Extremely sad news to report out of Wisconsin where the body of troubled former After The Burial guitarist Justin Lowe was found dead on Tuesday by a hiker beneath the Arcola High Bridge near Somerset. All signs point to Lowe having committed suicide. Authorities are saying that his injuries are consistent with a fall.
Lowe had been suffering from paranoid delusions and had announced his split from After the Burial last month via a highly publicized paranoid rant on his Facebook page:
I’ve been set up guys by something more powerful than law enforcement, and it’s bad. Shit is about to hit the fan on an epic scale, and the only thing I can do now is tell you as much of my side while I still can. I’ve been removed as an administrator from the After The Burial band account, so I’m hoping this letter reaches as many people as possible. I’m going to start from the most recent and go backwards. As some of you may or may not know, After The Burial is currently recording at the Machine Shop in Belleville, NJ. Immediately upon entering, something wasn’t right. I thought, “maybe it’s just me” or maybe I’m just being paranoid for no reason. Then things got interesting. From the beginning, there was a kit set up to connect MacBook hard drives and duplicate them at the studio. Seems unusual, right? The following day, there was a cup of coffee poured into my laptop, right in the perfect spot to destroy the mother board. OK, now how did that happen? I had a feeling my personal data was being or going to be compromised. They had the kitchen cleaned spotless and there was bad energy in the air. Energy doesn’t lie. Could something be planned? Saturday, June 6th, I was the last one awake. Or so I thought I was. I picked up the kitchen and threw bottles away and got ready for bed. However, a band that I will not name showed up in the middle of the night and they were not making themselves present. I knew this, because an open luggage bag had appeared in one of the control rooms that I noticed on my way to the studio bedroom. I woke up early on Sunday, June 7th and peeked my head out, to find that the kitchen was being set up with an empty bottle of whiskey, a MacBook belonging to someone named Andreas, a tiny plastic baggy with residue, and 2 bottles of Heineken that had been removed from the trash; one of them filled half way with water. At this point, I firmly believe that something is very, very wrong. My body is telling me to get the f**k out now. Coincidentally, I had been asked by multiple people including one of my closest ‘friends” in the recent past asking me about MacBooks, iMacs, how to finance them, etc. I have also been asked to put water into empty beer or liquor bottles in the past. I’m starting to connect the dots. Now, I am going to switch gears, but this is my conclusion. The record label, our manager, band, and who knows who else, sent me out to to make the record knowing fully well that I would be robbed of my data, and would be dealt physical harm. They planned to film it. Anyway, what I’m about to say next, is going to take this situation to a completely different level. The next thing I’m being set up for is going to be very disturbing, but I believe it is true. When I was young, I was a victim of sexual abuse. It’s one thing in my life that I would give anything to undo. Here’s some advice, if you have been or are being abused, do something about it RIGHT NOW. Get help, tell people, report it, get therapy, and do not put this off. I however, did not get help. 1 instead handled it myself, I was embarrassed. This is not an easy topic of conversation by any means. Now, with that being said, I have never EVER had any inappropriate thoughts about children. Why am I saying this? Because about a month or so ago, while he didn’t know I was looking right at him, I WATCHED Trent Hafdahl tell our mutual friend’s daughter to tell her dad that I was being “naughty”. OK, I’m going to stop and let that sink in for a second. Why on earth, would ANYONE say something like that? Well, he’s trying to set me up. Not just for this, either. I’ve been encouraged by people close to me to post pictures of my nephew who I love, he’s my nephew. But after connecting more dots, I can see how this may look from a different perspective, in a gross, very inappropriate way. In an effort to keep this letter as short as possible, I will not speak any further about this topic at this time. Now, to something very, very serious. As serious as almost anything can get. Last fall, I lost one of the closest people to me in a suicide. Or so I had thought. My body just couldn’t put the pieces of the puzzle together. No gravestone? Was he cremated? Or buried? I was hearing different stories. How could, the person I spend literally the most time with, just decide to take his own life out of nowhere, without letting anyone know? I was confused. It was one of the most difficult times I have ever experienced. Now, what I’m about to say, will either probably save my life or kill me, but I have to say it. He is still alive, he’s been living at his cabin. His death was staged, to set me up to be put away forever for something I absolutely did not do. Now, this is starting to get absolutely beyond insane, right? This had to be planned months in advance, who knows. But this is what I do know for a fact. I carried the key to his house on my keyring for YEARS, he said I was always welcome if I ever needed a place to crash. He’s that kind of guy, genuine, always there for you no matter what. But, this is where it starts to get strange, towards the end of summer, I stopped by his place. The key didn’t work. What? Why? I never took the key off for any reason. Had someone replaced the key? I didn’t think anything of it at the time, just noticed that it was something very odd. Anyway, the Friday night before he “took his own life”, I was with Trent Hafdahl. Now, get ready. Him and I had been drinking a bit, he was pretty intoxicated. He took out a slab of bison jerky, and sliced the side of his finger badly. To get blood on my shorts? I absolutely believe this. (The shorts from Forever 21 have now vanished.) Unfortunately, it took me a long time to put these pieces of this “puzzle” together, but better late than never. Of course, I retraced my footprints from that night, to figure out where I was and if there would have been anything I could have done to save him. I was working on music pretty late, and on Face-Time with my girlfriend. That night, she was very investigative. Now that I look back, I realize that literally everyone in my life was in on it. She made sure she knew exactly where I was going, and even asked my if I used my card when I was out. That night, she made sure she knew I was somewhere that would put me right by his house. She then relayed this information and voila, his “suicide” happened. I realize what I am saying will most likely start the conspiracy of the decade, but I don’t care. I’m still alive to tell you this so I’m going to continue. Why was I not even interviewed once by law enforcement? I had just been with him 2 nights prior? Very, very strange indeed. Now, months later, my own mother came to me and said, “I found this key.” I knew it was the key to his house. What? How? Unfortunately, it took me a long time to connect the dots here. But it makes perfect sense. The night the “suicide” happened, I went to get sushi, get gas, and get a big gulp. Got home, got back to work on a new song idea. The next evening, I got a call from his brother giving me the news. I did realize that I was in the area at that time they said it had happened, but didn’t realize that I was being set up. I realize that since law enforcement is also in on this, so this will be an impossible battle for me and I most likely do not stand a chance. Writing about this is my only option now, so I will continue to do so. Now, this is going to continue to get more and more insane and disturbing. Back in 2012, while he didn’t realize I was looking in my bedroom, Trent Hafdahl was messing with a semen encrusted t-shirt that was under my bed. Wait, what? Why would he want a sample of my semen? The plot thickens drastically. What is his motive? Well, there has to be one. OK, now, I’m going to jump back to Wolves Within. The record took a very, very long time. Why? Well, the way it appears is that it was me that was holding the process up. It was getting ridiculous, I was pleading with the band and begging for help, to no avail. What could be happening here? Nobody wants to make this record? I knew I was getting fucked over, but I didn’t want to give up. I wanted to see what happened if I didn’t give up. Truth is, we had “A Wolf Amongst Ravens” done and ready to be released in 2012, the record label refused to release the track. Something was very, very wrong here. After a long battle to finish the album, I had prepared the totally unmixed Pro Tools sessions of all the songs. Nobody would mix it. This is a major bummer. After all this hard work, nobody to mix. Unreal. How could this be? As if things weren’t bad enough, we had tours booked right in the middle of the album, which could have been finished months ago had we all actually worked. Hindsight, I realize things were already very, very bad. After bringing up the current status of our album during a heated conversation in Toronto, Trent’s exact words to me, ‘Who are they going to believe, me, or you?” OK. Now, to jump to something totally different. Some years ago, somebody I know and was close to (His name is Eric Lovold) had their studio robbed completely. I know absolutely about it, but I know who does, he does. I’m starting to realize how far back this set up really goes. After connecting more dots, I realized, he was texting me at the exact moment that the robbery took place. Why would he text me of all people during a time like that? Everyone is working together. These “friends” of mine are all in on it. I have reason to believe that every single key on my keychain has been duplicated. (House, studio, car, etc.) Recently, I was presented with my old FOB that had been mysteriously “put through the wash” after years of me never seeing it. Now, to jump to the present day. Recently, I was hospitalized. Not knowing how or why I was finding myself in this situation literally driving me crazy. I stayed up for days trying to figure this out. First, l was placed with a roommate that exactly resembled the person I was abused by as a child. They had him shaking his feet just like I do, the whole nine yards. I was delivered pictures of my little nephew to the hospital as well that I did not ask for. The combination of “vitamins” I was provided with was destroying my train of thought. I quickly figured this out when I found myself starring at a food menu for 3 minutes without making a single selection. I noticed that the packets of my medication had been tampered with before opening. One of the pills I was being given, Hydroxyzine, I was familiar with, and it did not have the effects I was used to. I was given what I was told was a nerve calming pill, but it was actually a laxative put into the yellow 215 container to see if I would take a loud shit in the bathroom with my roommate there or try to cover up the sound. This is how big this thing is. Here is one thing to consider. Why would I not be apprehended immediately or interviewed by police or anything at all? I was hospitalized so that any chance of being taken seriously by a judge or jury would be would be quickly discredited. I have a feeling that this goes back further and further, maybe even to my birth and/or childhood. Scored a perfect 10 on the Akbar, and have had no problem figuring out how to read, play music, learn anything. Someone or something is afraid of me becoming too powerful. Some of my past girlfriends all have fathers who are very, very wealthy. I mean VERY wealthy. Coincidence? These are all dots I have connected and I do realize how deep this is. I have a feeling there will be a lot more coming that I have yet to figure out. I realize what I have said could certainly spell the end for me, but it had to be said. In the words of Shawn Keith, “you have to speak your mind.”
Following that very public meltdown, which has since been removed, Lowe’s bandmates also issued a statement of their own to try and reassure fans that they were trying to help him get well. It read:
This is a very sad and hurtful situation for us to grasp, and unfortunately it is one we still don’t fully understand.
Our dear friend, our brother onstage and off, has fallen into a very broken state of mind. A state that, despite our continued efforts, we have been powerless to get him out of.
We are very sorry we haven’t made a statement until now, but there is reasoning behind our decision. Early yesterday after he made the post, he went missing for the entire day. He was in minimal contact with only a few people over the phone, and the information we gathered from them gave us reason to believe he was unsafe in his current state of mind. We were on our phones all day with family, friends, and local authorities trying to regain control of the situation. We felt it was definitely not the appropriate time for us to make a statement, in fear that it may escalate things further. Fortunately, he’s back home now. He’s safe and in the care of his family.
The context of his words and the thoughts he expressed came with as much surprise to us as it did to anyone, including his family and closest friends. These are thoughts he has kept hidden from everyone very well until now, and it’s so very unfortunate he felt he couldn’t reach out and talk to someone about the things that were affecting him before it got to this point.
Justin is ill, and right now he needs more than ever to be shown that the world is not against him. He needs support and love from everyone, and to know that we only want what’s best for him. We will continue to support him and his family as best we can through this tough time.
We must ask that, out of respect for friends and family, you refrain from making any comments or speculations about what’s going on. We ask also that you respect the privacy of everyone involved while we work through this.
Mental illness is a very serious matter, and we are treating it as such. If you or anyone you know may be suffering from a mental illness, the time to find help is now.
After The Burial
However, just weeks after that reassurance, Lowe’s sister reported that the guitarist had gone missing and she feared the worst. When Justin’s car was discovered near the bridge authorities and fans alike feared the worst. Sadly those fears turned out to be well founded.
Justin Lowe was 32 years old. After The Burial is scheduled to begin the Summer Slaughter tour next week.
Our thoughts go out to the Lowe family and After The Burial. Rest In Peace, Justin.