Dr. Phil seems to be trying to fill the gap left by Nancy Grace’s departure from HLN. Between losing CourtTV, then HLN no longer carrying live trials and then Nancy Grace’s sudden departure, there are a lot of true crime followers left with few options for following big cases in detail. It boggles my mind that CourtTV was not able to stay on the air. That said, after his interview with Burke Ramsey, I’m not sure Dr. Phil is, as he would say, our soft place to land.
Because it is Dr. Phil interviewing Terri Harmon and because I’m not up to writing my own content listing the facts, I’m going to use the Wikipedia version which I believe is accurate. The Wikipedia version will be in italics. Other information I insert as background knowledge, I’ll try to remember to label as NOTS, Not on the show.
On June 4, 2010, Kyron was brought to school by his stepmother, Terri Horman, who then stayed with him while he attended a science fair. Terri Horman stated that she left the school at around 8:45 a.m. and remembered seeing Kyron walking down the hall to his first class. However, he was never seen in his first math class; instead, he was marked absent for the day and has not been seen since.
Right off the bat, Terri and the parents don’t even agree on where Kyron’s classroom is. There is confusion I don’t understand about the science fair. It seems she dropped the science fair stuff off the day before, the science fair was held the day before and she missed it. So she took some photos on the day he went missing and it appears everything was still set up. She says she never walked him to his room but there are photos she took in his classroom. I regret that I am unable to follow this. I’m having some issues today and it might just be me. The bottom line is she says she dropped him off at school. She was seen with Kyron at school. And then she left and he was never seen in school again.
At 3:30 p.m., Horman, her husband Kaine Horman, and their daughter, Kiara, walked to the school bus stop to meet Kyron. The bus driver informed them that Kyron had not boarded the bus after school. The bus driver was asked to call the school and ask where Kyron was. She was informed by the school secretary that Kyron hadn’t been in school since early that day and had been marked absent. She reported to the secretary that she did not have Kyron and, therefore, he was missing. The secretary then called the 911 call center using a private phone number assigned to the Portland Public School district to report that Kyron was missing. The 911 call center then reported this information to the police.
There was no mention of the bus driver in the Dr. Phil version. She says that she called the school and upon finding out he was not there, they immediately drove to the school. She points out that she drove. I don’t know why that matters but it seemed out-of-place to me. When she got to the school, she says the principal, the school secretary and her teacher were all there and told them they had not seen him “since before 10 am.” This seems odd to me. If the kid was there in class before 10 and disappeared why would they not notice? A parent would have to check the kid out. If he was never in the classroom to be marked present, some schools would send an automated message letting the family know he was not there, or they would have just marked him absent. The teacher says she thought Terri was taking Kyron with her to a doctor’s appointment for her daughter. That makes no sense either. Why would she bring him to school and then leave with him before school started? She said she saw the teachers, it would seem if she planned to leave with him she would have told the teacher.
The police were looking for a woman named Dee who was a friend of Terri’s at the time. The police put out a flyer with photos of the truck she drove, Terri and Dee asking for information from anyone who had seen them on the day of his disappearance. NOTS: That flyer was actually distributed ten weeks after Kyron went missing. Mostly because she was the only known friend of Terri’s the police knew about. Dee passed a lie detector test and was presumably cleared.
Terri says that she hasn’t spoken with Dee since July of 2010 because both of their attorneys told them to stay away from each other. Neither Dr. Phil nor I understand this information. She says, “you can’t make this up!” And I pause there to type and say, “Actually, you can, and it sounds like you are.” When I hit play, Dr. Phil says basically the same thing.
Next we move on the state of her marriage at the time. It was reported that she was divorcing Kyron’s father, Kaine and moving out-of-town on that Friday. She told the media there were no issues with her marriage. When asked why she lied she says that law enforcement told her to.
NOTS: When she lied to the media about her marriage, she said that it was just a rumor and “That rumor needs to be squelched.” He had moved out two days previously. There had been two calls to 911 during the argument that ensued while he was leaving with the kid. Also on this day she was served with both a restraining order and a petition for divorce . On that same day a People magazine story appear where her father said that there was a 50-50 chance his daughter would be arrested. He cried throughout the interview. Two days later, she shook off paparazzi and went to hire a high-profile defense attorney. About a month later a just issued and order requiring her to vacate the house so that Kaine and the daughter could move back in.
NOTS: Terri was allegedly friends or at least knew Kyron’s biological mother, the mother left to go to Canada for treatment of kidney disease, she signed custody over to the father when he was 2.
Terri says she has known Kryon since he was three days old and considers herself his mother.
In late June 2010, in the midst of the investigation into Kyron’s disappearance, Kyron’s biological father, Kaine Horman, was reportedly told by investigators that his wife, Terri Horman, had offered their landscaper “a lot of money” to kill him. Rodolfo Sanchez, the landscaper, said in a deposition that she approached him to help kill her husband five months before the disappearance of the boy. Investigators convinced the landscaper to confront Horman while wearing a wire, but they were unable to obtain any evidence and, therefore, did not make an arrest. On June 28, Kaine Horman filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order against his wife. The divorce was granted and Terri Horman was eventually granted supervised visitation with her daughter.
Dr. Phil finally asks her why Kaine was able to get her kicked out of the house about three weeks after Kyron went missing and in the process taking full custody of their daughter. She admits that it is because the police informed Kaine that Terri had allegedly offered a landscaper $10.000 to kill her husband.
Part one didn’t intrigue me or give me any new information. Yet, at 1:30 am, I forge ahead for the second hour.
We begin talking about the landscaper and rumors that she was having an affair with him. Is it me or is this show edited in a really choppy way? She says he had a thing for her and it was not reciprocated. She talked about her rebuffing an advance from him once when she was out in carrying her daughter in the middle of five acres of land. Then she says they had two acres of land. Who carries a toddler out into the middle of five acres of land and how does a gardener show up on his off day and find her there and lay an unwanted kiss on her cheek?
Dr. Phil asks her if she told her husband about his unwelcome advances. She said no, because he didn’t know they had a landscaper. He expected her and James, who was 15, to take care of the house and yard. I had to Google to find out James is her kid from a previous marriage. I don’t think he has been mentioned up to this point. She says she told her husband James was doing all the yardwork. Dr Phil says, “So you were lying to your husband?” Apparently, she offered up the landscaper as a suspicious person to police. Dr. Phil suggests that he made the allegations about her trying to hire him to kill her husband after he was questioned by police because he was angry.
He asks about rumors that someone else was in the truck with her when she arrived at school that morning. She says no. Someone at the school thought they saw her with someone. I presume that is how Dee got dragged into things.
After watching Bull last night, I have even more interest when Dr. Phil starts a new line of interrogation by talking about how he has been watching her behavior. I’ve been watching it too and her face has been a sad twisted mess the whole time. When I pulled a couple of screen grabs from Google I thought the person who pulled them chose some really mean photos. They are actually her nicest looks on the show. She seem extremely depressed and angry. And, well, kind of mean. On the other hand, while she seems to be telling a lot of lies, I don’t see the usual overt signs of lying. I can’t quite read her. I can read Dr. Phil though and he doesn’t believe a word she is saying.
Dr. Phil says her Facebook post four days after Kyron was gone about going to the gym seems like unusual behavior for a grieving mother. I don’t know if I have been pointing out that she has been blaming a lot of her weird behavior on simply doing what law enforcement told her to do. But now she is saying that LE told her to continue to do all of the things she would normally do. So far, LE has told her to lie to the media, break up with her only female friend, and now go hang out at the gym. Neither Dr. Phil nor I can fathom LE saying this to a mother whose child has gone missing from school.
Phil’s response, totally deadpan, “Did they tell you to sext with someone 26 days after he disappeared?” Then he proceeds to read way more than we need to know about her sexting life. She says that Kaine had done the same thing a week early. She was sexting with the new guy just to get back at him. You remember, her husband Kaine who took out a restraining order and moved away with a 19 month old baby to raise on his own while filing for divorce and joining search parties for his missing son? Meanwhile, she is posting about her gym routine on Facebook, hiring and attorney and somehow keeping up with who Kaine is texting?
She now claims it was a set up. She says the guy was a friend of Kaine’s. She was just sexting him (did I mention the photos? No? You’re welcome) so he would tell Kaine. She had no interest in him. Dr. Phil goes on to read more of the text saying she can’t call him because she thinks there are bugs in the house and alludes to paparazzi outside. It’s clear this was not a sexting event to piss off her husband. I’m quite sure he was pissed off plenty by her at the very least losing their son and being the prime suspect in his disappearance.
Her next excuse is that she had disassociated due to the stress and doesn’t remember most of that time. Oh and somewhere in there she threw in that she and Kaine were already broken up anyway. Her expression rarely changes. At best it is a look of complete boredom and most of the times it’s a look of disgust.
Dr. Phil says it sounds to him like she is now free from her marriage and the kids and ready to go party. She says, “Well, if you’re going to psychoanalyze me, and I wasn’t going to mention this at all…” She rambles on about her marriage to Kaine being very highly sexual until their daughter was born. She says that the sexting was a coping mechanism for her during a stressful time. What number is this excuse? 6? 8? She seems to be trying to justify her behavior as if being a married woman is the issue. She doesn’t seem to understand that a mother who is grieving a child might not be up to sexting three weeks after he died/went missing.
NOTS: Kaine asks a judge to find Terri in violation of her restraining order because she had begun a sexting relationship with this person who was his high school friend and she had violated the seal on the restraining order, specifically letting him know where Kaine as living. She also allowed him to photograph the sealed document. He began hanging around in the marital home right after Kaine moved out. Kaine and the new guy went to high school together in another town and were not friends while living in Portland. Kaine drops the request regarding the restraining order about a month later.
KJKAlso around this time, Terri allegedly tried to steal the baby out of the daycare center at the gym. The police looked into this guy, Michael Cook at the same time they looked into her friend Dee. Dee was working a landscaping job for a homeowner on the day Kyron disappeared. She left abruptly around 11:30 am and didn’t return for about an hour to an hour and a half. The homeowner tried to reach her by cellphone but got no response. At one point Terri told Michael that she had paid her lawyer $350,000. Kaine wants to know where the money is coming from because where she got it, it’s community property and he wants half for his attorney. She probably got it, if she had it from tabloid stories.
Dr. Phil played a clip where Kaine’s mother said that she thinks her son had an affair and that Terri killed Kryon to punish him. Kaine said she had a lot of hatred toward him at the time. This to me explains her lying about their relationship. If she was furious with him prior to the Science Fair, she would not want that information known. There are photos of her with Kaine at a press conference hugging Kaine and appearing to be the grieving mother while the look on his face was… uncomfortable.
Wait. She just said they were divorced in December of 2013. It took 3 years to divorce? Dr. Phil asks if they are cooperating in raising their daughter. She lost rights to her daughter in the divorce and had to take parenting classes of some sort according to her before she could begin a unification process with her daughter. I believe she was allowed supervised visitation in 2014 but I’m not sure that actually happened.
NOTS: After well over a million dollars was spent looking for Kyron, by mid September the billboards quietly began to come down, and most of the thousands of searchers had gone home. However, in October and November over 180 searchers return to search Sauvie Island a few more times as well as a pond in the backyard of the marital home. There is a bridge with a camera going on and off the island. There is no record of her entering or leaving the island.
In November, The daughter’s biological mother, Desiree went on the Today Show after police showed her text messages that she had sent her friends about Kyron that showed Terri’s level of hatred for Kyron and that she blamed Kyron for her marital problems.
Terri denies the emails were ever written or existed. The police have never released them to the public.
Dr Phil goes over an entire list of allegations Desiree has made against her. As we go through these, the usual signs of lying are finally a lot more clear to me. Especially where she denies saying that she blamed Kyron for her marriage issues.
Dr. Phil says she failed two polygraphs and walked out on a third one. She blames her hearing loss in one ear for her failing the tests. Dr. Phil said his polygraph expert agrees that hearing would affect the test but prior to asking the main questions they do sort of a pretest to make sure questions are heard and the person is not having any issues.
Dr. Phil asks her what she thinks happened to Kyron and she gives a long story about a strange man in a white pickup truck who showed up in the area of the school the day before. She thinks he came in and took him. She says the school was not secure that day due to the Science Fair. She still has hope that Kyron is alive. She thanks Dr. Phil for putting up the tipline number and seems a bit emotional.
I’m not convinced it’s Terri. She did lie a lot. About the science fair and all sorts of things. I should be convinced. I know you guys are probably convinced. But I’m not convinced. Maybe the Dad or the mother showed up to the Science Fair. I dunno. I don’t have another scenario to put forth. I’m just saying I don’t have the gut feeling that she killed the kid.