Uncovering the Lies: 423 Cleveland Street
On page 19 of the Clearwater Police Report (the CWPR), compiled by Detective Stephen Bohling, there’s an interesting question posed by Kyle’s brother, Scott Brennan, a question that only those close to the early stages of the investigation would understand. On that page, Bohling noted that Scott asked “If I [Bohling] have interviewed his father’s [Tom Brennan’s] new roommate, ‘Jerry.’”
My first conversation with the detective took place in April 2007 (about two months after Kyle’s death). That’s when I learned “Jerry’s” full name—“Gerald Gentile”—and the fact that he was not Brennan’s roommate. (It was not until August of that year, however, that I learned that Gerald Gentile is the brother-in-law of Scientology leader David Miscavige.)
Brennan’s roommate at the time of Kyle’s death was a Scientologist named Eddie Childers. In my first conversation with him, Detective Bohling told me that he was looking for Childers. He said that he wanted to ask him about the weapon in Brennan’s apartment. Bohling said he wanted to see if Childers recalled seeing it in the drawer where Brennan claimed he’d stored it. Unfortunately, this was the last time I heard the name “Eddie Childers”—there’s no mention in the CWPR that this interview was ever conducted.
Why, then, was Scott Brennan confused? Why did he think that “Jerry” was Brennan’s roommate? Because in the early stages of the investigation we were told by the detective that Gerald Gentile was in the apartment with Brennan before the police and the EMTs arrived. We believe that the earliest accounts of what happened that evening are the most accurate and truthful. Scott was confused, therefore—as was everyone in Kyle’s family—because we didn’t know who this “Jerry” was. And, more importantly, we didn’t understand what he was doing in the apartment with Tom Brennan before the police and the EMTs got there.
When I asked Detective Bohling what Gerald Gentile was doing in the apartment when my son lay dead on the floor he responded by saying “Scientologists have the right to call their _____ [inaudible] before calling for help.” What was the word I missed in Bohling’s comment? Was it “chaplain”? Was Bohling later told that he shouldn’t have used that word? Was he told that that word might implicate two powerful Scientologists? Any reasonable person would have every right to think so because during his deposition—when he was under oath—Detective Stephen Bohling changed his story. He lied about Gerald Gentile’s suspiciously early presence at the Brennan apartment.
Copyright © 2022 by Victoria L. Britton
Excerpt from the Clearwater Police Report
Excerpt from the deposition of Detective Stephen Bohling
Deposition excerpt of S. Brennan