Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dennis Dechaine's Confession Within His Statement

Monsters do exist and do kill children

                     Pronouns are the most instinctive part of the human vocabulary. 

Pronouns give us admissions, confessions and ownerships.  

Last week at a training, investigators asked if I had analyzed the statements of Dennis Dechaine, particularly because it took place here in Maine.  I have been planning on doing so for quite some time, but have not gotten around to it until recently.  Last night, there was a documentary about the case in which Dechaine's defenders, numbering 6,000 plus, having raised more than $200,000, gave the reason why they believe he didn't do it.  The documentary had Dechaine speak for himself.  He said that "they have the wrong man" and a few other things, but avoided the 3 component reliable denial:

1.  Pronoun "I"
2.  Past Tense verb
3.  Specific allegation

We have a rule:  If someone cannot bring himself to say he didn't do it, we are not allowed to say it for him. 

Why do people passionately defend Dennis Dechaine and demand a new trial?  The woman who founded the organization told us that she knew Dennis Dechaine very well and could not believe he was capable of doing such a thing. 

That is it. 

An emotion has overruled analysis, evidence and percentages.   Because she was unable to "feel" that he was capable, she has gotten thousands of people to rally to his support, yet in interviews, Dechaine, himself, doesn't tell us he didn't do it.  

We have more. 

We have his confession. 

He has allowed, for all these years, people to run to and fro for him when, all along, his confession was in his testimony.  

He is a sociopath.  

Pronouns never lie.  Pronouns are exempt from the law of personal, subjective, internal language, are universal and instinctive.  Within pronouns, we fine confessions. 

Here are exerts from Dennis Dechaine's trial transcripts.   Statement Analysis indicates deception on his part.  Dechaine was found guilty of murdering Sarah Cherry, in Maine.  

Can you find Dennis Dechaine's confession within his answers?

Pronouns are instinctive in humans as they have used them since the earliest days of speech.  In just a simple pronoun, we find 'confessions' within statements. 

In human nature, we accept with ownership that which is ours, even from the days of pre-speech in childhood where we used our hands to indicate "my" and "mine", but quickly denied the toy mess as "not" my mess when clean up time came.  

It is the same thing in language.  Having used the pronouns millions of times, there are no errors: 

"For those of you who believe in my guilt."  OJ Simpson

"I hardly knew my victim"  Stephen Trunscott

The pronoun "I" is used so many millions of times by humans that it is exhaustively trustworthy.  Even time does not wear out memory. 

For example, think of something that happened to you more than 10 years ago.

Got it?  Do you recall your story, even though it was more than 10 years in your memory?

If you were to begin your account of what happened, would you struggle with the pronoun "I" or the pronoun, "we"?

It is likely that you would not.  You would know if you were alone ("I") or if you were with others present ("we").  

Our pronouns are instinctive and we speak them in less than a micro second. 

Here in the trial of Dennis Dechaine we find his 'confession' of guilt, that while he was wandering in the woods, he was not alone.  

Can you spot his confession?

Q  "Did you feel angry or violent?

No, I wouldn't say that. 

Weak denial.  It is only something he "wouldn't" say but does not say what circumstances would cause him to say so, nor what his feelings were.  There should have been a follow up question regarding his emotions.  

Q.  What happened next? 

A.  I wondered back to my truck. I climbed in it and I took
off once again heading down the Hallowell Road, At that point it becomes vague to me as to where I went. But I can
just tell you that I wondered that area for some period of
time on dirt roads. 

Note that he "wandered" back to his truck. 
Note the words "at that point" skips over a period of time. 
Please note that "it becomes" is present tense.  This is an indication he is not speaking from memory.  It "becomes" as present tense, vague, yet:
Where he went is only "vague" to him yet he uses the word "but" to refute that and that he spent "some period of time" on dirt roads. 

This is indicative that he has skipped over  a sensitive period of time.  It "becomes" vague, but only "to me" indicating that there was likely at least one other person to whom his location was not "vague."

Q In your truck?

A Yes. And stopped frequently. And I don't know if you can say frequently, but I stopped a few times and walked on side roads just to see where they went. •

An honest person can only tell us what they know.  They cannot tell us what they do not know, unless they are being deceptive. 

Please note that when a sentence begins with the word, "And" it is an indication that there is missing information there. 

Q.  Had you ever been in that area before as far as you know?

A No. 

These short answers are what defense attorneys ask their clients to give.  When a client is deceptive, oftentimes the deceptive client wishes to give longer answers, believing in his or her own ability to deceive.  It backfires regularly.  Dechaine goes beyond the realm of "yes or no" and helps us get to the truth. 

Q.  What happened next?

These are the best questions that can be asked:  "What happened?" followed by "What happened next?" which allow the subject to choose his own language.  

A Well, I guess after doing some wondering, basically I continued the pattern until I tried to get back to my truck
from one of the walks I had taken and couldn't find it. 

Please note that if he will not commit himself to an answer, neither shall we.  Here, he only can "guess" what he did.  
Please note that if this is what he "basically" did, it indicates that there were other things he did at this time, but did not mention. 

Q Let's stop here for a moment. Do you recall placing your vehicle somewhere? 
A Yes. 

Q Do you know where you placed it now? 
A No. At least I can't be sure.

You we at into the woe- s walking around?
 A Yes.

Q And after you had been in the woods walking around - how long had you been walking around, do you know?

A I guess I walked for 15, 20 minute, maybe less. And I sat down for a while. I had come to a deciduous grove of trees that were particularly nice, and sat down to rest for a few minutes. I had done a lot of walking that day.

Note that deceptive people refuse to commit to specific answers and often qualify their answers.  Here he begins with "guess", reducing commitment, and then adds "maybe" to weaken it further, yet he is able to recall the type of trees and how they were "particularly nice" in his perception.  This means he remembers specific details about what made these trees different from other trees he had seen. This is why defense attorneys tell their clients to limit their answers. 
Note he twice mentions body posture ("sat") which indicates that there is an increase of tension in his statement, even while he attempts to portray it in the positive ("particularly nice")

Q During the course in that area had you done walking or elsewhere where your truck was or in?

A I assumed so, yes. I never completely determined where my truck was. I've never seen that location since so the photographs I've seen don't look familiar to me in terms of vegetation and so forth.

Here is a point of high sensitivity:  he not only qualifies (assume, completely) but gives us the reason why he did not know where his truck was, making this highly sensitive to him.  

Q The photographs are those that have been introduced into evidence?

A Right. That may well have been where I left my truck.
I'm not saying that.

Note that he only allows with "may well" regarding the location of his truck.  Then he denies affirming it with, "I'm not saying that."  He distances himself from his truck, linguistically, giving indication of a need to stay away from the truck. 

 Q Do you know one way or the other?
A No. It could be, yes; it could be, no. I'm not sure.

How long did you walk around for before, until you
realized that you didn't know where your truck was located? 

A Well, what I did was after having sat down for quite sometime I got up and walked back to my truck. And it was at that point that I realized after walking for a short period of time that I didn't recognize anything. It didn't seem like I was going in the right direction. We were beginning to lose light at that time.

Note the heavy and consistent use of the pronoun, "I", indicating alone. 

Here is his confession.  He uses the word "we":

He and someone else were losing light at that time. 

He had testified that he was alone and not with Sarah Cherry, who was babysitting near by.  Dennis Dechaine's notebook was in his truck.  It was found at the driveway where Sarah Cherry was babysitting and rope inside in the truck matched rope that bound her wrists.  He claimed to have been fishing in the woods, but without a fishing pole.  

Please note that inclusion of "lights" is often found related to, in statements, sexual activity.  If he sexually assaulted her, it is likely that he believed the child was a "willing participant" and maybe even convinced himself that she "wanted" him.  It also may be why he killed her:  in fear that she would talk.  

"At that time" is where missing information exists. 

This was likely the time of the murder. 

It is a shame the prosecutor did not catch it.   There is no "we" in his language in the rest of the sentences.  

Q.   So this is getting dark, towards -ddi 

A Yes. That's one of the reasons why I started moving
around because we had lost the light. 

Note that it is "one" of the reasons.  What were the others?
Note that he is "alone" : "I started moving around" is singular. 

Q.  During that period of time before you started looking
again was there any period where you lost consciousness? 

A No, I wouldn't say that.

Q.  Was there any period you have no memory of? 

Here is not only a negation, but he reveals his attitude towards his victim:  

A:   I can safely say there are periods of time where my memory is probably not as sharp as it could have been, but I think that's because I was doing nothing of any significance to have to cause me to have reference points, 

"I can safely say" indicates that there are things that are unsafe to say. 
Here he tells us why his memory was not so good (in spite of the description of the trees).

Here he offers, in the negative, of what he was doing:  "nothing of any significance"

This may indicate his attitude towards Sarah Cherry, his victim, at the time of her death.  She was just a little girl, yet he considered her a part of him, as if there was unity or cooperation between them. 

Drugs and violence.  

Do you have a period in that space that is just a void, that you don't have any recollection of? 

A No.

Or you had a blackout? 

A No.

Q How long were you lost for, Mr. Dechaine? 

A My guess was I wondered around for a couple of hours,

Q Have you ever been lost in the woods before? 
A Yes.
On two different occasions. Once when I was fairly
A young; I would say probably eight another time in my teens.

Q.  Is this experience being in the woods dramatically different from those two previous experiences of being lost
in the woods?
A Well, it was somewhat different than that. I really
out it because I figured if I could walk a straight line I would come out on the woods road somewhere,
Q On July 6th? A Yes.

So were you paniced or were you in a frenzy or were you
distraught or what was your condition? 
A No. I wasn't any of those. I really - all I was doing
was walking to the best of my knowledge at that time as I was on my way out of the woods.

It took awhile for you to get out of the woods? 
A Actually as it got darker I began to worry because I
wasn't worried

This is a statement similar to Billie Jean Dunn who said that she "checked" on Hailey and "wasn't worried" at that point, even though, supposedly, there would be nothing to check on and nothing to worry about, yet it gives away the deception.  Here we have a clever killer using words that eventually betray him.  

He was not alone in the woods. 

He was, just as police stated, with his victim.  

Truthful people tell us what happened, while the deceptive have a need to explain why they did things, making the "why" outside of the boundary of the question, "What happened?"  

Dechaine has played games with people for many years and has strung them along.  Several years ago, a man came and gave me a book "proving" Decchaine's innocence.  It proved only that Dechaine had duped others into taking up a cause and attempting to convince the public that the police all conspired together to convict an innocent man.  

Yet, Statement Analysis gets to the truth. 

We apply the same principles to Casey Anthony, OJ, Billie Dunn, Baby Lisa, Marion Jones and every other case viewed. 

The results show deception or truth.  

In the case of Dennis Dechaine, it shows deception, yet by the use of the pronoun, "we", where he had previously generously used the pronoun, "I", he gave away the presence of his victim.  

Another drug and sex related murder. 

He uses the pronoun "we", which means "unity" and "cooperation", yet it is not likely the word the child would have used.  It is likely that he knew she would tell what he had done to her, so he killed her for her silence. 

He is a twisted monster who has, since 1988, continued to hurt people, by getting people of good will, but soft heads, to donate money and time to getting him another trial.  

Sarah Cherry deserved better.  Here is a quote that is revealing.  It comes from his attorney.  

In a 2012 update, his attorney said that male DNA was found on Sarah Cherry and regarding the testing:  "Of course, we could have it backfire on us."

Since his client contends to have never had any contact with Sarah Cherry, it would be interesting to know what it is that could "backfire" against them.  

He said he was not an "excessive" drug user but called his drug "street speed" which does not explain what "non street" speed is.  He was injecting it.  This tells us he had knowledge of how to use the drugs.  An experienced drug user.  


Anonymous said...

It speaks to the collective dumbing down of America that so many people proclaim his innocence.

Statement Analysis Blog said...


For someone to base everything on what an emotion triggers is not logical. I found the author who wrote the book showing weakness in his need to assert not only his experience, but the lack of experience from another detective.

Every homicide detective's history began with one case.

What speaks most to me is Dennis Dechaine's own words. He guides us and has a need to explain why he did things, rather than say,

"I didn't do it, therefore, I don't give a ^%&*() about anything. I don't need to explain anything because I didn't kill Sarah Cherry."

Did you see the documentary on TV?


CEC said...


I live in a suburb of KC and was surprised to see on the local news just now, that Jessica Ridgeway's great-grandmother and father live here. A reporter interviewed Jessica's great-grandmother. She said her son was upset by people thinking he took her, so he wasn't speaking out. Great -grandma said SHE was, because she wants her back. Huh? Doesn't the dad? The reporter stated that the dad has been going to work every day since Jessica went missing, which I also find strange. Why isn't he pounding the pavement, searching for her?

Here is a link to the interview:


equinox said...

Peter, Thanks for analysis! I wanted to believe in Dennis, but his own testimony that you are reviewing here nailed it for me. While he was in the woods it was "I was high, I don't recall anything exactly. La La La. I'm such a nice guy. Nothing happened so I don't remember anything." Yet with photographic precision he remembers every minute, every word spoken once he emerges from the woods. So precise that he can remember what he "actually said" for every one of the dozens of incriminating utterances he claims the police fabricated to frame him.

The testimony you are analyzing here is his direct testimony and I bet his defense attorney swallowed a bird when he said the "We" word twice. He changes direction fast. And the prosecutor DID catch it! But Dennis wasn't cross-examined until the next day, so he and his defense attorney have overnight to come up with an explanation.. of sorts. Here's the exchange with the prosecutor under cross examination the next day:

Dennis: I'm not sure I could say that with any degree of accuracy. At the end of the day when I was lost as we were losing the light I can tell you.

Q: "We," Mr. Dechaine?

Dennis: Yes. "We were losing the light", Isn't that a common expression?

Q: Not if we are alone, Mr. Dechaine.

Dennis: I wouldn't say for instance that I had six inches of snow yesterday. I would say we had six inches of snow.

Q Yes. Because the whole community gets snow.

Dennis: The whole community experiences the sunset. Any great acts of nature are subject to pluralization.

Do you buy it? I don't.

One reader at my blog actually gave some good feedback in her comments that demonstrate that there is a fairly strong forensic case for innocence for Dennis that is supposed to trump the entire investigation. For once I just don't find I believe the forensic evidence, the case under SA just screams guilty to me. Read here if you are curious Her further comments after my post are very good. I haven't yet replied. I've been moving this month with no time to really put myself into a solid response, but I intend to. I value anyone else's contribution to the discussion there as forensically I'm taking a thrashing. I stick with my belief, much to the rage of readers who support Dennis.

Katprint said...

The nature of being a defense attorney is presenting the best defense that we can legally present, even if the best defense isn't really a very good defense. If the client says/does things that make them appear guiltier (and often that's EXACTLY what they do!) there's not much we can do about that.

The complete quote from Steve Peterson, Dechaine's court-appointed lawyer, is : "The thing we're hoping for -- of course, we could have it backfire on us -- is that this could prove it's not Dennis Dechaine." http://www.pressherald.com/news/male-dna-found-on-girls-clothing-in-dechaine-case_2012-09-25.html I respect his candor that possibly this new DNA evidence could help exonerate Dechaine but he acknowledges is also possible that it will further incriminate Dechaine. Refreshingly honest, in my opinion.

Ivy said...

The things that to me show he is guilty in order of importance 1) his confession to the police 2) the notebook in the driveway 3) his lie to the police about not having his truck keys going so far as to actually hide the keys in the police car 4) the materials from his truck used in the killing 5) the fact that he lied about who he was when he came out of the woods 6) the vagueness of his account of what he was doing -- I mean really -- driving through woods you don't know and stopping to wander around -- he said it was to enjoy his drug trip but it just seems implausible to me 7) the absurdity of the coincidence that someone framed a guy who would actually confessed and has an absurd alibi. He was an experienced drug user -- he recounted his drug history at the trial. What I have wondered about this case is whether he really did get lost and had originally planned to drive away or whether he intended to claim his truck had been stolen -- again being "discovered" wandering the woods because someone stole his truck but he forgot to leave his keys. The fact that he lied about who he was when he was found makes me think he planned to drive away but really did get lost after it got dark. Then he decided to suggest his truck tied to the murder scene was stolen and lied about his keys. The ten reasons or whatever it was that were listed on that website about his innocence were pretty ridiculous. I think sometimes these groups confuse their audiences a bit. Legally, people can be "wrongfully convicted" if e.g. their confession was admitted even though obtained In violation of Miranda or the evidence of their guilt was obtained in a search that violated the 4th amendment, or if they had ineffective assistance of counsel. That is not insignificant, however, while defense lawyers and the courts care a great deal about this the general public won't rally to free someone who is not truly innocent, i. e. didn't do it. As I recall some of the reasons listed on that website read more like they relate to legal innocence, which is part of the reason they seem so weak (some were just very petty quibbles with aspects of the trial and investigations I recall) I don't mean to belittle legal innocence -- the protections of the constitution are important, but in the context of wrongful conviction there can be some disconnect about what innocence means.

Ivy said...

Also I think his wife testified that he had a penknife that he always caries with him until after the murder. Not much by itself, but as part of the circumstantial case...

Jazzie said...

This link has excerpts from an 2010 interview with Dennis Dechaine. I have read through the timelines, evidence, and news. I have a difficult time believing he is innocent. It's strange that the following words don't convince me that he didn't kill Sarah Cherry:

"Q: Did you kill Sarah Cherry?
A: “Absolutely not.”
“I can say that in 52 years of existence, I have never harmed another human being ... I
am a completely non-violent person.”
“I dare anybody to find a single incidence of violence in my life, ever. Ever. I mean I’ve
been in prison 22 years. This is a cauldron of extreme violence, and yet not once have I
ever been involved in violence in any way, shape, form or manner. So it’s not in my
being. It’s not who I am.”
“I’m not the guy who did this. Somebody somewhere in their heart of hearts at the state
level has to know this to be the case.”


Jazzie said...


Dechaine: “It’s a brutal case. I think Steve (Peterson) will tell you that I don’t pester him much, at
least I try not to, and there is a good reason for that. It’s exhausting. It’s exhausting
dealing with this on a daily basis. So I’d rather focus my interests on more positive things
if I can. While understanding this is important, don’t get me wrong, I can tell you more
about the case than probably any living human being, but I don’t like to.”

He said: "I can tell you more about the case than probably any living human being, but I don’t like to."
Kripes. This sentence always bothers me.

equinox said...

I agree Ivy. For me the order of importance is 1) The keys 2)The use of the word "We" at a profoundly telling point of his testimony. 3) His vague drugged out memory of his day in the woods followed instantly by machine-like recollection of details 4) the notebook in the driveway 5) the rope and bandanna from his truck used on the victim 6) the syringe left on the car seat 7) his endless lying to police and everyone after he exited the woods 8) the absurd series of coincidences combined with conspiracy that make up his defense 9) and finally, his confession, which for some is ALL they need.

Ivy said...

I didn't rank the "we were losing light", but I would put it at 3 or 4. It's hard to beat that lengthy confession. I realize that the police is capable of twisting the words, but the atatwnt was long and included too many unprompted components -- about driving downthe road, what he told his wife, "realizing" he did it after seeing Sarah on tv, along with the other severe problematic statements he made in that confession that were underlined by Peter in the post. I mean it is not credible that police would invent so many problematic statement, and as has also been pointed out here Dechaine has not completely backed off what he said. I am curious why it is so low on your list.

equinox said...

I put his confession low on my list of conclusive evidence only because the police who investigated Sarah's murder botched the investigation so thoroughly, and I do believe they falsified and hid information from defense. They were certain of Dennis' guilt but lacked forensic proof so they fudged. The confession comes from their testimony, not Dennis'. I don't disbelieve all of it, but I assume some of it is exaggerated and even fabricated. I would be guilty of what I have accused others on my blog of "cherry picking" my favorite evidence from the botched investigation if I gave it my highest priority. That it comes from so many sources, including prison guards and even his own wife is what is most persuasive. The actual wording was never recorded, not once, and there is proof that at least one officer added a supposed confession to his notes at a much later date.

Nicole said...

I read an article on the website "the cell door" the author of Human Sacrifice claimed it was the detectives that said "we're losing light." He threw that quote in there because he knew it was significant, yet chose to attribute it to a policeman. Amazing the lengths people will go to when they want to delude themselves.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MsGvious said...

equinox said...

Dennis: I'm not sure I could say that with any degree of accuracy. At the end of the day when I was lost as we were losing the light I can tell you.

Q: "We," Mr. Dechaine?

Dennis: Yes. "We were losing the light", Isn't that a common expression?

Q: Not if we are alone, Mr. Dechaine.

Dennis: I wouldn't say for instance that I had six inches of snow yesterday. I would say we had six inches of snow.

Q Yes. Because the whole community gets snow.

Dennis: The whole community experiences the sunset. Any great acts of nature are subject to pluralization.


October 9, 2012 at 8:19 PM


Any great acts of nature are subject to pluralisation.

Which other "great acts of nature" does Dennis like to "pluralise"???