'I Know That He Will Retaliate' — The Tragic Death Of Jennifer Dulos
“I am afraid of my husband,” Jennifer Farber Dulos wrote in divorce paperwork filed on June 20, 2017. “I know that filing for divorce, and filing this motion will enrage him. I know that he will retaliate by trying to harm me in some way. He has the attitude that he must always win at all costs.”
According to the filing, Jennifer’s estranged husband Fotis Dulos, an ivy-league educated high-end real estate developer who had been having an affair with a coworker for a year, had exhibited “irrational, unsafe, bullying, threatening and controlling behavior.” She also said Fotis had threatened to kidnap the couple’s five children and take them with him to Greece, where he was from.
Two years after filing for divorce, on May 24, 2019, Jennifer dropped her kids off at school and was never seen again. Nine days after her disappearance, police arrested Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend at the time, Michelle Troconis.
Why Police Believe Fotis Dulos Was Responsible For The Disappearance Of Jennifer Farber Dulos
Fotis Dulos insisted on his innocence until his death by suicide in January of 2020. Police discovered a note in the car near his unconscious body that said, in part, that he didn’t want to spend “an hour more in jail for something I had NOTHING to do with. Enough is enough.”
But investigators had ample evidence pointing to Fotis’s involvement with Jennifer’s disappearance. Even without the physical evidence they would later discover, they had Jennifer’s divorce filing. According to the filing, in May of 2017, Fotis had demanded that Jennifer sign an agreement that would permit him to move his girlfriend, along with her daughter, into the Dulos’s 15,000-square-foot home in Farmington, CT.
“When I disagreed,” Jennifer wrote in the filing, “he became enraged. I was terrified and ran out of the house. He continued to yell at me and chased me towards the road.” Jennifer wrote that the very next day, she learned that her husband had purchased an illegal handgun from a friend. When she asked him to remove it from the home, she said, he told her he needed it “for protection.”
On the evening of the day Jennifer went missing, at the same time investigators were knocking on her door, a man whose face was hidden under a baseball cap was caught on the city’s surveillance system cameras in Hartford, CT, disposing of plastic trash bags in the bins of multiple businesses and residences. 30 trash bags, over a stretch of four miles. One of the bags went into a storm drain.
Fotis Dulos’s cell phone records placed him on those same streets at precisely the same time the man with the baseball cap was seen disposing of 30 garbage bags. Not only that, but the man in the baseball cap was driving a black Ford Raptor pickup truck — the same kind of truck Fotis Dulos drove, with stickers in the same spot on the rear window, and a license plate that appeared to match Dulos’s. Surveillance videos also showed a woman in the passenger seat.
What Detectives Found In The Bags
Although it was a week before detectives connected the trash bag videos with Jennifer Farber-Dulos’s disappearance, they were still able to recover a few of the dumped garbage bags. In them, they found sponges, clothes, and zip ties that were smeared with Jennifer Dulos’s blood. At least one of the bags contained the DNA of Jennifer, Fotis, and Fotis’s girlfriend of the time, Melissa Troconis. Fotis and his girlfriend were promptly arrested for “hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence.”
According to the arrest warrant affidavits, on May 24, detectives had found enough blood in the garage where Jennifer parked her car to indicate a “serious physical assault had occurred.” The following day they also found blood stains and spatters inside the house, as if someone had tried to clean up the scene.
The Red Toyota Tacoma
Police were also able to access camera footage from school buses and a neighbors’ security cameras that put together a clear timeline of how they believe Fotis Dulos pulled off the murder. Police learned that Fotis borrowed a red Toyota Tacoma truck from an employee. That truck was seen by multiple cameras to be driving in the area of the home where Jennifer was staying, both before and after the hours during which they believe she was murdered.
Police alleged Fotis drove to a spot near the house so he could “lie in wait” for Jennifer, then used her own Chevrolet Suburban to transport her body from the premises. The borrowed Toyota Tacoma is then seen going in the opposite direction after a period of six hours. Jennifer’s Suburban was found abandoned in a park not far from her residence.
Five days later, Fotis Dulos had the borrowed truck cleaned and suggested his employee swap the seats from the truck with seats from a Porsche he owned.
Why Fotis Dulos May Have Wanted To Kill His Wife
Not only were the couple embroiled in a contentious divorce, but Jennifer’s parents were also in the process of suing their son-in-law because they said he had not been making payments on substantial loans he’d taken from them. Jennifer’s father, Hilliard Farber, had been a senior vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank and would loan Fotis money for his real estate ventures. The lawsuit claimed Fotis owed Jennifer’s father more than $2.5 million.
Fotis also had little access to his kids due to the divorce proceedings. A judge had called him “a liar who willingly ignored court orders” by having his girlfriend around his five children, which court orders had specifically ordered him not to do. He was eventually only permitted supervised visitation every other weekend, not allowed to discuss the case, not allowed to talk to his kids privately one-on-one, and not allowed to speak Greek to them as a way to get around the supervisor overhearing.
Sadly, Jennifer Farber Dulos’s body has still never been found. Now, with Fotis Dulos also dead, it may never be. Their five children remain in the care of Jennifer’s mother, Gloria Farber.
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