David Crowley, aged 29, had headed up a small crew for an ongoing full-feature and highly anticipated production called Gray State. The project had been in the works for over four years. A description excerpt from the film's website, which raised over $61,000 from fans:
The world reels with the turmoil of war, geological disaster, and economic collapse, while Americans continue to submerge themselves in illusions of safety and immunity. While rights are sold for security, the federal government, swollen with power, begins a systematic takeover of liberty in order to bring about a New World Order.The following concept trailer has amassed nearly one million views since its YouTube debut in 2012:
Americans, quarantined to militarized districts, become a population ripe for tyrannical control. Fearmongering, terrorism, police state, martial law, war, arrest, internment, hunger, oppression, violence, resistance - these are the terms by which Americans define their existence. Neighbor is turned against neighbor as the value of the dollar plunges to zero, food supplies are depleted, and everyone becomes a terror suspect....
In a stomach-churning turn of events, the filmwriter/producer David Crowley, his 28-year-old wife Komel, and young daughter, Rani, were found dead in their Apple Valley, MN home - after not being seen or heard from since before Christmas.
Most of the information about the discovery centers on neighbor Collin Prochnow who saw packages piling up and decided to check up and ring the door bell, when he glanced in the window and saw all three Crowleys on the floor, that "just didn’t look human." He had actually told his wifethere were dummies [mannequins] on the floor along with a black handgun, before calling police. But the police reported finding people who were "obviously dead."
How can an entire family, including a five-year-old daughter go unnoticed for so long? All reports indicate that their bodies had been on the living room floor since before Christmas. The neighbor figures that it happened before Christmas, as packages were piling up at the Crowley home and there was no activity stemming from the home since before then. Reportedly, family and at least one colleague tried unsuccessfully to reach them before Christmas. The actual cause or time of death has not been released. By Sunday, the previously crowded mailbox and front stoop were bare.
Mainstream media have labeled it an apparent "murder-suicide" but - hear for yourself what police found when they arrived on January 17th....
Audio of the police communication is public and at around 2:35 mentions that the officers found the rear sliding door unlocked, and slightly ajar.
Notably, there is no suicide note. Details linking the event to a murder-suicide have not been released except to call it "apparent." A black handgun on the floor next to the family is, so far, where the investigative details end. In other words, definitive information of what happened to the Crowleys is either unknown or unreleased.
Yet, in a low attempt to frame the entire situation, Daily Mail headlined their story "Gun-enthusiast, his dietitian wife and their five-year-old daughter lay dead from murder-suicide in their suburban home for WEEKS before neighbors discovered them" and featured pictures of Crowley in movie gear, including a gas mask, and unflattering pictures of his wife Komel who had been a nutritional dietitian. Whereas many headlines will feature stories of former veterans with reverence, Daily Mail has decided that this means lunacy and have obviously framed Crowley as the instigator. With so few details known, that is an incredibly disrespectful and reactionary way to create a different story stemming from a tragic event.
Other headlines have followed similar suits here, here and here by sculpting their own summations of his film project, using selective comments, and pointing to gun-lovin' Instagram photos which might actually be showing mere movie props. The exploitation fires have been stoked by neighbors' comments of Crowley wearing fatigues, having tattoos and short-cropped hair - which, in any other context wouldn't be newsworthy in the least.
Not only should the police audio warrant some pause, but also the strangeness that no one in the neighborhood heard or witnessed any commotion leading to the family's death, nor barking from a hungry dog that survived for weeks after the event. The neighbor who reported the discovery had shoveled their driveway a couple times, and his wife noticed that the curtains had been wide open when they were usually closed. Upon further reflection, Prochnow remembers a night in December when he awoke to something like gunshots but did not think on it anymore until Saturday when he made the call.
Even the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Dakota County Sheriff's Office who are assisting the Apple Valley Police Department with the investigation, confirm that "they are treating the death as 'suspicious.'"
No other details are have been released by investigators at this time.
In 2013, Michael T. Winter, a contributor for Activist Post, wrote a speculative op-ed entitled "Is Gray State a Psy-ops?" which garnered considerable commentary from supporters of the film. David Crowley reached out to Winter and together they created an interesting follow up Q&A that includes an editor's note, and significant openness on Crowley's part. Winter reportedly went on to be a script consultant for the film.
The Gray State Facebook page hasn't been updated since late November 2014. Gray State: The Rise was a dual non-fiction project that was to feature interviews with Col. Douglas McGregor, Adam Kokesh, Luke Rudkowski, Stewart Rhodes, Mark Dice, Alex Jones, Abby Martin, Dan Dicks, Jordan Page, Jason Bermas, Aaron Dykes, Matt Medina, and many more. After experiencing a data wipeout, the crew mentioned they were working to get back on track and were on the brink of releasing The Rise film online for free. It was during this time, that he and business partner Mitch Heil parted ways.
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