Delve Deeper

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sometimes When You Follow a Guru...Things Like This Happen

I've always wanted to go to a Native American sweat lodge to cleanse myself and have a spiritual experience. But check out this story:

(CNN) -- The two people who died and the 19 others who fell ill at a central Arizona resort after spending time in a sauna-like "sweatbox" were attending a program by self-help expert James Arthur Ray, authorities said Saturday.

Nineteen others were treated for injuries sustained in the sweatbox, a dome-like structure covered with tarps and blankets. Hot rocks and water are used to create steam in the enclosed environment.
Waugh said investigators are looking into evidence that "may turn this into a criminal prosecution."
Fire and rescue officials received emergency calls Thursday night from the Angel Valley Resort near Sedona saying three people were not breathing and another was burned.
The victims were transported by air and land ambulances to medical facilities; two of the injured were pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the Verde Valley Medical Center, the sheriff's office said in a release.

Ray is the author of the best-selling book "Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want."
Ray, described on his Web site as a "personal success strategist," has appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" and on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," and is featured in the self-empowerment film "The Secret."
Neither Ray nor his representatives could be reached Saturday to comment.
Angel Valley Resort advertises itself as "a place to relax and heal ... where powerful earth energies are present and active." It was founded in April 2002 by Michael and Amayra Hamilton, both of whom are teachers and counselors there.
The resort is on 70 secluded valley acres 20 minutes from Sedona, surrounded by thousands of acres of national forest, according to the Web site. It has Internal Revenue Service nonprofit status as a religious organization, its Web site says.
"There are twenty marked vortexes and angel sites to experience connection with Earth and spirit, deep relaxation, and balancing," an online brochure says. "Angel Valley offers two labyrinths and an Angel Wheel for going inward, finding answers and getting insights."
No information about the sweat lodge could be found on the Web site Saturday morning, and numerous internal links were not functioning.
The use of sweat lodges for spiritual and physical cleansing is a part of several Native American tribes' cultures.
A traditional Native American sweat lodge is a small dome-like structure made up of willow branches carefully tied together and covered in canvas. Rocks are heated in a nearby fire pit and placed inside the lodge, and water is poured over them to create steam.
"We are curious to find out what happened there," Richard Moreno, a member of Pira Manso Pueblo tribe, told KPHO-TV. "I've been participating in the sweat lodge since the age of 3 and I've never recalled being sick from being in the sweat lodge."
Moreno told the station he has never been to a lodge that held more than 20 people.

James Arthur Ray has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM. His bio on the Coast site is as follows:
Known as a "practical mystic," James Ray grew up the son of a minister, immersed in traditional Christian religion. He later expanded his studies to include a multitude of other spiritual traditions and has been initiated into three shamanic orders from the Incan culture and the supernatural Huna tradition of ancient Hawaii.
James is one of the few spiritual teachers who has achieved top honors in the corporate world and has succeeded as a thriving entrepreneur. His background in behavioral sciences and entrepreneurship along with his spiritual quest give him an unique and powerful ability to address life issues from an integrated and comprehensive level.{source}

I don't know who was in this hut and how anyone could get burned. I don't think people get burned in sweat lodges. It'll be interesting to find out what happened. Check him out in action:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Horrorcore Rapper "Syko Sam" Murders 4 People... Blames Jesus

Twenty-year-old Horrorcore fan and "musician" Syko Sam (seen above in a MySpace graphic of his), real name Richard Samuel McCroskey III, says Jesus made him kill. Real original, kid.
The victims were Mark Niederbrock, 50, the beloved pastor at Walker's Presbyterian Church; his 16-year-old daughter, Emma Niederbrock; Melanie Wells, Emma's 18-year-old friend from West Virginia; and Niederbrock's estranged wife, Debra Kelley, 53, a professor at Longwood University. {source}
Victims Emma and Melanie are left and center in photo.

'Stinkiest rascal I've ever smelled'
Authorities have not specified when the Virginia killings occurred, but at 4 a.m. on Friday, September 18, tow-truck driver Elton Napier was called out to Poor House Road to help McCroskey, whose car was stuck.
Napier said McCroskey was wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt and "was really smelling bad, like real bad. I can't describe it."
McCroskey was driving Mark Niederbrock's Honda. Napier said two sheriff's deputies were at the scene and McCroskey was ticketed for driving without a license. At the time, authorities didn't know the pastor had been slain.
When McCroskey hopped into Napier's flatbed, the tow-truck driver said he started gagging from the odor and immediately rolled down the windows.
"I just held my head out the window so the wind would hit me in the face," he said. "That was the stinkiest rascal I've ever smelled."
Napier drove McCroskey about four miles to a convenience store. McCroskey told Napier he was visiting his girlfriend and her father lent him the car. McCroskey fetched a black bag from the Honda before they parted. Napier went inside to get a cup of coffee.
According to police, McCroskey eventually caught a cab to Richmond International Airport. By mid-afternoon that same day, police found the bodies at the home on First Avenue. McCroskey was arrested the next day at the airport, where he had spent the night. {cnn}

Above: his booking photo

Monday, October 5, 2009

Something Connecting the Zodiac Victim? + Review of MysteryQuest's Zodiac episode

Came across this interesting article in my inbox this morning:
Between 1966 and 1969, a serial murderer known as the Zodiac killer terrorized California. Despite intense law enforcement and media scrutiny, few clues to the killer's identity or motives have ever emerged.

Now, old police reports may shed new light on characteristics common to the victims.

Collected for nearly a decade at a unique online repository for information about the case,, the reports -- from Napa, Vallejo, and Solano County police and sheriff departments -- reveal that before they were murdered, sometimes within days or weeks, each of the Zodiac's four known or suspected female victims had broken off a relationship or rebuffed the advances of a male admirer in favor of another male partner, and each breakup involved public arguments or witnessed threats.

What's more, in the three murders involving male-female couples, the female victim was the "older woman" in either her former or current relationship.

Experts say the similarities suggest the killer may have known more about his victims than has previously been assumed, and may not have chosen them entirely at random.

"The similarities are very intriguing and worth taking a second look at," said Sheryl McCollum, founder and director of the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute at Bauder College in Atlanta. "Similarities between victims are often telling about the killer. I do not believe in coincidences -- much less four of them. Therefore, the victims all having had a breakup or male stalker becomes something that may need to be re-investigated."

Discovered during research for a story about the first public allegations in the Zodiac murders -- when, beginning in 1981, retired government librarian and true crime author Gareth S. Penn accused U.C. Berkeley public policy professor Michael H. O'Hare of the crimes in a series of articles and books -- the findings were presented at the 2009 Midwest Criminal Justice Association annual conference in Chicago and the 2009 Southern Criminal Justice Association annual conference in Charleston, South Carolina this September.

For more information and in-depth details, read the exclusive feature story at Weekly Scientist,

My review of MysteryQuest: Zodiac Killer
rating: 2.5/5 stars
See interactive page:

The conclusion seemed to rest mainly on an elderly woman listening to an audio clip of the Zodiac Killer and the voice of Gyke to compare them. She was the 911 operator who answered the call the Zodiac made after he commited a murder. She didn't seem to have any impression until she heard the last part of Gyke's phone conversation. Then she gets shaken up and says that it is him and she doesn't want to hear it again. My problem with this is that she doesn't seem sure but Voight keeps pushing her. I have some problems with this guy. Anyway, to me the voice didn't sound very similar. But I'm not voice recognition expert. Don't you think the Zodiac disguised his voice when speaking to the operator? Gaikowski wasn't masking his voice in the phone conversation clips. He was just being himself. He didn't have a reason to mask his voice.
The Zodiac claimed that in one of the ciphers you can find his name. Yes, the letters GYKE is clearly seen in one of the ciphers but he didn't spell his nickname that way. He spelled it: G-A-I-K. Does it still count? I don't know. I don't claim to know how to get into the mind of the Zodiac Killer.
Another piece of new "clue" did not sit well with me. It was the age progressed sketch of the first witness sketch of the Zodiac suspect. They compared it to a picture of an older Richard Gaikowsky and claimed that the similarities are chilling. There were no similarities. They looked nothing alike. Did anyone else feel this way?
Also, whoever wrote the narration for the show was clearly leaning towards Richard Gaikowski as "most likely" being the Zodiac. You could hear in the verbiage how slanted it was. So in that sense I was disappointed.
Who is the Zodiac? I don't claim to KNOW. I am not a criminal invistigator. I only have the same information the rest of you (the public) has to go on.
Sure, it could be Richard Gaikowski. But what would be his motive? I want to know more about his background and personal life before just going on a composite sketch and a phone call.

PS: I will embed the show here when I find it.