Saturday, March 31, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Searching for Gary

The following is the story of why I chose to pursue a formal education and career as an investigator. I tell it as the girl I was then, instead of from the professional point of view that took me many years to learn. I know exactly why those in the criminal justice field should not be involved in investigating a case in which they are a victim. Unfortunately, sometimes a victim has no other choice.

I met my husband, Gary, in December of 1981. One year later we were married, and the following spring we were blessed with the birth of our twin daughters. I was the luckiest girl in the world-I was in love and married to my best friend, and I had two beautiful, healthy, and happy babies. Like many new families just starting out, money was a little tight and when Gary was offered an opportunity to make some extra money fixing diesel engines in the Bahamas, it seemed like a Godsend. Earning $100 a day for 2 or 3 days work would be a big help to us.

I last spoke to Gary on the morning of December 9, 1983, when he called to say he was almost finished with his work and had just purchased his plane ticket at the airport in Nassau to return home the next day. We happily talked of the plans we had for after I picked him up at the airport. We were going straight to my Mother's of Twins club Christmas party where the babies would sit on Santa's lap for the first time- something Gary was excited about as he had been eagerly anticipating the girls’ first Christmas almost since the day they were born. And the day after that was our first wedding anniversary. We were laughing on the phone about the prospect of eating the top of our wedding cake with the babies- all of us with our fingers! I had another surprise for him- one of the babies had started to say Da-Da while he was away, and I couldn’t wait to see his face when he heard it for the first time. So many happy days ahead!

On December 10th I stood waiting at the airport gate with the babies next to me in their double stroller. Gary didn't come home on the plane that day, and I never saw him again. Gary disappeared without a trace, and the last time anyone saw him was 45 minutes after I last spoke with him on the telephone the day before.

I had very little information about who Gary was working for and where he was staying in the Bahamas. I called local police and then started making phone calls to every local, state, and federal agency I could find in the phone book. No one helped me. I was left on my own to find out what happened to my husband.

Local police, federal agents, and a Congressional investigator kept telling me to let them handle it, and when I persisted in questioning them, I was told to stop asking questions about my husband's disappearance because I was putting my children and myself in danger. They said that I could even be killed if I didn’t stop making phone calls and offering the small bits of information I uncovered on my own to investigators. Furthermore, they refused to tell me who would want to hurt us and why. I did not understand so I continued to plead, beg, and demand to know what happened to my husband and why my children and I were in danger-but to no avail. It was unbelievable- surreal, and the fear and uncertainty was intolerable. I felt I had only one choice. I had to keep trying to find out what happened to Gary because I could never be sure in my heart we would be safe, even if I stopped looking. Gary was my husband; I had a right to know what happened to him. More importantly, he was a person, he mattered, and his life was just as valuable as anyone else’s was; no one was going to act as if he never existed. No matter how long it took, or what obstacles were in the way, I vowed that I would never give up until I found out what happened to him; but because I feared for my children, I very slowly and carefully set off to pursue the truth.

Twenty-three years later I have almost all of my answers; and soon those responsible will answer for what they have done. It’s not over yet. At the moment we are awaiting a formal request from the Bahamian government to the Office of International Affairs in answer to an offer of assistance from the US Attorney’s Office. It appears Gary’s homicide investigation is one of the many cases delayed by the investigation into the deaths of Daniel and Anna Nicole Smith.

Although my family and I have suffered a terrible betrayal by persons who swore an oath of honor to uphold the law, through this experience I have also been fortunate to meet and know some of the most dedicated and talented people both in and out of law enforcement who are true heroes and champions of truth and justice.

To read about my search for Gary and how the first official investigation was opened 22 years after his disappearance click here. Then read about something incredible that followed the publication of Finding Gary here .

Donna Weaver

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Prostitutes 'R Us

What a surprise! Craig’s List is in the prostitution business! Like the Internet and the The Yellow Pages, unless you are standing on the street corner, you have to advertise your business somewhere. Of course, there are those people who insist that adult web sites like AdultFriendFinder, massage parlors with untrained masseuses and water beds, photography services which allow a man to photograph naked girls alone in a booth, taxi dancing, go go clubs, and strip joints, and, of course, the escort services that the Duke University dancer came from, in no way permit females to exchange sex for money; they are all legitimate businesses that just provide girls for companionship and innocent amusement. Well, if you believe that, then you must believe that Anna Nicole Smith was a girl scout.

Sadly, on a more serious note, most communities really do ignore the many prostitution services out there and they are rarely shut down. Either we should make prostitution legal or we ought to do something about these blatant sex services that are proliferating in our towns and in cyberspace. We as a society should decide what we believe is legal or illegal and stand behind it. I would like to see massage parlors with masseuses who haven’t completed any accredited school required to give massages with a video camera taping them. The monitoring agency could then come by unannounced and view the tapes straight out of the machine. Want to see how fast massage parlors go out of business?

Of course, prostitutes don’t get much in the way of sentencing nor do the johns that use them, or the pimps that manage them, or the owners of the establishments that hire them. There is a tendency to think of these crimes as victimless, but this has never been true. Many of the women who get sucked into the life are only there because it exists as a means to make money, some of the johns get robbed or murdered, the wives of the johns get diseases, crime proliferates in the area, and the surrounding community suffers from the sliminess of it all. In some instances, children pay the price as they get pulled in as homeless teens to a life that will ultimately destroy them. No society benefits from prostitution; it is degrading and despicable. If you ask anyone if they would like to have prostitution on their street, the responses would be unquestionably in the negative. If this is the way we all feel, perhaps we ought to work on eradicating humankind's oldest profession instead of pretending it doesn't exist just because we can't see the girls in plain view on the corner.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Suspended Grief

Sometimes when a perpetrator is apprehended for the abduction and murder of a child or adult, it is reported that they are a suspect in the disappearances of other victims. What is it like for the families of these victims who have no answers? Their heartbreak is something I call “suspended grief”.

Currently, there are few resources and little information available to assist families of missing persons cope with the specific elements of their “suspended grief”. Traditional victim assistance services are not available to these families because a criminal case hasn’t been filed. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in the U.S. there are an estimated 58,200 child victims of non-family abductions, 50,930 active missing adult cases, and 6,218 active cases of unidentified persons. However, most investigators and law enforcement agencies agree that this represents a fraction of the true number of cases since it is not mandatory for local police agencies to enter cases in NCIC. Many cold cases were never entered into the system simply because of the limits of technological resources at the time, and I have found in some instances that cases originally entered in a local agency’s system were subsequently purged to make room for new cases. Believe me; detectives do not look forward to getting a call from me inquiring about a case with a number that does not currently exist in their system. Sadly, there are many such cases sitting in boxes covered by layers of dust in storerooms and warehouses. The Nation’s Legislators are beginning to understand the magnitude of the problem of missing persons and unidentified victims in the United States. Congress has recently implemented legislative provisions allowing families of missing persons to submit DNA samples to the FBI’s national CODIS database, previously used solely for criminal DNA identification, and cases are being retrieved from many thousands of individual police jurisdictions across the country, moving toward a uniform national reporting and filing system. However, statistics alone cannot capture the fear, horror, frustration, and pain felt by those who know and love a missing person.

According to the psychology books, there are four stages of grief: shock and denial; intense concern; despair and depression; and recovery. Rarely does this occur as progressive stages towards the resolution of grief when a loved one is missing and presumed dead. Grief becomes “suspended” and those left behind become victims themselves. The act of confronting and expressing the emotions generally associated with grief does not bring relief or enable a progression to the next stage towards resolution and recovery. Therefore, the emotional changes associated with the four stages of grief can be experienced, and re-experienced, for long periods, sometimes for the rest of one’s life. I have found in my discussions with victims whose loved one is missing that they usually compare feelings they have experienced at the death of someone else close to them, as if in a desperate attempt to understand or gain a frame of reference in order to try to cope. Virtually all of these surviving victims have pointed out that the emotional changes they feel because their loved one is missing and presumed dead bears little resemblance to the grief they felt when someone else they love had died. Emotional changes are commonly intensified and prolonged when a loved one is missing. Often these feelings are compounded by guilt; wondering if they did all that they could to find the person, or guilt related to going on with life, such as dating, re-marrying, or having more children because it is often perceived as giving up on the missing person before there is proof of death.

When missing person cases go cold, surviving loved ones frequently feel betrayed and abandoned by police and the justice system, which adds to their feelings of despair, helplessness, isolation, and anger. As the passing of time starts to be counted in years, hope, no matter how slight, often remains of finding a loved one alive, even as survivors struggle to balance this with the acceptance of the inevitable death of their missing loved one. Prolonged intense concern also is often inevitable for many victims. The need to keep the memory of the missing person alive becomes an alternative to the overwhelming despair and depression caused by considering the reality of never finding their loved one, or knowing what their loved one experienced, or who is responsible for their disappearance and death. In many cases, “what if” and countless other questions are all survivors have in the absence of knowing the details of their loved one’s fate. Dealing with, and controlling thoughts of the missing person suffering similar horrifying fates known to have happened to other victims who were discovered months or years after they disappeared is very difficult. How can a person put such a terrible experience behind them when they do not have the barest of details to reconcile the event in their mind?

Currently, victim resources related to missing persons cases generally concerns victims of disaster, war, or genocide. In these types of situations, the cause of the disappearance is usually known to some degree, if not readily apparent, and large numbers of people have suffered a similar experience at once. Those left behind when a child is abducted by a stranger, or an adult disappears because they are a victim of foul play, cannot relate to those circumstances or the emotional effects on their lives. Perhaps because in the case of war or disaster people come together as a group for support and recovery of a shared experience which is a result of something, the cause of their pain is an event shared by all, or a known, common enemy.

These are but a few of the particular issues that influence the emotions of these grieving survivors. And it is but one more consideration in determining the devastation to individuals and the cost to society as a whole when offenders are permitted to be free to offend again.

Donna Weaver

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: The Phil Spector Circus

The Phil Spector dog-and-pony show is about to begin. This trial will illustrate the stupidity and economic waste of the American trial and jury system. Just watch (and we will as this entertainment for the masses gets televised daily) the pack of lies rolled out by the defense team in an effort to bamboozle a bunch of untrained folks-off-the-street (that you wouldn’t hire to do any other job you needed doing because they have no skills to do those jobs) into finding this man not guilty. Already the big fat liar celebrity defense lawyer, Bruce Cutler, is claiming if “there is no motive, there's no intent, there's no malice, there's no murder, and there's no crime.'' He isn’t planning on defending an innocent man; he is going to trying to use every con and ploy he can think of to get a almost unquestionably guilty-as-hell man out of receiving the punishment he should get for depriving an innocent woman of her life.

Am I convicting this man without a trial? No, I believe there should be a final say in whether this man has committed a crime and what penalty he should pay for doing it, but anyone who has the least bit of logic probably could wrap this case up in ten minutes (if they aren’t being confused by the showmanship and lies of Bruce Cutler). Let’s look at the basic facts in order:

1) Spector has been known to wave guns around while working with bands in the studio.
2) Spector has a 1970’s misdemeanor gun conviction.
3) Spector has evidence of 13 firearms in his mansion.
4) Women (not one woman, but multiple women) will testify Spector has threatened them with guns,
5) The driver told police Spector said to him, “I think I shot someone.”
6) The police found Spector in the foyer slumped in a chair with the gun at his feet.
7) Spector told the police, “I didn’t mean to shoot her. It was an accident.”

Seems pretty clear to me why Spector was arrested and charged with murder. But, our renowned defense lawyer, Cutler, claims, “Lana Clarkson accidentally killed herself fooling around with Spector’s gun.” Now, Cutler is either one of two things: the dumbest man on the face of the earth or the biggest liar on the face of the earth. Since I can rule out that Cutler is that stupid, then we are left with Bruce Cutler being a lying scumbag of the lowest sort. But, this is what our criminal justice system has come to: buying the best liar one can afford to convince lay people that the guilty are not really guilty. Cutler will claim that Spector was in shock when he made those statements, that he had no beef with the woman and ,therefore, no motive, that the lady could have been fascinated with a gun Spector had lying around or had hidden suicidal ideation, and that because there was gunpowder residue on both her hands, she likely pulled the trigger herself.

Hopefully, the prosecution will be able to convince the jury this is all hogwash and the poor woman was desperately trying to protect herself as she grabbed the gun to push it away when Spector shoved it in her face. But, who knows if Cutler will be able to create that little speck of doubt for this famous man and the jury will fail to convict him for a crime he undoubtedly committed.

The amount of time and resources that will be wasted on this open-and-shut case will be nauseating. Something stinks in the American criminal justice system and I think we need to stop saying we have the best system of justice in the world because we don’t.
(Photos of Spector's old and new "dos" courtesy of The Daily Pulp)

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Monday, March 19, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Real Cops, Real Profilers

I just read some profiling bashing on the Internet that gleefully points out how profilers are sometimes wrong. These bashers like to use any theorized trait of the offender that doesn’t turn out to be an absolute match as proof the profiler is a fraud, or that profiling is useless. Many times the quoted points are taken out of context or aren’t even what that particular profiler said. Such is the problem with second hand information. But, even if the profiler did indeed make such a statement, it was likely in the context of television with limited information given to the profiler upon which he could base his conclusions. Also, it must be understood that a theory of a crime is still only a theory, not a foolproof crystal ball reading of the event. If such a belief of perfection in developing a theory about a crime were likewise required for the police, then they should be chastised for spending so many hours running down false leads during investigations and they should be sued for arresting the wrong man, and the whole of law enforcement should be castigated if ever a man is found innocent in court. I guess the tendency to think of criminal profiling as a kind of mystical methodology bordering on psychic ability is still embedded in the minds of many and, therefore, any failure of the profiler to be right on the money is cause for complete discrediting of the field.

The other big problem lies in a misplaced trust in the perfection of research and statistics, and a belief that profilers not involved in some lofty academic pursuit, but who do more down-to-earth types of analysis, are incapable of drawing intelligent determinations. This disrespect of experienced criminal analysts again leaves police detectives in a similar position. Most of these investigators do not have higher degrees nor are they spending large portions of their lives doing research and studies in investigations. They have to work for a living and many do fine investigations just by going out and doing their jobs without a lot of fanfare. Sometimes, these profiler bashers (and some of them are profilers themselves, attacking other profilers!) don’t actually know the facts or the truth about a particular situation or case they have not worked on or spent much time analyzing themselves. Oftentimes, information about the case or the suspect is held back or misinformation is given out about the offender. While a profiler can sometimes be off in his analysis (and one of my favorite profilers, Dr. Ronald Holmes, once joked to his audience "...and those are the profiles I won’t be presenting today…"(slightly paraphrased), it is also possible that the individual convicted of the crime in question wasn’t even the right person and this is why the profile is not correct. At other times, the evidence that matches the profile was never allowed to be seen by the public, or the offender or his family, or even the prosecutor may have lied about certain aspects of the crime, making the profile appear incorrect.

Finally, occasionally law enforcement will claim that the profiler is wrong about a suspect when the department has botched the case and doesn’t want to admit it. Criminal profiling is a useful tool in a police investigation as it can aid the investigators in using their resources as wisely as possible. A criminal profiler can do a good job if he clearly explains profile elements and doesn’t try to pretend that he cannot be wrong. It is teamwork that brings a criminal in; a willingness for all to put their heads together to solve the crime and get the offender off the streets. It doesn’t hurt to get an analysis from more than one profiler to see how each views the crime and what points they make that can be helpful to the investigation. Cops and criminologists working together can make a good team for getting the job done. It isn’t a perfect world, and since few people in it are perfect beings, we need to give profilers and police officers a bit of a break so they can get back to work improving public safety and getting justice for victims of crime.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: "Foreign extremists sign up to drive school buses"

I was just sitting at my computer, contemplating a subject for the Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day, when I looked up at my TV tuned to CNN, and read the text rolling across the bottom of the screen-and I was off. Actually “set off” more accurately describes the steady stream of rather inventive curse words coming from my red face. Two issues can cause this immediate reaction in me like nothing else can— scum of the earth who prey on children, and moronic behavior by the FBI. This story is about both.

The CNN headlines:

FBI: Foreign extremists sign up to drive school buses
"Parents and children have nothing to fear," FBI says

CNN reports that a routine FBI and Homeland Security Department advisory sent to local law enforcement agencies says, “Foreigners under recent investigation include ‘some with ties to extremist groups’ who have been able to ‘purchase buses and acquire licenses.” FBI spokesperson Richard Kolko said, "parents and children have nothing to fear.” He went on to say “there are no threats, no plots, and no history leading us to believe there is any reason for concern," although law enforcement agencies around the country were asked to watch out for kids' safety. The bulletin also notes, "Most attempts by foreign nationals in the United States to acquire school bus licenses to drive them are legitimate." No further information was provided to the press or the public as to which law enforcement agencies received the alert, or where the buses were purchased and the licenses to drive them were obtained. Kolko said the bulletin was sent merely as an educational tool to help local police identify and respond to any suspicious activity.

I confess my great personal struggle to retain my professionalism and view the policies, procedures, and actions of the FBI with objectivity. I have good reason. Perhaps I will post here some of that story soon. However, no matter how I look at it, I can’t help but find several things very wrong with the FBI‘s statements about the school bus alert.

The FBI’s apparent lack of concern toward foreigners with ties to extremist groups getting licenses to drive school buses, presumably filled with schoolchildren, is appalling. How does anyone under investigation by the FBI get a license to do anything that would put him or her in contact with children? Furthermore, it seems suspect for these persons to purchase school buses in the first place. Yes, it is true that many good, hard working resident aliens in the U.S. obtain licenses to drive school buses and hold legitimate jobs doing so. Most of us would not be American citizens today if our ancestors were not welcome to come to this country to work and build a life. Moronic FBI statement number 1 is inferring those decent persons trying to make a living and a new life for themselves and their families are in any way associated with the persons referred to in the security alert. Moronic FBI statement number 2 is the logic that parents and children have nothing to fear based on the FBI being unaware of threats, plots, and there being no history to give them reason for concern. This is meant to inspire confidence? I wonder if this reasoning was applied when the FBI learned that foreign nationals under investigation for their terrorist ties were attending flight schools, getting pilots licenses, and attempting to purchase aircraft. After all, why worry just because similar individuals had hijacked aircraft in the past- there was no history of them ever flying planes into buildings and killing thousands of innocent people. I would like to point out that there is plenty of history in many other countries of terrorists blowing up buses filled with people. Currently, it is one of the horrors suffered almost daily in Iraq.

The persons suspected of having terrorist ties need their school bus licenses revoked immediately. To be fair, it must be determined as quickly as possible if they are a threat or not, and if so, there is no good reason for them to remain in this country. The American public deserves to be informed of what communities are included in the advisory. I am very grateful for the efforts of the law enforcement agencies that were asked to “watch out for kids' safety”, but when police join forces with parents and the rest of the community it is the best way to keep our children safe under any circumstances.

There is nothing, or no one, on earth that could make me gamble with my own children’s safety, and I sure as hell refuse to let the FBI gamble with it. Would you?

Donna Weaver

Friday, March 16, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Will a Psychopath ever change?

Today I walked into the television studio here in Minneapolis to do MSNBC Live Daytime and ran into a grandmother and granddaughter who just finished doing a local news show. The grandma was holding onto a very cute puppy and the teenage girl was wiping her eyes with a tissue. I wondered if a relative had gone missing or had been murdered and I wondered why they had a dog on the show; that was something I had never seen before. Then I heard the story and it made my stomach turn.

One month ago, seventeen-year-old Crystal Brown's dog went missing, a dog who was her best friend. She put fliers up around the neighborhood and hoped someone would bring her pet home to her. Then -

Two weeks ago, a gift-wrapped box was left at the house Crystal shares with her grandmother. The box had batteries on top, and a note that said "Congratulations Crystal. This side up. Batteries included."
Crystal opened the box and found her dog's head inside. The box also contained Valentine's Day candy - Read the full story.

Can you imagine? That poor girl. What a bloody sicko would do such a thing. Well, a psychopathic bloody sicko who probably knew Crystal and loved the movie "Seven" where the police officer gets the head of his wife in a box. They haven't found the creature yet who did this, but what kind of sentence do you think he will get? My guess is he is a juvenile; if we are lucky, he will be over eighteen, if only by a year, so he might actually do some time. Of course, it is "only" a dog, so he won't get much of a sentence and possibly even probation with a little side trip to the shrink for counseling. Oh, joy, joy. I feel so confident that the community will be safe after this demented individual gets a few hours on the couch.

This leads me to the question I am often asked: can a psychopath be rehabilitated? Can this sick person who did this to Crystal and her dog get a little mental health help, change his nature, and become a good and decent citizen? Are you kidding? Think about this! What kind of person kills a dog, cuts it head off and thinks it is funny to give it wrapped up to the teenage owner? I don't know about you, but I don't want to know this person, I don't want to live next to this person, I don't want to hire this person, and.....I can't think of any reason I would ever want to be around this person.

No, he will not change. He is a soulless human being and he will always be one. If we leave him on the streets and don't watch him carefully, the next head that shows up on a doorstep will be a human one.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day:
Who should be held more accountable? The Pedophile or the Judge who lets him loose?

Little six-year-old Christopher Barrios was just found in a trash bag on the side of a road in Brunswick, Georgia. Four people have been arrested in connection with his murder: a pedophile who is a registered sex offender who had broken probation, his parents (he didn’t fall very far from the rotten apple tree), and a family “friend.” Apparently, this lovely crew lied to the police, misguided them in the search for the little boy, all in collusion with this two time pedophile to help him cover up his crimes. What a sweet bunch! I am glad to see that this time the police are not letting them get away with this behavior and charged them with obstruction of justice, lying, and possibly murder. The family friend has admitted to helping dispose of the body….now that is a friend you can count on when you have crimes to cover up.

While it is hard to believe the level of depravity these people have sunk to in killing this poor little boy, the judge who gave this scumbag child molester only probation for assaulting two children should be tossed off the bench. I guess he didn’t have any children of his own living near the guy, so what did he care? It would be interesting to see what would happen if judges who let violent and predatory criminals off with no punishment could be sued if the offenders committed any crimes within the same time frame as the prison sentence they should have been serving. I bet those judges would be singing a different tune if they were held responsible for their decisions, decisions that cost other people their lives.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Justice for Jessie

The penalty phase in the trial of John Couey continues today in a Miami, FL courtroom. The same jury of six men and six women who found Couey guilty of first-degree murder, burglary, kidnapping and sexual battery one week ago, must now recommend by majority vote whether Couey will be put to death or spend the remainder of his life in prison for the rape and murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford in 2005. The defense has urged jurors to sentence him to life in prison, putting psychologists on the witness stand who testified that Couey was mentally retarded. The law prohibits execution of someone judged mentally retarded. The prosecution has called their own experts who state that Couey was well aware of his actions when he kidnapped, raped, and murdered little Jessica.

John Couey is a waste of skin who knew exactly what he wanted to do to Jessica Lunsford, and the veritable poster boy for the flaws in our justice system that contributes to the horrific deaths of children like Jessie at the hands of monsters like him.

Couey’s rap sheet includes no less than 24 burglary arrests, an arrest for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, and an arrest for indecent exposure. During a home burglary in 1978, he was accused of grabbing a girl in her bedroom, placing his hand over her mouth, and kissing her. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was paroled in 1980. In 1991, Couey became a registered sex offender when he was arrested in Kissimmee, FL on a charge of committing a Lewd and Lascivious Act in the Presence of a Child. However, the criminal court progress docket for this case shows Couey was allowed to plead guilty to a reduced charge of Attempted Lewd Act on a Child, and given credit for 135 days time served in a state prison. How does one get arrested 27 times by age 46 and not still be incarcerated?

And what about Couey’s housemates? According to CBS News reports, court documents state "Couey's timeline of events after he kidnapped Jessica Lunsford leaves open the possibility she was alive and in the house at the time of the first and possibly the second interview," Citrus County sheriff's deputies stopped twice at the sister's singlewide mobile home while canvassing the neighborhood after Jessie was reported missing Feb. 24. At the first interview, shortly after the child was reported missing, the deputies spoke to Couey's niece and her boyfriend. The second time, deputies spoke with the same niece and Couey's half sister. Jessica lived just 150 yards away and her abduction was all over the news. Authorities say the residents concealed the fact that Couey was staying at the trailer. This suggests to me that they may have known Couey kidnapped Jessica and had her in the house. DNA evidence proved that he raped the little girl on the bedroom mattress. Jessica’s fingerprints were also found on other areas in the bedroom, and it is believed Couey kept her alive for a time in the bedroom closet. How could 4 other adults living in such tight quarters not have heard or seen anything? One month later, Jessica was found near the trailer-- right where Couey told investigators he buried her alive. How could these 4 people not hear the sound of the plastic bags being wrapped around Jessie, or Couey outside digging a hole and then burying the little girl alive as she struggled, poking holes in the plastic garbage bags with her fingers? It is truly horrifying to contemplate whether someone else in that household could have seen her or even just heard that little girl cry out, and did nothing to help her. If so, they are equally guilty of all charges and deserve the same punishment as the monster they protected with their silence.

Donna Weaver

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: What is Wrong with Criminal Profiling?

Here is sound intelligent thinking I found at Socrates' Academy blog posted by Loren Heal. This nonprofiler very concisely itemizes the problems of much of how profiling is used (or misused).

The trouble comes in several areas.

1. A profile gets too broad, fitting such a large segment of society as to be ineffective
2. A profile is too narrow, clearing a guilty party
3. A profile is used to match people who have no connection to a crime other than fitting the profile, rather than against only those who are already selected by other factors
4. A profile is used to look for people of a particular type, because they might commit an unknown crime
5. The profile is treated as evidence, rather than as an investigative aid

I posted back:

Dear Loren,

I have to commend you for your very fine analysis of profiling! You may be a layperson but a very astute layperson concerning the subject of criminal profiling.
However, I cannot fault others for having a misunderstanding of what criminal profiling should be as they no doubt are swayed by the misinformation and misuse of profiling that has been egregious and embarrassing. Much of the problem has been exacerbated by criminal profilers themselves.
Yes, criminal profilng should be an investigative tool supported by solid evidence and no one should be made a suspect based solely on a profile nor excluded solely on a profile. The information gleaned from analyzing crime should allow us to put more or less focus on specific persons of interest, thereby using our time and resources as wisely as possible. Should new evidence come in, then the profile should be updated.
Thanks for your fine explanation of profiling, Loren. I appreciate the added clarity on the subject.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

I guess the only addition I would want to make to the above points would be to number three. When one is investigating a stranger crime like a serial homicide or rape or mugging, it can be helpful if the public can identify persons of interest based on a profile IF that profile is based on evidence. For example, if one is looking for a Caucasian male who has a vehicle, and used a large knife to stab a woman to death at around 3 AM in the morning in a brutal sexual assault near the elementary school, then it helps to give that information to the public along with the description of a psychopath. This may help Mary may realize she should give a tip to the police that her creepy nephew Eddie who works as a janitor at that elementary school borrowed her butcher knife from the kitchen the night before because he said he had to cut up some deer meat and he disappeared for the rest of the evening and came back home to his basement room about 4 AM in the morning. This is the number one way to solve stranger crimes simply because the lack of connection from the victim to the offender is nonexistent and we need to get some clue as to who might be a good suspect.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: What Kind of Man Mugs a 101-year-old Woman?

A lot of people were shocked and horrified when they watched a 101-year-old woman get mugged coming out of her Bronx apartment. This poor woman was punched a number of times by this despicible man and, thankfully, lived through the attack and still has a great spirit (which is no doubt why she has made it past the century mark). I was asked by The Today Show why we are so mesmerized by this particular videotape because crimes like this happen everyday. I answered that this woman's age and vulnerability forcefully illustrates to us the absolute callousness of this kind of crime. It is hard for people to understand the mentality of street criminals, to understand that their psychopathy is such that people and cockroaches are not so distinct in their minds. This establishing of value is not unique to psychopaths, however. We all place different values on people, animals and things. For example, meat eaters in America often think nothing of eating a cow but eating a dog is horrifying to them. Why? Is a dog any more worthy of life than a cow? Not necessarily but many people assign dogs special places in their lives. I remember when I was a child, I found an ant crawling about the pink rug in the bathroom. I named the ant Jimmy. A few days later, I found Jimmy curled up and dead in the corner. I was very sad. I had assigned Jimmy a "friend" designation and so it hurt me when he died, even if he was just an ant. Likewise, if a person labels a cow "meat" and a dog "man's best friend," the dog is going to take on more importance in the life of that individual.

So, what do psychopaths label people? Either "useful" or "in the way." Now, this mugger of the elderly may have designated his grandmother "useful" and, therefore, he is nice to her, but this unknown old woman was just "in his way" of getting money (hers). What makes a psychopath a psychopath is how few people (if any) he assigns value and, if he does assign someone a value of any worth, he may devalue them in minutes (like Scott Peterson when he suddenly decided his wife was cramping his newly desired lifestyle).

Seeing this video can be of value to all of us to help us understand the absolute lack of humanity in the psychopathic soul. These types cannot be trusted and cannot be rehabilitated. Although we might like to believe that all men have some good in them, psychopaths prove otherwise. We need to understand this in order to encourage our criminal justice system not to be lenient on these criminals and not to allow them back out on the street to prey on us.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: The Difference between Male and Female Child Kidnappers

I just got an email from someone got who got all bent out of shape because he thought I was being unfair to the male sex in my profiling of criminal behavior and psychopathology. He wrote

"Dear Pat-

Wow, you've got to be one of the angriest, tunnel-visioned people on TV--I've never seen you on there when you weren't going on about how this one and that one are psychopaths. Now men who kidnap are molesters and women are nurturers. You have all of these broad sweeping statements about people and you have immediate judgments about people based on your own bias. You've undoubtedly seen horrible stuff in your profession, but I'd say it has invaded your clarity. I imagine you'd find someone who spit their gum on the sidewalk as someone who has psychopathic tendencies who should be put away for a "dang long time."


Well, gee, Todd, I do apologize for talking about psychopaths so often, but considering I am a crime news analyst and I am brought on mostly to talk about rapists and murderers, I find it hard to avoid labeling them as psychopaths because they are psychopaths. But, I think Todd's real problem is his male ego has gotten the better of him and he has got his boxers in a bunch because he didn't actually pay attention to what I said about male and female kidnappers. There is a major difference between the sexes when it comes to abducting babies and small children. First of all, men rarely kidnap babies; they usually go after children who are at least four or five. Women tend to grab as young a child as they can. Why? Because men grab children for sexual purposes and women take babies and toddlers to show them off as they become their phony mommy. Both sets are psychopaths but their motivation for kidnapping is different. Both get gratification from the "use" of the children, but the men usually kill them when they have gotten what they want from them and the children taken by women are usually retrieved alive. Of course, if the children in the women's possession are not found for a long time, those children could end up deceased one day as well. The female kidnapper may get tired of taking care of the kid or she may poison, injure or kill the child if she needs to ratchet up the attention payoff. The fact that women who kidnap children may not off the kiddies quickly, however, hardly qualifies them as being "nurturing"! Go figure how Todd got that from my television interview but this brings me to my last point. Just because the women don't quickly dispatch the kidnapped children should not make them any more sympathetic to the public. I have argued for a long time that we citizens of the United States allow female criminals a lot more "understanding" when it comes to violent crime. Andrea Yates brutally murdered four children and yet she got off on an insanity plea the second time around. If astronaut Lisa Nowak were a man, I bet she would have been charged with attempted murder since that is exactly what she had in mind when she drove 900 miles to attack her ex-boyfriend's new lover.

By the way, Todd, something tells me you have done some things worse than spitting your gum out on the sidewalk. Wonder what they could be.....Yours truly, very angry Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

Friday, March 9, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Child Protective Services Should Give Up Criminal Profiling

Here I am again shaking my head over this quasi-police organization known as Child Protective Services. It would seem to me if our country is going to support such an agency there should be some kind of rhyme or reason to what they do and that rhyme and reason ought to be supported by legal standards. However, it seems there is this “club” of government employees who sort of play house with other people’s kids, deciding the fate of the children at whim. Too often this ends up with overly aggressive actions against folks who have nontraditional viewpoints of childrearing and completely ludicrous nonaction when the parents are a bunch of violent, drug abusing dregs of society.

Social services threatened me back when my children were small because I refused to give them the DPT shot and because I had a family bed. These horrible decisions on my part meant my children were at risk – in a two parent (married at that and no drugs or drinking) nice home in the suburbs, full of toys and educational materials, with a stay-at-home mom (not on welfare). Now, fast forward to February 2007 and a horrifying news story has just come out in which a four-year-old child has been found dead in a plastic tub in a storage bin and her five-year-old brother is “missing.” Daddy has been arrested on charges of murder. Seems Mommy who hasn’t held a job more than a month in her adult life and lives on welfare does methamphetamine (at least that is what the husband claimed and since her last child was born with the stuff in her system I guess he probably wasn’t lying) and Dad is a domestic abuser. Social services took the most recently born child away from the woman but returned it to her and her newest abusive boyfriend because they didn’t see that the home had a problem (even though the woman was diagnosed with both postpartum and bipolar disorder). They also didn’t have a problem with visits with Daddy who apparently offed the kiddies to get out of child support.

So, let’s see…threaten to take the kids away from me because I disagreed with a dangerous immunization and because I wanted my children to be near their parents in the night so they feel loved and unafraid, but leave these now dead kids with two dangerous and dysfunctional adults in an unsafe-at-all levels home. Is it just me or does something seem wrong with this picture? Maybe Child Protective service should get out of criminal profiling or hire a real criminal profiler to figure out who the bad guys are!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Daily Pulp Says:

"A New Crime Blog on the Block

The Daily Profiler is a new blog put together by high-profile criminal profiler Pat Brown and her investigator Donna Weaver. Brown is a regular on cable news networks where she analyzes the crimes of the day and Weaver, well, the Coral Springs resident learned about crime the hard way... I wrote an opus on the case in 2005...

Thank you for your support, Pulp!
To read the best investigative journalism anywhere-- check out columnist Bob Norman at Broward-Palm Beach New Times, and visit Bob's blog, The Daily Pulp, for a no-holds-barred view of what he really thinks.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Are You with a Psychopath?

Stephen Grant has confessed to murdering his wife, Tara. The man who said he has no conscience turns out to be the one who did his wife in. What a surprise! (not) This sad ending to Tara Lynn Grant should be a warning to all those young women or men out there planning to marry someone with concerning behaviors, behaviors they should not be ignoring or minimizing. Just because a person is capable of keeping a job, telling a joke, saying "I love you" and doing other sorts of seemingly normal behaviors does not mean he or she is a mentally healthy human being. This person without a third eye or a horns protruding may be a psychopath playing a role, the role of a boyfriend or girlfriend, a husband or wife, or a father or mother. The key phrase here is "playing a role" as one cannot actually act the part twenty-four hours a day. There are those moments when a psychopath forgets to be on stage and acts like his or her true self. Stephen Grant is a good example of this. In the beginning when this story hit the news, we heard the usual shocked statements by people who knew him. "I can't believe he would do this!" and "We never saw him as a danger." But, as usual when as the shock wears off and people who knew him actually start reflecting on the creep's past behaviors, they start to admit the signs of psychopathy were there, if only they had known they were psychopathic signs and had not denied their importance. How much heartache could have been prevented if Tara or her family and friends had seen Stephen Grant for what he was early on.

So, to all of you in relationships out there who are considering making them a permanent part of your lives, ask yourself, "Does this person do or say things that are inappropriate? Does this person lie to me or tell me questionable stories? Does he or she have grandiose thinking, either glorifying past events that never really happened or have big plans for the future that never are implemented? Does this person have problems in relationships with others, blaming them for all kinds of issues that have cropped up? Does he or she have problems with employment, getting fired or working in jobs that are obviously below his or her abilities? Is this person you are thinking of marrying actually a manipulative, self-centered person who actually is not all that well-liked by others? Have people ask why you are with this person and if they point out their concerns, do you defend him 0r her and justify each one of their questionable behaviors? If this sounds like you, spend a little extra time reading up on psychopaths and when you realize this is the type of person who you are hanging around with, run, run quickly before you end up in pieces on the garage floor like poor Tara Lynn Grant. Don't be so desperate to have someone in your life that you end up losing your life in the process.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Columbine High School

Several bomb threats were called in to Columbine High School last Thursday, leading authorities to evacuate the school and cancel classes for the rest of the day. It was at least the 10th time the school or its students were threatened with violence since Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shot and killed 13 others before killing themselves on April 20, 1999, but only the 2nd time a threat led to evacuation and closing of the school. Jefferson County sheriff’s spokesperson, Jacki Kelley, said she believes the caller was seeking media attention because he specifically requested that his threat be reported on CNN. “Most of the threats that have been associated to that school made reference to past events that occurred there,” Kelley said. “But a bomb threat to a school is as serious at any school as it is at Columbine.”

After a thorough search, it was determined the threat was a hoax and the school was reopened on Friday.

I doubt a reference to the events of 1999 is hardly necessary to remind anyone who survived the attack or who anxiously watched and waited for it to end, of the diversionary explosive devices used by Klebold and Harris in their highly organized premeditated assault.

Last Thursday, almost every newspaper and television station in the country kept the brief reports and updates of the situation focused on the appropriate response by law enforcement, instructions for students and parents, and decisions made my school authorities regarding the rest of the day’s activities. This course of action by authorities is aimed at maintaining calm, promoting efficiency of the response teams, and minimizing risk to persons and property by taking away the control and power of manipulation by the perpetrator. However, I have seen no announcement of a suspect in custody yet, and here is where public confidence can start to waver. If the threatening caller hasn’t been arrested or received the attention he seeks, will he become angry and possibly carry out his threat of violence? That is a question for our profiler, however, I hope that if, and when an arrest is made, information will be released in as timely, and authoritative a manner as Thursday’s bomb threats were.

Another event relating to the 1999 attack is undoubtedly contributing to rising emotions as the 8th anniversary of the Columbine shootings draws near. In Federal court this week, a judge is expected to decide whether the depositions of Harris and Klebold’s parents will be destroyed or held under seal at the National Archives and Records Administration for 25 years. Parents of some of those killed by the gunmen are arguing that the documents containing several hours’ worth of questioning should be made public instead.

Donna Weaver