The unraveling story of Carlile’s death is a particularly dramatic chapter in an unprecedented spate of crime that has followed the oil boom in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale.
Spokane police say an oil business deal gone bad spurred the slaying — a drilling deal that witnesses say Carlile and his business partner, Henrikson, 35, tried to cut each other out of.
Carlile, Henrikson — a man convicted in Oregon for theft, burglary and attempted assault, among other crimes — and other partners purchased a $2 million oil lease for 640 acres on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Henrikson and his wife, Sarah Creveling, invested $640,000, and a friend of Carlile’s invested nearly $1 million, leaving them $400,000 short on a piece of land one veteran oilman said could be worth billions.
Witnesses said Henrikson began to harass and threaten Carlile and his family, showing up around Labor Day at Carlile’s son’s workplace and demanding money. On Dec. 15, 2013, after returning from church around 7 p.m., Elberta Carlile came downstairs to find a masked man pointing a semi-automatic handgun at her husband in their kitchen.
Spokane police have charged 50-year-old Timothy Suckow with first-degree murder; another Spokane man, Robby Wahrer, is accused of driving the getaway car. A police informant said he told Suckow that “Henrikson was willing to pay $20,000 to do the job.” Both have pleaded not guilty and await trial.
Henrikson is being held in a jail in Rugby, N.D., on unrelated federal weapons charges (Nussbaum/Voreacos,Bloomberg, June 18). — AI