Daniel Reid: Former Hare Krishna Member is Now in Witness Protection

Daniel Reid

The intriguing tale of those involved in the New Vrindaban community of West Virginia is well-told in Peacock’s ‘Krishnas: Gurus. Karma. Murder.’ One significant person of interest in the whole story is Daniel Reid, AKA Daruka Das, whose involvement in the death of Charles St. Denis, AKA Charkradara, unsurprisingly saw him seeing his day in the court. His connection with the various higher-level members of the local Hare Krishna group also earned him some infamy. As such, people are eager to learn where he is these days, and we are here to share what we know about the same!

Who is Daniel Reid?

Daniel Reid was a member of the Hare Krishna community that had called the New Vrindaban area in West Virginia his home. Both he and his wife, who seemingly went by the name Vrisni, were seemingly residing in the area. Reid himself found himself becoming a part of the close circle of Keith Jam, or Kirtanananda Swami Bhaktipada, who was the guru in New Vrindaban. His job for the community was to work as an accountant and keep track of the incoming and outgoing money that the organization was collecting for that particular center.

However, Reid apparently came to know that Charles St. Denis had seemingly had an affair with his wife. In fact, as the Peacock documentary states, the accountant had actually been under the impression that the relationship between his wife and St. Denis was not consensual and that the other man had forced himself on his wife. Given the close ties that the two families had, Reid was undoubtedly furious.

On June 10, 1983, St. Denis allegedly got a call from Reid inviting him to his home. At the same time, Reid had apparently said at his home that he was going out to meet St. Denis. However, by the next morning, St. Denis had disappeared, with his wife and kids frantic over where the man might have disappeared to. When questioned, Reid apparently appeared quite shaken and claimed that he did not know where exactly his fellow devotee was before parroting, like those around him, that St. Denis had fled to California. Not long after that, the accountant himself left the community and cut his ties.

Where is Daniel Reid Now?

After Thomas Drescher, AKA Tirtha Das Swami, was arrested in 1986, Daniel Reid was called upon to provide any evidence regarding the death of Charles St. Denis. Reid finally confessed that a plan had been hatched to kill the victim. Though the prosecutor claimed that the accountant had tried to back out at some point, he had already been too deep. As such, he and Drescher had allegedly stabbed, shot, and wounded St. Denis multiple times.

Having learned some tricks during his time in the army, Drescher had apparently dammed up a creek, dug up the muddy bed of the water body, and buried St. Denis there while trying to dissolve it with acid. The dam was then seemingly removed to have the water run over the burial site in an attempt to mask the scent of the victim’s body. A native of Los Angeles, California, Reid had been the key witness to the Drescher trial, where he explained his side of the story in exchange for a plea deal.

Due to his testimony and the fact that he was not the “principal killer,” Reid’s sentence was comparatively less severe. He pled guilty to one charge of voluntary manslaughter, given his own contribution to a murder. He was sentenced on January 12 of the same year and was asked to spend one to five years in prison. In 2016, Bhima-Karma Saragrahi, the son of Charles St. Denis, revealed that Daniel Reid had since been in witness protection. As such, his whereabouts have been kept under wraps by law enforcement.

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