THE leader of sex cult Nxivm may have poisoned four of his female followers – killing two of them, according to evidence uncovered in a new investigation.
A hair sample from one of the surviving women – taken from the time she lived with cult leader Keith Raniere – tested for high levels of toxins Barium and Bismuth, both of which can cause serious health problems and even death, lab results from a scientific hair analysis, shared with Sun Online, reveal.
And in an exclusive interview, the sister of Barbara Jeske – one of the women who died while living with Raniere – revealed how she believed her sibling had been poisoned with a bizarre medicine called “Do-do balls” which he made her take every day.
The claims are also being made in an explosive TV special on Investigation Discovery called “The Lost Women of Nxivm,” which investigates the deaths of four of his female followers – two who died from cancer and two who allegedly committed suicide.
Cindy Liberatore, who is calling for a new investigation into her sister’s death, told Sun Online: “I do believe Raniere poisoned my sister and those other women – and I think he should be held accountable.
“I think Barbara started figuring out what was really going on in the group and once he [Raniere] realised she was figuring it all out, I think he just wanted to do away with her.
“Along with the fact that she was aging and he wanted younger women to take their place. So he got rid of the older ones and replaced them with younger ones.”
Nxivm, which claimed to be a self-help group, was exposed as a cult in 2017 when it was revealed that members had been forcing women to be branded on their groins and take part in a sinister master-slave group in which women were forced to have sex with Raniere and starve themselves.
Raniere is currently in federal prison awaiting sentencing after being charged with a slew of crimes including sex trafficking.
Barbara and three other women Kristen Keefe, Pam Cafritz and another unnamed woman all lived with Raniere in Albany, New York for several years from the late 1990s well into the 2010s.Mysteriously all four of the women – along with four cats – who lived in the house became sick with various types of cancer during the same time period. Raniere and the four women were the only inhabitants of the house at the time.
Barbara died in 2014 aged 63 from brain cancer and Pam died two years later, aged 57 from renal cancer. The other two women survived.
Cindy, a nurse, stayed in the house for the last six weeks of her sister’s life – to help care for her – and told how Raniere tried to control her even in her very last days – banning her from taking pain medicine and arranging for her to change her will.
She also told how heartless cult members tried to snatch her sister’s body away after her death – and even wanted to chop the head off the corpse and freeze it.
“Barbara wanted to leave the group many times but they had control of her money and they would cut her off every time she tried,” Cindy said.
“All of a sudden she got sick – I remember telling her she didn’t look good and she needed to get to a doctor and not long later she called and said she had a brain tumour.
“I really didn’t know much about the rest of the group until I went up there to take care of her the last six weeks of her life and it was quite a trip.
“When I first got down there, she was still with us, and I asked her what she wanted to be done with her body and she said ‘I want a Christian burial and I want it at my mom and dad’s’.
“But then the group told me they were going to take her body and freeze it, that they had the rights to it, and at this point she started going into a coma.
“I had to seek out the help of an attorney who said it was illegal for them to take her body.
“They still wanted to take the body and I said ‘No way’ and Keith said ‘Ok we’ll take the head’.
“It was extremely upsetting for me and also very suspicious. I even had to follow them all the way to the funeral home after her death to make sure they didn’t take her body.”
Even in her last days, Raniere and his Nxivm followers forbid Barbara from taking pain medication and refused to give her money to pay for her prescriptions – so Cindy had to buy the medicine for her and sneak it to her, she revealed.
Raniere also told her to take an unknown medicine he called “Do-do balls”, which he claimed would help cure her.
“I remember her coming to see our mother, who was very sick, the Christmas before she died and I saw her taking these things and I said ‘What are they? They stink to high heaven’,” Cindy recalled.
“They were something that he [Raniere] had come up with, saying ‘You need these to build up your immune system’. She was wrapped around his little finger.
“She would just chew them and go ‘Ugh these are terrible’ then follow them with a bunch of water or juice.
“Who knows what was in them – probably some kind of poison inside some type of an excrement.
“When she became semi-comatose I stopped her from taking them.
“He also made her stay so skinny she was barely 65 pounds when she died and even before that she was only around 100 pounds – just skin and bones.”
Nxivm’s former publicist Frank Parlato, who led the investigation into the Nxivm cancer deaths for the new documentary, also believes Raniere may have poisoned the four women.
He had comprehensive laboratory analysis carried out on a hair sample they were given by the unnamed woman, who lived with Raniere but survived, from a ponytail she had cut around the time of her cancer and saved.
Extremely high levels of two toxins Barium – found in rat poison – and Bismuth were found in the hair. Both chemicals can cause health problems or even death.