From The Aspen News, Monday, May 25, 2009
CELEBRITY STAR OF “SOUL MATE” FOUND MURDERED IN ASPEN HOME
ASPEN, COLORADO. Country-pop star and sometime resident Brienne Cross was found dead today along with five others in the Castle Creek-area house where she had been taping her reality show, “Soul Mate,” according to Pitkin County Sheriff Roy Johnson, who declined further comment pending a press conference later today.
This is what is known so far. Rising pop star and actress Brienne Cross, her producer, Justin Balough, and the four remaining contestants of “Soul Mate”, a new reality TV show wrapping up production, were murdered early Monday morning, their throats slashed by unknown assailants. Two of the victims, Justin Balough and Tanya Williams, were mutilated beyond recognition. The killer or killers painted two “8’s” on the wall of the bedroom Balough and Williams shared. (The number eight represents the eighth letter in the alphabet, “H,” and two eights used together represent the words, “Heil Hitler.” The symbol is used by the Aryan Nation and other white supremacist hate groups.)
Justin Balough, the producer of “Soul Mate,” was white, and Tanya Williams was black.
A paramedic called to the scene and who chose to remain anonymous gave this quote to The Aspen News: “It reminded me of Manson—the Manson murders. I’ve seen a lot of car wrecks, I’ve seen a lot of bad things, but this was — it was like a slaughter house.”
Later that morning, a man named Nick Holloway was discovered sleeping under Brienne Cross’s black Escalade in the garage underneath the house. Initially a suspect, he later became another oddity in a series of oddities in this story. A bestselling author and frequent contributor to Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Men’s Journal, Holloway had been writing a series of articles for Vanity Fair about the “Soul Mate” reality show.
Holloway had large quantities of alcohol and the drug Rohypnol in his system.
The question is, did Nick Holloway crawl under the Escalade himself to evade the killers, or did someone stash him there?
Considering the amount of Rohypnol in his system, it’s unlikely he could have done it himself.
A couple of drifters named Donny Lee Odell and Ray Arquette were arrested one week later. At one time, both belonged to a white supremacist cell in Idaho, although it’s not clear they were there at the same time. On the advice of their lawyers, these two men may have done the first intelligent thing in their aimless, peripatetic, and violent lives:
They kept silent.
THE SHOP is a work of fiction, a political crime thriller by J. Carson Black.
People, places, and events portrayed on whokilledbriennecross.com
and associated Web sites are drawn from THE SHOP.
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