Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hailey Dunn Case: Double Negative



That which is reported in the negative, is very important:

"Thou shalt not steal" is in the negative.  In the case of missing teen, Hailey Dunn, we come to a rarity in deception:  A double negative.

People generally mark time by what happened in life.

"Where were you when 9/11 hit?" is a common question today, much like how people used to ask where someone was when President Kennedy was shot.  They mark time, that is, they remember time, by what happened.

"I was happy when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup" marks an emotion with a specific time.

The emotion is noted at the time of the event.  This is the norm.  We mark, or remember something, when something happened.

Hailey Dunn was reported missing by her mother, who went on the Nancy Grace Show, and in the first question, revealed that Hailey was dead.  She was asked how far Hailey had to walk, which she answered, but went further, in attempting to portray herself in a positive light, referencing her daughter in the past tense.

In the second question, "What happened?", the mother begins by establishing her priority:  an alibi.  This is seen as she marks time by stating that she was at work when Hailey went missing.

But it is when she speaks on her own that we see that she is speaking, not from experiential memory, but from a script.

The script came from Nancy Grace's True Crime online library in which a young girl, Carlie Brucia, was murdered on her way to a sleepover.  Dunn and Adkins simply attempted to cover up what happened (see failed polygraph) with the story of Carlie Brucia, which Nancy Grace referenced early on.  When it came to giving details, like Casey Anthony's "dead squirrels climbed up into the engine" statement, she not only shows deception, but she gives us the rare double negative in analysis.  Dunn did not know details enough to cover the deception, so when her words came, they did not come from experiential memory.  Here is a critical point in her deception:

We tell others what we feel when something happens.  We might say, "I felt elated when I won the lottery" giving out our thoughts, in the positive (what we thought or fell) when we won (winning in the positive) the lottery.

Billie Jean Dunn is lost in the script and gives us the signal that she is not speaking from memory, but botching a script that she had, but did not live.  Once the wording slips past the script, she is in trouble.

She tells us what she did not feel, when something did not happen. 

This is extremely rare and shows a complete disconnect between her words and the story.  It is extreme.



GRACE: Tell me what happened the day she went missing, Miss Dunn. 

"What happened?" is the best question to ask. It is the perfect question that allows the subject to:

1.  Begin the account wherever she chooses.  The first sentence is always important.  She could choose to start it anywhere, but where she chooses is critical and shows priority.  
2.  She will choose when to end the account. 
3.  Her words are her own.  Nervousness is expected, which is why courts find the nervous 911 call so reliable and label them "excited utterance"; that is, to the courts, their words are, to the court, the most reliable, since the person is upset.  
4.  Free Editing Process makes Statement Analysis reliable.  We do not interpret, we listen.  

DUNN: She went missing on Monday while I was at work. My boyfriend - - he came home from work about 3:00 -- or he got to my house about 3:00. And he`s seen Hailey. Hailey was there. She told him, I`m running across the street to my dad`s house for a few minutes but I`m going Mary Beth`s, and I`m staying the night there. Let my mom know. 

So that evening when he picked me up from work, we got home, we were getting ready for bed. I didn`t get worried when I hadn`t heard from Hailey. I thought she was at Mary Beth`s. I was kind of upset that she didn`t call and confirm it with me, but not worried at that point. 

Tuesday, I was at work again, I left my cell phone at home for my kids to use when I`m working. So Tuesday, I called my son. I said tell Hailey text the little girl, her friend, tell Hailey she needs to go ahead and get home. This was around lunch. My son called me back within a few minutes and she said, mom, she said Hailey never made it over there. She never spent the night. 

So at that point I called Hailey`s dad and found out she didn`t over there and she didn`t stay the night with him. I left from work and went to the police station in Colorado City and reported her missing. 


This is important enough to view by itself:

DUNN:  She went missing on Monday while I was at work. 


She chooses to begin her account by establishing an alibi.

Dunn was not asked "when did she go missing?" which means the question, "What happened to Hailey" is "sensitive" to the subject.  

To an innocent parent, the question is not "sensitive" within itself.  The entire topic is very emotional, but "sensitive" is a word used in analysis.  When the father of Hailey Dunn was asked the same question, his answer showed no sensitivity indicators, though he was upset out of his mind.   

To now be introduced to this case, the reader/analyst is immediately confronted with a mother who has indicated her child is dead, and is establishing an alibi for herself.  

On January 3, 2011, the mother of Hailey Dunn indicated:

1.  Hailey is dead
2.  Mother needs an alibi


My boyfriend - - he came home from work about 3:00

1.  ISI

Note first that she introduced Shawn Adkins without his name.  This is an improper social introduction and it is indicative of a troubled relationship.  That she takes ownership with the possessive pronoun, "my" shows that they are together, but in relation to the missing child, there is something less than good, as evidenced by the missing proper name.  

Note that she knows how to use present tense and past tense verbs and uses past tense here.  

2.  Note that she chooses the time "3:00".   We note this as the liar's number. 

 or he got to my house about 3:00


She allows for an "either/or" possibility reducing commitment to the story.  This allows for changes to be made later and shows the uncertainty of her account.  Why would the mother of a missing child, on high adrenaline alert, not have established, a week later, what happened and where her boyfriend was, or what time he got home?  This uncertainty is taken in context with the indication of death, and the need to establish an alibi.

Note it is "my house" which is expected.    


And he`s seen Hailey. Hailey was there. 


1.  A sentence that begins with "And" indicates the need for a connecting word = missing information.  It is a jump in an account. 

2.  Redundancy means sensitivity. 

"he's seen Hailey."  She establishes that Adins laid eyes on Hailey.  Extra words give us additional information.  This is critical. 

"Hailey was there."

If he "seen Hailey", wouldn't she have to be there to be seen?

The extra words indicate deception.  It is the need to emphasize that Hailey was there, (alive is the presupposition she hopes the listener will accept, even though she spoke of her as dead) which shows deception. 

Hailey was not seen at 3PM by him; at least, not alive. 


She told him, I`m running across the street to my dad`s house for a few minutes but I`m going Mary Beth`s, and I`m staying the night there. Let my mom know.

"But"??  The word "but" refutes that which preceded.  Why would Hailey need to rebut going to her father's house?  This is a critical 'mistake' and uncovers a failed script.  

Communicative language is important.  We note that "said" and "told" are different. 

"My boss said to take this to Main St." is one way of saying something but with more authority, "My boss told me to take this to Maine St." is another.  

Here, she uses the more authoritative "told" regarding a 13 year old child speaking to an adult. This is not the expected. 

As to the story of going to a friend's house, we later learned that Billie Dunn told Nancy Grace that she had "true crime" literature in her home, and it was the same material that Nancy Grace, herself, was associated with.  What is this reference?

It is reference to the case of Carlie Brucia who was abducted and killed.  The story line is the same. 

Billie Dunn referenced where the case came from and gave a similar story.  

So that evening when he picked me up from work, we got home

She then uses the very sensitive word "so" explaining her actions.  Why is this so sensitive?  It is so sensitive because she has the need to tell us why she did something.  

Note another needless statement:  "we got home."  

Look at the awkwardness of the entire statement.  What is the reason she has to explain that while driving home they got home?  This is a strong indication of story telling and would lead detectives to ask:

Where else did you go, before you got home?

we were getting ready for bed. 

We listen to what someone tells us.  She only says "we" were getting ready for bed.  She does not say they went to bed, nor does she say they went to sleep.  

There is a reason to everything that is said.  Always note when people say that they were getting ready to do something as it does not mean they did something; only that they were getting ready to.  There is a need to give a sentence of beginning something but not doing it.  When people do something, they say so.  When they may not have done something, they will often say they began to do something.  Did they finish it?  If they did not say so, we cannot say so for them.

Next, when speaking from memory, a person can tell us what they did, and what they thought.  If they tell us what did not happen, what they did not see, what they did not think, we are on high alert for deception:   


didn`t get worried when I hadn`t heard from Hailey. 


We now have a dead child, a mother establishing an alibi, and now she tells us of what emotions she did not have when something did not happen.  This is an artificial placement since we mark time by what did happen.  This is the double negative in her account which reveals that she is deliberately deceiving her audience. 

Deception indicated. 

The use of the double negative is rare, even for liars.  It means that the subject is taking a thought or emotion, and artificially inserting it into a story, but here, she artificially inserts what she did not feel, at a moment in time that did not happen in an open statement. 

Had she been asked, "Were you worried when your daughter failed to call?" the answer would have been in the negative.  Billie Dunn did not wait to be asked this question.  

This is a pattern of liars.  

They think to themselves:  "I better tell them why I did this because they are going to ask" and we catch them, with the highlighting of "so, since, therefore, because" (and so on) as they show their need to explain.  

In this case, she anticipates and attempts to 'close the door' with a final story, sealing off any questions.  

Liars often go far beyond the boundary of a question because they feel a need to explain in order to persuade someone of their lie. 

They think to themselves, "In order to sound real, I better tell them what I felt" and they add on needless details.  

We saw this in the language of Casey Anthony.  She thought to herself that if she could describe Zanny the Nanny's teeth, it would have to sound truthful, when it was the very opposite result.  The same is here, with the inclusion of her thoughts.  She had no reason to worry, which is what she wants to convey, as it works with "she went missing while I was at work" (alibi establishment) in dislodging herself from Hailey's death. 

It is the need to distance herself from Hailey's death, itself, that brings the suspicion upon her.  

I thought she was at Mary Beth`s. I was kind of upset that she didn`t call and confirm it with me, but not worried at that point. 

Since Hailey didn't say to Adkins that she was staying at Marybeth's, but "told" him, if the language was consistent, there should have been a report of a fight, or disagreement.  This inconsistency is noted.  She again reports what didn't happen:  Hailey "didn't call."

This is a truthful sentence and an example of how a sentence can be truthful while being overall deceptive. 
Tuesday, I was at work again


Here is another case of a seemingly unnecesary word becoming of vital importance.  Why the need to say she was at work, "again"?

1.  It could be that she rarely works, and was per diem, and found herself surprised to be called in.  This is something a substitute teacher might say. 

2.  She is continuing to work her alibi.  

Since we have, in context, her establishment of alibi, the analyst/reader should see this as the subject seeking to affirm her alibi.  Later, we learned that this was her regular job and not a per diem or temp. position. 

I left my cell phone at home for my kids to use when I`m working. 

She now tells us why she did something, making "what happened?" into "why something happened" meaning high sensitivity.  She is setting up a scenario and explaining why she did something. 

She is portraying herself as a caring mother.  
Question:  Who portrays themselves in positive terms?  
Answer:  those who have been negligent and have a need to persuade.   


So Tuesday, I called my son. I said tell Hailey text the little girl, her friend, tell Hailey she needs to go ahead and get home. 

1.  "So" explains why she did something, highly sensitive, rather than answering the basic "what happened?" question. 

2.  Note the communication of what she said to her son:

a.  Tell Hailey
b.  Text the little girl
c.  her friend
d.  tell Hailey

The sentence begins strongly, with "I" indicating that she should be able to say what she said, but she isn't.  Why the confusion?  Tell Hailey via what means?  The phone?  She already said she left her phone home for her kids.  Text?  The "little girl" which is then explained as "her friend", and then back to "tell Hailey."


This was around lunch. My son called me back within a few minutes and she said, mom, she said Hailey never made it over there. She never spent the night. 

She "said, mom, she said..." uses her title, "mom".  Note that economy of words from truthful statements are short: "he said..." yet she adds in "mom" as if story telling.

"never made it over there" is one thing but for the third time she gives us useless redundancy:  "she never spent the night".  It is useless since if she never made it there, she never spent the night. 
So at that point I called Hailey`s dad and found out she didn`t over there and she didn`t stay the night with him. I left from work and went to the police station in Colorado City and reported her missing.  



She returns to the explanation of why she did something.  In the SCAN tecnigue is colored as "blue", or the highest level of sensitivity.  A single indication of "blue" is sensitive, but where there is 2 or more, the analyst holds the paper up to the light and sees that in this area, between the "blues" is the most critical portion of the statement and where deception
is to be found. 

In just where Hailey Dunn's mother spoke for only a few moments this is what we learned about a missing 13 year old:

1.  She is dead
2.  The mother has a need for an alibi
3.  The mother is making up a story about what happened:  she is deceptive. 
4.  There is trouble with the boyfriend.  

All this in just one answer to one question.  

Without knowing anything about the police affidavit, investigation, or anything else, you already know that this is not a missing child case, but a homicide. 

19 comments:

Lisa said...

"Carlie Brucia, was murdered on her way to a kidnapping".

Oops... typo... Carlie Brucia was murdered on her way to a SLEEPOVER.

Anonymous said...

i wonder if LE was coaching her during these interviews? there were things that LE did not want made public and yet Nancy asked questions and Billie wanted to get the story out about Hailey so that people would be on the look-out for her.
analyze the times she says things such as, LE doesn't want me to talk about that, there are some thing LE is telling me not to say, i don't know why they said that LE told me not to talk about it to public, LE says i can tell you blah blah blah, LE wants to keep that close to the vest.......

Anonymous said...

I don't know if LE was telling her those things or that was more of her lies. What we all know is that her story and Shawn's story are lies. They know what hapened to Hailey. And LE knows it too, they just can't find anything concrete to arrest them. They only have one shot at a convictionand have to have their case.

Siobhan said...

Hi Anon @ 10.40am

I am unaware of any occasions where an innocent parent has repeatedly said "LE told me not to talk about it" when asked a question. (Although there may be many such cases) the innocent parent will give all information in the hopes of finding their child

I believe for BJD this was just a way to avoid answering the questions.

Frannie said...

No matter how many times you analyze the statements and pick apart the meaning behind each word it remains fascinating to me. Thank you, Peter and Heather for all you do in keeping cases such as this in the public eye.

Anonymous said...

A question: Is a double negative in SA different from a grammatical double negative?

I understand that in SA anything that is reported as not done or not felt is sensitive.

Still, for me a double negative is "I don´t know nothing" or "She wash´t going nowhere."

"I didn`t get worried when I hadn`t heard from Hailey", would not be a double negative, just a statement with two verbs in the negative...

Anonymous said...

I agree on the double negative. Billie has poor grammer. But certainly her statements indicate deception and she did not act like a distraught mother of a missing child.

Frannie said...

How old is Hailey's brother, David, now? Wouldn't it be something to pick his brain on life in that household?
How does Billie sleep at night knowing her daughter is nothing but a skeleton now, disposed of like garbage. No proper burial. No proper way for the people that loved her to mourn and grieve for her.
Billie and Sean...where is Hailey??

Anonymous said...

I have always wondered why we have heard nothing from David. He was a minor then, age 16 now age 18. But surely he was interviwed by LE.

loulou said...

Is is true that when BJD arrived at the police station, she gave a description of what Hailey was wearing without having spoken to the last person (Sean) to have seen her? I have read this several times, and if true, a major slip up in her 'story'.

Jo said...

"I didn`t get worried when I hadn`t heard from Hailey"

Billie is telling "what happened" and tells us two things that didn't happen:
1. she didn't worry
2. didn't hear from Hailey

She does not report what did happen but rather what didn't happen. If my daughter doesn't call me today, I am not going to report that as what happened today. Rather I would talk about the things I did do today and the people I did speak with.

Grapevine said...

That is most incriminating, if in fact, Billie was able to provide a description of Hailey's apparel when she arrived at the CCPD to report her missing.

Billie has shared, on more than one occasion, Hailey went missing on Monday. She tells the "what" and refuses to tell the who, the when, the where, and the how. Billie's mind was uneased in the early morning hours. Come evening, she was not much. She said so.

Shawn answered, to the "who" was responsible. He said, when asked by LE, "the both of us". Was he honest to the "where", Scurry County. Did he say it again, on blog talk radio, when he presented with the possibility of Billie and a plea?

Billie's behavior is unbecoming of that of a mother. She presents a total lack of regard for this child, her daughter.

There was reason for CPS to intervene and remove her son, then 15 or 16 years old, from the home. The timing of when he left the home and returned is seemingly all too convenient. What does he know and who has he chosen to protect? His mother or, his sister.

Let there be a miracle in the making. A Christmas Miracle for Hailey.

Gambler said...

Peter I'm still learning from your blog. I was wondering why when Billie said 'They got home' its considered not necessary.
Yet when she said 'they got ready for bed', were not suppose to assume she went to bed or went to sleep.

If in the first statement Billie didn't include, 'They got home', How are we to know that's where they went, if were not suppose to assume?

Also regarding Hailey going to Mary Beths. Did it ever come out whether Mary Beth or her family were expecting Hailey to stay over night?
Also by saying Hailey told him(Shaun) she was going to her Dad's for a few minutes, it looks so obvious they were trying to pin suspition on Clint Dunn. Then Billie adds in about the earrings Hailey was wearing and one just happened to be at Clint's. Might as well try to solve their problem with him at the same time. If he wasn't the target, all they had to say was Hailey went to Mary Beth's. When Carlie Brucia was murdered, she was heading home,no stop planned. If its true they were basing their story on her murder, they altered it to add Clint in their scenario.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Gambler, about how they involved Hailey´s dad in their story.
Re:on eof your questions, I believe Hailey´s friend said she was never expecting her.

Anonymous said...

i can help you understand Gambler, statement analysis is not an exact science, it is a tool, and if used properly you can better your odds to a 50/50 chance.

ecossie possie said...

Haileys Father lived close practically across the road.Im assumeing it was common practice for Hailey to spend time over at Clints ..So in there apearance to mimimise her absence as no big deal they weave in a plausable scenario..Wheres Hailey? ..Oh She has gone over to her Dads..An then said something about a sleep over at Mary Beths..Jusn a normal teenage girls routine.So they have 24 hour timelapse before they have to feign concern over her abscence..The lead fabricator Billie places herself on the fringe of events .Lets her son discover the non arrival of his sister at any locations.Makes shaun the last person to have seen Hailey.Makes it apear as if she was at work when all this goes down.She is not well educated but very sly....PS An yes Mary Beth an her Parents were not expecting Hailey there was no sleep over..Therefore another way of Billies shiffting the blame on to her Daughter by makeing out she was a liar .Its called projection as she is the one lieing.

Anonymous said...

Good points, Ecossie! And Shaun was projecting (Billie) when he did the character assasination of little Hailey. Billie was the one who was promiscuous, not Hailey. Billie and Shaun are such creeps. They are soul dead.

Shelley said...

On Jodi Arias..

Very interesting.. And to me SCREAMS pre-meditated murder...

Her mom in the taped interview after the murder her mom says she asked her if she was in Arizona Because she was suspicious of her involvement said Jodi said "no, I even have the gas receipts to prove it"

Um hello.. The gas receipts are her proof?!?? She planned this. This should speak volumes to those that think she's innocent. She had that even then in her mind.



Shelley said...

On Jodi Arias..

Very interesting.. And to me SCREAMS pre-meditated murder...

Her mom in the taped interview after the murder her mom says she asked her if she was in Arizona Because she was suspicious of her involvement said Jodi said "no, I even have the gas receipts to prove it"

Um hello.. The gas receipts are her proof?!?? She planned this. This should speak volumes to those that think she's innocent. She had that even then in her mind.