A Minnesota man who had been making an independent film depicting the coming of a “New World Order” in America was found dead with his family over the weekend in what investigators have said appears to be a murder-suicide.
But the man’s supporters have quickly spun a conspiracy theory pointing to the federal government as malicious actors trying to silence the truth.
Crowley, 29, was found dead, along with his wife Komel, 28, and daughter Rani, 5, in their suburban Apple Valley home south of Minneapolis. Investigators said it appeared that the bodies had been there for several weeks—probably since before Christmas—and deemed it a probable murder-suicide, with Crowley the apparent perpetrator.
However, in the conspiracy theory industry in which Crowley operated his home-based filmmaking business, the deaths were immediately assumed to be assassinations carried out by nefarious “New World Order” agents.
At Alex Jones’ InfoWars site, the news story reporting on the deaths described the “suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths,” namely, “the controversial nature of Crowley’s latest project, entitled Gray State, a highly-anticipated independent film envisioning a brutal police state, martial law crackdown, complete with biometric identification, a ubiquitous surveillance state and FEMA stormtroopers rounding dissidents up into camps.”
Indeed, a look at the trailer Crowley created for Gray State reveals it to be an attempt to film nearly every fever-dream conspiracy theory about the New World Order of the past ten years:
Crowley successfully raised over $60,000 in 2012 in an Indiegogo campaign to make the film, and a number of scenes were filmed on sets with professional actors. These included scenes involving roundups and executions of American citizens, home surveillance and forcing children to have chips implanted in their bodies.
Crowley’s project was enthusiastically supported by members of the antigovernment movement, where most of these conspiracy theories originate, and Crowley was interviewed by Alex Jones for his radio show. He was also apparently well connected to the far-right “Oath Keepers” movement, frequently posting their material on the film’s Facebook page.
In one Facebook photo posted in January 2014, Crowley can be seen conferring with Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and far right Constitutionalist pastor Chuck Baldwin, among others. Another Facebook photo meme lionizes “III Percent” movement founder Mike Vanderboegh. That was one of Crowley’s last posts.
Crowley was an Army veteran who had served in Iraq. ON his LinkedIn profile, he explained: “After five years I had enough and left to pursue filmmaking.”
Crowley’s wife was a dietitian who ran a business called Mind Body Dietitian. She and her daughter Rani can be seen in a video that Crowley shot to promote a “documentary” he also planned in support of his feature film, to be titled Gray State: The Rise. The video shows him at home devising lighting for specific shots he had planned.
On the Facebook page for Gray State: The Rise, the administrator posted a notice about the deaths, saying: “Gray State founder, director and screenwriter David Crowley and his family have passed away. Please pray for their families and friends of which they had many. … We will try and keep you all posted, but this page will go dark for awhile as the future of Gray State is uncertain.”
Stewart Rhodes chimed in, saying: “I was honored to know David, to see him work, and to help, in a small way, with this project. This is a great and tragic loss, and comes as such a shock.” Others across the Web were not so measured. One site reporting on the case asked: “Who really murdered them?”
Commenters at the Gray State Facebook page were far more certain that the family had been “suicided” – a term popular with conspiracy theorists who believe that nefarious New World Order assassins frequently kill the people who try to expose them by staging their deaths and making it appear to be suicide.
“The Creator of Gray State was killed by our Gov't... watch the Concept trailer,” wrote one. “This will shine some light on what this movie was about and will have you know why he was murdered by our Gov't. Everyone knows except those who haven't seen this yet.”
“DEMAND JUSTICE FOR DAVID CROWLEY! We must not allow his good name to be soiled. He did not kill anyone, this was an assassination!” wrote another, who was especially persistent in pursuing this claim. In another post, he wrote: “DAVID CROWLEY WAS ASSASSINATED!! No doubts. He is not part of a psyop but a real person, one of the major players behind exposing the horror of the upcoming police state."
He then apparently set up a Facebook page dedicated to the concept. “David Crowley and his family were murdered by those who want to shut down the Gray State project,” it says. “Help expose what really happened and demand justice.”
One of his admirers posted a video of Crowley speaking at a “Ron Paul Festival” held in Tampa, Fla., in 2012, while he was raising funds for the film:
“This man did NOT kill himself. He was SUICIDED,” wrote the post’s author.