Heidi: The Worst Crimes of Raniere/Nxivm Not Prosecuted or Reported

Gina Hutchinson was 14 when the course of her life brought her into the orbit of Keith Raniere.
Heidi Hutchinson

By Heidi Hutchinson

This is in response to NY Times’ Barry Meier: ‘I Hope to Never Hear About Nxivm Again.

First, Mr. Meier, not to presume you’re reading this but just in case, THANK YOU – for the work you did to take down Nxivm!  I’ve been a huge fan for years.

The most important matter Mr. Meier raises in his article comparing the two documentaries, “The Vow,” and “Seduced,” is that neither reported on the enabling or shielding of NXIVM criminal activities that went on for almost two decades – prior to the branding.

In fact, the most damning evidence in Keith Raniere’s trial – the evidence that ‘flipped’ the other defendants – were the graphic pics of a naked 15 yr. old Camila, taken in 2005.

That’s 10 years prior to the branding which is, btw, not illegal.

It does appear that both documentaries not only avoid the stark reality that the most heinous illegal activities – recruiting, grooming or conditioning, sex trafficking, blackmailing and torturing underage girls – happened long before “DOS” – but that these WERE repeatedly reported to Albany, New York State, and Federal authorities, starting in 1993 when a little girl reported that she was raped over 60 times when she was 12 years old by Keith Alan Raniere.

The police report young Rhiannon signed. She claimed she had “sexual intercourse with a man named Keith Raniere. “This occurred when I was approximately 12-13 years old and occurred either at Keith’s townhouse at 3 Flintlock Lanes, Clifton NY or his business located at Rome Plaza Clifton Park, NY.”
MK10ART’s sketch of Rhiannon, a 12-year-old with braces.

Rhiannon told police that Keith Alan Raniere had sexual intercourse with her some  60 times when she was 12-13 years old. Raniere was in his 30s at the time. Rhiannon also went on the record in the 2012 Albany Times Union expose.  I participated in that series, telling the story of my sister, Gina, who Raniere groomed and raped starting when she was 14.

Back in the 1990s, Raniere’s inner circle, his harem members – some of whom remained with the cult and survived – used deceit to lure Rhiannon and trick her mother, offering Raniere‘s “genius” mentorship, and a dog walking job.

The late Pamela Cafritz had a dog named Jack, a black and white Cocker Spaniel. Cafritz hired 12-year-old Rhiannon to walk Jack, which brought Rhiannon into the house where Pam and Keith lived – which, in turn, allowed Rhiannon to get comfortable with him.

This criminal pattern was repeated, refined and REPORTED by other victims and witnesses thereafter, yet, the only investigations ever undertaken by law enforcement were AGAINST NXIVM VICTIMS or whistleblowers, not the NXIVM criminal perpetrators.

There may be a number of reasons why to this day, in the documentaries, and within the justice system itself, NXIVM crimes and the perpetrators of those crimes continue to be shielded from exposure or prosecution.

However, there is the raw fact that NXIVM had/has “JUICE.” The kind of juice that flows from the veins of the Bronfman and Salinas clans strategically recruited by NXIVM – into the pockets of powerful politicos open to receive money.

NXIVM works closely with and relies on experts at ‘squeezing’ favors and twisting justice, aka corrupt, connected lawyers.

Indeed no one in the NDNY DOJ or the main DOJ in DC currently appears interested in undertaking an investigation into any of the crimes that occurred in the Albany area. Some were, perhaps not coincidentally, allegedly perpetrated by members of the elite 1st (crime) families of Mexico, who have been part of NXIVM since my sister was alive in 2001.

Most recently, Investigation Discovery, producers of “The Lost Women of NXIVM,” called for an FBI investigation while we were in production on its second episode, based on the investigations of the filmmakers — including Frank Parlato — into the untimely, suspicious deaths of four women, including my sister.

Frank Report has named many, if not all, of the VIPs who participated in NXIVM over the decades and who may have had a hand in covering up criminal activities that have not been prosecuted or exposed in other media.

In fact, most of these documentary narratives appear to have been deliberately shaped to avoid some nasty facts.

For instance, Camila was 15 when Keith raped her and NXIVM slave masters began grooming her to be sex trafficked at age 13.  This type of omission is of grave consequence to justice and the protection of society.

Do we know, btw, the status of ASUA Kevin Trowel’s rumored public corruption investigation, Frank?  I never heard back from him, myself.



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  • Heidi, this is yet another great piece of writing and intellect that you share here with others. Thank you for this. You knew Keith in his very early days which provide so much insight into where we are today. So wish, with some luck, that we will in the near future learn more about what happened to your dear sister. And, of course all the others whose lives were suddenly shortened and stunted because they had merely crossed paths with Keith. After all these years, to say it is troubling for you and your family is quite an understatement. Wishing you peace this holiday season.

  • I doubt any more charges will be brought against Raniere – Judge Garaufis sentenced him heavily enough that it becomes “unnecessary” for TPTB to act further (read that as “not cost-effective). I hope all Raniere’s victims can take some comfort in his sentence even if their individual grievances were not covered. But I do hope at least some of those who used their official positions of power to aid and abet Raniere and NXIVM – at least SOME will eventually pay for the damage they helped cause. From our perspective, it may not look like any action is being taken; I’m hoping that is just a case of “the wheels of justice turn slowly…”

    • Me too, L.

      I’m fairly certain the gaping lapse of justice in the NDNY will not go (apparently) unnoticed much longer — not all those dropped jaws can be shut or silenced — but, yes, with Raniere’s fate sealed the truth is more apt to be buried with him and NXIVM ne’er heard of again as Meier, many of us might wish.

      Meier, however, appears only somewhat aware of just how much posthumous haunting can ensue with money like Clare and Sara Bronfman (and Emiliano Salinas — but, at least Salinas supposedly renounced Raniere as his lord and savior where Clare and Sara and Basit’s Igtet armed with ISIS minion assassins who killed his BFF assistant) — floating around.

      So, yeah, let’s get those slow wheels of justice cranking shall we?! I see (more) dead people. Call me batshit crrrrraaaazzzyyy!

  • He’s in prison for over 100 years, surrounded by people who will never fall for his gift.

    I understand the need for the truth to get out about his other crimes, but they’re unprovable. He’s paying for them, no need to worry about that.

  • Thanks, Heidi. There has been so much that has not been formally investigated about Raniere’s activities, that the term “tip of the iceberg” really is appropriate. Much more justice could and should be done.

    • You’re welcome, Paul. Appreciate your contributions and professional perspective, usually. I’m as concerned about the endangerment to society — especially me and my son in particular — as justice left unserved.

      Mr. Meier makes mention that former branding Dr. Danielle Roberts recently contacted him insisting he promptly condemn DOJ prosecutors for allegedly tampering with evidence in Keith’s case —though Roberts refused to return his calls before he published his October 2017 NYT expose.

      Roberts made a cameo appearance in my life in the Summer of 2017, before I even knew who she was or her role in the branding. (I knew about the branding but rarely went online those days due to tech stalking, let alone anywhere near FR.)

      I think I understand why Mr. Meier included this seemingly trivial note in his brief review. Why he referred her on to a former colleague. (I wonder if it was someone he likes or not so much.)

      These NXIANS are bold, unrelenting, desperate and some are criminally insane. Failure to duly charge any and all of them involved in any criminal activity they participated in is an affront to justice and potentially puts innocent lives in danger.

      With or without Raniere around, these vindictive perpetrators are, obviously, unbowed by any prospect of punishment and believe they can and will continue to get away with, maybe even be rewarded for, crimes and activities in support of the cult and its teachings.

      Your thoughts?

  • Speaking of the Cafritz family, Pamela was not the only Cafritz to get involved with a dangerous sex cult.
    Charlene Cafritz, a woman who married into a branch of the Washington DC Cafritz family, became friends with everyone’s favorite cult guru Charles Manson.

    The Tate- Lo Bianca Research blog.

    Researched by Katie and Beauders

    Charlene Marie Lawley (maiden name) married Carter Detre Cafritz on May 27, 1966.
    Carter’s parents were Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz, a prominent power couple, both politically and socially, in Washington, DC.

    In his book “The Family”, Ed Sanders mentions Manson meeting a young lady named Charlene Cafritz, in the summer of 1968 at Dennis Wilson’s beach home. Charlene met Wilson through Cass Elliot and became one of Wilson’s girlfriends.

    In December of 1968, Manson and 3 girls drove to an exclusive dude ranch near Reno, Nevada, where they spent 2 weeks as Charlene‘s guests.

    At the time of Charlie’s visit to Reno, Charlene was getting her divorce finalized. According to Sanders, her settlement figure was around $2,000,000. However, I’ve read that it was a cash settlement of $130,000 plus $20,000 a year, some antiques and 4 thoroughbred racehorses. Carter retained custody of their baby.

    Evidently, Charlie’s “double-talk voodoo” worked on Charlene too. Manson supposedly told Charlene to buy him a blue Fleetwood Cadillac. She screwed up and bought a fire-engine red Cadillac and he told her to take it back. Manson was instrumental in squandering any money she had.

    Charlene is reported to have taken lots of “home movies” of Manson & the girls in Reno, which, if they exist, seem to have vanished. Charlene reportedly knew Sharon Tate and Terry Melcher, and rumor has it that she attended Sharon’s funeral.

    The police learned of Cafritz during the TLB murder investigation, from Gregg Jakobson. They had a hard time finding her but eventually found her at St. Elizabeth mental hospital in Washington, DC. She was a heroin addict and was arrested on December 19, 1969 for trying to sell 14 capsules of heroin to an undercover police officer. On April 14, 1970, she was indicted for the offense.

    On August 11, 1970, she telephoned Spahn’s Ranch… probably talked to Gypsy, and told her she was going to give them some money for their defense. On September 4, 1970, Charlene supposedly died from a suspected overdose of Nembutal. She is reported to be buried in Mt. Olive Cemetery in Washington, DC.

    Some think she faked her death… some think she went into hiding. Could it be that the Cafritz family, embarrassed by her behavior, did a massive cover-up? I could find no photos of Charlene Cafritz anywhere.

    Her niece, Julia Cafritz, was a member of the somewhat successful noise band Pussy Galore… she then started the band Free Kitten. She later got a degree in teaching.

    Gwendolyn Cafritz (Charlene’s mother-in-law) was beaten and robbed at gunpoint of thousands of dollars in jewelry & cash, twice during home invasions. She dropped out of society life in the 70s, claiming poor health. But… was she connecting the robberies to Charlene’s friendship with the Manson Family?


    • Interesting, Shadow. Clare also had a cult groupie auntie, didn’t she?

      Perhaps you should consider, however, that Gurus and Blue beards target heiresses not, necessarily, and not always, vice-versa.

      As L informed us, Keith didn’t fall far from the tree in at least one of those categories where James Raniere was concerned. And FR reported some on James’ marriage to a Norwegian, Masonic heiress.

      Historians might also note that Keith’s dad was a Madison Ave. exec who managed the Bronfman/Seagrams account.

  • Frank… Please work to expose every single public official who ignored the reporting of grooming, sex trafficing, and rape dating back to the early 90s. These people – police officers, govermnement lawyers, politicians, etc. – need to be exposed to the general public.

  • Thanks for this timely piece, Heidi, with so much focus on KR’s sentence as the locus of all that is wrong with the justice system, in general terms – it’s possible to lose sight of the full horror of Keith’s criminal behaviour. Rest in peace Gina Hutchinson and Kristin Snyder.

    • Thank you, Nancy. I’m enjoying your insights on here as well. Hope you’re well. What a hella year for you, too.

    • Thanks, Heidi, we are all suffering in one way or another. In a way though, this has been a good year in that Keith Alan Raniere has finally, finally, gotten what he so richly deserves. Hopefully,that brings some solace to those whose loved ones have died or were irrevocably damaged physically, emotionally or financially.

      The man preached humanitarianism, but as far as I know, never so much as handed out one blanket in his sorry, miserable life. I, on the other hand, as a non-enlightened, non-NXIAN, throw a small amount of money each month to Meals on Wheels. By skipping Starbucks, I don’t even feel it.

      Had Keith stayed in the Albany area, the mayhem would have continued unchecked. Just my opinion.

  • “Keith Raniere had an ability and the desire to get his followers to turn against their own families. Heidi Hutchinson shares this interesting story about her sister and brother. Readers know her sister, Gina Hutchinson, was a victim of Raniere’s sexual advances when she was around 14 years old. She remained with Raniere for much of her life – and was found dead from gunshot wounds in a wooded area in Woodstock NY in October 2002. She was 33. Her death was ruled a suicide but there are some, including her sister, who feel that Keith Raniere had a hand in her death. Whether it was murder or working to assist in her suicide is unknown at this time. Heidi takes us back to the 1980s and Clifton Park before Raniere founded Nxivm and became the Vanguard.”


    “The Rat said [and this is the Rat’s spelling and punctuation] exactly as it appeared:

    by the time they read this, I will have gone back to mexico with edgar. i served as their pawn for too long (like jim). i see my responsibiy in the deaths of both kristen’s friend in the monistary and ester’s friend in AK. He did not kill, I did for him. I put the idea in thier heads. It was suicide, so it could not be linked to me and keith. But we still encouraged it to happen.

    At least those who died, had thier lives ended. What will come out in the future will be the young girls (who are now women) who were taken advantage of (how old was Angel, Megan, Michelle, and Rosie). I think if someone looks into Kristen’s friend (who was under age) and those other teenagers that worked for CBI they will see that he is a molester. That is what bothers me above all. Murder is one thing, thier lives are over. When you take advantage of girls who work for you and play video games in an emtpy warehouse after hours (Keith knows what I am talking about) that is sick.

    If this isn’t enough, he did it again with the —- girls. Thier parents trusted you (Pam) with thier care and you (Keith) molested them. What is worse is what you did to their brother. You made him tape tape it all. Not just what happened with the girls, but also what happen with your girlfriends. No young boy should be exposed to that.

    I am praying for the day that one of these victims comes forward…as they are innocent. I am guilty and can’t. Those in the inner circle will know who wrote this because I will be gone by the time they read it. I thought what I was supporting was humanity…I recently realized it was just the preversion of a sick man.”


    “Cafritz encouraged the girl’s visits to the townhouse she and Raniere shared with other women. And Raniere showered the girl with attention. She said he urged her to talk about her life. He gave her a necklace — a heart with a stone in it….

    [Mr. Raniere] told her she hugged like a child, her arms wrapped around him but her hips pushed away.

    He taught her to hug the way adults do, pelvis-to-pelvis.

    He took her virginity.

    The girl liked being able to hang out with Raniere and the women around him. She thought sex was just part of fitting in.

    “They told me I was smart and took an interest in me; they let me spend every afternoon at their house,” she said. “… I was perfect picking… To have someone that mature and that well thought of to be interested in me, it was flattering. I was young, inexperienced, overwhelmed, out of my league.”…”


    • Thank you for reinforcing these facts with the prior FR links. Frank has covered a lot of this that other media seems to cringe from. It’s a different story in Mexico where the crimes perpetrated by the NXIVM Salinas clan and its attorneys are being overlooked here in the US but are rather well reported there.

      Even France exiled Sara Bronfman — who was not charged by the DOJ here. And I believe she continues to finance NXIVM criminal activity perpetrated by hired enablers.

      Apart from Mr. Meir, so far, FR is about the only US media covering this angle.

  • Heidi-

    I believe you are acting in a moral and benevolent by reminding everyone who and what Keith Raniere is…A monster!

    It’s important for people to understand that Keith Raniere’s true crimes far EXCEED the crimes he was prosecuted for.

    He is a monster and any of his current adherents are guilty of promoting/defending an evil man and his practices.

    After following this story for over 2 years, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind he played a hand in Gina’s death. Gina would still be alive if it were not for that fucking evil bastard. The same way a family member of mine, who died in an ambiguous death, would still be alive. Anyone who feels pity for Keith Raniere is a fool. F*ck Keith Raniere.

    I hope you do find out the whole truth and it affords some amount of solace.

    I try to remember the good things about the person I loved and keep them close to my heart. I try too, but not always successfully, remember that they would want me to be happy and carry on. The best we can do is to take things one day at a time.

    Take care!

    • Appreciate that, NiceGuy. I’d really like to hear more about your story. Seems you, too, know that there are ways to “break” someone down and pry them from their will to live. No matter who pulled the trigger, or rowed the boat in Kris Snyder’s case, we do have evidence and witnesses including The Rat’s admission that Keith and accomplices “suicided” Gina and others. AND they used those same methods used on Gina and Kris Snyder to psychologically break down their victims over years. I’m sure your suspicions are, likewise, well-founded. It’s difficult when there’s such a stigma to “suicide” and it’s always been an easy way to cover a murder. NXIVM counted suicide grooming in addition to sex abuse grooming among its skills.

      • It’s awful and gut wrenching. There are no actual words that can accurately describe the feelings.

        I wish you the best

  • Yep, very good points. Does make me wonder if there _is_ a plan to off KR in prison with the hopes that it will hasten the sweeping under the rug of any focus placed on the parts of still-in-the-background enablers or otherwise wrongdoers. Seems to be so much distraction, deflection and diversion in almost all aspects of this case.

    • Did you see that message FR published in 2018 from Alejandro Betancourt to Emiliano Salinas warning that Allison Mack was “singing like a canary (tree) in jail?”

      I’m surprised MS13, or some other prison gang, hasn’t tried to suicide him yet — if he, too, has got anything to ‘sing’ about. Happens, I understand.
      And when you’re dealing with “criminal minds” such as one might encounter living among sex offenders, just a whiff of Raniere’s claims to fame might set someone off.

      Yes, Supermax is IMHO the only safe place for “Softy.”

  • Very well written, but I fear the prosecution of Mr. Rainere is likely concluded. Why? I just don’t think prosecutors will pursue these crimes since the target is already locked away for life. From their perspective, the case just doesn’t justify the effort or resources. These crimes are likely at the State level and the Feds wouldn’t be involved. State and local prosecutors are at their core politicians and likely won’t see a political benefit for them to pursue these crimes and doing so unsuccessfully would reap more political damage than success would bring political reward.

    Just seems to be the bottom line for them. Convictions would not add any jail time for Raniere and even then would have to be served AFTER any Federal sentence was served.

    • Perhaps. But the focus here is on those people that held positions of trust and that abused them to benefit NXIVM. Lawyers, law enforcement officials, reporters, a certain state senator. It took a lot of people and a lot of money to keep them out of jail. Those people are corrupt and complicit and they should be known to all. It took an in-depth NYT story to finally draw the attention of the FBI, perhaps that’s what it would take for another round of justice.

      That is a national focus at present. Stories about corrupt officials make news, if only there were some journalist with a national audience and the fortitude to dig into it.

      It might not be possible to charge Keith, but it could be possible to charge or reveal those who allowed it.

      • I agree, Cilantro. And, again, these attorneys and public officials not only shielded but directly abided and possibly perpetrated attacks on NXIVM whistleblowers. They KNOWINGLY endangered the lives of the citizens they are sworn to protect. I consider it State-sponsored terrorism.

        • I hope you find some justice and accountability. I agree, a normalized terror, but it must end.

          Great post, I’m sorry you have to keep re-telling. I hope the right person finally reads it.

    • Very true, Bob, but at least we should never forget what Keith has really done. The knowledge of this will be useful as certain people continue to hold that Raniere was overcharged and unfairly convicted and sentenced.

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