MK10ART created another excellent painting, this time of Elaine Smiloff, the woman who supposedly drove Kristin Snyder away from her final ESP intensive and to her home in Anchorage.
Kristin was never seen again. Elaine was the last known person to see Kristin alive.
A kayak was stolen from Miller’s Landing and Kristin’s Toyota Tacoma pickup truck was found nearby but no sign of Kristin or the kayak.
Kristin had been ejected from ESP [Nxivm] classes because she was claiming to be pregnant with Keith Raniere’s child.
I spoke to Elaine Smiloff on numerous occasions. Then she stopped talking to me. I don’t know if she had a hand in the disappearance of Kristin Snyder.
I do know she told me, when she called me first, in August 2017, that she had to get it off her chest and tell somebody – a secret she had harbored for some 15 years – that Kristin had been claiming to be pregnant with Keith Raniere’s child.
It was Elaine who was the very first person to break the wall of silence on what Kristin was claiming.
Others knew it, but nobody told it – until Elaine confessed that to me.
To my mind, Elaine’s confession to me was the single most significant new discovery in 17 years since Kristin disappeared.
Kristin Snyder was claiming she was pregnant. Nobody told that to the Snyder family. Nobody told that to the police. Nobody put that in print.
Nobody reported that until I did in 2017.
Imagine not telling that to the family or police.
Heidi Clifford said she withheld this vital piece of information from police because she was afraid it would point suspicion at her.
Besides, she said, at the time she did not think it was true.
In fairness to Heidi, Kristin was claiming a lot of crazy things, like she had caused the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
Ed Kinum was counseling Kristin about not being “at cause” for a lot of things she was purportedly blaming herself for causing.
Ed came over to Kristin and Heidi’s house with Esther Chiappone Carlson after an intensive and sat in their outdoor hot tub trying to explain that Kristin was not at cause for various events in the world.
He may have also told her she was not at cause for being pregnant for she was not – he said – pregnant.
Esther said Kristin was just lying, trying to get attention.
They played a great “good cop, bad cop,” duo.
The real question is – did Ed and his gal pal, Esther – try to gaslight and possibly drug Kristin Snyder – knowing that it may have been true that Kristin could have been pregnant?
Kristin, we have proven through credit cards and eyewitnesses was in Albany in early January 2002 – within a month of her disappearance. So was Raniere.
We have been told by Kristin Keeffe that Kristin Snyder stormed out of a Keith Raniere forum at Nxivm headquarters. Something unheard of. Nobody walks out on Keith. Maybe that was the day he had sex with her.
So now let us return to Elaine Smiloff.
Initially, I thought she was fully innocent.
But her sudden cessation of communications with me – something she did after I actually went up to Alaska, after she promised to meet me, is not a sign of good faith. She could have told me before I bought a ticket and planned to meet her that she did not want to meet.
Just the opposite, she said she wanted to meet and tell me what she knew.
She may know something more than she is letting on by telephone and was fearful that in person she might just confess the whole truth.
One important thing to keep in mind: At the time Kristin Snyder disappeared, Elaine was facing a felony sex offense charge.
Evidently, she had some sexual contact with an underage girl or girls. Elaine admitted this to me. She was arrested a few months before Kristin Snyder disappeared. Elaine needed money to defend herself and she wanted to avoid prison.
Did Esther Chiappone and Keith and Nancy – who knew about the charges – offer to help her for something in return?
Soon after Kristin disappeared, Elaine was able to happily resolve her sex offense case with a good attorney down to a plea deal that spared her prison time.
She still had to register as a sex offender and up until this year, she was on the sex offender registry for Alaska. But she did not go to prison.
In between her arrest and the final disposition of her sex offense case, Elaine handled the picking up and purported dropping off of Kristin Snyder, who was never seen again.
Elaine supposedly picked up Kristin at the Westmark Hotel and took her to her home on Glen Kerry Rd in Anchorage.
At the time, Elaine lived with a much older husband. She later moved with him to the remote, sparsely populated Adack Island on the Bearing Sea.
She was harbormaster, did fishing for salmon and hunted seals and became one of the tiny city’s council members. The population of Adack is about 200 people.
If Kristin Snyder was an outdoors woman, Elaine was it in spades. Kristin had to learn it. And did it as a hobby.
Elaine could live off the land. She imbibed this from her earliest youth as an Aleutian. Her family ate whale blubber for generations and braved the Arctic temperatures as easily as you and I might a mild summer day.
As strong and fit as Kristin Snyder was at her peak, Elaine – who could lift and wrestle down 150-pound salmon then club them over the head and then with her knife gut them and filet them, could have subdued a rebellious Kristin in a minute if she so chose.
That may be why she was chosen to handle Kristin.
This is a woman who could get in a canoe or kayak with her spear and harpoon a live seal. Pull him to shore and gut him for seal blubber – in almost less time than it takes to tell.
Does Elaine Smiloff know anything?
She might know who was responsible for “disappearing” Kristin Snyder.
There are two things that are disturbing about Elaine’s story:
One: If her story is true, she dropped off a clearly unstable woman – alone – at her home and left her there – alone.
Heidi claims that Esther told her that Elaine was going to stay with Kristin until she, Heidi, got home.
Elaine didn’t stay, she says.
We do not know if Esther told the opposite to Elaine. Esther, who is a known liar, might have told Elaine not to stay [perhaps Esther had other visitors planned] and then told Heidi that Elaine was going to stay.
But then again, we do not even know if Elaine even took Kristin home. She may have brought her somewhere else. Maybe to the last place she was to draw breath.
It is not in dispute that Kristin was deeply disturbed.
Elaine told me she was convinced and haunted by it for years – that Kristin, in her unstable condition, could not have driven from Anchorage to Seward on the night of February 6, 2002 – a three-hour drive.
“She was in no condition to drive,” Elaine said.
So why was she left alone?
Or was she left alone?
Keith had a powerful motive to have her disappear – if she was pregnant – and anybody who knows about Keith Raniere who can doubt he would not be conscience-stricken to see someone die for his “beliefs or for theirs” is indeed as naive as say Clicky Nine or Jimmy Del Negro.
If Kristin was pregnant – or if Keith believed she was, and not just saying it but possibly pregnant because he did have unprotected sex with her [if he did] – Keith would have no qualms about making her disappear, if she refused to have an abortion.
We have already learned from Lauren Salzman that just a few months before Kristin disappeared that she, her mother, Keith and others conspired to force-feed and secretly drop drugs in the food of a disruptive student – and held her captive too.
Why wouldn’t they do that to Kristin?
The second thing that is disturbing about Elaine is that being the last known person to see Kristin Snyder alive, the police were naturally interested in interviewing her – but they did not interview her alone, according to Elaine.
Elaine, who was already indicted for sex abuse, and awaiting trial, was in no position to get into more trouble.
For some inexplicable reason, police agreed to interview Elaine, according to Elaine, with Esther Chiappone present.
With the dangerous and intimidating Esther in the interview room with police, Elaine claims she did not dare mention that Kristin was claiming she was pregnant.
The result was that Elaine, like Esther and Heidi Clifford, failed to give police the single most important piece of information that could have turned the case around from a hasty suicide investigation – without a body – to a possible conspiracy to commit murder.
Instead, everyone made it out that she was crazy. They “gaslighted” her even to the police so that they would rush to the conclusion that she committed suicide.
But they all withheld the vital information that she claimed she was pregnant with the leader of the group that arranged for her care on the day she disappeared.
It is mind-boggling that this crucial information was suppressed for 15 years.
For those who argue that Keith would have never allowed a suicide note that blamed his teachings, I offer this rebuttal:
Knowing how his tricky mind works – it could be argued as a brilliant decoy, he would have been proud of.
What better way to deflect from murder then creating a false suicide note blaming the murderer for causing suicide?
It is diabolically brilliant and in the tradition of Raniere’s style of risk-taking.
It may not be the case, of course, but it is just like Keith to throw something like that out there. And follow it up a year later with “Kristin faked her own death to escape her drug-running past. She is still alive and let’s hire investigators to find her”.
It is especially Raniere-like when you consider the possibility that he may have used drugs to create her chaotic condition which made it so easy to believe she did commit suicide.
Add to that, that nobody – including Elaine – dare mentioned that she was claiming she was pregnant.
They talk about the perfect murder and this might be it.
And they talk about how three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.
That may work against Keith in the end. If there were conspirators – and if she was murdered there has to be – one of them will crack, one of them will tell on the others.
That one may be Elaine Smiloff.
She may be wholly innocent of murder, or of helping push the suicide of a young woman who had done nobody any wrong, but I would be surprised if Elaine does not know more than she is telling.
I still wonder, why she revealed to me what she did, then invited me to come to Alaska – then, when I got there – completely disappeared?