Analysis of an interview Adam Kaufman released to correspondent Erin Moriarty

Eleonora “Lina” and Adam Kaufman

On June 2012, a jury acquitted Aventura developer Adam Kaufman of second-degree murder in the death of his wife Eleonora “Lina”, 33. He was accused of strangling her in a fit of rage on November 7, 2007.

What we look for in the following excerpts is for Adam Kaufman to issue a reliable denial.

We look for him to say freely “I didn’t kill my wife Lina” and “I am telling the truth”.

This would be the “wall of truth”. 

The “wall of truth” is an impenetrable psychological barrier that often leads innocent people to few words, as the subject has no need to persuade anyone of anything.

We begin every statement analysis expecting truth, and it is the unexpected that confronts us as possibly deceptive.

Adam Kaufman: I think about Lina every day. S…she was stunningly beautiful. She had class, elegance, style.

I believe him.

Adam Kaufman: This particular morning, it was about 5 o’clock. I remember waking up and seeing her not there. And I figured, ok, you know, she’s with the baby. She’s not in bed, she’s with the baby. Right around 6 o’clock, I woke up again. She wasn’t there. That’s when I got a pit in my stomach. I remember calling. No response. I remember walking into the bathroom and seeing her there slumped over onto the magazine rack. I just remember being in a frantic mode to… to save her.

Note that Kaufman says four times “I remember”, this is unexpected in a truthful account. “I remember” is unnecessary wording whereas in truthful accounts people can only tell us what they remember. This may be an indication that Adam  previously, told the correspondent what was not from his experiential memory.

“I remember waking up and seeing her not there” and “she wasn’t there” are vague and quite different from “I woke up and I didn’t see her in the bed” and “she wasn’t in the bed”.

When Adam says “you know” he shows an acute awareness of the audience.

“That’s when I got a pit in my stomach”, it sounds premature, too early to worry. 

“I remember calling. No response” is vague, Kaufman is unable to say “I called Lina and she did not respond”.

Note the use of “just” in “I just remember being in a frantic mode”. “just” is a dependent word used to comparison. Its communication is found in dependence upon another thought and as other dependent words reveals withheld information. Adam is comparing a “frantic mode” to a more relaxed mode. 

Note the pause after “to… to save her” that shows his need to take time to answer, this is sensitive and open to the possibility that he was aware that nothing could be done to save her. 

Adam Kaufman speaking about his arrest and charges: You gotta be kidding me. How could this happen? There’s a mistake. What evidence is there? There’s… there’s no evidence.

After Adam says “You gotta be kidding me. How could this happen?” we expected him to say “I didn’t kill my wife Lina” freely. Instead hrefers to the evidence. He repeats “evidence” three times in few words. This is unexpected. 

The “evidence” are sensitive to him. An innocent is not expected to speak spontaneously about “evidence” especially as a priority. An innocent is expected to deny the allegations.

Kaufman is counting on us to interpret and assume that he is denying the allegations.

A reliable denial is found in the free editing process, not in the parroted language and has 3 components:
1. the pronoun “I”
2. past tense verb “did not” or “didn’t”
3. accusation answered
If a denial has more than 3 or less than 3 components, it is no longer reliable.
“I did not kill Lina” followed by “I told the truth” while addressing the denial, it is more than 99% likely to be true. 

Erin Moriarty: Was Lina excited about the wedding?

Adam Kaufman: Ohh, she was so looking forward to it. She was one of Raquel’s bridesmaids. I was Seth’s best man. She was her happiest.

Adam Kaufman: I remember her coming home around 11:00.

Note that Adam is using “I remember” again. This is unexpected in a truthful account. “I remember” is unnecessary wording whereas in truthful accounts people can only tell us what they remember. This may be an indication that Adam  previously, told us what was not from his experiential memory.

Erin Moriarty: Did you see her when she came home?

Adam Kaufman: Yes, yes. I was already in bed watching TV. And you could definitely tell she was spray tanned. It just seemed a lot to me.

Everything Kaufman says after “Yes” are unnecessary information.

When Adam says “I was already in bed watching TV and you could definitely tell she was spray tanned. It just seemed a lot to me” his goal is to introduce his defense: I was at home and the spray tan killed Lina.

Note that Kaufman doesn’t say “I was in the bed” but “I was already in the bed”, “already” is unnecessary to say, it goes against the law of economy in words.

Why Kaufman feels the need to tell us, without being asked, “I was already in bed watching TV “ in the night of November 6? Because he wasn’t in the bed, in fact one of the officers who respond to his 911 call, on the morning of November 7, touched the hood of his car and found it warm, another officer saw that only one side of the couple’s bed had been slept in and the firemen who rushed to the scene noted that Adam was fully clothed.

Adam Kaufman: I remember going to over to her, seeing all this red stuff all over. Pink, almost frothy whatever it was and I remember grabbin’ her from the back. And she felt cold. “Lina, Lina, Lina, wake up”.

Note that Adam is using “I remember” twice. This is unexpected in a truthful account. “I remember” is unnecessary wording whereas in truthful accounts people can only tell us what they remember. This may be an indication that Adam  previously, told us what was not from his experiential memory.

The bathroom where Lina died

At 6:10 a.m., Adam Kaufman called 911:

Adam Kaufman: Help! help me please. My wife is in the bathroom dying. I don’t know what’s going on. She’s on the floor dying.

Note that Adam doesn’t ask for help for his wife but for himself. He is the one who needs help, she is death.

Adam says “please” twice, he shows an unexpected politeness, a signal of a need to ingratiate himself with the operator.

Note that Kaufman doesn’t introduce his wife properly, he doesn’t say “my wife Lina” but only “my wife”, this is distancing language, an indication of a poor relationship and/or a need to distance himself from his wife.

Note that without being asked he say “I don’t know what’s going on”. There is no reason to report things in the negative while speaking freely, that’s why everything is said in the negative is double important to us and deemed sensitive.  Adam shows a need to pre empt a possible question, this is not only an alert for deception, but opens to the possibility that Adam is telling us that he knows exactly what’s going on. 

Adam Kaufman: There’s blood. There’s stuff coming out of her mouth, there’s foam. She looks pale. She looks sick. She has marks on her neck. I don’t know what happened.

Again, without being asked Kaufman says something unexpected, for the second  time and in the negative “I don’t know what happened”, this is sensitive and tells us that he is aware of what happened.

911 Dispatcher: I need you to do compressions. OK?

Adam Kaufman: … 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26…

911 Dispatcher: Can you hear her breathing?

Adam Kaufman: No, she’s cold.

911 Dispatcher: Did something happen? Did she fall?

The use of compound questions by an operator is a mistake because a compound question allows the caller to choose which question to answer.

Adam Kaufman: No. No. Oh my God, Linaaa.

We don’t know which question Adam answered because the operator asked two questions. In any case he shows deception, how can he says “No”? First: something happened for sure; Second: how does he know she didn’t fall?.

Note “Oh my God”, the use of divinity is a linguistic signal of deception.

911 Dispatcher: Calm down sir, help is on the way. OK?

END OF THE 911 CALL

Erin Moriarty: You told the operator there were marks on her neck. Where were those marks?

Adam Kaufman: Here, here. There were maybe three or four of ‘em that I could see.

“that I could see” open to the presence of something else.

Adam Kaufman: They were frantic, putting something over her face, putting something in her mouth. Continually asking me questions about her health. I’m thinking, ok, what health problems does she have? Lina was always healthy to me.

Adam is building his defense, he is trying to attribute the marks on Lina’s neck to the responders.

When Adam says “I’m thinking, ok, what health problems does she have? Lina was always healthy to me”, he is speaking at the present tense, a signal that he is not recalling from experiential memory.

Adam Kaufman: I was numb and I couldn’t… I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t feel my body.

Again, Adam is building his defense, he is trying to justify his way of acting that appeared suspicious to the officers. 

Erin Moriarty: What are you thinking had happened to Lina?

Adam Kaufman: I had no idea.

Erin Moriarty: There are officers who said you didn’t act normal.

At Adam Kaufman’s trial, first responder Michael Castro said: “Mr. Kaufman, on the scene was sometimes very calm, just talking like us right now and within a second he would be completely a grieving type, out of control. It was almost like an act”.

Adam Kaufman: How do you act? Is there a book on how you act when your wife just passes away. How do you act? How do you act?

Its common within people with a guilty knowledge to use these words to defend themselves when accused of acting not properly, not like grieving people usually act. These words show their unsatisfiable desire to follow instructions not to look suspicious. 

Erin Moriarty: What did you think? What killed her?

Adam Kaufman: I didn’t know. And it was very, very, very frustrating.

When he says “And it was very, very, very frustrating” I don’t believe him, the presence of three “very” speaks not only of his need to persuade that innocent people don’t have but tells us that this thing for him wasn’t frustrating at all. There is no “wall of truth” within Adam Kaufman.

Adam Kaufman: She spoke Russian, English, Danish, Flemish, Hebrew. Uhm a little bit of Italian.

Erin Moriarty: Sophisticated?

Adam Kaufman: Very sophisticated … and I was just in awe.

Adam Kaufman: I was just kind of patting myself on the back saying: “Wow, you’re a lucky guy”.

Note the word “just”. “just” is a dependent word used in comparison. Its communication is found in dependence upon another thought. We can assume that his thought was not always “Wow, you’re a lucky guy”.

Adam Kaufman: And they all kept telling me: “We’re waiting on test results, we’re waiting on test results”. And I kept calling and no return phone calls. No answers.

Adam Kaufman: A few hours before she passed away, she had a spray tan for the first time. It is possible to have an allergic reaction from this. So that was our thought. That everything else was normal.

Note the use of the word “normal”, when something is labelled “normal” is to be considered not normal at all.

Erin Moriarty: Why would these people think that you had something to do with Lina’s death?

Adam Kaufman: You know, I… I… I… I’ve pondered that for… for years now. When someone that young and healthy dies, people want answers. And I can’t give people answers they wanna hear.

Adam says “you know” showing an acute awareness of the audience.  

The question is sensitive to Kaufman. Note the presence of a stuttering “I… I… I… I” that shows increase of tension which indicates an increase in anxiety. 

The last sentence “And I can’t give people answers they wanna hear” sounds very close to an embedded admission. He cannot give people answers because those answers are incriminating.

Erin Moriarty: The prosecutor says that she believes that there was a fight that morning before. Did you fight with Lina?

Adam Kaufman: Absolutely not. Lina and I argued just like every married couple. Did we argue that day? Absolutely not. Everything was perfect.

Adam is unable to say just “No”.

“Absolutely not” speaks of Adam’s need to persuade and it is not a reliable denial. 

Note the word “just” in “Lina and I argued just like every married couple”. “just” is a dependent word used in comparison. Its communication is found in dependence upon another thought. We can assume that Adam was comparing a way of arguing “like every married couple” to a different one, a deadly way.

Adam Kaufman: There were some minor issues that I tried to stay out of. There were some… uhm… there was an issue with walking down the aisle.

Note the non words “uhm” he used to take time to answer. The location shows us that what follows is sensitive to him “an issue with walking down the aisle”.

Erin Moriarty: You call it a minor issue. Some of her friends say it was a major issue.

Adam Kaufman: It both… I can’t say it did not bother Lina. Lina and I did talk about it. We did. And she was upset about it. Definitely was upset.

Erin Moriarty: Did you fight about that? Did that become a physical fight?

Adam Kaufman: Not at all. No. Never.

Adam is unable or unwilling to answer with a “No” but shows a need to persuade that innocent people don’t have. There is no “wall of truth” within him.

“Not at all” is a unreliable denial.

“Never” is a unreliable denial. Deceptive people finds the word “never”, with its long vague-like coverage of time, an acceptable substitute for “did not”, yet we know it is the language of deception.

Adam Kaufman: I’ve never laid a hand on her in our entire relationship. Nothing happened… look at the evidence.

Adam Kaufam is unable or unwilling to say “I didn’t kill my wife Lina”, knowing the allegations are upon him.

“Never” is a unreliable denial. Deceptive people finds the word “never”, with its long vague-like coverage of time, an acceptable substitute for “did not”, yet we know it is the language of deception.

Kaufman is unable to use the word “kill”.

Adam Kaufman says “I’ve never laid a hand on her” instead of “kill” to minimize. 

Minimization is a distancing measure, it’s a way to avoid of dealing with negative emotions by reducing the importance and impact of events that give rise to those emotions, it’s a common strategy used by guilty people to deal with feelings of guilt.

“I’ve never laid a hand on her in our entire relationship” is a unreliable denial. This could be truth but leaves an open door to the possibility “I’ve never laid a hand on her in our entire relationship”… until I killed her.

“Nothing happened…” is untrue, something happened, Lina is death.

“look at the evidence” is unexpected, an innocent is expected to deny the allegation not to refers to the evidence, especially in priority and without having ever denied the allegation.

Adam Kaufman: I’ve always been consistent with one story. One story that she was slumped over.

This his huge, Adam Kaufman calls is recalling of the event “one story”, twice. I believe him, it was “one story” not the truth.

The fact that he always has been consistent with this “one story” doesn’t make it the truth.

And finally, note the passive “she was slumped over”, by who? Adam Kaufman was the only other adult in the house. Passivity in analysis indicates a desire to conceal and this concealment is often responsibility. Adam uses the passive to cover up the author of this act but he is telling us the truth when he says that Lina “was slumped over”, this is the reconstruction of the homicide. 

Erin Moriarty: You didn’t tell anyone that she was over the toilet, like she was throwing up?

Adam Kaufman: Never. Never. Absolutely not.

“Never. Never. Absolutely not” is an unreliable denial.

“Never” is a unreliable denial. Deceptive people finds the word “never”, with its long vague-like coverage of time, an acceptable substitute for “did not”, yet we know it is the language of deception.

“Absolutely not” is signal of a need to persuade that tells us that there is no “wall of truth” within him. 

Erin Moriarty: That morning you are looking for your wife…

Adam Kaufman: Yes, got up, came in here and saw this door half way open and that’s when I saw her… in here.

When Adam says “got up, came in here and saw this door half way open” by beginning without the pronoun “I”, he is not psychologically committing to what he is saying, something that deceptive people often do.

Note that he repeats “here” twice, this location (the bathroom) is sensitive to him.

Erin Moriarty: Where was she exactly?

Adam Kaufman: The… we had a leather magazine holder/rack.

Erin Moriarty: And where it was? Right the right corner.

Adam Kaufman: It was right here, it was right here.

Adam Kaufman: Uhm, when I walked in she was on top of it and you can see how small this space is, so she was almost wedged here, against th… on top and leading over.

Erin Moriarty: What do you mean part of her body was still on the toilet?

Adam Kaufman: She wasn’t on the toilet, she wasn’t on the toilet, she was propped up basically.

He repeats “She wasn’t on the toilet”, this is sensitive to him.

Erin Moriarty: Ok, show me, give me an idea where she was? I am her height…

Adam Kaufman: Yes.

Erin Moriarty:… exactly.

Adam Kaufman: So she was draped over and her head, if you turn your head to the right, like that, and her hair was in her face. More over her left shoulder was in the corner, arm and rest upon against here.

Erin Moriarty: OK, but she wasn’t on the toilet?

Adam Kaufman: No, it was almost like… she was sitting on the toilet and then got up and this happened or was about to sit down on the toilet and this happened.

Kaufman saying twice “this happened” shows closeness to what happened for the presence of “this”.

Adam Kaufman: Well, at that point… the on… its almost like time to steal, I screamed her name, said “Lina Lina”, I immediately ran in here and I came this way running in here, I felt her, at that point the first thing I realise that she felt cold I couldn’t feel a pulse, I couldn’t get to, at that point my only concern was to get her out of here, so I screamed her name “Lina, Lina, wake up, wake up”, so I had picked her up from underneath her shoulder blade arms and turn, pulled her out this way and I put her head back down here, I ran into the bedroom, pick up the cordless, called 911.

Note that he repeats “here” twice, this location (the bathroom) is sensitive to him.

Do you remember when Adam said previously “I just remember being in a frantic mode”? He was comparing a “frantic mode” to a more relaxed mode. Here it’s the answer: “I immediately ran in here” speaks of a delay. Adam’s need to add the adverb immediately” tells us that he didn’t take actions immediately.

Note that he says three times “at that point”. “at that point” is a temporal lacunae, deceptive people often jump over time in order to withholding information.

Erin Moriarty: I mean, do you think when you were giving her CPR you might have left some of these injuries?

Adam Kaufman: I… I….I…I can’t tell you one way or another. I… I’m working on my wife. I wanna believe that I wasn’t rough on her. I tilt her head back? I thought I did it gently. Is it possible that I did? Yeah, it’s possible.

Note that the stuttering “I”, a signal of anxiety, is present two times in this answer, an indication that the question is sensitive to him. 

“I can’t tell you one way or another” is quite interesting, the correspondent asked him if the injuries on Lina’s neck could have been left by him while performing CPR and he opened to another option, “one way or another”, “one way” is CPR, “another” is manual strangulation, the real cause of Lina’s death.

We know that Adam Kaufman is able to use the past tense. When he says “I… I’m working on my wife” his use of the present tense tells us that he is not recalling from experiential memory. He didn’t perform any CPR on Lina. When someone is speaking of an event in the past, it is expected the subject to use past tense language. Present tense language is deemed unreliable. Deceptive people often use the present counting on us to interpret and assume that they are speaking of the past event.

Note that he says freely “Is it possible that I did? Yeah, it’s possible”, this is an embedded admission.

Adam Kaufman about the verdict: And it was amazing. It was unbelievable. It was pretty overwhelming. It was… it was overwhelming.

Adam says that his acquittal was “unbelievable”, this is unexpected. This is something that only a subject with a guilty knowledge could say.

Erin Moriarty: Even though you’re acquitted, aren’t there still some people who wonder? Did you have anything to do with your wife’s death?

There is no consequence to issue a reliable denial about any false allegation. This last question is good to allow Adam Kaufman to say “I didn’t kill my wife Lina” and “I am telling the truth”. This would be the “wall of truth”.

Adam Kaufman: Of course there’s people out there that are… that are gonna sit and wonder. The people that matter know the truth. And that’s all I care about.

Kaufman not only is unable or unwilling to answer the question with a reliable denial but he accepts a possible guilt, something that is not expected from an innocent. There is no consequence to issue a reliable denial about any false allegation. Adam Kaufman accepts what the de facto innocent don’t accept: he allows people to believe he is involved. There is no “wall of Truth” within Adam Kaufman. This is why he allows blame to be put upon him.

Analysis conclusion:

Deception Indicated.

Kaufman has guilty knowledge of what happened to his wife Lina.

Adam Kaufman got away with murder.

Annunci