Kumari Fulbright Mugshot

Stories in True can almost always stand on their own, without illustration. But now and then, a photo really adds to the story. In the case of a so-called “beauty queen” law student who allegedly committed a major crime, it is definitely enhanced by a couple of photos. First, the story, from the 6 January 2008 issue.

(Trust me: Scroll down slowly! Read the story first, then scroll down to see the first picture, and then go down to see the second one. Really — it’s worth it.)

More Like Half-Bright

Police in Tucson, Ariz., say that beauty queen Kumari Fulbright, 25, now a law student at the University of Arizona, aided three men in the abduction, robbery and torture of her former boyfriend. She allegedly lured the unnamed 24-year-old man into a house, and the three men burst into the room and tied him up with plastic wire ties and duct tape. Fulbright then “bit him several times while he was bound, stuck a butcher knife in his ear and said she was going to kill him, [and] pointed a pistol at him,” court documents say. After about 10 hours, the man was able to grab Fulbright’s gun and escape. Fulbright, who ran for Miss Arizona, was named Miss Pima County in 2005 and Miss Desert Sun in 2006. (Arizona Daily Star) …It’s just a guess, but I’ll bet she never was named “Miss Congeniality”.

A “beauty queen” should have some pretty nice photos in her portfolio, and here’s one of them to help compare with her mugshot:


Kumari Fulbright Mugshot
Calendar shot preshadows her later criminal career?

Now, brace yourself for the follow-up photo. Swallow any hot coffee first so you don’t spray it on your monitor or keyboard….




Rotted Cheesecake

Kumari Fulbright Mugshot
Fulbright’s mugshot, courtesy Tucson Police.

It’s apparently standard practice in Tucson to drape a suspect’s clothing with a sheet. Adds a spookiness to an already creepy shot, doesn’t it?

December 2010 Update

In a plea bargain, Fulbright, now 28, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and aggravated assault. In exchange she was sentenced to two years in prison (less the 369 days already served), six years of probation after her release, and $15,000 in restitution.

If Fulbright violates her probation, she could face up to 12-1/2 years of additional prison time. And sorry, east coasters: when she’s released from prison in Arizona, she has the judge’s permission to move to the weirdest state in the union — Florida — to serve her probation.

Drugs were still not mentioned.

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Kumari Fulbright Mugshot
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Kumari Fulbright Mugshot

61 Comments on “Kumari Fulbright Mugshot

  1. “now a law student”… now doing “inside” research!

    Wow. These pictures illustrate the heights people can attain and the depths to which they can fall.

    The faces are so different, my brain cannot tell me they are photos of the same person. I hate to be a doubting Thomas, but you’re sure they are of the same woman? Such wild differences make you wonder how witnesses can reliably identify people in court. It’s a wonder we don’t have more “missed justice” than we do (or do we?).

    As always, thanks for the great work, Randy.

    Yes, I’m quite sure they’re the same person, and your point is well taken! -rc

  2. I have no idea if it’s true or not, but I’m guessing drugs played a role in this one. I can’t imagine what else could be responsible for such a bad hair day.

    Extreme teasing. -rc

  3. Reminds me of the Rita Hayworth quote… “They go to bed with Gilda. They wake up with me.”

    What I’d really like to see is someone coming up with an LOL Cat caption for the mugshot… “We iz outa conditioner.”

  4. Yikes! That’s frightening!! The story was scary enough, but the photo – Crypt Keeper material!!

    I’m with Mike in MI – makes me wonder how accurate “eyewitness accounts” really are (although I can see it’s the same person). In fact, I really can’t see how she was rated a beauty queen…she has a nice figure, but from the neck up, no way Jose. My family hails from the deep South where they KNOW beauty queens…and she ain’t one of ’em, brother. Guess that just proves the previous point about eyewitness reliability, in a way…? 🙂

    Thanks for “keepin’ it real” Randy!!

  5. My favorite part of this page is the “Google Ad” on the side:

    Fear No Man — Discover What The Martial Artists And The Army Don’t Want You To Know.”

    I can’t imagine what the unnamed ex-boyfriend could possibly have done to instigate this. And I would be interested in hearing more about what the police did to this alleged perpetrator to make her look like this (other than to make her cry).

    I think they must have gotten her up early. As far as the ads, I don’t have control over what ones show up, but indeed they can be pretty humorous in context. -rc

  6. Good anti-drug advertisement:

    “Before methamphetamine and AFTER”

    If that doesn’t cure the need or curiosity nothing but death will.

    I don’t know if drugs are involved here or not, but I’ll say that wouldn’t surprise me one bit. -rc

  7. Reminds me of what I thought Medusa looks like, but wired on drugs. As we will find out, she has gotten off the straight path and has become a druggie. My My My, what did he see in her originally. I bet he thought he had woke up in the worst nightmare ever. And his buddies are looking at that picture making sure he no longer picks up girls after a boys night out. She makes Coyote Ugly a true reality.

  8. As any decent photographer should be able to tell you, a professional photo will always show a person to their best advantage (unless the customer specifically demands something else). Lighting, ‘air brushing’ (or its digital equivalent), make up, framing, filters, proper white-balance etc. are all used by the professional to enhance the look of the subject. That is what you are paying for when you get a professional photograph, it’s not what you get from a police mug shot.

    In the cheesecake shot she is lit from several different angles using defuse light so there are no shadows. The image also looks to have been softened and almost certainly any blemishes will have been edited out. In the mug shot she is lit from a single harsh source (probably an unfiltered flash) from in front and above, the worst possible angle, and obviously won’t have been edited in any way. Additionally the cheescake shot seems to have either been shot on medium to low speed film (probably medium format) or a very high end digital and post processed to give a more film effect whilst the mug shot seems to have either been shot on very fast film or (more likely these days) a cheap digital camera, it’s very grainy.

    I suspect that anyone shot under the conditions and in the manner that mugshot was taken would look awful.

    Not that awful! -rc

  9. Actually, as a photographer, I’m not surprised. Between makeup, careful lighting and posing, and now Photoshop, all that matters for being a model is good bone structure – and that has been true for years. I recall meeting my first Playboy centerfold in 1975, and wondering why anyone thought she was anything special.

  10. Your warning on beverages was well merited and I am glad I took it to heart. Only meth could have done this much damage in so short a time: the coarsening and pitting of the facial skin, the open sores…it is distinctive and clinically diagnostic. That her teeth are not in view is for the best. These two photos could serve as a powerful, wordless anti-drug campaign. Who would consider risking even the possibility of ending up like this?

  11. I’m willing to lay odds that she got hooked on crystal meth.

    If so, then a simple before-and-after poster might be an effective anti-drug tool (can’t be worse than current government efforts, not that that is saying much…)

  12. Looks are to be expected.

    Any girl will confirm that after a few days without access to bathroom, old makeup will turn one into monstrosity incarnate. I imagine that a shock of unexpected punishment is adding to that.

    Mind, that I use unexpected intentionally. Children and teenagers, who enjoy a certain amount of clout (aka, popularity) among their peers, often have pretty skewered idea about the extent of their rights and protections. That fact is old news, really, but badly addressed nonetheless.

    In my opinion, that problem roots in the simple issue of “power without responsibility”, aka bad understanding of balances and checks, that keep the society from anarchy, when applied on personal basis.

    Or, putting it simply – they who do enjoy an edge above their peers, more often then not fail to understand that using that edge aggressively will only work to a certain limit, after which resistance will come not from offended person, but from whole society. To be honest, I’ve run afoul of similar problem when I was younger (having enjoyed both the benefits of being smarter than average and stronger then average). Luckily for me, I’ve learned not to step over limits on others’ mistakes, not my own.

    …Frankly, I`m not even sure as to what can be offered as a stable solution to this. Of course, jail time for abduction and assault will serve as good enough warn-off for that one case, but, hrm, it would be quite more beneficial to curb the tendencies at earlier stages.
    If only that issue wouldn’t be quite often tied to personal wealth of parents, kids could be taught to use their clout for more constructive tasks by mandatorily assigning them additional duties, which would tax their abilities more. Alas, I fail to suggest as to what kind of task could be offered to someone enjoying popularity by proxy wealth.

  13. This article (the full one) had bounced around on our Phoenix newspaper’s website for several days as more details of the story came out (Tucson is just a couple of hours south of us). There are more details in the story which would lead you to believe she had developed a meth habit: for example, a neighbor mentioned how much weight she’d lost in the past few months, and that she would occasionally lie face-down on the pavement in the parking lot for no reason. I don’t think this is just a case of an unflattering mugshot.

  14. Her attorney, a lawyer from Michigan (he’ll need special permission to work on her case since he’s not recognized by the AZ Bar), says that her main problem is that she gets involved with the “wrong men”.

    Huh. Going all the way to Michigan to find an attorney? Pretty good hunch on that “wrong men” theory.

  15. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but that mug shot would fill a book. A big one. The sheet thing looks like it’s covering a straight jacket and she looks distraught enough to be wearing one. I agree with others that it’s surprising she actually won a beauty contest. The facial features, especially her nose and shoulders in her pinup shot, look very androgynous even allowing for professional photography.

    That there were 3 men involved with the abduction begs the question what led up to this and it’s gotta be more than your standard woman scorned schtick even allowing for the major damage any kind of street drug does to an addict’s appearance. Meth by all accounts being the worst. When I read the blurb next to the picture (yesterday) I wondered what her ex-boyfriend did to bring on what she did to him. However, I don’t think the entire story has been told yet. I’d really like to know what led up to this.

    I get the feeling Kumari Fulbright was starring in her very own action filled fantasy drama as a leather clad fighter chick out to right the wrongs done to her. She was convincing enough to get 3 guys to buy into her fantasy, perhaps as Sidekick, Wizard and Elf. The Phoenix Police have popped her bubble, and the ex-boyfriend is lucky to be alive.

  16. My first thought:

    Two careers scuttled by one photograph.

    Although the actions before the mugshot was taken were what ruined the career as an attorney (if found guilty, of course).

  17. Given how she is looking on the night in question makes you wonder what the 3 guys look like that helped her and what it is that she could possible have or offer them to aid in her assistance. The four of them would have to be the sorriest looking bunch I can imagine and all in need of professional help.

  18. This ‘rotted cheesecake’ photo reminds me of the mythical character, Gorgon. Gorgons were vicious female monsters with sharp fangs and hair of living, venomous snakes.
    They should have made her smile to show the fangs. The hair looks for all the world to be full of snakes.

  19. The cliche, “The girls all look prettier at closing time,” is true only if you’re sloshed at closing time. If this woman was a beauty queen in Arizona, I’m going to rethink revisiting the desert Southwest.

  20. While it probably wasn’t a very flattering picture to begin with, it has quite obviously been altered to look even worse. Quite noticeable on the edges and wrinkles of the sheet is a ringing effect caused by the use of a “sharpen” filter in PhotoShop or similar program. This accentuates any small irregularities and wreaks havoc on the woman’s hair. Furthermore, her expression suggests she was bawling when the photo was taken (because she was deranged, because she was caught, or both).

    Yeah, she’s probably not as pretty as in the first photo, covered in makeup etc, but I doubt she’s as ugly as the second makes her out to be.

  21. This seems rather cruel; not funny at all. This is not a case of “make-up makes someone look better,” it is “addition to drugs and/or severe mental illness can destroy a person.” I’m pretty sure these photos were not taken anywhere near the same time.

    No one suggested they were. -rc

  22. One wonders how the evening would have turned out if the boyfriend HADN’T managed to grab the gun. OTOH, that second picture looks very much like she’s wearing a straitjacket….


  23. My first reaction was of course to laugh, but then looking again, how sad. How far down has her life gone? Does she have no family to help her out? Where are her friends? I mean real friends, not the boys who helped her do this hoping for some boob time. I hope with this attention, someone from her life will step up and help her out.

    As for the LOL caption, my vote is for the comment about being too close to the sun. That was funny.

  24. It was obviously a tragic laundry accident. Boys and girls, this is what happens when you are left in the spin cycle for too long. It would better explain the sheet as well.

  25. Getting addicted to street drugs is entirely voluntary and it’s done in the full knowledge of what the potential consequences are. Today you’re a law student and a beauty queen, tomorrow you’re a meth head, a criminal, and a citizen with a criminal record who’s in and out of jail. Next week you’re a two-bagger turning tricks with the most disgusting clientele possible. Next month you’re living under bridges and nuttier than a fruitcake, losing fingers and toes every winter. The lower you are in the social food chain, the more predators and nightmares you have to deal with. The indigent and homeless have to deal with threats most of us can’t even imagine.

    I worked for years in 2 different county hospitals and I’ve seen this stuff any number of times with various kinds of substance abusers. It’s not just the user who suffers, it’s everyone in their families and the community too. And don’t let me get started on the children mixed up in it.

    The simple act of buying that crap subsidizes, one way or the other, probably 90% of crime. It’s pretty much all inter-connected one way or another. Crime is like cancer, it spreads and infiltrates so many other criminal enterprises, even the ones that don’t seem directly related to assorted robberies, burglaries, muggings, assaults, intended and accidental murders and whatever else is touched in the pipeline from producer to consumer.

    The best treatment program is the one where you don’t even try the stuff and keep those dollars out of criminal pockets.

  26. Whoa!! And she’s wondering exactly why her boyfriend left her?!?!

    Actually, looking at both photos, there really wasn’t a whole lot of good raw material to work with right from the start.

    I guess her guy realized Attilla the Hun was more attractive and went for him instead.

  27. When I saw the first photograph, I thought, “Some beauty queen. She isn’t even pretty.” That was BEFORE I saw the second photograph!

  28. I’m sure you know the reason for the draping of the sheet (some agencies use a towel) but for those that don’t I’ll explain. Since mug shots are used for photo ID line-ups, many agencies do this so the ID is made strictly on facial features and not clothing. Collin County S.O. has been doing this for about twenty years.

    For those who wonder, that’s in Texas. -rc

  29. Wild guess… At least one of the three guys is a known dealer.

    With the simple statement from her, “Don’t worry – I know this guy…” he gets money owed, she gets payback on an ex-.

  30. Schadenfreude… Were she not a beauty queen, what relevance would the story have, as opposed to if she had been just an “ordinary” woman? Is there a sense of entitlement at play from those who rely on their looks to “achieve” in life? What happens when that doesn’t always happen–such as being dumped by a boyfriend? Does disappointment come as a harder lesson for them?

    This story gave me pause to wonder the part the spectacles of pagents play in our culture… our emphasis on physical beauty and the acceptance of that by us. Do we need beauty queens? (Beauty kings?)

    Is it possible to have a culture where beauty is defined with less emphasis on the physical?

    Please don’t take my comments to mean that we cannot appreciate physical attractiveness, rather that studies have shown that the pretty people get the jobs, get better treatment. Obviously, this pitiful woman will find that out the hard way.

    You ask a lot of valid philosophical questions, which I won’t attempt to answer. But: would the story have been worthy without her being a “beauty queen”? Absolutely! That a law student turns to crime makes it so. The only thing that the “beauty queen” angle adds is when you see not just the cheesecake photo from her portfolio, but also the mugshot. The two together are so jarring that it simply adds another dimension to the story. Yes, I had the photos in-hand when I wrote the story. And yes, I do agree there’s an aspect of schadenfreude to it, especially in the comments. -rc

  31. Well, at least in Florida, the innocent people around her will have friendly, right-to-carry laws to protect themselves from her!

    I’m going to hope that by the time she gets there, she’ll have learned her lesson and will be a productive citizen. I am, after all, an optimist. -rc

  32. I’m gonna have nightmares of this tonight, lmao!

    Seriously though, it’s amazing how a guilty conscious can take its affect on you on the inside as well as the outside; the side by side proves that (unless she’s become some hard core druggie, then my awesome theory goes right out the window haha).

  33. To be fair, the picture you use above for the “rotten cheesecake” picture has had the contrast SIGNIFICANTLY increased — under an already harsh light, this is guaranteed to make someone look worse. If you google her name, you’ll get slightly less hideous versions of the same mug shot (like this one: http://www.hollywoodgrind.com/tag/kumari-fulbright/ )
    It’s still pretty bad. Just not as bad as the altered one would have one believe.

    Actually, I think the one you’re pointing to is the one that’s altered: it’s a soft-focus version, with the blemishes on her face almost gone, the wrinkles out of the sheet, her hair softened. But yes, the lighting used is harsh, as in all mug shots. -rc

  34. I’m a semi amateur photographer, and both photos are altered. The one you have is overly sharpened, contrast turned way up and color altered. The other site is showing a softened, meth scabs look touched, and the color also altered, using photoshop CS3.

  35. “I’m going to hope that by the time she gets there, she’ll have learned her lesson and will be a productive citizen. I am, after all, an optimist. -rc”

    Even Pollyanna wasn’t THAT optimistic… 😀

  36. Meth? Angry? Crying? I suppose all could make her look nearly that bad.

    It is amazing what good makeup and a hair stylist can do for one’s looks!

  37. The sheet *may* be to prevent lawyers claims that whatever the suspect is wearing might be prejudicial to the court case: i.e., the jerk wearing the “cleverly disguised as a responsible adult” t-shirt when arrested.

    And of course this is just my personal opinion, but I don’t think she looks all that hot in the “before” picture. Maybe the fine folks in Arizona think a babe with a gun is steamin’, but they’ve been out in the sun too long. Compare her with, say, Veronica Lake or Paulette Goddard in their prime.

  38. Once again a female gets a lesser sentence than any male. I am sure that male would have gotten 10 years for the same deed.

  39. I think it’s funny that Bill commented that a ‘female gets a lesser sentence’ when even a a male had been given a stiffer sentence he would serve less time. Women’s prisons have not yet reached the massive overcrowding.

    Personally I think she was attractive and these pictures should be used as a ‘Just say NO’ campaign. It’s really amazing at what a few hard years of drugs can do!

    Randy, Thank You for giving such a fresh view on the news!

  40. In that first shot she is fit and has a attractive figure, but her face is just ordinary. No beauty queen future there, maybe a career posing next to cars at autoshows and car races. This photo series qualifies for one of those before and after “Meth Addict” posters. YIKES!

  41. Judging by the ragged appearance, lack of grooming, the fact that she kidnapped and tortured her “boyfriend” (possibly paranoid delusional?), and looks like she’s been picking at the skin on her face, I’m going to speculate that she has a somewhat advanced meth habit. Would love to hear whether this is or is not the case.

    I haven’t seen any confirmation in news stories, but that seems to be the consensus of readers who have commented before you. -rc

  42. Of course she’s going to come to Florida! The world only has two fully-functional crazy-magnets, and Florida has one of them. (The other one is in the Middle-East.)

    At least she’ll fit right in once she gets here… 🙁

  43. At first I thought her “beauty” shot was of a he/she, what a very unfeminine face, rather trailer parkish if you ask me. Not surprised to see the 2nd shot, most days are spent looking like that I suspect.

  44. Charles in Florida: the world has many crazy places — Nigeria, Sudan, DR Congo, and North Korea come to mind.

    Natalie: is there a reason you use such a demeaning term for androgynous people? Her criminality and lack of grooming are the issue here — not her gender expression.

  45. “Androgenous” is not a gender, but rather a lack of it. If it were, then the proper term along with “he” and “she” would be “IT”. Although, admittedly, Fulbright definitely fits the bill. To be honest, she looks more like one of those transgender ads.

    For all of the problems with Nigeria, Sudan, and N Korea, they do manage to keep most of them within their borders, unlike the Middle East and Florida.

  46. I don’t believe that David claimed androgynous (or “androgenous”) was the name of a gender, Mike, so I’m not sure what your point is. Although I’m partial to the use of “they” (which goes back to Chaucer) for cases where a person’s gender is unknown to the speaker.
    David, I agree with you that there’s no good reason to use the term “he/she”, here or elsewhere.

  47. Actually she looks like one of the “Faces of Meth”– which would go a long way to explaining how she sank so low. Unfortunately, it also would not provide much hope for her future. Sad.


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