The audience waiting on the set of Stage 29 was growing impatient. Nervous glances were exchanged along with shoulder shrugs. It was unusual for the star to be late to a taping. Where was he?

Here Is Your List Of Questions

Dr. Phil took his place on stage in the same breezy manner as he typically did. Today was a serious topic, there wasn’t the larger-than-life Texas grin on his face as he sat across from his guests. As the taping started, very few people knew that Dr. Phil was going off-script. The man who employs a teleprompter to ask his preplanned questions would not be able to use it today. He had been on the phone with his attorneys before the show and they had informed him that unless he went easy on his initial guests…they would ‘walk’. They outlined the topics and questions Dr. Phil was permitted to ask and warned him to go no further. Pressing too hard would end the taping of the show and this presented a moral dilemma for the seasoned television personality. Should he risk not being able to share the story at all? Or, should he go easy on the troublesome guests realizing that some information is better than none? Taking a deep breath, Dr. Phil chose the latter.

Eggshells

Those that watched Dr. Phil’s interview of Melissa and Zac Guse were stunned by the shortage of hard-nosed questions typically asked by the talk show host. Their lack of transparency screamed for increased scrutiny. As the Guse’s lobbed up questionable behaviors and statements, Dr. Phil was standing at the plate seemingly unwilling to take a swing. Questions a high school yearbook journalist would know to raise went unasked. Dr. Phil was a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

To describe the Guse’s as difficult guests would be an understatement. Most had predicted Melissa’s departure off of the stage after being asked the question no one’s been brave enough to ask, “did you cause the disappearance of your stepdaughter Karlie Guse?” To this day, no journalist has asked either of the Guse’s that question. The only person to have publicly asked that question of the last known people to see Karlie, is Karlie’s mom, Lindsay Fairley.

Our Way Or The Highway (6)

The Guse’s uncooperative nature reared its ugly head front and center on Stage 29 of the Dr. Phil Show. Dr. Phil stuttered uncomfortably when posing each question, attempting to find his footing in the quagmire he now found himself. The Guse’s claimed there were three “confirmed” eyewitnesses who saw Karlie walking in the direction of Highway 6 in the early morning hours of October 13, 2018. Dr. Phil stammered before asking why they didn’t want his producers to contact any of the witnesses, presumably to lend some credibility to their story. Shockingly, the Guse’s exchanged a look with one another before denying Dr. Phil’s producers asked for the witness information. Their denial was met with incredulous scrutiny from Dr. Phil. He didn’t appreciate his staff being called liars. The shapeshifting Guse’s changed up their stance and then stated they ‘didn’t want to involve people who may not want to be involved’…besides, Zac added, they ‘don’t even know who the third witness is’.

They’re Calling Me Names

Gaining a little momentum, Dr. Phil questioned them as to why they wouldn’t even provide their own address to producers. Melissa’s snarky reply was, ‘we filled out your form’. Would Dr. Phil bend over and take it? After lecturing the Guse’s that he’s been doing this for x number of years and has never encountered this kind of response from parents of a missing child, Melissa turned on the tears. She relayed that people in the social media platform that she chose as her venue for communicating about Karlie’s disappearance were calling her names. Who were the tears for? Well, the tears started when she was questioned about their odd behavior. While under minor scrutiny, Melissa cries tears for herself…her plight…her feelings.

“It’s not gunna…I don’t think it’s gunna solve the mystery of where she is.” (Melissa changed her sentence mid-stream not wanting to sound too confident about what she knows.)

Dr. Phil gains a little more momentum. He asks why they won’t allow him to listen to the weird recording they happened to make in the hours before Karlie’s disappearance. With even more snark, Melissa snapped, it won’t “solve the mystery of where Karlie is”. Her words should’ve given Dr. Phil pause. The mystery of “what happened” to Karlie, isn’t her primary concern. The mystery Melissa mentions won’t be helped by listening to their weird recording made mere hours before Karlie’s disappearance. The only mystery on Melissa’s mind is… “where she is”. [Shiver]

Thank you, sir, may I have another?  (My apologies to Kevin Bacon)

 

 

What followed was chilling. A grin those in the law enforcement community commonly call ‘duping delight’. If Dr. Phil had hair on his head, it should’ve been standing on end. He instead backs away from the confrontation, bends over as if to say, “thank you, sir, may I have another.”

Sleep Tight

Dr. Phil is no stranger to cases involving children who may have been falsely reported missing and are instead victims of domestic homicide. Take, for instance, Dylan Redwine who disappeared from his father’s home on November 19, 2012. Or Kyron Horman who was attending a science fair at his school with his stepmother and was never seen again. There are hundreds of documented cases similar to Dylan’s that have been adjudicated. What’s sickening, is that there are thousands of cases just like Dylan’s that will never be solved due to inept initial investigation and criminal involvement of the very people who know their victim intimately. One can liken it to having Osama Bin Laden sit on the advisory council for Homeland Security. Law enforcement is reluctant to place a spotlight on the people closest to the victim. When researching crime statistics, however, it’s clear that the people closest to you are the most likely to murder you. Kind of gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, I know.

Dylan Redwine’s mother suspected his father caused his disappearance. Maternal instinct is rarely wrong.

Law enforcement may not relish interrogating those closest to the victim, yet that is an expectation of the job. Rare is the suspect who willingly offers up what they did and where they did it.

Snake Oil

Dr. Phil markets himself as a no ‘BS’ straight-talking psychologist who happens to have a syndicated daytime talk show. “How’s that workin’ for ya?” has entered the vernacular solely because of him. When he walked out onto Stage 29 to interview the Guse’s that day, he knew that he was not going to be dealing with people who were honest. How is that possible when openness and transparency are off the table due to litigious threats? I’ll answer that for you…it’s not. He was unnaturally docile with the Guse’s seemingly buying into their farfetched tale. He did question them about the “eyewitnesses” and the infamous audio recordings Melissa made…coincidentally just hours before Karlie’s disappearance. The Guse’s initially refused then relented and allowed Dr. Phil to listen to the audio. What did he think after hearing it? He agreed that Karlie sounded confused. He didn’t hear Karlie ask Melissa to call 9-1-1. His gavel had dropped and he had pronounced them innocent.

The Lie Torch Is Passed

Here’s the problem though. Dr. Phil only listened to 2-3 minutes of edited audio. Yes, you heard that correctly. Out of the over 20 minutes of audio recorded by Melissa, Dr. Phil listened to roughly 10% of it and it was audio ‘cherry-picked’ by the Guse’s. Here’s the other problem…the audience at home had no idea that he only listened to 10% of the audio. Dr. Phil made no mention of that on the air. The viewer at home was left with the false impression that he heard all of it. Dr. Phil became a perpetuator of the lie. He became a co-conspirator after the fact.

Just Call Me ‘Phil’

Public perception and outcry is a major driving force behind investigating cases such as Dylan’s and Karlie’s. Imagine for a moment, if Dr. Phil would’ve taken that stance with Dylan Redwine’s father. What would’ve happened if Dr. Phil bought into Mark Redwine’s farfetched tale? How would that have ultimately affected justice for Dylan? It’s difficult to say what the ripple effects would’ve been.

The effect on Karlie’s case was decidedly negative. Dr. Phil helped bury a little girl deeper into the earth. He threw a couple of shovels full of dirt himself. A step back from the bright lights of Stage 29 reveals a television personality motivated by ratings, not a sincere forensic psychologist. He is a mere actor on the stage entertaining the masses. Perhaps his show should just be called “Phil” and why not? He’s not using his Ph.D. anyway.