Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Statement Analysis: Jason Autry, Holly Bobo 2nd Suspect

Here is a two part article about the subject, Jason Autry, with emphasis added to his quotes, and Statement Analysis added to the article, in bold type.  

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - One of the two suspects charged with the kidnapping and murder of Holly Bobo has spoken out for the first time out in an exclusive interview.

Jason Autry sat down with reporter Nick Beres via a video uplink from Riverbend Maximum Security Prison where he said he's being held in segregation for his own safety.

"I'm a drug addict and a thief, but I'm not a killer," said Autry, who insisted he has charged with a crime he did not commit. 

This is not to say that he did not participate in the murder, but only that he is not, in conclusion, a killer.  It is also not a denial of involvement nor a denial of knowledge of the murder. 

He said he has no idea what happened to Bobo.

We do not have a quote here, as it is very difficult to believe someone who says that they have "no idea" about what happened to Holly.  We all have ideas on just about everything in life.  In Analytical Interviewing, interviewers are taught to not accept this statement as a stop sign, but to continue to ask questions to stimulate the subject into responding.  It is sometimes the bane of the lazy minded who need prompts.  

"I don't want to speculate and make a rumor of what happened to the girl," Autry said.

That which is reported in the negative is always important. Here, Holly is called "the girl."

The 20-year-old nursing student disappeared from her family's home in Decatur County in April 2011. The case made national headlines, but the investigation went nowhere for years. Then in March of this year, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation suddenly announced the arrest of 29-year-old Zach Adams followed by the arrest of 39-year-old Autry.  Both have been charged with kidnapping and murder.

Investigators said a key witness -- thought to be Zach Adams' younger brother Dylan -- reported seeing Bobo alive in Zach's home after she disappeared and that she was there with Zach and Autry.

Autry said Dylan, who is in jail on gun charges, lied to investigators.

"He's been lying his way all this time. You know he got himself in a little trouble and he's down there in Obion County and he don't want to do his time and he's making stuff up to get out of it," Autry stated.

The Interviewer should have entered into the subject's internal, personal, subjective dictionary to learn what "a little trouble" looks like. 
Autry said Dylan can't stand his brother.

"They hate each other's guts and that's a way to get back at him," added Autry, who said he and Zach are friends.

Would the hatred be so severe as to implicate one in a murder he did not commit?
"Me and Zach go back several years you know. On and off," said Autry. "He'd come around. Me and him smoked, drank a little bit, did some dope and hung out together. Zach didn't have a whole lot of friends."

Note "me" comes before Zach.  
Note "on and off" has the positive, "on" first.  
Note the unity in the relationship is based upon:  
1.  smoking
2.  drinking
3.  doping
all before "hung out together"

Note that which is in the negative as important:  "Zach didn't have a whole lot of friends" is very important.  Anti social behavior should be explored, from childhood on through to date. 

What happened while "hanging out together"?  

Autrey conceded he and Zach had several run-ins with the law over the years. And, Autry said while he was serving time on one arrest in 2012 TBI agents paid him the first of many visits to press him on the Bobo case.

"It was a try to be a forced move to get me to be a false witness against Zach Adams," said Autry.

Which is not to say "he didn't do it" (whatever the allegation was) 
Notice here, regarding this, he uses the full name:  "Zach Adams."  Once "Zach" was introduced, he was on a first name basis in the quotes above.  Here, he goes to the full name, making it an important sentence.    The change itself should be noted. 

But Autry said he told the TBI he knew nothing -- no link between Adams and Bobo. If he did, Autry insisted he would have taken the TBI up on their offer of reduced jail time and the reward money.

"I would have taken five years and $280,000 for my freedom. If I knew, I would tell them,"  Autry concluded.

Would you accept this statement, as a reporter, that the subject would be given both, a prison sentence and more than a quarter of a million dollars in reward money, without questioning further?

"I don't think they have any idea who committed a crime or that a crime was committed at all," said Autry's attorney Fletcher Long.  

Long wonders if the TBI has anything other than an informant's word as evidence against his client. No body has been recovered in the Bobo case.

"I think first you have to prove there is a killer and that she is dead," said Long.

Autry said whatever happened to Holly Bobo, he was not involved.

"I want to let them know they have an innocent man right here," said Autry. 

This also avoids the reliable denial as he does not say that he did not have involvement nor knowledge of Holly's death. 

The TBI declined to comment about what Autry has said about the investigation.

part two:

We asked him if he killed her.

"No sir. Right hand before God. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I didn't bother that girl in no form or no fashion and I don't know who did," said Autry.

We note every word that follows the word, "no" in the answer. 
Please note the inclusion of Divinity in the response.  Divinity in answers is a strong indicator of deception within the normal speech of the subject, with the call of Divinity a signal that he "really wants to be believed" at this point. 
Some will tell the truth when they call upon Divinity, which presupposes deception when they don't.  It is the language of the deceitful as they have a need to have Divine witness to their claims. 

Note the change of language from "killed her" (from the question) to "bother" which minimizes "kill" and avoids a Reliable Denial. 

Note the distancing language of "that" as he shows a need to distance himself from Holly Bobo.

Note that he does not deny killing her, but "bothering" her and his denial about not knowing who "bothered" her follows.  

Autry said he never personally knew Bobo, though he did know of her.

This statement is the journalist's interpretation:  not personally knowing Holly.  He does  not deny knowing her personally, only knowing "about" her. 

"I didn't know nothing about her other than her dad and my dad and some of our kin knew each other. I went to school with her mother as my school teacher growing up," said Autry.

Shortest sentences are best for truth, and the extra words mean extra effort put into the sentence by the subject.  He does not say "I didn't know her" or "I didn't know her personally" but "I didn't know nothing about her."

But, he said he doesn't even know the location of Bobo's home where she was abducted.

"I never went to the house. I never hung out with her on the town. I never, none of that," said Autry.

If he was asked a question with "ever", the "never" response could be appropriate.  Again, we see that he has the need to lengthen his answers, which is generally a need to persuade.  He never "hung out with her" is not said:  he never hung out with her "on the town."  This should have led to:

"You never hung out with her on the town?  Where did you hang out with her?"
Autry said he does know his co-defendant Adams as a friend.

But he denied rumors that Autry, Adams and another friend, Shayne Austin, formed a gang known as the A-Train that terrorized the locals in Decatur County for years.

"Some people portray us as big dope dealers and gang members and that's not the case. This is a community that's real small. It was just a few dopeheaded boys just hanging out," said Autry. "Our relationship is what you might call drug-based. The only time we hung out was when we was getting high."

It's not "the case", but he does not deny being a gang.  

Autry denies that he was involved in some type of drug-induced, crazy plot to kidnap and kill Bobo.

"It never dawned on me that someday I was going to be falsely accused of this," said Autry.

This is not a denial, as reported by the journalist.  See "Reliable Denial" 

"Jason Autry has been in trouble with the law before," said his attorney Fletcher Long. 

But he said there is nothing to link Autry to Bobo's disappearance, much less murder. The TBI has looked, but has yet to find a body.

"You can prosecute without a body, but you better have some pretty convincing circumstantial evidence on death and I don't think they have that here," said Long.

Even if the TBI does have some physical evidence -- perhaps bone fragments or clothing -- it may not matter for Autry.

 Long dropped this bombshell: "We may have a strong alibi defense."

Note the lack of certainty.  Why is this a "bombshell" if they only "may' have an alibi?

Note the word "strong" weakens the assertion.  An alibi case is something that clears one and does not often need to even go to trial, if true.  Hence, the insecurity of the statement. 

My guess is that they do not have an alibi.  
Long has indicated that Autry will be able to prove he was far away -- in another county -- when the TBI issued the alert for Holly Bobo.

The TBI has declined to comment on what Autry has said about the investigation.

There are lots of reasons to believe Autry is deceptive.  


Unknown said...

I find it interesting that Autry used the words 'bother her', when he knows the implication is that he participated in her murder.

I wonder if he is thinking about the coon hunt event where Adam and the group allegedly stalked and harassed Holly?

The fact that 'bothering her' entered his language seems telling, as both minimization and as the description of the encounter which led to Holly's abduction.

elf said...

'I'm a drug addict and a thief, but I'm not a killer'
I think this is an interesting statement. Especially coming from someone who may be a drug dealer. An addict is only killing themselves. A dealer may sell something that kills one of their buyers, whether they mean for it to happen or not. A thief steals, a thief takes what they want selfishly without regard for others safety or well being. A life can be stolen. And I wonder who he would consider a killer in his personal dictionary?

SKEoD said...

"strong alibi defense", imo, would depend on exactly when LE believes Holly was actually killed. as the brother Dylan reported seeing Bobo alive in Zach's home after she disappeared, so the exact time she was killed is unknown to Autry's lawyer, which would be the reason he said "may have". so if LE guesses the timing wrong, Aurty could have an easy out, even though he is guilty. and i say guilty due to his lawyer even looking for an angle to work a defense other than straight up denial. jmo.

GeekRad said...

"Long dropped this bombshell: "We may have a strong alibi defense.""

He doesn't even say he may have a strong alibi, just may have a strong alibi defence. That is a really waek statement. He knows his client is lying. But I have to say, it is going to be hard to get a conviction without a body. LE is being tight lipped and that has to making these guys nervous.

Tania Cadogan said...

"I think first you have to prove there is a killer and that she is dead," said Long.

As we all know, order is important.

Here he puts Prove there is a killer before And she is dead rather than the expected she is dead and there is a killer.

He thinks you have to prove there is a killer and she is dead leaves it open for others to think otherwise.

"You can prosecute without a body, but you better have some pretty convincing circumstantial evidence on death and I don't think they have that here," said Long.
This leaves it open for others to think otherwise.
Given the length of time, the witness statements there seems to be enough circumstantial evidence to indicate homicide.

Long dropped this bombshell: "We may have a strong alibi defense."
Qualifiers are additional words that when removed do not change the meaning of the senstence.
Here we see two wualifiers MAY and STRONG.
He doesn't tell us they have an alibi which would be a stroing statement, he tells only that they may have an alibi.
This possible alibi may alos be a strong one.
Surely if he has an alibi then by default it has to be a strong one.
My client didn't commit the crime because he was with xxx at such and such a time xyz miles away.

What is his definition of a strong alibi as opposed to a not strong alibi?
Would a not strong alibi be he was in the area at the time but he was seen by billybob joe doing whatever at the time the crime was allegedly committed.

He tells us instead, he MAY have an alibi which indicates that it isn't strong and that it may not even be an alibi. he was spotted in the area at the right time with whoever but he didn't have time to commit the crime/didn't have a motive/was committing a crime elsewhere which we will go for rather than kidnap and murder charges.
It would depend on what the alibi says or shows.
His attorney clearly doesn't believe in what he is saying hence the qualifiers.
Having seen the evidence and spoken to his client he is likely going to look for a deal, minimising his clients role whilst blaming the other guy for the actual murder etc.

Trigger said...

Drug addicts do three things.
They lie, they lie, they lie.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the interview yesterday, I was hoping you would do an analysis and my wish was granted! Thank you!

Tania Cadogan said...

off topic

Cadaver dogs are to search the home of Steven Powell, the father-in-law of Susan Cox Powell who vanished in 2009.

The Washington home of convicted 'Peeping Tom' Steven Powell was recently sold as part of restitution to the parents of the girls he took naked pictures of while they were in their bathroom next door.

Steven Powell was released from prison in March after serving two years for taking photographs of two girls, aged eight and ten in 2011.

During Powell's voyeurism trial, the girls' parents became friends with the parents of missing Susan, Chuck and Judy Cox.

The victims' parents agreed to allow a private search of the home with dogs in the next few weeks as it still has Steven Powell's belongings inside.

Anne Bremner, the neighbors' lawyer, told MailOnline today: 'Chuck is never giving up hope.'

She added that the family do not know whether Mrs Cox Powell is alive or dead.

Law enforcement found the sordid photographs of the little girls' next door at Powell's home in 2012 while looking for evidence of his missing daughter-in-law.

It appears that cadaver dogs were not used to search the home at the time because they were not covered by warrants obtained by West Valley Police and Pierce County Sheriff's Department to go into Powell's property, Ms Bremner said.

Calls to the Pierce County Sheriff and West Valley Police Department went unanswered today.

The attorney said on Wednesday: 'They didn't have the access we have now, they only had narrowly tailored warrants.'

The home also will be searched for other documents and records that might give clues as to the whereabouts of Mrs Cox Powell.

Utah mother-of-two Susan Powell, 28, disappeared from her home in West Valley City in December 2009. She has never been found.

The Cox family claims that Steven Powell has information about his missing daughter-in-law. It was suspected that she was killed by her husband Josh Powell but he never faced charges in the case.

In 2012, he attempted to murder his sons, Charles, seven, and five-year-old Braden with a hatchet before setting his home alight, killing them and himself.

Last week, cadaver dogs were used in a privately-funded and volunteer-based search of a rural home close to Salem, Oregon for signs of Susan Cox Powell.

Her husband's aunt and uncle had been renting the property at the time of her disappearance in 2009. No signs of Susan's remains were found.

Powell is on probation for 30 months, required to wear a GPS locator and attend a sex-offender treatment program. He lives in Tacoma, according to the corrections facility.

The two girls victimized by Powell were awarded a $1.8million settlement as part of a civil suit.

Powell, 63, had argued against the sale of his home, saying that it would leave him and his two adult children without a home.

His early release date in May 2013 was rejected because, in part, he wanted to move back into the home.

He was going to be released in November but that plan also fell apart because a landlord withdrew an offer to rent to him.

Tania Cadogan said...

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

In passages from 17 spiral notebooks written over more than ten years, he wrote of his sexual fantasies about Susan, how he believed she loved him too and hopes they would be together.

He wrote: 'She is an amazing woman. I hope I am right, that she is in love with me, but of course there is the problem of her being married to my son. The fact is, I can hardly control myself when it comes to her.'

He admitted 'looking at her naked body under the bathroom door (using a mirror)' though recognized this was a 'sick' thing to do.

But there is no hint that he or his son Josh had anything to do with her disappearance and he made mention of the possibility she ran off with another man - which is what Josh Powell told police.

Following her disappearance, authorities found blood in the family home and a hand-written note in which Susan Powell expressed fear about her husband hurting her.

Read more:

Kellie said...

Hi Peter

If there are no other indicators of guilt, is it possible that someone such as Autry (being a known criminal and knowing people are suspicious of him) could ever go into convince mode in their language, not due to deception or guilt, but simply due to their fear of not being believed?

Anonymous said...

OT kidnapping victim found 10 years later. There's not too many statements. There are a few from neighbors.

John Mc Gowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Mc Gowan said...

OT Update.

EXCLUSIVE: Interview Clip with Myra Lewis' Mom.

This the transcript. I don't know if she is being asked any questions and these are her reply's, as i can't hear any being asked.

"It's a struggle out here, for me and my family right now, they just don't know what we are going through. With our baby being gone and my children are with somebody else, and not in the home with us."

(Long Pause)

"I just want all of them, they just don't understand what i am going through, i just want my children. My life would better. I just want em, that's all i want, i just want them to come home to me. so i can continue to raise them. And have them be the, what they want to be in life. I just want them to come home."

"I miss them so much its been two months. I just want them so bad. (Pause), i just want em.

(Inaudible)She shakes her head.

Kellie said...


Tammy Moorer Bond Hearing Tomorrow

Kellie said...


Florence County officials have confirmed the human remains that were found in a forested area this past week are of missing Galivants Ferry woman Angie Pipkin.

Anonymous said...

While I understand the ramifications of journalism, and the way journalists interpret questions and answers, I also understand that people don't consciously think before they speak. (Especially when under great stress.)

Perhaps to be considered here are a few things. One: The man, Autry, is obviously uneducated, from a rural town, and not sophisticated. This would naturally lead to grammar issues, and unclear speech. To a down-home country boy, the words "I didn't bother that girl" mean that he had nothing to do with her in any way that would be considered bothersome or bad. Two: Innocent until proven guilty. This analysis of the statement made by the Bobo suspect seems harshly one-sided. In a criminal justice system wherein the bright line rule requires that a person be innocent until proven otherwise, in a court of law, by the heavy burden of beyond a reasonable doubt, I find it tragic that most see an arrest and ultimately determine guilty without any further thought. Three: Repeatedly saying he had nothing to do with her, didn't bother her, is not a killer, etc. could mean just that. Reading too deep into things is not necessary, especially when dealing with an unsophisticated party that doesn't have the capacity to outwit the average sixth grader. No need to give more credit here than is due.

Most importantly, an analysis is well-written when analyzed for its pros and cons. I would love to see some balance and a bit less harsh language. As this is a sophisticated party, it is proper to look into the word choice used to root out any evidence of bias. I really think analyzing this in great detail yields little fruit. In the end, we are left with what we had in the beginning: no body, a denial by the accused, and an accusation from the government. I look forward to future posts, and further developments in this case (which sadly for the victims has already taken three years).