Curtis Lovelace, was a former University of Illinois football star and a successful Illinois state prosecutor.
On Valentine’s Day 2006, his wife Cory, 38, was found dead in their house of Quincy, Illinois. The case was closed as “death from natural causes”.
Eight years after, an investigator re-opened the case and Curtis Lovelace was charged with his wife’s murder.
In 2014, after a first trial, a jury was unable to reach a verdict.
In 2017, after a second trial, the jury reached a not guilty verdict.
What we look for in the following excerpts is for Curtis Lovelace 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.
There is no consequence to issue a reliable denial about any false allegation.
“I did not kill Cory” 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.
Curtis Lovelace: I knew that… uhm… she wasn’t taking care of herself. I was aware of the bulimia avenging and the purging late in the day. Cory was an alcoholic. And… unfortunately so much of alcoholism, all of alcoholism is not… is not pretty. It’s… it’s ugly. And… it brings out oftentimes the worst in people. And… it was something that she… she struggled with.
Maurey Maher: You said you drank. Would you describe yourself as an alcoholic?
Curtis Lovelace: I do describe my… myself as an alcoholic and I stopped drinking.
Note that Curtis Lovelace describes himself as “an alcoholic” and asserted that “alcoholism brings out, oftentimes, the worst in people”. This is an “embedded admission”.
Curtis Lovelace: The vivid memory is… is her coming down. One of the ch… one of the kids needed a pair of pants. She wasn’t feelin’ any better. And we made the decision that… I would’ve take the kids to school.
Note that he says “The vivid memory is…”, something unexpected in a truthful account. These are unnecessary words whereas in truthful accounts people can only tell what is in their “memory”. This may be an indication that previously he told the correspondent what was not from his experiential memory.
Maurey Maher: What was your reaction?
Curtis Lovelace: Uhm… I Just utter shocked, I… infact, I’m… I’m not even sure how I reacted, I know what I did.
Note the pause “Uhm” and the stuttering “I”, signals that the question is sensitive to him.
Note the use of “just”. “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.
Curtis Lovelace: What I saw was someone who didn’t need help… uhm… I just saw my wife who had passed away.
Note that he refers to his wife Cory as “someone”, this is distancing language.
Who doesn’t need help? “Someone” who is dead.
Note the pause “uhm”.
Note the word “just” used to comparison.
Maurey Maher: Did you have anything to do with the death of your wife, Cory?
Curtis Lovelace: I did not.
This is not a reliable denial for two reasons:
- Lovelace is parroting back the interviewer’s words;
- his denial is incomplete because he didn’t add in the specific accusation.
Curtis Lovelace: To not only get called a murderer, but to say that I murdered the mother of my children, it’s horrible. This is a prosecution that should have never been brought. There never should have been an indictment.
Note that when he says “I murdered the mother of my children”, he framed himself without parroting anybody’s words. This is an “embedded admission”.
Note than after Lovelace says “This is a prosecution that should have never been brought. There never should have been an indictment”, he is unable to add “because I didn’t kill my wife Cory”.
Curtis Lovelace: We assumed that… uhm… that her.. her eating disorder, that her alcoholism… uhm… somehow caused her death. And whether it was checked undetermined… uh… or natural death, really wasn’t something that we were concerned about.
Note the use of “uhm” and “uh” as a pause to take time to think.
Note that when Lovelace says “We assumed that” and “we were concerned about”, he shows a desire to hide in a crowd like most guilty people.
Maurey Maher: So how do you find yourself in this position?
Curtis Lovelace: It’s a good question, as a question that we’ve been asking for the last two and a half years.
Again, when he says “we’ve been asking”, he shows a desire to hide in a crowd.
During the trial Curtis Lovelace told the court: As I approach the bed, I ca… I can see… I can see her hands… uhm… I can see… uhm… I can see her eyes were open… uhm… and she was… she was very pale and there was just… there was nothing there. Cory was dead… Uhm… that’s what I saw… uhm… that’s what I saw. I told them multiple times that I had nothing to do with Cory’s death.
Note how he uses the non-word “uhm” and the repetitions of “I can see”, “she was”, “that’s what”, to take time to think.
Note that when he says “As I approach the bed, I ca… I can see… I can see her hands… uhm… I can see… uhm… I can see her eyes were open… uhm…” he speaks at the present tense. When someone is speaking of an event in the past, it is expected 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.
“I told them multiple times that I had nothing to do with Cory’s death” is not a reliable denial. “I didn’t kill my wife Cory” is a reliable denial.
“I told them multiple times” is different from “I told the truth”. To repeat something “multiple times” doesn’t make it the truth.
Curtis Lovelace: (prosecutor) Adam Gibson decided to create a crime where one didn’t exist.
This is not a reliable denial.
During this interview with correspondent Maurey Maher:
- Curtis Lovelace didn’t issue a reliable denial. The absence of a denial, it’s a concern. If someone is unable or unwilling to say that he didn’t do it, we are not permitted to say so for him.
- Lovelace admitted to be “an alcoholic” and that “alcoholism brings out oftentimes the worst in people”.
- He then released an embedded admission when he said: “I murdered the mother of my children”.
Curtis Lovelace has guilty knowledge of what happened to his wife Cory.