Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Conspiracy Theories and Leanne Bearden

I have read some disturbing comments here in the Statement Analysis blog, and we have deleted many more, about what happened to Leanne Bearden.

The most disturbing element for me is the erroneous use of the principles of Statement Analysis in an attempt to fit analysis to a presupposed theory, rather than allowing the statements to build a theory.

Leanne committed suicide.

There are those (mostly "anonymous") who believe that Leanne was murdered.  As 'proof', they are using principles of statement analysis in error, out of context, producing false results.

Here is one such Anonymous post:

"Anonymous said...
And Peter, don't you always say that in a list of things, order matters? This from the 5K website:

Please email us with any questions and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!
February 24, 2014 at 11:08 PM  "

Note how the Anonymous poster begins with a "challenge" to me, as if I am responsible for the fundraising, as if she can use my words to justify her application.

I found the fundraising distasteful, just as I did the lack of initial information by the family, leading to "sightings" far from the location of suicide.  I am wary of fund raising in general, but that is just me. Others may not find it distasteful, but helpful.  Some may want to raise money for depression victims, in Leanne's name.  It is their business, but it does not indicate murder.   I found the distancing language present, but this fits a suicide, as the guilt of survivors is terrible.  I found the reward to be strange, but not so strange when considering suicide was known as likely, early on.

These things may be distasteful or may be unusual,  but they are not indicative of murder nor deception.  

As to pet names, "terms of endearment", actually, this must be placed in context for appropriate analysis:

Josh Bearden used pet names on Facebook ("terms of endearment") after his wife's body was found. The anonymous postings believe this is also indicative of murder.  That is not something that is Statement Analysis.  It is folly.

As to his posting, what is the setting?

It is a memorial!  It is expected that he would use terms of endearment or pet names for her in a memorial.

Anonymous postings "flagging" the "pet names" (terms of endearment), and attempting to squeeze it into a murder case, make a mockery of principle.

In a police statement in which a crime is suspected, the term of endearment is red flagged.  Think of the context!

In a memorial post, a term of endearment or pet name is expected, not unexpected.

It has a feel that Anonymous  Posters have a theory, "murder", and that everything Josh Bearden says is being shoved into the theory.

In Statement Analysis, we do not begin with a theory, but allow the words to guide us.  We have "total faith" in the subject's words to guide us.

This is an erroneous application of principle.

Even Leanne smiling for the camera is sighted as "proof" that the family is lying about depression.  This ignorance is astounding.

There are videos on the History Channel that show Jews in concentration camps smiling for the camera, right before their death!  This is a common occurrence.

People who live with depression suffer along with the victim.  Loved ones suffer, and the Bearden family will suffer for a very long time.  Distancing language is common because of guilt.  The guilt is related to the suicide.

Loved ones will always ask themselves what they could have done differently, what they could have said differently.

Josh Bearden will suffer this, more than anyone else, for the rest of his life.

I hope he finds peace.

He used distancing language in reporting his wife missing.  The police made a statement that sounded more like a condolence offering than anything else.

Take both of these together and conclude:

They knew.

As to the photographs of Leanne smiling "proving" murder:  People with acute depression have good days, too.  The pictures may show actually how hard Josh Bearden worked to lift his wife's spirits.

Only the closest loved ones of acute depression victims know how deeply they, the loved ones, suffer, day to day.  Only they know the effort it takes, sometimes hourly, to keep the victim "up" and functioning.

Only the closest loved ones know how to sleep with one eye open, fearful of suicide.

Only the closest loved ones know how to "walk on eggshells", fearful of saying the wrong thing and being the one who "finally" sets off the suicide.

Husbands and wives argue.

It is reality.

Yet, if one spouse suffers from depression, the pressure to avoid arguments, itself, can lead to arguments, passive-aggressive outbursts, and take its toll on the physical health of the loved one, as he may expend incessant energy to keep his wife from suicide.

In Josh Bearden's statements, he was not deceptive.  He is unusual, as his lifestyle showed, but unusual is not guilt.  How many people do you know travel the globe the way he and his wife did?  I don't know any.

The conspiracy theorists in this case need to now post elsewhere.  The conspiracy postings are foolishness and can only hurt Leanne's loved ones.  The misapplication of Statement Analysis does a disservice to Statement Analysis, and this blog.

I hope that Leanne's plight will help other serious depression victims to get help, and that loved ones of victims will get support.

God bless the surviving family with peace.


Tania Cadogan said...

With many suicides, often those associated with depression, family and friends will say why did they commit suicide? they seemed so happy, they had made plans, they didn't seem worried and other similarities.

Often once a suicidal person has made plans for their death, they feel like a burden has been lifted off their shoulders, they becomes relaxed and happy, family members will notice the improved emotions and feel that maybe their loved one is 'cured', that everything will be all right.

For the suicidal person, they are happy now they have made the decision as to how and when and possibly where, they look forward to the remaining time with loved ones. They have a new energy, a rejuvenated life force.
They know the cause of their unhappiness will be gone and in an altruistic manner, they feel relief that they will no longer be a burden to their loved ones, they won't be a failure any more, this is the one thing they can and will succeed in.

Many realise their loved ones will feel pain at their death, the same as when any loved one passes, they don't see their death as a negative, they see it as a positive.

This isn't the case in every suicide, each suicide although is the same, is unique to each victim, each will have their own reasons for suicide, their own method, their own effcts on loved ones.

Most leave notes explaining the why, perhaps as an atonement to why they feel they are failures, others to apologise for the inconvenience and distress finding their body will cause others, others are altruistic, i fo this to save you from that, a few do it to get revenge on another, causing them lifelong pain and anguish even if they had nothing to do with the motive for suicide, or it is payback as we have seen in parental custody battles where it comes down to if i can't have the children no one can and i will kill myself so you don't even get the satisfaction of knowing the whys and wherefores or in some cases the remains of their children, they believe they will be with the children forever in heaven and nothing you can do can bring them back, suicide as punishment on another for whatever reason.
Then we have those who do it for a casue be it then end of the world cults or religious beliefs.

Whatver the reason suicide has an effect not only on family and friends but also on future generations, it is the shameful secret.

Those who want to suicide will, if not today then sometime, they will do it when they are ready and often in a place where they won't be found easily and thus resuscitated.

Sometimes there are warning signs such as self harming or they talk about it, other times no one suspects until the body is found.

Right now, her family and friends will be wondering if they should have realised what was intended, how they could have prevented it, a phonecall or email they never made, a pop round for a coffee and chat. They will now have a life of what if's and why didn't i's and often hyper vigilance of their loved ones. They didn't stop Leanne, this time round the slightest hint and they will be right there so it foesn't happen again, especially if they feel guilt themselves and feel they should be punished, sadly in some cases this leads to further deaths either out of guilt or simply the pain of not seeing them again in this life so they join them in the next.

In this case there were red flags, the distancing in the statements, yet there was nothing to say for certain this was a murder by a spouse, there was guilt but not what could be described as guilty knowledge as we have seen in other cases. This really was a case of we need more statements, we need to hear the whole statements, questions asked , context.

My condolences to Leanne's family and friends

John Mc Gowan said...

Josh Beardens pronoun usage "We, Our" etc stuck out like a sore thumb and sent up red flags with me, ill admit. It was just that though, red flags. It was not the expected, It was very rare that he took ownership of his words when talking about Leanne.

Although i din't put Leannes disepearence down to josh, i was however, very aware of his distancing language. For me, learning that guilt in someones language does not always mean guilt of a crime, is a very good lesson learned.

John Mc Gowan said...

I should add "Guilt indicators" and not guilt period.

ima.grandma said...

I am an early riser and in my attempt to maintain a quiet household until my granddaughters are up for school, playing around on the iPad has become part of my morning routine. I was going through my bookmarks and noticed one named Leanne. I was surprised to see so many recent comments on an older post, a bit unusual here but even more so because it was still active with communication. I looked at a couple more and saw similarities. I have been feeling like there are a few regulars (also posting as anons) that have become almost adamant they deserve private details or LE case information (most know this could jeapordize tenative cases) and feel insulted the situations haven't worked out the way they envision. This is particularly true with Leanne but has become a common characteristic the last several months. Freedom of information does not equal justice served. I know I take a risk as I hit the publish button, as I've been 'called on the carpet' here more than once, but I need to speak up.

Peter, I stand with you. Team Respect.

maudes harold said...


Thank you so much for this post. The struggle of mentally ill people and their loved ones is daunting and frustrating. We really don't have adequate laws and health facilities to serve these patients and their families. The fear surrounding mental illness often isolates them even more. Many mentally ill people end up living very marginalized lives which is depressing in and of itself. It is a vicious, painful and repetitive cycle.

Thank you for giving this important topic a loving, compassionate voice.

JoAnn said...

Peter once asked if we were required to do SA for statements made by Bob Dylan, for instance, would we be able to take his words alone & analyze without letting emotion override. (Or something like that) This made a huge impression on me, because I've been a Dylan fan for so long. I guess the opposite of not wanting to believe someone could be guilty of something is WANTING to think someone is guilty of SOMETHING, because you dislike them. I was not a fan of Josh Bearden after watching their vacation videos & may have felt suspicious of his words before even looking careful at them. This case is an excellent reminder not to let my own emotions or feelings enter into the actual SA. Let the words, and the words alone, speak.

JoAnn said...


Sus said...

I agree with John. Those pronouns were getting to me, especially how Josh could switch to "I" when he spoke of where to look for Leanne.

Lesson learned...guilt may not mean guilty of a crime.

On the flip side, I believe Tammy Moorer feels no guilt so it doesn't show up in her language.

maggie said...


CarlaP said...


"I have been feeling like there are a few regulars (also posting as anons) that have become almost adamant they deserve private details or LE case information (most know this could jeopardize tentative cases) and feel insulted the situations haven't worked out the way they envision. This is particularly true with Leanne but has become a common characteristic the last several months. Freedom of information does not equal justice served."

I've noticed this as well, and agree with you 100%. There are so many reasons LE withholds information on active investigations, I don't understand why people get up in arms about that.

GeekRad (formerly Local anon in the Hailey Dunn case) said...

I'm with you ima.gramma. It has been frustrating to read the posts demanding confidential case information. I want to scream "This isn't a TV show where we get to try to solve the crime and it is solved in an hour of TV. This is LIFE!" Not everything is a crime that must be solved, as in the case of Leanne. There is a little too much Nancy Drew and Hardy boys going on lately with people's wild imaginations getting the better of them. I am glad Peter did this post. Maybe it will stop some of the madness.

JerseyJane said...

I focused too much on his words about Leanne when she was still alive, and then I woke up. The police chief ended their search and turned it over to the family was a big clue, that Leanne was someone that walked away on her own. I was embarassed that I didn't think of "what do the police and family know that the public don't?" Im sure the family decided to keep it private, if Leeanne was found alive imagine the press calling her the woman that was a runaway suicidal mess. It would never be lived down, maybe hard to find a job,etc.. Leanne would be living with the world on her back...below I posted when I woke up...

JerseyJaneFebruary 16, 2014 at 10:14 PM
I also would be curious to know if Leanne had ever researched suicide under her login on the shared phone or the computer that the police took to check out. And was it taken in this 8 day period or a later time?

I totally forgot the police may have found evidence of her possible thoughts of suicide on these devices. I feel this suicide info, if it existed, would have been shared with Josh, next of kin. And if the husband knew, he certainly didn't share it with her parents or siblings. Someone in blog below this one found a fb entry of Leanne's mom wondering about the sudden brought on quickness of Leanne's suicide. Sounds as if this thought or knowledge wasn't shared if it was know (found evidence of search of devices or the husband's thoughts)...


AnonymousFebruary 16, 2014 at 10:36 PM
It seems likely, given the statements from Law Enforcement and the Family throughout the case, that a suicide note of some kind was found.

Still-- even with note in hand, there is always the hope of saving the loved one.

--Det. Milton Wah


andrize said...

Thank you, Peter, for this educational post.


elf said...

OT- re: Heather Elvis
Facebook page- The State of South Carolina vs Sidney and Tammy Moorer

Long link but its an interesting conversation. Might be the answer to what the 'financial discrepancies' in Fridays arrest warrent were about as well as the indecent exposure charge...

Nic said...

Thank you, Peter. My brother-in-law suffers from depression. He is a very visible executive in his company. I don't know how he manages, but he does. His daughter also suffers from depression. It's especially hard on him because 1) he's "dad" and dad fixes everything (not in this case), 2) he knows how she feels but doesn't know how to help her (else he could help himself.)

MizzMarple said...

Thank You, Peter, for this explanation.

My sincere apologies for any offensive posts I may have made.

I follow many cases, but none of the "missing persons" cases that I have followed have ever been ruled a "suicide." It was not on my "radar."

Lesson learned !

Red Ryder said...

John said, "For me, learning that guilt(indicators) in someones language does not always mean guilt of a crime, is a very good lesson learned."
Yes, me too.

The pronoun switching I/we was also confusing in Josh's speech.

Anonymous said...

Maybe just maybe,,her husband KNEW she was about to kill herself??????????????????????? :(

Tania Cadogan said...

off topic

Steven Powell has been given a release date and is due to be let out of a Utah jail after nearly two years on March 23.

Powell was convicted of 14 counts of voyeurism after taking pictures of 8 and 10 year old girls who lived next door to him.

He gained notoriety for his writings about his daughter-in-law Susan, who has been missing for years and whose two sons were killed by Powell's son Josh in a fiery blaze.

With his son and grandsons dead and his daughter-in-law still missing, presumed dead, 63-year-old Steven is now focusing on holding on to some parts of the past by fighting for his house in Puyallup, Washington.
Deseret News reports that the two girls who that Powell took photos of were awarded a $1.8million settlement as part of a civil suit.

After that December ruling, the judge ordered the Pierce County Sheriff's Office to sell off the home since it is Powell's largest non-exempt asset.

Even though Powell didn't contest the $1.8million verdict, he has been putting up a fight to hold on to his house.

The 63-year-old has been acting as his own attorney and filed legal motions declaring that he should be allowed to keep the house because it is his 'homestead'.

If that were found to be true, the sheriff's office would not have the legal authority to sell the house.

No final verdict has been decided but his legal work has at least postponed any lasting turn as the originally-scheduled February 7 sale was pushed back because of his filings.

Different judges' takes on the situation have caused a backlog in the timeline, but Powell wrote in his latest filing that he plans to reside in the Pallyup home when he is released late next month.

Anne Bremner, the attorney representing the mother of one of his victims, said that his filings are simply 'a meritless flurry of motions'.

They have pushed for a ruling that would prevent Powell from filing any more motions for a year, arguing that each time he does so he is just trying to avoid paying off his debts.

Steven Powell's exploits gained national attention after his son Josh killed his own two sons in 2012.

Susan Powell disappeared from her home in December 2009.

Her husband, Josh, was a focus of the investigation until he killed himself and the couple's two children in an explosive house fire just moments after a state supervisor dropped them off for a court-ordered visit.

Utah authorities have said they do not believe Steven Powell was directly involved with Susan Powell's disappearance but may know more about it than he has let on.

He had a sexual obsession with Susan Powell that was thoroughly documented in journals seized by police

Read more:

Nic said...

Hobs, the Powell case is sadder than sad. It was the epitome of LE tying their own hands because they did not "have a body". Those grandkids would still be alive today had LE had the fortitude to go ahead with what they already had. In hind sight they had *plenty*. It makes me so sad for those two boys that they died at their father's cruel and callous hands probably in the same manner their mother did.

If I were Steven Powell, I don't know if I'd feel "safe" being on the outside. There are as many as "crazy" as he is all for different reasons and motivations.


Anonymous said...

"Nic"saying "JMO"is dumb,stupid twatty.

Anonymous said...

I have to second the WOW.

I do agree after reading so many prior posts people were wanting answers, possibly because this was so public, Leanne captured so many people through the blog/videos/etc, or maybe because many people feel there are so many unanswered questions/holes/oddities in the situation. Are all these people entitled to these answers? Absolutely not. However would it hurt for LE, Josh, or someone in her family to come forward and say "yes, there was a handwritten, signed note. There is really no doubt this was suicide." If this is case closed, no question about it (and that may be the case- the public does not know all the information), I'm sure the family and Josh probably want all the speculation to stop.

I would also agree with the above- just because Josh has not come across as the friendliest, coziest person; just because a lot of his time seemed to be spent online saying not-so-nice comments to people and just because things such as a paypal account in his name was accepting money--none of these things should implicate him as being responsible or involved in foul play, it just may leave a foul taste in people's mouths.

If this is a clear cut case of suicide, and no details have been released to the public, I do honestly feel sorry for Josh and the rest of her family, not only for the tragedy but also for the speculation that has ensued.


Anonymous said...

Dr MacNeils wife Michelle was also called a suicide when she died in 2007.

It took years if fighting to get anyone to consider murder.

Things are not always as they seem.

I think most have really just flat out struggled with suicide.

Maybe there was signs, warnings, a note. But not gearing this... And the constant use if "we" and "our" by Josh really pushed a lot of is towards guilt.

I still struggle with this being suicide.

But since the body was cremated, I think that is clear that the case is closed.

Maybe if Josh speaks again we can learn more, but like with Hannah Anderson, i worry the case really is closed... Wrong or right.

Anonymous said...

Strange case and many doubts ? yes, but is officially closed.

Just one doubt of many:

Leanne's depression: First started as "she was very anxious and stressed" shortly after a P.I. was in the case.

I want to believe the P.I. and the police conducted a thorough investigation of Leanne's past, investigated previous episodes of "walking away", etc. and then obtained some sort of psychological/psychiatric diagnostic.

To make a definitive diagnostic based on data found on a shared laptop and text messages on a shared cellphone, (knowing the users probably even share mail, blog and fb passwords), and transform some natural anxiety into a mental-prone-to-suicide illness (severe depression), doesn't look too rigorous to me.

Is there a handwritten suicide note ? just knowing that exists would be a definitive proof to me, women always have something to say.


Doty said...

$1.8 million for having your privacy invaded and pictures taken? That's excessive to the extreme. My kids agreed and opined they would pose for pictures for that much money, they were joking but it illustrates how over the top a jury award can be whenever pedophila is involved.

calling bs said...

Thanks Peter! I just won a $10 bet when my post was deleted within 30 minutes.

elf said...

Nevermind. The admin deleted the thread and banned me from commenting because I told Chelsea Hoffman the link as well. The woman I was talking to on there was telling me about Tammy sexting her teen age son.

Anonymous said...

I believe this was last website with comments doubting the apparent suicide outcome. I don't think anyone should be surprised at the changes of opinion. Either the people running the different websites know of something we don't (more evidence that would definitely show suicide) and for some reason aren't allowed to tell everyone or there's potential legal action/cease & desist.

GeekRad said...

For those of you having a hard time accepting that Leanne comitted suicide it might be helpful for you to read up on suicide. As Hobnob said, when people decide to commit suicide they often feel that the burden is lifted and seem more content and happy as a result. This makes it especially diffucult for their loved ones to accept their suicide. This is the case with my neighbors. Their 16 year old daughter committed suicide last year. Her parents still have not accepted it because she was happier than she had been in weeks. They searched for answers, asked me what I saw that day, if her boyfriend was there. Her mother was, may still be, convinced that her boyfriend hung her. Her parents found her a around 5:00 PM and the mailman saw her playing basketball in the driveway at 3:00 and had a cheerful conversation with her. She did not leave a note. That is what the parents can't get past. 4 other young girls committed suicide that weekend. This was not reported by the media, I learned it because the police told my neighbor. Point being, LE and the media aren't likely to release details of suicide unless the media gets hold of a celebrity suicide.

Anonymous said...

elf said...
Nevermind. The admin deleted the thread and banned me from commenting because I told Chelsea Hoffman the link as well. The woman I was talking to on there was telling me about Tammy sexting her teen age son.

February 27, 2014 at 8:09 AM

Wait. HUH?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:59
How dare u be nasty to"elf"she's a bright,cheerfull,friendly poster here.Grow up!!! U pathetic twat.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anon @ 9:59
How dare u be nasty to"elf"she's a bright,cheerfull,friendly poster here.Grow up!!! U pathetic twat.

February 27, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Well, that was a leap. Do you feel better? I was hardly being nasty to elf or anyone else. (Interesting that someone who uses the vile language you included in your post has the audacity to call another poster "nasty," but I digress...)

It was the first I read about TM sexting a teenager. I guess I could have added in a few more words so it might be clearer to you, but I literally meant what I said to elf... "huh?" As in, tell us more.

CarlaP said...


I saw the post (and your comment if it was the one that said @Chelsea Hoffman??") last night. I interpreted it as "So what do you think of Tammy now since you've been defending her so vociferously, Chelsea Hoffman?". Did they think you were endorsing her?

I understand why Josh Bearden didn't make public the possibility of suicide. I'm sure he was hoping against all odds that maybe Leanne really did leave, run away, took a break etc. Holding on to that hope, he wouldn't want to deter her from returning by making the fact she was suicidal public, she may have been embarrassed by that. There's no harm in withholding that information. If she was found alive and came home then she wouldn't have to deal with the public knowing she was suicidal and whatever emotional issues she was having, if she had gone through with ending her life she would be found eventually. It could have been a deterrent to a widespread search, the public and media thinking she probably killed herself, and not investing 100% into looking for her. It's such a sad situation all around.

~mj said...

While I personally feel that something hinky was at play here (not necessarily murder) I do appreciate this post for two reasons:

1. Mental Health Awareness in the United States is pathetic and so many people hurt from this epidemic. The loved one suffering from the illness, to the family, support system, mental-health care workers, the list covers all.

2. Statement Analysis is a seriously valuable tool and when conspiracies crop up it invalidates SA's use. Some reader's seem to forget that we do not know all the details in these high profile cases. To add to that, they translate terms that flag a person's speech to mean GUILT and that is not the appropriate way to use SA.

My own ideas about this case do not belong here, because as Mr. Hyatt so aptly put, this is a Statement Analysis site, therefore, according to such, guilt was not detected. Case closed.

My heart goes out to the Leanne's family and friends.

elf said...

I guess some people really don't like Chelsea Hoffman lol I posted the link here first to that page but I thought Chelsea would like to see it as well. She's been following Heathers case as well. I really think Chelsea was just trying to string Tammy along (the tepid interview) until Tammy would agree to being recorded. People (like Billie Dunn and other guilty folks) get their panties in a wad when you ask them point blank questions regarding their involvement in a missing persons case. I thought id made it clear on that page (the state of south Carolina vs Sidney and Tammy moorer) that I think Tammy is guilty as charged and have thought so since the day I saw her fb rant on Heather. I respect statement analysis and can see that that statement Tammy posted didn't really indicate guilty knowledge but the venom was so thick... and then it occurred to me that maybe that statement Tammy posted was alibi building! She not only ranted about Heather, used the number 3, and put down her husband- she also limited the time Sidney saw heather to Sept and Oct... months before Heather disappeared... even though there were multiple phone calls between Sidney's and Heathers phone the night Heather went missing. Another tie in to that statement Tammy made and the woman on facebook alleging the sexting is that Tammy sexted the boy off of Sidney's phone.

elf said...

Don't call names dork lol and thank you for the compliment :)

Orangeade said...

Im curious as to why the previous threads haven't been deleted if they are that offensive and riddled with subjective guessing.
Since you have made such a clear case that much maligning and pseudoscience was involved, why not just delete it? People are properly chastised I'm sure. The posts from you are pretty intense. Those comments could have been deleted at the time instead if making it on here, so that's confusing. You didn't think any of them were valid or more importantly did you (Peter) think he was innocent the whole time? Since this was a suicide, the kind thing fir the family is to delete the entire threads.
Here's the thing no one is saying: it was posted on here to look for deception. The comments were made because they were not properly moderated and Im guessing you never said he was innocent. Perhaps you were on the fence? But this is your blog so I find it hard to believe you let all this slip past you or didnt cut it off and correct posters at the time.
But the thing is, even being on the site as a deception possibility is offensive NOW, but its worse now that the comments were apparently so offensive.
Peter, why do you allow anonymous posts or people to choose names that substitute for anonymity? It seems a long time has gone by in which bith guilty and innocent people have been evaluated this has never happened before?
Also, you concluded deception in regards to the British saleswoman from Victoria's Secret who had acid thrown in her face. Those comments got bizarre too. And you were wrong. She was hurt by all the accusations.
Why wasn't this addressed before?

Peachy said...

Well said Orangeade. Another poster also said Peter
deleted Bearden articles from mid January.