Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Statement Analysis: Man Suspected in Sending Poison

This man was arrested and held for sending poison letters to President Obama and others.  Quietly, and surprisingly, he was released and charges dropped.  Statement Analysis is in bold type.

What would you say if you were accused of sending poison letters to officials?

He issued a reliable denial as to sending the letters.  Is is possible that he had a hand in the creation of the letters but not in sending them?

Charges dropped against man in ricin letters case

OXFORD, Miss. — Charges were dropped Tuesday against the Mississippi man accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and others, while authorities searched at another man's home in connection with the case.
The surprising move was announced in a brief document filed in federal court in Oxford hours after Paul Kevin Curtis was released from custody. The document says the ongoing investigation has revealed new but unspecified information.
Attorneys for Curtis have suggested he was framed, and an FBI agent testified in court this week that no evidence of ricin was found in searches of his home.
Why was he arrested?

Paul Kevin Curtis.
In Tupelo, numerous law enforcement officers converged on the home of another Mississippi man, including some in hazmat suits.
Everett Dutschke said in a phone interview with The Associated Press that the FBI was at his Tupelo home Tuesday for the search connected to the mailing of poisoned letters to Obama, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi and a state judge. Dutschke said his house was also searched last week.
Dutschke has maintained his innocence and says he doesn't know anything about the ingredients for ricin. He said agents asked him about Curtis, whether Dutschke would take a lie detector test and if he had ever bought castor beans, which can be used to make the potent poison.

"I'm a patriotic American. I don't have any grudges against anybody. I did not send the letters," said Dutschke, who hasn't been arrested or charged.
1. First note that being an American is sensitive with "patriotic."  This sensitivity is understood in context of being accused.   He has a need to persuade that he is patriotic. 
2.  Next, note that which is in the negative as very important to the subject. 
3.  Note the reliable denial of 
1.  First Person Singular Pronoun "I"
2.  Past Tense:  "did not"
3.  Accusation specific:  "send the letters"

This is a strong denial but it is limited to the sending or mailing.  Should he be asked, "Why should you be believed?" and he answer, "Because I told the truth", he would be, statistically, innocent. 

additionally, is is possible he had a hand in creating the letters but did not send them?  

Did he create them?  Did he facilitate them?  

Also, what do you make of what he felt the NEED to say before denying the mailing?  Does this weaken the denial?

He is patriotic
He does not have grudges

and then he adds in that he did not "send" the letters.

The day's events began when the third day of a preliminary and detention hearing was cancelled without officials explaining the change. Within two hours, Curtis had been released, though it wasn't clear why at first. A lawyer later said he was released on bond.
Through his lawyers, Curtis has denied involvement in the letters.
"The searches are concluded, not one single shred of evidence was found to indicate Kevin could have done this," Defense lawyer Christi McCoy told reporters after a hearing Monday.
McCoy said in court that someone may have framed Curtis. She questioned why Curtis would have signed the letters "I am KC and I approve this message," a phrase he had used on his Facebook page.
FBI Agent Brandon Grant said in court on Monday that searches last week of Curtis' vehicle and house in Corinth, Miss., found no ricin, ingredients for the poison, or devices used to make it. A search of Curtis' computers found no evidence he researched making ricin. Authorities produced no other physical evidence at the hearings tying Curtis to the letters.
Curtis was arrested last Wednesday at his house in Corinth, Miss. The first of the letters was found two days earlier.
Grant testified Friday that authorities tried to track down the sender of the letters by using a list of Wicker's constituents with the initials KC, the same initials in the letters. Grant said the list was whittled from thousands to about 100 when investigators isolated the ones who lived in an area that would have a Memphis, Tenn., postmark, which includes many places in north Mississippi. He said Wicker's staff recognized Curtis as someone who had written the senator before.
All the envelopes and stamps were self-adhesive, Grant said Monday, meaning they won't yield DNA evidence. He said thus far the envelopes and letters haven't yielded any fingerprints.
On Tuesday, people in hazmat suits were seen going in and out of Dutschke's house on a quiet block in Tupelo. Investigators from the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Capitol Police were seen outside the house. Dutschke said he counted at least 30 law enforcement agents.
Dutschke said his attorney wasn't with him and he didn't know whether he was going to be arrested.
Dutschke said that he knows Curtis but that the two had a falling out. Dutschke said the last contact they had was in 2010 when Dutschke threatened to sue Curtis for saying he was a member of Mensa, a membership group for people with high IQs


Anonymous said...

Peter I just posted this in a different thread, but I see you put up this article, so I'll comment here too.
Last night I was reading an article about the tweets that the younger bomber put out before and after the marathon bombings. I noticed that one of his tweets seems to be the same "thought" worded slightly differently than the message in the ricin letters.
Here is what the younger bomber tweeted at 12:34 am Tues the night after (of) the bombings
"There are people who know the truth but stay silent & there are people that speak the truth but we don't hear them cuz they're the minority."

Here is one of the lines written in the ricin letters "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance."

Immediately, it jumped out at me that these are basically the same thoughts worded differently. Notice how both writers even use the word "SILENT".

It seems that the bombers' family was obsessed with the idea that the government had staged 9/11 so that people would hate Muslims.
But, even without knowing that, I feel that the bombers were probably behind the ricin letters also, because these two sentences are extremely similar as far as what they are saying.
Does anyone else have any ideas about this?

? said...

"Dutschke said that he knows Curtis but that the two had a falling out. Dutschke said the last contact they had was in 2010 when Dutschke threatened to sue Curtis for saying he was a member of Mensa, a membership group for people with high IQs". What a silly reason to try to sue someone. He doesn't sound like exactly rational and mature to me. The attorney for Curtis thinks he might have been set up. That merits investigating.

Then the government keeps track of everything we say online and can put that in their computer program to "whittle" it down even more. I bet if you took any other postal zone and put in the same data you'd get the same results only different parties. They need to investigate terrorism but the price we pay for that is our privacy and the possibility that any one of us could get a knock on the door at any time because our name and details of out life make our government suspicious. I hope they clear both men's names if when they get through and don't leave a cloud of suspicion hanging over their heads the rest of their lives, assuming of course neither was involved. Scary times we live in.

? said...

I meant to add that the similarity you pointed out was probably part of the criteria that was entered into the computer program.

Lis said...

"I did not send the letters" is a reliable denial but, just for discussion's sake, what if he prepared them and someone else "sent" them?

Lis said...

What is further confusing to me is that I read the original man arrested has sent similar letters in the past. So, is he the sender but not the one who put ricin into it?

Is it possible it is not ricin and was a false positive or something?

Lis said...

Here's an interesting thing I was reading about the bombers today:

It is about the Jihadist magazine where they learned how to make the bombs:

Coughing said...

He makes a reliable denial about SENDING the letters. How about questions involving any aspect of the letters? This is NOT a reliable denial for creating the letters. Patriotic...he may indeed be patriotic by his standards. He may also be an extremist and/or a sociopath. He is unstable. MENSA is not an embarassment nor are they connected with anything anti-American.

Anonymous said...

there's an idea out there that guy who had a grudge against him framed him. it sounds ikely to me. the way they caught this guy is that he signs his facebook posts the same way the letterrs were signed --- does sound like a likey framing.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Coughing said...
He makes a reliable denial about SENDING the letters. How about questions involving any aspect of the letters? This is NOT a reliable denial for creating the letters. Patriotic...he may indeed be patriotic by his standards. He may also be an extremist and/or a sociopath. He is unstable. MENSA is not an embarassment nor are they connected with anything anti-American.
April 23, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Excellent post.

He only denied sending them and his patriotism is sensitive (perhaps due to the accusation, perhaps something more).


John Mc Gowan said...

I would like to know what his definition of patriotic is?

? said...

If I'm reading it right Curtis said that Dutschke was a member of mensa and for that Dutschke sued him. He appears to be the unstable one and the one that is now being investigated.

? said...

Never mind, I misread it.

? said...

Wow, I must have been tired when I read that, I thought it was Curtis' denial. Sheesh!

Statement Analysis Blog said...

John, good question in the interview.

? , I thought the same thing because I read it quickly.

I have added the point that he denied sending the letters, but still could be involved in the manufacturing of them, just not the mailer. Thanks to the poster, Coughing, to point this out.

I must have been as sleepy as ? for not putting it in originally.

This is a good reminder to "stay within the rules" of analysis and not jump unless we have lots of sample to work from.

C5H11ONO said...

Curtis, upon release from jail made a statement. He doesn't deny anything.


A great opportunity to deny sending the letters and he musters the following quote related to his prison stint:
“the last seven days, staring at four gray walls, not really knowing what’s happening.”

“When you’ve been charged with something,” Curtis told the press, “and you never heard of ricin, or whatever. I thought they said rice. I said, ‘I don’t even eat rice.’ It’s a learning experience for me, and for my family.”

He never heard of ricin, not that he doesn't know what ricin is. Never is not "no".

Curtis thanked his “family, friends and fans” for their “love and support,” along with “Jesus Christ, who has been and will always be my best friend, my bodyguard, my teacher and almighty judge.” Curtis also called Sen. Wicker a “good and honest man,” said he “respects President Obama.” He added, “I love my country, and would never do anything to pose a threat to him or any other U.S. official.”

He would never do anything to pose a threat to President Obama or any other US official. Is this future tense conditional. Maybe he learned his lesson.

The fact that there was no evidence after the search through his home and computer, would not mean that he didn't do it, and Curtis didn't exactly deny it.

Incidentally, I found it interesting that it was the FBI who announced that there were "three" letters that were sent. But there isn't really any proof since these letters were so adeptly intercepted. Could this have been a diversion from something else? -- I'm a conspiracy theorist at times.

John Mc Gowan said...

“When YOUV'E been charged with SOMETHING,” Curtis told the press, “and YOU never heard of ricin, or WHATEVER.

Notice he doesn't use first person singular I,but distances himself away from the charges,by using the pronoun YOU.

I thought they said rice. I said, ‘I don’t EVEN eat rice.’ It’s a learning experience for ME, and for MY family.”

He changes from YOU TO I,and then to ME, taking ownership when denying eating rice,but when telling us about the charges and the ricin, he uses the pronoun YOU. RICIN is sensitive to him..

dadgum said...

John..the "I don't even eat rice.." Who says that? whatever is colloqueal, and stuff..and whatever..

He is an Elvis impersonator..

John Mc Gowan said...

It is a weird thing to say Dadgum isn't it..

Its probably the only thing he could think of on the spot,that rhymed with Ricon..

Coughing said...

Wouldn't it be 'funny' if Curtis exploited the feud between the other guy to set him as the fall guy for sending ricin 'using Curtis'' sign off?
It would be made into a movie.
Being sued for a compliment gives you a good fall guy. Just sayin'. Feel like script writing, anyone?

Coughing said...

Btw, I agree, 'I don't even eat rice,' is a ridiculous statement. He knows what ricin is by the time he goes public with that statement, so he lets people know that he said it to make himself sound like an innocent, befuddled fool. To me it sounds sarcastic, affected and flippant. I doubt anyone finds themselves the subject of a federal investigation of such a serious nature and woukd not ask, what is ricin?--if they didn't really know. The 'fact' that he had a 'learning experience' that the word rice is not the same word is ricin is asanine. I doubt he ever entertained the idea that he'd be called in to investigate for sending Obama some minute rice.
Let's say for a minute that sending (pardon the minute joke, unintentional) that sending rice was illegal, 'I don't even eat rice,' is still not a reliable denial. He sounds sarcastic and I'd love to read the rest of the interrogation.