Saturday, March 15, 2014

Poll: Leanne Bearden Case Deception?


      Was there deception involved in this case?

Was there deception within this case? free polls 

Specifically, did the husband know that Leanne was suicidal, but deliberately withheld this information from the public?

We then had the issue of not only the strangely worded reward offered, but fund raising.  If Leanne had walked off for the purpose of suicide, she would therefore be very close to her home.

 Why the need to raise money? Why not concentrate the search, including using canines, to just walking distance from the house?

There are those who still insist Leanne was murdered.

There is no linguistic indication to support this premise.    The distancing language is justified by suicide.

Here are some statements with analysis:

From Police Chief Donna O'Conner:

“Her husband, Josh, has been cooperative with all investigations and is not a person of interest.  Our heart goes out to the Hecht and Bearden families as they search for their loved one.”

"Our heart goes out" is not something expected to hear from police in a missing person case, but rather is appropriate for condolence.  As a condolence, it is an indication that police knew that it was a suicide case.

Note, in contrast with other cases, that police say he was "cooperative" without emphasizing cooperation.  Note this in contrast with Myra Lewis case.  
From Josh Bearden:  
"Uh she said that she was going to go for a walk and then I said how long are you going to be gone
and then she said about an hour then I said ok Babe take your time.  Thats the last that thing I said to her."

We note the inclusion of the term of endearment, "Babe."  We find this in statements where one may feel the need to portray oneself as loving;.  A term of endearment within a statement is often viewed as a negative and problematic because it shows the subject's need to portray himself in the positive, the necessity of such being a red flag.  

Note that it is the last thing he "said" to her.  He does not tell us what the last thing she said to him was. 

 "I have no idea what happened "

It is very difficult to believe anyone who says that they have no idea, since we all have plenty of ideas about everything in life.  In fact, Josh Bearden goes on to give an idea claiming that there are lots of places not covered.  

Mark McClish uses the exploration of the moon to highlight this saying that he is not a rocket scientist and doesn't know how to get to the moon but has an idea that a rocket will be needed.  It's a humorous way to point out that it is difficult to believe someone who says this.  Sometimes it is just a lazy mind that needs prompts, but in a missing person's case, we do not expect to encounter a lazy mind from the husband, but one of a very highly in tune mind, seeking answers. 

In Analytical Interviewing, we remind the interviewer not to accept "I have no idea" as a "stop sign" for the flow of information.  Prompt the subject.  

Was the statement "I have no idea what happened" truthful? Note the change of pronoun: 

We have no clues  but theres still a lot of area 
that needs to be covered and that I feel Leanne could have walked.

"We" and not "I" from a husband.  

 I would like to know what caused him to change his pronoun to "we" at this point.  
Note next that he does have an idea:  that there are places she could have walked to.  This makes his statement of having "no idea" not truthful.  

We now add in suicide to the context and understand the pronoun change. 

 The second that I lose my hopLeanne is gone .

Why is Leanne's life tied to his hope?  Since others are searching and the family is fund raising to hire a private investigator, how is it that "Leanne is gone" at that "second"?

This is no longer a question, as once suicide is taken into account, the language makes sense.  

and my biggest fear is that I’ll lose my hope.

Here is another indication that suicide was known:  The Expected versus the Unexpected.

We put ourselves in the shoes of the subject and presume innocence. We ask,
"What would I say?  What would you say?"

In this place, my biggest fear would be that my wife was dead, injured by injury or by foul play.  

It would be my biggest fear:  something terrible happened to her. 

Would your biggest fear be that your wife has been killed, or died in an accident, or that you would lose hope?

His concern is for himself, with suicide, this makes sense.  He is left behind.  

I will never, ever going to stop looking for you. Ever.

  Similar to a statement made by OJ Simpson about looking for his wife's killer, saying he would never stop searching for the "real" killer.  

Note that his search will never end, showing no hope for success.  He does not tell her that he will search for her until she is found, but that he will "never, ever" and "ever" stop looking. 

What has caused him to have no hope for success?  She has been missing for 8 days at the time of this statement.  

He has no hope for this case, the mystery of the lack of hope is explained by suicide. Should he have told the public this, so there would not have been "sightings" in other locations?

Next:  The Reward

The family of missing woman, Leanne Bearden has now offered a total of  $20,000 in reward: 

$10,000 for her exact location and an additional $10,000 for information that leads to her return.
If someone gives her "exact" location, would that not lead to her return?  Is the word "exact" defined? 

This is not a usual reward.  Looking back, with suicide in context, what was the purpose of offering an additional $10,000 for her return?

Josh Bearden's statement:  

"While there are many more questions than answers, the only thing we do know is that lack of contact to anyone she loves is very worrisome.  We strongly feel that if she could have contacted us, she would have by now ... We are hoping offering a financial reward will encourage that person or people to share that information."

The inability to use the pronoun "I" while speaking of his wife, is distancing language.  What caused distancing language?
Answer:  The guilt that all survivors of suicide feel.

Everyone, including her husband, who loved Leanne, is left with guilt and questions that cannot be answered, including "What should I have done differently?" and "What if I had...?"
It is very sad.  Loved ones will suffer for the rest of their lives, as suicide will dominate their hearts.

Was it appropriate to withhold from the public the information that the missing person was likely deceased from suicide, so that the concentration of searches would have been only in the walking distance from the home, and the public would not have been alarmed with "sightings" in other cities.

Here is a news clip from February 6, 2014:

SAN ANTONIO — Leanne Bearden's family didn't tell officials that the couple used a worldwide “couch surfing” network frequently before she disappeared in January because they didn't think it would yield results, they said. But investigators, who expanded their search to Austin on Thursday, said it might.
Should the family have come clean from the beginning?  Or, did they handle it appropriately?

An interesting lesson exists within this case:

A wife went missing and a husband used distancing language, but was not responsible for her disappearance.  The distancing language, most unexpected, was due to suicide.  

What do you think?  

Did the husband deliberately withhold this information from the public?  Or, did he believe his wife was "missing" and had "no idea" what had happened to her?

Regardless, they suffered and will continue to suffer from the loss of their loved one.  The public has become more and more skeptical in cases like these, with skepticism sometimes proving appropriate.  


Anonymous said...

A general SA question/comment:

I know that "I have no idea" is not usually truthful, as people do usually have some sort of ideas.

I think people say it when they don't know for sure what happened, even though yes they do have ideas.

I don't know why people say it in such a context. I know I've said "I have no idea, maybe ____".

I think it's maybe a habit, or an expression, really meaning I don't know.

I do understand in reality it's not a truthful statement, at the same time, I don't think it's (usually) used with the intention of being deceptive. I do understand why it's flagged, because it is not truthful, I don't think I'd actually hold that statement against someone though.

AnnieMouse said...

I do have a problem understanding the need for donations if they suspected she was dead.
Reminds me of the Anthonys trolling for funds when they knew Caylee was dead.

Anonymous said...

There was a missing person local to me, Nick Steward. His family new he was suffering from depression, but never told anyone in the public. They accepted money through an online donation account. They continued to tell people he would never walk away from his wife and child. After his death his wife said that the money allowed her to pay for his funeral and for her and her son to "start their new life together." I don't donate to missing persons cases because I only donate when I know what the money is being used for. I have no problems if the money is used in search efforts, but I don't feel comfortable paying for someone's funeral who is depressed or for them to start their lives over. Or paying for a family because they quit their job. If I knew my money went to the search efforts, then sure.

I have many people suffering mental illness/depression in my family and when they die, we pay for this. I feel that when someone goes missing there needs to be a better way of the money being managed because I think the ones who do it poorly, screw it up for those who have good intentions.

Sad and confused said...

Why are those the only two options? There are still some clues that beggar the imagination. Perhaps they aren't worth pursuing now that she's been found, the why's and deliberately withheld explanations. Yet supposedly he came on here to defend himself without giving extra information for clarity, just instead to insult and make strange comments about drones, paying for a PI when they already had one..maybe verging in psychosis from lack of sleep and stress. Maybe he was staying up all night searching the internet and found those, and with the lack of any incoming info lashed out. I want to believe him but I just don't. The PI went to Mexico? Beyond a 10 mile radius, and saying ine area had been adequateky searched. The longer she stayed missing the greater the $$ donated.
Why else hide that info, the depression? Suicidal ideation adds urgency, LE would not have given up.
Why wasn't her family involved? Did she visit them?
I wonder how solid their marriage was. What is this about the cat and mouse murder overtones? I am on the fence about foul play, on the fence about suicide. Adjusting to life not overseas, that seems odd but not implausible. In the absence of her family I wonder if she was overly dependent on her husband as was feeling despondent about not having that codependent intensity. Ic you're emotionally needy and feel that closeness abd maybe deoendency, going without it and the pressure of moving on without it would be a stressor, especially if tgey fought. In any case, Im so sad for her, that whatever the adjustment truly was would be so crushing. When I say foul play, abd thats not the best term, I mean abandonment threats, real or perceived, not murder.
Maybe they withheld the suicide information to avoid personal questions about the actions or words that were said and/or neglectful (oblivious) actions they feel guilty about.
Guilt over suicide has to be the most devastating thing a person can go through. I guess Im coming off the fence now. Everyone takes people for granted in stressful times or transitions. I think withholding is from guilt, not of malice but of how could I have not noticed or why did I say that variety.

Sad and confused said...

I stared at the wording for the reward and drew a blank. Plus, Where did the reward money come from?

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