Kristin Snyder Investigation: Esther Carlson Chiappone Knows More Than She Is Saying

Kristin Snyder

Esther Carlson Chiappone  – or is it Esther Chiappone Carlson?

The comely Nxivm leader‘s maiden name is Carlson; she married Rob Chiappone and took his name, then had her name legally changed back to Carlson. For years, after her divorce, she went by Esther Chiappone and this is the name she is best known by Nxivm devotees.

It was her name when she was one of two teachers at a Nxivm intensive in Anchorage, Alaska that began on  January 26, 2003  and ended on February 10, 2003.

During this intensive, on February 6, one of the students, Kristin Snyder, was ejected from class, following what was described by witnesses as a psychotic breakdown. It was Esther who insisted on her removal.

Kristin Snyder was never heard from again. She is listed as a “presumptive suicide.”

Actually, the missing person flier is wrong about the date she was last seen it was February 6, not February 7, as police reports and witnesses confirm.

Before we get into that fateful day and its aftermath – a little history about Esther is important because it will figure into the events leading up to and including February 6.

Esther was living in Sterling, Alaska with her husband and four children when she began taking Nxivm classes in Anchorage.

She was a beautiful woman, slender, young, tall, blonde. She was vivacious and intelligent. Well-spoken and enthusiastic about the courses – which were then known as Executive Success Programs.

Esther Carlson

That she was married with children was baggage of course, according to the teachings of Keith Raniere and his Nxivm curriculum. But as Esther learned of the bright new world of executive success, she learned to rethink everything in her life.

One of the teachings in the modules is meant to get married women [and men] to rethink the value of their marriage. Students are asked to picture all the advantages that would accrue if their husband or spouse were to die.

The student is not asked to list any disadvantages that would ensue if a spouse died – just the advantages. Maybe that got Esther thinking.

In any event, she loved the first courses she took in Alaska so much she chose to go to Albany to take a 16-day intensive. There, she met the Vanguard, Keith Alan Raniere.

Most likely her being attractive piqued his interest and she was squired to him. She was already enraptured by his teachings and seeing him in the flesh – she had already concocted a vision of him – he was the smartest man in the world – he was the most ethical – a man who eschewed a fortune to serve humankind – a golden visionary – a man without a woman – because he was so dedicated to the mission of improving humankind that he had no time left for a woman consort. Who would understand him?

It’s ironic how similar the approach Raniere used to seduce so many women.  The women first heard about him and his greatness – then and only then – were they brought to him – with a very much preconceived notion of his greatness.

They did not see a short, pudgy, smelly, cross-eyed pervert, they saw a genius, a lover of humankind – a divinity.

Keith told Esther he was seeking that one monogamous relationship that would make his life complete. Could it be with her? He thought it was destiny. He thought he loved her. She was meant for him.

He had perhaps more than a sexual motive. Esther was a very good salesperson. She was recruiting people into Nxivm. This was the days when Nxivm was under the radar. There had been no bad press about them then.

Esther was the kind of smart and attractive woman who could teach and bring new students in. A gold mine.

Keith wooed her. Could she not leave her husband and move away from Alaska – come hither to Albany – bring the four kids [if you must] – and be near him?. They could chalk out a life of greatness together.

Esther was the happiest she had ever been in her life. She was in love. She was about to marry the world’s smartest man, move to Albany to be near him, maybe perchance have a fifth child – an avatar baby – and most important of all – she and her lover, Keith Alan Raniere, were going to change the world [and be rich – for it was important for ethical people to control as much of the world’s wealth as possible.]

Susan Dones discusses the disappearance of Kristin Snyder with Frank Parlato in the Investigation Discovery film The Lost Women of Nxivm.


Susan Dones, a Nxivm head trainer who quit Nxivm in 2009, told me about Esther Chiappone in a recent interview, during our visit to the Snyder family in Dillon, South Carolina. Here is what Susan said:

“Esther told me she had a sexual relationship with Keith. It was in Anchorage during the intensive that Kristin Snyder attended in November 2002.

“I had known Esther for a while before that. We were students together in what was for both of us our very first intensive. Esther was led to believe Keith was attracted to her and she was attracted to him.  She divorced her husband and moved her kids from Alaska to Albany, to be with Keith.  Then Esther found out Keith was non-monogamous. She was not pleased. She had a reaction to that.

“Nancy Salzman and the ‘wolf pack’ [other women in Ranieres harem[ was sent in to deal with her, to keep her in line. I was at the intensive in Anchorage, in November 2002, for the first five days. This was right after Esther learned Keith was not monogamous. Esther spoke to me about it, that Keith and Nancy are not what I think they are. They are not what they pretend or claim to be.

“When Nancy found out Esther spoke to me, she became abusive to Esther. Nancy was also there for the first five days of that November 2002 Anchorage intensive  Nancy was yelling, screaming at her.  Esther and I had had our conversation the night before. The next day I was in the bathroom and Nancy came in in a fury asking me about my conversation with Esther. ‘What did you talk about? I need to know what you talked about.’ I think Nancy was afraid Esther was going to tell others about the promiscuous sex life of Keith Raniere.”


Keith Raniere had designs on Esther Chiappone and Kristin Snyder

It is clear Esther Chiappone knew Keith was not celibate – as his students were led to believe. He was not monogamous, as some women, including her, had been told when he was trying to seduce them.

Esther found he was having sex with a harem after she relocated all the way from Alaska – uprooted her children – altered her whole life plan – based on Keith’s lie to her about being monogamous.

Salzman helped persuade Esther to stay with Nxivm and tried to persuade her to join Keith’s harem.  To her credit, Esther would not join a harem where Keith could have sex with multiple women and she could only have sex with him.

She chose instead to go to the next best available man in Nxivm – and coupled with James Del Negro.

Esther Carlson with her lover, James Del Negro [back row]. Front row Alex Betancourt with his lover, Emiliano Salinas. [2009]
Because Esther was a good teacher and recruiter, Raniere allowed her to stay and earn money for him despite her refusing to be part of his harem. Perhaps he was afraid to cut her off since she might tell others about his sex life. But she promised to keep that a secret.


The Westmark Hotel in Anchorage where the ESP Intensive was conducted.

When Esther Chiappone taught the intensive in January-February 2003, the second one Kristin Snyder attended, the one she was removed from, and then disappeared, Esther knew full well that Keith was not celibate, that he enjoyed having sex with lots of women.

When Kristin Snyder started telling people that Raniere got her pregnant, Esther called Nancy and asked her what to do. Nancy probably asked Keith and a decision was made to discredit Kristin by saying Keith would never have had sex with this gay woman.

He was a celibate.

Actually, Keith had the opportunity to have had sex with Kristin and Esther knew it.

Kristin had been in Albany just days before – from about January 18 to January 25. She stayed at Esther’s house. During the days she was there, witnesses told Frank Report that Kristin left Esther’s house all day long and nobody knew where she went. She had a rental car.

It is now believed she went to Raniere, perhaps at a hotel – and that he was mentoring her with the aim of seducing her.

Esther knew Keith might have gotten Kristin Snyder pregnant. But Nancy told Esther to lie. Esther did lie and it might have led to Kristin’s death.


Kristin Snyder tried to tell others she was pregnant with Keith Raniere’s baby. No one believed her.

When she was raving, no one, not Keith, Nancy, or Esther, wanted Kristin to go to the hospital. If she told hospital staff she was pregnant, a pregnancy test might have been done and it might confirm Kristin was, in fact, pregnant.

If that news got out, it could blow up Nxivm.

On top of that, Kristin was raised in a Christian family where abortion is considered murder. What if she was pregnant and did not consent to an abortion? Keith would be exposed as having had sex with his student, a gay woman, and there would be an inconvenient child around – an albatross  – to prove to the world that Keith was no celibate.

Keith, Nancy, and Esther had to act fast. There was only one thing to do – make Kristin out as insane. Everybody got together and gaslighted her.

No, she could not be pregnant. No, don’t believe a word she says. Pregnant – how could it be? Keith is a celibate. He is spiritual and so pure. You’re taking his class. You believe in him, and his teachings.

What would have happened if someone, anyone – say, Esther – had taken Kristin Snyder seriously?

“Yes Kristin, I know you’re upset. Keith had sex with you. Let’s get you some help. We’ll get through this. This was very wrong what Keith did – he’s supposed to be your teacher, not your lover. You trusted him you say? Let’s get to the bottom of this. He had sex with me too and had me uproot my children to Albany, promising me a new life with him and when I got there, after I was dependent on him for my living, I found out he was sleeping with lots of women. I understand your pain and I will try to help you.”

What if Esther had done this for Kristin Snyder?

But, no, Esther Chiappone did nothing for Kristin but lie to her and lie to others to make her look crazy.

But why not at least allow Kristin to get proper psychiatric treatment if she was, in fact, raving?

For the same reasons as above: Kristin might have been pregnant.

Besides, they may have had another, better plan cooked up to rid themselves of what was a very serious problem.

In the past, when Keith got a woman pregnant, he simply ordered her to have an abortion and the woman obeyed. Now, he had a gay woman in Alaska not part of his inner circle – who was not only perhaps unwilling to have an abortion but was telling everyone she was pregnant.

On February 6, 2002, Esther arranged to have Kristin removed from class – after telling the students she was lying about having sex with Keith and just wanted attention.

Esther said this knowing full well Keith likely had sex with the trusting, beautiful, slender Kristin Snyder – and that he likely deceived her just like he deceived Esther herself when he first seduced her.

Esther lied to the class, told them Kristin was deranged but she would get past this, this was just part of the necessary growth for her in Nxivm.  It was not necessary for her to go to the hospital. She should be taken home to rest.

Esther Chiappone Carlson

Esther called Elaine Smiloff, a Nxivm student, and asked her to pick up Kristin and take her home – about 8 miles away.

Elaine told me as she was driving Kristin home, “Kristin said she did not know what to do. She thought she was pregnant. Keith told her she would have a special [avatar?] baby. She did not know if she could go through with it.”

Elaine added that she did not know what Kristin meant by that last part:  Did she mean ‘go through with it’ by having the child – or ‘go through with it’ by having an abortion?

Based on his record of requiring the women of his harem to have abortions, Keith would have wanted Kristin to have an abortion, if she was pregnant. If she refused, he might have tried to drive her crazy. Might have used his group, including Esther, to make her appear insane. But he had one problem. Even if she was fully discredited – and no one believed her:  What if she was really pregnant?

If it got out that he had impregnated a gay woman, his student, his whole operation could be upended. People would quit. His good reputation would be tarnished. He was just recruiting wealthy heiresses and trust fund babies then – he might lose them – and some of his women would go to – for he was conning them that they were the only one. One would talk to the other and he would be outed as the fraud and the phony that he was.

How far was Keith willing to go to ensure Kristin Snyder’s silence? She has been silent ever since she left the class on February. 6, 2003.

Who were his helpers.? How far did Nancy, Esther, and others go to save the mission?


Kristin Snyder lived in Anchorage with her partner, Heidi Clifford. 

Street view of Kristin Snyder’s neighborhood.

After Elaine drove Kristin home and dropped her off and left her, Kristin Snyder was never seen again.

But Kristin’s pickup truck – a vehicle she shared with her spouse, Heidi Clifford, was in the parking lot at the Westmark hotel where the Nxivm intensive was held.  Kristin did not take the pickup truck when she left.

But when the intensive for the day was complete – and Heidi Clifford went outside to drive the truck home – the truck was missing.

Who took the pickup truck? How did it leave the Westmark hotel?

Where was Esther Chiappone after Kristin was removed from class? At least one student suggests that she was gone away from the class.

The truck was found the following night in Seward, Alaska, a 2.5-hour drive from Anchorage. It was parked on a road near Resurrection Bay.  Inside the truck was a suicide note, written on a spiral notebook, purportedly written by Kristin.

Here are the contents of the purported suicide note:

“I attended a course called Executive Success Programs (a.k.a. Nexivm) based out of Anchorage, AK, and Albany, NY. I was brainwashed and my emotional center of the brain was killed/turned off. I still have feeling in my external skin, but my internal organs are rotting. Please contact my parents … if you find me or this note. I am sorry life, I didn’t know I was already dead. May we persist into the future,”

On another page in the notebook it read:

“No need to search for my body.”


How did the truck get to Seward? How did it leave the Westmark Hotel?

Did Kristin actually write the suicide note? Was it dictated to her?

Kristin was alone in her house in Anchorage without a vehicle.  Elaine, who dropped her off, did not think Kristin would have been capable in her condition to drive to Seward on that dark February night.


Kristin Snyder [center] with friends in Alaska
The official story is that Kristin committed suicide by taking a kayak out in Resurrection Bay in Seward Alaska and tipping it over on purpose.

Her body was never found.

She was an environmental consultant in Anchorage. She was a member of the Anchorage Nordic Ski Patrol, qualified in survival training and avalanche rescue. She was an avid kayaker and a respected business person.


Miller’s Landing where Kristin Snyder allegedly drove to commit suicide. 

Kristin Snyder was an avid kayaker.

A few weeks after Kristin Snyder disappeared, Esther Chiappone went from Albany to Anchorage to conduct another Nxivm intensive.

Some of the students wondered what happened to Kristin Snyder and seemed to be upset.

After class one evening, Esther told students that they were all going to drive up to Seward – to take the same route that Kristin Snyder took before she “committed suicide” to try to commune with her spirit.

It was spooky said one of the women who went on that trip – a caravan of several cars.

“It seemed like Esther was trying to persuade us all that Kristin really had committed suicide.”

She said she felt her spirit and that the way officials said she died was precisely the way it happened.

But maybe way deep down, she knew better.


Stay tuned for our next in this series where we will discuss the curious and amazing role that [Name Redacted] – a student in Nxivm who attended the class with Kristin Snyder -– had in Kristin’s disappearance and how [Name Redacted] profited shortly after by moving herself from Alaska to Albany.




About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • More than a few probably have some blood on their hands from her disappearance and none of them will come forward for fear of also implicating themselves. To those, we must say again: “The first one on the plea bus gets the best seat” and someone WILL be the first to talk and get the best deal. So who will it be ???
    That’s what it’s all about.

  • I keep wondering if Kristin thought that the Intensive at the Westmark was a setting that she could TRUST as a safe space to tell the group, and its leaders, what she was going through. She was unlikely to have encountered or to have begun to face much of the Nxivm deceptiveness yet. What happened to her personally or privately with Raniere would have caused her so much conflict, confusion, so much worry. What to do? Especially if you think over Kristin’s personal background, how she lived, who she loved and how she had been raised, just imagine what she was experiencing, all of her trust betrayed. Yet Raniere and his group pretended to be promoting “righteous action.” A united front of superior ways and means was help up and sold, as if it were a grand panacea of real growth..

    This had to have been intensely hard on her, to confide in a group, one she had been taking “human growth potential” courses from and whose members seemed to know what they were selling. The entryway was really into a group dynamic of destructiveness, completely unacknowleged. Yet all were caught up in it. No one was doing any honest work upon themselves at all.

    In fact, the more delusionary one was about Raniere being supreme, the more Raniere could use that person. The more entrenched an acolyte was in his pathology, the more power he let the sucker have. He didn’t need to lock any idiot who believed in him behind closed doors or to keep battening down his hatches, once someone had surrendered to him. He could control those people. They had said “yes, Master” and were captured already. They could catch more subjugants, even as he kept his repulsive “supremacy” running the show. He had his army.

    And instead the group was selling its own hidden evils as goodness. The group was practicing group insanity and upholding their own surrenders to a pervert who enjoyed making them all back his madnesses. The very second he decided to target anyone, the group followed suit.

    These groupies let him be about having him get sex from minors. They were happy to engage in sex-trafficking for him. They were happy to litigate forntheir benefit andnfor Raniere’s. They hid and moved money for him. No criminality, no humiliation could be too much. It was for their Vanguard; it was for themselves, both as a group and imdividually. He was their God. This was their chosen path.

    One of Kristin’s Alaska-situated, Westmark Hotel intensive leaders knew the drill and was still smarting from learning Raniere’s scene. Esther. Yet Esther, knowing Raniere was the man who deceived her, that she had broken up her own family to be with him and then found out that Raniere was a lying manwhore, still supported the entire movement.

    She was more than prepared to sacrifice Kristin Snyder. She was not going to allow any truth to come out and shake her own false convictions. She consulted with the grotesque Prefect, Nancy Salzman, about how to handle Kristin, and then she did what she was told. Obviously the whole intensive staff was obedient only to Raniere, to Salzman.

    Esther refused to examine her OWN mistakes; she was instead, highly invested in backing up the lies, the deceptiveness. She had joined the power rangers of Nxivm, and let no one tear it asunder. Not on her watch! Esther helped organize the group efforts to gaslight Kristin, for many hours, for morenthan one group session, infact, and to get rid of Kristin, now a troublemaker. An inconvenience, like a horsefly buzzing too much, potentially ruining Esther’s /their nice image.

    How about that Kristin thought to get back to Alaska, where she lived, and then to tell the group what she was going through? These seemed like good people to her, people she COULD tell, and probably she thought that she would be given support.

    Kristin might have even thought that, by telling the group that Raniere had gotten intimate with her and that she was sure that she was pregnant, this would HELP the group to wake up, that they would see her truthfulness and act upon it to help her. She might have hoped that she could even help the group, by revealing something that they deserved to know.

    The people surrounding Raniere, how could Kristin know that they were every bit as unsafe as their leader? He had tricked her, emotionally, mentally and sexually with his scam. But she was amongst people who believed in him and who were all invested in covering for him, for themselves.

    Maybe Kristin was deeply upset, but probably she thought that she could be helped. Why would she ever dream that she was going to find only group suppression, groupleaders’ lies and that she was really putting herself in danger, forced to try to stand alone, to be told that she was not okay but the GROUP was to be lauded as fine and noble? Shenwould not be allowed to dismantle their God or their godliness. Hell to the no.

    Have any one of you ever had to stand alone against such odds? Could you? Have you ever been sexually abused and tried to cope with its consequences, only to find that you had confided in a pit of vipers? Just try to put yourself into Kristin’s shoes, during all of these circumstances. It must have been dreadful for her.

    All of the Nxivm individuals were devoted to their group’s lies, pretense. They sold self-help to her. Then she was subjected to abusiveness, maybe even had become pregnant. Then when she tried to tell her truth, every single member of the organization fucked her over, made her wrong and put her right up against their walls. It seems to have been designed to strategize solely to damage her and even to eliminate her. She was not worth anything to these people. In fact she had become their ENEMY.

    Imagine what their group’s gaslighting would have done to Kristin then, if she opened up out of trust, not to accuse, really. She would be saying, “look, this is what happened between Raniere and me. What do you think? What do I do now? The guy was not celibate with me; I am pretty sure that I’m pregnant. You are good people who know him better than I do, so I’m asking you to help me.” And instead, the very opposite occurred, like a huge and shattering slap in her face. Everyone in charge just wanted Kristin to shut up about her “truth.”

    Why oh why would Kristin have imagined that they would all turn against her? Imagine how that would have upset and damaged her, made her feel desperate. And ultimately, these savages removed her from the group entirely. They did not allow her partner, also in the group and ready to help Krisrin, even to leave with her and to assist her life partner. They made Kristin look “crazy” instead. Someone was assigned to drive Kristin away in a vehicle from the Westmark Hotel and the group. They all ganged up on Kristin expressly to protect themselves, their profits, their Godman.

    Some probably know what happened tl Kristin Snyder next. I have no doubt that Frank Parlato is about to let all of who who care, what happened next, to the very best of his ability.

    Would these actions to cast doubt and shame on Kristin have increased her suffering, made her feel that she had nowhere to turn? Was she made to feel terribly wrong, exactly when and where she had imagined that she’d find guidance and support?

    Well, I say yes. Kristin was being betrayed in the worst, the most raw and menacing of ways. False self-help with motivations absolutely against her was deployed upon her. This was deliberately being done to her when she was most needful, most devastated. No one gave a damn, and how shocking that must have been to Kristin. It just makes me sick. It brings tears to my eyes, and it breaks my heart for her, for her domestic partner, for her family.

    Learning of Kristin’s treatment, I keep looking at my own self and praying, on the inside. Please, let me never allow myself, ever, to be cruel to anyone, for the sake of selfishness and out or decisive ignorance. Moment by moment I want to remember, not to offer harm, anger. To search the self.

    Ignorance of one’s own actions, this is the opposite of loving life. What happened to Kristin is so, so terrible. How can anyone live with it, to deliberately take such a road against anyone? Yet the only one I can “clean” is me. My voice, awareness is completely imperfect, part of the human crowd. Still, like a fool, I do not shut up and calmly accept my, our foibles.

    There is no relief to the sense of what Kristin was put through. What really happened? Kristin Snyder has never been seen again. She had been betrayed. By seeking and trusting, she has diappeared permanently.

    So I try to understand Kristin’s own circumstances then. She was still attending Nxivm programs. She had started with their courses, had felt welcome, had experienced being brought into the fold. She was encouraged to respect and to trust Raniere AND his representatives.

    In this context, she would have been very vulnerable to this kind of trusting, to thinking that she could be herself, that she could tell what was happening to her.

    How would she have known otherwise, as yet? Add to this that her trust was being demanded of her, by Raniere and his peer pressure lackeys. Kristin’s own real experiences, doled out to her by the sexual sadist, Keith Raniere? She had better fall in line, lie about it all from now on, OR ELSE.

    Or else what? If Kristin were pregnant by this shitheel, perhaps only a woman can begin to comprehend what Kristin was trying so hard to endure, to handle. (?) I ask you all, have you ever carried life inside of your womb? Or if you’re a man, have you ever felt protective of your own seed, growing, about to arrive as an infant, your baby? Arriving helpless, innocent, needing you?

    Who could Kristin turn to and get any support or guidance? Raniere had invaded her emotional balance, her inner makeup, had completely devalued her own relationship with her partner, very possibly he impregnated her. Why would she even imagine or want to imagine, as of yet, anything weird or sneaky or dangerous to her well-being, when she had opened up to trust some of them? She was on the periphery of the cult still, not at its dead center.

    The Nxivm atmospheres were committed to concealing their ulterior motives and the misery of their sexual habits, each one having been conditioned to stand up for their fictionalized versions. Lalalalala! The gift to all of humanity! Their frigging predatory sweathog was to be SUPREME. Or else. Contest those jointly-maintained lies, object, present any evidence to the contrary, what will happen to you?

    Abruptly the whole bunch is against you. Anyone you might have trusted, perhaps wanted to or had decided confide in about your own experience, if that didn’t cooperate with all of their lies, suddenly would turn their backs on the “truthteller.” Any inconveient truths were not allowed. No one caught up in this allowed themselves to face the ugliness of the underbelly. It had to be denied, buried. Of course, it was their duty to uphold Raniere’s demands about his perfection.

    Everyone who was pretending to be strong was inwardly weakened, even fouled, had given in to Raniere, had devoted themselves, had shut down their own intelligence, awareness and their consciences were swamped, ignored. These people would be shamed, rejected, unless the group fiction was held fast and hard. No truth was being found; truth was being destroyed. Conscientiously on puposefully, truth, freedom, love and beauty were all being thrown onto their hidden garbage heaps.

    Kristin would not have known or understood what was really happening, that Raniere was a gross perv who screwed whoever he wanted to screw. The Nxivm crowd was all devoted to hiding that truth. Their intensive duties certainly would not in any way have sanctioned the least bit of “smearing” of Creepboy’s fantasy image as the Great One, since he was their very source.

    All of these groupleaders were sunk already into the tremendous investment of protecting a positive outer image. Anyone Raniere had messed with sexually who stayed in this group had already made the decision to live with this bullshit. Everyone was pretending something noble was being lived and offered, for sale.

    The entire Nxivm so-called therapy and the beliefs about Raniere were all falsity. Many Nxivm members knew plenty of the true circumstances around their own interactions with the harem and its leader. These very individuals led Kristin Snyder’s group experiences, noth in New York and in Alaska. The only way out, was out. Kristin did not get the chance to even begin to find her way out, and these Nxivm cult sickos made sure of that.

    But none of the liars and members of their very own personal freakshow were about to reveal any of it. They were choosing to be representatives of the entire fiction. Raniere was being praised and upheld by people who actually knew, from personal experience, that they were being dishonest to call him celibate. These people were contributing to Raniere’s conjobs, day and night.

    Kristin had stayed at Esther’s place in New York not long before attending her last Nxivm intensive, partly led by Esther, in Alaska. There would be a prior basis for Kristin to “trust,” as Kristin’s acquaintanceship with Esther and some of the other Nxivm women or men. Of course she wouldn’t have known much, if anything, about how Keith was screwing just about everyone, that he was running a number on his group about his “noble celibacy.” Kristin might have had no idea, as yet, that there was such an enmeshed group, dedicated to Raniere and to all of their lies about his celibacy.

    How would Kristin have guessed any of this? She might have thought that in Alaska, at that intensive, with her partner also participating in the intensive, that she had a “safe space” to tell what had happened to her and what still hapoening to her. She might have even thought that telling the truth would be seen, valued, respected, that she could help everyone by revealing her experience, asmwell as her current circumstances. That poor young woman was in for a horrible surprise. And no one has ever seen or heard from her again, since she trusted Nxivm.

    Sorry, Mr.Parlato. This is one Nxivm/Raniere story that kills me. I understand if my writing about it is too far out on a limb or too emotional to be of use.

  • Who writes, “No need to look for my body” in a suicide note? I’ve never heard of that.

    Also, a maternal instinct is one of the strongest human drives, due to evolution and natural selection. So, why would a pregnant woman want to kill herself and her unborn baby?

    The note never mentions the baby, the pregnancy, or uses ‘we’ or ‘us’ as pronouns. Isn’t that weird?

    So, what if Kristen was told to write the note as part of a NXIVM exercise? This would explain why her writing was similar to prior handwriting. But slightly different bc she was under a lot of stress.

    Keith and Esther have 1) Motive, 2) Means, and 3) Opportunity. Get the Homicide Hunter, Lt Joe Kenda on the line. This looks like a murder and there is enough evidence to convict.

    Are there any cameras that recorded that pickup truck being driven after Kristen was taken home? Who was driving the truck?

    • John Davis,

      “Who writes, “No need to look for my body” in a suicide note? I’ve never heard of that.”…..

      You make and excellent point!

      I’ve seen it before…..

      Murders or kidnappers write the message when they want to make a disappearance look like a suicide. Just watch any real life criminal justice show or documentary.

    • I know that in some general ways, womens’ suicides can seem to not make sense – they’re relatively more prone to shooting themselves in the chest (heart) rather than the head, compared to men, for instance (Callanan & Davis, 2011, So particularly in a case where someone may have experienced a mental breakdown, and even been delusional, I don’t think too much can be read into a putative suicide except by experienced experts in the field.

      I’d most like to hear from Snyder’s partner what she thought of the woman’s mental state, and whether the suicide note appeared authentic.

      Also, among the points that typically start to fall apart or not make sense on further consideration and analysis, are that the suicide note is not what NXIVM would want to have left behind, if they had anything to do with it – it paints them in a rather bad light as group that leaves people “brainwashed,” and makes them delusional or crazy, besides implying that they may have been at least partly to blame.

      That illustrates the problem with a lot of conspiracy theories, that when you really break them down, they are based on totally contradictory and unrealistic presumptions of actors with both superhuman competence and ruthlessness, and absolute Dumb and Dumberer haplessness.

      It would make relatively more sense to theorize that the shape-shifting reptilian aliens dispatched Snyder, and left behind a fake note deliberately fingering NXIVM.

      • A very valid question keeps being posed by AnonyMaker. I’ve thought about this same question for years and I think there is an explanation that makes sense. You (AnonyMaker) ask why NXIVM would leave behind a suicide note that paints them in a bad light.

        – Remember, a core, beginning part of the NXIVM teachings posed the question “Is suicide ever good?”. A follow up question would ask something like “Would it have been good if Hitler had committed suicide before coming to power?” The participants would write down their answers to these questions. There would then be a small group conversation that led you down the “Oh, sometimes suicide is good” road.

        – This whole thing with Kristin was a fly by the seat of your pants operation. If they needed her gone, a suicide note in her handwriting was imperative. Somebody (probably the same person who drove Kristin to [Name Redacted]’s cabin) could have asked her to write a note to explain why she committed suicide, “if she ever wanted to do such a thing.” A follow-up question could have been, “is there anything else you’d say in the note?” – hence the 2nd page about not looking for the body. Keep in mind, Kristin has already loosely already done this sort of thing – writing notes about her thoughts on suicide. This would have been very easy to pull off if it’s true that Kristin had been talking about suicide. Plus, NXIVM had already used Gina to practice putting suicidal thought in heads. They could have been leading Kristin in that direction. Getting her to write the note would not have been as difficult as it may seem at surface level. It may have even been done while working one on one with a coach at the intensive.

        – Now, even with that last point being made, when it comes to getting a suicide note in the handwriting of the correct person, beggars can’t be choosers. What they got from Kristin was good enough to get their desired outcome.

        – The suicide note saying she was “brainwashed” also did one other very underrated thing. It took the heat of of NXIVM. See AnonyMaker’s above post. “It can’t be NXIVM. The note says bad things about them.” That note may be the best thing that could have happened for NXIVM to dodge suspicion from those superstar Alaskan cops – although I doubt it was on purpose.

        • And don’t forget that Pam Cafritz was supposedly an expert at duplicating others’ handwriting. Maybe a quick trip to Alaska on the Bronfmans’ private jet – and voila, two suicide notes.

        • Nutjob, I appreciate the thought you’ve put into this.

          The theory that it “was a fly by the seat of your pants operation” is the one that does fit with the sort of thing that actually happens in the real world. But that’s the sort of hapless operation that tends to get caught out in the end, because incriminating errors get made as well. It also seems unlikely that the very psychotic-like details in this case, such as “my internal organs are rotting” are the sort of thing someone is likely to write speculatively; I think that would have to be part of a scenario in which Snyder was indeed undergoing a mental breakdown, though that remains a possibility, if remote.

          It’s possible to come up with a plausible theory to fit almost any desired conclusion. These seem to me ultimately such a stretch, that we might as well be asking who would have had a reason to set NXIVM up – various people from her partner to Rick Ross could be imagined as having reasons to off her and pin it on the group.

          The other problem with any theory that supposes NXIVM’s involvement ultimately runs into the internal contradiction that it makes no sense in light of the fact that the group later hired outside investigators, which would have risked inadvertently exposing their machinations.

          • In my opinion, it comes down to this: If Kristin was pregnant (or NXIVM thought she was pregnant), Keith needed her gone. If she wasn’t really pregnant, NXIVM probably isn’t involved in murdering her. (but I doubt Rick Ross did it…)

      • Well it would be nice to know what her partner felt.

        I wonder if her parents and her partner communicate or are on good terms.

      • AnonyMaker RE Signature forgeries:

        The average person can learn to forge the average signature in an hour or or two. If you don’t believe try out for yourself.

        An artistic person with steady hands right/left can forge any signature.
        My mother is an artist. Lets leave it at that.
        Is [Name Redacted] or Esther artistic? Or the gentleman leading the class?

  • Nicki:

    If you could take some time out from managing the restaurant could you please clue us in on who NXIVM’S new Prefect is?
    Thank you.

    “But now that DOS is secure, under the leadership of our Vanguard, our new Prefect and our Legatus Pro-Tempore and shall live on forever despite the malicious nature of the tyrannical US Government, I am now prepared to teach those who have the intelligence to understand what DOS truly is.”

    “We seek new recruits and are welcoming you. You must be female and must exercise intelligence and restraint to join us.”
    Monte Blu: I Will Train You so You Will See the Good in DOS
    September 1, 2019
    By Monte Blu

  • If Kristin was in such distress, wouldn’t her partner have taken her home? If me and my husband were in a situation like this, neither of us would leave the other. I’m not blaming the partner — I just think it’s odd. It seems as though the partner would have driven her home.
    This would have been a 5 hour round trip drive for Elaine. How did she get back to Anchorage?

    • I think the distance between Kristin’s house and the hotel where the class was held was less than 10 miles….this was mentioned in an earlier article… If that is correct, she could easily have caught a cab back and picked up the truck within an hour.

      • If that happened, there would very likely be some sort of record of it. Insofar as I know, the Alaskan State Police never mentioned any such cab ride.

  • The only thing not resurrected in Resurrection Bay is Kristen. I pray that truth will find the light. To bad Nxivm didn’t teach these assholes about bravery. Good luck to you Frank and Kim.

    • That’s definitely a possibility. She might have gotten a cab. If her condition was as unstable as it was reported to have been, with her allegedly babbling and raving it might have been an awkward ride. But it can’t be ruled out.

      • She may have been able to at least partially compose herself once she got away from the NXIVM crowd. I’m sure cabbies have seen lots of weird things over the years, such as people being sent home when they’re drunk, etc.

    • A 2017 Frank Report article says that Kristin left the class at 4pm, and then her partner Heidi called police at 7pm when she noticed their truck was missing from the parking lot. I assume that call was to report that Kristin was suicidal, not that the truck had been stolen.

      She was aware that Kristin was suicidal, but yet Kirstin was sent home alone.

      • Three hours is enough time to call a cab and pick up the truck. If her “partner” was so concerned about her being suicidal, why didn’t SHE drive Snyder home? If Snyder was wailing about being pregrant, that shows she was unfaithful to her partner, because it was physically impossible for Snyder’s partner to make her pregnant. There are things that simply don’t add up with this story.

  • One correction – Esther’s first 16 Day intensive she took as a student was not in Anchorage, she took it in Albany NY in December of 2000 two days after Christmas. She returned the following February 2001 to Albany NY to take her second 16 Day intensive.

    Keith Raniere already had his claws into her by the end of the first intensive with the help of his front-line pimps Nancy Salzman and Pam Cafritz.

    Also before Esther dated Jimmy Boy, she dated Ed Kinum, Ed and Esther started dating shortly after the intensive after Kristin Snyder went missing.

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato,_Jr.

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