AA Sponsor Protects Sponsee Who Confessed To Murder

Last October, I posted about how AAs use or break their tradition of anonymity to suit their purposes: Anonymity. This falls into the category of “using anonymity to protect each other from accountability.” Only someone under the twisted spell AA produces in people could rationalize their complicity in this crime. Principles before personalities, ya know:

Bob Ryder charged with killing Danita Brown

LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A man who lives in the building where the body of 38-year-old Danita Brown’s body was found has been charged with killing her.

Brown’s body was found in the basement of the building Tuesday.

According to the police affidavit, Bob Ryder, 21, told his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor that he had killed Brown by hitting her in the head with a wooden clock. His sponsor waited two and a half weeks before calling police because he was worried about breaking AA’s confidentiality agreement.

And the beat goes on….

  • The truth starts to come out a little bit on this. I wonder how many other cases are like this that the Anonymity of corporate AA covers up? This article seems to have the most information on it (AA isn’t mentioned) with pictures and details of the crime scene at 417 Main St., Lewiston, Maine:

    By Sun Journal staff Jul 12, 2011


    “Bob W. Ryder, formerly of Litchfield, was arrested at about 3 a.m. Tuesday and held on a probation violation at Androscoggin County Jail. No bail was allowed.

    According to Tuesday’s Lewiston Police Department call log, someone came into the lobby of the station just before 10 p.m. Monday and reported a woman was dead in the Main Street apartment. The age of that woman was not known.”


    “Court records show Ryder had been charged with burglary, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and criminal trespass on Aug. 21, 2010, and with criminal trespass on Aug. 20, 2010. He was found guilty, sentenced to two years, six months, with all but 102 days suspended, and two years of probation on the first charge; was sentenced to 20 days on the second charge; and to 30 days on the third and fourth charges.”

  • MikeAugustine

    His sponsor waited two and a half weeks before calling police because he was worried about breaking AA’s confidentiality agreement.

    Oh, so there is an actual code within AA – a confidentiality agreement. Wait a minute, no, there’s only one if it suits one’s purpose. Then there is no agreement if it doesn’t. Damn, this is getting harder to sort out. I’m not keeping it simple, I guess.

  • Jonny Quest

    They don’t seem to mind spilling your secrets to each other, though. I bet a few dozen AA’s in that area knew that the guy murdered someone.

  • SoberPJ

    Let’s look at this from an entitlement and rights perspective. It is bad enough that they have this anonymity thing in the first place. But, and again, who gives them the right to have it? I mean, if a person even has to take some time to make a decision between turning in a murderer and upholding the self-made book club rules, how did the book club get such a club-rule adhering membership? Most people don’t do the right thing because of some perceived loyalty to the group or some punishment from the group, or both. Where does AA get the power to even induce a decision making process in a person when there shouldn’t even be a choice in the first place. Whatever it is, it is powerful psyche stuff. It isn’t just about the anonymity in cases like this, it is about the level of mind control AA has on its members. This guy eventually did the right thing. How many don’t, and exactly why don’t they?

  • Lewiston Maine, where Danita Brown was found and Bob Ryder was arrested for her murder, is controlled by District 5 of the Maine Alcoholics Anonymous Intergroup. If other members of Alcoholics Anonymous who know the other parts of this puzzle and had knowledge of it, and do not admit it when asked, they can be arrested for withholding or falsifying evidence in a criminal investigation. If the chairpersons at 120 LISBON STREET, 1919 LISBON ROAD, 247 BATES STREET or 99 CAMPUS AVENUE attempt to enforce the concept of “Anonymity” in Alcoholics Anonymous among members that know anything about this murder, they can be arrested for witness tampering. Intergroup and meeting information:


  • Sally

    SoberPJ says: “How many don’t, and exactly why don’t they?” The program has ’em brainwashed eh? I’m willing to bet that a lot of discussion at groups in the area is just about whether or not he should have broken anynomity, not that a woman died and why she died I haven’t heard anything on that yet but I’m interested to know….He wouldn’t have wanted to get ostracised by his group. That’s why I think he was so reluctant. That’s how strong AA is. Sad sad.

    JR, that’s interesting. He was in a pool of trouble before this but “getting his life together in AA”. If he was serving his due time “He was found guilty, sentenced to two years, six months, with all but 102 days suspended”, then this wouldn’t have happened.

  • I imagine this news puts A.A. sponsors in a jam. What are they going to do, issue a disclaimer that says “I don’t sponsor thugs who might kill people”? We just might see in our lifetimes a revision to all that dirty old text known as the first 164 pages.

  • Sally – I am afraid this it even gets worse. 417 Main St., Lewiston, Maine where the murder of Danita Brown happened is within walking distance to Bates College in Lewiston Maine. I happened in a college town.


  • Ooops ….. It happened in a college town…..

  • AnnaZed

    @JR Harris ~ They could be, but they won’t be.

    What is more interesting to me would be to learn what these AA members knew about Ryder and his mental health, threats that he may have made prior to his assaulting and murdering Danita Brown, possible assaults (sexual violence or garden variety violence) against other women in AA or outside of AA. I’ll wager that this was not the first incident for Mr. Ryder.

  • The fact that the murder of Danita Brown happened within walking distance of Bates College “with its $51,300 price tag in 2009-2010” may influence the search for witnesses, as well as anyone trying to cover it up. All properties in this close proximity to Bates College are most likely being rented by college students trying to save on costs.The parents who are sending their children to Bates College will want to know the truth about what happened and if AA members are covering up other atrocities like this murder.

    Bates leads list of most expensive U.S. colleges – By Oliver Staley, Bloomberg News
    Posted July 05, 2011

    “Bates College is the most expensive private, nonprofit college in the U.S., with its $51,300 price tag in 2009-2010 leading a new government list designed to hold schools accountable for costs.

    The price for Bates, in Lewiston, included tuition, fees and room plus board. That was followed by Connecticut College in New London, which cost $51,115 for the same expenses and Vermont’s Middlebury College, which charged $50,780, according to the list of college prices released Thursday on a U.S. Department of Education website. The average tuition without room and board for private, nonprofit colleges in 2009-10 was $21,324.”


  • I’m wondering about the story JR Harris posted, about it not mentioning AA. I wonder if the writer was just trying to follow “AA traditions” as AA asks all reporters to do, to either use only AA members’ first name and last initial, or not identify them as AA members. If he had any doubt he might have called the local AA phone number where he would have gotten a member to “set him straight.”

  • Rick

    SoberPJ wrote, “Where does AA get the power to even induce a decision making process in a person when there shouldn’t even be a choice in the first place. Whatever it is, it is powerful psyche stuff.”

    I think part of the answer lies in the fact that it is power, and it’s the kind of power that steppers love. They absolutely love thinking they deserve to have the same privileges as those who typically operate behind confidentiality agreements. This puts them on the same level with doctors, lawyers and priests. It reminds them what a special secret society they are part of. Of course they don’t deserve it, but I can see how it developed. They act like they deserve that power because society has largely given it to them. They must be pretty special for medical professionals to routinely put people under their care, and for the court system to send them parolees for rehabilitation. Steppers might pretend to gripe about all of those things, but they really love it.

  • A statement “Sponsored by District 7 Alcoholics Anonymous” in Maine. I believe that this is what any reporters will be told in Maine about hiding the identities of people who know about a crime that was admitted to in an AA meeting:

    “There may be some here who are not familiar with our Tradition of personal anonymity at the public level:


    Thus, we respectfully ask that no A.A. speaker – indeed, any A.A. member – be identified by full name or photograph in published or broadcast reports of our meetings.

    The assurance of anonymity is essential in our effort to help other problem drinkers who may wish to share our recovery program with us. And our Tradition of anonymity reminds us that A.A. principles come before personalities.”


  • SoberPJ

    There’s never been a better time to ruffle some AA feathers


    Don’t people have a right to know what goes on in the 12 Step ecosystem behind the undeserved and self-appointed cloak of anonymity? A member of the Lewiston community is dead from the actions of someone in AA. Don’t they deserve to at least be informed of the known issues so they can at least debate how to keep this from happening again?

  • I think the parents of the kids that sent their kids to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine(the most expensive private college in the US) would also be interested in if any of their children were sent to any of the meetings in the surrounding area because of trouble at the school:

    “11 arrested after Bates college party gets rowdy” by Clarke Canfield, The Associated Press May 26, 2010

    “LEWISTON — An alcohol-fueled party for college seniors to blow off steam turned rowdy early Wednesday, leading to 11 arrests, an officer with a broken a leg and student complaints about police overreaction.

    The gathering that began late Tuesday was part of a Bates College senior tradition called “return to your freshman dorm.”

    Lewiston police were summoned by campus security after some of the 200 to 250 partiers declined to get out of the way of an ambulance that had been called to care for two injured women, police said. Nearly half of the group cleared out, but police said some refused to obey orders.

    Officers never resorted to Tasers but used pepper spray after 100 to 150 students refused to disperse, Lewiston Police Chief Michael Bussiere said. He also said at least one officer displayed a baton.”


    I have to wonder how many of these kids were sent to AA by the court systems or Academic probation? Lewiston Maine only has a few meetings, and they may have met Bob Ryder and even gone to his apartment at 417 Main St. before or after a meeting. Currently they only have these AA meetings where students of Bates College could have met Bob Ryder:

    STEP 123 – MON

  • Sally

    I”m starting to wonder more and more who Danita Brown, 38, of New Gloucester was. Why did she get killed? Where did were work? Were there any inquires as to her dissapearance? …Anonymity is supposed to be for yourself, not others to decide for you. Maybe you don’t want your boss or neighbors to know. But what if you don’t care? I understand, like, maybe don’t divulge someone is a member (a drinker or druggie) under regular circumstances. That’s a respect issue. Where did this all go wrong? That’s soo controlling.

  • SoberPJ

    And one with a picture of our bubby Bobby http://www.wmtw.com/r/28561799/detail.html .

    Curious state of affairs that a 21 year old AA member was familiar enough with a 38 year old to kill her. Chance meeting? AA angle overall? She wouldn’t be the first AA woman killed by a male wacko in AA. If I was a woman in AA, I wouldn’t go near a mixed meeting. While I was in AA, I had no idea how much of this type of shit was happening. Towards the end when a local AA member burned down a house with people he had killed inside, I started to wonder, “what in the hell am I doing HERE ?” Once I started looking for the answer to that question, it was the beginning of the end for me and AA.

  • SoberPJ

    Well, a little research came up with a couple of pictures of a Danita Brown that weren’t quite as flattering as her pictures in the recent news. In fact, if they are hers, I would say with a high degree of assurity that she was probably sentenced to AA and they met there.

    Now, here is a cool little tool that will come in handy for everyone at some point. It is a web topic discussion tool. When you get there, create a dashboard with the term – Danita Brown, New Glouster . That will bring up the pictures and all the latest web news and comments on her.

    Here ya go, have fun… http://www.netvibes.com

    They can claim anonymity, but they can’t hide .

  • SoberPJ

    Found it.. now why would they print a picture that made her look really bad?


  • You have to also remember that Bob Ryder was on probation in Lewiston Maine. As part of his probation, Bob Ryder most likely had to have a court slip signed 1 to 3 times a week (maybe even more). There are only 15 AA meetings in Lewiston Maine, if Bob Ryder had to have a court slip signed 3 times a week week to prove that he was going to Alcoholics Anonymous to his probation officer, that would mean that there is a 1 in 5 chance that people in Lewiston Alcoholics Anonymous went to the same meeting as him. I wonder what his “shares” at the meetings were? I wonder how many other sponsors Bob Ryder had before this Sponsor turned him in. If you notice they are not releasing the name of the Sponsor. If you notice in the current news on the Cassey Anthony case, they didn’t withhold any of the witnesses names or pictures in the press. If I lived in Lewiston Maine, I think I would want to know who won’t be coming forward immediately when a capital crime like murder is committed.

  • SoberPJ – They are trying to paint a “bad” picture of her in that article. She has 2 children under the age of 5. No telling where they are, they should have missed her, but according to that article:

    “According to Brown’s Facebook page, she has two children, both under the age of 5.

    The last posting on her Facebook wall, dated Feb. 15, says: “The biggest thing that pisses me off is that when another girl thinks she’s good enough to take your man from my biggest pet peeve I always say may the best woman win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    In the “About Danita” section of her Facebook page, she says: “I’m a mother of two and I’m happy most all the time very good sense of humor love to tell jokes.”

  • Rick

    The sponsor in this case might have had more reasons than just worrying about a supposed ‘confidentiality agreement’ for not reporting this sooner. Maybe he’s involved in some criminal activities himself. There’s no way of knowing based on the information given at this point. The claim that he fretted about violating some imaginary confidentiality agreement provides a nice AA-given excuse though, and it probably wont be challenged too aggressively in court.

  • Rick

    Here’s another article from the Sun Journal, giving some more background information about the murderer and the victim. It makes no mention of AA though…

  • SoberPJ

    Does the Sun Journal have the guts to investigate the AA angle. Let them know what you think they should be investigating here.


  • Sally

    “Nadeau told police that Ryder told him about killing Brown about two and a half weeks earlier when Nadeau was at Ryder’s apartment. Ryder identified Brown as a prostitute and said he had caught her going through his wallet before he killed her. Nadeau doubted Ryder’s confession, so Ryder took Nadeau into the basement and showed him Brown’s body, according to the affidavit”


    Oh, they just had to put that in the article. His CLAIMS about Dania Brown being a thieving prostitute. It so irks me! I know I’m doing guesswork and sentencing from reading a few articles about the perp (and his guilt) but he isn’t dead and will get his say. I say please please, disclose something other than what HIS negative claims about the victim.

  • SoberPJ

    Let’s see… she was 38, in a long-term relationship with kids and in AA. He, was mentally ill and 21 and in AA. The likelihood she was a prostitute is very low. The likelihood she was doing 12 Step work and he was trying to do 13 Step work is much higher. Did her AA tough love style get her killed? Was she trying to get him to confront his defects of character and one of them snapped and killed her? We all watch cop shows. Exactly what happened for him to grab a clock big enough to kill her with? And why?

    Another woman dead by the hands of a mentally ill AA member. Something is seriously wrong with this system.

  • Rick

    Here is the link to the Sun Journal story where she is referred to as a prostitute. This one does mention AA.

  • Well some information can be gleaned from that article on both Danita Brown and Bob Ryder.

    Bob Ryder background-
    1. Bob Ryder from the age of 3 was raised in Maine’s foster-care system.
    2. Bob had a baby girl in 2010, but has not seen her for a while.
    3. In 2011 Ryder joined the marines but was discharged for mental problems.
    4. Prior to living at 417 Main St. in Lewiston Maine, Ryder lived at the Becket House in Litchfield which is an assisted-living facility for troubled youth.

    Danita Brown background –
    1. Danita Brown was engaged to Mike Tibbetts in New Gloucester Maine.
    2. Brown was last seen by Tibbetts June 15, 2011 when she left to go to the local hospital to be treated for bronchitis.
    3. Tibbetts and Brown met in 2005 through her grandmother in Gray Maine that she was living with. Tibbetts and Brown eventually moved to New Gloucester with there 4 year old son and Browns 18 year old daughter.
    4. Danita Brown had 9 children and her mother died when she was 14.

    I think that since there seems to be an extended family involved, that this will be investigated thoroughly

  • Sally

    JR, re #4 about Danita – was it that she was one of 9 children? I think she only had 2 kids right?

  • SoberPJ

    I love it.. just a couple spiritual, rigorously honest AA guys cruisin for prostitutes between meetings. Who says sobriety isn’t a hoot !

    This whole situation is so full of bullshit, if I were the cops, I would go to every AA meeting and right in the middle of it, stop the meeting ( it isn’t a church service, it is a bunch of congregated people, they have no special rights) and take each person into a room and interview them about what they might know. If they say they know something, but AA’s anonymity principle forbids them from saying anything, cite them for obstruction of justice. A woman is dead in their quaint little town and there is a STRONG AA connection and we know that at least the grandsponsor knew too. Could this murder have been avoided ? Are there other crimes and people involved.?. I think the prostitute angle was cooked up to keep the cops out of AA in Lewiston. The lies are so rampant here and AA member involvement is so clear that this should be a rallying situation for tearing the self-ascribed AA anonymity right to shreds. Every relevant rights group on the planet should be screaming to get to the bottom of this farce. It would be cool.

  • Floyd Nadeau, who was the AA Sponsor of Bob Ryder in Lewiston that turned him in, may also have a checkered past. I wonder how many other people he has sponsored? I wonder who his current sponcee’s are?

  • SoberPJ

    And, does he cruise for prostitutes with all of them? What a great sponsor. I wonder if he even treats for tricks?

  • Sally – according to this article, Danita Brown had nine children:

    “Tibbetts and Brown met in the summer of 2005 when Brown was living with her grandmother in Gray. Their daughters were friends at Gray-New Gloucester High School and plotted to get their parents together, Tibbetts said. The couple had planned to marry.

    Brown, who had nine children, had a passion for dogs, cooking and gardening.”


  • SoberPJ

    OK, so let’s put our heads together here. What specific people, rights groups or organizations would like to take this situation and use it as an example to support their cause or perspective? There has to even be some law enforcement orgs that hate the stonewalling done by AA members behind the anonymity garbage. Give me names, I’ll send the emails.

  • I think that the key here is “public perception” and the most powerful part of that perception is localized. Get the local people talking about it and they will be contacting the people who can help as well. Think about the “investigative reporter” that is actually in that area and can talk to people.

    The murder of Danita Brown happened in Lewiston Maine, which is a city in Androscoggin County. Lewiston had a population of 41,592 in 2010. I believe that the “stakeholders” of of this area would like to know about AA corporate policy. Links to every newspaper, tv station, radio station, church, hospital, college, high school, elementary school, etc……. as well as detailed demographics can be found here:



  • Mona Lisa

    Rick writes: “I think part of the answer lies in the fact that it is power, and it’s the kind of power that steppers love. They absolutely love thinking they deserve to have the same privileges as those who typically operate behind confidentiality agreements. This puts them on the same level with doctors, lawyers and priests. It reminds them what a special secret society they are part of. Of course they don’t deserve it….”

    And they don’t HAVE it, either, although they often think they do. The law recognizes a number of confidential relationships as being so important that communications made within them are not admissible in court. These relationships include lawyer-client, doctor-patient, clergy-penitent, psychiatrist-client, husband-wife, etc. The relationships included and the level of privilege accorded to them vary by jurisdiction–however, no jurisdiction protects the 12 step sponsor-sponsee relationship. There is no “AA privilege”.

    Within the rooms, though, you’d never know this, with people exhorting each other to reveal EVERYTHING in their 5th step lest an omission cost them their sobriety (“Few muddled attitudes have caused us more trouble than holding back on Step 5. Some people are unable to stay sober at all; others will relapse periodically until they really clean house. Even AA oldtimers, sober for years, often pay dearly for skimping this step.” p. 56, 12&12).

    So it isn’t just love of power that leads to the development of this fictional “privilege”, it’s fear of relapse and death, and the ignorance bred of not ever looking outside AA’s intellectual vacuum–or being uninterested in doing so.

    So, my guess is that Ryder’s sponsor delayed because he just didn’t know what the real rules actually were. He probably consulted a lawyer, who would have advised him that there was no legal privilege involved in the confession. He probably then had to consult with his own sponsor, pray about it, etc. before coming forward. That would take a couple of weeks.

  • Bob Ryder was taken to the Androscoggin County Superior Court and charged with the murder of Danita Brown. The location Bob Ryder was arraigned at for the murder of Danita Brown and its judges (I believe they only have one Superior court judge):

    Androscoggin County Courthouse
    Hon. MaryGay Kennedy
    2 Turner St.
    P.O. Box 3660
    Auburn, Maine 04212-3660


  • Sally

    I think he also felt like narcing on a fellow AA would get him in trouble with his group. The guru’s will be debating his sin for some time I am sure while some of the newcomers will be wondering what is going on “I thought I was supposed to learn how to be sober here?”

  • I have to wonder a little bit about Floyd Nadeau, who was the AA Sponsor of Bob Ryder. A quick search shows up a 37 year old male who has lived in the following cities:

    Waterville, ME
    Fairfield, ME
    Detroit, ME
    Farmington, ME
    Dryden, ME
    New Sharon, ME

    If this is the same Floyd Nadeau that sponsored Bob Ryder, that seems like a lot of different addresses. I wonder if he has sponsored people in all of those cities? I wonder what other stories of crimes that Floyd Nadeau or his sponcees know about that they are not telling the police?

  • Sally

    9 children WOW. I couldn’t imagine.

  • Disclosure

    Way to go “Live and Let Live”!!!

    The murderer must have been afraid he was going to loose something he had or not get something he wanted?

    Boy meets girl on AA campus.

    His disease can’t tell the difference between murder and character assassination…

  • The State of Maine has been the site of other AA members trying to use the Anonymity clause to cover up murder besides this case where Floyd Nadeau, the AA sponsor of Bob Ryder failed to report it for two and a half weeks.

    In November 1988, Ronald Boobar murdered fourteen year old Rebecca “Becky” Pelky in Hermon, Maine. The act was confessed to Daniel DesIsles, an AA member and they tried to use the privilege Rule 503 of the Maine Rules of Evidence as a defense. Luckily this defense failed.


    There have been other criminal incidents associated with AA meetings in Maine besides the Rob Ryder case. In May 20, 2009, Herbert Jones of Portland Maine was planning to shoot another member of Alcoholics Anonymous outside First Parish Church. Luckily he was caught before he could accomplish this:


  • Lucy

    The sponsor-sponsee relationship is the sickest part of AA. The sponsor wants a patient-child-slave, and the sponsee wants a combination parent-psychiatrist-life coach-friend-dictator. The process bleeds the sponsor dry and keeps the sponsee from learning to act like an adult.

  • Currently there are 24 registered daycare facilities in Lewiston Maine, some of them are very close to 417 Main St. where Rob Ryder lived and Danita Brown was murdered. Both Danita Brown and Rob Ryder had young children that may have gone to daycare in Lewiston. I believe that if I had a child in those daycare facilities, I would like to know who I may be letting my children have access to. Are other members of the AA group that Bob Ryder was associated with sending there children to daycare with them? If members of Bob Ryder’s AA group in Lewiston see something happening that is not right with other peoples children in a daycare they send their children to, are they going to wait two and a half weeks to inform law enforcement? At least one members of Bob Ryder’s AA group, Floyd Nadeau didn’t come forward with information about a murder and he even saw the body. How many of the other AA members in Lewiston will turn a “blind eye” to serious crimes because it was done by a member of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous?

  • Bob Ryder was on probation in Lewiston during the murder of Danita Brown and most likely had to go to AA meetings and do community service as part of his probation. Where did Bob Ryder do his community service at?

    A little bit of background on Lewiston that may come in handy to determine this:

    1. “Lewiston, in Androscoggin County, is the second-largest city in the U.S. state of Maine.”
    2. “Lewiston is home to Bates College, the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, the Lewiston campus of the University of Southern Maine, and several medical centers. ”
    3. “Central Maine Medical Center is the city’s largest employer.”

    Interesting facts about a Lewiston landmark:

    “City leaders decided to build a cathedral to which the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland would relocate. Construction of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul began in 1905 and ended in 1938, mostly funded through thousands of small donations from Lewiston residents.

    While the Diocese of Portland did not relocate to Lewiston, the cathedral is a prominent landmark and source of pride, and became a basilica in 2004. It is one of the few American basilicas located outside of a major metropolitan area. ”

    Source: http://www.hometownusa.com/maine/Lewiston.html

  • Very Interesting. The 12 Hour Club on 120 Lisbon Street in Lewiston, ME 04240-7106 has been identified as a possible problem by AA members in the UK who are trying to make sure that Alcoholics Anonymous is not damaged by radical fundamentalists. They have made the list in another continent (very impressive):

    (scroll down to Maine)

    The UK aacultwatch group is an AA group that is trying to make sure that people with psychological problems are not urged to go off there prescribed medication by other AA members. I wonder if the 12 Hour Club members in Lewiston, told Bob Ryder to go off of his medication?

  • MA

    I like AA Cultwatch. They’re just a deluded as the others, but they are deluded in different ways. Their brand of crazy is just as bad. It’s fun to watch the AA fundies point fingers at one another.

  • This also an interesting and a could be a very big part in the puzzle of the murder of Danita Brown and the mental state of Bob Ryder. They may have ties to:

    Twelve Hour Club
    120 Lisbon St
    Lewiston, ME 04240
    (207) 782-9140
    In Business Since 1992

    Private Clubs, Social Service Organizations, Volunteer Workers’ Placement Service


    Did Danita Brown and Bob Ryder meet at the Twelve Hour Club? Did anyone at the Twelve Hour Club “suggest” that Bob Ryder quit taking his medication? Why is the Twelve Hour Club identified as a radical group by other AA members in another continent?

  • Jonny Quest

    Lucy says “The sponsor wants a patient-child-slave, and the sponsee wants a combination parent-psychiatrist-life coach-friend-dictator.”

    LMFAO !!!

  • Bob Ryder moved to Lewiston from the Becket House in Litchfield just prior to the murder of Danita Brown. Since he was on probation, I have to wonder if his stay at the Becket House was court ordered or not. The Becket Family of Services is being investigated by former patients for abuse by the following group:


    I am starting to get a very bad picture of this whole situation. Was Bob Ryder sentenced by the court as a plea deal to the Becket House in Litchfield? Did Bob Ryder go to the Twelve Hour Club on Lisbon St. for follow up care and probation requirements. Did Bob Ryder and Danita Brown meet at the Twelve Hour Club? Was Ryder told to go off his medication by the members of the Twelve Hour Club?

    These are questions that need a good investigative reporter familiar with Lewiston to ask.

  • Sally

    JR write the editor maybe?? Tell them what you see and know? What may seem obvious to us may not obvious to others. Even reporters. I wrote to one in Texas and he wrote back that he wasn’t aware of the problems in AA. OK, so maybe it’s a lie but who would tell them if we don’t? I think a LOT of people want to believe that AA is one of the great things the world has left. I mean “it helps so many… isn’t it great…they don’t profit and I just read a great story the other day”, etc. puke, choke, shake. Maybe point this out to the writer, I’m so serious. If it was my Mom that died or if I was a relative of the Perp I’d definitely like to know. Good points JR, I say go for it!

  • jrh – great work. soberpj great posts. write me makeaasafer@gmail.com I have some ideas …
    I just took a day off from the blog and wow look at this crazy shit.
    This story is horrible.

    Things need to come tumbling down. Shall we contact the police with our info? The Detective, the federal Marshalls. Do you have any idea what is going on at Holly Hill Park in Daytona FLorida .. Bad shit.

  • More on the life of Bob Ryder and his stay at Becket House prior o moving to Lewiston:

    “Making His Goals Happen
    April, 2009, Becket House at Litchfield

    When Bob Ryder first came to Becket House at Litchfield, he spent a lot of time by himself. He took quite awhile to open up to many staff members and even to his fellow peers. Litchfield staff worked with Bob through many life skills that he will keep with him on his journey toward independence.

    After obtaining his driver’s license, Bob went to the community and landed a job at a local restaurant doing dishes. Bob is still working there and has even taken on more responsibilities in the kitchen. Using skills learnt through the Becket program, Bob has saved enough money to buy a truck, put a down payment on his insurance, and save money to go towards getting his own apartment.

    Due to his continued success, Bob was chosen to go on an adventurous trip to the Florida Everglades. The group drove three days to southern Florida, taking in many historic sites along the way. They then spent five days canoeing and camping and encountered many species of fish, alligators, lizards, sand sharks, and horseshoe crabs. They dined on popular local cuisine such as alligator and conch. When asked what the alligator tasted like Bob replied, “It tastes just like chicken!”

    Bob is nearing graduation and his goal is to join the Marine Corps. He has been meeting with his recruiter regularly, and together they have been working towards achieving this goal. Within a year, it is amazing to see just how far Bob has come since he first arrived at the Becket House at Belgrade. Way to go Bob and good luck!.”


  • Prior to Graduating from Becket House at Litchfield, Bob Ryder went to Becket House at Belgrade:

    “Becket House at Belgrade
    (Belgrade, Maine)

    Program Overview: Becket House at BelgradeThe Becket House at Belgrade is a 12-bed residential treatment program for adolescent males, specializing in the treatment of problematic sexual behaviors. Each resident is provided with individualized mental health treatment that focuses on stabilization, community reintegration, and skill development.

    The Becket House is situated on 20 acre parcel of land boasting a pond, sporting fields, gardens, and hiking trails. Each resident is provided with their own bedroom for purposes of privacy, safety, and self expression. The Central Maine Learning Center (special purpose day school) is also conveniently located on campus ensuring the team collaboration needed to optimize student safety while providing specialized educational services. ”


  • We know that Floyd Nadeau was the AA Sponsor of Bob Ryder. We also know that the reason that Nadeau went to the police after two and half weeks to report the murder of Danita Brown is because he talked to his sponsor. Who was the AA sponsor of Nadeau, and when was he informed of this murder? This can be found from the arrest report.

    Maine State Police Det. Scott Gosselin affidavit on arrest of Bob W. Ryder
    DOCKET NO. CR-11-746
    ATN No. 893710A
    CTN N0. 001
    Sequence No. 000621

    Page 2:

    “Nadeau stated that he had not reported it to the police out of fear of breaking the AA confidentiality agreement. Nadeau stated that he told Fanjoy about this and that Fanjoy convinced him that he needed to report it to the police.”

    Is Fanjoy the AA sponsor of Floyd Nadeau? When did Fanjoy become aware of the murder of Danita Brown? Would Fanjoy have kept the secret of the murder quiet because of the “AA confidentiality agreement”, if Nadeau had not gone to the police? What other crimes are going unsolved in Lewiston Maine because of the “AA confidentiality agreement?” How many other unsolved crimes in Lewiston Maine do Nadeau and Fanjoy know about because of their involvement with AA that they are keeping quiet about?

  • SoberPJ

    Not only is anonymity in the spotlight here, but the entire Sponsor/Sponsee thing should be too. Here we have a guy with a known problem with deviant sexual behavior that caused him to be in residential treatment and his AA SPONSOR is out crusing for hookers with him. What kind of serenity love fests did these honest and upstanding members of the community have with their “service providers?” AA, hookers, booze and drugs. If you take AA out of that combination, would murder have happened?

  • I emailed the reporter. Would JRH/SPJ please let me know who else I should email? Thx.

  • Ben Franklin

    Taking my sexually deviant sponsee cruising for hookers, the promises have come true for me fer shur.


  • AnnaZed

    Has it been established that Danita Brown was a prostitute or is it just Bob Ryder and Floyd Nadeau that say that she was a prostitute? if so, I might take that information with a grain of salt.

    In the initial coverage Ms. Brown is called Ryder’s girlfriend and the landlord is quoted as saying that she came and went, which certainly seems more credible in a typical AA-style May/December romance way. The Sun-Journal http://www.sunjournal.com/city/story/1059573 helpfully takes the time to point out that she had some petty-theft and grifting charges. In the opaque language of local newspapers this kind of reporting is designed to instill comforting feelings of complacency and personal safety in readers who subconsciously conclude that this crime like so many others was just a crime of low-life on low-life and does not concern them.

    Is Bob Ryder’s legal name Bob not Robert? If so, that’s interesting in a Silence of the Lambs “Jame Gumb” kind of way.

    As Sally points out, certainly if Mr. Ryder’s two and a half year sentence for burglary (and various other offenses) in August of 2010 hadn’t been mitigated and reduced to 120 days then this particular crime could not have occurred. I don’t even have to do any research to know that AA attendance was a required component of that mitigation.

    This is some interesting work going on in this thread. I have often thought that it would take a really spectacular crime to bring media and then public attention to the dangerous social contract that is AA and I keep reading this site as the crimes stack-up (one after another) waiting to see which will be the one. While I still think that the Horman case in Oregon is the case (even though the initials A+A haven’t even been whispered in the surrounding media storm) this case might well have all of the right elements to get the ball rolling.

    This crime has some components that posters in this thread (mostly JR) have identified that might make Bob Ryder a poster-boy for AA related (AA facilitated?) crime; small town, criminals mandated to AA, Ryder’s history as a sexually deviant person, criminals being sponsored by criminals, the whole element of the local AA fundamentalist 12-hour Club and the very high likelihood that AA members pressured him to go off of his medications, the delay in reporting the murder of this woman (someone’s mother!) due to the absurd bogus “confidentiality” contract, the nearby exclusive private college, the single high court with the single judge who probably knows the entire local scum-bag population by name. These and others mentioned are pretty good tangible proof of exactly why AA can be such a noxious influence in civic life. Interestingly, law enforcement officials know that criminals congregating with like-minded criminals always creates problems; that’s why paroled felons are prohibited from fraternizing with with other felons. Why is AA an exception to this rule?

    JR has really done some impressive delving into this incident. JR, I wonder what you thought of the first comment on this early page of coverage http://www.sunjournal.com/city/story/1059573 posted by a verified poster at that newspaper’s site

    By Michael Bachelder, verified user — Thu, 07/14/2011 – 23:31

    Why is it that the cops are giving false news? The 3 men moved out of the apartment @ 417 main street 2 weeks ago, but the say they arrested the suspect @ home. How is that possible when he wasn’t living there? My kids live on the 3rd floor of the apartment building, and no one has lived there in 2 weeks. Makes you wonder what other lies the cops have.

    Are the three men Bob Ryder, Floyd Nadeau and Bob Ryder’s brother Melvin Ryder-Barry, or the Ryder brothers and Curtis Fanjoy or the two brothers an an unidentified third man (probably another AA member, ha! ~ yathink?). In which case isn’t it also possible that all three men had a part in Danita Brown’s murder or at least in concealing that murder? Maddening that the police statements don’t even include a determination of who lived at the address where the murder took place and when.

    I was going to respond to that interesting comment but decided against creating a user account at the Sun-Journal with my real name and address as required by that site. I know that I could make something up but how rigorously honest™ would that be?

    Maybe as someone else up-thread mentioned the student newspaper of the prestigious college might be the place for all of this information. Young people are much more willing to question received wisdom on any subject and I’ll bet some rowdy kids from the drunken party bust have been sentenced to AA and are finding out what complete bullshit it is.

    I think that this town just may be the place to open up the conversation that we have had on this site many times; why (oh why) do the courts of the United States parole felons and other dangerous offenders and warehouse mentally ill people into an anonymous and unaccountable group? The question isn’t really any more complicated than that.

  • The story of the murder of Danita Brown and it’s cover up by AA members is getting stranger by the minute. It turns out that Bob Ryder (Bob W. Ryder DOB 8/14/1990) and Floyd Nadeau met at the Twelve Hour Club and they both worked at Marine Container. The known area in Lewiston for prostitutes is Pine and Bartlett street near Webbs Market across from the Central Maine Medical Center.

    I think that quite a lot of unsolved crimes could be solved by the members of the Twelve Hour Club since they are so close to that area. They most likely know much more about this entire crime and many more, but they do not want to breach AA confidentiality. I believe that Floyd Nadeau’s AA Sponsor is Mr. Fanjoy in the same area and could be very instrumental in filling in all of the pieces of this puzzle.

  • (I think) that the confidential relationship between doctor and patient is confined to medical information, not confessions of murder/anything else. I had been led to believe, as a child, that the priest/penitent relationship was sacrosant, even in the case of murder. Not sure about lawyer/client; never been there. The confidentiality within AA is based on pure bull, imho. But appears to be given the priest/penitent status in public perception.

  • Loren Coleman publishes stories in the Lewiston Sun (also the Fortean Times). He’s a cryptozoologist, so this is not his bailiwick, but he might be open to exploring something that’s off the mainstream radar. http://www.lorencoleman.com/

  • AnnaZed – The grip that Alcoholics Anonymous has on Lewiston Maine gets even worse. The entire economy of this city is based on it. Central Maine Medical Center is the city’s largest employer and guess where all of the Doctors based out of there send them?

    Lewiston Maine has an AA/NA Rehab based Economy. They have several Rehabs and juvenile facilities that have direct ties to Central Maine Medical Center. They send the majority of people to AA/NA and has become a magnet for crime in Pine and Bartlett street. Central Maine Medical Center and others advertise heavily in Portland and the surrounding areas for people to come to Lewiston for Rehab to get away from crime in their area, thereby bringing it to Lewiston.

    The Twelve Hour Club on 120 Lisbon St is a registered non-profit and their 990’s are available. What ties do they have in this whole mess……….

  • SoberPJ

    Oh yeah,.. the strangeness of this one hasn’t played out by a long shot. Maybe the Marine Container angle could be played. What did other Marine Container employee buddies do on their lunch break or after a few beers after work? Those hooker-chasin, AA-attending alkies are such a fun bunch everybody wants in on the party. Also, how did the sponsor see the body if it was buried under stuff?Hmmm? Did he advise dipshit to not only use Baking soda to cover up the smell, but to bury her too? Plus, I’m only going to mention necrophilia just this one time, but you know it was a real possiblity with our sexual deviant buddy Bobby. And his rigorously honest, hooker-chasin sponsor? Forensic pathologists work on this stuff all the time. Those AA guys are sick people and they are/were loose on the streets of Lewiston and people deserve to know the whole god damn story and everybody’s involvement. AA confidentiality be damned. There has to be powerful, influential people with kids in Bates, they should be putting serious pressure on law enforcement to uncover everything they can to keep “those kinds of people” as far away from their kids as humanly possible. Oh yeah, this one is far from being played out….

  • OMG- great work JRH! This story is a deep deep thread! thanks for keeping it going.
    I too wrote to the reporter.

  • It would appear that Drug and Alcohol Rehab are a large part of the economy in Lewiston Maine. Rehab is big business in Lewiston and they most likely get quite a lot referrals from Bates College since it is currently the most expensive private college in the US and the people going there can afford it. For a small college town they have a large a very large number of Rehab Counseling Services that all seem to be associated with Central Maine Medical Center. They most likely also make sure you have adequate follow up with AA/NA in the area. Most likely sending your kids to these groups hanging around Pine and Bartlett street near Webbs Market across from the Central Maine Medical Center.

    1.) Central Main Family Counseling Pa Blue Willow Counseling
    300 Pine St., Lewiston, ME 04240

    2.) Community Clinical Counseling
    393 Sabattus St., Lewiston, ME 04243

    3.) Facing Change Pa
    4 Park St. Ste. 1, Lewiston, ME 04240

    4.) Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center Chemical Dependency Service
    100 Campus Ave., Lewiston, ME 04243

    5.) Tibby York Ladc Substance Abuse Services
    11 Lisbon St. Ste. 105, Lewiston, ME 04240

    6.) Transitions Counseling Inc.
    1008 Lisbon St., Lewiston, ME 04240
    6a.) 460 Main St. Lewiston, ME 04240
    6b.) 571 Sabattus St. Ste. 7 Lewiston, ME 04240

    7.) Transitions Counseling Inc.
    460 Main St., Lewiston, ME 04240

    8.) Transitions Counseling Inc.
    571 Sabattus St. Ste. 7, Lewiston, ME 04240

    9.) Tri County Mental Health Services
    1155 Lisbon St., Lewiston, ME 04240

    10) Sisters Of Charity Health Systems
    95 Campus Ave, Lewiston, ME 04240

    11.) Tibby York Ladc Substance Abuse Services
    11 Lisbon St. Ste. 105 Lewiston, ME 04240

  • i frickin’ love the fortean times. 🙂

  • i love how we’re all referring to it as “the college. dood. bates. my dad went there. he did got frickin’ kicked out. (who gets kicked outta college in war time when there is a draft, btw?)

  • This is very interesting…. The Androscoggin District Attourney is located at 71 Lisbon St and the Twelve Hour Club is located a few hundred yards away at 120 Lisbon Street. The Twelve Hour Club is where Bob Ryder and Floyd Nadeau met and decided to go looking for a good time and eventually found Danita Brown.

    The probation officer assigned to Bob Ryder was Chris Libby. Chris Libby I am sure made sure that Ryder went to counseling in one of the facilities in Lewiston. In June of 2010 the probation officer Chris Libby helped to put away someone else on probation for 28 months for not going to counseling and disappearing:

    Man convicted of burglaries, ordered back to prison
    By Donna M. Perry, Staff Writer
    Jun 26, 2010

    “Probation officer Chris Libby told the court that in December 2009, a substance abuse counselor told him that he was discharging Sturgeon for not showing up for sessions. Libby said he made several attempts to contact Sturgeon but to no avail.

    On Dec. 30, Libby said he received a call from two women, including Sturgeon’s ex-girlfriend, who said that Sturgeon was harassing them and dealing drugs.

    Libby called Sturgeon again and this time Sturgeon returned the call. Sturgeon told Libby that the women had charged $900 in porn videos to his credit card and he had demanded they pay for them.

    Libby made arrangements for Sturgeon to come in on Jan. 6, 2010, but he never showed.

    “He evaporated,” Libby said.

    Robinson said a component of the 2008 rampage was alcohol abuse. The purpose of probation is to provide supervision, he said, and it is difficult to do that when you can not find your charge.”


  • Aryne Brown

    Does anyone know why Ryder was kicked out of the Marines? According to the news it was “mental issues”. (The PTSD claim hes holding tight to…) Just curious if anyone has found the proof I’m looking for that it was his burglary and theft charge that got him outed. If you have this info please let me know.

    I’m her sister by the way. And I thank you guys for not defaming her name like other people try to do. I really do thank you, it means alot.

  • @Aryne, I am sorry for your loss. I don’t know what else to say.

  • MA

    Hi, Aryne. I’m sorry about your sister’s death. It’s really tragic. I’m sure you could tell some really nice things about her.

    As for the Marine records, that is a tough one. We have a troll/ stalker here on our blog who was, among other things, kicked out of the Marines for child abuse. Those records are difficult to get.

  • aryne, i am really sorry, too. how awful for you and your family.

  • Aryne – I am very sorry for you loss also. I am not sure about the Marines story. I know that Ryder left the Becket House at Litchfield in April, 2009. I do not know if he actually made it into the Marines before he was arrested or had the time to actually even go to boot camp. I will see what I can find. I am really sorry.

  • Aryne, Thank you for commenting. I’m so sorry about your sister. We are trying to prevent these tragedies by highlighting the practice of courts sentencing criminals, sexual predators and people with mental illnesses to AA where they can anonymously prey upon vulnerable addicts. So far, we’re still spitting in the wind… It keeps happening.

    I don’t know if it’s possible to access those military records… But I think it’s telling that they guy ended up in a facility that specializes in treating problem sexual behavior. We can only speculate though.

    Perhaps, if anyone interviews you about this tragedy, you could point out that Ryan was a known sexual predator of some sort, a guy with a criminal record, who was sentenced to attend AA meetings as a condition of his release. He was allowed to sit in these rooms anonymously, consort with others like him (like his sponsor). There’s nothing surprising about this result, and there needs to be some accountability in the system.

    Again, I send heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

  • Aryne Brown

    To answer some of the questions i’ve seen here: She did have 9 children (she loved kids, also couldn’t seem to use birth control, lol..)
    She had alot of problems growing up, after losing her (our) mother, but was trying really hard to get past them. As far as I know, she was never in AA. She did drugs off and on, but from what we know, their meeting was a chance encounter. I’m pretty sure she was at his house because he said he had drugs there. The news reports say they didn’t have sex until meeting up a few times, which means to me, she wasn’t a prostitute. They have no problem with getting right down to it. They dont waste time.
    I think he was stringing her along on promises of dope. He probably flipped out when she tried to leave because he didn’t have shit. And honestly, I wouldn’t doubt if he raped her. he did have a shady sexual history. But she’s dead so we can’t prove it. But that’s my gut feeling. I think she headed for the door and he lost his shit.

  • @JRH et al: This is a site that I looked at in order to work out what to send in a ‘care parcel’ to a family member who was serving in Afghanistan. Didn’t join, just looked, and found the information that I needed to know. I wonder if their is an American version, and whether you could ask there.


  • I wonder if THERE is an American version. And whether they could direct anyone to find out why ‘he’ was discharged from the marines.

  • Aryne – Bob W. Ryder was born 8/14/1990. He was at the Becket House at Litchfield in April of 2009, was working as a dishwasher, had just bought a trunk and was looking for an apartment and attempting to get into the Marines.

    Ryder was convicted of criminal trespass on Aug. 20, 2010 and theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and criminal trespass on Aug. 21, 2010. These were the conviction dates not the arrest dates. The crimes happened in Maine. Giving him one month after his stay at the Becket House in Litchfield and one moth prior to his convictions. This gives a time span between 5/2009 and 7/2010 or 14 months to go through boot camp and then get time off to go back to Maine and commit a crime. This time span is most likely even smaller than 14 months.

    I am looking at the requirements to be a Marine and where they send you for boot camp. I am not sure if they will even take you in the Marines if you have any psychological problems. I am looking further because the time frame does not look right. I will help where I can, but all information will have to be verified further. Again I am sorry for your loss.

  • Aryne Brown

    Thank you, it means alot.
    We are just trying to get all the facts we can, I’m sure the State Police are doing great, we just want to make sure they look into every angle and get this sick fuck. I’d like to unravel the whole secretive AA system to be honest, but for now, we want to take him down.

  • Looking back at my notes Ryder did commit the crimes on Aug. 20, 2010 and 21, 2010. I don’t believe that he would have enough time during those 14 months after 5/2009 to go to boot camp and be deployed anywhere.

  • Aryne Brown

    Yeah, exactly. his first claim was that his PTSD came from his duty in the Marines. lol @ that. He wasn’t even deployed.

  • Sally

    Aryne, I’m sorry for your loss as well. Each story I see saddens me a great deal. I hope that Bob Ryder answers some of the questions for you and your family, and doesn’t hide behind his “rights”.

  • Aryne Brown -Welcome here! I am so so sorry for this tragic loss. If WE can help in any way we will. I have been working on exposing AA problems to no avail in the media. Criminals like this guy are being sentenced to AA/NA then they are sitting next to Aunt Sally, and your sister who has no idea she is becoming friendly with a madman!

    you may contact me directly and I will send you my letter that I am using to address the serious problems IN SIDE AA. Again

    I am so so sorry.


  • causeandeffect

    Aryne, I too am so very sorry for your loss and especially for her children. I hope you and your family will find the justice and closure you need.

  • AnnaZed

    Aryne, my condolences on the loss of your sister.

  • MikeAugustine

    Aryne, my thoughts are with you in this difficult time. Mike

  • June 14, 2010
    Kennebec Journal Staff


    LEWISTON — A daughter, Octavia Nicole Ryder-Merrill, was born May 31,2010 at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center to Kristina Merrill and Bob Ryder of Litchfield.

    Grandparents are Tim and Jen Merrill of Litchfield and Jerry and Nicole Woodman of Leeds.


  • Accused Killer Makes First Court Appearance – Bob Ryder Charged With Killing Danita Brown, of New Gloucester. – UPDATED: 2:51 pm EDT July 19, 2011

    “LEWISTON, Maine — A Lewiston man did not enter a plea Tuesday during his initial court appearance on a murder charge.

    Read more: http://www.wmtw.com/news/28593424/detail.html#ixzz1SbXGb9eM

  • Bob Ryder worked at the 12 Hour Club for 7 months. Was this the job he got in April, 2009 when leaving the Becket House at Litchfield? That would mean that he couldn’t join the marines until Jan 2010.

    Murder defendant appears in court
    July 19 | Posted by MaineNews | Maine Top Stories Tags: maine, stories, top

    “Bob W. Ryder of 417 Main St. denied he violated probation by allegedly killing the woman. A judge continued to hold him at the Androscoggin County Jail pending a hearing at which bail will be discussed. No date had been scheduled by Tuesday afternoon for that hearing.”

    “Ryder’s attendance at AA meetings had been on the rise over the past couple of months, she said. Two weeks ago, he was at meetings on two consecutive days, she said. “There was never an indication at that time that this person (Brown) was gone already.”

    David Williams, a former manager at the 12 Hour Club, said Ryder had worked for him for about seven months.

    “He ran the register, cleaned tables and talked to people when they were down and out,” Williams said. ” That’s what we do down there.”

    Ryder abruptly quit a couple of months ago. The two would often go to a restaurant before AA meetings. Williams said Ryder talked often about wanting to see his 14-month-old daughter.

    A couple of weeks ago, Williams was at a meeting and saw Ryder but didn’t talk to him. He sensed something was wrong.

    “I don’t understand it,” he said. “I can’t swallow it. I really can’t.”

    Source: http://maine-news.info/maine-top-stories/murder-defendant-appears-in-court.html?

  • AnnaZed

    If Ryder worked at the 12-Hour-Club then he was towing (or attempting to tow) the fundamentalist AA line of that club as outlined by AAcultwatch and he was off of his meds.

    What we may have here is a case of murder by a person who was known by authorities to be so mentally unstable and particularly disturbed around the sexual area of his life that he was until recently housed in a group home. I am as certain of this as I am of my own name (which isn’t Anna) that this person was mandated by parole officers and substance abuse professionals to attend AA meetings. In those faith healing meetings in Lewiston he was exposed not just to garden variety AA swill but the dangerous rogue cult-within-a-cult known at the Back to Basics subsect of AA and their How to Listen to God seminars http://www.aabacktobasics.org/How2Listen2God.html that trace their origin right back to a member of the Oxford Group (and are proud of this). The 7 week How to Listen to God seminar ran at the club during April and May of this year. Psychiatric Medications, as anyone who has had even the briefest brush with hard-core steppers knows, are said to “drown out the voice of God” and are verboten in those groups, especially those particular type of sessions.

    This case really, really, really needs much more light shed upon it.

    I think that Floyd Nadeau has a bit more to answer for than the (already egregious) weeks that he spent before going to the authorities. For one thing, I categorically do not believe his story about the men repeatedly giving money to Danita Brown for sexual favors only to have her take the money and leave. No prostitute does this, and no John would make a transaction like that. They were buying drugs with her or from her as her sister suspects. I do not believe Nadeau’s account of the men giving her money on a street corner for sex and allowing her to disappear with it (twice!) and he (Nadeau) then never seeing Ms. Brown again. I have no stake in somehow protecting Ms. Brown’s honor or something; I just think that these two men (possibly three if you count Bob Ryder’s brother who tells a completely implausible story about believing that the blood on his brother’s sheets was from either the deflowering of a young woman ~ which Danita Brown was not ~ or rough sex depending on which version he is recounting) were smoking crack and that Ms. Brown was assaulted by one or all of them. Nadeau’s delay in doing anything about it may have had more to do with his straightening himself out from his slip (a totally expected and weirdly condoned part of AA/NA culture) than any concerns that he might have had about the sanctity of AA anonymity.

    The police should be made aware of this and also be made aware of what consummate liars most AA sponsors are.

  • AnnaZed

    Love this comment on the AA sponsor’s level of responsibility on the Sun Journal site article about this arraignment:

    By Stephanie Johnson, verified user — Wed, 07/20/2011 – 21:03
    Unfortunately- I don’t believe the sponsor can be held responsible at all for this. It’s like confessing a murder to a Priest. The Priest may or may not tell authorities… but IF he does- it’s a violation of their confidentiality/trust. Conversations with AA sponsors is [sic] very similar and it’s complicated…

    No Stephanie, regardless of what bullshit your A sponsor told you, AA sponsors are nothing like priests. This my friends is the public perception that has to be changed.

  • SoberPJ

    Yep, hey, just like priests. You know. Those priests that take a sponsee cruisin for hookers. Yeah, those kinds of priests. The hell you say, there aren’t many of those types of priests? Well, there are sponsors in AA just like that, and there is exactly ZERO confidentiality agreement between anyone in AA. It is completely voluntary and, er, suggested. How in the hell can anyone actually think keeping a capital crime a secret is complicated in AA. If it is complicated, it is because AA made it so, not because it is. Somebody says they killed someone and their body is rotting under my apartment, and you go to the cops – now, period. And if the murderer says, “want to see the body?” you say “no”, not “yes, let’s have a look”. Then go visit the body, make some recommendations on how to deal with the smell and wait a couple weeks before you tell the cops. Seriously, what in the hell was his sponsor thinking? I could resolve the issue in a day, two tops. Why did he wait so long. A week and a half is a long time to sit with the knowledge of a dead woman that you have seen and not go the cops. Think about that for a moment. How well would you sleep knowing there is a dead woman in your sponsees basement? AND you know her. The whole thing is way too suspicious to be straight forward. I hope the cops really get to the bottom of the whole thing.

  • In April, 2009 Ryder was at the Becket House at Litchfield and according to the post from there:

    “After obtaining his driver’s license, Bob went to the community and landed a job at a local restaurant doing dishes. Bob is still working there and has even taken on more responsibilities in the kitchen.”

    Is the Twelve hour Club where Ryder got his job to be able to move out of the Becket House? Remember that the Twelve Hour Club is a few hundred feet from the District Attorneys Office. Have the District Attorneys ever said anything about that club? (hint- lots)

    The last 990 I can find for the Twelve Hour Club is for 2008 and it shows:

    Ron Mathieu – President/20 hrs
    Michael Andrei – Recreation/20 hrs
    Regent Bolduc – Treasurer/30 hrs
    Warren Boyd – B-Laws/5 hrs
    Sam Toothaker – Secretary/10 hrs
    Louisi Larue – Membership/ 10 hrs
    Chet Chamberlain – V. President/10 hrs

    None of these people get paid for running this club, where do they get their money?

    Interesting Returns that are filed:

    Year IRS Process Date Form Type Assets
    2008 06/19/2009 990EZ Initial Return $0
    2007 06/06/2008 990 Initial Return $182,216
    2006 06/14/2007 990 Initial Return $199,468
    2005 07/20/2006 990 Initial Return $215,735
    2004 06/26/2005 990 Initial Return $217,240

    Why the declining Assets?

  • I don’t believe that the “being in the marines” story holds any water. Ryder was at the Beckett House in April, 2009. He worked at the Twelve Hour Club for 7 months which would make it Jan 2010. He was arrested for committing the crimes on Aug. 20, 2010 and 21, 2010. We only have a 70 month time span when he could have gone into the marines now.

    Who are the District Attorney’s? Do they have any ties or interests in the Twelve Hour Club?

  • Ooops – 7 month time span……. not 70

  • Jonny Quest

    AnnaZed says “No Stephanie, regardless of what bullshit your A sponsor told you, AA sponsors are nothing like priests. This my friends is the public perception that has to be changed.”

    These people want to have it both ways. It’s spiritual, not religious but our sponsors are like priests, and conversations with sponsors are on equal footing with the Sacrament of Penance, and should be protected as religious speech.

    Which is it, assholes?

  • Rick

    “Why did he wait so long. A week and a half is a long time to sit with the knowledge of a dead woman that you have seen and not go the cops.”

    I wonder what his reaction would have been if the body had been successfully disposed of. Would he have reported it at all if he thought that Ryder had a chance of getting away with it? I wonder how many cold cases have remained unsolved because sponsors kept their mouths shut. If the sponsor in this case isn’t charged with something, then it simply reinforces the lie that some sort of “confidentiality agreement” actually exists in AA.

  • I think some strategically placed bumper stickers in the area would be appropriate. They wouldn’t even realize that they were bad for the AA business at this particular time:

    “KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid”
    “Its Spiritual NOT Religious”
    “Sponsors, have one, ,be one”
    “It’s a Simple Program”

    Any words from Bates College in Lewiston yet? Academics, especially the more affluent academics, are usually pretty creative…………….

  • AnnaZed

    From that comment stream on the Star Journal article:
    Posted by: staff
    By Pattie Reaves, verified user — Thu, 07/21/2011 – 10:45
    Dan Hartill is actually working on a story about that for Sunday’s paper. Stay tuned!

    I think that Dan Hartill needs to be contacted, but I am not the man for that particular job.

    Dan Hartill, Reporter/features

  • Very interesting 122 page government document that covers the rehab of people in Lewiston Maine:

    Androscoggin County
    Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative
    Five- Year Strategic Prevention Plan

    Some Highlights:

    “With a grant and technical assistance from the Maine Office of Substance Abuse, the ASAP Planning Team studied extensive data, and prioritized substance abuse problem areas. We identified which factors contribute to the county’s most serious substance abuse problems, what resources are or could be available, and how they could be applied for maximum impact for positive change. In this strategic substance abuse prevention plan we recommend prevention strategies which have been proven effective by research and experience to reduce substance abuse. We will show how you can help, and where you can go for more information. ”

    NOTE: It would appear that they knew of problems with younger AA members at the Downtown meetings in Lewiston, there are 4 meeting areas. Only one is considered “Down Town” and that would be the Twelve Hour Club. Interesting quote about the problems on page 76:

    “Several focus group interviewees noted that long-term abuse in adults was unlikely to change, and that treatment efforts should be focused on younger abusers. Participants praised the benefits of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), but also noted that the AA meetings downtown have become less helpful in recent years, and that AA doesn’t always appeal to youth. Medically supervised treatment is expensive and not always easy to access. Even college students in the community reported having difficulty in finding psychotherapists for treatment. Both law enforcement and clergy indicated a willingness to partner with public health agencies to work on these issues. The faith-based group noted that in some areas, parish nursing or parish-based interventions have been helpful.”

    NOTE: This is a five year plan started in 2007 and they noted a problem with this groups and were tending toward a more “faith-based” group. To come up with this idea the interviewd 10 people called “Key Informants”:

    “Key informant interviews were conducted with ten community members. Across interviewees, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs were identified as particular problems. Factors impacting substance abuse that informants identified were: media, parent involvement, religious and family influences, accessibility, mental health problems, and education. Several participants cited media influences as important, and described alcohol advertising at sporting events, and celebrity substance abuse problems as examples.”

    If anyone is interested, this is a link to the entire 122 page report and it gives many details how Lewiston is trying to handle this situation:


  • wow………Let’s get a therapist there to get trained by Smart And start a Smart Recovery meeting. I went to one today. It was great. Lots of AA bashing- or united unhappiness.
    It was a blast.

  • Anna Zed,
    Ok I sent him my letter. Great posts between you & JR.

  • Secrets kept, secrets shared — AA member’s murder revelation raises confidentiality question by By Daniel Hartill, Staff Writer Jul 24, 2011 12:00 am – Sun Journal

    “LEWISTON — An Alcoholics Anonymous member’s story began with the arrival of a Lewiston police officer.

    A uniformed cop trying to find somebody — apparently a suspect in a crime — marched into the middle of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. He told the group who he was looking for and asked if they’d seen him.

    “This is an anonymous program,” the member told him. “No one’s going to tell you if he’s here or not.” A moment later, the frustrated officer walked out, and the meeting resumed.

    The suspect had been there the whole time, seated in the front row.

    “It was his choice to identify himself or not,” the member said. And each person attending the meeting chose silence rather than break with AA’s 76-year history.

    People who attend are anonymous. And what’s said among its members is secret.”

    Source: http://www.sunjournal.com/city/story/1063631

  • Bob Ryder original arrest that he was on probation for in Lewiston for crimes on Aug 22,2010 in Sabattus, Maine.


    AUG. 22

    At a time unknown, Bob Ryder, 20, of Litchfield, was charged by Maine State Police with burglary, theft and criminal trespass after being arrested by Sabattus Police. Police say Ryder took his girlfriend’s car while breaking into houses the previous two days. Ryder also was connected to at least two other incidents in Sabattus, according to police.”


  • UPDATE: Lewiston men indicted on murder charge, By Staff report, Aug 04, 2011

    “AUBURN — A grand jury Wednesday indicted a Lewiston man on a count of murder in connection with the slaying of a New Gloucester woman whose partially decomposed remains were found in the basement under the man’s apartment.

    Bob W. Ryder, 20, of 417 Main St. is being held at Androscoggin County jail without bail. He appeared in Androscoggin County Superior Court last month to answer a probation violation charge. He had been charged with intentional or knowing murder in a complaint. The Androscoggin County grand jury indictment handed up Wednesday takes the place of the complaint as the formal charging instrument in the case.

    Prosecutors had been seeking a hearing to address the possibility of bail, but the indictment means that hearing likely won’t be necessary.

    The victim, Danita Brown, 38, had been missing for several weeks before police made the grisly discovery on a tip from Ryder’s Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor.

    In a police affidavit, Ryder told police he had hit Brown in the head with a clock before hiding her body in the basement and partially covering it. He reportedly told his AA sponsor what he’d done and had shown him the body. The sponsor later went to police after his sponsor urged him to.”


  • Sally
  • AB

    “Currently there are 24 registered daycare facilities in Lewiston Maine, some of them are very close to 417 Main St. where Rob Ryder lived and Danita Brown was murdered. Both Danita Brown and Rob Ryder had young children that may have gone to daycare in Lewiston. I believe that if I had a child in those daycare facilities,”

    Danita’s children were watched at home by her in New Gloucester. And Ryder didn’t have custody of his kid (I wonder why.)
    (Source: She is my sister.)

  • AB

    Also, Danita wasn’t in AA.

  • SoberPJ

    Thanks AB and I am sorry for your loss. This not guilty thing must be hard for you to watch.

  • yoheved

    i just watched the latest 48 hours ‘the sober truth’ and it is a powerful statement as to the ‘denial’ the entire AA and 12 step programs suffer from …. letting people with violent and/or criminal pasts in public meetings with potential innocent victims …. the entire organization needs a wake up call …. it is a shame that the murder of Karla Brada hasn’t yet motivated them to ‘hit bottom’ or shaken them out of their ‘denial’ …. maybe the suit Karla’s parents are filing will do something …..