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 
f.   etc

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.  


MsCabinFever said...

Great article, thanks!

Buckley said...

How far was her car from her home?

Anonymous said...

To answer your question; I have not read any interviews yet from anyone else who might be closely connected with Houck or who might be suspected of being involved in Crystal's disappearance. Did I miss something?

Anonymous said...

To answer your question; I have not read any interviews yet from anyone else who might be closely connected with Houck or who might be suspected of being involved in Crystal's disappearance. Did I miss something?

Dee said...

I believe there is speculation that his brother, a police officer, may be involved.

On an off topic note, does anyone remember a reference to an analysis of the rare outright liar? I am trying to analyze a statement of a woman who faked a pregnancy and stillbirth, and while it has been essentially proven that she did it, her statements do not follow the standard distancing patterns. There are a few statements that had unexpected language but very curiously, few indicators of deception.

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

He Dee,

Does this help?

Officer Cynthia Witlatch: The Rarity of Outright Liars

John Mc Gowan said...

Search continues for missing Nelson Co. mother

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) - Family and friends of a missing Bardstown mother were out this weekend in Nelson Co. hoping to find leads on her whereabouts.

35-year-old Crystal Rogers has been missing for two weeks now. The group focused their search primarily on three farms.
Rogers was last seen by her live-in boyfriend and father of her 2 year old son Brooks Houck on Friday, July 3rd. Roger's sister thinks Houck may know something.

Police searched his house but are not saying what, if anything, they found. Houck also took a lie-detector test but Rogers' family says officials told them the results were inconclusive.

Dee said...

John, thanks! That's exactly what I was looking for, the concept of fabricating reality. Going to have to read it a few times to glean all the info but on my first pass this describes that woman's behavior beyond the situation I am examining.

Dee said...

The analysis of Brooks Houck's interview with Nancy Grace really reignited my interest in statement analysis. It is incredible how many concepts came into play, the pacing, leakage, unreliable denial, complete refusal to use her by name. It was an awesome primer for someone who has interest but isn't totally certain how the process works. I can say I had some doubts about its reliability, but that analysis made so much sense in a way that resonated truth.

Anonymous said...

I'm still wondering what I might have missed that would indicate with any positive assertion that someone else may have been involved with Houck in Crystal's disappearance.

We have not even determined yet, with any certainty, that Houck himself is involved, although the suspense that he was is certainly very high, particularly since he has failed in several areas of proven statement analysis.

Can someone enlighten me? What are the indications that Houck acted in cooperation with another, in some fashion, other than it is known that his brother is on the police force; but this alone does not make him a suspect. Have any statements been made by a second party who may have been involved that can be analyzed? Thank you!

Unknown said...

It was reported that the police cruiser of Houck's brother was impounded to be searched for evidence.

trustmeigetit said...

So I read on another blog their was an illegal fire at Brooks family's farm and that their searched his brothers car... Odly I can not find any news reports on that. The one blog had a link but no article on this case was there.

So are these made up stories or is the media being silenced.

Has anyone actually seen news articles?

John Mc Gowan said...

Your welcome, Dee. :)

Statement Analysis Blog said...

The location, in his statement, is very important; hence the specifics given.

I hope that the "this" comment, relating to involvement, is not his brother.

Anonymous said...

Jen Ow, I read that the Houck brothers' patrol car was not impounded, that it was in the shop being serviced for repairs. Guess we read two different journalists comments?

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Anonymous said...
Jen Ow, I read that the Houck brothers' patrol car was not impounded, that it was in the shop being serviced for repairs. Guess we read two different journalists comments?
July 22, 2015 at 2:42 PM

Do you have a link?

I read an article which said it was in for repairs, but when questioned about the length of time in repairs, L/E did not answer the question, but referred to the county investigators.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Peter, I do not have the link. But I do recall that the comments about Patrol Officer Houcks' car being in the shop for repairs was made by an officer at the precinct where Houck works, to an interviewer who had asked if Officer Houcks' car was being searched for evidence, and it was his direct quote. You are correct, he did not answer the question concerning how long the car might be in for repairs, or servicing. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Michelle Lawson said...

The family site is a Facebook page called Prayers for Crystals safe return.

Unknown said...

That's what I read Peter...Imagrandma posted it, I believe, along with an article about the illegal fire on the property.

As you said, LE seemed to waffle on the subject of whether the car was impounded/ being searched. If it was in for repairs, why would county investigators need to comment on when the car would be back in use?

Unknown said...

Not sure anon, but the answer given by LE was contradictory.

They claimed the car was being repaired, but also referred further questions about the car returning to use to the county investigators. The county investigators wouldn't handle vehicle repairs, so it appears the car is in their possession, even if they don't wish to use the term "impounded".

LawFilly said...

WTH is this? Accusations?

LawFilly said...

WTH is this? Accusations?

Anonymous said...

Some believe she was never in her car when it was found abandoned on the BG Someone picked him up when he ditched her car.

Anonymous said...

It was only local news He wasn't charged for burning Illegal materials. Nelson County Gazette will show u the article

Anonymous said...

I heard from a reliable source that the brother's car was impounded and also that the brother's fingerprints were found in Crystals car.
Both of their families have strong ties to two different local police forces.
For an informative statement regarding jurisdiction that was given by the Chief of Police of the force the brother works for you can visit Bardstown City Police's facebook page.

Makes sense to me that after getting a married woman with 4 children by 3 different men pregnant he wants a clean name again. That statement spoke volumes to me.
He ran for sheriff in this very small, conservative town having no law enforcement background with Crystal and their child on his arm.
Delusions of grandeur? I think Narcissism plays a part in this.
They both come from very influential families. I believe both families have money yet she was never divorced. That's interesting. I have read some articles that referred to Houck as Crystal's fiancee while other accounts refer to him only as live in boyfriend. I think that piece of information would tell a lot about the status of the relationship;
There has been a lot of conflicting information published.
One thing that irks me is that the Bardstown Police have consistently said that they are not the lead investigators (per the chief's statement on their FB page) in this case and all tips should be directed to Nelson County Sheriff's Dept but on most all of the flyers/poster ect. I have seen contact
the Bardstown Police Dept and a ph # and also the Nelson County Sheriff's and another # is listed below that.

I Pray for Crystal's Safe Return.

Anonymous said...

I agree by law that people are innocent until proven guilty. However, from the beginning of Crystal's disappearance, everything points directly towards Brooks Houck. None of his stories add up, several statements made by Brooks via Nancy Grace were not accurate. Bear in mind, Brooks previously ran for Sheriff, but was unsuccessful. Brooks owns a rental equipment company, does construction, and builds houses. Brooks brother works as a Bardstown Police Office. Therefore, Brooks is intelligent, and has the resources/background/support to adequately hide something...

According to Brooks, Crystal was laying beside him in bed on July 3rd, playing games on her cell phone around midnight. And when he woke up the next morning at 8:00, Crystal was gone. Keep in mind, the next morning is July 4th holiday, a big weekend for family gatherings/entertainment/etc. However, not once did Brooks feel concerned that his GF left the house at whatever time in the middle of the night (Brooks claim)...and left their 2.5 year old son with Brooks. It is my understanding that Crystal always was around one of her children and hardly left their side. If Crystal would have left in the middle of the night, then she would have notified family or friends (via text or phone call). This did not occur. Brooks wouldn't have left (on her own) in the middle of the night, especially without her 2.5 year old son. Why did she take the diaper bag in the car with her & not leave it at home with Brooks? It is my understanding that her family was trying to call/text Crystal all day on July 4th, following into July 5th with no response from Crystal. Brooks family had 4th of July festivities on his mothers farm, which Crystal was suppose to attend. Not once was Brooks concerned about where Crystal was (his GF, mother of his 2.5 year old son). Interesting enough, the people that Brooks suggested that Crystal may have went to spend time with, were out of town for the holiday weekend and had no communication with Crystal. On July 5th, Crystals family tracked Brooks down, trying to find Crystal. Brooks apparently showed no concern or remorse, and hadn't contacted anyone about Crystal disappearance. Crystal's family said they are going to the police to file a missing persons report, Brooks responded, "that's what you should do then."

I am not speaking for everyone, but a high percentage of people associated with this case, agree that Brooks Houck was involved/associated with Crystal Rogers disappearance. And most also suggest that his own brother and mother were associated with "staging/positioning" of Crystal's vehicle on the Blue Grass Parkway (in a remote/isolated area). Whomever, positioned her vehicle in that location, had an accomplice to help or for pick-up. They've covered their tracks well, but GOD knows the truth!!!

Anonymous said...

Think about all the elements in this situation, and use your common sense...

1. Brooks showed zero concern from the very beginning.
2. Brooks never contacted anyone about the disappearance of his GF/mother of his son...nor did he contact the police. The family had to contact police two days later.
3. Brooks is only concerned about clearing his name & protecting his businesses...not finding Crystal.
4. Brooks has had ZERO involvement with assisting or searching for Crystal.
5. Brooks took a lie detector test, but apparently was inconclusive. Let me remind you his strong background in police & KNOWS how to steer around this type of test.
6. Brooks REFUSES to allow any family member or police agency to inspect his mother's family farm (which is close to 200 acres). The police got a search warrant one day, apparently extensively searched Brooks mother's family farm. How could that possibly be achieved in ONLY 6-hours time? Look on Google Earth at their farm (i.e., multiple barns, multiple ponds/lakes/streams/etc, wooded ares, new construction, etc. It is IMPOSSIBLE to adequately inspect 200 acres in 6-hours time. Brooks continues to refuse anyone from accessing their family farm.
7. Brooks drives by the searchers frequently, smiles with a shit-eating grin & waves at them.
8. Brooks REFUSES to allow their 2.5 year old son to visit with the mothers family (Crystal's family).
9. It is well known in the Nelson County Community, how crooked the Houck's family is, and what they are capable of.
10. What type of person or father, personally shuts off the utilities to the house (water meter, power, etc), when he is upset & doesn't get his way? Just to make a point of who is boss? Trust me, you don't know anything about Brooks & how ugly this person can be.

Crystal's family has been searching day/night since July 5th. I have even helped in the search efforts. The terrain and weather conditions are absolutely horrible. You have no idea. Think about what effect this has on Crystal's children? What effect this has on her own family and friends? You can't imagine unless this has happened to you. It is a very sad and unfortunate situation for this family to endure. Any help or contribution of help towards this family would be welcomed with open arms. Any anonymous tips to help lead to finding Crystal would be a blessing.

Thank you for taking the time to read some of "the facts" of this unfortunate situation. We pray for Crystal and her safe return home. AMEN

me said...

Anonymous thanks for all your observations. I can't understand why he won't let the child see his mom's family. To me that makes him sound guilty. This is so so sad.

Hannah Lee said...

I have a two year old boy and our world revolves around his Naptime, people who don't have a two year old don't realize this, getting "ready" for a nap means he is either extremey wound up or extremy grumpy, and needs mom to put him down for his nap- why would you leave him with a grandpa who is in poor mental and physical heath to put a two year old down for his nap- and a complete stranger, why wouldn't you do it yourself before going for your your little hike or whatever it was?.. As a mother, if doesn't make sense!.. Now knowing how mentally and physically not well this grandfather is, in their interview they acted like , they were just leaving him with grandpa by the fire, like that was normal, if he is not physically and mentally well, then this scenario does not make sense!.. And also the fact she doesn't have custody of her older children is a big red flag to me, most mothers have no less than 50/50 custody unless they are really unfit! Especially here in Idaho where judges typically keep very young children with their mom!..

Unknown said...

In any attempt to detect lies there are several obstacles that can be especially challenging to overcome:
- THE BELIEF THAT PEOPLE WILL NOT LIE TO YOU ~ this is because as children the mentality drilled into us is that lying is one of the worst things we can do. The problem is two people do lie, and lie a lot. Behavioral research suggest that we lie at least 10 times in a 24 hour period. Now given, this includes the "white" lies that we tell to keep from hurting someone's feelings or to avoid conflict. My major was in psychology and it's a simple fact that anyone will lie to you if they believe it's in their best interest and they believe they can get away with it.
These are not just my opinion but are a truth in the methodology stated by the CIA (specifically Phil Houston a career CIA officer and a lead polygraph examiner for the Agency, Susan Carnicero a CIA operative under deep cover until transitioning to polygraph examiner and personnel screening specialist and an expert in criminal psychology, Michael Floyd beginning in a separate career as a private-sector polygraph expert until joining the CIA where he provided training for Agency polygraph examiners and also in the public/private sectors conducting polygraph examinations in hundreds of high-profile cases)

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Technically: People rarely lie in an open statement.

They withhold information.

See Philip Houston's work, cited here on the blog, in the Baby Lisa case.

This will be an example of someone lying.

Those trained here do not run at 67% or 73% efficiency. They run at or near 100% regularly.

These are verifiable cases in which suspects are arrested and convicted.

The polygraph examiners trained never use anything but the subject;'s own language.