Neil: Hey, Chance. Thank you for calling me, man.
Chance: Yeah, absolutely.
Neil: I’m sorry to hear about your friend, man. That … I … Again, I just found out this morning. I don’t know if you knew last night.
Chance: Yeah. I was with him, bro. I was with him the whole time.
Neil: Holy shit, dude. I’m sorry, man. I’m sorry.
Chance: The story needs to be told, dude.
NS-VO: I’m speaking with Chance, a friend of Chris Spotz’. Chris, the boyfriend of Adea Shabani, just reportedly shot himself after a police stop in San Bernardino, California. The news hasn’t yet reported on Chris’ identity and I’ve been desperately scrambling to call anyone who knows Chris to find out if he told anybody what happened to Adea or where she is. We just found Chance by chance on social media. He claims to have been the only person to have spent the last few days with Chris.
Chance: That was the best motherfucker I’ve ever met in my entire life, dude. He was my hero, dude. He was my fucking hero, bro, and I … That guy completely shaped who I was as a human being, who I am as a human being. He taught me everything I know, dude. He was … His energy, his fucking vibes were so strong, dude. So strong and so pure, just … And righteous. You know what I mean? Oh, my God, dude. This shit is detrimental man. I can give you the whole life story, dude, in a nutshell, dude. I started out a little fat kid and he inspired me to start lifting weights and start working for myself and start believing in myself, so I did that. Then, I became the captain of the football team, just because that motherfucker took me under his wing, dude, and showed me how to do it with nothing but love. That’s just the start of the story, bro.
Chance: I started drinking. I started drinking, I started fucking around with drugs, and he cut me off, man. He cut me off. He said, “I can’t be around that shit, dude,” and we didn’t talk for a couple years, but then he just all of a sudden came back into my life, just here recently. You have no idea, bro. He came back into my life in the last week. He told me … This is just some very personal shit, dude, but he told me that he felt so bad about turning his back on me that he wanted me to be with him when it happened because he wanted his vibes, his energy to come into me because he felt so bad about this shit. I can feel him and it is. His vibes are so strong, bro.
Neil: He said he wanted you to be with him when it happened?
Chance: Yeah, dude. I’ll give you the whole rundown, bro. He showed up ready to kill himself, just like, “Fuck this. I’m never going to get out of this.” Just so you know, dude, he didn’t do shit, bro. His fucking dad is responsible for all of this shit. His real father. Bro, his dad is a piece of shit, dude. His dad is a piece of shit dude. His dad used to fucking … Oh, you don’t even know how bad of a piece of shit his real dad is. I’ve seen this motherfucker from way back, dude. He used to date rape and fucking drink, dose, and fucking … Scandalous ass motherfucker, dude. That’s who his real dad is. Okay? He was always seeking a fatherly figure and so was I. That’s why I related to him so much. He was that for me, which he didn’t have.
Chance: You know what I mean? He set the example of the fucking Superman, dude. I was always striving to be like Chris. You know what I mean? The day that I could bench press as much as Chris Spotz, dude, that was the landmark of my life. When I did it, he downplayed it. He was like, “Yeah, that’s all right. You could do better.”
Neil: Oh, when you’re talking about his dad, you’re talking about Chris, Chris from Sacramento? Chris Senior?
Chance: Yeah. Yeah, that fucking son of a bitch, dude. Anyway, this whole thing transpired. He showed up at my house and he … Just out of the blue, you know what I mean? From what I’d heard, he was doing great. Everything was fucking perfect, blah blah blah. Then, he showed up and he laid this shit on me. He’s like, “Dude, I got some real serious shit going on, blah blah blah.” Then, he’s like, “I think my dad had something to do with it. I’m fucked. I can’t get out of it.” He was ready to go, dude. I think I kind of caught up to him in a spiritual level. I talked him out of it, dude. He said, “Well, fuck, dude. I showed up here to fucking kill myself and now you done enlightened my ass. Let’s go do this thing.”
Neil: You live in Colorado, right?
Chance: Yeah, I live in Colorado Springs. Dude, it took a day and a half to try to convince my girlfriend to let me go on this fucking quest with him, dude. He already had the room rented out and the chain and everything. He … It was a done deal. He was like, “No, dude, I came here to fucking do this. Stop fucking talking all that shit.”
Neil: What did his dad … What does he think his dad did to Adea and what does he know as far as that goes?
Chance: The night before all this shit went down, he was talking to his dad about breaking up with her, and his dad advised him against it. He said, “Dude, that girl is full of money, blah blah blah. She’s hot, she’s rich, she’s this, she’s that, don’t do it.” Chris said that he was on his way somewhere, to a party, something, dude. I don’t even fucking know. They ended up getting into an argument and she started hitting him, like … You know how girls do, dude, when they get fucking mad. Anyway, he said he pulled over and told her to get the fuck out of the car. She was screaming and he drove off. I swear. He said his first thought was to call his dad and be like, “Hey, when Adea calls you, just tell that bitch I’m fucking done with her.”
Chance: He did that and his dad said some weird shit, dude, some really weird shit. His dad said, “Don’t worry about it, Chris. Girls go missing from LA every single fucking day.” He said, “I swear to God he came and picked her up.” This was the point, bro, that we had throwaway pistols to just go and tie him up and fucking get him to tell the truth. He knew, to the point of tying his own blood father up and beating him to death, that he knew the truth.
Chance: She had said something to him earlier about calling his dad. He said, “Fuck you, bitch. You want to fuck my dad, go fuck my dad,” and then he kicked her out of the car. Then, she went missing.
NS-VO: Just to untangle this a little because it’s very emotional, Chance has only just recently been released by the police after Chris’ car chase and suicide. He has $50.00 in his pocket and no identification and he’s wandering around Riverside, California, talking to me while waiting for his girlfriend to fly in from Colorado and pick him up. He’s giving us Chris’ last version of the events surrounding Adea’s disappearance, which is that Chris and Adea got in a fight and he kicked her out of the car on the 5 freeway. Now, we’ve heard a version of that story before from his lawyer, but what’s new, and frankly hard to swallow right now, is that, afterward, Adea called Chris’ father. Chris’ father then picked her up and Adea was never heard from again. Whether Chris believed this or was just saying it to manipulate Chance is unclear, but what is perfectly clear is that Chris Spotz was on his way to potentially kill his own father when he got stopped by the police.
Neil: Note that the biological father of Chris Spotz, whose name is also Chris, is referred to here interchangeably as Chris [Ma-rez] and Chris Senior.
Chance: Dude, I don’t know how much research or whatever you’ve done on me, dude, but I’m a good dude, bro, but I’m extremely fucking loyal. If you got my back, I got your back, bro, to the fucking end. He called me and he told me the situation and told me the part that his dad could have implicated into it and I was like, “You know what, dude? I’m not letting you fucking do what you came here to do by any means. We’re going to go figure something else out, something else out.” We got pulled over on our way to his dad’s house.
Neil: Oh, shit. You guys were on the way to his dad’s house?
Chance: Well, he was going to go do his little acting thing in the middle of the … He was going to go do that so he had something. That was his … That was his last thing. He wanted to be remembered for something.
Neil: Do you know what he was going to do? Maybe I’ve talked to the people he was going to do the acting piece with at least.
Chance: Yeah. He … It’s really ironic, actually. He was playing a police officer.
Chance: I swear to God, dude. Officer Chandler. I don’t want to sound like a dirt bag, dude, but we were on our way to his dad’s house to tie him up and fucking beat the truth out of his ass. That is what we were going to go do.
Neil: Shit, man. You were going to come to LA, do the acting, then go to Sacramento and take care of business?
Chance: Exactly, dude.
Neil: Yeah. He had no idea where his dad would have put him?
Chance: No, bro. Straight up. He said, “Listen, dude. If that body is anywhere, my dad is going to know where it’s going to be.”
Chance: Anyway, we went on one last fucking thing, dude. He wanted to come down and do his last … He wanted to come down and do his fucking last … His first, whatever the fuck it was, acting … He wanted to come down and just solidify himself as an actor so we made this road trip, dude. It was the most amazing spiritual fucking experience of my life, dude. All we talked about was spiritual shit and listened to Matisyahu.
Chance: As we were pulling out of this gas station, dude, a policeman, for no fucking reason, spotlighted our car. His was a spotlight. He said, “Just chill, just chill, just chill,” and so we did. We pulled out all nonchalant, doing nothing wrong. The cops ended up pulling us over, dude. They got out, guns drawn. Fucking from the very get-go, guns drawn. No words, no nothing said, just fucking three cops, guns drawn. They told him to throw his fucking keys out the window and he looked at me, dude. He looked at me straight in the eye and he says, “Watch. I told you I wasn’t going down, dude.”
Neil: Shit. Say what he said again because your phone cut out a little bit. He said …
Chance: He said, “Watch. I already told you this. I ain’t going to jail, bro. I ain’t going to jail for doing this.” The whole thing about this stuff was living and dying like a warrior, like fucking living and dying like a warrior. You were born a warrior, motherfucker. Follow through with that shit.
Neil: You said that?
Chance: That was the whole side of the conversation the entire fucking 19 hours down here.
Chance: That was it. I said, “Let’s just do this, dude. Whatever. Let’s get it.” He sped off. He had a spare key under his seat. He threw the first pair of keys out the fucking window, dude, and he reached under his seat and got the spare key and just took off. It was a fucking crazy ass chase, dude. There was so many fucking police behind us. Dude, anyway, he pulled out a gun, dude, and he said, “I’m not going down like this. I’m not going down for some shit that I didn’t do. I’m not doing it.” I said, “Then put the fucking gun down, bro, and just pull the fuck over.” He said, “Do you want me to stop?” “Yeah, dude, please. Please fucking stop,” so he slammed on the brakes. He reached across me and opened the door and kicked it open, dude, and he kicked me out, literally with his feet. He kicked me out and he said, “Get the fuck out, dude. I love you so much. Man, I love you so much for being with me but get the fuck out. I love you, man,” and he drove off. That’s the last time I ever fucking saw him.
Neil: Oh, shit. Oh, man.
Chance: That motherfucker is an epitome of a warrior, dude.
NS-VO: I asked Chance what he’s going to do now and he says he’s going to find a bar and get a drink. I tell him not to go anywhere and to stay safe because, frankly, I’m worried about him, especially since he’s alone after what just happened. I let him know I’ll be there right away, meet him in person, and we can continue talking.
Neil: I got to ask you one other thing, which I’m … Why not just freaking get pulled … Why not just get pulled over, fucking deal with it, and then go … Or, just tell the police and have them deal with it? Why not-
Chance: I’m going to tell you right now, dude. He had two guns in his car. Dude, he was full-blown. That question you’re asking is exactly what I tried to pound into his head when I was trying to get him to pull over. I was like, “I don’t give a fuck, dude. I’ll take them both and run. I don’t care, man. Just pull the fuck over.” He wouldn’t. He wasn’t having it, dude. He was like, “No. Fuck these motherfuckers, dude. Fuck them, fuck them, fuck them.” Dude, he wouldn’t do it, dude.
Neil: You told the police about Chris’ dad or no?
Chance: At first, I didn’t, but I left a message to the detective that I had some more shit to tell her, that she could … When they were questioning me about it at first, it was like three minutes after it happened. I still didn’t want to believe that shit, man. I wanted to talk at least, at the very least, talk to his mom and dad first.
Neil: Okay. I’m going to start driving to Riverside. I’m going to call your or text you when I’m on my way. Thank you for the time.
Chance: Thank you. Thank you so much for giving a shit, bro.
Neil: Dude, and I’m sorry you lost your friend.
Chance: So much for giving a shit, bro.
Neil: I’m sorry you lost a friend but I’m glad you’re here with-
Chance: I lost my best friend and a mentor and a motherfucking warrior, dude.
Chance: Thank you so much for caring.
NS-VO: Chapter 14. No Comment.
NS-VO: The clock is ticking before this hits the news so I jump in the car and call Jayden and tell him I’m going to pick him up so he can meet with Chance, too. Jayden tells me that Detective Kaiser of the LAPD has just met with Nora and broken the news to her.
Neil: Lastly, did he share any information with Nora that’s useful?
Jayden: No. About half the information I had. She’s done. She’s done. She’s like … I’m going to put her on suicide watch. She’s hurting.
Neil: Some of Adea’s friends have been reaching out. Is it okay for me to tell them about Chris or no?
Neil: Don’t tell them?
Jayden: Mom doesn’t want the friends talking to anybody.
Neil: Information is slowly beginning to leak and the press is starting to figure it out.
Jayden: One girl that I know really well, she’s like, “I’ll hold the story if you want me to,” but she said it’s going to break. She’s like, “I’ll hold it if you want to wait until Monday but …” She’s like, “[inaudible 00:20:07].” She’s like, “Honestly, it’ll probably break before then.” Yeah. She said, “Give me a heads up if you know it’s going to break,” because she said she’s getting a lot of pressure from her station to run it.
Neil: How do they know it was him? How do they associate him with her?
Jayden: Because they released that it was the boyfriend of a missing person.
Jayden: In Los Angeles. That’s what the article said, which obviously came from PD out there.
NS-VO: Holding off the press is key so that I can get to the rest of Chris’ inner circle and try to see if he confessed or left any hints about Adea’s whereabouts, because, once the media starts hounding them, they’re going to shut down and not talk to anyone. I’ve also been trying to call Chance to find out where he wants to meet in Riverside but he hasn’t been answering. As I walk into Jayden’s house, his phone is already ringing off the hook with press calls.
Neil: Just right away, just say “Hey,” like … Oh, go ahead.
Jayden: It’s CBS. I’ll take it because me not taking it is stupid.
Jayden: Origin, this is Jayden. I’m the investigator working the case. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm any details right now other than it’s a very active investigation. No.
Jayden: Just very frustrating.
Jayden: Every time I dip my toe in there, a fucking alligator jumps up and bites me. Do you know what I mean? It’s so stupid.
Jayden: Origin, this is Jayden. I cannot confirm those details. Still a very active investigation. Yeah, you got a number I can text if I can get any info onto you? Okay. You got it. Yep. Yeah, I’ll get you any info I can as soon as I can. All right.
Jayden: Yeah. See, they’re running with she’s dead.
Neil: Why are they all running with that? Because the Sheriff’s Department-
Jayden: Because, yeah, who fucking kills themselves when they didn’t do it? Right.
Jayden: My condolences to the family. At least now they have some closer.
NS-VO: Without an official comment, the media tries to work around Jayden and get in direct contact with Adea’s friends. Angel, Adea’s boss at the hookah lounge, calls Jayden asking what to do and whether Chris has indeed killed himself?
Jayden: What’s up? So the media is out in front of your building?Who’s there?
Angel: KTLA is here, Fox 11 is here. They’re calling me and they’re like, “We’re outside. Can you come down and make a comment?”
Jayden: Yeah. Okay. I probably wouldn’t do that if I were you.
Angel: So he’s dead? This is confirmed?
Jayden: Yeah. Yeah. Between you and me, yeah. No.
Angel: What do I do with these guys outside?
Jayden: Nothing. Just don’t … Just tell them you have no comment right now.
Jayden: We just really don’t want … We don’t want to confirm the story. We just don’t want it to go out as … We’re trying to contain it if we can.
Angel: If anything, we’ve been listening … I’m sorry, bro. I know you’re talking to me right now like you’re talking to somebody you don’t want to give information to but, at the end of the day, everything that the LAPD wanted, we ended up doing. This is what they ended up fucking up on. You know what I mean?
Jayden: No, dude, you’re right.
Angel: Man. They should have been …when they already took them in. Right now, is this whole media thing, is this because of the LAPD?
Jayden: It’s both. The friend network has opened up a little bit and we’re trying to get through there before the story breaks too big and people lock up. Just hoping maybe he gave some piece of information to somebody. Obviously, it doesn’t look good, but …
Jayden: I’m working on it. All right. Give me 15 or 20 minutes. I’ll call you back. Bye-bye.
Jayden: I feel bad. I just feel bad for him.
NS-VO: Now that I know the press is camped outside Angel’s apartment, what are they going to do to Chris’ family and friends when the news gets out? We’re running out of time to have a real conversation with them. I try Chance again but still no response. What’s crazy is that the source of the information that Adea was murdered is actually a press release from the California Highway Patrol stating that an unnamed suspect in a Los Angeles County homicide shot himself. It doesn’t mention names but it’s really irresponsible because there is no proof that Adea was murdered or is even dead. If Nora hears this and thinks it’s true, it would just destroy her. I have to find out what I can. The next call I need to make is going to be one of the hardest, to Chris Marez, the father of Chris Spotz.
Chris Marez: Hello?
Neil: Oh, hey, Chris. It’s Neil again. I’m sorry to bother you. I wanted to fill you in.
Chris Marez: Yeah, yeah. Well, I know-
Neil: Things are about to hit the press today that I really-
Chris Marez: Yeah, well I-
Neil: Yeah. Go ahead.
Chris Marez: I know. I know and I don’t want his name slandered or anything because I … I know better than anybody. The thing is he’s a good kid. He’s a great kid, in fact. He never hurt anybody. The kid is amazing. The sad part about it is my son’s dead.
Chris Marez: He killed himself. [inaudible 00:25:59]. He’s a great kid. He’s never been in trouble. He’s never even had a ticket in his whole life. There was [inaudible] there. My son had a gun for a reason. Wouldn’t you be scared? You got this girl saying that she’s going to kill herself, and, “I’m going to ruin you, I’m going to do …” Come on. He was pushed to a level that … You and I know Hollywood is a fucking. It’s a [inaudible 00:26:20]. It’s a fucking … It happens all the time to these actors. Right now, with all this shit going on with male producers with the women coming out, it’s pretty bad.
Chris Marez: Let me tell you something. This thing is bigger than any movie you could ever imagine that’s … It is a true story. It’s nothing like that. My son was a great kid. I was a kid myself when I had him.
Neil: When was the last time he visited before this?
Chris Marez: Oh, my son? It was probably about … About four or five months ago. He’d come up for the day.
Chris Marez: He came up for some supplements and supreme work out, shit like that.
Neil: When I talked to Chance, he said Chris felt that you were corresponding with Adea a lot.
Chris Marez: No. Wow. The only time I ever talked to her … See, this is another thing, too. This is a weird thing because he’s a ladies’ man and, when I was single, I was a ladies’ man. We’d kind of go to the …
NS-VO: Chris Marez goes on to talk for quite a while about how he and his son are only 16 years apart and how they used to compete for women, and now Chris Spotz would never bring his girlfriends around his dad.
Chris Marez: He would never bring her around. [inaudible] I would never hit on his girlfriends but I’m a 49-year-old good-looking guy. I don’t know if you ever … I got green eyes, I stay in shape, I used to be a body builder even. I think he felt like they’re going to like me. I never even met Mary. I’ve never met Adea. I’ve never met any of his girlfriends. He would never bring them around me.
NS-VO: I’ve never been in Chris Marez’s position so I don’t know what it’s like but it seems strange to hear a father bragging about his own looks and sexual prowess less than 24 hours after his son just killed himself.
Chris Marez: Like I said, that was the only time I ever talked to Adea. There was that time she called me. Then, Mary, I’ve only talked to her the time that she called me and asked me, “Hey, do you know …” He was at a hotel. He tried … He told her that he was thinking about suicide a long time ago. Now it’s mind-boggling to me that … I told her my son would never kill himself and now look what happened. That’s fucking … That’s … I don’t even know what to say, dude.
Neil: Chance said some crazier stuff around that that he said came from Chris but I don’t know. It was pretty crazy.
Chris Marez: What crazy? Say something. Say one thing and I’ll tell you if it’s true.
Neil: All right. I’m going to tell you this but … I’m just going to share this with you but if this as unbelievable to me as it is going to be to you.
Chris Marez: Okay.
Neil: Okay. Okay, wait, hold on one second.
Neil: I’m going to tell him.
Jayden: No, you could say…Chance say.
Neil: Again, I want to kind of clarify, too, because I want to say this could just be Chance saying this. It doesn’t mean that it’s true, okay? He said …
Chris Marez: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Neil: Dude. You’ve had a fucking brutal 24 hours so I don’t want to even add this to it. Again, keep this between us, but Chance said …
NS-VO: I’m struggling, trying to just spit out this next sentence because I just don’t know how to tell a father that his own son was planning to murder him.
NS-VO: To Live and Die in LA has been a production of Tenderfoot TV and me, Neil Strauss, in conjunction with Cadence13. The executive producers of this podcast are myself, Donald Albright, and Payne Lindsey, along with producers Alex Vespestad and Mike Rooney.
NS-VO: Because this is an open case, anything you know about Adea Shabani or anyone mentioned in this podcast, we want to know. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 213-204-2073.
NS-VO: The music and score you’ve heard in this podcast is by Makeup and Vanity Set. Our theme song is “Love and War” by Fleurie and our show art and design are by Trevor [Ey-ler 00:30:33]. You can follow us on social media @livedielapod or you can find our website with bonus content at livediela.com.
NS-VO: The editing is by Alex Vespestad, with additional mixing by Resonate Recordings. Special thanks to Rich Burner, Kevin Richter, Chris Corcoran, Oren Segal, Brian Fishbach, Oren Rosenbaum at UTA, Eric Lin at Shangri-La, and the Nord Group.
NS-VO: If you or someone you know is talking about, toying with, discussing, hinting at ending it all, call right away the Suicide Prevention Hotline. Don’t think you can help them yourself if you’re not qualified. It’s 1-800-273-8255.
NS-VO: Thank you for listening.