“Keith didn’t kill anyone,” Keith Raniere’s lawyer Marc Agnifilo told the New York Post in a story published today.
Then, denigrating my investigation into the deaths of four women, and the forensic science used and filmed for Investigation Discovery’s “Lost Women of Nxivm,” Agniflo added, “That is an insult to real forensic investigation as well as to the people who have passed away.”
“The Lost Women of Nxivm” airs Sunday at 9 pm ET/8 CT/9 PT.
The NY Post’s Jon Levine reported on the upcoming film under the headline, New TV special links Nxivm leader Keith Raniere to deaths of four women.
This story is going mainstream. In addition to the Post, there have been stories in The SUN, the Daily Mail, Radar Online and numerous other media outlets this week.
All of them pointed to the gruesome possibility that Raniere, despite what Agnifilo says, may very well have killed some of his followers.
In fact, he once admitted it, in a 2009 video where he says, “I’ve had people killed for my beliefs.”
See the clip from “The Lost Women of Nxivm”:
Of course, I don’t mind Agnifilo representing his client, the odious Keith Raniere, to the best of his ability. I did not mind when he cross-examined various prosecution witnesses at Raniere’s trial and kept bringing up my name to try to make it out that they were in cahoots with me to get Raniere in trouble.
He was just doing his job. It was not personal.
And he is doing his job now by telling the Post that Raniere is not a murderer.
But, how does he know?
As readers recall, he also said Raniere was innocent of all charges the feds leveled against him from sex trafficking to forced labor and racketeering.
The jury disagreed. It took them about four hours to convict Raniere on all counts on June 19, 2019, following a trial that lasted six weeks.
Raniere will be sentenced – most likely for decades – on January 17. He faces an absolute minimum sentence of 15 years for the sex trafficking alone.
It is also not necessarily true that, as Agnifilo’ says, my work is “an insult … to the people who have passed away.”
I don’t know how he could know that unless he can commune with the dead.
It is not an insult to their families. I have the support from three of the victims’ families – Barbara Jeske’s, Kristin Snyder’s and Gina Hutchinson’s – to pursue my investigation.
Do you know why? Because, unlike Agnifilo, they are not certain Keith never killed anyone. In fact, they blame Raniere for the deaths of their loved ones.
The Post, in Levine’s elegant prose, writes, “In ‘“The Lost Women of NXIVM,’ airing Sunday on Investigation Discovery, former cult insider Frank Parlato alleges Raniere may have been involved in the deaths of at least four women who were close to the organization.
“Kristin Snyder, Barbara Jeske, Gina Hutchinson and Pamela Cafritz died under what Parlato and others say are suspicious circumstances. The deaths span a 14-year period between 2002 until 2016. The women had been intimately involved with the Nxivm leader.
“’I don’t think the official stories on the deaths of these four women should be allowed to rest without a challenge,’ Parlato told The Post….
“Although Snyder’s and Hutchinson’s deaths were ruled suicides — by drowning and gunshot, respectively — Parlato believes there may be more to it. In the months before they died, the women had become irritating for the guru.
“’Gina Hutchinson [age 33 when she died] was going around saying she had sex with Raniere when she was 14 years old. Others, including her sister, have verified this,’ Parlato said of the New York woman.
“Snyder, meanwhile, had begun telling a Nxivm class in Anchorage, Alaska, that she was pregnant with Raniere’s child. She was ejected from a seminar and disappeared less than 24 hours later. A suicide note was later found in her truck.
“Around the time of their deaths, Raniere had been passing himself off as celibate, and the women’s stories posed an existential threat to his nascent movement.”
As readers know, four women developed cancer [we have now identified a 5th woman – who also died – which I will be discussing in-depth in an upcoming story].
While Agnifilo was quick to discount the hair sample tests I had made on another woman who lived with Raniere and developed bladder cancer, those tests revealed unusually high levels of bismuth and barium and cannot be dismissed out of hand.
The Post writes, “Jason Kolowski, a forensic consultant interviewed for the documentary, said he was confident hair samples from the woman revealed a ‘chronic exposure’ to the heavy metals — and speculated that it may have come from rat poison.”
I am not sure what Marc Agnifilo knows that I don’t know. Maybe he knows his client is such a gentle man that he would never harm a fly – and was falsely accused.
Maybe he has probed and entered the mind of Keith Raniere and knows intuitively that his client could not have murdered anyone. Maybe he believes in his client’s veracity. Raniere has told Agnifilo that he never murdered anyone and Marc believes him.
However, I have to question Marc’s certitude. How does he really know his client is not far more devious and evil than he understands?
Of all the scenes I saw in the courtroom during the trial of Keith Alan Raniere, I think the most impressive was Marc Agnifilo’s opening statement. He was brilliant.
It was like watching poetry in motion. He told the jury, as he laid out the reasons why they should not convict Raniere, that the case against him was just a lot of hyped-up sensational stuff and no evidence of criminal intent.
He said to the jury, “I submit to you that you haven’t heard much about the truth so far. What you’ve heard is you’ve heard a lot of conclusions. You’ve heard a lot of slogans. You’ve heard a lot about the names of certain crimes, but you haven’t really heard what you’re going to need to know to reach the truth. And this case is not about slogans or conclusions that are imposed on you.
“They’re certainly about conclusions that you reach on your own after listening to the evidence. But this case isn’t about labels. It’s not about jargon. It’s not about headlines…..
“One of the things you’re going to hear is intent, a concept called criminal intent. There is only one criminal intent that is worth anything in this case that matters at all and it’s whether he has it. That’s it. No one else’s intent, no one else’s motivation, no one else’s good faith or bad faith matters a lick. It’s all him. So one of the things you are going to be doing as the evidence comes in is you are going to be looking at it through his eyes, what does he think about it? What is he doing? And why is he doing it? Never forget to ask why…..”
Yes, we will be looking at intent a lot as we further investigate the Lost Women of Nxivm.
Raniere’s intent. Not Marc’s or mine. But Keith Raniere’s.
Did he intend to kill these women?
And if he did, how did he do it? And who helped him do it?