Why were members of the Clearwater Police Department–Officer Jonathan Yuen and Detective Stephen Bohling–not more forthcoming or truthful about the presence of the Gentiles at the Cleveland Street apartment on the night of Kyle Brennan’s death? Why would they not identify these high-powered Scientologists? Were these members of the police department deliberately lying by omission in order to protect two individuals with extremely close ties to the very top leadership of the Scientology organization?
Denise Miscavige Gentile, David Miscavige’s twin-sister—whom Tom Brennan referred to as “Chaplain Denise”—was Brennan’s Scientology auditor. Her husband’s name is Gerald “Jerry” Gentile. In spite of the fact that they at first lied about Denise being at the Cleveland Street apartment on the evening, Kyle died, during their depositions taken in July 2010, Denise and Jerry finally admitted that they were both there. Jerry Gentile stated that Denise waited outside near their parked vehicle. Denise claimed she didn’t go inside because she was wearing pajamas and chain-smoking cigarettes outside of the Coachman building.
In his contribution to the Clearwater Police Report, Officer Jonathan Yuen omitted the fact that present at Tom Brennan’s Cleveland Street apartment were these two important members of Scientology’s first family—the twin-sister and brother-in-law of the church’s worldwide leader, David Miscavige. During Officer Yuen’s brief deposition, taken in July of 2010, he responded 28 times with either “I don’t recall” or “I don’t remember.” And it’s interesting that Officer Yuen’s memory deficit only occurred when he was questioned regarding fellow police officers, medical investigator Martha J. Scholl, or the presence of that mysterious “couple” who arrived at the crime scene during his “short-short” interview with Tom Brennan.
Amazingly, Yuen left them completely out of his narrative. When questioned later, under oath, about people arriving at the crime scene, Yuen responded: “I believe I advised a couple of people showed up.”
The sight of middle-aged Denise Miscavige-the sister of Scientology leader David Miscavige–walking around in her pajamas on a cold damp night in downtown Clearwater would most certainly have been memorable.
Unfortunately, however, it wasn’t memorable enough for Clearwater Police Officer Jonathan Yuen, the first officer on the scene, a public servant who’s duty-bound to remember and record details. During his deposition, Yuen stated that a “couple” showed up at the Brennan apartment during his 10- to 20-minute investigation of Kyle’s death, but when pressed for details he was unable to recall any specifics.
Anybody would have to conclude that in the State of Florida justice cannot be found when it involves the Church of Scientology.
Copyright © 2020 by Victoria L. Britton
What about these two members of Scientology’s first family—Denise Miscavige Gentile and her husband Jerry?
According to a Tampa Bay Times article written in the summer of 2013, the couple married in 2000. They lived in Maryland for two years, then moved back to Clearwater “where Flag Land Base, Scientology’s spiritual headquarters, dominates the downtown skyline.” It was then that Jerry joined the church. Denise at the time was working at a small Scientology mission in Bellair. He continued working his Maryland technology job, commuting back and forth every week.
That tech position, however, wasn’t Jerry and Denise’s only source of income. A police investigation revealed that Jerry Gentile was the owner of a notorious drug-selling establishment—or “drug house”—located in St. Petersburg, Florida. It comprised a house on 15th Street North, and three detached apartments next door in a duplex and a separate cottage.
According to the article, “drug sales at the Gentile property got so bad police raided it twice in 14 months, busting up a marijuana den and what police called a cocaine sales operation.” Following the first raid, the city contacted the Gentiles asking them to “curb the drug activity.” Nothing changed. In fact, it appears the Gentiles had good reason not to improve the situation at their St. Petersburg pot house. According to tenants, it was Denise who’d stop by monthly for the rent or for money to cover the water, sewer, and trash bills. If cash wasn’t readily available—according to former tenant Roreco “Rico” Currie—Denise was happy to accept marijuana “blunts” instead. (Blunts are small cigars converted into fairly large marijuana cigarettes.) Currie, during this period, was distributing marijuana from the Gentile property. Denise had discovered this illicit activity but had decided to let Currie remain.
If that wasn’t enough, Currie eventually converted the cottage into an impromptu strip-club. Exotic dancers performed routines as onlookers tossed money onto the dingy floors. Admission was $10, more after midnight. Currie proudly claimed this business was “by appointment only.” He was arrested in October 2012 on several charges. He pleaded guilty and is currently serving a 38-month sentence. Denise Miscavige Gentile pleaded not guilty to the charges related to the activities at the Gentiles’ 15th Street North property. She denies receiving drugs in lieu of rent or bills.
The Tampa Bay Times piece is an extremely unflattering portrait of this Scientology celebrity couple. Obviously, in the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, the rule of law simply does not apply to Denise Miscavige and Jerry Gentile.
These are the people the Clearwater Police Department shielded, it appears, in order to protect the Miscavige name from scandal.
The Gentiles’ involvement with Tom Brennan should have raised numerous questions. Why, for example, weren’t they pressed about the obvious lies they told regarding Tom Brennan and the night of February 16/17? Denise at first lied about being Tom Brennan’s auditor; she lied about her relationship with Brennan, and she lied about her presence at the Brennan apartment. Jerry, too, at first lied about his wife’s presence that evening. Particularly troubling as well as the fact that my son’s laptop computer supposedly ended up in the hands of Jerry Gentile. Why wasn’t Kyle’s computer taken into custody by the police?
My son Kyle deserved to have a fair and unbiased investigation. He deserved to have his day in court. Thanks to the defendants’ multitudinous lies—and thanks to the police report’s lies of omission—he got neither.
Clearwater Police Report; Gerald Gentile Interview
Clearwater Police Report; Denise Miscavige Interview
Excerpt from a Scientology Knowledge Report purportedly written by Gerald Gentile