Question for Heidi Hutchinson – and her answer: How come the Times Union expose did not prompt law enforcement to act in 2012?

The Albany Times Union published a shocking expose in February 2012. Above is Gina Melita - then 15 years old when the monster raped her.

A reader calling him/herself “So Many Opportunities” posed a question to Heidi Hutchinson – about why nothing happened after the shocking and award-winning expose by Jim Odato in the Albany Times Union.

Heidi is a reasonable person to ask since she was one of the main sources for the story – revealing little-known facts about the death of her sister, Gina Hutchinson.


What really happened to Gina Hutchinson? Her tragic death was exposed in an Albany Times Union expose in 2012, but it didn’t shake up law enforcement or even its staunch NXIVM members. They continued to ignore the deaths, pedophilia, alleged racketeering and use of Bronfman money being used to pummel enemies.

So Many Opportunities writes: 

I read about Gina and other NXIVM victims years ago. How this monster, his enablers, and cult still continued to flourish over all these years is disgusting.

When the Albany Times Union expose came out in February 2012, I was thinking that finally the press would move in and the investigators would do their job.

The expose named some celebrities including Kristin Kreuk and Allison Mack who I found out about through John Tighe’s blog.

The same month as the Times Union expose, Joe O’Hara started his lawsuit against NXIVM naming those celebrities. Also, John Tighe exposed the Necker Island cult summit with photographic evidence, with accusations of financial crimes being discussed on the island.

I thought with celebrities being named in an expose that discussed pedophilia, not to mention being named in a lawsuit for criminal activity and being directly accused of taking part in discussions regarding financial crimes, the press would take an interest in the NXIVM cult.

Absolutely nothing happened. Both celebrities continued to be involved like nothing was happening. It was very disappointing.

Did you think the Times Union expose would be the beginning of the end for NXIVM? Do you think if the press went after the celebrities, the investigators would of been forced to investigate and look into NXIVM crimes earlier?


Orange County Dreams weighed in: 

They had all the local authorities in their pocket – either paid off or intimidated. Some had family members intertwined in the group. That is why the Eastern District of NY acted, as opposed to the Northern District of NY, or Albany law enforcement. That is my understanding.

Heidi Hutchinson said that Keith Raniere was responsible for her death – whether it was suicide or murder – or something in between.

Heidi Hutchinson replied to So Many Opportunities

Yes, it was a tremendous disappointment to me that James Odato’s 2012 expose had so little impact and was not “picked-up” by any other media.

I think there are many reasons for that:

– The Bronfman sisters funding and imprimatur of their familial connections used to cultivate political clout and engender fear of reprisal.

– Ditto the above as to the Salinas family.

– There were few big name celebrities involved — not on the level of Catherine Oxenberg, who is of international fame and royalty — I say with all due respect to the Kristin WHO? fans on here.

– The crimes were not as current, obvious, heinous or provable as what’s allegedly occurred most recently.

– There was no “Frank Parlato;” no de-facto publicist following up with, feeding facts and sources to or presenting story angles from “Frank Report,” for other media outlets.

– A well-funded, brutal, criminal (IMHO) attack was made or ordered by NXIVM leaders to punish and silence any and every individual who had a discouraging word to utter against Keith Raniere or his devotees.

As a consequence, even the Albany TU story was not as powerful as it might have been were more sources willing to come forward with the facts.

Frank Parlato had to a lot of digging to find sources willing to talk at all, let alone go on record, even despite the horrendous news he broke about the mass mutilation with the branding.


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  • The real reason nothing happened is people aren’t willing to speak up and work together. They let somebody else do the heavy lifting. Whether it’s Frank/NXIVM or me/Amway, it’s the same story. Everybody “cares,” just not enough to do much about it. You get exactly what you deserve, justice delayed by years, if not decades.

  • NXIVM deliberately targeted younger celebrities like Kreuk and Mack to appeal to teen age girls and young women and seduce them into the cult.
    By 2010 Catherine Oxenburg’s fan base was too mature for a pervert like Raniere.

    • It was Catherine’s daughter, India Oxenberg — only 19 when she started with NXIVM — who was intensely “targeted” for the most part. If you read Catherine’s book, “Captive,” you’d know that there were Vanguard seduction-induction attempts made on Catherine, too.

      The “spotted hyenas,” as some call them, descended on Catherine and tried to convince her that having sex with Keith was the “only way to attain enlightenenment!” The “hyenas” also had a go at Catherine’s husband — trying to make her jealous (Ha!) or maybe punish Catherine for not succumbing to, defying, Keith.

      Catherine Oxenberg remains an important role model for not only the MAJORITY of females —baby-boom/gen x’ers — on the planet but their daughters. I think, hope, India will take an important leadership role as well and her NXIVM experience will be of great value — in helping other young women recognize and avoid abusers.

  • “There were few big name celebrities involved — not on the level of Catherine Oxenberg, who is of international fame and royalty — I say with all due respect to the Kristin WHO? fans on here.”

    Surely Kristin Kreuk and Allison Mack would of been able to draw the press to look closer at NXIVM. The press has recently spoken about Kreuk. The press could of written articles calling out these two actresses for their continued devotion to a pedophile, lawsuit terrorist, money laundering, tax evading scumbag. They had enough fame to try and legitimize the cult with their mere membership and enough fame for the press to look into the NXIVM cult. Kreuk was actually more famous back then when she was young.

    “There was no “Frank Parlato;” no de-facto publicist following up with, feeding facts and sources to or presenting story angles from “Frank Report,” for other media outlets.”

    There was Saratoga In Decline by John Tigue. His blog was a tremendous source of information about NXIVM. He is the one who made the Necker Island cult summit public knowledge. His blog and Frank’s website are the two best anti-NXIVM sites on the internet. Frank Report is Saratoga In Decline 2.0. Frank has carried on the work of John Tigue.

    • With re: to Mack and Kruek — I think Mack’s ARREST on such bizarre, severe charges makes for all the salacious tabloid headlines. Her arrest and now the court proceedings are the news, not her resume. Were Kruek to get herself arrested for similarly surreal crimes, she’d probably rate Hollywood headlines too. I don’t agree either actress had enough fame prior to this to shed light on the dark side of NXIVM. I believe both were mentioned as being NXIVM members in Odato’s 2012 series to no avail. …Maybe Kruek will do the honors if she’s just as guilty as Allison Mack, or not —- turn herself in, take a plea and skyrocket herself to superstardom Mack-style. Although it seems Kruek has a bit more sense and self-esteem than to be tricked into taking the blame, making admissions, fleeing to Mexico, etc. like Mack did. That’s a hard act to follow!

      • DOS was formed in 2015 and was exposed in 2017. Kreuk was not with DOS hence why she did not flee to Mexico. She was forced by the press to make a weak damage control statement where she downplayed her involvement. She said she left in 2013, but I know she still supported the cult at least two years later.

        • You’ve said this before and others have asked this before—where is the evidence KK supported NXIVM after 2013?
          A pic with her former NXIVM friends is not support of NXIVM.
          Since “you know” I assume you would like to share.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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