This is Jedediah McClure: A loyal husband, father, and hero.
In 2011, Jedediah started a business with James Henrikson. The business was an enormous success, but Henrikson wanted it all for himself. He embezzled millions of dollars from their company, scammed hundreds of workers, and then hired a hitman to kill his partners and anyone else he considered “competition.” Armed with a national hit list of people Henrikson wanted dead, two people were brutally murdered and there were attempts on the lives of several others.
Jedediah discovered the fraud and the first murder, but there wasn’t enough evidence for police to arrest Henrikson. Jedediah knew people were in danger and needed to take action, so he spent the next 16 months trying to protect the public from Henrikson’s villainy by uncovering Henrikson’s criminal activities and exposing him, at great risk to his own life. For those brave actions, Henrikson attempted to have Jedediah murdered, twice.
The evidence Jedediah collected and made public against Henrikson eventually led to Henrikson’s arrest and federal conviction for two counts of murder-for-hire and numerous counts of conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder.
Thanks to the brave actions of Jedediah McClure many people were warned and kept safe from Henrikson.
But this safety did not come without a cost. With a bounty on his head for more than a year, Jedediah and his young family lived in constant fear that a hitman would show up at their home, gun in hand, ready to exact Henrikson’s revenge. And that fear has taken a significant toll. Henrikson also stole millions of dollars from his partners and workers, leaving Jedediah financially bankrupt.
Now, at 38 years old, Jedediah is starting over. Motivated by the desire to help people protect themselves from fraud, Jedediah now travels the country telling people his story and teaching people how to avoid the fraud he experienced. Jedediah also currently attends law school where he is in the top 10% of his class, is writing a book about his experiences, and is looking to the future.
Click HERE if you would like Jedediah to speak to your organization.
Watch an interview with Jedediah from NBC’s DATELINE.
Read Jedediah’s story in his own words below.
On December 15, 2013, oil speculator Douglas Carlyle was brutally murdered in his home by a masked assailant while his wife hid upstairs. In his hasty escape, the killer left behind a torn glove containing traces of his DNA. Within weeks, the masked man was identified and apprehended, along with criminal mastermind James Henrikson and four other men connected to North Dakota’s oil patch. The six men were involved in an elaborate Mafioso-style organization that perpetrated the theft of millions of dollars, large-scale fraud, two murders, a national hit-list, and the attempted murder-for-hire of several others, including me.
Finding myself in the crosshairs of a hired killer, I risked everything to bring their criminal empire crashing down.
As a central figure in Henrikson’s rise to power and later a principal target of his villainy, my story is unique. When accusations emerged surrounding the disappearance of an employee, I worked relentlessly to uncover the truth. My quest for the truth revealed the extent of his treacherous reach and my pursuit of justice set me on a collision course with a contract killer.
This is the story of two diametrically opposed men: James Henrikson, charismatic conman and career criminal masquerading as a well-connected businessman, and me, Jed McClure, the still-alive cheated investor responsible for exposing Henrikson to the world.
This is my story.
North Dakota is a rural, farming society with small, relatively tight-knit communities. Residents are trusting folk who wear their weathered, muddy boots proudly and will happily lend a cup of sugar or a few eggs to a friendly neighbor. No one was prepared for the change that was barreling down upon them when the oil boom started.
And neither would I be prepared for the devastating impact the oil boom would have on my own life, a life that I am lucky to still have.
Hailed by CNN as the “biggest domestic oil discovery in the last 40 years,” the oil boom created an estimated 25,000 new jobs, making North Dakota’s unemployment rate the lowest in the United States despite a devastating financial crisis that crippled most of the country. For an entire state, this boom spelled the end of the Second Great Depression.
Enticed by the eternal churning of oil pumps minting a new millionaire every four-and-a-half hours, thousands of transient workers invaded the tiny, hamlet style towns of North Dakota. Truckers and oilmen by the tens of thousands converged throughout the state, rapidly monopolizing vital resources and sending prices on the barest necessities like food and medicine skyrocketing.
Things were rapidly changing. From town to town, the boundary between small town morals and boomtown debauchery was fading. Tensions were raging as neighbor began fighting neighbor over land rights; alcohol and prostitution ruled the nights, and businesses stole from their own employees. And the police were too few and too ill-equipped to deal with the trouble coming their way.
Little did I know that my own business, which had begun with such a bright future, would fall prey to that debauchery at the hands of the most evil man to set foot in the Dakota Prairie.
The complaints began to pile up, from workers begging for their payments, from investors threatening lawsuits, from the mother of a young employee pleading for any information that would lead to her missing son’s whereabouts.
For James Henrikson, it was so easy to steal, so easy to lie, so easy to feign ignorance and pass the blame on to someone else, and so incredibly easy, in the dust and rumble of heavy machinery, to mask that something evil had come to town with gilded promises and fingers cold as death.
James Henrikson was a charmer, with Matt Damon good looks, a sculpted body-builder physique evidencing endless hours at the gym, and a disarming smile with unnaturally white teeth. And a charismatic personality that he used to get whatever he wanted. Those who met Henrikson were impressed by his extreme self-confidence and ambition. He was known for wearing designer jeans, tight t-shirts that showed off his muscles, and a designer leather jacket. He barreled through the streets in an unnecessarily large black pickup and frequented a local, high-end bar that catered to high rollers.
For Henrikson, nothing was impossible. He had big dreams and was gifted at getting others to buy into those dreams. He could look you in the eye, lie to your face, and have you eagerly agreeing to everything he said. His demeanor practically screamed success and ambition and people who met him wanted to be a part of it.
Hampered by a learning disability, Henrikson dropped out of school his senior year, but quickly learned how to use his charisma and magnetism to manipulate people and get exactly what he wanted. Feelings of inferiority and inadequacy fostered a constant need to not just be in control, but to dominate and intimidate people. Obsession with his looks led to a long history of steroid abuse and a grandiose sense of self. He exhibited other dangerous personality traits, including being controlling, abusive, domineering, promiscuous, and parasitic. By the age of 20, his life-long foray into crime was just beginning.
While petty crimes, theft, burglaries and assault made up much of his early criminal history, Henrikson quickly graduated to fraud, a marijuana grow operation that would become one of the largest in Oregon’s history, producing and selling Oxycotin, and alleged involvement with the Mexican mafia, which, according to Henrikson, led to the murder of two of his business partners.
Henrikson found an accomplice in his third wife, Sarah Creveling, who would come to play a large, but dishonest, role in the public telling of Henrikson’s story. Blond, pretty, petite, and always sporting designer boots, expensive jewelry, and a very large diamond ring, Creveling was more than willing to help Henrikson lie to investors and workers, knowing the money they stole from others paid for her Bentley and expensive vacations. Creveling admitted to spending “hundreds of thousands of dollars of company money on personal property” including jewelry, designer clothes, and a Continental Bentley Creveling paid for with a $60,099 cashier’s check. She was Henrikson’s trained monkey, distracting you while he picked your pocket. They were the perfect criminal match. Henrikson and Creveling quickly became known as the “Ken and Barbie” of the oil fields for their charm and all-American good looks.
But his pretty appearance hid the rotten soul of a man devoid of compassion and empathy, who treated the lives of others as expendable, and who secretly took pleasure in manipulating his “friends” and co-workers.
I met Henrikson in the spring of 2011, when we partnered with two other people to start a trucking company in the oil fields of North Dakota on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Within weeks of purchasing our first truck and trailer, Blackstone Trucking was operational and generating more than $30,000 a month in profits. In the first six months of operation we purchased several more trucks and added more equipment, rapidly expanding our operation thanks to the $30K/month each truck was bringing in. By December we were running 10-14 trucks per day, and in our first five months of operation, we made more than $500K.
We experienced incredible success, and by the spring of 2012, we were one of the largest trucking operations on the Indian Reservation (where a large percentage of the drilling was taking place), running more than one hundred trucks a day and bringing in millions a month in revenues. We had also formed a partnership with the tribal chairman, Tex Hall.
On the surface, everything was great as business and profits were exploding. Henrikson was earning the confidence of the operators and other businesses, and we were developing long term relationships that would ensure the continued success of our business for years to come. But, the huge profits triggered Henrikson’s greed and criminal tendencies. He plotted to revive the illegal drug operations of his past and began to seek out sources of heroin. He secretly transferred the company’s registration to Creveling’s name, started numerous shell companies under her name, and began embezzling money from Blackstone and funneling it through Creveling into the other companies.
In February of 2012, an employee and a long-time friend of Henrikson’s named Kristopher Clarke – KC – was murdered by a hitman. Before his death, KC told friends Blackstone was a front for a drug operation and Henrikson owed him more than half a million dollars. In retaliation against Henrikson, KC conspired to start a rival company and steal Blackstone’s employees and contracts, but Henrikson discovered his plans and took decisive action. On February 22, 2012, hired killer Timothy Suckow murdered KC by beating him to death with a metal car jack handle while Henrikson watched. His body was buried somewhere in the Badlands of North Dakota, and has never been found. KC’s truck was abandoned by Henrikson and Suckow in a neighboring town and Henrikson told employees that KC had skipped town and was “famous for running away.”
Three months later, When KC’s abandoned truck was discovered, a missing person’s investigation began. Henrikson and Creveling lied to investigators and refused to take a polygraph test but there wasn’t sufficient evidence linking them to KC’s disappearance. A social media campaign led by KC’s mother helped spread awareness of KC’s disappearance and her accusations against Henrikson became the catalyst that would eventually expose his villainy to the world.
Like an addict jonesing for his next fix, Henrikson wasted no time in arranging an attack on his next victim. He offered a job to Robert Delao, a convicted murderer and gang-member. Delao, Henrikson’s lieutenant, coordinated Henrikson’s criminal orders. Henrikson also brought Suckow back to North Dakota multiple times to attempt murders and assaults on various people, but fortunately, slapdash incompetence prevailed and the attempts were unsuccessful.
Nevertheless, Henrikson continued surrounding himself with gang members who engaged in systematic intimidation of former workers and competitors. Like any medieval, cut-throat pillager, Henrikson envied the success of others and was building an army of goons to take it away from them.
Cracks began to appear in Henrikson’s carefully crafted façade of business professionalism. At first, I noticed minor discrepancies in the monthly financial reports. When questioned, Henrikson and Creveling would act shocked and assure me they would “look into it.” But in the never-ending, high octane bustle to stay on top of our explosive growth, minor discrepancies in expense reports or excessive and uncharacteristic repairs were simply very minor issues that took a distant backseat to coordinating and billing more than 100 active trucks, managing workers, ensuring continued contracts, and dealing with potentially catastrophic problems that arose on a daily basis. Thus, the discrepancies were lost in the hustle and bustle of daily operations, but they weren’t forgotten.
The strain of the company and KC’s murder, while energizing Henrikson, had the opposite effect on Creveling. For weeks after KC’s brutal murder, Creveling was unstable and emotional, regularly bursting into tears or snapping at employees. To investors and partners, Creveling became both paranoid and antagonistic, routinely twisting every question asked of her into a personal attack or criticism to which she responded with patent hostility. At one point, Henrikson himself considered sending her away because “she couldn’t handle North Dakota.” In hindsight, that may have been code for wanting her killed – at this point in time Henrikson was already initiating an affair with the tribal chairman’s teenage daughter, and with her inability to handle KC’s murder, Creveling was becoming a liability.
On November 2, 2012, I received an email that changed everything. It linked to a Facebook page created by KC’s mother alleging that Henrikson killed her son. I contacted her immediately and she told me about Henrikson’s criminal history, alleged gang and cartel connections, drug trafficking, and the circumstances surrounding her son’s death that indicated Henrikson was responsible, but she lacked solid evidence. She referred me to Lissa Yellowbird, a local tribal member and activist who coordinates searches for missing persons. After sharing information, Lissa traveled to Washington state where she obtained photocopies of Henrikson’s criminal records. We also uncovered a vast network of shell companies Henrikson was using to embezzle company money.
I organized the information and confronted Henrikson. At first he casually denied everything. But I had irrefutable proof of his deception, and when faced with it he knew I had him cornered. But like all wild animals, that’s when he was the most dangerous.
Henrikson immediately took steps to cut off my ties to the company finances and operations and hid our assets in various shell companies across the country. I initially shared my information with the local authorities and initiated a lawsuit again him. In retaliation, Henrikson – through one of his henchmen – hired Marvin “The Wiz” Martin, a gang member in Chicago, to kill me. Henrikson paid “The Wiz” $10,000 in cash, promising another $20,000 once the job was completed. But, in an ironic twist, the hitman ran off with Henrikson’s money and never attempted to carry out the murder.
I wasn’t the only person Henrikson wanted dead.
With a penchant for burning bridges and making enemies, Henrikson decided to eliminate his rivals. He created a “national hit-list” and solicited at least two hitmen with the promise of continued work if they “did a good job.” Investigators would later discover plots to kill at least nine more people, including tribal chairman Tex Hall and Henrikson’s own wife, Creveling.
After several months, and $20,000 wasted on attorney’s fees, my attorney informed me that my lawsuit was futile. Although we had a solid case, we would never be able to collect anything from Henrikson because he was hiding his money in accounts across several states. But I wasn’t about to give up. After all, this was not only impacting me and my family, but also the lives of so many that worked for us. I began hearing of countless others who were being cheated by Henrikson, so I took action to protect the public. I knew it was risky, but I had to keep looking for an option to stop him.
I created “Beware” posters that featured Henrikson and Creveling’s pictures, their real names and aliases, and Henrikson’s criminal history. I mass mailed the poster to every business and residence within 100 miles of the Reservation. I created websites where I posted the information. I also posted the information to www.ripoffreport.com (you can still see it and read all the sordid details for yourself). My actions resulted in Henrikson getting kicked off the reservation and blackballed by the oil companies.
By April 2013 Blackstone Trucking was shut down, and Henrikson and Creveling were forced to “lay low” due to intense public scrutiny created by the “Beware” posters. Henrikson was furious and attempted to lure me to a “short” meeting with him, where he had conspired to have a second hitman ambush me. By this time I had uncovered enough evidence to recognize this was the exact same tactic Henrikson used to lure KC to his death, so I refused to meet with him.
Still determined to bring Henrikson to justice, I connected with agents from Homeland Security, the U.S. Postal Inspector, and the Internal Revenue Service and spent months providing information to assist in the investigation of fraud and money laundering. The evidence I provided later became the foundation of the criminal fraud indictment filed against both Henrikson and Creveling.
Because Henrikson was now blackballed by the oil companies, he was forced to hide his business activities behind a frontman: Douglas Carlyle. Carlyle was a 63-year-old businessman from Washington with grand dreams he was certain would be fulfilled in North Dakota. Together they created several businesses, with Henrikson running the operations and Carlyle serving as the face of the company.
Like a dog to his vomit, Henrikson couldn’t resist resuming his criminal ways, and within months Henrikson and Carlyle were in disputes over money and oil leases. I discovered James was running my trucks on the reservation under Bridgewater Energy, a company owned by Carlyle. Through intermediaries, I alerted the tribe and the company was banned from the reservation.
Henrikson’s dispute with Carlyle came to a violent end on December 15, 2013 when Timothy Suckow, acting on Henrikson’s orders, ambushed Carlyle in his home. Carlyle and his wife were returning from an evening church service. Suckow shot him seven times from close range, leaving bone and teeth fragments scattered across the floor.
The next day news outlets ran stories about the murder, but withheld Carlyle’s name. The articles revealed that investigators believed Carlyle was targeted for murder and that it may have been linked to oil deals in North Dakota. At the time investigators had Henrikson’s first name and phone number, but no last name. They didn’t know who “James” was or his tie to Carlyle.
But the article mentioned one important detail that I recognized right away: Carlyle owned Bridgewater Energy.
Despite the scant details in the article, I was able to correctly identify both the victim and the “person of interest.” I immediately contacted the special agent at The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and provided him extensive documents verifying the connection between Carlyle and Henrikson. Unfortunately, no action was taken at that time.
NBC News producer Cathy Singer revealed that “a major turning point” in the investigation came several weeks later when investigators in Washington stumbled upon my RipoffReport. As a result of my post, investigators discovered Henrikson’s true identity and were now able to coordinate with DHS.
Immediately following Carlyle’s murder, I convinced a former Blackstone employee to cooperate with DHS. He provided enough information for DHS to obtain a search warrant for Henrikson’s home in North Dakota. The January raid turned up seven handguns. Being a felon, it was against the law for Henrikson to possess the weapons. A warrant for his arrest was issued and Henrikson was apprehended a week later with his teenage mistress as they were buying supplies in preparation to flee the country. A month later, criminal fraud charges were filed against Henrikson and Creveling, based on the information I provided.
Meanwhile, that same week, Carlyle’s murderer was arrested in Washington after the FBI discovered his DNA in a glove left at the crime scene. When they arrested him he had the gun along with hand-written notes which included important reminders such as “wipe tools down,” and “practice with pistol.” Four other accomplices were arrested in connection with the murders.
In September 2014, Henrikson was charged with two counts of murder-for-hire, numerous counts of conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder-for-hire, as well as conspiracy to distribute heroin. Henrikson attempted to break out of jail twice, but was eventually convicted of all counts in February 2016. He was given two life sentences.
Creveling was indicted for four counts of fraud but made a plea deal in exchange for her cooperation with investigators. She pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and was sentenced to three years probation. Sarah has never apologized to the victims or families of the people whose lives she helped destroy.
In the end, Henrikson stole more than $1.7 million, which has financially devastated myself and my family. He also destroyed my reputation in the oil industry with lies designed to discredit me and shift blame for the theft and fraud he inflicted on our employees. A decade of sacrifice and hard work was stolen from my family, leaving us with enormous debt and destroying our financial security and crippling our hopes for the future.
While there were many times where I was frightened, frustrated, ready to give up, and uncertain about where to turn next, my faith and my family kept me going. Without the love and support of my wife and children, this experience might have been too much for me to take. I could easily have become consumed with anger and cynicism, cursing a world that would punish my work ethic, integrity and selfless sacrifice by saddling me with a debt I’ll never be able to overcome on my own; a world that would force me to look my 7-year-old daughter in the eyes and explain that I can only afford to buy her “used” shoes from the resale shop; a world that threatens to drive us out of our home.
Instead, my family and faith gave me strength. They gave me a reason to persevere in the face of adversity and despair. They gave me perspective to think of the needs of others and to act despite great risk to myself. And, most important of all, they gave me hope, knowing I wasn’t alone and believing that I was making a difference in the lives of others.
I do not believe all things happen for a reason – sometimes there are just bad people who do bad things and innocent people get hurt along the way. But I do believe that we can learn from every experience, good and bad, and use that knowledge to help those around us.
That is what I have chosen to do. I am starting over, armed with my experiences and my incredible family at my side. I recently returned to law school so I can help people prevent this kind of fraud from happening to them. I want to alert people to the warning signs that I missed as well as the steps they can take to avoid, to the extent possible, situations that could endanger their livelihood. I want to use my experience to inform and to protect. And most importantly, I want people to know that the world may take everything we possess, but it can’t take who we are.
Jedediah has helped business owners, investors, and average American’s save millions of dollars by helping them identify and avoid scams. He is very passionate about helping people fight back against fraudsters who seek to harm them. As you can imagine, he is very eager to share his experiences and keys to identifying fraud with as many people as possible. If you are interested, contact Jedediah and you can talk about the following options:
1. Inviting Jedediah to speak at your special event, organization, or church on his approach to identifying and avoiding fraud.
2. An in-person consultation and evaluation of investment proposals, agreements, and contracts to help identify fraud and potential risks.
3. Performing comprehensive due diligence on investment proposals, partnerships, and business organization. If Mr. McClure is prepared and able to invest more time and the project fits, he will dedicate himself to more long-term projects, including comprehensive evaluation of investments and partnerships, business formation and structuring, contract creation, and asset protection. Pricing can be discussed with Mr. McClure and his assistant. When investing your hard-earned money, you can’t afford not to thoroughly investigate the business.