say that they kill in the name of God. This was all done to spin stuff so his movie could get attention ‘cause he couldn’t do it while he was alive.”
However, in an email sent to Los Angeles filmmaker Jason Allen on December 17th, 2014, David Crowley stated, “Gray State fans are growing at a rate of 100-200 per day, and when I get started I can only expect they’ll keep coming. My wife Komel and I are quietly and fervently putting this all into place, and no one else, and I mean NO ONE ELSE, is at all involved in the project’s decision making process or finances.”
I can only assume Sidrah Alam did not know about these two important facts when she answered my questions.
Who Died First?
The murder weapon was found next to David’s left hand. Yet in several photos David can be seen firing a weapon with his right hand. Even though David was the one who taught Sidrah how to shoot a gun, she wasn’t sure if David was right-handed or left-handed. We know who died last, if we are to believe the official theory, but who died first? Was it Komel or Raniya?
“The hardest pill to swallow for me and my dad is that [David] probably made Rani watch all of this.” Sidrah was convinced that her sister died before Raniya, “Their bodies were close. So if Rani got shot before Komel their bloods would have mixed, and Komel’s blood is the only one on the wall…Raniya’s blood was nowhere.”
“How can that be?” I asked.
“He didn’t kill her yet.” Sidrah also believes Komel and Rani were “hit in the back” and that David shot himself in the mouth. “Other shots around the house showed he tried to hit the dog but was unsuccessful,” Sidrah continued, “I actually laid down where David’s body was and acted like I had a gun and lifted my hand up like I was trying to shoot an object…it was at the height of the dog.”
“David shot at the dog while he was on the ground?” I asked. “That seems odd.”
“Yeah he was on the ground trying to do some creepy ceremony. Obviously he had lost it.” This was the first time I had heard about any type of ritual or ceremony by David. Though Sidrah didn’t elaborate on that comment, paranormal activity was mentioned.
I began to look into the possibility that a demon was following the Crowley family. If David dabbled in the occult as Mason Hendricks claimed, and if David truly had a “soft-spot for the anti-Christ,” and since David had a Bohemian Grove owl statue in his office bedroom, I had to consider the possibility of demonic involvement in this case.
For Sidrah, there was no doubt that the Crowley family witnessed paranormal activity before they moved to 1051 Ramsdell Drive. If true, I wondered, when did the paranormal activity end?
The Surface Pro
“Komel and Rani had a DVD player next to them,” wrote Sidrah, “which makes us believe they were watching a movie and he came from the basement.” The DVD player was later described as the Surface Pro seen in the crime scene photos.
“My sister wrote down her feelings on her Surface Pro,” Sidrah explained to me. “If I can get into it I can solve exactly why David did this and put an end to all of these questions everyone has. She had a diary.” Police were able to extract the data from Komel’s Surface Pro but they “didn’t find anything,” according to Sidrah. So what happened to Komel’s diary?
Sidrah suspects Komel and Raniya were watching a movie on the Surface Pro when they were killed, “She had Netflix so I’m questioning they were watching a movie on it.”
Was anything deleted from Komel’s Surface Pro? Not without the password, Sidrah was told. She doesn’t think police were able to bypass the password screen and gain full access to the device. I told her there is software she could buy to bypass the password and break into the computer. I was a little surprised that police told her they couldn’t get past the password screen of the Surface Pro.
“Police couldn’t without risking losing the information,” Sidrah responded.
Police were eventually able to extract the data from the Surface Pro, according to what Sidrah’s dad told her, “Just talked to my dad. They couldn’t get into the iPhone but they did get into the Surface Pro and they didn’t find anything.” When the Alams retrieved Komel’s possessions from police, the SIM card for Komel’s iPhone was missing. It’s unclear why police removed the SIM card at this time.
Sidrah also told me David didn’t want Komel talking to the Alams. The image on the Surface Pro shows only Komel and Raniya, “She cut David’s picture on the display. He was right next to her.” The picture was from a 2013 Christmas card the Crowley family sent out that year, “He’s not even in their Christmas card picture, just [Komel] and Rani.”
The Facts of the Official Theory
“I saw the fingerprints on the wall. They all matched to his fingerprints. It was just all omitted in the official report because the wall wasn’t supposed to be released, but it accidentally got out.” – Sidrah Alam
I asked Sidrah when she first believed the official theory and why, “When me and my husband and my dad did our own research. When I went to Minnesota it was an eye opener…facts are what made me believe the official story. I just want everyone to know we’re not stupid. We spent countless sleepless nights putting everything together. It would be so much easier to just blame this on someone else rather than David. But sadly he is the reason why my sister and niece aren’t alive today. I honestly was numb in the beginning and didn’t know what to believe until we got facts and did our own research.”
What were these facts she kept talking about? I asked.
“Fingerprint matches on the gun and wall,” Sidrah answered, “handwriting matches on the note, bloody footprint matches around the house, bloody handprints grabbing the cellphone, just all the matches. We saw them all. I don’t know what they wrote in the police report. I never cared to read it.”
“It’s not rocket science Greg,” Sidrah said of the allegations against David. “Once they determined there were no outsiders involved it’s a suicide. It’s that easy.”
“How could they determine that so quickly?” I asked.
“Doors, windows, no other footprints or DNA around the house,” she responded. “They had people come out from the Minneapolis police department bomb squads. It was a terror zone.”
“But they couldn’t find a bullet above their heads?” I asked. “If they missed that, who knows what else they may have missed. They were looking for forced entry when a door was open.”
“The door was not open,” Sidrah pointed out. The rear slider was found slightly ajar, which qualifies as an open door to me.
“How do you explain David’s bloody fingerprints?” she asked me. The fingerprint matches were instrumental in convincing Sidrah that David was guilty.
“Even if they’re his,” I responded, “it doesn’t prove murder.”
“We saw them and that’s all that matters at the end of the day,” She responded. “How does that not prove murder?”
“It’s not hard to put prints anywhere.”
“Footprints?” Sidrah asked.
“To frame someone is pretty easy. Footprints can be cleaned.”
“How do you put bloody feet around the house?” she asked me.
“I’m sure those were his feet,” I agreed, “but bloody footprints do not prove murder either.”
“It was per the family’s request” that the writing on the wall and on the notepad was withheld from the public, according to Sidrah. “We didn’t want that out there.”
I still did not understand why such a significant part of an active investigation would be withheld from the public, especially when the information could dramatically help police prove their theory that David Crowley “snapped,” causing him to kill his wife, his daughter and then himself.
“With something like this,” Sidrah explained, “we have to deal with a lot of shit back home with our family. We didn’t want it getting attention for stupid reasons…we had to protect ourselves.”
As far as David being guilty, Sidrah assured me, “Trust me when I say it took a lot to realize he did this. We actually knew them. Just try to be in our shoes for a minute. Realize how hard it was to actually admit he did this. Usually family is the one who doesn’t want to believe something like that and others give you a reality check. But we actually believe it so don’t you think that’s saying a lot?”
When I told her I thought there were family members who didn’t believe David was guilty, she said, “They aren’t family then.”
“I pray God guides you in the right direction,” Sidrah wrote to me. “Don’t focus too much in small details. You’ll get yourself tangled in a mess you can’t get out of. I say that from experience. Try to see the bigger picture with a clear mind. Pray about it and then forget about it. God will guide you to the truth. That’s what I did and I’m at peace.”
“The big picture for me,” I responded, “is there is an accusation that was made far too prematurely. One year after being promised we’ll get to the truth, I find I have not. Many things that happened after the murders were strange too.”
“I hope you find what you’re looking for,” Sidrah told me as our conversation came to an end. “My job was to let you know that I have seen it all. I wish I could let everyone see what I have seen from my eyes. But it doesn’t work like that. I pray for you guys to see the light often.”
Sidrah remains convinced, “Gray State died with David. Komel didn’t care for Gray State but she wanted David to pursue his dreams. Therefore she supported what he did, but personally she didn’t really care for it. The only person who wants to push this forward is Danny Mason. No one else. Trust me it’s not gonna go forward. There’s no way it can go forward without my Dad’s permission and they won’t ever get that, unless they wanna deal with legal consequences.”
Minnesota filmmaker and United States Army Veteran David Crowley was accused of murdering his wife and daughter before taking his own life in December of 2014. The Apple Valley Police Department suspects the bodies were inside the Minnesota home for three weeks, after they were found by neighbors on January 17th, 2015.
Within two days of the three bodies being found, David Crowley was accused of a double-murder suicide. However, police did not discover the bullet that killed David until a month after finding the bodies, when they were called to the Crowley house for a third time. There was a bullet-hole in the living room ceiling, right above their heads on January 17th, yet police officers and investigators did not see the bullet-hole until February 18th? It should be noted that David Crowley fired a weapon with his right hand, yet police found the Springfield XD semi-automatic pistol next to his left hand.
Anne Marie Hixon, who lived at 1052 Ramsdell Drive, “noticed that there is a certain light or candle that has come on every day since Christmas,” according to a report filed by Patrol Officer Tara Becker of the Apple Valley Police Department.1
After their initial walk-through of the Crowley house, Detective Tommie Booth and Detective Brian Bone spoke with the neighbors who lived directly across the street at 1048 Ramsdell Drive. Brent and Kaitlin Malay “last saw the Crowley family sometime just before Christmas.”2
Specifically, Brent Malay last saw David Crowley on December 24th, 2014, sometime between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. “[Brent] was going to close the blinds on the front of his residence when he looked out of the window and saw David’s residence. He said they looked at each other and then Brent closed his shade, while David had turned and walked away.”3 The Malays moved out of 1048 Ramsdell Drive sometime between January 17th and January 22nd, 2015, when Officer Becker’s supplemental report was filed. “They were no longer at the residence” when Officer Becker attempted to “follow up with the Malays.”4
Police also spoke with neighbors who lived behind the Crowley house on Lowell Drive, including Theresa Shepherd, who was out of town until December 23rd, 2014. Shortly after she returned home, Shepherd noticed the Crowley’s rear sliding patio door or screen door was partially open. Shepherd told Detective Bone she thought the Crowley’s were on vacation since no lights were on in the house. Shepherd also noticed lots of activity and people cleaning the Crowley residence on January 24th, 2015.5
Two unnamed neighbors on Lowell Drive told AVPD Detective Michael Tietz and Detective Sean McKnight that the Crowley home “had been dark since Christmas and that they hadn’t seen the occupants in a long time.” The unnamed female resident “said her room was on the back of the house and that lights on the back of the neighbors house would shine into her room if they were on.” The female also “hadn’t seen anyone at the house since the weekend before Christmas school break (which started 12/19/1).” The female resident never heard David and Komel fight. At some point, the female was going to babysit Raniya, but thought David didn’t like her and didn’t want her to babysit.6
Alan and Gena Olson also lived behind the Crowley residence on Lowell Drive. Alan Olson told Detective Brian Bone, “He heard what he thought to be several “rapid fire” gunshots. He could not say where the gunshots came from or when they happened…He said that he had been in the living room of his residence with his daughter when he heard them…Alan said he believed that that happened sometime before New Year’s Eve. He could not say that it happened on or around Christmas day.” Mr. Olson was home from 1 p.m. on December 24th, 2014, through 1 p.m. on Christmas day.
“[Alan] was uncertain if either of these days was when he had heard the gunshots,” Detective Bone wrote in his report. “He could not say if the gunshots happened before or after one of these days. Alan was certain that he had heard what he believed to be three rapid fire gunshots at that time. He believed that it had happened in the evening hours. Alan explained that he had not called the police because he did not have any specific information about when he had heard the shots.”7
Lorray Tupy, who also lived across the street from the Crowley family at 1047 Ramsdell Drive, hadn’t seen the Crowley’s in “over 3 weeks.” “Collin Prochnow came over and asked if she knew where the Crowley’s might be,” Officer Becker reported. “Tupy stated that she thought that they had possibly gone to Texas for the holidays and just weren’t back yet.” Tupy called David’s cell phone number but the call went “right to voicemail and she did not leave a message.”8
Enter the Police
AVPD Patrol Sergeant Greg Dahlstrom was the first officer to arrive at the Crowley residence on January 17th, 2015.9 Dahlstrom was met by several neighbors, including Collin and Judy Prochnow, who lived next door to the Crowley’s at 1055 Ramsdell Drive.
Patrol Officer Tara Becker arrived shortly after, “Collin indicated that he heard and saw the dog inside of the Crowley residence early this morning and thought it unusual since he had not seen anyone come and go from the Crowley residence. He conferred with his wife, Judy and she made mention to him to check to see if the Christmas presents that were on the front stoop were still there. Collin then went outside and noted that the Christmas presents that they had observed being on the front stoop on January 10, 2015 when they left to go to the airport were in fact still on the front stoop today.”
The Christmas presents on the front door stoop were “scattered about” when Collin approached the Crowley residence, according to Tara Becker’s police report. It was after Collin stacked up the presents that he looked through the front window and “observed what he thought to be dummies. Collin stated that he now knows that they were the bodies of the deceased but initially he thought that they were dummies or some type of props that were left in the residence to appear as though they were home when they weren’t. After looking inside of the residence Collin then went back to his residence, told his wife Judy about what he had seen and then she confirmed that they were deceased persons and immediately called 911.”10
Looking through the front window upon arrival, Patrol Sergeant Greg Dahlstrom “noticed several obviously dead bodies lying on the floor, near the front picture window.” The family dog, Paleo, was “barking and running among the bodies.”11
AVPD Patrol Officer John Broughten reported that Collin and Judy Prochnow “had very limited contact with the Crowley’s who…almost always have the drapes pulled down on their living room window. They thought it was unusual that the drapes were up recently for such an extended period of time. The Prochnows believed they last saw the Crowley’s just before Christmas.”
Officer Broughten “arrived on scene just after Sgt. Dahlstrom and Officer Becker who were approaching and checking in front of the residence.” Officer Broughten reportedly “did not see any fresh foot prints in the snow other than animal tracks.” In the back of the Crowley house, the officer also observed the patio door “opened slightly (<1/4 inch). I opened the door and found that it was not locked or secured with a bar lock.”12
Patrol Sergeant Adam Keeler was the fourth officer to arrive at the crime scene. Community Service Officer Brian Booth was then called in to help lure the dog outside and take it to safety. 13 Patrol Sergeant Keeler “opened the sliding glass door and the dog was given some treats inside the residence. The dog continued to bark and it took approximately 5 minutes for it to come outside. Once it came outside, CSO Brian Booth used his catch pole to secure the dog and put it in his truck…Prior to entering the residence, I announced officers presence. There was no response. Sergeant Dahlstrom and I cleared the main level of the residence including the garage.” 14
The dining room light was on when police entered the house. Officer Broughten reported, “When I opened the patio door, there was an over powering odor of decaying flesh…The Christmas tree lights and other strings of Christmas lights were still lit.”15
Officers Dahlstrom and Keeler then cleared the basement. “There were piles of dog feces all over the floor on both levels of the residence,” Officer Keeler reported.16 Once the house was cleared, the officers left the residence and waited for detectives to arrive.
Sometime after 3 p.m. on January 17th, 2015, Detective Sergeant Jim Gummert, Detective Tommie Booth, Detective Brian Bone, Detective Sean McKnight, and Detective Michael Tietz arrived at the crime scene. Members of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and the Dakota County Electronic Crimes Unit were also at the Crowley residence.
“Once the BCA processing team had completed a portion of their work processing the scene,” Detective Gummert reported, “I, along with the remaining detectives entered the home to assist in the processing.”17
As he entered the home, Detective Brian Booth saw a deceased David Crowley “laying on his back with his body point toward the east and both arms spread outward from the body.” The top of David’s body was facing east and his feet were facing west. David’s right hand was “missing” while there was a black Springfield .40 caliber handgun “several inches from his left hand.” Detective Booth also reported seeing a “small portion of his rear skull still attached to the spinal column but a large portion of the head was missing.”18
Detective Bone stated the gun was south of David’s left hand “by approximately 1 foot…the gun was loaded with a round in the chamber and a magazine inserted into the gun at the time of its discovery.” The majority of David’s head was missing with “only the back part of his skull still intact.” Bone also noted David’s “upper spine was also exposed” and his “right hand was missing.” David was found barefoot with pants and a shirt on.19 “One exit bullet hole” was found in what was left of David’s skull.20 Police would not recover the bullet that allegedly killed David for another month on February 18th, 2015.
On August 5th, 2015, Detective Bone received the report from the latent print division of the Minnesota BCA, “Latent prints in blood were found on the pistol recovered in the living room as well as the magazine from that same gun. The BCA found a palm print on the gun and a finger print on the magazine. The print from the magazine was submitted to the Midwest Automated Fingerprint Identification Network (MAFIN) and did not generate any matches. The comparison to David Crowley was inconclusive due to limited quality of the latent print. The BCA did not have a comparable known palm print for David Crowley.”21
During the autopsy, David was positively identified by a tattoo on his left forearm and right shoulder and Komel was identified by a tattoo on her left wrist. The reports do not state how the child was positively identified.22
Komel’s body was found “pointing west…chest down on the floor,” Detective Booth reported. “The head of the female body could not be seen on the initial view. Also the female did not have either hand.”23 There was no indication as to where, if at all, Komel’s hands were found in the house. Detective Gummert later speculated the dog ate all of the body parts.
A “majority” of Komel’s head was also “missing,” according to Detective Brian Bone, “Both of her hands were found to be missing…the top of her body [was] facing toward the West and her feet facing toward the East. She was lying on her stomach at the time of her discovery. Her feet were spread apart and the body of a third person (believed to be a child) was lying partially between her legs.” 24 Detective Bone also “noted that two of the bodies were missing their heads. It appeared the two adult sized bodies did not appear to have heads or skulls attached to them.”25
Officer Broughten stated Rani’s body was somewhere “between the two adult bodies”26 and Detective Booth added that Rani’s head was found “between the legs of Komel – pointing west.”27 Detective Booth also noted “entry and exit bullet holes” found in the child’s skull.28
According to Detective Bone, Rani’s entire right arm and shoulder were missing from her arm socket. The child’s body was found lying on her left side, with her head facing north-east and her feet facing south-west. She had sweatpants and a short sleeve, or sleeveless, shirt on.29 Bullet fragments were also removed from Rani’s head.30
All three bodies were found in an advanced state of decomposition. Medical Examiner Dr. Jessica Lelinski and Medical Examiner Investigator Gregg Spandl “examined and removed” the three deceased bodies from the Crowley residence. According to Detective Bone, Dr. Lelinski “found what she initially reported were possible gun shot wounds to the heads of all three bodies.”31
The BCA crime scene team “found a total of six empty spent cartridges (40 caliber)…The Crime Scene Team also found three bullet fragments in the carpet in the area that the bodies were found…The gun was loaded with a round in the chamber and a magazine inserted into the gun at the time of its discovery.”
In the basement, police found a bullet hole “which appeared to originate from the upstairs living room. After the scene was processed,” Detective Bone wrote in his report, “we were able to move the rug that the bodies were found on. The Crime Scene Team then located a hole in the floor which was consistent with a bullet being shot into the floor, from the living room and traveling through the floor and the suspended ceiling of the basement underneath the living room. After going through the ceiling the bullet entered the south exterior wall in the basement and lodged into the wall. The Crime Scene Team was able to collect the bullet from the wall as evidence.”32
On January 20th, 2015, at 1 p.m. Detective Sean McKnight received a phone call from the company responsible for cleaning up the Crowley house. The unnamed cleaning company contacted Detective McKnight “at the request of David’s father.” According to Detective Bone, the cleaners told Detective McKnight “that while picking up the rug from the main living room area a bullet had come out of the carpet and fallen to the floor. They were uncertain exactly where the bullet had been on the carpet, but said that it had fallen out of the rug and onto the adjacent hardwood floor.”
Detective Bone and Detective McKnight immediately went back to the Crowley house and took photos of where the bullet was found, which was “approximately 1’10” from the west wall of the living room and approximately 3’1” S. of the corner wall, which leads to the dining area of the residence.”33
“The bullet was predominantly flat on the back,” Detective Bone continued, “and was sitting on the front/mushroomed portion of the bullet. The bullet appeared to be mostly intact at the time of our discovering it.”34
After the bullet was photographed it was taken to the Apple Valley Police Department and sealed as evidence.35
Klein, Klien, Cline
On February 17th, 2015, Detective Brian Bone spoke with Christopher Peter Klien over the phone after a neighbor notified police of “a suspicious person” inside David Crowley’s house on January 19th, 2015. Klien is mentioned in two police reports, one written by Detective Bone and another by Detective Sean McKnight. Neither report specifies how the neighbor identified Klien as the person who entered the house two days after police found the three bodies.
Detective Bone “had been trying to locate Klien to learn why he had been at the Crowley residence on 1-19-15, as a neighbor had called in about a suspicious person at the house. Klien received my business card at his residence and called me back at approximately 1700 hours on 2-17-15.” In their phone conversation, Klien stated he entered the house on January 19th, 2015, with Daniel Crowley Sr. and Daniel Crowley Jr.
Detective Bone reported that Klien “indicated to me that he had been in the house since the discovery of the Crowley family at the residence. He said he had been there with David’s father and brother and had seen there were two shot rounds in the “floor” and “roof”.”36
However, Daniel Crowley Sr. denied being at the house with Klien on that date. When Detective Sean McKnight contacted Daniel Crowley Sr. on February 18th, 2015, “He told me he was not aware of the bullet hole and had not gone into the home with Cline.”37
Mason Hendricks told me that he was also at the house when the bullet hole in the living room ceiling was originally discovered. As soon as Hendricks entered the house he looked up at the ceiling and told another friend who was there, “They couldn’t see the hole?”
“Kline wanted to ask me questions about the status of the investigation,” wrote Detective Bone, “and was speculating about how many rounds had been discharged at the house.”38
“During the initial processing of the crime scene,” Detective McKnight reported, “we knew that we could not account for several bullets that may have been fired from the gun used. The information given to Detective Bone could not be verified since we could not establish a definite connect between the reporter and the family.”
Detective McKnight and Detective Bone returned to the Crowley residence on February 18th, 2015, at 5 p.m. looking for a bullet hole near the living room ceiling. “Detective Bone and I went to the home and found the bullet hole near the entry way in close proximity to where the Christmas tree had been.”39
The detectives found the bullet in the attic, “The measurements and collection of the bullet was completed by the crime scene team,” Detective McKnight reported. “I stayed at the home the entire time and assisted the crime scene team in locating and documenting the location of the bullet.” Police stayed at the Crowley residence until 7:35 p.m.40
Question for the Apple Valley Police Department: Who was actually in the house on January 19th, 2015? Daniel Crowley Sr. denied being in the house with Christopher Klien. Were the two differing stories ever followed-up on? Was either Daniel Crowley Jr. or Mason Hendricks in the house with Klien on the 19th?
“It’s pretty difficult to not see this hole in the ceiling,” Hendricks told me. He also said the bullet found in the attic was tested for what turned out to be David’s blood. Hendricks and some other friends of David spent a few days cleaning and organizing things in the Crowley house before some family members arrived, including Sidrah Alam.
Hendricks said he and friends were looking for anything in the house that would answer the question as to why David Crowley murdered his wife, daughter, and then committed suicide, “We took and tore into everything, you know, ceilings, up in the attic. We were everywhere.”
In the end Hendricks didn’t find anything in the house that would explain the alleged double-murder suicide, yet he still believes David is guilty, “I don’t believe anybody’s ever really gonna know what actually, how it all happened.”
I am sure we would all like to see the photographs taken on January 17th that prove there was a bullet hole in the living room ceiling during the initial search of the house. Detective Bone made sure to mention those photos on page 79 of the AVPD police reports, “In viewing these photos I could see the hole in the ceiling, which we discovered on 2-18-15.”41
Still the question remains, how did police miss a bullet hole right above their heads? If they missed that bullet hole, and the bullet that allegedly killed David, what else could they have missed? What did authorities find in the Crowley house that led them to believe David Crowley killed his wife, daughter and then himself, leaving the family dog to starve to death?
Were David and Komel in need of money? “The Crowley’s had money in the bank,” Detective Bone wrote, “but were decreasing their savings and checking account balances during the time from July 2014 to January 2015.”42
An envelope from David’s father, with a $14,000 check inside, remained on the Crowley’s door stoop for three weeks.43 Was David expecting the check or was it a surprise? Mason Hendricks told me the check was nothing more than a gift from David’s father.
At the time, $14,000 seemed like such a random number to me. It was only after a comment by Justin, posted in the Justice for David Crowley & family Facebook group, that I learned about something called the gift tax. Intuit’s Turbo Tax website explains, “For tax purposes, a gift is a transfer of property for less than its full value. In other words, if you aren’t paid back, at least not fully, it’s a gift.” The “Present-interest gift” allows someone to avoid the gift tax by giving away up to $14,000 to any individual, yearly, giving to as many individuals as the donor chooses to.
Danny Jr. told police he dropped off a stack of Christmas presents along with the check and a bill from David’s lawyer on December 28th, 2014. However, initial media reports stated Dan Jr. wasn’t sure about the exact date he dropped off the presents, but it was either December 26th or 27th. Even though Dan Jr. saw the dog in the window, he apparently did not see “ALLAHU AKBAR” written in blood on the wall behind the dog.
Notes to Nowhere
Did police believe David snapped because of what they found written in Komel’s blood on the living room wall? Why did police believe David Crowley was the only one who could have written “ALLAHU AKBAR”? When police entered the house they didn’t know it was Komel’s blood written on the wall and they didn’t know who wrote ALLAHU AKBAR.44
“Blood and partial fingerprints” were found on the opened laptop in the kitchen area. On the laptop screen were the words, “I have loved you all with all of my heart.” Even though the text was not signed, police immediately assumed the words were written by David Crowley.
The laptop was plugged into a power source on the kitchen island. Blood was swabbed from an iPhone on the kitchen island. “Below the iPhone,” Detective Bone reported,“on the floor, were what appeared to be bloody footprints from bare feet. The only body on scene that was barefooted was the male body.”45
Bloody prints were also found “between the dining room and the living room” next to the laptop on the kitchen island.46
“Open “The Rise” most recent version” was written on a notepad in the office bedroom. Underneath that sentence was written, “Submit to Allah NOW.” Notice how this time Allah is not written in all capital letters.
On the previous page of this notepad is an interesting checklist. In fact, there were many notes, checklists, and various writings seen throughout the office. Both pages of the note pad had blood on them.
Detective Bone reported, “The latent fingerprints found on the note pad from the office revealed two suitable prints for comparison. One was inconclusive as belonging to David Crowley due to the limited quality of the print and the other indicated the print came from David Crowley’s left middle finger. No other meaningful results were discovered in the latent print examination.”
Joe Cooksley of the BCA crime scene team told Detective Bone “the indented writings analysis would not be completed unless otherwise noted. I advised Cooksley that the exam of the indented writings was not needed at this time.”47
How did the dog survive for three weeks? From Detective Bone’s perspective, “It appeared as though the dog had fed on the heads and hands of both adults. We also found a great deal of blood and hair debris in the kitchen living room and hallway area.”48
What did the dog drink? Water, blood or both? There were three toilets inside the Crowley residence, but only two of those were found with the toilet seat lid up. The basement bathroom toilet seat lid is left, with very little water inside.
Dog feces are clearly visible in the images released by the Apple Valley Police Department.
David’s brother, Danny Crowley Jr., saw the dog through the window when he dropped off a stack of Christmas presents at the house on December 28th, 2014. Detective Bone learned that Danny “left the presents on the front step and did not make contact with the family. He said he saw the dog come to the window of the front of the house, but left shortly after that, not wanting a confrontation with David. [Daniel] said he did not look into the window at anytime and did not see the family during his visit.”49
Did the dog bark when it came to the window to see Danny? Did any neighbors hear the dog barking or whining for three weeks? Collin heard the dog on the morning of January 17th, 2015, but did he hear the dog any time before then or after December 25th, 2014? The dog was eventually given over to Danny Crowley.50
The Gray Stage
During a phone conversation on January 19th, 2015 with Detective Tommie Booth, Danny Mason claimed his “involvement with ‘Gray State’ and Crowley was strictly as an actor and as a friend but had not been involved in any financing or was actually listed on any paperwork as a partner with Crowley and Heil.”51
Danny Mason’s name may not be written on any paperwork regarding Gray State, but he is credited with creating the Gray State story at one point. Danny Mason never signed the request form to relinquish all rights as an actor so David could take Gray State in a different direction. Mitch Heil, on the other hand, signed the form as David requested, in order to save their friendship.52
Also on January 19th, 2015, Detective McKnight and Detective Bone arrived at Daniel Crowley Sr.’s house. David’s brother Daniel and sister Allison were with their father when the detectives arrived. “They explained to me that David and his wife Komel had distanced themselves from the family since mid-October,” Detective McKnight reported. Together Dan Sr., Dan Jr. and Allison created a timeline of events, which was emailed by Dan Jr. to Detective McKnight before January 23rd, 2015.
Raniya Crowley’s fifth birthday party took place at the Crowley residence on August 10th, 2014. Everything was normal, according to Daniel Sr., “They thanked me for grilling at Raniya’s party and David said “Love you dad”…which was strange I guess.”53 David’s mom Kate was also at the party. It was the last time Kate saw David, Komel or Raniya alive. Danny Mason also attended the birthday party.
“A lot of writers, producers and film makers who were all in some way, shape or form related to the movie and concept trailer of ‘Gray State’” were also at the birthday party, according to what Danny Mason told Detective Booth.54
Sometime after the birthday party, but before August 30th, 2014, Daniel Crowley Sr. wrote that Dan Jr. “talked to David on the phone. Was supposed to baby-sit. Last time DJ and David spoke.” On August 31st, 2014, David Crowley declined an invite to his father’s house, “as they were too busy. I asked if he was ok. I tell him he sounds stressed and ask if there is anything I can do to help. He says no, nothing out of the ordinary.” David declined another invite from his father on September 6th, 2014.
Then on September 21st, Daniel Sr. was ready to take Raniya to the zoo, “Last minute [David] tried to discourage me from picking up Raniya. He was busy working on the house. The weather looked funky. I picked her up anyway. After the zoo I stopped in to talk. He was about to make a big movie deal. Talked about big shot lawyers from the IDS building he was going to fly to LA to do final negotiations with the producers. He was going to be a millionaire by the end of the year. They were busy and didn’t seem like they wanted me to hang around so I left.” That was the last time Daniel Crowley Sr. saw David, Komel, or Raniya.55
Danny Mason also addressed the $30 million dollar movie deal David Crowley was involved in. “At one point in time,” Detective Booth reported, “[Danny Mason] thought that the movie studios had come back saying it was going to run roughly $30 million to produce a full length movie of ‘Gray State’. Mr. Mason was unsure as to whether or not any actual paperwork or contracts were signed to make a full-length movie.”56
The last time Danny Mason saw David Crowley was in September of 2014, “But he could not remember the exact date,” Booth reported. “[Danny Mason] stated he had come over [to] the Crowley’s residence to talk to David concerning the movie and where the movie was heading. [Danny] talked to David out in the driveway of the residence and had stated that David had looked like he had lost a bunch of weight and was fragile.”57
Detective Tommie Booth spoke with friend and former business partner of David Crowley, Mitch Heil, over the phone on January 19th, 2015. “According to Mitchell,” Booth reported, “the concept trailer and the actual movie were going to be completely different. He also stated that David started working on a documentary and started talking about a [mini] series concerning the project. Mitchell stated that he needed to be able to make some money and thought that he wasn’t seeing the bigger picture that David was seeing concerning the movie. ‘Gray State’ was David’s project to begin with so Mitchell totally separated from ‘Gray State’ giving all rights to David concerning the project…the movie went so far away from the concept trailer, it started going heavily into the conspiracy of killing people.”58
The last time Mitch Heil saw David was on September 24th, 2014, when the two met in the driveway of the Crowley residence. David wouldn’t let him inside the house when Heil “signed over all of his rights in reference to Hot Head and Bullet Exchange LLC to David.” While Heil “described David as a great family man,” he easily accepted the theory that David was guilty of a double-murder suicide.59 Based on what evidence?
It was also sometime in late September of 2014 when Collin Prochnow “noticed a big change in David’s appearance,” wrote Officer Becker. “Most alarming to [Collin Prochnow] was that he observed that [David] only dressed in Army fatigues and had shaved his head into a style of a Mohawk. Collin indicated that they never had a conversation about his appearance change but they still had friendly contact after this change in his appearance in the September/October months of 2014.”60
Daniel Crowley Sr. had “no correspondence recorded in October. I was in Germany and busy as usual.”61 On October 1st, 2014, Danny Mason received an email from David Crowley’s attorney “asking for Mr. Mason to release any rights he had as an actor in the movie so that David could take the script and movie a different route than what was originally planned.” Mason did not respond to the request. Instead Danny gave the release form to his own attorney to review.62
On October 7th, 2014, David Crowley sent an email to Danny Mason. “The email stated, in summary,” Booth reported, “that David had decided to take the ‘Gray State’ into a different path than what they originally had thought and in order for him to do what he needed to do, Mr. Mason needed to sign a Release Form releasing him of his rights to the movie…Mr. Mason stated that he replied back to David’s e-mail telling him that he needed his attorney to have time to look it over before he signed any release concerning the movie.”63
Raniya Crowley attended Cyprus Montessori in Burnsville Minnesota. School administrator Michelle Marie Wallick told Detective Gummert and Detective Booth about the only incident she could recall with Raniya in October of 2014. Raniya “came to school sometime during the school day, became very upset and tried to hide in the classroom,” Detective Booth reported. “When the teacher found her she was cowering in a corner and crying and saying that she was afraid, so much so that she could not calm down enough and she had to be sent to the office to calm down.”64
Only one of the Crowley parents attended teacher conferences. In fact, all communication the school had with the family went through that particular parent. It’s not clear which parent Wallick was referring to.65 Sidrah told me it was Komel who communicated with the school.
Heidie JoAnn Lish “got together regularly” with Komel during the spring of 2014. Lish spoke with Komel two times in August of 2014 but had no contact with Komel the following month. Lish told Detective Gummert that Komel “quit her job at the eating disorder clinic called Melrose at Methodist Hospital. Heidie said that although [Komel] would get back to her via text in October it became more and more inconsistent and that she started to talk about things she hadn’t discussed in the past.” Komel talked about starting her own dietician practice in California.66
Komel’s sister Sidrah arrived in Minnesota on October 19th, 2014, to pick up her dad’s Acura at the Crowley residence. Sidrah first went to the Apple Valley Police Department to “discuss a possible escort” to the Crowley house, but this was a civil matter, according to the officer she spoke with, and the request was declined. Sidrah was advised to call 911 “if issues did arise.”67
Earlier in October of 2014, according to Detective Gummert, David called Komel’s father “and in the conversation was swearing at him and advises him that they were no longer allowed to contact the family and that they were to leave the family alone.”68 When Sidrah contacted David she too was told not to contact the Crowley family.
Dan Hennen spoke with Komel’s father, Mr. Anjum Alam, in August of 2015, and specifically asked about the conversation with David, “[Anjum Alam] said, I don’t remember ever being yelled at by David. We had some disagreements but I got along with him just fine. So he didn’t seem to recall that conversation in October. Sidrah’s version seemed to really stand out as something that she really took offense to, that her father was really hurt by, and her father said, We had our disagreements here and there but all families have those and he shook it off and it didn’t seem to affect him that much.”
Komel didn’t respond to Sidrah’s text messages or phone calls, which was highly unusual since the two sisters normally communicated two or three times a day.69 “According to Sidrah,” Detective Gummert wrote in his report, “she felt that David had all the power and controlled her sister.”70
Anjum Alam (Komel and Sidrah’s father) loaned Komel and David his Acura back in May of 2014, when they needed a vehicle. When Sidrah arrived in Minnesota on October 19th, she planned on picking up her father’s Acura and taking it back to Texas. In exchange for the Acura, Sidrah was going to leave her own Toyota for Komel and David to use.71
According to Detective Gummert, “Sidrah stated that upon her arrival at the residence on Ramsdell drive, David came to the door to speak with her. She stated that he appeared very skinny, his hair was disheveled and she stated in her words “looked crazy.””72
Sidrah was not allowed to see her sister. David “told her to go to her car and he would come out to speak with her in the driveway. She stated David went out [to] the vehicle and advised her again that they did not want contact with her or her family. He stated that he along with Komel felt that they were treating Komel’s mother inappropriately and there was some type of shady dealings going on with the situation down in [ – ]. Sidrah told David that they were welcome to call the hospital and speak with their mother and hospital staff to find out that they were not doing anything inappropriate.”
David agreed to let Sidrah take her father’s Acura but she had to take the Toyota with her as well. When Sidrah came back to the Crowley home sixty minutes later the Acura was parked on the street. Sidrah parked the Toyota in the driveway. When she sat in the driver’s seat of the Acura she noticed a picture of her mom, her sister Komel and herself on the odometer.
On the back of the picture was a written message signed by Komel, “I will always love you and mom.” Sidrah felt something was wrong as she drove back to Texas. “I know she was being abused emotionally just because of that picture,” Sidrah told me. “Just imagine, she couldn’t tell her own sister she loved her face to face. Had to write a note in the back of a picture. Just shows how controlling he was.”
I asked why would David allow Komel to leave the picture in the car if he was so controlling? “She probably told him she wanted to let me know she loved me and that if she wasn’t allowed to see me at least let her write a note for me. Or she was sneaky enough to run outside to put a note while he was in the bathroom, who knows.” Soon after Sidrah returned to Texas with her father’s Acura, Mr. Alam cut off David’s phone service and limited Komel’s phone plan.73
On October 19th, 2014, according to Dan Crowley Sr., “Allison and Komel corresponded regarding conditions of Komel’s mother (cancer).” Also in late October, David gave Dan Jr. his new cell phone number. Some time between November 1st and November 7th, 2014, Dan Crowley Jr. sent a text message to David “saying he loves him and would like to make things right.” David did not respond to the text.
On November 7th, 2014, Dan Sr. sent a text to David “to see if he is still alive.” The next day David replied “that everything is great! Family life had swept them away! I reply, how are the negotiations going with the producers?” The following day on November 9th, David told his father, “I walked away from it. Reasons of the spirit I guess.” That statement contradicts what one of the producers, Mike Boggio III, later told Dan Hennen on October 26th, 2017. On November 18th, 2014, according to Dan Crowley Sr., David declined a thanksgiving invitation to his aunt’s house, “He replied that they wanted to stay home this year, but thanks.”
On November 20th, Allison Crowley sent David an email at 2:01 p.m., “It’s one thing to bar your siblings from your life and goings-on, but when mom calls me weeping and convinced that you’re dead, my frustration with not being able to have a relationship with you turns to fury. I get that you’re busy and you don’t need us. But I’m busy too and don’t have time to perpetually talk mom off a ledge because you won’t spare five minutes a week (if that) to talk to her. Call her. Give her your phone number at least.” David did not reply to his sister’s email.74
The next day on November 21st, at 11:56 a.m. Allison sent an email to Komel, hoping David would contact his mother Kate, “Do you mind telling him to get a hold of mom? She’s taken to calling me everyday, convinced you guys are dead.”75
Komel responded at 4:14 p.m., writing that Kate had their new phone numbers, “Given that we are all well acquainted with mom’s history of forgetfulness and exaggeration of her reality and situation, I would humbly suggest not succumbing to hasty emotional reactions over erroneous information that has no logical basis.”
At 7:53 p.m. Allison explained, “I don’t like having to convince an intoxicated mom that you guys aren’t dead. Of course I didn’t think you were dead, but I also know that every time I talk to anyone in the family, they ask if I’ve heard from you. It’s like nobody has heard from you. It feels like you’ve disappeared over the past few months…it feels like [David is] putting up barriers and I don’t understand why. I don’t know if I’ve done something wrong. I’m eager to make it right if I have. Is there a reason for the recent silence?”76
“There is a reason for the recent silence,” Komel responded on November 22nd, at 7:39 a.m. “I didn’t think it was necessary for either David and I to spell it out, but this is all I choose to share; we are dealing with an endless list of deeply personal issues silently as adults, as lovers, as partners and parents. With that said, I refuse to play mom’s emotionally-manipulating games and I will not allow my husband’s participation in such ventures. My advice to you would be the same one I am practicing myself: turn off your phone and don’t let out-of-state calls dictate how you should be feeling or what you should be doing at any given time.”
“All right,” Allison wrote back, “Best of luck with everything.”77
Sidrah was not convinced it was really her sister who was exchanging with Allison. “Komel never talked that way,” she told me. “If you knew her you know she was not capable of writing that, especially to Allison who she loved dearly. Just reading the email, the tone that comes out of it has David written all over it. And that’s something only people that knew them can tell. It’s funny because as soon as my dad read it, I didn’t even tell him I felt that wrote this, halfway thru reading it he yelled that’s David writing this, not Komel.”
Dan Sr. sent David a text message on November 26th, “I texted him that we were there for him for any support they needed.” Two days later Dan Sr. sent another text message to David about a lawyer bill from Lommen Abdo. David didn’t respond to either message.
It was either December 6th or 7th, 2014, when Mason Hendricks last saw David Crowley. “It was odd,” Hendricks told me over the phone. “Usually, he would let you in.” David asked why Hendricks had shown up. Hendricks had borrowed a camera lens and was returning it to David. “He looked like shit,” Hendricks told me. David looked like he hadn’t been “eating much and smelt bad.”
Hendricks looked into the house, expecting to hear Rani running around or Komel cooking in the background, but Hendricks did not see or hear either of them while he was standing on the front door stoop, “It was just tense.” David gave Hendricks three books on film and lighting. Hendricks wondered if David was subconsciously preparing himself for what was about to happen at the end of the month.
On December 9th, or December 10th, 2014, Collin Prochnow awoke to the sound of gunshots sometime between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Collin thought the sounds came from “the area of the Crowley residence.” Collin “checked the back of his residence and thought it was fireworks,” Officer Becker reported.78
On December 15th, Allison emailed Komel about getting together at Dan Sr.’s house for “Christmas Eve festivities.” Komel declined. “Is there a chance that Suz and I might see you guys while we’re in Minnesota?” Allison asked Komel.
“Here is the answer to your question: please go back and read the email you sent to my husband on my birthday,” Komel wrote back. “READ IT. Carefully take in each word that you accused him of, and imagine your brother’s face and if you have any God forsaken love left for him, you will be forced to imagine the face that cried to you trying to show you his heavily burdened heart back in August. We’re not kids anymore. Take some responsibility for your words and stop pretending your fuck ups are forgotten by others just because your mind has chosen to get over it.”79
December 19th was the last day Rani Crowley attended school. That day was also the last time Chris Peck saw his “mentor” David Crowley and Komel. David and Komel went to Chris Peck’s house at 1 p.m. to purchase a small amount of marijuana. Detective Booth spoke with Peck, who “worked on and off with David on the project of ‘Gray State’.”80
On December 23rd, 2014, Sidrah noticed her cell phone had two missed calls from an unknown number at 9:36 a.m. and 11:40 a.m.81 Sidrah believed both calls came from her sister. December 23rd is also the date when the delivery driver for “Sun Thisweek” delivered the weekly community newspaper to the Crowley’s mailbox.82 However, the boy’s mother told Detective Bone that her son delivered the newspaper on December 24th.83
Additionally, Detective Bone spoke with the circulation coordinator for Sun Thisweek, Kathy Silberg. Silberg explained that the newspaper dated December 26th was “published and printed before that date.” The paper “could have been delivered on December 24, 25, or 26.” Detective Bone learned the “papers were delivered for pickup by the delivery drivers on 12-24-14. Silberg explained that the papers are left at a centralized location for the delivery drivers to pick up and then deliver.” If Silberg’s dates are accurate, there is no way the delivery driver delivered the newspaper to the Crowley residence on December 23rd.84
When Detective Bone spoke with the delivery driver, “He said he delivered it on 12-23-14 between 1400 and 1500 hours…he did not deliver the paper dated 1-2-15, as he was out of town on vacation with his family.” Did detectives ever ask how the driver delivered the newspaper on December 23rd if the paper wasn’t ready to be picked up until December 24th? Even so, Detective Bone concluded his report by stating, “As of this time it is believed the paper that was found in the kitchen garbage can could have been brought in anytime after 1500 hours on 12-23-14.”85
The last Thisweek newspaper delivered to the Crowley’s was dated January 2nd, 2015, which was photographed on January 17th. Why weren’t the January 8th and 15th editions of Sun Thisweek delivered to the Crowley residence?
Police learned there was “activity” on David’s Dropbox account on December 25th, 2014.86 December 25th is also the date of death written on Komel’s gravestone. On January 17th, 2015, Detective Sean McKnight wrote, “Preservation requests were sent to Facebook and Twitter to ensure that the sites could be recorded as they were that evening.”87 So if the request was sent to Facebook on January 17th, why were certain Facebook posts hidden or deleted from Facebook after that date? There is one specific post that was either hidden from public view or was deleted from Facebook.
Mason Hendricks told me Sean Wright “found out the hard way that it’s illegal to not file income taxes in the state of Minnesota and now is paying lots and lots of fiat currency-based dollars back to the state of Minnesota.”
Posting as Gray State: The Rise on Facebook on December 24th, 2014, David once again talked about his plans for the future. The Facebook post was also hidden or removed from the page after his death. It’s believed that Sean Wright made several posts as Gray State: The Rise after David’s death.
The Gray Strange
The earliest report in the 94 page public release is dated January 21st, 2015. The last dated report is at 1:08 p.m. on October 7th, 2015. When they spoke over the phone on January 19th, 2015, Sidrah Alam asked Detective Gummert to contact her instead of her father. Gummert agreed and worked with Sidrah on a daily basis.88
On March 14th, 2015, Detective Bone, Detective Sergeant Jim Gummert and Detective McKnight met with Crowley family members to explain “the facts of the case to the family at that time.” “No details or information were withheld,” Detective Bone stated in his report. As of March 17th, Detective Bone still had not received “results from the BCA regarding fingerprints.”89 The detective wouldn’t receive copies of the autopsy reports for David, Komel and Rani Crowley until March 24th, 2015.90
So when police spoke with “David’s mother and father and two siblings and Komel’s sister, Sidrah” on March 14th, 2015, the authorities had not yet received the autopsy results, the BCA’s lab findings, or the digital forensics results from the Dakota County Electronics Crimes Task Force. While it is encouraging that police did not withhold any information or details from the family members, it is discouraging to learn that police “presented the facts of the case” without having all of the facts at their disposal.
After receiving the results of the DNA tests from the BCA crime scene team on March 16th, 2015, Detective Brian Bone reported, “David’s DNA was found on the gun and magazine. The report also indicated that it was Komel’s blood [ censored ], the foot prints near the kitchen island, the laptop computer, the iPhone on the kitchen island, and the note in the office.”91
The BCA crime scene report, “which details all items that were examined”, was not part of the 94 page public release.
As of May 5th, 2015, Detective Brian Booth “did not have any information about what may have led to David shooting Komel and Raniya and then committing suicide.”92 On October 7th, 2015, Detective Bone reported, “Detective Klokonos and the [Dakota County Electronics Crime Task Force] did not find any information on the related devices that showed motive or cause for what happened during or up to this incident.”93
“Throughout this investigation,” Detective Bone continued, “the AVPD has not discovered any information or evidence that shows anybody but David Crowley is the perpetrator of these crimes, including the killing of his wife, child, and himself.” How much time and effort did police put into looking for evidence that showed anyone other than David was the perpetrator?
Police were quick to point out they found no signs of forced entry, no signs of a struggle, or “any type of altercation. Nothing appeared to be missing or removed from the house.”94 Immediately, I wondered why AVPD Captain Jon Rechtzeil believed “David snapped and took the lives of his wife and daughter, and then ultimately himself,” as he told Fox 9 news anchor Tom Lydenduring an interview.
“Here you’re talking about conspiracy theories and potentially the fall of society,” Captain Rechtzeil continued. “If you’re focusing on that day-in-and-day-out and those are the materials you’re working with and you’re filming exclusively on that topic; that can take you to a very bad place.” Asked if he believed David Crowley “went down the rabbit-hole of these conspiracy theories and just couldn’t separate himself from that,” Captain Rechtzeil answered, “I believe so…If that’s all you’re working on, it can take you to a bad place.”
94 pages and 464 crime scene photos later, I still have not found any evidence to suggest David Crowley murdered his wife, his daughter and then himself. What did police find on January 17th, 2015, to suggest David Crowley was guilty? The alleged double-murder suicide was first reported through a phone call from Judy Prochnow on January 17th, 2015, at 12:56 p.m. Officers arrived to the Crowley residence at 1:04 p.m. The scene was “cleared” at 5:09 p.m. the same day.95
I asked Mason Hendricks why, after a year-long investigation, the public had been given so little information about this case, “That’s because of DHS. That’s why. DHS and FBI had to sign off.” Hendricks wasn’t sure if the Department of Homeland Security and FBI were conducting their own investigations or if they were leading the AVPD’s investigation. Sean Wright also mentioned DHS and FBI when I spoke with him. Yet, according to Detective Gummert, neither the DHS or FBI were involved in the investigation.
Detective McKnight and Detective Bone met with Kate Crowley and her daughter Allison between January 19th, and January 23rd, 2015 at Kate’s house. Kate last saw David, Komel and Rani on August 10th, 2014, she told the detectives. Kate was sure that “David and Komel loved each other and loved their daughter. She had trouble believing that David would do anything to harm his family without Komel being in agreement with him.”96
That leads us back to the theory of a “pact” between David and Komel to kill their daughter and themselves. Days after the bodies were discovered both Sean Wright and Mason Hendricks speculated about a pact between David and Komel to end their lives together. The lack of Rani’s blood found at the scene led some to believe, including Hendricks, that Rani was killed after Komel. If true, that doesn’t line up with the alleged pact theory.
More recently, Mason Hendricks changed his mind about a possible pact, telling me it was the family that had initially led some to believe there was a pact between the couple. He no longer believes that theory. The pact would prove premeditation to me. Hendricks did not believe this crime was premeditated.
Sidrah Alam told me she never believed there was a pact of any type between her sister and David to end their lives. The two biggest questions I have about the alleged pact is where did that theory originate from and who still believes it?
Kate Crowley died on August 9th, 2015. Three important images were taken by police on January 17th, 2015. Images DSC 0445-0447 reveal portions of David’s childhood writings, including some background information about David’s mom. “My mom didn’t have any free time at all,” wrote David, “She often did the cooking for her dad, while the kids mostly got leftovers or they cooked for themselves…after dinner she usually did all the cleaning up with her sister Eileen…my mother didn’t have a very good childhood. She has a large scar above her eye where her dad once hit her. I’m surprised she turned out as nice and healthy as she is.”
David also wrote about his older brother Daniel, who was fifteen at the time of the writing. David was probably twelve when he wrote, “About three, four years ago my grandpa decided he hated us because my brother Danny entered a church club called “Cubbies.” He thought Christians were wimps and simply turned against us.”
David “acted very strangely” around his older brother. “Whenever he tried to read, I’d sit in his lap. Once I was crawling all over him for no apparent reason while he was trying to read. As he got older he got meaner and meaner to me…even now, when he’s fifteen, he still beats up on me. There’s nothing I can do about it except wait a few more years until he gets shipped off to college. Yes!”
The crime scene photos are stored on three CDs in the possession of the Apple Valley Police Department, under the following labels: ME 15-0366 Crowley, DME 15-0367, and KME 15-0368.
“Even though you may be killed resisting, the act of resistance on a metaphysical level has value.” – David Crowley
During a YouTube interview with Sean Wright, David Crowley commented on Danny August Mason’s impartial approach of searching for the truth, “Like Danny said, that was the best thing he did, was taking that impartial approach to saying ‘Go do the research yourself,’ which is exactly what I did. And of course, once you go down that road you can’t come back.” David Crowley met Danny August Mason in 2010 and eventually the two created the story of Gray State. David Crowley then wrote the first version of the Gray State feature-length film.
After his best friend’s death, Mitch Heil wrote a lengthy post on social media, hoping to “clear up some questions” people had about the double murder-suicide. In his post, Heil wrote about the 2012 Gray State trailer, calling it the “largest and most intense small production” he’s ever been part of. “It was basically the three of us doing all the planning. David and Danny doing the writing, scripting, story boarding, ect. I did more of the logistics and technical stuff.”
Mitch Heil “officially split ways from Gray State in mid/late 2013 or so,” but he still remained involved with David Crowley’s other businesses, Hot Head Productions and Bullet Exchange. “This wildly different view on life is what eventually broke off my relationship with the Gray State project,” wrote Heil.
David Crowley completed a revised script of Gray State on June 2nd, 2013, and asked a select group of people to review the updated version of the story. Also in 2013, a rough cut of the documentary film Gray State: The Rise was given out to several people, including one of the hosts of The Rundown Live, Mike Paczesny.
Two days after the bodies of David, Komel, and Raniya Crowley were found, Mike Paczesny was asking some serious questions on his show, “How is this possible that David, with all these contacts and friends, who I messaged a month ago on Facebook by the way, to try to get ahold of him, you know, how does this happen? How does a guy go unnoticed for a month? How does his wife go unnoticed for a month? How does the daughter go unnoticed for a month? You know, where are their families? Where are their friends? What happened here?”
On January 20th, 2015, Mike posted the rough cut of Gray State: The Rise onto his YouTube channel, stating, “The public deserves to see the movie and that’s what’s happening with the documentary.” Later that day, Mike removed the video, “Out of respect for family & contributors, I will be removing the film.”
On October 23rd, 2013, David Crowley posted on Twitter that the rough cut of Gray State: The Rise was finished and ready for review. “Exporting the rough cut now,” Crowley wrote. “So stoked!” On December 9th, 2013, Crowley added, “6 months working on Gray State: The Rise. It’s finally taking its final form, but holy moses, what a shitty shit ton of work.”
David, Komel and Raniya Crowley moved into their new home in Apple Valley, Minnesota, on December 13th, 2013. Days later, David posted on Facebook that he had lost a “crucial hard drive” during the move to 1051 Ramsdell Drive. On December 18th, 2013, David posted, “The only real loss after moving to a new house last weekend was a crucial hard drive for The Rise. I guess the next few weeks will be spent salvaging everything that was lost.” The following day he wrote, “File recovery sucks, but it’s better than not having files to recover. This could take a few weeks.”
By December 27th, 2013, the documentary film was getting back on track, “Finally getting back on track with The Rise. She’s been teaching me patience by making me work for the 660 missing clips that remain, and crashing at least six times a day.”
Gray State was going through some revisions of it’s own on January 15th, 2014. “Some seclusion writing this weekend,” David Crowley wrote on Facebook. “For those of you who read the GS script – it’s about to get gutted for the necessity of a clear, concise, entertaining, and effective film. For all the chewy details that are going to get cut – well, there’s always the novel.”
Five days later, on January 20th, 2014, the story had completely changed, “After two years of trying to extract the Gray State story, I think I finally may have done it. The story has completely changed, is working beautifully, and the new outline was completed in only the last three days. With this new story, it will not be hard to attract funding.”
The following day, David Crowley explained he had rediscovered Gray State’s ending, “It’s a strange experience finally feeling genuine love for characters I’ve created. The most painful part of writing the conflict for these people who are precious to me – is that I must now torture them, punish them, and drag them through the dirt to reveal their essence of form. Yesterday morning I rediscovered Gray State’s ending, and the final feeling captured was of such gentle sadness, I’ve been stuck in it ever since.”
On January 22nd, 2014, David was still settling into his new home, “Spending today building two big fucking new desks to create a mancave megadesk, then relocating ALL of The Bullet Exchange inventory to my basement.”
On February 2nd, 2014, David explained the plot of the fictional film, Gray State, “Gray State: a wounded veteran leads the insurgency against a corrupt government after his city is put under martial law.”
“The use of force,” David Crowley posted on March 7th, 2014, “no matter the context, should be a shameful last resort, indicating an utter defeat of intelligent faculty. This is the difference between men and children, and also why our childlike society celebrates violence in its exercise of authority.”
On March 8th, 2014, David Crowley wrote, “Sean Stone (yeah that one, @csstone5) apparently wants a role in Gray State.” Two days later, David Crowley was “happily unsubscribing from liberty and conspiracy feeds on fb and twitter. Too much of the backbiting derision they claim to oppose. See ya, guys, it’s been fun. You’ll still like Gray State though.”
The following day on March 11th, 2014, David Crowley asked the question, “You know what liberty feels like? Unsubscribing from hundreds of LIBERTY OR DEATH FUCK THE NWO pages and twitter accounts.”
The movie script was steadily progressing on March 19th, 2014, “Today, in place of thousands of post-it notes,” David Crowley wrote on Facebook, “pages of scribbles, and 30 feet of plot-points, I have a 118-page script/outline hybrid that may be only days away from a solid draft 1. The original Gray State story took 8 months of solid work. This story took less than 2, and is better in every way.” On March 22nd, 2014, Komel was reading the first draft of the new Gray State script.
Aside from the Gray State movie, David Crowley had plans for six more films. On May 15th, 2014, David “spent a very welcome morning laying the groundwork for another 6 films I’ve been having ideas for. It’s nice to finally be free from Gray State, boy howdy.”
On May 22nd, 2014, David Crowley’s dream had finally come true, “It just happened. I’m not sure how many details I can divulge at this point, but Gray State will be optioned in the next two weeks at a major budget and connected with a-list talent. We are connected with a producer who above all else wants to preserve the film’s pro-liberty ideals. This is all we could have hoped for and more. Thank you all for being our strongest selling point. Let’s make a movie.”
On June 30th, 2014, posting as the Gray State page on Facebook, David Crowley gave an update on the Gray State movie, “The past month I’ve been meeting with some LA-based producers, crew, and other industry contacts, and together we are building the team that will combine our passions and talents and belief in Gray State to optimize its message and reach of its exposure. This has been a truly exhilarating experience! My attorney and I are reviewing the option contract this week, and once that sucker is signed this whole Gray State thing is going to finally, irretrievably, and monstrously take off for the stratosphere – and in such a way that the message will be preserved – and perhaps even continue in sequels, TV series, and video games. Seriously. Talk about taking over the main stream. This has been my life’s work for nearly 4 years, and it is extremely gratifying to be backed by such a raging horde of super-fans. Thanks for your patience guys. See you at the premiere.”
On September 30th, 2014, David Crowley spent some time on Facebook answering questions from his supporters, “It seems like there are a lot of questions and expectations about this project. For the next 20 minutes or so I will answer your questions directly!” David Crowley wanted to give away his documentary, Gray State: The Rise for free, and today The Rise is available, free-of-charge.
There are two very important posts from David Crowley that were either deleted or have been hidden from public view; one post was made on December 9th, 2014, and the other was dated September 30th, 2014.
The missing post from September included a question by a supporter, as well as an answer by David Crowley (posting as Gray State). In this post, David Crowley mentioned his plans for “rebuilding a trustworthy team.” Asked what his biggest hold up was with the fictional movie, Crowley responded, “I’m doing this myself. I say “we” and “team” a lot, but when it comes to nuts and bolts work, writing, and leveraging the project into securing Hollywood money, it’s just me. I hope to change this by reinvigorating the process and rebuilding a trustworthy team.” We still do not know who removed or hid this post from the Gray State Facebook page, or why. Hopefully the post will reappear one day.
Responding to a question about when Gray State: The Rise was going to be released, David Crowley responded, “The Rise suffered a catastrophic hard drive loss earlier this year. I am working to get it back together (hopefully for a FREE online release, you guys deserve a little something). I really have to be careful though, because a mishandled doc release could absolutely SINK production on the film or series. I am treading carefully, making sure that everything works out to the best.”
September 30th, 2014, was a very important day, as David Crowley had big plans for 2015, “Today’s posts represent the first visible beginnings of the Gray State resurrection. I can’t get into too much too soon, but with the right amount of hard work, strategy, and miracle juice, the beginning of 2015 should see some amazing progress.” Crowley also wrote about a “new revamped website coming soon” and many of his last known conversations involved plans for the future of his projects.
Over and over again on September 30th, 2014, David posted about his vision for the Gray State franchise, “A series, which could be produced and released way faster than a film, has the potential to subvert the system. How can it not? Sorry guys but Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, while entertaining, lack a real-world purpose. Gray State will not fail you. How could it?”
Creating the Gray State franchise was David Crowley’s full-time job, and he was doing everything he could to ensure the success of the franchise, “It’ll either be a great success story, a spectacular, highly visible failure, but either way, I guess we all put in our best shot, right? I guess that could be said about where the country is headed too.”
The questions kept coming, and David Crowley answered as many questions as possible within those dedicated twenty minutes. Crowley was attempting to reach out directly to his supporters and doubters, in order to address the criticism the project received for its multiple delays in production.
Starting a Kickstarter campaign for future production costs is more evidence that David Crowley was actively planning for the future, “We want to run a Kickstarter (due to popular demand), but if we do, it’ll be for a very specific purpose, like hiring a behind the scenes crew to document production, run live broadcasts, and give constant updates to the fans. I never wanted the fans to fund this. That’s like making your kids pay for their own Christmas presents.”
David Crowley was still trying to get “big budget” funding for Gray State in September of 2014. I believe this shows David was not defeated by his earlier failures in Hollywood, as some have claimed. His words seemed like those of a rejuvenated artist who had a story to tell, and who wasn’t going to stop until his concept for Gray State became a reality, “Hopefully the strength of this project as a whole, and what it represents with the people, will help me get a big budget without sacrificing my intent. But hey, if I can’t, then I will take it back to low-budget indie, like the 2012 trailer.”
During a 2012 interview with David Crowley and Danny Mason, host Alex Jones told the Gray State creators they didn’t need Hollywood’s help to make their film a success. So even if Hollywood wasn’t interested in his project, Crowley knew it was possible to make the film without their help, with only a small budget.
“New developments have enhanced the projects honesty and dedication to its origins,” wrote Crowley, “This is going to be brutal.” Crowley also reminded people to “stay tuned for updates. We will keep the entire production process as wide open as possible.”
In response to the comment that it’s been three years since Gray State was first developed, Crowley responded, “No, it’s been a lot longer! And there are years to go.”
In a separate comment, Crowley confirmed his long-term plans, “The film is ready to go, but it might take forever, and then still fail at any point in production. A series might be immediately tangible, and instead of interfering with the film…set it up for success a year or two down the road. Big picture stuff.”
David Crowley’s most challenging thing about the project was “trailblazing the timeline. It’s been either a very small team or just me alone working on this thing for years, trying to make it work. I do not just want this movie done so the fans can see it online. I want millions to get blind-sided by it in theaters.”
David’s future plans for the movie were clear, “We’re talking to producers about it. If we can’t tease a producer into splitting $15-30 million (which is still our goal), then we will take it back and do it independently. The point is we want Hollywood money but not Hollywood politics.”
One month later, on October 27th, 2014, David Crowley contacted David Kirk West on Facebook, “I like your operation, ethics, friends, and location. When I put together the Gray State web-series and shoot nation-wide, would you want to produce for the northwest?”
On a consistent basis, David Crowley was planning for the future of his franchise, and moving forward to see his life’s work become a reality. David Crowley severed ties with David Kirk West on social media sometime between November and December of 2014. West believes David Crowley also “unfriended” many people on social media “for seemingly no reason.”
By November 18th, 2014, there was no doubt as to whether or not Gray State: The Rise would be released for free, “Gray State: The Rise will be made available online for free as soon as possible,” Crowley wrote on social media, “This is our non-fiction contribution to fight for liberty. Gather your strength.”
David Crowley was working “every day” to complete Gray State: The Rise and on November 26th, 2014, he told a potential donor to “use that money on something for your girl instead. The Rise is going to be free.” Crowley was “rushing The Rise to a free online release. It’ll be worth your wait.”
The following December 9th, 2014 post by David Crowley has since been removed. I do not know who has access to David Crowley’s Facebook account, or why the post and its comments were removed or hidden from David’s personal Facebook wall. Here is what David Crowley wrote, “Can you believe it? The Rise is almost done. I’m serious. She’s coming out to be quite the looker; can’t wait to show you all, but I have to comb her hair for a few more weeks. Anyway, I’m quite serious about giving this film away. I have come to abhor the AJ model of peddling DVDs as truth and cashing in on suckers. I have given this film years of my time and I am delighted for the opportunity to “burn it down” by giving it away, and I hope you all share the feeling. You’ve all given this project a lot of attention and I thank you. Soon it will be time to go live, and we’ll get to watch it all unfold.”
Why would someone remove or hide this post from David Crowley’s Facebook account? Various screen-shots are all that remain of this post and several comments made the same day.
The first comment on the December 9th post came from David, “You guys are friggin’ sweet, I hope the film makes you all proud. I would try to do a private screening or something exclusive, but hearing the news every day I don’t think we have the time.”
Two people post comments in response. The first writes, “It’s taken a lot out of you I’m sure. The iron is hot, waiting for you to strike.” The second person to leave a comment is Sean, who writes, “You need to call me. I’m all good with getting out free intact. I brought that up initially. But if it’s released before my court you may send me to prison instead of beating my case. For real though David Crowley call me.” Sean also put his phone number in the comment.
David responded, “I don’t have any of your tax talk in there Sean my man, don’t sweat it. This movie is meant to send other people to prison.”
Sean was worried that the release of Gray State: The Rise could possibly send him to prison. I believe this is the same Sean who contacted me after David’s death, encouraging me to stop asking questions and just accept that David Crowley was guilty of a double murder-suicide. Sean’s “tax stuff” is in the leaked version of Gray State: The Rise (rough cut). In a conversation with investigative researcher Dan Hennen, Sean told him, “The reason David said he took the tax stuff out of [Gray State: The Rise] is I’m currently in court for tax issues and that’s a big reason the rough cut was never to be public.”
During a December 17th, 2014 email exchange with Los Angeles-based producer Jason Allen, obtained by the Pioneer Press, David Crowley relayed his plans for releasing the documentary film in a few weeks, “When you see The Rise, and the new trailers for the Gray State series, you’ll know what I mean when I say I have followed my heart at every step. I have no idea how much money is going to come together when this kicks off here in a few weeks, but it might be enough to get started on a series, then independent features running a common storyline.” David Crowley met with Jason Allen in Los Angeles some time in September of 2014 and was “very much excited about releasing this documentary,” according to what Allen said in the Pioneer Press news article.
The email exchange also revealed the rising interest in the Gray State projects, “Gray State fans are growing at a rate of 100-200 per day even now,” wrote Crowley, “and when I get started I can only expect they’ll keep coming.” David asked Jason Allen to be an executive producer for Gray State, but before Allen could respond to the request, the deceased Crowley was already being accused of a double murder-suicide.
Allen found it hard to believe that David Crowley would murder his wife and child before taking his own life, “David had this consistency and this very steady way about him. In many ways it felt very contradictory to the actions of a murder-suicide. I truly saw an optimism to it.”
At the same time David is allegedly distancing himself from family and select friends, Komel Crowley was helping her husband “build a database of professionals, actors and other industry contacts interested in the project,” according to Nick Ferraro’s Pioneer Press article.
In the first hour of December 25th, 2014, Gray State: The Rise posted a link to The Patriots Guild Faceboook page with the following comment, “An excellent group/page run by some real patriots that are close friends of ours. Make sure to give them a like. They have a lot of great things on the horizon!”
That was, possibly, David’s last post before he died, if in fact it was David Crowley posting as Gray State: The Rise at that time. In the comment section, someone asked when the Gray State movie would be released, Gray State: The Rise responds, “Make sure to follow this page, “Gray State” for updates on filming.” In a separate comment, Gray State: The Rise wrote, “And it’s not an easy feat when trying to maintain the stories integrity without selling out, and having such a small team.” Who was part of this small team at that time and who was not?
According to Pat Pheifer of the Star Tribune, on December 26th or 27th, 2014, Dan Crowley Jr. went to his brother’s house to drop off Christmas presents. Mason Hendricks, a friend of David Crowley, said Dan Jr. saw Paleo, the family dog, pop his head up through the large front window. Dan dropped off the Christmas presents by the front door and tried contacting his brother several times afterwards, but David never responded to his phone calls or text messages. Dan and David’s father, Daniel Crowley Sr., also tried to contact David and Komel but was unsuccessful. Daniel Crowley also told local news media he “hadn’t heard from his son and daughter-in-law over the holidays.”
Collin and Judy Prochnow lived next door to the Crowley family and had recently returned from an out-of-town visit when they noticed packages piling up near the front door of the Crowley home. A few days before the bodies were found, neighbors noticed the lights inside the Crowley house were on all day and all night. The curtains were wide-open, which was unusual according to neighbors.
Mr. Prochnow said he had shoveled the snow in the Crowley’s driveway a few times, a common courtesy in Minnesota, because he hadn’t seen the Crowley family since before Christmas. Collin assumed the family was out of town. Mr. Prochnow also told local news media he heard a noise that sounded like a gunshot some time in December, but the actual date of the noise is unclear.
On January 17th, 2015, Collin Prochnow rang the doorbell of the Crowley home and instantly heard the dog barking aggressively, but no one answered the door. So he peered through the front window.
At first, Mr. Prochnow was not fully certain that what he saw through the Crowley’s front window were three deceased bodies. Initially, he told the Star Tribune, the bodies looked like dummies or mannequins, “To me, they just didn’t look human.” Mr. Prochnow then returned to his home and told his wife what he had seen. “He came home and said there were dummies [mannequins] on the floor,” Judy Prochnow said in the article. The Prochnows returned to the Crowley house and upon a second look into the front window, police were called to the scene.
When Apple Valley police officers arrived at the crime scene on January 17th, 2015, at 12:56 pm, an officer looked through the front window and relayed to police dispatch, “There’s several obviously deceased bodies in the front.” One officer was in the backyard and told dispatch, “Rear slider is unlocked, slightly ajar.”
Another officer said, “We’re gonna make entry as soon as [inaudible] can get here and get this dog.” Based on the dispatch audio, the officer responsible for removing the dog from the house is told to go to the back of the house when he arrives. On January 18th, CapitalBay.com reported that police were calling the deaths “suspicious” but their article still revolved around the “apparent murder-suicide” theory given to them by police.
Apple Valley Police Captain John Bermel was certain to tell the media there were no signs of forced entry or foul-play. “If there was a scuffle, you’d expect to find maybe something broken, maybe something knocked over. There was nothing like that,” Captain John Bermel told Nick Ferraro of the Pioneer Press.
Note: Later we will learn the majority of David’s head “was missing,” according to police reports. His “right hand was missing.” The majority of Komel’s head was also “missing. Only the back lower part of her skull was still in place.” Both of Komel’s hands were missing. Rani’s entire right arm and shoulder socket were missing. Yet, according to Nick Ferraro’s 2016 article, “The medical examiner’s office did not find marks or injuries on the bodies suggesting physical struggle before their deaths.”
Captain Bermel apparently did not address the rear slider being unlocked and slightly ajar at that time. Perhaps in the future he will. When asked about conspiracy theories surrounding the deaths, Bermel said, “We deal in facts.”
If that is true, then Captain Bermel should have no problem proving why his office told the media David Crowley was guilty within a day of finding the bodies at 1051 Ramsdell Drive.
When I first wrote this article, the investigation was still on-going, so I believed Captain Bermel when he told KAAL, “We will establish a timeline and try to piece together what happened in that house.” Once the investigation was completed, I truly hoped his timeline would be available to the public. I was wrong. When police finally did close the case, they closed it quietly and refused to answer questions about their accusations against David Crowley.
Thankfully, Apple Valley Police Detective Jim Gummert honored a promise he made to me before the case was closed. Gummert would eventually answer twenty-one questions about the alleged double-murder suicide.
Paleo, the family dog, was found alive but had torn up part of a sectional couch in the living room. An alleged friend of David Crowley, someone posting as Mason Norsk Hest, told independent investigator Dan Hennen, “Paleo destroyed David’s body…David did try to kill the dog…body parts were all over the house. The dog left Rani’s body alone.” Yet Rani’s entire right arm and shoulder socket were missing? 1 Highly unlikely.
The dog was taken to a local animal shelter. Mason Norsk Hest then posted, “All will be revealed soon. The dog is ok. I saw him yesterday. David’s brother will be taking him. I, along with some friends, will be going to his house on Thursday after the living room is cleaned up and to try to make sense of the note that was left.”
Mason Hendricks told the Star Tribune about the note that David left behind, “It’s very short. It’s very puzzling. Honestly it doesn’t [explain what happened]. It doesn’t put much into perspective. It’s two sentences. That’s all it is.” There were two notes found in the Crowley home; one was a hand-written note found in the office bedroom and the other was a typed note on David’s computer in the kitchen. Neither note was signed by David, and there’s no reason to believe they are suicide notes, especially since they were found in two separate rooms.
Mason Norsk Hest told Dan Hennen, “You, nor anyone, will ever know what the note said.” Then Hest proceeded to tell Dan what was written in the note. “It was his handwriting…David left a password list for the authorities…David left a note on his computer that said, “To my family, I loved you with all my heart.” He took the password protection off of his computer. David’s finger prints were on the computer.”
According to what Mason Hendricks posted on his MNH Foto website, Mason Norsk Hest is his nickname, “Mason Norsk Hest is a nickname that was given to me some years ago and it is the name I have come to go by.”
On January 18th, 2015, the host of Silence Is Compliance, Anthony Antonello, started off the show with a phone conversation with Mike Paczesny. Mike Paczesny would later post Gray State: The Rise onto his YouTube channel for the entire world to see. “It’s really sad that it came to this,” Mike told the host, “if this is really true, and I believe it is. You know? That’s really sad.”
Anthony Antonello had his own suspicions, “I don’t want to jump right out there and yell, ‘conspiracy, conspiracy,’ but you gotta ask questions, man…things like this just stink, man.” Keep in mind that Anthony is just learning about what happened at the Crowley house as the show begins. As he’s speaking with Mike, he and his research partner are scouring the internet looking for any information related to the alleged double murder-suicide.
By the end of the show Anthony doesn’t seem convinced that David Crowley was guilty of a double-murder suicide, “I’m not buying it. Not buying it whatsoever…I don’t know what happened. Am I suspicious? Of course I’m suspicious.”
Mike Paczesny added, “We’re gonna get demonized for this. Everybody that was a part of the Gray State project, which is a lot of alternative media, a lot of the listeners, a lot of the people that know who we are, we were behind this. I got a banner on my website right now. What? Am I supposed to take it down?…Yes! You do. That’s what you do now. I don’t know. What the hell? I’m just being honest.”
Also on January 18th, 2015, musical artist Jordan Page expressed his thoughts about the death of his friend, “David Crowley, the screenwriter and director of an upcoming film about the NWO takeover Gray State is dead. All I can say is he was my friend, he was a visionary, a patriot, and a good man. I will miss him, and this movement has lost a crucial member who was poised to wake up millions. God bless him and his wife and their little girl.” More notable is the comment Jordan Page wrote later that day, “The film was about to start production with a $30 million budget from a major Hollywood studio.”
Local actor Charles Hubbell had been trying to reach David Crowley for over a month before the deaths. Hubbell told KAAL (ABC 6 News), “I was absolutely crushed. This is not the David that I know. This is nowhere near the David I know. He was proud of his service. He was proud of his expertise.”
“When I first heard about the story,” Dan Hennen told the hosts, “my first search on Facebook was to search for a justice page or something to do with the family to get up-to-speed with the story. When I found that there wasn’t any, I decided to create one and start throwing in some of the articles, some links to the various articles, to have a spot as a forum for people to come and get information and gather information. I was just setting it up by myself, just as the owner of the page, and then after I did another search…I saw that there was another one up done by Thomas Lapp…his is actually a page and mine is a group. So they’re different in that aspect. So he set his up, and it wasn’t until the 19th of January that we started getting the requests for rights to the page; and I didn’t get any at first at all. But when corresponding with Thomas Lapp, we started to get the admin rights [requests] coming in from various people, and they all seemed to be from the Gray State team; which is fine. We thought it was odd because they’re going through the grief…the last thing they’d be doing is searching on the web and wanting to type and write things, but they wanted administrator rights to moderate. So that was the first thing. When it got a little goofy is when Thomas Lapp shot me an instant message saying, ‘I’m getting a lot of requests for administration rights and full access rights. Just be on the lookout if that comes your way,’ and just to be prepared. He didn’t tell me how to handle it, or what to do, he just says, ‘Just FYI.’ He gave the 411 that this might be coming…I said, well that certainly seems odd, but then he said [the requests] went from being admins to wanting full rights. Then once he did grant one person admin rights, a bunch of threads were soon deleted. So that didn’t go over. Being an admin is one thing…but Thomas wasn’t too happy when he found out that a hand-full of threads were deleted…so he had a bunch of requests that came in to be the administrator…Mike Paczesny, at the same time, while this was all going on, uploaded that YouTube video of [Gray State: The Rise] the rough cut, which really threw things into disarray because the Gray State was trying to put out that fire at the same time. They were trying to pull that down and deal with Paczesny, who evidently went rogue and just decided to publish it. But at the same time we were…trying to work with the Gray State team to get together a conference call for the next day…Brendon Jay spent a lengthy phone call – he’s from the Gray State team – Brendan Jay has been very good dealing with Thomas Lapp…they were putting together a conference call and invited me to get on too and wanted to get the three of us, the two pages and the Gray State team, to get together and put our heads together and see what would be the best way to either put together a video or a YouTube, or something to get it out there at the nation-wide level to really expose this case…I think it was when Joe Haggman got involved. He suggested even doing it for the show for that very night, if you bump it back an hour, ‘Instead of doing a conference call, you guys can just call in live on the Haggman and Haggman internet radio show and we can get this out there to a much broader audience.’ So we had agreed to do that for a 10 pm eastern-time show and everything was good. At that time, I believe the Gray State guys were putting out the fire of the rough-cut documentary. Then at 8:49 pm I get a contact from Thomas Lapp that says the show’s been cancelled; and he mentions that things have “gotten weird.” So he said the show’s cancelled. I’m not sure what’s going on now…it was at that point that Sean Wright – from the Gray State team – now was demanding full admin rights, and threatened he’ll terminate the page if he wasn’t granted those rights, and he’ll get it shut down, he’ll delete the entire thing. So, it went from asking for rights to help moderate a page to terminating, to deleting the page…then I got hit…with the requests for administration rights to my page, and I said no that’s fine, I’ll just keep it going here myself. I might need a moderator or two to help bring people in but I don’t want to give up the admin rights; certainly after what’s happened here the other day to the previous page. So, it really got nasty at that point. That was on January 20th, the evening…it was after declining the admin rights to be able to give to the Gray State guys when it all went downhill. It was surprising for Thomas and I because it was less than 24 hours [ago that] everything was going well. Information was getting out there. Brendan Jay said from the beginning, he’s like, I don’t buy it. I don’t buy this official story one ‘iota’…but then a hand-full of guys from Gray State say, no, this isn’t the case. They wanted to steer, they didn’t want conspiracy theories out there surrounding David Crowley.”
One of the people who wanted to become an admin for the Justice for David Crowley of Gray State Facebook page was Danny Mason. On January 20th, Danny Mason wrote to Thomas Lapp, the creator of the Justice for David Crowley of Gray State Facebook page, “Could the admin or admins please contact me?” Mason asked.
Thomas Lapp responded, “Hey Dan, the admins are myself (Thomas Lapp), Sean Wright and Brendan Jay. What can I do for you? By the way I also sent you a friend request. I can give you access to this page as well if you like.”
Within minutes Danny Mason responded, “Yes please add me as admin since I’m trying to make sure David’s name and our projects are being protected. I’m just saying this since I haven’t met you in person, and lots of people coming out of the woods if you know what I mean.”
On January 21st, 2015, someone named Sam Wagner asked Dan Hennen if he could become an administrator for the Justice for David Crowley & Family group, “Hey can you add me as an admin for the Justice for Crowley? I was part of the admin team that did the social media for Gray State and we really need to stay on top of the trolling/keeping this group proactive, ect. Come on Dan.”
Dan Hennen wrote back, “Hang in there Sam. In a case like this the first week is gonna be hard. Let me know when that news conference takes place today. I’m at work.”
Wagner then asked Dan, “Why aren’t you letting others be admins? Because you created the group? Mods are not the same as admins, you must know that.” To all the people who asked for administrative rights to the Justice for David Crowley & Family Facebook group, it’s never going to happen so go start your own group and quit trying to control that one. Shame on you.
Also on January 21st, 2015, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office labeled Komel and Rani’s deaths as homicides and David’s death as a suicide. All three died from a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the brief report.
On January 22nd, 2015, David Kirk West wrote an article on why he didn’t think David Crowley was assassinated by the government, “I think that what happened is that “Gray State” was falling apart, Crowley was struggling financially, and between that and who knows what other factors he just snapped. I strongly suspect we will find out in the coming weeks that “Gray State” suffered a big setback, likely toward the end of October. I hope that everyone who is following this case and speculating on it will refrain from jumping to the conclusion that David Crowley and his family were assassinated and at least consider any evidence that comes out indicating a murder/suicide.”
While David Kirk West clearly speculated that David Crowley might have “snapped,” he also asked everyone to refrain from jumping to the conclusion that the Crowley family was assassinated by the government. Of course we will consider any evidence that helps prove a double murder-suicide, and I hope Mr. West will consider the possibility that David Crowley is innocent based on the lack of evidence provided by police.
Mitch Heil seemingly blamed Gray State for David’s death, “Conspiracy theorists are saying he was murdered by the government. He was murdered alright. He was murdered by the Gray State. He was no longer David. He was not the David we all knew and loved. He was Gray State and the Gray State killed David. It killed Komel, and it killed Raniya.”
Additionally on January 21st, 2015, Doug Hagmann, of the Hagmann & Hagmann Report, wrote about his conversation with David Crowley back in 2012. Hagmann explained that David Crowley “ominously confided that he had no intentions of committing suicide or otherwise becoming a statistic as he had so much to live for. “I’m not prone to suicide,” he told me.”
Doug Hagmann also wrote, “What I don’t understand is the public’s acquiescence or resignation to the official narrative without question, especially considering the people whom we’ve lost to questionable, if not outright strange circumstances. There is something very wrong here. The death of David Crowley, his wife and daughter is more than a tragedy. It seems to fit a disturbing pattern. We need the complete truth about what happened, and not accept anything less. Although his death and the murder of his five year-old daughter and 28 year-old wife could have been by his hand, I’m not buying it. Others aren’t either.”
I have no idea why, but on January 23rd, 2015, Sean Wright contacted me, asking that I stop asking questions about the David Crowley case, “You think I would just be silent if I thought there was more to the story,” Sean asked me, “if my best friends were murdered? Please think of the source of the info. Do you trust me?” After asking who “the source” was, Sean responded, “Me dude! Crowleys were my best friends. You think I would not start the revolution if they were murdered or assassinated?”
I asked when we will see the evidence. “I know the evidence,” he told me, “and will share when I can. The people I trust have been told what I can share. I know more than anyone. I’m mother fuckin’ Sean Wright. You think I didn’t trench everything before I accepted what happened. No one else would want this to be foul-play more than me. Just trust me. Save your credibility.”
Even more bizarre were Sean’s statements about David and Komel dying on their own terms, “Truth is David, Komel and Rani are dead. They died on their own terms…They did everything how they wanted to insure no one would stop them and so no friends or fam would find the bodies.” I asked if he was trying to tell me this was a double-suicide murder, but he never elaborated on that statement. Did Sean truly believe David and Komel decided to murder their child before killing themselves? If so, then why? Maybe Sean knew more than he could say. This was the first time I heard about the pact theory between David and Komel, but it would not be the last. The pact theory still exists today.
Sean wasn’t the only one associated with the Gray State projects to bring up the pact theory. This was similar to what Mason Hendricks told the Star Tribune, “Mason Hendricks, a close friend, said Crowley and his wife were amazingly close and in-tune and speculated that even their deaths had to have been a mutual decision.”
Separately, Nick Ferraro quoted Mason Hendricks as saying, “I honestly believe — and this is all speculative — that this may have been a joint decision. He and Komel had a great relationship. They were like that couple that finishes each other’s sentences.”
On February 12th, 2015, Mason Norsk Hest posted the following in the Justice for David Crowley & Family Facebook group, “I can tell you all this. David did it for certain. The father is meeting with the police this week and my friends Sean and Danny and Adam will be getting more info. David did this. That is 100% certain. It was not the illuminati or a government cover-up. It drives myself and his closest friends nuts to hear people speculate like this. No details need to be shared. There was no force, they all went together, it’s terrible but poetic. The whole thing is terrible and his brother Dan and I and our amazing friend Danny will be meeting with Komel’s sister soon to help her go through all of her sister’s stuff.”
Even though Mason Norsk Hest first stated, “I can tell you all this, David did it for certain,” it seems odd that he would also write, “There was no force, they all went together, it’s terrible but poetic.”
Even more confusing to me was one of the comments Mason Norsk Hest posted claiming, “It can still be joint if David used the gun.” His statement did not make sense to me, especially since the Hennepin Medical Examiner’s office listed Komel’s death as a homicide, not a suicide. A USA Today article mentioned Collin Prochnow using the word “they” when possibly referring to double murder-suicides in general, “You have something that happens like that next door and you don’t really know when it happened, and the little girl, why did they have to take the little girl with them when they do things like that?”
A few days after contacting me on Facebook, Sean Wright called me, still trying to convince me to “free myself” from this case. Apparently, he didn’t have David Crowley’s phone number but he had mine, and I hadn’t talked to Sean in over a year or two. Even though I’ve never stated I believe David Crowley and his family were murdered by the government, Sean still felt it necessary to remind me that this wasn’t a government hit.
Sean also told me “the property of Gray State was ours. It’s copyrighted. That’s why the videos keep getting pulled down, because we keep reporting it’s a copyright…you guys keep goin’ this route DHS and FBI’s gonna be on you. You don’t need that.” Again, I’m asked to “back off from it all.” Sean also told me he was probably one of the last people to see the Crowley family alive.
All I asked for was evidence that David was guilty, but Sean could not provide any. He did tell me, “I’m just givin’ you a call out of respect to see if you could just free yourself in this situation before it gets worse.” Asking questions will not make the situation worse and that’s all I will continue to do until I find the facts that prove David Crowley killed his wife, his daughter, and himself.
If police have enough evidence to tell family, friends and local media David Crowley was guilty, how long will it be until authorities tell the general public the details of their theory? I still do not understand why Sean would try and discourage me from asking simple questions about the alleged double murder-suicide. It makes no sense to me.
The Gray Shame has been exposed from my point of view. It’s a shame that some people want me and other researchers to steer clear of any theory involving foul-play. I will consider the possibility that David Crowley is guilty and I will also consider the possibility that he is not. I will continue to let the facts guide me towards the truth. It was the responsibility of the Apple Valley Police Department to solve this case, based on facts. I believe they failed.
Infowars.com reporter Joe Biggs was interviewed by Weaponized News.com on January 22nd, 2015, “Right now it’s one of those things that’s up in the air,” Biggs said during the interview. “I’m looking into it as well, among many other things. When something like this happens, the first thing I do is I try to look on people’s Facebook pages…so I try to find the friends of the people, I add them, and then I look to see if there have been any posts. When you do research like that, you’ll see, over the past few days, all I’ve seen are people going like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve known this guy forever. He’s not someone who could have ever done this. This is mind blowing’…you also think about, they started this film like three years ago. They did some kind of crowd-fund thing or whatever. They raised $60,000 and ever since the trailer came out, there’s been nothing done. So for two years, production’s completely pretty much stopped from what I’ve heard and there’s been nothing done with it. So, did they stop making the movie and just start living off that money that was raised and then they ran out of money and he lost his mind? Or what else is there? There’s so many things that could have happened. Like I said, it’s so early into it. There was a leak of the documentary…and that was going to be used to raise more money to finish the actual feature film, Gray State.”
On the January 26th, 2015 edition of the Alex Jones Show, a caller named Rick asked Alex about the case, “I wanted you to let everybody know about David Crowley’s’ execution, the creator of the Gray State.”
Alex Jones responded to the caller, “Well we did cover that last week and it looks like another assassination of somebody in the media. Just like the prosecutor in Argentina who said they’re trying to kill me, I’m about to give a speech in two hours proving that the President carried out staged bombings, and he was, now they admit, murdered.”
Rick steered the conversation back towards David Crowley, “He was executed. He was shot in the head, all three of them; him and his wife and his daughter.”
“I know,” said Alex Jones, “and so was the prosecutor, and the President said it was a conspiracy theory, but now they admit he was murdered, the prosecutor. A lot of people are getting killed right now…they’re just murdering people.” It was such a shame Alex Jones chose to ignore this case. This case seems like a slam-dunk to reopen for so many reasons. I’m still shocked at the silence of the alternative media. What do they know that I don’t?
In an interview released on January 27th, 2015, Ben Swann asked Gray State co-creator Danny Mason if David Crowley ever displayed symptoms or signs of PTSD over the years. Danny Mason responded, “Nothing that would, I guess, constructually fit the bill for diagnosis of PTSD. Not in the form with David, and that could have been masked with his creativity on it. Hindsight’s always 20/20 and especially in a moment like this. And I think to label that right away that [PTSD] was the sole cause of it, I don’t, personally I know that he mentioned that he did suffer from some forms of PTSD and I think that all of us, in some shape or form, could actually I guess in some form of diagnosis, have that…but nothing to the extent that…it’s black and white, he flipped out and kinda lost his mind. That diagnosis to explain the tragic events just doesn’t fit with it…there wasn’t really any kind of red flags that kind of went off that we should be really concerned about.” Separately, Mitch Heil “never saw signs of PTSD. He was not a crazed gun nut.”
Did Danny Mason and David Crowley ever have the “I won’t kill myself” conversation? “We’ve had that conversation early on, on it,” Danny Mason told Ben Swann, “and this is when, but then there was a period when David started putting distance between his friends and his family, on it…I know that he was going through a personal transition and I don’t know if he was battling a lot of the bigger…questions on spiritualism and his placement within society, and also as a film maker. So I don’t know that part, but the discussions that we had before, I know that he wouldn’t be suicidal ‘cause David was one of the strongest guys I’ve ever met before in my life; not only intellectually, but just physically, all around.”
“Truth is the truth and it will never die. You can’t destroy truth, ok. No matter what you do.” – Danny Mason
Three months after the bodies were found, we were still waiting for any evidence to prove David Crowley was guilty as accused. The Apple Valley Police Department would not release any evidence or discuss the case with me as long as the investigation was still on-going. Sgt. Jim Gummert promised he would respond to my list of questions once the investigation was complete.
One of the saddest turn of events throughout this case was the silence of many within the alternative media. I would like to personally thank Disaster Survival Magazine, 21st Century Wire, and the hosts of Wake Up To The Truth, Mike Serour and Eric Wilkinson for their continual interest and investigations into this case, and specifically for asking the questions that will help us all get to the truth. I would also like to thank everyone above ground and everyone underground who are following this case with an open-mind. We will find the facts.
The gray shame continues with each attempt to convince people that David Crowley is guilty without providing evidence. That is the true gray shame here. People can label me a conspiracy theorist because I choose to ask questions about this case instead of trusting the official theory is accurate without proof. Such accusations will always remind me of what David Crowley said back in 2012, “It’s no longer the conspirator or the conspiracy theorists who have to prove themselves because everything is so out in the open now.”
Special thanks to Ken Doc for making me aware of these files. Within three days of filing the FOIA request for the data on the Urban Moving Systems’ hard drives, John Massaria was given the declassified files in relation to this chapter.
What were they dancing for? On September 10th, 2001, several of the five “Israeli nationals” arrested on September 11th, 2001, were spotted inside Doric Towers, located at 100 Manhattan Avenue, Union City, New Jersey. One Israeli seen exiting the 9th floor of the apartment complex claimed to be a “construction worker” working in the complex until 7 p.m. that night.1 Several residents of the Doric Towers told FBI agents they may have seen one or more of the five Israelis on September 10th.
FBI files revealed that all five Israeli nationals were together on September 10th, 2001, at an apartment in Brooklyn on Lawrence Street. At least one of the five men went from this Brooklyn residence to the “J&S Gulf” gas station, before heading to the Urban Moving Systems warehouse in New Jersey. I believe four of the five men were living at the Brooklyn apartment on September 11th. How many of the five men were in the van when the vehicle left Brooklyn?
Living in the same apartment was an unnamed woman.2 The woman worked in New Jersey and used “mass transit to get to work” because she “doesn’t own a car.” She “takes a train from Brooklyn to the World Trade Center where she takes a Path train to Journal Square. From Journal Square [she] takes a cab to work.” It’s not clear if this woman worked for Urban Moving Systems, or if this is the woman who later told FBI agents that Urban Moving Systems only has one white van; which is a lie.
An Urban Moving Systems white Chevrolet 2000 van was used by the Israeli nationals to travel from their residence in Brooklyn, New York to the Urban Moving Systems location in Weehawken, New Jersey. The EZ-Pass found by authorities revealed that the van “passed through the Brooklyn, New York entrance to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel at 7:48 a.m.”3
A gas station attendant at J&S Gulf, located at 1324 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, New Jersey, told FBI agents that a white Urban Moving Systems van came to get gas prior to the attacks on the World Trade Center. “The driver had short, dark hair” but the gas station attendant did “not know if any other people were in the van with the driver.” Though the gas station attendant was certain the white van arrived before the attacks on the Twin Towers, FBI agents “determined that the Israelis purchased gasoline [“from the Gulf service station”] at approximately 2:14 p.m., which was subsequently corroborated by reviewing the photographs taken by the Israelis that day.”4 Did the Israelis make two stops to the same gas station on September 11th?
Arriving at Urban Moving Systems
An employee for Urban Moving Systems saw two of the Israelis “clocking in” at 8:58 a.m. That doesn’t necessarily mean the two Israelis arrived at Urban Moving Systems at 8:58 a.m. One of them was on the internet5 “and began reading about the events on CNN.com and YNIT.com, an Israeli newspaper.”6
“After learning that the WTC was struck by airliners,” a female employee of Urban Moving Systems told FBI agents “that all of the employees went outside of the building to watch.” The employees stayed outside for a while until they were told to get back to work. The female employee did “not recall seeing anybody taking pictures outside the building, although she does recall that [ – ] had received a new camera from [ – ] the day before.”7
This would be one of three witness reports within the FBI files to suggest that the Israelis did have a video camera when in the parking lot of Doric Towers. Another eyewitness would be someone who worked at Doric Towers, and the third person would be a resident of the apartment complex, referred to as “T-1.”
Doric Towers Rear Parking Lot
FBI agents concluded that the Israelis were in the rear parking lot of Doric Towers “between 8:50 a.m. and 9:03 a.m.”8 Doric Towers is located at 100 Manhattan Avenue, Union City, New Jersey. FBI agents telephonically interviewed two people working inside the building before the World Trade Center was attacked, “They were at work the morning of the destruction of the World Trade Centers. Doric Towers was the site where 3 young men were seen taking video and still pictures of the destruction of the first tower. The men were in a festive mood and high fiving each other. They were driving a white utility van.”9
One of the two men were painting inside an apartment when his co-worker informed him of the first plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The painter “stands up from painting the baseboard, looks out of the window, and noticed 3 young men taking video and still photographs from atop the roof of the parking garage adjoining Doric Towers.”
The painter also saw “a white utility van next to the men and a brown van further behind. There were no other people in the parking lot at that time. He believes this occurred between 9:00 a.m. and 9:10 a.m.”10 The man left the apartment complex and went to his own apartment, “which takes approximately 5 minutes. He looks out of the window and sees both towers on fire. After 6 to 7 minutes he goes to another window in his apartment and sees that the men and both the white and brown van gone.” The man “did not see any writing on the van or any windows other than the glass on the driver and passenger sides.”11
Three cigarette butts were found in the area where the three Israelis were taking pictures.12
Eyewitnesses at Doric Towers
At 8:15 a.m. on September 11th, 2001, a female resident at the Doric Towers apartment complex in Union City, New Jersey, “observed a white van parking in the rear parking lot of the apartment complex. A male individual appearing to have a brown but not dark complexion, round face, dark hair, approximate age 30’s, was driving the van. He drove the van very slowly into the rear parking lot, paused, and backed into a parking spot which, from the front, overlooked the New York City skyline. No passengers were visible. Upon returning to the area, at approximately 9:20 a.m. that same day, the interviewee did not see the van. The van was white and had no windows on the sides. It appeared to be a utility van for an electric company because the words ‘electric supplies’, among others, were printed on it. The name of the utility or vendor company, since forgotten, was in red letters on the van.”13
The woman noticed the vehicle because utility vehicles usually park in the front of the apartment complex, but the white van was in the rear parking lot. A second eyewitness saw the same van in the same parking lot around 8 a.m. on September 11th, 2001.
At 9 a.m. an unnamed housewife and resident of Doric Towers, later referred to as “T-1” (possibly named Settembrino), watched the smoking Twin Towers from the rear-window of her apartment. While looking in the direction of the World Trade Center, the resident “observed three (3) males kneeling on the roof of a white van located in the rear parking lot of her apartment complex. She noticed the individuals and it appeared as though they noticed her.”
Three clean-cut white males in their mid-twenties were on top of the box-style van “which had no windows on the side; it reminded Settembrino of a telephone company style van…one of the males appeared to be taking still photographs and video of the other males with the WTC in the background. All of the males appeared to be jovial in that they smiled, hugged one another, and gave “high fives.”” The resident wrote down the license plate number of the van as it left the parking lot, JRJ-13Y.14
The female resident, T-1 (Settembrino?), was first interviewed “in the presence of her husband” on September 11th, 2001, by at least one FBI special agent. The woman was born in South America, became a United States citizen, and eventually retired from employment. This is the woman who was contacted by telephone at 9 a.m. about smoke coming from the World Trade Center by a neighbor in Doric Towers. The neighbor was later referred to as “T-2.”
Using her Binolux binoculars, “T-1” was able to get a closer look at the World Trade Center “through her rear window. Then she opened the balcony door and walked onto the balcony. As she looked in the direction of the WTC, she observed three (3) males kneeling on the roof of a white van in the rear parking lot of her apartment complex. She noticed them and it appeared as if they noticed her…all of the males were white, males, in their mid-twenties, no facial hair, no glasses, “clean cut”, no hats, all wearing short sleeve shorts, with lean builds. She recalls that one male (Male #1) had light hair which was cut very short. The top of his hair appeared somewhat “curly” or “wavy.” He was wearing a white tee shirt and light blue jeans, with a hole in the left knee. He was smoking cigarettes. She believes she has the best memory of this male.”15 The woman remembered Male #2 the least of all five men. Male #3 had dark, short, straight hair.
“The van was not parked perpendicular to the fence,” according to the FBI files. “Instead, the front of the van faced in a southeast direction. Male #1 knelt on the roof above the front passenger side of the vehicle, and he faced the apartment complex. Male #2 knelt on the rear portion of the roof of the vehicle, and he faced New York City. Male #3 appeared to be taking still photographs and video of Males #1 and #2 with the WTC in the background. All of the males appeared to be jovial. The[y] smiled, they hugged each other and they appeared to “high five” one another. [ – ] is certain that the first fire at the WTC had just started. The second explosion had not yet occurred when she noticed these males.”16
“T-1” saw no one else in the rear parking lot. As the van pulled away, the woman wrote down the license plate number, JRJ-13Y. She didn’t contact local police until she told her husband about the “jovial” men later that day. Her husband suggested she contact the police.
On Friday, September 14th, 2001, at 7:35 a.m. the female resident “T-1” (Settembrino?) was telephonically interviewed by an FBI “Supervisory Special Agent” and an FBI “Special Agent.” The woman “observed three (3) males on top of a white van with one (1) camera.” The FBI file stated that the housewife “believes that it was a video recording device, rather than a still camera. [ – ] recalls that the camera was a small, handheld unit, with a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen. She recalls that one of the unknown males was holding the camera up to his facial area and moving the camera, slowly from side to side. She described this motion as “panning the area.” [ – ] also recalls the males appeared to be “horsing around.”17
In response to T-1’s initial claims18, FBI agents canvassed the Doric Towers apartment building in Union City, New Jersey, on September 13th, 2001, “to determine whether anybody residing at the apartment building could identify any of the five individuals appearing in two pages of photocopied photographs shown to them.”19 Residents were shown a picture of each of the five Israelis and were asked if they had seen any of the five males (Males #1–#5) at Doric Towers on or before September 11th, 2001.
Separately, a male interviewee living in the apartment complex “definitely saw the individual identified in the photographs as number 5 within the apartment building at around 3:00 p.m.” on September 10th, 2001, “the day before the interview” on September 13th, 2001, “as well as here and there during the preceding weekend. The individual was observed entering the elevator in the lobby along with another individual with whom he was conversing, perhaps in Spanish. The manner in which the two men were speaking suggested that they knew each other. The second man was not within the pictures presented.”20 “Several times during the course of the interview, the interviewee independently volunteered that he was positive that the man identified within the photographs as number 5 was the man he saw in the building.”21
A female resident “stated she may have seen #3 [ – ] and #4 [ – ] around the building area throughout the past summer months.”22 Another female who lived in the same apartment stated Males #2 and #4 “looked familiar…she recognized them from around the apartment building.” A mole on the face of one of the men “was an identifying mark” that both women remembered.23
A male resident believed Male #3 “or someone that looks similar to him has visited apartment [ – ] in the past.”24 Another female resident “said that she may have seen” Male #4 before, but she didn’t “recall where and when.”25
An unnamed male, possibly the apartment complex manager or superintendent, did not recognize any of the five males. However when asked about “Urban Moving Company” he told agents that “a tenant in apartment [ – ] called on Sunday, 09/09/2001, and stated he and his wife, [ – ] would be moving out of the building Monday morning” on September 10th, 2001.
In a phone message to the unnamed male, the tenants “stated in the message that Urban Moving Company would be moving them. [ – ] thought this odd, because [ – ] had paid through the end of September and had not given an earlier notice of his intentions to move.”26 Whoever the married couple was, they had a joint-checking account with Chase Manhattan Bank with an address in Hoboken, New Jersey, 07030.27 They were a young couple who were very quiet while living in the apartment complex. The husband did not drive. One of them “took a cab to the path station in Hoboken every morning for work.”
Another possible male employee saw “three male movers with foreign accents” moving the two tenants out of the building on September 10th, 2001. When shown photographs of the five Israelis, the man did not recognize any of them as the movers.28
A female resident “said she may have seen” Male #3 “in the Newark area” and Male #4 “in the Doric Apartment complex office.”29 Another female resident said Male #4 “or someone that looks similar to him was around the apartment complex during the summer.”30 A white female resident told the FBI agents that Male #3 and Male #4 “appeared similar to the males she saw on the morning of 09/11/2001. However, she was not sure. No positive identification was established.”31
A white male living in the apartment complex “stated that his window faces the south side of the apartment complex building. He also stated that he recalls seeing someone who looks like” Male #5, but again, “no positive identification was established.”32
Another white female resident said Male #5 “vaguely looks like someone I’ve seen. I can’t tell you where or when.” She also told the FBI agents “she may have seen this individual on a bicycle. [ – ] recalls that the [ – ] for the apartment complex was working in the morning hours of 09/11/2001. He may operate a van. No positive identification was established.”33
Another female resident “stated that she observed a white car in the far southeast corner of the rear parking lot on the morning of 09/11/2001. An unidentified female appeared to be sitting on the vehicle and taking photographs of New York. No positive identification was established.”34
A white male resident thought Male #3 “resembled a homeless man that sleeps near the apartment complex.” Another white male resident “walked onto his balcony between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.” and did not see anyone in the rear parking lot, nor did he recognize any of the Israelis.35
A Union City, New Jersey woman, possibly a resident at Doric Towers, was interviewed at her residence about the five Israelis. She recognized Male #4 “from standing in line for the bus at the Port Authority in New York, New York.”36
Another eyewitness recalled seeing a white van “in the rear parking lot of the apartment complex” on the morning of September 11th. “The van was white and had no windows on the sides. It appeared to be a utility van for an electrical company. The name of the company, since forgotten, was in red letters on the van. Usually, utility or service vehicles at the complex building parked in the front. This vehicle was parked in the back which is why it came to the interviewee’s attention. It seemed out of place.”37
On September 17th, 2001, two FBI agents interviewed a male eyewitness in his Doric Towers apartment, located at 100 Manhattan Avenue, Union City, New Jersey. The person “previously telephoned the Newark FBI and indicated that he had photographs prior to the explosions at the World Trade Center…However, upon review, the photos appeared to be taken around the time of the collapse of the first tower, not prior to the attack.”38
After the interview, “While waiting for the elevator, the agents noticed a drawing, approximately eye level, on the wall near the elevator call buttons. The drawing appeared to depict the World Trade Center towers. This was evident by the shape of the buildings depicted, with one tower bearing a large antenna at the top. There was no evidence indicating how long the drawing had been there.” 39
Liberty State Park Sightings
On September 14th, 2001, the FBI’s “Newark Division, with the assistance of the New York Office (NYO), initiated an investigation predicated upon the detention of five (5) Israeli Nationals who may have possessed information about the terrorist incident targeting the twin towers of New York City’s World Trade Center on 09/11/2001.”40
FBI agents in Newark received information about a “big, white 2000 Chevy van” or a “panel truck,” with ‘Urban Movers’ written in black on the side of the vehicle, spotted at the Marine Terminal building in the Liberty State Park area. The male eyewitness said the vehicle could have been a U-Haul truck.”
After spotting the vehicle on September 11th, 2001, the eyewitness “mentioned that later he was in the vicinity of the Port Authority/George Washington Bridge, when he noticed someone wearing a Bergen County fireman’s uniform. [The eyewitness] stated that he was unaware that Bergen County had a fire department.”41
A male eyewitness arrived at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey “sometime between 10:00 a.m. and 11 a.m.” The eyewitness drove “from his residence to Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey in order to give blood.”
Twenty or thirty minutes later the eyewitness “observed a truck enter Liberty State Park. The truck was new, either a 2000 or 2001 model year GMC box truck with dual rear wheels…the side of the box had a sign which said Urban Moving in black letters. [ – ] did not recall the exact words, but recalled it contained wording to the effect of Urban and a moving company along with an unrecalled (973) telephone number. The truck had no apparent dings, dents or scratches on it and was remarkably clean for a moving truck. The truck backed into a parking space near the pier, within 50 feet of the water. [ – ] did not see anyone exit the vehicle…the Urban Moving truck left Liberty State Park just after an announcement was made to close Ellis Island. At this time, [ – ] saw three males approach and enter the vehicle.”42
The eyewitness “described UNSUB 1 as the driver of the van.” UNSUB 1 is Sivan Kurzberg. He “had skin-tone which could have been that of Mexican origin. UNSUB 1 looked light, and didn’t look like he would work as a mover. He wore faded blue jeans, white short sleeve tee-shirt, and a black vest, possibly leather. UNSUB 1 also wore a black fanny pack of average size which hung to look as if it contained three to five pounds of weight inside. The fanny pack hung just below UNSUB 1’s front left pocket of his jeans. [ – ] did not get a good look at UNSUB 2 or UNSUB 3…UNSUB 2 carried a Digital or 35mm camera with a zoom lens…the three UNSUBS entered the vehicle and departed the area.”43
A third eyewitness at Liberty State Park saw a “big, white, model 2000 Chevrolet van, or possibly panel truck or U-Haul truck, bearing the words “Urban Movers” in black lettering along the side. The vehicle was observed in the Liberty State Park’s Marine Terminal in Jersey City, NJ, located across the Hudson River from WTC. Pursuant to this information, East Rutherford, NJ police authorities stopped an Urban Moving Systems van at a pre-positioned roadblock which was occupied by males similar to those described by witnesses above. The van had been traveling eastbound along State Route 3 in New Jersey. Following the stop, police detained five (5) individuals, all Israeli Nationals, on the grounds that they may have had information pertaining to the WTC explosions.”44
A Union City, New Jersey, female resident “said that at approximately 12:30 p.m. on September 11th, 2001, she was returning to New Jersey on the Liberty State Park ferry from New York City, New York.” She identified Male #4 “or somebody that looks similar to him” as being “on the same ferry.” 45
White Glove Movers
At least three of the five Israeli nationals were seen in the rear parking lot of Doric Towers. Likewise, three of the same Israeli nationals were seen at Liberty State Park. From there, the van was headed to White Glove Movers in New Jersey.
FBI files state it was a ten-minute drive from the Urban Moving Systems warehouse to the “White Glove” location. Those files do not account for the alleged stop for gas at J&S Gulf at 2:14 p.m. One of the five Israelis entered the White Glove Movers location and spoke with someone inside.
“It was after leaving White Glove and looking for a crossing into New York,” FBI files reveal, “that they were stopped by the Police and arrested. It was at this point that [ – ] admitted that he had additional information. [ – ] stated that on the way to the parking lot, [ – ] remarked, “I am glad I brought my camera today.”” Was this a video camera or a still photography camera?
The Israeli who “admitted that he had additional information” for the FBI agents also told authorities that one of the Israelis in the rear parking lot of Doric Towers “had a backpack with him that could have contained a video camera…[ – ] said it is possible that [ – ] was using a video camera from inside the van, but that [ – ] did not see him doing so.”46
On September 14th, 2001, an FBI Special Agent was given verbal authority by Assistant United States Attorney [ – ] “for the retrieval of any and all information electronically stored in the three cellular telephones found to be located inside a white van bearing New Jersey registration JRJ-13Y. This vehicle was seized and its occupants were detained as part of the investigation of the bombing of the World Trade Center.”47 As noted before, this was the information John Massaria requested in his FOIA request. Three days after filing the request, Massaria received the declassified FBI files instead.
“Your Problems Are Our Problems.”
On September 11th, 2001, at 1:10 p.m., a statewide broadcast was sent out at the request of the FBI Newark field office. New Jersey police officers were told to search for “a white 2000 Chevrolet van with New Jersey” license plate “JRJ13Y with [an] ‘Urban Moving Systems’ sign on back.”
The van was spotted by eyewitnesses at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey “at the time of the first impact of a jet airliner into the World Trade Center. Three individuals with the van were seen celebrating after the initial impact and subsequent explosion. F.B.I Newark field office is requesting that if the van is located, hold for prints and detain individuals.”48 The declassified FBI files specifically mention explosions at the World Trade Center several times.
The five Israeli nationals were arrested at 3:56 p.m. After their arrests, two FBI special agents interviewed East Rutherford New Jersey Police Officer Scott DeCarlo about the arrests. DeCarlo and several other officers were “assigned to a traffic detail, diverting traffic from Route 3 East to Route 120 North and Route 3 West.”49
In his preliminary report, Officer Scott DeCarlo “observed a van traveling quite slower than the rest of traffic east towards me on the service road…I immediately informed Sgt. Rivelli (The OIC at the scene) of the possibility of a match on the vehicle. As this officer approached the vehicle I did not observe a front license plate. I went to the rear of the vehicle and observed the license plate (NJ JRJ13Y). I felt that the only letter difference in the plate could have been a mistake and requested a confirmation. The return transmission revealed the plate on the van matched the broadcast. So at this time I returned to the driver door and requested the driver to stop the vehicle and exit. The driver did not immediately exit the vehicle and was asked several more times but he appeared to be fumbling with a black leather fanny pouch type of bag. This officer then physically removed him. Sgt. Rivelli removed the passenger and one other passenger from the passenger side of the van and with minor assistance from officer in training T. Yannacone. The other two occupants were removed, placed on the grass off to the shoulder and this officer read all five individuals their Miranda rights. The van was secured and headquarters was requested to immediately notify the County Bomb Squad and FBI of the situation. All occupants were transported to the state police facilities inside the Meadowlands Sports Complex by State Troopers to await the arrival of the FBI.”50
East Rutherford Police Officer Scott DeCarlo described the five occupants in the vehicle. Along with his descriptions, I have also included additional information found in the declassified FBI files:
Driver: Sivan Kurzberg
Sivan was born in Israel on February 2nd, 1978. He had two known addresses at the time. The first was at 100 Laurence Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. and the other was in Pohtkua, Israel. He also had a renewed passport that originally expired on March, 20th, 2001. The passport was extended until October 22nd, 2005. He had a relative in Charlotte, North Carolina to whom he wrote a letter to.
More notably, Sivan told arresting officer Scott DeCarlo, “We are Israeli; we are not your problem. Your problems are our problems, The Palestinians are the problem.” Sivan was wearing blue jeans, torn at the knees, with a gray and black shirt. He was found with a black bag (fanny-pack). “The black bag that the driver was fumbling with contained all of his belongings (see attached Receipt from the FBI for its contents)…This officer did not speak to the Special Agent in charge, Kevin Donovan, and there were many other agents involved in the investigation. Two of which were Dan O’Brien (973) 792-3389 and Robert F. Taylor Jr. (973) 792-3327.”51
Front Seat Passenger: Oded Ellner
Oded was born on December 6th, 1975. He was found with an Israeli passport and had an address in Brooklyn, New York. He lived with at least two people whose names have been censored in the FBI files. He also had an American Express card (#375518092154895), along with a “white sock-like sack filled with $4,700 in cash.” He made sure to tell the arresting officers, “We’re Israeli.” Oded told Sgt. Rivelli that “they were on their way to Lawrence Street in Brooklyn where they are staying with a roommate.” I believe the roommate mentioned was a female.
Rear Seat Passenger: Yaron Shimuel
Yaron was born in Israel on November 21st, 1975, and is listed as being “German.” He had an Israeli passport that was issued on April 7th, 1991,52 expired on April 4th, 1993, and was extended until August 7th, 2000. Yaron also had a German passport that was issued on March 15th, 1999, in Tel Aviv which expired on March 14th, 2004.53 After he was arrested, FBI agents requested “HQ” “verify validity of German-issued passport with Berlin LEGAT.”54 Yaron had two known addresses; one at 1345 Drexel Avenue, #6, Miami Beach, Florida, 33139, and his other residence was in Brooklyn, New York.
FBI special agents also interviewed someone who said Yaron “lived in Miami one year ago. He has at least one tattoo. Yaron was employed at the Urban Moving Company. The FBI files also indicated he has children. His roommate was employed in Jersey City, New Jersey, though the roommate’s name and address were censored. He planned to travel to Australia, and had an unnamed associate. Police believed Yaron lied when he told them, “We were on the west side during the incident.” He was wearing jean overalls when arrested.
Rear Seat Passenger: Baul Kurzberg
Baul was born on February 24th, 1974. He had a residence in Brooklyn, New York and an address in Dallas, Texas. He was employed at Urban Moving Company Systems Inc. He also had an American Express credit card. When arrested he was wearing a pink shirt and blue jeans.
Rear Seat Passenger: Omer Gavriel Marmari
The Chevrolet van was registered to Omer Gavriel Marmari, who was born on November 28th, 1979, in New York, New York. His address was listed as 509 West 212th Street, Manhattan, New York. Omer also had an Israeli passport. He was found with a pack of cigarettes and black sunglasses. Omer is the only Israeli national mentioned who had possession of cigarettes.
East Rutherford Police Department Sergeant Dennis Rivelli was on the passenger side of the van when Officer DeCarlo ordered it to stop. “I was able to see at least 4 people in the van,” Rivelli wrote in his report, “two in the front and two in the back. Officer DeCarlo read the plate number and I contacted the desk for confirmation on the plate number.”
The license plate number was off by one letter so the officers contacted headquarters. Sgt. Dennis Rivelli wrote, “It was confirmed that the plate on the vehicle was in fact the plate that the FBI had stated in the broadcast. While PO DeCarlo was removing the driver from the vehicle, I removed the front seat passenger. He stated, “We’re Israeli.” He was identified, via Israel passport as Oded Ellner W/M Dob 12/06/75 of Israel. He advised me that they were on their way to Lawrence St. in Brooklyn where they are staying with a roommate. He did not have the exact address. D/Capt Felton and Det. Yannacone arrived at the scene. All five males were handcuffed and PO DeCarlo read them their Miranda warnings. All five spoke and understood English and they acknowledged their understanding of Miranda. Bergen County Bomb Squad, State Police and FBI were notified…FBI agents responded and took over the scene. All five were separately transported to the State Police facilities in the Meadowlands Sports Complex by State Troopers.”55
Under the FBI case file titled, “Twin Tower Bombing,” the special agent who filled out the report described the details of the investigation. “The Israelis were observed near Liberty State Park, New Jersey, celebrating and photographing the World Trade Center (WTC) explosion within minutes after the WTC was first hit by an aircraft. It should be noted that there were inconsistencies in the statements made by [Yaron Shimuel] who stated that the van he was in was on the West Side highway in New York at the time of the attack on the WTC. However, he is clearly visible in photographs (enclosed) which he and other occupants in the van had taken from a roof top parking garage located at 100 Manhattan Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, within minutes after the first WTC building was struck by an aircraft.”56
After the first airplane struck the World Trade Center “a white Chevrolet van, year 2000, with New Jersey license plate JRJ13Y and URBAN MOVING SYSTEMS written on the back, was observed at 100 Manhattan Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey.” Three of the Israelis “were observed celebrating after the initial impact and subsequent explosion of the WTC.”57
At least two of the detainees were employees of Classic International Movers Incorporated.58 The Chevrolet van was towed to “MV’s Impound.” The FBI investigation apparently identified seven “individuals in connection with Urban Moving Systems.”59 FBI agents also requested further investigation of the 28 names “found in papers seized during the search of a vehicle leased to Urban Moving Systems,”60 as well as seventy-two telephone numbers.61
Found Inside the Van
Vehicle Registration: 2000 Chevrolet Van.
License Plate: JRJ13Y.
Address: Vault Trust, P.O. Box 83, Garden City, New York, 11530. DL: 94090 90001 15300.
Insurance Information: Empire Fire and Marine Insurance Company.
Agency Issuing Insurance Card: DeBellis Insurance Agency, Inc. 492 Franklin Avenue, Nutley, New Jersey, 07110.
Insured: Urban Moving and Systems Inc., 3 18th Street, Weehawken, New Jersey, 07087.
Address: 3 18th Street, Weehawkin, New Jersey, 07087
Vehicle: 00 GMC Van
Effective: August 6th, 2001
Expires: October 6th, 2001
Co: Empire Fire & Marine Ins Co (Insurance Co #11)
Agency: DeBellis Insurance Agency, Inc., 492 Franklin Avenue, Nutley, New Jersey, 07110
The white 2000 Chevrolet with the license plate #JRJ13Y was registered to Omer Gavriel Marmari of Urban Moving Systems Incorporated, with the address of 312 Pavonia, Pavonia, Avenue, #1. Inside the van, the arresting officers found “telephone numbers” and “names directly associated with previously identified [ – ] and activities.”
In the van authorities also found money, maps, photographs, an address book labeled [ – ], two Israeli passports, one German passport, a flight coupon, a flight itinerary, a black organizer, miscellaneous note papers, two notebooks, “vaccuming,” a black organizer, two pocket notebooks, a hand-written letter with a return address from Charlotte, North Carolina, an EZ pass “dated from 10/30/1997 for New Jersey license: JRJ13Y and [ – ],” two cell-phones (Items #11 & #13: Sprint-Samsung and Sprint-Nokia), a Smart Beep Motorola pager (Item #12), a flyer for “Garage” with the opening night dated as July 11th, 2001, and an application to visit Australia for tourism.
Also found inside the van:
(FBI Item #1) (3) Copies of each 8×10 black & white photographs
(FBI Item #2) Film Negatives – Canon EOS SLR & Pentax P550
Photos later developed by the Newark FBI office – (35mm camera photos) Photos clearly show “that the Israelis are visibly happy on nearly all of the photographs. Further, the photos revealed that the Israelis had taken photographs from both the top of a van and from another location believed to be a parking lot near the Urban Moving Systems location in Weehawken, NJ.”63
“Film from camera bag”
Still photographs from the Canon 35mm camera (developed later) show two of the Israelis in a “parking lot adjacent to the Doric Tower apartments…The three Israelis, sitting together on top of a white van, are visibly smiling on at least three of the photographs. The photographs also revealed that all five Israelis later observed the WTC burning from a location on top of the roof of an Urban Moving Systems warehouse located adjacent to the Urban Moving Systems office location described herein.”64
How could a photograph reveal that all five men observed the World Trade Center burning unless a tripod was used or a sixth person was behind the camera? We won’t know for sure until we see the photographs for ourselves.
FBI agents believed “that the Israelis photographs were taken closer in time to the explosion of Tower #2 (South Tower) than to the initial impact into Tower #1.” One of the Israelis “apologized for appearing happy in the photographs,” and added “that Israel has been dealing with incidents like this for years. He believes that the United States will take steps to stop terrorism in the world.”65
On June 15th, 2001, the unknown person was on Flight 302 from Tel Aviv, Israel, at 6:55 a.m., scheduled to arrive in Athens, Greece at 8:55 a.m. The person departed Athens, Greece, at 12:20 p.m. on Flight 411 and arrived at JFK International Airport in New York, New York, at 4:10 p.m.
On September 12th, 2001, the person was scheduled to depart on Flight 412, from JFK International Airport in New York, New York, at 5:45 p.m. and arrive in Athens, Greece at 10:10 p.m.
On September 14th, 2001, the person was scheduled to depart Flight 301 from Athens, Greece at 2:20 a.m. and arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel at 4:15 a.m.
Two International Youth Travel cards, ISTC, UNESCO (possible forgeries)74:
Valid until January of 2000 (“Exemplar from brochure, possibly for forgery?”)
Valid until August of 2002 (“Possible forgery, note missing graphic in top left corner, different fonts for text, “valid to” doesn’t require a beginning date, and beginning date doesn’t appear in original.”)
Other writings found include:
A torn piece of paper with handwritten notes.
Half a piece of 8 ½” x 11 paper “with two points of contacts in two different pens and handwritings.”
“Time and attendance records for Aug-Sep. Find the date (reversed month and day) in the fourth column, number of hours worked in third column, name in second column, and ordinal numbers in the first column seem to represent shifts worked.” (Item #32)75
Handwritten page in Hebrew, dated April 29th, 2001. The page was inside an envelope, postmarked Charlotte, North Carolina, 28228, and dated April 30th, 2001. On the back-side of the envelope was a sticker of an “eight-legged cartoon character juggling six balls.” The letter was sent to Motel 6 Operating L P, Location #0744, 3510 Old Annapolis Road, Laurel, Maryland, 20724, room # [ – ] [plus Hebrew text].78
A letter of introduction from the Kiryat Ono branch of Bank Haporlim to the U.S. Embassy. It’s believed this person “is the second in a specific group of applicants for travel to US. It is possible that [ – ] isn’t associated with the others in the group except by his ties to a travel agency processing a group of travelers together. But the others could also be contacts of [ – ].”79
El-Al Luggage Tag from Charlotte, North Carolina, 2821081
International Driver’s License for a resident of Israel – “Written in French; seals seemingly in Hebrew placed over vehicle categories B and C and on either side of photograph of holder; includes a place to show excluded countries.”
Israeli driver’s license with photo – payment date was August 19th, 1999, license valid until June 12th, 2004
Student ID card for the Israeli Students & Academics Organization
American Express card, valid from July of 2000 until July of 2002, member since 2000
What Was Not Found
Newark FBI agents also wrote about what was not found, “Oddly, equipment typically used in a moving company’s daily duties was not found, including work gloves, blankets, straps, ropes, boxes, dollies, rollers, ect. Also not found was the video camera that [ – ] observed at least one of the males using to film the explosion at WTC.”
When Newark’s Criminal Division interviewed the detainees about what might have been on the missing video camera, “it was determined that several of the detainees had, by their own admission, [ – ].”82Lied? Though four of the five Israeli nationals were given polygraph tests, only two of them were given polygraph tests specifically related to the alleged video camera that was used to film “the WTC explosions.”83
Two FBI special agents from Newark conducted a “follow-up investigation” on September 20th, 2001. The two agents “conducted the review in an attempt to locate the green lighter shown in one of the photographs, locate evidence of a video camera and to determine the accuracy of the time/date LCD readout on the Canon EOS 2000 camera. After completing the search of the van and its contents, both agents were unable to locate the lighter or video camera and any evidence of a video camera.84
An FBI laboratory file points out that a TDK-160 VHS video tape (K1966) was received on October 1st, 2001, adding that “the results of the video tape examination are included in this report.”85
Inside the van authorities found “a positive result for the presence of explosive traces.” According to the declassified FBI files, “A search of the van and individuals was conducted at the time of the vehicle stop. The vehicle was also searched by a trained bomb-sniffing dog which yielded a positive result for the presence of explosive traces. Swabs of the vehicle’s interior were taken, and those samples were sent to the FBI laboratory for further analysis. Final results are still pending.”86
Officer DeCarlo, or one of the other officers on the scene, notified the Bergen County Bomb Squad, “Bergen County Bomb Squad dispatched. 1856 – Bergen County PD requests ERES and ERFD to stand by at the ramp from the Sports Complex to the NJ TRPKE.”87
The FBI found at least four “items” related to explosive material inside the van88:
Item # 15 is listed as a “Fabric Sample (Explosive Residue)”
Item #16 is listed as “Control Swabs – SA [ – ] Gloves”
Item #17 is listed as “Control Swabs – (Bomb Suits)”
Item #34 is listed as “Blanket Samples For Explosive Residue”
A videotape and several still photographs “were sent to Laboratory Examiner [ – ] (Explosives Unit).”89
Not mentioned in the declassified FBI files was the alleged NYPD audio recording about an explosion inside of a truck. In the recording, officers requested the “bomb squad” assist them on King Street. It’s unclear if this truck was in any way related to the numerous vans mentioned in the FBI files, “We need to put some [inaudible] north of 6th Ave, [inaudible], all I know is remote control planes filled with explosives.” The police radio recording between several New York City Police officers on September 11th, 2001, specifically mentioned a “big truck with a mural painted of an airplane diving into New York City and exploding. Don’t know what’s in the truck. The truck is in between 6th and 7th on King Street.”
The bomb squad was en route to King Street when one of the officers spoke about a mural on the side of the truck, “…with a mural painted, airplane diving into New York blowing up…two men got out of the truck, ran away from it. We got those two under…” A minute later, another officer reported, “We have both suspects under, k. We have the suspects who driv- drove in the van, the van exploded. We have both of them under, k. Let’s get some help over here…we have both [inaudible] that exploded, is that correct?” I’m not sure if the recordings are authentic.90 Please let me know if you have any information to verify the authenticity of the recordings.
The White Van
On September 20th, 2001, Newark FBI agents interviewed a female employee of Urban Moving Systems at her home in Union City, New Jersey. She told the FBI “that Urban Moving Company had only one white van, which did not have any lettering on either side reflecting the name of the company. However, she recalled seeing magnetic panels with lettering for Urban Moving Company in the office at some point in the past. On the day of the Twin Towers being struck by aircraft, she could not recall seeing the white van owned by the company in its usual parking space on the side of the building.”91
On September 17th, 2001, two FBI special agents went to the Urban Moving Systems location “to obtain information about how Urban’s employees record that they have arrived for work (time cards, for example).” While at the Urban Moving Systems office and warehouse, FBI agents saw several trucks parked in the parking lot behind the building. Three of them were white trucks, not vans, with Urban Moving Systems written on the side of the vehicles.92
One truck had Urban Moving Systems written in black lettering and the other two had orange and black lettering on both sides. Another white Urban Moving Systems truck had no license plate, and had nothing written on the sides of the trailer.93
The Penske Truck
At 11:30 p.m. on September 10th, 2001, a Penske truck leased by Urban Moving Systems was stopped by Pennsylvania State Police for a traffic violation. The two individuals in the truck were Israeli nationals, apparently on their way to Columbus, Ohio.94
Then on September 11th, 2001, “The Pennsylvania State Police Department detained two Israeli nationals in a yellow Penske box truck upon the request of Newark.” Police officers inspected the Penske truck, which apparently belonged to two employees of Urban Moving Systems. Those two Israeli nationals also told the officers they were going to Columbus, Ohio.95
“When Newark later questioned [ – ] of Urban Moving Systems about the vehicle’s presence in Pennsylvania, he could not offer an explanation…the two (2) occupants and their vehicle were supposed to complete a moving job in a different part of the country…Newark also received reports from law enforcement officials in New England that a second vehicle, displaying markings for Urban Moving Systems, was noted to have stopped somewhere between New York and Boston on 09/11/2001 for the purpose of asking for directions to Boston, MA. The occupants of this second Urban Moving Systems vehicle were also identified as Israeli nationals.”96
The same two Israelis who were pulled over by police on September 10th, 2001 were again stopped by Pennsylvania State Police on September 12th, and this time they were detained. “During questioning by the Pennsylvania State Police,” according to the FBI reports, “the Israelis advised that they weren’t in New York” on 09/11/2001. A gasoline purchase receipt recovered by the Pennsylvania State Police seems to contradict their claim in that the receipt, dated 09/11/2001, was for gasoline purchased in New Jersey.”
Authorities discovered that “statements made by the vehicle’s occupants contradicted documentation found in the vehicle, as well as statements made by Urban Moving Systems’ [ – ] as to the vehicle’s true destination and purpose.”97
The president/owner of Urban Moving Systems was questioned about the delivery schedule of the two Israelis. According to the declassified FBI files, the schedule for September 11th, 2001, “did not include any pickups or deliveries outside of New Jersey.” The two Israelis “were stopped while traveling in the direction of the site of the hijacked plane that crashed outside of Pittsburgh, PA.” 98 There are four photographs mentioned relating to the two UMS employees “who were detained by the Pennsylvania State Police and later questioned and polygraphed by the Philadelphia Field Office.”99
The FBI files also revealed that the “Penske truck was leased by Urban Moving System of 3 West 18th Street, Weehawken, New Jersey,”100 and both Israelis had Florida driver’s licenses. They were also citizens of Israel.101 The two Israelis were “detained at the York County Detention Center by INS in York County, Pennsylvania,” and were believed to be associated with the five Israeli nationals.102 At the very least, they were employed by the same company, Urban Moving Systems. One Florida license was issued on July 31st, 2001, “His reason for getting a driver’s license was to cut down on transportation costs and borrow a friend’s car to drive places.”103
“After the polygraph,” one of the two Israelis arrested in Pennsylvania “admitted to being untruthful regarding his employment status (he stated he wasn’t getting paid by Urban Moving, but only helping [ – ]. Later he admitted that he was, in fact, getting paid directly by Urban Moving), the employment status of his [ -] (he stated that she didn’t work at all and was visiting from Israel…he later admitted that she did work in the U.S. [ – ] but didn’t want to get her in trouble). When questioned about whether he was untruthful about matters pertaining to the terrorist incident, [ – ] said absolutely not.”104
On September 13th, 2001, Pennsylvania State Police interviewed a male New Jersey resident at the PSP Barracks at 899 Cherry Street, Montoursville, Pennsylvania. This person was a former Urban Moving Systems employee at 3 West 18th Street, Weehawken, New Jersey. The witness reported that something happened at 9 a.m. on September 10th, 2001, though that portion was censored in the report. The one uncensored sentence in the paragraph stated, “More detailed directions were in the cab of his truck.” What type of directions?
Because this section is so heavily censored, it’s impossible to understand what “detailed directions” the agent writing the report was referring to. “Most of the employees of UMS that work like him are Israeli citizens visiting the United States. He did not know [ – ] prior to his working for UMS. He was not aware of the pay arrangements [ – ] has with UMS. [ – ] was not paid by him from his 20 cents per mile. His passport was stolen sometime in October or November, 2000. His visa to be in the United States legally expired in July, 2000.”105 The man’s only proof of identification given to investigators was a driver’s license from somewhere unknown. He was finger-printed and photographed.
Other Israeli Vehicles
Sometime around 1 p.m. on September 11th, 2001, “three dark-skinned males had been observed driving a white van, bearing New Jersey plates, on Spirit Brook Road near Nashua, New Hampshire (just outside of Boston). According to the report, the driver of the van appeared to be lost; the van had a sign on the side for Urban Moving Systems.”106 Additionally, “Two (2) complaints were received which indicated that Urban Moving Systems vehicles had been spotted in the greater Boston, MA metropolitan area, one in Plymouth, MA and one in Nashua, NH.”107
Before that, on August 14th, 2001, two Israeli nationals in a Ryder truck were stopped by a Mount Holly police officer at 10:30 p.m. and were “found to be in possession of a RYDER rental truck which was overdue and reported stolen. Both were taken into custody and held in the Burlington County Jail.”
The following day at 4:55 a.m. their bail was posted by two other Israeli nationals. “These two individuals were also in possession of an overdue rental truck which was also reported stolen…all were arrested and charged with possession of stolen property. These individuals were identified as Israeli nationals operating a moving company called [ – ]. The statements given to the arresting officers were inconsistent and did not make any sense. All four individuals provided home addresses in Florida. The arresting officers could not establish any legitimate reason why these individuals were in Mount Holly, NJ.”108
Interrogation of the five detained Israelis
On September 17th, 2001, Ha’aretz (Tel Aviv) reported, “The five are expected to be deported sometime soon.”109 The article, Five Israelis Detained for ‘Puzzling Behavior’ After WTC Tragedy, by Yosi Melman claimed the five detainees “had been kept in solitary confinement for three days, and had been humiliated, stripped of their clothes and blindfolded.”
The mother of one of the men told Ha’aretz that all five men worked for Urban Moving Systems “between two months and two years. They had been arrested some four hours after the attack on the Twin Towers while filming the smoking skyline from the roof of their company’s building, she said. It appears that they were spotted by one of the neighbors who called the police and the FBI.”
The mother of one the five Israeli nationals told Ha’aratz that her son “had been tortured by the FBI in a basement. He was stripped to his underwear, he was blindfolded and questioned for 14 hours. They thought that because he has citizenship of a European country as well as of Israel that he was working for the Mossad.”110 Her son could be the Israeli with German citizenship. The article also explained that the five were being charged with “illegally residing in the United States and working there without permits.”
According to the Ha’aratz article, “The Foreign Ministry told the families that the FBI had denied holding the five and that the consulate had chosen to believe the FBI, the mother said.” The Foreign Ministry was later informed “that the FBI had arrested the five for “puzzling behavior.” They are said to have been caught videotaping the disaster and shouting in what was interpreted as cries of joy and mockery.”111
On September 13th, 2001, according to FBI reports, two of the five Israeli nationals were given polygraph tests “concerning the issue of whether a video camera had been used to film the crash of an aircraft into the WTC” after “inconsistencies were found in the statements of the five (5) detained Israelis, and the interviews conducted of T-1 [the woman who saw the Israeli with a video camera] and other tenants of the Doric Towers apartments.”
“The two men denied having a video camera.”112 FBI agents “then obtained a search warrant to search the offices of Urban Moving Systems in Weehawken, NJ.” Authorities did not find the video camera but they did seize “fifteen (15) computers and a network server.”113 FBI agents “noted the unusually large number of computers relative to the number of employees for such a fairly small business. Further investigation identified several pseudo-names or aliases associated with Urban Moving Systems and its operations.”114
During the polygraph tests, one of the Israelis admitted “that he had been employed as a [ – ] in Israel with responsibility for [ – ] in Israel.”115 In one of the Israelis “personal notebooks was a business card for NIS, a business dealing in “General Services” and “Drivers Licenses,” telephone number [ – ]. According to FBI records, that telephone number is referenced in a Miami investigation as subscribed [ – ].”116 What was being investigated in Miami?
Four of the five detainees were given polygraph examinations not specifically related to the alleged video camera.117 “Numerous discrepancies in their statements, specifically as to their location during the time immediately preceding the attack on the WTC, as well as photographs in which some of the Israelis appear visibly happy by the attacks led FBI-NK to further pursue a possible criminal link between these Israelis and the events associated with the WTC.”118
After the polygraph tests were completed, “The number of discrepancies in the statements made by the five (5) Israelis continues to increase.”119 Why only four of the five Israeli nationals were given polygraph tests has not been revealed yet.
During the interviews with FBI agents, one of the five Israeli nationals “never fully revealed to the satisfaction of interviewing agents, how hand written telephone numbers found in his personal notebook just happened to be [ – ]. In lite of the seriousness of Newark’s investigation, and considering the totality of mounting circumstantial evidence indicating either direct or indirect links between the Five (5) Israeli Nationals [ – ]. Newark found no basis to suggest [ – ] was in possession of or had any prior knowledge relating to the attacks of the World Trade Center.”120
Also, a phone number was found inside a notepad belonging to one of the five Israeli nations. “The overseas telephone number [ – ] was coincidentally subscribed to by an individual in South America with authentic ties to Islamic militants in the middle east [ – ]. This number was later identified as a legitimate bank account belonging to a friend of [ – ] who lent him two hundred dollars ($200).”121
At least one of the five Israeli nationals were “working for the Israeli Government through his employment” for an undisclosed business. This “belief” was based on “physical evidence as well as [ – ] statements to Special Agents of the FBI.”122
The Cigarette Man
On September 18th, 2001, two FBI special agents interviewed one the five detainees inside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York.123 He was born in Israel and “majored in Psychology. He speaks Hebrew and English and knows a few phrases in Arabic and Yiddish.” He served in the Israeli army but stated he didn’t “possess a security clearance and his duties included being a supply clerk in charge of ordering computer related supplies.”
During the interview with FBI agents the Israeli requested a cigarette. This is most likely the one detainee who was found with a pack of cigarettes on him. Also, three cigarette butts were found in the rear parking lot of Doric Towers on September 11th, 2001. It’s possible those three cigarette butts belonged to this same Israeli detainee.
The Israeli’s second visit to the United States was on July 10th, 2001, “when he arrived at JFK International Airport aboard Olympics Airlines.” The Israeli stayed at a friend’s apartment in Manhattan. He was hired at Urban Moving Systems in Weehawkin, New Jersey. He “was not referred to UMS by anyone and did not know anyone employed by UMS prior to his first day of employment. However, about two weeks ago, a UMS employee recognized him as a former Israeli army member.”
When the Israeli was arrested, “he lied to FBI agents…when he told them that he had worked for UMS for only one day.” His reason for doing so was because “he was afraid that he would be prosecuted for illegally working in the US on a visitor’s visa.”124
The detainee also told FBI agents “that he has never had contact with anyone associated with US intelligence or other foreign intelligence agencies. He advised that to his knowledge he has never been in contact with anyone associated with Israeli Intelligence.”125
During the interview, the cigarette man told the two FBI agents he left the apartment in Brooklyn around 8 a.m. on the morning of September 11th, 2001. While walking through the Port Authority bus terminal “he noticed many commuters running towards television monitors located throughout the terminal…[he] was able to walk close enough to a television to notice that what had captured everyone’s attention was what appeared to him to be buildings on fire.”126
He boarded bus 126 at 9 a.m. and “exited the bus at its first stop in NJ which is located in the proximity to the Lincoln Tunnel’s NJ entrance. From the bus stop he could clearly see the Twin Towers burning and he believes that they were still erect at the time.” He arrived at Urban Moving Systems in Weehawkin, New Jersey “sometime between 9:15 a.m. [and] 9:20 a.m. and found that [ – ] (lnu), [ – ] (lnu), [ – ] (lnu), [ – ] (lnu), the [ – ] (name unknown), and [ – ]…at about 11:00 a.m., [ – ] told him that “they are taking down the second building” and that they were going to see from the roof.”127
At first, the cigarette-smoking Israeli detainee “believed that the authorities had purposely collapsed the building to prevent the additional damage that would be caused by the building tumbling to its side. It was not until later that night when he saw a TV news report in jail that he realized that the planes had caused the building’s collapse.”128
The man and someone else “then climbed on top of a truck and made their way onto UMS’s roof. They spent about 10 to 15 minutes on the roof whereat he took one photograph of [ – ] and [ – ] together, and [ – ] and the others took various other photographs.”129 He claimed he never saw “anyone in the group with a video camera or tripod and does not recall seeing the items during the only time he visited [ – ] apartment on 09/11/2001.”130
The man also told the FBI agents, “While the group was on the roof, they just took pictures and moved from roof to roof looking for the best vantage point. There were no arguments among anyone in the group and they spent most of the time viewing the damage to the “Twin Towers.” When they came down from the roof, [ – ] borrowed money for lunch from [ – ] and he walked to the deli down the block from UMS where he purchased a ham sandwich. [ – ] spent about 15 minutes in the deli and learned that the tunnels had been closed. When he got back to UMS he was told that UMS had closed and that they had been dismissed. Since he had no other way of getting home, [ – ] accepted [ – ] invitation to sleep overnight at his apartment. They went back inside UMS where [ – ] queried the Internet to find alternative ways of driving into Brooklyn. About 30 minutes, [ – ] and he left UMS in the white van. [ – ] stated he jumped into the back of the white van where he fell asleep on top of blankets.”131
He woke up later “when the van made a stop and someone placed skis and a red bag in the back of the van.” The stop made by the van was most likely to White Glove Moving in New Jersey. He went back to sleep again and “the next time he awoke he heard a police officer ask [Sivan Kurzberg] for his driver’s license and within a minute they were arrested at gunpoint and were taken to jail.”132
Sometime after he was detained, the Israeli told police, “Israel now has hope that the world will now understand us. Americans are naïve and America is easy to get inside. There are not a lot of checks in America. And now America will be tougher about who gets into their country.”133 The Israeli “broke down emotionally numerous times and cried. He wondered if he would ever see his family again and questioned the interviewing agents when or if he would be released.”134
Classic International Movers Arrested
Four more Israeli nationals were also arrested in New Jersey soon after the terror attacks. “Based on information provided by the Miami Division, Newark initially detained and interviewed four (4) employees of Classic International Movers, a New Jersey-based moving company which was believed by Miami to have been utilized as a mover by one of the nineteen (19) alleged hijackers involved in the terrorist attacks. All four detained employees, were identified as Israeli nationals, who had [ – ] and recently entered the U.S. from various locations in South America.”
One of the four employees of Classic International Movers “was visibly disturbed by the Agents questioning regarding his personal e-mail account. [ – ] Of note is that the telephone number for Classic International Movers also appeared in one of the aforementioned notebooks seized from the five (5) Israelis already held in detention by FBI-NK.”135
Urban Moving Systems Warehouse
The FBI files also revealed some interesting information about Urban Moving Systems, “A search of Urban Moving Systems, Weehawken, NJ, revealed more oddities which caused the search team leader to characterize the company as a possible “fraudulent operation.” Little evidence of a legitimate business operation was found. Evidence recovery agents did seize, however, sixteen (16) separate computer units used by Urban Moving Systems. The FBI presence at the Urban Moving Systems search site drew the attention of the local media and was later reported on both television and in the local press. A former Urban Moving Systems employee later contacted the Newark Division with information indicating that he had quit his employment with Urban Moving Systems due to high amount of anti-American sentiment present among Urban’s employees. The former employee stated that an Israeli employee of Urban had even once remarked, “Give us twenty years and we’ll take over your media and destroy your country.””136
FBI agents seized fifteen or sixteen Urban Moving Systems computers and one server, then sent them to “Newark’s Franklin Township RA.” The “oddities” with Urban Moving Systems, along with “the deception over the alleged usage of a video camera by its Israeli employees, and the observed positive reaction (by the Israeli detainees) to the explosions at WTC” caused “Newark Squad C-9” FBI agents to investigate further. What they investigated further is also censored.
However, wherever the investigation led to, it involved the assistance of “Agents of the NYO” because of “their knowledge and past investigations.” Based on the heavily censored FBI reports, the investigation seemed to involve FBI agents from San Diego and Miami.137
“Based on information provided by the Miami Division,” FBI files revealed, “Newark detained (initially) and interviewed four (4) employees of Classic International Movers, a New Jersey based moving company which was believed by Miami to have been used by one of the nineteen (19) alleged hijackers involved in the terrorist attacks. All four employees, Israeli nationals, had served in the Israeli military, and entered the U.S. from various locations in South America.”138
On September 17th, 2001, two FBI special agents interviewed a male who lived in Secaucus, New Jersey, and worked in Weehawken, New Jersey. The interviewee gave the special agents the surveillance video tape from his place of employment. “This video tape provides a view of the area surrounding the [ – ] and covers the dates of 09/10/2001. [ – ] is located near Urban Moving Systems and [ – ] identifies movers from Urban Moving Systems by the orange shirts that many of them often wear. [ – ] read about the FBI’s interest in Urban Moving Systems in a newspaper and believed that Urban Moving Systems may not be a legitimate business operation but could not substantiate this claim with factual information.”139
On August 21st, 2001, ADT Security Systems “followed a sales lead for a new security system for Urban Moving Systems Inc. An ADT employee met with two workers at the UMS warehouse. The employee told FBI agents that he was not allowed to look at the second floor. He also said the first floor of the warehouse was empty, “except for a forklift and garbage cans.””140
Weehawken Police and FBI special agents from both Newark and New York were involved in the second search of Urban Moving Systems on October 12th, 2001.141 By that time, “The building and all of its contents had been abandoned by…the owner of Urban Moving Systems. This [was] apparently being done to avoid criminal prosecution after the 09/11/2001 arrest of five of his employees and subsequent seizure of his office computer systems by members of the FBI-NK on or around 09/13/2001.”142 The search and seizure involved thirty-five 3.5” magnetic disks (floppy disks), fifty-seven compact disks, and two “IOMEGA” zip disks (100 mb).143
During the first search of the UMS location on September 13th, 2001, “FBI-NK noted the unusually large number of computers relative to the number of employees for such a fairly small business. Further investigation identified several pseudo-names or aliases associated with Urban Moving Systems and its operations.”144
Max Movers was basically the same company as Urban Moving Systems. According to what one of the five Israelis told authorities, “Max Movers is the name given to the part of the company that does long distance moves.”145 Both Urban Moving Systems and Max Movers were owned by the same person “and operated from the same physical storage and office locations.”146
An FBI file dated September 24th, 2001, explained that “both the Newark and the New York Divisions conducted a thorough investigation which determined that none of the Israelis had any information or prior knowledge regarding the bombing of the World Trade Centers. Furthermore, Newark and New York determined that none of the Israelis were actively engaged in clandestine intelligence activities in the United States.”147 The FBI’s investigation of the five Israelis was coming to an end.
In the end, the “Newark investigation found no factual or substantive circumstantial information to corroborate eyewitness accounts the five (5) Israeli Nationals “videotaped” the attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Investigation did find that still photographs were taken of the attack by these individuals with a 35 mm camera found in their possession. Newark investigation found no factual or substantive circumstantial information to indicate the five (5) Israeli Nationals were on top of a parking garage “videotaping” prior to first hijacked aircraft striking tower #2 of the World Trade Center. Numerous circumstantial facts strongly support the five (5) individuals statements they traveled to the roof of the parking garage after learning of the attacks from radio broadcasts and Internet news sites. None of the pictures developed from the film found inside the 35 mm camera depicted the twin towers prior to the attack.”148
“On or about 11/20/2001, all five (5) of the Israeli Nationals held in detention under authority of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) were served a deportation order, then discharged from the INS detention facility in Brooklyn, New York, and escorted by INS personnel to J.F.K. International Airport for a flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. On 07/10/2003 Newark investigation was completed and closed.”149
“In April of 2002 an in-depth analytical inquiry was initiated by personnel from FBIHQ and other members of the U.S. Intelligence Community who physically traveled to Newark to review this case file. Newark was advised the purpose of the inquiry was to determine if a nexus, if any existed between the five (5) Israeli Nationals under investigation by Newark to other Israeli Nationals fitting a similar “profile” some of whom were also held in INS detention around the time of 9/11/01. The analytical inquiry further attempted to determine if these five (5) individuals were possibly part of [a] clandestine human intelligence collection network. Newark notes that the findings of FBIHQ’s analytical inquiry are not complete at the time of this writing. Newark suggests FBIHQ’s investigation [ – ] be the repository for any further investigative findings relative to suspicious activities or Israeli Nationals not specifically related to Newark’s inquiry. Investigation at the Newark is complete.”150
However, on February 10th, 2004, FBI Newark agents filed paperwork to “reopen and reassign subject case.” A new special agent was assigned to reopen the case, “The previous agent has been reassigned to HQ.”151
On April 14th, 2004, a report filed by an FBI Newark special agent found that “the evidence related to the above-listed investigation was determined to be of no value to the PENTBOMB investigation, but was found to be worthy of a CI investigation. Newark’s CI inquiry TWIN TOWERS was closed in July of 03, however FBIHQ’s [ – ] is still pending. Newark is awaiting a summary of [ – ] to assist us in determining the final disposition of evidence retained by Newark.”152
My search for the truth about the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001 continues. The information in the declassified FBI files proved to me that authorities found “traces” of explosive material inside the white van. Authorities also believed that Urban Moving Systems was a fraudulent company and requested a counter intelligence investigation be conducted by “FBIHQ.” At least one of the five Israeli nationals were still employed by the Israeli government on September 11th, 2001, but the FBI did not find evidence that the Israeli was collecting intelligence inside the United States. Based on their theory, the Israeli just happened to be in the New York-New Jersey area in the months leading up to the worst terror attack in American history. Sure.
As for the alleged video camera, FBI files indicate that only three people claim to have seen a video camera in the hands of the five Israeli detainees. Authorities also seized a TDK VHS tape, which could have been related to the alleged video camera. For some reason, the video tape was sent to an FBI laboratory examiner from the “Explosives Unit.” However, it’s possible that the VHS tape was not related to the alleged video camera.
Regardless, the woman known as “T-1” never backed down from her belief that she saw a video camera in the hands of one of the three Israelis. If she was not mistaken, then the video camera must have been given to someone somewhere between Doric Towers, State Liberty Park, and the White Glove Movers location.
Though one of the Israelis apologized for his “jovial” behavior as he watched the Twin Towers burn, there’s no denying that he and the other two Israelis in the Doric Towers rear parking lot were happy about the World Trade Center attacks. Upon arrests and during interrogations, several of the Israelis believed the terror attacks would motivate the United States to respond to terrorism much like the way Israel responded to terror attacks in their country.
During an interview with Meet the Press host Tim Russert, on September 14th, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney was asked about the connection between Iraq and the 9/11 terror attacks, “We learned more and more that there was a relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the ‘90s, that it involved training, for example, on biological weapons and chemical weapons, that al-Qaeda sent personnel to Baghdad to get trained on the systems that are involved; the Iraqis providing bomb-making expertise and advice to the al-Qaeda organization.”
Tim Russert reminded Cheney, “We could establish a direct link between the hijackers of September 11th and Saudi Arabia.”
“We know that many of the attackers were Saudi,” Cheney responded. “There was also an Egyptian in the bunch. It doesn’t mean those governments had anything to do with that attack. That’s a different proposition than saying the Iraqi government and the Iraqi intelligent service has a relationship with al-Qaeda that developed throughout the decade of the ‘90s. That was clearly official policy.”
“There are reports,” Russert explained, “that the investigation Congress did does show a link between the Saudi government and the hijackers but that it will not be released to the public.”
Cheney said he didn’t want to speculate on that, “It was the judgment of our senior intelligence officials, both CIA and FBI that that material needed to remain classified. At some point, we may be able to declassify it, but there are ongoing investigations that might be affected by that release and for that reason, we kept it classified. The committee knows what’s in there. They helped to prepare it. So it hasn’t been kept secret from the Congress, but from the standpoint of our ongoing investigations, we needed to do that.”
(Please read the twenty-eight pages in their entirety. This is simply a condensed version of the ties between the events of 9/11 and the Saudi Government.)
Twenty-eight pages of the 2002 “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001” was finally declassified and released to the public on July 15th, 2016. “Together with additional views,” the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence called “for the establishment of a Director of National Intelligence, or DNI, who in addition to being the President’s principal intelligence adviser “shall have the full range of management, budgetary and personnel responsibilities needed to make the U.S. Intelligence Community operate as a coherent whole.””
For over fourteen years, pages 416 – 443 of the Joint Inquiry report remained classified. The twenty-eight pages, Part Four – Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters, focused on ties between September 11th hijackers and the government of Saudi Arabia. The Joint Inquiry report concluded, “While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. There is information, primarily from FBI sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers.”
The Joint Inquiry also confirmed that “individuals associated with the Saudi Government in the United States may have other ties to al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups.”
Two of the 9/11 hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, allegedly “received substantial assistance” from Omar al-Bayoumi when they arrived in San Diego in February of 2000.” A year later, on September 11th, 2001, al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi boarded American Airlines Flight 77, the aircraft which allegedly crashed into the Pentagon. “Shortly after meeting with someone at the Saudi Consulate in San Diego, al-Bayoumi then met with the two future hijackers. FBI files indicate that the “encounter with the hijackers may not have been accidental.”1 Between January and May of 2000, al-Bayoumi “called Saudi Government establishments in the United States almost 100 times.”2
While living in San Diego in the late 1990s, Omar al-Bayoumi was suspected of being a Saudi intelligence officer. The FBI “received numerous reports from individuals in the Muslim community, dating back to 1999, alleging that al-Bayoumi may be a Saudi intelligence officer.”3 Omar was a member of the Islamic Center of San Diego,4 whose mission today is to “to serve the religious needs of the San Diego Muslim population and work with the larger community to serve the less fortunate, to educate, and to better our nation.”
Al-Bayoumi received a monthly salary from Erean, a Saudi company affiliated with the Saudi Ministry of Defense “even though he had been there on only one occasion.”5 Someone at Erean refused to pay al-Bayoumi a monthly salary at first, “but he was told that his company would lose their contract if he did not pay him.” The Erean employee, or owner, “attributed this to Saudi corruption.”6
Erean is a subcontractor of Dallah and Avco, which held “contracts for cleaning and maintenance at the three major airports in Saudi Arabia.”7 Dallah and Avco are part of Dallah and Avco Trans Arab, which is a subsidiary of the Al Barakat Investment and Development Company. One of these companies, according to an FBI document, “has links to Usama Bin Laden. FBI Headquarters was informed of the affiliation between Dallah/Avco and Al Barakaat in February 2001, but the San Diego Field Office apparently never got this information.”8
An October 14th, 2002 FBI document revealed Omar al-Bayoumi had “extensive ties to the Saudi Government.” Between 1976 and 1993, al-Bayoumi worked as an accountant for the Saudi Civil Aviation Administration. He was in “frequent contact with the Emir at the Saudi Ministry of Defense, responsible for air traffic control.”9 He received $20,000 from the Saudi Ministry of Finance. In 1998, when applying to schools in the United States, Omar “had a letter from the Saudi Embassy, which stated that he was getting a full scholarship from the Government of Saudi Arabia.”10
According to the Joint Inquiry’s report, “Before the hijackers moved in with the long-time FBI informant, they stayed at al-Bayoumi’s apartment for several days.” When al-Bayoumi found an apartment for al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi, he co-signed their lease, and probably paid their first month’s rent and security deposit. Al-Bayoumi then threw a welcoming party to introduce the two men to the San Diego community. Modhar Abdullah, also a member of the Islamic Center of San Diego, soon became al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi’s “translator, helped them get drivers licenses and assisted them in locating flight schools.”11
Before Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi arrived in San Diego, Omar al-Bayoumi’s salary, or “allowance,” was $465 per month. In March of 2000, al-Bayoumi’s pay rate “jumped to over $3,700 a month and stayed constant until December 2000, when al-Hazmi left San Diego.” After al-Hazmi left San Diego, al-Bayoumi’s monthly salary dropped to $3,200. Omar left the United States one month before the September 11th terror attacks.12
Sometime before September 11th, 2001, Omar al-Bayoumi “received $400,000 from Saudi Arabia to help fund a new mosque in San Diego. The FBI conducted a counterterrorism investigation on al-Bayoumi in 1998 and 1999, but cleared the investigation at that point.”13
According to FBI reports, “After an exhaustive translation of Bayoumi’s documents, it is clear that in Bayoumi’s correspondence he is providing guidance to young Muslims and some of his writings can be interpreted as jihadist.”14
During a closed hearing before the Joint Inquiry, a former San Diego FBI agent testified that Omar al-Bayoumi “acted like a Saudi intelligence officer, in my opinion. And if he was involved with the hijackers, which it looks like he was, if he signed leases, if he provided some sort of financing or payment of sort, then I would say that there’s a clear possibility that there might be a connection between Saudi intelligence and UBL.”15
FBI agents discovered that “al-Bayoumi was in contact with at least three individuals at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC; two individuals at the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission in Washington, DC, and three individuals at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles…he had the phone number for an individual at the Saudi consulate in London.”16
Osama Bassnan lived in an apartment across the street from the two future hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, in San Diego, and spoke over the phone with Omar al-Bayoumi “several times a day while they both were in San Diego.” An FBI asset stated that Osama Bassnan and Omar al-Bayoumi were “close to each other for a long time.”17
According to the Joint Inquiry report, “Bassnan has many ties to the Saudi Government, including past employment by the Saudi Arabian Education Mission.” Some people from the San Diego Muslim community thought Omar Bassnan was a Saudi intelligence officer. Bassnan “reportedly received funding and possibly a fake passport from Saudi Government officials,” according to a CIA memo.18
In 1992, Bassnan “hosted a party for the Blind Shaykh at his house in Washington, DC in October 1992.” FBI assets reported how highly Bassnan spoke of Osama bin Laden, “Referring to Bin Laden as the official Khalifate and the ruler of the Islamic world.” Bassnan also told the asset there were “enough Muslims in the United States to destroy the United States and make it an Islamic state within ten to fifteen years.”19
Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin Sultan, of the House of Saud, sent Osama Bassnan a $15,000 check, which was cashed on May 14th, 1998. Before that, on January 8th, 1998, Bassnan’s wife cashed a check from the Saudi Ambassador’s wife, Princess Haifa. Between February 22nd, 1999, and May 30th, 2002, Bassnan’s wife received an additional $74,000 from Haifa.20
“What the money was for is what we don’t know,” FBI Executive Assistant Director D’Amuro told the Joint Inquiry.21
Bassnan’s close friend, Khaled al-Kayed, was “a commercial airline pilot and certified flight instructor living in San Diego. Al-Kayed admitted to the FBI that in May 2000, al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi contacted him about learning to fly Boeing jet aircraft.”22
Bassnan had connections to the Bin Laden family, in both Saudi Arabia and the United States.23
In 2002, Bassnan went to Houston where “a member of the Saudi Royal Family provided Bassnan with a significant amount of cash. FBI information indicates that Bassnan is an extremist and supporter of Usama Bin Ladin, and has been connected to the Eritrean Islamic Jihad and the Blind Shaykh.”24
The Joint Inquiry report described Shaykh al-Thumairy as “an accredited diplomat at the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles and one of the “imams” at the King Fahad mosque in Culver City, California.” Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdulaziz funded the creation of the King Fahad mosque in 1998.25 9/11 Hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi both attended the mosque. “FBI documents indicate that Mohdhar Abdullah drove al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar to the King Fahad Mosque, before al-Mihdhar returned to Saudi Arabia.”
The Joint Inquiry staff reviewed a memorandum stating, “Initial indications are that al-Thumairy may have had a physical or financial connection to al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar, but we are still looking at the possibility.” 26
“Also according to FBI documents, the mosque was built in 1998 from funding provided by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdulaziz. The mosque is reportedly attended by members of the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles and is widely recognized for its anti-Western views.” According to FBI and CIA reports, Shaykh al-Thumairy “may have been in contact” with both Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi before September 11th, 2001.27
Separately, CIA and FBI personnel “identified the Ibn Tamiya mosque in Culver City as a site of extremist related activity. Several subjects of FBI investigations prior to September 11 had close connections to the mosque and are believed to have laundered money through this mosque to non-profit organizations overseas affiliated with Usama Bin Ladin. In an interview, an FBI agent said he believed that Saudi Government money was being laundered through the mosque.” 28
The FBI labeled Saleh al-Hussayen as a “Saudi Interior Ministry employee/official.” 29 In September of 2001, Saleh al-Hussayen “stayed at the same hotel in Herndon, Virginia where [Nawaf] al-Hazmi was staying.” Several FBI agents at the Washington Field Office believed Saleh al-Hussayen “was being deceptive” when claiming he did not know any of the 9/11 hijackers. Saleh’s interview with the FBI ended abruptly when “al-Hussayen either passed out or feigned a seizure requiring medical treatment.”30 Sometime before 2002, al-Hussayen “was able to depart the United States despite FBI efforts to locate and re-interview him.”31
Saleh’s nephew, Sami Omar Hussayen, was under investigation by the FBI and had connections to the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA). “According to the FBI, the IANA’s mission is actually to spread Islamic fundamentalism and Salafist doctrine throughout the United States and the whole world at large.”
Saleh al-Hussayen was “a major contributor to the IANA…according to FBI documents, IANA has solicited money from Prince Bandar, but the documents are unclear as to whether Bandar actually contributed money to the organization.”32
Abdullah bin Laden
Osama bin Laden’s half-brother, Abdullah bin Laden, claimed “to work for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. as an administrative officer…He is a close friend of Mohammed Quadir-Harunani, a possible associate of Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi prior to September 11, 2001.”33
In 1999, the FBI conducted a counterterrorism investigation on Mohammed Quadir-Harunani. Additionally, Abdullah bin Laden was the subject of several FBI investigations before September 11th, 2001. Abdullah “financed” Mohammed’s “company,” and the two frequently communicated via phone and email.34
Abdullah bin Laden was the President and Director of the World Arab Muslim Youth Association (WAMY) and the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America. Both of those non-governmental organizations are based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The FBI stated WAMY was “closely associated with the funding and financing of international terrorist activities and in the past has provided logistical support to individuals wishing to fight in the Afghan War.”35
In 1999, Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi boarded a plane in Phoenix, headed for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC. Mohammed and Hamdan claimed the flight was paid for by the Saudi Embassy. While on the flight, Mohammed and Hamdan “began asking flight attendants technical questions about the flight that the flight attendants found suspicious.” After a flight attendant told Mohammed al-Qudhaeein where the bathrooms were, in the back of the plane, Mohammed proceeded to go to the front of the plane “and on two occasions” tried to enter the cockpit. “The plane made an emergency landing and the FBI investigated the incident, but decided not to pursue a prosecution.”36
After 9/11, a report from the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office stated, “Phoenix FBI now believes both men were specifically attempting to test security procedures of America West Airlines in preparation for and in furtherance of UBL/Al Qaeda operations.” An FBI agent found Mohammed al-Qudhaeein’s profile “similar to that of al-Bayoumi and Bassnan.” Were FBI agents looking into the possibility that al-Qudhaeein was also a Saudi intelligence officer like al-Bayoumi and Bassnan? Al-Qudhaeein was “a student” in the United Stated and had no “visible means of income.” The FBI believed al-Qudhaeein received money from the Saudi Government at some point, while in the United States.37
On March 28th, 2002, senior al-Qaeda operative Abu Zabaida was captured at a safe house in Faisalabad, Pakistan. FBI documents showed that “several of the phone numbers found in the phone book of Abu Zabaida…could be linked, at least indirectly, to telephone numbers in the United States…One of those U.S. numbers is subscribed to by the ASPCOL Corporation, which is located in Aspen, Colorado, and manages the affairs of the Colorado residence of the Saudi Ambassador Bandar. The FBI noted that ASPCOL has an unlisted telephone number. A November 18, 2002 FBI response to the Joint Inquiry states that “CIA traces have revealed no direct links between numbers found in Zubaida’s phone book and numbers in the United States.””38
An unnamed male was interviewed by the FBI in June of 2002, after his Virginia phone number was found at an Osama bin Laden safe house in Pakistan, “He could not explain why his number ended up at a safehouse in Pakistan, but stated that he regularly provides services to a couple who are personal assistants to Prince Bandar.”39
Lack of Saudi Help
According to several FBI and CIA personnel, the Saudis displayed a lack of cooperation when it came to assisting with counterterrorism investigations, both before and after the September 11th attacks.40
“The former Chief of Alec station, the unit in the DCI’s Counterterrorist Center established in 1996 to focus specifically on Usama Bin Ladin, it was clear from about 1996 that the Saudi Government would not cooperate with the United States on matters relating to Usama Bin Ladin.”41
In May of 1999, a DCI Counterterrorist Center memo revealed why the Saudis were not helping the DCI with information about Osama bin Laden. Apparently, Osama bin Laden had “too much information about official Saudi dealings with Islamic extremists in the 1980s for Riyadh to deliver him into U.S. hands.” The former Chief of Alec Station felt that “Saudi assistance to the U.S. Government on this matter was contrary to Saudi national interests.”42
FBI Executive Assistant Director Pasquale D’Amuro told the Joint Inquiry, “To date, I can’t sit here and tell you that those ties go back, that we can prove that the Saudi royal family is sponsoring terrorism. But there’s enough smoke that we are conducting several investigations to try to determine what other information is out there.”43
During an October 9th, 2002 closed session with the Joint Inquiry, FBI Director Robert Muller admitted he was not aware of some of the facts about the Saudis until the Joint Inquiry staff investigated the sensitive issue, “I’m saying the sequence of events here, I think the staff probed and, as a result of the probing, some facts came to light here and to me, frankly, that had not come to light before, and perhaps would not have come to light had the staff not probed. That’s what I’m telling you. So I’m agreeing with you that the staff probing brought out facts that may not have come to this Committee.”
“But what you’re also saying,” Senator Mike Dewine clarified, “is that that probing then brought facts to your attention.”
Inside the twenty-eight pages you will also find wire-transfers related to Osama bin Laden, links between al-Qaeda and the Saudi Government, and complaints from FBI agents about the lack of Saudi cooperation. The ties, however loose they may seem in these twenty-eight pages, between the Saudis and the events of 9/11 cannot be denied, and should be investigated further. The real question is what United States intelligence agencies did with this information. Were the twenty-eight pages classified because Saudi connections to terrorism were being investigated, or because the United States Government did not want to investigate their ally?