INTERVIEW OF CRAIG BURTON
Case Number CL 01-0002
Date: March 10, 1997
SA Sharon Feola (SF) Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Det Jorge Carrasquillo (JO) Clearwater Police Department
Craig Burton (CB) AMO Publishing
Attorney Ron Cacciatore (RO) Representing AMO Publishing employees
Time: 1410 hours
SF Today's date is March 10, 1997, it is approximately 1410 hours and we are
conducting an interview of CRAIG BURTON, who is a present employee of AMC
Publishing. Present in the room is Craig Burton, his attorney, Ronald Cacciatore,
Detective Carrasquillo of the Clearwater Police Department and I am Sharon
Feola, Special Agent, Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
SF I would appreciate everyone would state their name so the transcriber can
recognize your voice.
OB Craig Burton
SF: Date of Birth, Craig.
RC: Ron Cacciatore, Mr. Burton's attorney.
JO: Detective Jorge Carrasquillo, Clearwater P. D.
SF: Craig, for the record, would you please give your full birth name, and your current
OB: Gene G-e-n-e Craig Burton, current address is x,
Clearwater, X I've been there since December 1993.
SF: Okay, and you are presently employed by AMC Publishing.
SF: And what is your job title?
CB: Currently, I am the, called the Senior Director of Sales and Administration.
SF: Okay, and how long have you been employed with AMC?
CB: I started, I came down in December 1993 and really started, I guess, January
2nd, probably was my first day, 1994 with AMC.
SF: Did you relocate from Dallas.
CB: I did. My wife was working for the company in Dallas and we ended moving as a
family and I ended up joining after we moved.
SF: Okay. You know what I think I will do, Jorge, I think what I am going to do, I
don't know if you are aware of this Craig, but as a state law enforcement I am
empowered to take sworn testimony.
CB: You are?
SF: I am. What I am going to ask you to do is to raise your right hand.
CB: Oh, sure.
SF: Do you swear or and affirm that the statement you are about to make are truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help your God.
CB: I do.
SF: Ah, the company relocated from Dallas
CB: Dallas, Texas
SF: And that was in 1993.
CB: Yeah, we moved between Christmas and New Year's, whoever, basically what
happened the company made the decision to come down or the owners did and
they said, okay, any employees that want to go will essentially covering the
moving and out of, I think they had, of course I didn't work for them in Dallas, I
think they had 18 or 19 employees who probably 14 of them moved.
April 2, 1997
CB: 12 or 14, something like that.
SF: Now your wife worked for the company in Dallas
CB: in Dallas
SF: Did you know Lisa McPherson in Dallas?
CB: I knew and go back give you a little history if you like. I met Lisa early mid-80s in
Dallas, ah, my wife tells me it's 82, I don't remember, I don't know if that relevant.
She was really more of an acquaintance, ah, through probably until about ah, 90,
and at the time we were living in California, we had left Dallas, in, I left Dallas
April 87, my wife joined me in September. We moved to Virginia for about a year
and half, moved to California to work for someone else. We were in California
from August 88 until February 92 and while we were living in California, my wife
visited Dallas, her mother & sister were there, and through Hubert, who I know,
talked with was one of her best friends, like in the whole world, so when she
would go to Dallas, she would stay with Brenda and for a period, I couldn't give
you the years, for a period, Brenda and Lisa lived together. They were like
SF: Okay. Let me ask you this, Craig. When you lived in California, there was a
period of time that Lisa McPherson was in California?
CB: Yeah, and I saw her maybe once during that whole period.
SF: You did have an occasion to interact with her or you did run into her.
CB: The only time I recall was she was in the process of moving back to Dallas. She
had separated and divorced or getting divorced from husband at the time, Gene
Stonetski, and Gilda, I don't know if she came to the house, Gilda talked to her, I
think she may have come out with us like one night and that was it.
CB: So at that time she was very much an acquaintance to me. Ah, I guess where I
was headed was during those visit's, my wife would to Dallas couple of times a
year and stay with Brenda and she got to be pretty good friends with Lisa, and
that how she got to know her, and of course, indirectly, as a result, I got to know
SF: You started working for the company
CB: Well, yeah, specially when I worked for, the company, you know, she actually
helped train me in sales.
CB: I'd had never done sales before. I was a CPA actually by training. I spent 18
years in financial management.
SF: Okay. And you said that your job description is
CB: Now it's Senior Director of Sales and Administration, so I am actually over all the
sales, all of our personnel.
SF: But you didn't have that position when Lisa
CB: No, no. When I started in January 1994, I just one of ten sales people. Again
because I was making a career change, if that, you know I was going from a
CPA Financial Management into Sales. I didn't have a clue, I was willing to give
it a shot, because I got tired of hitting the glass ceiling so to speak, CPA you
know you are usually locked in salary, maybe a little bonus
JC: So when you started with AMC Publishing, you worked alongside with Lisa, who
trained you? Was she a I've heard she was a good salesperson, high energy
CB: Oh, high energy, ah, very, if effervescent the right term, but she was a
tremendous person, she liked to be bit of an actress, you know, if you will, be the
center of attention, but she was ah, she was good, very good, our best sales
person in the whole, other than the president, Bennetta, who is incredible, Lisa
was like the next best.
JC: Did she like double the performance of other people:
SF: I mean was she that far cut above everyone else in sales?
CB: I don't know about double, I'd say, there, Brenda is one of our other longest
running sales person and DeeDee Cage and I know you are going to talk with
her, ah, Brenda is probably the next best. Lisa was still you know
April 2, 1997
SF: A step above.
CB: Yeah, what she was, she had tremendous personality, she was very charming,
she was very aggressive without being obnoxious, she used manners, good
manners, and used her southern charm, she was a southern girl from Texas,
and a, but then she wasn't afraid to get in somebody's face without being
obnoxious, you know what I mean, of course most of our sales people were
JC: So working alongside of her, you had pretty good observation of her personality,
did she have mood swings, did she go from being depressed, right through the
ceiling, or was she pretty -
CB: She was usually an up person, occasionally she'd get down like any. body, I
never saw her or recall, ah, depressed, as far as generally knowing her. Ah, but
she a real professional salesperson.
SF: Okay, Craig, you made a statement about ah kind of the center of attention,
would you say that would be like dramatic or
CB: At times,
SF: Actress like
CB: Yeah, I mean she like to kid around, she liked to joke around, she liked ah, you
know, give you an example, we would go to trade show, ah, and she would walk
out, and of course part of her job anyway, she go up to a total stranger and just
maybe ask some questions off the wall that someone else would take - a lot of
courage or not, you know, kind out of left field that she do it as an ice breaker,
she was -- she get people laughing and cutting up and then she would get in
communication with them and of course by doing then she would working her
sales or find out if they could be worked for the sales. So, but she loved to
dance, she go to clubs, do a lot of western dancing, ah, and she was a very,
even though she was somewhat of a clumsy person at times, she was a good
western dancer. I know she and Brenda use to go places dancing.
SF: Okay. Now Craig if you could think back. Lisa took a leave of absence from
AMC in July of 1995. Do you recall that?
CB: I do, I thinking it was actually a little bit earlier.
SF: Do you remember the dates.
CB: Seems like to me it was more, I was thinking she came back in July, ah, again I
guessing a little bit, I'm thinking she left in May part of June.
SF: Okay. And do you know the circumstances surrounding that? -
CB: I don't really. All I know she was, she was going through, I guess what one
might some emotional trials and tribulations. I just know she went to Ft.
Harrison, she checked herself in and wanted to worked with her minister there on
some intensive counseling, what we call auditing in Scientology.
SF: Which is synonymous with counseling.
CB: I mean, in the general world, psychological counseling, ministerial counseling,
this would be our form of ministerial counseling.
SF: Do you know who her counselor was?
CB: No. Not specifically.
CB: She might, she could of even had more than one, which is not uncommon,
necessarily. Not like every day, maybe she spent a couple of weeks with
somebody, couple of weeks with somebody else, I couldn't
SF: Do you know where she was at that point in her training, her church studies?
CB: Ah, not specifically, I didn't really keep up her stuff.
SF: Were you present when she was given her certificate for going to the State of
April 2, 1997
CB: I did go to that graduation, I did. That was. I don't know if that was mid-late
SF: Okay. that's quite a successful marking in the church isnt it?
CB: Yeah. Very much so. It is considered
SF: Can I ask you why, I mean, heard from a lot of different people that's a big step
in your church vocation.
CB: Yeah, it's considered a milestone in one's personal spiritual gain, I guess that's
the easiest way to say that and I you know
SF: Do a lot of people reach that goal? I guess that's what I am curious to know.
CB: Yeah. Yeah, I couldn't give you percentages, but is for anybody who, you know
SF: who is serious
CB: Anybody who becomes a member of the church and stays in the church and
pursues the general ah, program of spiritual advancement as we call it, that
would, and that's not even ultimate, a first big milestone.
JC: Let me back track a moment. You said you worked side-by-side with Lisa.
About how many hours did you work?
CB: Well, we, for one we had separate offices. Okay. We had ah, I don't know, well I
am the first one you talk to from AMC, we three media we sell, we have card
pack medium, you've seen these card pack, likes ads that come to your house,
but we have bigger and much more professional that goes to interim agents out
across the U.S.
SF: How about the Val-Pack thing?
CB: Exactly, the same concept. And-a, insurance marketers who are looking to
recruit agents to in turn sell their products. would advertise with us. Okay. So
that's one of our medium...then we had a national magazine which goes to
those marketers themselves and so the people who would advertise in that
would be like a home office, acts like insurance, something like that. And then
we also have a separate division where we sell agent lists where marketer might
buy a list, who would do his own mailing to the list. So what we did back then, at
least, Lisa, Brenda, sells ah, DeeDee Cage or Shirley Cage, let's see who else
was there, there's a lady named Kay Proctor back then, we, five of us sold card
pack and magazine and that was our job.
JC: How many hours did your guys spend a day in your office at AMC Publishing?
CB: Let me read standard work day, and we go from 8:30 to 6; 5:30 to 6, the
standard (interrupted can't hear)
SF: Largely phone work
CB: Telemarketing. OK other than trade shows, one hundred percent telemarketing.
JC: The reason I am asking is from speaking to other, some of her family and
friends, they said Lisa worked a lot of hours, even her boyfriend told us she
would leave early in the morning and work sometime 14 hours a day, 12 hours a
day. Does that sound like Lisa?
CB: I mean at times, I could see 12 hours, at times, but
JC: We spoke to your wife, the first time we went over, she said, "he's at work"
CB: He's at work. Of course that was at 6:15 p.m. though.
BOTH ARE TALKING AT THE SAME TIME.
JC We said when did you come home, she said, he always working. Taking that
statement, seems to mean you guys spent a lot time in the office.
JC: So when you when you spend that much time in the office, do you have an
occasion to talk about personal things, other than just work, moreso than just
CB: Yeah, occasionally I mean as far as personal, of course there's also the aspect
of me being a guy and her being a girl, which sometimes girlfriends share things
that a guy-girl wouldn't, but anyway, we talk sometimes about personal stuff, I
am not sure where you are headed.
JC: I am trying to find out, did she have a problem when she broke up with her
CB: She didn't seem necessarily real down, ah, I never understood why, I was never
for sure she broke off with him or him with her. I think, since then I've been told
she broke up with him. She and I never really talked about it. I knew Kurt a little
bit, I didn't know him very well. Personally I thought he was kind-a of obnoxious
when I first met him. I like him a little better now, but I havent been around him
JC: And the reason I make the time frame because it's just normal when humans get
together, they discuss a lot of things, not strictly business,
JC: Some of the things when you have things in common, like the steps you going
through at church, I would imagine that there was conversation back and forth,
and I was just curious if she was having some problems, maybe with her
courses, getting through course.
CB: Not to my knowledge. The only thing that I would look back to I might consider
kind-a traumatic type event, might have been her breaking up with, but again I
didn't see any real outward manifestation of that.
SF: So you didn't know if that was the cause of her sabbatical in May or June of
CB: No, because I think they broke up
JC: I'll help you ...May
CB: May? Was it that late?
SF: May, yeah, they broke up in May.
JC: that's what Kurt told us.
CB: Okay, I thinking it was more like February, but Kurt would know, he was there.
Because I remember going to a Christmas party and I think it was Angies
April 2, 1997
Christmas Party at Benetta's house, she was there with him and then sometime
SF: Time flies.
JC: Regarding that, that break, or rest and relaxation she had in July of 95, was you
saying June some time between June and August
CB: I was thinking it was May and June, I was thinking from her calls, she came back
to work in July.
JC: Was there any reason given why she wasn't at work?
CB: The general statement was she was taking a personal leave, handle some
personal things. I mean, quite a few of the people are Scientologist at the
company, so they knew she was at Ft. Harrison and she was getting counseling,
auditing, what have you
JC: I also heard, or I have been informed that her sales were lagging, wasn't quite up
CB: Part of that time, she was not doing the super stellar she normally did.
JC: Was she getting a lot of pressure to produce?
CB: No more than usual. Standard, you know, we have our quotas, sales quotas,
you know when you are selling, range of 20 to 30 thousand a week in sales and
all of a sudden you do 5 or 10, then obviously your management takes a concern
in it, but wasn't like anybody was beating on her.
SF: My understanding Craig, the AMC Publishing utilized Scientology technology.
CB: It uses a management technology written by Hubbard, who of course founder of
Scientology, and that technology is used today in many companies,
Scientological way, say the principle are Scientologist or not.
CB: Ah, so we use that yeah as a mode of operation.
CB: A very simple I mean one of the basic is management by statistics. You know,
using it makes sense.
SF: Did you or did anyone have any reason, the reason why Gloria moved in with
Lisa and was living with her during the summer of 1995.
CB: My assumption was that strictly as a so they could share the cost rather than
living alone, which is usually more expensive, as a single woman,
SF: A single woman making $130,000 a year, do you think that she could afford
$650 a month rent.
CB: Could if she wanted to. I mean Gloria may have been more of help to Gloria
then anything else, as Gloria was just kind of getting started.
JC: wasn't she living with Bennetta.
CB: Gloria, had off and on. I mean she also lived with Lisa, Benetta, she even lived
with another girl for a period of time.
JC: Correct me if I am wrong. I was told that Gloria was Benetta's step-daughter.
CB: She is like a foster step-daughter. Yes.
JC: And I was under the impression she was living with Benetta prior to moving in
with Lisa. Big House.
CB: Ah, could have been. I mean, I don't, I don't remember the exact sequence of
Gloria, who she lived with, where, I know some girls she lived with for awhile,
named T. C. Applebaum, I don't, I don't keep up with her.
JC: Could it have been that Gloria was there to keep an eye on Lisa, she wouldn't
hurt herself, because she was maybe going in and out of reality?
CB: I guess bit of it. I wouldn't say that. I mean I think if there was any real concern
there, Lisa then would probably have gone back to church, stay at the church
and as far as, you know, continue her counseling. Was that during the summer,
is that what you are saying?
JC Yeah, because she was having the problem with her boyfriend, wasn't
producing, her job, -
JC: She already went into church one time for some R&R.
JC: So, I thought that was an extension of church of trying to help her out.
CB: Well, I wouldn't have anything to do with the church far as Gloria living with Lisa
or not. I mean
JC: Well, Gloria was a Scientologist
CB: Well, yeah, but there are 4, 5, 6 thousand Scientologist locally, so
SF: Okay, Craig. Let me ask you this, How did you learn about Lisa death and
circumstances surrounding it?
CB: Let see. David Slaughter came into my office and I don't remember what day it
was, but he came in and told me, you know, it was pretty shocking.
SF: What did you think about that?
CB: I was floored, I mean I was very, I was pretty upset.
SF: Did he tell you the cause of death?
CB: (prolonged silence) I am trying to remember.
SF: I mean it would unusual to come in and
April 2, 1997
CB: Oh, yeah, I am just say she died, I think (long silence) pretty sure he told me
about the staph infection and she became ill fairly suddenly, you know like within
a day or two for before that then she had this embolism in the leg, supposedly --
CR: --that broke loose and went to the heart.
SF: Did they tell you where she was at when all this took place or did you have an
idea where she was?
CR: I knew she was staying at the Ft. Harrison.
CR: Or had been for that period of time.
SF: Did you know about the accident she was in on the 18th of November?
CB: I had heard about that later from Brenda. Brenda told me that.
CB: And it was in very little detail.
SF: Okay. Did you care for or have any contact with Lisa McPherson from the 18th
of November 1995 until December 6, 1995.
CB: No direct contact.
SF: The day of her death,
CR: My last contact with her, none. My last contact with her was on that Friday, was
17, was 18 Saturday.
CR: Friday. Because I was at the trade show with her Wednesday....
SF: NAILBA Conference
CB: Thursday, and Friday.
CB: Exactly, in Orlando.
SF: And that ended.
CB: Well, Brenda and Lisa left Friday afternoon, it was essentially over that night.
Brian and I, Brian Rackstraw, I now you are going to talk to, stayed Saturday
SF: You did with Brian.
CB: We drove back together on Saturday.
JC: I know you didn't visit her at the Ft. Harrison, but have you any information
regarding her isolation on the 17th through the 6th of December?
CB: Details. I mean all I knew she was staying there and I assumed she was getting
JC: Do you have any co-workers went to visit her during that time.
CB: Not that I am aware of.
JC: None of the co-workers went to visit her while she at the Fort Harrison.
CB: Not to my knowledge.
CHANGING TAPES 1434 HOURS.
BACK ON TAPE AT 1435 HOURS
JC: The reason why I am asking is Lisa was with the employees in Texas. They
move over to Clearwater.
JC: A lot of the employees came over to Clearwater.
JC: she's involved in an accident, she takes off her clothes, she's walking down the
street naked. That probably got back to the office, or did it?
CB: I think very, very few, maybe Benetta, Brenda, myself, mmmm, I am sure David
knew, but anyway, you know, that, I think that was about it. I mean, that is
obviously something you don't want to advertise about a good friend.
SF: But you did know about that?
CB: I, found out later. I am not sure at what point Brenda told me, that she had a
wreck, and found her walking down the street, stripped off her clothes, which I
found pretty bizarre.
JC: So let's go on from this date, you don't want her good friends to know that. She
doesn't show up to work, a week, a week and half and nobody says, Where is
CB: Oh sure, later, I don't remember at what point, you know. Basically said she was
on leave again, she was at Ft. Harrison.
JC: And nobody went to see how she was doing?
CB: No. Not to my knowledge, unless Brenda or Benetta did.
JC: Cause you know, here for example, just for example here, or maybe from Mr.
Cacciatore's office, one of the co-workers get ill or sick, people call, how are you
doing, stop by and check,
JC: and that never occurred over there?
CB: Again, I didn't go, I don't know if anyone else went. I can't vouch for anybody
else. I understand you point. I guess philosophically that we had great concern
with Lisa, but we felt like the ministers of the church, her ministers could best
deal with any emotional trauma she was going through and
SF: Okay. She was having a hard time and she had all these people that came with
her from Texas. Did any one think to call her Mom?
CB: I guess I would assume either Brenda or Benetta had.
SF: Do you what I am saying, Craig.
CB: Oh, yeah,
SF: Call her family.
CB: See I thought Brenda or Benetta had, because they first knew her in the family
much longer that anybody else.
JC: Let me ask a question if I may. Are you saying that no one did called the family?
SF: Until the day after she died.
CB: No response
SF: Let me ask you this Craig. Ah, have you heard of an Introspective run-down?
CB: Heard of it. I don't know what it is. don't know anything about it.
SF: Have you heard of it through your teachings at the church.
CB: Heard of it primarily through the newspaper article that was making a big deal
SF: Okay. Ah,
CB: it's not, I, I couldn't speak to it as to what it is or how it's used or when it's
CB: Ignorant in the area.
April 2, 1997
SF: Was there any talk or conversations between any of you that Lisa perhaps may
have, or was having psychotic break?
CB: Ah, I mean after she went in
SF: Either during work
SF: Before or after or during the interim from her May sabbatical until November, was
their any discussion between you all about her emotional stability, you worked
with her every day
CB Yeah, well, there was definitely discussion, I am sure I know Benetta, Brenda
and I and my wife had some discussions with some concern, during the
whatever the May-June period was. I don't know that psychotic break was ever
used as a term or that specific term. It was obvious concern about what was
going on with Lisa whether she is okay,
JC: No discussion in the November incident
CB: Well, I am sure there was after when she went in, ah, I know my wife and I
discussed it, I am sure my wife and Brenda discussed and I know Brenda and I
did at least a couple of times.
SF: Do you know or have knowledge of any person that had contact with Lisa during
that time frame, 17 November through 6 December?
CB: Specifically, No.
JC: Do you have an occasion or know of anyone who had an occasion to take Lisa
back to her apartment during that time frame?
CB: During the time she was staying at Ft. Harrison?
JC: From November to December.
April 2, 1997
CB: I do not.
SF: Okay. Did anyone or yourself, Craig, have any written correspondence about
Lisa at any time?
CB: Between us?
SF: Between ah, what September, what did you say, September Jorge, September
1995 and her death
CB: I had none. I am not aware of any specifically.
JC: You mean, like between me and Brenda, and ___________
SF: Between you and anyone, written correspondence
RN: Let me, Can we take a break right here so I can consult with him, please?
TAPE HAS BEEN TURNED OFF: NO TIME GIVEN
SF: We are back on record. Time is approximately 1440 hours.
SF: Craig, I am going to ask again, Is there any time
CB: Okay, sorry. You said correspondence. I was thinking of letters like between us.
But I did write, after I got home from NAILBA, this show, I wrote rather a detailed
report for the church about Lisa, about what I considered some odd behaviors,
manifestations at the show.
SF: Why did you do that?
CB: I was actually asked to do that.
SF: Who asked you to do that?
CB: Brenda asked me to do that.
SF: And where did Brenda get her direction?
April 2, 1997
CB: Right from Benetta, because
SF: Where did Benetta get her direction from.
CB: No, but I just know that this was, was Saturday the 18th?
CB: I wrote it on the 19th and at that point, that's when Brenda called me and said,
Lisa had the wreck, she's in Ft. Harrison. We need some reports about what
happened in NAILBA, and some of the odd behaviors that were going on and so
I wrote that report.
JC: When you say Melba, would you might spelling that out?
CB: Melba - NAILBA, it stands for National Association Independent Life Brokerage
JC: The reason being .. the direction of the memo, earlier I asked you a question,
you know, if Gloria was involved with Lisa keeping her on welfare and you said,
Why? Is there separation of work and church and yet in this incident there is no
separation between the church and what seems to me there is a line there that
could be crossed.........
CB: We are all members of the same church too, right.
JC: Yeah,but I....I....I...
CB: We all work together, so how do you separate?
SF: You utilize Scientology technology.
CB: Well, but that's different than auditing and counseling.
JC: Because if I got into an accident, I know my Bishop would not direct my co-
workers to write a memo to put in my church file.
CB: Okay. But if you were receiving or had been receiving some counseling from
your Bishop and then you had reports of some rather odd behavior at a show,
verbal reports, you think he might want a little more detail.
April 2, 1997
CB That was, that was the gist of it, this was done as help flow, wasn't done as, you
have to understand part.
SF: Kind of an information thing.
CB: Part of, ah, I mean there are some things in Scientology, some reports, different
reports are considered very standard ______________
JC: Let me ask you this. Is everything documented in Scientology?
CB: Well, there's kinda of a basic datum (7) when we go by, if it's not written, it's not
true. I mean we could sit and talk about stuff all day long, I mean I could tell you
stuff, you could tell me stuff here today, but if for the court record is going to be
written down, right.
SF: Okay, let me ask that Craig. Basic premise in Scientology is something that you
just said, if it's not written, it's not true.
SF: Okay. Can I ask you one other question?
SF: Is it true that Ron L. Hubbard advocate the fact that it's okay to lie to the police?
CB: No. Not to my knowledge. I have never read that. I personally don't believe
JC: So every practitioner has a folder for information contained on that practitioner.
CB: We have different kinds of folders. We have ethics folders, and you have your
auditing or counseling folders, the are totally separate.
SF: Okay. Then you have knowledge.
April 2, 1997
CB: Well, knowledge reports, those are considered like, those reports one would
typically write when they observe or saw someone doing something considered
unethical or against the mores of the people of the church. Now that wasn't why
I wrote this report, I wrote this report because she had been getting counseling
at the church, for a year, ah, quite bit, prior to this, I don't know the time place
form or event, but prior to this trip to NAILBA and then there were what I
considered some nons, not normal behavior by Lisa at the show, but I felt was a
little odd, and so I thought that was important, especially looking back and
having knowledge that when she had this wreck she had obviously some
emotional traumatic, whether it was the wreck or whatever was bothering her,
that I thought the church should know to address in further counseling.
JC: So you wrote the report the day immediately after the accident.
CB: I wrote it on Sunday. I know you guys got the report. So if you look on the nine
JC: To nineteenth.
CB: it's dated the 19th.
SF: You did that as a help, you did that
SF: perhaps shed some light into
CB: Yeah, shed some light to the ministers that were going to be working with her.
SF: Okay and what kind of behavior did you observe, Craig?
CB: What do you want to ....just go through the report, I mean
SF: Do you want to do that?
JC: Before you do that, from your memory where do you recall that.
CB: Well, when, part of the report stuff I observed myself, ah, the first thing I saw
probably Wednesday. We went over Wednesday afternoon, Lisa and Brenda
April 2, 1997
drove, Brian and I drove, got there ah, something about Lisa hadn't slept much
the night before. So she went and took a nap. The rest of went and when we do
this specific show, we help register and I mean one of the main motivation there
is we get to see a lot of attendees, we greet and then we can set up
appointments later. So, we were doing this registration Wednesday afternoon
and she came down later and started helping us.
CB: And at one point, I saw her get right in this guys face. I mean, like, this wasn't
characteristics of Lisa, you know. She was right at his face, I couldn't hear what
she was saying, but it was
SF: Like you mean, right in his face.
CB: Well, you know, least this close, I mean unsociably acceptable close range, and-
a I don't recall hearing what all they said, but Brenda ended up kind-a
intervening, pulling Lisa off the guy. I mean she wasn't physically on him, but it
was a little, for Lisa who is very mannerly, very socially responsible, it was, you
know, it was an odd thing. It wasn't, by it'self, it probably would have been
nothing. That was the first thing I noticed.
SF: Okay. What else happened?
CB: Ah, the next morning, Thursday, morning at breakfast, she was acting a little
strange, Brian and I, and Brenda and Lisa all met downstairs for breakfast in this
hotel where we were staying, and I mean she seemed okay until we were about
through when she started, and again, have to kind-a put this perspective, Lisa
sometimes being a little dramatic, sometimes putting into actress, sometimes
she will put on the blonde air-head routine, so she started acting like, where am
I, where is the elevator, where is the front door, you know, again, struck me as
weird, but almost on the other hand it was kinda by it'self, well she is putting on
her dumb blonde routine. So, that was another thing. So, I put that in the report
SF: Did you review your report before you came over here today?
CB: I did not today, but have since then. Ah,
April 2, 1997
JC: Let me ask, just to make sure I get this clear in my mind. Brenda ask you to
write the report at the direction of Benetta.
CB: I think the sequence was Benetta called Brenda, her is what is happening, in a
nutshell. She had this wreck. she's walking down the street naked. She is now
is at Ft. Harrison. You all should write up any reports of behavior for the last
week of so. I know you guys were at NAILBA, couple of things, at least a couple
of things have been mentioned to Benetta, you see Benetta came -over there -
SF: wasn't she there first and then left.
CB: She came late. We were there Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
She came, I think, late Thursday, because we had, we had a dessert party, like
a, a lot of the companies have bars, open bars
CB: Yeah, Hospitality suite. So she came I think sometime that afternoon. So she
was there Thursday night, and she was there Friday until, sometime in the
afternoon and she left.
JC: Let me interrupt. I was under the impression, wrongfully, that she went one day
and came back the same day after the dessert party.
CB: Lisa or Benetta.
CB: Yeah she came over late Thursday, left Friday.
JC: Oh, she did spend the night there then.
CB: Yea--yeah, I'm pretty sure.
SF: Did she have a room of her own, Craig, do you know.
CB: Yeah, I think she stayed, there was like a little room adjoining hospitality suite.
JC: Mr. Burton, let me ask this, you said Benetta said, You guys should write a
report, meaning you.
April 2, 1997
CB: Me and Brenda.
JC: Who else was there from AMC?
JC: Did he write a report?
CB: I don't know for sure.
JC: Did Benetta write a report.
CB: I don't know.
JC: It would only be logical that they wanted to give the ministers all the information
JC: Possible ....So everybody would probably write a report.
JC: Did you get a chance to look at anybodys else report?
CB: I wrote mine. I mean, again, that is considered private. We just write it on our
own, whatever you saw and observe yourself, send it and that was it.
RC: Let me just say if I may. to save some time, have anybody else written a report, I
am sure you would all of had a copy of it.
JC: Well, Mr. Cacciatore, sometimes we do get copies, on subpoena requests, and
sometimes we don't.
April 2, 1997
RC: Well, then I can assure that in this case, to the best of my knowledge, so far, that
is the only report there is.
SF: From your interviews. Okay.
JC: Thank you and that will expedite things.
SF: I do have a question, you do indicate in her Craig, and we will go over this, that
you do refer to Brenda's report in this writing. You say, see Brenda Hubert's
CB: Did I? Okay.
SF: Yeah. I don't know exactly where it is, and we might as well, is this in fact your
CB: Yeah, yeah it is.
SF: Is this the report that you wrote on the 19th of November______
CB: It, it, Exactly
SF: Dated 1995.
CB: Yep, yep.
SF: Who is DOP ELS Unit?
CB: DOP stand Director of Processing. Processing meaning auditing or counseling.
SF: Do you know who that is?
CB: No. I mean they have, at the time, I wouldn't have know who it was.
SF: Thank you. Ah, would the name Alaine Kurtizineki ring a bell to you. Perhaps
the Director of Processing.
April 2, 1997
CB: No. Actually don't. I mean there are so ______ are so many staff over there, I
SF: And this is you. (pointing)
CB: Correct. -
CB: Regarding Lisa McPherson.
SF: Okay. The question I had, (interruption by CB)
CB: Yeah, I knew Lisa, Brenda was writing a report. I never saw her report, but I
knew she was going to write one, so let's.....
SF: Is that perhaps why you refer.....
CB: I think, yeah, because I said, here is a couple of things that I mention that were
hearsay that I heard from Brenda, so I made the assumption of course when
Brenda wrote her report, she would put the details in.
SF: Okay. I want you go ahead and look this report over and if you like, read it over
and I want you to let us know if this is a true and accurate representation of
everything that you wrote.
JC: I wouldn't be offended if it you read it out loud, because I had some difficulty
making out your handwriting.
SF: Do you want to go ahead, Craig?
SF: In that way we can jot down some questions.
JC: (interrupting each other)
CB: Because my and there are some Scientological terms that I figure you have
SF: I am - like the HC, I was going to ask you about that, things like that.
CB: So, anyway, I routed this to the Director of Processing, which processing being
Ls Unit, is just a specific area where I knew Lisa was getting auditing because
there are, I mean the church is so big, there are quite a number
SF: different unit's
SF: Who did you give this to?
CB: (Long silence) Trying to remember how I got it down there. (More silence) I am
thinking I took it, put in an envelope, had it sealed, and left it at the window,
some people, like clerical staff that would be at the window of this unit.
SF: So it wasn't routed through work.
CB: Oh, no. No.
SF: You didn't give it to Brenda, or didn't handed to Benetta or
CB: No. I think I drove it down there to the Ft. Harrison. This unit, this unit is in at
the Ft. Harrison. You know because
SF: As opposed to Flag or the church.
CB: Flag is a term the whole downtown area.
CB: You have the Ft. Harrison, you have the Sand Castle, Coachman building, you
know there's at least two or three other buildings.
April 2, 1997
CB: So, this is the report I made on Lisa McPherson, I dated November 19, 1995,
which was the Sunday after NAILBA show.
So on Wednesday, November 15, through Saturday November 18, Lisa
McPherson, Brenda Hubert, Brian Rackstraw, and myself, Craig Burton went
over to Orlando working a trade show which was NAILBA, the National
Association Independent Life Brokerage Agencies. We arrived separately on
Wednesday afternoon about 2 p.m. Brenda and Lisa drove one car, Brian and I
in another. Brenda told me upon arrival that Lisa that Lisa had very sleep
Tuesday night, so she sent her up for a nap. While Brenda, Brian and I started
helping with registration. Lisa came down about 4 p.m. Later as I was helping
with registration, I observed Lisa start a comcycle, which is a
SF: Communication cycle.
CB: Communication cycle, just a conversation with an attendee. Okay. She got right
in his face, he originated, he cannot remember someone's name and she
proceeded to aggressively or what I perceive aggressively question him when he
last remembered. He was ARC breaking which means, getting upset. He was
having a break in either affinity, reality or communication. Ah, Brenda intervened
pull Lisa off of him. He went on his way, his name was Jim something, I didn't
get the last name. Thursday, morning, so that was like the first little situation I
SF: Wednesday night.
CB Ah, late Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday morning Brian and I had breakfast with Lisa and Brenda. Lisa was
acting weird in an inconsistent manner, or what I perceived to be. Brenda
originated Lisa and kept her up most of the night.
SF: They were sharing a room, I understand.
CB: Brian and I had one room, they had another.
CB: As we were rapping up breakfast, Lisa acted as though she didn't know where
she was, where was the front door to the restaurant, how do you get to the room.
CB: That when I was talking about one one hand I perceive it as the dumb blonde
routine, on the other it seemed a little strange.
CB: Throughout Thursday, Friday, I observed Lisa to be often frantic about little
things, loosing her clipboard, and her name badge, loosing someone in a crowd.
Ah, Thursday afternoon, when Lisa client, Morrie came to her booth with a
floosy, buxom blonde.
SF: Is it Morrie?
CB: He was a big insurance marketer out of Miami.
CB: Lisa got in her face, and a girl very close to talk to her, and I put here in
parenthesis (hearsay) because I didn't hear what they said, per Brenda, Lisa ask
her or told the blonde you know where you hat is several times. Now, in
Scientology terms, more like the military, hat is a position in a company, in life,
business, what have you. Of course, the blonde had no clue what Lisa was
talking about. that's kind of, well, again it was a little obviously odd to be asking
something like that.
SF: That you normally wouldn't ask, say to a civilian. Because they wouldn't know
what you were talking about.
CB: Well sure, I mean it's totally ______________
SF: Jorge and I know what you are talking about because weve been working on
this case, but otherwise, I wouldn't know what hat meant.
CB: Or in the military, I think it's used in the military, sometimes, maybe not so much
as - Scientologist, but
SF: Hatting or what your hat is.
CB: Yeah, it's just kind of an odd thing to ask somebody. So, again, I put hearsay,
per Brenda, Lisa made an appointment to salvage Mome Rubin and when
April 2, 1997
Brenda found out about it, she told Lisa to keep to business only and knock off
any extraneous comments. Morrie put this a little bit in context, Morrie was
known as a womanizer, drinker, he's a good looking guy, ah, again I guess Lisa
had the viewpoint that the was not the most ethical upstanding citizen. Anyway,
ah, next paragraph:
I observed Lisa tell Morrie on Friday, about 12:30 p.m., on the floor of the trade
show that I'll only wanted to do this guy's business and he left. So that was
after Brenda had corrected her. Ah, Wednesday night at dinner, Brenda was
talking about a client in New Jersey, George Shave, and how he was having a
bad year in New Jersey due to the legislative environment affecting the
insurance market industry in general. Ah, Lisa seem to become a little obsessed
with cause of who was behind the law changes in New Jersey. She asked
Brenda several times and again, and I have it in quotes, what would George do
if he knew who really behind law changes in New Jersey. As if she knew the
exact source of some suppressive elements were causing, causing the
insurance guys to have a horrible time. Again, it was just a little ....Brenda
changed the subject to get Lisa off the subject. Friday morning, Brenda told me
Lisa woke her up at 3 a.m., sobbing, and telling her the end is near. Here again I
say Brenda is doing a separate report, Brenda told me she was going to. Okay,
again, obviously that is hearsay. Um Thursday night, Lisa, Brian and I were
walking to a large banquet reception hall to work the crowd. that's what we are
there for. Lisa stopped to get a drink, or soda, I waited for her, Brian walked on,
and we lost Brian in the crowd. It was big pretty big hall. So Lisa became rather
frantic about Brian not being there with us.
SF: Your sure that's not been whited out there, Craig, it might have been Benetta,
CB: No, I know it was Brian, because I recall we were together.
CB: We lost Brian, Lisa became rather frantic about Brian not being there. that's just
the next sentence. Ah, it's not sequential here: I gently held her arm, kissed her
on the check and told, no problem. She calmed down and wanted me to stay
RC: Hold a moment, you can review my copy. Says Brian.
April 2, 1997
SF: We lost Brian. Thank you Ron for, appreciate that.
JC: Hang on to that. I have a couple of questions about that.
CB: So she calmed down. I stayed with her, we continued walking around the crowd.
Ah, a short time later, I found Brian had went up to the room to check on status
of our hospitality suite, which was to start at 9 p.m. this was, I don't know, 8:30
8:45, something like that. I think, ah, I put I think, Franz Reiter, and Brenda, and
I marked out Brenda, were still in the near vicinity of Lisa and the crowd.
SF: How did Franz get there?
CB: Franz, he either drove separately or came with Benetta. Because it being in
Orlando, they just drove, ah, yeah, I think, they either drove together or
SF: Okay, we can ask them that.
CB: Sure. Ah, He, Franz, came up later and left her in the reception hall when she
was dancing by herself to the band quartet, which was not unusual. She really
liked to dance. Ah, except I think there were more of a quartet, so it was a little
odd music to be dancing to. (Laughing)
SF: As opposed to Country Western.
CB: She was a big two-stepper and mostly west, she did all kinds of dances, but the
music, at least it was when I left it was a little odd to be dancing to.
CB: Ah, at 9:05 p.m., all of us were in the hospitality suite, except Lisa. We had been
told, my copy is a little bad, to be there by 9 p.m. I went down to retrieve her. I
found Lisa talking with some guy, so I beckoned to her and she followed me and
we walked together up to the room and on the way she told me how incredible
the band was and how much fun she had. She again, she may have been a little
dramatic, but to me I thought the bank kind of sucked, personal things. Ah, she
told how she had danced and brought everyone in the room way up tone. Up
tone in Scientology is like emotional, cheerful, enthusiastic. Ah, it seemed quite
pleased with the effect she thought she created. Of course that was my editorial
comment there. This was a very large room, about 1500 to 2000 people.
SF: Was she out there by herself dancing?
April 2, 1997
CB: When I came out, she wasn't dancing.
CB: Franz, I never saw her dancing, but he, when Franz came up later, he said she
was down there dancing. I came she was talking to a guy. But then she told she
had been dancing. I didn't see her dancing.
CB: Ah, Okay. So that was it. Then I said, now I am aware that Lisa has been
working with Katie Chamberlain at work, on an OW write up for several weeks.
Okay. OW is Overets Withhold. Overets could be any form of transgression,
could be I went to work late today ten minutes or I robbed a bank or
SF: Things that you didn't admit.
CB: And the withhold is that you didn't tell anybody. So, or course part of our belief is
that if you write them down, time, place, form and event, could
CB: Kin of like a catholic confession, but that's verbal, we do it in writing
SF: or diary
CB: Yeah, I never thought of a diary as therapeutic, you know, I guess so. Ah,
anyway that's the basic philosophy. Now I am not sure, I don't know why Katie
was doing it, necessarily - I don't know the nature of it, I was just aware that they
SF: That Katie was helping her out.
CB: Um, __________ required a tremendous amount of 8C. 8C being direction, in a
very black and white definition.
SF: BACK ON TAPE
CB: I'll repeat the one. Throughout the show, Lisa required a tremendous amount of
8C. Now 8C, what I meant was basically is a lot of direction. Here she was a
very professional salesperson. She was probably the best, she was use to
working a crowd, going in, walking up to anybody and everybody while someone
else might be a little reticent, if you didn't know them, and, but instead she
would, she would stand around at times, sometimes she, she seemed okay,
other times there, you know was this odd behavior, but instead of being the
norm, self-starter, as she was, and we'd have to remind her, okay go work the
floor, you know, try sell some advertising. That was the content. And here I
say, Lisa ordinarily is a very overt person, a self-starter, she's an incredible sales
person. She a close personnel friends, as well as co-worker, I was trying to give
the ministers because they didn't know me and they didn't know me, some
perspective on why I was even writing this.
JC: I got a question for you. Is that the full report you wrote, do you recall?
CB: Full report and the only report that I wrote.
JC: There is two missing pages. If you look at your number sequence, you go from
I, and that after between, from my understanding, page 2 is missing and page 8
CB: Looks like, well, 2 was probably on the back. I
JC: Well, their all numbered.
CB: 2, I understand, that there was a 2, should have been, 4, 5, 6, 7, so 8 and 2
JC: Do you have any 8 and 2 Ron?
CB/RC: Let me see what the 2 looks like there? There is no 2, it jumps to 3. It looks
like a 2, but I guess that's a 3, cause it's the same as your 3, as I have a 2. So
it's the same
CB: here's one, all right.
RO: later, this is 2, their just alike
April 2, 1997
CB: well there just a line, I can't read the page number, so 2, and 3, you have the 3,
wrapping up breakfast, 3, after 3 can't read the page numbers, 2, 3, what do you
have for 3,
(MORE CONVERSATION REGARDING PAGES)
SF: You got yours cut off, some of ours are probably cut off. -
(REVIEWING PAGE NUMBERS)
JC: There's no 8, it goes to 9.
JC: And you can see that the thought pattern stops here. And you start off with a
brand new thought pattern here
CB: You do your editorializing this last page.
I can see where I at the beginning 1 & 2 could be a mistake, I think that one is
really is two, because you don't have 1 on the first page. So this probably your
one and this is your two and the thought pattern flows very nicely.
JC: But your missing a total page, page 8 goes with 7 and 9.
CB: I didn't notice that.
JC: Do your recall what was on page 8?
RC: Could you with your CPA background, number the pages wrong?
CB: I remember numbers, I don't remember people's names too well. (Reading
SF: Then you talked about how Katie Chamberlain was working right on her os and
CB: And I said throughout the show.
JC: She found the stage.
CB: Sure, sure, makes total sense.
JC: But your missing page 8 and it's all possible I'd like to get a copy of it. I think you
would like a copy too, Ron.
RC: Maybe there isn't a page 8, could be that he misnumbered.
CB: Possible, I don't know. I couldn't say. I didn't keep a copy of the report.
SF: I have (talking over) a (???) Craig for you.
SF: Had, had you participated in, or are you aware of the OT hatting section, the OT
and hatting. There, Lisa refers to her hat, to this individual.
CB: Yeah, but a hat, but, there is one of the basic courses, I mean it could be applied
to one of the very basic courses, anyone ever does in Scientology called Student
SF: No, this one is called, OT Hatting.
CB: Well, there are bunch of those hatting courses.
SF: Okay. This probably a more advance one.
CB: But anybody can do them. Anybody, relativity.
SF: I was thinking maybe if she was in that session of her training, that maybe that
was influencing her thoughts.
CB: Could be. I think, one thing, I think, you not being in Scientology you have to
understand there, there's kind like ah, two and I'll give her the term the Bridge,
SF: She was half way there.
CB: So there is two sides, more the spiritual, personal, personal enlightenment, what
have you side, then there's training side, right. So OT hatting course kind of fit
on the training side and (interruption)
SF: And that's where Lisa was heading (interruption)
CB: Then clear, OT levels, some of that stuff, the grades all on the other sides.
SF: Right, okay.
JC: I want to get back to the report just for one last question to clear it up in my mind.
Just to make sure, you, could there have been a possibility and it can go both
JC: I understand that, but you are very articulate person, very educated person, I
think you got your number sequence right, you have submitted nine pages and
when we asked for the report, they gave us eight pages.
CB: Okay, that's possible. I mean, I think it's also possible, that I misnumbered. I
don't remember, year and half ago. I mean
JC: You wrote it, that's what I am asking. If anybody would know, or recall, you
would be the person that would know.
CB: And should.
JC: And do you?
CB: I don't, honestly don't.
SF: I got a couple more quick questions. You said that Lisa was the highest
producer, above and beyond
CB: sales wise
SF: sales wise? Did you ever discuss her salary or her commission with her?
April 2, 1997
CB: Ah, no, I remember one time, I know she mentioned to me she made over a
hundred thousand one year, that's probably the specifics.
SF: Did you make that much, do you make that much in sales? Or is that pretty
CB: I made over that last year. But, part of it was, no, I was going to say because of
my promotion, but most of the year I was on as salesman. So it was not unheard
SF: Now you said you have been keeping up with the newspaper. Articles, things of
that nature. Did it surprise you that Lisa donated almost three-quarters of
income back to the church? Or is that routine protocol?
CB: I personally don't believe that, I don't have any basis to say yea or nay.. I don't
believe ninety percent of what is in the paper.
JC: Well, let me ask you this, if that were true, lets look on the assumption it's correct,
RC: Let me interject here. He's here, he's told the truth, he gonna tell the truth, but I
think it's unfair to him
SF: Well, let's say, Craig.
RC: Thank you
SF: Well, let's say Craig, Does that surprise you, that if she did donate that much of
CB: Three-quarters of her income, that would very much surprise me.
JC: I was going to rephrase the question, is it a practice of Scientology to donate
seventy-five percent back.
CB: There is no set practice. I mean there are times, I've been in Scientology for
SF: That was the next question I was going to ask?
April 2, 1997
CB: There are times when I donated zero, there are times when I've donated closer
to, maybe, twenty percent; seventy-five percent I don't how one would live
JC: it's a valid question.
CB: There are no prescribed, people, unlike most churches, I grew up in the
Presbyterian Church, the guideline was ten percent, that's pretty standard for
most Christian Churches. Scientology rather than just say I'll donate percent,
this is a request tithing, but obviously no one has to do that. In Scientology, you
know we tie the tithing to your course or intensive counseling that you are doing,
I know you have researched that for sure, and that was researched by the IRS
actually ended up finally agreeing with that, but because the philosophy being
that while you are tying up someone's professional time, to help you.
JC: Enhance yourself.
CB: I either, with one-on-one in counseling or training, training scenario we are in a
course room with a supervisor and you got 26 students who are studying.
SF: Can I ask you, where are you on the Bridge. Can I ask you that question?
CB: I can say I am about to clear.
SF: I hope the batteries didn't go.
(Having problems with something here)
(conversation not related to this case)
SF: I don't have any questions. Do you have any questions for us, Craig.
JC: I have one.
CB: Have you all ever, I know, are you guys the main two on the investigation?
JC: Like we told you that night at your house, you are not a suspect in any way
shape or form, we just trying to gather information. The investigation is not
pointing nothing, no way, towards you in any direction, shape, way, or for...
CB: No, I probably wouldn't. Have no hesitation whatsoever, talking to you all, had
none, except I know there is a little history between the church and Clearwater
JC: We are not investigating the church of Scientology. We are not investigating Mr.
Burton. We are investigating if there was a contributing factor to Lisa's death.
There was an accident. Accident happen, you know. But someone was
responsible, don't you think or, I feel they should be accountable.
CB: Sure. that's why I am here.
JC: And that's what were trying to make a determination.
CB: I guess what I was going to ask you, if you all have gone to Ft. Harrison? Have
you all done a tour? Is that something you are going to do? I can't offer that,
but, I guess, I think, maybe it's more in the papers, I think there is a little bit
SF: Are you allowed to bring a guest?
CB: Yeah, as long as you don't bring ten SWAT troopers in.
JC: If you might want to take me on a tour, I would like to go.
SF: I'd love to go.
JC: But I guess I don't think they are gonna let me in.
CB: I guess I made two points. I've been in Scientologist for twenty years.
SF: here locally and in Denver; I mean in Dallas and California.
CB: No, it was California, Virginia, wherever I lived. I started in 1977. Ah, I come
and go when I want, where I want, any church I want. No one has ever tried to
sequester me, to hold me.
JC: If you can get me into it, I'll go with you.
CB: Okay. I can't promise.
SF: If you can, we will be more than willing.
CB: All right, shut up Craig.
SF: The time is currently 1520 hours. This will conclude interview of
CB: I have one more question. Do you all believe there is a dungeon in there like the
JC: I lived in Florida for twenty-four years, and I know we have no basements. So,
but there are some areas where you have sub-levels that could like a basement.
Does that answer your question.
CB: Yeah. I guess so. Partly.