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William Rex Fowler, a high-ranking scientologist, murdered Thomas Ciancio – a non scientologist partner in a Denver, CO business following scientology's founder management techniques - before shooting a bullet in his own head on December 30, 2009.Template:CiteNews

Template:PThe affidavit and warrant for arrest of Rex Fowler contains interesting facts, but many aspects remain unclear at this stage - such as the motive - and might remain so in the future.

Fowler Software murder
Main article: William Rex Fowler | Forum threads
Affidavit | Fowler Software Design | Employees, founders and ex-employees
PIGGIPOD investment | WISE Standard practices


Short biographies[]

For other employees, see FSD People. For family members, see #Rex Fowler’s family

William Rex Fowler[]

File:William Rex Fowler.jpg

Template:PWilliam Rex Fowler is / was:

  • A high-ranking scientologist, Operating thetan VII,Template:CiteWeb which is one grade below the highest a Scientologist can reach. A more detailed view of his "bridge to total freedom". His own version is also available online.Template:CiteWeb
  • Broke. He and his wife had to sell their house for $842,500 on Apr 28, 2009.Template:CiteWeb There might be many reasons for that, but one is certainly the costs of their Scientology courses that can be estimated on the excess of one million dollars. There are allegations that they also used an "investment fund" paid for by the people working at their company.
  • A reverend, who married people at least once in the pastTemplate:CitePeriodical and intended to do it again in the near futureTemplate:CiteNewsTemplate:CiteWebTemplate:CiteWeb. He also states he is a Scientology minister in a 2008 letter to the Editor.Template:CiteNews
  • A member of a Scientologist family.
  • Active in the local organization ("Org").
  • Made an interesting presentation to the Denver Area Citizens for Liberty.Template:CiteWeb
  • A soldier in the 70s.Template:CitePeriodical


Thomas "Tom" Ciancio[]

File:Tom Ciancio.jpg

  • Tom Ciancio is a Presbyterian who joined Fowler Software as Chief operating officer in August 2006 after career at MCI and in the Navy (tech).Template:CiteNews


  • Ciancio's status is not clear, as he is sometimes referred to as a minor partner.Template:CiteNews This might be due to the alleged "investment fund".



Open questions[]

About the company:

  • Why did Tom Ciancio choose to work for a scientologist company?
  • What exactly is unusual - in its management own words - in this company?

About the shooting:

  • Why did Tom Ciancio try to see Ubaldo Ciminieri when arriving in the office?
    • To say goodbye, Happy Birthday and Happy New Year?
  • Why did Rex Fowler shoot Tom Ciancio?
  • Why did Rex Fowler shoot himself?

About the investigation:

  • Was Laura Zaspel questioned about her email to Rex Fowler regarding Tom Ciancio?
  • Has a warrant been requested to search the Fowlers' home?
  • Why did the police wait almost 24 hours before testing Rex Fowler's hands for powder residues?
    • His hands were bagged to preserve the gunshot residue, and he was under treatment for a gunshot wound to the head.
  • Why did the police wait five days to make a ATF search for the weapon ?
    • It was the New Years weekend, and the suspect was already in custody?
  • What did happen between January 6 (last investigation) and 23 (request for a warrant to arrest)?

About the affidavit:

  • Why does it not mention that somebody called 911 mentioning a "disgruntled ex-employee", as reported by the media?
  • Why does it not mention Suzy Gaut among the people Steven Blatt warned inside the office?
  • Why does it not mention that Rex Fowler was handcuffed before entering the ambulance, as reported by the media?
    • Unnecessary detail/standard procedure to treat all survivors of a shootout or hostage crisis as a possible suspect.


Media about the shooting[]



Before Day of Shooting[]

Time Event
Template:PFebruary 27, 2006 Alexander Hyung Fowler of 1413 L. Ron Hubbard Way, Los Angeles buys the 9 mm handgun used in shooting.Template:Target
Template:PDecember 2007 Alexander Fowler gives his father Rex Fowler the handgun for Christmas. Template:Target
Template:PNovember 2008 to July 2009 Stephan Samuel handles company finances. He and Tom Ciancio could see transactions and $200,000-$250,000 taken out of accounts by Rex Fowler. Template:Target
Template:PFall 2009 Ciancio learns Rex Fowler took $200,000 from accounts without permission and gave it to a church or some type of charity (possibly for Africa). Template:Target
Template:PNovember 23, 2009 Thomas Ciancio resigns. Template:Target
Template:PDecember 28, 2009 Robert Read talks to Thomas Ciancio about the PIGGIPOD stock. Template:Target

Template:P Email from Laura Zaspel to Rex Fowler, telling him that she do not trust Thomas Ciancio and their problem needs to be resolved. Template:Target

Template:PDecember 29, 2009 Laura Zaspel sees William Fowler in-person, and receives e-mail(s) from Thomas Ciancio. A total sum of pay is agreed upon. Thomas Ciancio is told he is going to receive a check $9,900 and Rex Fowler is going to sign a waiver of release. A meeting is scheduled for December 30, 2009 at 1000 hours.Template:Target

Template:P Text message from Thomas Ciancio to Stephan Samuel at 7:09 P.M. "You are never going to believe this, they are going to write me a check." Template:Target


December 30, 2009[]

Time Event
Template:PIn the morning William Rex Fowler writes several hand-written and typed notes. One note says "There is nothing confidential in this briefcase. Please give the briefcase to Jan. Rex". Another note on the desk in a folder under several keys and a container of keys, which contains hand written diagram(s) of the keys on the key ring, explaining to "Jan", what each is for. Template:Target

Template:P Notes to "Jan", explaining that Rex Fowler had transferred or moved money from one account to another account.Template:Target

Template:PJust before 10:00 Tom Ciancio enters the office and asked Emily Witt about Christmas and what she had planned for New Years. He then asks about Ubaldo Ciminieri and if he was around to talk to. She tells him that Ubaldo Ciminieri is in the restroom. Tom goes downstairs to talk to Rex Fowler. Template:Target

Template:P Approximately one to two minutes later people in the office hear sounds that they finally identify as gunshots, in a sequence that differ among the witnesses. They hide in a room. Template:Target Template:P Steven Blatt (Alarm Design Solutions) calls 9-1-1 saying he heard gunshots and saw a bullet hole in the wall. Template:Target

Template:P10:00 Adam County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) is dispatched to 8391 Delaware Street in reference to shots fired. Template:Target
Template:PJust after 10:00 William Rex Fowler, comes walking out of the building, bleeding from his head. ACSO deputy asks him questions about Ciancio and then assists him to ambulance. Template:Target
Template:PBetween 11:00 and 12:10 ACSO attempts to contact Thomas Ciancio by cell phone and PA announcements. Template:Target
Template:P12:37 Laura Zaspel (CEO) is interviewed. Template:Target
Template:P12:56 ACSO SWAT team enters and clears the building. Template:Target
Template:P13:30 Charlotte Ciancio (wife) is interviewed at ACSO substation. Template:Target
Template:P17:00 ACSO contacts the DA and requests a search warrant for the office. Judge Amy Bockman signs it. Template:Target
Template:P18:30 ACSO executes the search warrant. Dead body of Tom Ciancio and gun are found. Template:Target
Template:P19:07 Coroner's Office responds to scene and recovers the body of Thomas Ciancio. Template:Target


December 31, 2009[]

Time Event
Template:P09:45 ACSO retrieves Rex Fowler's wallet containing living will at Denver Health. Template:Target
Template:P10:00 ACSO complets a gunshot residue trace evidence kit on Rex's bagged hands. Template:Target
Template:P10:30 ACSO contacts Janet Fowler in the visitor waiting room. She quickly demands the briefcase that detectives removed from William Fowler's office, saying "One thing I need is his briefcase." She mentions "threats" made by Tom Ciancio [in fact, one e-mail mentioning a lawyer]. Template:Target

Template:P She refuses a search of her home without a detailed warrant. Template:Target

Template:P12:00 Laura Ciancio turns Thomas Ciancio's laptop computer over to ACSO. Charles Ciancio also turns four binders of L. Ron Hubbard College of Administration Course, given to Thomas Ciancio to study for "Scientology". Template:Target
Template:P13:30 Coroner's Office reports to ACSO Thomas Ciancio's autopsy results . Conclusion: homicide. Template:Target


After Day of Shooting[]

Time Event
Template:PJanuary 4, 2010 An ATF E-Trace search on the Glock provides the name of Alexander Hyung Fowler, adopted son of Janet and Rex Fowler. Template:Target

Template:P Four search warrants are completed for Thomas Ciancio's car, Thomas Ciancio's computer, and William Fowler's car and four computers. Template:Target

January 5, 2010 The search warrants on William Fowler and Thomas Ciancio's vehicles are executed. Some documents relating to Tom Ciancio case and money transfer are retrieved in William Fowler's car. Template:Target

Template:P Robert Read informs the police of the company financial difficulties due to the general economy and Rex Fowler's "donations", who had to apologize in writing. Thomas Ciancio called him a crook and also referred to the PIGGIPOD stock. In the other hand, William Fowler still held Thomas Ciancio responsible for accounts and bad debts for an amount in excess of 62,000 $. Robert Read also stated that Stephan Samuel had knowledge of what occurred and the money William Fowler used. Template:Target

Template:PJanuary 6, 2010 Stephan Samuel calls the police and reiterats some of the same information as Robert Read. He and Thomas Ciancio saw several large withdraws by William Fowler totaling in the area of 200,000.00 to 250,000.00 dollars. Thomas Ciancio also told Stephan Samuel that William Fowler was claiming that Thomas Ciancio owed Fowler Software approximately 150,000.00 dollars. The last time he talked to Thomas Ciancio was on December 29, 2009 at 7:09 P.M. when he received a text message from Thomas Ciancio. Stephan Samuel stated the message said, "You are never going to believe this, they are going to write me a check." Template:Target

Template:P Police interviews Alexander Fowler, who explained that he purchased a Glock, with two ten round magazines, while in California and gave it to his father, Rex Fowler, for Christmas of 2007. At his arrival in Denver, he checked the house for the gun and magazines, but they were not there unlike the ammunition. Template:Target}}

January 22, 2010 Warrant for arrest is issued. Template:Target


Affidavit and application for arrest warrant[]

The text of the affidavit has been moved to WRF Affidavit. A scan in PDF is available here

Aspects not treated in the affidavit[]

About the shooting[]

  • Information about the injury suffered by Rex Fowler, passed by someone who says they have a connection to the family:



  • 911 call not released but police have said that the as yet unidentified caller said that the shooter was a "disgruntled" former employee; police did not enter the business for 2 hours and conducted a search of the surrounding area for the "shooter".


  • Initial investigation was misdirected due to this call; Ciancio's status changed when the Coroner confirms Ciancio is the victim.


Rex Fowler's "bridge to total freedom"[]

The "bridge to total freedom" is the succesion of course a member should follow.

Template:PThe list below is incomplete, as it is retrieved by a third party from official scientology's paper documents. The description of the courses comes from hereTemplate:CiteWeb. The update stopped around 2004. Rex Fowler was put back onto OT VII in 1998 after the 1996 release of the new drills and the Golden Age of OT. He might well have completed it, and OTVIII. Many scientologists had to do OT levels again

Template:PRex Fowler - Scientology Service CompletionsTemplate:CiteWeb

  • FALSE PURPOSE RUNDOWN, 1986-03-01: an auditing program. Was often done before an OT level to see if you were eligible.
  • NEW OT VI SOLO NOTS AUDITING COURSE, 1987-03-01: OT VI teaches you how to audit yourself on OT VII
  • NEW OT VII SOLO NOTS COMPLETION, 1989-02-01: Completed OT VII
  • EXEC STATUS I, 1989-02-01: Administrative course to teach you how to be an executive
  • SOLO NOTS AUDITOR CERTAINTY COURSE, PART I, 1998-03-01: Everyone who had completed OT VII or OT VIII were required to get back onto OT VII because David Miscavige - the leader of scientology - said that the OT's weren't using all their tools and no one really completed OT VII
  • ACADEMY LEVELS LEVEL 0-IV, 2004-07-01: Auditor training levels O through IV. Probably meant completing the Level 0-IV Certainty course, because no one completed 5 courses at a time. However, after Golden Age of Tech was released in 1996, Miscavige's new drills were put in place and all auditors had to "re do" their courses by doing all the drills. Those were called "certainty courses" as if doing those drills would give you absolute certainty that you knew your tech. Of course you had to become uncertain first in order to acquiesce to do the certainty course.

Template:PWilliam Fowler - Scientology Service CompletionsTemplate:CiteWeb



Rex Fowler’s family[]

Janet "Jan" Fowler[]

See entry in FSD People#Janet "Jan" Fowler


Alexander Hyung Fowler[]

File:Alex fowler.jpeg

Photograph alleged to be of Alexander Hyung Fowler, son of William Rex Fowler

  • A Scientologist who is, or was a member of the Sea Org.Template:CiteWeb
  • Was registered at the address of Scientology ASHO in Los Angeles. Now claims to live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Patron of the IAS (International Association of Scientologists) (1995) Template:CiteWeb
  • Sponsor of the IAS (ca. July 2003) Template:CiteWeb



Angela Fowler[]


See also[]

Template:POlder cases of Scientologists "going postal":


Template:POf interest