7 Suspects

9. The Guru

August 25, 2022 ROLFE Episode 9
9. The Guru
7 Suspects
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7 Suspects
9. The Guru
Aug 25, 2022 Episode 9

Liz speaks to the final suspect, Aaron Waters. But the conversation with the spiritual teacher is more frustrating than enlightening, leaving her with few answers...

Created by Jon Rolfe
Featuring Chelsea Krause, Leo Wiggins, Jill Sperling and Alex Eller.

Show Artwork by O2bri
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Show Notes Transcript

Liz speaks to the final suspect, Aaron Waters. But the conversation with the spiritual teacher is more frustrating than enlightening, leaving her with few answers...

Created by Jon Rolfe
Featuring Chelsea Krause, Leo Wiggins, Jill Sperling and Alex Eller.

Show Artwork by O2bri
Follow us on: 

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 fields 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 nine, The Guru.

Aaron: Greetings, detective.

Liz: Hello, um, Mr. Waters. Should I call you Aaron or...

Aaron: My friends call me by many different names. Names are not material, so whichever makes you most comfortable will suit me.

Liz: Mm, thanks. I suppose Samantha might've told you I'd call. I'm looking into the murder of Aiden Croft. She wanted me to speak to everybody who was there. But you should know, though, I'm not a detective.

Aaron: Are you not someone investigating a crime? It may not be your profession, but it is your purpose.

Liz: I was just hired to ask questions.

Aaron: Oh, I makes no difference. We're still living in an age of infancy, of ignorance. We're all asking the wrong questions about that which is not important.

Liz: I'm sorry, you think Aiden's Croft murder is unimportant.

Aaron: Death is the result of imbalance. Aiden's death was not the first nor was it the last. I mourn all those whose light was lost. I celebrate that Aiden had the opportunity to seek the truth.

Liz: Sure. Can you tell me about his beliefs?

Aaron: His beliefs?

Liz: What did he study? What did you teach him?

Aaron: Oh, I think you may misunderstand. I'm not a teacher, detective, I'm only a guide. Man must teach himself. I can only shine a light on the path.

Liz: Okay then. Can you tell me where you guided him? Which paths were illuminated?

Aaron: Aiden had interest in many paths. He did not dedicate himself fully to one. Some would say this is folly, but I believe it is evidence of a true seeker. There are many ways through a wilderness, but some are more direct than others. A single answer did not satisfy him. Aiden made pilgrimages to India, to Lumbini, Mount Kailash. He studied the seven holy books, but he neither accepted nor rejected a single path. Together, we would sit for hours, days meditating, I could see his hunger. His energy, his aura was beautiful, a vividness one does not often encounter.

Liz: Well, what was he looking for exactly?

Aaron: What all of us are looking for; enlightenment. He saw spirituality as a path to bettering the work he did but also saw his work as a kind of means toward greater spirituality.

Liz: So he believed what he was creating would help bring about what? Enlightenment?

Aaron: I believe so.

Liz: Did he talk to you about his work?

Aaron: Well, not specifics. I'm not a scientist, after all. I'm a student.

Liz: I thought you were a guide.

Aaron: You assume these are exclusive.

Liz: What unspecific aspects about his work did he describe?

Aaron: He was interested in the self, the soul, where the spirit begins and the physical ends, what aspect of each made up an individual. We talked about transcendence.

Liz: Transcendence.

Aaron: Yes. Beyond the physical. His work had the potential to change the nature of how we live and relate to one another. It would alter how we thought about our place.

Liz: Our place in the world?

Aaron: In the universe.

Liz: Did he practice any rituals to achieve this?

Aaron: We spoke of ideas and meditated, but Aiden didn't use totems or take any part in rituals or customs. He didn't pray, for instance.

Liz: Do you think his death was supernatural? Was it related to his desire for transcendence?

Aaron: Ah, supernatural. People use that word when something doesn't fit into their understanding of natural. But everything we experience is natural. We don't define nature. Death is natural. But there was a bad energy. Seeing his body resonated in a dark way. After his passing, while the others waited for the authorities, I spent time in meditation. I invited the others to join me, but only Samantha accepted. I gave her my mala for comfort.

Liz: Sorry, your Mala?

Aaron: My prayer beads. She was devastated, sitting there covered in her husband's blood. But I was the one who told her to go and clean the blood off her face.

Liz: How did you come to meet Croft?

Aaron: I was introduced to him on sojourn in the islands. I was teaching on mindfulness and healthy body alignment. He sought me out. He was eager to set up a private session with his associates.

Liz: Do you mean his team at Cipher?

Aaron: Yes, although they were not as open to the truths as he was. But he and I kept in touch, and our friendship grew. When he moved to his mountain retreat, he extended an open invitation. He wanted me to stay with him. I sensed he was dealing with a lot of anxieties and desired a voice apart from the material world.

Liz: So you moved into his house.

Aaron: I was his guest.

Liz: Fred Hollister and the shareholders were concerned about your relationship. He claimed you were swindling Aiden.

Aaron: I believe Hollister was rather jealous of the kind of relationship Aiden and I had. As Aiden turned toward more spiritual matters, he tended to seek my council more than that of his old friends. It fostered resentment.

Liz: Of course. And did Hollister say anything to you directly that night?

Aaron: Yes. During the meal, he meant to agitate me.

Liz: How so?

Aaron: If I recall, he called me a thief. His jealousy didn't trouble me.

Liz: Was Aiden paying you?

Aaron: That's a vulgar question. I was the man's friend.

Liz: And his spiritual advisor, right? I mean, your income is from teaching, you know, very-

Aaron: Mindfulness and healthy body alignments.

Liz: —very wealthy clients. I assume you weren't able to offer these sessions while you were staying with Croft as his friend, so…

Aaron: Aiden had a retainer compensation for the time I spent at his house, if you must know.

Liz: Ah.

Aaron: Funding good works isn't a crime.

Liz: No, of course not. And I'm sure it was generous.

Aaron: Aiden was a generous man.

Liz: And had you spoken with Aiden about how he managed his money?

Aaron: I'm sorry?

Liz: I mean, maybe you might've spoken about how his wealth could fund other good works.

Aaron: Our relationship was based on transcendent subjects, but I told him about my vision to establish a meditation center in Monterey. Aiden was excited about the idea. He had offered to put me in touch with an investor to help fund the construction.

Liz: Oh, really? Who was he?

Aaron: It was a woman. I didn't know her well, I'd only spoken with her a few times over the phone. She was elderly and quite forgetful.

Liz: Forgetful?

Aaron: She repeated herself often. I suspect her physical mind suffered from some dementia.

Liz: What was her name?

Aaron: I don't recall. It was something like Maple.

Liz: Maple? Mabel? With an M?

Aaron: Something like that.

Liz: Huh. Um, so did the project move forward?

Aaron: Not right away. You can imagine the murder caused a significant disruption. The investor lost interest and construction was delayed.

Liz: I'm sorry to hear that. Bad timing, I guess.

Aaron: It was the nature of things. It was neither bad nor good, it simply was.

Liz: Did Croft plan to invest?

Aaron: Oh, I don't know. He believed in my work, but in truth, I think he was more dedicated to his own.

Liz: Do you have any idea what he planned to reveal that night?

Aaron: I have some idea. It wasn't going to be a physical invention, it was going to be a spiritual revelation.

Liz: Oh. What makes you say that?

Aaron: Well, he told me so. He said he wanted us to witness his death and resurrection.

Liz: He said that? Death and resurrection? You think he expected to die.

Aaron: No, detective, I think he expected to transcend.

Liz: I feel like we're going in circles here, Mr. Waters.

Aaron: I'm sorry my responses frustrate you. If you're going in circles, perhaps it's because you don't know your destination.

Liz: My destination is the truth, the truth of what happened. Who killed a man?

Aaron: But I already know who killed Aiden.

Liz: What do you mean you know? You know who the murderer is?

Aaron: Of course I do. I knew it after I spoke to the police five years ago. Remember, you're the one who's come looking for answers. It would seem you're still lost. You've spoken with all of us by now, haven't you?

Liz: Yes.

Aaron: You have the evidence, don't you? You have the testimony.

Liz: Yes, I have it. It's still not clear. It's impossible.

Aaron: There's no such thing as impossibilities.

Liz: Well, if you know, then why don't you tell me? Who was it? Who killed him?

Aaron: Detective, I already told you I'm not a teacher, I'm only a guide.

Liz: Oh, Jesus Christ.

Aaron: I, uh, I must go now.

Liz: Wait.

Aaron: Goodbye, detective.

Liz: Wa... No. Shit.

Narrator: 7 Suspects is written, directed and produced by Jon Rolfe. Liz Devereux is voiced by Chelsea Krause, Aaron by Leo Wiggins. 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 isn't possible 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 Denouement. Until then, I'm Alex Eller. Thank you for listening, and goodnight.