Someday we will know the truth

From The Aspen News, Monday, May 25, 2009


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
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  1. Jimmy Bob Wallace says:

    You don’t want the truth. You cain’t handle the truth!

  2. M.J. Hawk says:


    And what, pray tell, is the truth? Enquiring minds want to know!

  3. susan says:

    Good for you, trying to find out what happened! I have my own theories, and it has to do with government intervention to protect the wealthy and powerful. Why did they let those to white boys go? One minute the sheriff was saying they were the ones that did it, and then we didn’t hear Word One for months. After doing some research I found out they were kicked loose in December.

    Were Donny and Ray scapegoats for the wealthy and powerful? Was this a slight of hand to hide the real perpetrator or perpetrators?

    A very expensive car nearly ran down a woman at the junction of Highway 82 and Castle Creek Road that night. The car was a Lamborgini. Yes, there are plenty of those in Aspen, playground of the obscenely rich, but was that ever brought to light in the sheriff’s press conferences? No. And you have to ask yourself why.

  4. Jess McDonnell says:

    I find it funny people are hopping to government conspiracy right out of the box. Even if there was a car like that, who’s to say the driver had anything to do with the Aspen massacre? Instead of hinting at darker motives, why not consider that they had to let Odell and Arquette go because they simply did not have enough evidence to keep them? Isn’t a better explanation the idea that they tried to build a case and couldn’t? In my book, that makes much more sense than the “rich people” of Aspen covering up a crime of that magnitude.

    Paranoia strikes deep.

  5. susan says:

    I don’t think it’s paranoid to explore every possibility. The fact was, the sheriff’s office didn’t take the sighting of the car seriously, and they should have.

  6. Clay Pearce says:

    I wouldn’t be too sure there wasn’t some cover-up going on. Sheriff Johnson had his fingers in some deep pockets.

  7. susan says:

    Something here smells. There are just too many unanswered questions. Like the guy under the Escalade. If he was too drunk or drugged to hide under the car, then who helped him?

  8. M.J. Hawk says:

    That’s what bothers me. The killers wouldn’t hide him. Maybe, despite the Rohypnol in his system, fight or flight kicked in and he hid himself?

    The only other explanation I can see, is that someone else was there that night, and for some reason they hid him.

    As for the yellow Lamborghini, there doesn’t seem to be any confirmation of that sighting. The Aspen New Times publishes a police report weekly called “The Dock Block.” I managed to get a copy of the Dock Block for that week, and there was no mention of the near-collision at 82 and Castle Creek Road. Memorial Day Weekend was busy, but something like that would stand out. On the list was a burglary at a celebrity’s house where someone stole a ceramic planter from the front yard.

  9. Carol says:

    I, too, am curious about that guy Holloway. This sole survivor of a savage massacre is a journalist, for cryingoutloud. What’s he have to say about all this? Did he crawl out from under the Escalade only to hide under a rock? I bet he knows more than he’s saying. Maybe he’s protecting someone.

  10. Ajax says:

    they ought not prostitute themselves thusly.

  11. houdini says:

    “I find it funny people are hopping to government conspiracy right out of the box”

    Well, I find it funny that people can be naive enough to think there *isn’t* a conspiracy.

    When you look deep enough into anything, you find a web of interconnections that always traces back to a powerful few.

    It’s their world; we just live in it.

  12. sauropod says:

    Here we go again. Gentleman, don your tinfoil hats!

    Houdini, I’d like you to give me just one example of a bona fide government conspiracy from the last ten years.

  13. houdini says:

    Just one? I can give you a hundred.

    WMDs in Iraq. 9-11 inside job. Shootdown of flight 93. Hillary’s lesbian affairs. Obama’s birth certificate. Stolen presidential elections in 2000 and 2004. Obama’s college transcripts. Radio receiver ubder Bush’s jacket in the first debate with Kerry. Swiftboating. National Guard sabotaging the New Orleans levees. (You think Katrina was an cat of God?)

    Brienne Cross is just one more small piece of a very big puzzle.

  14. sauropod says:

    What exactly is a cat of God?

  15. houdini says:

    Yeah you’re real clever. Rather than fixating on a typo, why don’t you respond to the substance of what I’m saying?

  16. sauropod says:

    There is no substance to what you’re saying.

    Brienne Cross was a pop star who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. End of story.

    And you’re a nutcase.

  17. houdini says:

    It’s denialists like you who are the root of the problem. As long as you keep your head buried in the sand, the powers that be will continue to get away with it.

    They’ve succeeded in suppressing the vote for Ron Paul, the only one who glimpsed the truth.

    We need a revolution in this country. If people knew what really went down in Aspen, there would be riots in the streets.

  18. M.J. Hawk says:

    You two boys want to take it outside?

    What are you, married?

  19. Badger says:

    You two need to get a room.

    Come on, you secretly love each other. Admit it.

    I haven’t seen such kismet since Tracy met Hepburn.

  20. houdini says:

    Screw you, Badger.

    Am I the only one who’s trying to be serious here?

  21. sauropod says:

    Seriously disturbed, maybe.

    Let’s focus on Aspen. What possible motive could the government have for killing Brienne? People don’t do things for no reason.

  22. houdini says:

    If you want my theory, they had to kill her for the same reason the FBI killed Marilyn Monroe. To protect the president.

    Brienne met Obama at a fundraiser. I’m guessing they got busy. Maybe Brienne was about to start blabbing. Barack couldn’t afford to have his image as a happily married family man destroyed. So he had his people take her out.

    It may not have been the CIA or the SS. It could have been some people from Chicago. They play hardball there.

  23. sauropod says:

    Actually (cat-ually?) I didn’t want your “theory.” it was a rhetorical question.

    But thanks for sharing.

  24. M.J. Hawk says:

    Dear President Obama, the above remarks in no way reflect the opinions or policies of this blog.

    I hope you will not rescind my invitation to the Annual White House Easter Egg Hunt.

    Yours Faithfully,

    M.J. Hawk

  25. Badger says:

    Here’s my theory: I think “sauropod” and “houdini” are the same (deeply troubled) person.

    Notice how houdini first posted at 10:57. Two minutes later, at 10:59, sauropod shows up.

    Was sauropod monitoring this blog, just waiting for houdini to post? More likely, sauropod *is* houdini.

    Either someone is playing a game with us, or there is a more disturbing explanation, perhaps involving mental illness.

  26. sauropod says:

    Nice try, Badger, but the simple answer is that I subscribe to the RSS feed, so I was instantly alerted when houdini started spouting his BS.

  27. Badger says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the RSS feed shouldn’t update just because of a new comment. It updates only when there is a new blog post. Right?

  28. sauropod says:

    I don’t have to defend myself against this kind of paranoia. I’m outta here.

  29. M.J. Hawk says:

    I’m still trying to figure out which one of you is for Ron Paul…

  30. Badger says:


    Admin, you might want to compare the IP addresses of sauropod and houdini. I’m betting they’re identical.

    The question now is: Is this guy just a wacko, or is he doing this to throw us off track in our own researches into the Aspen massacre?

  31. Stu says:

    i think badger houdini and saurpod r all the same person it is a big scam they are trying to confus us so we lose foccus

    watch out for scams like this

  32. admin says:

    Anybody here have an aspirin?

  33. Daisy Mae says:

    I think Brienne Cross was a beautiful human being, I got to meet her several times and you couldn’t ask for a nicer lady or a more awesome singer.
    It’s just sooo sad that she’s gone 🙁

  34. M.J. Hawk says:

    Daisy Mae? That’s got to be a pseudonym!

    When did you meet her? I take it you’re a fan.

  35. Daisy Mae says:

    my Grandmother’s name was Daisy Mae, it was her dying wish that her first granddaughter bear her name.
    I met Brienne several times at some of the smaller concerts she opened for bigger names at, before she made it big herself. I still have the autographed poster from her debut headline concert. I got to see her at Hollywood Knights that time.

  36. Texas Toast says:

    My cousins’ brother invited me to his frat house where he showed me a bunch of pron videos he shot. He didn’t know the girls in them, but I recognized them and I slipped out with his DVDs. I’m guessing it was the Bushes who did in Brienne. On account of the night certain twins slipped their secret service agents and got together with Brienne and some of her wild friends and ended up doing threesomes at that sex party in the Representative’s house in Austin. You all probably heard about that cause it got busted later that night and all hell broke loose. I can make copies of the videos available to prove this, for the right considerations, if you know what I mean. And if something happens to me, I’ve made arrangements for copies to go to the right people, which seems wise, considering.

  37. M.J. Hawk says:

    These are the kind of rumors you get on the net. I think Texas Toast has been dipping his bread in a little too much batter. 😉

  38. Lindy Spencer says:

    Can we be serious here, please? Brienne is dead, the police are keeping the details to themselves, and even her family can’t find out what happened or if any progress is being made in the investigation at all. We would like to find out what really happened and have the murderer(s) brought to justice so we can begin the healing process.

  39. M.J. Hawk says:

    Lindy, sometimes I wonder what woodwork people are coming out of! I approve pretty much every comment, but as you can see, there are a lot of rambunctious folks out there…

    I guess it goes with celebrity. No doubt she saw and heard worse…some of the stuff in the tabloids and in the e-zines, there doesn’t seem to be any brakes on that bus!

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  40. Lindy Spencer says:

    Thank you, M.J. I shouldn’t let blog comments get to me.

    If the police would stop stonewalling the press and let the public know what’s happening, what they know, and how things are progressing, maybe we wouldn’t have to suffer the conspiracy theories.

    I’ve seen an article about a yellow Lamborghini being spotted in the area. Its the first I’ve heard on that topic. Have you seen anything else about this? I’ve put another call in to the police, but again my call hasn’t been returned.

  41. M.J. Hawk says:

    Lindy, I don’t think that story holds water. I put up what I knew in THE QUEST, and as far as I can tell the yellow Lamborghini story isn’t true, although it’s quickly becoming an Urban Myth.

  42. Lindy Spencer says:

    That makes sense, M.J. Every time there’s a celebrity in the news for something like this, the story spreads like wildfire. Things get changed along the way. Remember playing the game “telephone” when you were young? One person whispers a sentence to the next person, who in turn whispers to the next person, and by the end of the day, the sentence is totally different than it was when it started. Could be what’s happened here, with this Lamborghini.

  43. M.J. Hawk says:

    Boy, you got THAT right! To avoid confusion, Lindy, I’m going to put up a page entitled THE STORY SO FAR, where I will stick to the facts, and only the facts! I will update as there’s new information.

    That way there will be no ambiguity!

    I hope.


  44. Lindy Spencer says:

    That’s a great idea, M.J. Facts only website could take the fun out of urban legends! I’ll watch for it –

  45. M.J. Hawk says:

    Lindy, I put it up already. It’s up at the top on the Home Page, see the tab, The Story So Far.

    Basically, it’s a rehash of what I’ve written in this post, but I’m unequivocal about the yellow Lamborghini –

    I don’t think that car ever existed. At least not regarding this crime.


  46. B. Harvey says:

    As tempting as it is to blame almost everything on the government, I don’t think President Obama or anyone in his administration was involved in Brienne’s demise.

    And, Spunky and I would like to go to the Annual White House Easter Egg Hunt, too.

  47. M.J. Hawk says:

    I don’t think so either, B.

    I think Spunky would get particular enjoyment out of the Easter egg hunt. After all, it’s his bailiwick.

    Now, if he could just help us track down the yellow Lamborghini!

  48. GABixler says:

    This is wonderful and an excellent way to generate publicity for your book…I love the responses…You go, girl!

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