Hazing News

Remembering Adrian Heideman: Alcohol furnished to him by Pi Kappa Phi . October 7, 2000; Brandon Bettar, President

A Remembrance: Adrian Heideman perished from an alcohol asphyxiation at Chico State, CA. on Oct. 7, 2000.

Three men (Brandon Bettar, Richard De Luna, 21, Sam Dobbyn, 21 were sentenced to 30 days in county jail, three years court probation and $640 in fines, Ramsey said. They and three other fraternity members, Mark Bates, Nicholas Sutton and Theodore Bloemendaal, agreed to pay the Heideman family $75,000 each in return for being dropped from a lawsuit.

Undated family file photo of California State University at Chico student Adrian Heideman, 18, who was found dead in the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity in Chico, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 7, 2000. Grave Inscription: “Adrian
Someday the music stops and the curtain
goes down. You take your final bow as the
lead in the world’s most spectacular play.
And the crowd cheers and throws flowers
for you, the brightest star.
Adrian, with your beautiful smile, your
quick wit, your sparkling blue eyes and
shiny platinum blond hair, your music, your
acting, your writing and your warm heart,
we will never forget you.”
We love you.
Mom, Dad, Courtney, Brittany, Dora

Heideman’s mother Edith turned her sorrow into a passion for marathon running.

A newspaper quoted her after yet another hazing death at Chico State: “My first reaction was that they haven’t learned anything from Adrian’s death,” said Edith Heideman, Adrian’s mother, in a telephone interview from the family home in Palo Alto.

Heideman, who has worked to raise awareness about fraternity hazing and binge drinking, said there’s always an initial rush of concern after a student dies, but that it doesn’t take long before the attention fades.

“I do feel very discouraged,” she said. “But if we [parents] didn’t do anything, we ourselves would die.”

Where are they now? Brandon Bettar (former chapter President) is a Chico-based radio professional sales manager for CBS Radio.

More news:

July 16, 2002


OROVILLE (AP) – Eight fraternity brothers have agreed to pay a combined $500,000 settlement in the drinking-related death of a Chico State University freshman after a fraternity initiation ceremony.

A judge will now decide whether both the national and local chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity will go on trial Aug. 19 in the lawsuit filed by the parents of Adrian Heideman.

Attorneys for the East Coast-based fraternity, which has asked the judge to dismiss the case, said Heideman alone is to blame for his death, and that the fraternal organization cannot be expected to supervise day-to-day activities of a frat house 3,000 miles away.

The local Pi Kappa Phi chapter, which was dissolved after Heideman’s death, argues it can’t be sued because it no longer exists.

Lawyers for Heideman’s parents maintain there is ‘ample evidence from which a jury could conclude that Pi Kappa Phi was fully aware of the risks to Adrian and had the legal power to prevent those risks … (but) made a conscious decision not to do so.”

Heideman, 18, of Palo Alto, died after apparently choking on his own vomit after a night of alleged hazing at the fraternity on Oct. 6, 2000.

The suit alleges that he was forced to drink beer and blackberry brandy and that when he passed out, he was left to die in a basement room while his fraternity brothers were upstairs, watching hired strippers.

Local Pi Kappa Phi fraternity officers Brandon Bettar, Richard DeLuna and Samuel Dobbyn drew 30-day jail terms after pleading ŒŒno contest” to criminal charges related to Heideman’s death.

They and three other fraternity members, Mark Bates, Nicholas Sutton and Theodore Bloemendaal, have agreed to pay the Heideman family $75,000 each in return for being dropped from the suit.

Two other Pi Kappa Phi members, Daniel Santos and Benjamin Hopfer, settled for $25,000 apiece.

Butte County Superior Court Judge Roger Gilbert is hearing the case.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.