Thursday, December 27, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

It has been a while since any news item has brought me to tears, but today we have lost a great world leader to Islamic extremists and terrorism. Benazir Bhutto, ex prime minister of Pakistan and first female leader of an Islamic nation, was assassinated today during a campaign rally in Rawalpindi,leaving the best hope for democracy and reasonable thinking dead in Pakistan. Bhutto represented the kind of idealism, courage, and commitment we in the United States rarely see in our own leaders and citizens. Bhutto returned to Pakistan fully aware of the danger awaiting her and she was willing, for the sake of her people and the ideals of a democratic society, to put her life on the line.

Benazir Bhutto did not lead a life free of controversy and one cannot claim she was a perfect leader, but she offered the best hope for common sense and decency in a part of the world plagued by terrorism and oppressive mindsets. Peace, fair elections, democracy, equality for women - all of these concepts have been trampled on today and I cannot help but feel the whole world will suffer because of this horrific act of hostility against a woman who sought to make her country and the world a better place to live in.

May the people of Pakistan come out of this tragedy with a combined strength to fight back against extremism and not let the loss of Benazir Bhutto be the death knell of all freedom and decency, inshallah.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Mass Murderer Robert Hawkins - Music Lover

Hello everyone! I am back from holiday and doing a little catch up on crime news. I was running names through the Google search engine for updates and I came up with this interesting tidbit. It seems Robert Hawkins, the Omaha mall mass murderer, had a t-shirt in his car with a Mushroomhead logo. For those of you who aren't familiar with the band, Mushroomhead is a group of well-groomed young men wearing matching suits and ties who sing of love and kindness and the fellowship of mankind.

No, wait, I must have confused Mushroomhead with the Tijuana Brass or the Spinners. Mushroomhead is a nasty looking bunch of lads with faces painted as skulls who sing about hate and violence and death. Imagine that....Hawkins listened to negative, angry, vengeance filled music....what a surprise!

Of course, now that the news is out about Hawkins' taste in music, the supporters of this garbage are rolling their eyes and claiming the music is being unfairly targeted as violence provoking rather than just great riffs with thoughtful lyrics that have no negative effects on any of its listeners. I can't wait until some of these young men actually grow up and become fathers. I want them to send their kids music and videos that incessantly repeat the message, "Kill your stupid worthless parents" and let's see if they don't sleep with their bedroom door locked at night.

Well, that was a cheery return to the real world! Hope you all had a great holiday and the new year brings less crime and more peace on earth.

Cheers!

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Cybersquatting

Pigs seem to be a recurring theme here.

I have my doubts about the big, bad wolf. But I have seen evidence of an annoying little Chihuahua.

It has come to our attention that someone has engaged in malicious activity against The Daily Profiler blog site, and created several deceptive misdirects of The Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency Web site to false web pages with the title, “Criminal Profiling Agency: Criminal Profiler Pat Brown” in an attempt to interfere with Google search results and Web site traffic.

SUCH INTERFERENCE SUBJECTS THE OFFENDER TO CRIMINAL PENALTIES AND CIVIL LIABILITIES.

An enigmatic screen name and intrusive software do not shield the violator from identification. The events have been fully documented and reported to the proper authorities. Further investigation is underway to determine if there have been intrusion attempts into the personal computers of staff members or associates of The Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency. Not only is this a violation of ISP and Google terms of service agreements, it is a violation of Federal law.

Possible relevant sections of the U.S. Code include, but are not limited to:

Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act

15 U.S.C. § 1125(D)

Sec. 1125. - False designations of origin, false descriptions, and dilution forbidden

(a) Civil action

(1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which -

(A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another person, or

(B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person's goods, services, or commercial activities,
shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.

(d) Cyberpiracy prevention

(1) (A) A person shall be liable in a civil action by the owner of a mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section, if, without regard to the goods or services of the parties, that person -

(i) has a bad faith intent to profit from that mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section; and

(ii) registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that -

(B) (i) In determining whether a person has a bad faith intent described under sub paragraph (A), a court may consider factors such as, but not limited to –

(V) the person's intent to divert consumers from the mark owner's online location to a site accessible under the domain name that could harm the goodwill represented by the mark, either for commercial gain or with the intent to tarnish or disparage the mark, by creating a likelihood of confusion as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the site;

If these activities persist, expect criminal action. We will also pursue civil remedies to the fullest extent of the law, regardless the cybersquatter's employment status or lack thereof.

We know there’s a Chihuahua in our machine. What the Chihuahua needs to understand is that a Great Dane is watching, and it’s not Pat Brown. Word to the wise: Wrong is wrong and right is right. The government does not see in shades of gray—it’s only black or white.


Donna Weaver

Friday, December 14, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: When Pigs Fly!

Perhaps Corey Mitchell, editor of In Cold Blog, was thinking, quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur (everything sounds more impressive when said in Latin) when he wrote his Mea Culpa manifesto and posted it on ICB last week. Mitchell issued the formal apology in response to the protests, and ultimate defection, of several highly respected ICB contributors over his posting of a brutally violent video clip, which he labeled a “Thanksgiving Treat.“ (Please see Gore and Slasher Films Are No Laughing Matter to Victims of Violent Crime) However, this is what Mitchell had to say before finding out the victims' organizations he professed to be involved with had been contacted:


"…the site is far from sick or perverted because we post a FUNNY and FAKE movie trailer ABOUT A MOVIE that does not exist.

If you have problems with the site then you need to be professional enough to make a choice.

Meanwhile, I am more than happy to continue donating to charities, negotiating a deal with a syndicated news service to pick up our blog and pay our contributors, and also accept a job as a blogger for the Discovery Channel/New York Times.

If you do decide to quit over something so trivial as a fake movie trailer please let me know so I can find a replacement ASAP."
Mea Culpa? Ad astra per alia porci !!! (“When pigs fly!”) He might have been able to continue getting his jollies from getting as close to the real deal as he can, without actually participating in the horrific, degrading acts experienced by crime victims every day. That is, if he had only kept his mouth shut. But I am very glad you didn’t, Corey Mitchell. You had the gall to claim you donate part of the proceeds from sales of your books to support specific Victims' Advocacy organizations, who not only issued public statements to the contrary, but strongly denounced your self-proclaimed love of depictions of brutal acts of violence and murder for entertainment purposes. That was bad enough, but nothing could testify to your true nature better than your own words.

No matter how glibly stated, Mitchell’s incredibly bizarre, disturbed, and grandiose discourse leaves no doubt as to his arrogance, his egocentric perception of the world, and his place in it, as well as his confidence in his ability to manipulate others, and their perceptions of him and his behavior. But what gave him away more than anything else was his complete lack of empathy. It occurred to me that here was a successful author who had the skill to recreate the most despicable acts imaginable in such gruesome detail as to make some readers claim in their reviews that they are afraid to go to sleep at night. Yet there were parts of Mitchell’s little autobiography where expressions of empathy were appropriate- even expected- since he was attempting to convince people that there was nothing unusual about a man his age (41) proclaiming simultaneously to have both a love of gore and slasher films, and a genuinely deep concern for victims of violent crime. For example:

"My continuing love of all things horror has only increased after having experienced several tragedies of my own from being told at the age of 15 that my father would be dead in less than six months (he is still alive today – 26 years later) due to an enormous brain tumor. To say the least it always had me on edge and able to see that life could end at any moment."

One doesn’t hear of such miracles everyday, and I am very happy for Corey Mitchell and his family that his father is still with them 26 years later. Mitchell doesn’t say he is grateful for this miracle, but claims the experience is one of the reasons he finds solace in gore and violence. I just lost my second husband to cancer 3 months ago, and I would give almost anything to have even just 1 more day with him. Corey Mitchell’s father survives a brain tumor and he thinks directing “Blowtorch Lobotomy” is fun?

"Then I counseled my first wife, Lisa, in regard to her first sexual experience, which was being gang-raped by two paint-sniffing high school dropouts. I saw what being a victim of violence and violation did to her. Then I had Lisa die unexpectedly to Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome at the young age of 38 in 2002."

My deepest sympathies to Corey Mitchell and to Lisa’s family for her sudden death. To be so horribly raped as a young girl is tragic. Mitchell’s words make me feel her pain, but not his own. He “counseled” her?


As a survivor of a homicide victim, I am offended by you, Corey Mitchell. As someone who has worked for many years on behalf of the missing and murdered, I am offended by you-as are the victims' organizations you claim to support.

Let’s drop all the pretentious Latin crap, and I will put this in the simplest possible terms:

What Corey Mitchell is saying to victims of violent crime is, “I am very sorry that your child or wife was so brutally raped, tortured, and dismembered and I care about you and your loss, but I love to watch that stuff on the screen –it’s so funny!”

Mea Culpa, my ass…


Donna Weaver

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Gore And Slasher Films Are No Laughing Matter To Victims Of Violent Crime

Last Thanksgiving Day, families throughout the United States gathered around the dining table holding hands in prayer giving thanks that they had the blessing to come together once more to celebrate this special day.

Some families, however, had to stretch their arms across a gap in the circle where one chair sat empty. That empty seat had once held a daughter, a son, a husband, a wife…..until an act of violence took them away. For their loved ones left behind, Thanksgiving Day gatherings would never again be quite so joyous.

On this same Thanksgiving Day, a behind-the-scenes battle of morals and ethics broke out among the contributors of In Cold Blog, a crime blog hosted by Corey Mitchell, a true crime author who has written a number of successful books on rape and murder. One can only imagine Corey Mitchell's moment of sadness as he sat at his Thanksgiving table remembering his first wife, Lisa Collete Popp Mitchell, who had been brutally raped by two men at the tender age of seventeen and then died unexpectedly before she reached the age of forty.

Or did he? On this particular holiday, Mitchell took time out of his family day to post Eli Roth’s short fake slasher film trailer "Thanksgiving" from the movie, Grindhouse released earlier this year. This misogynous, vile piece of work depicts a cheerleader stripping off her clothes as she jumps on a trampoline, doing a split in the air and coming down on a knife shoved up through the material; a woman performing oral sex on a bloody, headless corpse; and the bottom half of a naked woman, roasted and served on a plate in the shape of a turkey. I later discovered that Mitchell had directed a gore music video called “Blowtorch Lobotomy”, a repulsive depiction of a killing spree, for a death metal group called “Divine Pustulence,” a group Mr. Mitchell says, “Gives death a good name.”

Mike Stinski of Divine Pustulence: “Criminal profiler Pat Brown (notoriously Anti-slasher film), about In Cold Blog and our video Blowtorch Lobotomy. She claims a FICTIONAL gore music video brings pain to victims of violent true crime. We had fun making it, so it brought joy, not pain.”


A number of female contributors to the blog, all highly respected true crime authors and criminal justice professionals, were horrified, sickened, and offended that this video clip was posted as Mitchell labeled it, as a “Thanksgiving treat.” We knew that some readers, especially victims of violent crime and their families, would be highly upset that this video clip was included on a blog with a number of well respected and high profile contributors.

We asked Mr. Mitchell to remove the video clip explaining our concerns and positions. He refused. In an email to me, he said, “I am sorry you have no sense of humor whatsoever.” Then, he challenged me to contact victims’ organizations to prove that I was out of line and overly sensitive.

“As for victims' rights advocacy, feel free to call up the Parents of Murdered Children group and ask them why they invited me to be a guest speaker this past summer --- only the second true crime author ever asked to be a part of the annual conventions, the other being Anne Rule. Also, feel free to contact the following organizations that I donate a portion of my books' proceeds to including: Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN), the Doris Tatefoundation, Parents of Murdered Children-Houston Chapter, parents of Murdered Children - Heights Chapter, Crimestoppers, SAJE (Sarah/Amy/Jennifer/Eliza), and the charities which receive donations from ICB.”

An excellent suggestion! I called Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) and left a message inquiring if they were aware of Mr.Mitchell’s predilections for gore and slasher films when he was asked to be a presenter at their last conference. Office manager, Beverly Warnock called back on behalf of executive director Nancy Ruhe-Munch and told me that POMC had not been aware of any such thing. To be entirely clear on the matter, POMC issued the following statement:

"The National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) strongly objects to any gratuitous violence that is used as a form of entertainment and/or for profit. There are approximately 3000 people murdered each week in the United States. Each murder, whether in a shopping mall, or on a playground is seen as a tragedy. But when a murder is reenacted in film or for the internet it is called entertainment. What degree of acceptability would society put on these crimes if their loved one had become a victim of murder?

POMC established its
Murder Is Not Entertainment (MINE) program to help instill the same empathy for murder victims and their families as we afford to other types of tragedies; to prevent the re-victimization of survivors of homicide victims, and to heighten the awareness of the marketing of such products, internet videos, etc. that are based on violence and murder and the effects they have on today’s youth.”

MINE states on their website:

POMC strongly objects to any product, promotion, film or print media which features one or more of the following:
• Graphic photos of crime scenes and dead bodies of victims
• Graphic illustrations of actual murders and victims, such as in comic books and trading cards
• Unauthorized photos of grieving family members and friends of victims

• Material solely focused on murder for purposes of entertainment, instruction, promotion or profit
• Content focused on murder, violence or stalking in materials intended for children
• Products which seek to entertain by featuring facts and stories about the lives of infamous killers
• Any media or product which depicts murderers as heroes, or elevates murderers to celebrity status
• Any product distributed as entertainment which causes further pain and grief to victims'families and friends

It seems that had POMC known of Mitchell's interest in gore, rape, and violence for entertainment purposes, he likely would not be invited to speak about the weather, let alone the tragic, devastating impact of this same type of violence on victims of horrific crimes. If you were a parent experiencing the utter horror and grief of a murdered child, how would you feel about the director of Blowtorch Lobotomy, getting up on stage professing to care about you, your child, and your loss?

I then contacted the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN). Lynn Parrish, VP of Communication for RAINN stated:

“We do not have a relationship with Corey Mitchell. We do not condone films which feature gratuitous violence against women, men, or children - as they may desensitize viewers to the harsh reality of sexual assault: One in six women,and one in thirty-three men are victims of sexual assault in America today."

In February of 2007, RAINN released the following statement when The Central Connecticut State University ran an article that was said to be a satire about rape and this “satire” led to protests on campus and in the local community.

"The newspaper's decision to publish the column is appalling and irresponsible. The FBI ranks rape as the second most violent crime that exists, trailing only murder. The trauma of sexual assault is far too devastating to be a suitable subject for ridicule.”

I guess that means videos that depict woman being knifed through the vagina and served on a plate for dinner wouldn’t qualify as suitable subject for ridicule either.

Christine Ward, executive director of The Doris Tate Foundation, founded in 1992 as a California-based crime victims organization focusing on victims rights and criminal legislation and one of the charities Mitchell claims to donate a portion of his proceeds stated:

“Our response to this claim of Mr. Corey Mitchell supporting our foundation is that we are unaware of any financial contributions that he has made to our organization; as a matter of fact we had never heard of him until you wrote to us. Donations made to and accepted by the DTCVF are used to assist victims of violent crimes – accepting a donation does not by any means stand as an endorsement of any other individual, organization or agency.

We do not condone violence of any kind. Our agency is based on assisting victims of violent crime and families of those who have lost loved ones to violence.”

Crimestoppers disseminated my email on listserve and other victims’ organizations have been equally appalled by Mr. Mitchell’s cavalier attitude toward the portrayal of rape, violence, and murder as a form of entertainment. Karen Tronsgard-Scott, director of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence wrote me:

“While Mr. Mitchell's donations to organizations that serve victims is admirable, those donations do nothing to negate or absolve him from the lurid contribution he is clearly making to misogyny and the oppression of women - the roots of violence against women. And while he might be considered to be "a good guy" by the organizations to which he donates, his response to you was shockingly unsophisticated and was representative of his belief system - a belief system that is in opposition to the end of violence against women. I might be wrong about my understanding of Mr. Mitchell's beliefs - and he could certainly prove me wrong by critically thinking about your comments, learning more about violence against women and the reinforcing role that media plays in these acts and the institutional oppression of women, and walking his talk instead of using donations as a smoke screen for his nefarious activities.”

But, wait, maybe we are just a bunch of thin-skinned females who are misinterpreting slasher and gore films as misogynous and vile works when in reality most people think these films are simply slightly scary, not at all gory or repulsive, and just silly.

Why not take the words of the avid watchers of these films for fair and equal commentary?

“Despite its failings, Murder Set Pieces is shocking, sickening, misogynistic, brutal, and gory. Every horror fan should see it at least once.”

Hmm….this horror fan says he likes the stuff because it IS misogynistic, brutal and gory. I guess that means I am not unfair if I say this slasher film is misogynistic, brutal and gory, am I?

"Wes Craven's Last House on the Left has been praised as "disgusting and depraved." Whether viewed as a case study in horror-film misogyny or as a "fun" sadistic gorefest, it pushed the envelope in its day, & it would still upset anyone who'd never seen at least a samurai film disemboweling.. It's a disgusting film worth watching in order to be disgusted. I would also praise it for its ability to disturb even fans of splatter films.”

Yes, this gore freak critic says, “Last House on the Left” is a misogynist, sadist, gorefest and disgusting! And this is a fan!

And, now what about, Eli Roth, the maker of the “Halloween Treat” Corey Mitchell claims is just funny, not sick.

Eli Roth - him again! - packs a host of sex and gore into his three-minute trailer for a potential film called Thanksgiving, including an image of a cheerleader peeling off her clothes while bouncing on a trampoline, before apparently being impaled with a large, gleaming knife - through the vagina, no less. Unsurprisingly, the cheerleader scene in Grindhouse attracted some attention from the Motion Picture Association of America, the US ratings board, and Roth was forced to change it to make the imagery much more suggestive than explicit. Addressing this at the American press junket for Grindhouse, he commented that "when I shot that trailer for Thanksgiving, I really thought there was no problem with anything - it just shows you how genuinely out of touch I am! I was like ... a full frontal labial shot, to camera, of a girl landing on a knife seemed like no problem to me ..."

You are right, Mr. Mitchell. Eli Roth thinks it is “bloody” funny too! Except those annoying MPAA folks had a smidgen of sensitivity left because at least the scene made them wince and think perhaps that was just a bit beyond the pale.

Let me end with a clear statement from one very concerned criminal profiler:

Our country is suffering from a huge problem with violent crime, much of it coming from male teenagers: School massacres, serial rapes and homicides, brutal beatings of the homeless as group entertainment, and eradication of one’s family or one’s girlfriend’s family simply because they annoy the killer or killers. Gore videos, slasher films, brutal rape web sites, and violent video games all contribute to a negative, sadistic, cruel mentality toward all human beings. There is nothing admirable about liking, making or promoting depictions of torture, death and destruction. You, Corey Mitchell, may write a readable true crime book, but you have no business calling yourself a victims’ advocate when you represent the very evil they are struggling to eradicate.


Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

December 8, 2007

If you are a victim of violent crime and need assistance, or if you wish to show your support for the work done on behalf of crime victims, please contact:

The National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children (POMC)
Contact info
National Office:
(888) 818-POMC (toll free)
(513) 721-5683 (phone)
(513) 345-4489 (fax)
natlpomc@aol.com (e-mail)

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
National Sexual Assault Hotline
1.800.656.HOPE (4673)

Membership Inquiries
Chelsea Bowers
202.544.3561
membership@rainn.org

For More Information or to Volunteer
Candice Sample
202.544.1034
candices@rainn.org

To volunteer on the National Sexual Assault Hotlines, please visit rainn.org/ohlvolunteer.

Interviews and Media Inquiries
Katherine Hull
Communications Manager
202.544.3075
katherineh@rainn.org

National Sexual Assault Online Hotline
Penelope Hughes
Director of Online Hotline
202.544.2348
penelopeh@rainn.org

Business Office
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
2000 L Street NW
Suite 406
Washington, DC 20036

202.544.1034
800.656.4673, extension 3
202.544.3556 FAX
info@rainn.org

The Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau
Contact Information
(916) 273-3603 phone
(888) 235-7067 toll free/fax
1809 S Street, Suite 101316, Sacramento, CA 95814 (mailing address)
email us at - getinfo@doristate.com

Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Domestic Violence
24-hour Hotline
1-800-228-7395

Sexual Violence
24-hour Hotline
1-800-489-7273

CrimeStoppers

Monday, December 3, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: The Parking Lot MO

I am guessing criminal justice student, 24-year old Stanley Cole, hadn’t taken the class yet in the Modus Operandi of criminals or he studied for the exam and promptly forgot the content of the textbook chapter. When his ex-girlfriend, Latasha Norman, a 20-year-old student also attending Jackson State University in Mississippi went missing, all one had to do was connect the MO dots and send an officer over to pick up Cole.

Prior to Norman’s disappearance, Cole had met her in the “parking lot” and punched her in the face. Apparently, this control freak didn’t like the idea of her moving on without him in the picture. Around that same time, someone slashed her tires and stole her license plate from that very same “parking lot.” Then, with Cole out on bond (another violent man gets a pass to go back and finish the job) Latasha Norman leaves class and goes to the “parking lot” to drive to her part-time job. She is never seen again until Cole tells police where to find her body.

Stanley Cole had a 3.5 grade average but didn’t seem to realize that “parking lot,” “parking lot,” “parking lot,” was a rather bad pattern to establish if he didn’t want to become a suspect in a New York minute. Thank god he was a fool so he can be put away for the rest of his life (hopefully) and no other woman will have to suffer the same fate as Latasha Norman.

Speaking of MO, ladies, here is a suggestion about dating: don’t. Dating is a good way to become familiar with other MOs of the fellow you are getting to know, but by the time you realize he has repetitive concerning behaviors, it may well be too late to get away from the creep. Instead, get to know men in groups and in social activities involving many people so you can weed out the ones whose actions raise red flags. If you get to know someone well enough through group activities to feel you would like to get to know them even better, don’t get into a sexual relationship until the man has proven himself to be an honorable gentleman who treats you like gold. I guarantee most control freaks and psychopaths won’t be very interested in a girl who takes that long to get to get into an intimate relationship. The right man is worth waiting for and the right man will wait for you as well.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Full Disclosure

*******by Kathryn Casey*******

It seems to me that it’s time to change the rules. A total revamp is in order. We’ve got to trust jurors to set firm guidelines for how long an inmate serves. They, after all, are the ones handing down the conviction. They’re the ones who sit through mountains of testimony and sort through piles of physical evidence. So why do we ban judges from telling jurors the truth, that the sentence they hand down is only a suggestion, and that the guilty parties will most likely spend only a fraction of their sentences behind bars?

This comes to mind because of the book I just finished, “Descent into Hell: an altar boy, a cheerleader, and a twisted Texas murder.” It’s on Austin’s bizarre Colton Pitonyak case. Pitonyak was a charismatic, handsome kid from Little Rock, Arkansas. He’d had all the advantages: loving, well-to-do parents, a private school education, an intellect so spectacular that his teachers predicted he’d one day make a name for himself in the world of international business.

That course took a detour, however, when Pitonyak left Little Rock for Austin, to attend the University of Texas’ esteemed McCombs Business School. Pitonyak was so bright, he brought along with him a $150,000 scholarship. Pretty nice. Of course, that didn’t prevent him from soon using his entrepreneurial skills in a vastly different way. Within two years of his UT arrival, Pitonyak was a druggie, and a gangster-wanna-be drug dealer, supplying other students with everything from ecstasy to meth to heroin. Enter Jennifer Cave, a pretty, smart young woman from Corpus Christi. Jennifer had her own battle with drugs even before she met Pitonyak, but once they became friends, her life began to disintegrate. Still, she was the type of kid who kept trying, and she was just finally beginning to turn her life around, get off the drugs and refocus her life, when the worst happened.

In August 2005, Pitonyak murdered Cave in his West Campus apartment. That’s when Laura Ashley Hall (photo above) entered this tragic picture. Eager to ingratiate herself to Pitonyak, not only her dealer but the target of her warped affections, Hall helped Pitonyak mimic his favorite gangster flicks. How does a made guy get rid of a body? Hey, we’ve seen it dozens of times, on everything from “The Sopranos” to “Goodfellas.”

Got a body to dispose of? No sweat. Cut it up and throw it away.

That’s what Hall helped Pitonyak do, cut up Jennifer Cave’s body to get it ready to throw away. Yeah, sick, I know, but what else would you expect of punk like Pitonyak and a delusional wanna-be girlfriend like Hall?

Hall and Pitonyak’s plan fell apart when Jennifer’s mom, Sharon, discovered her daughter was missing. Sharon and her fiancée, Jim Sedwick, quickly went searching for Jennifer, and their path led to Pitonyak’s apartment. With Jennifer’s family and possibly the police on their way, Hall spirited Pitonyak away to Mexico in her green Cadillac, telling friends, “That’s just the way I roll.”

It was Jim Sedwick who discovered what was left of Jennifer, her headless, handless body, in Pitonyak’s bathtub.

There’s obviously a bunch more to this case, all of which I detail in the book. The result, however, was that Pitonyak was caught and later convicted of murder, sentenced to 55 years. Hall was convicted of misdemeanor hindering apprehension and felony tampering with evidence, for a sentence of five years. Pitonyak is in a Texas prison, and should remain there for at least a couple of decades, Hall, however, is another matter.

Although she's served only a little more than six months in the Travis County Jail, Hall is already eligible for parole.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, this fine, upstanding young woman, who was totally unrepentant at her trial, who was overheard still calling the victim, “a total bitch,” in the courtroom hallway, is being considered for parole after serving little more than six months of a five-year sentence. Not much punishment to be metered out for a horrendous crime, and I’d be willing to wager, not much opportunity to impress upon Hall the need for reform.

Of course, at her trial, as at all trials, the judge wasn’t allowed to tell jurors how little time Hall could actually serve. In the judge’s orders to the jury, it was legally banned from considering the likelihood of parole. This isn’t an isolated case. To the best of my knowledge, in nearly all states where jurors set punishment, they are prevented by law from considering the effect parole can have on a sentence. It’s like saying: Come up with a fair sentence, and remember to banish from your minds the reality that they’ll probably only serve one-eighth of that time.

Here’s another example. In my first book, “The Rapist’s Wife,” in 1992, serial rapist and psychopath James Bergstrom was given four 99-year-sentences. Fifteen years later, this past March, Bergstrom was up for parole. The jury never wanted him to be a free man, but once he became eligible, they no longer had a voice. The decision on Bergstrom’s freedom would be made by a parole board who heard none of the testimony, including the painful recounting by the victims of their terrible ordeals and the chilling after-effects on their lives.

To keep Bergstrom behind bars, his ex-wife, Linda, and I began a letter writing campaign. We went on television, and I wrote a plea for letters on my website, resulting in thousands of folks writing the Texas parole board to protest Bergstrom’s release. That worked and he was denied, but every three years from this point forward, Bergstrom will have another chance to walk out those prison doors, and we’ll have to fight again. We can’t rest, because if James Bergstrom is free, no woman he comes in contact with is safe.

Just this past week, Sharon Cave mounted a similar campaign to keep Hall behind bars. If you’d like to help, it’s easy, just visit my website and click on the guestbook, where you’ll find directions to file a parole protest. The process is as easy as an email or a fax.

The bottom line, however, is that it’s time we allowed juries to consider all the facts, including the likelihood of parole. Let them truly have a voice in determining how long convicted felons stay locked up. The jurors who sentence are in the best position to understand that a deranged kid like Hall needs a real lesson and that a sicko like Bergstrom can’t be trusted on public streets.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: When you need a Friend to move a Body...

I am feeling quite jealous of Drew Peterson and Bobby Cutts. I can't think of a single friend who would help me dispose of a corpse, especially one that happened to be related to me. Now, we don't know yet why Drew Peterson's alleged helper tried to commit suicide the day after it is claimed he helped Drew move one rather large barrel out of his house the day after his wife, Stacy, went missing. Maybe this alleged incident is unrelated to Stacy's disappearance, but if it does turn out that Drew's wife was in the container, I wanna know why I have no friends that would be this helpful in my time of need? Why would Drew have these friends, and Bobby Cutts have these friends and not me? Is it because Peterson and Cutts are fun guys or because everyone trusts a cop and doesn't ask what is in the barrel or bundle? Is it a male thing to be able to get this very supportive friends?

"Say, Drew, it is awfully kind of you to pack up all these old clothes to give to the poor. Kind of heavy stuff...winter coats? Well, I hope the homeless find the stuff....here's the shovel back, Drew."

"Say, Bobby, this is a beautiful park. Too bad we had to cart along a third party to ruin the mood. Oh, we are leaving her here in this brush? Cool...."

If there are any of you folks out there who know the meaning of being a best friend, send me an email. I just might need your help one day when I decide to take care of business. Thanks!

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: The Last Photo of Madeleine McCann: Fact or Fake?

Some people think that the final photo of Madeleine McCann at the pool with Gerry and her sister, Amelie, is a forgery. The claim is that the photo really was only of Gerry and Amelie and that Madeleine was added in through photo enhancement, a ploy to cover up the fact she was already dead by early afternoon on day she was said to have gone missing.

I have to admire the effort to consider this possibility and the effort put out to analyze all the details of the photo and question some of the elements. It is always good to be curious enough to delve into an aspect of a case and see if there could be any clues there.

In this case, I would have to say the explanations of the photo being a fake are not strong enough for me to believe that Maddie’s death/disappearance occurred earlier than 6 PM in the evening.

My thoughts on the photo:

1) While it is true the picture is not perfectly composed with a centering of the threesome (and if Madeleine is not in the picture, then Gerry and Amelie are in the middle), this is not all that uncommon. With the advent of electronic photography, photos are snapped much more carelessly than when one had to pay for developing the prints. Cameras now are used more often as spontaneous recorders of events rather than composed photos for display.

2) That Madeleine’s outline is not overlapped by any person or object is likely just coincidence. If one snaps enough photos, some of them will have isolated objects.

3) The fact the brother is not in the photo simply means he was running about. Again, this is not a posed family portrait.

4) The fact Madeleine is laughing at something out of sight and her father and sister are not laughing is not particularly meaningful. Children tend to laugh spontaneously at whatever they think is funny. Sometime this is just something that strikes them amusing such as their big toe or an expression on someone’s face.

5) The fact that Madeleine is not in a swimsuit proves little. The outfits on the girls look like play outfits and the trio just happened by the pool area and sat down to relax and dangle their feet in the water.

6)The mo st telling clue in this photo that tends to go against the possibility of any forgery is in the clothing of Madeleine and Amelie. Take Maddie out of the picture and what you have is a little girl dressed in a horribly clashing outfit; an orange play suit and a fancy pink hat. Mothers do not tend to put such an outfit on their children and let them out of the house that way (especially a mother who is as fashion conscious as Kate). Maddie’s white hat would look better with her clothing.

The sportier white hat on Madeleine’s head does not clash with her girlier pink dress-like outfit, but that pink hat on Amelie’s head would go with it better. Put the two girls together on an outing and my guess is they started off with the better matching hat, and through play, the girls ended up with the other’s hat on their heads.

It really makes little sense that this photo would be manufactured. If Madeleine had been missing for the majority of the day, there would be far too long a period of time to account for and greater likelihood that Maddie’s invisibility would have been noticed. Furthermore, if she was killed in the morning, it would have been far easier for the McCanns to simply claim that while they were out at the playground or popping in and out of stores while they were shopping, they turned around and Maddie was gone. It is a much simpler story.

But, if Maddie died in the apartment while Gerry was at tennis, or after he came back, or during the tapas bar rendezvous, then the children were already in for the night and the chances of an abduction from the apartment story being created makes far more sense.


Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Criminal Profiling 101

I began writing this post about my observations of Gerry and Kate McCann for the purpose of our discussion here on the disappearance of little Madeleine. The Spanish television interview of Gerry and Kate McCann was actually the first time I studied anything about the case. Yes, I know, I may be one of five people on the planet that doesn’t know anything about it, but circumstances have kept me from following this or any other case lately. Anyway, I started to go back in time to observe other things about the McCann’s statements and behavior as well as any available facts and crime scene evidence to see if my observations were supported. I did not find much reliable information, let alone fact, that could be used to support anything. After reading several press and media reports and associated discussion, what I did find is that we have the very best discussion going on anywhere here at The Daily Profiler.

Emotions always run high when people discuss the disappearance of a small child, and generally, their comments reflect these emotions and are not based on logical thought or scientific fact. However, I am very impressed with several of the comments made here on our blog. Perhaps because the events and behavior exhibited by many of those involved is unusual (OK-bizarre), and not easily attributed to factors we are familiar with, it has caused many to think a little deeper. Many of our readers have shown some good critical thinking skills in their comments and the questions they raise. So when I saw the extent of unconfirmed information attributed to “unnamed sources close to the investigation” that is being reported as fact by many members of the press it gave me the idea to change the focus of my post from the McCanns to how critical thinking is applied in criminal profiling and investigation. It is also very useful for reading your daily newspaper in general. I kept the first paragraph from the post I started writing about the McCanns to explain some of what criminal profiling is about. Here goes….

It is important to keep the following in mind, but maybe not for the reason you think. I’ll explain in a moment. I want to make it clear that this is not a professional analysis of the McCann case, nor a critical review of any law enforcement officer, agency, technique, or procedure; and I certainly am not attempting to make a clinical diagnosis of any kind. The only person qualified to diagnose diseases and disorders of the body and mind is a clinician or doctor; and plenty of them have no business doing it either. Oops. Bet I just lost a few of you there. Well not so fast Grasshopper. Stay with me please.

You may disagree with my low regard of doctors and so dismiss what I said out of hand. Or maybe you took offense at my statement and think I’m full of crap, this is boring, etc; which it may very well be for those not interested in learning about criminal profiling and investigations. Others may have thought “I didn’t know there are bad doctors” and now you believe it as fact, simply because you read it here.

Guess what? WE ARE ALL WRONG!!! My comment about doctors and the example reactions above is called Bias.

We all carry around our own preconceived ideas and opinions on issues of small and large importance whether we consciously realize it or not. It is difficult to avoid since we are continuously bombarded with information designed to influence our opinion. This information comes from newspapers, radio, television, and personal contact with others. Here are some ways critical thinking is used to evaluate a particular claim or statement:

What is the statement or claim, and who is making it?

Before you accept information as fact, determine if the person has something to gain by making the statement. You must also ask yourself if your own assumptions or preconceptions have created bias or influence how you view someone else’s statements or ideas.

Great credibility is associated with public figures and persons in positions of authority, and while we can learn from them on subjects within their field of expertise, their statements or claims should not prevent you from asking good questions of your own.

Are there other plausible explanations for the statement or claim (or event)?
It is possible to have two or more explanations that explain an event or claim. The Law of Parsimony says we should accept the simpler explanation that requires the least number of assumptions.

When events or behaviors appear to be correlated, it does not prove that one event or behavior caused the other. Further investigation is required to discover if they are related because of a third event or behavior.

An open mind free of preconceptions allows for objective evaluation of facts and evidence. Therefore, bias must be identified and removed from critical thought and scientific analysis to produce reliable results and appropriate conclusions.

Sorry, I am going to get a little technical here because it is necessary to understand a little about scientific inquiry in order to apply it.

Scientific principles are the foundation of all scientific inquiry. Modern forensic and other biological sciences are supported by three thoroughly tested and validated principles based on the knowledge that all living and non-living matter is governed by the same laws of physics and chemistry. These principles are natural casualty (all events can be traced to natural causes within our ability to understand), uniformity in space and time (natural laws do not change with time or distance), and common perception (people view natural events in a similar manner.) Common perception applies only to scientific study because it is limited to objective observations that produce reliable information. Common perception does not apply to subjective value systems that vary among individuals such as religious, moral, or cultural beliefs and personal views, or opinion. The ability to keep an open mind is elemental to the advancement of science. Scientific conclusions are always tentative and subject to modification required by new observations or experiments.

Yes, Deductive Criminal Profiling and Behavior Analysis is a scientific endeavor because it uses the scientific method to draw conclusions based on known facts borne of objective observations, considered thought, accurate communication, skill, and experience. A criminal profile is derived from crime scene analysis, including physical evidence and Victimology, critical thinking, analytical logic, evidence dynamics, and other scientific principles used in forensics. The scientific method is applied to these elements producing logical deductions that lead to well-reasoned conclusions regarding offender characteristics and behavioral evidence. Therefore, arguments that support each offender characteristic are based on the premise that if the underlying facts and evidence are proven to be true, then so must be the logical conclusions arrived at by studying them. Imagine the affect bias, no matter how small, can have on making observations when evaluating evidence and other investigative tasks.

Why is all this important? For starters, when a criminal profiler is part of a criminal investigation, they, like everyone else who discovered, processed, or evaluated evidence in the case can be called to testify in court. Identifying the suspect of a crime is not enough; the methods and evidence used to identify and build a case against a suspected offender must be sufficient to convict him in court.

Removing the influences of bias from our work does not mean we have completely eliminated a particular opinion or preconception from our minds and so we must constantly remain vigilant for bias.

Those in law enforcement and related fields as well as professions such as physicians, etc. who work closely with the general public on an individual basis are taught to maintain an emotional distance from the people they interact with in order to be objective which will allow them to be thorough and accurate in the performance of their duty. Since these types of professionals often meet individuals experiencing trauma, or some other extremely personal or stressful event, great importance is placed on leaving their emotions at the door.

Sorry, but lack of emotion does not equal objectivity- nor does it increase productivity in many cases. Additionally, it is generally believed that separating ones emotions from personal contact with individuals helps maintain mental health by preventing emotional overload and burn out for these types of professionals. In the last 24 years, I have met many investigators who were the “no emotion” type. I can’t think of one who was not an asshole with the personality of a wet dishrag, often with poor interview skills. Remember- canvassing, re-canvassing, interviewing, and re-interviewing are very critical in successful investigations. You get the picture.

Conversely, an effective criminal profiler must possess a range of valuable professional characteristics including an enduring passion for examining facts, seeking answers, and resolving cases combined with the unwavering self-discipline to put aside personal opinions, pride, and career ambition. Notice the word “passion” which infers emotion. Pride and ambition are common sources of bias; yet these qualities are allowed, even admired and encouraged by many law enforcement agencies. Moreover, these influences have proven to be at the least, minor impediments, and at most, disastrous to an investigation or even to public safety. Since we must identify bias to avoid its influence, it should be considered that emotions such as passion and empathy could be useful qualities for those in public service as it can be a powerful motivation to promote dedicated effort. It is entirely possible to perform objective analysis and evaluation of victims, witnesses, and evidence if one remains vigilant of all forms of bias by using critical thinking techniques to purposely avoid bias such as personal opinion and ambition from influencing deductions and conclusions.

Donna Weaver

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: McCann Detective 100 Percent Full of It

The McCanns either are the most naïve people on the face of the earth or they are playing a very expensive and wasteful publicity game with the donations from kind folks who only want to help a little child be found.

Those Spanish investigators, The Metodo 3 agency, are crooks, plain and simple. They are milking this case for the money it is bringing in. They have a six month contract and stated that they would surely find her within five months (not one month - as that would end the cash flow all too quickly). Francisco Marco, who heads the team of Spanish private detectives: “We’re 100 per cent sure she is alive. We are very close to finding the kidnapper.”

What a lying scumbag! First of all, the only way, Mr. Marco, you can be 100 per cent sure Madeleine is alive is if you have her locked up in the basement of your house and you fed her this morning. This would mean you are a kidnapper and a pedophile. Is this what you are claiming, Mr. Marco?

If not, you are a despicable, money grubbing creep of another sort. If the McCanns came to a decent private investigator for an investigation, he would tell them right up front the chance of finding their daughter alive are near zero. He would tell them that should a local pedophile have snatched Maddie, she would have been killed within hours. If a pedophile ring had snatched Maddie, she would have been dead as soon as you started you campaign with her eye anomaly being broadcast to the world. He would tell them that if he started searching for a hidden Madeleine and broadcast his every move as to where he thought she was, then Maddie would surely be dead by the time he reached the location to retrieve her. He would tell the McCanns that the most he could do is review the police investigation to make sure they hadn’t missed anything and follow up on truly rational leads that had been ignored and overlooked. He would tell them he might be able to find out what happened to Madeleine and help bring the guilty party to justice, but the chances of bringing Madeleine home alive were extremely unlikely.

So, why have the McCanns hired this fraud? Are they being conned by Mr. Marco or are they using Mr. Marco to con us? Is it all for show and distraction or are the McCanns really innocent of hurting their child and are so desperate they will fall for the worst excuse for a private detective agency I have run across in a long time?

Gerry and Kate, fire them if you want to be responsible adults. Stop using the public’s money for your charades, either to impress us with your sincerity as to not knowing what happened to Maddie, or to fool yourselves into believing she is alive if you are being sincere. At least pay for this idiot with your own money, if you want to play this silly game.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Monday, November 19, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: The Crime of Plastic Surgery

Yes, I think plastic surgery for women (who haven't been in an accident or been born with some horrific birth defect) is a crime. We are being held hostage by a sick societal view that female aging is unacceptable and if we don't get ourselves to the doctor to get cut up and refashioned, we are unpleasing to look at.

Why are plastic surgery and Botox being more and more popular? Why are we women buying into this foolishness? Can’t we just be ourselves? While it is true, in a minor way, that coloring one’s hair, getting acrylic nails, using make up and wearing a push-up bra is enhancing ourselves in a somewhat unnatural way, these accouterments are relatively minor embellishments and it is not unreasonable to expect that an individual might strive to look her best. I have no problem with a person working out, dressing nicely, and doing cosmetic touch ups to ones external surface. I do, however, think plastic surgery and Botox are blights on society.

These extreme measures are not only dangerous, but so unnatural that the changes achieved are both creepy and too far outside the norm for one’s natural age and physique that our perceptions and expectations have become skewed and unrealistic. Hence, we believe that we should never age, our beauty should stay forever, and if we start to look older, we are horrified at our decline.

Since I do a lot of television work, I have received emails as to which plastic surgeon I have gone to for my own improvement. I have to laugh because I am guessing the viewer must have caught me on a good make-up and lighting day. I am dead set against knives and needles. I am fifty-two years old and I think I look it. I plan to look fifty-three next July and fifty-four the year after that!

Why have I made this decision? I have a number of reasons. My top reason is I think it is horribly unfair to women to have to play this game of youth. Why should we have to keep trying to look young and perky and thirty instead of being allowed to become a more mature woman, beautiful at whatever number of years we are? Why shouldn’t we be able to be attractive older females that match the look of men of the same years? Why shouldn’t we do our best to be good natural examples for other women of our same age?

My other reasons include not wanting succumbing to this trend is that I do not think getting a surgical procedure is worth the risk for vanity, not wanting to get on the never ending treadmill of one more surgery to fix yet another part of the face or body, and not wanting to deal with pain and the general ickiness of it all.

I have decided to grow older with dignity and just be happy with myself. I continue to exercise and dance so I feel healthy, groom myself so I look pleasing to myself and others, and I keep smiling so that I will be a cheery looking 100-year-old woman when I hit the century mark.

So, ladies, how about it? Can I get an amen? Can we join together and stop all this plastic surgery nonsense and just live life? Please? If we get too ancient looking to get on television and or date men who want women half their age, so what? We still have each other, our children will love us no matter what we look like, and the Peace Corps will take us until we are eighty! What more do we need?

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: School Mass Murders not for Americans Only

It turns out the Finnish boy who shot up his school killing nine of his classmates had been on line exchanging emails with another kid who had planned to do a Columbine on his own school (and thankfully has been arrested). The Internet is providing loners with something they never have had in the past: a demented peer group that they can be part of without actually having to hang around with them. These disturbed kids can now surf the Internet to find like minds instead of only being able to choose mates from just those available teens in their community. In this larger ocean of humanity they are sure to eventually find some other sick puppies out there who glorify violence and mass murder in the same way they do.

This new accessibility to ideas, encouragement, and validation is a serious problem for society. Psychopaths who are able to plug into such a system find fertile ground for sowing ideas that will eventually cause them to act out perverse behaviors. Rape sites, murder sites, bomb-making sites: sites like these allow teens with personality disorders to develop their fantasies. If these sites didn’t exist, the psychopath might never reach that level of obsession and simply be an annoying human being with slightly peculiar ideas, an oddball, but not necessarily a danger to others.

A diet of violence and a hungry psychopath is a deadly combination. Unfortunately, the Internet contains a veritable smorgasbord of evil ideation and the price to consume it is negligible.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Friday, November 16, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: "My Bad!"

I was just reading this horrifying story about how there is a rise in homeless men being attacked a beaten by teenagers who get a kick out of violent aggression. In one case, four underage boys beat a fellow to death and then went about bragging of the crime. Now, CNN interviewed one of the convicted teens, Nathan Moore, claims it was a “mistake” and there was no premeditated plan to hurt the homeless man. Drinking and mob mentality caused this aberration of behavior.

Let’s think about this mistake: can it be a mistake?

Someone makes a mistake when they forget to set the alarm and are late for work.

Someone makes a mistake when they put a cup of salt in the cookie recipe instead of a cup of sugar.

Someone makes a mistake when they forgot to lock the baby gate and the child takes a tumble.

You don’t beat someone to death by mistake.
You don’t rape someone by mistake..
You don’t steal a car by mistake.

When you come right down to it, it is pretty near impossible to commit a felony crime by mistake. You have to really work at it.

But, even our court system buys into this mistake foolishness and gives a criminal a slap on the wrist because, after all, he just made a mistake and we should give him a second chance. When did our society start believing that crossing the line into criminal behavior is just accidental? I can’t even begin to imagine my children (now grown) burglarizing a neighbor’s house, or raping a female friend from the neighborhood, or setting someone’s home on fire. Yet, I know quite a few parents who do not think this is all that unusual behavior for teenagers; some actually accept criminal behavior as a rite of passage for kids. This kind of thinking is pretty darn scary.

If criminal behavior is but a mistake, we might as well decriminalize it. Wait, maybe we already have. Probation is what we give to first time criminals because they just made a mistake and it takes quite a few mistakes sometimes before the criminal justice system finally believes the criminal is actually making a choice.

It is about time we realize that he made the choice the first time out and make him pay for it.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: How to become a Nonsuspect with a Simple Explanation

A Michigan prosecutor says the two vehicles seen in the vicinity of Jodi Parrack, the little eleven-year-old Michigan girl who went missing while riding her bike and then was found dead by her mother in a cemetery, have been eliminated as suspicious because the drivers had “innocent reasons” for being in the area.

Innocent reasons? Does she mean when she questioned the men (and I am assuming they are men because if they were women this likely would be a pretty good reason to eliminate the vehicles are involved in the crime) they didn’t say, “Oh, I was cruising the neighborhood looking for young girls to rape.”

Innocent reasons? Could this be the men said they worked in the area, were putting flowers on their mommy’s grave, or going shopping? What does the prosecutor think the killer would tell her? The truth?

Serial killers are well known for killing near their homes, or on route from their jobs, or on their way to pick up some groceries for their wives. Many times this is exactly their excuse or their “alibi.”

Unless the drivers of those vehicles have airtight alibis for the time in question or are incapable of committing such a crime (like being in a wheelchair and using hand controls to operate the gas and brake), then those vehicles should still be considered possibly linked to the crime.

It is amazing how often police investigators and prosecutors have eliminated a suspect from the investigation because he “seemed nice,” his girlfriend or mother said he was at home at the time in question, or he has no previous record. Once this happens, the rest of the investigation is a waste of time because all other persons of interest will simply be the wrong guy.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Monday, November 12, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: All the Wrong Emotions

People often get upset when fingers are pointed at them in criminal cases, The suspect will say, "Why me?" because he has no insight into that the behavior he exhibits are not the norm for the situation. Their supporters, often kind people who thinking judging others is wrong; that everyone is not the same and their behaviors, just because they do not represent how the majority would act under the same circumstances, doesn't mean anything. I beg to differ. Human beings tend to have similar behaviors, albeit different levels of them depending on sex, age, culture, and circumstances. When one accounts for these, there should be an expected response. For example, it is not normal for pretty much anyone to say, "Oh, well," as he watches his house burn to the ground. This reaction is grounds to check whether he set the fire to collect the insurance. The only reason one might determine this behavior isn't a red flag is that we know the guy is a rich hippie freak (inherited money) and he changed residences regularly and didn't keep much in the way of sentimental possessions. If this were so, friends would immediately tell the cops about the guy's nature and then the fire would not seem suspicious.

Drew Peterson's wife goes missing. He claims she left him for another guy. He also claims their marriage is good. Now, let's assume he really believes this to be true.

His reaction should be:

1) I am pissed as hell; she has broken my heart
2) I am pissed as hell; she has deserted her children.

Peterson seems to not even care his wife is missing.

Now, it has been quite a while since his wife has not contacted anyone. Her cell phone hasn't been used since she "left."

His reaction should be:

1) Now, I am worried as hell. Maybe something DID happen to her after she called me and my children may never get their mother back.

Peterson only cares that the media is "harassing" his children and frightening them. Apparently, the fact the children don't know where there mother has gone isn't a concern to him

Wrong reactions. No good explanation why Peterson should act this way. Verdict: he makes a good suspect in the disappearance of his wife.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Malcolm Gladwell Disses Criminal Profilers

There is an article in the New Yorker this week by Malcolm Gladwell and he pretty much compares criminal profilers to charlatans and con artists. I can’t really get mad at the guy because I understand where he is coming from and why he is so annoyed at the what criminal profilers have claimed they are capable of predicting through crime scene analysis. I, myself, have been baffled at how some conclusions have been reached by a review of the evidence of the crime scene. How does someone surmise the killer has a stutter or drives a sports car by the way a girl is raped and strangled? I figured I was missing some amazing piece of analytical skill or someone was pulling a fast one.

I eventually learned that the profilers who came up with amazing stuff that doesn’t rely on science or logic:

1) got inside information that made them look damned brilliant when the suspect was caught and indeed he matched that piece of the profile
2) guessed and were simply lucky
3) guessed and no suspect was found to prove him wrong,
4) guessed and people forgot the part of the profile he got wrong or ignored it because the rest (read: the easier part) of the profile was right.

This is exactly the kind of criminal profiling concept I have been fighting against for the last decade. Criminal profiling is crime scene analysis with a heavy emphasis on behaviors of the victim and suspect. All conclusions should be based on science and logic and should be clearly explained. No guesses should be made just off the top of the head or from simply gut feelings. The criminal profiling process is but a method of analyzing a crime scene to come up with a reasonable a scenario as possible leading to the best next investigative choices to make. This is all that criminal profiling is; a method of analysis conducted by a criminal profiler to aid the police or by the detective himself to further his investigation.

Criminal profiling should not be a parlor trick nor should it be considered some magic or psychic answer to a perplexing crime. Neither should criminal profiling be tossed as a complete sham as Malcolm Gladwell has basically advocated; this would be a sad loss to law enforcement as criminal profiling skills are terribly needed by investigators on fresh crime cases and by detectives in the cold case squads. Too many crimes go unsolved and killers uncaught because of bad crime scene analysis that throws the investigation completely off track.

Criminal profiling is a very useful tool and I hope that a right perception of the field will encourage its proper use in the field of police investigation

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: American Gangsters: Frank Lucas and Denzel Washington

I just finished seeing "American Gangster" and I want to be the first to say, Denzel Washington owes America an apology. While I have respected some of Denzel's work in the past, I have come to the conclusion he is seriously lacking in the morals department. He played the part of Rubin Carter, the boxer turned murderer in “The Hurricane” and now he brings the character of Frank Lucas, drug kingpin and murderer, to the screen in “American Gangster.” I wouldn’t think negatively of Washington if he portrayed these men truthfully, but he seems perfectly willing to ignore history and veracity along with equally unethical Hollywood producers and writers. He even has the incredible lameness to claim he shouldn’t judge these men. Of Lucas, he says, “Basically, Frank’s a human being who’s done some awful things and paid the price for it.” As to Carter, Denzel introduced him as “a man of love” at the Golden Globe Awards.

WTF? Let’s take a quick look at these two men Denzel seems to think are nice enough guys. Rubin Carter is a nasty brutal psychopath who made a career out of robbing, assaulting, and murdering people. Just because he did a little boxing along with his many crimes means jackshit. He finally got out of prison on a technicality and Hollywood saw big money by making him a hero who was wrongly convicted. Carter also made a good sum of money of off of the lies he and the movie makers perpetuated and then he went of the speakers’ circuit, visiting colleges and getting honored for his “suffering due to injustice.” Frank Lucas, a psychopath of the nth degree, was a career criminal as a juvenile, destroyed countless lives and the fabric of the community in Harlem as a drug kingpin, and also murdered people (he admitted to one murder, put a hit out on his own brother, and as with all criminals and icebergs, what we see is only a tenth of what is really hidden from us). Now, Lucas is making millions off of his crimes again.

No, Denzel, neither man has just “done some awful things and paid the price for them.” Both men should have been executed or spent a lifetime in a hellhole. Instead, they got off lightly and are living the good life. Not only that, they are being lauded and treated as celebrities. Crime really does pay in this country because people like Denzel Washington, producer Ridley Scott and other producers, directors, and actors, don’t care about the truth as long as they make money. They abet these cold-blooded pieces of garbage in duping the American public about the damage they have caused to the health and welfare of the African-American community and to the lives of untold numbers of children and adults.

Furthermore, Denzel, neither of these men was a “good family men” as portrayed in these movies. They cared little about their children as no loving father puts his sons and daughters in danger, raises them in a criminal atmosphere, teaches them to thumb their noses at moral and ethical living, and leaves them stranded when they go to jail. The families of these “good family men” were pieces of crap as well. The wife of Frank Lucas was portrayed in the movie as an innocent, sweet girl, but in real life she was a self-serving criminal, spending quite a few years in jail for the crimes she committed. The mother of Lucas, that sweet little old lady in the movie in the form of Ruby Dee, knew damn well where her son’s money came from and what he was getting his brothers into (some more innocent fellas) and she didn’t care because she got to live in a big house. I am sure God didn’t think all that church attending and Thanksgiving prayers made up for the devastation Lucas caused in the world.

The real stories of Rubin Carter and Frank Lucas could have been fine depictions of how evil men destroy the world and how we must fight against them if we want our country to be a decent place to live. Children should see such movies and despise the psychopathic criminals in them and grow up to want to keep such people from wreaking havoc in our communities.

Instead, stars like Denzel Washington make role models out of repulsive human beings men and minimize their evil deeds; which makes Denzel pretty repulsive and evil himself. Maybe Denzel didn’t have to be much of an actor to represent these gangsters on screen; maybe he isn’t that much different from either one of them.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Monday, November 5, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: What do Frozen Turkeys have to Do with Missing Persons?

I was reading through some posts concerning the Madeleine McCann case and there was much speculation on where little Maddie’s body could have been hidden, kept from decomposing, transported, and disposed of, should the parents be involved in her disappearance. Meanwhile, Stacy Peterson, the fourth wife of a police officer, has gone missing in Illinois and her friends and neighbors are combing the area for her body and police are dredging local ponds. If her husband killed her, where would he be likely to put her body?

It is an unpleasant, if not horrifying thought, to imagine someone handling a corpse, especially one that might be a child, one’s own child. What kind of mind can deal with disposing of a body, especially the body of a person who is an intimate part of your life? What happens in the brain that would allow someone to do some of the things we have seen before like dismembering a body or carrying it about it in stages of decomposition? The concept is so foreign to many people that they dismiss certain scenarios as impossible because they cannot conceive of doing such things themselves. They are unfamiliar with how another who is perhaps narcissistic or psychopathic and also possibly desperate can actually do pretty gruesome stuff with a person they once supposedly loved or cared for. Yet, the reality is that some people can indeed do such things.

For this very reason, an investigator cannot rule out bizarre possibilities when trying to locate a missing person. Many factors might play into what was done with a body. First of all, how the person was killed may affect choices. Is there a need to mask the cause of death or to destroy particular evidence of the implement of death? Is there a need to cover up prior physical or sexual abuse issues or drug issues? Any evidence the killer feels might identify him as the offender might cause the killer to destroy the body or parts of the body or work harder to make sure the body is never found.

If the killer is not afraid of being linked to the crime by relationship, location, or evidence, the body may easy to find, lying on the side of the road in plain view or left at the scene of the crime, perhaps in the victim’s apartment.

So, when a missing person is suspected of being dead, the detective must thoroughly investigate the victim’s life and those people involved in it. The answer to where the body lies may be within the details of the victim’s life and relationships.

Stacy Peterson’s body is likely going to be as hard to find as Lisa Stebic’s. Stebic’s husband says he sympathizes with Stacy’s husband because he knows how it feels to have a wife go missing and everyone suspects the husband had something to do with it. My guess is he can relate how nerve-racking it is to hope the searches never come near where one put the body.

So someone wrote that they wondered whether Madeleine’s body could be stored in a freezer. Many bodies have been kept that way but it usually requires a stand-alone freezer (one of those big storage types) and not a side-by-side in the kitchen (unless one is dismembering the body as well). If there was not one in any of the resort apartments (and it does seem unlikely that type of freezer would be present), her body would have had to be stored in a private home. The next question might be how long it would take a body to unfreeze. I looked up turkeys and some of the big one’s take four days! I find that rather interesting in the sense of possible DNA in the McCann’s hire vehicle meaning a frozen body transported to another location shouldn’t unfreeze in that short a time to leave DNA and hair. I don’t find myself particular convinced of the freezer theory because of lack of freezer space available in the resort rental units and the theoretical DNA in the hire car.

So, if the McCann’s were involved and there was really DNA in the hire car, I would lean more toward the possibility her body was in a shallow grave in a drive sandy area and moved when it was feared the searches would locate the body. The decomposition would likely, in that climate, to cause mummification, a drying of the body, making it less difficult to move, but not making it impossible for evidence of that move to be left behind by stressed out and panicked participants.

If it turns out the McCanns had zero to do with the crime, the body is either on private property of a pedophile (which would tend to eliminate Murat) or, the body is in the ocean and will never be found.

It will be interesting to see if Maddie is ever found what methodology the guilty party or parties used to prevent discovery of a body and any evidence.

BTW, for those of you who think Lisa Stebic, Stacy Peterson, Natalee Holloway, and Madeleine McCann are really alive, I applaud your sense of hope. I am a lot more cynical, and though there is occasionally a miracle or surprise ending, chances of anyone of these four missing persons showing up alive is near zero. The two married women had children they loved and husbands they were afraid of. This equation usually means the disappearance of the wife is the result of a husband offing her. And Natalee and Madeleine were both blonde, but sex rings can find lots of blondes without resorting to high profile kidnappings that might expose them. Natalee and Madeleine have almost zero chance of being found alive.

Let’s just hope, then, that we can at least find out what happened to them and see that justice is served.


Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: "Call the Cops! There is a Woman in Psychological Trouble in Aisle Three!"

I was introduced to a new concept while doing Nancy Grace last night (hmm....that doesn't sound quite right, now does it?). One of the other guests aired the view that a woman who was caught shoplifting (at 38 years old and her tenth arrest) doesn't need jail time but counseling. Clearly, this expert declared she has psychological problems and we shouldn't be taking up space in the prisons with this woman when there are pedophiles who need to be kept inside. Interesting argument....

I am trying to wrap my head around this thinking. We have laws on the record and police to catch persons who break these laws, but this is really only a psychological screening process set up to identify citizens in need of mental health counseling? Considering the woman's lawyer actually said she had already been in counseling and was already on probation for another crime, at what point do we decide that the woman is actually a criminal as opposed simply an emotionally disturbed individual?

At what point do we decide breaking the law is actually deserving of punishment and removal from society as opposed to a free offer of psychological services? Couldn't a pedophile be just as emotionally disturbed as a shoplifter? What about a murderer? Isn't he so emotionally distraught that he can't help himself from striking out?

I have no problem with criminals receiving mental health care. I just think they ought to do their time as well. After all, what is the point of even having laws if breaking them is only considered a cry for help? If this is what the law is all about, I think we should take all laws off the books and set up a system of emotional guards instead of security guards. The next time this woman tries to walk out of a store with hundreds of dollars of stolen goods, one of these guards can get out his megaphone and shout, "Lady in need of counseling! Lady in need of counseling!" Maybe she will get the message and stop by customer service and pick up her free counseling coupon to be redeemed at any counseling counter at her local Walmart store.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Good for Heather Mills!

I just saw Heather Mill's television interview on GMTV and I have to applaud her newest campaign. Heather is fed up with lies produced by the tabloids and is working to get laws in place to stop them from publishing outright lies and from displaying harassing behaviors equivalent to stalking. Rarely do I spend much time reading stuff from European tabloids but having a interest in the Madeleine McCann case led me to witness their brand of "reporting." I found myself rather stunned at the amount of stories that came out that included information completely contrary to stories from other tabloids or even from their own reporters just a day prior. If one story is the truth, a story with the opposite set of "facts" must then be a pack of lies. Apparently, the lies have gotten so out of control, the tabloids don't even fear lawsuit so they just print any inflammatory thing they want. This is egregious and I hope Heather succeeds in her campaign to stop this abuse.

I only disagree with Heather concerning the court of public opinion. When a person is indeed in the media, they can expect to have certain aspects of their behaviors scrutinized. She expresses sympathy for the McCanns for getting negative feedback from the public but this antipathy is not based on lies from the press but on the McCanns themselves because of admitted and observed behaviors. There is no question that when one puts themselves out in the public eye, one must be very cautious not to stoke fires of contention. Interestingly, some celebrities get no negative press at all because they lead polite and proper lives. The more one is flamboyant, outspoken, tantalizing, controversial...the more one has to accept there will be negative responses as well as positive responses.

As a criminal profiler who does a lot of media, I know the problem. I am outspoken and I am a bit of a renegade in the industry. I am working to change concepts I believe are outdated and damaging to moving serial homicide investigation and criminal profiling to a higher level and with better outcomes. I fly in the face of traditional FBI thinking and certain academics. In return I get called, "self-proclaimed profiler" (a label I guess you get if you didn't come up through the FBI), media whore (yes, I do a lot of television; it helps promote my concepts and programs), a fraud (FBI thing again, I think or some think I lie and say I AM with the FBI or have BEEN with the FBI), lacking in education (I have a Masters in Criminal Justice from Boston University but I did get into the field through self-training and reading hundreds of books on the market in forensics, investigations, profiling, psychology, etc), racist (this was because I wrote an article on Hurricane Carter, an African-American boxer, that some didn't like - they ignored the fact that I opened the article by stating I was married to a Jamaican and had two mixed race children and one African-American son), anti-police (even though my daughter is a cop and my son is in security and joining a police force soon), anti gun (even though I own two) and on and on. Some of this stuff is based on outright lies and some from careless reading and poor analysis, and other bits of scorn and hatred come from the fact some people just don't like me or what I have to say.

All of this comes with the territory of being in the public eye. I try to keep what I can under control and other stuff I just have to accept as part of the life I have accepted. Anytime I want out of it, I can give up my media work and live quietly. It is pretty easy to do. No fuel, no story.

But I admire Heather for going after those who print straight up lies. This should stop. The only time I get really bent out of shape is when I see something about me which is some supposed "fact" and it is simply not true. If somebody calls me a racist just because I think Rubin Hurricane Carter should still be in jail for murder, oh well, it is just their opinion. However, if someone says I used the "n" word while talking about an African-American, this will send me over the edge because it is not something I would ever do and if it is out in the public as a "fact," then I am forced to defend myself which is always a nightmare to have to do.

However, Heather, some of the stuff you probably did bring upon yourself by doing nude photos (no matter how long ago) or by marrying a big celebrity (a REALLY big one) and by speaking out (whether what you say was wonderful or not and I am a fellow vegetarian so I am on your side in that fight). You can't be in the world of the stars without being viewed as one and you can't be outspoken and not expect to be noticed (which is exactly why we speak out if we are going to be honest about it).

I wish you luck with the fight, though. I would be happy to see tabloids and reporters being held to some accountability. If it isn't true, you shouldn't be printing it. Period.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Criminal Profiling Updates of of the Day: Maddie, David, and Richard Lee McNair

MADELEINE McCANN: The Portuguese and doing a crime scene reenactment. What does this mean?

The police are indeed doing what seems to be a proper crime scene reenactment. The reenactment will help them evaluate the scenarios and the components of the scenarios that would be likely should Madeleine have been abducted, wandered off, or killed within the apartment and her body moved. Each aspect of these scenarios will be studied for proof that certain incidents could have occurred or not have occurred.

I would say this crime scene reconstruction tells us nothing about what the police are thinking; just that they are working on the case. I have seen even slam-dunk case with solid DNA do crime scene reenactments in order to support the physical with an explanation of how the physical evidence came to be there and what the motive was and how the actor or actors in the crime acted it out. All of this is necessary for a good prosecution.

If during the crime scene reconstruction, it becomes evident that some aspect of a crime could not have happened the way theorized or purported, then this could sway the police toward one particular view of the crime. But, we won't know what they are learning from this crime scene reenactment until we have their report on it.

DAVID COPPERFIELD: A federal grand jury is investigating a rape allegation made by a Washington State woman.

I have to think there is more evidence than just a "He said, She said," kind of date rape case. If the woman claimed she was raped in the Bahamas by Copperfield, but waited until she arrived back in the United States to report said crime, then I find it difficult to believe the FBI would raid Copperfield's warehouse and a grand jury would be put together if all the that existed was a woman who claimed that sex between the two of them wasn't consensual. It will be interesting to see what the grand jury comes up with.

RICHARD LEE McNAIR: One of America's Most Wanted fugitives is caught after a year on the run by two sharp constables doing good police work. Note the middle name, "Lee." Why do so many criminals have the middle name, Lee? Odd, isn't it? Below are two links: the first is from YouTube showing McNair talking a patrol officer out of thinking he is the escapee being sought! The second is my appearance on Paula Todd's, "The Verdict": in the first half you will meet the constables who caught McNair and, in the second half, I discuss fugitives and catching them.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fIOM24grQo

http://www.ctv.ca/generic/generated/sbplayer/Docs.html

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown