I repeatedly put this case off—even at one point scrapping it—because of its daunting nature. It's one that isn't really a mystery, so much as it is a conspiracy theory. But due to the overwhelmingly bizarre nature of the death and the weird circumstances behind it, I feel that the death of screenwriter Gary Devore is worthy of this miniseries. That said, this is, for the most part, a conspiracy theory plays out like something from the pages of an espionage novel.
Now, before step any further into this story, I want to make one thing absolutely clear. I have, for the entirety of this blog series, done my absolute best to make sure that no conspiracy theory that has been in this section of an entry, been blindly passed off as being true. While I personally find conspiracies to be fascinating and believe that having an open mind is a great thing, I don’t believe that every official report from any government is immediately wrong and subject to being played off as false. While the CIA and friends may be shifty and have a history that is mired by controversy and very questionable actions, I don’t believe them to be the scapegoat for every weird and shady thing that happens around the world. Sometimes, for better or for worse, weird things happen and there is a perfectly logical explanation for it.
All of that said: the main focus of this case’s theory section is going to be devoted to what is little more than a conspiracy theory. However, it’s the very thing that makes this entire case noteworthy in my eyes and for that: I apologize if that sort of thing isn’t your cup of tea, though I do promise that the theory itself is one of the more fascinating ones out there in comparison to, say, the New World Order or something akin to that. With that out of the way, let’s dive into this insanity.
The early life of Gary Devore is hazy at best. From what I can find: he was born September 17, 1941. That’s where it ends, so we got that out of the way. He was a trucker for six years before becoming a screenwriter and was also the best man at legendary actor Tommy Lee Jones’ wedding. Beyond those little tidbits of information I got from IMDb, Devore could’ve been manufactured in a Russian factory and I’d probably believe it.
Where Devore’s life is better well documented is after he became a screenwriter. He’s best known for writing the Arnold Schwarzenegger film “Raw Deal” in 1986. Against an 11 million dollar budget, the film grossed 16.8 million and was a disappointment in the eyes of the studio. Still, in spite of this, Devore went on to write a few other films, TV productions, and did uncredited rewrites on several well known films. These included the Jean-Claude Van-Damme film “Time Cop” and the Wesley Snipes film “Passenger 57”.
Where Devore’s notoriety really comes from is his disappearance in June of 1997. He was driving from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Santa Barbara, California, but never arrived at his destination. Police launched a massive investigation and search, but to no avail. Although there was an extensive amount of media speculation, it was as though Devore vanished off the face of the Earth.
That is, until an amateur detective decided to retrace Devore’s route the night he disappeared. According to the IMDb trivia section for Devore, the detective used his credit card receipts and cell phone records until they all stopped a bridge with a canal below it. He contacted the California highway patrol, who were skeptical of the amateur sleuths claim as there wasn’t any damage on the guard rails. In the end however, they investigated and found parts of a wrecked SUV that matched Devore’s Ford. After divers were called in, they found the submerged vehicle with Devore inside. Or what remained of him anyway.
Devore’s body had, naturally, decomposed from being submerged. Though he was missing his hands—neither of which have ever been found.
Authorities ruled Devore's death an accident, but not all were convinced. Some believed there was more up than was let on. This is the story ends and theories begin and by God, the first one is a doozy. I'm going to try and be as brisk and thorough as I can, so here goes nothing. The first theory is that Devore was killed by the CIA.
First up: I wanna clarify that I'm sourcing this part from a Reddit post as it's all I've got. The only other places I can find information are a defunct website (or at least one I couldn't load) that the comment is copy and pasted from and a Daily Mail article; and I'm not going to say I sourced my information from that dreck.
The theory goes that Devore was writing the script a remake of the 1949 film “The Big Steal”, which he was also set to make his directorial debut on. Allegedly, an early draft was obtained that had gems such as, “S***, we're really kicking the crap out of this little bitty country. It's embarrassing” and “Starting a war you can't lose is good for morale”. The cherry on top is the line, “A little scrimmage to make the varsity look good”.
Those lines, plus the following tidbits of information, are all from a Reddit comment that I'll link at the end of this blog. With that said, I'm gonna be doing something different here and using bullet points for this theory. The length of these comments warrants it I feel.
- According to police, Devore would've had to have been going “110km/h” with his head lights deliberately turned off up a highway for 3.2km without ever being noticed. He then would have had to have gone through the one opening of the road rail that was “a mere 5 meters wide” without damaging neither the rail nor his car.
- According to Gary's ex-wife, Babylon 5 star Claudia Christian, she had hired a former Marine to investigate below the aqueduct. He used infrared equipment and saw neither the car nor Devore. Both believe the body and car were planted there
- Devore's laptop, which contained the script to his remake of The Big Steal, was missing. His firearm was also missing
- Devore’s hands were missing in case you forgot.
- Although police didn't find his hands at first, they later found bone fragments in the backseat and in the slit at the bottom of the car. None of these fragments included those of his deformed pinky—something that would've immediately confirmed his identity
- Unsatisfied by these findings, Devore's wife asked for another autopsy. The results never came back and she questions if the body was even her husband's.
- The writer of this article (it bears clarification that the commenter didn't make this—it’s copy and pasted from that defunct website I mentioned earlier) claims they got a copy of the autopsy report. It states the fragments were two hundred years old.
- The autopsy agreed that the cause of death couldn't be determined, but the coroner felt it was likely “homicide”.
- When Devore’s vehicle was discovered, public information officer of the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department Mike Burridge recalled seeing an unmarked black helicopter. A cameraman for CNN tapped him on the shoulder and asked him if it was one of the Sheriff’s Department's, but Burridge denied this. Someone exited the helicopter to take pictures of something. However, before the cameraman could set up his camera, the helicopter took off.
- The following day, Burridge got a call from an individual named “Anderson” who claimed that he worked for the Air Force. “Anderson” said that the reason for the helicopter was due to radio interference at the location. Burridge asked a nearby Air Force base about the man named Anderson, but they didn’t know who he was or what Burridge was talking about.
- Devore’s CIA associate—“Chase” Brandon—went to the Devore residence days after Gary went missing. He locked himself in Devore’s office and when Gary’s wife went to check on him, he was at Devore’s computer. When she went to check it, it had frozen and everything on it was lost.
- When Burridge went to question Brandon about what he’d done, Brandon proved difficult to communicate with and eventually began to refuse to communicate with them. Exasperated by the repeated attempts at communication, Brandon went to the FBI and “astonishingly” was interviewed at CIA headquarters. After said interview, the FBI contacted the sheriff’s office and told them that, “there was no need to follow up this avenue of enquiry”.
- Devore’s wife said that Gary had gotten “deeply disturbed” while investigating the United States’ involvement in Panama, saying they’d tested “laser weapons on a Panamanian school bus” and that the weapon split the bus in half from front to back. The army then buried the civilians in unmarked graves. She said that she once went into his office one night and saw him hunched over his desk, head in his hands, saying, “the deeper you go, the dirtier it gets”.
- Supposedly, thanks to “witness testimonies”, the Pentagon had tested particle beam weapons that were attached to military aircraft. According to a University of Panama processor, there were combatants who “literally melted with their guns, lasered automobiles, and ‘poison darts which produce[d] massive bleeding”.
- A year after he went missing, Devore’s wife was confronted by three men who looked to be in the military, but were wearing civilian clothing, approached her and said that the topic of Panama was “dangerous and dirty” and was best avoided before leaving.
- Devore’s wife said that she saw “strange symbols” on Gary’s computer. When she asked what exactly they were, Gary replied that they were “encryption codes” and left it at that. Gary’s ex-wife made a similar claim, saying that whenever she’d enter his office, Gary would get pissed at her for disturbing him.
- Not long after Devore vanished, his wife was paid a visit by someone who claimed to be a retired National Security Agency (NSA) agent. The nameless individual said that he believed that Gary’s disappearance was something “connected with high-level public spy scandals dating from the mid-1990s” and that the “selling of state secrets to Russia by the CIA’s Aldrich Ames and the FBI’s Robert Hanssen”. He also told Devore’s wife, “we never kill our own”. In spite of his, he apparently expressed concern that Devore may have fallen victim to the Russian mafia; an organization that the agent believed to have ties to US intelligence. The agent also told Devore’s wife to investigate his background; to which she discovered a one million dollar pension fund in government bonds. The agent then said that, “we all get that”. In spite of all of this, the NSA denies that Gary Devore worked for them.
- Dismayed at the lack of leads, Devore’s wife visited a friend of hers; a psychic named Karen Prisant Ellis, shortly after Gary vanished. After asking her for help, Devore’s wife was contacted by a man who the article refers to as “Carlos”. Carlos claims that he met Gary while he worked at “an underground facility operated by defense contractor Rocketdyne”. It’s there that locator chips had been implanted in their right pectoral muscles. Carlos claimed that he had “been recruited by the CIA based on his expertise with electromagnetics” and that it had “taken him 10 years to disengage from the Agency after having his chip illegally removed”. Carlos also said that he was dying of cancer thanks to the type of work he did at Rocketdyne and that he wanted to let Devore’s wife know that he was a good man. Devore’s wife later said she didn’t understand why someone who was dying told her—someone he didn’t know—a false life story.
- As for Rocketdyne itself, one of its facilities suffered a meltdown that released more than three hundred times the amount of radiation that was released at Three Mile Island. This meltdown—the one at Rocketdyne’s facility that is—was back in 1959. If Carlos wasn’t lying, it’s likely he was one of those that was given cancer thanks to the meltdown.
- During filming of a documentary entitled “The Man with No Hands”, filmmakers were allegedly told by a CIA agent to “back off”.
All of that, at face value, seems compelling, right? Here's the problem: beyond that article/comment, I can't find anything to back it up. At all. There's as much readily available information for every single claim up there as there is for Nibiru. I had my friend, Tyler, try himself to find something, but he came back empty handed.
One can argue that the article was from a very little known site, but I can't accept that when the claims made here are on a scale that rival those of John F. Kennedy. Either Devore's loved ones themselves back up what's said here or everything I said above is complete hogwash.
Anyways, movie on: the second theory is one that I'd consider to be a more “moderate” version of the first one. It's also one that I've seen raised by very few people and I can understand why as it arguably requires a lot more logic leaps than Devore having been killed by the CIA. Still, I feel it bears mentioning for the sake of completion.
The theory states that Devore was the victim of a robbery of some sort, with the robber (or robbers) having held him up at gun or knife point when he was at a gas station or with them posing at hitchhikers. Whichever you believe, the robbery may either gone south and Devore was killed or the robber [s] offed him after they got what they wanted.
Where this theory falls apart—for ne at least, I can't quite find arguments in or against it anywhere—is exactly how Devore was killed. One can argue that they took Devore's hands and then drove the car off the bridge or into the canal below it, but I've personally never heard of any robbery where the end result was stolen property + hands. Not to mention the lack of any blood found anywhere, but one can argue that removal of the hands was done somewhere far away. I'm not a doctor so I'll let someone in the comments pick apart this possibility they're a vulture and the argument is a carcass.
Theory number three, and the one that’s been accepted as the official verdict, is that it was an accident. It's said that Devore likely fell asleep behind the wheel and subsequently drove off the bridge and into the canal where he died. Exactly how, I'm unsure, but it was likely drowning or him hitting his head during the crash.
Much of the backing for this theory comes from the lack of evidence—and the extreme logical leaps—the other two theories require to work. Although one could argue that Devore perhaps stumbled across something when writing his Panama movie, one also must ask why someone like Oliver Stone has been allowed to live when you look at his portfolio of films. Or even Michael Moore, who ripped into the Bush Jr. administration. Some may argue that those two are much more well known than Devore, but that hasn’t stopped conspiracy theorists from saying that people like Princess Diana or even Tom Clancy were assassinated for one reason or another.
Gary Devore’s death is certainly one for the book, as is the conspiracy theory that surrounds it. While I personally don’t believe he was the victim of a CIA operation, I do think that there is a little bit of room for the possibility that maybe he was killed in some robbery attempt gone wrong. That said, I believe the likelihood of that is extraordinarily slim. No matter what though, I think that Devore’s death is one of the oddest in recent memory. Being found without your hands has to be quite the scene.