Murder For Hire And A Plot To Kill Tex Hall

The lawlessness, big money and complex business dealings of the North Dakota oil fields likely prompted the shooting death of a South Hill man in his home last month, according to investigators. Spokane police detectives stitched together an intricate web of speculative business deals by Doug Carlile, who solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars each from several investors to get in on the ground floor of a piece of Indian reservation land with the potential to produce billions of dollars worth of crude, according to one speculator. Carlile was found dead of a gunshot wound in his home at 2505 S. Garfield Road the evening of Dec. 15.”

–Spokane Spokesman Review, Page 1, Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The last trace of the age of innocence in the North Dakota Oil Patch trickled down the drain this week amid charges of a likely murder-for-hire scheme and an unfulfilled assassination plot on legendary Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall.

Got your attention now? Well, this story sure has mine. Tuesday morning I saw what looked like an innocent, but interesting, Facebook post from an old acquaintance (and Facebook friend) of mine, Calvin Grinnell, who’s a tribal elder and historian, and the curator of the Three Affiliated Tribes Museum at New Town. It was a link to a website called the Ripoff Report, which is a fairly sophisticated site that is designed to Help you, the consumer…Search the Ripoff Report before you do business with retail stores with bad return policies, checking & credit theft, rebate fraud or other unscrupulous business policies such as phony auto repairs, auto dealer bait-and-switch tactics, restaurants with bad service or food, corrupt government employees & politicians, police corruption, home builders, contractors, unethical doctors & lawyers, online stores that sell non-existent products, dead beat dads & moms, landlords & tenants, fraudulent employment & business opportunities, and individual con artists who scam consumers.”

I know, that covers some big ground, but it really is a very credible site. Consumers are invited to write reports about companies that have ripped them off, and submit them to the Ripoff Report, and they are posted to help other consumers. Here’s what was on the page that Calvin sent the link to:

BRIDGEWATER ENERGY AND JAMES HENRIKSON

            Bridgewater Energy,Blackstone Crude and its affiliates are trucking, construction and service companies in the oil industry located in North Dakota. These companies are owned by James Terry Henrikson and his wife Sarah Creveling. James and Sarah are con-artists and thieves and should be considered extremely dangerous. James is a convicted felon with dozens of arrests including fraud, theft, drug trafficking and rape. They currently owe millions of dollars to vendors, former employees and investors whom they refuse to pay and may be involved with the “disappearance” of an employee and the murder of a business partner.

            This post is dedicated to protecting the people of North Dakota, especially those who work in the oil industry, from dangerous people like James and Sarah . . . In this website you will find a timeline of James’ criminal history and the fraud that he and Sarah are perpetrating in North Dakota, especially on the Fort Berthold reservation. There are also several court documents included. At the bottom will be a list of contact information for the various courts and/or probation offices where James’ criminal history can be verified.

            Our goal is to expose the fraud that James Henrikson (he goes by the alias Henricksen) and his wife Sarah Creveling have committed in North Dakota in an effort to prevent them from stealing from honest companies and harming innocent people working in the oil industry in this great state, and to keep our people safe from these dangerous convicts and con-artists (Robert Delao, a manager at Blackstone and James’ right hand man, was convicted of double homicide for killing two rival gang members in cold blood – and he’s working in the Blackstone office on the Fort Berthold Reservation!)

            Let’s get these people out of North Dakota so they can’t continue their crimes here. 

            Well, okay, I thought, I’ll bite. So I read the report. Indeed, the first few paragraphs had summed it up well. You can read the whole thing by going here. I was kind of intrigued, so I Googled around a bit, but I didn’t find much more, so I moved on to writing a story about the pinochle game I had played the night before.

Then Wednesday morning I was back on Facebook and a couple of people, including my friend Jeff and the folks at Bakken Watch, had a link to another story that sounded interesting, titled “Bad blood, black gold and the death of Doug Carlile.”

Well, I thought I recalled seeing the name Doug Carlile in Tuesday’s Ripoff Report posting, so I checked back to see if I remembered correctly, and sure enough, I found this in the timeline history of James Henrikson:

An intruder broke into the home of Douglas Carlile at 2505 S. Garfield Road, and killed Douglas Carlile in what the police are calling a”targeted” killing which may be “linked to a business dispute involving the victim’s dealings in North Dakota.”

            Well, sure enough somebody at the Bakken Watch, another public service website (from their website: “Bakken Watch is a group of citizens from North Dakota (and around the world) who are keeping an eye on oil and gas development in North Dakota and all the issues associated with it: health, infrastructure, surface rights, and other topics.”) had made the connection between a murder in Spokane and the oil fields of North Dakota. The reason Douglas Carlile’s murder was included in James Henrikson’s record in the Ripoff Report is because the two were business partners, and Henrikson may be a suspect in Carlile’s murder.

Well, now I was fully engaged, thanks to “social media” and the two websites, so I started looking further. Here’s what I found.

A wealthy Spokane businessman, Douglas Carlile, opened the door of his house in a trendy Spokane neighborhood last December 15 and was greeted by a man with a pistol who shot Carlile numerous times in the head, killing him instantly. After some very good detective work by Spokane police, Tuesday, almost a month to the day after the murder, they arrested 50-year-old Timothy Suckow and charged him with the murder. Suckow is in jail in Spokane. Here is the lead sentence from the lead story on the front page of Wednesday’s Spokane Spokesman-Review newspaper:

The lawlessness, big money and complex business dealings of the North Dakota oil fields likely prompted the shooting death of a South Hill man in his home last month, according to investigators. Spokane police detectives stitched together an intricate web of speculative business deals by Doug Carlile, who solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars each from several investors to get in on the ground floor of a piece of Indian reservation land with the potential to produce billions of dollars worth of crude, according to one speculator.

            “Carlile was found dead of a gunshot wound in his home at 2505 S. Garfield Road the evening of Dec. 15.

            “Police used DNA evidence from a leather glove left at the scene to arrest Timothy Suckow, 50, on a first-degree murder charge early Tuesday”.

Pretty much everybody who knows anything about the case believes Carlile’s death was a murder for hire, and that Suckow was hired by Henrikson to do the job. Henrikson denies any involvement. As far as I know, Henrikson still lives in Watford City, and has not been charged.

There’s more:

Henrikson also is a suspect in the 2012 disappearance of Kristopher “KC” Clarke, who had worked as an operations manager for one of Henrikson’s companies, according to court records.

            “And federal investigators are investigating Henrikson for bilking an energy company run by the Native American tribes for millions of dollars, according to police.”

            The reference to an energy company run by the Native American tribes likely refers to a company named Maheshu Energy LLC, owned by current Three Tribes chairman Tex Hall.

Tuesday, Spokane television station KXLY reported that a witness whose identity is being protected by Spokane police, but is likely a North Dakota employee of Henrikson’s, told him in mid-September 2013 that Henrikson had approached a fellow employee, Eric Guerrero, “to see if he knew anyone that could kill Tex Hall, the elected leader of the MHA Nation.”

The TV station reported that Henrikson and two others who had done work for Hall’s company are under federal investigation for defrauding Hall’s company out of millions of dollars.

Henrikson is also suspected of hiring someone in early 2012 to kill one of his employees, Kristopher D. Clarke, who may have been his partner in a drug operation in Texas before coming to North Dakota with Henrikson. The Ripoff Report says this:

            “Blackstone Employee Kristopher D. Clarke, Nickname-K.C., disappeared after an argument with James Henrikson. KC was a long-term friend of James and may have been involved with James in the Texas drug manufacturing operation. KC was owed $600,000 by James Henrikson, who refused to pay him, so KC decided to quit working for Blackstone (one of Henrikson’s companies). KC was leaving to work for another company and was taking Blackstone’s subcontractors with him. KC was last seen in an argument with James at the Blackstone office building. James is a suspect and was questioned by BCI Special Agent Steve Gutknecht, but he refused to take a lie detector test. Currently, there is no concrete evidence linking James to KC’s disappearance.”

But KXLY TV reports:

Henrikson has been interviewed by detectives investigating Carlile’s murder, but authorities have not said whether or not he is a suspect or a person of interest in the killing. However, he is a person of interest in the February 2012 disappearance of Casey Clark, the one-time operations manager for Henrikson. (emphasis added)

            “Detectives were tipped off by an individual who was roommates in North Dakota with Robert Delao, a known criminal in Spokane with a long history of offenses including theft and assault. Delao would often receive visits from a man identified as Todd Bates, who Spokane Police know is a friend of Delao’s.

            “On one occasion the witness said he overheard Henrikson and Bates talking about a job from February 2012 and that “this job would pay the same as the last job.” The witness speculated the last job was Casey Clark, and that Bates, who court documents confirm has multiple convictions in Alaska for assault, was an enforcer for the company, who would beat up or intimidate people who caused Henrikson problems.

            “The witness, concerned for his safety, left the company and moved home to Texas.

            Clark simply disappeared in February of 2012, and his body has not been found, but his relatives told television station KREM in Spokane that they think Henrikson had him killed.

That’s about what I can figure out reading newspaper and television reports and the Ripoff Report. I didn’t call information to see if there is a phone listing for James Henrikson in Watford City, but I’m guessing lots of people there know him. He’s not exactly a low profile person. I also didn’t call Tex Hall to ask him how he feels about being targeted. But Tex is a pretty big boy. He can generally take care of himself.  Still, this is another ugly North Dakota Oil Patch story, reinforcing casual observers’ image of North Dakota as the “Wild West.” Not the Legendary wild west of North Dakota tourism advertising, but the real deal. I think you’ll be seeing more about this whole episode on TV and radio and in North Dakota newspapers. For everyone’s safety, I hope so.

(Update: The Bismarck Tribune picked up the Spokesman-Review’s story and ran it Thursday morning. Also Thursday morning, Bakken Watch carried a link to a Spokane TV station KXLY story reporting that FBI agents raided Henrikson’s home in Watford City Wednesday, looking for evidence to link him to Carlile’s murder.)

Here are some links to story details:

Ripoff Report

KXLY TV

Today’s KXLY TV Update

KLEM TV

This morning’s Spokane Spokesman-Review story

Another Spokane Review

One more Spokane Spokesman-Review story

And here’s a link to the complete police report from the Spokane PD that led to Suckow’s arrest.

 

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13 Responses to Murder For Hire And A Plot To Kill Tex Hall

  1. A good report, thanks. This is the one I will send on to others so they have a good idea of this story.

  2. Leah Dockter says:

    Thanks for posting this. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Money has always drawn all segments of society. North Dakotans are not well prepared for many of the challenges.

  3. Charles Hudson says:

    Calling Tex Hall “legendary” is a reach, a helluva reach, especially consider the growing litany of conflicts of interest and tribal calls for ethics investigations of his adminstration.
    Let’s keep our eyes on the prize. Our collective survival for one.

  4. think ouside of box says:

    Money is the Root of ALL EVIL……
    Plain and simple,,, when we hear all kinds of stuff going on……. Tribal people hear stuff all the time and what is going on and how things are approved or handled or neglected… we know

  5. think ouside of box says:

    just sit back and watch how things unfold and WHO has their hands in deals and out for themselves instead of the people,,,,, sad put true and we go through this ever term
    Thinking WHO will less hurt us as a tribe???? Money hunger gets the bests of anyone I guess,,,, trying to out do someone else and it always backfires back on them

  6. renee johnston says:

    w0w ! you did a great job with this article !
    you summed it all up , awesome !
    i have been following the disappearance of KC
    since the FACEBOOK page opened up almost 2 yrs ago
    i have been staying on top of this poor mom & her family
    plea for help finding KC .
    unfortunately having KC walk thru the door to his mom’s open arms
    doesnt look likely , but i am glad that ALL the families will hopefully get answers N justice ! again you did a great job with your article !!
    thank you ` renee

  7. L.D. says:

    Thank you Charles Hudson! MHA people have been hurt by Tex from the beginning. MHA Council needs to take action on the Code of Ethics. The crazy thing I was told by spiritual leader if illness don’t catch up to him it was going to be the oil business. The Native American people are not professionals in oil and gas production or business. It is time for MHA people to get educated in oil and gas, that I have been saying for the past few years. Growing up I was taught to protect the earth. The earth, water, and air are life!!

  8. Jeanni Juen says:

    I grew up in what was considered metro area of ND in the 50s…the oil men that were there (and there were a few) were forced to cap their finds! Thank god!

  9. The criminal activity involved warrants a Federal investigation (1 death, maybe more, 1 missing, 1 plot to kill). Sworn affidavits from Henrickson and Creveling say “last year our company grossed about two million in profits.” (where from) “operate Blackstone Trucking on tribal land….”. “commenced a business relationship with Maheshu, XTO Energy, Petro Hunt, Kodiak Oil and Gas, QEP….” (all doing business on Indian land). Oil companies brag about “background checks, drug testing, etc., etc.” Apparently not true. Why did Tribal Council license these crooks to operate here. What about the Bureau of Indian Affairs. They are trustees of our Indian land. How did they let these criminals fall through the cracks. We need more answers – how are we going to get them?

  10. gramma says:

    I remember the flyer about a missing man who worked for a Blackstone company. A picture of a man and a woman were the thieves with a list of company names. The word I heard was that there was no background check done. The tribal members should be informed and decide who is ALLOWED to work in our lands. The people need to take our lands back and ASSUME our rights. Remember election time is coming. Tribal members have a voice.

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