In the beginning of the tragedy that is the hot car death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris in Cobb County, Georgia, Justin Ross Harris and his wife Leanna Harris had a wide body of growing support. Their friends were behind them, their church was behind them. Home Depot Justin's employer footed the bill of Cooper's funeral, and a fundraising page collecting thousands of dollars of support for the family was established. Today, Paypal is returning that money, Leanna Harris is fleeing the State, Justin Ross Harris is unemployed and behind bars facing felony charges, and his own best friend is calling him a monster. Is it all because of the secret life of Justin Ross Harris? On July 11 WIAT TV reported for CNN, and how some startling details on the alleged double life of Justin Ross Harris have come to light since the tragic death of Cooper Harris.
These details may lead to answers on why Cooper Harris died, and why Justin's entire world is now turning on him.
A lot of people were "hoping for the best" and giving Justin Ross Harris and his family the "benefit of the doubt" when it was first discovered that Cooper Harris died in Justin's car, while Justin spent the entire day at work. "It was an accident" he claimed, he "forgot to take him to daycare" he said. A lot of people had his back, and several thousands of dollars to prove it, until the probable cause hearing for the hot car death of Cooper Harris on July 3.
During that hearing, the State showed a bit of their hand on what they have against Justin Ross Harris in order to charge him with cruelty to children charges that reach the level of felony murder in Cobb County, Georgia. Testifying on the stand, Detective Phil Stoddard said,
"Evidence is showing us right now that he's got this whole second life that he's living with alternate personalities and alternate personas."
Some of that information about the alternate lifestyles of Justin Ross Harris has already come out at his probable cause hearing. There it was discovered that while his son was dying in his car, Justin Ross Harris was texting as many as 6 different women, with one of them allegedly a 17-year-old. It was a shocking revelation on a child death case, and not just to the world, but also to Justin's own friends and family.
Before the hot car death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris, his father Justin Ross was a typical run of the mill American dad by all accounts and purposes. He had graduated from high school in 1999, and held a number of average type jobs as the years of his life went on. He has held two different jobs at the University of Alabama, one as a Board Operator, and another as an occasional DJ.
When Justin Ross landed a web developing position with the national brand Home Depot, life began to change for the better for the Harris family. Justin and his wife Leanna moved to Georgia for the $61 K salary job, and it wasn't long before little Cooper came along. Nursery workers at the church the Harris family attended described Cooper as the kind of kid who had "every nursery worker wrapped around their finger."
This church going, seemingly happy middle-class father of a 22-month-old innocent child is not the man that the world has met since the probable cause hearing for Justin Ross. Since that hearing, the world is learning about a man that is called a "monster" by his own best friend.
Before the hearing, a lot of people believed that Justin Ross Harris might have actually "just forgotten" that he may have left his kid in his car for his entire work day. The number of Justin Ross believers wanes every day, as it comes out that while Cooper Harris was dying, Justin was sexting many women that day.
CNN's Victor Blackwell has also uncovered some additional information about Justin Ross Harris that paints the picture of anything but a church goer. It seems that Justin, or Ross, as many called him, really liked the site "Reddit." Reddit is an information sharing and social media site where users can read articles and share with others.
It was discovered at Justin's probable cause hearing that among the types of Reddits Justin had accessed were Reddits that were about "child free living." CNN has also spotted a Justin Ross profile under the handle "RoscoeUA" that was visited just a few hours before he was arrested.
In addition to being a man with a very active social life, information is coming out that Justin Ross Harris knows his way around law enforcement. Some of the Reddit's he has been accessing provide information and advice to people trying to get out of DUI arrests. Posts written by Justin Ross on how to avoid an arrest reads,
"Refuse to answer any questions. And ask if you are being detained. If not, leave…everything a police officer does during a possible DUI traffic stop means he is trying to build evidence against you. You should do everything in your power to prevent this."
The information that Justin Ross Hunter would have that would make him an expert in terms of counselling potential DUI arrests comes from his time as a police dispatcher. WIAT 42 News has secured a copy of the personnel file of Justin Ross Harris on July 10 from his employment period as a police dispatcher for the Tuscaloosa Police Department.
In that personnel file it is discovered that he has a history of drug use in 1997, and that he submitted to a polygraph before his hiring in 2006. It was also noted in this personnel file that Justin Ross Harris had expressed interest in working for the police in a long term way.
But having an interest in the police doesn't make one a killer either. Many law enforcement agencies like the FBI however do find that a point of interest when they are investigating suspects. Having an interest or history in law enforcement and/or military work is often noted as a key personality trait by the FBI and law enforcement when they are profiling suspects of crime. This is only one small part of the Justin Ross Harris profile.
Since the hot car death of Cooper Harris in Cobb County, Georgia, on June 18, this is not the only detail about Justin Ross Harris that has come out that has been disturbing. Justin Ross Harris reportedly had a social media account on a networking site called Skout, where he was messaging women and reportedly telling him "I'm harmless." He was allegedly even doing this while his son died, with up to as many as 6 women.
It is those details that people like his best friend find the hardest to swallow. Ben McRea who has known Ross Hunter for 15 years told WXIA 11 Alive today that he doesn't even recognize his good friend any more, and thinks of them as a monster. Before this happened, he thought of Ross as "fun to be around. He was very outgoing. He was the center of attention."
But McRea learned about the secret life of Justin Ross Harris at the same time the world did, and he was just as disgusted as most people have been. He said,
"I never dreamed he'd ever hurt that girl [Leanna Harris] in that way."
Justin's former friend also told 11 Alive that Ross was very smart when it came to technology, and that he's actually quite surprised that he would "get caught" by the very thing he was good at.
"He knew simple things like a go clear your history and cookies and all that other junk, and it really blew my mind that he could be so careless. I mean, it's like he's just a different person. It would only take, a – I mean it seems like a monster."
Justin's former friend, who was a groomsman at his wedding to Leanna Harris, has also been very vocal about what he thinks should happen next. He wants Justin Ross Harris to "get what's coming to him" and if Leanna is involved, he hopes "she's right there with him." Ben has taken to social media to express his disgust of the monster he knows today,
"Thank you God Ross and Leanna didn't have any more kids. I wish I never helped them meet. Am ashamed I ever knew Ross Harris it makes me vomit to see his face now. I loved you like family man how did you get so sick."
People Magazine reported on July 10 that Ben McRae isn't the only former friend of the Harris family that is speaking out. The Harris family were active in the Stonebridge Church in their community. One of the parishoners who preferred to stay anonymous spoke to People about her reactions to some of the peculiar statements that have come to light since the hot car death of Cooper Harris. She said,
"I would have imagined that they would have been more about Cooper than themselves. It's all so twisted. I can't make sense of it. We were shocked."
The churchgoer and friend of the Harris family also alluded to some earlier problems in the marriage between Leanna and Ross Harris. She said that Leanna told her that she wanted more children. People reports that the Stonebridge Church parishioner said,
"She told me that she wanted an even number of kids, so each kid would have someone to play with. She said that she ideally wanted two boys and two girls, but whatever happened would happen. Somewhere along the line, the plans changed. I think it was in May when she told me that 'now is not the time for more kids'. I didn't press her to find out what had changed."
Could it be that this is around the same time that Leanna found out her husband was cheating on her? And had been for at least a year?
Friend Brett Wagner also told People magazine how good Justin Ross was on the computer.
"He was socially awkward. He was deep into chatting online, even back in college. He wasn't great around women in person, but he was pretty witty online….he was single when I knew him best. Single guys always use the web to get girls."
As Detective Stoddard stated himself at the probable cause hearing of Justin Ross, they have "only scratched the surface" when it comes to discovering all of the secrets Justin has.
Do you think they will find secrets about Leanna Harris as well?