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.