Drum Circle

Original Air Date    09.10.2018

In This Episode

Payne and the UAV team attend a full moon drum circle in Crestone. Along the way, they meet a colorful local, visit a tarot card reader in Denver, and find an intimate contact in Kristal’s old phone. In Crestone, it’s not uncommon for people to go by obscure nicknames— to the extent that real names are never even disclosed. Unfortunately, this could make it even harder to trace people that are already living off the grid. At the end of this episode, Payne receives an alarming phone call from Rodney Ervin.

“You can buy a lot of meth for 20 grand.” - Chris Halsne, Investigative Reporter


Meredith S.: 00:00 For privacy protection, we've changed or distorted the names of certain individuals in this episode.

Payne Lindsey: 00:07 When I started looking into Kristal's case, I heard about the Full Moon Drum Circle almost immediately. Since the beginning, almost every story and theory led me right back there. So I looked at the lunar calendar and planned a trip to Creststone.

Michael: 00:23 Good evening.

Payne Lindsey: 00:24 Michael is that you?

Michael: 00:27 Hey.

Payne Lindsey: 00:28 What are you doing man?

Michael: 00:28 Welcome back.

Payne Lindsey: 00:29 Thanks, man.

Michael: 00:30 You said you would.

Payne Lindsey: 00:31 I brought my friends this time.

Michael: 00:32 Alright.

Payne Lindsey: 00:32 This is Rob -

Rob: 00:33 How are you man?

Michael: 00:35 Michael.

Payne Lindsey: 00:35 Meredith,

Michael: 00:35 Michael.

Meredith: 00:36 Hi, nice to meet you.

Payne Lindsey: 00:37 Thanks to my brother Mason, we didn't really make a covert appearance.

Meredith: 00:47 Mason...

Rob: 00:47 Dang it, Mason.

Roy: 00:54 Roy...you look familiar -

Payne Lindsey: 00:55 Nice to meet you. Do I?

Roy: 00:55 You been here before?

Payne Lindsey: 00:55 I have.

Roy: 00:55 Okay, I've been here a long time.

Payne Lindsey: 00:55 Okay.

Roy: 00:55 Welcome. Where you from?

Payne Lindsey: 00:55 Atlanta.

Roy: 00:55 Ah -

Payne Lindsey: 00:55 Georgia.

Roy: 01:04 You came out just for this drum circle, right?

Payne Lindsey: 01:07 Pretty much.

Payne Lindsey: 01:14 The atmosphere was pretty relaxed. And to be honest, it was kind of underwhelming.

Michael: 01:37 I was gonna see if she wanted to chicken shake.

Meredith: 01:38 Sure.

Roy: 01:38 Alright, that's different. Sure, oh, I can re-scan that, that's easy, man, when it's mechanical...

Payne Lindsey: 01:51 As I walked around the area, I met a man named Roy. He's a long time Crestonian, and almost always attends the drum circles. What is that?

Roy: 02:04 It's called the tongue drum.

Payne Lindsey: 02:06 Okay.

Roy: 02:06 It's a guy here makes it, they're ends of propane tanks, and welds them together, and there's little cut slits that [musical sound]. Kind of went out of body. It's the only instrument other than drums here, so for me it was beautiful, I don't know about anybody else. I knew exactly when it was that she saw this entity, it wasn't me, you know. And he goes, here, take it, play it, and I'm like, are you loaning it to me? You know, I'm literally crying...no, just take it home and play it. Another higher calling, I was changing tracks was this herb I grow, like cannabis, it's called spilanthes.

Payne Lindsey: 03:01 Spilanthes?

Roy: 03:02 It comes from Peru. I collected the seeds over 30 years ago, cures Giardia, Malaria, Dysentery, Candia, fungus on the toes, parasite in the belly, build the immune system, instant pain killer if someone cut their finger at work and cleaned it, oh but it hurts I can't work, whoa. Toothache, gum disease, babies teething, I've actually broken two teeth, and I did it right away, six times a day, no abscess, no infection, anyway, I got sidetracked, that's one of my other high callings.

Payne Lindsey: 03:32 Wow.

Chris Halsne: 03:38 Because this is considered the New Age capital of the world, this planet earth religious experiences out there, the drum circles were well attended, it went all night. All walks of life, but it's dark, people are going off into the woods, they're coming and they're going, people aren't specifically paying attention. Kristal, that night didn't make much of an impression on anybody specific there, but there are witnesses that definitely saw her there with some men that they didn't know.

Payne Lindsey: 04:14 It was really hard for me to find anyone who actually interacted with Kristal there. When she came, when she left, who she was with. That was all still a mystery.

Roy: 04:24 Hi guys, this is Roy, just making contact. I'm home for the day and I'll be staying until tomorrow. Hope you're enjoying it, probably see you at the cloud. Have a good night.

Roy: 04:39 She was there, happy and Kristal, the way she is, drumming and dancing, like everybody else. Then the dark cloud came in.

Payne Lindsey: 04:49 What do you mean?

Roy: 04:50 The drinkers, or this other, darker group, they come lateral, they were all high and, I don't remember details or who, but people were hanging out and talking and it was probably one of those full nights, at least 20 people in the circle or so. I didn't see when she actually left, but that's after they left, or some of them left, that's when she wasn't there anymore.

Payne Lindsey: 05:18 Did she leave with somebody you think?

Roy: 05:20 That's what I suspect. I don't know. I didn't see it, so I can't say so.

Chris Halsne: 05:23 There was somebody in town who was questioning how she could arrive with people at the drum circle and nobody associate that other person, can't remember what they look like, when and where she left.

Roy: 05:42 If I knew anything, I would call Wayne. That's the deputy who's in charge of the case right now, and he's real particular, because I've called him about things before, and he says, not unless you have names or numbers or something, not interested, hearsay...so I'm careful about, see, I'm psychic, I can usually tell or see, or I can feel someone's energy coming into a room, okay -

Payne Lindsey: 06:10 What do you feel now from us?

Roy: 06:13 You're good folks. You're just traveling through. There's a lot of hidden stuff in there. The fact that you're asking questions about this, I wouldn't be surprised if you're doing some detective work for this thing because it's a crucial thing. I'm so protective of the women in this community, and now whenever I see someone new in the circle, and once the dark's come in, the darks, don't be pulled out, wander off with these guys. They just wanna get drunk and go take drugs and have sex and sometimes ... I just don't like their energy.

Payne Lindsey: 07:11 From Tenderfoot TV in Atlanta, this is Up and Vanished. I'm your host Payne Lindsey.

Eli: 07:20 What if I was accused of murder? Let's say I'm innocent. I didn't do it. Would I hide myself away? Would I hide my face from everyone in town and be a recluse? And I'm thinking about, and I'd be pretty upset about it, and I would want to clear my name. I would probably be a pretty loud squeaky wheel in the town to vindicate myself if anything, I don't think I'd be hiding. So I'm thinking, why are these guys hiding? I would like to hear from these guys. If there's any way you can find them, get a hold of them, question them, ask them some questions, I'm sure they're gonna deny whatever, but I'm sure interested to hear their chain of events.

Rodney: 08:04 It would appear that the people that may know something, or are closer to that circle, are more hesitant to talk. If you have a murder on your hands and you have a murderer there, and this murderer is one of the individuals, there is gonna be that reluctance to talk. As soon as I walked into her apartment, there was no friggin way that she up and walked away. One of the things we like to do is find out who the close people are, and then bug the shit out of them. Not harass them, I want to get them behind bars so bad.

Payne Lindsey: 08:54 Rodney had a plan for us.

Rodney: 08:56 There was a flip phone in that box of stuff of Kristal's. There's one in there that's not charged.

Debbie: 09:03 She was just always going through phones, so it's not unusual that she would have had a couple of them. Because she would always misplace them, or forget where she put them.

Rodney: 09:12 Here's one of them that we found, I was able to get a charger and charge it up. I want you to have that. It has names and stuff on there, and phone numbers.

Payne Lindsey: 09:24 The phone Rodney gave me was an old flip phone. It wasn't the phone she was actively using when she disappeared, but the one right before that. When I got to my office, I found a charger and turned it on. I started flipping through all the contacts, and one in particular caught my eye. One labeled "boyfriend." I checked her ex-boyfriend, Eli's number, and this one was different, so I decided to call it.

Boyfriend: 09:54 Hello, I'm not here right now, leave me a message

Voicemail: 10:15 At the tone, please record your message. When you finish recording, you may hang up, or press one for more options.

Payne Lindsey: 10:28 After a few months of researching, I had finally gotten my hands on the police reports, and on the first page, I think I found the boyfriend. Here's what it says:

Rob: 10:36 On July 30th, 2016, at approximately 1:49 hours, I deputy Tyler Harford was on duty in the county of Saguache, in the state of Colorado when I was notified of a possible missing person in the Crest Stone, Colorado area. I spoke with the reporting party, Ara McDonald. Ara stated the tenant by the name of Kristal Reisinger was living in an upstairs room, and she hasn't been seen in at least two weeks. Ara stated Kristal's boyfriend had messaged her on Facebook also asking Ara if she had seen Kristal. Stated Kristal seemed manic, and told him to leave her house, so he did. Stated Kristal said she was going to walk to the mountains and die. Stated this was the last time he had seen her.

Payne Lindsey: 11:41 The account that this boyfriend gave is the first of many similar accounts. Especially in the beginning, Kristal walked away from her life, willingly. Due to some overwhelming mental state. When I spoke to Sherif Dan Warwick, he mentioned a group called the Rainbow Gathering. He never said the group was involved, but he did say you could never rule these things out. In this area, cults and unregulated congregations like the Rainbow Gathering draw people in, especially those looking to disconnect from modern society. To give this theory due diligence, I spoke with someone familiar with the Rainbow Gathering. She and her roommate were associated with the group during their youth.

Rainbow Girl: 12:19 My best friend was actually in a relationship with a Rainbow Kid as they call themselves. We went to a party at this super jenky apartment downtown, and we met five members of the Rainbow family, which is what they call themselves. We were that hippie type, too, so we meshed with them very quickly. If I were to try and describe them, they're all about trying to live at zero cost. They're really looking for a place to stay. They lived with us for over a year, which kind of sucked because they were always there, there was always just tons of trash everywhere, beer bottles, it was a total disaster all the time. The smell of these people would blow your mind. These are people that don't bathe, and they refuse to bathe. There's definitely a lot of partying, it impacted my life heavily. I was in college, I had classes at 8am, but they would be up partying and being loud, and playing instruments, and being absolutely ridiculous until four in the morning on a nightly basis. Not just a weekend thing, every night.

Rainbow Girl: 13:28 They consider themselves a non- organization. There's no leader really, there's no initiations, you don't have to do anything to become a Rainbow Kid, it's more of if you show up to a gathering one time, you're probably not Rainbow. But if you go there every year, you're Rainbow, if that makes sense. They're very anti-structure and anti-rules. Some of them are gonna be people who have children, and they've been in this Rainbow Family for 10-15 years, and they've decided to raise a family in it. Is that a good place for a child to grow up? No. They were pretty open with their drugs and alcohol. If they had it, they would give it, but I would just say in general they took more than they gave. They have jobs, too, you have a role, whether it's kitchen, you're helping prepare food, or security is one.

Rainbow Girl: 14:17 There's a lot of violence at the gatherings, a lot. To the degree that they do actually have security. One of the things that they do to basically get someone under control is if you display any type of violence or if you get out of hand on drugs, if you're tripping to hard or whatever, they'll actually tie you to a tree. They'll tie your hands behind you on a tree and leave you there so you can't hurt yourself or anyone else. They become very primal, and you couple that with drug use, and a ton of alcohol, basic needs, like sexuality, can become violent. A lot of male on female violence, I just always felt like something terrible was gonna happen to her, I just think these people are bad news.

Rainbow Girl: 15:09 You're dealing with people who have rejected law, and they've rejected structure and civilization. Ultimately, he ended up getting arrested for evidently growing psilocybin mushrooms in his apartment. When he got arrested, we were not talking, we had officially had a falling out. She chose to be with him, and lived that Rainbow lifestyle, and I was just, I couldn't do it. They immediately assumed that I had something to do with it. That I told on him.

Rainbow Girl: 15:47 At some point after I received the threats, I was driving down 421 headed to my class, and noticed that my gas gauge was rapidly dropping. I only knew enough to pull off the road and lift my hood up, and they had cut my fuel line. I don't think that they did that to scare me, if they did then they didn't care if it scared me or killed me. They are untraceable. They don't have addresses, they don't have phone numbers. These people can do whatever they want and never get caught because no one even knows they're alive. They travel everywhere. They can be in one state on day, and a week later, they're on the other side of the country.

Payne Lindsey: 16:29 In the eyes of law enforcement, it seemed like drifters could not be ruled out in Kristal's case. And that would be bad, because this kind of drifter might be virtually untraceable. But drifters aren't the only hard to trace people in southern Colorado.

Jim McCalpin: 16:49 Another thing unique to Crest Stone, people make up their own names here. And those are the names that they're known by.

Payne Lindsey: 16:57 This is Jim McCalpin, from the Creststone museum.

Jim McCalpin: 17:01 Nobody knows their real names. No one's ever seen a drivers license with their name on it. Or their birth certificate with their real name on it. So there are people here, you have no idea who they really are. They'll give you a name. A lot of cases you know it's not their real name, okay? That makes it very difficult for the Sheriff's department to track things down as to what happened. Because what's his real name? There was a guy here for 30 years at least, maybe 40 years, named Kailash. Kailash, it's a sacred mountain in India, in the Himalaya's. Clearly that's not the name on his birth certificate, but nobody knew his real name. When he died, his obituary had his real name in it, his name was Carl Hoffman. Wow, I knew this guy for 30 years. I never knew his real name.

Payne Lindsey: 17:53 In the box of Kristal's stuff that was given to us by Rodney, we found a single tarot card, and through some more research, we found out who would know more about it.

Meredith: 18:06 We came here to ask some questions about Kristal, too, but -

Phebe: 18:09 Yeah, I know, and that's really important.

Meredith: 18:11 I found a tarot card -

Phebe: 18:14 Hers?

Meredith: 18:15 Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Meredith: 18:17 They gave us a box of her pictures, and this was in it.

Phebe: 18:25 It's the chariot.

Payne Lindsey: 18:29 This is Phoebe. Tarot card guru, with a practice based in Denver. Years ago, she helped Kristal learn how to read cards. As her teacher and mentor, Phoebe clearly had a special bond with Kristal.

Phebe: 18:42 It's about, well, show you, find it in my deck. See this is from a different deck, and I remember her having this. It's the chariot, and the cards were a little different in her deck, but see the picture? The chariot is the vehicle of the self, the spiritual vehicle. She's trying to get information to us.

Payne Lindsey: 19:21 Can you tell us about these cards and what this is?

Phebe: 19:24 Yes, and I actually teach this. I have them shuffle the deck so they're energy is in there -

Payne Lindsey: 19:29 Do you mind showing us?

Phebe: 19:30 No, not at all. Anybody interested in looking into themselves?

Meredith: 19:35 How much does it look into us?

Phebe: 19:37 Anything that you need to see. Nobody really knows the true history of the tarot. So much symbology in here, not only the numbers and the elements and the astrology, but it also has the tree of life in it, which you see over there on that wall. That's from the Kabbalah. How ancient is that? There's no such thing as telling fortunes, because everything in life just is, and what you're looking at in here, this is self therapy. It's a way of looking at the issues in your life and getting clarity, confirmation, what can I do about this, if I can't, what can I do about myself? I call it a spiritual book of everything, and it's a faith based thing because you're believing it, it's an intuitive tool that accesses your intuition. And everyone, especially women, all have it.

Payne Lindsey: 20:44 Who's this?

Phebe: 20:46 That's my grandma. And I keep her here because she was a medium and a reader back in the, you can tell by the outfit, that was the 1890's. She passed away when I was 11, and I swear I was the only one there, and she was talking to me about spiritual things, and she just went to sleep, and I didn't even know she had passed because it was so gentle. My grandmother had lots of sayings. If you're having the experience, you must need the lesson. Imagination is the same word as intuition, you spell it different. If you're asking the question, you already have an idea what the answer is. And don't ever put your purse on the floor, grandma would tell you, it's bad for prosperity.

Payne Lindsey: 21:32 How about the bag, is that okay?

Phebe: 21:33 Yes, so hang it on your chair, put in the table, whatever, you know, every time I tell people that, they say my grandmother said that. It's like you're putting your prosperity down on the floor.

Phebe: 21:46 We were all part of each other. She took my original tarot class years ago, and then there were some of the people involved in it who said we wanna keep doing stuff, so we formed a group that would meet every month and play with stuff, like try different readings, try different things, and she was in that group. We were all real close with that. We didn't know anything about this, because she moved to Greeley to go to school, and I was mentoring her because she got a gig in a coffee shop doing readings, so she'd contact me, and I'd help guide her. And then I didn't hear from her for a long time.

Phebe: 22:25 I thought her life was on track, and then I hear that she met some idiot and moved to Creststone, and we all know Creststone is hippie town. And I've only been there a few times, I don't know much about it, but then to hear that she got into all the drugs and everything, and I'm like, Kristal, are you sure we're talking about the same person?

Chris Halsne: 22:49 When we went out there last summer, they were offered $1,000, and before we left, the said they'd do $2,000. The friends and family of Kristal aren't wealthy. They never thought $1,000 or $2, 000 would get the attention of some possible criminal to rat out some criminal in town.

Rodney: 23:11 I sent the PDF of the reward poster to all the newspapers. It was gonna read "to the persons responsible for Kristal's disappearance," but I wanted to put in there "for Kristal's murder." I'm not sure if that's a wise thing to do or ... screw it. You know, I'm gonna call it what it is, ya know, everybody there is well we know what happened, she's disappeared. No, she was murdered by this piece of shit. I need to really start pushing buttons.

Chris Halsne: 23:42 The $10,000 is a collection from friends and family. I have a feeling that if Rodney had to sell his prized truck to make that money happen for the right person to get suspects in custody for Kristal's disappearance, I think he'd do it. I think he'd mortgage his house.

News Reporter 1: 24:02 Big Money being offered for information, investigative reporter Chris Halsne joining us to talk about the increased reward.

Chris Halsne: 24:09 The ten grand reward for leading authorities to the arrest and conviction to those responsible for Kristal's disappearance is about to increase to $20,000 after an anonymous donor recently agreed to double it. Irvin believes that kind of money might motivate someone in this tight knit community to speak up, then safely move out.

Chris Halsne: 24:35 As the pressure increases, between us calling the Sheriff every week, and you sniffing around, you just keep that pressure on, it keeps pressure on people in the town, too. This isn't gonna go away. Money and pressure, that's how this gets solved. You can buy a lot of meth for twenty grand.

Rodney: 25:11 There is a lot of inconsistencies in the actual last time she was seen. The drum circle seems to be the central part here, the 13th -

Payne Lindsey: 25:26 Do you know if that was the drum circle night, or no?

Rodney: 25:30 I'm thinking that was the drum circle night.

Chris Halsne: 25:34 Then one day around July 13th, 2016, after attending a drum circle festival, she vanished.

Eli: 25:41 I'm thinking the 13th is definitely the day she was last seen by anybody.

Payne Lindsey: 25:51 The last time Kristal's family heard from her was July 13, 2016. Kristal's last Facebook post was July 14th. After scouring through about a dozen Facebook accounts, I found the date for the drum circle. The night of July 18th. So if Kristal was in fact at the drum circle, then where was she for four whole days with no contact?

Rob: 26:18 On 08/06/2016, while I was in Creststone, Colorado on personal business, I, Deputy W. Clark, was approached by David Steel. David stated that he was a personal friend of Kristal Reisinger's, and that they had frequently hung out. David said that he had heard that Kristal had been seen at the last full moon ceremony, but that he did not remember seeing her there.

Wayne Clark: 26:49 We had a lot of false information right off the bat of when she came up missing. You tell me she went missing on this day, but your neighbor says she was here this day, I talked to her, it starts to diminish the fact of, is she missing? No. People throwing days out there saying oh she's been missing from this day, and it delayed a lot of our response.

David: 27:13 That's the weird, she was last seen there at the full moon drum circle, but I told Wayne at the time that I was at the drum circle, I guess I did go to the drum circle, but I didn't see her. The drugs that were part of it, I'm sure it's as relevant as you might think.

Wayne Clark: 27:39 You reported a missing person, but they were seen after you tried to claim they went missing. That did not help the case at all. It's one of those things, we need to get an accurate time, if you don't know the accurate time, don't say. I think we're pretty clear on it now, I don't think her disappearance came from anything that has to do with the drum circle.

Payne Lindsey: 28:19 After a few weeks of trying, Creststone boyfriend finally answered, and he agreed to talk to me.

Boyfriend: 28:29 I don't know if I want to talk about it man, on the phone, I'm paranoid about it a little bit. The last actual time I saw her, we got into an argument because she wasn't going to sleep, I was worried about her, and the last time I saw her was the 12th, 11th or 12th, I can't quite remember, but me and her had a huge argument that she wasn't going to sleep, I as worried, and it turned into an argument, and she asked me to leave and I left, it was like six in the morning. I figured I needed to scoot, we were going through a breakup and stuff, we were trying to figure out what we were doing, I don't know, I figured she needed space for a week or two and then, once she stopped answering my phone calls or text messages, I got a hold of Ara, the landlord, to figure out if she paid her rent or if she had fucking seen her or anything, and she's the one that brought up if we should send out a police report. There's definitely a lot of stuff that people are saying that's misleading information. Like the drum circle thing, I was at the drum circle, I never saw her.

Boyfriend: 30:02 Your interview with David, he, I don't know, maybe he did see her at the drum circle, but I went over there and I was talking to people, looking for her, and nobody said they saw her. They, none of them, trying, maybe she was there and she just didn't want to see me, and people were vouching for her, but, I don't know. I can tell you everything I know and if that can help you with anything that you have questions, I can answer if I know, but I'd like to tell you.

Boyfriend: 30:42 She called me on June 28th from Catfish's, and I came and picked her up, and I took care of her for the next two weeks because she was, I've never seen her that scared. I could see something, I don't know, she told me about what she remembered about what happened at his house. She, I don't know. I guess she thought Catfish might have had to call her or something, and he tricked her, she said that he was just fucking with her head, telling her she was dead, and that she doesn't, she was trying to tell him there were a bunch of people over there, but she couldn't remember, she thought she might have gotten raped.

Boyfriend: 31:40 I told her to go to the police, and I don't know, when I picked her up from Catfish's, she fucking, she told me she, that he held her there, he wouldn't let her leave, he took apart her phone, she calls me from her phone, that's how I know she was over there, because I went and picked her up. This was on June 28th, a couple weeks before she went missing.

Boyfriend: 32:14 She told me she was held there against her will. Once I started poking around and trying to figure out what happened to her, I figured out that she went back to Catfish's.

Payne Lindsey: 32:23 In the last page of the police report, there's an entry about Catfish.

Rob: 32:43 On 08/10/2016, I, Deputy W. Clark was on duty in the town of Saguache, state of Colorado. I had heard through social media that a man named [redacted] had been seen with Kristal shortly before she was last seen. Goes by the nickname Catfish. I spoke with in his home, stated that he had traumatic brain injury (TBI), and has not left his house in several months. He said that he gets items delivered to his home, so he does not have to go out. There were quite a few boxes around his home with labels from Amazon.

Rob: 33:25 Stated that around his birthday, that Kristal had come over to his house. When I asked him how she got there, he said that he did not know, and that she just knocked on the door. Said he did not see a car outside, he was not sure of the date or the time, except that it was still light outside when Kristal showed up. He stated that they drank wine, smoked marijuana, and watched movies. He said that he fell asleep and woke up when Kristal was leaving.

Rob: 33:57 He said that she took a $10 book on computers, he said that he did not get her up to walk her out of the door, and did not know what time it was when she left due to the wine and marijuana. Said that he fell asleep as she was leaving, and offered to let me search his house and the grounds to prove that Kristal was not there. Catfish said that he did not know Kristal that well, and had no idea where she might go. End of report.

Rodney: 34:45 Hey Payne, Rodney, I need you to tall me back when you get this if you would please.

Rodney: 34:55 Would you go through the paperwork and see if Kristal had any dental work? Anything to indicate any dental work? I just got a call from Wayne about an hour ago, and he said that they found a skull, and it's female, and it matches the age range.