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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Canada - Steve Wright, 20, & Mark Kraynak, 23, Laval QC, 22 Aug 2005


    The Gazette

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    Laval police investigators confer at the Demix quarry, where two bodies believed to be those of missing U.S. dancers Mark Kraynak and Steve Wright were discovered yesterday.

    Mark Kraynak survived the war in Iraq. But it appears he met his end in a Laval quarry.

    Laval police said last night that two bodies found yesterday morning are almost certainly those of Kraynak and Steve Wright, two U.S. strippers who vanished last week.

    "They were wearing clothes identical to those described on the two missing men, but the bodies are so badly decomposed that we cannot have a positive visual identification," Constable Guy Lajeunesse said.

    "Everything leads us to believe these are the two Americans who were missing."

    Autopsies will be done to discover how the two men died.

    Lajeunesse did not know when the autopsies would be performed.

    The two bodies were located by a team of Surete du Quebec officers about 9:45 a.m., soon after Montreal police obtained a warrant to review cellphone records. They showed a call was made to or from one of the men's cellphones at 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 22.

    The call was traced to a signal tower close to a Laval after-hours club called the Red Lite, where the men had been heading when last heard from.

    Kraynak and Wright had spent the summer working as strippers in Remington's, a Toronto gay club that bills its dancers as "Men of Steel."

    Kraynak was known as "Nick" on stage, said a Remington's employee who spoke to The Gazette on condition his name not be used. "He was polite, soft-spoken and sometimes uncomfortable in the strip club," the employee said. "He was popular with the customers and made a lot of money working the VIP room, doing table dances. I don't think he got off very much on what he was required to do."

    Kraynak, the son of a coal miner, was born in Uniontown, Pa., on March 5, 1982; his mother worked as a property appraiser. His parents divorced when Mark was 8.

    Kraynak worked as an auto mechanic before he enlisted in the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division a month before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He was posted to Iraq, where he was wounded in the buttocks. He was awarded a Purple Heart and honourably discharged in August 2004.

    "He liked to jump out of airplanes," his mother, Janice Kraynak, told The Gazette yesterday.

    "He never thought when he signed up he'd ever go to war. He was kind of upset, kind of panicky when he was sent to Iraq. In Iraq, he did what he had to do."

    With ambitions of becoming a high-fashion model, he signed up with the Atlanta office of the French Connection Francaise/

    FCF agency while stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. The agency supplies models to the adult entertainment industry

    This year, Kraynak joined a group of six male strippers booked to play in Toronto in conjunction with Gay Pride Week. The group spent the summer dancing at Remington's.

    "There's a fine line between being a stripper and being an escort. Mark didn't want to deal with it. It messed his head up," another club employee said yesterday. "He was angry and embarrassed when he was identified as a 'porn star' in gay magazine advertisements for the club.

    "He freaked. He said he was afraid his girlfriend would see his picture. He decided to pack it in as a stripper after the ad appeared."

    Kraynak had worked to earn money for university studies.

    Two weeks ago, Kraynak arrived in Montreal with Wright and Steve Manzi, another dancer.

    Kraynak and Wright were last seen leaving the Vatican, a Crescent St. nightclub, early on Monday, Aug. 22. They were heading for an after-hours club in Laval when they disappeared.

    Wright had turned 20 on July 13. He grew up in Guerneville, Calif., north of San Francisco, where he was shunted back and forth between his father, Steve, and his mother, Cheryl Crockett.

    Soon after graduating from high school, Wright joined French Connection Francaise/FCF at its Rohnert Park, Calif., office.

    Wright was a strapping physical fitness buff who didn't smoke and rarely drank alcohol. He did a couple of pornographic films, thinking he might break into legitimate movies.

    "He was a good kid, responsible and trusting, despite his dysfunctional family background," a relative said yesterday.

    Unlike Kraynak, Wright enjoyed his work as a stripper. "He was like a kid in a candy store," his agent, Stephen Sirard, is quoted as saying in one U.S. newspaper.

    Wright performed under the name of Trevor. At Remington's he was part of a duo with Manzi, whose stage name was Tommy D. Manzi was the last person to speak with Kraynak and Wright before they disappeared.

    Yesterday, after a short helicopter search, the provincial police reported something that looked like two bodies on the ledge of the quarry, a few hundred metres from the Red Lite. The bodies were side by side, clothed, one face up and one face down, Lajeunesse said.

    "So far, investigators have not seen obvious signs of violence, but again, the bodies are badly decomposed," Lajeunesse said.

    Laval investigators spent most of yesterday combing the quarry and surrounding areas for clues.

    The Red Lite club is a popular and legal after-hours bar that does not serve alcohol. It is located in a huge, grey, windowless box of a building on Lierre St., in a small industrial park just north of where St. Martin Blvd. E. hits Notre Dame de Fatima St.

    Although the men told friends they were headed for this club after leaving Crescent St., security video cameras at the club did not pick up images of the men, police said. Until the phone records were made available, police could not be sure the men had arrived in the vicinity of the club.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    CANADA - Steve Wright, 20, & Mark Kraynak, 23, Laval QC, Aug 2005

    Bodies of Missing Americans Found in CanadaThursday, September 01, 2005
    http://www.foxnews.com/images/service_ap_36.gif LAVAL, Quebec ó Police found the bodies of two young American men Thursday who have been missing for 10 days, but couldn't tell if foul play was involved in their deaths, authorities said.

    The remains of Steve Wright (search), 20, of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Mark Kraynak (search), 23, of Uniontown, Pa., were found at the bottom of a rock quarry near a nightclub, where the men had said they were headed, said Guy Lajeunesse, a police spokesman for the city of Laval (search), just north of Montreal.

    He said that the men's parents, who have been working with police on the investigation, were able to make the identifications.

    "We're going to need an autopsy to show the cause of death," Lajeunesse said. "Right now, we don't know if they jumped, if they fell or if someone pushed them."

    Here is the link for the rest of the article www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,168251,00.html

  3. #3
    Taxi may hold clue in deaths

    Thursday, September 22, 2005
    By Chris Foreman

    Canadian police reissued a plea Wednesday for information about the taxi driver who dropped off two Americans last month at a Quebec after-hours club, about 300 yards from where the bodies of a Fayette County man and a friend of his were found at the bottom of a rock quarry.

    Surveillance photos released yesterday by the police department in Laval, Quebec, show an approximate 4 1/2-minute gap between the arrival of an unidentified taxi outside the Red-Lite club in Laval at 3:32 a.m. on Aug. 22 and its departure.

    Police said they are certain Mark R. Kraynak, 23, of Uniontown, and his friend, Steve Wright, 20, of Guerneville, Calif., did not enter the rave club that morning. Kraynak's mother, Janice Harshman Kraynak, of Millville, N.J., confirmed yesterday that she's viewed nine hours of video taken inside the club and she did not see him there.

    Kraynak and Wright, who had been on a weekend trip to Montreal after working through the summer in Toronto, were seen leaving a downtown Montreal bar at about 3 a.m. They called a friend who was with them at Club Vatican in Montreal to say they were going to the Red-Lite in Laval, about a half-hour away.

    The men were scheduled to leave Montreal, with two other friends from a modeling agency, at 10 a.m. on Aug. 22. Their fractured bodies were found on Sept. 1 more than 50 feet into a rock quarry near the Red-Lite.

    Police have described the deaths as suspicious. However, they have no evidence of a robbery because the men had their wallets and jewelry and did not appear to be missing any clothing.

    Their decomposed bodies also did not show evidence of a violent attack.

    Laval police spokesman Guy Lajeunesse said authorities have contacted several taxi companies in the Montreal area, but have not determined which supplied the driver of the cab that took Kraynak and Wright to Laval. While cell phone records showed they last made a call in Laval, there's no trace of a call to a taxi company, he said.

    The vehicle that police say is the taxi that carried Kraynak and Wright does not appear to have any identifying words or symbols, according to the still photos and videos e-mailed to the Tribune-Review and other media outlets yesterday.

    The photos and videos released yesterday do not show Kraynak or Wright exiting the vehicle. Lajeunesse would not comment when asked if other surveillance not given to the media shows the men exiting by themselves, but he said more photos might be released later in the investigation.

    Lajeunesse said police are seeking the taxi driver's collaboration to establish the sequence of events early that morning. Police do not have a description of the cab driver that would help identify the person's race, gender or size.

    "We hope when somebody sees these photos that somebody will call," Lajeunesse said.

    Janice Kraynak said she reviewed surveillance tapes at the Montreal and Laval clubs when she went to Canada to assist authorities with the investigation.

    During a telephone interview yesterday, she said she's seen a video that appears to show the taxi backing up and driving onto a service road that heads toward the quarry. The enhanced photos she saw also don't show Kraynak or Wright exiting the vehicle.

    "We feel that something happened on the road or in front of the club," Janice Kraynak said.

    In past interviews with the media, she has said she believes something sinister happened to her son and Wright. Janice Kraynak said she watched a videotape tape of her son walking down a winding staircase at Club Vatican and he appeared to be fine.

    The tape also shows Kraynak giving a firm handshake to a bouncer outside the bar, she said. Toxicology tests have proven inconclusive in determining whether Kraynak or Wright ingested anything that might have contributed to their deaths, police have said.

    Deric Manzi, of California, the friend who last saw Kraynak and Wright alive, has told police and media that the men were drinking while they were at Club Vatican.

    Kraynak, a 2000 graduate of Laurel Highlands Senior High School, was enrolled for his sophomore year as a business administration major at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus. He earned a Purple Heart after he was injured in Baghdad, Iraq, while serving with the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army.

    Kraynak had been working the summer as a construction handyman at a Toronto yacht club after he quit a job as a dancer at a strip club in that city. Wright also was hired to dance at the club, Remington's, through the Toronto office of FCF Agency, which provides models for the adult-entertainment industry.

    Janice Kraynak said her son felt the agency exploited him by "promoting him in an unacceptable way he did not approve of." In past work for the agency, he posed for fitness magazines.

    The family had a memorial service last week at Vanderbilt Church of Christ before his interment in Dickerson Run Cemetery, Dunbar Township.

    Janice Kraynak said she's focusing her energy on what happened to her son because he would have done the same for her.

    "At least he's to rest now and I can concentrate on his death," she said. "I need answers."


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    This reminds me of some that had noticed so many males found in rivers after leaving a bar or party. It was speculated if their maybe a Taxi driver doing this.

    Speculation was a taxi driver could slip something in a riders drink and then throw them in the water of off a cliff. He may offer the drink himself or spike a to go drink they carry.
    Just strange about the taxi.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    I sure hope these murders get resolved. How horrible for the parents of these young guys. Someone probably set these two up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Although the Laval Police (Canada) say their investigation is "almost over", they have still not complied with two requests for a copy of the autopsy report, and the return of personal belongings, that the mother of Mark Kraynak has made.

    Also mom has lots of questions, but the police are saying its an accident.

    Much more at link:
    http://www.heraldstandard.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15972700&BRD=2280&PAG=461&dept_id= 480247&rfi=6

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    It is more than possible that this was actually accidental death. Very near to where I live is a large hill that has towers at the top. There is a rutted "road" up to the towers - actually more of a rutted path. Dirt bikers go up there a lot.

    On the far side of the last tower is a sheer drop off down to a river that runs through a valley.

    Several years ago some non-local teenagers in a Jeep went "hill climbing" up the rutted road to the towers - at night! They apparently never stopped when they reached the top and they plummeted off the cliff and down over a 300 ft. drop. Some boaters on the river heard screams and crying and called the police. They were all seriously hurt, but miraculously none were killed.

    The two men who died in this incident were seen on a video tape running away from the cab, were they not? If there was no fencing around the quarry, it is very possible for them to have both run off the edge. It was very late, dark outside, and they had most likely been drinking.

    How very sad that these young men apparently lost their lives over a an unpaid $40 cabfare.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Having been to Laval (where this took place), I would strongly urge the mom, if its at all possible, to visit the location.

    I think once she sees it for herself she'll understand how this really could easily have been an accident.

    I agree with AlwaysShocked, I think it was an accident.

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