Darlene was getting ready to take a continuing education class in Corning and Dave Walker told her he went to Corning every day to the Y to work out. She dreaded the drive up the formidable 'Corning Hill" so they made an arrangement that he would drive her to her class in her car, he would go work out for the three hours while she was in class and then bring her home. It was an arrangement that really helped Darlene, as she hated driving to Corning. The classes ended and "Walker" started hanging around more and more., eventually making himself indispensable, so much so that he was eventually doing almost everything around her house for her.
"He shopped, he cooked, he cleaned, he made my front yard look beautiful, he walked my dog and was nice to him at first. ," Darlene said. "His domestic and organizational skills were awesome, probably because of his OCD. He had amazing strength that was brought into play when laying landscaping bricks in the yard, mowing and weed wacking..things that would take me two days to do he would do in one- he was a machine. He was driven and would keep the vehicles immaculate. What single female wouldn't want a man doing that for her?"
But she began to notice some strange things that "Walker" was doing. He started to keep the dog from interacting with them. She caught him snapping the dog's nose with a towel. He began to call the dog a" mangy mutt" and seemed jealous of her attention to him.
"He always wanted me to sleep.(she works nights)and he would put dark towels or sheets over the windows. It made my house look so dark, like a cave. I did't really think too much of it; he told me it was to help me sleep. Many people questioned why the windows were draped as if he were afraid he was being watched He was in total control of what I ate and drank- he even packed my lunches for work... I hated them! He's go through my work bag ans question everything he found. I walked on eggshells in my own house so as not tuo enrage him...he would go from calm to rage in 0.7 seconds"
But while she was sleeping, David "Walker" was using her computers,deleting texts from her friends and even sending emails to her ex-husband, Dennis, who still remained good friends with her.
"Dennis and I have a nice close friendship so imagine my surprise when he asked me one day if I had sent these emails to him, saying that I had "married David Walker and to leave me alone!" I assured him that I did NOT send them and I definitely was NOT married to David. Dennis and I have stayed good friends even after our divorce and we talk all the time. Dennis just thought that was really weird."
Things started getting stranger and more controlling then for Darlene.
"Walker" took over ALL of the chores, doing dishes by hand, even though she had a nice dishwasher. Soon he was ironing all of her clothes and doing all the shopping. He also cleaned .. everything.
"He was VERY OCD.. he vacuumed 2-3 times a day," she said.
She started to get a weird feeling about him, like something just wasn't right.He wouldn't let her do anything, including drink coffee. He told her it was bad for her and would make her tea instead.
"It seemed that all I had to do was sleep and breathe," she said.
What Darlene didn't recognize were the classic symptoms of a controlling personality disorder.
This "David Walker" was not only NOT who he said he was, he was David Perry, the suspected murderer of Kelly Rothwell from Indian Rocks Beach in Florida. And Darlene had no clue.
It wasn't until they went looking for pumpkins in late October of 2016 that everything came to a head. They were ambushed by the film crew of Crime Watch Daily, who had been working on a feature of Kelly Rothwell's disappearance and were hoping to get a reaction from Perry. Perry told Darlene to get in the car and took off, very agitated. Darlene asked him what that was all about and he fumbled saying it was all lies. Then he took out his cellphone, called the cell company and changed his cell phone number right there.
"He thought they might have tracked him by his GPS so he turned it off, " Darlene said.
Darlene ex husband Dennis got wind of the pumpkin patch incident and started digging. What he came up with was shocking and he became very concerned for Darlene's safety.
"Dennis came over to the house the first week of November with all of these printed articles about David Perry and Dave was there. Dennis and I both asked him point blank if he was the same guy in the articles about Kelly's murder. I couldn't believe it that I was THAT close to a murder suspect! Dennis told him to gather his things and then threw him out of the house. We had the locks changed right away. I told him to leave me alone and stay away from me."
Although she did hear from him by text after that, supposedly looking for some of his belongings, Darlene has NOW put that chapter behind her.She saw Perry's famous anger and abusive side several times and it scared her.
"I looked the Devil right in the eye,' she said. "I have never seen someone get so angry so fast."
Darlene Woo is lucky.. she didn't become a "victim" of David Perry. But he was well on his way to controlling her life, much as he did with Kelly, sequestering her from her family and friends, even from her dog, ..doing everything for her so she would become dependent on him and then erupting in a rage when challenged. Darlene was the lucky one.... She got away alive. It could have been very a different ending for her. Very different indeed...
Meanwhile Kelly Rothwell is STILL missing and her murderer walks free. She deserves justice.
Please listen to the Podcast on Kelly's case,it is my interview with my friend Ed Dentzel, the owner and producer of the podcast "UNFOUND " It's a two part series. Thanks, Leigh
Here are the links to Kelly's story: