Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at




In 2013, The King of Queens actress Leah Remini filed a missing person report on Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, who has not been seen in public since the summer of 2007. Three years later, Remini has never received a formal response to her report from the Los Angeles Police Department, which instead leaked news to reporters that it had checked on Shelly and closed the case.

Now Remini, through her attorney Douglas E. Mirell, has made a formal records request with the LAPD regarding her 2013 missing person report, asking the department to respond with detailed information about how it determined that Shelly Miscavige was alive and well.

Remini’s request comes as her docu-series about her former church, Scientology and the Aftermath, has become a hit for the A&E network, where its first episode drew 2.1 million viewers and was the most-watched series premiere for the network in two years. Tonight, the third episode of the series airs, and press interest in the show is running high — Remini’s records request is well timed to produce pressure on the LAPD to give her answers that she didn’t get three years ago.

On August 5, 2013 — a Monday — Remini filed her missing person report with the LAPD. We broke the news that she had made that report three days later, on Thursday morning, August 8. Just the month before, we had revealed that Remini had defected from Scientology after growing up in the church. One of the things that had begun her disillusionment in the organization was the realization that Shelly Miscavige was missing. She first noticed Shelly’s absence at the 2006 wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes at a castle in Italy where David Miscavige was best man. When Remini asked why Miscavige was there without his wife, she was told she didn’t have the “rank” to ask that question.


Michele “Shelly” Barnett, like Remini, had grown up in Scientology. At only ten years of age, Shelly was sent to a yacht in the Mediterranean where Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard was running his worldwide organization from sea. Shelly became one of Hubbard’s trusted “messengers,” and eventually she married another member of the Commodore’s Messengers Organization, a young man from New Jersey named David Miscavige. After Hubbard died in 1986, David Miscavige became Scientology’s leader, and Shelly helped him run it as a top church executive in her own right.

But eyewitnesses at Scientology’s international base near Hemet, California who have talked only to the Underground Bunker say it was in late summer 2005 that they saw Miscavige explode in anger over changes that Shelly made to the base while he had spent some time away in Los Angeles. A week later, in late August or early September 2005, Shelly vanished.

Two years later, in the summer of 2007, Shelly was allowed to attend the funeral of her father in the presence of a Scientology handler, but since then she hasn’t been seen at Scientology events or at its large headquarters complexes in Los Angeles and Florida. (From several different lines of evidence, we have strong confidence that we know where Shelly has been held for the past eleven years, at a super-secret Scientology compound in the mountains above Los Angeles.)

After we made public that Remini had filed her missing person report on that Thursday morning in 2013, later that day the LAPD began leaking to other reporters that it had checked on Shelly and were closing the case as “unfounded.” The Church of Scientology has attacked Remini for making the report, calling it a waste of police resources. But in the time since then, the church has produced no proof of Shelly’s whereabouts or that she’s where she is by her own choice.

In her book Troublemaker, which came out last year, Remini revealed that she had made her missing person report with the help of LAPD Detective Kevin Decker, whom she had met when he was providing off-duty security on the set of The King of Queens. According to the book, Decker told her that the LAPD had closed the missing person case without even seeing Shelly, but instead had been assured by a church attorney that she was fine.

The LAPD told us something different. After news that the case had been closed came out, we spoke with LAPD Lt. Andre Dawson, who told us that two of his detectives had made contact with Shelly, and that she had told them she didn’t want to make a public statement. When we asked Dawson whether this conversation with his detectives had occurred in the presence of other church officials, he quickly responded, “That’s classified.” Since then, Lt. Dawson has repeatedly appeared in Church of Scientology fliers as a featured speaker at its events.

Did the LAPD actually visit Shelly, as Lt. Dawson told us, or did it only check with a church attorney, as Remini’s book claims? Remini now wants some firm answers from the police department:

1. Who conducted the investigation that occurred in response to the [missing person report]?
2. When did that investigation commence?
3. When did that investigation conclude?
4. What actions were undertaken in connection with that investigation, and by whom?

Mirell’s letter also asks the department to reveal if Shelly was personally visited by detectives, or whether the LAPD relied on representations made by church attorneys. If detectives visited her, how was her identity established?

According to California state law, the LAPD has ten days to respond to Remini’s records request. We have a feeling the department will say something sooner than that, as will Scientology, which has been attacking Remini and the people who have appeared on her series with increasingly unhinged accusations (and more, see Amy Scobee’s report that she’s being followed since her episode aired two weeks ago, below).

We’ll update you when those responses come in.

For now, here’s the letter that Mirell sent the LAPD, in both text and pdf formats…


Douglas E. Mirell, Attorney at Law
132 S. Rodeo Drive, Fourth Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90212-2413
Direct: 424.203.1603 Fax: 424.203.1671

December 12, 2016


Discovery Section
Los Angeles Police Department
100 West 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Re: Public Records Act Request — Status of Missing Person Report Filed By Leah Remini Re Michele Diane (Shelly) Miscavige

To Whom It May Concern:

This law firm represents Ms. Leah Remini. This is a request pursuant to the California Public Records Act, California Government Code Sections 6250-6276.48.

On or about August 5, 2013, Ms. Remini submitted a Missing Person Report (“MPR”) to the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) concerning Michele Diane (Shelly) Miscavage. A copy of that MPR is attached to this letter. Shortly thereafter, a number of news outlets published stories quoting unnamed LAPD sources “who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly,” stating that the case had been closed, that Ms. Remini’s MPR had been “ruled as unfounded,” and that “police were no longer investigating.” See, for example, THR Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, “LAPD Rules Shelly Miscavige Missing Persons Report ‘Unfounded,'” posted 8/8/2013 @ 7:00 PM; Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times, “Scientology leader’s wife located by LAPD after Leah Remini inquiry,” posted Aug 9, 2013.

Notwithstanding the LAPD’s apparently unauthorized communications with various media outlets about this matter, Ms. Remini herself has never received any official communications whatsoever from the LAPD concerning the disposition of her MPR. In particular, Ms. Remini wishes to know the following:

1. Who conducted the investigation that occurred in response to the MPR?
2. When did that investigation commence?
3. When did that investigation conclude?
4. What actions were undertaken in connection with that investigation, and by whom?
5. Prior to August 8, 2013, did any LAPD detectives or other personnel travel to San Bernardino County to meet Ms.Miscavige? If so, who and when?
6. Subsequent to August 8, 2013, did any LAPD detectives or other personnel travel to San Bernardino County to meet Ms. Miscavige.? If so, who and when?
7. Prior to August 8, 2013, did the LAPD’s investigation of the MPR rely solely upon the representations about Ms. Miscavige made to the LAPD by one or more Church of Scientology attorneys? If so, by whom, and to whom, were those representations made?
8. Was Ms. Miscavige physically seen by LAPD detectives or other personnel? If so, where, when and by whom? If so, how was her identity ascertained? If so, who else was present at the time she was seen by the LAPD?
9. Was Ms. Miscavige spoken to by LAPD detectives or other personnel? If so, where, when, by what means, and by whom? If so, how was her identity ascertained?
10. Was any attempt made to ascertain the health of Ms. Miscavige? If so, what was done?
11. Has the LAPD’s investigation in response to the MPR concluded?
12. Was the protocol followed in connection with the investigation of this MPR consistent with the LAPD’s standard operating procedures?
13. Is it consistent with the LAPD’s standard operating procedures to allow its personnel to anonymously convey the results of an MPR investigation to members of the media?
14. Is it consistent with the LAPD’s standard operating procedure to never directly inform the person filing an MPR of the results of the ensuing invesigation?

To the extent the answers to each of these questions can be found in LAPD reports, policies or other documents — including, without limitation, any and all follow-up and/or “3.14” reports prepared by LAPD detectives or other personnel — please provide the undersigned with copies of all such records. In addition, to the extent that the original MPR filed by Ms. Remini has subsequently been annotated in any way by the LAPD, please provide the undersigned with a complete copy of that annotated MPR. Pursuant to Government Code Section 6253(b), Ms. Remini is prepared to pay all appropriate “direct costs of duplication” attendant to provided copies of identifiable records.

Pursuant to Government Code Section 6253(c), I look forward to your prompt response. Thank you in advance for your immediate attention to this matter.

Yours sincerely,



Leah Remini records request with LAPD by Tony Ortega on Scribd


Amy Scobee reports being stalked




Go here to start making your plans.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on December 13, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email