Thursday, January 15, 2015

Statement Analysis: Indiana State Trooper David Camm 911 Call

While in training this week, someone wisely asked,

"When you talk about a Reliable Denial and someone says 'I didn't do it', is the pronoun "it" acceptable?"

This was an astute question and showed the subject was paying attention.  The answer is, "no", it is not reliable. 

The Reliable Denial must have three components.  Two, or Four, for example, are not reliable. 

I.  The Pronoun "I"
II.  The past tense "did not", or casual "didn't"  (we do not differentiate though Reid does)
III.  The specific allegation addressed.  


"I didn't do it" or "I didn't do this"

911 calls of Camm family murders released.  John posted this for analysis...thank you, John.  

Eyewitness News is hearing the first call for help made by a former state trooper after finding his wife and children murdered.

David Camm was acquitted last month in the murders after spending 13 years in prison. Camm made a frantic call to the Indiana State Police to report the murders.

Listen to the 911 call here. (Warning - this audio file may be distressing to some listeners.)

Dispatch: Indiana police radio, Patrice. Can I help you?

David Camm: Patrice, it's Dave Camm. Let me talk to Post Command right now.

Note that he did not ask for assistance for the victims, instead, asserting himself as one of authority.  This is high minded.  Him talking to Post Command is his priority; not the victims. 

Dispatch: Okay, he's on another line.

David Camm: Right now (shouting). Let me talk to Post Command.

He still avoids asking for help.  Instead, the high mindedness is confirmed.  This should cause investigators to consider if he is a controlling aggressor.  

Dispatch: Hold on.

Post Command: Dave?

David Camm: Get everybody out here to my house now!

He does not ask for help for the victims; he demands, on his own authority, not upon the condition of the victims.  He has still avoided telling them why. 

This speaks to his priority. 

Post Command: Okay. All right.

David Camm: My wife and my kids are dead. Get everybody out here to my house.

If they are beyond help, what is the urgency?  Note he continues to issue orders.  

Post Command: Okay, David. We got people on the way, okay?

David Camm: Get everybody out here.

He wants "everybody" out there, but does not say why.  

Post Command: Everything's gonna be okay.

David Camm: Everything's not okay! Get everybody out here now! (shouting)

The repetition and unusual wording should cause investigators to consider that this is scripted.  

Post Command: Go to David Camm's house now. Do you know what happened, David?

Note the yes or no question is easy to lie to.  We then note every word that comes after the denial:  

David Camm: No. They're dead. I just got home from playing basketball....Oh, my God. What am I gonna do? Get everybody out here! (crying)

No "  is his answer.  "Basketball" is very important.  

After the word "no":  

1.  They're dead.
2.  I just got home
3.  I was playing basketball.  This is utterly unnecessary as to what he was doing, therefore it is critical information.  This is alibi building. 

4.  Divinity invoked
5.  Open questions within a statement (rhetorical).  Note that the question is not about the victims, but about himself.  
6.  Back to being in charge and ordering others.  

this element of control may be scripted, but it also may be a window into his personality. 

Note that there is no concern as to a killer on the loose.
Note there is no concern for justice for his family.  
His concern is for him, and what he will do.  This is too soon for him to process, regarding his own life.  He has already accepted that he will be without his wife and children and wondering what he will do.  

As to the immediate finding of his now dead family:  it is artificial and too soon as the grieving process takes time.  
Post Command: David, they're on their way right now, okay? I've got everybody coming. Listen, I'm gonna let you talk to Patrice. I've got people coming.

David Camm: I've gotta get across the street. I've gotta get some help. I've gotta go across to my parents' house.

Note the truthful words:  he is the one in need of help.  This call is about him.  
Again, no mention of the danger of a killer on the loose.  
Post Command: David, do you need an ambulance?

David Camm: I've gotta go!

Dispatch: Dave? He hung up.

The 911 call avoids all responsibility and concern.  He sounds controlling.  

Police found a horrific crime scene. Camm's wife and son on the garage floor, his daughter still in the family SUV, all shot to death. Bullet holes could be seen throughout the vehicle.

Camm, who resigned from the Indiana State Police just four months before the killing was now the one and only suspect.

"I cannot believe this. I cannot believe this," Camm said in an interview.

"What do you mean? You cannot believe what?" a detective asked.

"You are going to try to blame me for killing my children," Camm said. "I did not do this."

Please note that he said "killing my children" but in his denial, he avoids saying "I didn't kill my children. Follow the word "this" (closeness) and note it is what he denies rather than killing them.  
Much of the evidence hinged on Camm's bloody sweatshirt. Was the blood transferred from the victims when he tried to help them or proof he was there when they were killed?

Time and again, he insisted he was innocent.

"I didn't do this. I didn't do it Mickey. I didn't do it. I didn't do it,"Camm said.  

This still avoids saying, "I didn't kill Mickey."

Camm was convicted twice and successfully appealed those convictions twice. He was finally found not guilty by a Boone County jury last month.

http://www.wthr.com/story/23950005/2013/11/12/911-calls-of-camm-family-murders-released

23 comments:

Tanya said...

Hi Peter, I have a question for you about this particular case.

I agree the call is completely suspicious, but if I imagine a scenario whereby he did not kill his family and came home to find them all deceased, would there by any reason for urgency to call for help for them?

Is it possible that asking help only for himself would make sense if he knew they were beyond saving?

I hope I'm making sense!

Lilly, Norway. said...

I dont think so, Tanya. I would struggle to accept that my children and my husband were dead, even if I saw them laying there.

I would call for an ambulance for them, holding even a tiny hope that they might be able to pull through.

Even though anyone else would see that they were dead, I wouldnt have believed it.

I realize now that even typing these words, putting it out there a scenario like the one I described, is extremely uncomfortable.

Please excuse my bad English.

Peter Hyatt said...

Tanya,

I think I understand your meaning.

I would like to know: What is your urgency?

A key word in his statement is "basketball" given:

1. The law of economy
2. The urgent nature of his call
3. The utter unnecessary addition of information (he had already said he was out, which, itself, is concerning).

There's a lot wrong with this call

GetThem said...

Right and plus, wouldn't he be more likely to say "I think" they are dead in hopes that if help hurries and arrives they can help? Instead he says they are "dead." So does that mean he checked their pulses and breathing and hearts and tried CPR before making the decision that they are all "dead."

GetThem said...

I have to share this story from earlier today. My youngest daughter came in from the bus and went to get her snack from the freezer. It was a frozen ice cream she had bought with her allowance. But it wasn't there so she accused her older sister of taking it. Her words were "Savannah, you stole my ice cream!" Savannah said "that was last week" when she had stolen another one. I wanted to believe she hadn't stolen it, but no reliable denial and I confronted her and said "you took it, you didn't give a reliable denial according to Statement Analysis." She immediately came clean and said "mom used Statement analysis on me." Plus, there was no one else to steal it and it didn't get lost in the freezer. I found it amusing...

tania cadogan said...

I agree with Tanya.
If they are dead then there is no hope, no chance of revival, urgency and demanding an urgent response will make no difference.
They are still dead and will remain dead 30 seconds from now or an hour from now.

I would be demanding urgency if i knew there was a multiple killer out there who may well kill again.
I would be warning the police of such, that there is an armed and dangerous killer loose.
He doesn't though.
He doesn't because there is no armed and dangerous killer on the loose apart from himself

However, how does he know they are dead?

Unless they have been decapitated which is a pretty surefire way to declare death, it is entirely possible, although unlikely ,that the victim(s) could still be alive, even if head shot.

It could look catastrophic yet on closer attention it could be that the bullet bounced around inside the skull or even just skimmed it (head woulds bleed like buggery)

This would cause me to wonder if he checked and made sure they were dead or they were shot earlier than claimed and left to die.
Unless he had equipment with him to certify death, normal instinct, especially with children is to believe they are alive ( even in cases where rigor mortis is present and the child is blue the parent will still believe the child is alive and render CPR or demand help)

His call contains a multitude of red flags, no concern for the victims, acceptance of death, alibi building, not answering the operators questions, invoking the deity to help him not the victims.

john said...

@ GetThem

That made me chuckle :)

I often get people saying "stop S/Aing me" Hahaha. It is difficult to switch it off at times.

Droll Skeptic said...

I wonder what event(s) precipitated his "resignation" 4 months previous the murders. Also, whether he was gainfully employed elsewhere within a short time, or was either still unemployed/ very newly employed indicating a situation of possible financial stress in the household.

Droll Skeptic said...

His words tell us he lied on that 911 call and most likely had guilty knowledge of what happened and was withholding it. That makes me even more curious about the circumstances surrounding him, his family, and the murders

Lemon said...

The "expected" would be an inability to accept they are dead, or denial (grief's first stage). To have processed this so quickly in his acceptance of "They're dead" seems strange and "off". It doesn't ring true. The expected is a first responder working tirelessly over the lifeless, willing them to live, doing CPR etc.

Tommy said...

Way off on this one guys. The whole "this is how you you act if you find your family brutally murdered" is almost as cute as "he's trained to do CPR but couldn't possibly know when a corpse is a corpse."

Readers with an open mind should read up on the case and chime in.

Anonymous said...

In 2005, forensic evidence identified a career criminal named Charles Boney as having been at the crime scene. Boney's modus operandi in previous crimes showed similarities to aspects of the murders. Boney had a history of stalking and attacking women, often stealing their shoes; Kim's shoes had been removed and placed neatly on the vehicle and she had a series of bruises and abrasions to her feet. The prosecution was widely criticized for the failure to find Boney prior to the first trial. They told the defense team in 2001 that the DNA had been run through CODIS and returned no matches. It was later discovered that Boney's DNA was entered into the system prior to the murders and would have returned a match if it had been run.[3] DNA and fingerprint analysts later testified that the prosecution, former Floyd County Prosecutor Stan Faith, attempted to get them to lie and say that Boney's fingerprints and DNA actually belonged to David Camm.[4][5]

Boney gave a number of conflicting confessions, but eventually accused Camm of the murders, claiming he witnessed Camm shoot his family while he was at the home selling Camm a handgun. Camm was charged along with Boney as a co-conspirator, Boney was tried first and separately. Boney was convicted of the murders and sentenced to 225 years in prison. In 2006, Camm was found guilty on the murder charges at his retrial. Camm appealed, and the verdict was overturned on the grounds that the prosecution at the second trial had accused Camm of sexually molesting his 5 year old daughter Jill, without producing evidence for the allegation.[6]

Anonymous said...

Boney testified for the first time at the third trial. He admitted being at the crime scene, but denied pulling the trigger, although he was unable to describe the car Camm drove during the times he says they met and also incorrectly described Camm's clothing on the night of the murder. Evidence was presented that Charles Boney's DNA was found on Kim's panties, her shirt, her broken off fingernail, and Jill's shirt. Defense witnesses also testified that prosecution assertions about the stains were not widely accepted by others in the field of bloodstain analysis. It was also discovered that the blood spatter analyst whose analysis had triggered the arrest had falsified his credentials and did not work in the field of bloodstain pattern analysis at all. He had previously testified that he was a professor at Portland State University; it was discovered that he had no affiliation with the university. He testified in the third trial that he had perjured himself during the first two. Dr. Robert Shaler, who served on a committee for the The National Academy of Sciences to evaluate forensic methods, testified that blood spatter pattern analysis was found to be unreliable in their studies. Another expert demonstrated that the pattern could be produced through transfer.



Before long, the erroneous nature of several pieces of evidence was revealed. While the infidelity accusations were credible, it was discovered that most of the rest of the evidence on the probable cause affidavit was either inaccurate or unreliable.[13] Based on the autopsies and other evidence, the time of death was determined to be around 8 pm, far earlier than the original estimate of 9:30 pm[8] giving Camm an alibi.[14] The phone call that seemed to prove Camm was lying about his alibi was disproven. The phone company discovered the inaccuracy stemmed from the confusion regarding Indiana's complicated time zones. The call actually was made an hour earlier, at 6:19 pm.[12][13][15][16]

The clean up at the crime scene and the blood spatter on David's shirt were also called into question. It was discovered that there was not in fact a crime scene clean up, but the normal separation of blood when exposed to air for a period of time. Several other areas that Stites had claimed to be high velocity impact spatter found at the crime scene were found to be inaccurate interpretations, calling into question Stites' abilities.[12][17]

Anonymous said...

On Camm's T-shirt, investigators found eight tiny blood drops, which prosecutors claim got there when he pulled the trigger.

Investigators hoped blood stain expert Rod Englert could connect the dots. Using stage blood and a piece of paper, Englert shot a blank at the blood, demonstrating how it would splatter.

"You cannot create that pattern. This is very indicative of high velocity mist," explains Englert, who was hired by the prosecution.

Englert examined Camm’s shirt and identified the stains as what’s called "high velocity impact spatter," caused by a bullet hitting a body. But that’s just one theory. The defense says those drops of blood actually back up Camm's version of what he did when he discovered the bodies.

"I grabbed Brad, picked him up," Camm explains. "I was gonna try to do CPR on him."

Bart Epstein, a blood stain expert for more than 30 years, was hired by the defense and believes those eight droplets on David’s shirt got there when he leaned over to remove his son's body from the SUV.

Epstein says those tiny drops of blood were made when Camm‘s shirt brushed against the tips of Jill’s bloody hair. Using a wig and some stage blood, Epstein demonstrated how these blood stains could have gotten on the shirt.

He believes these stains can look like high velocity impact spatter to some people. But in this case, the number of blood stains could be as important as their size.

"Gunshot will produce hundreds of stains coming back. I’ve never seen, I believe the other experts for both the prosecution and the defense have indicated that they’ve never seen just seven small or eight small stains from a gunshot. I’ve never seen that," says Epstein.

Bullfrogger65 said...

I've read that David Camm was acquitted in 2013 of the murders of his wife and children. How does your analysis of his 9-1-1 call jibe with his acquittal?

Peter Hyatt said...

No change, Bullfroggr:

This call does not show shock at the discovery of his murdered family.

I am aware that he was convicted twice, and on the third trial, acquitted. I am aware of the connection to the other offender, as well.

Simply put: the 911 call shows more concern for himself than his family.

Peter

Tommy said...

Peter Hyatt said:

"I didn't do this. I didn't do it Mickey. I didn't do it. I didn't do it,"Camm said.

This still avoids saying, "I didn't kill Mickey."

Of course he didn't. It's clear, to the careful reader, Mickey is the person he's talking to, not the person he's accused of killing.

" I am aware of the connection to the other offender, as well. "

That's vague and passive so I'm not sure what you mean, other than, if there is an "other offender," you must be claiming Camm is guilty of the crime.

Seeing that the source of the connection is convictred murderer Charles Boney, and you are aware of that connection, does that mean you have analyzed the words of Charles Boney and found him to be truthful in his account of his connection with Camm?

If not, would you? That would be so interesting.

Peter Hyatt said...

No, Tommy, I haven't seen his words.

I am aware" is just that: aware. I don't know much about the case...yet.

The analysis of the 911 call remains the same in spite of 2 convictions and 1 over-turned conviction.

It will take some time, but I have begun to read about the case and will continue to do so .

Thus far, it seems like a clever attorney, rather than a man who does not have guilty knowledge of the crime.

Peter

Bullfrogger65 said...

Peter, I'm also trying to educate myself on this case. My question: In your professional review of Camm's call, what comments, if any of his, could you possibly subscribe to the shock of finding his family murdered? I guess what I'm asking, was it possible his mind was just trying to cope with an unbelievable situation?

Karen Frank said...

I just want to share my experience with the entire world on how i got my husband back and saved my marriage… I was married for 5 years with 2 kids and i have been living happily with my family until things started getting ugly with me and my husband that leads us to fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that my husband filed for divorce… I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me cause i loved him with all my heart and didn't want to loose my husband but everything just didn't work out… He moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster called Dr WAKINA from the wakinaspellhome@yahoo.com Who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try it because I was desperate and left with no choice… He did the spell for me and things really work out as he promise and my husband have a change of mind and come back home to stay with me and the kids. And promise never to hurt me again. We are living happily as it was with the help of Dr WAKINA. If you are in need of help you can contact DR WAKINA via email wakinaspellhome@yahoo.com or with his website http://drwakinaspellhome.webs.com/

Karen Frank said...

I just want to share my experience with the entire world on how i got my husband back and saved my marriage… I was married for 5 years with 2 kids and i have been living happily with my family until things started getting ugly with me and my husband that leads us to fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that my husband filed for divorce… I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me cause i loved him with all my heart and didn't want to loose my husband but everything just didn't work out… He moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster called Dr WAKINA from the wakinaspellhome@yahoo.com Who eventually helped me out… I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try it because I was desperate and left with no choice… He did the spell for me and things really work out as he promise and my husband have a change of mind and come back home to stay with me and the kids. And promise never to hurt me again. We are living happily as it was with the help of Dr WAKINA. If you are in need of help you can contact DR WAKINA via email wakinaspellhome@yahoo.com or with his website http://drwakinaspellhome.webs.com/

J. Jones said...

I was staying at a hotel in the Louisville area during the first trial. (The area being "Indiana" was literally across the bridge. I read a book that cam out after the convictions, and Boney was featured prominently in the book. Here's the (One of several, actually) thing: Boney's sweatshirt with his name written on it, was found at the scene. DUMB criminal? Or planted?? Kim Camm had told her mother she was tired of David's constant womanizing. But what I found MOST telling: Little 5 year-old Jill Camm and OBVIOUS signs of sexual molestation that was older than 24 hours. Her maternal grandmother had witnessed a problem before that and had mentioned it to others. There was a reason Dave Camm was convicted twice, and the family was well known and even had their own church in the town. HIS FELLOW officers thought him guilty almost immediately. BTW...when you familiarize yourselves with the case, take into account that HIS family were very aggressive in getting out their side...

TheClueMasterSDM said...

Two days after the murders David Camm made a phone call to his friend, Sgt. Technician Sam Sarkisian, an investigator in the case:

David Camm: This is Dave
Sam Sarkisian: Hey Dave

Dave: What’s goin on man?
Sam: Just workin man. Just doin the best we can here. Are you doin all right?

Dave: No…course not
Sam: I mean, I don’t know I never been there, I just hope you’re trying to…put everything together

Dave: Sam nobody’ll talk to me.
Sam: Everybody’s workin real hard Dave

Dave: I just want to get everything done so they…I mean everybody knows that I didn’t, I know everybody knows that I didn’t do it, but I want all the physical stuff done…I don’t want anybody thinking…
Sam: Well, I can understand that.

Dave: So I can’t…we got to be close…I would hope
Sam: Like I say they’re still bringin things in and puttin things together. There’s all kinds of…these things are long and drawn out.

Dave: They have been in the house Sam. I mean is there a crime scene. Is there something in the house that I don’t know about?
Sam: I don’t know if there’s anything in the house you don’t know about. We entail the whole property Dave as the…crime scene.
Dave: I know, I know. I’m tryin to figure out the big deal about getting their clothes out. Obviously I ran in and used the phone and ran back out.
Sam: I understand. We don’t want to miss anything.
Dave: I mean I still feel like some of the guys out there look at me and they question me and think well wonder if he did it.
Sam: Well…
Dave: Basically he did it and that’s hard to take…but
Sam: Well
Dave, sighing: The more there’s not…anything else, the more you guys lean toward...that’s the way it goes.
Sam: Well, I don’t know where we’re goin here with…I mean with…what are you askin about?
Dave: I’m not askin…I…I…I’m askin my friend.
Sam: I understand that.
Dave: Tell me, I know Dave that you didn’t do this.