Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Pig Got More Publicity Than Your Murdered Child: The Demise of Localized Media and Its Effect on Criminal Cases

What About that Dead Child in YOUR town?
Have you been in a 7-Eleven recently and noticed who is at the counter buying a newspaper? It's a geezer....a geezer who actually still reads the Metro section and maybe writes in a Letter to the Editor once in a while barking about some issue they believe is detrimental to their community.   The rest of folks, those not getting senior discounts at the movies, get their news from cable television and online....and I am pretty sure they don't get much local news. Sure, some still tune in at 10 or 11 o'clock and get the quick jolt of "if it bleeds, it leads" adrenaline and shake their heads over how badly some are behaving in their area, but, in reality, there is an extreme lack of local in-depth reporting....because national and global horror stories have eclipsed local news.

If I went around the neighborhood and asked folks about local homicides, I would draw a blank look from most of them. "Who? I don't remember that girl." "Oh, yeah, I remember hearing about that murder. Whatever happened? Did anyone get arrested?" But, if I asked them about JonBenet Ramsey or Caylee Anthony or Natalee Holloway or any victim of murder showcased on Nancy Grace in the past few weeks, I might get a blow-by-blow account of the entire police case. In fact, it is not just the citizens who lack interest in local news, the local news media isn't all that interested either. You can call until you are blue in the face trying to get the local newspaper or television station to cover anything in depth. In all my years of dealing with the media (and that includes 3000 appearances on television and radio and many print interviews), the most success I had getting the media to do an in-depth story on a crime was when the local authorities tried to evict my 20-year-old potbelly pig, Gwendolyn, from my home. I got an big interview with The Washington Post complete with photo and all three local television stations came out to do a story on Gwendolyn. I even had the County Executive's office ask me if the then County Exec, Jack Johnson, could come out and do a photo op with my pig (I declined the offer; I told them only one swine was allowed on my property at a time; Johnson is now serving time in prison).

My Pig Got More Publicity Than Your Murdered Child

But, when I went to the media over any local crime, I had no luck. Sure, they called me up when they wanted me to do commentary on an area homicide (gotta get those gory cases into the news at least for the short emotional impact) but, any real reporting on cases never happened. And because the local cases get so little attention, police departments know they have no citizenry oversight, no media is going to be breathing down their neck; the family is pretty much left to fight on their own and that is almost always a losing battle.

We no longer have many local organizations to fight for victims' rights; we have national organizations that manage money more than make a difference. We have a mass of information with websites full of photos of missing and dead children from all over the country but, locally, those children are ignored.

Talking about a case ad nauseum does little for justice because those talking about the case (online or on television) have no effect on local authorities because they don't give a damn what people think outside of their jurisdiction (unless it becomes a racial issue). And as long as people spend more time focused on matters that are hundreds or thousands of miles away from where they live, they give  local authorities carte blanche to handle local matters any way they please.

Lack of oversight by citizenry is one reason we see so many unsolved cases. Hence the reason that I feel I must work with the detectives inside the department improving how cases are handled because, these days, no one from the outside is paying any mind.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

August 21, 2014 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Protocol Police Should Always Follow in Homicide/Missing Person's Cases

Every police department handling a homicide or missing person case and making a public statement or holding a press conference should adhere to what I call RULE NUMBER ONE:

This statement and ONLY this statement should be made:

"At this time, everyone who does not have an ironclad alibi is a person-of-interest. Even though some persons may fall extremely far down on our list of possible suspects, unless we can absolutely prove they could physically have no involvement with the crime (we are not including here the possibility of masterminding a crime or murder-for-hire), they will remain on our persons-of-interest list. Only when we can absolutely prove a person has no involvement will we remove them from the list.

To the public we ask that you consider thoroughly any person you might feel has involvement in the crime and contact us, even if you are not sure that your suspicion or information is valid. We will do due diligence to follow up on the information and work to determine if there is evidence enough to pursue the lead more thoroughly.

Even those persons who do not have an ironclad alibi and are low on our list of suspects, we will interview and investigate so that we can be sure to have as much information as possible to determine if they should be investigated more aggressively or not. If we do not properly investigate all connected, those persons may, at a later date, find themselves unable to prove their innocence as time is a destroyer of evidence and witnesses. To protect the case and all persons-of-interest, our police department will cover all the necessary bases and continue to thoroughly investigate all leads until the perpetrator is identified, arrested and prosecuted."

In other words, the police department should NEVER ignore persons just because they feel they are unlikely to be involved in the crime, they should NEVER trust their gut just to find out later they were wrong, and they should NEVER mislead the public with some charade to put a particular person or persons-of -interest at ease. This statement should be made EVERY time they go public with a case; what they tell persons behind the scenes is another matter. Lying to the public is a lousy idea regardless of the intent because it causes distrust and a "Cry, Wolf" problem no police department should engender.

If EVERY time the police went public they made this statement, then parents of missing children, husbands of missing or murdered wives, and neighbors, friends, and business parters would always expect to be routinely interviewed and investigated and, if the police indeed routinely did this, they would find out that doing so could save a lot of cases from going south.

Finally, police departments should stop making silly statements like, "We will catch you!" because oftentimes this doesn't happen and makes the department look bad. Just say, "We will do our absolute best to catch the perpetrator," because at least that statement, if one lives up to it, can be the absolute truth regardless of the outcome.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

August 20, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

When a Crooked Case Goes Down a Crooked Path....It's Pretty Much Over

I just wrote my last post on the Madeleine McCann case and I have received a barrage of emails and comments pleading with me to keep up my commentary after seven years of the case going south (and with Scotland Yard's intervention, can I say going south with a vengeance?) and some folks are angry with me, calling me a quitter, that I am silencing my voice on the matter instead of fighting on and on and on and on...

I ask you all.....where are your voices on all the other cases of missing and murdered children and adults...all the other cases that have been abandoned by the justice system (Baby Lisa, JonBenet Ramsey, Haleigh Cummings, etc.) or closed by railroading someone that no one cares about, leaving the real killer on the street? I will tell you.....some of the time you finally realized that you have to know when to fold 'em, when like so many other cases, the case you are following is never going to come to a proper conclusion; justice will never be served. And, the rest of the time, you simply are ignorant of the crooked means used to close a believe, if you actually read the one paragraph in the paper written about a particular case, that the conviction of some easy patsy is justified or that the administrative closing of a case with a dead or unprosecutable suspect is proper...that evidence supports the police case. While the population ignores the travesty, I stand by, painfully watching the smoke and mirrors, knowing damned well the real culprit is walking free.

So what is to be done? What am I doing about these outrageous injustices? At a certain point, raising one's voice does little to change the situation. I know, I have been speaking out for two decades against this kind of thing...but mainstream media does not support such talk....and so it is pretty easy to get away with closing a case wrongly without worrying about any backlash. I have fought this and failed...badly.

When a crooked case goes down a crooked path, there is little that can be done to set that particular case straight again. There is only one way to make a real difference in a world where politics, media, and egos can flush a case straight down the toilet....only one really good way to prevent it from turning to shit; making sure it never goes down the crooked path.

Preventing a case from going down a crooked path requires putting all one's efforts into the First 48.  A cold case is usually cold for a reason; someone blew it from the beginning and unless there is an easy DNA match lying about, no cold case team or criminal profiler is going to come in and turn the case around. I have long stopped doing cold case work because it is a massive waste of time. My focus now is training detectives to profile and analyze their cases properly right from the start...on their own or with the help of profilers. If the case is handled correctly right at the beginning of the investigation, politics won't end up being such a factor in closing the case as it can be closed in a reasonable time period with the right suspect and enough evidence to get a conviction. Not every case - because sometimes the evidence just isn't there - but certainly more cases could have a better trajectory if these cases were handled a bit better

I am now fully focusing on profiling training for detectives. This year, a well-seasoned police chief and I will be putting together the training program we feel will make the biggest difference in solving homicide cases. This blog will be dedicated toward the education of detectives, profilers, and future detectives and profilers. The content will be about solving cases, the tools needed for analysis, the specific methods that make or break a case.

We each must choose the path we feel to be the one which will allow us to have the most impact. As of now, I choose to focus on police keep the path from becoming crooked.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

August 19, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Final Post on the Madeleine McCann Case

Dear Blog Readers,

Today I make my final post on the Madeleine McCann case. I feel at this point, I have done what I can and no more effort will make any difference in the outcome of this case. In fact, from what I have seen recently, there is a sad desperation on the part of those who wish to see a positive resolution, turning on anyone who dares to suggest that justice simply will not be forthcoming in this particular case, that sometimes the bad guy wins, and the good guys have to accept that, in this lifetime, the truth may not come out.

I have been recently attacked for suggesting:

1) That the Gaspar statements are not reliable. I cannot get excited about these because we only hear from one woman who wasn't exactly sure what she saw and from her husband who does not agree with her assessment. Sadly, some of those who cry out that we ought to rely on facts in the McCann case are willing to allow one questionable statement about David Payne to become a focal point of what happened to Madeleine, that it is okay to slander David Payne while at the same time standing up for Gonçalo Amaral. I fail to understand this double standard; if there is not proof to denigrate David Payne, then we ought to leave further speculation to the investigation, should one even exist.

2) That Maddie did not meet her demise earlier than May 3rd. I have no problem with theories that suggest Maddie died earlier in the week, but I do not see any evidence to support this. If I can be polite about such speculation, I expect that I should receive the same kindness in return. I, myself as a  profiler, find the crime scene to suggest that Maddie died on the night that the McCanns claim she was abducted. This is my professional opinion which I explain in my book and in my blogs.

3) The Scotland Yard review is a sham. Through all my years as a profiler, I have years of experience of how real investigations are handled. Nothing that I have seen from Scotland Yard suggests that they are looking at any possibility but the abduction theory. I do not believe they are going to arrest or try the McCanns. If others would like to believe that Scotland Yard has spent three years and millions of  pounds  to cover ground that was not necessary to cover in order to take  down the McCanns, bully for them, but it is not anything I have seen in twenty years and I am not going to pretend I am seeing some clever ruse being employed when I do not.

Hence, I wish all those hoping for a positive end that their wishes come true, but as a professional I am not going to go along with a program just to make people comfortable. I have always spoken the truth and I am not going to change that now just to make sell people a pipe dream.

I will sit back now and wait for the outcome of the case. I wish Gonçalo the best and I hope that, in time, the truth about this case will come out so that future missing persons' cases will not suffer because the McCanns and the British government have misled the public in the most outrageous manner I have ever come across in my career.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

August 14, 2014

Cover for 'Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann'

Published: July 27, 2011
By Pat Brown
Rating: 1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star
(5.00 based on 5 reviews)

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Review of Richard D. Hall's "Buried by Mainstream Media: The True Story of Madeleine McCann"

There is a lot of excitement over Hall's new documentary about Madeleine McCann and deservedly so as this is the first film made about the case which actually explores the incredibly peculiar issues surrounding the case that make it such a mystery, issues which haven't anything to do with the actual facts of Maddie's disappearance. Finally, someone has cobbled together a very dramatic (and I mean this in an intellectual sense, not a human interest sense) reconstruction of the events that make this case astounding - the lies, the inconsistencies, the political connections and the overwhelming political support of the McCanns - point after point is driven home with good visuals and explanations that should leave any viewer with a clear understanding that the McCanns and their friends are hardly innocent bystanders and that they had unprecedented help from high places that is absolutely astounding. I thank Mr. Hall for getting this documentary out to the public and commend him for his fine work. Certainly, this documentary, Buried by Mainstream Media: The True Story of Madeleine McCann contains a lot more truth and depth than we can expect from Anthony Summer's book, Looking for Madeleine, coming out in the UK in September.

Having viewed this excellent documentary, where do I stand on its content and the effect it will have on the case?

Sadly, I think this work will be watched in its entirety mostly by those who already question the McCanns. Summer's "approved" book will get the big publicity and mass media will ignore the hell out of Hall's documentary. Yes, folks will do their best to pump it on Facebook and Twitter but compared to large publicity machines of MSM, it will be a drop in the bucket. Having said that, I am still glad this documentary is out in the public domain, but I believe, like my book and others' sites and videos attempting to bring the facts to light, it will be for posterity, not for present day influence.

As to content of the documentary, I really liked the way Mr. Hall brought up inconsistency after inconsistency, lie after lie, bizarre political action after bizarre political action. I think this methodology was strong in truly pointing out why Gonçalo Amaral doubted the McCanns and why there is something not right in the UK and Portugal that allowed the McCanns to abscond and get away with their criminal behavior. I especially loved the third segment which focused on the private detective agencies...a true eye opener.

I would have rather Mr. Hall left out some of the second part content about Payne and the Gaspars because this was not so much about the McCanns' inconsistencies but a confused muddle of Payne's statements and the Gaspar statement which. while interesting. is not proven factual. I would have liked to seen more about the McCanns ignoring the Smith sighting and something about the Scotland Yard involvement. However, the segment on the dogs was particularly strong and anyone watching that should certainly wonder about the McCanns involvement in their daughter's disappearance.

Having watched the documentary, I dd come away with some thoughts unchanged and some modified. Here is where I stand:

1) I still strongly assert the McCanns should be the top suspects in the disappearance of their daughter.
2) I absolutely believe Maddie disappeared on May 3rd and not anytime earlier; the crime scene and what appears to be a cover-up hardly represents any kind of intelligent staging one might expect if there were more time to consider a better plan. I find the last photo to be completely irrelevant and since the crime scene indicates an accident that occurred in the flat, I see no grand conspiracy of pedophilia or involvement by any other adult in Maddie's demise.
3) I believe David Payne may have lied about seeing Maddie (something the McCanns might simply have felt necessary to prove an alibi, that Maddie were alive when they left for the restaurant and "the abduction" occurred whilst they were with others) or why he was at the flat but I do not find any reason to suspect his involvement in the crime.
4) I do not find the Gaspar statement credible at all.
5) I find it most likely Gerry moved the body and moved the body alone and he is the only person who truly knows where Maddie is buried.
6) I believe the Smiths to have seen Gerry, mostly because the McCanns refused for so long to acknowledge that Smithman could be the abductor.
7) I find it likely that Gerry does have some strong political connections that set off the initial support of him and Kate, but I believe the support later on is a matter of politics that has nothing to do with the McCanns. Sometimes, both in the media and in politics, tidal waves of specific actions have more to do with money, ratings, careers, and other issues than being actually connected to the original issue. The same may be true for Scotland Yard.
8) I still believe Scotland Yard will close the case down in the fall with an unprosecutable suspect or allude to one and allow the case to dwindle away. I do not believe the McCanns will ever be arrested or prosecuted. The Summer's book and the final Scotland Yard conclusion will wrap things up along with the civil trial and the case will slowly fade from public view.

Again, if I am wrong about the outcome, I will be happy. If I am right, I am still happy that so many people made an effort to find the truth and keep the facts out there; who knows what effect these efforts will have on future investigations and, maybe one day, years from now, the truth will finally come out.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

August 13, 2014

Cover for 'Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann'

Published: July 27, 2011
By Pat Brown
Rating: 1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star
(5.00 based on 5 reviews)

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