What happened to Matthew Taylor Coleman, and subsequently to his children, is pretty clear at this point.
The surf instructor, dubbed the “QAnon Dad,” fell deeper and deeper into the strange world of mishmashed pro-Donald Trump conspiracy theories about the former president fighting secret cabals of Satan-worshipping child molesters who are also secretly lizard people. According to the FBI, these ideas worked their way into his head, and one day he snapped. He allegedly abducted his very young children, drove them down to Mexico, and slaughtered them with a spearfishing gun. After his arrest, he told agents his wife had “serpent DNA” which she had passed on to the children, who would become monsters. He believed he was seeing the truth and saving the world with his actions.
Related: Inside Coleman’s Letter Begging Forgiveness
As shocking and disturbing as this is, it’s all too easy to follow. With the inundation of this science fiction propaganda, otherwise normal people have begun to believe some farfetched things. Pair that with a president who tells his base that fact is fiction, and well… It was only a matter of time until some of the folks who bought in to the bombastic rhetoric of these bizarre theories — pushed anonymously but winked at by right-wing pundits and politicians — were encouraged to commit very real violence. Just look at Pizzagate: a man shot up a pizza parlor in Washington, DC because of the theory being put out that it was a front for a Hillary Clinton child sex trafficking ring.
That was 6 years ago.
Things have not gotten better on the conspiracy theory front since then. Sadly this kind of thing feels inevitable. And it’ll likely happen again.
The big question mark left in this case, near as we can tell, is what was going on with Coleman’s wife.
According to early reports, Abby Coleman was helping pack up the car to go on a family road trip when Matthew suddenly took their 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter without warning. She called the police but told them she was not afraid for the children’s safety and believed her husband would bring them back. After all, how could she possibly know what he was planning?
That’s what many have wondered… how could she know but also… how could she not know? How could she not know, at least, that her husband was embracing some really strange and scary beliefs?
Well, we got a partial answer recently when we learned that Abby had also been into the QAnon conspiracy theories. The reason she wasn’t disturbed at his descent, at least not at first, was that she was right there in the rabbit hole with her husband.
She even texted her husband, as has recently been revealed, on the morning he allegedly murdered the children:
“We are doing this together, babe. Praying for clarity over you and your mind this morning. Everything you’ve believed and known to be true is happening right now. I’m partnering with you from SB. Let’s take back our city. The gateway of revival for the state of California and the nation and the world You were created to change the course of world history. Take care of my little giant slayer and the voice of heaven’s dove. They sure are special.”
But then, well, he did what he did.
Obviously that must have turned Abby’s entire world upside down. And according to a family friend, she doesn’t know what to think about what Matthew believed — or what he was going to do. The insider told People on Friday:
“No one knows what was going through his mind… Abby is plagued with questions.”
This source says Abby isn’t even confident anymore that she wasn’t next:
“What was he going to tell her when he got home without the kids? Was he going to get violent with her? Did he want to kill her? She has no idea.”
He did tell agents that the “corrupted DNA” came from her. The friend continued:
“Knowing that he believed that she had serpent DNA means that she was a threat in his mind. So she thinks he wanted to kill her next. She is haunted about what would have happened if he wasn’t stopped at the border. She may have been in danger and didn’t even know it.”
How much further did Matthew’s QAnon obsession go? Far enough that they were on different planets by the end, according to the family friend:
“She realizes that she was sleeping next to a stranger. And it appears a stranger who thought that she was an alien sent here to destroy humanity. How do you even begin to process that?”
The source clarified that Abby was NOT on the same page as her husband, explaining just how far her own conspiracy theory beliefs go:
“She thinks that so many things are going on behind the scenes, that there’s a battle between good and evil. What she doesn’t believe is the lizard people. She knows who she is, and knows that Matthew’s belief was wrong. She just doesn’t know what he was going to do about it. But once your husband kills your kids with a spearfishing gun, you know that you’re in danger. And she is smart enough to realize that she very well could have been his third victim.”
Wow. It sounds like she still believes the rest of it. Even after all this. That’s how deep this stuff becomes. Even facing the fact she may have been about to be murdered by her husband who bought into one more level than she did.
We could not be more serious about this. If you don’t think something like this will happen again, you’re not paying attention. Next time it may be the families of others who pay the biggest price. Please, please, if you know anyone who is getting into this stuff, take it seriously, and get them some help. Before it’s too late.
[Image via Lovewater Surf School/Instagram.]