Murder Mountain (2018) s01e06 Episode Script

The Last Outlaws

1 Up here, pretty much anytime you're not working, you're losing money.
So that's kind of a kick to the nuts.
Add insult to injury, I guess.
Now I got to hang out here and recover for, you know, a day or two.
Here's our guy.
He just pulled up in that silver truck there.
Sees some nice rims and tires in the back of the diesel.
I went to confront the guy, and Yeah, he just surprised me.
He caught me off guard and cleaned my clock.
Fucking knocked me straight to the ground, and it was over from there.
Kicked the shit out of me.
This guy is what's wrong with Humboldt County.
It's been so cutthroat that people are just taking anything they can get their hands on.
You're seeing way more drug addicts, way more drug trade, like hard drugs, than you would before.
You know, everything that people built over the past 20 years, twenty-five years is in shambles now because of legalization.
Doesn't feel like there's any reprieve, you know.
The only time I feel like I'm really away from all of that pressure is when I'm up the hill, you know, when I'm at my spot and there's no way they can come get me.
Asha Kreimer was 26 years old at the time of her disappearance.
Asha had long, curly brown hair, brown eyes, and speaks with a strong Australian accent.
Asha was last seen wearing black skinny jeans, a dark gray hoodie, and she was shoeless.
Asha's mother thinks that it's possible that Asha is suffering from amnesia and is living with illegal marijuana growers.
The first time I heard that Asha was missing, I couldn't get my head around the sentence because I've never had a sentence like that said to me, that you don't know where someone is, they've disappeared.
The police, within two weeks, took me into a room by myself and sat me down and looked at me and said, "Your daughter's dead.
" And I looked at both of them and I said, "No, you have no proof.
You have nothing.
" I think the door is pretty closed with law enforcement in regards to Asha's case, because after their investigation they believed Asha committed suicide by jumping off a cliff.
Asha's mother, who is actually a nurse back in Australia, flies here every chance she gets, and she just drives from town to town.
Who knows what you would do, being in this situation.
I mean, I'd probably do the same thing, 'cause you just don't know where to stop.
Like, how do you turn your heart off to stop looking for your child? For 30 months now, I've been looking.
This is my way of life now.
I go back to Australia, back to work, and I save my money and I come back again and follow leads, follow my intuition.
And follow my heart.
There's so many of them there in Humboldt that have never been able to have some kind of closure.
That's worth everything, you know.
The Alderpoint 8, they're heroes to me.
They're heroes to me.
I don't care what the law says.
And I heard that a couple of them were murdered.
And I don't know why they were murdered.
But, man, I am so grateful, 'cause if it hadn't have been for those guys, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
Buzz, my brother, he wants to meet these guys so bad.
That's his-- That is his ultimate wish and goal in life right now.
Couple days after the murder, a couple of people from the ranch were going out with a bunch of stuff they pilfered from the alleged.
I recognized the, uh fishing poles of Garret's.
And I said, "I know who they belong to, and they don't belong to you.
They're not going with you.
" So I lifted them off the truck.
I'd like to get the fishing poles back to Val.
- Have you ever met him? - Never.
Did you know Val was in Vietnam? That's news.
How does that make you feel? Impressed.
Why? That he has gone through what he's gone through and what he went through before.
That stiffens my resolve, knowing he's a brother.
There's a difference between a case being unsolvable than unwinnable.
A confession made under duress such as the one the "alleged" made that night was not going to fly in court.
So, to make it winnable, you have to look somewhere else.
I was told that someone was actually there at the time of Garret's murder.
He was very close to the alleged, and he knew Garret.
I've met him.
Garret brought him and three other guys up at one point.
He slept in our guest room, yeah.
It was the first and last time I saw him.
We'd been looking for him for a while.
Most recently, all the databases were pointing to San Diego.
But look at this.
Checking out his Facebook, I know this bar.
This is in southern Humboldt.
I mean, he's not hiding.
He put it right on Facebook.
He feels safe by now.
I mean, it's been over five years.
We were trying to pin down where he was living.
One of the photos is right in front of a fence.
Someone just happened to recognize that fence.
That was a huge break in locating him.
Let's just talk about the approach.
It's about no one gets hurt and everyone goes home to their family.
Aaron on walkie.
I just saw a white pickup truck pull up in front of the place.
That's Gus.
That it? Is that his? Hey.
He's scared.
I told him that I wanted to thank him for his help, and he said, "Well, what helped you?" And I said the fact that you told someone that the alleged coerced you into helping bury the body.
And, you know, he completely denied that.
Um, he said that he wasn't on the mountain, that he didn't want to be anywhere near the alleged.
He's definitely afraid of him.
You could see it in every part of his person.
He said, "He choked me out for a pack of cigarettes.
" He got really nervous.
He thought I was working with law enforcement, and I told him that wasn't true.
And he said he wanted an attorney.
I think he was there.
I think he was there when it happened.
Only two people know.
On Murder Mountain, people have gone missing, and people have information about where they are, where they're buried.
And they're reluctant to come forward and talk to us about what they know because the fact that there might be an illegal industry may bring heat on them.
This community, they would never trust us before, but that's what they have to do.
If they want crime solved, then they're gonna have to trust us.
Talking about the case of Garret Rodriguez.
We want them to come forward.
We need them to come forward to help solve that crime.
In order to be able to afford to be a farmer these days, you have to go extremely big.
I don't think that a lot of the mom-and-pop shops, like myself, have a chance.
There are gonna be very well-funded corporations getting involved in this industry.
Big companies, Coke, every brand is trying to capitalize on weed.
They have a lot more money to spend, and we're living on way smaller margins.
We're in the end of the first season.
I'm already one of the last men standing here.
I used to have 50 neighbors down my road.
Now I have four.
The legalization, it's already wiped them out.
I think if I can keep all my guys working, and if I can make enough to live, I'll be happy with that.
I hope we can make it.
I hope that our kids and our families can continue this great life and get to live here.
I know that a lot of people are moving and selling their farms, and so, to me, that's like a little bit of someone's dream is dying when that happens, and that affects everybody here.
A lot of these small farms decided that together, we are more powerful, and if we all band together, we can be a market presence.
All of these farmers, they are contributing to the brand True Humboldt.
It's driven by our culture and our passion.
We're doing everything.
We're using our life savings to try to make this business go against the bigwigs.
I decided to go legal 'cause I don't want to be hiding from law enforcement.
I don't want to be living that lifestyle.
I want cannabis to become normal.
Legalization's very costly.
It's very expensive.
so I think it's going to keep the criminal-minded people out of the industry and it will just be the core community members.
The county's not all about making money in this, but money is what scares people into compliance.
One thing that's very clear with legalization is, we have a black and white market.
Under Proposition 215 and medical marijuana, there's a whole lot of gray out there.
So now with the passage of Prop 64, we know exactly who is legitimate and who is not.
The Humboldt County Planning and Building Department is using high-resolution satellite imagery.
If they see a garden, they can check the assessor parcel number, and if it doesn't match up with somebody who has signed up to be a legit grower, then that gives them permission to send out a letter, an abatement notice.
On the note, it says, "These are the environmental issues that we see on your property.
" And they're given a strict time and date where they need to remedy this or there's gonna be $10,000 per day fines.
From the other property being decimated to being arrested, having to do a bit of jail time, it's been one of the hardest years I've ever had up here.
I was pretty sure that this entire season was a waste, it was done for, but with a bit of hard work and some ingenuity, you'd be amazed what you can come up with.
We've gotten some plants from a friend whose entire operation got shut down from the abatement letters.
That pretty much gave me the basis to get this new grow started.
This spot, just barely purchased it and made the best of it.
Coming out here and just kind of starting from scratch.
The cops and the feds have been busting a lot of grows around Humboldt lately.
Sheriff's Office, search warrant.
Fifty thousand plants last week or something that they've eradicated on five properties.
Just wiping people out.
They fine you until your property value reaches, and then they seize your property.
They're tearing my friend's house down.
She has ten days, and she's lived in that home for 20 years.
People are losing their places to live all over the county.
We're coming after you, whether it's through an abatement letter or the sheriff's office knocking at the door and taking their plants and taking people to jail.
I've got no intention of going legal or permitting.
That didn't stop them 20 years ago.
It's not gonna stop us now.
Police show up, we're just as well-armed as they are.
People will just start shooting.
I'm looking forward to meeting him.
I hope that it's not traumatic for him to come up here.
I hope that doesn't happen.
Barely any sunlight hits the ground because there's so many trees.
Beautiful trees, man.
It's an amazing place up here.
I can see why Garret loved it here.
Wish I had have come up here when I was planning on it just to see him.
I should have, man.
I should have.
Wow, missing.
I wonder how old that is.
We still have a lot of unsolved homicides, lot of missing persons cases over the last 20, 30 years.
But one thing that's very clear with legalization is, we have a reduction in those now.
It is an end of an era, I believe.
After five years, I think we are going to see a totally different Humboldt County.
The parcels that we're visiting today are not in the county process for commercial cannabis.
They're not in the application process, they have no interim permit, and they have no permit issued.
Any questions? All right, so let's gear up here.
Then we'll get in our caravan formation.
Do you think you have the element of surprise this morning? It's a good chance the neighborhood knows.
Phone calls that there's a caravan heading east on Alderpoint Road and that there's a chipper in the caravan.
They always like to point that out.
We've seized enough firearms that we don't take our security lightly.
We always go into a situation and treat it like it's an unknown threat.
One X ten, units out.
Sheriff's Office, search warrant! Sheriff's Office, search warrant! If you're inside, announce yourself.
Search warrant.
Come to us.
How many other people are in the house? All right.
Come here.
So you do realize that you need a permit with the county of Humboldt.
I just work here.
My boss is on top of all the paperwork.
-So you're not familiar with this process? -No.
-Who's your boss? -Joe.
Without any permits with the county that you're operating in, then it's illegal.
Hey, Bob, it's Kerry Ireland.
Yep, we're in Rancho.
We're trying to make the final determination whether this guy has got all the necessary permits.
Yep.
Perfect.
What's your name, partner? Chris.
-All right, your paperwork's in order -Okay.
As far as with the county and with the state, so we're gonna get you out of handcuffs.
So thanks for your cooperation.
I appreciate you having your paperwork, like, ready and in order, 'cause that makes our job a lot easier.
-Thank you.
-Your stuff's all ready.
All your paperwork's right there.
Hey, can I see your state permit again? Like, I've never even seen this.
All right, this is what I wanted to see.
Perfect.
Thanks again, man.
I appreciate it.
That scared the shit out of me.
We have an incorrect parcel, because all the parcels are small and close by.
This parcel is in the permit process in good standing with the county of Humboldt and the state of California.
This is the ultimate goal regarding, you know, Proposition 64 and commercial cannabis cultivation.
Right here.
Forty-seven and 30, we'll head down the road.
I was told they had the wrong address.
Whoever's in charge of checking these permits should come up with a better policy, rather than just coming in, guns blazing.
We understand accidents happen, but they could hurt somebody, you know.
Yeah, I thought they were gonna eradicate our crop.
Oh, my God, dude! What would happen? Like, what are they gonna do to rectify that? What do we do? We've had to shift our own beliefs and our own attitudes towards marijuana, because we saw them as the enemy, and then now we have legitimate business owners.
They look at me a little strangely, thinking suspicious, and they say, "We used to be on other sides.
" We want to build that trust.
It's going to take a transition.
For a community to work, you have to trust the law enforcement, and they're gonna have to trust us.
So it's something we're gonna have to work on as we move forward.
I had to give up the black market in order to pursue this, this way.
I want to pick some.
To bring my family into the fold is everything.
I was doing this without them.
It was a form of protection, you know, like if anything was to happen, it was just me, you know.
The wife can still take care of the kids.
And now that everything's gone legal, now I'm bringing them in.
So now it's time for them to learn the business.
The Sun goes like this, Molly.
It rises up there and then it sets over our house over there.
I envision people coming in here, uh, getting unique strains, stuff they can't get anywhere else in the world.
People come in and they do a tasting on our farm and get some good pot, some blackberry jam.
Uh-oh.
Create a nice little tourism spot.
Maybe even a bud and breakfast too and then from there, they come and they check out other farms, you know.
It's my name.
It'll be a unique opportunity for them to come and see where it's actually done too, I think, you know, where it started from.
There's a story behind all these farms, and I think people would be interested in it.
-Come see the puppy puppies! -Puppy puppies! It's time to grow up.
And well, leave the outlaw stuff for the younger generation.
John.
-Hey.
-Val.
Reilly, good to meet you, man.
Good to meet you.
I feel like-- I feel like I know you.
Think we met before? No, I just-- I was just thinking, I didn't thank you for what you did.
And if it hadn't have been for what you guys decided to do, it would have been all still a big mystery, you know.
I can only imagine what you were going through.
I was hoping for some closure for you somewhere along the line.
Well, you made the biggest closure anyone has made, you know.
Thank you.
I really appreciate that.
Well, you know, I'm eternally grateful to you, man.
And No, there's no need to say that.
-Well, it's true.
-It's just a case of right and wrong.
I believe that these are yours, rightfully.
Yeah.
We'd go down to Baja and catch a ton of fish, and this is the one that I gave him.
Thank you again.
Another reason to thank you.
You're welcome.
You're more than welcome.
What is it that moved you to do what you did, to find out about Garret? Just -I felt-- -Something must have happened or I started thinking about fatherhood and how you must feel not knowing.
Trying to place myself in your mindset and just the turmoil that I know that I wouldn't be able to handle personally.
I have great respect for you to have persevered what you have.
Well, I didn't know what else to do.
I thought about joining him.
I honestly did.
I know there were just days I would just be in my house, crying my eyes out, and then the next day would be the same thing And I was getting pretty tired of it.
-I can imagine.
-And You didn't know one way or the other.
-That would drive me crazy.
-Yeah.
I was already crazy, I think.
Oh, look at who you're talking to.
Well, we're both members of the club.
Yes, we are.
I'll be 70 in November.
-No kidding? Wow.
-Yeah.
I'll be 71.
-Oh, no kidding.
-Yeah, in October.
That's crazy.
John, do you mind if I ask? If If this guy goes to trial, would you be willing to say anything? Surely.
Really? Yes, for the end result of this, definitely.
Are there any others that would come forward like that? My son will have to make his own decision, but knowing him as I do, I believe that he'll do the right thing.
Introduce you to his father.
This is my son, John.
-John, glad to meet you.
-This is Val.
-Nice to meet you.
-Thank you for being Garret's friend.
-You know -You don't have to thank me for that.
Who was there that night? Well, Bob Neil, of course.
Neil, Bob Scott.
Um Yeah, that's about all I feel comfortable with.
I can hear his laugh right now, and I can see his smile.
Garret would talk about Mexico with a passion.
He loved the water.
He was always talking about fishing.
Told me he was gonna take me down there fishing sometime, and I was looking forward to that.
I definitely was.
He's an extraordinary person, I'll have to say.
People go in and out of your lives, you meet different people, but some people stick to your heart and really touch you inside.
You know what I mean? Right after Garret had disappeared, I remember one day I went up to the alleged's house.
I'd go up there from time to time.
I showed up and somehow the conversation moved over to I said, "Where's Garret?" It was a normal question.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
I didn't think anything of it at the time.
And he said, "Oh, Garret's in Mexico.
He's fishing.
He's having the time of his life.
" And I said, "That's weird because there's his surfboard, there's his fishing poles, and his truck's outside.
" He wouldn't go anywhere without his fishing poles and his surfboard.
And when I said that, he just looked at me.
Nothing to say.
Just a look of, "Oh, shit.
" Right from that moment, I knew.
We just started talking about it with different friends, and some people got together.
Some people were fed up with it and got together and went and handled it.
I got a text from my dad and actually went with him out to Jewett Valley, where I saw the alleged confess without a gun to him.
Neil was like, "I know you did it.
Just tell me.
Come out right now.
It'd be better if you just came out with it.
" And he said, "Yes, I killed him.
" And he said, "He's over there.
" And I saw my dad grab the shovel and he started digging, and I got really aggravated at the alleged.
I ran up and I hit him in the face as hard as I could, and I moved his face and pointed it towards my dad and I said, "You see that?" I was like, "He doesn't have to go through that.
" I was like, "That's not his job.
That's yours.
" I said, "You should be digging that kid up.
You don't have to put him through that.
" And my dad basically caught something and it seemed like a rock and it fell and it was Garret's shoe with about this much of very decomposed ankle and a little bit of bone sticking out.
And I remember that very clearly.
You left pretty much after this all happened, right? Mm-hmm.
What did you think when you heard your dad say that he would testify, he would go forward? Good for him.
Would you go forward? I probably wouldn't, to tell you the truth.
Why not? I just don't want to go in the courtroom.
-Would you consider it? -Yeah.
If it meant the difference between putting the alleged killer in jail.
That's the only reason I'd consider it.
Of course.
I hope they get him, but there's a good chance, you and me both know, that they might not.
So I don't know.
It's kind of, like I said before, mixed emotions about the whole thing.
Never know how it's going to turn out.
It's really a roll of the dice.
Well, as you can see, there is a lot of holes that have been excavated for the purpose of cultivation of marijuana.
The best I can recollect of that night that the alleged killer showed us the place where he had buried Garret Rodriguez was one of these excavations.
This could be the very hole.
I don't think I'd be able to recover from losing a son so violently and thoughtlessly, and and disposed of like garbage in a shallow grave.
Hopefully, the powers that be will, in fact, investigate, prosecute, and persecute.
Lawfully, of course.
Do you think Garret's murder changed Murder Mountain? I think it definitely probably drew some lines in the community.
Um I think some people that were-- I think some people found out exactly to what degree they were willing to outlaw.
The good people that are here don't want to be about the Murder Mountain thing.
If you've had somebody murdered on that mountain, and you've been through that whole process, you won't like it as much.
There's a lot of good people on this mountain.
A lot of good people.
There's a lot of good people that got killed that were on this mountain.
The legacy of Murder Mountain will always be there.
Legacies don't die.
Hundred years from now, people will be talking about this.
Humboldt County, we've been contrary our entire existence.
We're different.
We're the frontier.
We're behind the bud curtain.
We're more accepting of things of the outlaw nature.
I think the pendulum swings.
It goes from idyllic to chaotic, back and forth.
I can only hope that we've swung so far in one direction it's time to go back.
I think history repeats itself.
Where, in the future, cannabis will be regulated like alcohol, and the people of the bygone era will be the heroes.
To make them heroes or villains, for me, it's something that I'm willing to leave in the air.
I reserve judgment.
People have been burying monies in these hills for-- well, before they grew pot here, even.
I mean, you've got large amounts of cash, and you can't really use any banks, at least not any banks that won't ask questions.
Then the only next logical step is to bury it, of course.
So I got about 40,000 here.
Some people go to jail, lose their property, whatever.
God knows how much money they've got buried.
The amount of money buried in these hills is probably pretty staggering.
As long as there's money to be made out here, and, like, an idea, being free, as long as that still exists out here, there will always be outlaws here in Humboldt County.
Maybe not many of us, but we'll still be here.