Thursday, October 19, 2017

Should Courtney Bell Be Charged?

Baby Caliyah's body was found and her father has been charged in her killing. 

It was the child's mother who called 911.  

This was recently on Nancy Grace's show in which Sheryl McCollum spoke about the call.  It is here.  Sheryl did a good job in communicating why we analyze. 


Question for Analysis:  Does the mother show guilty knowledge of the crime?

Should she be charged?  

Here is enhanced analysis of the 911 call.  



PO: What is the emergency?


CB:I just woke up, my daughter woke me up on the couch, um, I have a two year old and I have a two week old - and m- my two week old is not in her sleeper, and her paci is on the floor 


She has a missing child to report, but does not.  Here is what she reports.  Where one begins is a priority.  It is the first things processed by the brain.  

Note some studies show that females use up to 3 times more words, per day, than males.  

1.  I just woke up. 

Alibi Building. 

This is to indicate to police that the caller's priority is that she could not be involved nor possess any knowledge about what happened to the victim because she "just" (time) woke up. 

Note the need to presuppose that she was asleep. She does not say "I was asleep" instead focusing upon her point of waking up. 

That she begins with the pronoun "I" means we are likely to find reliable information within her statement (911 call) 

Not only does she want police to believe she was asleep but that the element of time is of concern to her:  "just" woke up.  This dependent word is used to compare the timing to something else.  

Note that at this point, she has not been accused of being awake during the crime. 

The caller indicates that she expects to be accused of being awake during whatever happened to Caliyah. Guilty people give away their guilt ("consciousness of guilt) in not only behavior, but words.  

For example, deleting emails, destroying evidence, lying, and so on, all are used to prove consciousness of guilt in court.  This is the same as "the need to lie" in analysis. 

2.  "my daughter woke me up."

Second is the one who caused her to wake up.  This would be to double down on the fact that in order for her to be awakened, she had to be asleep. Yet, she still does not state that she was asleep.  Sheryl addressed this point. 

 We want to hear directly from this mother what happened.  

Will she? 

If her own words were not believed, she now introduces an eye witness:  her two year old daughter. 

Note the element of neglect in which the mother is awakened by her two year old. 

This is a verbal indicator of both substance abuse and neglect.  

Neglectful parents often boast of their young child's "independence" and we sometimes even find children as young as this child in a "parentified" role over the neglectful.  

Some of these children will be able to operate ovens or toasters only to have their parents brag to others how "advanced" the neglected child is.  

3.  If you still don't believe she was sleeping and don't believe the eye witness testimony of the two year old (the second person introduced in this interview), she now gives the location of where she was awakened. 

"...on the couch."

Liars sometimes feel a compulsion to give lots of details thinking that they will be believed if they pile them on.  Recall Casey Anthony's factiousness "Zanny the Nanny"?  Casey not only showed consciousness of guilt in this, but within the wording she gave a description beyond what police would need to identify her, including "perfect straight teeth."

The location is given here, unnecessarily.  We are waiting to learn why she is calling but the location is more important, priority wise, than getting to the missing child.  

One of the things that Nancy Grace said on the show was about her own maternal projection.  This is why we listen and believe, even when we know someone is deceptive, because in the deceptive, we still gain information. 

It is very likely that mother is awakened by her child.  This is what daily neglect looks like. 

The mother, just like Nancy Grace, projects her version of "normal" onto her audience.  Nancy gave her "expected" in both statement and behavior, something that is her normal.  Her normal is to have the children in bed and the mother up caring for them; not the other way around. 

Our caller is telling us what her "normal" looks like.  It comes through her language. 

Persuasion:  

This is as to say "you have to believe me but if you don't you have to believe the 2 year old, but if you still don't, here is an unnecessary specific detail that only a truthful person would give...I was on the couch,

This is all to overwhelm the listener with persuasion that the caller was asleep. 

This need to persuade tells us:  The Caller was awake. 

The priority for the caller is that she could not possibly be accused of anything because she was sleeping and can "prove" it. 

Will she report her child as missing?

4.   I have a two year old 

She further revisits that she must be truthful about sleeping because not only did her two year old wake her (on the couch) but this two year old, does, in fact, exist and his hers. 

Note the order. 

If you had two children and one was missing, which would you mention first?

Note that no name is given. 

5.  and I have a two week old 

The victim is her fifth point, but she has not yet reported her missing. This sounds like an afterthought; not the purpose of the call.  

One should consider why this addition is made.  It may be because she knows she "does not have" a two week old; suggestive of knowing the child is dead. 

Analysis Question:  What is the purpose of this call?

This assertion of having both is unnecessary information.  It suggests to the listener the need to persuade that she has two children.  

This should lead us to question,

At the time of this call, does the caller know she has but one child?

She now gets to her 6th point:

6.  and m- my two week old is not in her sleeper,

She does not report the child missing.  She reports where the child is not. 

This is an example of deception while being 100% technically truthful.  

It is true that the two week old is not in her sleeper. 

Where else is her two week old not?

7.  her pacifier is on the floor

Nancy said that this is something she would recognize due to it being a possible sign of kidnapping:  the kidnapper grabbed the baby and left so quickly, so as not to get caught, that he/she/they dropped the pacifier.  

Yet, since this came already low on the list of priority, we may also consider that a newborn's items on the floor is something the mother is not only used to, but comfortable saying.  She is attempting to deceive while not directly lying:

She does have a two year old;
She does have a two week old;
She was on the couch...
The toddler woke her up (very likely her norm) 

She does not state, "I was asleep" here.  This would be an outright lie.  She  casts the responsibility for a lie upon her two year old child.  

It is very likely that the newborn's belongings were on the floor.  It takes effort and order to be a mother; both precludes neglect. 


Regarding what happened, the priority of the call is that the caller was not awake. 

She has not reported her missing.  This is not lost on the 911 operator who repeats back the words in the form of a question: 


PO: She’s not in her sleeper?


CB: She’s not in her sleeper- sh-she’s not here, I’ve looked everywhere, I’ve looked under clothes and everything


She repeats "she's not in the sleeper" which is point 8. 

She has not yet told police that her child is missing.  

"She's she's not here" is point 9. 

She did not say she was missing, but just "not here."  

She does not say "she is missing; someone took her" and so on. 

The caller is deliberately avoiding a direct lie.  90% of lying is done in this manner.  

She repeats back the 911 operator's words.  This indicates one who is using unintended recipient (audience) and is limiting her words.  This is consistent with scripting rather than excited utterance. 

Only after repeating that she is not in her sleeper does she report where else the victim is not:

"she's not here" is also to report in the negative, another location where she is not. 

This is language we sometimes see when the subject knows the location of the child, but wishes to only focus on "safe" locations; where the child is not. 

She does not say, "my baby is missing" but reports two locations where the child is not:

"in her sleeper" and "here."

She then breaks with maternal instinct:

"I’ve looked everywhere, 

There is no need for police to search for her because the caller has searched "everywhere."

This is another indicator of guilty knowledge:  she does not want the child found. It is to state hopelessness, which is contrary to maternal instincts. 

This is often in the language of those with guilty knowledge of not only location, but also what condition the body is going to be found in.  

Since "everywhere" has been searched, there is no possible hope of finding her. This is not something a mother will admit.  It is a signal to police, before they even respond, that the mother knows the child is dead.  It is not the same as a past tense reference, but it is to contradict maternal instinct and natural denial. 

A woman's brain is distinctly female, flooded with specifically designed hormone levels, in earnest in the 8th week of life, 7 months prior to birth.  The hormones and their levels are what make a woman a woman, including powerful instincts to complement the biology of reproduction.  She is built, physically, emotionally and intellectually to give life and nurture it.  It is survival instinct that when challenged, gives powerful reactions.  This is why when a mother of a missing child references the child in the past tense, we ask, "Why does this mother believe her child is dead?" 

She then expands on what "everywhere" is in her subjective understanding and uses further language of neglect of a household: 

I’ve looked under clothes and everything

This is insightful into her norm.  Her newborn could be under clothes. 

They may have attempted to stifle the child's crying.  Let's listen for hints.  

PO: What’s your address, ma’am?
CB:12145 highway 36, lot 31
CB:Yes, lot 31


PO: Do you think somebody took her, ma’am?


This question is forced because the caller will not commit to any sentence of her own to make this claim.  

Recall the language of the McCanns in what they refused to linguistically commit to. 

Her answer gives further insight into neglect and the caller's personality: 

CB:My child said - m-m-m-my two year old said she’s gone…a-a-and I’ve looked everywhere in the house, so I - and I don’t know another possibility 


This is the same "child" who, at age 2, woke up the caller (on the couch) and made the report. 

This caller will, in self survival, blame anyone, including those closest to her.  This is critical information for the interview and interrogation.  

The two year old child is responsible for making a false police report.  This is the verbalized perception of reality of this mother.  

She will not say "someone kidnapped my baby" for herself, in the free editing process.  This is where we see similarity to the McCanns.  Sheryl did a good job with this point.  




PO: What lot number are you at?
CB: 31 


PO: Okay. And you said you were asleep, woke up and she was gone?


The mother did not say she was asleep.  The 911 operator has just confirmed the deception.  This is very similar to the Baby Lisa case where Deborah Bradley could not, in her own words, say "I was drunk."  The lawyer could say it for her, but she could not say it for herself. 

How many years of interviews have passed and the only people who will claim that Madeleine McCann was kidnapped are McCann supporters, but not the McCanns themselves? 

CB: Yes. Ma-ma-ma two year old came and woke me up 


She avoids saying "I was sleeping" and stays on script.  She goes back, chronologically, to double up the deception. 

If anyone believed the mother was asleep when the child was critically injured, they no longer do.  

Her child is "missing", and she attempts to repeat something, not about the child, but about herself.  Training for 911 operators in Analytical Interviewing would help. 



PO: Okay
CB: That’s [inaudible] on the couch. 


CB: Caliyah [calling loudly to missing baby]


This is an example of unintended recipient or audience.  She is playing to the recording.  She knows that a newborn is not going to respond.  Listening to the Nancy Grace program, this was the first time I heard the audio.  She is loud and clear in this.  

This gives insight into the intellect of the subject:  she is not very smart.  

Yet, there is something even more important than just the foolishness of trying to fool the police into thinking she is a caring mother. 

This shows further insight into the neglect.  The mother's own expectations are more than just foolish:  this mother's normal is not your normal nor Nancy Grace's normal.  In this mother's world, children do actually take care of themselves.



PO: How old is she’ ma’am?


Isn't it interesting that it was this loud calling out to a newborn that caused the operator to ask this question?

The absurdity is not missed. 


CB: Two weeks old.


PO: Okay. Who else would have come in your house?


The operator gave her these words; she did not produce them for herself and the operator follows up on the operator's own wording. This is to indicate that the caller is not working with police to facilitate the flow of information necessary to recover her child. 


CB: I - I mean - as far as I know nobody would’ve came in my house. My two year old says Poppa but I called my dad, and I called my grandparents, and they don’t have her. My dad’s on the way here now. 


She now further names those she would consider blaming to save herself.  

"I. I" shows a halting on the pronoun "I" which indicates, at this moment, an increase in anxiety. 

What caused it?

Next, the increase of anxiety is met by a pause, which further increases sensitivity of the question. 

What caused it?

What caused the need for a pause to think of an answer?
What caused the increase of anxiety in the stutter on a word used millions of times by the subject?

What caused it?

The topic of someone else there. 

Remember:  she was on the couch.  Her two year old woke her.  

The couch was sensitive to her.  It was unnecessary information but she used it. 

She not only used it, but she used it to further buttress her story. 

The couch, therefore, is extremely important to her. 

So is the floor, where the pacify was. 

The question of another person's presence has triggered anxiety and an increase in sensitivity. 

Why?

Why is this happening?

She only reported herself, her two year old, and that her two week old was not there. 

Why was this question so sensitive that it produced a stutter by a non-stuttering person and the need to pause to think?

 I - I mean - as far as I know nobody would’ve came in my house. 

One can only tell what one knows. 
This mother's child is missing. 
Still, she qualifies her knowledge with "as far as I know."

This is a signal that she is attempting to limit not only knowledge but responsibility for knowledge. 

What triggered this?

The presence of someone else.  

She did not report anyone else there but herself, her two year old and the new born.  

What should she do?

She now reports who is not there:  



My two year old says Poppa but I called my dad, and I called my grandparents, and they don’t have her. My dad’s on the way here now. 

Not only does she tell us who is not there, but gives us a term of endearment ("Poppa" of whom she calls "my dad.")

But she does not so much report this but assigns the responsibility of language to her two year old child.  

Had she been given the opportunity forensically, she might have blamed the newborn's death on the two year old.  

PO: Okay


[CB shouts something inaudible - a name?]


PO: Alright, how long have you been asleep?


Remember: this is an assumption that the deceptive and manipulative caller led her to.  It is not what the caller said.  

The mother avoids answering the question:  


CB: Um, the last time I woke up with her was around - I guess five, maybe 


She does not say how long she has been asleep.  The question is simple, if you just woke up, how long were you asleep?

The 911 operator is likely thinking of drugs and neglect.  

By avoiding the question, we now know the question of how long she was asleep is very sensitive to her. 

This supports the analysis that she was awake when Caliyah was assaulted. 

Next:  a.  note the child is without a name
b.  note the word "with" between herself and the child indicates distance. 

The refusal to use the child's name is psychological distancing language.  Review the "Baby Lisa" case here at the blog for further understanding of how guilt will drive distance into language. 

This is another denial of maternal instinct. 

PO: Okay. So you were asleep till five o clock?


Simple question repeating back the words. This is a "yes or no" question and the answer is important: 

CB: [lengthy pause] didn’t mean to fall asleep on the couch…I set down for a minute after dealing with her all night


What did she avoid saying besides "yes" or "no"?

Answer:  "I was asleep."

She cannot say it.  

The avoidance of this indicates not only the need for an alibi, but demonstrates how difficult a direct lie in an open statement is to tell.  

The revisitation of the location is to stay to script and persuade that with such a detail, it can't possibly be a lie. 

Victim Blaming

In child deaths and assaults, we often find that the guilty perpetrators (whether assailant or assistant) will find a subtle way to alleviate guilt by blaming the victim. 

Billie Jean Dunn talked about her daughter's "hormones."

Some that shake their babies to death will say, "she would not stop crying."

In a recent baby murder in England, the adoptive father ripped his little child's behavior.  

let's listen for the mother's linguistic disposition towards the victim. Do NOT forget:  the child is supposedly "missing" at this point: 

didn’t mean to fall asleep on the couch…I set down for a minute after dealing with her all night

a.  She reports what she did not intend to do.  She does not report falling asleep. 
b.  the location, again, is brought up.  This location may be where the altercation began, including the baby falling on to the floor. 

c.  The focus is not about the missing child, but self.  It is consistent with the priority of getting police to believe she was not awake when whatever happened took place.

d.  The mother explains why she "set down for a minute" which is the highest level of sensitivity in the statement.  

No one asked her, "Why did you sit down (or "set") for a minute?"

It is very likely that no one would have even thought to ask this question. Guilty people often give away their guilt by trying to answer allegations that are not even made yet! 


didn’t mean to fall asleep on the couch…I set down for a minute after dealing with her all night


Question:  Why did she sit (or set) down for a minute?
Answer:  Because she was dealing with her all night. 

Question:  Who is "her"?
Answer:    "her" has no name in the mother's internal dictionary.  She is not a person.  This is a subtle hint, along with the hopelessness of the search that suggests knowledge of the child's death. 

Victim Blaming:

This would not have happened if the mother did not have to "deal" with the victim all night.  

This is a decidedly negative word. (lesser context) 
It is to use a negative word when the child is missing. (Greater Context) 

What ever they did to her, it was her fault with "her" being the victim. 

If "her" does not have a name, she is not a person.  If she is not a person, but "depersonalized", mother can avoid guilt. 

This is the essence of distancing language.  



PO: Can you tell if someone’s been there - is her blanket there or gone? 


As a mother, which would be more important to you?  If someone came into your house, or the blanket?

This allows her to choose which to answer: 

CB: Ur - her blanket’s gone, her paci’s here on the floor - her blanket’s not with us, I don’t know where - I mean - I g- I don’t know, I guess it’s with her 


Although compound questions are to be avoided, a child with her blanket is often the work of a parent.  Perhaps the 911 operator knew this instinctively.  

The reference to the pacifier is unnecessary and it is repetitive.  It is another indicator of one trying to stay to script.  The mother thinks she is believed by giving out truthful points and even repeating them.  

Can you think of a case where the victim was found in a blanket and the parent or parents lied about the case?

PO: Okay.


CB: And I have clothes in totes, but i’ve looked all in ‘em and she’s not here


A two week old child in a tote, under clothes, tells you insight about the mother. 

This perplexed Nancy Grace because of projection.  She did not consider that this child may have been, at some point, muffled under clothes, or in a totes bag for transport. 

It is the mother's norm.  It is the mother's reality.  We "enter" into her verbalized perception of reality by following her language and being aware of our own.  



PO: Is there anything else missing, like a baby bag, that she would have, or anything -


This is like being on a fishing expedition for information.  The mother is going to stay to script.  

CB: No. Her bottle’s here - on top of my shelf - 
PO: Okay, what about


CB: Ah - my roo-In my bathroom on my vanity…
PO: Ma’am.
CB: Huh?


PO: What about anything else that could possibly have gone like, could be hers, that could’ve gone with her?


CB: Um - no. Nothing else. Just her and her blanket 


This is likely true, but without an inventory of the house, how would she know otherwise?

We are still waiting for the mother to report her missing.  This may seem strange to new readers, but it is what innocent parents do and then they ask for help for the victim.  They use the victim's name because they are innocent and the child is their own.  


PO: Okay, so the only thing that’s missing is her and her blanket? You didn’t talk to the dad, or her grandma, or anybody else?


Remember the question about someone being there? Recall the sensitive reaction she had, including the increase in anxiety where it did not exist elsewhere?

 It is on the caller's mind.  Note the return of halting on words.  Note the indicators of deception. 

Note the entire script that she kept to did not include the now charged father:  

CB: Her dad was here, and her dad just left- an-an he’s walking around the park looking for her - because my two year old says - I asked her - did somebody come in and take her, and she said - yeah, but I don’t - she’s two - so I don’t know whether I can believe that or not


She now addresses who was there.  Before she offered others, from the testimony of the 2 year old (who woke her up on the couch). 

"her dad" is now very important. 

What do we know about "her dad"?

1. Her dad was here, 

This is not what she offered before.  Instead, she offered names of those who were not there. 

2.  and her dad just left- 

Here is a signal of withheld information.  Rather than tell us where he was ("walking around the park") she reports his departure.  She is not "moving forward" linguistically.  He cannot be at the park unless he left there. This is unnecessary deliberately withheld information.  


an-an he’s walking around the park looking for her 

Why is he walking around the park?

She anticipates being asked this question.  
No one would ask this question.  Of course he is out looking for his daughter in the trailer park!  

yet:  the guilty know the truth. The brain knows what it knows and she is fighting to keep this information from the operator.  

He was not out searching for his daughter.  That is NOT what she said.  Listen to her.  Let her words guide you.  

He was "walking around the park.

She anticipates being asked, "Why is her dad walking around the park?" unnecessarily and this is how she, herself, is caught.  She wants to preempt the asking of this question. 

Note how she gives the reason why as it is highlighted in blue?  This is called a "hina clause" and it is longer than just a single word.  

These two points of sensitivity, so close together, tell us that she is deceptively withholding information about the child's dad.  

The dad's location is so sensitive to her that she is not done yet, explaining why:  


because my two year old says - I asked her - did somebody come in and take her, and she said - yeah, but I don’t - she’s two - so I don’t know whether I can believe that or not

Deception Indicated of the mother about the dad's involvement in the disappearance. 

This is to show that the mother PO: Have you looked through everything, ot under the bed? 
CB: Yes ma’am.
PO: The bathroom?
CB: Yes ma’am
PO: Okay


CB: Caliyah!
PO: Alright, what’s your name, ma’am?


CB: Courtney Bell C-O-U-R-T-N-E-Y B-E-L-L
PO: Just to let you know, Courtney, they've been on their way out, I’m just giving them this information to update them, okay?
CB: Thank you so much,


Nancy Grace correctly identified this as not expected and casual.  She humorously said that this was something she might say to a business but not when reporting her daughter missing.  



PO: What’s your phone number?


CB: Um, i’m not sure of this number, I - uh, my phone busted the other day, um this is my grandmother’s phone she’s been letting me use 


Phone records, including text messages, likely subpoenaed by police.  


PO: Alright, so you and the dad both were - i’m just trying to get to understand so I can let them know cause of the questions that they’re asking me
You and the dad both were asleep, or he just came back home? 


The mother withheld this information at first.  This is to "materially deceive" via deliberately concealing this.  

Mother was not alone.  

Note the need to link the two of them together.  This is information she withheld.  She gives it because she has to (she's been asked) but then returns to script.  Look what the connection does to her language:  


CB: No, w-we woke up together - she woke us up together 




PO: Okay. The two year old woke y’all up and told y’all that the baby was gone?
Yeah. 
PO: Okay. 


The child is "missing" and we expect the mother to articulate this and to show concern.  What we get, instead, is the parentified child's reaction:  

CB: Sh - ah - she was kinda freaked out - I mean, h - uh - I, I don’t know - cuz she was just standing there beside the couch in the corner, and I told her come here, and I loved on her, n’then I told my baby's dad to go check on Caliyah, and then he's talking about she’s not here, she’s not in here?


The two year old likely witnessed the assault upon Caliyah.  The mother likely abused the two year old at this point.  

The mother has the need to show that she was in charge and ordering the two year old (again, insight into her reality and norm) and the father. 

She is complicit, not only in deception detection but in content and connection.  

Note that she does not even quote the father saying "he said she was missing" or anything similar.  Instead, she chose "talking", as if conversational.  

This is an indication of the complicity of the mother in the planning of concealment and deception. 

Even if only the father inflicted blows, the mother indicates her own involvement. 

PO: Okay. So the police should be in the area now
CB: Thank you
PO: I’ll go ahead and let you go, okay.
CB: Thanks.
PO: Uh huh


The politeness is the "Ingratiating Factor" where the guilty caller has a need to align herself with police.  She linguistically "ingratiates" herself into their good graces.  This is another signal of guilt.  

Who needs to be seen as the  "good guy" with police?
Answer:  a "bad guy." 

This is similar to DeOrr Kunz spending a great deal of time and energy thanking police and authorities for not finding his missing little boy.  


Analysis Conclusion:

This mother has guilty knowledge of what happened to the baby. This means that the mother was present for the assault, may have contributed to the assault and that the mother needs an alibi. 

The mother has a need to alibi herself.  She is willing to blame anyone else. 

That she does not directly lie should be noted for the interview strategy.  

Note the mother addresses the child as an afterthought and does not ask that she be found.  

This mother knows what happened to her child and that the father is directly involved.  His presence causes linguistic anxiety; the victim's disappearance does not.  

As of this writing, only the father has been charged. 

By this call, alone, the case is all but solved. 

The mother indicates guilt in concert in the death of the child.  This includes her attempt to conceal the child's location as well as what happened to the child.  

The mother should face charges.  This comes down to what prosecutors can prove, rather than what prosecutors believe. 

If administered a polygraph using her own words, she is not likely to pass.  

She blames the child for what happened.  

This is insight into human nature itself.  

Guilt is something the brain works overtime at avoiding.  It is why childhood training in right from wrong is critical.  It is why subjectivity and moral relativism will continue to increase violence and the subsequent prison population.  

Babies are often killed like this by impulse; not planning.  The babies that die from Shaken Baby Syndrome lose their life in a moment of the loss of self control. 

When children, teens and young adults are taught that their emotions rule over them, the result is that, when tested, their emotions may, in deed, rule over them.  

For training in detecting deception, visit:  www.hyattanalysis.com