The Conspiracymongers Emerge
A few conspiracy enthusiasts concocted a narrative, later repeated by Be Scofield, that Carla’s stabbing was a murder attempt, and the murderer finished the job after Carla returned to the island.
The public records contain names and statements of three people who wanted the investigation to continue: Georgi Coquereau, an Orcas resident our investigator was not able to determine much about, and the two men who Carla wanted to distance herself from: Reed Goodrich and Carla’s ex-husband, Jim Shaffer-Bauck.
Although the police did not interview her because she was not involved in Carla’s wounding event or death, Orcas resident Georgi Coquereau wrote and gave to the police a statement, which included a “log” of events that she believed were suspicious. It indicates that she objected to Deborah Martyn’s presence in Carla’s house after the stabbing incident. Coquereau called Rick Boucher, who refused to talk to her about the incident, and then called Jim Shaffer-Bauck to tell him about Martyn’s presence in Carla’s house.
A few days later Coquereau became convinced that a suspicious truck or SUV was “aggressively” following her. None of Aaravindha’s family or associates owned such a vehicle at the time. Keep in mind that Orcas is a small island; the same vehicles are likely to be seen by residents multiple times, in multiple places.
On the day of Carla’s funeral, Coquereau approached Carla’s daughter Lyria and offered to “help get justice and truth to surface in finding the individuals that did this to her mom.” Lyria responded by saying that her mother wouldn’t want to put the community in any more danger, and that it wasn’t going to bring her mother back. Coquereau then wrote, “I was going to say that the community IS in danger while we are still living among these cult creeps” but that she decided not to cause a scene.
Later that day, Coquereau stated that “Reed (Goodrich) and I are seen talking outside the local grocery market and given dirty looks by one of these new members of the “Children of the Light” cult.”
On January 16, Coquereau called Gary Shaffer (Carla’s brother) in Colorado and told him that “The whole community is in danger if the person(s) or cult people involved are not found and put to justice.”
Coquereau communicated all of these thoughts in email to Carla’s family (see Figures 7.1 through 7.5, Appendix A).
Coquereau reports the suspicious truck/SUV “stalking” her several times more. And on January 26, she mentions “cult members” in town. She doesn’t offer any names of these individuals, and it is unknown where she got the name “Children of the Light” or the idea that a cult was operating on Orcas Island.
The police found no evidence of any cult, nor of any group calling themselves Children of the Light. It would seem nearly impossible that any such group could go unnoticed on this small, gossipy island. The idea seems to have originated in Coquereau’s imagination. Our investigator reached out to Georgi Coquereau, but when Coquereau learned that the interview would concern her involvement in this case, Coquereau declined to be interviewed.
Sergeant Herb Crowe and another Orcas resident both mentioned to our investigator that JZ Knight, a woman who claims to channel an ancient being named Ramtha, lived for a few years on Orcas. JZ Knight’s website states that she runs “Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment,” and she frequently uses the word “light” in her writings. This may have been the source for a few Orcas islanders’ delusions about cults on the island.
It was previously mentioned in this report that Carla had dated Reed Goodrich for a while. Although there are no records of Goodrich being involved in or even being interviewed about Carla’s stabbing incident or death, the public records indicate that he clearly felt compelled to submit a lengthy summary (six type-written pages) of his understanding of events to the police. (Figure 8.1 through 8.6, Appendix A.)
In his summary, Goodrich questions how Carla was treated after the stabbing incident as well as how she was treated in the hospital, and accuses the state of Washington and the North Sound Evaluation Center in Sedro-Woolley of incompetence. Goodrich especially questions why Carla was released, including her in his statement about “dealing with patients suffering severe, suicidal ideation, who have ALSO just made a serious, almost fatal, suicide attempt.” (He was referring to the December stabbing event.) These words seem to indicate that Goodrich originally believed that Carla had tried to commit suicide by stabbing herself.
Many people do not realize that mental health institutions cannot detain individuals against their will, even if those individuals are commonly believed to be mentally ill, as long as those individuals seem able to take care of themselves and do not present an immediate danger to themselves or others. At the time of her release in December of 2005, the court judged that Carla met those standards, and released her with a care plan.
As one mental health therapist who asked not to be identified said to our investigator, “It’s not illegal to be crazy. If they’re bright and coherent enough, the person will be released.” Our investigator discovered that Carla had not reported for a scheduled mental health session in the days before her death.
At various points Goodrich brought the “People of Light” into his statements. It’s unclear whether this name originated with him or whether he was echoing Georgi Coquereau’s “Children of the Light” or even Carla’s statements in the hospital and psychiatric facility about her conversations with “the Light.” He erroneously referred to Markus Naugle and Laura Wheelock as “Markus and Laura Briedis,” demonstrating that he didn’t know any of the individuals he named in his statements, the same people he was accusing of being part of a cult. (Briedis is the last name of Janis and Jil, aka Aaravindha and Ashayrah.) Goodrich clearly intended to cast doubt on the recorded statements of Markus and Laura, using wording like “supposedly” and “their story is” and “they ‘think.’”
Goodrich mentioned the “Friends of Light” (yet another new name) as assembling to search for Carla on the day she went missing. The fire station authorities had divided volunteers from the island (33 total, according to a report by Deputy Zerby) into search groups and assigned them to different areas, but Reed Goodrich was apparently not part of that effort. According to his written statements, Goodrich went searching “on his own” and met Jim Shaffer-Bauck walking along the road, and quizzed him about “the people of the light.” Goodrich reported that he (Jim) “seemed to think they were involved in some way and he was upset with them.” It’s unclear who “they” refers to.
Goodrich speculates that Carla’s Rife machine was “designed for neural programming-mind control…” but he never stated who might have designed or programmed it, nor does he state where Carla acquired the machine. When our investigator interviewed him in April of 2020, he sent a document in which he identified the make and model of the machine, but we cannot know if his information was accurate. In any case, a machine based on Rife principles cannot be “programmed for mind control.” It’s impossible.
Several people on Orcas mentioned Carla’s Rife machine as a possible contributor to her death. It seems common on the island, and perhaps elsewhere as well, for some people to speculate about ideas they know nothing about.
Stephen Joel Barrett, M.D., is an American retired psychiatrist, author, co-founder of the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF), and the webmaster of Quackwatch. He runs a number of websites dealing with quackery and health fraud. He focuses on consumer protection, medical ethics, and scientific skepticism. When our investigator asked about Rife machines, Barrett sent an email message that provided the following quotes:
Rife machines and similar devices based on Rife theories have no effect on one’s health and one’s body whatsoever. They produce a low-level current. As long as you don’t mis-wire the device and get electrocuted, Rife machines have no health effect.
The only negative effects would be refusing standard treatments and relying on them for a cure.
There is no scientific evidence that these devices can heal any disease. Rife machines are not regulated by any agency, and there are no standards that govern their manufacture. But most agree that the biggest issue is that people with major illnesses place their faith in the benefits of a Rife-type machine instead of getting the treatment they need. During the many decades that such machines have been for sale, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and FTC (Federal Trade Commission) have repeatedly warned manufacturers about making unsubstantiated claims about the healing properties of their devices, and in some cases, sellers have been convicted of fraud for making false claims.
Anyone can build or sell a Rife-type machine. It’s unknown where Carla Shaffer purchased hers, or what the claims of the manufacturer may have been. One Orcas business owner, Kay Miller, recalled a Rife seminar being held on Orcas in 2004 or 2005, and thought it was possible that Carla had purchased her device there. Miller said that she later went to Carla’s house to check out her machine, and remembered Carla saying at the time, “Do not use the machine more than twice a week and more than 20 minutes at a time.”
When our investigator asked Miller if the Briedises had attended the Rife seminar, she said, “I don’t think they had anything to do with the Rife machine.”
When our investigator finally located and interviewed Goodrich and his wife Susan Allred in Ecuador in April of 2020, Goodrich had “updated” his research into Carla’s case. He emailed us several documents he had written between 2006 and 2020. In one, he described Carla’s Rife machine as a “BCX Ray Tube Combo Unit,” but there’s no way to know if this identification is accurate because our investigation revealed that much of the information in Goodrich’s other “notes” was wrong.
In 2006, Goodrich wrote that he unsuccessfully tried to get Carla’s family to initiate an independent coroner’s investigation into Carla’s death and the events preceding it. He said he brought up “No less than eight different times” that a private investigator from outside the county should be hired and receive all relevant medical and psychiatric records. He said that each time “they changed the subject or maneuvered around it.”
In his 2006 writings, Goodrich went on to say that he called a reporter at KING-TV Channel 5 in Seattle, and the editors of the Whatcom Independent and Island Sounder publications. None of these outlets published stories on the topic.
As there are no reports of police interviews with either Georgi Coquereau or Reed Goodrich in the public records, it seems likely that law enforcement authorities simply dismissed their wild speculations.
Goodrich went on to write, “There are six of us working and collaborating together to uncover the truth regarding the mysterious and disturbing death of Carla Shaffer. There will no doubt be unrest on this island until this issue is resolved.”
During our investigation, the names of several other Orcas residents were mentioned as possible “collaborators,” but without any proof of their involvement, we are not including their names here.
Goodrich’s 2006 letter seemed to indicate that Goodrich and others were determined to create unrest. A few paragraphs later, Goodrich questions “were the terms of Carla Shaffer’s psychiatric release followed by members of “people of the light”?” That is a nonsensical question. It’s clear that he’s trying to implicate the “people of the light” but it’s unclear how he thinks they may have been involved with Carla’s release.
As he himself stated, Reed Goodrich’s constant insertion into Carla’s memorial process was not welcomed. According to several people present, he made a speech at Carla’s memorial about the case, and he reports that Carla’s daughter Lyria told Georgi Coquereau “if she had it her way, she wouldn’t have let Reed get up and say anything.” Goodrich mentioned a couple of times that both of Carla’s daughters avoided him the whole time they were on Orcas.
Goodrich’s six pages were followed by ten additional pages of notes and questions for the police and then finally by a copy of the speech he intended to give at Carla’s memorial service.
As our investigator discovered during her interview with Reed Goodrich and Susan Allred in 2020, the couple did continue their “research” into Satanic cults and continued to try to interest others in reopening an investigation into Carla’s death. Most of what Goodrich shared with others are simply fabrications out of the blue—in other words, he lied. See “Reactions to Be Scofield’s Malicious Article” later in this report for more on that.
Carla’s ex-husband, Jim Shaffer-Bauck, often referred to in the police records simply as Jim Shaffer and sometimes signing as “Jim S-Bauck,” was clearly also dissatisfied with the conclusions reached by the police and coroner. Although his attitudes about the case generally did not appear in the police records, several Orcas residents told our investigator that Jim wanted to get the FBI involved and wanted a movie to be made about Carla’s case.
No news outlets picked up the story.
Our investigator made several attempts on various phone numbers to contact Jim Shaffer-Bauck to hear his side of this story. She left messages, but never received a return call. Unsure whether she was calling the right number, on February 25, 2020 she called his wife’s phone number to ask about a way to contact him. Jim Shaffer-Bauck answered that call. After she identified herself and asked if he knew who invited Be Scofield to the island, Shaffer-Bauck replied, “I’m not interested. You’ll never find that out. You are going to print what they pay you to print.” When she made a second attempt on February 28 to interview Jim Shaffer-Bauck at his home, he again refused to talk to her, and she left.
Although Jim and Carla had long been divorced and had not lived together for years, he was part of Carla’s family and involved in his daughter’s lives. For this reason, we have included what we know from official records about Jim Shaffer-Bauck’s involvement in the next section, “The Reaction of Carla Shaffer’s Family.”
The Reaction of Carla Shaffer’s Family
Carla Shaffer’s family clearly felt the authorities had handled the case professionally and wanted to put the entire matter to rest. The public record contains a copy of a handwritten card sent by Brian Shaffer, Carla’s brother, to Detective Buchanan. The note reads:
Dear Detective Buchanan,
Our entire family thanks you for your compassion and professionalism in the events surrounding our sister’s death. Given the trying circumstances, we feel things were handled with tact and a true understanding of the sensitivities involved. We all gained a great deal of comfort, as well, when we saw for ourselves the outstanding job done by those involved in the investigation and the openness of the findings.
Best regards and with much gratitude,
On Orcas, Georgi Coquereau did not want to see Carla’s case closed, and the police records show that she repeatedly emailed Carla’s brother, Brian Shaffer, a well-known surgeon, with her accusations of a cult involvement. Police records of the email exchange (Figure 7.3, Appendix A) indicate that Brian Shaffer responded to Coquereau:
The police did a first-rate job at the crime scene, despite the mild disadvantage of having some of it cleaned up by Deb. In all, 150 man-hours were invested on that investigation by the Washington State Crime Lab. They spared no expense of effort to get as much detail as possible for their evaluation. … When all the information was put together, it looks like Carla had a psychotic break on the first incident and then relapsed. … We think, given her debilitated state and her already petite frame, that she probably passed out from exposure, either while sitting on the west bank of the pond or actually when she was in the pond. What she was thinking will never be known, but it was probably not the thoughts of the rational mind that I knew my sister possessed.
Apparently Coquereau and Goodrich would not leave the family alone, because on February 7, 2006, Carla’s daughter sent an email message (Figure 9 in Appendix A) to Deputy Sheriff Curtis Tucker, asking him to speak to Reed Goodrich and Georgi Coquereau, whom she wrote “have been increasingly aggressive and disrespectful with their attempts to encourage members of my family that cult activities were the cause of my mother’s death.” She asked Tucker to speak with the two individuals “before this issue escalates any further.”
However, Carla’s ex-husband and Lyria’s father, Jim Shaffer-Bauck, was determined not to let the case go. The case records contain a letter to Prosecutor and Coroner Randall Gaylord informing him that he was hiring a private investigator to pursue the case.
Jim Shaffer-Bauck also sent two letters to Gaylord, shown in Figures 10 and 11, that expressed his belief that Carla had been murdered. In Figure 10, not only did Jim hint that the members of the “Children of Light” were psychopaths, but he accused Markus Naugle (the Orcas Island EMT) of “classic psychopathic behavior.”
Although Jim Shaffer-Bauck did not identify anyone in another letter, he stated he believed that Carla was murdered and said they are dealing with “sophisticated, experienced psychopaths” (Figure 11, Appendix A).
The public records contain multiple pages of Jim Shaffer-Bauck’s handwritten notes and rambling speculations about the case. Some of these notes, which are often only a word or a phrase, duplicate information found in police records; others are of unclear origin, such as “Carla had isolated herself from previous friends” and “Carla switching between lucid and paranoid state for an unnaturally long time.”