Tuesday, December 1, 2015

If Sherlock Holmes were Real, He would be Rolling Over in his Grave

I admit it; I am pretty late getting around to watching the British Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberpatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson. I tend to avoid crime drama because as a criminal profiler,  I don't need more crime filling up my life, and, as a criminal profiler, I tend to be overly critical of the writing of crime shows, finding most of them to be pretty bad. However, my son loves this show and he encouraged me to watch it. Usually, we agree on the quality of a show. This time, we couldn't be further apart. Along with the Dr. Who frenetic pace of this show, I do not like the characterization of either Holmes or Watson, although I must admit some of the wit is amusing. I might forgive these faults if only the plots weren't so abysmal. What really blows me away, though, is that almost everyone who watches this show thinks the plots are brilliant...and I have no clue why because they are beyond stupid. I know, it is just television, but, really? Couldn't we at least have some logic involved? The plots of the old Sherlock Holmes books, movies, and series may not have been perfect, but they weren't as assinine as the plots in this  series are.

I could only make it through the first two episodes, so I will do a quick critique of these. Forgive me if I cannot exactly remember what happened; I am not going to suffer through watching them over to be sure I have it right. I just want to give a short course in how moronic the crimes and criminals are in this show.

A Study in Pink

A serial killer roams the streets of London and somehow gets people to commit suicide by taking a poisonous pill. The police cannot figure out how these "suicides" could be related and how they could be pulled off.  I dunno, how about holding a gun to their head and telling them to swallow a pill? That  is not exactly rocket science.

But, oh, no, it is OH so much more complicated.

Someone is paying a psychopath big bucks each time he kills someone during a game of "Who Has the Real Poison Pill?" First Sherlock cannot seem to figure out that a taxi driver is the serial killer in spite of the fact four people go missing of the street and he surmises it must be someone who can slide around the city unnoticed. But, then, Sherlock deciphers a clue left by a brilliant dying victim who breaks off all her fingernails to leave a clue in the wood floor - "Rache." While those silly police think it means "revenge" in German, Sherlock figures out it means "Rachel," the name of her stillborn daughter of a decade and a half ago. Because it makes no sense that she would scratch her daughter's name in the floor during the throes of death, Sherlock deduces it is a email password and she planted her phone on the killer so he could be traced by GPS. Sherlock actually says, "Clever girl!"

I want to kill myself with some poison about now. What? The woman is dying and she finds some ridiculously convoluted way to have the police track her killer? And why is that phone WITH the killer? Why doesn't he ditch it?

Anyhoo, the serial killer comes right to Sherlock's doorstep and lures him by telling him the only way he will find out how he killed these people is to play the same game. Ah, Sherlock is a blazing idiot so he gets into the psycho's cab. The cabbie takes him to a building and the two sit opposite each other with a table in between and the cabbie put a bottle with one capsule in front of Sherlock and another in front of himself and then says, "We will take them at the same time! You have to figure out which one the death pill is." Really? Why is the serial killer doing this? Because he is close to dying from an aneurism and he wants to leave his two kids a bunch of money. The man who hired him to kill will pay him a big bunch of money each time he wins the game when the victim picks the wrong pill, leaving the serial killer alive.

Now, I want to stab myself in the eyes. Okay, first of all, the serial killer is a psycho so he doesn't give a crap about his kids. Secondly, he is supposedly a brilliant psycho yet he drives a cab for a living. Third, he is a psycho...get that? A psycho. So why would this psycho even waste his time with this game? Just put a gun to the victim's head and make them swallow the capsule. Then, he can just claim he won since his stupid benefactor doesn't seem to have any method of overseeing that this game is played honorably. But, okay, let's say there are really two capsules, one with and one without poison. The victim picks the one with poison, so the cabbie goes ahead and swallows the other at the same time. Gee, that was a fair game. Suppose the victim picks the good capsule; hahaha ..... the psycho will make him play two out of three, wouldn't you think?

Oh, yeah, I forgot. The psycho cabbie DOES pull a gun on Holmes and threatens him to take to play te game, but Holmes tells him to shoot...because....woo hoo....Sherlock is so brilliant he can recognize a fake gun! None of the other victims did, though. My question is this, though. Why wouldn't the psycho have a real gun? What? He didn't want to commit a crime by buying a gun off the street? ::rolls eyes::

Anyway, Holmes is about to swallow a capsule because supposedly his brilliance would allow him to deduce which one was the safe one which is blatantly bullshit because there really isn't a good way to figure that out (brilliant behavior analysis and "tells" and whatever...yeah, no). But, just as Sherlock is about to swallow the capsule, Watson shoots the cabbie dead and as the cabbie is dying, Sherlock cries out, "Was I right? Was I right?" (or something like that). Dude, take the capsule to a lab. ::sigh::

The Blind Banker

Okay, so I watched the second episode; maybe it would get better. It was called, The Blind Banker and supposedly critics thought it wasn't as grand as the first episode. Oh, that does not bode well.

So, this time, a Chinese smuggling ring is upset that a couple of their smugglers (well-off Brits) stole a 9 million dollar hairpin from them. Supposedly, according to Holmes, while these guys were picking up an art item to smuggle from China into the UK, one of them just lifts this pin from the smugglers not realizing its value (the guy who took it gave it to his girlfriend to wear in her hair). Yeah, the criminal gang just left a nine million dollar hairpin lying around on a table for someone to grab. Then, when they realize one of these fellows took it, they decide to send an acrobat to climb up the outside of high security buildings to leave a message in code in an obsure place, in an ancient Chinese numeral system that has to be decoded by the guys using a book; the message is simply a threat. Chinese dudes, how about just sending an email? Or making a phone call? Well, anyway, even though they sent this bizarre threat, they then went and killed the men. Yep, simply killed them because they didn't give the pin back. If you kill them, how will you get an answer? Well, of course, they must have been tortured first......nope, you guessed wrong. The men were just offed in a flash.

Oh, yeah, the way this gang wanted to find the pin? They did weird things to interest Holmes, so HE would find the pin for them! And, they almost killed Watson because they mistook him for Holmes! That's right! They couldn't seem to locate a photo of this most famous detective, so they screwed up!

I have finished stabbing my eyes out. Now I am as blind as that banker who wasn't blind...must have missed the reference.

The incredible retardedness of these plots is unforgiveable in my opinion. I have no idea why everyone thinks they are brilliant and clever. The original Sherlock Holmes books had some missteps and holes, but not so large you could drive a fleet of trucks through.

I dunno. I just don't get it.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

December 1, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

My Appearance on CNN: What it Means and What it Doesn't

My appearance on CNN's New Day on early Sunday morning, November 29, has gotten a lot of publicity, especially from those on the political right, crowing that I stuck it to CNN and their "leftist agenda." (I believe if the same thing happened on FOX - which it well could - then the political left would be cheering what happened). I even made "video of the day" on BillOReilly.com with the title, "Crime Expert Hammers CNN....on CNN." Newsbusters ran a very thorough piece titled, "Crime Expert Rips CNN on Air for Dishonering Agreement not to Discuss Colorado Shooter." Another blog' title was "Furious guest tears into CNN, scolding them on how they tricked her to get on air - before they cut her off."

While I appreciate the blog writers that have complimented me for my principled stand on no notoriety for mass murderers and my willingness to hold my ground on CNN when the interview ended up going south and I am happy that what I said about the media and mass murder has gotten a wider audience, I am saddened by the level of vitriol that has been spewed out in the wake of my interview and how few people actually understand what happened on my CNN segment and what the outcome of this debacle may well be.

First of all, I was NOT tricked, NOR was there any "bait and switch" going on. CNN did not have me come on with the intent of doing anything underhanded. I did not accuse them of lying and getting me on under false pretenses. They simply wanted me to come on and discuss the mass murderer, his motives and the ongoing investigation into his case. They thought if they didn't show a photo of the killer or mention his name during my segment, they had done their part in what I asked. They were careless, not malicious. I am not going to sue them for slander, as some have suggested, for making a mistake; we need to focus on what is really important which is improving media's methods of reporting on mass murder.

What happened on CNN is pretty much standard in the industry; we have quite a bit of hurried and shoddy reporting on air and in print media partly because of the desire to entertain rather than inform the public. I have long refused to do print interviews, even for major newspapers, because the reporters are poorly educated and trained, have a deadline to make which gives them far too little time to do any proper research, and they often misquote me and quote me out of context, again, not because they are malicious or wishing to misrepresent me, but because they are in a hurry and are careless. Likewise, the well-meaning commentary on my CNN appearance is also out-of-context, not entirely accurate, and not quite what I wish was learned from my interview.

Much of reporting these days is a game of telephone; one media outlet publishes or airs something and other media organizations then repeat what they said without regard to the truthfullness of the original claim. TV reporters run about trying to be the first to catch a good sound bite or any sound bite as time to air the story nears. Calls are put out to experts and they are rushed down to the studio or quickly put on Skype; many times, preinterviews are not done and the network simply relies on the expert to say something interesting enough on air; they are not really being concerned that the content is all that fabulous -they need to fill time in this 24/7 news world. If they can fill time with more "vibrant" commentators and guests, all the better; unfortunately, quality of material is not as important as keeping the audience entertained.

Saturday night, a CNN booker contacted me - someone I have worked with before and who is very nice; she asked me to come on the show in the morning. I told her my stance on mass murderer commentary - explained clearly that I would not go on any show that used the name of the killer during my segment or showed his photo; I also would not discuss his story. I told her I will not talk about individual mass murderers as this gives them the infamy they seek; I told her I would only talk about mass murder, in general, and the role of media in the increase of mass murder in particular. She  told be that would be fine and booked my car. I was quite surprised because when I have given that statement to the networks over the last three years, the answer has always been, "Thanks, Pat! We will call you another time!" Because I was a bit suspicious about being booked under my requirements, I sent a second email asking if she was sure that the name of the killer would not be on my segment nor any photo of him. She wrote back that this would not happen. I spent the night waiting to hear that I had been cancelled because I thought someone would finally realize that I was actually going to talk about the media's role in the increase in mass murder.

The phone never rang. The car showed up. I was driven to the studio and seated and miked. At this point I was really happy that I finally had a network that was willing to broach the subject of media responsibility; I thought that my three years of taking a stand and losing a good portion of my on air work would pay off, that some good was finally going to come of it. I wasn't the only one out in the world taking this stand but I hoped that doing so as a professional in the crime field and as a media commentator would have some impact in the fight to stop givng notoriety to mass murderers and inspiring future mass murderers.

My interview came right after a segment that showed the killer's photo, used his name, and told his story. That made me a bit uncomfortable but I figured I hadn't actually said I should be in a segment totally removed from the story; my fault. Then, when the host came to me, she did not start by asking me about media reporting of mass murder but went straight to an interview of a neighbor and then came to me to ask specifically about the killer's behaviors. True, during that taped interview and her questions to me the killer's name was not used, but that clearly skirted the entire issue of not giving the killer publicity; excluding his name but talking about someone already named is a rather childish version of na-na-na-na we didn't use his name; technically, CNN was abiding by my request, but clearly this was only in a technical sense. I pointed out to the host that I had agreed to come on only if no name, no photo, and no conversation about an individual killer transpired. I refused to engage in further discussion of the killer, and managed to make my points about the media and its handling of mass murder, that the media is unquestionably responsible for contributing to the increase in mass murder.

I was thanked for my time and I thanked the host in return for having me on. CNN followed up by trying to do damage control and claimed they had not reneged on their agreement with me and they read from my email to CNN about not using the name of the killer or showing his photo. CNN claimed they had honored our agreement. Of course, this was not true. The killer's name was on screen under my face for nearly a full minute and our agreement to not discuss the individual killer was violated.

However, I was NOT "furious" as the one blogger claimed. Frustrated and saddened, yes, but not enraged at CNN for "tricking" me. Because this is not what happened. What happened was the carelessness I have just written of, carelessness that is rampant in ALL the world of media, left-wing AND right-wing media, big and small. The booker didn't totally take in what I was saying and didn't really hear what I wasn't willing to talk about and she didn't pass on clearly what we had agreed upon because it didn't register with her WHAT we had agreed upon. The host was blindsided, by her own team, because she most likely was only told not to use the killer's name during the interview. She likely was stunned when I objected to the conversation and horrified when I started taking about media responsibility (that is a big no-no). She got flustered and didn't know how to handle it; she should have simply had a mature conversation with me on the topic and left it at that, but she likely knew it was a topic that was not supposed to be discussed and so she try to shut me down. At that point, CNN thought I made them look bad and tried to save their image. Unfortunately, in the hurry, again, they made a statment that was a falsehood, probably not even realizing that the name of the killer had been on the screen for a good portion of my interview.

CNN messed up. This is true. But, they didn't intend to abuse me or lie. They just were hurried and careless, like all the media is a good portion of the time. I think the same thing could have happened over at FOX or MSNBC; in fact, it HAS happened in one form or another. Mistakes were made; we went on. I don't know if I have burnt my bridge with CNN, but I hope not; I hope they realize that I was not at fault and take what happened in stride, as I have. While I have a lot of issues with the way media is handled these days, it doesn't mean I don't like many of the people I work with in the media. I, quite frankly, have been amazed that I have had such a long career on air considering I never held back from telling things as I have seen them.

In the wake of this CNN debacle, most of the publicity about the interview and most of the comments about it have to do with CNN as a news channel and not about the stand I have taken about not giving notariety to mass murders or about the need for media to change how it handles the reporting of mass murder. This is unfortunate. A fine opportunity for discussion about the topic was not only wasted on air but out in society.

My phone is not ringing of the hook from major media outlets scrambling for further discussion on media responsibilty. No one, from the right or left, seems to want to talk further on the matter. I hope something changes and I suddenly get a number of media requests to address the topic, but I am not holding my breath.

I believe one of the biggest problems we have in American today is the inability to have a civil and intelligent conversation without getting so easily bent of shape over differing views. We cannot solve our problems if we don't focus on the facts and instead scream and hurl insults at each other. We need to increase decorum and make it our duty to calmly seek answers. If we don't learn to do this, we are no better than a bunch of children squabbling on the playground and this is no way for grown people, American citizens to behave.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

November 30, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Davey Blackburn and the Complicated Arena of Human Behavior

This morning three men were arrested in the rape and murder of Amanda Blackburn, the wife of Pastor Davey Blackburn. Many (and this would probably be a very high portion of people who have been speculating on the Internet) are quite surprised that Amanda Blackburn's husband actually did not have a hand in her murder because they found his behavior and statements following (and prior to) her death to be extraordinarily bizarre for a normal human being and indicative of guilt, that he either personally killed his wife or he hired someone to do it. Others, especially Christians and those from the pastor's church are feeling vindicated and are saying that those who thought the pastor guilty of the horrendous crime of murdering his wife had rushed to judgment and didn't understand a man of faith's reaction to a terrible event.

I think this case is quite fascinating and I plan to use it in future teaching of law enforcement about statement analysis and how it should be used as a tool within investigation, how to understand the results within the context of the totality of evidence. Also, how to determine if what the person-of-interest does or says is truly an indicator of guilt or is out of character or is representative of other issues - like a personality disorder or culture or subculture. Human beings are complicated and analyzing what they say and do is complicated as well.

There are some rules which should be followed when approaching the matter:

Physical or extremely convincing circumstantial evidence should ALWAYS back up behavior and verbal evidence before convicting a person of a crime. Two cases come to mind in which men were convicted based on almost entirely behavioral and verbal evidence, cases in which the majority of the public are pretty sure the right person was convicted but, in reality, we could be looking at seemingly guilty behaviors but not necessarily guilty men. One case is Drew Peterson who recently lost an appeal in his conviction of the murder of his estranged wife, Kathleen Savio, who was found dead in her bathtub. There was no physical evidence connecting Peterson to her death, not even proof that he was in the vicinity of her home on the night she died. Yet, he was convicted on hearsay testimony, his very psychopathic behavior, the fact his present wife went missing and circumstantial evidence, and the fact he is the most likely person to want Savio dead. In reality, someone else could have killed Savio and Peterson been perfectly fine with that (oh, lucky me!); someone could have saved him the trouble. I personally think he is guilty of the crime as his behaviors and statements seem to support, but I am not sure if I were on the jury I would have handed down a guilty verdict just because he is a psychopath and he SHOULD be the guy who did it.

The other case is that of Michael Skakel who recently did get an appeal in his conviction of the murder of Martha Moxley. I am glad he got his appeal because this was a travesty of a case in which a man got convicted on absolutely no physical evidence and very weak circumstantial evidence. In fact, Michael Skakel got convicted solely on a couple of statements he made as a teen decades ago and because the jury didn't like him. A good analysis of the crime actually points AWAY from Michael Skakel and there were far better suspects than him (which the police were much more interested in at the time), but Skakel got convicted because the jury found him creepy.

Which brings me back to Davey Blackburn. "Creepy" was the Number One adjective given by almost all following this case. People were creeped out by his sex sermons, creeped out by his demeanor, creeped out by his seemingly upbeat acceptance of his wife's brutal demise, creeped out by his talk of "good things" coming from her murder...I could go on and on. Regardless of what some Christians and those in his church feel about Pastor Blackburn, that he somehow represents a man of strong faith, I will say as a criminal profiler who has spent many years in Christian churches and known a number of pastors, Davey Blackburn's behaviors and statements have all the hallmarks of a narcissitic personality disorder. Lay people speculating on the case were not off in left field to feel something was odd about his demeanor, that his reactions to the murder were not normal for the average person. But, his behaviors actually were not totally inconsistant with a narcissistic personality disordered individual who may have a problematic marriage who has difficultly connecting with others or feeling empathy for them, and who has chosen a vocation in which a narcissistic personality disorder can be an asset. His response to his wife's murder may well have been a mix of a crisis of faith (his version of faith in which he has set himself up to be a favored son of God), a relief as an answer to dealing with a difficult marriage, and a business opportunity which he can capitalize on.

Which brings me to this point: what you are before a crime occurs is who you are after a crime occurs. We are actually NEVER "out of character" and this is what the detectives need to determine when they analyze a crime. Is the man who kills his wife when he finds out she is having an affair committing a "crime of passion" or has he always had a borderline personality disorder and her betrayal was too much for his ego to stand? He didn't go from being an emotionally healthy indivdidual to a killer overnight; a person without a personality disorder will be upset about infidelity but not kill over it. And what happens when a psychopath's wife is murdered by someone else? Since a psychopath has no empathy, he might be mad someone took his toy away, but he might be ecstatic that he got a bunch of money from the life insurance policy he forced his wife to get and he may be out dating other women the following weekend. He might seem totally guilty of killing his wife (and he might actually have thought about it, maybe even planned it for the following month!) but have nothing to do with her death. Yet, red flags will go up for the investigators because of his behaviors and statements. This is the kind of stuff they have to deal with. Sometimes, though, a psychopath or narcissist will have odd behaviors and statements but in the interview actually so no signs of deception, so in spite of his oddness, the detectives will be following other leads.

This may well have been true in the case of Pastor Blackburn. He may have raised the detectives' hinky meter but came across truthful in his actual interviews and the evidence pointed away from him. Or they may have been keeping an eye on him while pursuing other leads.

On the other hand, I worked a case where the detectives did a great interview of a man who "found the bodies" but because they jumped to a conclusion that the crime was a gang killing, they ignored the very odd statements the man made during the interview. Now, mind you, he was a psychopath and a drug dealer and because of this, they just tossed off whatever he said as, well, you know, guys like this say weird things, but, in reality, he was confessing to the crime in his twisted statements, deception was rampant, and the physical evidence at the crime scene indicated he was lying and supported his role in the murders. Statement analysis was very useful in pointing to his guilt, but the detectives failed to do any analysis of his words and simply interviewed him as a witness and filed the report.

Good investigation keeps analysis in proper perspective and continues to view the totality of the evidence in making investigative choices.

For a last example of how one must take all the evidence into account and rule things out or in, the door to the house was unlocked. Was Pastor Blackburn responsible for leaving the door unlocked? If not, then this is not suspicious. But, if he did, the detectives have to determine if this was regular behavior (maybe both he and Amanda were not big on locking doors) or if this was a one-time behavior and if it was, why? Was he distracted and accidentally left it unlocked? Is he feeling horribly guilty over that Or, if he is a narcissist, not feeling any guilt at all? Or, did he leave it open on purpose so someone could enter and kill his wife? The police have to consider this. They have to make sure he did not know any of the men involved. He could have met them through the gym or throuugh evangelizing. Who knows? The detectives have to rule out all possibilities. And, if they have ruled out these possibilities, then we have a man whose statement analysis threw up a dozen red flags and suggested possible guilt but, in fact, what we really were dealing with was a man with a likely narcissistic personality disorder whose mission of church building and love of the spotlight made him appear guilty of a crime he did not commit.

To sum up, statement analysis and behavioral analysis is an excellent tool for investigation but it must be used in conjunction with solid crime scene analysis and physical and cicumstantial evidence. All of these tools together make for a successful investigation, a proper arrest, and a solid prosecution. True justice lies in getting all the pieces of the puzzle to fit in place without forcing them, to solve the crime accurately, not just close it for the sake of putting it to rest.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Why the McCanns Love Conspiracy Theorists

What is Even the Point of Photoshopping in Sunglasses?
Yesterday, I wrote about how unsolved cases can sometimes garner such great interest that the public may overanalyze every piece of information and come up with a more and more complicated theory about what happened and why the crime has not been solved. Someone who read the post then wrote me and said if the very in-depth theories about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann had no validity - that "The Last Photo" is photoshopped and wasn't take on the day claimed, that Maddie died way before May 3, that the entire evening of May 3 including the negligant behavior was just staged to make a kidnapping scenario possible, that Maddie never was in the creche during the week leading up until she vanished, that there is something far more sinister involved in the disappeance of Madeleine than an accidental death and panicked cover-up - then the McCanns would have offered more proof of Maddie being alive until May 3 in order to quell these damning theories.

But, in reality, these theories do nothing but benefit the McCanns' assertions that Internet crazies and trolls are making ridiculous claims; it is the far more likely scenario, the simple one of negligence and a desperate cover-up that the McCanns would like to go away. This is why they want Amaral's book off the market, why they want my book off the market - the truth is what they fear being proven, not a myriad of farout theories promoted by people with no power to influence law enforcement. The more fantastical the theories, the easier it is to discredit those who create them.

In fact, the McCanns love convoluted scenarios so much, they hired a bunch of crooked private investigators to create all kinds of bizarre kidnapping scenarios because they know the public loves to latch on to fascinating puzzles and that keeps the money coming in. Can you imagine how few donations they would have received if their PIs only looked for a local pedophile who would have killed Maddie within hours of abducting her? Not many would have supported that kind of search....it is just sad and boring and even if it brings closure to the parents and saves other children's lives, there is just nothing very inspiring about searching for a dead child.

The McCanns also have to be happy about the complicated scenarios that Scotland Yard has managed to develop because, again, it takes the focus off of a simple crime that points to them being involved.

If only all the focus of everyone - the public, the police, and professionals - simply looked back at May 3rd, 2007 and analyzed what went wrong that evening, how the McCanns likely dealt with it, and what they  could have done to destroy the evidence of their involvement and, most importantly, focused on where her body might be  - the one piece of evidence that could lead to an actual conviction - maybe then, this case would have a chance of being solved and justice done.

I don't believe there is a snowball's chance in hell of this happening at this point, but it is a shame that  more effort isn't put into just that.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

November 6, 2015

Cover for 'Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann'

By Pat Brown

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

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

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sandy Hook, Madeleine McCann, "Quantico" and the Difference between Fiction and Reality

Everyone is a Suspect in this Show
I have been watching "Quantico", the new series starring Indian actress Priyanka Chopra...well, up until last week when I couldn't take it any more. It is just plain dreadful in every way and the convoluted plot about a terrorist hidden within an FBI class of new agents make me want to poke my eyes out. Now, I understand, that for a fictional story to be interesting, there have to be some surprises and plot twists and turns but when it gets to the point of incredibly far-fetched, where each and every person (recruits and teachers) has a huge secret, when everything that happens is not what it seems, when the conspiracty gets so big and complicated it goes off the rails, that is when I, quite frankly, find the whole thing so silly I just have to give up paying attention.

And this happens in real life as well. Someone just emailed me and asked me to take a look at the many videos and blogs about what "really happened" at Sandy Hook, a horrible mass murder in the United States in which a young psychopath murdered his mother and then went into an elementary school and mowed down twenty little children and six teachers before taking his own life. But, there is a growing number of people who are investing a lot of time trying to prove that what happened at Sandy Hook was a government operation to influence gun control, an staged event so horrifying to the American public that it would cause the citizens to finally accept a law that will remove guns from the hands of lawabiding citizens once and for all.

If you start watching the videos on Youtube and reading all the analysis by those who think Sandy Hook was not a real mass murder, some of the stuff is pretty fascinating and convincing..if you take each  piece of "evidence" alone and don't look at the whole picture. You start to think, "Wow, maybe they are right! Maybe there is way more to this story than a disaffected youth committing a random, horrific act. Maybe there IS a big secret behind all of this, an unusual but possible scenario that could be the 'truth' behind what happened."

Defense attorneys use this exact same method of cherry-picking pieces of "evidence" and stringing them together to create a story of "what may have happened";  you start thinking, "Hmm....maybe there IS something that the prosecution is hiding from us...maybe the defendent is being railroaded....maybe this is why there are some pieces  of "evidence" which don't make sense, which the prosecution is misleading us about...maybe the defendent is innocent." This is exactly what the attorneys for Casey Anthony and O.J. Simpson did and it worked. Even though the evidence was overwhelming and painted a pretty complete picture of what actually happened and the motive was quite clear when all the evidence was pulled together, the attorneys found this piece of "evidence" and that piece of "evidence" which they concocted a story about, sowed seeds of doubt in an untrained jury's mind, and that was all that was needed to make them believe something else might have happened indeed, a shadow of doubt then clouded their judgment.

Same with Sandy Hook. With hours and hours of searching and analyzing, people have come up with "really interesting stuff" that they have compiled into a huge plot fulled of twists and turns and amazing scenarios. The narrative is that the US government actually staged a fake mass murder, that no children actually died, that those who supposedly died are actually alive and well, that every one of the parents and children and witnesses seen on television are hired actors and actresses. There are videos showing the parents smiling and laughing right after the deaths of their children, the children who died are seen again in more recent photos and videos, the crime scene does not look proper, there are many inconsistenies in police and media statements, and on and on.

It IS all quite fascinating and captivating, but there are very tell-tale signs which help us understand that the theory of a staged government op is something conjured up in overactive imaginations - much like the ones conjured up by defense attorneys to confuse the jurors - and not a proper analysis of the case. We see the same thing happening in the Madeleine McCann case ( although, in that case, I do find there is no evidence of abduction and the parents are involved in Maddie's disappearance); a group of well-meaning people have overanalyzed the case to the point of an ever more deep and wide conspiracy of actors and actions...that does not actually represent what likely happened.

In real life, crimes are rarely that clever or complicated because they a) don't have to be, and b) the criminals aren't all that smart, and c) they don't usually have that much time to waste, and d) complicated stuff actually leads more often to getting caught because there are more parts of the crime to screw up and more people involved which  means more people who have to stay quiet.

Quantico is fiction because if that many young recruits have a secret, this means the FBI has no vetting process. This means a whole bunch of people have to be incredibly clever to cover up their secrets and get into the FBI and then continue covering up their secrets and participate in some very complex crimes. The complexity of the crimes requires a major mastermind, totally competent players, all the evidence being difficult to analyze, and all the dominos to fall exactly at the right time with none going askew. That this can hold water for an entire season requires us to ignore major plot holes and suspend our disbelief week after week after week. Even fiction has a hard time making such massive conspiratorial plots work; in real life such plots are pretty much nonexistant simply because they don't work or make sense.

The theory that Sandy Hook is a government operation requires that an entire fake school be constructed, that actors and actresses of all ages be hired to play the parts of future dead people and never be seen alive again, never talk...what? The fake crime scene must be kept hidden from all local law enforcement and the press, forever. None of this is plausible and what is more telling, none of this makes sense. The US has enough real mass murders with guns to do the job of showing citizens the dangers of gun availability that such a staged government op is totally unnecessary. Furthermore, if the US government thought it was this important to make a point about gun ownership, they could simply hire people (yes, that is another theory) to go in and kill a bunch of kids and teachers for the good of the country.

Three of the biggest flags that a theory about a crime is extremely unlikely is that the theory requires a mountain of questionable evidence, too many players involved who need to keep quiet, and a motive that is a huge deep, dark secret.

In the Madeleine McCann case, the evidence points to an overdose of the young child that led to her death in the apartment on the evening of May 3, 2007, panic by the parents, and the removal and disposal of her body, likely by the father of the victim. The parents statements are conflicting, the dogs hit on cadaver and blood in the apartment and rental car, and there is zero evidence of a stranger entering the apartment. There is a possibility that one or two of the friends know what happened and have remained quiet. That's it.

But, over time, the case has theories that grow more and more convoluted. More and more people are involved in some dastardly crime, the child was dead days before it was reported requiring forged daycare documents, photos being photoshopped, a whole gaggle of people carrying around a fake Madeleine and staging a complicated crime, yet staging the crime so badly that they become suspects! I long ago stopped looking at the massive pile of "evidence" that supposedly supports such a complicated and convoluted crime theory of what happened to Madeleine McCann.

In reality, either criminals plan a crime that is as easy as possible to get away with or people become criminals because they commit a crime due to carelessness and then desperately try to cover it up. Sometimes luck, the weather, other people screw up enough of the crime scene to make "evidence" that isn't really part of the original crime or confuses the crime scene. This is the stuff that causes police detectives to follow wrong leads and ignore the right suspects, this is what allows defense attorneys to create an alternative scenario to win over the jury and free their client, and this is what inspires people to create conspiracy theories and complicated plots about crimes that then grow bigger and bigger and bigger to the point of ludicrosy.

The FBI instructor in "Quantico" stated, "Evidence can lie." No, evidence doesn't lie, but evidence and stuff that looks to some like evidence can be misunderstood and this is what turns a simple real life crime into a tale of fiction that any network executive would love to put on screen.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

November 5, 2016

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What Scaling Down the Scotland Yard Madeleine McCann Investigation Means


Although I have quit running commentary on this case because I have always considered the Scotland Yard investigation to be a sham and any true closure of the Madeleine McCann case to be a ship long sailed, I would like to give my thoughts on what the  "scaling down" of the investigation actually means:

The British investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been scaled down, from 29 officers to four as her parents say they have not given up hope of seeing their daughter again.

Scotland Yard insisted the probe continued but with a "smaller team", adding "Officers investigating her disappearance have completed the huge task of bringing together and investigating the massive amount of information held by colleagues in Portugal, the United Kingdom investigation and the private investigators working on behalf of the McCann family."

Some believe that this is good news, that Nicola Wall and Company have stopped running down all the leads in existence and now are focusing on the McCanns as the last suspects standing. As I have stated before, it is not a proper investigative method to eliminate everyone but the main suspects as it serves no purpose in forwarding the investigation and actually gives ammunition for the defense of the main suspects if the case ever got to court. The only reason to investigate half of the known world is because you haven't got a real clue as to who the culprits are or you are doing everything to keep busy and avoid focusing on them.

So, what I believe has been going on for the last number of years is fulfilling the remit, to investigate all leads with the specific requirement that the McCanns be considered cleared and off limits to further investigation. Why Scotland Yard has been unable to "solve" the crime so far either means the investigators accepted the abduction theory and simply have not been able to come up with a credible suspect or the known darn well no abduction occurred but haven't come up with a suspect they feel is convincing enough to foist on the public. Perhaps, they were told to simply make the investigation appear thorough and allow it to dwindle away with an eventual "We believe we know what happened and who did it but we haven't been able to get enough concrete evidence to take the person to court. Since he is (fill in the blank with "dead" or "already incarcerated for life") ________, we are administrately closing the investigation." I believe the heads of the investigation took on the task of the latter while detectives under them may well have been dutifully invested in the former.

Now, at this point in time, the public who is unhappy with the increasing cost of the investigation, can give a collective sigh that the investigation is being scaled down, be happy that Scotland Yard put out its full efforts to find the poor child, but satisfied that the public's money will not be required in such large quantities anymore, that just enough will be spent to keep an eye on possible new leads or confessions or sightings. The public has a short attention span and now that the big investigation is pretty much over and done with, we can all move on. Game over. The final statement can come later when pretty much the whole mess has faded away.

My opinion remains the same. This is a whitewash; always as been. The Scotland Yard investigation in no way represents the way a police department handles a true above-board investigation but has had all the hallmarks of a staged play. I have seen such charades before - not to this level - and the results are always the same; the truth stays hidden and life goes on.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

October 28,2015

Cover for 'Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann'

By Pat Brown
Rating: 1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star
Published: July 27, 2011

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

Friday, October 2, 2015

Dear Media: When Will You Stop Encouraging Mass Murder?

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Dear Media,

Three years ago I took a stance against giving mass murderers fame by refusing to appear on any television or radio show that used the name or showed the face of any individual mass murderer. I have refused to talk about any individual mass murderer, to profile him, to give him any kind of notoriety because this is exactly why mass murderers commit their crimes. For three years, I have told each and every television and radio producer that I will not come on their show and talk about the mass murderer; I would only come on and talk about how we in the media must become responsible citizens and stop playing a major role in the increase in mass murder by giving these psychopaths the infamy they seek.

Today, a sheriff and a marine and a guest on one television news show came out and said what I have been saying for far too long; that the name of the mass murderer should not be spoken and that we should be done with giving glory to these cockroaches. Today was the first glimmer of hope I have had that maybe, just maybe, the public and the media are starting to understand that the media is encouraging mass murder, inspiring the next mass murderer to commit a heinous crime, and the media pushing sensationalistic news about the killer is why innocent people are getting murdered.

When the media gives 24/7 attention to the mass murderer, they have blood on their hands, the blood of all those dead victims the mass murderer exterminated just to get on national television. When the media shows the face of the killer, gives his name over and over, discusses his supposed motive, and dwells on every detail of his life, we in the media are aiding and abetting mass murderers in their quest for fame.

Please, members of the media, let's end the fascination with mass murderers. Let's lower the numbers of mass murders and the number of victims by ending the attention we give these evil beings who are mowing down innocents just because we in the media want to get high ratings for drawing in the viewers with our unending discussion of these psychopathic killers.

Please, I beg you all in the media, please stop encouraging mass murder, please.

BTW, not ONE American national television show has ever allowed me on to discuss the media's role in the increase in mass murder; not ONE of all the shows that have called me over the last three years to ask me to come on and and profile the mass murderer has been brave enough to let me speak out. To all my friends in the media, to all the producers and hosts I have worked with, please be the one to change this!

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

October 2, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What Part Of "She's a Psychopath" Aren't You Getting?

I have been watching Mexican telenovelas (soap operas that last one season) so I can improve my Spanish. The newest one I have been viewing on a daily basis is "Rubi." The lead character, Rubi, is a beautiful young woman from the barrio (a poor area) who wants to escape poverty and be someone important in the world. She is sexy and very attractive and she uses her looks and wiles to find a man to save her from her life of economic struggles. She lives with her mother and her sister in a poor but friendly neighborhood, sharing a bedroom with the sister who works to put her through college. She is clearly a social climber and men fall easily for her. One could forgive her desire for wealth if only she weren't a complete psychopath....which a good number of people in the show seem not to realize. If this were real life, this would be no different....it is amazing how many people...especially family...do not realize when a psycho is in their midst, in spite of the many times the individual exhibits each and every psychopathic trait. Let's take a look at Rubi and see how many time we can put a checkmark next to the traits of a psychopath as listed by psychologist Robert Hare.

•  glib and superficial charm
Rubi is always smiling and flattering, clearly not being at all genuine.
•  grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
Rubi not only believes she deserves more than the life of a low income Mexican, she wants to be filthy rich.

•  need for stimulation
Boy, does Rubi get bored! The day after her mother's funeral, she throws a party for 200 people in spite of the fact her husband says that the timing is totally inappropriate.
•  pathological lying
Rubi lies to pretty much everyone a good portion of the time in order to get what she wants.
•  cunning and manipulativeness
Rubi is always scheming. She pretended to be the best friend of a rich girl and then set up situations where she could come onto and steal her friend's fiancé. 
•  lack of remorse or guilt
Rubi slipped an expensive necklace into her sister's fiancé's shopping bag and got him arrested and imprisoned for five years. Even though she confessed to her mother (in a moment of spite) and her mother collapsed and died as a result, and even though her sister was pregnant, she refused to admit to her evildoing and get the man out of prison. In fact, she paid a lawyer to screw up the case, so he would be convicted. Ruby never showed a moment's remorse. 
•  shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
When Rubi ruined two families (by stealing her best friend's fiancé) and cost her sister her job, she was only annoyed that her sister refused to continue paying her bills.
•  callousness and lack of empathy
Rubi calls her "best friend" who has a problem with her leg "the cripple" and "the limp."
•  parasitic lifestyle
Rubi's sister paid her school bills, her friend gave her clothes and jewelry (and her friend's father paid her school bills as well, but she never told her sister because she wanted to use the money for more clothes and jewelry), she married a rich man for money, and when he started losing his money, searched for the next wealthy man to take advantage of.
•  poor behavioral controls
Rubi does what she wants.
•  sexual promiscuity
Actually, Rubi was a bit controlled here because she used sex as a weapon and if she wasn't going to get rich through sex, she wouldn't waste her ammunition.
•  early behavior problems
Apparently, Rubi's mother suffered many years of hoping she would change.
•  lack of realistic long-term goals
Rubi supposedly fell in love (I say supposedly because I think the writer of this telenovela doesn't understand psychopathy) with a surgeon because she thought he was wealthy (he was living with a rich friend, the one she eventually married) but dumped him when she found out he came from a middle class family. Ruby couldn't seem to wait for him to move up in his profession which likely would have given them a fine lifestyle in the future; she wanted to be rich right away and so she only was willing to marry him when her husband's fortune being to wane and he had become a millionaire.

•  impulsivity
As soon as Rubi married, she demanded the largest of mansions, went on big shopping sprees, and wanted to travel and stay in the best hotels.
•  irresponsibility
Rubi rarely cared about the effects of her behaviors as long as she got what she wanted at that moment.
•  failure to accept responsibility for own actions
Rubi blamed everyone else for anything that went wrong and for all the bad things she did. She always blamed the victim.
•  many short-term marital relationships
Rubi had a short term love affair which ended when she found out the man wasn't rich and as soon as her husband got sick and lost income, she was scouting out a new provider.
•  juvenile delinquency
Rubi apparently did not commit crimes in her youth (at least that she was caught doing), but she committed crimes as an adult which she got away with.
So this is Rubi, an unquestionable psychopath. Her mother seemed to get the picture but held out hope for a miracle. Her sister decided to end their relationship after Rubi set her fiancé up and got him imprisoned. Her husband seemed to have no clue in spite of all the bad things she would do and the lies she clearly told. Her surgeon boyfriend seemed to understand she was pretty evil but kept letting her get under his skin and revving up his emotions for her. A good number of others around her didn't trust her but they often still allowed her in their houses or social circle. Her fashion designer friend seemed to recognize her psychopathy when he said, "She is as beautiful as she is evil," but he hung around with her because she amused him. I am not sure how this all ends up as I am only on episode 68 of 115! But, I am hoping Rubi gets her just desserts in the end.
Although much is exaggerated in this telenovela, Rubi's behavior are red flags for psychopathy and in real life, people often see red flags from the psychopaths they are dealing with but fail to accept the label or the fact that they are dangerous or people they should completely cut off. That lack of willingness to see reality often sets innocent people up as victims of these psychopaths....they lose their money, their freedom, their children, and, sometimes, their lives.
If you have someone like Rubi in your life, take heed....run, run, run, and don't let them ruin your life.

Pat Brown
Criminal Profiler
September 23, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Another Young Police Officer's Life is Destroyed

Here we go again. A young white police officer, Ray Tensing, is charged with murder, for just attempting to do his job. What did he do wrong? Well, discharging his weapon when the citizen he stopped was attempting to flee; he panicked when he thought he was being dragged with the car.

The citizen, Samuel DuBose, a black male, had been arrested and charged seventy-five times in the last twenty years. He is a lawbreaker, a drug user, a drug dealer, an irresponsible man who fathered 13 or more children with various women, none of which he married. But, hey, none of this matters as far as the traffic stop goes...well, yes, it actually does because the cop who stopped him, while not knowing his record, knows suspicious behavior when he sees it. It is not a matter of race but of recognizing behaviors.

First, he sees a vehicle without a front license plate. He stops the vehicle because it might be a) stolen or b) the driver is squirrelly or c) both. He stops the vehicle and asks Dubose about the front license plate. Dubose claims it is in his glove compartment but fails to produce it. Asked for his driver's license, he fails to produce it. When asked if it is his car, DuBose lies and says it is his which the officer knows is not true because he already ran it and it is owned by a female. Asked about a bottle Tensing sees on the floor, he hands the officer a bottle of liquor with questionable content. Okay. So, Officer Tensing asks about the license again, asks Dubose if he has a valid license. Dubose says, yes, but doesn't give him one and suggests the officer go run him in the system. Now, the officer is no dummy. He smells a rat. The rat was wanting the officer to go back to his car because he was planning to flee. He knew the officer was going to find that he was not allowed to drive (and he may have had warrants out on him as well) and he was going to be arrested again. The officer figured out this was what was in the cards so he wanted to get the man out of the car and away from the key and ignition. If he allowed the man to drive off, he knew he would then have to chase him which is always a dangerous situation for civilians. An innocent person could get run over by the speeding vehicles. All the talk about this man doing nothing violent is meaningless. The officer had no idea if the man was violent or not; he just knew that the man was lying to him and there may well be a serious reason for it. If he had gone back to his vehicle and the man sped off (perhaps with a stolen vehicle and under the influence of alchohol or drugs) and ran over two children crossing the street, the officer would be getting all the blame, now wouldn't he?

So, the officer tried to get the man out of the car. He resisted and attempted to drive off with the officer entangled in the car. The officer, having pulled his gun out because he could not be sure the man was not armed and dangerous, pulled the trigger, either accidentally, or in a panic, or to stop the vehicle. Things happen quickly in these situations and there is little time to think, just react. Clearly, the officer did not intend to kill Dubose and one can see he is pretty much shocked over the incident. He thought he was going to be run over and he pulled the trigger. The claim by the prosecutor that the car was just slowly rolling away is something one says AFTER the fact; you trying being the cop when you feel the car go into drive and see how long you want to take to think about how fast the vehicle is moving and if you are going to be seriously injured or not. The fact is, Dubose stepped on the accelerator while the police officer was partially inside the car and THAT is a threat to the life of the officer. The officer was being assaulted and he reacted in self-defense.

The video shows what happened but it is just amazing how many people are claiming Tensing purposely killed Dubose. This young officer has a stellar record and was polite when he approached the car. No officer wants to shoot anyone on duty; not only do officers  (excluding a rare psycho) not want to take anyone's life but the whole incident can jeopardize one's own life and family. The claim that Tensing committed a premeditated homicide is garbage and, for that matter, so are the charges against him and the zeal to convict him by a very politically motivated prosecutor. I feel damned sorry for Tensing because he may pay with his life for an accidental shooting provoked by the deceased.

Samuel DuBose wasn't killed because he was black man. Ray Tensing didn't pull the trigger because he was an privileged white officer. DuBose made a bad move and Tensing reacted.

I am at the point where I don't even think I can recommend anyone join the police force. It is one thing to put your life on the line against criminals FOR the community, but to put your life on the line for ungrateful citizens is another.

When we end up with the criminals running totally amok in our communities, we only have ourselves to blame for situation.

FYI: Due to the high numbers of ad hominem attacks calling me a racist and other slurs, I would like to clarify something whether it will cause people to behave more politely or rationally or not.

Yes, I am white but I am the mother of two bi-racial children and one black son (all adults now). I live in a majority black town and a majority black county.

I am pro good law enforcement., but I am anti bad law enforcement. I have spoken up many times publicly when I have seen police corruption even though I have and do work with and train law enforcement.

I am anti law breaking. Lawbreakers should be treated fairly within the bounds of the law but they are responsible for any illegal actions that bring harm to the community and to law enforcement. Law breakers are a scourge on the community and without proper policing they will do more damage. If we keep up this war on cops claiming racism in cases where none exists or painting law enforcement with a wide brush of hatred, fewer good people will join the police force and fewer police will be willing to interact with lawbreakers because it will be too risky for their careers and lives.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Why I Haven't Gotten a Ticket in Four Decades

There has been much discussion over Sandra Blands reaction to being stopped for a traffic infraction and what she could have or should have done. I would like to share my tips for success with traffic stops of my own.

First of all, I haven't been stopped in the last decade because I finally learned a simply rule: stop breaking the law. Yeah, what a concept, eh? Like stop speeding and stop doing California stops and actually use those signals when you change lanes and turn corners. But, I haven't always been so stellar on the road; I liked to drive fast and having been a driving instructor, a delivery driver (which requires fast driving and skidding u-turns to make money), and a PI following people,, I kind of drove like an Indy 500 driver. Mind you, I have been accident free all my adult life because I also did follow the rule of very defensive driving, always expecting the other driver is not going to yield, is drunk, half asleep, yelling at the kids in the back seat, texting, or just zoning out. So, I drove a little fast but quite safely.

Now, to my traffic stops. I will list three I remember:

I was stopped for running four stop signs in a row. 

Me: Did I run a stop sign?
Cop: You ran four, lady!
Me: Ooooh....well, when you have a good thing going....
Cop: ::shaking head:: What's got you in so big a rush?
Me: I was late to the movie at the plaza...I HATE missing the beginning!
Cop: ::hands me warning:: Well, next time, leave earlier!"
Me: I will do that, Sir, thank you.

Speeding on Assateague Island (where you aren't supposed to go over ten or fifteen miles per hour because of the wild horses).

Cop: Do you realize you were going 20 miles over the speed limit?
Me: Oh, well, I can't deny that is probably true. I had a chocolate attack and, well, it was just calling me from the 7-Eleven!
Cop:: ::laughing:: Well, slow down, will you?
Me: Yes, Sir, I will try to control myself.

Going 90 miles an hour on a Wisconsin highway.

Enraged Cop: Why didn't you stop? I have been chasing you for miles!
Me: Stop? Sorry!I didn't see you!
Still Enraged Cop: Didn't you see those people pulling over in front of you?
Me: Oh! I thought they were just getting out of my way!
Cop Now Shaking Head: License, please.
Me: Hmmm....I think it is in the trunk....that's where my purse is. Can I go get it?
Cop, Still Shaking Head: Go get it and come back to my squad car.
Cop goes back to his vehicle and gets in.
I go to my trunk and toss stuff around until I find my purse and the license. I look back at him and triumphantly hold up the license.
Cop waves me back to the passenger side of the vehicle and I get in the squad car.
Me: I found it! Sorry it took so long. I am driving out to Minnesota from Washington DC and I have been on the road for too many hours.
Cop: Do you know you were going 90?
Me: Wow...you know, I wasn't really paying attention. I think I was zoning out. The roads here are so straight and wide, I think I just was flying along, not paying any mind. ::sigh::
Cop: Well, okay, I am just giving you a warning, but, slow down, will you?
Me: Yes, sir! Thank you, sir!

If you notice in all cases, I fully cooperated with the police officer, I never denied what I did, I never told him he was wrong for stopping me, I kept my hands in sight and I was calm and cooperative. And, in spite of clearly breaking the law, the police officers just gave me warnings. This is what Sandra Bland would have gotten once he determined she was okay to be behind the wheel.

When stopped, cooperate. Even if the cop is an ass, cooperate. Be friendly and nonthreatening. Have your license and registration in sight in your hands and you hands on the wheel BEFORE he arrives at your door. If it is night, turn on the inside light. That way, when he approaches the vehicle, he isn't so worried about being shot. An uncooperative person with moving hands means that they may suddenly pull a weapon out and shoot the officer in the face. Sandra Bland's lack of cooperation and moving hand with a cigarette in it, meant that the officer couldn't be sure what she might do next. This is why everything escalated even to the point of threatening her with the taser; if she kept moving, she might suddenly come up with a gun and the officer would be in trouble. Police officers are always wary that a simple traffic stop might actually be an encounter with a carjacker or a drug runner or someone very dangerous with a warrant out on them.

So, next time you are stopped, stay calm, follow the simple rules above, and you won't end up in a jail cell.

And, of course, there is this classic, hilarious bit from Chris Rock on How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked by the Police!

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

July 29, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How the Sandra Bland Incident has Gone Off the Rails

I wasn't going to comment on the Sandra Bland incident because I know what I will say will get a lot of people pissed off and, really, I am tired of arguing over incidents that really have nothing to do with race in spite of the fact everyone is all up in arms about racism being the instigator of whatever happened.

Take the death of Freddie Gray. A local drug dealer gets arrested for like the twenty-first time (and this means he has probably been stopped twice as many times and not been arrested), resists arrests, and ends up with a freak accident taking his life. The six officers didn't do anything unusual, they were just bringing in a lawbreaker who always causes the police trouble when he gets caught dealing poison to kids in the community and now the six police officers have had their lives ruined and may end up serving time for doing their job. Baltimore broke out in riots over #blacklivesmatter when this lowlife drug dealer didn't give a damn about black lives and the officers who were required to arrest him weren't doing anything terrible to black citizens because half of them are black citizens themselves. A whole lot of foolishness with the country coming out - black and white - to make a local thug a hero. Makes me sick.

Okay, so now we have Sandra Bland. Here is a woman who has had a number of run-ins with cops and a bunch of issues with driving. She clearly has some mental issues and was all hyped up about #blacklivesmatter and was fixing for a fight if an opportunity come up.

And it did. The Texas cop saw her blow a stop sign and u-turned to follow her. He then saw her change lanes without a signal, so he pulled her over. Now, let me tell you why he did that and why he didn't bother to mention the failure to stop at a stop sign. He wasn't really trying to ticket her; he was attempting to determine if there was something going on with the person driving the vehicle. I doubt he even had a clue the driver was black or a female; he just saw a driver acting questionably and he pulled over the vehicle. Then he went up to the car and saw it was a female and he was pleasant and she wasn't. He went back to his squad car and ran her...whether he saw there were issues with her, I don't know. He went back and she continued to act unpleasantly. He began to wonder if there was something else going on, so he was extending his interaction with her so he could see if there was was any illegal activity going on that he should pay attention to; alcohol, drugs, etc.

Sandra Bland continued acting suspiciously and so he asked to her step out of the car and she refused to comply and then got more and more defiant. Yes, the cop became irate...do you know how frustrating it is to be a cop and have to deal with mouthy criminals, people spitting on you, trying to bite you...and, sometimes, trying to kill you.....it is nerve-racking. Could the police officer have done a better job handling Sandra Bland? Sure...I guess it wasn't his best day, but Sandra Bland instigated the incident and it was her fault she ended up in jail.

Now, we have a woman who can't seem to get bail. Family and friends aren't rushing to her aid. Is this because they have had issues with her behavior before and were fed up and ignoring her calls? Have they had to deal with her erratic and belligerent outbursts in the past? Yes, after her death, we hear how perfect a woman she was but it is not at all unusual for a family to only want to speak well of a loved one who is gone.

Then we have Sandra Bland's suicide . Yes, suicide (or an accident while staging a suicide in a bid for attention) . No question that she herself put her neck in the noose. The woman had attempted suicide in the past and she appears to have been a cutter which indicates she has some serious emotional issues. Her fellow jail-mate says she was distraught and crying and freaking out. The autopsy report comes back with no indications of any sign of trauma that would indicate homicide. The videos show no one entering her cell to kill her. No one had a good reason to do Sandra Bland in. One slightly obnoxious black woman is hardly a motive for murder. If you think the police and jailers haven't run into many like her, you live in a fantasy world. And if you think that mug shot of her is after she died, you need to stop trying to make her death into a homicide.

The type of hanging Sandra Bland did is very easy to accomplish. That she would suddenly just say "the hell with it" is not uncommon with depressed and emotionally unstable people. They can seem perfectly happy and positive and then kill themselves thirty minutes later. It is not rare for families of suicide victims to refuse to believe their loved ones would kill themselves and claim they were murdered. In this respect, Sandra Bland's family was no different.

#Blacklivesmatter, yes, they do but so do white lives, police lives, all of our lives. I have no problem with a fight for justice where there is injustice but I am sick of the flames of racism being fanned where no racism has occurred. Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland were not killed by racist cops. But Sandra Bland may have been killed by the firestorm of anger and protests which caused her to lose perspective on a simple traffic stop. Perhaps if she hadn't been up in arms about police doing in black citizens, she may have realized she committed a traffic offense and was stopped just like we all get stopped when we break the law. Only difference is, most of know we just have to sit there quietly, hope for a warning, and if we end up with a ticket, go to court and deal with it or just pay up.

#Blacklivesmatter and since they do, let's continue to analyze and fight for what makes #Blacklivesbetter....and let's stop the stupidity.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

July 28, 2015

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is There a Serial Killer Out There in Ohio?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

July 7, 2015