Monday, April 26, 2010

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: TIME'S UP for Domestic Abuse

We hear the term, "Domestic Abuse," thrown around quite a bit and it is worth taking a look at what it really means in our own lives. Is it physical, mental, or both? When does one spouse's treatment of the other cross the line from just imperfect humans struggling in a relationship to one partner mistreating the other? After all, we know that marriage can be "work" and issues have to be dealt with and ironed out. We are going to disagree, even argue and be mad at each other, and, sometimes, we are not going to actually be able to kiss and make-up before bedtime. When should one start to worry that there is something really wrong with our marriage partnership?

I would say it is when the "partnership" becomes a boss and employee relationship and the boss is someone we would like to fire. While everyone wants power and control in life, a spouse must be willing to share that power and control with their partner, work together to achieve a balance where both parties are satisfied with the equation. Doing so is not a problem for those who love their spouse and want to see their spouse happy and want to achieve a positive and pleasing family life. Working together is an expectation for a committed couple and being good role models for the children is a natural desire for caring parents.

When one spouse becomes the master, putting his or her needs and desires above the spouse's, doesn't care how his/her mate feels, ignores the impact of this imbalance on the children, this is abuse - whether it is in the form of emotional manipulation of physical domination.

Ideally, one should wait a reasonable period of time before having children to see if one's mate is one's best friend, that you work out fair solutions to problems, that your beloved really loves you, and you are happy together. You need a couple of years, if not more, to find out whether you have just signed up for a partnership or a prison term. If your marriage sucks, having children in it will make it suck more and, worse, it will trap you for years and years as now you have a family you don't want to destroy.

But, let's suppose you have already blown it and you are stuck in a nightmare; you are being mentally or physically tortured with regularity and you fear your mate instead of feeling safe in their company. It's time to make the decision to leave. Susan Milano-Murphy, one of my fellow bloggers at Women in Crime Ink knows well when someone should make a break for it and titles her new book on escaping abuse, TIME'S UP: A Guide on How to Leave an Abusive and Stalking Relationship.

If you are not frightened of your mate, you can simply state you want a separation, make plans to live in different residences, and, if you feel there is any hope through counseling, give your spouse a chance to make a change if he/she really wants to do so. If you think past behavior is pretty much a predictor of future behavior, then you are probably right (because it usually is), and you need to make the best choices you can for the well-being of the children.

But, if you are in a physically dangerous situation, if your spouse has been violent or threatening or coldly psychopathologicaly scary, you will want to get Susan's book, TIME'S UP! This book doesn't merely discuss when you should leave or why you should leave, it tells you HOW you should leave. The book has step-by-step instructions how to covertly make a plan, set-up a safe escape, deal with financial issues, and the paperwork. Susan even takes you line-by-line through the process, the forms, the legal issues...she takes you by the hand, and, believe me, when you are being terrorized and you are an basket case, you don't need vague ideas, you need specific instructions. TIME'S UP can save your life and your sanity. If you need to get out, get this book before you make a mistake that could be fatal. It is money well spent.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Ronald Cummings is "Only Disappointed" the Bitch got his Child Stole

Gotta love defense lawyers! Ronald Cumming's defense lawyer, Terry Shoemaker, has just come out with two mind-boggling statements. One is that the police told Ronald, "If you divorce Misty, we'll find something out. She'll crack" and "If Misty got in trouble, in jail, we could probably get her to crack." I guess Ronald's mother was right that he "only dealt drugs to get close to Misty after the divorce, in order to learn what happened to Haleigh."

Let's see now; Ronald married Misty to get "his enemy near" him because that would get him information. Then he divorces because the police told him to, because that would get him information. Then he deals drugs with her and helps them set up a sting to get her arrested because that will get him information. I don't think I have ever seen such a complex ongoing plan. Ronald is also an amazing actor to be able to play the loving husband, then divorce her because he failed in his mission, then take up with her again to get her busted selling drugs, and pretend to be the felon while waiting for her to crack. This is the real world folks, not a fictional crime drama.

And now, we have a new incredible comment of Ronald's via his lawyer. Apparently, Ron is not mad at Misty, "only disappointed" that she couldn't confide in him for an entire year, forcing him and his family to suffer needlessly. He hopes the reason she withheld the truth was that she was "threatened" or "forced" to keep quiet.

I am finding his kindly attitude hard toward Misty hard to swallow (as I always have find it abnormal). Disappointed? You can be disappointed someone didn't give you a job, disappointed your child didn't get good grades in school, disappointed that your mate doesn't want to go away for the weekend. You are usually mad as hell when you find out your spouse cheated on you, a drunk driver killed your son, or your druggie girlfriend "got your daughter stole."

Not Ronnie. Even though he swore he'd kill the person who took his kid, he isn't even mad when he finds out his girlfriend/wife/girlfriend was involved in his child's disappearance and lied to him over and over and over again.

Maybe it is true that he has been doing an undercover job for the police trying to get Misty to slip up. Or, maybe, he knows she finally has slipped up and he is sending her a message through his lawyer. He needs her continued cooperation to save his own butt so he can't be too nasty. He is letting her know that he is "disappointed" (you gave up the information you shouldn't have) and he hopes that she was forced or threatened (you better just have slipped up under pressure and you better not be about to roll over on me).

Seems more like the defense lawyer is working overtime to paint Ronald as a victim and sympathetic figure. He is giving too much information which leads me to believe he is working on a defense in a murder case, not a drug dealing case.

Maybe I am wrong and we will find out the Ronald Cummings really did spend the year helping the police nail Misty. If this turns out to be the case, Ron can play himself in the movie because he is one hell of an actor and I will pay the $12 to be there on opening night.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day? What is Someone Capable Of?

There is an ongoing debate among people following the Haleigh Cummings murder as to what Ronald Cummings is capable of. Some think he is manipulated by Misty Croslin, his ex-wife, ex-girlfriend, maybe still girlfriend, drug dealing associate --- and that while he talked a tough game about killing those who "stole his daughter", he is really just a blowheart, a wannabe bully. Others think he is quite capable of violence.

In the comment section of my last blog post, Linda Parris pointed out some of the threats Ron has made toward other people. She offered these examples:

"Hank Croslin Jr., Misty Cummings brother, told deputies that one of his neighbors saw Ron Cummings put something (it was a decapitated rat) in his mailbox around midnight." "Cummings allegedly told him that he would “get back” at him. He said that Ron owned guns and he feared the dead rat was a sign that Cummings was going to kill him. Croslin told the deputies that he wanted charges filed."

And it has been reported by Tim Miller that Ron said he would "blow the teeth out of the back of Misty's head" if she betrayed him.

Now, let's think about that last ideation; Ronald is visualizing picking up a shotgun, aiming it at Misty, and blowing her head off. So? Haven't we all at one time or another visualized doing something to someone but know we would never do it?

Actually, this is not really true. We have a hard time visualizing anything which is not within our psyche to carry out under some circumstance or other.

For example, would you be willing to shoot somebody? If I think about that question myself (and I do own two weapons, a 9mm and a 38 that I keep for protection), I can say, yes, I can actually see myself pulling the trigger. I have run that fantasy through my head. Do I visualize shooting my ex because he ticked me off? No, that has never crossed my mind and it creeps me out to even force myself to bring up such a thought; I simply can't even put myself in this scenario with a gun, not even as a threat of some sort, not even brought along with me to some location he might be at.

Can I visualize going after someone who is harassing and stalking me and threatening them with a pointed gun and telling them to stop? No. I can't bring the picture up.

BUT, I can bring up two scenarios in which I can actually see myself, like a video on my television set, pulling out my gun and blasting away until my target is dead, dead, dead. One scenario involves waking up in the night and seeing a rapist breaking through my bedroom door. I see myself grabbing the gun and firing every round into him until he is no longer a threat. The other scenario involves a rapist attacking my child. Same action taken; I shoot until he is dead, dead, dead.

In an exercise I use in training, I ask people to imagine what they would do if they came home and find their significant other having sex with someone else in their bed. After an initial stubbornness to tell anyone what they think, they finally give up their imagined action. Some say they would just turn and walk away. Some say they would scream insanely at the two of them. Some say they would throw things. Some say they would punch out their mate but leave the lover alone. Some say they would shoot them. And my guess is they might well carry out what they visualize unless fear of going to jail or some strong self-control mechanism kicks in and says, "Don't do it."

So, if Ronald did say he would blow away Misty if she screwed him over and intimated he would cut the head off of Tommy if he ratted him out, I would believe him.

If you have a spouse, boyfriend or a girlfriend, a coworker or family member that expresses some violent ideation, take them seriously. They may never carry it out if they don't get overwhelmed with failure or have a serious affront to their ego, but , if they do, you may find them standing in front of you with a weapon and totally willing to pull their index finger back..

Friday, April 16, 2010

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Ronald Cummings, the Mastermind

Finally, Ronald's involvement in Haleigh Cummings death becomes clear and we have Misty, Tommy, and the cinder blocks in the river to thank for it.

Here is why:

Misty and Tommy both know that Haleigh was tied to a cinder block and tossed in the river. The fact the cinder blocks undoubtedly came from Cummings yard means the crime went down in his house and nowhere else. The claim that Misty's cousin, Joe Overstreet, kidnapped Haleigh from the house because he wasn't able to steal Ronald's gun is a lie because no one is going to drive away with a child, kill her, and then return to the house the child was kidnapped from to borrow a cinder block to sink her in the river with.

So, the death of Haleigh occurred in Ronald Cumming's house.

The idea that another cinder block was used to prop the door open to facilitate carrying out a dead child is also preposterous. Many a parent has carried a sleeping child in or out of their house without needing to use a doorstop to keep the entryway open. And considering there were two (yes, two - Misty and Tommy), I am sure one (Misty) could hold the door open for her brother.

So, when was the cinder block placed on the ramp to hold the door open? As Nancy Grace would say, BOMBSHELL TONIGHT! Ronald Cummings most likely placed it there AFTER he arrived home. Why was it placed there? To stage a stranger abduction.

So what exactly happened that evening? Here is my theory.

Something happened to Haleigh just before or in the early evening after Ronald went to work. The most likely possibility is Haleigh ingested Ronald's drugs and sometime just before 8:30 PM, Haleigh died. I believe she convulsed and vomited on her blanket before she died.

At 8:30 PM, it is reported Ronnie and Misty had an argument.
He stepped outside of his work building to handle the call. Then Misty turned her phone off resulting in Ronald calling her phone repeatedly from then on. Then, supposedly he called Tommy in desperation to go check on her and Tommy drives over, knocks on the door, but Misty doesn't answer.

What is wrong with this picture? Ronald has a bitter argument with the woman watching his children, he can't get through to her, he gets so worried that he calls her brother to go check on her and the kids, the brother finds the house dark, and Ronnie STAYS AT WORK until 3 AM and then stops at a convenience store on the way home to buy beer, snacks, and cigarettes.

Rubbish! Here is a far most logical scenario. The heated discussion between Ronald and Misty at 8:30 was Misty telling him Haleigh is dead. He is cussing and freaking out, trying to figure out what to do. He doesn't want to call the police because HIS drugs probably killed Haleigh. He comes up with a plan.

"We have to get rid of Haleigh's body. We need to be sure it can't be found and analyzed for drugs. We will dump her in the river with a heavy brick and then the alligators will take care of her. You get that blanket in the wash because we don't want to explain the vomit and we can't have that vomit analyzed for drugs. Turn off your phone. I can't have you talking to anybody until I get there. I will call your brother and he is going to help you get rid of the body. "

So, he calls Tommy who goes over and takes Haleigh's body and dumps it in the river.

Ronald finishes his shift so he keeps his alibi solid, stops at the convenience store so he can be seen on camera with the time recorded. He arrives at the house twenty-five minutes later. One glaring error made was Misty saying she got up at 3 AM and finding Haleigh gone and the door propped open, she is neither scared enough nor concerned enough about getting a search started to call 911 or even Ronald. But, of course, Ronald doesn't want her to talk to 911 until he is in the room and makes sure she has the story straight.

Ronald comes in the house, gets a cinder block, props the door open. He tells Misty to make the phone call to 911 and while she does, he can scan the room to make sure nothing is out of place that could get them in trouble.

Misty gives 911 the scenario Ronald coached her on and Ronald spends his time acting upset and stressing he was at work and just arrived home and that his bitch of a girlfriend "got his daughter stole".

Neither Misty or Ronald ever search for Haleigh, or tell the operator or the police that they think a child sex predator got her or that some creep they know might have kidnapped Haleigh. I guess they didn't think that far ahead.

Ronald Cummings is a controlling, lying psychopath who knows exactly what happened to his daughter. I hope the police figure this out.

Note: This scenario is a hypothesis based only on information publicly obtained with no access to police files. The words in quotes are a theoretical conversation. My opinion does not imply Ronald Cummings is criminal guilty of crimes associated with the Haleigh Cummings case as only a court can convict him of this. This scenario also does not attempt to address every possible suspect and every piece of evidence as this is not a full analysis of the case.

Criminal Profling Topic of the Day: NOT Joe Overstreet

We have all been glued to the television set watching the the continuous loop of Misty Croslin standing on the dock with law enforcement, divers in the water, the location now a crime scene. By evening, the case had gone from missing persons to homicide and police stated there were persons of interest. Mistys' cousin, Joe Overstreet, was reinterviewed and speculation is flying that he is the killer of Haleigh.

I don't know jack about Joe and how much squirrelly behavior he has exhibited in the past but since he is part of the Croslin clan, I am going to accept that he isn't going to medical school and spending his free time working at the soup kitchen. But, I also cannot buy that Misty and Tommy were either so endeared to him or so scared of him, that they let him kill Haleigh and then helped him cover up the crime.

Let's look at the facts:

There is zero proof at this point that Joe Overstreet murdered Haleigh.
There is zero proof at this time that Joe Overstreet dumped Haleigh's body.
The only people claiming Joe Overstreet killed Haleigh are pathological liars who flunked their polygraphs.
There is not now nor will there ever be any physical evidence linking Joe Overstreet to the crime.
Unless Joe Overstreet confesses to involvement in the crime, there will be no probable cause to arrest him nor will there be sufficient evidence to convict him.

Now, why would Misty and Tommy finger Joe Overstreet? One or both of them are trying to cut a deal. If they are willing to admit knowing what happened and can tell the police who it is, then they might get some reduction in their sentences. Of course, doing that connects them to a crime which is exactly what the police want. Even if they make up a ridiculous scenario (like kidnapping and killing a child because a gun was not available to steal) and pin the crime on an innocent person, law enforcement wins: they finally have admissions Misty and Tommy were involved in the crime and that crime is homicide. From there, maybe they are hoping the actual truth will eventually come out.

But how can we believe anyone at this point? Unless someone can be tricked into confessing (and that can be done if you know what you are doing) the stories are going to keep changing as these Misty, Tommy, and Ron jockey to save their own hides. Keep your fingers crossed their is a crack interrogator down there in Florida and justice might one day actually be served.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Why Ronald Cummings knows what happened to Haleigh

It seems a lot of people think Ronald Cummings is simply a grieving Dad who has been the victim of evil Misty Cummings and her family. They admit he is a criminal and a drug dealer, but "other than that," he is a good guy. I disagree and disagree vehemently. I believe Ronald Cummings is involved with the death of his daughter even while rumors are flying that Misty's cousin, Joe Overstreet kidnapped and killed Haleigh because he couldn't find Ronald's gun that he came to steal (what doofus came up with that idiotic scenario) or that Joe and Tommy, Misty's brother were raping Ronald's daughter while Junior slept and Misty was drugged up. killing her in the process (slightly better, but would YOU want to rape the kid of a guy like Ronald? And would YOU implicate your partner in murder if you didn't want him to take you down with him?).

Okay, recap. Tommy and Misty cook up a scenario with Joe as the fall guy. Why? Seems to me they want to get their sentences reduced. Tommy, the weakest link, the one who probably did help move the body, says he did see Haleigh get put in the water but he didn't do the crime, Joe did. Half truth. Misty can then say she knows what happened but she was terrified of Joe because Joe killed Haleigh and threatened her. Half truth.

This means Misty and Tommy know what happened and Tommy dumped Haleigh's body (or helped do so). But, if Tommy didn't commit a crime, why did he help Misty? Oh, yes, she is his sister and he is a drug dealer too. But, then, Misty must be more involved in the crime than he is. She knows what happened and was there when it happened.

Okay, let's assume Misty killed Haleigh, by accidental drug ingestion or smothering or whatever. She panics, calls Tommy, and he takes the body to the water. He concocts a story with Misty, props the back door open and then Ronald comes home and finds Haleigh has "been stolen." He calls 911, hysterical, and Misty starts with her lies. Ronald is such a dummy he never, ever catches on. Neither does his mother. They both back and support Misty no matter how many times she changes her story or fails a polygraph. They are true innocents.

Please! We are talking about Ronald Cummings who clearly does exactly what he wants to do and is proud of it. Even the night Haleigh went missing, he calls home over and over and then asks Tommy to go over to the house. But the minute he arrives home and finds his daughter gone, he does little to ever find out what happened to her. I think OJ did more to find out who killed Nicole than Ronnie did to find out where his daughter went off too. Unless you believe he married Misty to get as "close to the enemy" as possible.

Here is the more probable scenario.

Something happened to Haleigh before Ronald went to work. She may have gotten into the drugs, maybe Oxycontin, that Ron brought home. Maybe Misty wasn't watching Haleigh like a good seventeen-year-old druggie should. Haleigh starts falling asleep, maybe looking a little comatose, but they don't want to take her to the hospital and explain why she has illegal drugs in her system. They think she will "get over it", sleep it off. Ronald goes to work. He calls home to find out what is happening but Misty doesn't want to pick up the phone. Haleigh is gasping for air. She tries to resuscitate her, pushing up and down and up and down on her chest. But Haleigh dies. What is she going to tell Ron? So she just doesn't answer the phone while she tries to figure out what she is going to do. Ronald calls Tommy and Tommy goes to the house and finds a sobbing Misty and a dead child. He calls Ronald back and tells him Haleigh is dead. Ronnie curses and punches a wall and then gets it together enough to tell Tommy he needs to get Haleigh out of there. They work out a scenario that will keep them out of prison for homicide and drugs and then Ronald comes home and tells Misty exactly what to say on the phone.

"You were sleeping."
"You woke up and found the back door open and our daughter gone."
That's all you know, got it? Stick to the story.

Ronald calls 911 immediately, plays the victim and distraught father, Misty tells the exact story she is told to give.

Ronald never looks for Haleigh after he gets home. He doesn't go nuts on Misty who "got his child stole" right out from under her.

Ronald, while willing to go after "whoever took his daughter" and kill them and go to the electric chair, never slaps Misty around to get an answer. He doesn't go knock on doors of people he suspects could have taken and killed his daughter. Instead, he marries the woman who "is responsible" for losing his daughter and does business with all the other possible suspects. He acts like he already knows his daughter is dead from the time he makes the phone call, when getting a hideous tattoo in memory of his daughter, to getting married as though it doesn't matter if Haleigh missing the occasion she supposedly was looking forward to.

The reality is, Ronald probably married Misty because he thought it would legally keep her from testifying against her and he "unmarried" her when his lawyer likely told him that this was not true. When he gets arrested and taken to jail, he doesn't help the police try to con Misty into telling the truth and he warns her that the police are trying to get him to do this. Even in jail, he is sending a message that he is not giving anything up and she better not either.

Though all of this, Teresa Neves, Ron's mom, never has an unkind word to say about Misty who got her granddaughter killed. She is the mother-in-law any murdering woman would like to have.

Ronald Cummings is a criminal with a criminal mind. He is controlling and exhibits purely psychopathic behavior. He may not have loved Haleigh in any deep way that a father should (he is off dealing drugs instead of searching for his missing child and you can see he seems hardly to remember he has a son when he chats on the telephone from jail), but he would likely be really ticked if someone else messed with his kid.

If his drugs were what killed his daughter and Misty was equally responsible, this perfectly explains why the two are so chummy. And Tommy is the third musketeer. Joe Overstreet? The perfect schmuck. Maybe he was promised a gun in exchange for helping move a body. Maybe he was invited over just to be in the house so they could say he took Haleigh. Maybe he wasn't even around.

I hope the truth comes out and come out soon. And when it does, I hope the truth about Ronald comes out as well.

*** For a rousing discussion of my crime scenario and other experts' opinions on the Cummings case, listen to the April 14th recording of the Levi Page Show.