Did Russell Lindstrom intend to kill both of his children?
Russell Lindstrom said he last saw his kids go to their room to nap. When his girlfriend's brother came over, looking for them, they 'found' them in his vehicle, one was dead.
Statement Analysis concluded deception in his account of what happened.
Now we learn that police have arrested Russell Lindstrom and have charged him in the death of his daughter as well as injuring his other daughter's life. Child Protective Services has conducted a joint investigation, but will not release the details of their findings.
Smith County Sheriff’s Office detectives and patrol deputies arrested Russel Lindstrom, 33, of Flint in relation to the two toddlers who were found in a pickup with the windows rolled up on Wednesday.
On the afternoon of June 11, 2014, Smith County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a 911 call from a person reporting two unresponsive toddlers inside a vehicle in the 18000 block of County Road 1100, near Flint. EMS arrived and found two girls, ages three and four. The four-year-old was transported to a local hospital, where she died. The three-year old was hospitalized overnight for observation and released.
Lindstrom immediately spoke out, and in doing so, deception was indicated.
Smith County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division investigated, sought and gained arrest warrant for Lindstrom signed by Judge Christi Kennedy of the 114th District Court.
Lindstrom is being charged with one count of manslaughter, with a $150,000 bond, and one count of injury to a child, with a $50,000 bond. Lindstrom was arrested at a mobile home park in the 17000 block of Highway 155 South. He is currently being booked into the Smith County Jail.
The Smith County Sheriff's Office is continuing to work with CPS on the investigation regarding the surviving child. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.The analysis below not only indicates deception, but it may be that he intended both of his children to die.
Here is a transcription of some of the video interview, first alone, and then with analysis. This is in response to "what happened?" and the video shows him entering the Free Editing Process. This means not only did he choose his own words, but he began the account where he wanted to. This is always important.
"Yesterday started out pretty much like any other day. There was a little bit of excitement because the vehicle that my daughter died in, we were supposed to be trading in for another vehicle yesterday. A 2008 Chevy Avalanche. And my kids were really excited cause they (hard to understand this part) were gonna get to go and leave the house. Or as they would put it, they were gonna get to go “bye bye”. And… but they got up in the morning and then ate breakfast and came outside and played because a couple of days ago it rained and they’ve been cooped up in the house and there real outdoors kids. And so, they came outside and I was outside with them. They were running around the yard playing Dora the Explorer and even tried to run off in the woods a couple times like she does on the cartoon. Yah know I had to yell at them to stay in the yard a couple of times because of it. And (long pause) lunch time came around, they came in the house, I fed them something to eat and then we came back outside after they were done eating. Maybe an hour later err later. I can’t be yah know, accurate on times. What happened was my kids generally put themselves down for a nap especially when they’ve been outside playing a lot and ah especially on a warm day. And they came into the house and started playing in their room quietly and then they both wrapped up in their blankets and laid down. And I thought they went to sleep so I figured I had time to do go do some chores in the house. I was in the back of the house doing laundry and straightening things up. And in between load of laundry I’d go sit on my bed which is in the next room over from them and cause from my room I can always hear them when they get up and start moving around. And so I thought they were asleep and I thought I had time to do some chores and didn’t have to worry about them. And I came outside to have a cigarette and fiancés little brother came out and asked me when the last time id actually seem my kids was and I told him it was about an hour and both of us immediately got up and started looking for em just because anytime you’re a parent and somebody brings up the fact that you haven’t seen or heard from your kids for a little while, you go look for them. And so we checked the house, they weren’t in their room, they weren’t anywhere in the house. We checked all the rooms in the house. All the places they like to hide and get into things..."
See prior analysis on "Balance" of a statement. Here, even if incomplete, is to be deemed "Unreliable" by its Balance, where his introduction is 84% of the story.
Most Reliable Statements Balance is about 25% introduction. This is overwhelming unbalanced in the introduction. Most deceptive statements are weighted heavily in the introduction.
Part I is the introduction. He uses 402 words to introduce his story before telling us what happened.
Part II begins when the fiancé's little brother and subject "immediately got up" to look.
Part III is what happened after. This is not in his statement.
the introduction is 402 out of 476 words, or 84%.
This makes the statement Unreliable or Deceptive, based upon its form.
"Yesterday started out pretty much like any other day.
"Yesterday" is the day in question. This is where he has chosen to begin the account. Many might consider that it could start like, "Yesterday, my daughter died..."
Instead, we come to the Statement Analysis principle of "Normal."
"Normal" in Statement Analysis is flagged as anything but normal.
When a man or woman says, "I am a normal person" (Anita Hill) it is a strong indication that the subject has considered himself or herself not normal, or that the subject has been viewed as "not normal" by others.
When it begins, in any form, about a day, it is a strong indication of "story telling":
Even a child in the First Grade knows that when someone is telling a story and starts out like it was a "normal" day, it was anything but normal. It is a tool of story telling. Always flag the word "normal" (or words similar) so that you are on the alert for something not normal.
There was a little bit of excitement because the vehicle that my daughter died in, we were supposed to be trading in for another vehicle yesterday. A 2008 Chevy Avalanche.
He needs to explain "excitement", making the atmosphere, itself, sensitive to him. Remember the context: dead child. Little children excited over a different vehicle?
This is a strange thing to even be thinking about having just had a daughter die. It appears utterly irrelevant, given the death of a child, and how the child died. Yet, it entered into his language. It is very important to the subject. Why? Why would it be so important to him, even giving more details about the vehicle than his child, when speaking about his dead child?
I cannot help but ask why this was in his mind? The vehicle has been impounded by police. The "vehicle" his daughter died in was to be traded in for another "vehicle"; using the word "vehicle" twice.
This is seen as a hesitancy or stalling to get to the point of his child's death. Psychologically, the guilty mind seeks to avoid getting to the sensitive area.
This is often confused as a guilty "conscience" but it is not always the case.
Liars avoid lies because of the stress of being caught, not just the feeling of remorse or of a guilty conscience.
And my kids were really excited cause they ___ were gonna get to go and leave the house. Or as they would put it, they were gonna get to go “bye bye”.
There was "excitement" and the kids were "really excited" leading me to consider what caused such excitement, and what actually is "excitement" to the subject? Something was not "normal" this day, and at this point, I am wondering if "excitement" is similar to "disruption" or another negative explanation.
This is now the second time he feels the need to explain "why" the kids were excited. He has already told us that there was "excitement" over trading in one vehicle for another. Here, he repeats this, specifically describing the excitement's foundation: they get to go "bye bye."
This is to portray the kids as happy, excited or content: in other words, he is portraying the children in a positive manner, while one of them is dead.
The analyst must ask, "Why does he need to portray things as positive?"
Were they really happy?
Putting "excitement" in the statement while his daughter is dead strikes us as strange (view comments) but for the subject, he is moving the topic away from his dead daughter and more about the vehicle. This is why we see the model and year added. Most people would be too distraught to even think of such things, no less speak them, so early after what has happened.
We highlight the subject's need to move away from the topic at hand: his daughter, and to take the listener to the vehicle.
It is a diversion. It is a delay. One should wonder just how unhappy kids might have been to have such a sensitive need to portray them as so very excited. Little girls excited over a vehicle? Then, he changes the excitement to going "bye bye", as if they never leave the home?
That the kids get to go "bye bye"; is this something so special to them that it is an event, unto itself? Do they not get out often?
Were they usually locked in the house?
In today's age, kids are out and about in life constantly. This appears unnecessary, which makes it very important to us to try to learn more about their lifestyle.
If these children were not living solitary lives, never getting out, the repeated explanation of "why" there was excitement should be questioned.
The need to portray the "happy" household is very sensitive to the subject. It is his "need" that concerns us.
And… but they got up in the morning and then ate breakfast and came outside and played because a couple of days ago it rained and they’ve been cooped up in the house and they're real outdoors kids.
Here we learn: they were not hermits.
This now makes the "excitement" into something that may not be positive.
The word "but" is used in comparison, to refute, to compare, that which preceded it. What was in his mind that produced "but" here? Recall:
he just portrayed them in a positive manner and now uses "but" and goes on to explain about rain from a couple of days ago.
It only rained "a couple of days ago" and not "yesterday" which means the kids, if "cooped up" inside the house, may either be deceptive, or, worse, they may have been confined by him.
I have seen kids confined, terribly, when the parents were getting high.
This is out of chronological order, for us, and before getting to find his daughter, he first began in the specific day, but now has gone back a "couple" of days. This should be part of the interview process, knowing his actions and activities the days preceding, especially since drugs may be a part of the equation.
"Came outside" may indicate that that is where he was. They did not "go outside" but "came" outside.
He reveals his own location:
What was he doing outside?
This is what Analytical Interviewing does: he asks questions off of the analysis.
Breakfast: they ate breakfast, but who made it for them?
The need to explain why the kids had to come outside may suggest interruption of what he was doing; an intrusion of sorts. I then note that he needed to tell us that they were "cooped up" and "real" outdoor kids. This may be a subtle shifting of blame:
Were they so out of control that he locked them in the vehicle, not considering what the temperatures would do to them?
Let's say, for argument sake, that he was very busy doing something important and he could not get them to behave, so he put them into the vehicle, and locked them in, so he could do whatever it was that was more important to him at the moment.
He would now feel guilt.
Guilt has a strange way of trying to alleviate itself, and is often well suited to finding ways to blame others.
If they weren't so "cooped up" and they weren't so "outdoor" kids...is to touch upon not only circumstance (blaming the rain) but also it speaks to character of the kids, being not just "outdoor" types, but "real outdoor" types.
And so, they came outside and I was outside with them.
This is an awkward statement that shows distancing language from the children.
He does not say, "They went outside" but they "came" outside. This indicates that he was outside first. It is repeated, making it very important to him. Why is it so important.
He would outside.
Twice he tells us that they came outside.
They were in an "excited" state.
Next, he says he was outside "with" them. Why the need to tell us, if they "came" out, that he was with them?
This father uses a lot of distancing language and when the word "with" is found between people, it is distancing language. Here is a common sample I use to highlight this principle:
"Heather and I went shopping" versus "I went shopping with Heather." The latter shows distancing (I didn't want to go shopping). In his case, the distance is there, but why?
We sometimes hear a father say this, "I was outside with the kids" for something like this:
He was mowing the lawn while they were playing.
He was raking and they were pestering him to play with them, instead. Thus, the distancing language can enter his vocabulary as he recalls being outside with them.
In context, we are at a situation in which a child is dead.
There is, at this point in his statement, distance between himself and his daughters. Then, "them" and not "my daughters" or "my kids" is also noted.
He may give us the reason for the distance here as they were "excited"
They were running around the yard playing Dora the Explorer and even tried to run off in the woods a couple times like she does on the cartoon. Yah know I had to yell at them to stay in the yard a couple of times because of it.
In spite of the positive portrayal of the kids, the word "but" refuted it, and now we have not only the details of the rebuttal, but, perhaps, the reason for distancing language:
He was having a hard time controlling them.
He mentions "Dora the Explorer" rather than "they were playing" or "they were playing a game", but gives the additional detail of the specific game they were playing. This may be an attempt to portray himself as very close to them, to the point of knowing what they watched (Dora is a TV program, versus "real" outdoor kids) and played.
This reminded me of Dylan Redwine's father trying to persuade the audience that he knew his son well, by mentioning TV shows, but those shows were too young for Dylan and ones he had outgrown years earlier.
It is the NEED to persuade that Statement Analysis focuses upon.
Next we continue to ask:
Is this a subtle blaming of the victim?
Were they so out of control that he locked them in the vehicle?
This is where police should focus, not only upon drugs and neglect, but his temperament at the time of the event.
He was under stress. This is evident in his lengthy opening and need to attempt to make things sound positive when they were not. He "even" noted that they took off to the woods. This is the language of exasperation, and, perhaps, 'challenge' of sorts.
It is as if he is blaming the rain, and the children's character, for what he may have "had" to do to control them from running off, "even" to the woods, where there would be danger. This sounds like a father attempting to justify his actions.
He "had to yell at them", meaning that this was something imposed upon him. It was not his will to yell at them. He "had to", which is to shift blame from himself to the children.
He is recalling his day and is choosing his own words.
Child Abuse and Minimization:
Abusive parents will minimize their actions. What they own to doing and what they actually did are often two very different things. It is like coming upon an abusive parent at Walmart. The parent is willing to be abusive in public which leads to the question:
"If she is willing to do that in public, what does she do to them in private?"
The "yelling" was likely more severe. He even tells us that they ran into the woods more than once. The frustration and tension are in his language.
He blames both children.
If you lost one of your children, would you be speaking negatively of them?
Remember, when a parent loses a child, the parent will often deify the child, giving the child "God like" or "angelic like" qualities and assign to the deceased child lofty and unrealistic characteristics.
The deceased was a normal child, subject to all the frailties that human nature is subject to, but when a child dies, the parent, in denial often, will erase memories of discipline or correction, and assign to the child realms of wisdom unattainable by human population. It is very sad, but predictable. The child now "watches over them", "imparts wisdom and strength" and so on.
Therefore, the blaming, even in the most subtle of ways, is a signal of a guilty conscience wishing to justify its actions and protect itself from blame.
And (long pause) lunch time came around, they came in the house, I fed them something to eat and then we came back outside after they were done eating.
1. "Lunch time came around" is a passage of time, given in passive language.
There is something within this time period that he wishes to pass over. Passive language removes identity or responsibility. Passing of time (Temporal Lacunae) is an indication of missing information. It is in this period of time that child protective services investigators must focus.
What happened during this time? This may be a period of substance abuse. There is a reason to remove oneself from the time period. It could also have been a time of abuse. Everything related to abuse and neglect must be explored.
They were out how long?
Where were they outside of the house?
Note that he gives details about the vehicle, but not about anything he fed them.
Note the word "we" (unity, cooperation) enters his language here: they may have been better after eating.
The awkward feel of these words along with the missing information is very concerning.
What was he doing during this time period of "excitement" and "yelling" and kids out of control? What were the kids interrupting, in the language of shifting blame from him to them?
Maybe an hour later err later. I can’t be yah know, accurate on times.
What limits his ability to be accurate about "times"? This is to reinforce the sensitivity of time within his statement. There is missing information here.
What happened was my kids generally put themselves down for a nap especially when they’ve been outside playing a lot and ah especially on a warm day. And they came into the house and started playing in their room quietly and then they both wrapped up in their blankets and laid down.
He was asked "what happened?" and he finally gets to it. The 84% introduction already indicates deception but the wording itself continues to indicate deception.
"my kids generally put themselves down" is what they normally do. Deceptive people use this when they wish to avoid a direct statement on what happened. There is no need to tell us what they normally did, since he started with "what happened...", which is past tense and reliable. He then immediately moves to Unreliable.
He can't be accurate on times. What restricts him? Memory or consequence?
This is also concerning. He not only tells us what they "generally" do, rather than what they did, he tells us:
a. warm day
b. wrapped in blankets
"They both wrapped up in their blankets" does not tell us if they wrapped themselves, or he wrapped them. This is an awkward and alarming statement. It avoids the topic directly. He does not want to lie directly.
He does not want to say that they wrapped themselves up, so he avoids it.
He may not want to say that he wrapped them up.
Did he bind them? Did he restrict them? It was their fault he "had" to yell, in his mindset. This avoidance of directly stating what happened means that "what happened" is not something he wants to say outright.
He "can't" be accurate. Substance abuse? Alcohol does more to impede memory than narcotics. If it was not alcohol, the restriction upon his memory must be explored. What kept him from being able to be accurate? We note detail about vehicle, but nothing about lunch. Would you remember your deceased child's last meal?
And I thought they went to sleep so I figured I had time to do go do some chores in the house.
He tells us what they usually do, rather than what they did.
He then tells us what he thought, rather than what he did.
Here he tells us why he thought he had time to do chores. This anticipates the question of "Why did you have time...?" but, why would anyone ask such a question? This does not make sense to us, but it does to him. We need to learn why.
Note that "blankets" (coverings) are associated with:
Sexual abuse, particularly childhood sexual abuse, but it also is associated with sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from combat situations.
Some linguistic signals of childhood sexual abuse:
water, in various forms
doors, opening and closing
lights (sexual activity, both abusive and non abusive)
windows open, closing
coverings, blankets, towels, etc.
"I took a shower, and dried off with a towel, got dressed and went to work" with "towel" being completely unnecessary to us, but not to the subject. The subject needs to be "covered", or "protected" with the towel. We did not think he ran around naked to dry off. Unnecessary information should be deemed "doubly important" (LSI) to the analyst.
I was in the back of the house doing laundry and straightening things up.
This means he was outside the house.
Note: laundry is noted as associated with "water", and references to "water" should cause exploration into sexual abuse;
either the subject himself, as a child,
or his daughters.
And in between load of laundry I’d go sit on my bed which is in the next room over from them and cause from my room I can always hear them when they get up and start moving around.
"Laundry" is repeated here, making it sensitive.
Here we have indications of deception as he does not tell us what he did. He has the need to avoid telling what he did. Instead, of what he "does" is substituted. This missing information should be specifically explored for substance abuse.
He changes from past tense verbs to present tense. He changes from what happened to what 'usually' happens.
Note that body posture ("sit") is a signal of increased tension for the subject at this point of the statement.
"I can always hear them" is what he can "always" do, but is not what happened. He is avoiding telling us what he did at this time.
And so I thought they were asleep and I thought I had time to do some chores and didn’t have to worry about them.
Here is another 'out of chronological' order of events. He is backtracking to explain why he had time.
Note he tells us what he "didn't" have to do. This also appears artificial.
Recall Bilie Jean Dunn telling us that she did not have worry. It is not just the placing of emotions here that is sensitive, but it is the negative; that is, what he did not feel. This is an indication of deception.
We mark time (and emotion) on what happens in life, not on what did not happen.
"Where were you when you did not win the power ball lottery in 2010?" versus
"Where were you when 9/11 hit?"
We do not mark time on what did not happen, nor what was not felt.
"Where were you when you did not fear your husband was cheating on you? makes no sense.
And I came outside to have a cigarette and fiancés little brother came out and asked me when the last time id actually seen my kids was and I told him it was about an hour and both of us
According to his statement, he is outside when he said, "And I came outside." This is deceptive. He uses present tense language and passivity to make us think he is inside, but if you listen, and do not interpret, he is outside already.
This shows deception related to what happened and should lead investigators to wonder:
Did he try to kill both of his daughters? Or, was this a case of substance abuse related neglect and unintended death?
It is his deception that raises these question.
1. "fiancé's little brother" is an incomplete social introduction which may suggest problems in the relationship at this point in the account.
2. He is "little" brother. Why the additional word "little"; is it demeaning to him?
3. "Actually" is a word when comparing two or more things. "Would you like vanilla ice cream?" "No, I'd actually like chocolate..."
In this statement, there appears to be tension, and a challenge from the "little" brother. When was the last time you actually seen...argument.
4. Note "told" him and not "said", indicates authoritative or argumentative (firm). "My boss said to be at work at 9." "My boss told me to be at work at 9" is a lot firmer. Add in the word "stood" and you have tension.
5. "both of us" instead of "we", shows distance and affirms the argumentative challenge that took place. The "little brother" challenged the subject.
immediately got up and started looking for em just because anytime you’re a parent and somebody brings up the fact that you haven’t seen or heard from your kids for a little while, you go look for them.
"Immediately" is unnecessary and often found in 911 calls when someone feels the need to portray themselves in a favorable light. No one would think that the subject stopped to have another cigarette first. That he adds "immediately" tells us that he is concerned about perception rather than reality.
"Because" shows that he feels the need to explain why he did not delay looking for his daughters. This is a very sensitive issue to him. They were "missing", that is, allegedly not known where they were. That he feels the need to explain why he had to search for children that were not located makes it sensitive.
The analyst should consider that he knew where they were.
Yet, he immediately distances himself from the scenario: "you're a parent", not that he is a parent, and "somebody" brings up the fact...
This is not his first act of Neglect.
He may have a CPS history, or has been accused by friends/relatives of neglecting the children.
And so we checked the house, they weren’t in their room, they weren’t anywhere in the house. We checked all the rooms in the house. All the places they like to hide and get into things.
The unity returned as they shared the same purpose.
Although we do not have the complete statement for a complete mathematical number, the lengthy introduction with unnecessary details tells me he has a reason to delay getting to the point.
The distancing language is noted.
They "get into things" is also a subtle blaming of the children. Please see the explanation above about how parents deify deceased children.
The argumentative challenge between the subject and his fiancé's brother is noted.
As I take these into consideration, along with his other statements, I am able to conclude:
Russell Lindstrom is deceptive in his account of what happened to his daughters.
It may be that this act was premeditated. If not, Neglect by substance abuse will not sufficiently answer the sensitivity of the questions.
He locked his daughters in the vehicle.
It may be that drugs influenced his thinking, but he caused them to be in the vehicle. Investigators need to find out why:
Was it due to substance abuse?
Or, was he seeking to unburden himself of his children?