Gina Hutchinson was 33 years old when her body was found in a rural area in Woodstock, New York, in October 2002. Beside her was a 20 gauge pump-action shotgun tucked under her jacket with the nozzle at the side of her head inside her hoodie.
She was wearing all black. A single shotgun shell was found. Police and autopsy reports concluded Gina killed herself by sticking the barrel of the shotgun inside her mouth and shooting upwards. She was instantly killed.
If it were a suspicious death, the police and the coroner might have looked for every pellet. A Winchester 20 gauge shotgun shell has 18 pellets inside the shell. The autopsy report says they found “numerous” pellets in Gina’s brain and the scarf she wore; some were lodged in her hood.
They did not account for all 18. They did not search the ground around her body to find all the pellets. This would have helped prove that she actually died at the place where her body was found. If some of the pellets went beyond her hood, then some of them should have been recovered on the ground around her.
No effort was made to recover pellets outside the body. If she was murdered, not finding every pellet in or near her body might have raised a question as to where she died.
There is no record they looked for footprints either to determine if anyone else was at the scene. It might have indicated if the body was moved or if she was shot or carried to the location.
When a gun goes off, a cloud of fine particles covers the hands of the shooter – leaving antimony on the hands. Forensic labs examine skin swabs and clothing with an electron microscope to look for gunpowder particles. If Gina pulled the trigger, a test would have shown it. That test was not done.
Dr. Walter Dobushak – who did the autopsy – in Ulster County – did not test her hands and fingers to determine if Gina pulled the trigger.
It is rare for women to use guns to commit suicide. When they do, it is usually because they are longtime gun owners. It is rare for a non-gun-owning woman to buy a gun and use it for suicide like Gina allegedly did.
Her sister says Gina never owned a gun. She was a pacifist, not a hunter.
Gina was one of the subjects of the Investigation Discovery documentary the Lost Women of NXIVM.
According to Heidi, Gina began an intimate relationship with Raniere when she was around 15. Raniere was 23 at the time.
Heidi Hutchinson said [read her account here] “He had sex with her, became her mentor, had her quit school to be tutored by him, and claimed she was born to be his ‘consort’ and achieve enlightenment as a Buddhist goddess through him.”
Was She Encouraged to Suicide?
Heidi wrote that Gina created an “Exploration of Meaning” chart in August 2002, two months before she died.
“I believe some of her writings were done in a quasi-hypnotic, twilight state,” Heidi said, “NXIVM performed ‘abuse regression’ hypnotherapy on Gina and others who were deliberately put into a dissociative state where they became more suggestible.”
One source close to Raniere, who knew Gina, said she observed Raniere discussing with Gina various methods people use to commit suicide. Sometimes, he would send her images of suicide for her to comment on. He took her to movies with scenes or themes of suicide.
He would sometimes pose the question – “Is suicide always wrong? When could it be the right thing to do?”
According to Heidi, Raniere gave Gina a computer when she worked at Consumers’ Buyline. Gina told her sister that the computer had images of suicide on it when she got it from him.
Kristen Snyder vanished in 2003 while attending a Nxivm/ESP intensive. About four months after Gina’s body was found, another woman disappeared. Her body was never found, Her death was also ruled a suicide.
Kristin Snyder disappeared shortly after she told students in a NXIVM class that she was pregnant with Raniere’s child. She was ejected from class and never seen again.
The Rat Was Ahead of Her Time
“The Rat” is an anonymous person who made a comment on John Tighe’s Saratoga In Decline blog on October 24, 2010.
The Rat said of Gina and Kristin Snyder: “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 [Gina] and ester’s friend in AK [Kristen] . 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.”
Was a Suicidal Goddess Keith Said
Heidi tells the story of how Keith persuaded Gina that she was a Buddhist goddess reincarnated to be his consort. It may not be a coincidence that her body was found on the grounds of a Buddhist monastery, with a Buddha medallion in her pocket.
The myth of this goddess was that she would attain nirvana and help others after she died. She would have to shed her body first in order to attain true godhood.
Gina Had a Boyfriend
Apparently, Gina dated another man. Reportedly when Raniere found out, he punished her. When she asked how she could atone – he reportedly said she must ascend to the level of the goddess by leaving her body.
Keith’s Reaction to Gina’s Death
It is reported by three separate witnesses who said they were the ones who first told him at different times about Gina’s death,
Each one who told him said that when they told Keith about Gina’s death, he acted genuinely surprised and grief-stricken. One of them said, he had a tear in his eye.
He said to another one of them, if only he had been more in Gina’s life, he might have saved her.
He said to all of them he had not seen Gina in years.
Each time he heard the news of her death, he acted surprised and sad.
Maybe he was genuinely surprised – at least the first time he heard it.