7 Suspects

8. The Lover

August 18, 2022 ROLFE Episode 8
8. The Lover
7 Suspects
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7 Suspects
8. The Lover
Aug 18, 2022 Episode 8

Hollister's ex-wife, Ryleigh Ray, tells Liz about her affair with Croft and explains her whereabouts the night he died...

This episode contains some explicit language; intended for mature audiences only  

Created by Jon Rolfe
Featuring Chelsea Krause, Devon Chandler, Jill Sperling and Alex Eller.

Show Artwork by O2bri
Follow us on: 

Show Notes Transcript

Hollister's ex-wife, Ryleigh Ray, tells Liz about her affair with Croft and explains her whereabouts the night he died...

This episode contains some explicit language; intended for mature audiences only  

Created by Jon Rolfe
Featuring Chelsea Krause, Devon Chandler, Jill Sperling and Alex Eller.

Show Artwork by O2bri
Follow us on: 

Liz: Hey, it's Liz. Talk to the robot machine.

Ryleigh: Hi, yeah, um, this is a message for Elizabeth Devereaux. This is Ryleigh. Ryleigh Ray. You called me before, asking about Aiden. Asking about what happened the night that he, um, well, you know. I may have been a little, I don't know, rude with you before. The thing is just that I really wasn't in a place, emotionally, where I was ready to talk. Like, you can't just drag it all, this whole drama, and expect a person not to be a little traumatized. That's a lot all at once, you know? Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that I need to talk to you. I mean, I'm ready to talk now. I'll tell you all about what happened.

News Anchor: Today marks five years since the murder of inventor and entrepreneur, Aiden Croft. Seen by many as a visionary pioneer, Mr. Croft was responsible for revolutionary innovations in the field of computer science and sustainable energy. Mr. Croft's body was discovered in his secluded estate in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, shortly after midnight. The death was the result of a violent attack. Although several guests were staying at his house at the time of the murder, no arrests were made, and no charges were ever filed. To date, a primary suspect has yet to be named.

Narrator: Episode eight, The Lover.

Ryleigh: I haven't thought about that night in years. My therapist called it a breakthrough when the nightmares stopped, and then you called the other day, and now it's all come back.

Liz: Listen, I'm sorry if I broadsided you.

Ryleigh: I can't sleep. It's always on my mind now, like when it first happened. It's like this bad energy that's been weighing on my spirit. So, I thought maybe if I talk about it. That's what it was before I had to talk about it. So, if you have questions, then just ask them, because I don't wanna live with negativity, you know? I'm a positive person.

Liz: Um, that's great, and I'm glad you gave me a call. I think you can help clear up some things.

Ryleigh: So, what is it you wanna know?

Liz: Well, for starters, I'd like to know what your relationship was with Aiden Croft, and why you were at the house that weekend.

Ryleigh: If it was my choice, I never would've gone. I'm an LA girl, there's no way I wanted to spend my Saturday night freezing in some stupid house in the woods.

Liz: So, why did you go?

Ryleigh: It's complicated, but it doesn't matter now.

Liz: It might.

Ryleigh: No, (laughs) not because Aiden is dead, it doesn't matter because Freddy and I divorced anyway.

Liz: You're talking about the affair?

Ryleigh: You know about that?

Liz: I heard something, yes.

Ryleigh: It wasn't really an affair. It was m- m-... I don't know. Look, when I first met Freddy, I thought he was so sexy, and he was powerful too. A real alpha man, and that's my type, obviously, but Freddy could be so boring sometimes. It was all about business, all the time. Aiden was different. He was exciting and in way it almost felt like he was Freddy's boss. Anyway, whatever. I was attracted to him. One week, while Freddy was away, Aiden called and we-

Liz: Made a mistake. When was this?

Ryleigh: Uh, this is a year before he died. He just moved up to the new house. It was quiet, lots of privacy. It was just him and me. Oh, and the servants, or whatever. It was a fun weekend, but that's it. After I left, I knew it had been a mistake. I started to get freaked out, like, what if someone found out?

Liz: Were you scared of your husband?

Ryleigh: Freddy can be such a puppy-dog, but sometimes he had a temper. Back then it was like he was two people. Was I scared of him? Yeah, sure. Everyone was a little bit.

Liz: So, the relationship with Croft didn't continue?

Ryleigh: Aiden wanted it to. He kept texting me, but I wasn't interested. After a while, it felt a little desperate.

Liz: How did he take the rejection?

Ryleigh: Like a teenager, but he got over it. Anyway, I thought that was that, but then a week before he died I got a call.

Liz: From Croft?

Ryleigh: No, but someone who knew we'd been together. He said his name was Mr. Able.

Liz: Mr. Able? Ai- Aiden's assistant?

Ryleigh: Yeah, I guess. I didn't know until the police told me after. He was just some guy who said he knew about the affair. He said he had pictures, and he had Aiden's texts. That he'd tell Freddy if I didn't help him.

Liz: What did he want?

Ryleigh: He wanted me to seduce Aiden and find out what he was working on. He wanted access to the lab.

Liz: So, that's why you went?

Ryleigh: When we got the invite for the weekend, I texted Aiden and told him I wanted to see him.

Liz: I'm sure he was excited to hear from you.

Ryleigh: (laughs) Straight men are so easy. He was thrilled. He said he hadn't stopped thinking about me. We made plans to meet that night.

Liz: You saw him that night? The night he died?

Ryleigh: Yeah, of course.

Liz: Tell me what happened.

Ryleigh: So, on the way there, I was a total wreck. Freddy sees I'm upset, but he thinks it's about him. I remember we got into a fight on the drive down from Reno. When we finally get there, we're both mad. I said I wasn't feeling well. That's what Aiden had told me to say. We were going to meet while everyone was at dinner. He came to my room.

Liz: When was this?

Ryleigh: I don't know, like, 09:00 or something.

Liz: What did you tell him?

Ryleigh: At first, I didn't have much of a chance to tell him anything. He was, like, possessed. He only had one thing on his mind. He wanted to pick up right where we left off. I told him it was dangerous to be seen in the room. What if Freddy came back? I wanted him to take me to the lab.

Liz: But he didn't take you to the lab?

Ryleigh: No, he didn't buy any of it. When he figured out I wasn't going to fuck him, he demanded to know what was going on. It got a little physical.

Liz: Physical how?

Ryleigh: He pushed me against a night table and knocked a lamp over.

Liz: Did he hit you?

Ryleigh: (laughs) Oh, he wouldn't dare, but I started crying, and then I told him everything about the blackmail.

Liz: What was his reaction?

Ryleigh: Honestly, he didn't seem surprised. He asked me if I believed this Mr. Able. I think he was expecting him, that he was gonna show up later.

Liz: Wait, did he say Mr. Able was supposed to be there that night? A- are you sure?

Ryleigh: I don't remember, but it was something like, "Tonight, everyone would see who Able really was." (laughs) That I shouldn't worry, and that it would all be fine by tomorrow morning.

Liz: Who he really was? Uh, then what happened?

Ryleigh: He stayed with me until I stopped crying, and then he left.

Liz: And that was the last time you saw him?

Ryleigh: The last time I saw him alive, yeah.

Liz: The housekeeper said you were in his office later that night, after dinner.

Ryleigh: Oh, Jesus, that bitch needs to mind her own goddamn business. This is so embarrassing. (laughs) After Aiden left, I had all this anxiety. I'm not used to handling that kind of drama, you know? Anyway, the last time I was here, he and I smoked some pot in his study. I needed something to calm me down. I thought maybe he might have some more in there.

Liz: Right. Any luck?

Ryleigh: No, and I really didn't have much of a chance to look, so I went back to the room, sober. (laughs) I don't know how I got to sleep.

Liz: Um, let's talk about later on. You must've been pretty shocked when you saw the body?

Ryleigh: Do we have to?

Liz: Yes, please.

Ryleigh: I didn't even want to go look. I heard the screams and helped Freddy get out of bed, and I heard the others shouting. When I heard somebody say, "Police," I finally went to see what was going on. I can't get that image out of my mind. They were all in front of the lab door, but then, when I got close, I could see... I think I'm gonna be sick.

Liz: Take your time.

Ryleigh: God, Aiden could be a real bastard, but that doesn't mean I wanted him dead.

Liz: Uh, what happened with you and Mr. Able? Did you tell the police about the blackmail? About what Croft had said?

Ryleigh: Yes, they said they couldn't find any record of him. They, they thought I was making it up.

Liz: What do you mean?

Ryleigh: I don't know, they said there wasn't anyone named Able at Cipher. All I know is, he didn't contact me again. I kept waiting, but it never came. After Freddy and I divorced, it didn't really matter.

Liz: In a way, Aiden's death meant that you were not longer valuable to him.

Ryleigh: Wait, are you saying that you think I might've done that? Stabbed him?

Liz: You were the last person to see him alive.

Ryleigh: Other than the murderer, you mean.

Liz: Are you certain that your husband didn't know about the affair between you and Croft?

Ryleigh: I don't think Freddy would've let himself be humiliated in that way. Like I said, I was afraid of him finding out.

Liz: You were afraid of what he would do?

Ryleigh: He was protective.

Liz: Do you think he would've been mad enough to kill?

Ryleigh: I, I don't... I don't know.

Liz: Ryleigh, when you saw the body, what was the first thing that crossed your mind? Ryleigh?

Ryleigh: I thought maybe he was just tweaking, and that he would get up and laugh at all of us, but then when I knew he was really dead, well, I don't know why, but somehow I thought it was my fault.

Narrator: 7 Suspects is written, directed and produced by Jon Rolfe. Liz Devereaux was voiced by Chelsea Krause, Ryleigh by Devon Chandler, the news anchor was Jill Sperling. Sound design and engineering by Randy Greer. The theme music is Cold String by Tiny Music. Shows like this and other audio drama is impossible without support from our fans. More than anything, we appreciate you listening. If you've been enjoying so far, please take the time to rate the show on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen. This goes a long way to helping us reach other listeners.

If you have a theory about who did it, we'd love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, at 7 Suspects. That's with the number seven. You can also email us at 7suspectspodcast@gmail.com. Remember, that's the number seven. Please be sure to tune in for our next episode, The Guru. Until then, I'm Alex Eller. Thank you for listening, and goodnight.