Monday, October 5, 2020

The Disappearance of Missing Teen, Bernadette Walker


The Disappearance of Missing Teen, Bernadette Walker

 

Guest Submission by Paul Maillardet

 

Bernadette, 17, from Millfield in Peterborough in England, was reported missing by her parents on 21st July 2020. She has not been seen or heard from since.

 

Her parents, Sarah Walker, 37, and Scott Walker, 50, said Bernadette ran away from them on July 18th. They became concerned and reported her missing three days later.

 

In a turn of events, on the 16th September both Sarah and Scott Walker were charged with their daughter’s murder at Peterborough Crown Court, Cambridgeshire. Both parents did not enter a plea at the hearing. They will stand trial in March 2021. 

 

Bernadette’s body has not been found at the time of this article.

 

So, did Sarah and Scott Walker murder their daughter? Is their daughter simply missing as they say, and they are innocent?

 

The Walkers made three media statements prior to their arrest – by analysing these media statements and calls for Bernadette, can we shine more light on this case? 

 

Whilst they may have been charged by the police, they are innocent until proven guilty. In Statement Analysis, we always work from the basis the subject is innocent, their words will guide us and signal if there may be information to the contrary.

 

Let’s take a look together and see….

 

Media Plea 1

 

“We need to make it clear that she's not in any trouble, we're all worried and want to know that she's safe." 

 

The first thing we note is they do not speak to Bernadette directly, and do not use her name. 

 

Instead their language is directed to us, the audience. Rather than immediately to call to their daughter to come back home, or to call-out to anyone that she may be with or may have her, they have a need to persuade us that Bernadette is “not in any trouble”. 

 

We have to ask why Bernadette would be in trouble? It is unnecessary for them to tell us, and may well signal that the last time they spoke to Bernadette something did indeed happen, and she was in trouble with them. Bernadette would not be in any ‘trouble’ if they have knowledge she is dead, which could lead to such an assertion appearing in their language.

 

Their “need to make it clear” tells us that they feel they have to let us know that they are good parents, and are not responsible in any way for Bernadette being missing. This tells us they are very aware of their audience, and their language signals they may feel under scrutiny.

 

They go on to say that they “…want to know that she’s safe.” – note that they have not said they want her back – just to know she is ‘safe’. They do not tell us they want Bernadette back home, or her back ‘safe and well’. 

 

Note that they do not use Bernadette’s name – the omission of names in a statement can often signify that the subject/s wish to psychologically distance themselves from the victim. They may not be able to bring themselves to say the victim’s name if they still harbour anger, regret or remorse or guilty knowledge. Killers can often continue to harbour anger towards their victims as they will feel that the victim is responsible for putting them in the position they face, and this can leak into their language.  Let us keep track and see if this becomes a common feature or not.

She added: "I believe the police are doing their job, but as a parent I need more. I'm desperate for my daughter to be found. When will they up the risk to high instead of medium?"

‘We’ has now become ‘I’ and their unity before is now gone. Here we are told she ‘believes’ the police are doing their job’. She does not tell us she has been in touch or engaged with the police.

“…but as a parent I need more.”  This is concerning – her daughter is missing, yet she does not describe herself ‘as Bernadette’s ‘mother’. She remains a parent as she has other children, but she distances herself from Bernadette yet again maternally and emotionally. She does not make it clear what needing more may be.

“I’m desperate for my daughter to be found” – She does not say she wants her daughter back home, but ‘to be found’. 

Her language does not tell us that she wants her back with her - that she wants her home back with her and the family – that she wants her ‘safe and well’. Whilst her language here seems sincere, the use of “found” is passive. We would leave the possibility open that this may be ‘Leakage’ in her language in that she may know her daughter is dead, that she won’t be returning home, but that she will only be found – we find that this often reveals itself in the language of those that are guilty or have guilty knowledge.

Note we are still waiting for the Bernadette’s name to be used – she is ‘my daughter’.

 

 

 

Mum Sarah Walker has asked the public to help her in distributing posters, hoping that if she gets them into every area of the city, Bernadette will be found and will return home. 

Sarah said: "We have had no contact with her since 1am on July 20, when she texted me to say she would be home soon. None of her friends have heard from her and she's not accessed social media."

We have had no contact with her…” – We look at her choice of words here, she does not say ‘We have not heard from Bernadette…’, but passively tells us they have not heard from her. The urgency and emotion of finding their missing daughter is not present. There is nothing in her language to say they have been trying to make contact with her, or that they have spoken to any of her friends. Bernadette’s name is still not being used by the mother.

The word ‘with’ in Statement Analysis signals distancing, in this case her mother distances herself through her language from any contact with ‘her’. 

She added: "I can't eat or sleep properly. I miss and love my eldest princess so much, she's missing out on her baby sister, who has learned to smile and coo already. I have to think that she is hiding at one of her friend's homes, worried about coming home now that the police will want to speak to her, I can't think of any alternative scenarios, I just can't

We would understand that parents of a missing child would not eat or sleep properly. However, instead of conveying her concern for Bernadette - where she may be, if she has eaten, if she may be in danger – her focus is on Self and to convey that she is worried in what we would consider as being almost ‘scripted’ language.

“…she’s missing out on her baby sister…” – In Statement Analysis we often find the perpetrator of a crime will find subtle ways of blaming their victim after the fact, as they seek to justify their actions or indirectly blame the victim for putting them in the situation they are in. Here, whilst we can listen to the words in the literal sense, in our analysis this can be a sign of subtle blaming of Bernadette – whose name she still can’t bring herself to say.

“I have to think that she is hiding at one of her friend’s homes…” – Why has she not been instrumental in contacting and searching all of Bernadette’s friends’ homes? Again, this speaks to a weak assertion and lack of urgency and involvement – we would ask why?

“…worried about coming home…” – the mother contradicts her previous statement in which she told us that she needed to make it clear that Bernadette wasn’t in trouble.

“…now that the police would want to speak to her.” – Earlier she tells us Bernadette wasn’t in trouble but has a need to drop-in that the police would want to speak to her. 

This is significant – rather than her statement being a warm and reassuring call for her daughter, instead we the audience are told why Bernadette would not come home. She’s ‘not in trouble’, but she may be worried about coming home, and the police will be waiting to speak to her if she does. The mother has a need to convey the reasons her daughter won’t be coming home.

“I just can’t think of any alternative scenarios, I just can’t” – In analysis, the word ‘just’ means that the person is comparing one thing with another. In this case she combines this by telling us in the negative what can’t have happened, rather than what she thinks may have happened, and her repetition of the word ‘just’ makes it even more sensitive. We would see this as a potential flag that she can think of alternative scenarios, and there is a scenario which is sensitive to her which could be from guilty knowledge.

"I know my baby girl wouldn't be out in the open. She's scared of being out in the dark alone, that's what makes me think she's at a friend's house. I just wish someone would just say she's here and she's safe. I want to cuddle her, but right now I'd accept that she's safe and well." 

“I know my baby girl wouldn't be out in the open.” – How can the mother know with certainty she would not be in the open – this could be leakage once again if she knows that she is in fact concealed.

I just wish someone would just say she’s here and she’s safe’ – She does not say ‘there’ and she’s safe. This could suggest that she knows Bernadette is close to her ‘here’, perhaps close enough she could reach-out and cuddle her, but she knows she cannot.

 

 

 

September 10th Statement

Her mum Sarah Walker shared the news on social media, she wrote:

"Please keep sharing. The police have now put Bernadette Walker as a high-risk missing person due to the amount of time she has been missing. “

"Bernadette if you can see this, please let us know that you are safe. You can set up a new Facebook or Instagram darling and message us, that way you can let us know that you're safe without giving away your location."

Finally her mother uses her name…but not in a warm-way. Instead she uses her full-name, with extreme distancing language from Bernadette. She does not reference her as ‘my daughter’ and even further distances herself by referencing her as a missing ‘person’. With the Rule of Economy, she could have finished at ‘high risk.’, but instead disassociates herself further by using the gender-neutral term ‘person’. This is not what we would expect from the mother.

In her final sentences, for the first time she uses much of the language missing from her previous appeals. She is likely acutely aware of her audience and this is very scripted.

She does not call for Bernadette to come back home, just to message them to let them know she is safe. The urgency remains absent – a call would be an immediate plea to their daughter for her to make contact, or to any person who may have her or know where she may be. Instead Bernadette is guided by the mother to set-up new social media accounts in a convoluted means to avoid detection – why would her mother wish to highlight any means of her being located and conveying this?

·      The mother has the opportunity to use Bernadette’s name 19 times but doesn’t do so. This is extreme distancing linguistically from her daughter. This could signal her need to disassociate her from Bernadette if she has knowledge or involvement in her disappearance, and also possibly continued anger towards Bernadette if she blames her for anything that may have happened.

·      The language does not convey the natural urgency and emotion by a parent of a missing daughter.

 

Conclusion:  

Conclusion: Deception indicated via missing information.  

 

The statements are linguistically negative towards Bernadette, which given the circumstances is not what we would expect to find, looking at expected vs unexpected.

 

Her language indicates that she is withholding information.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Guest Submission: The Disappearance of Suzanne Morphew by Paul Maillardet



The Disappearance of Suzanne Morphew.


Guest Submission by Paul Maillardet


Suzanne Morphew, 49, disappeared 4 months ago on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 10th 2020. 


The mother of two from Maysville, Colorado, was said to have gone on a bike ride that morning. Suzanne’s bike was discovered, but she has not been seen or heard from since.


Her husband, Barry Morphew, made a televised appeal a week later, but has chosen to avoid media interviews until recent weeks. 


The following analysis is based on a call between Barry Morphew and Lauren Scharf of Fox 21 News on the 3rd of September 2020. It should be noted that these are excepts and Lauren Scharf has commented there is other information from the interview that she has not yet shared. 


The interview we will examine with Barry Morphew is in response to an exclusive interview made by one of his employees, Jeff Puckett, to the UK newspaper the Daily Mail. In the interview Puckett alleges the room he was given by Morphew reeked of chlorine, had wet towels on the floor and had a bin with insurance papers in it, which he later turned-over to the FBI.


At the present time we do not have the interviewer’s questions with which to see if any of their language is mirrored or parroted. With this said, the answers give us valuable insight.


In Statement Analysis, we examine the words a subject uses, and we apply Principles and Specific Indicators of Sensitivity that we discern from what the subject tells us. We always start from the position that what the subject is going to tell us is truthful. Through the subject’s language, their priorities, what they say and do not say – amongst other ‘markers’ - we build a picture. This can allow us to determine whether the subject is being truthful or not, if they are deceptive or may have guilty knowledge. We do not rely on a single sensitivity indicator, but instead we build our picture using all of the indicators that may be provided by the subject.


Let’s take a look through the interview with Barry Morphew and let his words guide us….


Listen,” Barry said during a Thursday morning phone call, “Jeff Puckett was in prison for nine years.”


In Statement Analysis we always focus on a subject’s Order and Priority. Alongside their words, this provides us with valuable insight into their current mindset and what was, and is, most important to them. 


Here, Barry Morphew’s priority is not to address what Jeff Puckett has said in his interview. Instead he chooses not to address it, deflecting us away by attacking Puckett’s character.


Puckett has informed the media of a strong chlorine smell in the room rented and used by Barry Morphew. Why would the mention of chlorine be sensitive enough to Morphew that he becomes defensive? Why would Morphew need to attack Puckett’s character – and the credibility of his statement – if he has done nothing wrong?


Barry Morphew has an opportunity from the outset to confirm he has not killed or had anything to do with Suzanne’s disappearance, and to agree or disagree that there was a strong smell of chlorine in the room. He does not issue any denial, but instead attacks Puckett’s character. 

I said listen, I need to do this job, I will pay you good money to come and help me,” Barry said of Puckett. “I gave him a job and an opportunity and they all jumped on it.”

Barry Morphew does not say he called and asked Puckett to do a job. Listen to his words - he told Puckett to ‘Listen’ – this speaks of importance. He then tells Puckett of a ‘need’ to do the job, and that he will not just pay him, but will pay him ‘good money’.  Morphew appears to have an unusually urgent need to persuade Puckett.


Morphew then goes on to tell us he gave Puckett not just a job, but an “opportunity” – in Statement Analysis we call this the ‘Good Guy” (‘Person’) Principle. He has a need to convey himself as the good person by offering Puckett the job, he feels a need to tell us the audience that he is the good guy. 


Puckett felt that the room and strong chlorinated smell was unusual, and subsequently in context of Barry’s wife Suzanne’s disappearance he notified the authorities and spoke to media. He goes on to say “they all jumped on it”, not referring to Puckett specifically.


Note that Barry Morphew was happy to trust Puckett, who had been in jail, to help him on his job, but then seeks to use that against Puckett to attempt to destroy his statement’s credibility. He feels betrayed by Puckett, but his priority is again to attack his character rather than the information Puckett provided.


Here Barry Morphew shoots the messenger but not the message itself. This is often used where someone’s argument is weak, and a tactic employed by deceptive people.

“I rushed home, left all my tools at the hotel called my workers and said, ‘I have a family emergency, you’re going to have to figure this out on your own,'” he said.

We make a note of the Order here from Barry:

  1. “I rushed home”

  2. “…left all my tools…”

  3. “…called my workers”


“I rushed home…” Barry has been informed of Suzanne’s disappearance. He tells us he “rushed home” – in Statement Analysis we flag the Expected vs the Unexpected. Given the circumstances we would not expect that he would do anything but rush back. That he tells us this means that this could be important. Time is be sensitive to him, and we would examine whether there was any delay in this journey, and if so – why?


“…left all my tools at the hotel…”  In his response here we have several Principles of Statement Analysis that are flagged to us. We would expect him to tell us he 1. left his tools, 2. rushed home and called his workers. Where order is out of sequence this may be indicative that his account may be deceptive. 


Whilst leaving his tools speaks to urgency, why would Barry Morphew tell us he left all of his tools when he is recounting the point where he has been told his wife is missing? We only have his word here that he did leave all of his tools at the hotel, but he has a need to ensure we know this.


In Statement Analysis, Unimportant or Useless Information is considered doubly-important to the person or the subject saying it. Why would Morphew be concerned about his tools, or indeed mentioning them several months after Suzanne’s disappearance when he has apparently just learned his wife is missing? His wife is missing – he is recounting his experience – but instead of expressing any emotion, fear or worry, we are told he left his tools at the hotel.


The word ‘Left’, in Statement Analysis, in 70 percent of occasions can point to rushing or being delayed. However, in 30 percent of times this can also suggest that the subject is still psychologically present back where they were – in this case, the hotel. Often this can signify that an event may have occurred that keeps the subject’s mind back at that place or event. 


Could there be a psychological significance to Barry leaving his tools? This could be what we term as “Leakage”, where a subject may inadvertently provide information that could be important. 


“I did not go to the pool and I did not get chlorine,” he said. “I’m sure that they washed the rooms with that for the covid. I don’t know, but I [smelled] it too when I was in there.”


Barry offers what we would consider as a Reliable Denial here – ‘I’ (ownership) ‘did not” past tense “go to the pool” / “get chlorine”. We always look at what is said, and what is not said. Here, he does not say that he already had chlorine – and should the chlorinated room become significant in the investigation then this would underpin what we are not told here.


“I’m sure they washed the rooms with that for the covid” – How could Barry be so sure? He mentions ‘rooms’ in plural. Did he go to another room and smelled it there too. He does not tell us this, therefore we cannot say this for him. He then goes on to minimise his assertion with ‘I don’t know….”. We also note that in Analysis the use of ‘this’ is considered as being close, whereas ‘that’ is seen to distance from. He appears to distance himself from the chlorine here.


He therefore lacks certainty about the use of chlorine by the hotel, however he has a need to persuade us that rooms were washed with it. We have to ask ourselves why this may be.

“I did nothing wrong in the hotel,” Barry said. “There’s cameras all over the hotel, I did nothing wrong.”

Unfortunately, we do not know what was asked by the interviewer here, it would be interesting to know the context of the question. We always hope for questions to be open so the subject is able to choose their own words and start at where they feel comfortable.

“I did nothing wrong at the hotel” – the Law of Economy tells us that the shortest answer is likely to be the truthful one. Here, Barry could have told us “I did nothing wrong”. He does not. We follow what Barry tells us, he did nothing wrong ‘in the hotel’. If the interviewer’s question was open, we must consider something wrong may have happened outside of the hotel.

We also note in Statement Analysis that where there is repetition, there is sensitivity – Barry repeats he did nothing wrong. He has still not told us he did not kill Suzanne or had anything to do with her disappearance at this point.

“There’s cameras all over the hotel” – This statement is unnecessary and unusual. Morphew has a need to convey his innocence, however his mentioning of the cameras speaks of his awareness of them at the hotel. If we were to go to a hotel, would we make mental notes of all the cameras there? He tells us here he was aware the cameras were there – this could speak of concern that there may be footage of him, or that he knew where cameras were located, or that the cameras would place him at the hotel when he said he was.

If Barry was involved in his wife’s disappearance, he will have been aware of the locations of security cameras, and that security cameras are mentioned suggests that there may have been premeditation involved.  If he has knowledge or involvement in Suzanne’s disappearance, the site of any murder or disposal is unlikely to be covered by security cameras. His mentioning of cameras could be Leakage, and therefore significant.

“I’ve heard the FBI lie and I know that they can legally do that in their investigations,” Barry said. “But it just pains me to know that they are doing this to me and my family.”

Here Morphew tells us tells us the FBI are lying to him. Why would this be sensitive to him if he has nothing to do with Suzanne’s disappearance? Why does he not say that he does not care about this, and they should be focusing on finding Suzanne.

But it just pains me to know that they are doing this to me and my family – Barry’s places his pain before the pain of his family with the use of “me and my family”. He could have used ‘doing this to my family – he does not. He could have also used ‘our family’ which could be seen to be more inclusive of Suzanne.


We also note his choice of the word “pains”, given the context of what may be a murder enquiry. 

“Absolutely not,” he answered. “I love my wife. I would never hurt my wife. She is the light of my and my daughters’ lives. This whole thing is killing us and that is why I want our privacy.”

Again, we do not have the question for context, however this is insightful.

If he has been asked if he has had anything to do with his wife’s disappearance, a reliable denial would be “I did not kill my wife or have anything to do with her disappearance”. Instead he has a Need to Persuade, “Absolutely not”.

The public would take it as a given that he loves his wife, that he mentions this can be a sign that, again, he has a need to persuade us of this.

“I would never hurt my wife” – This could be true if Barry knows that Suzanne is deceased. He cannot hurt her if she is dead. He also does not say “I did not kill Suzanne”. We cannot say this for him.

“She is the light of my and my daughters’ lives” – It is encouraging that Barry uses present-tense language here when referring to Suzanne. However, his use of “light” could also reference her spirit shining down on them. We know that Barry is a member of a church, so the biblical use of light here is noted.  We cannot exclude the possibility that he is referencing Suzanne in the present-tense knowing or believing she is dead.  

“This whole thing is killing us…” – What is Morphew referencing? In the context of his previous answers and language this does not appear to be Suzanne’s disappearance that is ‘killing ‘them, but rather the focus on him.

His reference to ‘killing us’ is unfortunate given his wife may be dead. In choosing his words he may be inadvertently telling us he thinks Suzanne may be dead. His choice of words speak again to Self, not Suzanne, and place his ‘thing’ on potentially the same level as Suzanne’s, if she has been killed.

Suzanne’s disappearance in Barry’s language here is a ‘thing’, not a tragedy. His words speak of annoyance, and of a situation he does not want to participate in. Let’s see what he tells us….

“…and that is why I want our privacy

Morphew wants privacy – Pronouns do not lie – “I want our privacy”, not ‘we want’.

Priority: Morphew wants privacy, not “and that is why we want Suzanne back”

There is no call for his wife Suzanne.

Conclusion: Deception Indicated


Suzanne Morphew remains missing, we hope that she will be found soon ~ our thoughts and prayers go out to her Family.