Thursday, August 25, 2016

Error In Analysis: The Post Mortem

In Statement Analysis, when we are wrong, we are able to learn exactly where we went wrong.  This is only possible within the scientific setting. 

It is critical to stay within principle, even when the temptation is to declare someone deceptive.  This is particularly a temptation for two types of analysts/analysts in training:

1.  The Beginner

2.  The Successful

1.  The Beginner sees "I know in my heart that I did not shoot him" as something that fits the bill, in one manner or the other:

a.  He said "I did not shoot him" which means, he did not shoot him!

b.  He said that he "knows" this, which is weak, but then he only "knows" this in his "heart" but not in his head, so he did shoot him!

Both are wrong.  

How can both be wrong?

Introductory seminars are exciting and they serve a great purpose:  lighting a fire for a new world of understanding in investigations.  

We stay to principle and enslave ourselves to the statement because we know that this is the 'safest' place to be, and that whatever we "see" within a statement, must not only be buttressed in our presentation (why we saw it) but as a scientific process, it  means it must be applied in the same way to other statements. 

The downside of the introductory ("Statement Analysis 101") is that sooner than later, failure will present itself leaving the analyst-in-training discouraged, full of doubt, and perhaps even willing to abandon study.  

2.  The Successful often have seen statements like this, and have built a solid reputation of success and due to the statistical likeliness, jumps to a conclusion and is...


We do not always know why a denial is unreliable.  This is why the Analytical Interview is crucial.   

We know what to ask, where to aim our laser and even what exact words to use, because of our training.  

"I know in my heart  that I did not shoot him"  

I was much encouraged from the responses from many trained analysts who universally said

"This is an Unreliable Denial" but it is also very sensitive to the subject.  He is likely to be telling the truth here but knows who did it.  

Many went even a step further, recognizing the element of femininity (in various descriptions) or 
romantic' link in the language, "in my heart."

Better to classify it as:

a.  Sensitive
b.  Emotional 

What might have prompted an Emotional Connection to the Denial?

"Unreliable" does not mean he did it.  It may be such, but when we are limited to the statement, given what we had to work with, we cannot go beyond our science:

It is unreliable.  

Technically, we do not know if he did it or not, so it may often be reliant upon whom we are writing to.  In responding to me, the analysts concluded that it was, indeed, an "Unreliable" denial, but they were comfortable suggesting, not declaring, that the subject likely has guilty knowledge of the shooting (he knew who did it) and this knowledge has a distinctly emotional connection.  (this is better language than 'romantic', but that it was a triangle shooting influenced their thinking, and in this case, the influence produced a likely correct surmising of the subject having romantic/sexual thoughts towards the victim's wife.  

In this sense, the quiz was quite useful. 

Being open to training, especially for those with much experience in formal training and professional application, is to allow oneself to be 'opened up' and diagnosed for strengths, weaknesses and challenges for improvement. 

It is a marvelous opportunity and growth aspect that is uniquely tied to humility.  

Many new to training come to "team analysis" quite nervous.  They have expressed this, usually after a few sessions:

"I went in thinking that everyone was so much more advanced than me.  I couldn't believe how good they were, but then I started to participate and found everyone so helpful and encouraging. "

Of those who expressed such thought, most all went on to say, one way or another:

"I am better than I thought, in some areas!  I found some of the basic trainings come back to me.  I see that different analysts are all good in some aspects, and that I end up helping others just as they help me!"

We are a team.  

Trainings are set up on various days during the week, and some are more advanced than others, but uniformly, they are for growth and encouraging words are the norm.  This is especially helpful when we do make mistakes, and find others not only willing to help correct them, but to do so in the spirit of humility.  

The learning is tremendous.  

The "post mortem" of a lost chess game is the single most valuable tool for advancement: Learning from mistakes.  

When this is done in an atmosphere of professional respect, warmth and intelligence, it is to facilitate the potential within.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Quiz: "In My Heart, I Know I Didn't Shoot Him"

                                     Here is a short quiz. 

Murder for Hire. 
Suspects:  Wife of victim, 2 male friends. 

Statement by one of the male friends: 

"In my heart, I know I didn't shoot him." 

We have covered the qualifying "in my heart" repeatedly due to its popularity in deception, but here is an additional lesson regarding such. 

"In my heart, I know I didn't shoot him"  

Question:  Did the subject shoot him?

The Answer will be below, after the lesson.  

I posed this question to a number of people, ranging from  blog readers to well trained analysts.  

Readers, including some who have had introductory courses said, "Yes" saying "it is only in his heart that he knows this, but what about his head?"

The "heart versus head" is a relevant issue for analysis today, in a neo-gnosticism where the "inner person", "inner child", "true self" and other such statements often indicate deception.  With the acute declination of American education today, the elevation of emotion over logic, as well as science and truth, is an expected outcome.  This couples with the cultural acceptance of deception for  wide usage.   

Several cited the Ryan Braun statement as the basis.  Braun tested positive for exogenous testosterone.  This statement is not only useful for training but it gives us insight that some may have missed.  Here, Ryan Braun "Denied PED Use" according to headlines. It is easy to spot the deception, but is there more information that can be gleaned?

Our words reveal us. 

Specifically, our words reveal our priority, or priorities, our background, our experiences, and even our personalty, which includes personality types and mental health issues.   With personality type, we may not only strategize our interview, but look for linguistic patterns reflecting the type.  

If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say I did it. I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life, that this substance never entered my body at any point."

Let's analyze Braun's statement and then answer our question, "Did he shoot the victim?"

Ryan Braun:

1.  "If I had done this

allows for the possibility that he did, in fact, inject himself with testosterone.  Testosterone is an oily substance that requires a large needle with most athletes injecting in their hind quarters, with some degree of pain, and sometimes the after-effect of swelling and infection.  It is, in fact, a 'memorable' event.  By simply allowing for it, the reader is already on alert for deception.  

1a. If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally

Yet, he not only allowed for it as possible, he even gave details on this possibility, taking it one step further:  "intentionally or unintentionally", with "intentional" coming first in order, which speaks to priority.  

1b.  "this" is a word that indicates closeness or proximity.  The word "that" would distance himself from the large injection.  The reader/analyst should now be considering if the subject has a psychological 'closeness' to testosterone; that is, more than just physical closeness which the word "this" indicates.  This is now something the reader/analyst is 'on alert' for, as he seeks to understand content of the statement.  

2.  "I’d be the first one to step up and say I did it"

He portrays his character as one who would (future conditional appropriate) take responsibility.  

What's wrong with this?

It is unnecessary in a denial, therefore, it is important.  
It is a portrayal of his character in a positive light.  

Consider the following examples in open statements where no question was asked:  

a.  "I am a great mother" 
b.  "I told my kids 'I love you' and went to bed..."
c.  "I said, 'Ok, Dear, have a good night'..."

a.  This statement is statistically related to child abuse or neglect. This may be via the state, in a formal investigation, in court, or something heard by the subject from close relatives or friends. 

b.  This statement is indicative of a problematic relationship with the children, often related to bonding or distancing issues.  
c.  This statement is indicative of a negative relationship the subject has with his wife, often found in domestic violence and in domestic homicide cases. 

              What do all three have in common?

They all have a "Need to Persuade" rather than report, that the subject (self) should be viewed in a positive light.  This need (NTP) itself, should cause the investigator to follow this line both in the statement and in the interview process.  

3.  I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life,

Here is the clearest portion of the statement to conclude "deception indicated."  What does he do?

He qualifies his denial (there is no actual denial here) four (4) times.  

Remember the humorous "I am happily married" statement?

a.  "I am happily married" is strong and likely reliable. 

b.  "I am very happily married" is still strong and reliable, but sensitive.  It means there is more information to this.  It likely speaks to a reference point that the subject has not revealed.  For example, the subject is more happily married than he expected to be, or that he was previously unhappy.  A simple follow up question would likely reveal why the need for the word "very" was brought in.  

c.  "I am very very happily married" now shows an additional level of sensitivity and will begin a "50/50" split of sorts, with some wondering if he really is all that happy, while others think that his reference point must be extreme.  It could go either way depending upon context. If this was found in a denial, it would be "very weak."  

d.  "I am very very very very happily married" is the extreme need to persuade of someone headed for a divorce.  This is akin to what Ryan Braun says, but actually his is even weaker because: 


With a large sharp needle, and a thick oily substance that must be injected both deeply and slowly, even the word "believe", itself, is not credible within the context.  To "believe" allows for him or others to "believe" differently.  

His "belief" is "truly" and it is only "truly" when it is in his "heart" (not his head, or intellect) and to give further persuasion of this true belief that is limited to his heart, he does not "bet" his life, but he "would" bet his life.  The future conditional tense is appropriate because he is deceptive:  it is consistently used.  

4.  "That this substance never entered my body at any point."

The use of the word "point" brings more than a few chuckles in seminars but the point should not be missed:  it is consistent with the word "this" and indicates that Ryan Braun is not simply deceptive, but he is, at the making of this statement actively engaging experiential memory while he is lying. 

This is critical for us.  

In a seminar years ago with state investigators,  Heather, who rarely speaks out,  could not resist here.  As I was teaching this on an overhead projector she said,

"It sounds like a romance novel."

The class erupted in laughter and she turned red with embarrassment.  

The point (sorry) should not be missed.  

I have repeated, purposely, the general description of a testosterone injection purposely to give a visible imagery to the reader to grasp: not only is this something memorable (even if you relate it to a tetanus shot or something you experienced), consider the words that this injection produced with Braun's language:

"my heart"
"my life"

and the word "this" in the light of not only proximity, but psychological closeness.  

The reader/analyst, moving towards profiling, not only sees the narcissistic tendency of self promotion of one who 'has the courage to take personal responsibility ' that he portrayed falsely (indication of narcissism in elevation of self) but his 'romantic' or simply "strongly positive" language should suggest to you, with the word "this", that Ryan Braun has a strong opinion about the efficacy of testosterone.  

He may be revealing here that he has been well pleased with the results of exogenous testosterone injections in his life and career.  

If you read the statements of professional athletes, including those who post at Derek Jeter's website, with the lens of statement analysis you may not only see the deception within their denials, but you may see that they have used many times more than even accused. 

It is very difficult to lie.  

II.  The Shooting  Quiz

scroll down for the answer to today's quiz:

"In my heart, I know I didn't shoot him" has two points of weakness in which the analyst must use caution:

1.  "In my heart"
2.  "I know

The analyst's conclusion for this denial must be:

"Unreliable Denial."

From this statement, this is the only conclusion one can make.  To conclude "deception indicated" is beyond the scope of the statement and in this case, it would be incorrect.  This is why formal training that moves beyond the introductory phase is crucial to investigators and analysts.  Complete training is necessary.  

What does this mean?

It means that his denial is not statistically reliable for us.  

If you did not shoot someone, you are not going to say "I know I did not shoot him" because "I know" now sets up an imbalance of debate:  you are allowing someone to "know" differently and are taking a challenge on that should be unnecessary.  

Unreliable means just this:  it is not reliable for us.  

It does not mean he shot the victim.  

When you take "I know" as a weakness and combine it with a second weakness ("in my heart") you have an important formula to follow:

Weakness plus weakness is made even more sensitive by the element of "unnecessary" words.  

It is not just two qualifiers, but we must consider that as unnecessary to say, it took more effort to make this statement. 

Think:  Law of Economy.  

The brain told the tongue what words to use in less than a micro second in time. Instead of saying

"I didn't shoot him", the subject's brain signaled that in reality that must be expressed there is more to the story than just the subject not shooting the victim.

There is also some 'emotional' connection, however, with "in my heart."  This must be explored and may be the sexual link with the victim's wife.  

There is more reality, therefore, the requirement is that more words are needed to give a verbal perception of reality; not reality itself.  

This is vital. 

This is why we must stay to principle.  

We must never "see more" than is in the statement.  This will have hit or miss success, which for us, is no success at all. 

The subject's sensitivity must be discerned.

The subject was not the shooter. 

The subject, however, had guilty knowledge of the murder for hire and knows exactly who the shooter is.  

A bit off topic, but for advanced analysis is to:

Consider the 'romantic' sounding language similar to Ryan Braun and wonder if this suspect has romantic feelings about the victim's wife...think:  "emotional connection" to the denial!  

Back to tethering ourselves to principle and not equating "unreliable" with absolute "deception indicated":

This is why we conclude "unreliable" and not necessarily "deception:  he is the shooter" as is done in oversimplification and although it may be correct in some statements, it would be incorrect here and is why the over-simplified presentation of Statement Analysis will let you down.  

Yet in diligent work, the reliable detecting of deception yields great reward.  

Short Quiz

                                     Here is a short quiz. 

The answer, with a lesson, will be posted shortly.  Put your reply in the comments section.  If you wish for dialog, please choose a name.  

Murder for Hire. 
Suspects:  Wife of victim, 2 male friends. 

Statement by one of the male friends: 

"In my heart, I know I didn't shoot him." 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Katelyn Markham: A Lesson for Analysts and Investigators

                    When is it appropriate for an analyst to make a       definitive conclusion?

Statement Analysis is a scientific process, which means we follow principle and hold to expectations, while applying skepticism.  If in error, the retracing of steps will reveal what principle (s) was violated.  

"Taken Too Soon:  The Katelyn Markham Story" by Michael Crisp is a well produced, even handed look into the murder of 21 year old Katelyn Markham.  It should be released on DVD soon. 

It is also something that analysts and investigators can take a wide variety of lessons from, including listening to the language of denial within family members, the emotional connection of volunteers, including Texas Equasearch, and even the friends and family of John Carter, using weak language to assert his innocence.

Compiling the events and the life of Katelyn into 61 minutes was no small task and Crisp shows his talent as a professional in its production.  The film moves quickly, never loses viewer interest, and the camera balances fact and emotion well. The inclusion of a "psychic" is a tangent.  The language of "psychics" show that they do not operate from experiential memory (truth) and are deceptive.   

                              Drawing Conclusions 

 At one point in the documentary, commenting on analysis, I express certainty as to "guilty knowledge" possessed by Katelyn's fiancé, John Carter.

Question:  When should an analyst express such certainty?

Answer:  When the text demands it.  

             What about the risk to the analyst's career?

Several years ago, in a homicide case, the detectives' intense work led them to besatisfied with their conclusion of suicide.  The one suspect was cooperative, talkative, and voluntarily submitted to a polygraph.

He passed the polygraph indicating that he had told the truth and was not involved.

The coroner, too, was satisfied with the conclusion of the experienced investigators. They had compiled a great deal of evidence in the case, which included the interview and 911 call. 

There was, however, one  investigator who did not work the case, who came to a seminar with a large case file under his arm, and it simply did not 'sit right' with him and asked that I analyze the case, or, with time constraints, just the short 911 call.  

The 911 call was quite brief, in spite of periods of silence as police arriving apparently turned down the wrong block.  Perhaps it was no more than 2 minutes of actual discourse between the caller who later passed the polygraph, and the 911 operator. 

I took a class of detectives through the call, word by word, on an overhead projector for hours.  The only detective who did not participate was the investigator with the case file:  the case file would not be shared with anyone so that the 911 call, by itself, would be the only information given.

I concluded that the 911 call:

proved conclusively that the caller had murdered the victim.  In fact, I went further and asserted that not only did it show that he had 'guilty knowledge' in the call, and that he was the actual murderer, but within the 911 call, there was a single small word made up of only two letters, that showed us why he killed the victim.  

It showed motive for murder.  

The word that revealed the motive for the murder was the pronoun 
"my" found in the call, by a smart, fast talking man.  

I also asserted more:  that there were two specific  criminal elements in the caller's history that would prove accurate, if not in the criminal history of conviction, then in collateral interviews, but it would be found because it was pronounced.  

I stated this with certainty rather than suggestion, or statistical likelihood.  

                                Think of the challenge: 

In this corner,  we have a 2 minute phone call, 

In the other corner, we have:  

A team of experienced investigators,
 access to all evidence, 
a passed polygraph, 
careful analysis of crime scene photos, 
trajectory analysis,  
and many collateral interviews.  

                           Which would you bet on?

2 minutes of words, or an entire body of intense investigatory work?  David versus Goliath is fun for Hollywood, but not in life where one's reputation and career are in the battle.  If dismissed, the consequences would be easily apparent.  

Yet, if correct, both justice and that a murderer is loose has its own impact upon society.  You can likely imagine how the original investigators would feel about this, as well.  

The final analysis report would go to the coroner, district attorney and investigators, and it led to the arrest.

How did the guilty pass the polygraph?  This will be addressed in another article.  Here, I wish to look at why certainty is sometimes expressed by the analysis.  

There are many times where I conclude "there are signals of deception, however, it may be..." because this is what the language reveals.

There are other times where I conclude, "there is no deception in this statement.  If he did it, the information is not contained here" limiting my conclusion to the analysis, itself.  This is why when we profile before the conclusion of the analysis, we are prone to miss critical points.

Katelyn Markham went missing several years ago and after considerable time, her remains were found.

What caused me to be quoted (accurately) in the documentary to conclude "John Carter knows what happened to Katelyn" rather than qualify my remarks in a more guarded fashion?

The risk to one's reputation and career are obvious.  We must never make a definitive statement unless the statement, itself, demands it.

There were two main samples from the case to analyze.  I did not have any connection to the investigation.  Whenever I work with law enforcement, the case is not covered on the public blog.  I had no information other than what was publicly released, yet, I was, and am, certain that he is deceptively withholding information from investigators.

Here are the two samples:  The 911 Call, and a short radio interview given 6 days after reporting her missing.  Follow the linguistic indicators to see how the conclusion reports itself. The material takes time to read, but see how it builds, in point after point to reach a level where to not conclude would a stretch.

The 911 call will be followed by conclusions from the linked analysis on the radio interview.  

Katelyn Markham Case:  911 Call from John Carter. 

Introduction:  In research of 911 calls, Statement Analysis recognizes patterns of speech within the context of the emergency that prompted the call. This is to highlight ‘the allegation’ or emergency stated’ (alleging here that one is missing) and the expected language that will be employed to facilitate the flow of information to find the victim and bring positive resolution to the call.  

 There is, according to the reason for the call, an expectation of wording. For example, when a person is missing, it is expected that the call is urgent and concern will be expressed for the missing person.  The caller cares not for himself, or how he may appear, because his sole focus is finding the missing person.  

There is also wording that is “unexpected”, and statistically, 'red flagged' for the possible conclusion that the caller has guilty knowledge of the crime.  These are often elements of sense.  

When we make a 911 call, we reveal the priority of the call by the order in which we speak.  When little Haleigh Cummings went missing, the babysitter, Misty Croslin's order showed her priority to be alibi building for herself, as more important than the 'missing' 5 year old child.  

1.      Emergency 911 calls that begin with a greeting are flagged.  The statistic cited is too small for conclusion, which is why I say 'flagged.'  It is certainly possible that someone in an emergency will begin a call with a greeting, but we view it as just one signal rather than a conclusion. 

It is seen as "Ingratiating" oneself. 

In Statement Analysis, we view contact with police as contact with authority and often even an acknowledgement of the call being recorded.  When one uses language to ingratiate himself (or herself) with police, we see the "need to ingratiate" as a sensitive point.  This is to "align oneself with police" or to give police the perception that "I am a good person."

The need to portray oneself as "good" should be unnecessary.  When it is included, it takes time away from the urgent message.  That the caller, in less than a micro-second of time, is willing to move away from the emergency in order to make himself sound helpful, something may be wrong.

This is why it is critical to have trained listening in investigations.  

 In an emergency, the caller is expected to go right to what is on his mind.  Calls that begin with “hello” or “hi” are not expected among the innocent, and the obvious psychological element is the urgency of the call precludes any greeting.  Greetings are polite, and can even be an attempt to ingratiate oneself to law enforcement, to sound 'cooperative.'  This need to sound cooperative, itself, is concerning.  
2.      Expression of Emotions.  Callers are upset in emergencies and do not  need to identify their emotions.  Those who have a need to proclaim what emotions they are experiencing may be doing so artificially.  
3.     Ask for help for the victim, and not for self. Guilty callers sometimes ask for help for themselves, revealing an understanding that it is they, themselves, in need of help. 
4.     The words “I’m sorry” statistically are found in callers with guilty knowledge, for whatever reason.  
5.     Order indicates priority.  We expect to hear the order reflect the priority of the victim’s life, not the concern over the caller’s state, condition, or life. \
6.     Ingratiation:  Overly polite callers.  In an emergency, not only do we not expect a greeting, but we do expect an urgency that is reflected in the language.  Conversely, we note any attempts on the part of the caller to ‘sound cooperative’ or ‘appear to be on friendly terms’ with law enforcement, as represented by the 911 operator. 
7.     We expect a complete social introduction of the victim, and the caller to not distance himself, for example, from the victim. Put yourself into John Carter's shoes, and presuppose innocence.  While you work under this presupposition, consider what you might call her...first by her name, and then a natural use of pronouns and then, as concern and emotion rise, you're likely to use her name again, as the emotion triggers this.  When a name is not used, we see distancing language.  With a missing child, this can be an immediate red flag, as in the case of "Baby Lisa" as the mother seemed almost unable to use her "missing" child's name.  

This is the influence of guilt upon the language.  

Recall the 911 call of Sheriff William McCollum.  This remains the most severe distancing language I have encountered in a 911 call as he even refused to identify her until forced to.  
8.     We do not expect to hear any victim blaming, even in a subtle manner.  
9.      We do not expect any question to remain unanswered or diverted.  
10.  We do expect the overall scope of the call to be about Katelyn, her well being, what she may be experiencing, and not about the caller, himself.  
11.  We expect the innocent caller to highlight where they were last together, as a most important and even treasured moment, using the pronoun “we” to describe it, with stark clarity due to the intense emotions of fear of what happened.  
The analysis is completed for this purpose:  to learn if the caller is an “innocent caller” who has made this phone call to police to help locate the missing victim; 
or, if the caller has guilty knowledge of what has happened to the victim, and is working, not to find the victim, but to benefit himself by portraying himself in a positive light, and even the possibility of suggesting ‘other’ suspects for police to investigate.  

Question for analysis:   

 “Does John Carter have guilty knowledge of what happened to Katelyn Markham?”

The call began with the 911 operator asking for the location of the emergency. 

J:  Hi, my name is John Carter, I am calling - I know that you're not supposed to report a missing person after - before 24 hours, but my fiancée is missing, I can't find her anywhere.

This first response is important.  
a.      The call began with a greeting.  This is a red flag that is noted.  Next, let’s view the order of the wording:
b.     Order indicates priority:

1.      “Hi” is a greeting
2.     Caller’s name stated
3.     He, himself is calling
4.     Ingratiating:  He is aware that you’re not supposed to report a missing person after-before 24 hours.  This is against “urgency”; as one who is concerned with the welfare of the victim that he is unconcerned with any ‘rules’ to follow.  This is an example of one who is ‘overly polite’ in a call that politeness is not expected.  This is to make certain something unnecessary:

That police see him as a law abiding citizen of good will. 

This is similar to what we see when a mother writes, "I am a great mother", with its statistical connection to child abuse.  It is unnecessary information, yet he is willing to pause the information about Katelyn to portray himself in this "rule abiding" or "rule keeping" way. 

Would you care about some rule you've seen on movies about waiting 24 hours if you were frightened because your loved one was missing?

It is not likely. 

Remember:  we build point after point and do not conclude anything based on a single indication of sensitivity. 

5.    Priority:   my fiancée is missing.  This is the fifth (5th) item communicated and is the only information about the victim, whereas he has spoken considerably more about himself, including that he is a ‘rule follower’ as a form of persuasion.  

What may have been the first thing most of us would have reported, for him, it is the 5th.  

This order is important.  Before he reports the missing person he has used his name, or referencing himself four (4) times, and the victim, once (1).  After reporting the victim missing, he again puts himself into the statement:  I can’t find her anywhere” suggests that he has been searching ‘everywhere.’

Now consider "I can't find her anywhere" by itself is not unusual or unexpected, but when it comes after the "ingratiating" form of persuasion, it is linked to the theme:

It is as if:

"911, what is wrong?" is now answered with:

"Hello. I am a good guy because I don't break rules but I am so concerned that I am going to go ahead a break a rule anyway. And just to prove to you how good I am I am going to tell you that I have searched everywhere.  Don't suspect me because I am one who keeps rules and I am helpful."  

There are three elements within this first response that are consistent:  The greeting is polite, friendly (and unexpected) and he also wants them to know that he is not a ‘rule breaker’ in that he knows not to call before 24 hours, and he also wants police to think of him as someone who is helpful:  “I can’t find her anywhere.” 

We have an abundance of information from him, about him, but we do not even have her name. 

c.     Social Introductions.  In statement analysis, a social introduction, chosen in less than a microsecond of time by the brain, can reveal the quality of the relationship, and it is to be noted, and then followed in the rest of the statement.  
“My fiancée, Katelyn Markham is missing” would have been the first thing many callers would have said, making it (1) the priority and the words, “my fiancée, Katelyn Markham” is a complete social introduction; indicative of a good relationship.  It has the three necessary elements:  her name, her title (fiancée) and the possessive pronoun “my” as close personal ownership.   

The lack of complete social introduction is indicative of a troubled relationship, yet it is interesting to note that when the victim is referenced, it is only in the context of how she relates to him.  We now look to see if in how he references Katelyn if it will be naturally close language, or if he will distance himself from her, while she is a victim.  

911 Dispatcher: Okay, where'd you see her last?


Consider this question in light of his answer.  This question is specifically about the location where he last saw her.  Think of what he has offered:  He could not find her anywhere and now is asked the last place he saw her. This is a very astute question and one that is critical in the investigation.

J: Um, I saw her at like 12 o' clock last night. She stays in a house by herself, um, so, she - I'm just, I'm really nervous. Her car's still there, her purse is still -

The question has been avoided.  When one avoids a question, the question itself is sensitive. Remember, people rarely ever lie out right as it does not come from experiential memory and causes internal stress.  “Where” did you last see her?
He tells them what time, but not where.  
He then went into this deception more fully:  he told the operator what she normally does, in the present tense, while avoiding what happened last night when he last saw her.  This is a very strong signal that he last saw her someplace other than her house.  Deceptive people are counting on us to interpret their words as if he said, “I last saw her at midnight at her house.”  He did not say this,  but uses the common deceptive technique anticipating that the police will “interpret” him to mean at her house.  

Note "um" is a pause to think, indicating sensitivity.  Why the need to pause to think? Generally, the brain is on high alert, with hormonal response giving clarity.  He was asked the last place he saw her and he felt the need to answer the question appropriately 

"She stays" is present tense.  This is outside the boundary of the question, "where did you last see her?"

This signifies that John Carter has a reason why he will not tell the police the location of the last time he saw her. 

Since he refuses to answer the question and then moved to the present tense tangent (a common form of deception.  For example, “Did you use illegal drugs on Wednesday, while on duty?” is answered with the present tense tangent, “I don’t use drugs!” which avoids the direct question because of the internal stress of direct lying.)

Note that "so" is highlighted as very sensitive since it shows a need to explain ("so, since, therefore, because, to...") Yet, he broke his sentence (self censoring) so we do not know what explanation he was going to give.  

"I saw her at like 12' o' clock last night" is only slightly weakened by "like"; investigators should focus upon this time period as it is introduced by the subject along with the pronoun "I" and the past tense verb "saw" connecting him to her at this time.  This time period is likely very important to the story. 

He may be telling the truth about the time, but withholds the location.  Because he used her house in a deceptive manner, it is safe to conclude that the last place he saw her was not at her house.

Re-emergence of Self, rather than the Victim’s plight

Please note the phrase, "I'm just,  really nervous"; not just "nervous" but "really" nervous.  This is a focus upon the caller himself, not the victim. It is about his emotion, and not about what the missing victim may be going through.   Innocent callers focus upon the victim and ask for help, specifically, for the victim, and when someone is missing, a particular and expected portion of the statement will be to wonder or worry what the victim is experiencing at this very moment.  Instead, he wants police to know what he, himself, is experiencing. 

The word "just" is a comparative word, meaning that it only works when another word (or thought) is in play.  "This car is just $15,000!" is to compare it to a car that is more money.  

He is "just" really nervous.  What is this in comparison to?  

The focus is upon the caller, not the victim.  He is the one who is "really nervous" but she is the one alleged to be missing.   Note also the context of being really nervous:   it is around midnight and he reports she is alone.  

I know what he is like, but what is Katelyn like?  

We also like to hear her name used, as well, in a natural way that reveals closeness. 

Q.  What does his first answer communicate to the police about Katelyn?

A.  That he, himself,  is the priority.  He is a good guy, for he follows the rules.  He can’t find her is to suggest that he has been looking for her, as a dedicated fiancée would, and that his emotions are something he needs them to know:  he is scared or “freaking out” for her.  

The focus upon self, even in just this short portion of his initial statement, gives signals of the status of “guilty caller.”  

Lastly, “I can’t find her anywhere” is examined.  If you could not find your fiancée anywhere, you would be nervous too.  

In order to be unable to find a missing adult “anywhere”, the person must, by necessity, search everywhere.  He reports that he cannot find her “anywhere”, which is to suggest that she will not be found.  She is not found “anywhere.”

Think of who might say this?

Perhaps a parent of a toddler who has search the house, the closets, the yard, and so on, reducing the vicinity to the scope of a toddler.  

An adult has a much larger scope.  

Since you cannot find her anywhere, does anywhere include various bars that you searched in the area?  Since you cannot find her anywhere, where, exactly, did you search that you could not find her? Hospitals?  Jails?  (these came immediately to mind by the operator)  Since he can't find her "anywhere.", the focus is upon his failure, and not Katelyn's status or where she might be.  Since he cannot find her "anywhere", I want to know where he has actively searched.  

Has he actively searched?  We let him guide us.  

Natural Denial of Loved Ones

This statement, in fact, is a statement of pessimism; something that the caller should not yet experience.  This pessimism is consistent with “leakage” or the inadvertent release of information telegraphing to the police this message:

you won’t find her, since, I, the fiancée, have not been able to find her anywhere” even if he has done no searching.  It is to discourage police from finding Katelyn.  This is his language that he has chosen. Consider the speed of transmission of choosing one’s own words is less than a micro second in time.  

If he has not physically searched the area, the malls, the stores, hospitals, and so on, the deceptive nature of the statement is even more pronounced.   

In just his first response, we learn that John Carter is working against the 911 operator, and is hindering the flow of information, rather than facilitate it.  The priority for John Carter is John Carter, not the victim.  

D: Is there an address?

J: Yeah, 5214 Dorshire Drive.

D: 5214?

J: Dorshire, yes.

D: Okay. And you're out there now?

This is a natural question because he has ‘communicated’ that he must have been there and everywhere searching for her because he cannot find her anywhere. This shows the 911 operator listening.

J: Um, I'm heading out there now, I, like, have been trying to get ahold of her and I decided to go by her house to see if she's okay, and her car's still there - she would be at work right now with her car. Which is why I'm like really freaking out.

1.     Note that the question, "you're there now?" is sensitive to John Carter who needs to avoid saying, “no” (it is a yes or no question) but pauses, with “um”, to give himself time to think of what to say.  He avoided the question.   
2.     Note the indication of deception:  he can’t find her “anywhere” but now we learn what this means: “I, like, have been trying to get ahold of her” is not to search everywhere as previously stated.  He did not say the had been trying, but “like trying”, which is an extra word quickly chosen to further reduce commitment to a task.  He has not been searching but only “like trying to get a hold of her.”  Getting “a hold of” someone is casual language and not the language of urgency, or of searching.    This is to reveal that he not only has withheld the location of where he saw her last, but that his assertion to trying to find her is a deliberate deception intended to cause police to believe something that is not true. 

The casual language in an emergency call that was 'so urgent that he broke the 24 hour rule', alone, suggests, at this point, for us to consider that John Carter does not have urgency in locating Katelyn.  

3.     "Like"

In language, when someone tells us "like" it is an indication of missing information as the person is not telling us precisely, but only characterizing something.  In statement analysis, it is missing information.  

He continues this casual language.  He went from “I can’t find her anywhere” to now just “like” trying to get a hold of her, and now to “go by her house”; not to go to her house nor to search the area.  We “go by” someone’s house in a casual, or uninvited manner, as a consequence of convenience; such as being in the area.  Instead, the innocent caller would say something firm, “I am going to her house” to search the house, to search the area, to look for possible signs of a break in, and so on.  It could be anything that shows urgency and concern.  His words show no urgency.  He is moving away from his statement of emotional urgency and is being betrayed by his own choice of words.  This is to show how difficult outright lying is:  we do whatever we can to avoid direct lying by withholding information, but also we reveal ourselves in the words we employ.  

4.     “Decided” is to make a decision.  If you were very upset and cannot find your fiancée anywhere, would a decision be necessary to go to her home?  This is to say that he considered against going to her home.  This lack of commitment is seen here, and in the casual ‘stopping by’ like language he used.  This “decision” shows that he did, internally, debate whether or not he should go there, which tells us why he did not answer the question with “no” when posed to him, and needed to pause (“um”) to think of what to say. 

5.     “…to go by her house to see if she was okay…” which tells us that he is only “going by” her house to see if she was “okay.”  Now, if one said that he could not find her “anywhere”, would “anywhere” include her house?  Here he feels even the need to explain why he decided to go to her house.  

   This is unnecessary information which, to the analysis, is increased in importance.  It is as if he anticipated being asked, “Why did you go to her house?”  It is to reveal his own fear of being questioned.  If he was as concerned as he said, and that he could not find her anywhere, he would feel no need to explain why he would go to her home.  Yet, going to her house is something very sensitive to him, and not something he wanted to do, and that he felt a need to explain why.  

6.     “and her car’s still there” indicates his knowledge of the case.  He has not yet told us who the victim is, but has spoken of his own emotional estate, and now her car.  One may wonder when he saw that her car was still there, since he is just “heading” there now.  

7.     Emotions in a statement.  

We carefully note the locations within a statement.  It is natural to be frightened, and there is no reason to state this.  He has stated being “really nervous”, but then took this heightened emotion and “headed” out to “go by” the victim’s house.  This is an incongruent statement of emotion and language; the intended emotion is not matched by the language.  Now, he changes from “really nervous” to something else. 

“Which is why I'm like really freaking out” is to tell the reason for something; though he has not been asked.  He is not “freaking out”, nor is he “really freaking out” but, again, while committing to his own emotional state, he uses the word “like” to reduce commitment.  People do not like to lie directly and they especially do not like to lie about their emotions; they do, but they don’t like it.  One’s own emotions are important to self, and often protected, so when one is feigning surprise, or feigning shock, the act of feigning the emotion is sometimes seen in the wording.  For him, this is the second use of the word “like” (not enough to establish a habit) and it is restricted to what emotions he wishes to express to police. 

Please note that it is not the emotions that he is experiencing that we are examining:  it is his need to inform the police of his emotions that we are focusing upon. 

It is unnecessary inclusion of emotions and he continues to show ‘concern’ for himself, but not for the victim.  Not only does he not commit to the emotion of “freaking out” (panic, anxiety, etc) with the word “like”, but he also feels the need to explain why he has this emotion, as if not finding her “anywhere” was not enough to freak anyone out.  He feels the need, during this very short emergency call about Katelyn, to justify his own emotions; that is, to explain to the police why he has this emotion.

This is a very strong indication of artificial emotion; that is, artificial emotion of anxiety for the victim.  This continues to show the priority is not Katelyn, but John Carter, the subject, himself.  

D: What's her name?

This should not have to be asked. 

He had to be asked before he gave her name.  This is indicative of something amiss in the relationship. We have his name and we have his emotions, but we do not know who the victim actually is, outside of her relationship to him as engaged. 

 Police should seek to learn if they fought this night, in particular, and if stressors had been building in the days or weeks up to this point.  

He does not want to reveal the location where he last saw her, and he does not express optimism that they will find her, nor does he show any concern for her well-being to this point.  His priority has been set in his language:  John Carter is the priority of this call. 

J: Katelyn Helene Markham.

D: Have you called the hospitals or jails or anything?

This is natural because he cannot find her “anywhere.” Note that the doubt may have crept into the mind of the 911 operator due to his “non-committal” words, or casual expressions, which caused her to add, “or anything?”

J: Um -

He does not answer, but only pauses to think.  

D: Where was she at midnight last night when you last saw her?

At this point, she is his fiancée so the expectation is that he will say “we were at her house”, using the word “we”, which would show unity, since they were engaged to be married.  Pronouns are intuitive, instinctive and powerful.  Instead, we get:  

J: She was at her house. She was going to bed. She wasn't going out to do anything, so she would've been in her bed. And I mean, I've been with her for 6 years - she's not deceiving, you know, she doesn't -

He did not use Katelyn's name.  He does not use the pronoun “we” here.  This is a very tense time for him and it is the location he first did not want to answer.  This was a very good question.  He does not include himself in the first responses.  

1.  She was at her house.  
2.  She was going to bed. This is to show her intention, but not what happened.  Both of these statements may be, initially, and technically, true, but they are not the complete answer of what happened to Katelyn.  The lack of “we” in this is critical.  Why?

We drove to the woods and he raped me.  We drove home and I called police.”  This is an example of a deceptive statement because the  pronoun “we” indicates unity and cooperation.  Once the rape has occurred, there is no more “we” between rapist and victim.  When the word “we” enters the statement after the assault, it is likely deceptive.  Victims despise the rapist and will not use the pronoun “we” here. 

In the same sense, the person he was engaged to is missing.  This means he should be on high alert and well familiar with the last moments they were together, thinking of the last moments “we were together”, over and over in his mind.  The high hormonal response would make this crystal clear in his mind and language.  That he does not use the pronoun “we” here is most unexpected and affirms the Incomplete Social Introduction in the first response, and the distancing language of avoiding using her name. 

When asked about the last time he was with her, he does not use the pronoun “we” is to reveal to us that there was, at the last time they were together, no unity between them.  This is an example of extreme distancing due to context.  

These are two things he states and it is likely true.  He has brought us to a very critical point of the night she went missing.  He should continue to tell us what was happening, or about to happen.  She was at her house and was going to go to bed when something happened.  Now notice the sequence is broken:

"She wasn't going out to do anything"

What someone tells us in the negative is important information.  Here he has three things to tell us what she was not doing:  not going out "to do anything"; not deceiving, and doesn't, but stops himself or is interrupted. 

He not only tells us that she wasn't going out, but adds "to do anything."  This is critical.

Police need to learn what he does when he goes out at night.  

Did she refuse to go out?

D: Okay, and you guys didn't have an argument or anything?

This is a simple, “yes or no” question.  We note that he should say “no” with nothing added as there should be no reason to emphasize the negative

J: Not at all.

"Not at all" is not the simple "no" and should lead to follow up questions such as, "What did you discuss last night?"

This is a strong indication that they had an argument.  It is affirmed by the Incomplete Social Introduction, avoidance of her name (distancing language) and the avoidance of the word “no”, coupled with the need to emphasize, “not at all.”

D: Okay. Is she on any medications or anything?

J: Not at all.

He now repeats his previous denial.  Repetition becomes weaker as it goes on, because it gets easier and easier (less stressful) to use.  She may not have been on any meds but she may have been on "anything", such as marijuana, or she could have been drugged.  By simply stating “no”, it would not have triggered suspicion about possible drug use.   

D: Has she had thoughts of suicide or anything like that?

J: No. Never. I... never.

Broken sentence means missing information.   He begins with a strong, "no", but weakens it with "never"; but then makes this about himself with "I"

Why would her suicide thoughts be linked to him?  Was something about breaking up and “not being able to go on” without the other, enter the argument?

This is very concerning. 

He still has not used Katelyn's name yet. This is an avoidance of the name of the victim; a psychological de-personalizing of the victim.  

The 911 operator is in the place of having to go ‘fishing’ for information.  Remember, he already said that he could not find her “anywhere” but in further questioning, we have indication that he has not searched anywhere, therefore, the 911 operator takes upon herself the burden of trying to facilitate information because John Carter is not.  

D: All right. And have you talked to her mom or anybody like that, to see if maybe she's out shopping, or - ?

J: I called her father. The only thing that's not there is her cell phone, which is positive, but she's not answering it. So... and the Sacred Heart Festival is going on right up the street, and there's a lot of questionable people there, and it's just kind of. I'm sorry.

He called “her” father; still the avoidance of her name.  Next he tells us that the “only thing not there” (in the negative) is her cell phone.  This is to say that he has direct knowledge of what else was not missing.  This tells us that he either inventoried her entire apartment or he has direct knowledge of what was not taken and has a purpose for saying so.  This is affirmed by his next words, “…which is positive” while refuting this with the word “but.”

The investigators should wonder how it is that he knows that this is the “only thing” not there.  

Please next note the suggestion of possible criminals with the “Sacred Heart Festival.”  He states that there are lots of “questionable people” there. 

Then he concludes with two words that are sometimes found within guilty callers of 911 calls:

“I’m sorry.”

There is a psychological reason for this.  Guilty people who call 911 in a domestic homicide recognize that the victim is beyond help, so any words that seem to suggest concern are often weak, or even absent.  They know that the victim is beyond help, and the one person who really needs help is the caller, himself.  The guilty caller in a domestic homicide is the one in need of help, particularly a defense attorney.  The guilty caller in a domestic homicide is the one who is sorry for what he has done; it may not have been pre meditated but something exploded out of control.  

Statistically, the inclusion of these two words is associated with guilt. 

When Cindy Anthony threatened to call 911, Casey might not have believed her at first, but Cindy went through with it, and then put Casey on the phone to report missing toddler, Caylee Anthony.  In short order, Casey said, “I’m sorry” within the call.  

It is not always sorrow or regret for the homicide, but the guilty caller may be sorry that he is even in this position, or that he “had to” take the victim’s life.  

D: Okay, well, we'll go ahead and have somebody meet you there. What kind of vehicle are you going to be in?

J: A 2008 Ford Docus. It's red.

The unnecessary and small detail to appear cooperative.  Yet, nothing about Katelyn; nothing about what she was wearing when last with him.  He gives much more information about himself than he does about the victim. 

D: Okay, we'll have somebody come out and speak with you, okay?

J: Okay, thank you.

D: Mmmhmm. Bye.
J: Okay. Bye.

Analysis Conclusion 

The caller, John Carter, is deceptively withholding information about what happened to Katelyn Markham, when he made this call. 

He had a need to not only withhold information, but to portray himself as a ‘good guy’; ingratiating himself to police, who would be investigating him.  This is the ‘make friends’ psychological attempt to be “on the same side” as law enforcement investigators.  

He does not work to facilitate information to locate Katelyn.  Some specifics of this include:

1.      He is the priority of this call; not Katelyn. 
2.     He psychologically distances himself from Katelyn. 
3.     He expresses no concern for Katelyn, while highlighting his own emotions.  
4.     He is deceptive about the last time he saw her alive. 
5.     He is deceptive about searching ‘everywhere’ for her.
6.     He is concerned about how he is perceived by the police, rather than concern for Katelyn.
7.     He signals that the search is not going to end well by claiming that he could not find her anywhere, yet, he had not verbalized any search.  The “I can’t find her anywhere” is the “hopeless conclusion” that guilty parties sometimes give.  “I will search for the rest of my life” said OJ Simpson about Nicole’s “real” killer.  This signals belief that there will be no success.  John Carter uses the same vein of thinking; offering a false exasperation in order to appear anxious, with his own ‘appearance’ taking priority over Katelyn’s plight.  

Conclusion Summary:   John Carter shows the status of ‘guilty caller’ in this 911 call. 

This does not mean he killed her.  It means he has knowledge of what happened. 

If someone else is arrested, the analysis is to make a correlation between the caller and the killer.  

He has not been charged and this is only the opinion of Peter Hyatt, based upon the publicly released statements.  

The radio interview is here.  It in, he gives linguistic indication of self justification and knowledge that Katelyn was deceased.  This was 6 days after reporting her missing.  

No single indicator causes us to draw a conclusion, but even in this short 911 call, the analysis, itself, states its own conclusion.  

In the short radio interview, he gives us confirmation of this status of "guilty caller" which means:

John Carter is deliberately withholding information about what happened to Katelyn Markham on the night in question.  

We may express a finality to our analysis when the analysis demands it to be such.  

When it is point after point after point, with consistency, there is no need for a "microscopic" view of a single word.  This may be useful within analysis, but we do not make a conclusion upon a small point.  

It is in totality of this call that we see the status of guilt within the words of John Carter.

The radio interview both confirmed this status, and gave us additional insight into this status:  

He withheld critical information about what happened, and knew that she would not be found alive. 

This may be why he said that he was "just waiting" for...

a call from Katelyn?


He was just waiting for a call from "someone who..." placing yet another psychological point of considerable distance from any tangible "hope" of safe recovery. 

He knew.  

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