James Arthur Ray, motivational torturer and “philosopher” from the film The Secret has been found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide.
Ray has so avoided being investigated by police in San Diego in relation to the death of his first victim, Colleen Conaway who died in one of his seminars barely two months before he negligently caused three further deaths at a further seminar. Colleen’s death was inadequately investigated by police after Ray and some members of staff lied to police about the circumstances of Colleen’s death, after they had abandoned her body in a shopping plaza in San Diego.
James Ray and some members of his staff told carefully co-ordinated lies to the San Diego police and to participants (who only learned one of the death through the media). They also lied to some concerned staff members about it, instructing them to inform any inquirers that “We’ve found Colleen, she’s fine and decided not to return to the group”. That was after discussing the situation with his attorneys.
The cover up has been covered extensively on this site (see previous link), and a more complete description of events can be found here in a comment posted by a member of Colleen’s family.
The San Diego police did not investigate the death and Ray went on to cause three more deaths, for which he has just been convicted. The jury never got to hear about Colleen Conaway as the defense was successful in having mention of it excluded. A document from the Arizona prosecutors:
[The] Defendant also tries to disclaim any responsibility for the suicide of Colleen Conaway. However the significance [for the current trial] of the suicide is not in the tragedy itself; instead it is in the reaction of the JRI staff to the event. Participants report that they were never informed that one of the seminar participants had died and the seminar continued through the end without mention of this tragedy, including Defendant making sales pitches for future events.
Hearing for sentencing Tuesday June 29. [UPDATE Scroll down for coverage of sentencing]