Thursday, August 18, 2016
Jordyn Dumont Case: 911 Call
Although short, and in hindsight, it still provides a valuable lesson.
Here is one answer
to police in the 911 call of missing 3 year old Jordyn Dumont:
Operator: 911 where is your emergency?
Caller: "Yes ma'am . My oldest daughter, I was taking a nap, I just
woke up & I can't find her anywhere."
The question is "Where is your emergency?" which speaks to
Callers in distress may or may not answer this immediately. Those
who do not skip the question about location and go right into
the priority: Missing child.
Where one begins is to show priority.
What does this short, one statement response tell us?
Listen to what he tells you.
Consider what he has told us and what his priorities are:
1. "Yes, ma'am" begins with politeness. Politeness in a dire
emergency is not what we "expect" as we measure our expectations
against what is given to us. To be polite is "ingratiating" oneself
to authorities. This need to be a "good guy" is a concern.
2. The location is not given.
This, itself, cannot become a conclusion as some callers will
prioritize without listening: let me tell you what is first and
foremost on my mind: my missing daughter! We flag this as
'avoidance' but, in context of a missing child, we do not give it
a high or weighty importance to it.
3. "My oldest daughter" tells us
a. the daughter is his ("my")
b. he has at least another daughter"
c. the other daughter (s) is younger
But here, he stops himself. This is "self-censoring" and is an
indication that he is not only beginning this call with the need
to be seen as favorably by the police (ingratiating) but he is
withholding (even suppressing) critical information in the context
of a missing child.
4. "I was taking a nap" is to supplant "my daughter" from the
priority of the call.
"I" is now before the concern for the child.
5. "...taking a nap" is akin to not only shifting priority and attention
away from child and towards self, it suggests alibi building.
Whatever happened to her, you can't think I did it because I was
taking a nap.
6. "I just woke up" is unnecessary information. If he was napping
he was asleep.
Unnecessary information is very important for us and he now gives
us the question:
"If you were not asleep, what were you doing?"
He literally plants the seed of doubt, himself, into the audience.
7. "I can't find her anywhere."
Since he cannot find her "anywhere", she cannot be found.
His priority comes from his words:
1. That you, the police, view me in a positive light.
2. That you, the police, understand, I have to withhold information from you.
3. That you, the police know that whatever it is you find out, it wasn't me that caused it because I was napping.
4. That you, the police, if you doubt I was napping, you must understand that I had to be napping because I just woke up.
5. Since I just woke up, I have not wasted any time.
(Analysts: this is, in a sense, a black hole or temporal lacunae of time passing by that he jumps over).
6. That a child is missing is only 6th in priority. It is very low in importance. This is why we do not necessarily flag someone who answers/does not answer the location question. Some innocent callers have the wherewithal to give the location immediately yet will not break off the statement and go right to the missing child.
7. that you, police understand that I am a good guy who wasted no time and have looked for her everywhere.
He is now charged with her murder.
To learn Statement Analysis, contact Hyatt Analysis Services for training.