FREDERICK, Colorado—The dry, northern Colorado farmlands were a little less lonely last week, as investigators and forensic trucks kicked up dust combing the back roads looking for a missing family.
On Thursday, after three days and nights of searching, a team of exhausted investigators found the bodies of two little girls and their mother. Shanann Watts, a pregnant mother of two, was buried in “a shallow grave near an oil tank,” according to court documents filed by the Weld County District Attorney’s Office. Shanann, 34, was 15 weeks pregnant with a boy, who she had already named Niko, her family told The Daily Beast.
Investigators’ worst fears were realized when they located the bodies of Shanann’s two little girls nearby, submerged in oil tanks. It took hours to drain the tanks of their thick, dark oil in order to recover Bella, 4 and Celeste, 3.
“As a a former Russia analyst,” Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday, “I am convinced that the President of the United States is in thrall to Vladimir Putin.”
That was hardly his most provocative statement of the morning.
Peters, who left his job as a military analyst for Fox News earlier this year declaring the network a “destructive propaganda machine” for President Trump, spent much of his sit-down with Brian Stelter excoriating his former employer. He explained that he left Fox because he could not be part of an institution that was “assaulting the Constitution, the constitutional order, the rule of law.”
In the summer of 1973, Conrad Romo, a 19-year-old boy from L.A. whose Catholic upbringing had been derailed by books like Hermann Hesse’s Siddartha and John G. Neihardt’s Black Elk Speaks, anything that “spoke of more than just this world,” turned on the TV and watched an advertisement for a new religion called “Scientology.”
The ad was catchy–a tight one-minute clip with a jingle from ‘70s radiostar Edward Bear and the vague promise of deeper meaning. When a phone number flashed across the screen, Romo took note.
“I’m a sucker for a little ad,” Romo, now a grey-haired Buddhist with a goatee, told The Daily Beast. When he phoned the line to hear more, the boy spoke to a woman who called herself “Spanky.” Later, he would recognize her as Spanky Taylor, a spokesperson for Scientology’s publicity arm, Axioms Productions, and John Travolta’s personal “auditor”—jargon for a kind of counselor. But in the moment, he thought she seemed cool. “Spanky had a really sexy voice,” Romo said, laughing. “I was intrigued.”
After The New York Times ran an article in which he was briefly mentioned and described as someone not worth taking seriously, Cernovich offered a retort in his usual triumphalist style. In the blog, he rattled off a laundry list of his recent accomplishments, including the trailer for the next film he’s producing, which Cernovich asserted is in pre-production and has promised will arrive shortly.
For the uninitiated, Cernovich has raised and contributed funds for two previous documentaries: Silenced and The Red Pill, a film sympathetic to the men’s rights movement, which netted him an an executive and associate producer credit, respectively. Now, per his blog, Cernovich has evidently decided he’s a “performance artist, fiction writer, and character actor” too.
It seemed like a great idea. Get the editors of a popular magazine that’s plugged directly into the current zeitgeist to choose 100 of the top bars in America, get a drink recipe or three from each, photograph a bunch of them, and then slap your brand name above the title.
If you asked me and my fellow Daily Beast Half-Full Cocktail Commandos to put together such a thing today—I mean, who’s more plugged into the zeitgeist, really? (jk—don’t @ us)—you’d end up with recipes from bars such as, to pick a random sample, La Factoria in Old San Juan, Sweet Liberty in Miami, the Belmont in Charleston, the Ticonderoga Club in Atlanta, Petworth Citizen in Washington D.C., the Oyster House in Philadelphia, and on through the Northeast, the Midwest, New Orleans, Texas and the Rockies to the Tiki Ti in Los Angeles, Prizefighter in Oakland, Tommy’s in San Francisco, Pépé le Moko in Portland and Rumba in Seattle.
The drinks would be rich in funky, pot-stilled rums, locally distilled rye whiskies, sherries from interesting bodegas, rare Italian amari, single-village mezcals, vinegar shrubs, fresh, seasonal fruit juices and complex, house-made syrups. The drinks that benefited from being stirred would be stirred, the ones that should be shaken would be shaken, the ice cubes would be large and perfectly clear, the garnishes inventive and tasteful, the names of the drinks cryptic and allusive. And forty years from now people will be making vicious fun of them all.
Maria Butina, the Russian national who has been jailed awaiting trial for allegedly acting as a Kremlin agent in the United States, was abruptly moved from to a jail in Alexandria, Virginia, according to her lawyer.
“I got a collect call from Maria from Alexandria Detention at midnight last night, but was disconnected before we could speak,” Driscoll told The Daily Beast. “I couldn’t get in to the facility last night, but visited her this morning. She was not informed of the reason for the move. I was not notified of the move, and still am unaware of the reason.”
Amy Bertsch, a spokeswoman for the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office, confirmed Butina was moved from a federal detention center to William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center, which also houses federal inmates. Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief, is also currently being held at the same jail, awaiting the verdict in his trial for a host of alleged financial crimes.