59ºF

Man talks about killings that took his 2 sons' lives

Ex-husband wanted to reconcile, believes he could have saved their lives

WAUSEON, Ohio – Hours before his two sons were buried near his home in Ohio, Daniel Rashley told Channel 4's Jennifer Waugh his life changed forever when he got the phone call that 7-year-old Ben and 8-year-old Daniel were dead.

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said Gayle McCulloch shot and killed the boys, then took her own life Feb. 23 inside a Julington Creek home.

"I can't imagine to even begin to comprehend what was going through her mind," Rashley said just hours before he would bury his two boys. "Desperation ... and that will all be coming out soon."

While he doesn't want to go into any detail about what he thinks sent his ex-wife over the edge. He said her decision to do the unthinkable had nothing to do with anything he had said to her. Rashley did say a June 2010 car wreck that left McCulloch paralyzed started her downward spiral.

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

"I never once indicated that I was going to sue for custody," Rashley said.

Immediately after the tragedy, much was reported on McCulloch's single-car, high-speed crash, her complaints of domestic abuse from Rashley and criminal conviction for his purchases using her debit card after their divorce.

"I wasn't in communication with her for (the) six months I was in jail," Rashley said.

He did say he tried finding McCulloch and the boys after his January release from the St. Johns County Jail, but had no luck and moved to Ohio, where his family lived. He said every time he called her cellphone, someone else would answer and then hang up.

"Gayle never had privacy. There was some folks monitoring her cellphone," Rashley said.

He said he still loved McCulloch even after she filed for divorce nearly two years ago. Rashley said he wanted desperately to reconcile.

Donna McCulloch

"Every day in jail for six months that's all I thought about," he said.

McCulloch killed their boys six days after Rashley said he gave up looking for them.

Rashley said had he been able to find her after he got out of jail, he believes Daniel and the boy the family called Ben-Ben would still be alive.

"If they had given me (their address), I would have stopped in and seen them," Rashley said. "I truly believe this would not have happened."

One detail he learned about the circumstances of his boys' deaths gives him at least the hope that they were killed while they were sleeping.

"I do know they were wearing pajamas," Rashley said. "Which, in this horrible story, if there's anything positive, I think that's positive."

In 911 calls released Wednesday it was revealed the boys' bodies were found in bed.

READ ON: Rashley and his father also talked with Waugh about his memories of his sons -- even showing some home video of the boys -- then invited her to attend the funeral for Daniel and Ben.  Read part two.