For Reasons Unknown

Dana Wells' family and friends believe his death was no accident. The truth might have died with him.

"Pretty good, huh?" Ripley says today. "It's like, 'No, we didn't get together on this.'"

The detective catches the sarcasm in his voice and retreats one step.
"Obviously, I can't say they're lying. It's not uncommon for accident victims to have amnesia. But where does the truth start here? I think that remains a question."

As her son died, Gloria Cavalera's plane was landing at London's Heathrow Airport.

She was on tour with her husband, Max Cavalera, the lead singer and guitarist for Brazilian speed-metal heroes Sepultura, who were booked to play the annual Donnington megafestival. Gloria was Sepultura's manager at the time. Davenport, her eldest daughter, was traveling with the entourage.

The Cavaleras and Davenport made the four-hour drive from Heathrow to Donnington. Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser knocked on their hotel room door shortly after they arrived.

"Andreas told me to come out in the hall, and he said, 'I'm sorry to tell you Dana has been in an accident,'" says Gloria. "I said, 'Please don't tell me he's dead.' He got a blank look and said, 'I'm afraid so.' Then I started screaming."

Heavy-metal legend Ozzy Osbourne, also booked to play the festival, lent the Cavaleras his private jet so they could fly home immediately.

Friends and family had already gathered at the house when the aggrieved trio landed. Max Cavalera and Metallica bassist Jason Newsted holed up in Dana's room, making a mix tape for the next day's memorial service. Gloria went to the funeral home to see her son.

"I just--I remember Dana in the coffin," she says. "He was covered in plastic. It's very hard. You don't ever plan on making funeral arrangements for your son."

Cavalera says her son was not close friends with Thomas and Graci. "He never brought them to the house. They were groupies. Sepultura groupies, and therefore Dana groupies." But the three grew up within a mile of one another--Wells and Graci were in the same fourth-grade class at Gold Dust Elementary--and moved within overlapping social circles of youth who shared two common traits: enrollment at Shadow Mountain High in the early Nineties, and a taste for aggressive rock music.

A hurricane of rumors hit those crowds in the wake of the fatal wreck.
"There was all sorts of shit being said, but from what I heard, this much was [consistent]," says Phoenix telemarketer Chris Pekor, 21, who went to Shadow Mountain with Thomas, Graci and Dana Wells. "Either Shawn or Miles or both [were] enemies with someone involved in a drug deal who wasn't paid. After leaving a party that night, they were followed and run off the road, and Shawn and Miles knew who followed them and who ran them off the road, and the amnesia was a con.

"That's what everyone was saying, but no one knew exactly where it was coming from. It was always, 'Oh, so-and-so talked to Shawn at a party, and he told them the whole story.' Or, 'I know so-and-so, and they visited Miles at the hospital, and he told them they were being chased and shot at by these gang guys,' that sort of shit.

"Knowing Shawn and Miles, I tend to think there was something foul about that accident, you know what I'm saying? Unfortunately, Dana had a lot of fake friends who wanted to have a connection to his family, and used him as sort of a person who could hook them up with concert tickets or whatever. Pretty fucking sad, if you ask me."

A month after the wreck, Gloria Cavalera and her daughter Cristina both say they received phone calls from a friend of the family who claimed he had talked to Thomas. The friend said Thomas told him they were chased by two members of a gang known as LCM who mistakenly thought Thomas and Graci had ripped them off in a crack deal. The friend said one of the LCM members went by the name of "Wolfie."

Independent of those tips, in early October 1996, the reporter of this article heard an account of the wreck from a member of Las Victoria Locas, a Tempe gang. This LVL member--who refuses to be identified, for obvious reasons--said he had spoken the day before with members of LCM, a north Phoenix gang.

He said the LCM members told him that two LCM wanna-bes--aspiring gangbangers--had fouled up, big-time, by accidentally killing Dana Wells, the stepson of rock star Max Cavalera.

The story as he heard it was this:
Two white boys burned the LCM in a cocaine deal. Someone in the LCM directed the wanna-bes to put a scare into the white boys. Late at night, the wanna-bes confronted the white boys in a parking lot, and flashed a gun. Wells took off, and the wanna-bes gave chase. They pulled alongside the car driven by Wells, and one of them pointed a pistol. Wells looked over, saw the gun, and swerved to the right, causing his car to spin and crash. Wells died. The two white boys lived. The LCM wanna-bes were blacklisted.

Four Shadow Mountain graduates interviewed for this article refused--out of fear, they said--to even be named as having heard the rumors.

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2 comments
mgibbons8019
mgibbons8019

A friend forwarded me this.... Gloria Cavalera

November 29, 2014 at 11:22am · Edited ·

18 years ago, I had a loving son who was chased like a dog and run off the road by gang members and high school wanna-be's hoodies who had never met him. He was killed. The detective on the scene changed the police report and 5 DA's since then have concealed his death. They chose to let the gang STILL walk the streets in our neighborhood. They allowed them to become cartel...to sell drugs here, to murder and get away with it. 18 years later, these people are now heroin dealers. Do you know how many kids got popped for a joint in that time, in those 18 long years? Are the cartel paying off the cops? Do you think the police don't know they are here, right under our noses? Is this right? I solved the case with one other young woman. I wore a Halloween Cleopatra wig to cover my green hair, and went in the gang areas. I stood next to them as they fired their guns in the air. I did not call for protests. I did not call for marches that would definitely cause looting and violence. I did not encourage violence to cure violence. I asked for help from every law enforcement agency there was. I was turned away by all....to save the detective's reputation. I am fighting still to this day to inform people. It is wrong that in Ferguson people use Michael Brown's death to act like criminals who should be in jail. There is a right way and wrong way. I am sorry to say. Gloria Cavalera is nothing but a storyteller and a psycho - pathological liar. Enough is enough. I am not going to be silent any longer. Unfortunately, Dana Wells was the one who pulled a gun on me and my passenger Elijah Miller. Dana Wells was the aggressor. Dana Wells gave chase and chased my passenger Elijah Miller. He will vouch to what happened on August 16th, 1996.. Dana Wells caught up to us and threw an object. Not sure what the object was, but it was loud. Moments after Dana Wells tossing the object. He started fishtailing and eventually lost control causing his death. Elijah Miller and I escaped with our lives. It is unfortunate that Dana Wells was killed. I or Elijah Miller have never been members or actively involved in gangs!. Elijah and I have never sold drugs. Contrary to whatever New Times says. I was never asked by David Holthouse for an interview. Elijah Miller at the time of this article was under age. Not even 18 yet..Gloria Cavalera sued Liberty Mutual which was my auto insurance company.. They offered her 100 thousand dollars. It was pure business on their part because it was cheaper to make all this go away rather than going to trial AND Gloria Cavalera signed off that I had no responsibilities towards her son's death. I have the documents stating the amount and the agreement in which Gloria Cavalera signed. Gloria Cavalera is nothing short of a liar and a story teller, and likes to put a major spin in the media. I strongly believe She concocted the story about gang bangers and murder so people actually feel bad for her and rather to face the shitstorm coming because she disbanded Sepultura. I'm still wondering why Iggor Cavalera did not speak to Max for 10 years and yet Iggor ramianed with Sepultura during that time. Also Dana Wells was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. Don't believe it. Readers can find out from the Maricopa County's Coroner Office or documents from myself personally. Under Arizona law. That's considered driving under the influence. No matter how you slice and dice it. Its driving under the influence and no matter how you slice and dice it. The accident was purely 100% Dana Wells fault. Thank God the Phoenix Police and Detective Donald Ripley did their jobs and determined Dana Wells was at fault. The Phoenix Police department is not corrupt as Gloria Cavalera claims. Dana Wells was NOT murdered, was NOT chased, And definitely NOT ran off the road. He was the AGRESSOR, the one who pulled a gun on myself and Elijah Miller.. End of story. I have no problems providing proof. No problems providing my witness Elijah Miller. Who can vouch for himself in his own words. And We both never have been part of a gang or members of a street gang!

loriann.witte
loriann.witte

A Abundant life

"Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death." Auntie Mame.  - Ego is not your friend. I have been taught to be grateful, not proud. How do we shift from 'sacred city' to lavish abundance. Go beyond thoughts of scarcity to know prosperity. Basis universal laws of being. Open your eyes, attract ideas of well being and fruit filled opportunities. Clean the filter through which you see. Clean just a little spot and see what happens. Come to the fountain of abundance driving a double semi truck, not with a teaspoon.  http://get.wirecovery.com/2010/10/forgivness-is-all-ways-answer.html

 
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