The Dress Deception

To those of you who followed the trial, you’re already familiar with the confusing testimony about the dress.  The dress was a key component to the state’s case as evidenced by the amount of time they spent on it, but it was very difficult to follow.  There was A LOT of conflicting testimony about it and I can’t help but wonder if the goal was to confuse the jury.

Since the dress wasn’t missing and it didn’t contain incriminating DNA or blood evidence, I never understood the significance of it to the case.  It remained unclear to me even at the conclusion of the trial.

Recently I had time to go back and review the dress testimony and I now understand the state’s strategy, which was to mislead the jury.  It’s important to understand the lies and inconsistencies told by the state’s witnesses.  This was yet another piece of “evidence” that was manipulated to make it appear that Brad was being deceptive.  He was not.  It was the witnesses who were deceptive.  If you pay close attention to the testimony, you will see that.

The Cary Police made the decision to organize a canine search the evening Nancy disappeared.  Detective Young asked Brad what Nancy was wearing the prior evening and he replied “a blue dress“.  They began searching for it and when they were unable to readily find it, Young asked Brad if he was certain of the color. Brad replied that he was quite certain, but at that point he decided to go across the street to ask Craig and Diana Duncan for help.  The Duncans had hosted the party that the Coopers attended the prior evening  and Nancy was at their home for several hours.  Brad was hoping they would be able to remember what she was wearing at the party.

Brad returned to his home with the Duncans a few minutes later.  In the presence of Detective Young, Brad asked the Duncans if they remembered what Nancy was wearing the prior evening.  Diana responded “a black dress”.  This was verified in Detective Young’s testimony, and was also confirmed in his notes. The notes reflect that the conversation occurred shortly after 9PM.

Diana Duncan was previously questioned by Detective Dismukes of the CPD at 8:13PM and she stated, after recently speaking to other friends from the party that Nancy was wearing a blue/green printed dress.  Brad went to her home at approximately 9PM to ask for her assistance and she went with him back to the home.  WHY didn’t she mention that she had already spoken to other friends who attended the party and that they were sure Nancy was wearing a blue/green printed dress?  WHY did she tell them that she thought Nancy was wearing a black dress?  Somehow this deception was tagged to Brad.  Diana even testified that Brad came to her house asking for help in finding the “black” dress.  He did not.  And that wouldn’t even make sense since he had just told the police that he was certain the dress was blue.

The police ended up using one of Nancy’s shoes for the canine search since they were unable to locate the dress she was wearing, although I’m not sure why they didn’t select the flip-flops that three people confirmed she was wearing the night before.  Brad  found the dress the next day in the laundry basket in the master bedroom and he gave it to the police.

Please watch the attached video to see the most relevant parts of the trial testimony regarding the dress.  There will be another blog post about the dress, as well as another video since there is still more to this story.

9 thoughts on “The Dress Deception

  1. I don’t know about the deposition but the dress clearly wasn’t washed. SBI testified that a grease-like food stain as well as deodorant streaks were present on the dress.

    I’m still working on part 2 to cover the food stain on the dress, but why didn’t Det Young want to send the dress to SBI for testing? And WHY after SBI discovered the food stain did Young tell them not to test it to identify what the stain was? It’s because the stain corroborated Brad’s story – that Nancy told him she spilled something on the dress at the party.

    The state’s case fell apart if you think about it, because they claim that Nancy was wearing that dress when she died. That’s the only thing that fits with their theory that she came home and was strangled in the entryway. Remember, that’s where the ducks were broken too. Oh, that’s right. They were wrong about that too, weren’t they?

    The only deception was from the police, the prosecutors and the “friends”.


  2. And to think it is the law enforcement that one would think to be the ones who would want to actually find the right killer(s)…the prosecutors….well….that’s another story…they just want another case solved and under their belt….and the friends….well, with friends like the Cary want a bees…who needs enemies? As the public really learned an awful lot about the Coopers….the who, what, where, when and whys…and the how also….probably more than anyone really cared to know…..again…I am so glad that this trial was open to the public by live video….as it was a LLL (life learned lesson) for a lot of people…especially for those of you who are not blessed with being in court for whatever reason…

    I can only hope and pray that this case will be remembered for a very long time….and that the appeal will be heard very, very soon….and the conviction of Brad Cooper will be overturned by a “fair and just” group of judges who get the honors of “reviewing this “murder trial” and just what took place in the Wake County Courts….


  3. What difference does he make if he washed the dress or not?

    I can certainly see if Nancy had point out a spot that needed to be cleaned, the dress would be in the laundry to be washed. I can also see if during the events that happened, Brad thinking that perhaps it had gotten washed when it hadn’t.

    But again – what difference does it make? How was it relevant?


    • The significance is that if the dress wasn’t washed, their story falls apart because it’s their theory that Nancy was wearing it when she died.
      The claim that Brad washed the dress (and police said it smelled like Downy) wasn’t in any of the written hand notes. It was added much later, around November or December in a report.
      When SBI told Cary Police that they found a grease-like stain on the dress, Detective Young initially said he didn’t want it tested. Again, that would support Brad’s claim that Nancy spilled something on the dress. And if you watch SBI testimony, the dress clearly wasn’t washed. It had the oily “food” stain on it and deodorant streaks. Young testified he had no knowledge of this and he missed the SBI testimony. They didn’t want proof that the dress wasn’t washed to come out, but it did.


      • I missed this insane claim that Nancy was wearing the dress when she was killed. I only heard that they thought Brad killed her that night. She could have come home and changed and still fit that theory. For that matter, if they claimed he strangled her while she was wearing the dress, what difference would it make if he had washed it or not?

        Which puts us back to the question of what difference does it make if the dress was washed or not?

        But hey – I guess it is as much “hard hitting evidence” as all the other stuff they presented….or rather, DIDN’T present.


        • Cathy – I think it’s important to highlight how police and prosecutors mislead the jury. People should know that they first mislead the jury by suggesting that Brad was somehow “hiding” the dress by throwing them offtrack by stating it was blue and further with Diana Duncan saying it was black and making it appear as if Brad said it was black (he did not). In reality, Young didn’t “find” the dress because he ignored what he called the green dress in the basket. Ross Tabachow called the dress blueish-green too, not just Brad.

          They further mislead the jury by making things up – saying that Brad washed the dress to try to hide whatever evidence would have been on it (ie. body fluids, vomit, etc.). That was shown to be false through the SBI’s testimony – clearly the dress was not washed and also the detective post adding the information to his case narrative 6 months later. People need to understand this.


  4. Honeslty, even if Brad said it was black, I still wouldn’t jump to the conclusion he was lying. To be honest, I can’t remember what I wore yesterday, much less anyone else! When I watched the trial I did pick up on the fact that it was DD who got the color wrong, but it certainly was made to look like Brad lied. Thanks for the time you dedicate to getting the truth out. I can’t believe M. Peterson and J. Young are out while BC sits in jail.


  5. One of the things that is most disturbing about the dress deception is how clearly it points out that they were trying to “trip up” Brad very early on. Here you have a very distraught husband with a missing wife who was unsure about anything in his life at that moment. Remember Diana Duncan had just talked to Dismukes about a “blue green print dress” (actually the best description of it), yet she was saying it was black. How could this be? For me, as a policeman this would have raised a red flag about DD.. If DD had come to the house with Brad and said “blue green print dress”, that item would have been found within minutes. Instead she lied (possibly at the urging of CPD). One of the things that convinces me of Brad’s innocence was they could not trip him up. With everything that went on, Brad’s story still holds water. Leak proof. And that just doesn’t happen when one is lying. Everyone else, who is demonstrably lying had their lies exposed. The police, the neighbours etc. Brad’s story is as true today under the microscope of retrospection as it was in the first days of the investigation. Very telling.


    • Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this. I really want people to know what really happened and I think having the testimony is powerful. One thing about this too is that Young actually changed his story at trial. He first told the truth that DD said the dress was black then under cross he tried to say that BRAD said it was black while walking up the steps. Kurtz had to have him read his notes where he said DD said it was black. I really wish the trial could be like NFL replays and they could replay the lies right then and there. But it was captured on video. I think the 2nd dress deception video.

      The reason there are three videos is because I also had to capture the lie about Brad washing the dress. Daniels “updated” his notes with “smelled like Downy”. I just can’t believe they get away with this!!!


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