Monday, August 22, 2016

Katelyn Markham: A Lesson for Analysts and Investigators

                    When is it appropriate for an analyst to make a       definitive conclusion?

Statement Analysis is a scientific process, which means we follow principle and hold to expectations, while applying skepticism.  If in error, the retracing of steps will reveal what principle (s) was violated.  

"Taken Too Soon:  The Katelyn Markham Story" by Michael Crisp is a well produced, even handed look into the murder of 21 year old Katelyn Markham.  It should be released on DVD soon. 

It is also something that analysts and investigators can take a wide variety of lessons from, including listening to the language of denial within family members, the emotional connection of volunteers, including Texas Equasearch, and even the friends and family of John Carter, using weak language to assert his innocence.

Compiling the events and the life of Katelyn into 61 minutes was no small task and Crisp shows his talent as a professional in its production.  The film moves quickly, never loses viewer interest, and the camera balances fact and emotion well. The inclusion of a "psychic" is a tangent.  The language of "psychics" show that they do not operate from experiential memory (truth) and are deceptive.   

                              Drawing Conclusions 

 At one point in the documentary, commenting on analysis, I express certainty as to "guilty knowledge" possessed by Katelyn's fiancé, John Carter.

Question:  When should an analyst express such certainty?

Answer:  When the text demands it.  

             What about the risk to the analyst's career?

Several years ago, in a homicide case, the detectives' intense work led them to besatisfied with their conclusion of suicide.  The one suspect was cooperative, talkative, and voluntarily submitted to a polygraph.

He passed the polygraph indicating that he had told the truth and was not involved.

The coroner, too, was satisfied with the conclusion of the experienced investigators. They had compiled a great deal of evidence in the case, which included the interview and 911 call. 

There was, however, one  investigator who did not work the case, who came to a seminar with a large case file under his arm, and it simply did not 'sit right' with him and asked that I analyze the case, or, with time constraints, just the short 911 call.  

The 911 call was quite brief, in spite of periods of silence as police arriving apparently turned down the wrong block.  Perhaps it was no more than 2 minutes of actual discourse between the caller who later passed the polygraph, and the 911 operator. 

I took a class of detectives through the call, word by word, on an overhead projector for hours.  The only detective who did not participate was the investigator with the case file:  the case file would not be shared with anyone so that the 911 call, by itself, would be the only information given.

I concluded that the 911 call:

proved conclusively that the caller had murdered the victim.  In fact, I went further and asserted that not only did it show that he had 'guilty knowledge' in the call, and that he was the actual murderer, but within the 911 call, there was a single small word made up of only two letters, that showed us why he killed the victim.  

It showed motive for murder.  

The word that revealed the motive for the murder was the pronoun 
"my" found in the call, by a smart, fast talking man.  

I also asserted more:  that there were two specific  criminal elements in the caller's history that would prove accurate, if not in the criminal history of conviction, then in collateral interviews, but it would be found because it was pronounced.  

I stated this with certainty rather than suggestion, or statistical likelihood.  

                                Think of the challenge: 

In this corner,  we have a 2 minute phone call, 

In the other corner, we have:  

A team of experienced investigators,
 access to all evidence, 
a passed polygraph, 
careful analysis of crime scene photos, 
trajectory analysis,  
and many collateral interviews.  

                           Which would you bet on?

2 minutes of words, or an entire body of intense investigatory work?  David versus Goliath is fun for Hollywood, but not in life where one's reputation and career are in the battle.  If dismissed, the consequences would be easily apparent.  

Yet, if correct, both justice and that a murderer is loose has its own impact upon society.  You can likely imagine how the original investigators would feel about this, as well.  

The final analysis report would go to the coroner, district attorney and investigators, and it led to the arrest.

How did the guilty pass the polygraph?  This will be addressed in another article.  Here, I wish to look at why certainty is sometimes expressed by the analysis.  

There are many times where I conclude "there are signals of deception, however, it may be..." because this is what the language reveals.

There are other times where I conclude, "there is no deception in this statement.  If he did it, the information is not contained here" limiting my conclusion to the analysis, itself.  This is why when we profile before the conclusion of the analysis, we are prone to miss critical points.

Katelyn Markham went missing several years ago and after considerable time, her remains were found.

What caused me to be quoted (accurately) in the documentary to conclude "John Carter knows what happened to Katelyn" rather than qualify my remarks in a more guarded fashion?

The risk to one's reputation and career are obvious.  We must never make a definitive statement unless the statement, itself, demands it.

There were two main samples from the case to analyze.  I did not have any connection to the investigation.  Whenever I work with law enforcement, the case is not covered on the public blog.  I had no information other than what was publicly released, yet, I was, and am, certain that he is deceptively withholding information from investigators.

Here are the two samples:  The 911 Call, and a short radio interview given 6 days after reporting her missing.  Follow the linguistic indicators to see how the conclusion reports itself. The material takes time to read, but see how it builds, in point after point to reach a level where to not conclude would a stretch.

The 911 call will be followed by conclusions from the linked analysis on the radio interview.  

Katelyn Markham Case:  911 Call from John Carter. 

Introduction:  In research of 911 calls, Statement Analysis recognizes patterns of speech within the context of the emergency that prompted the call. This is to highlight ‘the allegation’ or emergency stated’ (alleging here that one is missing) and the expected language that will be employed to facilitate the flow of information to find the victim and bring positive resolution to the call.  

 There is, according to the reason for the call, an expectation of wording. For example, when a person is missing, it is expected that the call is urgent and concern will be expressed for the missing person.  The caller cares not for himself, or how he may appear, because his sole focus is finding the missing person.  

There is also wording that is “unexpected”, and statistically, 'red flagged' for the possible conclusion that the caller has guilty knowledge of the crime.  These are often elements of sense.  

When we make a 911 call, we reveal the priority of the call by the order in which we speak.  When little Haleigh Cummings went missing, the babysitter, Misty Croslin's order showed her priority to be alibi building for herself, as more important than the 'missing' 5 year old child.  

1.      Emergency 911 calls that begin with a greeting are flagged.  The statistic cited is too small for conclusion, which is why I say 'flagged.'  It is certainly possible that someone in an emergency will begin a call with a greeting, but we view it as just one signal rather than a conclusion. 

It is seen as "Ingratiating" oneself. 

In Statement Analysis, we view contact with police as contact with authority and often even an acknowledgement of the call being recorded.  When one uses language to ingratiate himself (or herself) with police, we see the "need to ingratiate" as a sensitive point.  This is to "align oneself with police" or to give police the perception that "I am a good person."

The need to portray oneself as "good" should be unnecessary.  When it is included, it takes time away from the urgent message.  That the caller, in less than a micro-second of time, is willing to move away from the emergency in order to make himself sound helpful, something may be wrong.

This is why it is critical to have trained listening in investigations.  

 In an emergency, the caller is expected to go right to what is on his mind.  Calls that begin with “hello” or “hi” are not expected among the innocent, and the obvious psychological element is the urgency of the call precludes any greeting.  Greetings are polite, and can even be an attempt to ingratiate oneself to law enforcement, to sound 'cooperative.'  This need to sound cooperative, itself, is concerning.  
2.      Expression of Emotions.  Callers are upset in emergencies and do not  need to identify their emotions.  Those who have a need to proclaim what emotions they are experiencing may be doing so artificially.  
3.     Ask for help for the victim, and not for self. Guilty callers sometimes ask for help for themselves, revealing an understanding that it is they, themselves, in need of help. 
4.     The words “I’m sorry” statistically are found in callers with guilty knowledge, for whatever reason.  
5.     Order indicates priority.  We expect to hear the order reflect the priority of the victim’s life, not the concern over the caller’s state, condition, or life. \
6.     Ingratiation:  Overly polite callers.  In an emergency, not only do we not expect a greeting, but we do expect an urgency that is reflected in the language.  Conversely, we note any attempts on the part of the caller to ‘sound cooperative’ or ‘appear to be on friendly terms’ with law enforcement, as represented by the 911 operator. 
7.     We expect a complete social introduction of the victim, and the caller to not distance himself, for example, from the victim. Put yourself into John Carter's shoes, and presuppose innocence.  While you work under this presupposition, consider what you might call her...first by her name, and then a natural use of pronouns and then, as concern and emotion rise, you're likely to use her name again, as the emotion triggers this.  When a name is not used, we see distancing language.  With a missing child, this can be an immediate red flag, as in the case of "Baby Lisa" as the mother seemed almost unable to use her "missing" child's name.  

This is the influence of guilt upon the language.  

Recall the 911 call of Sheriff William McCollum.  This remains the most severe distancing language I have encountered in a 911 call as he even refused to identify her until forced to.  
8.     We do not expect to hear any victim blaming, even in a subtle manner.  
9.      We do not expect any question to remain unanswered or diverted.  
10.  We do expect the overall scope of the call to be about Katelyn, her well being, what she may be experiencing, and not about the caller, himself.  
11.  We expect the innocent caller to highlight where they were last together, as a most important and even treasured moment, using the pronoun “we” to describe it, with stark clarity due to the intense emotions of fear of what happened.  
The analysis is completed for this purpose:  to learn if the caller is an “innocent caller” who has made this phone call to police to help locate the missing victim; 
or, if the caller has guilty knowledge of what has happened to the victim, and is working, not to find the victim, but to benefit himself by portraying himself in a positive light, and even the possibility of suggesting ‘other’ suspects for police to investigate.  

Question for analysis:   

 “Does John Carter have guilty knowledge of what happened to Katelyn Markham?”

The call began with the 911 operator asking for the location of the emergency. 

J:  Hi, my name is John Carter, I am calling - I know that you're not supposed to report a missing person after - before 24 hours, but my fiancée is missing, I can't find her anywhere.

This first response is important.  
a.      The call began with a greeting.  This is a red flag that is noted.  Next, let’s view the order of the wording:
b.     Order indicates priority:

1.      “Hi” is a greeting
2.     Caller’s name stated
3.     He, himself is calling
4.     Ingratiating:  He is aware that you’re not supposed to report a missing person after-before 24 hours.  This is against “urgency”; as one who is concerned with the welfare of the victim that he is unconcerned with any ‘rules’ to follow.  This is an example of one who is ‘overly polite’ in a call that politeness is not expected.  This is to make certain something unnecessary:

That police see him as a law abiding citizen of good will. 

This is similar to what we see when a mother writes, "I am a great mother", with its statistical connection to child abuse.  It is unnecessary information, yet he is willing to pause the information about Katelyn to portray himself in this "rule abiding" or "rule keeping" way. 

Would you care about some rule you've seen on movies about waiting 24 hours if you were frightened because your loved one was missing?

It is not likely. 

Remember:  we build point after point and do not conclude anything based on a single indication of sensitivity. 

5.    Priority:   my fiancée is missing.  This is the fifth (5th) item communicated and is the only information about the victim, whereas he has spoken considerably more about himself, including that he is a ‘rule follower’ as a form of persuasion.  

What may have been the first thing most of us would have reported, for him, it is the 5th.  

This order is important.  Before he reports the missing person he has used his name, or referencing himself four (4) times, and the victim, once (1).  After reporting the victim missing, he again puts himself into the statement:  I can’t find her anywhere” suggests that he has been searching ‘everywhere.’

Now consider "I can't find her anywhere" by itself is not unusual or unexpected, but when it comes after the "ingratiating" form of persuasion, it is linked to the theme:

It is as if:

"911, what is wrong?" is now answered with:

"Hello. I am a good guy because I don't break rules but I am so concerned that I am going to go ahead a break a rule anyway. And just to prove to you how good I am I am going to tell you that I have searched everywhere.  Don't suspect me because I am one who keeps rules and I am helpful."  

There are three elements within this first response that are consistent:  The greeting is polite, friendly (and unexpected) and he also wants them to know that he is not a ‘rule breaker’ in that he knows not to call before 24 hours, and he also wants police to think of him as someone who is helpful:  “I can’t find her anywhere.” 

We have an abundance of information from him, about him, but we do not even have her name. 

c.     Social Introductions.  In statement analysis, a social introduction, chosen in less than a microsecond of time by the brain, can reveal the quality of the relationship, and it is to be noted, and then followed in the rest of the statement.  
“My fiancée, Katelyn Markham is missing” would have been the first thing many callers would have said, making it (1) the priority and the words, “my fiancée, Katelyn Markham” is a complete social introduction; indicative of a good relationship.  It has the three necessary elements:  her name, her title (fiancée) and the possessive pronoun “my” as close personal ownership.   

The lack of complete social introduction is indicative of a troubled relationship, yet it is interesting to note that when the victim is referenced, it is only in the context of how she relates to him.  We now look to see if in how he references Katelyn if it will be naturally close language, or if he will distance himself from her, while she is a victim.  

911 Dispatcher: Okay, where'd you see her last?


Consider this question in light of his answer.  This question is specifically about the location where he last saw her.  Think of what he has offered:  He could not find her anywhere and now is asked the last place he saw her. This is a very astute question and one that is critical in the investigation.

J: Um, I saw her at like 12 o' clock last night. She stays in a house by herself, um, so, she - I'm just, I'm really nervous. Her car's still there, her purse is still -

The question has been avoided.  When one avoids a question, the question itself is sensitive. Remember, people rarely ever lie out right as it does not come from experiential memory and causes internal stress.  “Where” did you last see her?
He tells them what time, but not where.  
He then went into this deception more fully:  he told the operator what she normally does, in the present tense, while avoiding what happened last night when he last saw her.  This is a very strong signal that he last saw her someplace other than her house.  Deceptive people are counting on us to interpret their words as if he said, “I last saw her at midnight at her house.”  He did not say this,  but uses the common deceptive technique anticipating that the police will “interpret” him to mean at her house.  

Note "um" is a pause to think, indicating sensitivity.  Why the need to pause to think? Generally, the brain is on high alert, with hormonal response giving clarity.  He was asked the last place he saw her and he felt the need to answer the question appropriately 

"She stays" is present tense.  This is outside the boundary of the question, "where did you last see her?"

This signifies that John Carter has a reason why he will not tell the police the location of the last time he saw her. 

Since he refuses to answer the question and then moved to the present tense tangent (a common form of deception.  For example, “Did you use illegal drugs on Wednesday, while on duty?” is answered with the present tense tangent, “I don’t use drugs!” which avoids the direct question because of the internal stress of direct lying.)

Note that "so" is highlighted as very sensitive since it shows a need to explain ("so, since, therefore, because, to...") Yet, he broke his sentence (self censoring) so we do not know what explanation he was going to give.  

"I saw her at like 12' o' clock last night" is only slightly weakened by "like"; investigators should focus upon this time period as it is introduced by the subject along with the pronoun "I" and the past tense verb "saw" connecting him to her at this time.  This time period is likely very important to the story. 

He may be telling the truth about the time, but withholds the location.  Because he used her house in a deceptive manner, it is safe to conclude that the last place he saw her was not at her house.

Re-emergence of Self, rather than the Victim’s plight

Please note the phrase, "I'm just,  really nervous"; not just "nervous" but "really" nervous.  This is a focus upon the caller himself, not the victim. It is about his emotion, and not about what the missing victim may be going through.   Innocent callers focus upon the victim and ask for help, specifically, for the victim, and when someone is missing, a particular and expected portion of the statement will be to wonder or worry what the victim is experiencing at this very moment.  Instead, he wants police to know what he, himself, is experiencing. 

The word "just" is a comparative word, meaning that it only works when another word (or thought) is in play.  "This car is just $15,000!" is to compare it to a car that is more money.  

He is "just" really nervous.  What is this in comparison to?  

The focus is upon the caller, not the victim.  He is the one who is "really nervous" but she is the one alleged to be missing.   Note also the context of being really nervous:   it is around midnight and he reports she is alone.  

I know what he is like, but what is Katelyn like?  

We also like to hear her name used, as well, in a natural way that reveals closeness. 

Q.  What does his first answer communicate to the police about Katelyn?

A.  That he, himself,  is the priority.  He is a good guy, for he follows the rules.  He can’t find her is to suggest that he has been looking for her, as a dedicated fiancée would, and that his emotions are something he needs them to know:  he is scared or “freaking out” for her.  

The focus upon self, even in just this short portion of his initial statement, gives signals of the status of “guilty caller.”  

Lastly, “I can’t find her anywhere” is examined.  If you could not find your fiancée anywhere, you would be nervous too.  

In order to be unable to find a missing adult “anywhere”, the person must, by necessity, search everywhere.  He reports that he cannot find her “anywhere”, which is to suggest that she will not be found.  She is not found “anywhere.”

Think of who might say this?

Perhaps a parent of a toddler who has search the house, the closets, the yard, and so on, reducing the vicinity to the scope of a toddler.  

An adult has a much larger scope.  

Since you cannot find her anywhere, does anywhere include various bars that you searched in the area?  Since you cannot find her anywhere, where, exactly, did you search that you could not find her? Hospitals?  Jails?  (these came immediately to mind by the operator)  Since he can't find her "anywhere.", the focus is upon his failure, and not Katelyn's status or where she might be.  Since he cannot find her "anywhere", I want to know where he has actively searched.  

Has he actively searched?  We let him guide us.  

Natural Denial of Loved Ones

This statement, in fact, is a statement of pessimism; something that the caller should not yet experience.  This pessimism is consistent with “leakage” or the inadvertent release of information telegraphing to the police this message:

you won’t find her, since, I, the fiancée, have not been able to find her anywhere” even if he has done no searching.  It is to discourage police from finding Katelyn.  This is his language that he has chosen. Consider the speed of transmission of choosing one’s own words is less than a micro second in time.  

If he has not physically searched the area, the malls, the stores, hospitals, and so on, the deceptive nature of the statement is even more pronounced.   

In just his first response, we learn that John Carter is working against the 911 operator, and is hindering the flow of information, rather than facilitate it.  The priority for John Carter is John Carter, not the victim.  

D: Is there an address?

J: Yeah, 5214 Dorshire Drive.

D: 5214?

J: Dorshire, yes.

D: Okay. And you're out there now?

This is a natural question because he has ‘communicated’ that he must have been there and everywhere searching for her because he cannot find her anywhere. This shows the 911 operator listening.

J: Um, I'm heading out there now, I, like, have been trying to get ahold of her and I decided to go by her house to see if she's okay, and her car's still there - she would be at work right now with her car. Which is why I'm like really freaking out.

1.     Note that the question, "you're there now?" is sensitive to John Carter who needs to avoid saying, “no” (it is a yes or no question) but pauses, with “um”, to give himself time to think of what to say.  He avoided the question.   
2.     Note the indication of deception:  he can’t find her “anywhere” but now we learn what this means: “I, like, have been trying to get ahold of her” is not to search everywhere as previously stated.  He did not say the had been trying, but “like trying”, which is an extra word quickly chosen to further reduce commitment to a task.  He has not been searching but only “like trying to get a hold of her.”  Getting “a hold of” someone is casual language and not the language of urgency, or of searching.    This is to reveal that he not only has withheld the location of where he saw her last, but that his assertion to trying to find her is a deliberate deception intended to cause police to believe something that is not true. 

The casual language in an emergency call that was 'so urgent that he broke the 24 hour rule', alone, suggests, at this point, for us to consider that John Carter does not have urgency in locating Katelyn.  

3.     "Like"

In language, when someone tells us "like" it is an indication of missing information as the person is not telling us precisely, but only characterizing something.  In statement analysis, it is missing information.  

He continues this casual language.  He went from “I can’t find her anywhere” to now just “like” trying to get a hold of her, and now to “go by her house”; not to go to her house nor to search the area.  We “go by” someone’s house in a casual, or uninvited manner, as a consequence of convenience; such as being in the area.  Instead, the innocent caller would say something firm, “I am going to her house” to search the house, to search the area, to look for possible signs of a break in, and so on.  It could be anything that shows urgency and concern.  His words show no urgency.  He is moving away from his statement of emotional urgency and is being betrayed by his own choice of words.  This is to show how difficult outright lying is:  we do whatever we can to avoid direct lying by withholding information, but also we reveal ourselves in the words we employ.  

4.     “Decided” is to make a decision.  If you were very upset and cannot find your fiancée anywhere, would a decision be necessary to go to her home?  This is to say that he considered against going to her home.  This lack of commitment is seen here, and in the casual ‘stopping by’ like language he used.  This “decision” shows that he did, internally, debate whether or not he should go there, which tells us why he did not answer the question with “no” when posed to him, and needed to pause (“um”) to think of what to say. 

5.     “…to go by her house to see if she was okay…” which tells us that he is only “going by” her house to see if she was “okay.”  Now, if one said that he could not find her “anywhere”, would “anywhere” include her house?  Here he feels even the need to explain why he decided to go to her house.  

   This is unnecessary information which, to the analysis, is increased in importance.  It is as if he anticipated being asked, “Why did you go to her house?”  It is to reveal his own fear of being questioned.  If he was as concerned as he said, and that he could not find her anywhere, he would feel no need to explain why he would go to her home.  Yet, going to her house is something very sensitive to him, and not something he wanted to do, and that he felt a need to explain why.  

6.     “and her car’s still there” indicates his knowledge of the case.  He has not yet told us who the victim is, but has spoken of his own emotional estate, and now her car.  One may wonder when he saw that her car was still there, since he is just “heading” there now.  

7.     Emotions in a statement.  

We carefully note the locations within a statement.  It is natural to be frightened, and there is no reason to state this.  He has stated being “really nervous”, but then took this heightened emotion and “headed” out to “go by” the victim’s house.  This is an incongruent statement of emotion and language; the intended emotion is not matched by the language.  Now, he changes from “really nervous” to something else. 

“Which is why I'm like really freaking out” is to tell the reason for something; though he has not been asked.  He is not “freaking out”, nor is he “really freaking out” but, again, while committing to his own emotional state, he uses the word “like” to reduce commitment.  People do not like to lie directly and they especially do not like to lie about their emotions; they do, but they don’t like it.  One’s own emotions are important to self, and often protected, so when one is feigning surprise, or feigning shock, the act of feigning the emotion is sometimes seen in the wording.  For him, this is the second use of the word “like” (not enough to establish a habit) and it is restricted to what emotions he wishes to express to police. 

Please note that it is not the emotions that he is experiencing that we are examining:  it is his need to inform the police of his emotions that we are focusing upon. 

It is unnecessary inclusion of emotions and he continues to show ‘concern’ for himself, but not for the victim.  Not only does he not commit to the emotion of “freaking out” (panic, anxiety, etc) with the word “like”, but he also feels the need to explain why he has this emotion, as if not finding her “anywhere” was not enough to freak anyone out.  He feels the need, during this very short emergency call about Katelyn, to justify his own emotions; that is, to explain to the police why he has this emotion.

This is a very strong indication of artificial emotion; that is, artificial emotion of anxiety for the victim.  This continues to show the priority is not Katelyn, but John Carter, the subject, himself.  

D: What's her name?

This should not have to be asked. 

He had to be asked before he gave her name.  This is indicative of something amiss in the relationship. We have his name and we have his emotions, but we do not know who the victim actually is, outside of her relationship to him as engaged. 

 Police should seek to learn if they fought this night, in particular, and if stressors had been building in the days or weeks up to this point.  

He does not want to reveal the location where he last saw her, and he does not express optimism that they will find her, nor does he show any concern for her well-being to this point.  His priority has been set in his language:  John Carter is the priority of this call. 

J: Katelyn Helene Markham.

D: Have you called the hospitals or jails or anything?

This is natural because he cannot find her “anywhere.” Note that the doubt may have crept into the mind of the 911 operator due to his “non-committal” words, or casual expressions, which caused her to add, “or anything?”

J: Um -

He does not answer, but only pauses to think.  

D: Where was she at midnight last night when you last saw her?

At this point, she is his fiancée so the expectation is that he will say “we were at her house”, using the word “we”, which would show unity, since they were engaged to be married.  Pronouns are intuitive, instinctive and powerful.  Instead, we get:  

J: She was at her house. She was going to bed. She wasn't going out to do anything, so she would've been in her bed. And I mean, I've been with her for 6 years - she's not deceiving, you know, she doesn't -

He did not use Katelyn's name.  He does not use the pronoun “we” here.  This is a very tense time for him and it is the location he first did not want to answer.  This was a very good question.  He does not include himself in the first responses.  

1.  She was at her house.  
2.  She was going to bed. This is to show her intention, but not what happened.  Both of these statements may be, initially, and technically, true, but they are not the complete answer of what happened to Katelyn.  The lack of “we” in this is critical.  Why?

We drove to the woods and he raped me.  We drove home and I called police.”  This is an example of a deceptive statement because the  pronoun “we” indicates unity and cooperation.  Once the rape has occurred, there is no more “we” between rapist and victim.  When the word “we” enters the statement after the assault, it is likely deceptive.  Victims despise the rapist and will not use the pronoun “we” here. 

In the same sense, the person he was engaged to is missing.  This means he should be on high alert and well familiar with the last moments they were together, thinking of the last moments “we were together”, over and over in his mind.  The high hormonal response would make this crystal clear in his mind and language.  That he does not use the pronoun “we” here is most unexpected and affirms the Incomplete Social Introduction in the first response, and the distancing language of avoiding using her name. 

When asked about the last time he was with her, he does not use the pronoun “we” is to reveal to us that there was, at the last time they were together, no unity between them.  This is an example of extreme distancing due to context.  

These are two things he states and it is likely true.  He has brought us to a very critical point of the night she went missing.  He should continue to tell us what was happening, or about to happen.  She was at her house and was going to go to bed when something happened.  Now notice the sequence is broken:

"She wasn't going out to do anything"

What someone tells us in the negative is important information.  Here he has three things to tell us what she was not doing:  not going out "to do anything"; not deceiving, and doesn't, but stops himself or is interrupted. 

He not only tells us that she wasn't going out, but adds "to do anything."  This is critical.

Police need to learn what he does when he goes out at night.  

Did she refuse to go out?

D: Okay, and you guys didn't have an argument or anything?

This is a simple, “yes or no” question.  We note that he should say “no” with nothing added as there should be no reason to emphasize the negative

J: Not at all.

"Not at all" is not the simple "no" and should lead to follow up questions such as, "What did you discuss last night?"

This is a strong indication that they had an argument.  It is affirmed by the Incomplete Social Introduction, avoidance of her name (distancing language) and the avoidance of the word “no”, coupled with the need to emphasize, “not at all.”

D: Okay. Is she on any medications or anything?

J: Not at all.

He now repeats his previous denial.  Repetition becomes weaker as it goes on, because it gets easier and easier (less stressful) to use.  She may not have been on any meds but she may have been on "anything", such as marijuana, or she could have been drugged.  By simply stating “no”, it would not have triggered suspicion about possible drug use.   

D: Has she had thoughts of suicide or anything like that?

J: No. Never. I... never.

Broken sentence means missing information.   He begins with a strong, "no", but weakens it with "never"; but then makes this about himself with "I"

Why would her suicide thoughts be linked to him?  Was something about breaking up and “not being able to go on” without the other, enter the argument?

This is very concerning. 

He still has not used Katelyn's name yet. This is an avoidance of the name of the victim; a psychological de-personalizing of the victim.  

The 911 operator is in the place of having to go ‘fishing’ for information.  Remember, he already said that he could not find her “anywhere” but in further questioning, we have indication that he has not searched anywhere, therefore, the 911 operator takes upon herself the burden of trying to facilitate information because John Carter is not.  

D: All right. And have you talked to her mom or anybody like that, to see if maybe she's out shopping, or - ?

J: I called her father. The only thing that's not there is her cell phone, which is positive, but she's not answering it. So... and the Sacred Heart Festival is going on right up the street, and there's a lot of questionable people there, and it's just kind of. I'm sorry.

He called “her” father; still the avoidance of her name.  Next he tells us that the “only thing not there” (in the negative) is her cell phone.  This is to say that he has direct knowledge of what else was not missing.  This tells us that he either inventoried her entire apartment or he has direct knowledge of what was not taken and has a purpose for saying so.  This is affirmed by his next words, “…which is positive” while refuting this with the word “but.”

The investigators should wonder how it is that he knows that this is the “only thing” not there.  

Please next note the suggestion of possible criminals with the “Sacred Heart Festival.”  He states that there are lots of “questionable people” there. 

Then he concludes with two words that are sometimes found within guilty callers of 911 calls:

“I’m sorry.”

There is a psychological reason for this.  Guilty people who call 911 in a domestic homicide recognize that the victim is beyond help, so any words that seem to suggest concern are often weak, or even absent.  They know that the victim is beyond help, and the one person who really needs help is the caller, himself.  The guilty caller in a domestic homicide is the one in need of help, particularly a defense attorney.  The guilty caller in a domestic homicide is the one who is sorry for what he has done; it may not have been pre meditated but something exploded out of control.  

Statistically, the inclusion of these two words is associated with guilt. 

When Cindy Anthony threatened to call 911, Casey might not have believed her at first, but Cindy went through with it, and then put Casey on the phone to report missing toddler, Caylee Anthony.  In short order, Casey said, “I’m sorry” within the call.  

It is not always sorrow or regret for the homicide, but the guilty caller may be sorry that he is even in this position, or that he “had to” take the victim’s life.  

D: Okay, well, we'll go ahead and have somebody meet you there. What kind of vehicle are you going to be in?

J: A 2008 Ford Docus. It's red.

The unnecessary and small detail to appear cooperative.  Yet, nothing about Katelyn; nothing about what she was wearing when last with him.  He gives much more information about himself than he does about the victim. 

D: Okay, we'll have somebody come out and speak with you, okay?

J: Okay, thank you.

D: Mmmhmm. Bye.
J: Okay. Bye.

Analysis Conclusion 

The caller, John Carter, is deceptively withholding information about what happened to Katelyn Markham, when he made this call. 

He had a need to not only withhold information, but to portray himself as a ‘good guy’; ingratiating himself to police, who would be investigating him.  This is the ‘make friends’ psychological attempt to be “on the same side” as law enforcement investigators.  

He does not work to facilitate information to locate Katelyn.  Some specifics of this include:

1.      He is the priority of this call; not Katelyn. 
2.     He psychologically distances himself from Katelyn. 
3.     He expresses no concern for Katelyn, while highlighting his own emotions.  
4.     He is deceptive about the last time he saw her alive. 
5.     He is deceptive about searching ‘everywhere’ for her.
6.     He is concerned about how he is perceived by the police, rather than concern for Katelyn.
7.     He signals that the search is not going to end well by claiming that he could not find her anywhere, yet, he had not verbalized any search.  The “I can’t find her anywhere” is the “hopeless conclusion” that guilty parties sometimes give.  “I will search for the rest of my life” said OJ Simpson about Nicole’s “real” killer.  This signals belief that there will be no success.  John Carter uses the same vein of thinking; offering a false exasperation in order to appear anxious, with his own ‘appearance’ taking priority over Katelyn’s plight.  

Conclusion Summary:   John Carter shows the status of ‘guilty caller’ in this 911 call. 

This does not mean he killed her.  It means he has knowledge of what happened. 

If someone else is arrested, the analysis is to make a correlation between the caller and the killer.  

He has not been charged and this is only the opinion of Peter Hyatt, based upon the publicly released statements.  

The radio interview is here.  It in, he gives linguistic indication of self justification and knowledge that Katelyn was deceased.  This was 6 days after reporting her missing.  

No single indicator causes us to draw a conclusion, but even in this short 911 call, the analysis, itself, states its own conclusion.  

In the short radio interview, he gives us confirmation of this status of "guilty caller" which means:

John Carter is deliberately withholding information about what happened to Katelyn Markham on the night in question.  

We may express a finality to our analysis when the analysis demands it to be such.  

When it is point after point after point, with consistency, there is no need for a "microscopic" view of a single word.  This may be useful within analysis, but we do not make a conclusion upon a small point.  

It is in totality of this call that we see the status of guilt within the words of John Carter.

The radio interview both confirmed this status, and gave us additional insight into this status:  

He withheld critical information about what happened, and knew that she would not be found alive. 

This may be why he said that he was "just waiting" for...

a call from Katelyn?


He was just waiting for a call from "someone who..." placing yet another psychological point of considerable distance from any tangible "hope" of safe recovery. 

He knew.  

If the Documentary is on DVD or is online, it will be announced here.

For training, please contact Hyatt Analysis Services. 


BallBounces said...

D: What's her name?
J: Katelyn Helene Markham.

This was a formal response to the question. It suggests two things:

a) the desire to appear cooperative, ingratiate.

b) emotional distancing.

Tania Cadogan said...

I shall definitely get this DVD

Anonymous said...

Chicago. Only a few dozen shot & only 4 killed during weekend. Some shot during vigil for others that been shot.

Imagrandma said...

I'm all better now, and I can comment. It was a slight imbalance in my lithium intake after my fractured pelvis. I have been thinking about Katelyn and this dirty dog John Carter and what he may or may not have revealed in the 911 call. I am feeling even better now that I see this impeccable analysis Peter. Justice for Katelyn!

Imagrandma said...

And how I wish I could have a back and forth discussion but both of my thumbs are in splints due to an accident I had, and Im only able to communicate with the help of my dear goddaughter. Blessings to all of you! I will be reading along and participating just as soon as my thumbs regain their mobility.

Anonymous said...

Oh no people, yout woulntt believe wjat I am dealingg with. Myy goddaughter left andd I am unable to open my lithium botttle without the use of my thumbz.

Rhonda said...

Oh imagrandma, I'm praying for you. Can you try opening the bottle holding it steady with your feet and using your teeth to twist the cap open?

Anonymous said...

I will 'definitely' get this dvd. Unnecessary need to persuade? Definately?

klv said...

This was excellent, Peter! One of your best. Thank you!

klv said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Imgrandma said...

@Rhonda,,,,Thankyuo sweetharte, I will just wait for my huzband to comee home and give mez my anti---anxiety medicazion. I will not stop thinkingg of you all and will be sayinggg prayerz for all of you. I will rejoin you alll as soon as my thumbz recuperate.

Anonymous said...

Do you nose that them mormins think god lives on a planet? They really due. I be thinking he due to.

Imagrandma said...

I waz tryinggg to open the lithium container with my teeth and all the pillz felll into the toilet. Pleaze keep me in the loop while I go to the hospitall,

Anonymous said...

Ok gram. We keep you in loop. You be ok. I just nose it.

Imagrandma said...

Thanckyou my dear boy, you sound verry street smart, I will checkin later after I get a psychhological workup,,,

Bingo3 said...

This is so interesting Peter. He is so deceptive and his language is completely selfish. Why would you even think about the rules when your loved ones is missing. Who cares what your name is, what is her name and what can we do RIGHT now to find her? Just like Davey Blackburn, too much unnecessary language in describing the events and not enough necessary, needed information. Fuzziness in exactly what your final moments were with your loved ones is a huge red flag.

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

OT Update:

Missing Melbourne mum Karen Ristevski’s husband reveals argument details

THE husband of missing Melbourne woman Karen Ristevski says they argued over a sum of hundreds of dollars but that money was not behind her mysterious disappearance.

Mrs Ristevski has not been seen since June 29, when she left her Avondale Heights home after an argument with her husband, Borce, over the previous day’s poor takings at their Bella Bleu boutique in Taylors Lakes.

Police hold grave concerns for her welfare, and have twice searched the Maribyrnong River for her body.

Speaking exclusively to the Herald Sun for the first time, Mr Ristevski refused to discuss possible reasons for his wife’s disappearance.

“No one knows what’s happened. I wouldn’t want to speculate,” he said.

My main concern is getting everyone to understand that Karen hasn’t done a runner on the basis on our finances,” Mr Ristevski said.

“It had nothing to do with our financial situation. It (the disagreement) was about the takings from the previous day that we were discussing.”

Asked whether he would like to make a fresh appeal for information, Mr Ristevski said: “We have been told (by police) that we strongly recommend that you don’t speak to the media. They’re telling us that they’re going through all the phone-ins, and whatever else, and we don’t need anything extra at this stage.

“The police are saying we just want to go through all that first, otherwise we will just keep getting information and we can’t go through it. We want at least two or three weeks to go through all this and then we will do another appeal,” he said.

Mr Ristevski dismissed as “fantasy” claims by his son Anthony Rickard, a confessed ice user, that he had overheard Mrs Ristevski talking about leaving Borce when their daughter Sarah turned 21.

Sarah had celebrated that milestone birthday earlier this year.

“Why would he come up with that?” Mr Ristevski said.

“You really need to speak to an expert on that type of addict, because I’m not an expert,” Mr Ristevski said.

“All I’m interested in right now is the facts.”

An angry Mr Ristevski also denied that the Broadmeadows Bella Bleu store, which the couple also ran, had closed weeks before his wife disappeared, or that they were on the verge of losing their home.

“Broadmeadows closed down in February,” he said.

“That was a caveat put on (the house) by the shopping centre, but a caveat does not mean that you are on the verge of losing your home.

“It just means that there is a dispute, and then the dispute gets resolved,” he said.

“Broadmeadows closed because there was a short-term lease and retail was not what we were told it was going to be by the leasing people,” Mr Ristevski said.

“They gave us figures, we went on those figures, and we had to make a business decision whether to continue running it or come to an agreement with the centre and pay out the rent.”

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the investigation was continuing.

Why won't he make a plea for her safe return?

Anonymous said...

To draw a conclusion of guilt when all evidence (including physical evidence) and alibis prove or suggest the suspect is not involved (or is innocent) requires suspension of logic and blind faith in a system. As in the case of SA, it appears the investigative tool
Is often "mistaken", at least when observing outcome of various cases (Knox, Ramseys, C. Anthony, Blackburn, etc,). How to prove otherwise? Is anyone ever charged solely on the basis of the statement analysis technique?

So, how does one establish statistical documentation of a success rate of statement analysis?

Rhonda said...

Anon you wrote

To draw a conclusion of guilt when all evidence (including physical evidence) and alibis prove or suggest the suspect is not involved (or is innocent) requires suspension of logic and blind faith in a system. As in the case of SA, it appears the investigative tool
Is often "mistaken", at least when observing outcome of various cases (Knox, Ramseys, C. Anthony, Blackburn, etc,). How to prove otherwise? Is anyone ever charged solely on the basis of the statement analysis technique?

So, how does one establish statistical documentation of a success rate of statement analysis?

The ONLY case of those you listed where the "alibi" pans out is the Blackburn case (allegedly), but even in that case, the coroner could not establish timeof death, so Davey's alibi does NOT pan out. Most think he was involved in a murder for hire anyway.

In Ramsey and C. Anthony case the evidence points overwhelmingly to THEM (although in Anthony case I wouldnt trust Casey's father as far as I could throw him and wouldnt be surprised if he had SOME involvement, but the physical evidence pointed at Casey!

If you doubt SA so much, look at the language of those who have been found guilty. It's stunning when you look at their denials "I WOULD NEVER hurt her/him", etc etc anything but outright denial of the specific crime. Also, look at coerced confessions (Memphis Three)...these are very illuminating in teaching what language NOT coming from experiential memory looks like.
There is also a case recently where the police dept was sued after severe deception and manipulation and forced confession from a teenage girl...the videotapes of the police interrogations are online...the young girl is telling the truth in the videotapes. She did jail time, judge finally freed her after viewing the coerced confession.

Rhonda said...

If you're interested: The language of innocence during interrogation in a coerced confession:

You need to clink on where it says "5 Excerpts" and watch all 5 (theyre not long) to understand the coercion.

Anonymous said...

Re: Karen Ristevski

My favorite quote by her husband: “My main concern is getting everyone to understand that Karen hasn’t done a runner on the basis on our finances."

So he's telling us the Big Question is "Why did she run away?" (better for him than "Why did he kill her?")

Did you see the informal press conference where at one point a reporter asked him "Did you kill your wife?" and shoved the microphone in his face - - and he stood there silent and said nothing!


Anonymous said...

Someone explain to me people who are capable of murdering their own spouse, yet when directly asked about it, they cannot tell a lie!


Rhonda said...

Peter might be interested in looking at the link to the coerced confession and I would love to hear his take on it (whether he thinks guilty or innocent). I found her language to be truthful but I could be wrong.

John Mc Gowan said...


Videos: Anatomy Of A Bad Confession

In 2008, two Worcester detectives spent two hours interrogating 16-year-old Nga Truong, whose baby son had just died, until they forced from her what was later judged a coerced confession of murder. We’ve obtained exclusive video of the confession.

Rhonda said...

Thank you John! What do you think of her language? I find her to be truthful in that she did not kill her baby. I believe it was also withheld from the jury that her baby was suffering from a respiratory illness at the time the baby died.
I was sickened when I watched the 2 cops lying to and coercing her.

Anonymous said...

We are manging pomme sauce. We have crayons.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's simply not accurate. The jurors could not convict because the evidence was not there. Nothing connected Casey Anthony to the death of her daughter. Even the cause of death was not known and certainly not proven. Gut feelings are not grounds for conviction.

So, no, there was not "more than enough evidence" to convict. If there were evidence, the jury would have convicted. They've all said they wanted to but couldn't, based upon the lack of evidence.

In the Ramsey case, although there was suspicion hanging over patsy, especially, DNA appeared to eliminate both parents, and no evidence proved their involvement.

It may not meet with many observers' approval, but the facts are the evidence to convict or charge simply was not there.

Like it or not, the evidence linking Blackburn to murder is nonexistent as well. Opinions do not amount to evidence.

I question how, in the absence of hard evidence, statement analysis by itself, while persuasive, can prove guilt.

To accept an analysis as having solved a case amounts to a bit of a leap of faith, although it is impressive when expertly applied.

Far from being a critic or doubter, I find SA fascinating and perceptively revealing in the well done analyses; however, in the hands of the careless, it can look foolish.

LeTtheM EAT caKE said...

My thumbs are injured. What will become of me?

Anonymous said...

In my heart there is a wilderness of sorrow

Anonymous said...

The crown is mine the giant fluffy dress also mine

Thingsgettingclearer said...

I will never be an Olympic swimmer I will never I have never been or said or thought I have never been told to think that or thought that against the other thoughts that were thinking.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:12,

Surely, you know Me2l?

It's simply obvious that your writing styles are identical.

Bobcat said...

"Like it or not, the evidence linking Blackburn to murder is nonexistent as well."

One of the reasons why there are doubts about the concept of a nonexistent object is this: to be able to say truly of an object that it doesn't exist, it seems that one has to presuppose that it exists, for doesn't a thing have to exist if we are to make a true claim about it? In the face of this puzzling situation, one has to be very careful when accepting or formulating the idea that there are nonexistent objects. It turns out that Kant's view that “exists” is not a “real” predicate and Frege's view, that “exists” is not a predicate of individuals (i.e., a predicate that yields a well-formed sentence if one puts a singular term in front of it), has to be abandoned if one is to accept the claim that there are nonexistent objects.

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi, Rhonda

Iv'e done a partial transcript. I will move it over and see if Peter has time to have a look.

Rhonda said...

John, Thank you! I was actually thinking about that case this morning! I would be very interested to know what Peter thinks...and regardless of her guilt or innocence (I think she is innocent) it's invaluable as far as learning about deception and coercion within an interrogation. It's hard not to have compassion for the girl--she looks like a little kid! John thank you for transcribing!

Anonymous said...

Peter, I work in a medical facility and 95% of our patients are elderly. Recently, an elderly patient had a cardiac event and nearly died in our waiting room. Thank God we have Dr's and a crash cart in the facility and they were able to stabilize him and he has received a pacemaker and will be fine. However, during the event, a woman came rushing to my desk yelling, "they need your help over here!" I saw him slumped in his chair and his daughter trying to wake him, and as I hurried by the administrator's door, I told her we needed a nurse and 911 now and then ran and told our medical assistant to grab a Dr. Afterward, I thought of you and statement analysis because none of us took time for pleasantries, even woman calling 911 just said.. I am calling from... Name of facility, we have a non responsive patient and we need a unit Stat. She was loud , clear and concise and had no emotional attachment to the patient or reason to panic beyond normal human compassion.

Anonymous said...

Anon @10:12, "Nothing connected Casey Anthony to the death of her daughter."

Wait. What? Are we talking about the same Casey Anthony? What's next? Nothing connected OJ to the death of Nicole Simpson?

What point are you trying to make?

Anonymous said...

anon@10:12 you said "opinions do not amount to evidence". Ahem. They can do.

Opinion evidence refers to evidence of what the witness thinks, believes, or infers in regard to facts, as distinguished from personal knowledge of the facts themselves.[1] In common law jurisdictions the general rule is that a witness is supposed to testify as to what was observed and not to give an opinion on what was observed. However, there are two exceptions to this rule: expert evidence and non-expert opinion given by laymen which people in their daily lives reach without conscious ratiocination.

I'm still trying to understand your point.

Anonymous said...

Anon, your tale has piqued my interest: You wrote

"Peter, I work in a medical facility and 95% of our patients are elderly. Recently, an elderlypatient had a cardiac event and nearly died in our waiting room. Thank God we have Dr's and a crash cart in the facility and they were able to stabilize him and he has received a pacemaker and will be fine."

Im noting that the "resolution" to the story about the heart event victim in your medical facility is told out of order: it is told at the beginning of the story instead of at the end.

There is also sensitivity surrounding the word "elderly". You priotize this item of your medical facility serving 95 % elderly and then repeat the word "elderly" in the first 3 words of your 2nd sentence.
Im too busy to analyze more right now but gosh this doesnt seem like it's a completely straightforward story.

Anonymous said...

Anon, Also, I found this interesting:

" I thought of you and statement analysis because none of us took time for pleasantries, even woman calling 911 just said.. I am calling from... Name of facility, we have a non responsive patient and we need a unit Stat. She was loud , clear and concise and had no emotional attachment to the patient or reason to panic beyond normal human compassion."

Your word choice is interesting since Peter's information about analyzing 911's calls do not even mention anything about the decorum of a 911 caller who does not know the victim calling 911 during a medical emergency "showing no emotional attachment" to the victim or "having no reason to panic beyond normal human compassion".
In fact, these observations about the 911 callers lack of emotional attachment to the patient and no excessive panic (just normal level of compassion) would seem like observations coming from the patient himself.
Were you, anonymous, the one who had the heart event?

Nic said...

“It had nothing to do with our financial situation. It (the disagreement) was about the takings from the previous day that we were discussing.” ...

"They gave us figures, we went on those figures, and we had to make a business decision whether to continue running it or come to an agreement with the centre and pay out the rent.”

An angry Mr Ristevski also denied that the Broadmeadows Bella Bleu store, which the couple also ran, had closed weeks before his wife disappeared, or that they were on the verge of losing their home.

“Broadmeadows closed down in February,” he said.

“That was a caveat put on (the house) by the shopping centre, but a caveat does not mean that you are on the verge of losing your home.

“It just means that there is a dispute, and then the dispute gets resolved,” he said.

“Broadmeadows closed because there was a short-term lease and retail was not what we were told it was going to be by the leasing people,” Mr Ristevski said.


He insists “it” had noting to do with their financial situation; however, the financial health of their business *is* personal. It is their livelihood. That he points to the disagreement about the previous day’s “takings” is, imo, important. I assume his wife was 50% owner and therefore had an equal say in how the business was conducted and the dispersement and spending of monies.

I’m assuming a “caveat” a lean?

This guy sounds very argumentative and arrogant. If you sign a lease you are responsible for the entire agreed upon amount for the first year. There is no “dispute” about the balance owing within the first year, hence adverts for “sublets”. It sounds like the leasing company wouldn't waste time and money fighting them (him?) in small claims court so they simply put a lean on their house. A lean is not good as it would show up on a credit check.