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Dan Johnson(The Pontiac Tribune) – A warrior. A dreamer. A visionary. I met David Crowley when he was starting to promote his new project, Gray State, in Tampa in 2012. He had a vision of bringing a Hollywood quality movie exposing the tyranny and destruction of the police state to theaters across the country.

Two years later, he was succeeding. The trailer had been viewed nearly 1 million times. The film had already raised $61,000 in initial funding. A side documentary on just how close America was to its own Gray State was almost completed, paving the way for his masterpiece.

And now he’s dead.

According to the Apple Valley police department, it is an “apparent murder-suicide” that left him, his wife, and young daughter all dead in an Apple Valley, MN home. The police haven’t said for how long, but their neighbor who originally discovered the bodies believes they have been laying there since before Christmas as packages hadn’t been taken inside.

There are many questions yet to be asked. Police are supposedly treating the murder as suspicious. Correlation does not equal causation, and the fact he was working on a successful film exposing the police state does not mean he was targeted with malicious intent. But it may have the same effect. As posted on Gray State: The Rise’s Facebook page, the team is unsure as the to the future of the project.

This film, which could reach millions with a clear message about the dangers of the police state today. is now in jeopardy. And it’s time for those of us concerned about the police state to do more than just talk.

First, we remember and celebrate the life he led, and the movement he birthed. We remember and cherish the time we had with him, for some of us just a few days, for others a lifetime. Much like was done with Aaron Swartz, I’ve set up a page where people can post their memories and messages to his family and friends, and hope to gift it to them when this week is up. Please send any remembrances to, and they will be posted here:

Second, we help the team make their decision. We offer to take this idea, this project, this unfinished painting and help turn it into a masterpiece. We offer to take up the paintbrush of the master, and while some can contribute blue, some can contribute green, some can paint in yellow, we can each do our part to make Gray State a reality, so the gray state itself does not become our reality. Send an email to with why you want to help and what you can step up to do.

The police will look into the suspicious circumstances surrounding his passing. I cannot affect that. I cannot wipe away his friends’ grief any more than an eraser can wipe away the contours of the earth.

But I can do something.

I may not be a master painter, but I am an artist. I may not be a director, but I am a dreamer. I may not be able to save the world, but I can do my part. And I will do my part.

Shall we finish the masterpiece?