Saturday, May 23, 2015

Proving Nobody Else Could Have Done It

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

May 23, 2015

Cover for 'Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann'

By Pat Brown

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

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

Sunday, May 3, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

May 3, 2015