Thursday, January 16, 2020

Mixed and Conflicted Emotions: 911 Call Murder

Human nature is complex.  

Rigid thinkers struggle in training with this, particular if personal experience is lacking. 

              Mixed Emotions--Conflicting Emotions 

Mixed emotions are part of nature and unless artificial intelligence is able to map all the experiences of a human, from conception to birth, throughout child and adulthood, there will be no computer replacement for human analysis. 

Mixed emotions are sometimes conflicted emotions. 

A good example was from a terror bombing in the UK in which a teenaged girl was wounded in her leg. 

Her statement showed she both adored her father and blamed him---in the same statement, with words close together. 

Fathers of teenaged girls see this as not only routine, but a normal part of growing up. 

For the wounded girl, her father picking her up from the concert targeted by the terrorist, at a specific time meant, in her verbalized perception of reality, he was responsible.  Had he not insisted on this particular time, she would not have been wounded. He was the villain in this moment in time.  It did not last long. 

It is not rational, in the sense that the father had no ability to know when an Islamic terrorist would strike, yet in his daughter's perception, based upon experience, her father represents God---all knowing, all caring, and to be completely trusted.

She was, in her mind, let down by him. Why?  Because she had "holes" (wounds) in her leg that 'daddy didn't save me from'---- 

It was actually a linguistic signal of a good, loving and attentive father.  Hence, her disappointment came from a reference point. 

This status of blame quickly gave way to something else. 

Wounded, that he would pick her up, comfort her and transport her to professional intervention was hero status for her father.  Fathers close to their daughters have shared similar conflicted emotions from their daughters in commenting on the statement. 

Law enforcement professionals are often very good at grasping this element of our nature and highlighting it in language.  

They see it every day. 

Professionals accept human nature for what it is---they do not 
attempt to change it. 

Someone does something very bad, yet they know that it is not "all" that the subject is. 

 Rigidity brings failure in analysis. 

Human nature is complex. 

Here is a case from a few years ago in which a 21 year old male called 911 confessing to have killed his girlfriend. 

Listen to his language and follow his "linguistic disposition" towards his victim as well as towards self. 

911 Dispatch 

What happened there?” 

Subject (Zachery Mailloux)

Ah … pretty much lost it I guess you could say and I strangled 

Note both the strength and the weakness in his assertions:

1.  "I guess you could say" is a weak, with two words reducing 

commitment, "guess" and "could" say. 

What the context of his weak assertion? 

It is about 

a. losing self control 

b. strangling the victim 

Did you notice he did not use her name?  

This is distancing language. 

It is appropriately employed. 

 It is about him 'losing' it.  

He commits to: "I strangled her."  On its form, this sentence is very 

likely to be reliable. 

Yet look at this again-----

Ah … pretty much lost it I guess you could say

a. Who lost it? We do not know from the isolated wording because

he has dropped the pronoun "I" from his statement. 

b.  How weak is this assertion?

"lost it" is modified or qualified by:

"pretty much"

"I guess"

"you could say

He needs to remove himself from losing self control but not from strangling her. 

What does this suggest?

The analyst should consider:

a. He did not say he lost control and we need to trust the language 

to guide us. 

He knew what he was doing. 

b. He likely believes himself justified for what he did. 

"I strangled her" --- no equivocation, no ejection of the pronoun "I", and no qualification. 

We believe him. 

This is a very strong indication that he was in control of what he 

was doing, which the evidence will likely bear out.  

It indicates a need to deceive---which means that he wants to 

deceive but is uncomfortable (stressed) about lying about himself

but not stressed about killing her. 

This will not make sense to rigid thinkers or new student analysts. 

The desire for good guy or bad guy is something that must be over-

come in analysis. For some, it is personality driven and spills into 

life. These are often unforgiving, unmerciful and those with very 

low human empathy.  They often seek cover in religion or politics 

and are, by nature, divisive. 

The analyst seeks to "enter into" the verbalized perception of the 

subject regardless of where it leads.

Many experienced detectives do this naturally. 

Q. How do we see this natural ability?

A. We see it in their interview and interrogation strategy. 

(some social service professionals are also skilled in this way). 

They can "split" the personality according to the language, and trust

the language to guide them, and use it back to the subject in the 

interview process.  (This is highly effective here and in therapeutic 


These are often professionals who are older.

Interestingly enough, this reflects the famous story by Jesus of the

stoning of the adulterous woman where Jesus said, "You without 

sin, cast the first stone."

The result?

Each dropped his stone, beginning with the oldest.  

Back to our case:

He appropriately (in context of his murder) did not use his victim's 


He seeks to avoid lying about his temper, but readily admits the


“Are you’re sure she’s dead?” the dispatcher asks.
“I am positive,” Mailloux said.

Not "yes" but "I am positive."

Why would he use these words?

The answer is found in the very weak commitment about losing

self control---

The high level of weakness indicates deception. 

He has no doubt because he was always in control.  

He allows for the recipient (Dispatch, 911, police, authorities) to 

guess that someone (no "I") lost control----a sudden impulsive act 

of passion (negative emotion), but he does not state it. 

If he cannot state it, we will not state it for him. 

This very weak assertion indicates control---in which the element

of time is present. 


He is "positive" she is dead because he not only killed her, but 

he made certain she was dead. The strangulation took considerable

time and control.  

Hi, this is state police. I have a caller on the line at 166 Essex 

Street, Apartment B as in boy, that wants to admit to a murder that 

has occurred, ah, shortly ago and the victim is a Brooke Locke …,” 

the transcript begins.
After ascertaining that her body is in the apartment and asking for 

the caller’s name and birth date, the  dispatcher continues 

with the the subject.

“How long has she been dead?” the dispatcher asks.

“Hour and a half maybe,” Mailloux responds.

Although the exact time is not known ("maybe"), this is likely 

close to the truth though it may have even been longer.

This would indicate time to process what he has done prior 

to calling.

The dispatcher then tries to determine before police arrive whether 

Mailloux is armed or used any weapon.

No, I used a necktie in all honesty, he replies.

This is an indication that not everything he says should be 

believed and that he did more to her than just use a necktie on 


He has signaled by this phrase, "in all honesty" that he is not 

generally, or even here in this call, entirely honest.

Dispatch: “You used a necktie on her?

Subject: “Yup.

A casual affirmation. Consider this, again, as part of his overall 

disposition towards the victim, whose name he does not use. 

At one point the dispatcher asks him, 

What were you guys arguing about?”

This is interesting because instinctively, most investigators 

recognize that those who commit crime will not "confess" so much

as "admit."

He issues the admission "I strangled her" but seeks to minimize 

his own personal responsibility by attempting to deceive as if he

lost control.  

There's more: 

Ah, well it’s kind of a long story and simply put she’s pretty much 

been I guess you could say unfaithfulAnd been seeing other 


Hence his justification for the murder.

The "long" story?  This would take the element of time to explain--

it shows us that time is on his mind. 

The Language: 

He is not able to admit that she cheated on him flatly; here we see 

him hedging and reducing commitment. 

 Note other "people" and not "men" or "guys" or anything gender 


He didn't say, "she cheated on me and I lost control"---

"pretty much", and "you could say" ("you" could say it, but he 

does not say she was "unfaithful."

To be "unfaithful" there must be an expectation of faithfulness as

a reference point.


Is he, via this distance, telling police that they were already 

broken up prior to the murder and she had moved on? 

Dispatch seems to sense it: 

“How’d you find this out?” the dispatcher asks.

Um, well, I’ve been suspicious for a while. Everything has led up 

to it and I found out through her phone and … her finally admitting 

it. Yeah, I guess you could say, she finally did admit everything.

Now we know why he is stressed on time and removing or 

lessening personal responsibility:

He was humiliated. 

He likely restrained her against her will, put her under control 

and coerced a "confession" that she was seeing other people from 


He likely tortured her into this acknowledgement. 

Once she admitted it, he was then justified in executing judgement 

over her. 

Remember---this is not reality, but his perception.  

She admitted it today?” the dispatcher asks.

"Today?" the day of the murder?

Yup, pretty much. The only reason she did is because she felt she 

had no choice because obviously her life was in jeopardy, I guess 

you could say.”

Criminal activity is often found within minimizing language.  

Here he uses such words as "pretty much" and "I guess you 

could say..." as he will not own completely, his criminal action, 

yet he gives it away with the word "obviously" which means:  

accept what I say without question. 
His intent was clear. 
What do you mean her life was in jeopardy?” the dispatcher asks. 

She knew that her life was in jeopardy?”

“Yeah, she did,” 

“Did she fight with you or … ?” the dispatcher inquires.

“Today not so much,

He was in control. 

The call continues for a while longer as the dispatcher tries to 

determine whether Mailloux will cooperate with police when they 

If I wasn’t cooperative, I wouldn’t have called,” the subject says.

The subject's linguistic disposition towards self is to minimize 

guilt --perhaps knowing he would be caught. 

In his mind, 

He needs to lie about self control.  This tells us that he was in 

control of self and of her. 

He is sensitive about time. This tells us the event was not a quick 


He is protecting himself while his disposition towards her tells us 

that he perceives her as one who deserved this end. 

Here is an exert from a news article. 

Compare what you read here with his language: 

A police affidavit filed in the case, which was unsealed after 

he was indicted by the grand jury, adds more details of what 

he described happened inside the apartment during the last 

hours of Locke’s life.

He told investigators that he thought he had strangled Locke to 

death earlier in the day on Nov. 18 but that she regained 

consciousness and he then tied her up with wire cords and duct 

tape. While she remained bound during the morning hours, 

he physically and sexually assaulted her, according to the 


In the transcript of his emergency call, Mailloux indicates that he 

called two people after Locke’s death and before calling 911.  


One was his cousin,  and the  second person was his  grandmother.

“So, you admitted it to your grandmother,” the dispatcher asked.
That is correct,” the subject responded on the 911 transcript.
And what did she tell you?” the dispatcher inquired.
She didn’t know what to tell me,” 

The conflicting emotion here is that he admits to killing his ex girl-

friend but not confessing it. 

The difference between an admission and a confession is that the 

former acknowledges what was done.  It is sufficient for legal 


The latter is to admit what one has done and that it was wrong,

illegal, immoral and unjustified.

He does not "confess."

In Analytical Interviewing, we seek the admission for legal 

purposes, yet in social services, particularly to understand 

recidivism of certain crimes, the latter.

Detectives often see this dichotomy in language---

Even while admitting killing her, the subject is "good" or "kind" to


The detective in cases like these, is very likely to (wisely) allow 

the subject to blame the victim. 

It is most distasteful to be part of this, yet if this is what it takes 

to obtain justice, it is what is best. 

Child protective investigators use this legally sound, non intrusive

method of interviewing to get child molesters to admit what 

they have done by allowing the subject to relive the perverse


Since the subject has empathy towards self, and none towards 

the victim, the professional will allow this, without moral rebuke,

in order to facilitate the stream of information necessary to 

bring legal consequence. 


Unless he is neglectful, it is easy for a father to see the transition 

from trusting little girl to questioning teenager and the point of 

mixing the two under duress.  It is common.

It is not common to hear, nor always easy to grasp, especially 

before an interview, 

"I strangled her" with such linguistic strength, while showing 

such weakness regarding the details prior to the murder.

He can own the strangulation because in his mind, she was "guilty"

of unfaithfulness to him. 

He cannot own details about himself, including his relationship and 

what actions he took which humiliated him. 

In short, he can't say "She cheated on me" plainly, but he can say 

"I strangled her."

This gives the strategy of the interview, including the tactical 

questions, which experienced interviewers use. 

They enter into the perceived reality of the subject and obtain 

the necessary information to obtain justice. 

It takes its toll upon them, but as professionals, they do this 

as a service to society.  

"Protect and serve" is in their DNA

 Zachery G. Mailloux was sentenced to life in prison for the murder 
of Brooke Locke, a 21-year-old Husson University student on Nov. 
18, 2013, in her Bangor apartment. 
Mailloux pleaded guilty to murder and kidnapping. In exchange for 
his pleas, prosecutors dismissed a sexual assault charge.
The judge found that the crime was premeditated and the way 
Locke was killed included torture, sexual abuse and extreme 

If you wish to host a training on Deception Detection or to enroll 

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