Kristal Reisinger Part II: Inside Catfish's House

Kristal Reisinger Part II: Inside Catfish's House

Catfish’s walls test positive for meth. A woman describes being drugged and held captive there for days. Catfish watches a torture video on the dark web. Photos & video reveal Catfish’s basement.

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 NY Times, Rolling Stone, People, and more.

UPDATE 9/23/2022: Catfish John Keenan was found dead in Raleigh, NC.

November 15th 2021

In December of 2015 “Catfish” John Keenan loaned his friend “Kelly” $500 to help her buy a new car. When she came by one evening, Catfish offered her some LSD but she refused as she was on probation and was no longer using drugs or partying. He kept pressuring her. “I told him no, I don’t fuck around with it,” she said. “It’s New Years, let’s party,” he told her as he continued to try to convince her. She refused again and again. He wouldn’t give up, however, and she finally relented and placed the tab on her tongue.

Whatever was on the tab wasn’t LSD, Kelly told me. “I disappeared for three days,” she said. “I was stuck there.” She said she was completely out of it and had lost her capacity to make decisions. She recalls being told to do things and doing them without question. “Catfish told me to take a shower, and I tried, but it was so gross,” she told me. “I saw needles in there and so I locked myself in the other room.” At another point, she was told to smoke something, and she did. “I was unable to take care of myself.”

While much of what happened was fuzzy, she remembers certain things. “I guess I got aggressive with him,” she told me. “I remember coming to and he had a gun pointed at me and said ‘why the fuck did you do that, my ears are bleeding.'” There was a laser pointing on my chest.” It looked like a large rifle, she said. Friends confirmed that Catfish owned an AR-15. He said she had hit him, but she doesn’t remember what happened.

“I remember coming to and he had a gun pointed at me…”

She recalls being curled up in a blanket in a room for much of the time. She said a few people came over, including “Jack.”

“My mom had a bad feeling,” Kelly told me. “She had been searching for me for days and came down from New Mexico to look for me.” Her mother reached out to Kelly’s ex-husband and he knew she knew Catfish, so he checked his house. When he found Kelly’s van in his driveway, he called her mother but was too hesitant to go inside and get her.

Kelly’s brother came over and walked into the house. “Get my sister now! She’s coming with me!” he told Catfish. “I was so out of it and confused,” Kelly said. She stumbled out of the house with her brother. Later on, Catfish said something she found disturbing. “I wasn’t sure if I should have released you to your brother,” he told her.

“Part of me wonders if I was raped when I was there,” Kelly told me. Catfish told her boyfriend that they had sex, but there was never an occasion where Kelly remembers having sex with him. “After, Catfish started texting me and sent me sexually explicit stuff and was hinting that we had sex,” she told me.

Kelly thinks Catfish may have used a substance called scopolamine or “Devil’s breath” at some point. It comes from a plant in Columbia and can render people unconscious. “The compound is said to lead to hallucinations, frightening images, and a lack of free will. Amnesia can occur, leaving the victim powerless to recall events or identify perpetrators.” It’s rumored that it can be used as a powder, blown into someone’s face to render them unconscious.

“What happened to Kristal could have happened to me,” Kelly told me. Kelly’s ordeal at Catfish’s happened just six months before Kristal disappeared.

A WOMAN NAMED “ANGELA” WHO cleaned the Airbnb next to Catfish’s house told me he attacked her in 2015 and may have drugged her. “He was punching me over and over again, hitting me with his fists,” she said. “I was crouched down like a catcher, covering my head. My hands blocked my face,” she told me. “He told me he was going to send four Mexican guys to kill me.” The next thing she knew she was waking up on the couch, seemingly having been drugged. She called friends for help. “I could hardly walk, it felt like I was leaving my body. My friends were walking with me over their shoulders.” She told me she laid in bed for three days very tired, scared and confused, trying to figure out what happened.

“He was punching me over and over again, hitting me with his fists.”

This woman had confronted Catfish at his house because one of his drugged up friends went to the Airbnb while guests were staying there and acted highly strange. As a result the Airbnb guests demanded a refund. “I told him I knew he was selling drugs and that everyone was doing drugs there,” she told me. She called the police in front of him but somehow deputy Wayne Clark went to the wrong place. She walked back to the Airbnb and Catfish showed up and attacked her.

She played audio messages Catfish sent after where he stated, “is there anything I could do to allow you to be comfortable enough to let me be me? We got off to a rocky start…those things aren’t true about the drugs…” He said he likes pot but that’s it.

IN 2013 A WOMAN NAMED “Tiffany” (alias) filed a police report and alleged that Catfish John Keenan drugged and raped her. Keenan had come to a party at her home with her group of friends and he offered to make her a drink. She had been sober up until that point in the evening. The next thing she remembers is waking up with Catfish naked, raping her in her bedroom. “I lost my shit and forced him off of me,” she told me during an interview. After he wouldn’t leave she threatened to get her gun and shoot him which finally forced him out. She, nor her friends knew Catfish prior to him playing cornhole with them at a bar that night. See her full account of what happened here.

“JOHN HELD ME UP WITH an AR-15,” his long-term house cleaner “Beth” told me. “He told me ‘You’re not going home until I say you can. I’m not letting you leave until I’m ready.’” She said she just sat there a few feet away from him for three hours and waited for him to fall asleep and then fled. Her partner who also cleaned for Catfish convinced her to keep cleaning for him as he said Catfish was just “all show.” She was young and naive, so she did.

An Ar-15. Beth said this was the gun Catfish held her up with.

Earlier that evening Catfish had shown Beth a disturbing video. “I was cleaning upstairs and he was on the dark web and showing me this video and it looked like a torture video, a woman squirming in a hole, bugs all over her. A horrible video. He asked me, ‘Do you feel like this is a torture video?’ She had bugs all over her and she was squirming and it was clearly some type of torture video. ‘Do you think it’s bad?’ he asked me.”

“…he was on the dark web and showing me this video and it looked like a torture video, a woman squirming in a hole, bugs all over her.”

Beth told me she was traumatized by the incident. And the way Catfish John was so nonchalant was disturbing. “I said something about it and he was like ‘people do this type of shit all the time.’ It was like he was trying to see if I was into it.” He told her he would “monitor the dark web” for material like that and report it but she said he never reported anything.

“He knew how to access the dark web and block his path along the way so he wouldn’t get found out,” she told me. “I think he knew how to code too.” She said Catfish was on the dark web a lot.

These three women are speaking out for the first time ever to shed light on the abuses perpetrated by Catfish.

Kristal’s boyfriend “Ethan” told me that she found “disgusting and incriminating photos” while held captive at Catfish’s two weeks before she disappeared.

-> Get the full backstory of investigating the Kristal Reisinger story in the new book by Be Scofield.

“He had guns stashed inside of the wooden bed frame,” Beth said. “An AR-15 and handgun in the bed, a handgun in the couch and a closet full of swords and BB guns. He had silencers to put on the tips of his guns. I’ve seen Brendan and Catfish with a sawed off shotgun.”

“Brendan had told me that Catfish had drugged people multiple times.”

In the Up and Vanished podcast, another woman recalled how Catfish briefly held her hostage in his upstairs loft. “So I was trapped there, and he had a gun, for over an hour at least, ripped these prayer beads that he had given me off of me.” When Catfish’s father stopped by, she escaped. “I could have been held there for hours…I may have disappeared,” she said. She said Brendan Pulver always warned her to not drink a beer or cocktail from Catfish unless it was unopened. “[Brendan] had told me that [Catfish] had drugged people multiple times.” The podcast played one of Catfish’s phone messages to her and after threatening her he said “Want to get dosed?”

John Keenan aka Catfish in his Crestone home

These accounts are similar to what Kristal Reisinger said happened to her just a few weeks before she disappeared. She told a three people that she had been drugged, raped and held captive at Catfish’s. She then disappeared two weeks later, after somehow ending up back at Catfish’s.