- A= Armstrong
T = Tull
- A: Thanks very much for stopping by. For the record,
please state your full name, date of birth, and residence
- T: Bonnie May Tull, born August 23, 1967. I live on
the old Duvall farm off Hiway 7.
- A: Thank you. Let's start with the case at hand. How
much of your son's activities in connection with Knight
were you aware of?
- T: None. Absolutely none. I can't believe it. When
the cops came knocking I thought Ray was trying to take
him away from me again. That was the first I learned of
it - of Dylan being involved. Everyone at work was
talking about the murder.
- A: Ray is Dylan's father?
- T: Yes.
- A: So you aren't around much?
- T: I am, but at different times. I was really stupid
when it came to getting a job -- I took the first thing
that came along, which was working at the Waffle House on
Jackson Ave. I started as a waitress and now I'm cooking,
but I'm stupid because I should have thought more about
Dylan. I could have done something else that wouldn't
have been so hard on him.
- A: What is your work schedule?
- T: Well, it changes from week to week. I can never
remember it. Usually I work a couple of nights, from like
six to two. I don't take the late shifts, at least. I
work a couple of morning and day shifts too. It's tough
doing part-time - they just give you whatever shift is
short a person. In the school year I pretty much work a
morning and lunch shift - seven to three.
- A: Is Dylan alone when you're at work?
- T: It depends on what time it is. I know I should
have someone with him all the time, but I just can't
afford it. If it's at night sometimes my neighbor will
just come over until I get back - there used to be a
sitter, but she left because she couldn't stay as late as
I needed her to. In the mornings he's pretty much on his
own, which is why I wanted him to go to that camp. I try
to find things for him to do, sign him up for activities.
But I know it's not the same. I feel awful about it.
- A: So it's possible he could have left the house in
the morning without you knowing?
- T: Yeah. Very possible. When I come in from a night
shift I like to sleep late, and I . . . . sometimes tell
him I just need to lie down and not be bothered. He's
pretty independent. He has his own keys.
- A: Who was the sitter?
- T: A college student. Her name was Theresa. A history
major, very nice girl. She and Dylan got along great. But
I was working too late and so she had to go. Dylan was
pretty upset. I know he's lonely.
- A: How did you know they get along?
- T: Oh, Dylan was just cheery when he knew she was
coming. He's a weird kid - he's quiet and never complains
about anything even when I ask if he's unhappy. I know he
must be miserable but he just won't tell me. I guess I
don't know how to talk to him. Anyway he changed when she
was coming and would talk a lot and act silly like a kid
should. When she was going to come he would clean up -
that's one thing he's not so good about. He never picks
up his toys and drawings.
- A: Does Dylan draw a lot?
- T: Yes. I'm glad too, because he's got a lot going on
in his head and it makes me feel better to know he can
express himself even though I'm not around. But he just
leaves the papers everywhere, tears them out of the
sketch pad and leaves them lying on the floor. I try to
tell him that he should treat his artwork with the
respect it deserves and that sometimes works. Once he
left a drawing in the bathroom under the sink and it got
ruined. He was pretty upset. I sure wish I could help him
more, maybe enroll him in special art classes at school
or something, or draw with him a lot more. I like to draw
- A: What does Dylan like to draw?
- T: Usually people in the park. He usually likes to
draw kites and different kinds of trees, you know, with
orange dots for orange trees and red spots for apple
trees. He doesn't usually draw monsters or anything.
Sometimes he draws big weird flowers but that's about it.
- A: Does he have nightmares?
- T: Sometimes. It's like all his energy goes into his
imagination and his dreams. He comes up with some
outlandish stuff, not like horror movies or anything,
totally original. I don't really worry about it because I
know it's just his mind's way of blowing off steam. But
some of the stuff is pretty weird.
- A: Can you give an example?
- T: Well, I guess it was a couple of years ago. Dylan
was sure there was a slime mold in the house that was
going to digest him somehow. In his dream he could
actually feel himself being turned into mold. He had the
dream over and over again.
- A: What about recently? Any nightmares?
- T: A couple I guess. I didn't think much about it,
but I guess I should have. I don't remember what they
- A: Did the sitter or anyone else ever talk about
- T: No. Mom sometimes says he doesn't sleep well. But
I don't have any specifics.
- A: How does Dylan do in school?
- T: Well, he's pretty smart, but he doesn't really
care about his grades. I'd say his grades are just
average. All his teachers say he's real quiet. I think
social-wise he doesn't do that well. He's lonely.
- A: How long have you been raising Dylan on your own?
- T: Since 1994. Ray ran off with some bimbo from
Jacksonville. He doesn't call or anything, only sends a
check every once in a while.
- A: And when were you married?
- T: Oh, right out of high school, that was 1986 or so.
Dylan was in 1988. I thought maybe Dylan would help keep
us together but it didn't work out that way. I've screwed
up all over the place.
- A: Your mother helps out?
- T: Yes. It's great. Dylan really likes her too. I
think she's much better for him than I am.
- A: It sounds like you have a lot on your mind.
- T: Yeah.
- A: Are you in counseling?
- T: Yeah, I see someone every once in a while. It's
the county mental health services. But I'm not crazy. I
just, I don't know, sometimes it all just gets to be too
much, you know? Sometimes I can't stand to walk in the
door, and that's when I call them up. We just talk. Most
of the time, though, I just try to go to bed and go to
sleep. When it gets bad I send him to Mom's.
- A: I think that's all for now. Thanks for coming in.