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Searching for Information on grandfather

Discussion in 'Welcome, Media People and Researchers, Ask Here fo' started by roxie, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. roxie

    roxie New Member

    It seems strange referring to him as my grandfather as we never met, but I am seeking information on behalf of my mother and my aunt. My grandfather, William David Westman, supposedly committed suicide in 1977 (possibly 1978) a couple of years after joining Scientology, and I was recently told that they have both always been suspicious that his death was faked. I will get into the long and strange tale surrounding his suicide and time in Scientology below, but does anyone believe it's likely for this organization to have helped or encouraged someone to fake their own death in order to cut ties with their families?

    My grandfather was introduced to Scientology possibly sometime in 1975 in Denver, Colorado by next door neighbors that my mom and aunt refer to as "the naked couple" as they walked around their apartment and welcomed in visitors fully nude whether adult or child. My grandfather then joined a Scientologist Church in Denver taking his family with him. My mom and her siblings were then taken out of the public school system and put into a Scientologist run school in someone's basement called the Rocky Mountain Apple School, which my mom recalls ended up being raided by police officers. I think they were probably enrolled in this school sometime in 1975 and 76.

    My grandfather then took his family to Los Angeles California in 1976. My grandparents stayed in a Scientologist run hotel, and my mom and her siblings were forced to stay in a separate hotel where many other children were being kept. My mother was around 11 at that time and recalls toddlers running down the hallways unmonitored screaming with poop falling out of their diapers. She says they weren't treated badly, but they weren't well cared for. She remembers many nights she and her siblings snuck down to the kitchens looking for food from hunger. My aunt, bless her, was the oldest, and would sneak out every night to get my mom and their little brother so they could all stay together in the same room, and she could look after them. My grandparents were only allowed to visit them for one hour each night. Well, my grandmother decided she had had enough, and after a few weeks got the children and hightailed it back to Denver without her husband.

    Their memories are murky, but they say they remember the Scientologist church in Los Angeles trying to have my grandparents get a quickie divorce in Mexico after she left him, and to cut ties with them. I'm not sure what happened with that, but I know they never got a divorce. My grandmother moved them back to Denver and didn't hear from or see my grandfather for probably about 9 months, then one day in 1977 he just showed up on their doorstep to get his things. He stayed with them for about a month, then sold most of his things that he wasn't planning on keeping, and drove back to Los Angeles. I'm not sure exactly when this next thing happened, but cops showed up to tell them that my grandfather had committed suicide in the desert in Nevada by running a tube from his exhaust pipe into his window. They never saw a body, never had a funeral. He was cremated, and the cops supposedly scattered his ashes in the Nevada desert. My aunt claims that she and my grandmother went to the police department (I believe it was Clark County) in the town where he had supposedly committed suicide about a year later, and the police had no information on it. Them never seeing a body, and the police department having no information has been what has caused most of their suspicions.

    Is there anyone from those locations who remembers a man by this name in the late 70s? I will try to post a picture of him later.

    A note on my grandfather: I think it's very likely he could have actually committed suicide. He was not a very good father, and from what I can understand never wanted to be tied down with a family. He was an abusive man, and my mother says she has never once received a hug from her father or heard him tell her "I love you." He could never hold down a job for very long, and was a very lost person in life from what I can tell. I think he was probably just a very depressed man who looked for answers in the wrong places.
  2. The_Fixer

    The_Fixer Class Clown

    People join scn for many reasons and often it is people with some problems that have never been addressed outside the church or they were given answers they weren't satisfied with.

    So they join the church and the problem often ends up getting worse. If your grandfather was a guy with problems, perhaps he did commit suicide. Perhaps not too.

    This church is well known for covering up stuff and performing criminal acts in order to keep their shit out of the light. Many cases documented here, Lisa McPherson being one of the most infamous ones. Their specialty is deliberately ruining people's lives, that is what they do best above anything else.

    Seems surprising the police would scatter his ashes in the desert. Doesn't seem to be a public service on their "to do" list in my thinking.

    Hope you find your answers though.
  3. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    State governments keep vital records like births, marriages, and deaths. The cult and media will lie about anything, but it would be a big deal for a state to have fake death records on file. Check with the appropriate state/county.

    Enthetan, Type4_PTS and The_Fixer like this.
  4. CaliMule

    CaliMule Work Hard and Bray

    Was he by any chance (1) obese and (2) alcoholic?

    Please post the photo you mention so I can see if I recognize him.

    It is usual for someone from the coroner's office rather than police to inform someone of family death, unless the police themselves are investigating it, though practices can vary in some locales. It is just unusual for it to vary.

    Perhaps they were fake police reporting a real death and misdirected your people to Nevada rather than Alabama* because they wanted to hide details. This would usually be for PR reasons, and this in turn if he was rather vocal about something around the time of his death and they didn't want to lend credence to those assertions because nosey family members wanted to know the circumstances of his death but would have to have true facts of place and time, etc.

    Sounds entirely too flimsy an op for something more serious than potential PR flap though, so I wouldn't read sinister innuendo into it all. Just typical lack of decency being used to hide lack of decency.
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  5. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    Hi 13382459,

    I happen to see your post after reading another one that was linked in an unrelated article. I’m not here much these days but seeing your post, I decided to take a few minutes to research this request, since it’s easier for me to locate information then the average bear. I can tell that this mystery of what happened is important. I highly doubt he faked his death, as back then it was so easy to get intentionally lost if one wanted to. He may have joined Scientology’s SeaOrg and then secretly left, as many have done.

    In 1977 I was in the area but I didn’t know William. I was real new. I was the only student in the Los Angeles Org division VI ( new public ) classroom, taking my first course. By the end of that year, I switched over to another center, closer to where I lived. I doubt we crossed paths, but I’m sure someone did, so please come back now & again, saving the link to this post of yours, as you may find a reply with information. Even 5 yrs down the line.

    1976-1982 were turbulent & weird years for Scientology, especially in Los Angeles. You can read about them in one of the more infamous situation the church and it’s guardian’s office staff ( including Hubbard’s wife ) were caught read handed in.

    Your grandfather might have become disillusioned like many others who found out did, as crimes unfolded and management changed.

    In any event, please look over the following. If your Grandfather was born or lived in Illinois at one time, then this may help you access further information. I hope it is of help.

    If this is your grandfather and his parents.......

    Ancestry Personal Ancestry File snippet birth/death notation, which is listed by the family member who created this record. (you have to be a psying member to access the complete ancestry posted here)


    William David Westman

    Public Member Tree

    3 attached records, 3 sources

    William David Westman

    Birth: dd mm 1940 - city, Cook, Illinois, USA

    Death: date - Arizona, USA

    Marriage: date

    Spouse: name surname

    William Harold Westman

    Dorothy Elizabeth O'Connor

    ...... then there is a death record with Social Security Administration for a man by your Grandfather’s name for the year 1978. As family, you should be able to get clarification or verification that an official death certification from them. This is their main phone number. 1 (800) 772-1213

    Source Title
    William Westman, "United States Social Security Death Index"



    Given Name:




    Birth Date:

    30 Nov 1940



    Event Date

    Apr 1978

    The above is posted at Family Search. You have to register, for free, to access their many ancestry records, including the Social Security Death records database. Once registered and logged in, the above link will take you there directly. You can also search the first & last name, checking off death records, to see what I posted here. See SEARCH on the heading of their site.

    The place of death is never listed. They only list the State where the Social Security # was issued.

    Best wishes and thanks for sharing this with us. I hope you find the truth of this mystery. Sorry for any typos.

    ~Mary McConnell
    Type4_PTS likes this.
  6. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    It is normal for the police to contact relatives of the deceased when the death has occurred in another state and the identification shows residence in another state.. Usually the coroner contacts the out of state police to get verification of next of kin. Once verified, that police agency sends officers out to deliver the sad news. Usually in pairs, since the notification might cause upset. Just saying. You could verify this with any police dept. Death notifications are generally not done by phone.

    I would like to see a pic, too!