After the murder and decapitation of one of their own, Mexican investigators are calling off the search for David Hartley's body, temporarily at least.
So, is it case closed? Is STRATFOR's theory -- that Hartley was gunned down by Zeta thugs who believed he was a scout for the rival Gulf Cartel -- correct?
Perhaps. But we are still in befuddlement at some the statements Tiffany Young-Hartley has given the media over the past two weeks, as well as some other elements of the case. First, there's that whole magic bullet thing, where she claims to have seen her husband lifted over the handlebars of his speeding jet-ski by the kill-shot that ripped through his head, a scenario that would appear to violate some basic laws of physics.
And then there are five more strange ones To wit:
1.Her Christ-like empathy toward her doubters.
"I have to put myself in their view that I can understand why they would think that, but...it is true and he is over there and I know I know the pirates or whoever did this have him."
If you saw your spouse killed and the authorities openly doubted your account, would you be able to find the compassion inside yourself to empathize with your doubters?
"We have points of being pulled over and being at Subway with the border patrol seeing us there. It just, you know, shows my story that, yeah, David and I were there together, we were at the boat launch together, you know, we had got stopped and Subway and that, you know, everything happened exactly the way I've been telling you guys.
"Me being a Christian and believing in God, I believe he lined all that up; he lined up the traffic stop, he lined up us going to Subway and having the Border Patrol there so my story would be supported by events that happened," she said.
(Did He also line up Hartley's face in the pirate's gunsights?)
It's interesting how closely Tiffany's account mirrors that of "the Good Samaritan," the completely anonymous sole eyewitness to these events. Masked and with his voice disguised, the Good Samaritan had this to say to TV station KRGV: "He believes he was meant to be at Falcon Lake that day. He believes God put him there to help Hartley. He was at the right place at the right time."
3. Three's the matter of the lie detector.
After telling CNN "If that's what the authorities think I need to do, then that might be an option," she has done an about-face and claimed that there is no need.
4. The strange 911 call.
Dr Lillian Glass is a body-language expert. During a conversation with Hair Balls yesterday, she put us on call-waiting so she could firm up a training session with the Los Angeles Police Department -- she says she helps train their detectives on ferreting out deception.
One of the many, many things that has alarmed her about Young-Hartley's demeanor and statements over the past couple of weeks was the very first word she uttered when she called 911. Namely, she said "Hello." In her view, that is not the action of a truly frantic person. She says that people who are genuinely terrified or distraught simply launch right into the reason they dialed 911 -- they don't take the time to exchange pleasantries or salutations.
5. The Hartleys financial situation.
On March 7, Tiffany Young-Hartley posted on her Facebook page that she and David had driven from Reynosa to San Antonio to hear debt counselor / financial advisor Dave Ramsey speak. "Even better in person then on the radio," she wrote. "If you get a chance to see him live 'GO'. He has helped so many people get out of debt and stay on a budget that works. Luckily we are ahead of the game, but now were on track for our future."
Apparently that future arrived fast, because on April 23, she reported that she and her husband were about to take a Carnival cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
In early June, she was buying an entire houseful of furniture for their new digs in McAllen, where the couple had just been sent by David's employer CalFrac Well Services. The cartel violence in their former home of Reynosa had risen to unacceptable levels, it was later explained.
At any rate, Young-Hartley and David did not enjoy the nesting process: "This is a long process and doesn't help that David and I don't have the same taste," she wrote. "So agreeing on anything is almost impossible. I think were each going to take a room and decorate it ourselves. Furnishing a whole house is no fun....."
A couple of weeks later, the fateful Jet-Skis make their first appearance:
"Got to enjoy the Jet Skies this morning then Davids skie broke, so our trip was cut short"
And Young-Hartley also wrote that she hoped their stay in McAllen would last longer than seven months.
Just a few days before their disastrous trip to Falcon Lake, Young-Hartley gushed about her wonderful husband and their recent trip to Key West, a jaunt which included a diving expedition.
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And at some point during that time, it was decided that Hartley's services in South Texas were no longer required. He would be getting some sort of transfer back to Colorado, where both of them were from. It was very vague, and Tiffany said that the two of them would likely be living in a hotel until the kinks were worked out.
So, in the six or seven months after driving about 500 miles round-trip to attend a session of Financial Peace University, the couple furnished a home, took two pretty fantastic vacations, bought two Jet-Skis, and planned a cross-country move and extended hotel stay, all as the husband lost his oil field job.
It waslike someone posting "Went to my first AA meeting" as their status and following it up days later with beer-pong pictures.
Did they simply disregard Ramsey's advice on "living on less than you make," or did they get a sudden influx of cash? And if so, where did that cash come from?