On March 18, 2010, Jamie Laiaddee vanished from a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. When detectives started searching for Jamie, they found that her boyfriend Bryan Stewart was a con man whose real name is Rick Wayne Valentini. In 2011 Valentini was found guilty of fraud and Jamie’s murder.
Bryan Stewart known to his jailers as Rick Wayne Valentini is serving, as Inmate 268586, his 54-year prison term at the Arizona State Prison complex in Florence.
On June 21, 2018, Jamie Laiaddee remains were found in Sun Lakes (Arizona).
What we look for in this interviews is for Bryan Stewart to issue a reliable denial, to say “I didn’t kill Jamie” not simply parroting back the interviewer’s words but in the free editing process and we look for him to show the protection of 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.
Bryan Stewart: Jamie Laiaddee is alive, she took 100 thousands dollars of daddy’s money and she left the State of Arizona… bring it on, I know she’s alive.
Bryan Stewart: She was hot (laughs), I mean how else do you put it?
Bryan Stewart: She had a really good smile and… and really got enthusiastic about the football games and would jump up and cheer and would sing with the fight song.
Erin Moriarty: Did she pay most of the bills?
Bryan Stewart: Most of the big ones, yeah, but it’s not like I was dependent upon her.
Erin Moriarty: Did you love Jamie?
Bryan Stewart: I still love Jamie, you know, I just want Jamie to be happy. It’s hard because I don’t know if Jamie knows wha… what it takes to make her happy.
“you know” is a pause and a signal of an acute awareness of the interviewer.
Saying “I don’t know if Jamie knows wha… what it takes to make her happy” Bryan reveals one of the reason of his frustration in the relation with Jamie.
Bryan Stewart: She came in, asked me to take a week off from work. And she’s like: “We’re gonna go to Denver. We’re gonna get a house, you know, I’ve got a job offer up there… uhm… It’s time to go. I wanna go. I wanna get out of the State”. Basically, I… I told her: “No, I’m not leaving Arizona. I’m not gonna marry you”.
Note how inaccurate he is in referring their last conversation, he says “she’s like” and “Basically”.
Bryan Stewart: She was laying in bed. And I gave her a kiss, told her I loved her and got in the truck and drove to work.
This answer is revealing.
Note “She was laying in bed”. The description of Jamie’s body posture is an unnecessary information and, as any unnecessary information, is doubly important for us. When an unnecessary description of a body posture enters a statement, it indicates an increase in emotional tension.
“And I gave her a kiss, told her I loved her”, the “kiss Goodbye” and the sentence “told her I loved her” are two linguistic signals of the time of death.
Note that when Bryan says “And got in the truck and drove to work” he goes against the law of economy in words, he doesn’t say “I went to work” but “got in the truck and drove to work” where “truck” and “drove” are unnecessary words. Why has he the need to say these two words? Was he disposing her body at that time?
Erin Moriarty: When is the last time you saw Jamie?
Bryan Stewart: Physically saw her? 3:15 a.m. March 18, 2010.
Note that “Physically saw her?” does not have a pronoun.
When a subject asks a question and does not wait for the interviewer to answer, it may be an indication that the subject is re-living the event, working from experiential memory, and speaking to himself.
Why Bryan has the need to add the word “Physically” to his sentence? Is he comparing “Physically” with something else? Was she an inanimate body at 3:15 a.m.? 3:15 a.m. is the time of her death? Did he leave for work at 3:15 a.m.? At what time was he supposed to be at work? How long did he take to get to work?
Bryan Stewart: Weee never had anybody over for dinner. We never had any parties. Nobody came over to watch television or to just hang out. So…
This is something close to blaming the victim. A red flag.
Erin Moriarty: Why not?
Bryan Stewart: I… I… one of the great mysteries. I dont know.
A stuttering “I” shows increase in tension and tells us that the question is sensitive to Bryan.
Detective Moffat: How long have you and Jamie been dating?
Bryan Stewart: Give or take three years.
Det. Moffat: OK. When did you guys move in together?
Bryan Stewart: Honestly, I don’t know.
Note the word “Honestly”.
Det. Moffat: OK.
Bryan Stewart: (Laughs)
Det. Moffat: Where you cheating on Jamie at all before?
Bryan Stewart: No.
Det. Moffat: Walk me through what happened around March.
Bryan Stewart: It was simple, really. She hated everything about this State. She wanted out. Now, she’d been up there for interviews. I suspected that she would get the Denver offer.
Note the word “really”.
Det. Moffat: Did you hurt Jamie?
Bryan Stewart: (shaking his head “no”) Unh-uh .
Bryan is unable to answer, not even parroting Detective Moffat’s words.
Det. Moffat: Did you have anything to do with her disappearance?
This question is good to allow Bryan to say “I didn’t cause Jamie disappearance”, “I didn’t kill her” and “I am telling the truth”. This would be the “wall of truth”.
Bryan Stewart:… (shaking his head “no”) Unh-uh.
Bryan wait longer than usual to emit a sound, an indication that the question is sensitive to him. Bryan is unable to answer, not even parroting Detective Moffat’s words.
Det. Moffat: You have nothing to hide?
The detective suggests a negative answer.
Bryan knows that the blame is upon him, this question is still good to allow him to say “I didn’t cause Jamie disappearance”, “I didn’t kill her” and “I am telling the truth”. This would be the “wall of truth”.
Bryan Stewart: No. Unh-uh.
Det. Moffat: I have no freakin’ clue who’s sitting in front of me. And it’s extremely uneasy for me as I’m investigating a case of this magnitude. I mean, you’re talking about a woman who’s been gone for two months now. And I have a person in front of me that has different Social Security numbers, a couple of different dates of birth.
Erin Moriarty: You’re not really Bryan Stewart at all, are you?
Bryan Stewart: To me, I am.
Erin Moriarty: But not legally, are you?
Bryan Stewart: Well, legally, I’m not anything.
Bryan Stewart: Driving from Michigan to Arizona, that’s all I did. “Bryan Stewart, Bryan Stewart, Bryan Stewart, Bryan Stewart”. I was always saying, listening for “Bryan Stewart, Bryan Stewart”. Because it’s a new name.
Bryan Stewart: And if you don’t want to accept that… I don’t want you around. I don’t want you in my life.
Erin Moriarty: Why not just change your name legally? Why go to the trouble of forging a birth certificate?
Bryan Stewart: No, it… it was my understanding that to… to change your name legally would take years.
Note the stuttering “it” and the pause, the question is sensitive to him.
Bryan Stewart: Everybody takes their name for granted. You… your name is the very core essence of who you are, of what you are. And you find out it… that it’s all a lie… And then you find out that your own father doesn’t even know you exist, because your own mother didn’t bother to tell him.
Erin Moriarty: When you talked to Detective Moffat…when he sat you down, he asked you about your military record. And you said you had been to Iraq and Afghanistan. You hadn’t, had you?
Bryan Stewart: Unh-uh.
Erin Moriarty: No, you lied.
Bryan Stewart: I was…
Erin Moriarty: You lied.
Bryan Stewart: Yeah.
Erin Moriarty: You tell a lotta stories though…don’t you?
Bryan Stewart: I have a lotta stories to tell.
Erin Moriarty: But you tell a lotta lies.
Bryan Stewart: Uhm, lies mixed in with the truth.
Erin Moriarty: You never actually went to the University of Michigan, did you?
Bryan Stewart: No.
Erin Moriarty: But, you let people think you did?
Bryan Stewart: Sure.
Erin Moriarty: Why?
Bryan Stewart: It was just… a tie-in to my home state. And it was just part of the… the pride that I had. I’ve been a Michigan fan since I was a little boy.
Bryan Stewart is a pathological liar without any sense of shame.
Erin Moriarty: Did you kill Jamie?
Bryan Stewart: No. I’ve never killed anybody in my life. Not ever.
We count the words added to “No” weakening the response.
“I’ve never killed anybody in my life. Not ever.” is an unreliable denial. Bryan is deceptive, he altered his denial to avoid a direct lie. The word “never” is used by deceptive people to avoid referring to a specific time period, “never” spans a large and sometimes indefinite amount of time, thus it is vague and unreliable.
Bryan Stewart is unable to say “I did not kill Jamie” not even parroting the interviewer’s words.
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.
“No, I did not kill Jamie” followed by “I told the truth” while addressing the denial, it would more than 99% likely to be true.
Erin Moriarty: Did you two fight that night?”
Bryan Stewart: No.
Bryan is able to say “No”, probably because the fight took place early in the morning or because he is a pathological liar or because the word “fight” doesn’t fit his personal internal and subjective dictionary, in other words “fight” could be not his idea of what happened. Erin Moriarty should have tried different words as “struggle”, “violent confrontation”, “row”, “altercation” and so on.
Erin Moriarty: Were you angry with her?
Bryan Stewart: No… she told me that… that she was gonna be leaving the next day.
“No” is a good answer, and is expected. There is no reason to add “she told me that… that she was gonna be leaving the next day”, Bryan with this sentence is answering a possible question, a question that Erin Moriarty never made. Bryan doesn’t say “she was going to leave” or “she would have left” but “she was gonna be leaving”. “she was gonna be leaving” is a sentence that goes against the law of economy in words.
Erin Moriarty: And where was she going?
Bryan Stewart: It was my impression Denver.
Just an impression.
Bryan Stewart: I taught Jamie how to create a whole new life for herself. That… included a new identification, a whole new persona… a whole new way of looking at things.
Erin Moriarty: Are you saying that you helped Jamie change her identity?
Bryan Stewart: Yeah. I showed her how to do it. The only thing that she ever lived for was to be free of her family. She wanted to be on her own.
Bryan Stewart: If you think using the name Bryan Stewart is fraudulent, hey, we’re gonna fight it out in court.
Erin Moriarty: That’s nervy, isn’t it?
According to police, Valentini used Laiaddee’s credit cards to go on dating websites after Jamie vanished.
Bryan Stewart: Yeah, it’s pretty nervy (laughs).
Erin Moriarty: And pretty insensitive too, isn’t it?
Bryan Stewart: Uhm.
Erin Moriarty: Ya.
Bryan Stewart: You know, a little, because… well, let me… let me explain.
Erin Moriarty: You used her credit cards to go on dating sites to meet other women.
Bryan Stewart: Well, you know what? Look, Jamie… Jamie was leaving.
Note that Bryan doesn’t say “Jamie left” or “she left” but he describes Jamie in her act of “leaving”.
Erin Moriarty: Why did you cut up her driver’s licence?
Bryan Stewart: I didn’t cut ‘em up.
He lies according with the evidence.
Bryan Stewart: I am the only human being who knows what happened. I am the only human being who knows why things happened, when they happened.
This is an embedded admission. He and Jamie knew “what happened” and “why things happened” and “when they happened” but clearly he is telling us that Jamie didn’t survive.
Max Covil, Defender Attorney: What was your relationship like?
Bryan Stewart:… It was, I would say 95 percent great.
This long latency period before answering shows that Bryan needs to take time to answer because the question is sensitive to him.
Max Covil: Did you… did you argue?
Bryan Stewart: No, not really.
“not really” tells us that something happened.
Max Covil: Did you kill Jamie to use her credit cards?
Bryan Stewart: Absolutely not.
Bryan is unable to say “No”. “Absolutely not” shows a need to persuade that innocent people don’t have. There is no “wall of truth” within him.
Max Covil : Did you have general permission to use her credit cards?
Bryan Stewart: Yes.
Max Covil: Why do you feel that you had permission to use the cards?
Bryan Stewart: Even from our first date, it was literally a… an instruction to use them.
Bryan doesn’t say that Jamie instructed him to use her credit cards but he uses a inappropriate passive form as “it was literally a… an instruction to use them” to
conceal his own responsibility in the fraud.
Bryan’s lawyer asked him why he believed Jamie was alive at the time of her disappearance.
Bryan Stewart: Because I would get back to my condo and things would be moved around or things would be left behind…
Bryan is describing his mood after the homicide, he was under stress.
Max Covil: OK, now how did she get into your apartment.
Bryan Stewart: She had a key.
Max Covil: How did she communicate with you?
Bryan Stewart: Email and telephone.
Erin Moriarty: You have told people that if you had a computer you could find her. I’ve got a computer here. You wanna try? Got my iPad here. How would you find her?
Bryan Stewart: I… I would have to look on mine uhm.
A stuttering “I’” shows increase in tension. The question is sensitive to Bryan.
Erin Moriarty: I mean, if I got this whole thing set up, could you…
Bryan Stewart: No, because I need to get into my computer because there’s a special Email site that we were working through.
Erin Moriarty: You must know, Bryan, that sounds a little crazy that you wouldn’t give this information to your attorneys and they wouldn’t go looking for the one person who could save you from going to prison for life.
Bryan Stewart: I… you know, I… I told them that. And I never heard anything.
A stuttering “I” shows increase in tension. The question is sensitive to Bryan.
Max Covil : Did you murder Jamie Laiaddee?
Bryan Stewart: No, Jamie Laiaddee is alive.
Bryan is able to fabricate reality, he is dangerous.
Erin Moriarty: She would just let you go on trial for murder? Go to prison? For the rest of your life?
Bryan Stewart: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t think that… I don’t think either one of us ever expected it to get this far.
Note the repetitions, the question is sensitive to him.
Max Covil: Would you be at all surprised if I told you that she was about to walk through that door?
Bryan Stewart:… No.
Bryan waits too long before answering, the question is sensitive to him. He knows that Jamie couldn’t walk through the door because he killed her.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez: You didn’t actually talk to her in that condo, did you?
Bryan Stewart: No.
Juan Martinez: You haven’t seen her at any time and she hasn’t walked in now, right?
Bryan Stewart: Right.
Juan Martinez: And she won’t walk in because you killed her, right?
Bryan Stewart: Wrong.
Bryan Stewart recalling the moment he was told that the jury had reached a verdict: Oh, yeah, they’re like: “Yeah, you’re good. Any time a jury comes back that quick”. And I was like: “OK, well, wow, all right, that’s pretty good”.
Bryan Stewart: I just sat there, like to me, my life was over with. I just couldn’t understand, you know? I mean, if I would have killed her, I would have admitted to it.
When Bryan says “if I would have killed her” he tells us that there is the possibility that he killed her. Innocent people don’t allow anybody to believe they are involved in a murderer.
Erin Moriarty: You’ve told so many stories, it’s hard to believe you.
Bryan Stewart: Let’s look at the Army, OK?
Erin Moriarty: No, let’s look at what happened to Jamie. That’s what really matters.
Erin Moriarty’s statement is good to allow him to say “I didn’t cause Jamie disappearance”, “I didn’t kill her” and “I am telling the truth”. This would be the “wall of truth”.
Bryan Stewart: Jamie took $100,000 and she left the state of Arizona. I’ve said it for 18 months. I say it now. And I’m gonna say it for the next 18 years.
Note that Bryan is unable to deny the allegations. He doesn’t say “I didn’t kill Jamie” which was expected.
“I’ve said it for 18 months. I say it now. And I’m gonna say it for the next 18 years” doesn’t make it the truth.
On June 30, 2018, few days after Jamie remains were found, Bryan spoke from prison:
Bryan Stewart: I have no clue. All I can tell you is… is that I’ve never killed anyone in my life and I maintain that to this day.
“I’ve never killed anyone in my life” is an unreliable denial.
Bryan Stewart is unable to deny his involvement in Jamie Laiaddee disappearance.
The absence of a denial, it is 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.
Bryan Stewart accepts what the de facto innocent doesn’t accept: he allows people to believe he is involved in Jamie murderer. There is no “wall of Truth” within Bryan. This is why he allows blame to be put upon him.
Bryan is not only withholding information but he is also able to fabricate reality. Less than 10% of those who are deceptive, will fabricate reality, 90% plus of lies are via missing information.
Bryan Stewart didn’t just overcome the internal stress of lying because he doesn’t experience any sense of shame for being caught in his lies.
Bryan Stewart has guilty knowledge of what happened to Jamie Laiaddee.
Ursula Franco, MD and criminologist