Inside River Run

Police investiate death of Gordon Cripps

Death of the FrijoLoco Director may have been a homicide

By Carrlotta Vappe

     The death of Gordon Cripps, IT Director at the corporate headquarters of FrijoLoco, whose body was discovered in the bathtub of his Woodlands home a week ago, is now believed to have been caused by drowning, according to the newly released autopsy report.
     “Nothing indicates that the death of Mr. Cripps was accidental,” said Herman Gonzales, Captain of homicide investigations. “The autopsy showed nothing that could have incapacitated him prior to drowning—heart attack, for example, or passing out, or falling and hitting his head. We also know that Mr. Cripps was highly averse to bathing and had associations with people known to be involved with criminal activity.”
     Hector Gonzales, who lives next door to Cripps’s house in the upscale community of The Woodlands, confirmed that Cripps seldom, if ever, bathed. Cripps believed that it was a question of living as nature intended, with a certain type of “good” bacteria covering his body and protecting it from disease-causing “bad” bacteria. “I could barely stand next to him for more than a minute,” Gonzales said. “He was one weird dude.”
     Cripps had been much in the news over the last several months over the allegations that FrijoLoco was involved in the manufacturing of illegal narcotics and money laundering in collusion with the Sinaloa drug cartel.

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The likeliest explanation was homicide, Herman Gonzales said, and his department was pursing all leads. Speculation has been on the illegal drug connection. Sources say that Cripps had been attempting to sever his ties to the cartel, and once that became clear, he was in mortal danger. Asked whether there had been enough evidence to indict Cripps, Gonzalez responded in the affirmative and added that any possible indictment had been held off to give Cripps an opportunity to cooperate with their investigation. “In our last meeting,” Gonzalez said, “Mr. Cripps had volunteered to talk to us.”
     Gonzalez couldn’t speculate whether or not that might have led to Cripps’s murder. “We’re looking into that,” Gonzalez said.
     When asked about the rumors that there had been a possible indictment in the works regarding Cripps's involvement in the kidnapping of former FrijoLoco CEO Travis Quinn, Captain Gonzalez said that such an indictment had indeed been prepared, based on solid self-incriminating evidence. “It was additional leverage that we used to induce Mr. Cripps to cooperate with our investigation,” he said.
     “No one walks away from the cartel,” said Heidi Gonzales, who has written extensively about gang activity in the U.S. “There’s no such thing as divorce in the illegal drug business. No one wants to worry about you straying off the reservation. You’re in it for life. That seems to me to be the thing that got Cripps in trouble.”

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