Who was Colleen’s “Buddy”?

February 8, 2010

Colleen Conaway was probably the only participant from Minnesota who travelled down to San Diego to attend James Ray’s Creating Absolute Wealth seminar in July 2009, so her absence on the final afternoon would not have been easily noticed by the 300 or so participants.

Her’s was the first of four pointless deaths inside of three months caused by James Arthur Ray. Her death was covered up by Death Ray and his staff, who concealed it from other participants, certain other staff members, and the San Diego Police – who listed it as suicide, instead of investigating it as a possible negligent homicide.

The participants were simply told nothing. The police, when they were contacted eight hours after staff had witnessed Colleen’s death, were no doubt mislead as to the nature of the innocent sounding “self help seminar”.

But what was Colleen’s “buddy” – the partner allocated to her in the seminar – told?

This person was either lied to about what happened to their partner, OR they assisted James Ray’s staff in covering it up. Who was this person, and why haven’t they been contacted by police?

All participants were allocated a buddy, according to this comment, posted on an article about the sweat lodge:

Disturbed says:
I was at CAW July 24-26 and was never made aware that any of the participants were missing much less dead despite the fact a “buddy” system was in place. I found out due to this recent tragedy that there was in fact a tragedy at my event too. …
October 17, 3:53 PM ***

That her absence went unnoticed by the other 300 or so participants is understandable. Those who later found out were sickened to know that they had been partying while one of their number was lying in a cold-room identified as Jane Doe, until JRI staff member Michele Goulet left the party to begin the delicate manouvres necessary to identify the body, fabricate some evidence and return in time to enjoy the party.

Clearly, Michele Goulet’s “communication skills” convinced the San Diego Police they were dealing with a suicide and not a negligent homicide. Other members of Ray’s staff were later shocked to learn they had been blatantly lied to by Ray when he told them anyone inquiring about Colleen’s whereabouts were to be told “We have found her, she’s fine, and decided not to come back to the group.”

But what was Colleen’s “buddy” told? Was he or she lied to as well? Or did this person assist Michele Goulet and the others in hiding Death Ray’s little secret?

These are the kinds of questions the San Diego Police would be investigating if they decide to re-open the investigation. The more people who let them know, the more motivated they will be to re-open the investigation. A bit of pressure from the public would remind them that they might one day find themselves the center of attention, especially if anyone in the media realises that the death lodge would probably never have happened had this been properly investigated.

Colleen did not commit suicide. She is a victim of reckless or negligent manslaughter, at the hands of James Ray and his staff, who in this case should not be granted immunity.

Anyone wanting to speak out about this matter can send an email to:


Or write to

Hall of Justice
330 W. Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
FAX: 619-237-1351





  1. On behalf of the conaway family I would like to say “THANK YOU” We want some answers, and we will not rest until we find the truth…thank you for keeping this alive…..john

  2. John, I’m furious about it, for many reasons. I want to see Ray on a negligent homicide charge at the very least, and he and his staff charged with concealing a crime. The SD police are wrong in classifying it suicide, and they have a responsibility to see that the truth comes out. Colleen’s family have the right to know what happened rather than to be left coping with James Ray’s lie that Colleen took her own life.

    If the police won’t expose that lie, and that crime for what it was, then other people need to.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect the SD police don’t want to look any deeper because they know perfectly well what will come out if they so much as scratch the surface. They don’t want to be facing questions about why didn’t they investigate it properly in July and stop this nutter before he killed more people.

  3. Hey Yakaru, I told you I would visit your blog. That’s a strange coincidence that I posted the Thornton guy’s video after you did. I was looking for law of attraction larry king to see how death ray was slick enough to attract people back then.

    I sent an email to the citizens review board the other day.I sure hope they’re taking this seriously. After reading what you posted above,I’m wondering,Does anyone know,like that AF Grant guy, if Colleen had a buddy and who it may have been? It doesn’t make sense that she would not have one. That particular element does not make sense.

  4. Hi Jean,
    It would be one of the many questions that could very quickly turn out to be a smoking gun. If the person was lied to, or is a big fan of Ray, or maybe the person knows and is simply scared to speak out because they feel somehow responsible. Of course maybe Colleen simply didn’t have a buddy, for whatever reason, but there are a whole lot of very simple issues the SD police still haven’t bothered to address.

    I wonder if they don’t want to re-open the case partly because they don’t want to reveal how easily they were duped into declaring it a suicide. They don’t want news stories appearing about how they could’ve prevented the Sedona incident if they hadn’t have been so gullible.

    I’m happy to hear you’ve written in. I hope the pressure the public is putting on them will eventually force their hand. I suspect they must’ve felt a bit foolish when the charges got raised to manslaughter.

  5. The YCSO folks are AWESOME for asking about Colleen because they didn’t have to,or did they? Do you think there could be a payoff, as outlandish as that sounds,which is keeping investigators silent in San Diego? Hasn’t there been speculation that she angered ray in some way? When I read Megan Freakerson’s interview I had visions of absolute horror about these people.And when Josh said that Death Ray got “mad” at Liz Neuman and the other ladies for laughing and drinking wine,and even told them to “Shut Up!” I truly felt something sinister about him.

  6. The investigators said at one point about Colleen, “we’re not sure if that’s going to be a part of this”. So maybe they could investigate it. I also read one very plausible suggestion that it was learning of Colleen’s death that convinced them to raise it to a homicide investigation, so it definitely has played a big role already.

    Ray’s lawyers are of course in California, so it is possible that they have some connections there, so I think that’s certainly worth bearing mind. Ray called his lawyers immediately of course. It would be interesting to know if they had any contact with the coroner. But I think it’s also quite likely that SD police initially thought it was just another suicide and resisted looking any deeper into what at that time would have been a more difficult case to prove. And they’ve kept on resisting despite it slowly looking worse and worse. Now he might be on aggravated manslaughter charges and at least one of those who covered up Colleen’s death might also be facing exactly the same charges we’d like to see her charged with about Colleen.

    I think continual public pressure as this escalates might have an effect on them – and especially if Ray’s bail is reduced and he gets out there will be a spike in media coverage. I’d love to see journalists contacting them and asking why it’s legal to kill people in your seminars in california.

  7. I agree that a good journalist must keep this in the public eye.In one video I saw on youtube the other day,Ray refers to San Diego as his “hometown”. There’s no reason for the police not to reopen the case,eventually. It has to happen. I feel for Colleen’s family because my brother,who was with me when we almost got “taken’ by Moonies in San Francisco,was almost killed in 1980 by Krishnas in Puerto Rico. When they told him he was limited to playing only hare krishna,hare rama on his guitar,he demanded his money back, but they refused. He punched one of them,which resulted in 3 of those “peaceful” guys taking him in a car and beating him until they cracked his skull on top. Our mother had to fly him to Oklahoma after he was released from the hospital in San Juan. His car was left at the Miami airport. There was never an investigation or lawsuit, and he never fully recuperated.

    BTW That picture of Ray is just too weird, isn’t it? Look at the tension in his neck and upper body. How Harmonic is he, honestly? And what is in his pockets?! LOL A caption for this photo could be “Death Ray’s Curriculum Vitae” his “name” at the top and his two “objectives” listed below!

  8. It’s a great photo. I guess Josh F took it. It captures the man and the moment perfectly. He’s certainly not a balanced individual – har-manic, maybe. I wonder how all those people feel now about Ray publishing photos of them breaking boards or doing goofy dances. Too late, they signed the waiver. Even if they’ve sent their thumb ring back, they can’t say take down my photo, I don’t want to be part of your PR war.

    That’s a heavy story about your brother.

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