David Crowley and his dietitian wife Komel and their child were found dead in Apple Valley in 2014, Komel Crowley was raised Muslim in Pakistan and converted to Christianity when she married David Crowley, Police believe that Crowley’s choice of Arabic words was a sarcastic jab at his late wife’s background.
A seemingly happy suburban father ‘snapped’ when he shot his wife and five-year-old daughter execution style before turning the gun on himself himself. Police say they found the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar” written in blood on the wall of the family’s Apple Valley home, Police also found a spiral notebook that had the words, ‘Submit to Allah NOW,’ written on it. The notebook also had the words ‘open “The Rise” ‘ and ‘most recent version,’ written on it. More after the cut…
David Crowley was a screenwriter and aspiring filmmaker working on his first independent film. Komel Crowley was a registered dietitian who, like her husband, mostly worked from their Apple Valley home. Together, they were raising their 5-year-old daughter, Raniya a bright kindergartner who rarely missed a day of school.
But that illusion vanished a year ago, when all three were found fatally shot Jan. 17 in the living room of their rambler in what investigators immediately said pointed to an apparent murder-suicide three weeks earlier. Each died of a single gunshot wound to the head around Dec. 26, 2014, and the medical examiner’s office did not find marks or injuries on the bodies suggesting physical struggle before their deaths.
But before Crowley turned the gun on himself, he spent an undetermined amount of time in the house. In the living room where their bodies lay, Crowley scrawled on a wall in his wife’s blood the Arabic phrase, “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “God is greatest. Investigators believe the words were Crowley’s “last little shot by him, a sarcastic thing aimed at (Komel’s) Muslim past,” Rechtzigel said.
Komel Crowley was raised Muslim in Pakistan and converted to Christianity when she married David Crowley; they met while he was stationed in the Army in Texas in 2008.
In the kitchen, investigators found a MacBook laptop running and plugged into a wall socket. When the crime scene team swabbed the keyboard for a DNA sample, the computer “woke up” from sleep mode and showed a message in a TextEdit window. It read: “I have loved you all with all of my heart.” In a home office was a spiral-bound notebook open to a page with dried blood on it and the handwritten words, “open ‘The Rise’ ” and “most recent version.”
Crowley had been working on a 2 1/2-hour documentary called “The Rise,” which he described in an email to a prospective California producer in mid-December 2014 as “a manifesto on the Gray State model.”
The bodies were not found for days and before they were discovered they’d been torn apart by the family’s dog who was still alive when police arrived at the scene.
‘It was just a gruesome scene that anybody who came in contact with had to face,’ Valley Police Chief Jon Rechtzig said. ‘You had this terrible loss of life an entire family wiped out, three people.’ ‘He was in a very dark place,’ Rechtzigel said. ‘He had a lot of stressors on him and was working on a very dark topic basically about the fall of society and FEMA troops taking over the U.S.’
Crowley reportedly expressed his concerns about the film to his friend just a little over a week before he murdered his family. Crowley emailed Los Angeles filmmaker Jason Allen to tell him that they lost most of their financial backers. He wrote him that he was ‘exhausted from carrying and managing this burden for so many years.’ It was also revealed that a company that a film prop company Crowley co-owned was going out of business and he was stressed about that.
Next-door neighbor Collin Prochnow who discovered the bodies told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that they had not been seen since Christmas. He went to the steps of their house to pick up packages that had been there for days. A dog was said to be inside at the time.
“What it all adds up to is this was a guy who snapped,” Apple Valley Police Chief Jon Rechtzigel said. “To cross that line, to go to that level of violence and this is domestic violence, make no ifs ands or buts about it … I mean, you take the lives of your daughter and your wife and besides that you’re writing things on the wall in blood. Nobody thinks to do that unless they’re really of a deranged mind at that point.”
Apple Valley police recently closed the case as domestic violence