The Dartmouth Murders
Mike and Dianne Tulloch wed in 1977. The couple moved several times between small towns in the 1980s. Rob had a home birth in North Pomfret, Vermont. In a school essay quoted by Lehr and Zuckoff, Rob pointed to this fact as a sign of his rich promise. "No hospitals, no doctors, no medicine, a pure birth, just like the days of old," he wrote. "I was born in the same manner as Jesus or Moses." He went on to call this "the humble beginnings of an intellectual giant."
In 1990, the Tulloch family relocated to Jensen Beach, Florida. A family of six with one wage earner, the Tullochs struggled financially. Both Rob and his brother Kienan slept on mattresses without bed frames.
Writing for the Associated Press, Harry R. Weber reported that Rob indicated in school essays that his dissatisfaction with his life began in Florida and got stronger when his family moved to Vermont, when Rob was in the fourth grade. "By this time, I had developed into an incredibly smart, witty, and scheming individual," he penned in a 2000 school essay. He also wrote contemptuously of formal education: "So now, after defying school for the last five years, having regular conflicts with the teachers, enjoying myself by doing exactly what I want, I am ready to depart. School is not for me and now I can leave."
Jim Parker would recall in an interview with authorities, the transcripts of which were published in the Union Leader, that he and Rob made friends when Rob was in the sixth grade and Jim one year behind. They liked swimming, building forts and, as they got older, rock climbing. They continued to pal around with other kids, some of whom played a game called "ball tag," that consisted of trying not to get hit with a ball and was played inside a house. Within a couple of years of their friendship, Rob and Jim considered themselves best friends.
In that same interview, Jim said that by high school, he and Rob spent much time together either at Rob's home or, after Jim got his driver's license, in Jim's car. In their conversations, Rob often spoke of himself as "a higher being" and of he and Jim as "much more evolved" than most humans.