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Grieving father denies being abusive husband

Mother who killed their sons, herself had obtained restraining order

Daniel Rashley sits down for his first interview since learning his ex-wife had killed their two young boys, then herself.

WAUSEON, Ohio – The father of two boys killed by his ex-wife who then took her own life is answering questions about his role in the relationship.

Daniel Rashley has a lot to say about the way his 7-year-marriage to Gayle McCulloch ended, and whether it played any part in why she shot 8-year-old Daniel and 7-year-old Ben in their beds and then turned the gun on herself last month.

Rashley says people have wrongly labeled him an abusive husband.  He told Channel 4's Jennifer Waugh his former wife was never afraid of him despite obtaining a restraining order against him.

When McCulloch filed it 2 years ago, she told a judge she was a battered wife who worried about the safety of her children and wanted protection from her estranged husband.

In court documents, McCulloch suggests Rashley is also an alcoholic.

Rashley denies that any of that was true.

"You can only get an injunction order if those allegations are in there," Rashley said.

"And she was well coached throughout that process.

Rashley will not talk publicly about who he believes pressured his former wife, but said the trouble started two years ago.

"I was shocked, because within days of getting that restraining order, Gayle and I were in contact with each other via phone like nothing ever happened," Rashley said.

He told Waugh that she and the boys missed him, "and I missed them."

Rashley says he and his wife were not perfect, but says what the public has heard about him and McCulloch since she killed their boys and took her own life is not true.

He denied punching or hurting his wife, but admit to grabbing her once when she was destroying property with a shovel.

To show he and his ex-wife were still on good terms, Rashley showed the last text message he received from her, dated Aug. 15:  "Is life treating you well today?  I know you are working hard. I miss you and I love you. Please take care of yourself. I am empty without you and sad, too.""

Rasley then says to Waugh, "To me that does not sound like a text message that's going out to somebody that's abusing her."

While in Wauseon, Ohio, to interview Rashley, several people came up to Channel 4's crew angry about what was being said about him following the double-murder suicide.

"I can assure you that it's not the Dan we grew up with," said Jill Smith, who has known Rashley since the third grade. "This is not the Dan today."

While in Rashley's hometown, Waugh learned he was captain of his high school's football, track and swim teams and was class president.

"A second father for my children," high school friend Brett Pelok said. "Second father for my children, Uncle Rash would do anything for my children and my wife right now."

McCulloch did not leave a suicide note, so there will never be any answers to why she killed her children and then herself.

Rashley actually defends his ex-wife.

"I just want people to know how perfect those boys were, and Gayle was a great mom," he said.

Rashley says the last time he saw his boys was a week before the June 2010 accident that left paralyzed McCulloch.  While this was weeks after the restraining order was issued, he said they took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese, had dinner and they were acting like they were still a couple.

"I've lost everything for her; been in jail twice," Rashley said. "I still loved her."