For Reasons Unknown

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

So Cavalera hired a private investigator--retired Arizona Department of Public Safety narcotics agent and helicopter rescue pilot Jim "Mac" McMinn.

McMinn went house-to-house in the neighborhood near the accident, asking questions and leaving business cards.

The man who answered the door at one house was Donald Barcello, who pointed to the DPS retirement ring McMinn wore and asked if he was an ex-cop.

"There's not too many people who would recognize that ring," McMinn says.
Barcello did, because he wore one of his own.
"I didn't know Mr. Barcello, but he had over 25 years in DPS as well," McMinn says.

Barcello didn't have information on the accident, but promised to call if he heard anything.

Weeks passed. On October 27, Wells' friends put up 500 posters in north Phoenix. The posters showed a picture of Wells and stated, "$10,000 REWARD for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the parties involved in the death of Dana Wells, (1:45 a.m., 8/16) on 23rd and Cactus. You may remain anonymous."

The posters listed McMinn's name and phone number.
The day after they went up, McMinn spent all day on the phone. "Most of them were groupie calls from [Sepultura] fans, with more of the same rumors," he says. "One wasn't."

It was Donald Barcello. His son, John Barcello, then 16, was a junior at Shadow Mountain High School. John and his best friend, Mike Henry, had come home with one of the posters, and told Donald Barcello they knew who was driving the other car.

McMinn called the younger Barcello and Mike Henry. They told the same story, which was this: A kid named Mike Gibbons had told them on two recent occasions in the Shadow Mountain lunch room that he was the driver of the phantom car in the crash that killed Dana Wells.

Barcello and Henry said Gibbons, who is Hispanic, told them he and his cousin were in the parking lot of a liquor store near the intersection of 32nd Street and Cactus, and got into a confrontation with three older white guys with long hair who were "talking trash" to his cousin.

Barcello and Henry said Gibbons told them he acted like he was going to pull a gun. The white guys jumped back in their car, and took off down Cactus. Gibbons and his cousin gave chase. They were in the middle lane, the other car was next to the curb. Gibbons supposedly told them both cars accelerated to about 90 miles per hour. Gibbons said a passenger in the other car was about to throw a beer bottle at Gibbons' car--Gibbons was driving--so he swerved toward them. The other driver swerved to the right and rolled his car.

Barcello and Henry said Gibbons told them he and his cousin slowed down, saw the damage was severe, then took off. Barcello and Henry said Gibbons didn't seem to be bragging. He seemed scared. It was Barcello's impression that Gibbons was talking to him because he knew Barcello's dad used to be a cop, and Gibbons wanted to know what crimes he could be charged with.

If Gibbons--or any other driver--deliberately ran Wells' car off the road, gun or no gun, he could be charged with a number of crimes, from aggravated assault to second-degree murder. If Wells simply lost control while being chased, the charge could be lessened to reckless endangerment.

It's doubtful Thomas and Graci would be charged with any crime related to Wells' death.

After he interviewed Barcello and Henry, McMinn called Detective Ripley, who called Barcello and Henry, who told Ripley the same stories. On November 8--more than a week after he got the tips--Ripley went to Shadow Mountain High and asked to see Mike Gibbons.

"I first spoke to an assistant principal," Ripley wrote in a police report. "He stated he first had to call [Gibbons'] parents to get their permission. He contacted Marilyn Gibbons and explained to her that I wanted to speak to her son. I spoke with Marilyn and explained to her why I needed to speak with Mike. She stated I could; however, she wanted to be there during the interview. She also told me Mike is deaf and only reads lips. It was decided to conduct the interview at their residence the following Monday."

Ripley called Gibbons' house at 6:30 a.m. on Monday. "I contacted Mike's father, Oscar Gibbons. Mr. Gibbons stated he had spoken to an attorney over the weekend. His attorney instructed Oscar not to allow me to talk to his son at this time."

Oscar Gibbons told Ripley to call his attorney, Richard Trujillo, to schedule an interview. Ripley set it up for November 26. When Ripley arrived at Trujillo's law office, Mike Gibbons was there, in a separate room, along with his mother and a speech therapist.

"I related to Mr. Trujillo the circumstances involving this incident," Ripley wrote. "I advised him I wanted to talk to Mike about the story he was telling his friends. I related Mike was not a suspect at this time and I only wanted to find [out] if the story was true or not."

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My Voice Nation Help
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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