This is a radio interview that Victoria and Rick Britton gave to a Charlottesville, Virginia radio station in 2015, discussing the death of Victoria’s son Kyle Brennan, and the Scientology connection that probably goes straight to David Miscavige.
This interview is crucial: it details all the unanswered questions that should be top of mind to anyone concerned with the possible criminal activity of the Church of Scientology, and its leader, David Miscavige.
“It’s 15 minutes after the hour of 4pm here in Charlottesville, Virginia. I’m Coy Barefoot, you’re listening to inside Charlottesville on WPVC 107.5 FM. Today on the program we will devote the entire time to one topic. And that is the still unexplained tragic death of 20 year old Charlottesville resident Kyle Brennan.’
- Kyle was found dead of a downward trajectory gunshot wound to the top left side of his head in the home of his Scientologist father. Kyle was right-handed.
- Kyle was declared dead of an apparent suicide, the police said. Yet his own fingerprints were not found on the gun. Nor was gunshot residue found on his hands.
- Why did Kyle’s father call Scientologists to the scene that night for their advice before anyone even called 911?
- Why was the bullet that killed Kyle never found?
- Why were 14 pieces of evidence found at the scene wiped clean of fingerprints? Why did the gun have no fingerprints or blood on it?
- Why did police investigators lie repeatedly to members of Kyle’s family?
- Why did witnesses who were there that night, including David Miscavige’s twin sister Denise Miscavige Gentile, and her husband Gerald Gentile, change their stories every time they were deposed?
“There are countless other questions and mysteries about Kyle’s passing. Yet there are few answers.
“Is something…the truth, being covered up about what happened to Kyle?
“What does his tragic death have to do with the cult of secrecy that is Scientology? If anything?
“And what about the allegations of police misconduct in Clearwater, Florida, which is the home of the headquarters of the Church of Scientology?’
“I am very privileged to welcome to this program today Kyle’s mother, Victoria Britton and Kyle’s step father, Rick Britton, who has been a guest on this program many times, I’m so glad you both are here.’
“Thank you so much.’
Thanks for having us Coy, we appreciate it.
I want to start just by saying a couple of things reminding the listeners that we’re going to deal with some pretty graphic stuff today on this program. And this may not be appropriate for younger listeners.
I also want to express to you both, especially you Victoria, my sincere, empathy, over the loss of your son. I remember going to the service years ago back in 2007. And I just want to say how truly sorry I am that you continue to endure this nightmare that is losing a child, and losing a child in such unexplained mysterious circumstances, tragic circumstances. And I’m speaking for everyone who is listening now, broadcast and podcasts, how truly sorry we are as our neighbor, as a member of this community. We’re so sorry.
Rick will you get us started with just a preface that I know that you have prepared. That will sort of frame this conversation, so that we know what we’re talking about.
Sure, yeah I’d be happy to.
My stepson Kyle Brennan, he was only 20 years old at the time he died, eight years ago, the evening of February 16 2007, under extremely suspicious circumstances in the Clearwater, Florida apartment of his scientologist father, Tom Brennan.
As you mentioned, right nearby in Clearwater, downtown Clearwater, is the Fort Harrison Hotel which happens to be the worldwide headquarters of the Church of Scientology. This path that my wife Victoria and I are on started eight years ago with Victoria, asking questions of the Clearwater police.
Eight years later, many of those basic questions are still unanswered.
Thanks to all the lying done by the police, the medical examiner’s office, and the Scientologists involved, we still don’t know how Kyle died, or whether he was murdered.
Of one thing, we are certain: Presented with the facts of the case and proof of the numerous lies that were told, any reasonable person would conclude, as we have, that something other than what was reported by the police took place in Tom Brennan’s apartment the evening Kyle died.
People who are innocent don’t need to lie numerous, numerous times.
And that really is the takeaway from this conversation today. None of us are speaking for anyone else but ourselves, and we’re only speaking about our own personal experiences here, and we don’t know if any member of Scientology was involved in a crime, we don’t know that. What is the absolute takeaway is that there are just a number of unanswered questions and mysteries.
I would say a myriad. I mean, it’s a huge number so that when you start going through it and we’ve told the story to friends and of course family number a number of times, when you go through it and you start talking about all the lies and all the things that were unanswered. The average person just goes, “oh my god.”
Yeah, let’s do that today. Let us share this story with people so they know. So they know what what you know. And Victoria, take us back to the night that you got a phone call. Take us back to the moment when this story started. Kyle was traveling right? And he was down in Clearwater visiting his dad.
That is true, he was, he had traveled. He had been to Hawaii. And he was camping out on the beach for about a week there and then decided to head back to stateside. He went to Clearwater Florida to kind of rest up before he was planning on heading back home to Virginia and, as I begin to tell the story.
I want to, before I start, I’m going to go back to the very, the worst day of my life. Into the worst moment of my life. So if I break up a little bit as I start to talk, you know, please forgive me. I’ll do my best to hold it together.
Because it, of course, what I’m going to tell you is every parent’s biggest fear and worst nightmare, and that is to get a phone call in the middle of the night. And this is what happened to Rick and I, on the, or in the early morning hours of February 17 2007.
You know the phone rang and it was in because when I picked up the phone, I looked at it and I could see it was a phone call coming from Florida and I just had this overwhelming sense of dread. Even before I answered it. And I answered that phone and said “hello?” and a strange voice came on the other end. Someone I did not know. He did not identify himself. He was very robotic, that’s the only word that I can think of to describe how he sounded and came across. And what he asked me was, you know, very point blank “Is this Victoria?” And I said, “Yes it is” and he’s there.
“I’m calling you from Florida and your son is dead. Your son is dead. He died tonight.”
And that was it. And I didn’t know, in that moment, is this a prank call? Was this some kind of sick joke that someone is playing on me? And I started to scream. And Rick, of course, responded and said “what is wrong?” and I said there’s a strange man on the phone and he’s telling me that Kyle is dead.
Rick grabbed the phone. And at that time, when you are…. I started going into shock. It’s an interesting thing what happens to you when you’re hit with something so devastating that you cannot quite comprehend it or grasp. That you almost lose touch with your physical body, and it’s almost like you’re watching it on TV happening to someone else.
And I only remember at that point, Rick, asking, and actually yelling into the phone, “WHO IS THIS?”
And he did it three times, and I was still fully aware and I could hear him repeat back the name, Jerry.
And we would later learn that this Jerry is in fact Gerald Gentile, the brother-in-law of the leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige. Jerry was the one that called you that night.
He was the one that called me and not a police officer.
Not a police officer.
Rick What do you remember about that? Not Tom Brennan, not a police officer, not Kyle’s dad.
I just remember my wife screaming. I remember the phone going off. I’m still groggy, I remember my wife screaming, and then I remember Victoria collapsing on the floor. So naturally I grabbed the phone who, you know, what could be the information? Who could be the person delivering such information?
And I had to know. You know ‘what? what the heck was going on?’ And I do remember shouting at him, yelling, I think anybody would.
Yeah, yeah. Especially if it’s not a police officer, it’s like, well, who are you exactly and you didn’t know who this guy was.
He just said Gerry. So..
And you come to find out that Gerry was there, right, and we have to say, you know, we’re going to talk about the red flags.
“There’s the first red flag right there. From the first evening, the first phone call. I mean, why wasn’t it the Clearwater police?”
Why wasn’t it Kyle’s Father? Why wasn’t it Kyle’s father Tom? What? Why, you know?
It’s extremely troubling.
Yeah and it opens the door which we will talk about today. Why was this man there that night? Right at the scene where your son was killed? When did you go down to Clearwater?
“I actually did not go to Clearwater until it was 2009. It was after it took us almost two years to have the Case Closed.
“And I was becoming, I was very concerned because I knew the statute of limitations was up in two years and if they did not close the case the Clearwater Police Department did not close the case in that time period that would mean that I would have no way of getting in there and finding out some of the answers to the questions that I had.
“So, in 2009 when the case closed – and I had to go seek help from senators and the state of Florida and Virginia – to have this done. In 2009 when the case closed and the attorney – I had to hire an attorney – just also to try to get some of my questions answered – He received a copy of the police report and it just went quiet.
“And a few days passed and he called me up and he said, “I think you need to come to Florida, there are things that need to be said that should not be discussed on the telephone.”
So, the attorney recognized in the police report, saw right away, that there’s a lot of this that doesn’t make any sense.
Absolutely. Absolutely and what he did was he contacted a retired Clearwater police homicide detective to come in and also look over that police report.
And so when I flew to Florida for that meeting, that detective, the retired homicide detective, was there and the lawyer, and we sat at a big table. And the detective was was just wonderful. He was like a character out of a TV show that you would expect, he was bigger than life, and kind of rough around the edges. And he sat across from me and he said, “Victoria. I’m going to tell you some things today that no parents should ever have to hear.”
“And he, he referred to me as kid, “You’re going to have to be strong kid, you’re going to have to be really strong because your son needs you to be, because it’s not good what I’m reading, you know, out of this police report.” And we have no way he was the first person to look it over and say, there’s no way that it can be determined by what is in this report that that Kyle actually committed suicide”
Because that was the initial story right? That you were told that your son is dead at Clearwater Florida in the home of his father, whom he was visiting. His father, of course, very involved in the Church of Scientology – connected to the family of the church leader David Miscavige.
And you were told initially, Kyle shot himself in the head. Kyle is dead, of a suicide.
“That’s right and they said, initially, that a suicide note had been found. And later on the police admitted there wasn’t a suicide note.”
We are talking with Victoria and Rick Britton. Kyle Brennan, Victoria’s son, and Rick’s step son died in 2007 in the home of his biological father Tom Brennan, down in Clearwater, Florida. Still unexplained mysteries about his death. We’re talking about that today on a special Inside Charlottesville, I’m Coy Barefoot. Stay with us.
I’m Coy Barefoot and you’re listening to inside Charlottesville on WCHV 107.5 FM. We are live online right now at InsideCville.com
We’re spending the entirety of the program today, discussing the tragic – and still unexplained – death of 20 year old Charlottesville resident, Kyle Brennan, at the home of his scientologist father, Tom Brennan down in Clearwater, Florida in February of 2007. Kyle’s mother Victoria Britton and stepfather Rick Britton are live in studio with me.
And we want to remind folks that this may not be an appropriate conversation for younger listeners.
Victoria. How soon did you get a real palpable sense that what the police were telling you about Kyle’s death just didn’t seem to make sense? Like, when did you really get an appreciation for “What Wait, wait a minute, you said this, but now I learned this, and you said that earlier? When did you get a sense that, that something wasn’t quite right here?
Well, initially, I had my oldest son. He was the person who made the first contact with the Clearwater police department because I was really catatonic with grief. So I told him that he was going to have to be the person to do this for the family, and he came back to me and he was, he was deeply disturbed by how they treated him.
They, we had a list of questions that we had, that we wanted answers for, and the detective who was put in charge, did not answer them. He – and they were very basic questions, they were not, you know, over the top, crazy, or unrealistic.
And one of them was:
We knew that Kyle had discovered a weapon in the father’s home on a previous visit. But his other brother was with him at the time, who’d just got out of the service. He had served overseas in the military. And there was no ammunition with the weapon. And his brother actually searched the house to make sure that there was no ammunition with this weapon. And the father. He said he had inherited it, and it came down through him through his father. And he has no interest in weapons, or ever firing it.
So the big question was, was, where did this ammunition come from?
When was it purchased?
We knew Kyle had not purchased it because you have to be 21 in the state of Florida to purchase ammunition for a hand weapon.
And they would not answer that question for us. It was very simple.
“And the second really big red flag was the detective initially told us that Kyle’s hands were not tested for gunpowder residue.”
And I was very disturbed by that because that’s really a 101 police procedure – that you would have – not only are you when, when there is a death and a weapon is involved, you’re going to bag, and you’re going to test those hands. And not only of the victim, but of the people who are there, and who were in the vicinity of the victim. And so the father’s hands were never tested, either.”
So, so we were very concerned about that. And we also learn that his medication that he was taking, the Lexapro, was found locked in the trunk of his father’s vehicle.
And I had had a conversation, just a few days prior with the Father, and we discussed Kyle’s medication. And I asked him, I had some concerns that, you know, I know you know if you are a Scientologist, you are very much opposed to, to psychotropic medications and psychiatry.
It’s not, I mean, it’s no secret they are very outspoken against them.
Yeah, it is very extreme and vicious on their part. I mean they feel that they are here, they want to wipe out psychiatry off of the face of this earth, and that psychiatrists have created all the ills in this this world, had been created has been created by psychiatrists, this is how extreme their views are on it.
And I knew this but I I didn’t think that it would go as far as where they would interfere with removing the medication, so that my son would not have access to it. So, we had, and I know, I’m kind of going off track a little bit, and I had had a conversation with him just several days prior. When I questioned him about this, you know.
With your ex husband.
I was with my ex husband, have you seen Kyle’s medication?
And he said, “No I haven’t seen it.” And I said, I told him, “I do not want you interfering with this medication. You are not to do that.”
And he said, “oh I would never do that”.
And he admits it in the deposition. When he was deposed in 2010 he was asked, “Did you have a conversation with your ex wife or she told you to make sure your son had his medication and was taking it?”
And he’s there, “Yes”.
I had that conversation with the attorney at the time who was representing the estate of my son, Ken Dandar, who said “well, but you did whatever you wanted to do anyway?”
And he goes, “That’s right, I did.”
So do we know for a fact that Tom Brennan, Kyle’s father, actually took Kyle’s medication and locked it in his truck?
That’s where the medicine was found.
It was found in there. And when you go back to the very first reports that were coming out of Clearwater, it is a detective that, who was on the scene that night. He did testify that he thought that it appeared that Kyle’s father took control of that medication.
He testified to that, and that his father admitted that he took the medication.
Later on, the story changed. And it was.. he created another storyline where Kyle, he says Kyle gave him the medication.
And because there is nobody there to witness that there was a decision to be made, is he telling the truth?
Or is he is he making this up to avoid liability?
And Rick, just so people know, Kyle who was 20 years old at the time of his death – Where was he found? And what was the situation that the police report? What does it document, about how Kyle’s body was discovered and who called the police? And this kind of stuff
Well while it’s really disturbing and upsetting Kyle was found in, not his bedroom in his father’s apartment, but in his father’s bedroom.
And his shattered head. They found that stuffed into a laundry basket.
But there’s so many, there’s, they’re just so many questions.
She’s already alluded to a number of them, they…
“They never produce the bullet.’
“We were told initially, that, that a gunshot residue test had not been done, done on his hands, and that the weapon had not been processed for fingerprints. We found out later on that both of those were lies that the police told us.’
“There had been a GSR, gunshot residue test, done on Kyle’s hands. But the detective in charge of the investigation [Stephen Bohling] stopped that from being processed. So, that test was actually done, but not processed.”
And I think since that time now that GSR test has been lost in Clearwater, Florida.
What do we know about the results of that test? Was any gun residue found on the house as the test was never processed? So they they did the test on the hands, but it wasn’t processed.
So, and it was lost. So now we’ll never know.
They didn’t find fingerprints, there was no ridge detail on the weapon that was found alongside Kyle. It was a Taurus 357 Magnum. There were no fingerprints on it, there was no blood on it.
So in other words, someone had taken that weapon, if indeed wiped, actually, and wiped it clean.
The bullet wasn’t produced.
And they couldn’t say where the ammunition came from.
They couldn’t say what the ammunition tank where the ammunition came from.
And Kyle’s father, the number of times that the police talked to him, including his deposition when he was interrogated by the lawyer representing the estate of Kyle Brennan, he gave three different stories, three different stories as to the weapon, the ammunition, where it was stored, and whether Kyle knew there was a weapon and ammunition in the house.
Based on all the available evidence of the depositions and the statements that are in the record from Kyle’s father, can you line all that up in a timeline? One next to the other? And when you do that and you read everything that Kyle’s dad says, and has said, about what happened that night – does his story seem to change?
His story does change. The story changes. And the stories told by the subsequent defendants the Scientology – celebrity Scientologists defendants – in our wrongful death lawsuit. Their stories change as time goes by.
They didn’t even take the time to all sit down together and try to get the same story right. They didn’t even get the stories right.
And there, we’re not talking about minor differences – we’re talking about glaring obvious difference.
Now you said Scientology: I’m going to take a quick break and when we get back, let’s, let’s sort of pull that part of the story into this conversation.
Kyle Brendan – 20 years old, who died tragically and still mysteriously in the home of his father in 2007 IN CLEARWATER FLORIDA. Kyle’s father Tom, a very active member of the Church of Scientology, connected to the family of David Miscavige – the church leader.
And when we get back let’s talk about the fact that Tom Brennan, called members of the church to his home before anyone ever called 911. Let’s talk about that. We’re talking with Victoria and Rick Britton, about the death of Kyle Brennan in 2007.
We’re doing something a little bit different on the program. Today we are spending the entire program focusing a conversation on the tragic and still unexplained mysteries surrounding the death of 20 year old Charlottesville resident Kyle Brennan. Kyle passed away in the home of his father in Clearwater, Florida in February of 2007. Victoria Britton and Kyle’s stepfather, Rick Britton, are with us.
Victoria. What do we know about any of the forensics test? We know they never found the bullet that police say Kyle killed himself. We don’t know where the ammunition came from. They never found a bullet. There’s no fingerprints on the gun. The gun had no blood on it. What do we know about any of the other forensic tests that were done? Autopsy reports, any of that?
Well, if we can back up just a little bit when we were discussing the room that Kyle was found in.
“Initially, the father had told us that Kyle was found in his room, in Kyle’s room, Kyle’s room. And later that would change to where it was the father’s room.’
“And regarding the forensic tests on the weapon, and not only did they test the weapon, but they tested 14 items that were found in and around Kyle. There was some extra ammunition, they found some bullets in his pocket. All of these items were tested, and all of them came back negative.
“There were no fingerprints found on any of these 14 items that were tested.
So Kyle had, Kyle’s body had bullets in the pocket. And yet there were no fingerprints on those?
There were no fingerprints at all, on any of these 14 pieces, items that had been tested for for fingerprints and ridge detail that came back negative.
How’s that even possible?
You put something in your pocket and your fingerprints are gone?
Yeah, that’s not possible.
Is there anything we can learn about maybe if he was left handed or right handed, and
Well, he was right handed. And that was a question that was asked of me when I went to Florida by the retired homicide detective. Because there there was a question about, and I’m not a forensic expert, about the entry wound. Because it seemed like the larger and maybe Rick can step in and explain.
I think I think what she’s trying to say, and you correct me if I’m wrong about this, but Kyle was right handed and the entry wound was on the left hand side of the head, which doesn’t make any sense if it was a suicide, does not make any sense.
There’s so many things about this, that don’t make any sense at all. And we also …
The medical examiner said that it was at a, it was a downward, the bullet trajectory, it was downward.
And that, from what I was told from the homicide detective. That just that’s not what happens in suicides, it’s usually a straight through or you’re putting it in and an upward angle.
The entry is on the left side of his skull – and forgive me and be graphic I know – but I just want to understand it with a downward trajectory, downward trajectory on the left side of his skull. And he’s right handed.
That’s right. It really didn’t make any sense.
So here’s what we’re going to do. I need to take another break for some news. But when we come back, I want to talk about who was called to Tom’s residence that night, two of the upper echelon members of the Church of Scientology, were there that night. One of them was the one who actually called you a few hours later and told you what had happened.
I want to talk about who these people were, why they were there, what we know about them. And there’s also some mystery there as well. You know, why was Kyle’s computer taken by them? Why was Kyle’s medication? His Lexapro? Why was that found locked in the father’s car?
There’s just a number of mysteries here that we are talking about. And again, to remind people, there’s no speculation of the narrative here. I don’t think any of us have that.
There’s no speculation like, well, this is probably what happened. We all know what happened. And that’s the whole point.
That’s right. The police say they think they know what happened, but the evidence doesn’t support that conclusion.
It does not it does not and then the defendants use the police report to avoid the lawsuit.
And remind this really quickly. There was a lawsuit.
There was a lawsuit, and it was filed in the US District Court Tampa division June 17 2010, against Tom Brennan, Kylie’s father, the two other Scientologists we’re going to talk about, the Church of Scientology itself and the Flag Service Organization.
They filed a motion for summary judgment, basically asking the judge to just summarily dismiss the case. That was granted. We filed an appeal and then we lost the appeal.
So we’ll talk a little bit more about that, and the cult of secrecy, that is the Church of Scientology and how that may or may not have been involved with Kyle’s tragic death in 2007.
You’re listening to inside Charlottesville on WCHV 107.5 FM, I’m Coy Barefoot, stay with us.
There were a number of unexplained mysteries and unanswered questions about Kyle’s tragic death. panels mother Victoria Britton and stepfather Rick Britton are live in studio today.
Rick, you mentioned before we went to a break, that there was a lawsuit. that you all know the wrongful death lawsuit in Kyle’s death against members of the Church of Scientology, the church, who as we’re going to discuss in more detail here in few minutes, they appear to have been very involved in the proceedings that night, to what extent there’s any, you know, criminal behavior, we don’t know, we have no idea we just don’t know. And that really is it. That’s the key takeaway here is there’s a whole lot of unanswered questions here. Tell me about that case that that wrongful death case?
Well, we try to get an attorney and you know, we we couldn’t afford to pay. So we went and we were lucky. We found an attorney, two attorneys that had been involved in a successful lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. And another famous case. And that was the Lisa MacPherson case, from what year?
The Lisa MacPherson case was from 1995. And I wanted to add something to what Rick is saying.
And that is, it’s about how just extremely difficult it is to find an attorney who was just willing to, to take on anything with the connection with the Church of Scientology. And and with Kyle, you had people who were brought into this lawsuit.
One of them was Denise Miscavige, and to lay this is the twin sister of the leader of the Church of Scientology. And she is what was called an auditor to Kyle’s father. And this is mean it’s like a spiritual counselor that they go to when and they asked, she asked him questions and he responds.
In AA you call that your sponsor.
That’s right, yeah.
There is somebody there who has your back and is is there and look out for you. Right, giving you advice, right. Yeah, exactly.
And so with Kyle being there, one of the things that I wanted, it became a problem for both of them. Because Kyle was considered in Scientology lingo, a suppressive person. And this means to a Scientologist, it’s someone to be reviled and avoided, and that is because of his connection to psychiatry, and psychotropic medications.
And they end up to a Scientologist, SPS are not just merely enemies of the church, they’re very being is capable of contaminating a Scientologist, causing him to make errors, have accidents, even to become sick. So with Kyle’s presence there in Clearwater, it became a huge problem, for not only his father, but for Denise Miscavige, the twin sister of the leader. Because they would not be able to continue on with their training within Scientology until they “handled” the problem
That can’t be stressed enough the future of Tom Brennan and his Scientology auditor, Denise Miscavige Gentile is based on whether Kyle stays there or not. That him being there with his father and the apartment in Clearwater jeopardizes to them their future in the Church of Scientology, they can’t be stressed enough.
So I don’t understand why they wouldn’t just say, Hey, this is Tom son, he’s just visiting. He’s not going to live here. He’s passing through because that was the case, he was on his way back up to Charlottesville. He’s coming back up. Oh, he was just visiting while he was out on the road.
Well, that’s what you and I would say.
Right, but he is an enemy. He is an enemy of this organization of the Church of Scientology.
Is there any kind of record that maybe Tom was told, Hey, you got to do something about your son? Absolutely. An order was issued from what they call an ethics officer, which means he’s he’s being reported to an ethics officer at flag service organization, that something is wrong, and you need to take care of it.
And this is very serious flag services, or is that part of the church?
It actually is? It is, it is it with their spiritual headquarters. And this is where they go for training and what they call auditing. And this is when they are on what’s called an E meter. It’s in the fort Harrison hotel, and clear which is right around the corner right down the street from what a few blocks from where right where Kyle’s body was found. That’s right. That’s right.
It is an important people come from all over the world to to study here is in the flag service organization. So it’s an important place. Yeah.
And so in order was issued on February 15, that from the ethics officer from flag service organization that his father had to handle, Kyle, and now handling to you and me may mean one thing you know, is a, you know, a manner of how we treat something,
But that’s a church term.
It means something specific means something very, very different. And it’s a very well known Scientology terms and it means to take care of the situation, removing a trouble source. And it’s that which means also includes enemies of the church.
And there’s a part of this code with handling where and this is from L. Ron Hubbard. We have not discussed, you know, Scientology and when it was founded the writer writer, but he said, You know, when you handle someone and an enemy, they may be deprived a property or injured by any means by any Scientologist. They may be tricked, sued, or lied to, or destroyed.
That’s a direct quote from L. Ron Hubbard.
And this, they have issued an order to Tom Kyle’s Father, you need to handle your son, a suppressive person. We have identified him as an enemy of the church. Yeah, because number one, he’s not a member. Number two, he’s on Lexapro. He goes to a psychiatrist, she has medications right?
And within 36 hours, Kyle was dead.
We’re talking with Victoria Britton and Rick Britton. Victoria is the mother of Kyle Brennan, who was found dead in the home with his scientologist father, Tom Brennan, in February of 2007. We’ll take a quick break. There’s more when we get back.
Police believed that he was a suicide victim – a gunshot wound to the head. A gun at his side. But Rick, a number of unanswered questions to remind people who are just joining us. We don’t know if there was conclusively any gunshot residue on Kyle’s hand, no bullet was found. We don’t know – There were no fingerprints on the gun. The story of Kyle’s father who was there that night, his story changes every time he does the deposition. His timeline of that evening – where he was – what time he arrived home – those things all changed in the course of the next few months.
So you can’t say conclusively that Kyle was a suicide or that the weapon that was found alongside him – that that was the weapon that killed him.
We don’t know.
You can’t say.
That again. That is the takeaway from this conversation. That’s right. We don’t know. And if you take the time to look at all of this evidence, it’s just one mystery after another.
Yes, it is. Yeah. And have to come to the conclusion that something different must have happened there. Too many of these things, it just piles up and piles up. There’s just too many of them. You have to come to the conclusion that the real story, the truth, is something different – something other than what stated in the police report.
And that’s what ended up happening. In our case, the defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit that we brought, they attach the police report to their motion for summary judgment. So naturally the judge in the federal district court, he reads this police report, and it seems to be an open and shut case.
I mean, call somebody who is dead at their own hand how committed suicide I mean, but but their lies, their actual bald faced lies told by the police and the medical examiner’s office in the police report lies told by the police. Victoria What do we know about the police who were there that night? And again, we were going to talk more about the connection to Scientology because Tom Kyle’s father didn’t call the police at first like any of us would do.
He called his spiritual advisor in the Church of Scientology who lived a short distance away and she and her husband came over that night. We’re going to talk about that. But before we do, what do we know about the police who were there that night the Clearwater police.
Well, we know that there were five police officers on the scene and the the officer that was put in charge, was a he was a he was a patrolman, who was just out of college for a couple of years – if that. And he had the least experience of all of them.
And in his deposition he when he’s describing the interview that was conducted with Kyle’s father, he said the interview lasted in his words “a short period of time”, no more than 15 to 20 minutes. And throughout most of the when he is being questioned, when it comes to the questions regarding the police work that was done, he responds with “I do not recall” .
When he’s asked questions about mysterious couple that is on the scene. He says “I do not recall” . His deposition was very brief. And I think there was over close two thirds of the questions that he was asked he responds with I do not recall. So to top it off the notes of his interview with Tom Brennan. He admitted he destroyed which is based basically against police procedures, standard police procedure.
So records of that night of what happened that night disappeared.
That’s right. Tests weren’t done. Right. Tests weren’t processed. The tests were done on the hands but weren’t processed were taken to the lab and then, and then they were lost.
Victoria who did Tom Brennan Kyle’s father, who did he call over to the house that night?
Well, well, the story it gets somewhat convoluted the first story that his father told the family after Kyle died, was that he arrived home on that evening of February 16 at 10:30pm. After having dinner with friends. In less than 24 hours that story would change along with a timeline where he is now at the State Fair Grounds selling Scientology books. And he arrives home at 1115 to 1120.
And the call for help did not go out that evening until 10 minutes after midnight. And he the person that he had called it was a year and a half had passed. And they called Denise Miscavige Gentile – this is a twin sister of the leader, David Miscavige, is called into the police department for questioning.
And in in one of the questions is, you know, you know, what were you doing that evening? And she’s, uh, “well, you know, it was 11 o’clock that evening. And Tom Brennan stopped by to my house, and he had to borrow book that was very important. And he left within a couple of minutes. And within 10 minutes, he called me again and said, you know, Denise, what should I do? I have found my son, what should I do? And just that alone, that anybody you when you think of a parent coming home and, and and finding their child, you know, on the floor, I don’t know what that time dead or dying, that you would have to call someone and ask them what to do – is is deeply disturbing.
And to me, tells you a little bit about the mindset of someone who’s been involved in this organization for a long time where they cannot think for themselves,
especially when we have evidence and we know toddlers who’ve called 911. If they find their parents on the ground. toddlers know what to do, right?
But it speaks to the type of dependency that’s created between a spiritual advisor, somebody they’re advising the kind of dependency that he has to make a ridiculous phone call.
So this woman is a spiritual advisor. She came over to the house that night with her husband is that what we think?
Well, the first story is she she tells she lies to the to the police detective during this line of questioning and says “why I never went down to the apartment at all, I stayed home, I never went in the vehicle. Only my husband, Jerry went to the apartment”.
And in later the story would change where she did go to the apartment. But it still became a little bit odd because they created this story where she didn’t go near the apartment because she was in her pajamas.
And we would be here for a long time if we ever started going into some of the different storylines that these three defendants gave.
But what it gave to me was they established a timeline on how long it took to get from the Miscavige Gentile to Tom Brennan’s apartment, which is no more than 10 minutes.
And, so you have them, and if the call for help did not go out until 10 minutes after midnight, even with the second version of the story if we were to believe that to be true, and I might add that I do not I think the first version that he was home at 10 10:30 is the correct one.
If that’s the correct one, then no one called the police for nearly two hours later.
Well, not only did they not call the police, but we know Kyle is alive at that time. That, because after he had died his cell phone bill came to our home and he was making phone calls 10:24 10:23 He was calling personal injury lawyers in Clearwater and he was pleading for help. Said you know “somebody, please help me.” So we know Kyle is alive at that time.” And so this place is his father in the apartment with him when Kyle is alive.
The first version of the story, we were told initially that Tom Brennan arrived home at 10:30. We believe that the initials versions of the story were the ones most close to the truth. And people realized later that they had to distance themselves from the apartment and they had to distance themselves from this unfortunate death. So the initial story is that Tom Brennan, and he told us, he told me, that he got home at 1030. Kyle Was alive at 10:30. That puts him in the apartment with Kyle while he was alive.
No if the second version of the story – and this is what Victoria was saying – if the second version of the story we believe he arrived at 1115 that places him at home but it also places Denise and her husband Gerald Gentile at the apartment with the body and they wait almost an hour before they call the police.
What were those people doing in that apartment?
Didn’t they take his computer? What’s that story?
The story with the computer…Kyle’s older brother asked Kyle’s father to send Kyle’s belongings. And with all those belongings came the computer and his sister in law – really sharp young woman – she wanted to look at it because Kyle liked to wrote and he was very proud of his work and she wanted to see what he had been working on before he had died. And she immediately took note that the computer had been accessed within a couple of hours after he died.
And so this means that someone would have gone in there in the middle of the night, in the early morning hours of February 17th, and had gone through his computer. And we could not understand why someone would even be thinking to do something like that at such a moment. Why would that be of any importance?
And this started… his brother contacted the Clearwater police – Detective Stephen Bohling – who was in charge at the time and made him aware of this. Because we were very upset. We wanted to know who did this and what was their motive for doing it?
And this started off, things changed immediately: Right after this was discovered, the father hired an attorney. A very expensive attorney from a law firm that represents Scientology cases in that area where we never really are quite sure how he could afford this attorney.
But if the information after that getting information from the police department, and from the Father, it really, it made it extremely difficult. After this attorney was was hired.
Clearly, there are so many unanswered questions about the tragic death of this young man. Is it possible that Kyle’s dad could have killed him? Is it possible that Tom Brennan could have shot his son?
And then there was, and then he freaked out and called members of the church to help cover it up? I ask that because I’m guarantee you there’s people listening right now, who’ve been with us since the beginning who were thinking, well, I wonder that. And I’m not saying that happened. I’m saying is that possible given you know so much more about this than I do, but is that even a possible narrative here?
Well, I can give you a direct quote about how Scientology philosophy on how to handle and to disconnect from someone like Kyle who is a perceived enemy of the church, and it is one of their their quotes is ‘never fear to hurt another and adjust cause’.
And in Kyle was potentially a huge PR flap for Flag Service Organization because you have the twin sister of the leader who’s involved, and they don’t want the Miscavige name involved in, certainly anything like this.
And in another part of their belief system is is that you know Kyle’s dead. It’s no big deal because he can just go and pick up another body. He just dropped his body, because they believe that we are these immortal souls that just keep coming back over and over and over again for billions of years. So when you die in Scientology – it’s no big deal. It doesn’t matter.
What happened to Denise Miscavige? The spiritual advisor to Tom Brennan, where is she today?
Well I know in 2013 she’s still a member of the Church of Scientology. I know in 2013, she was. A journalist for the Tampa Bay Times, Joe Childs, broke a story about her. She had been, she was arrested for trading marijuana blunts for rent in some apartments that she owns in the St. Pete Tampa Bay area. So where she is right now I have, I have no idea.
How about Tom Brennan your ex husband?
I do not know the last I had heard that he was no longer a member of the Church of Scientology. I’m not sure if they kicked him out.
Would be a smart move if they did.
Does he still live down there? No, he does not. He’s living in the New York Area.
We’re talking with Victoria Britton and Rick Britton, there’s more when we get back. This is inside Charlottesville. Quite barefoot. This is a special edition of Inside Charlottesville, we’ve been discussing the tragic death of Kyle Brennan 20 years old, a resident of Charlottesville. He was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound to the head in the home of his Scientologists father, Tom Brennan. In February of 2007 Kyle’s mother and stepfather are live in studio
Help me understand Victoria, what we know about what Denise and her husband Gerry, Denise. The twin sister of David Miscavige the head of the Church of Scientology was involved in Tom Brennan’s life with his spiritual spiritual advisor to your ex husband.
It sounds like a soap opera but does, it’s amazing that that Tom Brennan had this connection to the upper echelons of the Church of Scientology.
And when he apparently discovers his son’s body or dead or dying in his home that night, he calls his spiritual advisor he doesn’t call 911 and and, according to even the most generous timeline of what we understand they clearly waited a long time before anyone ever called police. What do we know about what they said happened that night?
Well, you know, I’m going to back up a little bit and we will talk about Denise Miscavige, and in just how they became ensnared in their own lies regarding that evening. When she was deposed in 2010, and the attorney for the state pressed for more details regarding that. 11 o’clock timeline that she, you know, conveniently gave to Kyle’s father. He asked her, What book did he borrow that was so important that he would have to come by to your home?
She said right, that’s it. Yeah. 11 o’clock. That was the alibi Kyle’s father was over here he borrowed a book from me right and
It just seemed very contrived and convenient. And she, she gave it a very, he gave a very detailed answer and said well, he came by he really needed that to learn more about e-meters, which of course is what they use and auditing it’s like a crude lie detector test. And the book belong to me. And in Denise said it belong to me and she went into some details and I’ll spare you the Scientology lingo, that went with it because we want to understand it.
And so when the father was deposed, he was asked, you know, what book did you have was so important that you had to stop by at Denise Miscavige’s home at 11 o’clock. And he gave a completely different book. Not only was the book, different, but He even went on to say in the book belong to Denise’s husband.
And he also had during that that line of questioning had said “you know I placed a phone call to Kyle before I went to Denise’s home that night but he didn’t pick up the phone. ” But there were no incoming phone calls to Kyle that evening. So we knew that, you know, that was a lie.
Also, but they didn’t even get the book right and they were so consumed with establishing a timeline that would take them away from that apartment. You know, it just raised a big red flag you know. Why would you feel the need to do that?
But what what they did establish earlier was that it you know it did only take 10 minutes to get from her home to the Brennan apartment. And her story also changed when she was deposed where now, you know the first time when the police were questioning her.
She didn’t go near the apartment. Now, She did go to the sheet she did changes, it changed. Yeah, absolutely. And, and it changed and so now, now she’s she’s there in that vicinity. She says she didn’t go up to the apartment. Although the officer claims that there was a couple there, but it does in like I said earlier the phone call for help did not go out until 1210.
So this is all of these three people, we have Kyle’s Father, we have the twin sister of the leader of the Church of Scientology Denise Miscavige and we have her husband Gerald, they are all in the apartment with my son. And I do not know what is transpiring at this time. I do not know if he’s alive at this time.
I do not know if he’s dead. I have, I have no way of knowing what is happening, but I do know that they are there. And what they are doing in there for that length of time, what is transpiring, you know, a over eight years have passed and I still do not have an answer to that.
Ultimately that’s what you’re after right is just a sense of truth about what really happened that night because clearly everybody’s story keeps changing the police report is right, is full of lies and, you know, there’s no fingerprints on the gun, they never find the bullet. He’s right handed and the entry wound is on the upper left side of his head.
We could go on and on and on and on. It’s just full of mysteries.
That’s right, and yet still this mother doesn’t know what happened to her son, all these years later, and we couldn’t we couldn’t even get these answers from the police who are supposed to be public servants who are being we’re telling them over the telephone.
We’re asking them these questions: can’t you find out about this?
Can’t you find out about that? But basically what we get from the Clearwater police is the brush off.
That was the, that was the sense from them. You people are way far away, up in the state of Virginia thousand miles away. Just leave us alone. Yeah, just get totally get you off.
It becomes much worse than that because in that police report, they actually you you have the, the, the, outright obvious lies but then you have lies of omission. And these are the facts that they were given that are not in the police report that are very important, and that would certainly change how someone might think about the case, if they had been included. And some of the lies were so egregious. They even have quoted me saying things that I never said, and these quotes would make it this you know Kyle’s death in the case, the wrongful death suit was a very high profile case.
And in the Clearwater area it played out on the front pages of the Tampa Bay Tribune.
And these lies that were the statements that were attributed to me that they said that I made about my son were put on the front pages of newspapers, and I can’t tell you how surreal, and horrific that is to look at a newspaper and read a quote that you, they’re saying that you said, and you never did.
And this stuff was just put into the police report as if it was factual.
That’s right. And the judge and the wrongful death lawsuit that’s the all the judge had was this such right trumped up police report, along with other things like this and I quote, this is from police detective Stephen Boland quote “the doctor calls doctor confirmed that Kyle had been exhibiting early signs of schizophrenia, to include paranoia and delusions and advised that he was not aware of any major side effects. If one was to suddenly stop taking Lexapro.
Kyle’s psychiatrist under oath has stated that he had never had any contact with anybody in the, in the police department or the medical examiner’s office. They both lied. Further, they concocted this diagnose the police, the police did so probably. What he did is he went up on a Wikipedia site and found some information about Lexapro and made up this diagnosis.
Kyle psychiatrist was under oath stated that he was quote “perplexed and dumbfounded by their statements”. He had absolutely no contact with anybody in the police department or the medical examiner. But the police are saying that they called him talked to him, that they talked to him, and he advised them of these things. They made up this diagnosis.
He said he was perplexed dumbfounded. And then of course he’s bound by confidentiality, not to reveal these kinds of things, but he went ahead and did reveal what his diagnosis of Kyle was, and it wasn’t schizophrenia to include paranoia and delusions.
It was mild anxiety and depression, a totally different story. These were bald face just lies in the police or private police. Right. They were just making stuff up making stuff up to, to make it to really go away. He committed suicide because he’s schizophrenic and paranoid and having these delusions, and he committed suicide. And this goes along.
It went into the suicide narrative is there to back up the idea that some of this was a suicide. Absolutely, absolutely.
Why would the police do that? What crosses your mind Rick when it comes to the part of this story is you know allegations of police misconduct police crime right corruption and and it raises a lot of questions what and but there’s also the whole Scientology aspect of this. I’m Brennan, you know, Kyle Brennan 20 years old, on, on medication goes to visit his father, his father just happens to be in the Church of Scientology. His spiritual advisor just happens to be the twin sister of the leader of the Church of Scientology right so Kyle walks into an environment that arguably he’s not really prepared for right he walks into the heart of Scientology in many respects right and he turns up dead.
Everybody’s like oh yeah I guess he killed himself but there’s, there’s really more evidence to show that it’s not a suicide then there is, and it’s just constant mysteries about
absolutely and they’re just, they’re just so many unanswered questions, and so many, we’re not talking about what might be a lie, we’re talking about provable lies. There are so many easily provable lies that were told by all of the defendants, that you just have to you have to come to the conclusion, like Victoria and I have years ago, that something very different than what stated in the police report happened that evening,
What it is. We don’t know. You cannot have a situation like this with all of these lies with all these unanswered questions provable lies and think that, oh yeah, that’s the truth. Of course it’s not the truth, something very different happened, that there’s a documentary called Going Clear it’s a book by the same name I believe that’s right i Lawrence right and Kyle story is in the books, not in the documentary but it was mentioned in the book.
That’s right. People who are familiar with the Church of Scientology around the world are familiar with Kyle story, a lot of our listeners right now may not be, and they’re learning about it for the first time.
I’d like to add something because you mentioned the documentary going clear and one of the main people who was interviewed for that show was a man named of Mark, or Marty Rathbun, who was the considered the right hand man to David Miscavige, he was the number two guy in the church for a guy who was very important and very high up there.
And in 2012. He came out with a story that broke and W tsp and Tampa and and the story was in 1995 there was a young woman who had died under the care of Scientologists Lisa MacPherson, and he broke the story that an attorney who was a part of this case representing the Church of Scientology former prosecutor name attorney leave you gave that he was told that Marty Radford was told by David Miscavige that they hired this former prosecutor to have illegal meetings, ex parte meetings with judges and people of influence in Pinellas County to make the Lisa MacPherson case. Go away. And it costs a Church of Scientology $30 million.
To do this, Attorney Lee Fugate was the attorney representing Denise Miscavige until he in the wrongful death suit of my son. Same attorney the same attorney. So, if you there are a lot of questions that, like you said remain unanswered and the one thing that I asked myself repeatedly is why lie?
Why do people why why would you feel the need to? If they do it because they’re hiding something you think the truth about what happened that night to your son is being covered up.
Well, someone’s covering it up. I mean, are they would come forward and just say, I can answer that question for you, Victoria, I can know this is what this is what have you been asking questions for eight years now for a about specifics of what happened that night and you’re still not getting any answers
No, no I am not we went to the after the the appeal was last weekend I filed the case with the FBI. I had tried to get them to intervene early in the case when the Clearwater police department was investigating it because I knew that they were not conducting a proper investigation, I had concerns, and they did not become involved because it was really at that point the case was still open and it was a he said, she said.
And after, when the case was closed and we had lost the appeal and I had the time to go through the mountains of paperwork through those depositions, and I found I mean, there were so many, I mean we’re going over some of the lies but but we have a room in the back of our house it’s like 20 by 18, and I had that entire room filled with stacks of papers. And each of those stacks represented a lie that I had found in those depositions or in contradictions of the defendants, and they were so much lying that I had to make some piles, next to it I mean it was it was it was it was overwhelming and we brought them to the FBI, and in, was it 2013 and and filed the case with them.
And it has been quiet, ever since and we also we had an expert criminologist, look over the, the word conducted by the police department the Susan hunter cover agent for the Department of Justice actually an academic academic academic work some very high profile cases undercover, and he, he, his conclusion was that the investigation of my son’s death was a farce. and divorce and it seemed obvious to him that there was some kind of connection between the Clearwater Police Department and the Church of Scientology.
I can’t imagine how we got to wrap up here, we were at a time, but I just can’t imagine how frustrating isn’t the right word here, you get you get frustrated when you carry doesn’t work right. You know, I mean that’s frustration, this is not frustration.
This is this is a nightmare. It is a nightmare, and and because very powerful wealthy people are giving you the truth. That’s right, it appears to me. It would appear that way. That’s right. I, and there’s just so many mysteries and unanswered questions. And if anyone deserves the truth. It would be the parent of a child who died by tragic and unexplained circumstances, if anyone on this planet deserves truth is a parent who’s lost a child, where someone could say we’ve really looked into it. This is what really happened. And, and the truth will will answer all those questions and make the mysteries go away, but right now you don’t have the truth, because you’re still living with unanswered questions industries like with so many things in life it’s the it’s that not knowing that gets you.
Yeah, yeah. And without the truth we can have no peace. We need and I need to believe that the truth still matters to people that it matters. And I will keep pursuing the truth. For as long as necessary.
Until I have my questions answered. How Kyle Brennan passed away tragically at the home of his scientologist father, Tom Brennan in February of 2007 in Clearwater, Florida.
We’ve been talking with Kyle’s mother Victoria and stepfather Rick Britton, live in studio on inside Charlottesville, my heart breaks for both of you.
I know everybody listening, their heart is breaking and thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, and the memory of Kyle, and his legacy. It’s that legacy of this life of this young man that so tragically and mysteriously ended. That merits some renewed struggled to find the truth here, and thank you both for being here.
Thanks for having me.
I’m Coy Barefoot, and you’ve been listening to Inside Charlottesville on WCHV 107.5 FM.
For more information and much greater detail about this case, go to Victoria Britton’s Blog on the Death of her son, Kyle Brennan