At 3.12 a.m., Matthew Coleman was lying in bed next to his children, 2-year-old Kaleo and 10-month-old Roxy, in a hotel room in the Mexican resort town of Rosarito, when he decided to text his wife Abby.
“Hi babe, miss you too. Things have been rough but starting to get some clarity as well. Still confused on a lot of things though and processing through them. So many crazy thoughts going through my head right now, hard to explain,” Coleman wrote, according to a newly filed court document.
But soon, Coleman would later tell the FBI, things began to come into focus.
As he was lying in bed, he began “seeing all the pieces being decoded like ‘The Matrix.’” In this reality, Coleman said he saw himself as Neo.
Later that morning, on August 9, 2021, Abby Coleman responded from the family home in Santa Barbara, where the pair ran a Christian surf school.
“We are doing this together babe. Praying for clarity over you and your mind this morning. Everything you’ve believed and known to be true is happening right now. I’m partnering with you from SB. Let’s take back our city. The gateway of revival for the state of California and the nation and the world. You were created to change the course of world history. Take care of my little giant slayer and my voice of heaven’s dove. They sure are special.”
But hours later, Matthew Coleman would tell FBI agents that by the time he received that message, he had already murdered both his children by stabbing them through the heart with a spearfishing gun. He’d dumped their bodies at the side of the road.
These horrifying new details about the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Kaleo and Roxy Coleman are included in an application for a search warrant filed by the FBI, seeking access to Coleman’s Facebook accounts.
The document was filed last month and was first reported by Seamus Huges, the deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.
Coleman was arrested as he crossed back over the U.S.-Mexico border on August 9, and during questioning by FBI agents, he admitted to killing his children, provided the approximate location of their bodies, and initialed a photograph of their remains.
The initial affidavit filed in the case revealed Coleman’s belief in QAnon conspiracy theories, as well as his belief that his children may have inherited serpent DNA from their mother, who may have been a shapeshifter, and that they would grow up to be monsters. Therefore, Coleman believed the only way to save the world was to kill his children.
But the newly-filed search warrant gives a much greater insight into how Coleman was radicalized, how his wife believed in many of the same conspiracy theories, the role the evangelical churches Coleman attended in Santa Barbara played in radicalizing him, and how he began seeing signs in Instagram and Facebook photos that made him believe his friends were somehow part of the conspiracy.
During his interview with FBI agents at the U.S.-Mexico border, Coleman spoke about numerous conspiracy theories, including QAnon, the Illuminati, teleportation, time travel, and how his two-year-old daughter and 10-month-old son were communicating with him and telling him that babies were being placed in fireworks, food, and walls.
They also communicated, Coleman claimed, that Kaleo was being abused by his mother and a family friend.
At one point in the interview Coleman told the agents that Q, the anonymous leader of the QAnon movement, was actually talking to him, even though at the time of the killings, Q had not posted an update in eight months.
Coleman told the agent that “he was either crazy or the only person that is left on Earth that is a true man,” the affidavit states, adding that “eventually [Coleman] saw the big picture that he had to kill his children to prevent them from becoming an alien species that would release carnage over the Earth.”
According to Coleman, about five or six days before he killed his children, he started noticing strange coincidences. Among these were hand signals he began to notice in photos posted on social media.
Coleman displayed the hand gestures for the agents, which included the peace sign, and told them that he had seen a friend of his using one of the gestures in a photo which indicated to Coleman that the “whole thing was a setup” and “they” were using people he knew to get to him.
The photo was taken a decade ago, when Coleman’s friend was just 13. But when Coleman took his children to Mexico on August 7, his wife called the friend over to their house and asked him about the photo.
She accused the friend of “being in on it,” and eventually she chased the friend out of the house, according to an account of the incident the friend gave to the FBI.
The document also reveals that Abby Coleman admitted in an interview with the FBI that she was also researching QAnon conspiracies, and her text message to Coleman on the morning he killed their children made several references to religious conspiracy theories.
However, she told the FBI that her husband had become significantly more paranoid than her that people around him were involved in a conspiracy and at one point accused her of being in on the conspiracy.
Coleman was a part of the Christian evangelical community in Santa Barbara, and some who knew him have claimed that it was in this community where the surf instructor was radicalized.
According to the recently filed search warrant application, while Coleman was being transported to the Santa Ana jail from the border crossing on August 10, he spoke with FBI Special Agent Joseph Hamer about his religious beliefs, his work as a pastor, and the biblical story of Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac. He also spoke about Nephilim, a group of mysterious beings or people of unusually large size and strength.
In an interview with FBI agents, a family friend of the Colemans said that Matthew was “very spiritual and claimed he knew what God was saying, however [he] had a hard time sharing what was in his head and had to dumb down his visions and dreams for others.”
Abby Coleman told agents that her husband had started doing a lot of research on leaders running “the church” and found that they may have been part of the conspiracy. He also believed he was able to connect the conspiracies being pushed by people running “the church” to people in their community and to some of their best friends.
During his initial interview, Coleman also spoke about Strong’s numbers, which is an index of every word in the Bible that people use to derive deeper meaning from Bible verses.
Last November, Coleman’s legal team sought and received a six-month delay to his trial in order to assess his mental state. In his application for the search warrant, Hamer explained that he was seeking access to Coleman’s social media history to help assess this aspect of the case.
“I know that some people who are arrested for violent crimes will feign mental illness (i.e., engage in malingering behavior) whereas others may suffer from legitimate mental illness,” Hamer wrote. “One way to determine if a person has a legitimate mental illness or is malingering, or to determine the extent to which a person understood the nature of their actions, is to examine their conduct and communications with others in the time around and leading up to specific events.”
Hamer is hoping to access information in Coleman’s private social media messages that will show what role—if any—platforms like Facebook and Instagram played in radicalizing Coleman and how seriously he was taking the conspiracy theories he was seeing online.
To make his point, Hamer referenced a message Coleman received from a friend containing a Facebook link showing a video screenshot of an interview with former President Donald Trump, alongside a set of cryptic messages that read: “Team Trump Online,” “Triggered Presidential Edition Text Trump to 88022,” and “Aliens?”
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