Friday, June 29, 2007
at 8:31 AM
Click here for an update on this case 3-03-2009
Earlier this week, a reader asked me to look at the case of Coralrose Fullwood. Coralrose was a 6-year-old little girl who was reported missing by her parents shortly after they woke up on the morning of September 17, 2006. Within a few hours, a local resident was walking his dog two blocks from the Fullwood house when he stumbled upon Coralrose's body at a new home construction site.
Nine months later, police have not named any suspects, but have not ruled anyone out as a suspect, either. Apparently, DNA was found on Coralrose's body that does not match any of the family members.
The reader pointed me to some videos of Coralrose's father, Dale, here.
I watched the three videos yesterday, and I must say I got a horrible pit in my stomach. It really upset me and bothered me- so much so that I had to walk away for a few hours. Nothing in the video sat right with me. Dale is not a person I trust. He makes me feel uneasy and uncomfortable. And while his DNA was not found on his daughter's body, I still don't believe Dale is telling us what he knows to be true.
- The first thing that struck me about Dale was his demeanor. It brought me right back to Adam Saleh. You don't get a hint from his demeanor that he has just suffered a major life tragedy within the past two weeks. Instead, he jabbers on and on like he is talking about remodeling his house or something inane. You don't get a clue that his children were taken away and his daughter was murdered-- that this man's life is in (or should be in) total chaos. His emotional response is completely in contradiction to his circumstances. Why isn't he feeling normal emotions? That's a big question.
I know many of you are thinking that someone could go into denial about a situation like this, and it's absolutely possible, but we would see other behavioral traits that would support this. With Dale, however, we see the exact opposite. He is willing to conjecture with you about all the "what-ifs", which is not someone who is in denial. It's hair-raising!
- In the video interviews, the reporter talks about how Fullwood's number one mission is to clean up the filthy house so he can get his children back into the home. Dale tries to act like the house wasn't all that bad. The reporters continues, "Reason number two is obviously trying to find out who did this," to which Dale responds:
"Who is the person who just took my daughter away from me? Yeah, and…"I find this statement perplexing. Most parents whose daughter gets murdered violently -- don't say "take my daughter away from me" so matter-of-factly. There is an anger in people who are violated to this extreme. There is a resentment, or at least a deep sorrow and pain --but with Dale, he isn't feeling any of this. Why?
- The reporter goes on, "Are you surprised it's taken this long?" (It's been approximately two weeks):
Fullwood: In all honesty, I think they are moving along at a very rapid pace. I mean…uh..the first 48 hours, you’re kind of hoping and praying that it’s a quick fix – that there was something… that the person dropped…a….a cell phone or something like that, that has his phone number on it. I mean or I mean… you could…you could…you could come up with scenarios. The first 48 hours is basically what the police did is sealing off the whole area.
Dale is showing classic thinking-as-he-speaks-clues, with his word-stuttering and speech repetition.
Rapid pace? When you endure life's tragedies, time usually stands still, or moves at a snail's pace. It doesn't speed up during nightmares, tragedies or huge losses. Only when we have fun does time fly. Is Dale enjoying this? He sure makes you wonder. This is another red flag.
Quick fix? A quick fix for a murder? This is simply nonsense. Normal people who feel normal emotions don't believe that a quick fix can ever happen after someone they loved is murdered. It's ludicrous. I suspect this is just Dale rambling off the top of his head, without thinking.
- The reporter: What do you think happened after you went to sleep?
Fullwood: Um… (long pause) There were a couple of strange things, and the more I think about this, that and the other – it’s…it’s kind of weird. Um…I notice when I took the dog out, there was like....you know how the dews in the morning and when something crosses the path, it …it leaves…you could actually see a visible trail. I noticed a trail like that…and at first I thought it might have been an ATV or something like that, but they're erratic. Um……(long pause) And it was kind of strange – because there was two trails. So, if….you're walking you normally make one trail…and I don’t know there’s …. there could have been a second person. Eh..Uh… Everything is just speculation and everything like that.
There is more classic thinking-on-your-feet speech again. When we recollect things, we do not talk like this.
When a parent of missing child gets asked this, they typically don't conjecture. Number one: it's way too painful. Number two: what purpose does it serve? And when they do talk, they usually tell what they saw and know in order to help people crack the case. Dale isn't doing that here. First he hints that he saw "a trail". He suggests he thought it might have been an ATV, but ATVs are erratic. What? Where is the logic in this that ATVs are erratic? It's quite illogical and nonsense again. And then he pauses a long time before suggesting there were actually two trails! Yeah, right. I wonder if Dale is hinting there were two people involved in this crime.
I suspect people who have known Dale in the past would tell you he changes everything he says to suit his needs. He says whatever works for him. I suspect Dale has been telling tall tales for a long, long time. The thing is, he comes across as happy-go lucky and nice, and he isn't threatening looking in any way, so he probably got away with it a lot.
- The reporter: I’m sure you have been ...you know, working it over and over in your brain. How often do you think about that night?
Fullwood: Every night.
He only thinks about her at night? That's ODD. Most parents in his situation would tell you they think about a situation like this constantly...every waking moment, all day long, every day... but they usually don't say "every night".
Furthermore, most parents would tell you that being at the home where the abduction occurred would be unimaginable, because they would keep reliving the nightmare. Yet Dale has no problem being at the home where this occurred, cleaning it up, building shelves -- getting everything ready so they can live again as if nothing ever happened. Dale makes you feel like he is ready to get back to everyday life. So soon? It just doesn't fit.
- Fullwood continues:
I mean, since I’ve got into this house, ah…I really don’t think I have slept more than two hours -- an hour and a half at time without waking up, hearing something or something that just shocks me, and I take a walk around the house, even though the house is not there, and nobody else is here right now….um…double-checking, triple checking—quadruple checking the doors – making sure they're locked. Um…as I said…I don’t think I locked the front door.
The house is not there? This is odd, and a sign he is just rambling for attention -- not thinking things through.
- Why does he feel the need to say he doesn't believe he locked the front door that night? He is trying to make sure people believe his story? Why isn't he saying, "If only I had locked that door that night, my little girl would still be here!"
- Dale confuses me with his obsession about keeping the doors locked now. He doesn't give any indication he is truly afraid. He says he wakes up frequently at night -- which sounds more like a paranoia than fear, if you ask me. If there was an accomplice, could he be afraid of what they might do to him?
- Fullwood continues:
As for a theory or philosophy of what might have happened? What seems strange is …um…on this side of the house over here – the screen was pulled out and left on the ground. So I don’t know if somebody tried pulling that screen out to break into the house at first and knowing those windows were locked … might of come around back here…and in coming back here, the only thing I can think of is this door was always kept unlocked, and I mean its not now, as you can see, I always keep checking things all the time. Somebody might have come in here, and I really don’t think, in my mind, they were out to grab her. If it was a sole thing just to go grab her, they would have just grabbed and ran…and with the opportunities with five children here…ah…there’s a lot of things. I think it might have been like a quick robbery where the guy came up here…my wallet was sitting up here and he could have been grabbing my wallet and…I can’t tell you for sure if my daughter was in the bedroom. She might of waken up and come out. Or, if she was sleeping here on the couch right here and someone grabs a wallet and she wakes up there, the person might have panicked, or something like that seeing that okay this is someone who could identify me, or recognize me or something like that whether… I’m not saying it's someone from our neighborhood or anything like that….ah but…
Here Dale tries to play detective. It's very unusual behavior for a victim to do this. Most parents are too overwhelmed with grief to play this game, but of course Dale isn't. It's hair-raising. Maybe it's just his happy-go-lucky demeanor that is hair-raising at this point. I'm just not liking this.
- What are the "opportunities", that Dale is speaking about, with five children? This is really perplexing. A man who is a sexual predator might see children as "opportunities" but would a normal person ever put the word "opportunities", in the mix here? It's quite strange and very out-of-place.
- The reporter says "Do you think it could be (a neighbor)?
Fullwood: (pause) Nh…The possibilities are endless. I could say that. I mean the possibilities are endless. Do I have somebody that I suspect in my neighborhood? I would have to say honestly say at this time, no. I really don’t think somebody would go to that type of extreme, seeing we’ve only been here two months …um…to do something like this. You know, but it is something that was done.
The first thing that struck me here is it appears as if Dale started to say the word "no" when answering the reporter's question. That's really important. If he has no idea of what happened, why would that come out of his mouth? It was a normal and natural response, and yet Dale stopped it. Then he repeated himself to be sure he was clear,"I could say that. The possibilities are endless". How could he be so certain a neighbor wasn't involved? Then his continued rambling is utter nonsense. Innocent victims of a crime like this don't make such arguments. They just don't do it. How could they possibly rule anyone out -- so much without a thought? It's inconsistent and illogical.
- The reporter "Does it make it harder for you because officially you guys have not been cleared as suspects?
Fullwood: I think…in all honesty, the answer on that…the police department are trying to cover everything. I don’t think they are really looking at my wife or myself or the children. I do know there are a lot of ….detectives out there …that maybe a couple of them might be following up everything on me….
Notice how he doesn't answer the question directly? That's a big red flag. Notice how he pauses at key points within the sentence? He is clearly thinking as he speaks, not talking from his heart and about his true feelings. Honest people would immediately talk about their innocence, how painful it is to have the finger pointed at them in a time like this. They would show emotions. Dale doesn't. Why? Instead, he acts like he is at a party conversing with a friend.
- Reporter: "You don’t feel like they are putting undue heat on you, another words?"
Fullwood: No, no, no
Watch Fullwood as he answers that question. His body language is key here. When people are overly stressed or feel they've held composure through a difficulty or have been scared and manage to cope, many times, they collapse their knees in response to the situation. I don't know if the response is subconscious or not, but it's definitely odd for Dale to do this here. It's not something someone would do if they felt there was no pressure.
- Somewhere I would expect Dale to stop and show some emotion for Coralrose -- some compassion, some care, some feelings of loss, share some thoughts, some memories about her - but he doesn't. Coralrose doesn't seem to enter Dale's mind AT ALL, and this is a double-triple-quadruple WHY NOT?