Monday, April 1, 2013
Statement Analysis: Luke Mitchell
The following is Statement Analysis of a short interview with murder victim's boyfriend. Statement Analysis is in bold type.
The murder of Jodi Jones, a 14-year-old girl, took place in Easthouses, Scotland on 30 June 2003. Her 15 year old boyfriend, Luke Mitchell, came under suspicion, but it was several months before he was arrested. Mitchell was tried for the murder and after Scotland's longest single-accused trial, Mitchell was convicted in January 2005. He was sentenced to detention without limit of time with a minimum of 20 years.
JAMES MATTHEWS: It’s 65 days since Jodi was killed, Luke, clearly it’s a tragedy for her family, do you see it as a tragedy for your family as well?
JAMES MATTHEWS: Tell me about your experience over the last two months.
LUKE: It’s just been worse than a nightmare. At least a nightmare you wake up from eventually but this, you can’t wake up from it.
JAMES MATTHEWS: What’s been the worst part of the last two months?
LUKE: The worst part would be still finding Jodi. That was still the worst part. All the rest of it, the police and accusations and everything I couldn’t care about, it’s just … I just want to find out what happened and who did it.
Note the list of concerns:
The last thing listed is "who" did it. Would this not be the first and foremost issue?
Note the negative, "couldn't care" as very important.
Note that "what happened" comes before "who"
JAMES MATTHEWS: Do you feel that the finger has been pointed at you as the person responsible?
LUKE: I feel it has been left to the media and public to decide. It is trial by media. They haven’t actually come out and totally accused me, apart from in interviews, the police have accused me but I feel it has been left to trial by media to see what the public decide, who’s guilty and who’s not. The way the police are handling it, they have searched other houses and they have other suspects but I seem to be really the only person they are mentioning by name in specific detail.
Here he wants it left up to a trial to see what the public decides. Easier would have been for him to tell us now, what we should think by simply denying the murder. He does not.
This answer is a good example of how deceptive people have a need to avoid the direct lie; how it is stressful for them and they avoid the lie, even to the point of sounding foolish, or circumspect.
JAMES MATTHEWS: But you have an alibi for that night because you were with friends?
LUKE: Yes. I was, first I was waiting just at the end of the estate where I was in full view, cars were passing, people were just getting home from work on buses, then I met up with my friends.
JAMES MATTHEWS: Who vouch for you?
LUKE: Yes, they gave statements the same as mine.
What is easier is for someone to say, "I didn't kill Jodie Jones" and not concern himself with an alibi.
JAMES MATTHEWS: It is a question on everybody’s lips in this community, it is a question you clearly have an answer for. Did you kill Jodi Jones?
A yes or no question is easy to lie to. When possible, we seek to frame questions that allow the subject to choose his answer. Something along these lines:
"Many people think you killed Jodi Jones, how do you speak to it?" or
"With people believing you killed Jodi Jones, what do you say?"
LUKE: No, I never, I wouldn’t think of it. All the time we were going out we never had one argument at all, never. We never fell out or anything.
The answer is not only "unreliable" but it is sensitive to the subject.
A reliable denial has three (30 components according to LSI (www.lsiscan.com)
If the denial adds to, or subtracts to the denial, it is to be deemed "unreliable." An unreliable denial is just that, unreliable. It does not mean the subject is guilty; it means the subject has not told us, plainly, that he did not do it.
1. The Pronoun "I" must be present
2. The past tense verb must be present
3. The allegation must be specifically answered
It is something that is quite simple for the innocent. "I didn't kill Jodi" would be an example of a reliable denial.
Here are some unreliable denials:
"I would never kill Jodi", using the future/conditional tense verb, "would"
"I did not harm Jodi" takes death and reduces it (minimizes it) to "harm"
The word "never" is not appropriate unless the subject has been asked a question with the word "ever" in it.
The innocent will give a reliable denial often early, without waiting for the accusation.
LSI Principle: if a subject is unable or unwilling to say he did not do it, we are not permitted to say it for him.
Here, not only does he avoid the unreliable denial, but tells the reason "why" he "would" not have killed her: because they got along.
Even though the word "because" or "since" is not used, the principle of having the need to explain "why", makes this a very sensitive point for him.
There is something else very concerning in his statement:
He uses the word "we", which shows unity and/or cooperation. In context, it was while they were going out.
Please notice carefully these additional words "all the time we were going out..."in his sentence. These appear to be unnecessary words making them doubly important to us.
Is it so that they had broken up and then he killed her? Because it is he who tells us that they "never" (unreliable) had one argument (perhaps many?) adding the time frame while they were going out.
This denial is not only unreliable, it is sensitive and it puts a condition upon their relationship: time.
JAMES MATTHEWS: How do you feel at being told to stay away from the funeral?
LUKE: That was a hard blow. I was dreading going to the funeral but I did want to go and being told not to go due to the fact that it would turn the funeral into a circus, a media circus, was bad. It would have been a media circus without me but that was, if it was the family’s wishes, that’s what I was going to do?
It was a hard blow, but he had been "dreading" going to it. This would seem, to me, to lessen the "blow."
It is this choice of wording: "hard blow" that has entered his language and should be noted.
Always note a question within an answer, as the subject may be speaking to himself, about his own internal struggle.
JAMES MATTHEWS: You have paid your own tribute, you have written a poem. Tell me why you felt you needed to do that?
LUKE: I just felt I had to say goodbye in my own way.
The poem being in his "own way", should be analyzed for content.
JAMES MATTHEWS: So what would you say to those who would look at you and think he killed his girlfriend?
James Matthews appears to understand that Luke Mitchell did not give a reliable denial. This is an excellent question and since he gave the subject a chance to talk about his feelings regarding the funeral and being misunderstood ("my own way"), the timing is excellent. This is now another perfect opportunity for Luke Mitchell to say "I didn't kill Jodi":
LUKE: I just say they are being naïve and not to believe everything you read in the papers. As a lot of folk know from what they’ve said and what’s turned out in the papers, they do change what people have said, not the whole truth is published in papers. It is basically what the people want to hear is what printed.
Luke Mitchell is unable to bring himself to say the simple words, "I did not kill Jodie" or "I didn't kill Jodie"; therefore, we are not permitted to say it for him.
This was his second opportunity.
Please note that not "everything" in the papers should be believed, but some things can be.
Please note that not the "whole" truth is in "published papers", but some truth.
JAMES MATTHEWS: I suppose the difficulty is from 5 p.m. to whenever Jodie was found, that's a long time to fill and to account for, especially if you lose track of time. The question I suppose for detectives, for people who look at that is could anybody account for every minute in that sort of period? Can you, can you account for every minute?
A good question about his alibi. This is yet another opportunity to say he didn't do it:
LUKE: No. Well the police seem to expect people to, as you say, pin down every minute of their life, to expect us to know when we do small insignificant things like doing the dishes, expect us to have a time for that, it isn’t possible to keep a pin of every minute that you do something.
If a subject does not tell us he didn't do it, we should believe him. Of any or every minute "small insignificant" thing in life, he mentions "dishes", with its reference to water. We often find that mentioning of water is related to sexual activity; whether it be activity, abuse, or sexual homicide.
JAMES MATTHEWS: This burning of clothes keeps getting mentioned and there is also the subject of a missing knife, is that your missing knife?
LUKE: No. The burning clothes that wasn’t us. They just stated that a female relative of the suspect admitted to burning clothes.
Not, "that wasn't me" but "us", which is plural. Guilty parties often feel more secure sharing guilt with others.
JAMES MATTHEWS: Was that you or anyone connected to you?
LUKE: No, not that we know of.
The weakness continues.
JAMES MATTHEWS: Finally, do you miss Jodi?
LUKE: A lot. It’s just, everything I do seems to remind me, her views and everything come up everywhere. Everywhere you look, going about the streets, there are posters. It’s just, I can’t believe … it still feels like a nightmare.
Everything the subject does seems to remind him of her; but everywhere "you" look, there are posters.
Broken sentences contain missing information.
Even in this short interview, Luke Mitchell is unable to issue a reliable denial and shows very high sensitivity.