Mike Zullo spoke to the Surprise Arizona Tea Party Patriots November 18, and according to interviewer Sharon Rondeau of the Post & Email:
Zullo “said that the investigation that they started ‘turned very dark,’ whatever ‘dark’ means,” the individual added.
Indeed, what does that mean?
Here’s a quotation from the Associated Press just today:
A detective investigating the high school shooting in Washington state that left five teens dead says in court papers that the young shooter’s texts turned dark the week before he opened fire, with references to his funeral and the message: “Bang bang I’m dead.”
Writing in the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry (2007) we see something similar in the Columbine school shooting:
Three days after his arrest, Klebold made one of his few entries into his diary. He wrote about his love for a female student and wondered if the feelings were mutual. But the note turned dark. He talked about suicide, blowing himself up with a bomb strapped to his neck.
I certainly hope that there is not some kind of murder-suicide pact about to be acted out by the Cold Case Posse!
Barry Cooper, a former drug enforcement officer said:
In fact, governments have always turned dark and corrupt which has always led to mass suffering.
Certainly there are suspicions of corruption in the Cold Case Posse, and they have clearly lied to the public about evidence. Still, I find it unlikely that Mike Zullo would be admitting this to his Tea Party audience.
Turning dark can be a sign of illness. In a chilling true story titled “Biohazard,” author Ken Alibek discusses a case of the Marburg virus:
By the fifteenth day, the tiny bruises on Ustinov’s body had turned dark blue, and his skin was as thin as parchment. The blood pooling underneath began oozing through. It streamed from his nose, mouth, and genitals.
Enough of that. Generally “turning dark” refers to reduction in light, nightfall, or a scene being obscured by smoke. It’s also associated with the end of an activity, such as a company going out of business (turning out the lights). A blog goes dark when it disappears from the web. “Going dark” in police jargon can refer to the failure of an investigation due to lack of evidence and leads. FBI Director James B. Comey spoke last month at the Brookings Institution of the conflicts between the need for privacy and criminal investigation:
Unfortunately, the law hasn’t kept pace with technology, and this disconnect has created a significant public safety problem. We call it “Going Dark,” and what it means is this: Those charged with protecting our people aren’t always able to access the evidence we need to prosecute crime and prevent terrorism even with lawful authority. We have the legal authority to intercept and access communications and information pursuant to court order, but we often lack the technical ability to do so.
It probably makes more sense to view the comment in some kind of context, and a commenter here reminded us of this quote from Carl Gallups 22 November 2013:
…the investigation has gone “deeper and darker” than they ever imagined…
I think that what Zullo intended was that his audience assume that the Cold Case Posse had uncovered some great evil in its investigation, but in fact to say nothing. Even back to the early Cold Case Posse press conferences, Zullo proved himself a master at leaving his audience thinking he said things he didn’t actually say. So as far as I am concerned, “turned dark” coming from Mike Zullo means exactly nothing.
I want to give credit to the Tea Party member who spoke to Rondeau. He didn’t jump to any conclusion about what Mike Zullo meant. I also want to credit Rondeau who, no matter what one thinks about her slant on things, does an outstanding job of getting birther stories.