Oil Tycoon Con Artist Steals More Than Hearts

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[00:00:00] Bob: This week on The Perfect Scam.

[00:00:03] Whitney Kirkpatrick: He was an oil and gas man, the cowboy hats, the boots.   He boasted about having so much money, living this lavish lifestyle.

[00:00:12] Whitney Kirkpatrick: At night I would get these notifications on my phone, “$500 has just been withdrawn from your bank account.”

[00:00:18] Whitney Kirkpatrick: When he snapped and snatched the picture out of my hand, the southern drawl went away, it was shocking.

[00:00:27] Bob: Hearing about an old flame can be a strange feeling, maybe it’s charming. You learn that the first girl you ever kissed on the lips 20 years ago or so just gave birth to twins, or maybe it makes you a little mad. What? They started dating one week after we broke up? Or maybe it gives you a glimmer of hope. Wait? He’s single again? But nothing can compare to the feeling Whitney Kirkpatrick had recently when she heard about an old flame. Her ex-boyfriend was recently accused of a gruesome murder.

[00:01:02] Whitney Kirkpatrick: I got a Facebook message from someone who a long time ago, you know, you have so many Facebook friends, you forget you’re friends with people, and I got a message from this person, and they said, “Hey um, did you hear about Greg?” And I said, “No, I, I haven’t, what’s going on?” And they said, “Well he’s been arrested.” And they sent me a link. And the link showed that he’d been arrested for murder.

[00:01:28] Bob: How did a bright successful young woman like Whitney get involved with someone who would eventually be accused of murder? Well, as you might imagine, that’s quite a story. Whitney told me she didn’t get a sense Greg was a violent person although he did show he was capable of committing a most outlandish, elaborate, incredible crime while they were dating. Whitney and her mom, Claudia, remember the whole thing like it was yesterday. Whitney was a recent college graduate at the time, a nurse just starting out near her childhood home in Dallas, and her mom was very proud of her. Claudia is also a nurse.

[00:02:05] Claudia Kirkpatrick: I grew up in Miami, Florida. I went to nursing school in Miami, and at the time that I graduated my roommate was an intern from Ft. Worth. And when her internship was completed, it was like I, I think I’d rather move to Texas than try and find a different roommate. So I did move to Texas. That was 1983, and I’ve been here every since. Five years after I moved here I was working in the emergency room and the, one of the nurses that I worked with said, “I have a Christmas gift for you.” And I said, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t know we were exchanging gifts.” And she said, “Oh, it’s just my brother’s phone number.” So I called her brother. Six months later we were married, and now we’ve been married 38 years. Two kids and…

[00:03:09] Bob: That is quite the Christmas gift, wow.

[00:03:11] Claudia Kirkpatrick: It’s the Christmas gift that keeps on giving. Yeah. We got two kids, um, our daughter is a, has a Doctorate of Nurse Practitioner, and she’s over at Parkland in Dallas, and our son is Director of Marketing for the Arts Community Alliance in Dallas, and they’re doing very well. So we’ve been very blessed.

[00:03:33] Bob: Well, Whitney is a very, very impressive woman. I talked to her for a long time the other day, but I did not realize that she basically followed in your footsteps. That must make you feel good.

[00:03:43] Claudia Kirkpatrick: You know, it does…

[00:03:45] Bob: Whitney is just fresh out of school, working overnight shifts, beginning a life of following Mom’s career path when Greg comes into her life.

[00:03:55] Whitney Kirkpatrick: So, oh gosh, I had just graduated college. I was a new nurse, and my friends and I were like, man, what do we do now that we’re not in school anymore? We’ve dedicated our lives to school, and we’re like, oh yeah, we date. So we all got, just for fun, you know, online dating profiles. And of course we weren’t ready to pay money for them, you know, so we were uh, we did the cheap sites, the free ones. So I was on there not for anything serious but just, just for fun, and uh eventually Gregory messaged me and we, we started talking on the phone, and I wasn’t exactly attracted to him.

[00:04:32] Bob: But Gregory is persistent. He has amazing ambition and amazing stories to tell and the stories he tells check out.

[00:04:41] Whitney Kirkpatrick: But he boasted about having so much money, lots and lots and lots of money and living this lavish lifestyle which, of course, immediately you’re skeptical because this person is telling me that they’re 25 years old at the time, and that they were CEO of such and such company, so on and so forth. I own horses, I, I own a ranch. I’m friends with Rick Perry who’s the, who was at the time the governor, I hung out with George Bush and things like that. And it didn’t make sense. I was like, this can’t be. But when you go and google it, you know, as I’m telling my friends all this stuff, they’re googling it, and they’re finding stuff on the internet.

[00:05:19] Bob: Even Whitney’s friends are entranced by Greg’s resume.

[00:05:22] Whitney Kirkpatrick: We just felt that the internet was, was validation enough, and we’re like, hey, here’s this company’s website, here are all these employees, here’s all these Google reviews about his company, about how great he is, and how the coworkers are so excited and love working there and love working for him. Here’s these articles we found about supposedly when he was in high school and won all these awards and you know, most up and coming student, stuff like that.

[00:05:46] Bob: So her friends say, go for it.

[00:05:48] Whitney Kirkpatrick: I was like, fine, we can go out and besides my friends were like hey, he’s rich. You should go for it. And you know as 23 and 24-year-olds, you know, that was our mindset at the time, fairly immature.

[00:06:00] Bob: Still, Whitney is cautious. She takes things pretty slowly.

[00:06:05] Whitney Kirkpatrick: Yeah, so you exchange messages back and forth for however long, and eventually you say, well here is my number, you can text or call. You start off texting back and forth. It’s just, you know, “Hey, how’s your day going?” so on and so forth. And then it eventually gets to the time when it’s like, “Hey, can we, can we talk on the phone? Could I have your phone number?” And so…

[00:06:26] Bob: So how long do you think was it between your first message from him, because you said you weren’t even necessarily attracted, and when he talked you into a phone call. How long did that take?

[00:06:35] Whitney Kirkpatrick: Probably two weeks before I gave him my phone number, but this is two weeks of him messaging me daily. And we talked on the phone, um, probably for another couple of weeks in the evenings, when I was available in the evenings. And we would just chitchat for hours actually. I remember one time we stayed up talking till about 3 o’clock in the morning.

[00:06:55] Bob: And then, something fantastic happens during the phone call.

[00:06:59] Whitney Kirkpatrick: One time while we were on the phone, he was in the midsentence and said, “Oh my gosh, hold on. There’s been an accident. I’m going to go check it out.” So I’m on hold waiting to see how this accident is, is going, and he comes back after you know, about 15 minutes, and he said, um, “I need to, I need to hang up with you. I need to call the police.” And I said, “Okay, no problem.” So he hangs up and calls me back about 30 minutes later and he’s like, “Hey, you won’t believe it.” And he goes on to tell me the story about how he pulls up on a car, a SUV that is flipped over, and that there’s a woman and a baby inside. And he tells the, this story so dramatic, how he first heard the woman, and the woman was barely conscious, and then how he, all of a sudden hears the cry of a baby, and knows that he needs to save this child and, and on and on and on. So,…

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