Analysis of some excerpts from an interview Ronald Santiago released to correspondent Erin Moriarty

Bernadette and John Greg Ohlemacher

In June 2006 Ronald Santiago, a loan officer’s assistant at Countrywide Home Loans was accused of breaking into John Gregory and Bernadette Ann Vigil Ohlemacher’s home in Paradise Hill, a suburb of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the early morning of August 2, 2005, and fatally shooting them with a 9- millimiter handgun. Renee Ohlemacher the couple’s 20 year old daughter was at home but the shooter left her unharmed.

On February 26th, 2014 a jury found Ronald Santiago not guilty of the double homicide.

After the sentence Ronald Santiago said: I’m happy that the truth has come out. I had no part of this.

“I had no part of this” is an unreliable denial and the word “this” shows closeness to the crime. 

Ronald Santiago

Here some excerpts from an interview Santiago released to correspondent Erin Moriarty in 2006:

What we look for in the following excerpts is for Ronald Santiago to issue a reliable denial.

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 the Ohlemachers” followed by “I told the truth” while addressing the denial, it is more than 99% likely to be true. 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.

Ronald Santiago: I’ve always wanted to help people, it feels so good from inside to be able to help somebody.

Note the need of Santiago to describe himself as a “good guy”. This is the “good guy” principle which belies the status of “bad guy”

Ronald Santiago: Being able to help somebody buy their first home to own their own home was a great feeling.

Note the need of Santiago to describe himself as a “good guy”, again.

Ronald Santiago: I wanted to do the best possible job I could for them, every single time.

Note the need of Santiago to describe himself as a “good guy”, again.

Erin Moriarty: How would you describe Bernadette?

Ronald Santiago: The few times that I met her, she seemed to be very nice to me, she was very nice to me.

Santiago says that he met Bernadette few times, this is unnecessary to say, he is taking the distance from one of the victim. 

Ronald Santiago asked about his reaction after the news of the double murder: I was shocked. I mean, I was disturbed.

Note the need of Santiago to describe himself as a “good guy”, again.

Erin Moriarty: You cried?

Ronald Santiago: Yes ma’ am. I guess I’m an emotional person. I take things serious. When I heard that, it hurt. It was sad.

Note the need of Santiago to describe himself as a “good guy”. This is incessant. This is the “good guy” principle which belies the status of “bad guy”, again.

Ronald Santiago is exceedingly manipulative.

In “When I heard that”, “that” is distancing language. Santiago feels the need to distance himself from the double murder.

Ronald Santiago: We were one of the hottest mortgages in the southwest. There was a pressure cooker.

“There was a pressure cooker” is passive language. Passivity is used to conceal identity or responsibility. Santiago is unable to say that someone put pressure on him.

Erin Moriarty: And what was the pressure like on you?

Ronald Santiago: The pressure was incredible. I’ve taken loan applications on holidays, phone calls on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. You were open 24/7. Their motto is “get it done”.

When Santiago says “The pressure was incredible” he doesn’t say somebody put pressure on him. In order to blame his company for what he did he says that Their motto is “get it done” but he is unable to say that someone put pressure on him.

We can conclude that everything he did was his fault.

On June 12, 2006, Ronald Santiago surrendered himself to the U.S. Secret Service in Albuquerque, claiming that he had been forging checks in his capacity as a loan officer. During the initial interview, he told Secret Service Agent Bryan Nguyen that he needed psychological help. Agent Nguyen sent Defendant to a local hospital for a mental evaluation. During the course of the forgery investigation, Agent Nguyen learned that Defendant had serviced the Ohlemachers’ loan application shortly before their deaths.

Ronald Santiago: I had made a mistake. I’m not denying that… that’s never been a question. I’m not hiding from that. Have I done something wrong? I participated in something that was wrong.

When Santiago, referring to the forging of two checks in an unrelated home loan, says “I’m not hiding from that”, he is telling us that he is hiding from something else, if not from that, from what? 

Note that he repeats the word “that”, “that” is distancing language and sensitive to him.

Note that he is referring with the word “that” to the fact that he forged two checks.

When he says “Have I done something wrong? I participated in something that was wrong”, he doesn’t specify what he is talking about and he shows a need to share guilt.

Erin Moriarty: So, what went wrong in that case? What happened in that case?

Ronald Santiago: I overpromised.

Erin Moriarty: What do you mean, you overpromised?

Ronald Santiago: I told them (the Howards’ family) that I can get the loan done within a specific period of time and… I didn’t, I dropped the ball.

Note the pause to think.

Ronald Santiago: But I knew I was gonna get caught, I knew I was gonna get caught.

This is sensitive to him. 

Note that he wasn’t caught for the forged checks, he surrendered himself to the U.S. Secret Service. When he says “I knew I was gonna get caught” Santiago is referring to the double murder.

Ronald Santiago: I’ve never done anything… illegal in my life. To do something that was stupid and lose everything because of that stupidity. That’s very emotional.

Note the pause in this sentence “I’ve never done anything… illegal in my life”, this is not only something not easy to say for him but also unreliable, his denial covers an undetermined amount of time and open to the possibility that he has never done anything illegal in his life until he did.

Note the need of Santiago to describe himself as a “good guy” that only did something “stupid”.

Ronald Santiago: Relief of not having to do that anymore, I thought getting out from underneath all that pressure “get it done”, “get it done”. I don’t have to do that anymore.

Erin Moriarty: How would you remember it was a Tuesday (the day of the double murder)?

Ronald Santiago: Well, it was a very dramatic event. I mean, again, people that… that I work with… were killed.

Note the position of the pauses to think.

Santiago is unable to say “people that I know”, he chooses to say “people that I work with”“With” shows distance between him and the victims and speaks about their relation.

“were killed” is passive language. Passivity in analysis indicates a desire to conceal and this concealment is often responsibility.

Ronald Santiago: I was telling the truth. I denied everything. I had nothing to do with anybody hurting forth anymore a murder… I did not… and I answered all their questions.

“I was telling the truth” is vague, he doesn’t say when he was telling the truth.

Santiago is unable to say “I told the truth”.

In any case, most of the people don’t lie, 90% or more of deception comes from deliberately withheld or concealed information, rather than outright lying. In other words, often everything people say is true, they simply leave out that they had committed the crime.

“I denied everything” is an unreliable denial itself.

“I had nothing to do with anybody hurting forth anymore a murder” is an unreliable denial and a sentence that goes against the law of economy in words. He is unable or unwilling to say a simple sentence as “I didn’t kill the Ohlemacher”. The “wall of truth” in not within Ronald Santiago. 

After Santiago says “I did not…” he is censoring himself. 

Saying “and I answered all their questions” Santiago doesn’t say that he said everything.

Erin Moriarty: You know the Ohlemacher were shot and killed with a 9-millimeter Ruger, according with the police, and you had owned one.

Ronald Santiago: I owned one… but I got rid of it a year… before this even took place.

Note the positions of the two pauses to think. 

He calls the double murder “this” to minimise. 

“this” shows closeness to the double murder.

Erin Moriarty: So what happened to your 9-millimiter?

Ronald Santiago: I treated.

Erin Moriarty: To who?

Ronald Santiago: You know, we’ve been knocking heads for the last year and a half.

The presence of “You know” tells us of Santiago’s acute awareness of the audience.

When Santiago says “we’ve been knocking heads for the last year and a half”, he doesn’t speak just for himself but shows a desire to hide in a crowd like most guilty people.

Erin Moriarty: You don’t happen to remember the name of the guy you give this 9-millimiter Ruger?

Ronald Santiago: Robert? But I don’t remember his last name, it was just as simple, okay, that’s great.

Erin Moriarty: How did that spent shell casing ended up in his bag?

Ronald Santiago: I don’t know how it got there, I didn’t put it there. Is it a possibility that someone put it there? That could have been part of law enforcement, there is a possibility but I’m not going to accuse.

Erin Moriarty: That’s damaging, Ron, I mean…

Ronald Santiago: Yeah, I know it is. Tha… that’s the whole case. They’re saying because that shell casing was in my gun bag, in my garage, that I was the one that pulled the trigger to kill these people.

“I was the one that pulled the trigger to kill these people” is an embedded admission.

Erin Moriarty: Did you ever expect to go to jail?

Ronald Santiago: No ma’ am, not for murder.

Ronald Santiago: It’s frightening, its scary, I mean, I have not done anything to anyone.

“I have not done anything to anyone” is an unreliable denial.

Erin Moriarty: What was your reaction when you heard this?

Ronald Santiago: I didn’t hurt anyone, I didn’t tamper with anyone’s personal belongings, their vehicles, anything, I‘ve not done anything wrong.

“I didn’t hurt anyone, I didn’t tamper with anyone’s personal belongings, their vehicles, anything, I‘ve not done anything wrong” are all unreliable denials. This answer goes against the law of economy in words. There is not “wall of truth” within him.

Ronald Santiago speaking about his lawyers: I own them everything, they believe in me since the beginning, they’ve shown that I didn’t do this, if it wasn’t for them, I’d still be locked up.

Santiago is unable to say “they’ve shown that I didn’t kill the Ohlemacher” and is again referring to the double murder with “this”, showing closeness to it.

On June 14 2006, Det. Mike Fox and Secret Service Agent Brian Nguyen went to thePresbyterian Kaseman Hospital in Albuquerque to speak with Ronald Santiago who was undergoing a psychiatric treatment.

Ronald Santiago: Sir, I didn’t hurt the Ohlemachers, I didn’t hurt the Ohlemachers.

“I didn’t hurt the Ohlemachers” is an unreliable denial. Santiago is unable or unwilling to say “I didn’t kill the Ohlemachers”.

Ronald Santiago: I did this. What I’ve admitted. I’ve come to the Secret Service like I was supposed to. I turned myself in for the things that I’ve done wrong. I’ve admitted that. When it comes to the Ohlemachers, sir, I didn’t hurt anybody.

When Santiago says “I did this”, he wants us to believe that he is speaking about the checks he forged but he is unable to specify it. “I did this” could easily be referred to the double murder.

When he says “What I’ve admitted” he is telling us that there is something he didn’t admit.

Note that he first says “I did this” and then referring to the things he turned himself in he says “I’ve admitted that”, “this” and “that” are two different things.

“I didn’t hurt anybody” is an unreliable denial.

Detective: I can tell it in your eyes that you did it. And it hurts you that you did it. and you don’t want to say it.

Ronald Santiago: It hurt to think that someone thinks I would hurt someone like that.

Note the need of Santiago to describe himself as a “good guy” that suffers for being considered a murderer. This is the “good guy” principle which belies the status of “bad guy”, again. 

“I would hurt someone like that” is an embedded admission.

Note that Ronald Santiago is not only unable to give 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. Santiago accepts what the de facto innocent don’t accept: he allows people to believe he is involved. There is no “wall of Truth” within Santiago. This is why he allows blame to be put upon him.

Detective: Nothing is gonna help you until you confess, until you get it out. It’s gonna eat you up.

Ronal Santiago: And I have confessed. I forged, I did forgery.

Santiago left something out, he started his sentence with “And”. There are missing information here.

Agent: Ron, we’re trying to help

Ronal Santiago: I know, Sir, you are trying to help, I did not… hurt the Ohlemachers.

” I did not… hurt the Ohlemachers” is an unreliable denial. Note the position of the pause, Santiago is unable to substitute the word “hurt” with “kill”.

Detective: No, you didn’t, you didn’t hurt ‘em, you kill ‘em.

Ronald Santiago: I did not kill…

Santiago didn’t complete his sentence. This is self censoring. 

Detective: You killed ‘em, you killed the Ohlemachers.

No denial from Santiago.

Detective: What’s gonna happen when the gun matches up, though?

Ronald Santiago: My gun’s not gonna match up.

Detective: You positive?

Ronald Santiago: Yes, Sir.

Detective: 100%?

Ronald Santiago: I didn’t shoot ‘em.

Santiago is able to say “I didn’t shoot ‘em” because in his mind, he “was the one that pulled the trigger to kill these people” but it was his gun which “shoot ‘em .

Detective: 100% positive the gun’s gonna match up?

Ronald Santiago: Right.

Detective: What’s let’s just say that it does?

Ronald Santiago: If it says it does?

The detective catches Santiago off guard, he is unable to answer, he answers with a question not to answer.

Detective: Uh, uhm.

Ronald Santiago: Then, I’m in a lot of trouble, Sir, I’m wanted for murder.

Santiago doesn’t say that it’ll be impossible to have a match, contra he accepts a possible match and a possible guilt, something that is not expected from an innocent.

Detective: Because it’s gonna match up, isn’t it?

Ronald Santiago: No, Sir.

Detective: There’s not a person in the world that’s gonna look at this and think that you didn’t kill ‘em, so it’s time to quit lying. It’s time to tell the truth.

Ronald Santiago: Sir, when I get discharged from here, I will contact you, so that way you can have me taken in and booked whenever you need to, ‘cause I’m not gonna talk anymore.

Santiago refuses to reply to the detective. He is unable to say “I told you the truth”.

Detective: Ok.

Analysis Coclusions:

Deception indicated.

Ronald Santiago was unable or unwilling to deny the allegation. He never gave a reliable denial, he never said “I didn’t kill the Ohlemacher” and “I told the truth”.

Ronald Santiago shows a psychological need to be seen as a “good guy” because he feels guilt and doesn’t wish to be seen as a “bad guy”. He is strongly manipulative.

Ronald Santiago has guilty knowledge of what happed to John Greg and Bernadette Ohlemacher. 

Santiago got away with the double murder of the Ohlemachers.

Annunci

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 us 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 and another officer saw that only one side of the couple’s bed had been slept in. 

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.

Analysis of some excerpts from Frederick Mueller’s interviews with investigators

Dr Leslie J Denis Mueller’s last picture on Cottonwood Creek, Colorado

On May 3, 2008, while Leslie Jeanne Denis and Frederick Harold Mueller, were hiking near Lake City, Colorado, Leslie died by drowning.

According with undersheriff Robert Burden, Fred Mueller told him that Leslie died by accident “as he took the picture, a bird flew by, the bluebird appeared to startle the dog and that as she was getting up, she suddenly started going backwards. And she did a swan dive, just like head and shoulders and just slides like mush into the channel”.

Hinsdale County sheriff Ron Bruce and undersheriff Robert Burden didn’t believe Fred Mueller’s story.

Sheriff Ron Bruce

Fred Mueller had scratches on his face and an investigator found a pair of broken glasses belonging to Fred and what appeared to be signs of a struggle in the snow near the scene.

According with the autopsy report by doctor Jerry Gray, Leslie Mueller had no injuries despite her husband said she fell from a cliff about 17 feet above the creek. There was no blood on Leslie’s clothes and no damages.

Prosecutor Matthew Durkin said that the evidence suggested Dr Leslie Mueller fought with her husband and that she was then held down in the water by him.

Mueller wasn’t the one to speak with the 911 operator.

Meuller left Leslie in the water and went to Justin Sparks’ home; Sparks, who had no knowledge of what had just happened to Leslie, called 911 and Fred Mueller didn’t speak with the operator, not even in second place, to give further details. Often people with a guilty knowledge prefer to delegate somebody else to call for help not to face the stress of a deceptive call not. Mueller too chose not to risk to be caught in his lies by the 911 operator.

Justin Sparks, the neighbour that called 911 and found Leslie’s lifeless body was suspicious of Fred Mueller behaviour, during the trial he said: “He would act kind of frantic, one second, and then, the next second, he would… he was talking to me very nonchalance and normal almost felt like he was acting more than being sincere. I just started getting a kind of bad feeling about the whole situation”. Sparks described to the jury a way of acting of people with a guilty knowledge, Fred Mueller was unable to act as a grieving husband because, after the death of his wife, his real and only feeling was relief. 

Few hours after his wife death Fred Mueller told undersheriff Burden that he and Leslie had sex the morning of May 3; ten months after, during an interview with a a CBI agent, Mueller said that a “good autopsy” on his wife’s body could have revealed that they had sex in the morning she died. This revelation is sensitive, it opens to a planned murder not to a second degree murder. The morning of the murder, Fred Mueller made love to his wife on purpose, to show the coroner their marriage wasn’t in trouble.

In 2012 Frederick Mueller was charged with murdering his wife, Dr. Leslie Jeanne Denis Mueller by prosecutor Matthew Durkin. The trial ended in a mistrial.

Frederick Mueller had been tried a second time for the murder of his wife, Leslie, few months later (prosecutor Ryan Brackley) but the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on the defendant’s guilt again and the judge declared a mistrial.

Fred Mueller  on Cottonwood Creek, Colorado

Here some excerpts of a conversation Fred Mueller had with sheriff Ron Bruce in the kitchen of his house:

What we look for in the following experts is for Fred Mueller to tell the truth about what happened to his wife Leslie and to issue a reliable denial.

We look for him to say freely “I didn’t kill my wife Leslie” 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.

Fred Mueller: (unintelligible) you know (unintelligible) it’s all my fault, we had a camera, we started taking photos, she took fews of me, I took some of her… uhh… I suggested that she take a picture with her dog and it’s… it’s a border collies its very… it’s an extremely scary dog she is… looks at me, I take a picture… uhm… I think (unintelligible), I think… uhh… like a bird, kind of floaters by… the dog just jumps out and she is turning and… and its like… its like her feet went out from under…

“you know” shows an acute awareness of the audience.  

“it’s all my fault” sounds as an embedded admission.

Note the non words “uhh” and “uhm” and the pauses he used to take time to answer.

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.

Mueller showed us to be able to use the past tense as in the first part of his narrative he spoke at the past tense “we started”, “she took”, “I took” and “I suggested” but then, he suddenly shifted to the present tense making the second part of his narrative unreliable.

In these sentences, “she is… looks at me, I take a picture… uhm… I think (unintelligible), I think… uh… like a bird kind of floaters by, but the dog just jumps out and she is turning and… and its like… its like her feet went out from under…” Mueller sounds vague and unreliable due to the two “I think”, to the “like” and the two “it’s like”.

It’s like… it just happened in slow motion in front of me, she falls forward and… and, I remember, launching forward to try to… to try to get to her but I was probably 5, 6, 7 feets from her, it looked to me like she just did a swam dive and… and lands on the rocks right by the water, just… just like head and shoulders and… and just crumples and just… just slides like mush into the… into the… the little channel and I’m screaming her name, I’m hollering. I should had jump in.

Everything Mueller says at the present tense is unreliable and shows us that he is not recalling from experiential memory.

Again “It’s like”, “to try”, “probably”, “it looked to me like” sound vague and story telling.

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

Note how many times Mueller uses the word “just”. “just” is a dependent word  used in comparison. Its communication is found in dependence upon another thought. We can assume that, while building his unreliable story, Mueller was thinking about what really took place.

She’s moving with the current. I don’t know what I’m doing and the next thing I know, she’s out of sight there and I can’t really see where I can get to her, she’s just face down in the water, head first going downstream.

Mueller is still speaking at the presente tense of a past event, his narrative is unreliable.

“I don’t know what I’m doing” is in the negative and unnecessary to say, he is using this sentence to fill his unreliable narrative. 

“and the next thing I know” is a clear example of temporal lacunae, a sentence often used by deceptive people to jump over time, a signal of withholding information.

“I can’t really see” is not only in the negative but is weak, the options are two: someone can see or can’t see, the word “really” opens to the fact that he could see something.

When Mueller says “she’s just face down in the water” he is comparing his wife being face down in the water with another position.

Fred Mueller: I didn’t do anything and I’m not at all afraid of the truth.

“I didn’t do anything” is an unreliable denial. Mueller is unable or unwilling to say “I didn’t kill Leslie” which was expected. 

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 Leslie” followed by “I told the truth” while addressing the denial, it is more than 99% likely to be true. A deceptive person will alter his denial to avoid a direct lie.

Saying “I didn’t do anything” Mueller violated component 3 of the reliable denial.

The second sentence “and I’m not at all afraid of the truth” is not only in the negative but he fells the need to add “at all”, we can assume that the truth is sensitive to him.

According with sheriff Bruce, Mueller, during one of the first interview, suddendly started talking about family insurance policies.

Fred Mueller: We had a big insurance policy on the two of us. It was strictly for inheritance, so what in the world would it have been of benefit to me for the reality is there was no reason for my wife to die that benefitted me, no monetary benefit.

An innocent has not reason to speak spontaneously about motives for murder.

“there was no reason for my wife to die that benefitted me, no monetary benefit” is distancing language, Fred Mueller himself introduces the topic but is unable or unwilling to say not only “I didn’t kill my wife Leslie” neither “there was no reason for me to kill my wife, no monetary benefit”.

According with undersheriff Burden, Fred Mueller also said: ” You know, I don’t have any reason to kill my wife. I don’t have any motive. I don’t have a girlfriend. We love each other very much”.

When Mueller, without being asked, says “I don’t have any reason to kill my wife. I don’t have any motive. I don’t have a girlfriend. We love each other very much” he shows a need to pre-empt the question to explain something that an innocent wouldn’t have any need to explain. This is not only an alert for deception, but opens to the possibility that Mueller is telling us the opposite of what it is.

Note that “I don’t have any reason to kill my wife. I don’t have any motive. I don’t have a girlfriend” not only are in the negative but at the present tense: 

  • 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.   
  • Mueller keeps speaking at the present, he is not telling us what he was thinking before the death of his wife but just what he is thinking right now that the allegations are upon him. 

“We love each other very much” is sensitive,  the presence of “very much” shows a need to persuade.

Most of the murderers often sound uninhibited, naive, aggressive or sarcastic, they choose to substitute a reliable denial with rage, sarcasm or whatever, counting on us to interpret and assume that they are denying the allegations. Mueller, incredibly, said to undersheriff Burden “If you didn’t have a badge and gun, I’d fucking beat the shit out of you” and “That’s bullshit. You’re asking me how many times a day did I have sex, but you won’t tell me if you found any damn glasses”.

Fred Mueller: It’s that kind of crap that makes me think you’re not believing a word I’m telling you. I’m just sticking my head in a noose. I didn’t do anything.

Mueller is not only unable or unwilling to deny his involvement in Leslie’s death 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 but Mueller is unable to defend himself. “I didn’t do anything” is an unreliable denial. 

One of Leslie and Frederick Mueller’s daughter reported to Dateline her father’s first call after the death of her mother:

“He said: I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.

and I said: What happened?

and he said: We were hiking, I tried to take a picture, she felt.

I remember saying: Does she is going be ok?

and he said: No, she is death.

and he said: I’m so… so sorry Mindy”.

Note the initial “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry” and the final “I’m so… so sorry”.

We note “I’m sorry” because is often an indicator of a form of regret that usually enters the language of the guilty. 

Analysis Conclusion:

Frederick Mueller deceptively witheld information and fabricated reality.

Mueller was not only unable or unwilling to deny his involvement in his wife Leslie’s death but he accepted a possible guilt.

He has guilty knowledge of what happened to his wife Leslie.

Undersheriff Robert Burden

Undersheriff  Robert Burden said to correspondent Peter Van Sant: “I say it was not an accident, I say it was a cold blooded murder”.

I agree. Frederick Mueller got away with murder.

Ursula Franco, MD and criminologist

My reconstruction of the murder of Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson in the documentary “The missing Pieces: The Staircase”

 

Read also:

Michael Peterson’s 911 call

The murder of Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson at the ‘hands’ of Michael Peterson

Michael Iver Peterson: a pathological liar and a murderer

My analysis of Michael Peterson’s 911 call in the documentary “The missing Pieces: The Staircase”

 

Read also:

Michael Peterson’s 911 call

The murder of Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson at the ‘hands’ of Michael Peterson

Michael Iver Peterson: a pathological liar and a murderer

Analysis of an interview released by Justin Mertis Barber to correspondent Harold Row

April Barber

On the night of August 17, 2002, around 10:30 p.m., Justin Mertis Barber, 30, killed his wife, April, 27, on the beach of Ponte Vedra, Florida.

On September 15, 2006, Justin Barber was sentenced to life imprisonment.

At the time of her death, April Barber had a $2.1 million life insurance policy that named her husband Justin Barber as the primary beneficiary.

Justin Barber killed his wife April with a single shot in the face, then he shot himself four times to stage a robbery. He used a .22 caliber.

Justin Barber told police that someone approached him and his wife on the beach and that April’s killing was the result of a robbery attempt.

Justin Mertis Barber

Justin Barber spoke to 48 Hours correspondent Harold Dow:

Justin Barber: We had been there a few times before. April’s previous birthday, and I think perhaps the year before. It was a place that we would go to be alone on the beach.

Justin is telling us that he knew that Ponte Vedra Beach was a desert location, especially during the night.

Justin Barber: He was Caucasian. He had a hat on. It’s a dark hat with a logo.

Barber shifts from the past tense “He was”, “He had” to the present tense “It’s”, it may indicate that he is fabricating reality and not recalling from experiential memory. 

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.

Harold Dow: How big was he?

Justin Barber: In relation to me, slightly taller and heavier, two hundred pounds.

Who is “slightly taller and heavier”? There is no pronoun here, Justin Barber is unable or unwilling to say “he was slightly taller and heavier”.

Harold Dow: Do you think it was a robbery?

Justin Barber: Yes.

Harold Dow: Did you hear him saying “give me the money”?

Justin Barber: He was yelling.

Note that Barber doesn’t answer the question because he is unable or unwilling to lie.

Harold Dow: Yelling what?

Justin Barber: I don’t know exactly what he was yelling, I assumed that he wanted money.

Harold Dow: Did you see a gun?

Justin Barber: Yes.

I believe him. This is the truth, he saw a gun, the .22 caliber he used to kill his wife and to shoot himself to stage a robbery.

Harold Dow: Did you see him shoot April?

Justin Barber: I did not see him shoot April, no.

This is parroting language and is deemed unreliable.

Harold Dow: Did he shoot you?

Justin Barber: I know that he did. Yes.

“I know that” is distancing language, moreover these words are unnecessary, superfluous. People often speak in an economy of words. People like to economize their sentences. That’s why we note any extra words present in a sentence.

 Justin Barber: We were struggling, there was a fight.

I believe him. Justin Barber is telling the truth, he just omits to say who are these “We” that “were struggling” and between who “there was a fight”.

According with the autopsy report April suffered a near- drowning episode before being shot, we can easily assume that Justin and April were the “we” who “were struggling” and in a “fight”.

Harold Dow: After it was all over you came to?

Justin Barber: Yes.

Harold Dow: And what happened you look around?

Justin Barber: Yes.

Harold Dow: And what did you see?

Justin Barber: Nothing at first.

Note that Justin Barber reports in the negative seeing “Nothing”. This is impossible and sounds story telling. He certainly saw things. Only deceptive people tell us what they didn’t see, didn’t do, didn’t think or didn’t hear.

Harold Dow: Did you call her name?

Justin Barber: I was yelling her name.

“yelling” is the same verb that Justin used to refer to the assailant.

  1. The assailant was yelling,
  2. he was yelling,
  3. he was the assailant.

Justin Barber: I ran down the beach. I couldn’t find her. I was screaming.
I remember feeling confusion, I remember feeling noxious, panic.

Note that Barber reports in the negative that he “couldn’t find her”

“I ran down the beach. I couldn’t find her. I was screaming” it’s possibly that these things really happened but before the shooting.

“I remember” is unnecessary wording whereas in truthful accounts people can only tell us what they remember. Justin Barber is telling us that he could have referred something not from his experiential memory previously. 

Note the inclusion of emotions in the right part of the statement. Justin Barber is simply diverting the focus on himself to fish for sympathy. The useless sentence “I couldn’t find her” helps him to give us an additional reason for him to “feeling confusion… noxious, panic”.

Justin Barber: She wasn’t responding to me.

Note that he is reporting something in the negative, again. 

It’s possibly that she “wasn’t responding” because she didn’t want to talk to him anymore. 

Harold Dow: So what did you do?

Justin Barber: (long pause) I pulled her out the water.

Justin takes time to answer. The question is sensitive to him.

Justin Barber: I pulled her, kept trying to pull her up.

Barber is telling us not that he pulled her up but that he “kept trying to pull her up”. This indicates that the process to pull her up was quite long. Was this a long process because she was still alive and fighting for her life while in the water? According with the autopsy report she almost drowned before she was shot to the head and, according with the blood spatter evidence, no one moved her body after the shooting. She was shot where she was found and before the shooting she was in the water, not after. 

Justin Barber: My body just was not responding the way that I think that it should have.

Justin Barber: We got to the point at which the boardwalk meets the sand and then there’s a set of stairs that lead up to the boardwalk. I could barelyl drag her up the stairs. I wanted to lean her over my shoulder and try to carry her that way to the road.

When Barber says “We got” he is telling us that April was still alive

Justin Barber doesn’t say that he leaned her over his shoulder but that he wanted to lean her over his shoulder and again, he doesn’t say that he carried her but that he “try to carry her”. Justin Barber didn’t do any of these actions.

Justin Barber: I dropped her and I think the sound of her hitting the ground caused a reaction in me and I knew at that point that what I was doing was just not working.

The sound he is talking about is the sound of the gun shot. This is the moment he shot her. She hit the ground after he shot her in the face.

Justin Barber: I don’t know what the top process was but I left her at (unintelligible).

When Barber says “I don’t know what the top process was but I left her” he is very cold and doesn’t show any remorse. These are the words of a sociopath.

Harold Dow: And where did you go?

Justin Barber: I ran across the… the board lock of the highway looking for help and then is when I saw the first car.

“then” is a temporal lacunae, a signal of missing information. 

Barber is introducing “the first car” to defend himself. He is subtly trying to attribute the shooting to the owner of this car. 

When he says “I saw the first car” he is telling us that he saw more than one car. Why he didn’t stop any of these cars if he was really looking for help?

Justin Barber:  So, I just left. I didn’t even stop to get my shoes. I just immediately started running to the highway.

“left” is another temporal lacunae, there are missing information here too.

I just immediately started running” is quite different from the previous “I ran”, “immediately” is in contradiction with “started”, this is another long process.

The dependent word “just” is used in comparison. That he says I just immediately started running is to compare “running” with something else. 

Justin Barber: I ran to our vehicle. I remember getting in the truck and driving back to town. I was driving very, very fast with my four-way flashers on.

“I remember” is unnecessary wording whereas in truthful accounts people can only tell us what they remember. Justin Barber is telling us that he could have referred something not from his experiential memory previously. 

He says “very” twice making the sentence “I was driving very, very fast” sensitive, moreover if he was driving fast, he was not looking for help. He drove 10 miles before stopping.

Justin Barber: I was driving erratically. I was looking for help. I was looking for attention. I remember seeing a red light and stopping there and cars were there and I started yelling for help.

Barber is telling us that he “was driving erratically” and “looking for attention”, we can easily assume that his goal was not to find help but to look shocked. He was building his defence.

“I remember” is unnecessary wording whereas in truthful accounts people can only tell us what they remember. Justin Barber is telling us that he could have referred something not from his experiential memory previously. 

Again, Barber is the one who was “yelling” that night like the assailant did.

Justin Barber: Have you ever been kicked by a horse?

Harold Dow: No.

Justin Barber: I had and I felt I had been kicked by a horse in several places. It was painful, it was painful.

This is truth but the truth is also that he shot himself. He repeats twice “It was painful”, this is sensitive to him. Didn’t he expect this? 

He has a need to portrait himself as a victim. He is fishing for sympathy.

Justin Barber: I left her there, I was trying to find help.

Note the word “trying”, he doesn’t say “I left her there to find help” but a weaker “I was trying to find help”, another long process.

Justin Barber: Now it’s deeply shamed I have abandoned her on her own on that beach. And I think I would went crazy at that point.

Justin Barber: I’m a broken man.

This is true, he is a broken man at least in two ways, he is not only a looser that killed his wife because he was financially “broken” and wanted to cash in on her insurance policy but he is also a “broken” sociopath because he has been caught in his lies. 

Justin Barber: I’m not a violent person. I would never ever considered doing anything like that.

Justin Barber had the occasion to say freely “I didn’t kill my wife April” but he was unable to lie.

“I’m not a violent person” is not a reliable denial. Note also that the meaning of the word “violent” is subjective.

“I would never ever considered doing anything like that” is an unreliable denial. 

He says “doing anything like that” 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.

We can assume that Justin Barber never ever considered doing anything like that until he considered doing it and did it.

Harold Dow: Did you kill your wife?

Justin Barber: No sir, I didn’t kill my wife.

This is not a reliable denial because he is parroting the correspondent.

A reliable denial is found in the free editing process, not in the parroted language. A reliable denial 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 April” followed by “I told the truth” while addressing the denial, it is more than 99% likely to be true. A deceptive person will alter his denial to avoid a direct lie. 

 Harold Dow: Did you shoot yourself four times to cover the murder?

Justin Barber: No, that’s ridiculous. No, I did not.

Harold Dow: Did you love April?

Justin Barber: I did. I still do.

Justin Barber: I wore my wedding band on a leather tongue around my neck.

Barber is fishing for sympathy and shows a need to persuade that innocent people don’t have.

Harold Dow: Why do you wear that around your neck?

Justin Barber: Because I wasn’t ready to let her go. It was a reminder of her and was a reminder of my failure during our marriage.

When he “wasn’t ready to let her go”? When she asked him for divorce? 

Which “failure”? For Barber himself his main failure was to be caught.

Justin Barber: I will fight until I have no more options.

He didn’t fight until he had no more options to save his wife’s life but he will do to save himself.

Harold Dow: And you’ll scream all the time that you are innocent?

Justin Barber: Yes, because I’m… innocent.

Note the pause before saying the word “innocent”, this is not something easy to say for him.

“I am… innocent” is an unreliable denial. To affirm to be innocent is different from saying “I didn’t kill my wife April”, which was expected. To say, “I am… innocent” is to deny the judicial outcome, not the action. An innocent de facto is someone who did not “do it” and is able to say “I didn’t do it” and eventually to add in the judicial conclusion. When people say they are innocent, they are just denying the conclusion that they are guilty, not the action.

Justin Barber: Everything they asked for, I gave them. Every time they wanted me to come back to St. John’s County and talk to them some more, I did. Whenever they wanted a statement, I gave it them.

These actions don’t make him innocent de facto.

Justin Barber: If that jury think I killed April, they should execute me. I would never ask for mercy… for the person who killed her.

I killed April” is an embedded admission.

Note the pause after “I would never ask for mercy”.

When he says “I would never ask for mercy” he is telling us again that he is the person who killed April. He adds, after a pause, “for the person who killed her” to try to fix his previous incriminating affirmation.

Harold Dow: Why not?

Justin Barber: Because they don’t deserve… if that jury believes I’m that person then they should send me to the death row.

Justin Barber says freely “I’m that person”, this is an embedded admission, he is not parroting Harold Dow.

Analysis Conclusion:

Deception Indicated.

Justin Barber has guilty knowledge of what happened to his wife.

Ursula Franco, MD and criminologist

Analisi di stralci di interviste relative alla scomparsa di Maria Angela Corradin detta Carmen

Mariangela Corradin detta Carmen è scomparsa venerdì 11 agosto 1995 dalla sua abitazione di via Beato Angelico, Torino.

All’epoca dei fatti, suo marito Pasquale Caterisano ha rilasciato un’intervista a Chi l’ha visto?:

Pasquale Caterisano: “Abbiamo pranzato… insieme e poi siamo andati a riposare aaah verso le 4, 4 e un quarto circa, esattamente adesso no… non ricordo, è arrivata una telefonata di un mio zio della Calabria, giù, da zio Alfredo e dove lì eee appunto eee c’è stato un po’ di litigio e lei ha detto, dice: “Basta o la fate finita voi o la faccio finita io”.

Pasquale Caterisano mente quando afferma di aver ricevuto una telefonata dallo zio Alfredo venerdì 11 agosto, lo zio chiamò a casa Corradin nella serata di giovedì 10 agosto 1995 e in precedenza chiamò la Corradin mentre il Caterisano si trovava ancora in Calabria.

Ecco cosa lo zio Alfredo, all’epoca dei fatti, disse agli inquirenti:

Stralcio del verbale dello zio Alfredo

Nel verbale di sommarie informazioni testimoniali dello zio Alfredo si legge: “(…) telefonata mio nipote non era presente, la quale mi riferiva che di tornare insieme al Caterisano Pasquale, in quanto non era la prima volta che la tradiva, io dopo qualche consiglio dato per il bene del loro figlio Andrea ho chiuso e ho riferito la comunicazione a mio nipote. Durante la conversazione avuta con mio nipote ho consigliato allo stesso di andare personalmente a Torino e cercare di chiarire di persona la situazione con la Corradin Maria Angela. Cosa che mio nipote ha fatto, infatti all’indomani della conversazione, ho notato che lo stesso era partito. La sera del giorno della partenza di mio nipote ho telefonato a Torino a casa di Corradin Maria Angela e mi ha risposto il figlio cioè Andrea il quale mi riferiva che i genitori si trovavano in camera da letto, io appreso tale notizia credevo che la situazione si era risolta, ho chiesto ad Andrea di farmi parlare con il padre il quale mi riferiva di essere stanco e mi passava la Corradin la quale, durante la conversazione mi riferiva che la situazione non era per nulla sistemata in quanto lei di Caterisano Pasquale non ne voleva più sapere, dopo questa affermazione ho formulato un invitato alla Corradin, ogni qualvolta avesse bisogno di aiuto di rivolgersi pure a me ed alla mia famiglia in quanto la consideravo meglio di una nipote ed ho chiuso la conversazione. Dopo qualche giorno dall’ultima conversazione avuta, mi (…)”.

Quindi sono due le telefonate che lo zio Alfredo fece a casa Corradin prima della scomparsa della donna:

  1. Alfredo telefonò una prima volta alla Corradin mentre Pasquale Caterisano si trovava ancora in Calabria e, dopo aver parlato con Maria Angela, invitò il nipote Pasquale ad andare a Torino per parlare con la Corradin;
  2. Alfredo chiamò nuovamente a casa della Corradin nella serata del giorno della partenza di Pasquale e Andrea Caterisano, ovvero il 10 agosto 1995, e parlò sia con Andrea che con Pasquale Caterisano, sia con Maria Angela Corradin;
  3. Lo zio Alfredo non ha riferito di aver chiamato la Corradin nel pomeriggio del giorno della sua scomparsa.

Nel verbale datato 25 agosto 1995 e firmato da Pasquale Caterisano si legge che Pasquale ed Andrea Caterisano arrivarono a Torino giovedì 10 agosto 1995, il giorno prima della scomparsa della Corradin: “Il giorno 10 giungevo a Torino a bordo del furgone Fiat Ducato di mia proprietà in compagnia di mio figlio Caterisano Andrea. Mi recavo al mio domicilio in via Bruno Angelico 9, ove risiede la mia convivente Corradin Mariangela. Avevo intenzione di riconciliarmi con lei. Lo scopo era protrarre la convivenza che durava da quindici anni. Ma Corradin Mariangela rispondeva di non voler più convivere con me: “Questa storia deve finire se no la faccio finita io…”. Preciso che a tutti i fatti ha assistito anche mio figlio, in quanto quel giorno non ci siamo mai separati…”.

Da notare che quando Pasquale Caterisano dice “Preciso che a tutti i fatti ha assistito anche mio figlio, quel giorno non ci siamo mai separati” sostiene il vero ma si riferisce a giovedì 10 agosto 1995 e non a venerdì 11 agosto 1995, giorno della scomparsa della Corradin. Il fatto che il Caterisano senta la necessità di precisare che “quel giorno” non si separano mai, ci permette di ipotizzare che lo faccia perché sta paragonando il giorno 10 agosto con un altro giorno in cui lui e suo figlio invece si separarono, altrimenti non avrebbe avuto bisogno di aggiungere “quel giorno” ma avrebbe potuto semplicemente dire “Preciso che a tutti i fatti ha assistito anche mio figlio, in quanto non ci siamo mai separati…”. Evidentemente non è difficile inferire che sta paragonando il giorno 10 agosto al giorno successivo, giorno della scomparsa della Corradin.

Giornalista: Cioé non voleva più che qualcuno insistesse?

Pasquale Caterisano: “Insistesse, cioè al risanamento della nostra storia e bon, allora, nel frattempo è arrivato Andrea, ha detto: Pa’ andiamo all’aeroporto?, E io ho detto: “Aspetta un momento”, e Carmen mi ha risposto e mi ha detto: “Perché- dice- cosa deve andare a fare in aeroporto?”, Ho detto: “No, perché il ragazzo va giù in Calabria, lo mandiamo giù”, e lei mi fa: “Mentre che ci sei, pagagli anche il taxi”, ci ha detto sarcasticamente e io ho detto: “Vabbè, vabbè”, visto che la cosa si stava di nuovo a bisticciare, ho detto: “Vabbè, Andrea andiamo, lascia perdere”, e ci siamo andati via e l’abbiamo lasciata a casa”.

Pasquale Caterisano mente quando dice che Andrea, l’11 agosto, sarebbe “arrivato” mentre lui e la Corradin stavano discutendo dopo aver ricevuto la telefonata dello zio Alfredo, come abbiamo visto, la telefonata era infatti intercorsa tra Andrea, Maria Angela, Pasquale e lo zio la sera de 10 e non il pomeriggio dell’11 agosto 1995. 

Tra l’altro a quella telefonata dello zio fu proprio Andrea a rispondere pertanto non poteva essere “arrivato” in quanto in quell’occasione evidentemente si trovava lì con loro. 

Questa risposta di Pasquale Caterisano è fondamentale per ricostruire gli eventi di quel giorno in quanto è proprio il Caterisano a dirci che, venerdì 11 agosto 1995, dopo pranzo, il giovane Andrea uscì di casa per poi rientrare “nel frattempo è arrivato Andrea, ha detto: Pa’ andiamo all’aeroporto?”, pertanto lui e la Corradin rimasero soli per un certo lasso di tempo.

Pasquale Caterisano: “(…) non so dov’è, niente, noi abbiamo fatto un giro per vedere se la trovavo, non l’abbiamo trovata e così si… niente siamo andati… poi a mangiare una pizza e niente e poi dico: “B…”, abbiamo girato ancora, dico: “Basta, mi son rotto le scatole”, proprio ho detto la frase così a lu… rivolgendomi a lui, dico: “Sai cos… facciamo visto che fa caldo!? Andiamo a dormire su- dico- in una pensione”- dico: “Tu cosa ne pensi?”- ho detto a lui, ah mi fa lui: “Sì, sì”, mi ha detto”.

Il fatto che il Caterisano minimizzi dicendo “Basta, mi son rotto le scatole”, è sospetto.

Il 6 maggio 2007, Andrea Caterisano ha riferito in un’intervista al giornalista di La Repubblica, Niccolò Zancan, che nella villetta di via Beato Angelico c’era il condizionatore d’aria in camera da letto, pertanto il motivo per il quale Pasquale Caterisano passò la notte lontano da casa con suo figlio nulla ha a che fare con il caldo. 

Niccolò Zancan: Ricorda dove avete dormito quella notte?

Andrea Caterisano: In un piccolo albergo di Pino Torinese. Mi è rimasta impressa l’ immagine di una strada in salita e poco altro. Ma proprio questa è una scelta che mi tormenta. Perché mio padre mi ha portato a dormire lì? Non eravamo mai andati in albergo prima. Avremmo potuto tranquillamente dormire a casa. E la scusa del caldo non regge: proprio mio padre aveva installato il condizionatore d’aria in camera da letto.

Niccolò Zancan: Allora perché?

Andrea Caterisano: Non lo so, sinceramente. Per questo chiedo aiuto agli investigatori. Vorrei che mi aiutassero a capire.

Ma torniamo a quel venerdì 11 agosto 1995, il figlio maggiore della Corradin, Paolo Paolucci, si recò a casa di sua madre verso le 19.30, non trovò nessuno e notò che l’auto della Corradin non si trovava parcheggiata nel giardino della villetta ma sulla strada. Sarebbe interessante sapere quali fossero le abitudini di Maria Angela Corradin in merito, difficile pensare che, avendo uno spazio a disposizione per parcheggiare l’auto in giardino, la Corradin la lasciasse in strada ma, in ogni caso, è chiaro che chi uccise Maria Angela quel pomeriggio entrò in giardino con il proprio automezzo e vi caricò il cadavere della donna e che solo chi avesse avuto accesso alle chiavi del cancello o ne possedesse personalmente una copia avrebbe potuto aprirlo per poi eventualmente estrarre l’auto della Corradin, entrare con il proprio automezzo, caricare il cadavere della donna e richiudere il cancello.

Peraltro, chi uccise la Corradin non solo possedeva le chiavi del cancello da cui si accedeva al giardino perché lo aprì e lo richiuse, ma anche quelle di casa, lo si evince dal fatto che chiuse anche la porta di casa Corradin con quattro mandate prima di allontanarsi.

La Corradin non uscì di casa con le sue gambe quel pomeriggio, una vicina la vide raccogliere i panni stesi intorno alle 14.00; al ritorno a casa dei suoi familiari,  il ferro da stiro era acceso e sia la sua borsa che la sua protesi dentaria furono ritrovate in casa; evidentemente la Corradin si era tolta la protesi dopo pranzo, per lavarla, e non se l’era rimessa perché decisa a rimanere in casa. 

Anche l’orologio della Corradin è stato ritrovato in casa, rotto e fermo sulle 15.31, un orario compatibile con una eventuale colluttazione che possa aver preceduto l’omicidio, omicidio che avvenne mentre la Corradin era intenta a stirare. 

Paolo Paolucci ha riferito ad un giornalista di Chi l’ha visto? un dettaglio importante relativo al giorno della scomparsa di sua madre, un dettaglio che ci aiuta a comprendere il perché Pasquale Caterisano condusse suo figlio Andrea lontano da casa quella sera, per un aperitivo, una pizza e soprattutto il perché lo fece dormire in albergo e non a casa:

Paolo Paolucci: “Ad un certo punto mi sento suonare il clacson del furgone del del signor Pasquale, mi affaccio, era in furgone con Andrea che mi viene detto: E’ ritornata mamma? E’ arrivata mamma? Gli faccio: “No perché è con te?, Non è con te?”. Lui fa: “No, non c’è, sono andato in Aeroporto per vedere gli aerei, gli orari degli aerei e tua madre non c’era, continuo a cercarla”, e se ne va”.

La sera della scomparsa di Maria Angela, in un’occasione, Pasquale Caterisano, incontrò a casa della sua compagna, Paolo Paolucci, il figlio maggiore della Corradin, e nonostante la situazione fosse drammatica, mostrò di aver fretta di andarsene, infatti scambiò solo poche parole con Paolo, ma soprattutto il Caterisano non scese dal furgone, non lo abbandonò neanche per un attimo. 

Il comportamento del Caterisano in questa occasione e il fatto che la notte della scomparsa della Corradin si sia allontanato da casa con il proprio furgone per andare a dormire con il figlio Andrea in un albergo, ci permettono di inferire che Pasquale Caterisano temeva che Paolo Paolucci gli chiedessi di poter controllare il retro del furgone Fiat Ducato di sua proprietà, furgone con cui tornò repentinamente in Calabria nel pomeriggio del giorno seguente, sabato 12 agosto 1995, dopo aver denunciato alle forze dell’ordine la scomparsa della sua compagna Mariangela Corradin detta Carmen.

Questo articolo è stato pubblicato su Le Cronache Lucane il 7 giugno 2018.