Sunday, February 11, 2018
Jordyn Dumont: 911 Call Repost
3 year old Jordyn Dumont died, according to the autopsy, of blunt
force trauma. William Joseph McCullen was arrested 1 day after
making this call.
Although the call is short, it is useful.
The analysis is of an emergency call in which the caller's words
are placed into a category of expectation:
We expect the caller to facilitate the flow of information in order to
located the "missing" child.
Let's listen to his words:
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", formally, as we measure our
against what is given to us. To be polite is "ingratiating" oneself
to whom? To authorities.
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 very high or weighty importance to it. It could be argued that he
is so concentrated on his daughter, that he skipped this information. We still, however, flag the question about location as "sensitive" because he did not answer the question.
3. "My oldest daughter" tells us
a. the daughter is his ("my") giving relationship.
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.
d. His oldest daughter does not have a name. Although the possessive pronoun is here, her name is not. This is his initial call to the police and they do not know who she is.
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. This priority is seen in that he chooses to yield this
information before he reports about Jordyn.
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?"
We might not have thought to ask him what he was doing had he himself not provoked this question. This is what deceptive people often do: they think they are pre-empting questions when they are, in fact, teaching us what questions need to be asked.
This caller has a need to convince ("need to persuade") police that he was asleep, suggesting that he was not asleep. He has a need, as an alibi, to convince them that he could not be responsible because he was taking a nap. With this additional and unnecessary information, he is said to likely be doing something other than taking a nap.
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. Since she cannot be found "anywhere", why bother to search for her? This is not a desperate father wanting his daughter found.
His priority comes from his words:
1. That you, the police, view me, the father, in a positive light.
2. That you, the police, understand, I have to withhold information from you. (self censoring)
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 my 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. This is the "Ingratiating" factor.
We saw this with DeOrr Kunz who lavishly praised authorities for not finding his son.
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