Did Keith Raniere’s Father Die in April?

In my post Raniere’s Grandmother, Marion, Lived to Be Over 104 Years Old, and Was Married to Her First Cousin

I wrote that Keith Raniere;s father, James Raniere was alive and well. I may have been mistaken.

One of my readers sent this link to me from Frank E. Campbell – The Funeal Chapel:


James Joseph RANIERE

MAY 9, 1932 – APRIL 10, 2020

James Joseph RANIERE was born on May 9, 1932 and passed away on April 10, 2020 and is under the care of Frank E. Campbell – The Funeral Chapel.

This very well could be Keith Raniere’s father.  The age is about right. James would have been 88.

The first name is right. But I was unable to confirm anything else.  Perhaps someone else knows something. The Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel is in Manhattan where James was known to have lived.

But that’s not proof.

James Raniere with his wife Sydney Reynolds Raniere in 2016.

Is Keith’s father gone? A source who knew him some years back said that he had shown signs of senility. But did he die? If he did he died at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in NYC.  The obituary says little else.


While it sheds no light on whether Keith’s father is with us or not, here are two interesting comments from two women who knew Keith back in the days before he was the Vanguard:

First Heidi Hutchinson:

James Raniere — Keith’s old man — was always buzzing around the young girls and loot Keith & Co. collected.

For example: Gina Melita, my sister Gina’s friend, who was also molested by Keith as an adolescent, lost her virginity (to Keith) at the age of 13 in 1984 on a glamorous, rape trip to “the City” – NYC — in James’ home, left alone with Keith.

Melita recounted the story of meeting James Raniere in the 2012 Albany Times Union NXIVM Expose’ but has not come forward publicly since.

Gina Melita bravely told the Albany Times Union about her being raped by a 20 something year old Keith Raiere when she was about 15. Heidi now informs us that it happened at least once at Keith’s fathers house.

Other statutory rape victims have similar untold stories about James’ complicity in his son’s nefarious activities in the ’80s and 90s. Publicly, James has said Keith was a mere drifter — a lost genius soul roaming the streets of Clifton Park, NY battling cancer those years — when, in fact, Keith & Co. were operating a national pyramid scheme — Consumers Buyline —and luring girls as young as 12 to Keith’s lair.

Rhiannon also came forward in the 2012 TU series on NXIVM.

[Double. Inbred. Sicilian. Shoulda been quarantined at birth.]


And Nancy Durkin writes, waxing a little on James Raniere’s claim to have been “connected” to the Mafia.

Well, those of us with Sicilian blood are grieved to hear it – we were secretly hoping Keith Alan Raniere was switched at birth.

But the resemblance to James is there. He is, however, only 50% of KAR’s genetics. I rather doubt either genetics or his grandparents being first cousins had much to do with what Keith became. Psychopaths are inexplicably born into all kinds of families.

James later went on to marry a wealthy society woman. I’m sure he was horrified to have been named in a consent decree related to the collapse of Consumers Buyline, after which he might have understandably kept his distance from Keith and his business doings. I could be wrong, of course.

My guess is that KAR knows absolutely SQUAT about the Mafia, which was greatly diminished in New York City by the 1990s. This was thanks in part to the availability of RICO. Rudy Giuliani played a huge role in its implementation, which helped eliminate that impediment of “omerta” and allowed law enforcement to go after those who simply gave the orders and stayed at arm’s length from the actual bad acts. Interesting indeed that these very laws were employed the the feds to get KAR.

Some background, for those who might care: My parents grew up in extreme poverty in Hell’s Kitchen – hunger, walk-up cold water flats; the whole nine yards. I doubt James came from that background. In the 1940s, the choices for impoverished young Italian men were: 1) Get a trade; 2) Go into the clergy; or 3) Join the Mafia. Most chose one of the first two.

In those days, at that time, it was a harsh way to grow up, and people struggled like hell to rise above it. It was by no means all about Italians: People on my our Irish side were involved in the Westies, and my parents’ (any everyone else in the neighborhood’s) tax guy was Jimmy Coonan’s father. Most people were hard working and stayed on the right side of the law, but there is always an unfair stigma that follows them.

Keith Raniere during his Consumers’ Buyline days.


By Frank 

Last but not least, whether Keith’s dad is alive or has passed away, it is not quite fair to blame the sins of the son on his father. Maybe James might have been a better father. He left Keith’s mother when the boy was about eight, though he continued to financially support the child and visited him.  My understanding is that James made a very good living and consequently Keith was well provided for, of not spoiled.

James was described as a excellent salesman, usually very well dressed and giving an air of wealth and exuding in a clear manner that he was an Italian man of substance and respect. He adopted the manner of the well dressed Mafiosi, using hints rather than outright bluster to give the impression he was “connected”.

James became estranged from his son, or rather spent little time with him, after Keith became the Vanguard. James did work with his boy during the Consumers’ Buyline period of the early 1990s.  They seemed to have had some kind of falling out over money. In fact there was a lawsuit but it seems to have never gone to trial.

We will have more to write about James. For now, if anybody knows if the James Joseph Raniere, whose very scant obituary is found online, is the father of Keith, please let us know.





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Frank Parlato


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  • Now I’m getting stock option picks! LOL

    Only problem is options trading is only for compulsive gamblers or absolute morons.

  • While not proof, the combination of location, age, a rare name, and no mention of survivors are all indications it was the man who spawned the evil son. LOL

    It is fair to partially blame the sins of the son on the father, when the father essentially abandoned, spoiled, and falsely built him up. LOL

      • Shush!!!! Shush!!!! Don’t point out the “obvious”.

        Scott is using a very special form/technique of reverse psychology; only known to a handful of people in the world. The technique was first developed by the PI Columbo and later Magnum PI.

  • Based on some research, it really does appear to be him, given past addresses. How odd there is no mention of surviving family, including his wife, if they were still married at the time.

  • Dame Sydney Reynolds, emblazoned with the jewelry of Saint John of the Cross, Jerusalem, is (or was) a Freemason. How f*cking “upwardly mobile.”

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


Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com