Victims' families mark 3-year sweat lodge anniversary - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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.

Sidebar: Arizona mug shots

SLIDESHOW:  Mug shots More>>

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:19 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:19:49 GMT
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
  • Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:09 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:09:01 GMT
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
  • Trinity County traffic stop results in 2 felony drugs arrests. seizure of weed, codiene, other drugs

    Trinity County traffic stop results in 2 felony drugs arrests. seizure of weed, codiene, other drugs

    Friday, September 22 2017 6:19 PM EDT2017-09-22 22:19:50 GMT

    Deputies with the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office made two felony drug arrests and seized marijuana, Prometh VC with codeine, hydrocodone, Alprazolam, and ecstasy after a traffic stop near the intersection of Robb and Jefferson streets late Tuesday night.

    More >>

    Deputies with the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office made two felony drug arrests and seized marijuana, Prometh VC with codeine, hydrocodone, Alprazolam, and ecstasy after a traffic stop near the intersection of Robb and Jefferson streets late Tuesday night.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly