Tuesday, July 7, 2015

12 Angry Men, Bill Cosby, and the Civilian Jury System

Today two things happened: I watched the 1957 drama 12 Angry Men with Henry Fonda and I read about the civil court case of Bill Cosby. In the movie and in real life, I saw the same thing: ignoring the totality of evidence in favor of emotions and hurried conclusions.

In 12 Angry Men, the jury is deciding the fate of a young man who is being prosecuted for stabbing his father to death. The case is pretty much a slam dunk. There are two eyewitnesses to the murder, the father has been stabbed with the exact kind of knife the son bought a day before, they had just had a fight, and the young man claimed that after the fight he went to see a double feature at the theater, neither movie which he could remember and no one saw him there. He claimed the knife fell through a hole in his pocket on the way to the theater. According to one of the jurors, the case was not fought well by the young man's attorney and so he took it upon himself to change the mind of the other eleven jurors that voted for guilt.

The entirety of the movie is spent with Fonda acting more like Jose Baez than a fellow juror manipulating the others to think more about the case, offering alternative theories to what might have happened like the woman who saw the boy stab his father may not have had her glasses on (but it was not determined if she really needed glasses or what her vision without them would have been), the man who heard the young man say "I'll kill you!" might have been making it up as a train going by at that time might have drowned out anything anyone said ("might" because they never had proof that depending on the walls of the building and how sound carried, he might have been able to hear voices just fine). The boy might have forgotten the films in the trauma of finding out about his father's murder.....and so on. While these are certainly interesting points to bring up and explore, what happened in the movie was each juror changed his verdict just because one piece of evidence was made a bit murky. Emotions ran wild during the discussion and the quick turnarounds showed how little the totality of the evidence was being considered. Just a few hours after entering the jury room to deliberate, eleven men changed their minds and voted "not guilty" along with Fonda, likely letting a killer back out into society.

Now, we have the Bill Cosby brouhaha. Today there is information that he admitted during a civil case to giving quaaludes in the 70s to women he might like to have sex with. Many have gone nuts with this claiming this proves that Cosby is a rapist just like those women said he was. But, they ignore that in the actual civil case, he does not admit to giving women quaaludes without their knowledge and the woman it is said the case is about admits to accepting the drugs willingly.

To date, there is NO proof that Bill Cosby raped anyone. There is pretty good proof he is not so moral and a sleaze as are a number of men in Hollywood - I know because I had been offered candy dishes with a variety of drugs in them and I refused to swallow any. I also refused to sleep with producers or actors to get work, but I know quite a number of women (and men) who did. I saw them take drugs and I saw them cuddle up to men they thought could give them a break in the acting world and I saw them go with them into the back room.

I am not saying that Cosby didn't rape any women and I am not saying these women are lying and I am not saying no woman has ever been given drugs without her knowledge and woken up to find a man raping her. I am simply saying, that if we are going to decide if someone is guilty or innocent, we ought to base our determinations on evidence, not emotions.

This is why the jury system fails. Untrained people often do not understand the evidence or even what evidence is, they often do not understand what the totality of evidence means (and it means that when you put all the evidence together there is not reasonable doubt that the person is guilty; it does not mean that you pick out one piece of evidence, find one very improbable but possible theory to explain it differently and ignore all the other evidence), and they often allow emotions and subjectivity to color their conclusions.

Is There a Serial Killer Out There in Ohio?

Recently, six women around Chillicothe, Ohio have either gone missing or been found dead: most were drug addicts and involved in prostitution. The families believe because so many women have had something disturbing happen to them (besides drugs and prostitution), there is a serial killer taking them down and the police are ignoring this possibility because the women's lifestyles are not so palatable to many. In other words, if these six women were college students, the police would be out in force trying to catch a serial killer.

Not at all true. Here is what really happens when a possible serial predator is on the loose: police either don't recognize the crimes as serial crimes or they don't want to excite the media, and, therefore, the public which, in turn, puts a huge amount of pressure on them to solve a very difficult to solve crime.

The truth is, most serial homicides go unrecognized as part of a series, regardless of whether the women are drug users, prostitutes, or churchwomen. Most of the time, serial killers take a long sabbatical between crimes and so the crimes are considered one-off crimes and not part of a series. I have fought for a long time to encourage law enforcement to not wait for a DNA connection between murders or for the bodies to pile up in the same place before they consider the possibility that a serial killer is on the loose.

Here is a simple example: A woman is found strangled in her apartment. She is white and around age fifty. Her fiancé immediately becomes a suspect and because the police ignore strong evidence of a stranger homicide, the crime is never considered a possible serial homicide. Turns out, a guy who visited her condo doing work at the complex had contact with her an was later convicted of another similar crime of rape and strangulation of a black teen. However, to this day, the man is not considered a serial killer because the two crimes have never officially been linked together.

Another example: a woman goes jogging and is found raped and strangled and thrown into a river. However, the public is never told there is a serial killer at large because, since this homicide has not yet been connected to any other, it is not considered a serial killer. I object to this analysis because IF this murder was not committed by a man the woman knew who then staged it as a serial murder, then it was INDEED a serial murder even if you haven't found the other murders the serial killer has committed or is going to commit in the future. Since this woman was new in the town and had no boyfriend or husband, the crime should have been labeled a serial homicide and investigated as such.

So, what we have here are two white women, one a librarian and one an intern at a governmental facility - neither on drugs or involved in prostitution - both receiving little media attention and both not being considered victims of a serial killer.

Now, we go to Ohio where six women have had a bad year. Four women are dead and two are missing. They live in relatively close proximity and some even know each other. The police are denying there is proof a serial killer has offed these women and their families and the public are not up in arms claiming that there is CLEARLY a serial killer and the police don't care because the women are prostitutes and drug addicts.

Not so. It is actually true that police are often MORE willing to admit a serial killer when prostitutes and drug users are involved BECAUSE of their lifestyles; in other words, the "regular citizens" aren't all that worried for their safety and won't cause so much of a stink. Also, it is a bit easier for them to surmise that a john might possibly be killing these women because he has contact with them. It is easier to put together a list of suspects when known johns might be involved than when joggers get killed in the middle of the woods and the police have no clue who could have done it.

But, the police in Ohio have not yet stated that there IS a serial killer in the community. Why? Is it because, as it often is, they don't want the pressure to solve this difficult crime or because they don't care about the women? I can honestly say I think they are having problems connecting the crimes, even proving that they ARE crimes. Unlike the Long Island Serial Killer victims, these women haven't been proven to be raped or physically assaulted nor have their bodies all ended up wrapped in burlap on the side of the same road. Two are missing and no one knows if they are dead or have just relocated (as sometimes happens with drug users and prostitutes in spite of the families who claim they would never have left they children). The others are victims of varying circumstances which could be anything from suicide to overdose to overdose with someone moving their bodies so that they aren't connected with the drugs that did the woman in to possibly a drug deal gone bad to a bad boyfriend or bad pimp or a serial killer. It is possible there IS a serial killer but he is only responsible for one or two of the deaths of these women and not the others.

Until the police can even figure out what happened to these women in each circumstance, they have a difficult investigation to deal with. Hopefully, they WILL treat these deaths as POSSIBLE serial homicides and, therefore, do all the best investigating and interviewing they can to be sure they cover this ground and not find out, too late, that there indeed was a serial killer involved in  some of these deaths.

However, I concur with the police at this point as I cannot say, for sure, that a serial killer is operating in Ohio, at least not in this set of crimes. In reality, as I write these words, there are serial killers are operating in ALL major cities in the US and the public is not aware of this. Serial homicides are the least solved of all murder cases of all because most are stranger homicides, the cases are rarely linked due to the time in between killings or the distance between locations (sometimes, they may be in different jurisdictions; killers know law enforcement in different districts rarely cooperate with each other), that the victims are dissimilar in looks, and simply because they are not labeled serial homicides. So, if you look back through the news in your area, you will see there are a number of women raped and murdered right down the road whose cases have never been solved and, this means, there is a serial killer living in your area right now, not just possibly in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Now that the media has opened the door to the possibility that there is a serial killer active in this one area of the country, everyone is jumping on board to "find similarities" that, quite frankly, may not be  indicative of a serial killer. Suddenly, we will see people saying the women looked alike, or there is a triangle connecting the murder locations, or there is a symbol at more than one location that is similar, etc., etc. What happens once the idea is introduced that there is a serial killer is that people forget to focus on the evidence and start coming up with numerous theories that have nothing to do with the actual facts of the cases.

What we need is levelheaded thinking - in the law enforcement agency, in the community, and in the media. Look at the facts and don't veer from them. And, hopefully, then, the proper investigative avenues can be pursued without wasting a whole lot of time and resources going the wrong direction.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

July 7, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Understand Psychopaths or be Victimized by Them

From mass murderers to women helping felons to escape prison to people lying about their race, psychopaths all have something in common; the same motive for what they do. Since so few people understand psychopathy, few understand the true motivation behind their actions.

In just the span of a couple of weeks, three stories are being heavily debated in the news and on the Internet: why Joyce Mitchell helped two murderers escape prison, why Rachel Dolezal claimed she is black when she is actually white, and why a mass murderer would kill  a bunch of innocent folks attending church.

The three main answers people seem to want to settle on is 1) Mitchell fell in love with one of the prisoners and her emotions led her astray, 2) Rachel Dolezal so identified with her black adopted siblings, she felt as black as them, and 3) racism caused a young man to become a killer.

None of the above is actually true; the real answer is all three thought what they did was fun.

"What? Fun?" You exclaim in disbelief and hundreds of psychiatrists will roll their eyes and charge me with practicing mental health without a license or a clue. They will claim I am tossing out some one-size-fits-all motive and ignoring all the complicated psychological issues that cause behavior.

Let me explain. Yes, all three of these human beings have complicated issues that CAUSED them to become psychopaths. From that point on, they are motivated by the thrill their behavior gives them. The love the attention they get through their manipulations, lies, and actions. They love the power and control they get from getting over on others. To put it simply, what they do is fun for them.

Mitchell wanted to play Bonnie to her Clydes. She had fun befriending dangerous men, having sex with them, fooling her husband, and then planning a masterful escape. Soon you will see her having fun manipulating people in prison or on the Internet through inmate dating sites or a Free Joyce Mitchell group of people who think she was the victim of manipulation by men.  Rachel Dolezal had fun convincing people of something that was not true, she had fun playing the victim, and now she is having fun on television. If people stopped giving credibility to Dolezal's claims, she would disappear.

All mass murderers find it fun to kill people, that is their real motive. They are not actually getting back at bullies, starting a race war, or killing for Allah; they are killing for fun and the thrill they get when they pull the trigger, and, more importantly, the thrill of becoming famous. It all is so much fun, so much more fun than being a normal person, telling the truth, and slogging away at a normal job and being just a regular Joe. If we recognized this, especially the media, then we would be adamant that the media stop giving glory and fame to mass murderers because that is exactly what they want. Stop their fun and you take away motive for their crime. We might still have some mass murderers who want the thrill of the moment when they drop a person, but, the bigger motivation of fame would be gone; we would see the numbers of mass murders decline substantially.

People find it difficult to accept that a person who commits horrific crimes is just a psychopath just having fun; it seems so incredibly shallow, so pointless, that an individual would kill or ruin peoples' lives on a whim. But, yes, that is exactly the point; psychopaths ARE shallow people; they don't really care much about anything or anyone. They may quote religion, but, in reality don't care all that much about it; they may state they are fighting some race war or fighting back against some group, but, in reality it isn't about any issue, it is only about them getting attention and the cheap thrill of power. They want to have fun and you are how they are going to get it. You are just fodder, meaningless fodder. Rachel Dolezal has had fun for years with her crimes of lies and deception and people continue to fall for her manipulations and so she is still having fun. Be on the watch for her reality show or her bestselling book! While we waste our time thinking there is something to figure out about Dolezal and race, she is just having fun hoodwinking us.

The other difficulty people have with accepting people are psychopaths is also accepting that there is nothing that one can do about it. You can't change a psychopath; they remain one for life. There is no therapy and, for psychiatrists, that is an income killer and an affront to the entire concept of helping people regain mental health. Kind of a buzz killer.

Anyone who has truly been the victim of a psychopath over a long period of time will be nodding their head at my words; they will totally get it, totally. But, for the rest of the population, psychopathy makes no sense, it cannot be, there must be a better explanation, be more complicated and more "fixable." It simply is too frustrating to think these zombielike people are among us and can strike out and hurt us at will and simply because they find it fun.

But, that's the way it is. All we can do is recognize it and do whatever we can to stop psychopaths from inflicting so much damage on us. But, our refusal to recognize psychopathy, especially the refusal of psychiatrists to recognize psychopathy, puts us all in harm's way and we need to open our eyes to the truth of this horrific personality disorder and deal with it. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Making Something out of Absolutely Nothing: Why Civilian Juries Fail

The other day I received a notice to serve on a jury in my county. I sent it back with a note in the section that allows a person to give a reason why they shouldn't have to. I wrote that I refuse to serve because I do not believe in the jury system that we have in the United States, that I won't serve with a gaggle of untrained citizens who have no background in crime scene analysis or behavioral analysis, who do not have any experience in making deductions in a scientific manner, to make a life and death decision with a group of people, well-meaning though they might be, who pretty much just got picked randomly off a bus stop to be criminal profilers for the day or weeks on end.

Recently, in the Madeleine McCann case comes a prime example of what kind of thing can go on in the minds of a jury. Someone checked the Wayback Machine, an Internet thing that allows you to check what happened on a particular day on the Internet in the past and they came up with a page labeled April 30th with an announcement by the governmental agency, CEOP - The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is a command of the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) - of Madeleine McCann's disappearance. All hell has broken loose on the Internet....many, including some folks who have written books and made films on the case....are claiming this is unquestionable proof that Madeleine McCann did not die or disappear on May 3rd, the date Kate McCann claimed she found her daughter missing after doing a check on her children, but, instead Madeleine was already gone days before which therefore proves that there is some huge conspiracy afoot which includes the government and a gaggle of accomplices, a conspiracy in which some shady super powerful people did something to Madeleine McCann and then had the McCanns and their friends (and other possible accomplices) carried on a hoax for days in Praia da Luz, pretending Maddie was alive until May 3rd at which point they staged a really pitiful fake abduction so that all would think that she disappeared on that date and not that something happened to her days earlier! In spite of all the "proof" folks have been batting about - a "fake" last photo and "forged" creche records, stuff that some think proves Madeleine was already dead and gone by May 3rd - NOW there is DEFINITIVE proof with this April 30th CEOP page that Madeleine did not die or disappear on May 3rd and the government clearly is involved with some incredibly big hoax with the McCanns in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Oh my god, I have a really bad headache.

Clearly, there is just a glitch on the Wayback site because it just makes no damn sense. Common sense - which seems to be missing in this case - should tell anyone that the government is not going to accidentally put up a webpage that a child is missing three days before the parents report her missing to the police. If a conspiracy is SO big that the government is in on the disappearance, they are hardly going to do something so incredibly stupid. The whole idea just makes my head hurt and want to slam it into a wall. And this comes from a person who DOES believe there is evidence to support a theory that Madeleine came to an accidental death in the vacation flat and the McCanns did false report and cover up her death.

But, this is the whole point as to why I want the civilian jury system to end in the United States. Juries can be manipulated and confused by attorneys, both defense and prosecution, into thinking some of the most ridiculous things which then allows them to either convict an innocent person or let off someone who is guilty as hell. Instead of using scientific, objective deduction, they get carried away with some scenario and can't recover. In the case of O.J. Simpson, "if the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit" allowed the jury to override massive evidence of guilt in spite of the fact the whole glove thing was just a silly lawyer trick. In the Casey Anthony case, Jose Baez got the jury to ignore a pile of evidence which hands down proved Casey Anthony guilty simply by suggesting her Daddy might have sexually abused Casey and had some hand in what happened to little Caylee. This ignited some kind of highly improbable scenario in the heads of the jury and, in spite of the fact no such evidence existed that any such scenario occurred and, in spite of the fact there was overwhelming evidence - both physical and behavioral - that Casey Anthony premeditatedly murdered her daughter, the jury found her not guilty. This was the day I lost total faith in the civilian jury system and realized just how ridiculous it is to put completely untrained people into a room with highly trained lawyers and expect they can do the job. The only reason it seems to work most of the time is because most cases that go to trial are slam dunks with clearly guilty people; this is why prosecutors can have such high convictions rates.

Can one imagine being on a jury now trying to decipher what happened to Madeleine McCann and having the jury believe that the government put out a webpage looking for a missing child prior to anyone knowing she had gone missing? Oh, god, I would be sitting in that jury room with my head on the table, crying. And, I would be the lone holdout for days while the other jury members tried to convince me of this nonsense until finally there was a hung jury because I refused to believe in the most ridiculous conspiracy theory ever.

I am not saying professionals are always right, but at least we ought to try to stick with analyzing the evidence as properly and scientifically as we can and no one should be arrested and prosecuted and convicted without having professionals be a methodical and logical as possible, making sure they don't take one weird or confusing element and spinning it out of reason until they make it fit some theory they have, ignoring all of evidence to the contrary. We could either hire already properly trained professionals for the jury or we could actually have a degree to become a professional juror, but we need to find a way to make sure that the jurors in the box actually have the knowledge and experience to properly evaluate evidence.

The civilian jury system needs to be dismantled and a proper professional jury system set up in its place. It still won't be perfect but at least we can have a far better shot at jury members understanding evidence and not getting swept away by some snake oil salesman attorney's attempt to win his case by confusing and winning over a bunch of people who have no more knowledge of analyzing criminal evidence than they do of how to fix rocket engines. Civilian juries are a crazy idea and why they still exist boggles my mind; I guess because lawyers like it that way.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Jewish Experience

I am the daughter of a Jewish man. A Jewish man who just barely escaped with his life when Adolph Hitler came into power. My grandmother, seeing the writing on the wall, pressured her husband into leaving Germany, preferring to start life anew in America with their two sons rather than hope things wouldn't get worse in the home of their birth. They left in 1937, the last of the Jews who were able to get out of Germany before they either weren't allowed to leave or no country would accept them. Not all of the Sonnemann family escaped Germany; some suffered in concentration camps and one died in the gas chamber.

As a child, I suffered nightmares from hearing the stories of my family's history. Sometimes when I lay in my bed at night, the door shut to my room, I would hold my breath just in case the air contained gas and not oxygen. My father's cousin showed me the numbers on her arm and sometimes in math class in elementary school when I was multiplying and the sum reach six numbers, I would shudder as if I was tattooing the number on the arm of some soon to be exterminated Jew. Even though I was not there in Nazi Germany when Hitler turned life for Jews into a living hell, no Jew or child of a Jew would ever be free of that legacy even in the United States.

As a daughter of a Jewish man with a Jewish name, children made fun of me in school, calling me Jew girl and Jesus killer. I began to fear going to elementary school in my wealthy New Jersey neighborhood and I was relieved to moved to Virginia at age nine, thinking the racial and religious slurs would end. I was wrong. I moved into an even wealthier town in McLean, Virginia and the tormenting became worse because so few Jews lived in the area where I lived. I struggled through all my school years, an outcast, until I finally graduated a year early and escaped the daily abuse. My Jewish experience growing up was painful and I carried this pain into adulthood.


Not really. Absolutely, not really. Oh, the first paragraph of this blog is absolutely true but everything from then on is a total pack of lies. I haven't a clue to any Jewish experience. In fact, I didn't even know my father was Jewish until I was twelve and we got a Jewish New Year card in the mail. I asked my father about it and he said, "Oh, my side of the family is Jewish." I asked why then did my grandmother always have a big Christmas Eve celebration each year, complete with a candlelit Christmas tree and a yearly rendition of "Silent Night"? He told me my grandfather wanted to be Catholic and return to Germany after the war ended. My grandmother wasn't so keen about the returning to Germany part and when my Grandfather died aboard ship while taking her back to visit Germany (he told her if she didn't like the country and didn't want to move back, they would get divorced and she could continue living in America), she buried him at sea, never got off when the ship docked in Germany, and came back to the US where she remained until her death. I guess she didn't have too much of a problem with the Catholic part.

My father married my mother whose parents sometimes attended a Congregational church in New England. My parents never entered a synagogue and made it to church only a couple of times in my youth. They were lifelong agnostics and religion of any sort was never mentioned in the house. Outside of the few stories about my relatives, I knew nothing of Jews or Judaism. And, in spite of my German name (which could be Jewish or Christian), I don't remember one comment aimed at me during my school days. I was sort of shunned in high school but that was because I wasn't very popular and I got out a year early simply because I wasn't having a good time.

So, I have no Jewish experience at all, in spite of my family history. I now find my family history fascinating and have been learning more and more about it recently, but I am not becoming more Jewish because of it. I would have to actually convert and start living a Jewish life to have any clue to what it is like to be Jewish. I DO have relatives who are very Jewish and know full well what the Jewish experience is in the United States, but, me, I don't even have the tiniest bit of Jewish experience to brag about.

But, if I were a liar and a fraud like Rachel Dolezal, just think, I could have a really great job with the Anti-Defamation League. Maybe I should paint a swastika on my front door and give the police a call.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Faking Being Black does not Replicate Being Black

I just read the stupidest Time article about Rachel Dolezal at least "walking the walk" of being black because she passed herself off as being black. Yeah, no, really, no. I think I can speak to this as I have spent a good deal of time in the black community and I have two biracial children and one black son.

I dated an African-American man from age eighteen to about age twenty-two. I spent a lot of time listening to black music and dancing in black clubs and hanging with black people. I was the white girl who could dance. Actually, I was the rich white girl who could dance because I came from a pretty ritzy neighborhood. Although I experienced what it was like to date a black man in the 70s and, therefore, had some intersection with how blacks were treated and I suffered some abuse for dating a man who wasn't white (from both races) and gained some understanding of the difficulties of racism that blacks experienced...in the end, I was a white girl from a rich neighborhood and I could go home. Blacks were already home.

My second learning experience was in St. Louis, Missouri were I ending up working a midnight shift in an IHOP in a very bad area of town (I was passing through - not trying to pass - attempting to pick up money to get to LA). I worked there about a week and made about $1 hour because the pimpis and hos and almost homeless didn't tip very well. I complained to one young black girl about the crappy pay and she told me she had been working there for a year. I remember asking why she didn't quit and she replied she didn't have a way to get another job. I learned something that day; she had little education, a horrible home situation, and lousy employment opportunities. I had an education, a car to drive away with, and a Daddy to call for help. And I was a rich, white girl who could always go back home.

Time passed and I married a man from Jamaica. I had two biracial kids and adopted one black son. I have had a many interesting experiences raising my children but very little issues with racism. Yes, once in a while there was a little something here or there, but, really, not a lot. My worst problem with racism was trying to get my kids bussed from a mostly white community to a black community for a magnet program and having them turned down because they were too black. So I homeschooled them. Even though I had nonwhite kids, I had the benefit of being a totally white mother.

My kids are all grown up now and as I walk around town, nobody discriminates against me because I have three nonwhite children; that is because I am still a rich white girl who can always go home.

Rachel Dolezal, too, has always been a white girl who could pass as white and could always go back home.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Proving Nobody Else Could Have Done It

This bad guy didn't do it....which proves what?

Numerous people believe that Scotland Yard has been chasing down every burglar and child molester in Portugal because they are eliminating all the possible suspects in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, that by doing so, they can then move in on the parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, arrest them, and have them successfully prosecuted because it can be shown that the investigation has proven that no one else could have committed the crime.

I think many are not understanding what proving "nobody else could have done it" actually means. It does NOT mean nobody else in the entire world because all others have been eliminated as suspects, but that "nobody else could have done it" because only one person had the access and the ability to commit the crime.

For example, a bedridden, paraplegic woman is found dead in her home; her husband becomes a suspect, but could someone else have murdered her? The police are not going to cull the entire community and get alibis for everyone. What they will do is a crime scene analysis to determine if anyone but her husband could have accessed the property and home.

One of the first questions would be, how did the killer get into the house? By door or by window? Let's say they find out the door was locked and only could be accessed by key. Clearly, the woman herself couldn't have opened the door because she could not get from her bedroom to the front door to do so. Therefore, the police need to determine if anyone else might have a key or been able to get a copy of the key to get in. Then the detectives would have to analyze alternate accesses to the house. Is there evidence someone broke in through a window or is it possible a handyman came the day before and unlocked one of the windows for future access?

Also, is there any evidence anyone else even got onto the property? If there is video footage that shows no one else in or around the house, this is certainly a good way to eliminate another suspect. If it is proven by way of evidence that no one BUT the husband could have accessed the home or had been in the home, then this is what is meant by proving "nobody else could have done it."

However, suppose that the woman was not bedridden and she could have simply opened the door to a stranger. Suppose that there was no video footage. Suppose there had been numerous strangers in the neighborhood; salesman, handymen, burglars, etc., quite a number of potential suspects other than the husband. If ANY one of these identified people could be suspects than what one is saying is that any number of OTHER people could also be suspects; even if you alibi out each and every one of the known suspects in the neighborhood, there is still the possibility that there is some other person that the investigation is unaware of who is actually the one who committed the crime. Hence, you can never prove "nobody else could have done it" by just eliminating suspicious people. You can only use evidence to prove nobody BUT one particular person could have done it because it was simply impossible for anyone to have physically committed the crime.

If police are investigating dozens of people in the community it is because they are hoping to find one or more that have a connection to  the crime; they are hoping for a confession or lies during an interview or someone getting nervous and ratting someone else out. A lot of times when you see a wide sweep, the police are fishing and hoping they get lucky. What they are NOT doing is trying to eliminate them in order to have a last man standing, a ridiculous notion that would be shredded by a defense attorney. What puts any one person away is evidence that he and only he could have committed the crime, not that a bunch of other people could not be proven to be connected to it. And what complicates this even more is that even good suspects are unlikely to be able to prove their whereabouts and so there would be dozens one could not eliminate from the mix, so you can see how pitifully it would go in court if the police claimed they eliminated all other persons from the suspect list except the defendant.

As a matter of fact, if a police department is searching for suspects based on gut and unscientific hypotheses instead of relying on crime scene evidence, they are failing to investigate properly or completely lacking useful evidence. Suspects should be developed based on crime scene analysis and not simply hauling in bad guys from the community and asking where they were on the night thereof unless you have zero to go on. Proper investigation is logical, not haphazard, and if you see a law enforcement agency bringing in and interrogating suspects "just because" then you have investigators who simply have no leads and are just tossing lines in the water hoping to catch a fish by accident or they are a poorly trained group of detectives who are going by gut and throwing darts or there is some kind of remit that is political and not investigative in nature (trying to appear proactive to keep the media and community from harassing them, railroading someone to put the case to bed, misdirecting the case in order to avoid the arrest and prosecution of a particular perpetrator, etc). History has numerous cases that are examples of both all of these issues; the Madeleine McCann case is just one example of an investigation that is ignoring the evidence (which does exist) in favor of some purpose other than properly solving the case.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

May 23, 2015

Cover for 'Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann'

By Pat Brown

Rating: 1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star
Published: July 27, 2011

What really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007? Was she abducted as the Gerry and Kate have claimed or did something happen to Madeleine on May 3 in the vacation apartment and the incident covered up? Criminal Profiler Pat Brown analyzes the evidence and takes the readers through the steps of profiling, developing a theory that is intriguing and controversial.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Freddie Gray, Getting Arrested, and The Problem of Crying Wolf

Let me start out this article by stating, "I am not making a declaration of innocence for the Baltimore police arrested and charged with the murder of Freddie Gray." I must do so because the last time I tried to discuss particular issues with relation to police and the death of a citizen, when I stated how we must examine the evidence and allow justice to take its course without jumping to conclusions and being a lynch mob, I got a lot of ridiculous verbal assaults, people calling me a racist and a defender of police brutality. I wish again, to bring out some salient points that folks may not have considered, not having a full understanding of criminal and cop behavior and I appeal to readers to take in what I am saying without assuming I am turning a blind eye to bad cops and bad cop behavior. I am fully aware that there are some less than stellar police officers on the street and I have no problem with them being removed from duty and convicted of any crimes they have committed. Considering the kind of job it is, it is hard to avoid getting some cops with personality disorders who excessively love their uniform, their gun, and power and abuse all three of these. However, I want due process in such matters and I do not want to have law enforcement painted with an unfair brush or so terrorized by the public (through rioting, assault, and straight-up murder) that we no longer have applicants for the job anymore because I think the citizens will not find themselves happy with a major reduction of police patrolling the streets and delayed response to calls for assistance.

I am a Marylander; I live just twenty minutes south of Baltimore and I have been saddened by the rioting in the streets and the rush to judgment by the prosecutor who appears to me to be responding more to the unrest and politics than to the facts. I am greatly concerned that the charges against the six police officers are not well thought out and not necessarily supported by evidence. Certainly, in the end, she could be correct that there was improper behavior by these officers, but I am rather disturbed by the content of the charges and how quickly they were handed down. Furthermore, I am terribly disturbed by thy the lynch mentality of so many in Baltimore and the martyrization of Freddie Gray.

What I want to do here is at least explain what the six officers charged with a crime might have been dealing with that the media so conveniently does not discuss. This does not mean they are innocent but, on the other hand, it may turn out that they are.

Freddie Gray is a drug dealer. I don't know what he deals but it is not marijuana because his arrest records continuously state this. In other words, he deals poison to the community and helps destroy it.   Freddie Gray has some two dozen arrests in Maryland since the day he turned eighteen. I point out "since the day he turned eighteen" because I doubt he started committing criminal acts regularly the minute he celebrated his birthday; in other words, we can't see his juvenile record and it is highly likely he has one.

What Freddie Gray's record also means is that he has had years of regular contact with the police. If he had been arrested some two dozen times, I can guarantee you, he has had five times more regular contact with the police that did not result in arrest. The police were very familiar with Freddie and Freddie was very familiar with the police. The police have dealt with this man over and over and over again and  two things can happen when cops have such regular contact with criminals and which one of these two things happens tends to depend on the behavior of the criminal. If, each time they have to make an arrest, the criminal goes quietly, the police may develop an almost fond relationship with the detainee. "Come on, Freddie, time to take a ride again." They may pat him on the shoulder, shoot the breeze with him, and, when they see him on the street, they may say "Good morning" and encourage him to stay out of trouble.

On the other hand, they may get sick of dealing with him if he is regular pain in the ass. Some individuals always fight the police when they get arrested. They complain, whine, struggle, punch, spit, bite, and make it difficult to cuff them. They constantly cry wolf..."Your hurting me! The cuffs are too tight! You're killing me! I can't breathe! I have chest pain! I'm dying! I need to go to the hospital!" and they do this EVERY TIME THEY ARE ARRESTED.

So, what really happened with Freddie Gray? Was he the compliant sort who was brutalized and neglected by six vicious cops? Or was he the defiant kind who had fought and complained every time they dealt with him? Did he indeed slam himself around in the van and cause himself injury? Did when he complain he needed medical attention receive no help from the officers because this was the thousandth time they had heard him make such a demand and they thought he was crying wolf yet again? From the limited evidence we have so far, we see a noncompliant Freddie Gray refusing to walk to the van (the officers have to hold him up as his feet drag) and we have a call in which the officer driving states a passenger is banging about in the back; the vehicle is stopped and Freddie Gray is then put in leg shackles. More we do not yet know.

So none of us yet fully understand what really happened with these six police officers and Freddie Gray. We don't know exactly how Freddie Gray got injured and exactly who was at fault and how much they were at fault.

I hope all the facts, can be clearly discerned, that they come out in court and that the six officers can get a fair trial in Maryland. There should be justice in this case but let's be sure it is really justice. Criminals don't deserved to be murdered by errant cops but police officers also don't deserved to be convicted of murder for just doing their job. And, let us make sure that we, the public, also don't "Cry Wolf" every time there is an incident; let's be sure we have true police brutality or any fight against it will become meaningless.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

May 3, 2015