Attorneys for Fotis Dulos–the 51-year-old estranged husband arrested in the disappearance of 50-year-old New Canaan, Connecticut mother of five Jennifer Farber Dulos–have suggested that, much like the plot of the novel Gone Girl, she staged her own disappearance. Now, Gillian Flynn, the author of the 2012 best seller, is responding to this defense strategy, calling it “absolutely sickening.”
In a statement issued on June 24, Fotis Dulos’s attorney Norm Pattis first made the comparison between Jennifer’s disappearance and the plot line Flynn authored. Pattis has said that the defense is considering a revenge-suicide hypothesis.
“We are continuing our investigation of Ms. Dulos’s disappearance, and believe it to be entirely consistent with the evidence to conclude that she was not a victim of foul play at the hands of third parties,” Pattis told media outlets. “Efforts to distance Ms. Dulos from a Gone Girl-type scenario are well-meaning, to be sure. But the fact remains that Ms. Dulos remains accountably ‘Gone,’ and had the imagination, means and motive to disappear.”
Pattis has also represented notorious right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in his recent legal battles with the families of victims of the Sandy Hook mass shooting.
Clearly perturbed by the efforts to draw parallels between her fictitious story and a woman’s real life disappearance, Flynn responded to Pattis’s words on Friday.
“I have been following the story of Jennifer Dulos’s disappearance. This situation is so incredibly painful, I can’t imagine what her children, her family, and all those close to her are going through. I am deeply sorry for Jennifer and her loved ones,” Flynn wrote in a statement obtained by WTNH. “I’ve seen in recent coverage that Jennifer’s husband and his defense attorney have put forward a so-called ‘Gone Girl theory’ to explain Jennifer’s disappearance. It absolutely sickens me that a work of fiction written by me would be used by Fotis Dulos’s lawyer as a defense, and as a hypothetical, sensationalized motive behind Jennifer’s very real and very tragic disappearance.”
In their search to find the truth about Jennifer’s whereabouts, authorities allegedly uncovered sponges and clothing stained with Jennifer’s blood in trash cans and surveillance camera footage showing a black Ford Raptor pickup truck making 30 stops along a four-mile stretch of road on the day she disappeared. That was on May 24. Fotis Dulos has a black Ford Raptor, and video showed him pulling into his driveway that night at 8:10 p.m., authorities said. Officials also said there was evidence that two altered Connecticut license plates were found in a discarded FedEx package.
Jennifer Dulos has not been seen since.
Law&Crime previously reported on a “glaring weakness” of Pattis’ “Gone Girl theory,” in an interview with New York criminal defense lawyer and legal analyst Julie Rendelman.
Rendelman told Law&Crime that based on the evidence available, the defense simply appears to be “using this fantastical story to try to undermine the people’s case and place doubt in the mind of potential future jurors and public opinion.” Rendelman noted that the defense is going to have to explain how Fotis Dulos’s DNA managed to be mixed with Jennifer’s blood, which was found in the sink of her home.
Currently, both Fotis Dulos and his seemingly former girlfriend, 44-year-old Michelle Troconis, face charges of tampering with evidence and hindering the prosecution in connection with Jennifer’s disappearance. Both have pleaded not guilty and are out on $500,000 bond. Dulos proclaimed his innocence last week in a sit-down interview.
The police chief in New Canaan recently said he is confident there will be additional charges filed in this case.
[image via New Canaan Police Department]