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Sunday on ID: A documentary with questions about four Nxivm women who died

A documentary film featuring blogger Frank Parlato, The Lost Women of NXIVM, will premiere on the Investigation Discovery channel tomorrow (Dec 8) at 9 pm.

In it, Parlato investigates the deaths of four women who were close to Keith Raniere: Gina Hutchinson, Kristin Snyder, Barbara Jeske, and Pam Cafritz.

Many NXIVM watchers are familiar with suspicions around the suicides of Gina Hutchinson and Kristin Snyder. Gina’s sister Heidi alleges that Keith had sex with (raped) Gina when Gina was 15 years old. Keith convinced her to quit high school and told her she was the reincarnation of a Buddhist goddess. From FrankReport:

The irony is this — Keith told Gina for years that she was the Buddhist goddess Shyama [Green] Tara. And that she would attain nirvana and be able to help others more fully – only after she died. She would have to shed her corporeal body in order to attain her true godhood.


When Gina found out that Keith had a harem, she was upset. She left his orbit more than once, but Keith’s followers always lured her back. From the above blog post:

Heidi tells a story that at the hotel where Gina last stayed — Coco’s Motel — the clerk told her that four exceedingly slender women came to visit Gina [who was also exceedingly slender] two nights before she died. They came to her room and went inside.

Gina was found dead from a shotgun wound on October 11, 2002. Her death was ruled a suicide. She was 33 years old.

Kristen Snyer was an apparently happy, well adjusted woman living in Alaska with her wife, Heidi Clifford. She changed after taking courses with NXIVM and visiting Albany. Her sister Kim relates in The Sun:

“Then the last time I saw her was January 2003 with my parents. Again she was absolutely explosive. She had become this angry, depressed, sad, upset woman that we didn’t recognize anymore.”

Shortly after a visit to Albany, Kristin took a NXIVM intensive in which she became disruptive, shouting repeatedly that she was pregnant with Keith’s child. This was a problem because in NXIVM, Keith was presented as a celibate, living a monk-like existence in service to humanity. Kristin was ejected from the class.

From the Daily Mail:

‘My suspicion is that he might have even had sex with her,’ former NXIVM member Susan Dones says in the film, adding: ‘Keith did not like women being lesbians. Being gay, period, was an act of defiance, especially if you’re a woman. It was an act of defiance and, I think for him, because he treated women as objects, if you’re a lesbian, then you’re not available to him. So he could possibly try to turn her. It’s kind of like a notch on his belt.

After being ejected from the class, Kristin was driven home by a NXIVM member, who promised to stay with her until her wife returned. Kristin’s truck was still at the hotel where the intensive was being held. Somehow, Kristin, in a very disturbed emotional state, got back to her truck and drove 130 miles over dark roads to Miller’s Landing Resort, where Kristin’s NXIVM coach happened to own a cabin. Kristin left a suicide note in her vehicle. Breaking into a shed to steal a kayak, Kristin, an avid kayaker, allegedly took her own life by tipping the kayak over in the water. Her body was never found. She was 35 years old.

The deaths from cancer of Barbara Jeske and Pam Cafritz have generally been taken at face value. But Frank Parlato suspects foul play. Kristin Keeffe and Karen Unterreiner, who also lived with Keith at different times, also got cancer, but survived. From the FrankReport:

Besides the four women living at 3 Flintlock, four cats also got cancer and died.

. . .

I also interviewed the other cancer survivor [Karen] who lived at his house, whose hair samples are tested – [with horrifying results].

The location of Pam Cafritz’ body is unknown. NXIVM was initially reluctant to hand over Barbara Jeske’s body to her family. Both women bequeathed millions to Keith Raniere.

One housemate, Mariana Fernandez, did not become ill. If there was the suspected heavy-metal poisoning, perhaps Mariana escaped because she was younger and had a stronger immune system. But Mariana was always the favored one. Mariana’s sister Daniela, who did much unpaid work for NXIVM, testified at Raniere’s trial:

My sister [Mariana] had never worked. She didn’t even have her own money. Actually, you know, everything was given to her and she was traveling in private plane . . .

Keith loved my sister Mariana.

Reportedly, Kristin Keeffe’s pregnancy of Keith’s first child was discovered at a point when it was too late to have an abortion. But Mariana was the chosen one to have Keith’s avatar baby.

Here is a sneak preview of The Lost Women of NXIVM:


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