CRUE New Orleans

Hundreds Attend Memorial Concert for Fractured City
Proceeds to Go to Families of the Band

New Orleans
Fans of live music gathered at Saenger Theatre to pay tribute to the tragic jazz-rock band Fractured City, whose rising star fell too soon in a gas explosion at a local bar during a performance. Friends within the music industry, as well as some professional acts, put on a stirring performance to honor the fallen musicians. The concert, sponsored by Profitt Industries, was arranged as a memorial and to raise funds for the musicians’ bereaved families.

“It’s such a beautiful gesture,” said Maybel Duval, sister of keyboardist Julay “Bitsy” Duval. “Bits would’ve been so happy to see how many people were so moved by their music.”

“We feel truly blessed,” added Mai Tran, mother of twins Dan and Lan Tran, who played the saxophone and bass. “They sacrificed so much for their dream. It was just awful, losing them. But seeing how they touched all these people… I am so proud of what they did with their short lives. I want to thank everyone for loving my children.”

concert.jpg Eddie Profitt, CEO of Profitt Industries, was in the audience with his family, having paid for his own tickets. “It’s a real shame. They were so talented,” he said afterward. “We were really looking forward to seeing where they would end up. They could have been real stars. I know what we’re doing can’t bring them back, but I can’t imagine the pain of losing your precious family like that. I wanted to help any way I could. I wanted people to know that these people were important, and I hope that we can convince the city to pay more attention in disasters like this.”

Excerpt from Transcript of Interrogation of Noemi Ayala, alias “Honeysuckle”
[REDACTED] interrogating

NA: Where is my brother?

I: He’s being detained in another room.

NA: What are you doing to him? He can’t talk. He doesn’t know anything, and he’s going to be upset if I’m not there!

I: If you’ll cooperate with us and we get through this quickly, we can release you and you’ll be together again.

NA: Listen to me: I am not going to tell you anything until Juanito is with me.

[After several minutes of negotiation, it is agreed that Juan Ayala, alias “High John,” is allowable in the interrogation room with Ms. Ayala in exchange for her cooperation. Ms. Ayala addresses Mr. Ayala in Spanish for several moments, ascertaining that he is unhurt and calm. Interrogation continues.]

I: Regarding the charges of solicitation…

NA: I never did that. Never ever.

I: We have a recording of the phone conversation.

NA: You listen to it! You listen to what I say. I do not do anything more than what is in the rules at the club. Never! You can test me if you like. I am not stupid. I do not sleep with clients.

I: You never received money in exchange for-

NA: NEVER. You can talk to Cesar [DuBose, proprietor of Nine Lives] if you like. There has been trouble when I refused before. We are only to look at. If a dancer is soliciting, she does not come back.

I: Are you willing to sign a statement to that effect?

NA: You give it to me now, if it says I never sleep with clients, I sign it. Never, never, never. I dance. I show them a good time, make them feel happy. That is all. They want to get off, they have to talk to someone else.

[Further interrogation on similar lines, with no deviation in Ms. Ayala’s avowals. A statement is prepared, Ms. Ayala reads and signs it. (See Appendix C.) NOTE: Statements obtained from Cesar DuBose and other Nine Lives employees confirm Ms. Ayala’s statement. (See Appendix D.)]

[Mr. Ayala gets Ms. Ayala’s attention. After some interaction, Ms. Ayala requests beverages and food, which are supplied. Interrogation continues, introducing the subject of “Dirty Cupid” brand potions.]

NA: So what is the problem? I do not sell anything you cannot find in any voodoo store on Bourbon Street.

I: Your products are actually designed to alter a person’s mental state.

NA: So the things I sell work. Is this a crime?

I: It’s a crime to offer a substance for the express purpose of controlling another person’s will.

NA: What?! BULLSHIT! How is it that they can sell these things in a store and it is fine, but when I-

[Mr. Ayala becomes upset. Ms. Ayala stops to calm him down, then returns to the interrogation.]

NA: Listen, I make sure to do everything legal. I don’t need to go to jail. Who else is going to take care of Juanito? Who is going to make sure he goes to the doctor and takes his medicine? You show me, you show me what it is I do wrong that is different, I stop it.

I: You say that, but there is the matter of the incident at Bullseye on October 17…

[Ms. Ayala quickly says something in Spanish, then settles back and does not speak.]

I: We have evidence collected after the incident that links it and products from Dirty Cupid.

NA: …the potions were not made to do that. I do not know why it happened. I don’t sell to make monsters. I would have no customers.

I: Then why-

NA: I swear on all my ancestors, I had nothing to do with that. It was love potions and a potion of friendship. That was all.

I: According to the reports from forensics [Appendix B], there was a different ingredient…

NA: I got something new from a supplier. Experimental. It was supposed to make things more powerful. You know, if it works, then I don’t have to use as many ingredients, so there’s more profit, and…

I: What was the supplier?

NA: It… They contacted me a long time ago. Vital Herbals. Everything else was normal. High quality, that was why I liked them. It’s not easy, you know, to find a local supplier for the things I make. For something real.

I: Can you give us any details on Vital Herbals?

NA: I have a package from them. It was mostly on email we talked. [See Appendix H for email transcripts.] I never… There was never anything wrong with these supplies before! I would not use these things if they did anything but what they were supposed to. Please… I can’t go to jail! If I can’t take care of Juanito…

Vignette: a Well-Informed Wellwisher
(Not IC knowledge)

New Orleans East Hospital, 10/5/15, noon

“You’ve got a present!”

Malcolm looked up curiously at the nurse bearing a floral arrangement. His family and class had already contributed their own. He hadn’t expected any more.

He didn’t speak as the new flowers were added to the table beside his bed. After losing Trina, Gil, and Riley, he didn’t feel like talking. Nobody seemed to know the right thing to say, or they tried saying the right thing, but he could hear their conversations outside the door. Drugs. Bad trip. Psycho. Mania.

He couldn’t believe it. He’d been high, sure, but they’d gotten high hundreds of times. Never once did anyone raise a hand to someone else. None of them would have done it. They couldn’t. Hell, Riley could fall down from a stiff breeze, and Gil hyperventilated at the sight of blood.

They weren’t the kind of kids the police liked, but they weren’t some kind of monster.


The pain struck his skull again, flashes of horrible, dark things. Things more real than anything he’d experienced in his worst trips.

The goddamn cops were so smug about it. “Adulterated.” “Tainted.” Like the whole thing was their fault. Like they deserved to be tortured to death for wanting to take a break from their lives, and accidentally getting some bad stuff.

Except… he knew it wasn’t the stuff. His memories were so foggy, but not like when he came down from a trip. It was like someone kept moving things just out of his field of vision. Like, if he could just turn fast enough, he’d remember what really happened. Half of him was terrified of it: something had shattered his grasp of reality, of the foundations of his world. But the other half needed to know. He needed the truth, more than he needed a comfortable lie.

The nurse was gone. He gazed at the flowers, then reached for the enclosed notecard. Who felt like they needed to make a show of caring about him? What empty words were they offering?

One side simply bore his name. The other:

He reached for his smartphone.

Three Missing Teens Dead, One Hospitalized After Drug-Fueled Violence in Pines Village Warehouse
New Strain of MDMA Suspected


New Orleans

NOPD reports that four missing teens from the Pines Village warehouse were engaged in a days-long drug party that turned deadly. The teens had been reported missing on Thursday evening, when they failed to come home from school. Apparently, they met at a warehouse in an area still abandoned after Hurricane Katrina to party and do drugs. Emergency services were called in at 1:45 p.m. by a group of surveyors when they discovered the remains of three teens and one survivor during a routine visit. According to police reports, three of the teens attacked each other while under the influence of the drugs.

“It’s just brutal, what they did to each other,” said Lt. Roy Chalmers of NOPD. “This is why we make such a priority to deal with drugs. These were good kids, from good homes, but drugs can easily twist your brain, make you see and do things you would never dream of sober.”

The survivor is hospitalized at New Orleans East Hospital, where doctors say he is expected to recover and return home soon.

“He mostly had some scratches and cuts, and was malnourished. It’s a miracle that he survived, given what the other three had done,” said Dr. Rashmi Patil. Police stated that the boy will be interviewed once he’s recovered, but doctors warn that it may take time for him to get past the traumatic events.

Police Chief Jared LaGrange urges all families to keep a close eye on their children, and talk to them about the dangers of drug use. “Intervention starts at home.”

Runaway Vehicle’s Visit Shocks Zookepers
Some Features Closed for Repair

New Orleans
At about 3 p.m. on Saturday, an unidentified vehicle lost control and somehow jumped the fence to the Cool Zoo section of the Audubon Zoo. The unruly intruder raced through the area and crashed into the Reptile Encounter building, demolishing part of the wall. Miraculously, no human casualties were reported, though the impact did unfortunately kill several animals on exhibit, including two chameleons and the zoo’s ten foot boa constrictor. Also damaged was the Komodo Dragon exhibit, whose residents nearly escaped, but were quickly wrangled by Audubon Zoo staff.
“It’s just a freak accident, million-to-one odds,” explained Sergeant Bobby Miller, who investigated the scene, “they just hit the curb in exactly the right way to go flying.”
Audubon Park public relations report that the new Gator Run lazy river attraction will remain open, but the water slides, Snack-n-Splash cafe, and the Reptile Encounter building will all be closed for repairs.
“We’re committed to the welfare of the animals and the public,” says Fela Carter, Audubon’s PR Representative. “While we intend to reopen these attractions as soon as we can, we want to ensure that everything is 100% safe.”
Carter stated that there were no plans to change the fencing around the park. “As I understand it, this was a vanishingly unlikely event. You’re more likely to be struck by lightning at the park than to see another attack from a flying car.”
Profitt Industries, owners of the local Asencion Island Wildlife Preserve and Botanical Gardens, have donated $10,000 to the park to replace the animals that died in the accident. “Audubon Park is an invaluable resource to the public, and Profitt Industries hopes that the Reptile Encounter will be available to educate visitors about these fascinating fellow creatures on our planet.”

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