Victims' families mark 3-year sweat lodge anniversary
SEDONA, AZ (CBS5) -
It's hard to believe it's been three years since tragedy rocked the Sedona community. On Oct. 8, 2009. James Arthur Ray led his final "Spiritual Warrior" retreat at the Angel Valley resort.
Attendees paid $10,000 to participate and fasted for a day and a half before the retreat's final event, the sweat lodge.
The lodge was a low, circular hut covered with blankets and tarps. Rocks were heated and placed inside with participants for spiritual cleansing.
The sweat lodge went horribly wrong, sending nearly 20 people to the hospital and killing Liz Newman, James Shore and Kirby Brown.
"It's always birthdays and anniversaries and, you know, the last time we saw Kirby. Those dates are always a little bit more difficult than average," said Brown's cousin, Tom McFeeley.
McFeeley said this anniversary has special significance. Right now Ray is behind bars serving the sentence handed down with his three negligent homicide convictions.
"This is the only anniversary he'll serve in prison so I think that gives this day sort of a strange significance," McFeeley said.
Ray was out on bail for the first and second anniversaries and his 600-day sentence will expire before the fourth.
"That's the unfortunate thing is that, you know, there's a guilty count and he will pay for his crimes in prison. I'm afraid the time he spent paying for them is too short but we will try to make him and everyone else in the industry remember this day and remember that the safety and well being of all self-help seekers are really the top priority," McFeeley said.
Brown's family created a non-profit charity in her memory geared toward educating people about the self-help industry. For more information click here.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Monday, September 1 2014 2:31 PM EDT2014-09-01 18:31:42 GMT
North Augusta Public Safety Officers are investigating a death in the 600 block of West Woodlawn Ave. Details are very limited at this time but we will continue to update you as we learn more information.More >>
North Augusta Public Safety is working investigation on West Woodlawn Ave. Details are very limited at this time.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 1:12 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:12:59 GMT
A teenager is dead after Lincoln County officials said he drowned in a cove off Blackfoot Rd. Paul Reviere, Lincoln County Coroner, identified the victim as Jacoby Mason, 17, of Lincolnton. Sheriff BruceMore >>
A 17-year-old boy is now dead after drowning in a cove in Lincoln County.More >>
Sunday, August 31 2014 5:04 PM EDT2014-08-31 21:04:49 GMT
The Hands Across the Border effort is putting extra law enforcement officers out on the roads during the busy Labor Day weekend, but they aren't the only ones keeping people safe. Bar and restaurant managersMore >>
Police officers aren't the only ones keeping drunk drivers off the road this Labor Day weekend. Bar and restaurant workers are doing their part to make sure people that are leaving their businesses aren't getting behind the wheel when they're under the influence.More >>
3933 Washington Road
Augusta, GA 30907