EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Face-to-face with a serial killer.
Harold David Haulman III pleaded guilty to killing two women in our area, and he confessed to killing another woman in Michigan. His patterns of criminal behavior suggest there could be more.
Can understanding the mind of a serial killer point us to more victims? Haulman agreed to sit down with Eyewitness News inside the Luzerne County Jail where he’s waiting to be extradited to Michigan.
Jail rules prohibits Eyewitness News from showing Haulman on camera, so you won’t see his face in real time, but you will hear his disturbing words. I should warn you, this was an unsettling conversation.
“I killed him. I hit him in the head with a log and he died right there probably…I don’t know exactly, it was dark, we were sitting there by a campfire. I hit him hard and I hit him multiple times,” Haulman said.
That’s how Harold David Haulman III described what happened on May 30, 1999 when he killed 21-year-old Joseph Whitehurst in Ramstein, Germany. Two decades later, Haulman told police…
“You wanted to see what it felt like,” Caroline asked.
“In a way, yea. Yea. It was a curiosity of mine of course. It’s part of the reason it happened yes. And I did,” Haulman said.
What he felt wasn’t remorse.
“Nothing, no drug can ever equate to that experience. There’s nothing out there. Your mind is just…well for me, it was just gone,” Haulman said.
We know when Haulman was back in the U.S., he killed more people. We just don’t know if he’s being honest about how many.
“That stems from my wife because I know when my wife was interviewed by the police, she kept saying that I could have killed up to 10 girls or something stupid. I heard all about it. There are no others. I have a clear conscience,” Haulman said.
So far, the I-Team has not been able to verify whether his wife really said that to police or find any mention on record of a possible number. Court records do show the many times Haulman has been deceptive throughout the investigations to police, Tianna Phillips’ sister Toshia, and the FBI.
“You pretty much picked her up that night knowing what was going to happen?” Caroline asked.
“No, I didn’t actually,” Haulman said.
“Then why did you use a Trac-phone that night?” Caroline asked.
“I always use one,” Haulman said.
Haulman admitted using a Trac-phone when he killed Erica Shultz so he couldn’t be traced. Haulman’s own accounts of the murders seem to confirm what investigators said about his urge to kill.
“It wasn’t a goal of mine. It wasn’t ‘lets see how many I can get away with.’ It wasn’t like that for me. I legitimately did not want to do it again. And I legitimately (expletive) that up,” Haulman said.
There appears to be a callous nature to the way Haulman sees himself and others, calling himself an “alpha.”
“There are alphas and there are non-alphas. That’s just the way. There’s the master and there’s the submissive or whatever you want to call it. That’s the way life is built,” Haulman said.
But when it suits him, Haulman talks about how he feels that life treated him unfairly. As if he had no part in the decisions he made.
Haulman went on about his troubled marriage, how he resented his wife’s unwillingness to “submit” to him and how he looked for that dynamic in his extramarital affairs. He says he met dozens of women on dating apps beginning around 2013, mostly in Pennsylvania.
“I got tired of asking for something I knew I wasn’t going to get. So I just went out and found it wherever I could find it,” Haulman said.
Haulman blames women in his life for a lot of his problems. He talks about his infidelity with as little compassion as he does his murders.
“It doesn’t matter how you do it, there’s different ways to do it. There’s different ways to make people disappear, or take people’s lives. Once they bleed out, they’re dead. Doesn’t matter who they are,” Haulman said.
Throughout the interview, Haulman deflects, talks in circles, and never shows emotion. The I-Team learns Haulman is someone who moved around a lot, and changed jobs even more.
He says he’s an outdoorsman, and he liked living so close the Appalachian Trail. When he talked about taking his victims into the woods along Hobbie Road, he said this:
“At the top of the mountain, middle of nowhere. If the cops actually spent more than 10 minutes out there with me, we probably would have found her and probably, there’s probably more people out there because in the hills of Pennsylvania, you know, you could hide people anywhere,” Haulman said.
This isn’t the end of the road. The I-Team is still actively working with investigators to follow any potential leads from our discussion.
Anyone with information that may be helpful to investigators can call 1-800-CALL-FBI or go to tips.fbi.gov.