Lisa McPherson Files - Interview of Brian Rakestraw

This is an interview with Brian Rakestraw.


SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION
FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department          Report No.          95-29158
Offense            Death Investigation          Date of Report      4/10/97

Location           644 Pierce Street            Orig Incident Date  12/6/95
Victim             Lisa McPherson               VI Prosecute        Yes  No
Investigator       Det. Jorge Carrasquillo
Previous Status    Active
Subject            None
Impound Inventory  None


Todays date is 4/10/97. The time is 1555. This is an interview with Brian Robert
Rakestraw concerning the Lisa McPherson investigation. Present during the
interview are Attorney Ronald Cacciatore, Det. James Little, and myself, Det. Jorge
Carrasquillo.


Det. Carrasquillo:      For identification purposes Brian, would you please state your
                        full name...your full legal name...spell it...and also give me
                        your date of birth and social security number. Then your home
                        address...home phone number...work...business name...work
                        address and...and work number.
Rakestraw:              Okay. So its Brian Robert Rakestraw...last name is R A K E S
                        T R A W. Address is XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX, Clearwater,
                        Florida 34625. Place of work is Exectech... and it's located at
                        13555 Automobile Boulevard, Clearwater, Florida. Date of
                        birth is X/XX/XX. And Social Security is #XXX-XX-XXXX.
Det. Carrasquillo:      Can you give me your work phone number?
Rakestraw:              Work phone number is 813/573-0094.
Det. Carrasquillo:      And would you please spell Exectech for my secretary?
Rakestraw:              Sure. Its E X E C T E C H...all one word.


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SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. I understand you were working for AMC Publishing at one time. Rakestraw: Right. Det. Carrasquillo: Can you tell me when you were employed by them? Rakestraw: From January 1st of 95...uh...to October of 96. Det. Carrasquillo: And what was your position there? Rakestraw: Umm...over...I was over all the sales. Det. Carrasquillo: So you were a supervisor? Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Did Lisa work for you? Rakestraw: Yeah. At...at certain times in there she did...yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Did Katie Chamberlain also work for you? Were you over Katie Chamberlain? Rakestraw: For a little bit. When...when Katie was in sales, she was. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. So you came in specifically for that position. And what was the title of...of your...? Rakestraw: Umm... kind've like VP Sales. Det. Carrasquillo: So you were Vice President of Sales? Rakestraw: Right. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. And it was your job to make sure that all the sales went on...everybody was active...all the... Rakestraw: Yeah, it was my job to just make sure that the sales...you know...we were selling our services. Det. Carrasquillo: Why don't you give me a description of what you were doing over there. Rakestraw: Umm...we...we had...you may have heard of some of this before...but I mean...the...the company sells card Page 2 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 packs...right...it's an advertising medium. And so we did that and we also had an area that sold lists...like rented lists. So there's one area which sold this pack advertisement. Have you ever seen the Val Packs? Det. Carrasquillo: Uh Huh. Rakestraw: I mean I kinda have the idea that you've heard this 20 times before, so stop me if you want to. Det. Carrasquillo: No...no...because sometimes somebody can explain it crystal clear... Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: And somebody can't. So I... Rakestraw: Sure. Go for it? Det. Carrasquillo: Go for it. Rakestraw: Okay. You...you get the Val Packs in the mail sometimes...you know...they've go like 20 or 30 cards in it...that's the main product that AMC sells. And so different people out there would like say yeah, I want to run a card in there and they would pay for it. And it's like a thousand dollars or something to run a card in there. And you...you get so many cards and the packs filled and it can be mailed. But anyway...so there's many people...many sales reps that are in charge of like calling up and presenting it and saying let me tell you about our wares and would you like to buy this? And that was one area. And then another area was renting names. This is all the insurance business by the way. Det. Carrasquillo: What do you mean renting names? Page 3 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: You know...like you could call up and say I want to get a list of all the agents in Florida or I want to get a list of all the agents in California. I want to get a list of all the agents in Texas. We...you know...at AMC there was just...it was a big resource to have a lot of names...you know...because that's really what you're doing...you're mailing out. So then just picture...we've got the sales area that handles the pack, which is this val pack...and then another area that sells the renting of names. Umm...okay...my memory fails me...you know. It seems like there was another... Det. Carrasquillo: A magazine. Rakestraw: Magazine. Det. Carrasquillo: Magazine. Rakestraw: Right...right. And so there was another one...it was the magazine. And so I was over all of them to make sure that the sales were happening. Det. Carrasquillo: So you were in a pyramid. You were here. And then the person that was running the magazines... Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo; The person running the sales packs and the person running the lists. And they all reported to you. Rakestraw: Right. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. What does AMC stand for? Rakestraw: Oh God...you know...I think I knew it at one time but I don't remember...I don't remember... Det. Carrasquillo: I just... Page 4 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: I mean A in....Agents Market Pack is the...the name of the pack that goes out...the 30 or 40 cards or whatever. It says right on there Agents Market Pack. I...I know I asked the question before but I don't remember. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. So let me ask you because you would have a good picture of her finances. We're talking about finances. Let me flip to that right now. When Lisa was working there, my understanding...and correct me if I'm wrong...was she was your top sales person. Rakestraw: Yeah...yeah, I think so. Uh...I...I hesitate only because...you know...she had been...she was the top sales person up there and...yeah, she was...she definitely was. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Can you describe the job that Lisa was performing for me? I mean in detail what did she do when she came in in the morning going down to she went home? Rakestraw: Sure...no problem. But could you help me a little bit here. I ...you've just...you've got to orient me a little bit on like... Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Rakestraw: What is the...what do these questions have to do with whatever? Det. Carrasquillo: Well, I'm trying to find out what was generating stress in Lisa's life...if it was her job...because she...you know...she had a mental breakdown. Rakestraw: Yeah, I surmised. Det. Carrasquillo: Right. And that...we're trying to figure out what caused it. Could it have been something she was doing in her everyday routine? Was it a...a...a boyfriend or a relationship...was it a Page 5 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 personal relationship? So that's why I'm asking these questions. Was it a financial problem that...that triggered it on? Rakestraw: Okay. Det. Carrasquillo: We're...we're trying to get background on Lisa. Rakestraw: Okay. Det. Carrasquillo: And that's why I'm asking you these questions. Rakestraw: Okay, fair enough. Can...what was it again? Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. I want to know what her job description was...you know...what did she actually do when she walked in the door...what it entailed every day. Rakestraw: Umm....and this would go for all the sales reps that were in that area, right? Det. Carrasquillo: Right. Rakestraw: There was like 5 or 6 of them...uhh...it would consist of...I don't know if you've ever seen it, but nowadays the computers are...the software that's around is really good...it can keep track of names. Det. Carrasquillo: Right. Rakestraw: There's a lot of software that...like does name tracking or whatever. So she would just...like any of the other ones, she would like have her list of people she was gonna call for the day...based on who she talked to the week before...whoever was interested. And she'd call them up and just say is so and so available? Or so and so would answer the phone and she would say...you know I'd like to tell you about...I'd like to continue our discussion from before or did you find out if Page 6 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 you're gonna...you know...run your ad again this time? And that was pretty much it...I mean... Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Well, my understanding was that you guys had the sales meeting in the morning and you got together and you talked about...plotted out or had the day's strategy laid out. Is that correct? Rakestraw: Umm... Det. Carrasquillo: Or did you just come in...right through the door...and get on the phone with somebody and make a phone call? Rakestraw: They'd...they'd just get on...you know...they'd get on the phone. I mean...I'm trying to think...at different times maybe there might've been meetings at 5:00 or something. But no, for the most...for the most part it was just get on the phone and start. Det. Carrasquillo: So basically when she walked in the door, she would get on the phone and start making phone calls and try and sell the product, which was... Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: The sales pack. Rakestraw: With the pack...yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: 200 to 300 phone calls a day? Rakestraw: No...no...no...no. Umm... maybe 30 or 40...something like that. And the presentations...just to kinda get an idea...the object was like present it because nobody's gonna buy anything unless you like present it. so, you kinda...you kinda try and keep an idea of...of how many presentations they did per day. And...you know...if they were doing 5 or 6 or 7 or something like that, that would be...that would be good. Page 7 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Was a presentation off a script or did they ad lib? Rakestraw: Ad libbed for sure. I mean on some of these brand names there's a script, but Lisa was so good at what she did she could've wrote the script. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Because my understanding...this is telemarketing, right...what she was doing basically? Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Usually in telemarketing they've got a script that they follow to point them in the right direction. Rakestraw: Yeah, I think so...uh...I...yeah. But like somebody brand new, they don't know what to say. But this isn't like telemarketing. I'm not saying I know particularly what it is, but I get the idea tel...real telemarketing is like 500 calls a day. Det. Carrasquillo: Right. Rakestraw: But that wasn't like this. This was...this is not like that...you know. It's like 30 or 40 calls a day...8 presentations...and make a couple of sales. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Now, she got paid on commission...correct? Rakestraw: Right. Det. Carrasquillo: She...she was not a salary employee? Rakestraw: No. Det. Carrasquillo: So she...do you know... Rakestraw: At least...I can at least say that the time...during the time I was there...you know... Det. Carrasquillo: That's...that's what we're talking about... Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: The time you were there. Page 8 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: Uh Huh. Det. Carrasquillo: Do you know what she was paid? Was she paid 10% commission? Was she paid....? Rakestraw: 15. Det. Carrasquillo: 15 at that time? Rakestraw: Right. Oh no...it varied...it varied I think depending on some bonuses. Like if...if the pack was full...you know...if you picture it, this is all business and viability. If the pack is thick enough...you know...well then it's good...there's money to pay...there's a bonus. So if the pack was full, then...then it was 15%. Det. Carrasquillo: And again....I want to make sure I understand because I've had this explained to me before and I...I want to make sure I understand it. Rakestraw: Sure. Det. Carrasquillo: The packs were sold according to the size of the state. It...it'd be like New York you would...to qualify for the bonus you'd have to sell like five packs where as Delaware you might only have to sell one pack. Is that correct? Rakestraw: Fine...yeah, that's kinda the concept but use the word cards because each one has a card. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Rakestraw: And so in one state there might be 20 cards. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Rakestraw: In another state you maybe have to have 30 cards. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. And...and now Ron and I and Jim are working and we're working the same state. And if we sell...if we combine together Page 9 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation DateofReport 4/10/97 and sell those 30 cards in a pack, we would reach that goal of one pack. But if we were shy of those 30 cards, we would not reach the goals and we would not get the commission? Rakestraw: Well, you wouldn't get the bonus. Det. Carrasquillo: You wouldn't get the bonus? Rakestraw: See, you can make a note of like it was 10%. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Rakestraw: 10% no matter what. And it was an extra 5%. Det. Carrasquillo: For the bonus? Rakestraw: For the bonus. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. So she had...was...was that a lot of stress? Because I'm not a good sales person I guess. That would eat me up. Rakestraw: You know, stress is such a weird thing. And I'll...I'11 just give you my viewpoint. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Rakestraw: Since you're asking me. I mean sales is not for everybody. It's not necessarily easy. And I think the most capable people are...are...end up in sales because you really have to be able to talk to people...you have to be able to handle them when they hang up the phone...you have to be able to communicate really well to get your point across. And so...you know...sales people run themselves very hard...are hard...hard on themselves. And why one person like gets down at the end of the day and the other isn't for the same performance is like that's just who they are. Umm... but stress...I don't know. I mean sales people...it's...it's a stressful area I think...sales is...because its like...you know...if you don't sell, like nobody gets paid. So it's Page 10 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 like...and...and if you don't...if you...if you don't like it, you shouldn't be there. I mean there were sales people that would like come in and say I can't do this...I don't want to do this. You know...it's like whatever their words would be...too much pressure...to much of this....too much of that...I don't want to do it...so... Det. Carrasquillo: Well... Rakestraw: I don't know if that answers your question though. Det. Carrasquillo: Yeah, it....it...and...and it does. Specifically Lisa, she was able to handle...in your opinion...from your observation...? Rakestraw: Oh yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: From your observations she was able to handle a lot of stress...the...the rejections on the phone and... Rakestraw: Oh yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: And when...and when her sales dropped and she wasn't making the same amount of money, how did she handle that? Rakestraw: .....I don't know that she did make less money. Maybe she was selling all the time. But like...if you go like from a week to a week or whatever...if she had a bad week, she would just like figure out how to have a good week the next week. Det. Carrasquillo: And I think Katie told me that she was in a slump there for a while...May or June or July. Rakestraw: Do you remember which year? Det. Carrasquillo: 95. Rakestraw: 95...yeah....I don't know. Det. Carrasquillo: She took some time off? Rakestraw: Yeah. Page 11 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Det. Carrasquillo: During that period? Rakestraw: Yeah, I think so. Det. Carrasquillo: And her sales were suff...suffering. Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: How did she handle that? What was her personality like? Rakestraw: From finding...just that "I'm gonna make it go right." Like "I'm gonna just...I'm gonna work at this like a real"...You know...is words to describe it...you know. "can do." Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Do you know if she ever asked the company for an advancement in pay? Rakestraw: I don't know....never went through me. Det. Carrasquillo: She never asked you? Rakestraw: No. Det. Carrasquillo: It had to go through you because you were over that department? Rakestraw: It should...yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. What other responsibilities did Lisa have there? Rakestraw: That was it...that was it. I mean the selling of the card packs. Now she also was selling a magazine too. But when she was selling the magazine, it's the same thing. Det. Carrasquillo: That didn't work...she wanted to like be a supervisor in that division and that didn't pan out. Rakestraw: Yeah. It's not that it didn't pan out. Eventually the magazine didn't pan out. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. One more time in your words, tell me what her pay structure was like so I can understand it. And then we'll move on from there. Page 12 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: Sure. So picture that the...the... the job of the sales rep...instead of selling a car or whatever it was...was to sell a ...a piece of paper. I mean it's like...it's like about this big and it's just got... Det. Carrasquillo: An index card. Rakestraw: Yeah, exactly. that's what it is. Uh...and her job...it's an ad. Instead of running like a...an ad in the...in a magazine...uh...which is easier to understand...it's like you just pay an X number of dollars to run this ad. It was the same concept but they would just run it in a card. And people would get this card...this pack at home, right... Det. Carrasquillo: Right. Rakestraw: And then some of them would just throw it away I'm sure...you know...because they're getting a lot of them. But some would open it up and they'd just go through it and look and say "I like that one"...then going through it "And I like that one". And then they'd pick these and they'd call those people who paid to have that in there. Det. Carrasquilio: Okay. And then is that when Lisa would get her money? Rakestraw: Lisa would get paid to... Det. Carrasquillo: When...when...when actually the product was sold and people called the company? Rakestraw: No. Det. Carrasquillo: Or when it was delivered into that person's house? Rakestraw: No, it's even a little bit different. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Explain that to me. Page 13 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of RePort 4/10/97 Rakestraw: Yeah. It would be the same as a magazine. If IBM is running a...is gonna run an ad in Time Magazine........they're gonna say "I want to run it" and they're gonna pay for it...I don't know what it is...$100,000 or whatever it is. But the...the sales rep's job is to...to have IBM order that. As soon as IBM pays to run that...as soon as the money's in, then the sales rep gets paid. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Rakestraw: Same thing. Det. Carrasquillo: So as soon as AMC Publishing received the check from that client for that pack, then the commission was credited to...to the sales rep...any sales rep. Rakestraw: Right. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. And as far as you knew, she was not having any financial problems? Rakestraw: Right. Det. Carrasquillo: She had no other responsibilities there. Rakestraw: Right. Det. Carrasquillo: What about the Winter Wonderland project? Wasn't that her responsibility also for...on behalf of AMC? Rakestraw: Well, as far as I know, that's all volunteer work. And...you know...that's...it...it had nothing to do with AMC. Benetta was involved with it...Benetta Slaughter was involved with it... Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Rakestraw: Yeah...but all that stuff was like voluntary...you know do you want to do it?...which I know Lisa was doing. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. And you did not work with AMC in Dallas...correct? Rakestraw: Right. Page 14 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Det. Carrasquillo: You did not come from Dallas. Did you socialize with Lisa? Rakestraw: No...no. Det. Carrasquillo: Now you as a supervisor...if the sales reps...like when Lisa went through a slump there and she wasn't as productive she normally was....did that affect your pay? Rakestraw: Uh...I guess it would...yeah... because I was on commission. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. So...and it would affect Katie Chamberlain's pay also? Rakestraw: No. Det. Carrasquillo: But Katie was Lisa's supervisor? Rakestraw: No. Det. Carrasquillo: I thought Katie said she was her supervisor. Maybe it was after....was Katie working for you...because my understanding...let's...let's go over it again to make sure I'm correct. You're the Vice President. Underneath you is the department head for the magazines, the department head for the lists, and the department head for the card packs. Rakestraw: Uh Huh. Det. Carrasquillo: Who was the department head for the card packs at the time? Rakestraw: Dee Dee...Dee Dee Cage. Is that who you're thinking of when you say Katie? Det. Carrasquillo: Yes. Rakestraw: Okay. Det. Carrasquillo: Thank you very... Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: It's Dee Dee Cage and not Katie Chamberlain. Rakestraw: Correct. Det. Carrasquillo: Who was the department head. Page 15 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: Right. Det. Carrasquillo: So that was Lisa's immediate supervisor? Rakestraw: Right. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Would it affect Dee Dee Cage's pay when...when this...? Rakestraw: No. Det. Carrasquillo: No? But it would affect yours? Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Explain that one. Rakestraw: Uh...I was set up on commission and Dee Dee was not. She was salary. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Do you ever know if...if Dee Dee Cage ever had to discipline Lisa? Rakestraw: I don't know what you mean by discipline. Det. Carrasquillo: Well, let's say she caught her...improper conduct on the phone with a client and that she chewed her out or had to write her up or something like that.... Rakestraw: Yeah. Umm...I don't know. I mean if...if...if...here's how it would go...I mean if anybody saw anybody or if I did...if you see somebody doing something that's not quite right, you would just say no, let me show you how you should handle that...you know. But that would be the extent of it. Det. Carrasquillo: So there was nothing...I'm wondering if maybe she was disciplined and that might have triggered part of her episode. Rakestraw: No...no. And besides, it's like...it's...whatever...whatever it was was like the same every week because...you know...we would want to know like in sales...like we knew exactly what we sold for the week. Page 16 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Det. Carrasquillo: Right. Rakestraw: And if it wasn't so good, it was like...you know...we'd do something about it right then. So it wasn't like something done in one day. It was like...it was done the same every week. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. A couple more that we need to go through here. Rakestraw: Sure. Det. Carrasquillo: You...did you have a daily contact with Lisa? Rakestraw: Umm...yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: And...and during that time...January 1st 95 through December of 95....what was her emotional state of being? Like would it fluctuate? Rakestraw: Yeah...yeah...it would. Det. Carrasquillo: You want to expound on that? Rakestraw: I...you know...I don't even know what to tell you...I mean like she'd have good days...good days and bad days. Like she was gone for a while...then she'd come back and she was doing fine. And she was really doing great...you know. Of course I'm not giving you dates here. It's been all general...you know. But it's like from the time I was there. She was fine and then she was gone for a while. And then she came back and she was doing great. And then I think...I have to get my dates straight... Det. Carrasquillo: Well let me help you with that. We know she took a leave of absence around May or June. Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Is that when you're talking about she was gone for a while? Rakestraw: Yeah...yeah. bet. Carrasquillo: Do you know why she took that leave of absence? Page 17 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: Yeah, she just wasn't doing well and she wanted to like...I don't ......collect her thoughts and get it straight. Det. Carrasquillo: And when you say wasn't doing well....in...in her personal life? Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Or in sales? Were there sales problems also? Rakestraw: This...she was doing the magazine at that time I think. And it was...she was doing okay there. I think it was more just personal. Det. Carrasquillo: Boyfriend problems? Rakestraw: I don't have a clue to tell you the truth because I didn't get into it. Det. Carrasquillo: You're the boss and no one ever tells the boss anything. Rakestraw: Yeah...right. And if they do too much, its like I'm not here to hear it. Det. Carrasquillo: So you didn't know if she just...all you knew she was on a leave of absence? Rakestraw: Right. Det. Carrasquillo: And who told you that? Rakestraw: Well I did...I knew she was gone. Det. Carrasquillo: But did Benetta tell you that or did Dave tell you that? Rakestraw: That she was gone? Det. Carrasquillo: That she was gone. Rakestraw: No...I mean... Det. Carrasquillo: She came up to you and said I'm taking some time off. Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Page 18 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Do you know anything about her isolation starting November 18, 1995 until her death December 5, 1995? Rakestraw: No...not a... Det. Carrasquillo: Not a thing? Rakestraw: Not a thing. Det. Carrasquillo: Did anyone ever explain to you why Lisa was not at the office during that time period? Rakestraw: No. I mean I knew that she was at the Ft. Harrison but I didn't know why. Det. Carrasquillo: How did you know she was at the Ft. Harrison? Rakestraw: Because...I don't know how I was told...I think Benetta told me. Det. Carrasquillo: But didn't tell you why? Rakestraw: No. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Did any...did you, yourself, or any co-workers go down to visit her during that time? Rakestraw: Uh Uh. Well, I can't...I don't know about others. I know I didn't and I don't know anybody else who did. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Do you know anything about the circumstances surrounding Gloria Cruz living with Lisa? Rakestraw: Not really...Uh Uh...no. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Rakestraw: I guess I knew that they were living together, but that's all I knew. Det. Carrasquillo: Do you remember your last contact with Lisa prior to her death? Page 19 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: Yeah. We were at a convention in Orlando and...I don't remember what the last contact was but it was whatever morning it was that they were...they drove back. She and Brenda drove back on Friday I think it was. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. So you were out at the N.A.I.L.B.A. Convention with her? Rakestraw: Yeah, N.A.I.L.B.A...yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: And you went on what date? Rakestraw: Did I go there? Det. Carrasquillo: Yeah, what day did you go there on? Rakestraw: Wednesday maybe. Det. Carrasquillo: It was the 15th, 16th, and 17th....15th being a Wednesday. Rakestraw: Wednesday...yes, a Wednesday. Det. Carrasquillo: And who did you drive out there...did you drive out there with Lisa? Rakestraw: No...with Craig...Craig Burton. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. What was her behavior like at the convention? Rakestraw: Lisa's? Det. Carrasquillo: Yes. Rakestraw: Umm...it was...you know its funny looking back on hindsight...but at the time that I was there, it was like she was just being more...she was...Lisa...you... again you've probably heard many things of what Lisa was like...but she...I'll give you mine...whatever. She was very outgoing. You know...she was like...in a good way though...very...you know...friendly...very nice...made friends really easy. She wasn't...that's why she was so great at sales. No backoff on meeting people or talking Page 20 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 met her you'd just...you know...after a few minutes you'd love her because...I don't know...she was just like that. But...so you never know with Lisa really that...you know... how would you compare that she was being odd because she was always so outgoing. But in hindsight it was she was a little bit more outgoing. Det. Carrasquillo: Forget about hindsight for now. While you were there.... Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Was her behavior odd and peculiar to you? Rakestraw: Yes. Det. Carrasquillo: Not hindsight. Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: While you were there in 1995. Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: What was.... Rakestraw: 96. Det. Carrasquillo: 95....November of 95. Rakestraw: 95...sorry. Det. Carrasquillo: What was peculiar about it or odd about her behavior? Rakestraw: Just that... like it was a little bit more outgoing than normal. Like...oh...I don't know...when...at breakfast...I think it was Friday morning...they had breakfast and then she was like...she was like almost asking me like for...for directions to her room in the hotel. And I thought she was kidding...you know. I said Lisa, it's down there and it's up the elevator. And I...you know...I ...I just thought...I thought it was odd...you know...but.. Page 21 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 And I...you know...I...I just thought...I thought it was odd...you know...but.. Det. Carrasquillo: Did you remember Benetta Slaughter and Franz Reiter coming out there? Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: When did they come out there? Rakestraw: I think they came out Thursday and they didn't...they just left Thursday night. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Was there any odd behavior when they were there on Lisa's part that you noticed? Rakestraw: Umm...I think it was the same...you know...I mean whatever was odd was odd. It was kind of funny though. It was hard to tell because at one moment she was like...it's not like a big up and down thing but it's like yeah, I'm gonna get the... Because we're selling by the way...you know...we're there to like promote ourselves or whatever. It's like Yeah, I'm gonna go over and I'm gonna talk to these guys in these different booths. It's like a trade show and they've got all kinds of booths everywhere. And she's got her clipboard and she's walking around and she's talking to people and getting business cards. So she's doing her thing...making contacts and meeting people and selling...you know. So...but in between all the selling and stuff it was just...there were oddities...you know. But...but I don't know how to describe it anymore than she was like just even more outgoing than she normally would even be...than she is. Page 22 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: You know...I don't know if I did or not. Umm...I can't remember if I did or not. It'd be pretty normal to do so. Det. Carrasquillo: So there might be a report with your name on it in her file? Rakestraw: I don't know if I did. My...my first thought is I didn't but I...I honestly don't remember. Det. Carrasquillo: Were you...were you asked to write one? Rakestraw: Uh Uh. Det. Carrasquillo: So if you would've done one, it would've been self initiated? Rakestraw: Right. Just so you guys know, do you know it's...it's pretty normal to write reports. Det. Carrasquillo: I'm finding that out. Rakestraw: That out...yeah. It's like just typical. It's just like a responsibility standpoint...you know. It's a...it's a little bit different. As kids...and I have a lot of...I have kids...it's more like kids who get in trouble for telling on their friends...you know...it...it...it's not like that. It's like...you know...if you know something...if someone is acting odd, you ought to note it down so something can be done about it. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Rakestraw: So it was pretty typical. Det. Carrasquillo: Well let me ask you...that...with that thought in mind...how long have you been a Sciengologist...since when? Rakestraw: Umm...84 or 85. Det. Carrasquillo: And you've been Clearwater that long? Rakestraw: No...90...89 or 90. Det. Carrasquillo: Have you reached clear? Rakestraw: Yeah. Page 23 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Are you beyond clear? Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: Operating thetan? Rakestraw: Well, it doesn't work...quite work that way. But have you ever seen one of these grade charts? Det. Carrasquillo: Uh Huh. Rakestraw: I don't know if you've ever seen one. Det. Carrasquillo: The bridge chart. Rakestraw: The bridge thing. It's like...it goes a bunch of stuff clear and then OT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.... Det. Carrasquillo; Right. Rakestraw: Yeah. So I'm 7. Det. Carrasquillo: OT 7? Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: You're the highest one I've met so far. Rakestraw: Is that right. Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: And you're perfectly normal to me. Rakestraw: Yeah...thank you very much. Anyway... Det. Carrasquillo: That...that's interesting because you said it's a responsibility...so you don't know if it was self initiated or not... Rakestraw: If I wrote one, it would've been because I just said man, I've gotta write this down. Det. Carrasquillo: So you were not directed by Benetta or someone else to write...write a... Rakestraw: No. Det. Little: Was there something about her memory lapses that would be report worthy information? Page 24 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: Just the behavior. Det. Little: Those immediate memory lapses... Rakestraw: Yeah, that kind of thing too. And just to give you...you know...I sit here...I guess it's a couple years later...and I wonder what happened...what happened to her...you know. I wonder...I don't know what happened to her. Det. Carrasquillo: That...that's what we're trying to find out. Rakestraw: And I...I don't and I don't know if I ever will...you know. And it's like...you know...you like somebody really a lot and they do something odd. Just like this...I'm like "What the"...you know...and I don't have a clue. So yeah, you would write something down...you know...you'd note it down. Det. Carrasquillo: Right. Rakestraw: And say boy, this is a bit odd here. Det. Carrasquillo: You know...I wish you would've because it might've given us some insight down the road. Rakestraw: Yeah. Det. Carrasquillo: What...what's your understanding of the circumstances surrounding her death? Rakestraw: I have no clue...I have no clue...you know. I didn't even know until I read it in the paper what happened the night when she had this accident in the car. Det. Carrasquillo: Uh Huh. Rakestraw: I mean if that's what happened. I just read it in the paper...and so...umm...you know...however many days later she's... Det. Carrasquillo: Well, how did you learn about her death? Page 25 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department RePort No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: David Slaughter told me. Det. Carrasquillo: At...at that meeting he held that one time? Rakestraw: Well, he did...to me...just said...you know come in here. And he just took me in his office and said it. Det. Carrasquillo; So he told you she died, and then you have no idea or you have no understanding of the circumstances surrounding her death? Rakestraw: No...no...because he didn't really know. Det. Carrasquillo: And did you ever care for Lisa from November 18, 1995 to December 5, 1995 while she was down at the Ft. Harrison Hotel? Rakestraw: No. Det. Carrasquillo: Do you know of anyone who did? Rakestraw: Uh Uh. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Have you ever heard of an introspection rundown? Rakestraw : I've heard of it...I...I... Det. Carrasquillo: Have you ever participated in one? Rakestraw: Uh Uh. Det. Carrasquillo: Or know of anyone who has participated in one? Rakestraw: Uh Uh. I don't even know what it is. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. Well, it's...there's a myriad of stuff...you know. You've got the medical rundown...the drug rundown...summer rundown... Rakestraw: Yeah, I've heard all the different rundowns, but...you know... usually in...unless you've had one of those, you wouldn't know what it is. Det. Carrasquillo: Well, it's...my understanding is if you have a psychotic break, they do an introspection rundown to get you from being Page 26 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 introverted to extroverted. But you've got to be totally calm and relaxed and in good physical health. Rakestraw: Beforehand? Det. Carrasquillo: Before doing that. Rakestraw: Yeah, I don't have a clue. Det. Carrasquillo: Did you ever have an opportunity on occasion to take Lisa to her apartment during November 18, 1995 to December 5, 1995? Rakestraw: No. Det. Carrasquillo: Do you know of anyone who did? Rakestraw: Uh Uh. Det. Carrasquillo: And you said...other than the oddity that she was displaying, did she have any other emotional problems that you were aware of? Rakestraw: Like at that time or like...? Det. Carrasquillo: During...during times when you were in contact with her? Rakestraw: No...no...no...I mean it was acute. It was like more at that convention...you know. Really prior to that, everything seemed fine. But at the convention it was just a point in time...is when I noticed oddities. Det. Carrasquillo: Is there anything...and...and I want you to keep in mind...like I said, I'm not investigating you and I'm not investigating the Church. I'm just trying to determine if....if something went wrong...and...and not even the psychological end of it. When she started to physically deteriorate. I'm trying to find out was that intentional...was it done...was it criminally intentional...or did somebody just make a mistake. And if it's a mistake, it's a Page 27 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 mistake. But is there anything I haven't asked you that you think might be pertinent that I should know about this investigation. And I'm not talking about the Church... Rakestraw: Yeah... Det. Carrasquillo: I'm talking about that time frame when she started to deteriorate. Did you hear any rumors? Do you know of anything that might be important? Rakestraw: Umm...I don't know anything else...I mean that would...no...no. I...I...the only thing I find odd is that...and I don't know the accuracy of this but...because I wasn't in Dallas...in Dallas or know any people...but...you know...her...her brother and mother or whatever...not her mother but her brother and her father...they all died too...committed suicide or something like that...you know. And to me that's odd. And like...it's like a whole family it happens to. Det. Carrasquillo: Why...you think she committed sui... SIDE TWO OF TAPE Det. Carrasquillo: Side two. Its 1'5....I'm sorry...1630 hours. Rakestraw: What was that again? Det. Little: How would she react if she errored herself...made a mistake that most people do occasionally? Rakestraw: Yeah, she'd be hard on herself. Det. Little: She would be? Rakestraw: Yeah, she was hard on herself. Det. Little: In what way? Page 28 of 29
SUPPLEMENT/CONTINUATION FL0520300/Clearwater Police Department Report No. 95-29158 Offense Death Investigation Date of Report 4/10/97 Rakestraw: Just like I can't believe I did that or...you know I've got to do...I've got to do this better...you know... Det. Little: Ponder it? Rakestraw: Ponder it... Det. Little: Ponder it unusual... Rakestraw: ......I don't know unusual. But if it's unusual than most, it's because she cared more than most. Det. Little: Conscientious. Rakestraw: Conscientious...yeah. Det. Little: Okay. Det. Carrasquillo: Ron? Cacciatore: No questions. Det. Carrasquillo: Okay. We're gonna go ahead and...and terminate the interview at 1630 hours. Ofc. Reporting Det. Jorge Carrasquillo/elg ID No. 630 Case Status Active Date Cleared ______________ Clearance Type Exception Type 1. Arrest 1. Extradition declined 3. Death of Offender Adult Juvenile 2. AR of primary offense, 4. V/W refused to cooperate 2. Exceptional secondary offense, 5. Prosecution declined 3. Unfounded w/o prosecution 6. Juv/No Custody Ofc. Reviewing Date SAO Info Page 29 of 29