Monday, July 20, 2015
Did Brooks Houck Act Alone?
Did Brooks Houck Act Alone?
by Peter Hyatt
In examining any statement, I only publish at this blog statements that are in the public domain.
This is because I work training law enforcement around the country, (as well as corporate America, and the private sector, especially in hiring) and assist in analysis on many cases. The analysis, therefore, is only the words publicly reported, and analysis is not done, even on public statements, if the local or hosting department wishes it not to be there.
The blog works as an excellent tool for not only teaching analysis, but for advertising the trainings, but both of these elements are trumped by the integrity of a case. There are times when, on advice of a prosector, even public transcripts are not analyzed, at least until the case is adjudicated. Hence, my silence in commenting on some cases.
It is likely that when someone hears this phrase, "I am 100% innocent", they have a sense that the subject (speaker) has a need to add in emphasis about innocence. Some will recall OJ Simpson, or even Joey Buttafuoco of "Amy Fischer" fame, for what it means to add emphasis to a denial. News media generally reports, "So and So Denies Involvement" but when the article is read, the trained eye finds no denial by the accused or suspected.
Guilty people often say, "I am innocent" while avoiding the structure of a sentence that would be a direct denial of the action. To say, "I am innocent" is to deny the judicial outcome. This is not to deny the action.
In the following statement, we have elements that need examination, piece by piece (analysis) to then be brought together (conclusion), as is our order: breaking down the whole, examining each particle, and putting the particles back together again.
“I’m 100 percent completely innocent in this and I have exhausted my efforts with the law enforcement agencies to gather all the facts necessary to allow me to have a clean name again,” Brooks Houck told the nation on the Nancy Grace Show.
1. We have a denial of the judicial conclusion, not the act, or any act, associated with the disappearance of 35 year old Crystal Rogers.
2. We do not have, nor did we have, at any time in the televised interview, a denial of the action.
Statement Analysis recognizes the deception found within denial is often found in the alteration of the most simplistic of denials. This "often finds" is qualified by many statistics and many examples that show:
An innocent person, that is, one who did not "do it", will deny that action, itself, and perhaps add in the judicial conclusion.
A deceptive person will alter his denial to avoid a direct lie.
If a person asserts, "I did not do it", with "it" specifically identified, using no other additional wording, the person is "very likely" to have not done it. If this same person looks upon his own denial (what is called a "Reliable Denial" in analysis training) and says, "I told the truth", the person is 99.9% likely, statistically, to be innocent, in that, he did not "do it."
It is that when the speed of transmission takes place, the person who is actually guilty, in some form, adds words in, indicating a need to persuade via deception, that we find our information, often within the chosen words of the deceptive person.
Question for Analysis: Did Brooks Houck act alone?
At no time did Brooks Houck address the 800 lb. gorilla in the living room: his involvement in the disappearance of Crystal Rogers.
We have a rule that goes: "If the subject is unwilling or unable to say he didn't do it, we will not say it for him. "
“I’m 100 percent completely innocent in this and I have exhausted my efforts with the law enforcement agencies to gather all the facts necessary to allow me to have a clean name again."
This assertion is not a reliable denial and is indicative of deception. Yet, I wish to focus upon the word "this" within his statement.
Readers have correctly identified the word "clean" with sexual abuse, in that teachers, social workers and investigators all recognize that 'water' is the element of 'cleaning', and the feeling of being 'dirty' is not limited to the victim, but can extend to both, which is why a teacher, for example, takes notice of a child who suddenly begins to wash her hands repeatedly.
It is the same in language.
It can point to sexual homicide, or guilt associated with sexual activity. As the mother of his child, sexual activity is an element in this case, and the subject (Brooks Houck) has a need to feel "clean", in so much that it entered his language.
Psychologists have shown simple studies of the use of the words "this" and "that", especially by children. We know that in choosing one or the other, while speaking freely, the brain chooses the appropriate term in less than a microsecond.
"This" indicates closeness, while "That" indicates distance.
"I graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles about two years ago with a degree in Engineering" said a job applicant.
I noted that the pronoun "I" could not be any further away from "Engineering" (capitalized) in the sentence than it is. This is to create distance, emotionally, from Engineering. What would cause the distance?
a. Failure to land a job in Engineering
b. Failure at Engineering
c. Discovery of a dislike for Engineering and a desire for a new career direction.
d. Unknown, to be determined in the interview process
Later, it was learned that it was (c) --the subject hated it.
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky." shows not only the same theme of distancing language, but the additional word "woman", rather than "person" (or nothing at all) confirms that she was a "woman" to him, not a "person" but also that he added in further distancing language with "that" in his sentence.
We have "this" versus "that" in psychological and even geographical distancing, found within language.
Psychologists found that "where there is a 'this', there is a 'that'; and where there is a 'that', there is a 'this.'
Consider the following:
The teacher called and told the mother that her little Johnny ran up to Susie and pulled her pig tails. When Johnny got home, mother said, "Johnny! Your teacher called and told me that you ran up to Susie and pulled her pigtails!"
Johnny said, "I didn't do that."
Mother, well versed in Statement Analysis intuitively, as mothers are known to be, saw through his unreliable denial and said, "Well, what did you do?"
Johnny admitted he had pulled Susie's pig tails.
He denied, however, running up to her. She was right in front of him on line for recess.
Where there is a 'that', we ask about 'this' and when we find in language that an effort has been made to persuade, and there is an additional word used, we know we must follow through in the interview.
Brooks Houck is "100% innocent in "this", which then tells us that there is something else he is thinking about, a "that", in which he cannot say he is "100% innocent in.
True enough, the phrase, "100%" is often found in deception, and should the subject be known to use the phrase, "110%" in anything, we know that in his personal, subjective, internal dictionary, 100% is not complete.
OJ said that Nicole was "200%" in better workout shape than women her age, (or a percentage above 100%) which revealed his own personal dictionary showing that "100%" is not complete.
In Brooks Houck, he is "100% innocent" in something, but at the time of saying this to national television, he is not 100% innocent in something else. In "this", he is, but in "that", he is not.
If in "this" he is "100% innocent" than "someone else holds the guilt", even though he is thinking of "that", of which he is unable to make the same statement.
This suggests that Brooks Houck may have had some assistance in the disappearance of Crystal Rogers, that holds "associated guilt."
This could be anything but is only found in the interview (or transcripts, via analysis) and this "anything" ranges from:
a. Hiring someone to cause her disappearance
b. Assistance in planning (actual details)
c. Assistance (passive listening) in plotting, that is, the person did not try to stop him
d. Assistance in cover up
e. Information on forensics, advice, counsel
There could be many other ways someone is not 100% innocent, in his mind, and it could be just about anything, but he is, at the time of this statement, actively denying something specific in comparison to something else.
When analyzing transcripts in law enforcement, the motive often appears, and sometimes, even the details of the crime and subsequent cover up, emerge. This is called "leakage" in Statement Analysis and requires not only training, but often a "second set of eyes" verifying the analysis, knowing that the original analysis will yield up to 40% more content when a subsequent analysis is done, where the analyst has had an emotional and intellectual "break" from the "trail" he followed originally. For more of this, please do a search on "The 40% Rule" in this blog.
Brooks Houck likely had assistance from someone and it must be considered that the person who assisted him may have done so unwittingly. If, for example, he asked questions about statistics, evidence, investigations, and so on, the person who answered may have had no hint that he was to commit a crime, and inadvertently assisted him, so that his conscience, in its own desire to 'spread around guilt' is thinking of this assistance. Of course, it could be much more active and nefarious, or it could even be in his internet searches. Recall the 'assistance' of the man who researched how long a baby lasts in a hot car before dying...prior to his own child's death.
This means that interviewers must seek to speak to those who were in contact with Houck in the weeks prior to Crystal's disappearance as well as do an exhaustive post mortem of his computer access.
We all give out our information in the words we choose. Houck is not the first person to go on national television with the inability to deny the action while denying the judicial conclusion, nor is he the first to "signal" or "telegraph" relevant information about the case.
When mother of missing 13 year old Hailey Dunn spoke of her "toothache", something a parent frantically searching for her child, is not likely to mention, I told investigators, "drugs is involved in the case", which ended up being a drug related sexual homicide. In that case, drugs, child pornography, and violence where the unholy trinity of Hailey's demise.
Here, Houcks has a need to "clean", not "clear", his name, and avoids denying involvement in any portion of her disappearance.