The Lonesome Death of Colleen Conaway – One year onJuly 25, 2010
This blog was basically started in order to campaign for justice for Colleen Conaway. Today is the first anniversary of her death.
James Ray and his staff (one of whom witnessed Colleen’s death) abandoned Colleen’s body, concealed her death from the other participants, left fake messages on her cell phone to make it look they were searching for her (recordings posted here), and lied to police.
They did all that while still finding time to enjoy the closing party for the event (see photos below the fold). Ray contacted his lawyers immediately, but never contacted Colleen’s family, did not refund the $5000 she paid, and even charged her a further $10,000 for a future group she had booked.
That future group was the infamous event where three more innocent people died — for which Ray has been charged with three counts of manslaughter.
Currently, Ray’s legal team are attempting to prevent Colleen’s death and the circumstances under which it occurred from being discussed in that trial.
Four time killer, James “Death” Ray will not be taking any time today to reflect what he was doing this time last year. Maybe he’ll find himself whistling a line or two from Bob Dylan:
Ah ya don’t count the dead
When God’s on your side…
Colleen’s death was prematurely and wrongly declared a suicide by the San Diego police, who obviously believed the lies and obfuscations of James Ray’s staff. She did not want to die, as James Ray and the others complicit in the homicide know perfectly well. She paid Ray for his help in realising her plans for her future.
Greg Hartle (center) witnessed Colleen’s death and even twittered about it. (All photos via Salty Droid.)
What pushed Colleen to take her own life? What experiences did she suffer to drive her into that state? It is clear that she was forced into a role play where she dressed up as a homeless person and was abandoned in a shopping mall in downtown San Diego.
Did she complain? Did Ray or her staff talk to her? From Megan Fredrickson’s police interview related to three later deaths in Arizona:
Detective Diskin: We were told that staff members were encouraged to kind of belittle people….to kind of bring down their self esteem….Are you familiar with anything like that?
Megan Fredrickson: That’s definitely not the intention. And I don’t think people are at all instructed to do that. If someone’s perception was that then you know, that’s possible but no, there’s always a certain degree of coaching or encouragement that goes on but I mean if someone seriously doesn’t want to do something then there’s no belittling or forcing (Inaudible)
Of course not, Megan. At least no intentional belittling or forcing. No, you never force anyone to do exercises they had sprung on them, after paying $5000 to attend, after being sleep deprived or exhausted or whatever. No you just “encourage” them, by public humiliation and other forms of intimidation.
What is clear as that Michele Goulet, Megan Fredrickson, and probably other staff members concealed the death from the participants. The photos shown here were taken at the party they held on the night of Colleen’s death. They never contacted Colleen’s family, never publically acknowledged any role in the death, and have never expressed the slightest remorse.
It should be noted that at least two members of James Ray International resigned immediately on learning of Colleen’s death, and provided information to the authorities.
The San Diego Police are unwilling to admit their mistake and reopen the investigation, and the prosecutors in the sweat lodge trial are of course powerless to investigate it. There are however other options for any one with first hand information.