Catfish John Keenan's Death Ruled Accidental Overdose

Catfish John Keenan's Death Ruled Accidental Overdose

Kristal Reisinger murder suspect John Keenan's cause of death has finally been disclosed.

Be Scofield is the author of the new book Hunting Lucifer: One Reporter's Search for Cults and Demons. Her reporting is mentioned in the NYtimes, Rolling Stone, People and more.


May 5th, 2023

Nearly eight months after Catfish John Keenan's body was found, his death has been ruled "acute fentanyl & methamphetamine toxicity." An insider told me it was ruled an accident due to using "mixed illicit drugs." Prior to this his cause of death had said pending, my source told me. I was told the labs are backed up and understaffed meaning an average 6-8 month long waiting period for tests.

It's unclear if Keenan died of an overdose or was intentionally targeted and killed, despite the official ruling. In September, I reported that Austin Davis was one of the last people to be with Keenan in the hotel room where he was found. Davis allegedly told Tyler Potter, "I think I finally killed Catfish John."

From my previous reporting:

Tyler said he tried to tell the officers about Austin having said he just killed Catfish but they were not interested. “They’re ignoring what I’d clearly classify as a homicide,” Tyler said. “It’s the easiest away to get away with murder to a junkie that robbed you or did you dirty. Just tell someone, ‘hey man I got this fire ass dope, check it out’ and you know they’re gonna do it. The cops don’t care.”

Keenan was found unconscious in a Courtyard Marriot hotel by Tyler Potter the night of September 22nd, 2022. “They found some crystal-like powder which was meth, and some needles and some baggies,” Potter told me.

John Keenan played a key role in the disappearance of Kristal Reisinger. She claimed that she was drugged and potentially raped at his home in Crestone, Colorado in July of 2016. She returned to her apartment and then disappeared just days later. The police suspected foul play but no charges were ever brought. The sheriff deputy, Wayne Clark, who oversaw Kristal's case was fired for extortion.

The other suspect in Kristal's disappearance, Dready Brian Otten, died in 2020 of a heroin overdose.

Kristal Reisinger's story was made popular by Payne Lindsey’s Up and Vanished Podcast and later, my 5-part series. In the second part of the series, I did an in-depth investigation into Catfish John Keenan, reporting that he held several women at gunpoint.

The story received news coverage including on the Dr. Phil show. I reported that Reisinger had been pushed off a balcony at Catfish’s home by “Dready” Brian Otten during an argument. She was then seen twitching on the floor and it was believed that she was then killed.

Catfish John Keenan was previously arrested in Raleigh for possession of schedule II and IV drugs. Three months later in June he was arrested for heroin and meth possession. In 2019 he was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon and possession of meth in Raleigh. I reported that Keenan was a known drug user and dealer in Crestone.