Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Reporter Discusses Minnesota Filmmaker Murder-Suicide

When it comes to TV news, one of the great assets of the Internet is that it has provided an avenue for reporters to post additional thoughts and footage that did not make it into their original broadcast report.

A year ago, on January 17th, 2015, the bodies of a Minnesota U.S. veteran and filmmaker, his wife and their five-year-old daughter were discovered in Apple Valley. They died weeks earlier as a result of a murder-suicide orchestrated by David Crowley, at work on a feature film titled Gray State.

Fox 9 reporter Tom Lyden, in an online Reporter's Notebook shared this week, explains that the investigation into the horrible events of Christmas 2014 only recently concluded. He details two pieces of evidence that intrigued his Investigations crew: the seemingly deliberate opening of the Koran to a passage about the prophet Lut, and a printout of wealthy Minnesota political donors found next to the household printer.

Things went downhill quickly for the Crowley clan after David returned from an unsuccessful movie-pitch trip to Los Angeles in the summer of 2014. Authorities told reporter Lyden that the family dog, who survived, could have been the one who turned the Koran to the Lut passage pages.

One of the reasons the police's forensic investigation took so long is that there were 20 terrabytes of data associated with Crowley's Gray State project, which authorities poured through for additional possible clues. This tragic story is worthy of a documentary. Perhaps some enterprising fellow Minnesota filmmaker is already at work on such a project.

The documentary could perhaps be framed within the larger context of murder-suicides. As Lyden reminds, there are around 1,500 of these in the U.S. each year. Watch the reporter's separate, full broadcast investigation below.

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