By Heidi Hutchinson
Thank you for the reminder in your story Albany Times Union Was Instrumental in Demise of NXIVM; Took Path Opposite of Local Law Enforcement, that so many were dissuaded from ever joining NXIVM and, especially, that Daniella “escaped” as a result of the 2012 TU expose’ that I participated in on behalf of my deceased sister, in the hope that other victims would be spared a similar fate as she.
There have been so many close calls and catastrophic disappointments in that regard ever since those days — from Pam Cafritz’s and Barb Jeske’s torturous deaths, to near mass food poisonings, to John Tighe’s wrongful imprisonment following a food poisoning murder attempt, to Joe O’Hara’s rigged and equally wrongful sentencing, to unlawful surveillance, blackmailing, harassment, hackings, vindictive lawsuits, false criminal charges, further suicidings, psychotic breakdowns, sex trafficking, rapes, money launderings, ISIS (etc.) backed attempts at revolutions [in Libya with Sara Bronfman’s husband, Basit Igtet] … not to mention branding – that it’s difficult not to dwell on the notion that one’s original pure intentions [of being a whistleblower] may have (clearly) had the entirely opposite effect.
It begs the question: Why wasn’t I drunk (instead of making the phone call) on the day I called Jim Odato to give him the lead that Keith Raniere had a history of statutory rape, which included my late sister?
In hindsight and in view of the details of her ‘escape’ – and considering all who were involved – Daniella is, however, lucky she survived. In fact, I’d put Daniela, and also her sister, Camila, more in the “barely lived to testify” category than the ‘escapee’ one.
But, yes, so many countless others were likely spared by the fair and relentless reporting that Times Union publisher George Hearst and his newspaper undertook against these NXIVM fiends who were abetted by corrupt law enforcement and powerful political allies right in his own backyard.
Frank, please note that TU reporter Jennifer Gish also worked alongside Jim Odato – a gentleman and journalist I can’t begin to praise enough – and her other male colleagues at the TU you’ve named.
Editor’s note: It is duly noted here that Jennifer Gish shared a byline with James Odato on the landmark TU series, Secrets of NXIVM, and is credited along with Odato, Dennis Yusko, Brenden Lyons, Rob Gavin, and others at the TU whose work in writing and investigating NXIVM and Keith Raniere had a significant impact on the final result of Raniere being arrested and NXIVM being essentially destroyed.