Twin Cities actor Charles Hubbell starred in the trailer for "Gray State," which appears to appeal to conspiracy theorists.

Hubbell said he doesn't believe that Crowley, whom he described as efficient, disciplined, passionate and inspirational, believed fully in all the conspiracy theories of government takeover that make up his film.

"When we talked about 'Gray State' I told him I'm not really into conspiracies," Hubbell said Sunday. "I told him I'm a Buddhist/atheist/tree-hugging liberal, and with a wink in his eye, he said, 'I'm just trying to get something out there.' He always had that wink in his eye. He told me he had found a niche, a target audience and could feed off that niche."

The Crowley family would come to the Hubbell house for dinner and when they left at the end of the night, Hubbell said he and his wife would stand in the doorway watching the couple leave and say, "It's always great to have young, gorgeous people come to our house and look as happy as they are," Hubbell said. "They were gorgeous, and they had this happy and bubbly and talkative child."

David and Komel Crowley met and married within three months, Hubbell said.

The pair met in Texas, where Komel lived and where Crowley was stationed. They married shortly before Crowley deployed to Iraq.

"They knew right away that they were a team and that their marriage was going to happen," Hubbell said.

Crowley's LinkedIn profile shows he was in the military from June 2004 to August 2009 and was stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany, as well as Texas.

After the couple moved to the Twin Cities, Komel, who was a registered dietitian, received a master's in public health in nutrition from the University of Minnesota in 2012, according to her website,

The Crowleys had talked to the Hubbells about moving to Los Angeles, where Komel could pursue a career as a dietitian and Crowley could work as a writer and filmmaker.

Hubbell said he was "blindsided" and "shocked" by news of the deaths.

"He seemed more grounded and focused than would lend itself to anything chaotic," Hubbell said. "The entire time I worked with him there was nothing aggressive or chaotic or strange or abnormal. He was one of the ones I was hanging my hat on, one who was going to succeed."

Twin Cities director and filmmaker Paul von Stoetzel said that David Crowley and his colleagues were good people and had huge dreams for their film careers. Von Stoetzel had met with Crowley early on about possibly writing the script for "Gray State."

Von Stoetzel said people liked and respected Crowley and his business partner, Mitch Heil, who ran a video production company with David Crowley and also co-owned with Crowley the Bullet Exchange, a company that trained actors to use weapons and military and police gear in film.

Heil said Sunday he was "heartbroken" over the deaths.

"He's been one of my best friends since high school," he said.

He said the couple had a "great marriage."

The two men were friends in high school and then joined the Army together. After basic training, they were stationed in different places but came back together again in the Twin Cities to form their actor-training company.

Heil hadn't spoken to Crowley since September when they parted ways in business. He said it was normal for Crowley to hunker down to write and then surface several months later, so he didn't think it was odd that they hadn't spoken.

Crowley was a charismatic leader and creative person, Heil said.

"When it came to business stuff, he was the brains behind everything. I was just there assisting him to reach his vision."

Although Crowley had met with people in California about getting "Gray State" made, nothing had panned out, Heil said.

"He was a great person, a great friend," he said.

Police didn't issue any other details about the crime. The investigation continues, with the help of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Dakota County sheriff's office.

Bob Shaw can be reached at 651-228-5433. Follow him at