Gina Hutchinson

Heidi: When Did Raniere and Keeffe Last Have Contact With My Sister, the Late Gina Hutchinson?

Heidi Hutchinson [Photo from a video interview conducted by James Odato]
By Heidi Hutchinson
Seven years after my sister Gina Hutchinson’s death on October 11, 2002, an old friend of hers contacted me on Facebook.
I remember her well — a beautiful, dark-haired, doe-eyed Italian girl, also named Gina (last name Melita), who moved away from the Albany area in her late teens.
In 2009, Gina M. had only recently heard of my sister’s death and contacted me to express her condolences. She also asked what I knew about my sister’s relationship with Keith Raniere.
Gina Melita was a 15-year-old girl when Keith  Raniere statutorily raped her. She told her gripping story in the Albany Times Union series about NXIVM and Raniere – bravely using her own name.
I was a little shocked by the question because I had never shared my sister GIna’s secret — that she had sex with Raniere from the age of 14 with anyone.
I presumed my sister, Gina, hadn’t told on herself either.
Everyone knew Keith Raniere was Gina’s mentor, one-time “guru,” her first iconic love, her employer when she went to work for CBI in it’s IT (aka “hacking”) department.
They all knew Gina was helping launch Keith’s new company, thought highly of Nancy Salzman, and remained ‘besties’ with Kristin Keeffe — who lived with Raniere and may have helped him conduct suicide mind-conditioning experiments on Gina — per the evidence.
Gina M. knew about Gina’s sexual relationship with Raniere because, as she revealed, she had also been statutorily raped by Keith Alan Raniere herself.
Gina M. suspected that Keith Raniere may have had something to do with Gina’s untimely death.
Gina Hutchinson, as a teen girl, not long after Keith Raniere began to rape her.
Gina M. wasn’t the first person to connect Keith Raniere to Gina’s death. Another good friend of Gina’s raised the same suspicions with me shortly after Gina’s death — at her wake.
That friend said she had gone over to #3 Flintlock in Clifton Park — near where her aunt lives — within days after Gina passed away to invite Keith Raniere, Kristin Keeffe, Pam Cafritz, Karen Unterreiner, Barbra Jeske — the troupe — to Gina’s funeral ceremony.
Our dad had put this supportive friend in charge of the arrangements for Gina until I arrived so she invited the guests to Gina’s services. No one from NXIVM showed up.
Heidi and Gina Hutchinson
Shortly after Gina M. called me and reiterated these suspicions about Keith — and I had some of my own — I did a quick google search for an update on the monster and was alarmed to learn the Bronfman sisters had arranged/paid for the Dalai Lama to make a rare appearance doing a spiritual teaching with Keith in Albany, NY.
Dalai Lama with the Bronfman sisters on stage.
I was shocked.
Alarms went off in my head. It all fit with the way Keith and his minions were using my sister Gina to make inroads to the Dalai Lama, to Tibetan Buddhism —they siphoned her spirituality into their cult “program” and, now, they had the Dalai Lama’s apparent endorsement.
I imagined Gina rolling in her grave.
I contacted the Albany Times Union almost immediately and reporter Jim Odato got back to me right away. I also gave Odato Gina M.’s contact information with her permission.
This ultimately led to the Times Union story In Raniere’s Shadow – the first mainstream media reporting on Keith’s statutory rapes.
A few weeks later, Odato flew to LA to interview me on camera at my loft studio. He told me a little about some recent developments with NXIVM — that nine women had suddenly left the company. He also shared that a 3rd statutory rape victim had miraculously come forward. Her name was “Rhiannon.”
Keith Raniere began raping Rhiannon when she was 12 and still wore braces. Curiously, she was diagnosed with cancer shortly after she escaped from Raniere.
One of the heroes of the Nxivm story, Times Union reporter James Odato. broke many crime stories about Keith Raniere and Nxivm. Law enforcement in the Albany area did nothing about it.

Odato asked me not to contact anyone who might go on record until after they’d also been interviewed by him. I gave him permission to provide my contact information to anyone who wished to contact me after their interviews.

Barbara Bouchey was the first of the NXIVM 9 that I heard from.
What she had to offer about Gina’s death was a disappointment. Bouchey was well aware of Gina, but emphatic that neither Keith Raniere nor any among the NXIVM inner-circle could have possibly had anything to do with Gina’s death.
I’ve heard Barbara Bouchey’s story on Gina many times in person and by phone over the years. She gets more angry and adamant every time she retells it.
Barbara Bouchey is adamant that Keith Raniere never killed anyone.
Barbara claims she witnessed Keith, Kristin, Pam and Karen’s first reaction to the news of Gina’s death firsthand. She’s reenacted the scene for me and for Frank as well, down to the position in the house everyone took while expressing the most extreme display of grief and mourning Bouchey said she has ever witnessed.
Such was Keith’s shock and bereavement that Barbara eschews any notion that Keith, or any of his minions, could have possibly had any hand in or foreknowledge of Gina’s “suicide” until that moment the news dropped on Keith’s household while Bouchey just happened to be present.
Kristin Keeffe was stricken with the news at the top of the stairs, Barbara recalled, and descended wailing, joining in Keith’s chorus that Gina had left them too soon and remained distant from all for too long for any to save her.
Gina was one of Keith’s proud “Independent Girl” achievements to that point. She’d dropped out of high school to be tutored by him and gone on to complete college, go on a Mormon mission, become a Buddhist scholar and traveled to India and the Far East in the entourage of the Karmapa — the highest holy seat in the Tibetan Buddhist Kadjupa lineage.
“Maybe we didn’t do enough,” Barbara recalled Kristin lamenting while Keith pontificated about Gina’s alleged issues he claimed to have once cured her of.
They all insisted to Barbara that Gina had been so far out of contact with them all for so many years, that even Keith could not rescue her.
This, however, was a lie. A drama being played out for Bouchey and, possibly, Karen Unterreiner’s benefit.
[Ed. Note: One possible problem with Barbara’s story is that, as I recall her telling it, this show of surprise at Gina’s death occurred some weeks after Gina died – which would have been after Gina’s friend had seen Keith and the others to invite them to the funeral services. In other words, the surprise they showed Barbara may not have been genuine. It would not be the first or last time Keith deceived Barbara.]  
I knew firsthand Gina was in contact with at least Kristin Keeffe, if not Keith himself, within months prior to her death. I met Gina over in India and heard her talking with and about Kristin Keeffe and Keith Raniere while there.
That was in the Spring of 2002, “months” not “years” before Gina’s death. I imagine Gina would have been in contact with her very close friend, Kristin Keeffe when she returned to Clifton Park in the Summer of 2002 (why not?).
In fact, there was one stand out conversation Gina had with Kristin Keeffe from India that seemed to trouble Gina deeply. We were on a layover in Bangkok en route to Hong Kong for just one night. Gina didn’t even want to leave our hotel room. She was upset, crying, but didn’t want to talk it out with me.
She mentioned she was trying to help Kristin Keeffe. Help Keith help Kristin escape from “her madness.” Gina also said that Keith Raniere is “sadistic” that night in Bangkok.
I wouldn’t see Gina alive again within a week of that discussion. I flew back home to LA. Gina was booked on the same flight but there was some glitch in her ticket that caused her flight out of in India to be delayed. She was unusually upset about that when I hugged her goodbye at the airport, but she made it back to Clifton Park, NY in one piece.
She inexplicably didn’t return my emails and phone calls much thereafter.
Last I knew, before her death, Gina was living with our Aunt Mary in Clifton Park, NY — just a couple of blocks from Raniere, Keeffe, and the NXIVM compound — editing video we’d shot in India for a documentary on the Karmapa.
I also know Gina was in contact with Kristin Keeffe after India — within weeks, at least, before Gina’s death — simply because there’s proof.
Gina scrawled a phone number for “Kristin Keeffe” on a scrap piece of paper in her journal. The timing is well established by dates in the journal and by the fact that I wrote notes previously — my travel itinerary on the day I left India — on the same scrap of paper.
And, by the fact that Gina wrote dates including “Sept. 11, 2002” [one month and a day before she died] in the same pen and ink she recorded Kristin Keeffe’s number. Those notes reminded Gina to get a “first morning’s urine sample.”
Again, I don’t know if Kristin Keeffe is covering up for something.  I’m hoping for her, begging for her to tell the whole truth.
Why did Gina need a urine sample?
Was Keith prompting her with some fantasy delusion that she was carrying his sacred seed?
Was she pregnant?
Did she abort, if so?  [Ed. Note: Gina’s autopsy showed she was not pregnant at the time of her death.]
Who put her on the NXIVM diet that she was on when she died?
Why did she cut her hair and bleach it blond?
Who composed Gina’s “NXIVM chart,” dated August 2002 [just two months before she died] that adorns Gina’s Dream Journal?
The handwriting should be analyzed.
Who is “The Rat”?  Is it Kristin?
Kristin, if you know something, please come forward and tell the truth.  Whatever you hold back can only endanger you and Gaelen further.
[Ed. Note: Kristin Keeffe told me on the record that she believes Keith Raniere used various nefarious hypnotic techniques to encourage Gina Hutchinson to commit suicide and had planned to get her to commit suicide for years.  She does not believe he murdered her directly or hired or told any of his minions to murder her.  Keeffe said she had no hand in the death or gaslighting of Gina and was deeply grieved and hurt by her death which came as a complete surprise to her.]

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  • I didn’t know before reading Frank’s editorial comments here that Kristin Keeffe has been as forthcoming as she apparently has regarding Gina’s death.

    That portion of Kristin’s interview concerning Gina has not yet “aired.” Kristin’s brave revelation that Keith was deliberately “grooming” Gina to commit suicide for years, breaking her down mentally and using hypnosis to do so, is completely consistent with Gina’s journal and the observations of other witnesses.

    I am very grateful to Kristin for bravely bringing that information to light in, hopefully, the next installment of the ID documentary series and other venues.

    I don’t know that it rules out “murder” — as Frank and other evidence appears to indicate may have been the case — but it shows that death, destruction was most definitely Keith Raniere’s intent for Gina and, I believe, ultimately all his followers.

    I don’t believe Gina was aware of this — that she was being mind-conditioned under hypnosis and experimented on for decades — that she was marked for destruction — until it was “too late” if ever. I hope this truth is made known to other potential victims (or perpetrators) who may have been implanted with similar “emotional triggers,” as Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman refer to them — and that they come to understand this was done not for their benefit and empowerment but to destroy, control, manipulate and take advantage of them, society and all they love and cherish.

    PLEASE seek help if you may have been exposed to this destructive mind conditioning with or without your conscious knowledge.

    • Heidi, if I were you, I would punch Kristen Keeffe right in her face for not helping Gina earlier. Quit lying to yourself and thanking Keeffe for her bravery; she’s only out to save her own ass. You both have something in common. You both stood by and watched this monster destroy people. You had first dibs on taking Raniere down and chose not to. You chalk it up to naivete. Kristin Keeffe probably did it for love. Nice picture of yourself by the way – was that for your 1985 glamour shot?

      • Heidi thanking Kristin Keeffe and wanting to punch her are not mutually exclusive.

        Thank you to Heidi for your continued bravery in helping to bring out the facts surrounding Raniere.

        Thank you to Kristin Keeffe for what you have done and for what you will continue to do.

  • Heidi,

    I am sorry for you and your family’s loss of your sister Gina.

    I was shocked in the ID Discovery show when Frank had hired a gun expert and a person the same size as your sister and the woman could not reach the trigger.

    It also sounds like the police did not do a complete investigation of the area due to the situation looking like a suicide.

    As with so many of us who have faced abuse from Keith Raniere and his band of criminals, the only lasting peace any of us will have, if one believes in a higher power that Raniere and whoever was involved in Gina’s death (if it wasn’t murder, then it was possibly assisted suicide through manipulation), is that all of them will have to answer to this higher power.

    Unless at least one person involved grows a conscience and can no longer live with themselves with what they did, or if some evidence gets uncovered that the DOJ has not come across in their search to date, we might not know a lot of things.

    You know that Gina is at peace. I would think Gina wants you to find that peace within yourself and to live this life you have now.

    Ask yourself, what would you tell Gina if your roles were reversed? Write about it. Would you not want Gina to have some peace for herself, to have fun, to make a life and move forward? I believe based on what you have shared about her, she would want that for you.

    • Thank you for this, Be at Peace. We’re still hoping for an investigation — that witnesses such as “The Rat” will be compelled to come forward if not my their conscience than by prosecutors but without any action being taken so far to prosecute the more numerous and heinous crimes perpetrated by NXIVM members in the Northern District — in Albany, not only Manhattan — that may not happen nor will or can justice be fairly meted out even in the current NXIVM case. Nor, IMO, will society be protected from these criminals.

      While I do believe Gina would want me to be happy, at peace and perhaps not so concerned with finding out the truth if it meant sacrificing my own happiness, she also possessed a great compassion and sense of responsibility to her fellow man, especially her friends.

      Some of them may never truly be safe until the truth is fully uncovered and justice prevails.

  • This is the first time I’ve heard from Frank that Kristin admitted on record Keith was hypnotizing and gaslighting Gina, grooming her to commit suicide.

    THANK YOU for sharing that TRUTH, Kristin. It’s something I learned from reading Gina’s journal from the time period this was happening and, in retrospect, it fits and explains what was happening with Gina at the time. She was “disintegrating” and being “broken down” by Keith over years, sadly.

    I just don’t understand why no NXIAN’s, especially not The Rat, are forthcoming about even seeing her in the last few weeks of her life when it’s evident she was involved again with Keith, was following the DOS slave diet and practices, purchased an intensive or EM and WAS definitely in contact with Kristin Keeffe and, some say, Keith himself within days prior to her death?!

  • Thanks for the insights, and I do not know how you keep it so polite. There are people still hanging around trying to protect themselves from the potential consequences of telling their pieces of the truth about your sister’s treatment, by themselves and Raniere. Many of these “voices” represent their own fears and their embrace of long, long group insanity. This loss of values still permeates most of their outputs, attitudes and the posturing, posing. It’s like skunk cabbage at the edges of a brook. Ooh ooh, that smell!

    What is said by many of them reflects that there has been no genuine, impactful separation made, as of yet, from that insanity, now compounded more and more by fears of saying too much or of revealing their own contributions to doing harm.

    Let’s just say this. It doesn’t matter what words are being used to hedge and to conceal potentially incriminating details of these protracted involvements with Raniere, ESP, Nxivm or DOS.

    One can hear the psychological and “mental mindsets” behind and beyond their words. And one can see and hear when authentically, someone has broken those bonds. You can just feel, you can interpret and also analyze what is and what is NOT being said, and HOW what is said is couched in that old, hypnotic suffusion, wherein one surrenders one’s own ability to think for oneself, wherein one has handed over one’s own conscience and the willingness to face head-on the distinctions and the inner ability to discriminate, between right and wrong actions, behaviors.

    So the tone of the group madness and the looks coming from those “possessed” eyes is not hidden successfully. I am aware of what I sense, just as you are, Heidi.

    Yet you maintain, somehow and for so damn long, such patience, asking people involved to come clean about your sister, about what they contributed to her death, about what they know. What I know is that I do not want to sink into feelings of wanting vengeance. It’s crucial not to devolve into that same dark vibe, in the name of wanting truth or justice.

    But Heidi, it is not easy. There are days, even several times, per day or night, when I feel that I have got to keep reminding myself to be careful to watch over the contents of my thoughts, desires or urges to indulge in emotions of anger or vengefulness. That is not going to help anything, to become like the very ones who have caused so much pain and harm.

    All the time needing to wash the windows of consciousness, not to be contributing to darkness, hardness or cruelty. Remembering, over and over again to keep the dedication to truth, to keep loving love and kindness, to try to discipline my own sense of outrage, not to allow myself to become a useless wild woman. It is and has been a lifetime struggle and STILL, I fail and keep having to start over again, washing off my own small boat. It gets so darn dirty. Shee-it. No giving up, cannot, will not surrender to self-indulgence or to frustration.

    I am with you, Heidi. Not worth much, even after all of these years alive, what with the anger that I have to keep watching inside the self. Yet what is, is. The work might never end, to make sure that truth, love, freedom are the values I need to keep learning, remembering. Death, be not proud. Life, remember to be humble, receptive and not to pretend. There can be no editing of the self to to the self.

    love to you and your family.

    • I really hope we meet someday, Shivani. You’re an inspiration for all aspiring wise women. Frank Report is most lucky to have you.

  • In addition to ending Ranierre’s reign, I was hoping the trial and plea deals would flush out information in regards to Gina’s and Kristin’s deaths. With sentencing right around the corner, wouldn’t NOW be the time to use this as leverage to get information from Nancy and Lauren? And wouldn’t NOW be the time for Nancy and Lauren to leverage their information and get a better sentence? It seems like both sides have chips that are being wasted.

    • “wouldn’t NOW be the time for Nancy and Lauren to leverage their information and get a better sentence? It seems like both sides have chips that are being wasted.”

      Perhaps that information would point to their own culpability in the disappearance or deaths of the “Lost Women of NXIVM.”
      Nancy and Lauren would be willing to throw Raniere under the bus but not reveal any information that would point back to their own criminal behavior.

      • Let’s assume you are correct. This is an opportunity for a break in the cases. As everyone can see, these cases are not going to stay cold forever. We can only imagine the people Frank has already been talking to, and what information he’s gathering.
        Wouldn’t it make sense to offer immunity for information that leads to an arrest? And if we get a murder charge out of one or two people squawking, would it be worth rewarding them with no prison time when their racketeering sentencing day comes?

        Iron’s hot.

Frank Parlato Investigates

Frank Parlato Investigates

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, many others in all five continents.

His work helping 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 featured prominently on HBO’s documentary “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.”

Parlato will be featured in an upcoming episode of American Greed.

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