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Cavalera believes her son drove into a trap. She thinks Thomas and Graci had been set up by Gibbons, who waited for them at Bob's Market with his cousin, not Eli Miller. There was a confrontation in the parking lot, during which Dana grabbed one of the beers behind his seat to arm himself.
For whatever reason, Cavalera says--perhaps because he believed the other guys had a gun--her son took off, turned a fast right on Cactus, and floored it. Gibbons and his cousin gave chase, and purposefully or accidentally caused Wells to crash.
That's her theory.
It's just one of many that fit the known facts.
Here's another: Wells decided to give Thomas and Graci a ride home, and simply forgot to lock the front door. As he was exiting his neighborhood, he accidentally cut off Gibbons' car, or vice versa. Harsh words and middle fingers were exchanged between parties in both cars, and a gun was pulled. Wells took off down Cactus, and died a few seconds later.
Here's one more: Wells knew more about the danger Thomas and Graci were in than his friends and family would like to believe. He knew they were heading for trouble at Bob's Market, and that's why he had the beer in his pocket.
"Dana would never start a fight," says Corona. "But if you were his friend, he'd back you up, big-time, anytime."
There's no end to plausible scenarios of how and why Dana Wells died.
No end, unless Thomas, Graci, Gibbons or Miller is lying and decides to tell the truth, or a new witness to the accident comes forth.
Detective Ripley says he needs more than rumors to reactivate a police investigation.
"One of the players would have to come clean, or someone who was actually there would have to step forward and say, 'This is what happened,'" he says.
Frank Powers says he will question Thomas and Graci under oath sometime next month, in depositions for the wrongful-death suit against them.
"I think we know with reasonable certainty the general circumstances surrounding Dana's death," says the lawyer. "Unfortunately, the only people with firsthand knowledge of those circumstances are dead, claiming amnesia, or lying."
Cavalera admits the purpose of the lawsuit is to crank up the pressure and hope the truth pops out.
"I want to know how he died, and I want to know why," she says. "I want to know if he was angry or scared as he was driving down the road. I want to know if he was screaming or silent. I just want to know."
Max Cavalera's new band, Soulfly, released its first album last year. The art inside the CD shows a picture of Dana Wells standing in front of a roller coaster, and this inscription:
"'Bleed' and 'First Commandment' are dedicated to the people involved in the murder of Dana Wells and the cover-up of his death. You know who you are. Justice is coming."