Thursday, November 8, 2012

Statement Analysis: Melinda Duckett on Nancy Grace Show

Below is Statement Analysis of Nancy Grace's interiew of Melinda Duckett. Statement Analysis is in bold type.

NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, a mother`s worst nightmare. She tucks her 2-year-old into his crib, settles onto the sofa in the very next room for a video. Now the bedroom`s screen is found slashed, we think from the outside, and the baby is gone. Tonight, the search for 2-year-old Trenton Duckett. We investigate the clues left behind.
GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight.

Where is 2-year-old Trenton Duckett? Out to Marilyn Aciego, reporter with "The Daily Commercial," Orlando, Florida. Marilyn, what happened?

MARILYN ACIEGO, "DAILY COMMERCIAL": Well, police are telling us that Melinda laid Trenton down at 7:00 PM on August 27, and she sat down to watch a movie. When she got up to check on him at 9:00, he was gone.

GRACE: To Pat Brown, criminal profiler. Pat, what could they be looking at at the screen? Remember, there was a big controversy when Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her own home, much like Trenton Duckett, and a window had been -- that was the barrier that had been breached. And the big question was, Was it breached from the outside or the inside? You can look at a screen, a window screen and tell which way the cut went. What else could they be looking for?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, they`re going to be looking at how big the slash was in the screen, Nancy. Is it something that looks like the person had to open it up to get in? We`re talking about an adult climbing in the window, and they have to be able to access it. So they`re going to be looking at how big the cut is for that.

And then, if you`re pulling a child back through the window, what they`re saying is they didn`t see any signs of any injury there. So in other words, when the child`s being carried back through, where the child might have been scratched by the screen, cut by the screen, so there might be blood on the window -- they`re not seeing that. So that`s good. That`s good news.

And so they`re looking to see whether it was breached from the outside or it was -- or was cut not from the outside, which would be a staged crime scene. And so they want to look to see whether we have a stranger abduction and then whether it could actually be done the way -- from the outside, as it might have been done.

Note that Pat stayed within the confounds of the question. I prefer when she is permitted time to air out common sense.

GRACE: And Vito Colucci, private investigator with Colucci Investigations -- Vito, of course, they`re going to be looking for fingerprints on this screen. As Pat just told us, was the cut big enough, the slash big enough to take the child out of it, or was it merely removing the screen? Now, that`s interesting! If you cut the screen to go through the window, you have to take the screen out of the window. So I guess after the child was taken out, the perpetrator thought to put the screen back into the window before left?

VITO COLUCCI, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: I`m having trouble with that, Nancy. Time of day, between 7:00 and 9:00, o`clock, all right, you have three adults in the next room watching a movie. Child is going to see a strange person. Maybe this 2-year-old is going to scream. All right, I just can`t picture this. Something`s not sitting right with me with this whole screen thing.

Vito Colucci is another of the "common sense" types; here, he is simply making observation. For him, it is reflex, having done it for so many years.

Joining us right now, I`m hearing in my ear, two very special guests with us tonight, the mother and father of 2-year-old Trenton Duckett. Let`s go out to Josh Duckett. This is Trenton`s father. Please help us tonight analyze the clues left behind in the disappearance of 2-year-old Trenton Duckett from his Florida home, sleeping while the mom was in the next room watching a movie.

Welcome, Josh. Thank you for being with us. You just told us that you cooperated with police and they checked everything out, and they clarified and cleared where you were that night. Where were you?

JOSH DUCKETT, MISSING BOY`S FATHER: I was actually in Bushnell with some friends. And all of the friends that I have, they`ve got contact numbers, names of every person that I was with throughout the night. And then I was back home before 9:00 o`clock.

Josh Duckett makes sure that it is understood that his alibi can be referenced.

GRACE: When did you learn Trenton had been taken?

JOSH DUCKETT: Around 9:45 -- between 9:45 and 10:00.

GRACE: That evening?

JOSH DUCKETT: Yes. Sunday evening.

GRACE: Now, on a Sunday evening -- what did do you when you first learned he was gone?

JOSH DUCKETT: I immediately started asking questions, and the officer that notified me had no information to give me, so I got dressed and left straight from my house and went straight to the Leesburg Police Department.

note "started" but not completed; this indicates that at the time of this interview, he had still questions he was asking. (also note verb tenses)

GRACE: You got dressed. Why were you undressed?

It is unclear what Grace was heading for in this statement/question.

JOSH DUCKETT: I was in bed. I mean, I was ready for bed.

GRACE: Where do you work?


GRACE: Where do you work?

JOSH DUCKETT: I work for Doneright (ph) Electric in Wildwood (ph).

GRACE: Do you get up early in the morning to go to work?


Note the economy of words in his responses.

GRACE: What time do you get up in the morning?

JOSH DUCKETT: I normally leave my house by at the latest 6:00 o`clock.

slight sensitivity; likely due to showing up late for work as he does not answer the question.

GRACE: So you were already in bed at 9:45. How far away from the home do you live?

JOSH DUCKETT: I`m an hour away from Leesburg.

GRACE: When was last time you saw Trenton?

JOSH DUCKETT: The end of June.

GRACE: And what are your visitations with the little boy?

JOSH DUCKETT: Every other weekend and then on Wednesdays.

GRACE: Do you always see him?

JOSH DUCKETT: I have up until June.

GRACE: And what do you do with him when you get him?

JOSH DUCKETT: Just family stuff. I mean, have friends over to visit. We go to parks. We go out to eat. Just family activities, spend a lot of time, go swimming.

Sensitivity indicators regarding time spent with his son.
GRACE: He`s a beautiful...

JOSH DUCKETT: Just the average family stuff.

GRACE: I know a lot of people may think this applies to boys, but he is a beautiful, beautiful little boy.


GRACE: Would he have cried out if a stranger had taken him?

JOSH DUCKETT: Most definitely.

Note the additional wording indicating sensitivity.GRACE: Or he may have slept through it.

JOSH DUCKETT: I find that one hard to believe because he was a very, very light sleeper. I mean, if you moved him while he was asleep, he automatically woke up.

Note that Josh expresses doubt due to "very, very " light sleeper. I would want to ask him questions about who got up with the baby while in Josh's home.

Note that there is no indication of deception in Josh's answers thus far. Sensitivity may relate to his involvement or care of Trenton, but he is not being deceptive.

GRACE: Interesting.

With us also a special guest, Melinda Duckett. This is Trenton`s mom -- simply watching a movie in the next room, goes in to check on her son, he is gone. Melinda, thank you for being with us. Melinda, where was the bed in relation to the window?

MELINDA DUCKETT, MISSING BOY`S MOTHER: The bed is underneath the window.GRACE: Question. I want to talk to you about that screen. When you first went in the room, was the window still open?

It may make for good television viewing, but what is best is the simple, open-ended question, "What happened that day?" which would allow the subject to begin the question where the subject wants to.  Where a subject begins a statement is critical.  The open-ended question allows the subject to enter into the Free Editing Process, speaking for herself, using her own words.  It would have been helpful to see if, and when, she introduces the words "window, screen" and so on.  

MELINDA DUCKETT: Well, it had only been cracked about three or four inches to begin with. And second of all, when I walked in there, that`s obviously not the first thing that I was looking for.

Note "second of all" does not have a "first of all" preceding it.  Also take careful notice that she tells what she was not looking for as the "first" thing.  Anything said in the negative is important information.  
Note the word "obviously" means to take as fact without questioning. 

Updated:  Additional Analysis by Kaaryn Gough:

"And second of all, when I walked in there, that`s obviously not the first thing that I was looking for."

What was the first thing she was "looking for"? "looking for" implies "searching". Why would she be "searching" for her son when she supposedly was going in just to check on him? This suggests she had knowledge he was missing before she walked in there.

GRACE: Of course.

MELINDA DUCKETT: As soon as I saw him not in the bed, I was looking throughout the room and in the closet.

Here is an indicator of deception. Note that we are to listen to what we are told; and not interpret for her. She said "as soon as I saw him not"....This tells us that she saw him, and he was not in his bed. She would like us to interpret it as she saw an empty bed, but it is not what she said. Melinda Duckett shows an indication of deception: always note when a person tells us what they did not see, did not hear, did not think, etc, as critical information.

GRACE: Could he get out of the bed?MELINDA DUCKETT: He`s in a toddler bed right now. He`s not in a crib. And there`s a lot of things...

Note that the question about getting out of bed is sensitive, since Melinda did not answer it.  
Notice the verb tense. 

GRACE: What is that? What`s a toddler bed?MELINDA DUCKETT: I beg your pardon?

This is a confirmation of the sensitivity; she is stalling to think of an answer and has been caught off guard by the question.

GRACE: What`s a toddler bed?MELINDA DUCKETT: Oh. It`s real low to the ground. It`s got a wooden frame on it, all soft curves and everything, soft edges, a regular crib mattress inside. Just basically what you use for an average toddler.

Note the additional information unrelated to the question. Note also that she used the description "average toddler"; something that no mother ever uses. This is an attempt to portray a "normal" situation. Every mother believes her toddler to be extraordinary and her description is a red flag that something is not
"normal" nor "average" about Melinda's choice of words.  Most mothers do not feel that their own child is "average"

GRACE: Was he able to get out of it?
MELINDA DUCKETT: Yes, he was. But he was very good. He would -- you know, once he was tired, he would lay down. He wouldn`t, you know, fuss or anything. And he wouldn`t get out and, you know, start messing around or anything.

Here is the critical piece: The mother of a missing 2 year old used past tense language; an indication that she knows he is deceased. It is an unmistakable element that Nancy Grace missed.  She has a guest on now that has seen this principle, but uses it in a backwards way:  Bethany Marshall recently said that when a mother references her child in the present tense, it proves she has no guilty knowledge of the child being dead. 

We see it differently:  The deceptive mother will seek to always use the present tense, but it is only a "slip" where her words go just a little too fast and she attempts to catch herself. 

Casey Anthony:  "Caylee loved the park.  Caylee loves the park."  She caught and 'corrected' herself. 

GRACE: Was he sleepy that night? Was he ready to go to bed, or did he resist?
Interviewers should avoid compound questions as it allows the subject to pick and choose which to answer. With Duckett's reply, we do not know to which question she is responded.
Training in interviewing is essential, but most often overlooked. In interviewing, we seek to avoid introduction of any new language; even a single word, and only use the wording of the subject.

MELINDA DUCKETT: No. Extremely. He was tired. We had had a long day out. And my son is not a light sleeper whatsoever. You can move him from room to room, and he`ll still be asleep. And on top of that, he is very friendly and very outgoing to everyone. He can walk in a room full of strangers and make friends with people. And so I mean, if he met someone new, he would start playing with them. He wouldn`t cry. He never had tantrums or anything.

Note "extremely" as unusual descriptive word for a toddler which she may have referenced above. We do not know what she references. Note also "my" son, taking ownership in response to Josh's assertion that he was a light sleeper. Note the sensitivity of "very" friendly, and "very" outgoing to "everyone". Note that he can "walk" into a room full of strangers. "And" begins a sentence meaning withheld information. Note "he met someone new" would cause investigators to attempt to learn if Melinda had recently begun dating someone new.

Note that toddlers have a healthy and protective "stranger anxiety" that is natural.  When it is absent, it is often an indicator of parental neglect. 

Mothers who have had their children removed from them by the State often boast how "mature" their toddler is, going from stranger to stranger.  It is an indication of neglect where the child learned, very early, to adjust and have no choice but to trust strange faces.  It is the absence of stranger anxiety that alarms child protective professionals even more than extreme or acute stranger anxiety.  

GRACE: Where were you sitting in relation to his bedroom?

MELINDA DUCKETT: The bedroom is connected to the hallway. The living room is -- gosh, if you picture the apartment like a U shape, the front door would be at the bottom of the U shape. The living room would bed at the top left-hand corner. His bedroom would be, I guess you`d say, catty- corner...

The question is not  answeredTherefore, we cannot say that she was seated when the child went missing. This is vital in the analysis: that she was not seated while he disappeared is critical information. Ms. Grace does not recognize that the question is avoided. It is relevant to his disappearance and since lying causes internal stress, the subject avoids answering the question.

GRACE: Got it.
Nancy Grace didn't get it; she missed an essential element in the interview: where were you, Melinda, when he went missing?  Melinda Duckett avoided answering the question. 

MELINDA DUCKETT: ... from the living room.GRACE: So you were a hallway, essentially, away from him, and the TV was going.MELINDA DUCKETT: Quite a ways. Right. The TV`s at the other end of the living room, right.

Note that Duckett avoided answering the question and does not say where she was seated, but only tells NG where the TV is. This allows NG to assume, which is to play into Duckett's hands and is often seen in deceptive people:  they wish you would interpret their words. Note that Duckett has not told us that she was seated in the living room when the child went missing.

GRACE: OK. Last time you saw him was around 7:00, when you put him to bed. And what time...
MELINDA DUCKETT: No, that`s wrong.


MELINDA DUCKETT: I put him to bed around 6:30. I`m not sure how technical they`re getting, but my friends arrived at 7:00. I checked on him before that.

The question, is in the form of the imperative, is that Duckett last saw him around 7PM. Duckett says "that's" wrong, and introduces the word "technical", which may indicate that she understands the suspicion of her, in particular, of the time line. Note that she does not say when the last time she saw him was. The time line is a sensitive issue, which is why she is attempting to build support.
Note that a subject should tell us what happened, and whenver a subject tells us why something happened, it should be considered sensitive. This is why the words, "so, since, therefore, because, "etc, should be flagged.
"They're wrong" shows that there is opposition in play. This speaks to the issue of unity and cooperation with investigators.  In her language, there exists a "they" and a "we"; but the two are not unified.  

Pronouns tell us so much in life. 

GRACE: Right. OK. So 6:30, you put him to bed. You went back in to check on him at what time?
Here, NG recognizes that she did not answer the question.

MELINDA DUCKETT: It was before 10 to 7:00 because that`s when I got the phone call that they said they were on their way.

note "so, since, because, therefore, etc" as sensitive; it shows the subject is attemting to prove or persuade rather than report.  Duckett has the need to explain why she checked on him which makes checking on him very sensitive.  In the realm of color coding, blue is the highest level of sensitivity.  

Note "phone call":  phones do not call, people do.  Phones, in statements, often tie the subject to the crime scene. 
With "phone" having caught your attention, please now note that she did not receive "a" phone call, but "the" phone call. 

Every human has an internal personal subjective dictionary.  There are two exceptions:  pronouns and articles. 

When an article (a, an, the...) is used out of order, deception is present. 

This phone call was not "a" phone call, but it was "the" phone call and it is very much apart of what happened to the child. 
GRACE: OK. And when did you realize he was missing?

Good question.  It is directed to Melinda, herself.  A missing baby, to a mother, is very personal and we expect her to answer as such, with the pronoun, "I."  When the pronoun "I" is avoided, commitment is reduced.  

What the parents of every teenager knows:  The pronoun "we" is used when someone wishes to share guilt.  When it is 'overused', or used repeatedly, it is a very strong signal that the subject does not want to face something alone:  

MELINDA DUCKETT: It was after the first movie that we had watched. We`d actually planned on two. We went back and we asked them what time we had called the officers, and they said, I believe, it was 9:14. So it was between that time period I`d say...

Deception indicated. 

Note that this is a mother speaking of a missing child, which means that maternal instincts are enflamed and hormonal levels would have been on high alert. We would not expect to hear the pronoun, "we" from a mother, only "I" since this is something of vital importance. The pronoun, "I" would show ownership and unshared responsibility; something entirely expected from a mother, but in particular, from a single mother. The "we" reduces commitment regarding the time line.

Whenever someone says "we called the police" it is a red flag.  The reason?
It is very rare that more than one person actually called the police.  Few exceptions are when two or more calls were made, with one person calling first, and the other person calling back again.  Other than this rare exception, it is an indication that deception is in play.  It is very unlikely that Melinda dialed "9" and handed the phone to someone else who dialed "1", and then handed the phone back to Melinda who hit the last "1" and then both leaned in and spoke to the 911 operator at the same time. 

"We" did not make the call.  Some one made the call.  Here we have the need to share. GRACE: So only...

MELINDA DUCKETT: ... 10 or 15 minutes before.
Duckett does not wait but interrupts out of impatience.

GRACE: About two-and-a-quarter hours...

MELINDA DUCKETT: Right.GRACE: ... is all that had passed since you had checked on him? Now, it`s my understanding thought he was hiding, and you started looking for him.
This is also compounded and should be avoided. 

MELINDA DUCKETT: Yes. He had just learned how to open up the closet door that morning. And I thought that it was, you know, really a moment, like a Kodak moment, there. So that was the first place that I looked. The window, the rest of the room -- there`s nothing there for him to hide or anything, sodidn`t even think about it. And he`s not one to go under the bed or anything like that.

Note that she tells us what she did not think.  Truthful people tell us what they thought. 
The word "And" at the beginning of a sentence indicates missing information between sentences. 
Note that when someone has a need to exlain "why" they did something, when answered "what?", it is very sensitive to the subject.  Here, she has the need to tell us "why" she looked first in one place, and then tells us "why" she "didn't even think" (in the negative).  Taken together, we can conclude that she is being deceptive. 
"That" day: distancing language.  How about "that" for bad luck?
When someone tells us what didn't happen, what wasn't said, what wasn't thought, we are looking at high sensitivity and possible deception. Here, she tells us what she didn't think (note bold type for emphasis). 
We note "you know" as a pause to think during a sensitive moment.
"Kodak moment" and "moment" enter the language. The interviewer should simply make note of it, and look for opportunity to ask questions about cameras, video, or anything related to Melinda Duckett and cameras, pictures, video, pornography, etc...anything related should have been explored and if police were listening, would also take note.

GRACE: Now, when did you notice the screen on the window slashed?MELINDA DUCKETT: Well, when -- after I checked out his room, I checked the bathroom and my room, which are right down the hallway, which he could have gotten to without me seeing him.

The question of time is once again avoided: when did you notice the screen? is the question and it is not answered; instead she told NG that she checked the bathroom and her room after checking his room, but avoided giving an answer about the screen. This non-answer indicates sensitivity and should be revisited by the Interviewer.

GRACE: Right.

MELINDA DUCKETT: Like I say, he doesn`t ever do that kind of thing, so it would have been extremely unusual, but you know, when you`re in panic, youyou know, want to check every possible thing there is. When I came back up the hallway, I looked in his room again, and there was actually a picture that had been on the windowsill and that had fallen. And that`s why I looked to the window because there`s curtains and everything else there. So it`s not like, you know, it`s just open to the world.

"Like I say" is self-referencing, meaning that the subject is not working from personal, experiential memory, but from her prior account and is not reliable.  It is usually heard in "like I said" but here, she is in the present tense. It is unusual. 

Note that she tells us what the child doesn't do; via negation.
"you know" is repeated; sensitive within itself, but sensitive again due to repetition. NG is at a critical point in the interview.
"when you're in panic" is 2nd person. She does not say she was in a panic, so we cannot say she was in a panic.
"actually" is a word used to compare two thoughts. 'do you like vanilla? actually, I like chocolate" which compares two thoughts.
then she said "it's open to the world"; this is a red flag since mothers and fathers protect their children "from the world" which is a dangerous place, especially to a child. That the window was "open to the world" may be that in the subject's eyes, she opened the window of the world up; and gave her son to that dangerous world, or is now free and open to go to that world. The exact reason is not known, but with her wording comes follow up questions by a trained interviewer to uncover what she meant by employing these unusual words. Given the circumstances, it is likely not good. Note that windows and doors entering language has been associated with child abuse and/or neglect.

GRACE: Melinda, the window -- you said when you put him to bed, the window was up about three inches. What position was the window in when you saw it again?


We would expect to hear that a mother on full alert would know exactly the position of the window since her child is missing. Here she is stalling to answer.

MELINDA DUCKETT: ... the window was open, and the screen -- I know they have taken measurements. It was cut up, up to 10 inches on one of the sides. and that screen -- it is not a hard-wire screen, where you`re going to get cut by it if you touch it. It is very soft. It`s very old because it`s been in that apartment complex. And so for them to say, Well, you know, we think that, you know, he`s fine and all this other kind of stuff, you`re not going to get hurt on that thing.

Note the reference to "they" have taken measurements.  She is not unified with investigators:  She is not working with them to locate her child; she is working in opposition to them. 

Sentences that begin with "And" indicate missing information. What is "all this other kind of stuff" she references? It would require follow up questions. 

note the need to explain the window screen.  
GRACE: OK, question. Did the person -- I mean, did they take the screen off in order to get the boy out?

Nancy Grace has a very negative attitude towards Melinda Duckett. She does not believe her.  Nancy usually heaps lots of praise on a mother in order to get her back on the show.  Here, she is angry and it is seen in the unusual avoidance of the child's name.  

MELINDA DUCKETT: No. No, and I don`t know why all these things are coming up. It was in the window. All it was was cut along the sides and the bottom. There was nothing that was missing.

The defensive posture is obviously noted, but within this statement, there is deception.
Note the repetition and tells us what she doesn't know nor define what "all these things" are that are coming up. "All it was" is minimizing, and she stated that "nothing" was missing.
Note that her son was said to be "missing".
Note her language that there "was" nothing that was missing; meaning that it is a negation: similar to "nothing happened"; here, she indicates that her son was not "missing", meaning that she may have knowledge what happened to him and where he was; so that to her, nothing was missing.

GRACE: OK. Was the cut -- you said 10 inches?
NG should ask the question without reminding her of a prior response allowing her to self reference.

MELINDA DUCKETT: Yes. When they came in, the investigators, they measured everything, and they said it was 10 inches high.
Note that she said that "they" said it was 10 inches, not that Melinda said it.

GRACE: OK. I`m just -- so you think the person went in and out leaving the screen on the window?MELINDA DUCKETT: Well, I don`t think it came off at all...GRACE: OK. Got it.

MELINDA DUCKETT: ..because it was still there. They dusted everything for fingerprints. Unless someone was wearing gloves or whatnot, they wouldn`t have been able to do that. And we`ve gone over this a million and one times and thought of all the possibilities with it.

This is a very strong signal that the mother is concealing information and wants the flow of information to stop. 

We heard this from many other guilty parents where what is said may sound like, "that's all I know", "I have looked everywhere"; "I told police everything..." and so on.  No matter how it is worded, when a parent wants the information flow to stop, they often indicate this by claiming to have no further information. 

An innocent parent does not say "I told them everything" because the innocent parent loses sleep trying to remember any or everything possible, often waking up and calling police with something that came to mind.  Innocent parents 'camp out' in front of police stations; that is, they contact them over and over as the anxiety destroys them. 

Note that exaggeration is employed. Note also that Melinda Duckett shows no hope for her son because "all" of the possibilities have been already thought of. We would not expect an innocent parent to shut down any possible thought to regain a child.

If one has told "everything", there is nothing else to say.
If one has searched "everywhere", there is no place left to search. 

GRACE: So you think the screen stayed on the window and the person came in and out, out that window. Was there any other entrance to the bedroom, other than that window and the door?MELINDA DUCKETT: No. There aren`t.

JOSH DUCKETT: It would have to be somebody that`s cold-hearted, I mean, to take somebody`s little kid away from them.

GRACE: Out to Trenton`s father, Josh Duckett. Have you taken a polygraph?JOSH DUCKETT: Yes.
Note the economy of words is associated with truth. "Yes" is the simplest and most straight forward answer.

GRACE: You pass it?JOSH DUCKETT: They didn`t say whether you pass or fail, but the response was favorable, they said
This is standard procedure for many departments.

GRACE: What questions did they ask you on the polygraph?
JOSH DUCKETT: Just if I knew where he was, if I had anything to do with it, just everyday questions that they would ask in case like this.
"just" is reduction; showing that the polygraph is a very simple procedure of plain questions asked. 

GRACE: Did they strap you into the machine?


GRACE: Who was there?
GRACE: Did you have a lawyer with you?JOSH DUCKETT: No.

GRACE: Did you feel like you needed a lawyer?

JOSH DUCKETT: No, not at all.
Note the additional words; it may be that now that he is on the NG Show, he may have thought he has a need for an attorney.

GRACE: Do you currently have lawyer?

notice the difference to the above?  I wonder if he had any concerns that Melinda might try to blame him?

GRACE: Out to Melinda Duckett. This is Trenton`s mom. Melinda, have you taken a polygraph?

A simple "yes or no" question:  

MELINDA DUCKETT: I`ve spoken to the investigators, and Joshua is on the outside loop of it, and as far as the investigative techniques are concerned with polygraph, stress test, physical searches, interviews, et cetera, my family and I have fully cooperated with local law enforcement and...

Note the simple question: have you taken a polygraph? Instead of a direct answer, Duckett avoids an answer yet employs the word "polygraph"; denoting that this is a highly sensitive subject: lying or telling the truth. 

Update:  Do you recall Joe Tacopina being asked about the searching of Baby Lisa's home?  He said that his clients had "fully" cooperated, making "cooperation" a sensitive topic.  We later learned that police were not permitted to search the bedroom, but were restricted to outside the bedroom window and near a door, but were given actual limitations for searching. 

A cadaver dog hit on human decomposition at (near) Deborah Bradley's bedroom. 
GRACE: Have you taken a polygraph?MELINDA DUCKETT: ... the federal and everything...
In Statement Analysis, when a question is avoided, it is sensitive. We have a saying: if the subject refuses to answer, the subject has answered.
MELINDA DUCKETT: And locally, they don`t have enough necessary experience, and that`s why the FBI was called in to begin with. I`ve been instructed to only speak with them, with their unit, and anything that they release to the media or public is up to them. Now, as far as...

note the judgement: "necessary" experience
Note also the passive language, "I've been instructed" conceals identity
GRACE: Have you taken a polygraph?

MELINDA DUCKETT: ... or anything -- like I said, I mean, anything that I do or anything is in cooperation with them. I`m doing everything they want me to. But as far as details and everything, I mean, I`m leaving everything up to them.

"Like I said" means she is not working from experiential memory, but from memory of what she said earlier. 
"With":  the word "with" when found between people indicates distance.  "I went shopping with Heather" shows distance.  
"Heather and I went shopping" is more unified.  (in the first sentence, I didn't want to go). 
She has "I" and "them" separated by the word "with" showing that she is distant from investigators. 
GRACE: Right. Have you taken a polygraph?

MELINDA DUCKETT: I`ve done everything they`ve asked me to.

Melinda Duckett would not answer the question.  She even violated the 'rule of three' where when asked the same question three times, a person will usually answer. This puts her in the statistically category of hostile.  She is not cooperating with anyone but herself. 

Nancy Grace does a good job staying with the question. Melinda Duckett knows that she is caught and should have known prior to agreeing to be on the show that this question would be asked. For Josh to use the word "just", shows that the test was simple, easy, and his answers show no sensitivity indicators (except the slight increase about an attorney). We can conclude that Josh told NG the truth and Melinda is being deceptive about:
time line
her location in proximity to the child
her own lack of truth telling.
Nancy Grace would have done well to use the same line of questioning with Tiffany Hartley and the polygraph.

JOSH DUCKETT: I`ve given my whole story. I`ve cooperated. Everything that I have, that I`ve been doing, they checked it out, and so far, they`re satisfied with what they`ve found.
Note the word "story". This could indicate deception, but we do not conclude deception on a single indicator. It is also used by a parent in denial (to him, it may be a "story"), or it could be a story to him because he is uninvolved in the child's life; therefore, distance.To me, it would have to be somebody that`s cold-hearted, I mean, to take somebody`s little kid away from them.

It would be interesting to learn from Josh's friends if he has ever said "Melinda is cold-hearted"in the past. 


GRACE: Can you help us find this little boy, Trenton Duckett, apparently taken from his own home in Florida, his mom watching a movie in the next room, between the hours of 7:00 and 9:00 PM on a Sunday evening, the window screen found slashed about 10 inches.
To Melinda Duckett, Trenton`s mom. Could they tell if it was slashed from the outside? Have you asked them?

MELINDA DUCKETT: No, honestly, that never came to mind. I mean, there wouldn`t have been anyone in my house.
Note deceptive answer. She uses "honestly" along with what wasn't thought; two indicators in one sentence.  When someone says "I will be honest with you" it is an admission that they have not been.GRACE: Are they taking prints on it?
MELINDA DUCKETT: They`ve already -- right, they did two. One the police department did and then I believe one the FBI did.

Note that she did not complete her sentence; we cannot say that she said prints were taken because she has not told us so.
GRACE: Melinda, my producers tell me police say they offered you a polygraph and you haven`t taken it yet.

MELINDA DUCKETT: Well, I`m not sure what the police are doing. I`m not working with the police. But everything with the FBI is being handled.

Note her own words: "I'm not working with the police" whereas innocent parents will work with anyone, at any time, and push as many people to work with as possible.
1.  Not working:  is in the negative
2.  "With" shows distance
3.  "is being handled" is passive.  Passive language seeks to conceal identity or responsibility.  

The mother of a 'missing' child is uncooperative and will not answer questions and she is deceptive. 

A deceptive mother of a missing child has the need to be deceptive. 
GRACE: Have the FBI offered you a polygraph?

MELINDA DUCKETT: I beg your pardon?

GRACE: Have the FBI offered you a polygraph?

MELINDA DUCKETT: Everything that they have done (INAUDIBLE) and asked and everything, we`ve cooperated with. Just like with my husband, obviously, you know, there`s nothing coming up with anything.

Deception indicated.  Follow the pronouns.  She was asked a direct question, "Have the FBI offered YOU a polygraph?" in which she answered with the pronoun, "we" instead of "I."

GRACE: To Josh Duckett. That`s Trenton`s father. You say the FBI poly-ed you?


GRACE: Did they offer it to you or tell you you had to do it?
JOSH DUCKETT: They offered it to me. They asked if I`d do it voluntarily, that they couldn`t make me do it, and I voluntarily done it.
GRACE: Let`s go out to Mark Lunsford and Marc Klaas, two tireless victims` rights advocates, both of them having lost their little girls, both of them having their child taken from the home, very similar to this case.

Friends, thank you for being with us. I know -- to Mark Lunsford -- you have actually been helping in the search for Trenton Duckett. What have you been doing, Mark Lunsford?MARK LUNSFORD, FATHER OF ABDUCTED AND MURDERED GIRL: Yes, Nancy. I`m mainly here just to show support to the families. I understand what it`s like to walk into a bedroom and not find your child, and I understand what it`s like to have to go out and put up flyers as a father. That`s what I`ve been doing with Josh. But you know, I`m here for them, if they need someone to talk to that understands how it feels and what they`re going through.

GRACE: Where have you been searching?

LUNSFORD: What we`ve been doing is putting out flyers yesterday. Yesterday was my first day here. I was called by a friend of mine and asked to come to show support.

GRACE: Right.

LUNSFORD: So I came out and helped hand out flyers yesterday. Today, you know, of course, we`re here in the studios, doing your show, or this evening. Sorry. And -- but -- and then tomorrow, I have to leave for Indiana for the initiative on Jessie`s Law.

GRACE: To Marc Klaas, president of Beyondmissing. What should be being done right now? And I remember you, when Polly went missing, you begged for a polygraph.

MARC KLAAS, BEYONDMISSING.COM: Well, yes. I mean, you just do what you have to do. I see so many similarities between all of our situations, the child taken in the middle of the night, or the child taken at night in a house full of people, and so that`s entirely possible.

I think what we might be looking at here are two perpetrators. I`m finding it very difficult to see how somebody could grab a little sleeping baby and then get out of a window.

I`ll tell what you I think the public can do right now. They can log onto our Web site, Beyondmissing, download the PDF poster of this child and then create their own distribution list, like a chain letter, and get this all around the country really quickly.

Both  avoid the 800lb gorilla in the room:  the deception of Melinda Duckett, or, if not able to identify the deception:  the refusal to answer a simple question about telling the truth.  

GRACE: To Melinda Duckett, Trenton`s mom, was it already dark at 7:00 p.m. there?

MELINDA DUCKETT: Honest to goodness I don`t remember. But I do know that when the investigators came in to do the visuals and everything, when they leaned in through the window they could hit the bed. God forbid if Trenton was up or something like that and he was standing up or what not. Nobody would need to crawl in the window. I don`t know if that would be a possibility or not, they`ve already gone over that. But the people, I mean they`d stretch in there and they`d be perfectly fine getting in and out.

Note the need to emphasize as the language of deceptive people as she adds in "honest" in her vocabulary.  Before you dismiss it as "only" a "figure of speech" or a "habit", we agree. 

It is only a figure of speech, or a habit. 

Statement Analysis notices when such habits arise...

and when they don't. 

Statement Analysis notes carefully what questions provoke a figure of speech to enter the vocabulary, and what questions do not. 
GRACE: I want to go out to Vito Colucci, private investigator with Colucci Investigations. Vito, when does the FBI get brought in on a case like that?

COLUCCI: Well in this case they got brought in right away and I`m glad because when you have, sometimes if you have a smaller police department like you know Nancy, they throw up their hands, they say we`re in over our head, come in and help us. You know, so that`s what`s going on. I`m very glad of that. And even the police department -- don`t forget, there`s 50 sex offenders within five miles of this house. They`re interviewing them, re-interviewing them. They`re not locked in on any tunnel vision. These cops are doing a good job. They didn`t graduate from the Boulder Colorado Police Academy. These people are good, they`re doing a good job. But I`m telling you Nancy, one and one is not adding up to two on this case.

GRACE: What do you mean by that?

COLUCCI: Well what I mean is, I`ll give you one possibility that I know the police are looking at. There`s a possibility the child wasn`t in that bed to start with. The two adults that were in that house that night did not see the child at all. So if I`m the lead investigator I`m going to interview everybody, like I said, not pointing the finger at anybody. Father, mother, relatives, I want to know if there is any drug use, I want to know everything that`s going on, on both sides. This is a bitter nasty divorce but these people need to get on the same page. Father says the child is a light sleeper that would cry and scream. The mother says a heavy sleeper, would go with anybody. You have to answer a lot of questions for me if I`m the investigator on this.

Vito is attempting to not point the finger at Melinda, but we note anything and everything said in the negative.  
In his simple math, he is, indeed, pointing directly at Melina. This is not lost on Nancy, who then turns back to her: 
GRACE: To Melinda Duckett, Trenton`s mom, who were the two guys that came over that evening?

MELINDA DUCKETT: All they were, were friends. In fact one was going off in the military for years afterwards, the next day.

GRACE: Have they been questioned?

MELINDA DUCKETT: Yes, they have.

GRACE: Did they take polygraphs?

MELINDA DUCKETT: I don`t know.

GRACE: Have you spoken to them since they were questioned?

MELINDA DUCKETT: One of my friends I have, the other one completely disappeared.

GRACE: Where did he go?

MELINDA DUCKETT: I have no clue.

It is an answer I never accept in an interview.  Is it true that she has "no" clue?  

GRACE: Is that the one that went overseas?



GRACE: What about that to Josh Duckett, Trenton`s dad. Did you know one of these friends had disappeared?

JOSH DUCKETT: No, not to my knowledge.

After the word "no" his additional words are sensitive.  It appears that he does not want to insult Melinda. 

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lawyers, David Schwartz, Nicole Deborde, both of them veteran defense attorneys. Joining us out of the New York and the Houston jurisdictions. To David Schwartz, how do you approach a case like this? And are you surprised that everybody hasn`t lawyered up?

DAVID SCHWARTZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yeah I`m very surprised. Especially I`m very surprised that Melinda hasn`t lawyered up. I mean her answers to your questions are elusive at times and one in particular is that she`s not working with local police. You know you`re in this situation, it`s a horrible tragic situation, now you`re going to pick and choose what law enforcement agencies you`re going to work with and what you`re not going to work with? This is a desperate situation for desperate measures. You`re going to be working with everybody. That answer makes absolutely no sense to me, Nancy.

GRACE: Explain, Melinda. I`m sure you have an answer. Melinda Duckett, Trenton`s mom.

MELINDA DUCKETT: All four of those agencies, Leesburg Police, Lake County Sheriff, the FBI from Quantico and the FBI from Ocala, none of them are on the same page. The FBI out of Ocala specifically told me to only speak to them and to deal with them so that all of them could be on the same page with everything. And it was ridiculous because people were getting their facts wrong, they were misinterpreting things and they weren`t getting the information across correctly. That was their fault.

The passive language conceals "what" things were being "misinterpreted" by "people" (but not which people).  This is a perfect time for her to straighten them all out with the truth.  She will not give the truth. 
Nancy puts Josh on the line: 
GRACE: Did you also get that same lecture, Josh Duckett, to only deal with one entity?

JOSH DUCKETT: No, not at all.

GRACE: Have you been working with local police, as well?

JOSH DUCKETT: I`ve been working with local police, FDLE and the FBI.

GRACE: So Melinda, do you feel that you are being given different instructions than your husband?

MELINDA DUCKETT: Well obviously that is the case, but I mean, I`m all hands in the pot with this whole deal. I`m not sitting down either crying my eyes out in my house not doing anything or gluing myself to the police department door. I`m actually physically doing things.

Note that she reports what she is not doing first: she is not crying her eyes out.  

This does not likely sit well with parents reading or hearing her statement. 

Doing "physical" things may be intended to insult Josh. 
GRACE: Tell me what you`re doing?

MELINDA DUCKETT: In addition to all the flyers and everything, we`ve done -- we`ve dealt with the media many, many, many times, with the FBI on this case, with obviously the chain letters that are going through across the internet and everything trying to spread it out as far as we possible can. Not only that, but with our local churches, there`s prayer groups and everything like that. Also, one other thing, as far as the lawyers go, we have been ongoing for two years with this. Joshua does have a lawyer and I also have one.

Note:  she avoids saying what she did, in the lengthy answer, only what "we" would have done, or "we" had done.  The only thing that caused her to use the easiest of all pronouns, "I" is about having a lawyer. 

GRACE: For your divorce?

MELINDA DUCKETT: No, for the entire thing. For the custody and everything and for the injunction.

Josh is not lawyered up but Melinda is a habitual liar and attempts to portray him as if he does.  She is deceptive.  Nancy Grace caught this and was able to clarify what Melinda attempted to cloud: 

GRACE: Ok. Josh, it`s my understanding you guys have had a very, very bitter split but I`m talking about lawyers as they relate to the disappearance of your son. You don`t have a lawyer for that, right, Josh?

JOSH DUCKETT: No. I don`t have a lawyer for anything to do with the disappearance of my son.

GRACE: Out to Lillian Glass, psychologist. Dr. Glass, you have taken a hard look at the facts in this case. What`s your opinion?

LILLIAN GLASS, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, one of the things that the father said that was very powerful. He said it cook a cold hearted person to do this, to take this boy from his home. And in child development the first five years are so important and this child will suffer the rest of his life for this.

The lack of stranger anxiety in the child speaks to Neglect.  Neglect proceeds from the extinguishing of the natural maternal warmth that flows from mothers. 

Lillian is politely agreeing with Josh:  Trenton's mother is of a very cold heart.  She is not home crying her eyes out.  

GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. Tonight won`t you help us find a 2- year-old missing boy out of Florida. Trenton Duckett, reportedly taken from his own home as he lay in his crib. His mom in the next room watching a movie. With us on the phone, his mom, Melinda Duckett. Melinda, tell us about the baby. Tell us about him. You say he`s friendly and he would have gone with someone?

MELINDA DUCKETT: Extremely. He`s great with any kind of people, old, young, even little kids. He`s very playful and very, very intelligent. He learns on the drop of a dime.

There are two signals of neglect:
1.  The lack of stranger anxiety
2.  The praise of how he learns "on a dime."
They must not be separated. 

Neglected children do often learn to change their own diapers, make their own meals, and do some very advanced things for themselves because they have had to do these things. 

This is where we have mothers who have lost their children to the state boast not only how their child goes with anyone, but how many great things the child can do on his own, as if the mother taught the child how to make his own breakfast. 

In a way, she did. 

By laying on the couch, for example, the hunger pains drove the child to learn. 

By screaming at him, the child later learned to pick up after himself. 

I have literally seen children taken away from their mothers who did not even stop to say 'good bye' to Mommy.  
GRACE: You stated you`ve been putting up fliers, where?

Melinda did not say she was putting up flyers in her previous answer.  Will she here?  

Statement Analysis teaches you to listen to the words a person chooses: 
MELINDA DUCKETT: We`ve been putting up flyers in restaurants and stores. We recently went down to discount and they`re doing a television ad throughout the nation on their commercials like that. Where I used to work we have trucks that go out and they`re putting flyers on the back of the trucks laminating them, different things like that. And even at church we`re putting fliers in the bulletins.

GRACE: Melinda, where had you been with him that day?

This is what should have been asked in the beginning of the show:  Where were "you", with the name, Melinda, added for personal emphasis: 
MELINDA DUCKETT: All we had basically been out is driving around. There is something about a convenience store. I don`t know where that came into play because whenever I go out somewhere, you know, I always have gas. I`m not shorthanded with anything. And I`m always prepared for it all.

She avoided the question.  Where she had been during the day is directly related to Trenton's disappearance.  
"Basically" indicates there is more to the story but she is withholding it. 
GRACE: So where had you been that day?

MELINDA DUCKETT: We had been all through Lake county and up into Orange.

GRACE: Doing what?

MELINDA DUCKETT: Basically just shopping, going around driving.

GRACE: Shopping where?

MELINDA DUCKETT: Well we didn`t go anywhere specific.


GRACE: Well I mean if you went shopping you had to go into a store. What store did you go into on Sunday?

MELINDA DUCKETT: We went throughout the county.

GRACE: Any store? I`m thinking of video cameras Melinda. I mean maybe they have a picture of someone watching you, following you back out to your car. I mean what store did you go to, Wal-Mart, JCPenney`s, what?

MELINDA DUCKETT: I`m not going to get in any specifics.


MELINDA DUCKETT: Because I`m not dealing with media very well.

GRACE: Well can you remember where you were that day?

Liars can bear almost anything except being called a liar.  By calling in memory to play, it is coming very close to accusing her of lying:  

MELINDA DUCKETT: I can remember perfectly well where I went that day. Just like I have spoken to the FBI with it. But as far as anything else goes we haven`t had very good dealings with any of them.

Notice how the challenge produced the pronoun, "I"?  
Notice also that "just like I have spoken to the FBI with" is an indiction that she did not speak to the FBI from memory, but from a script, and she is, now on television, referring back to the script she gave the FBI, not to the experiential memory of where she was, and what she did. 

This challenge gave the pronoun, "I" its sudden emergence from hiding. 

Pronouns are instinctive. 
Pronouns are reliable. 
Learn pronouns and you will learn to detect deception. 
GRACE: Well don`t you think it would be a great idea, for instance if you were at a local JCPenney`s or Sears Roebuck to tell the viewers right now this is where we were. Did you see anything? Did you notice anything? Here`s your child`s picture? Here`s my picture. Help me. Where were you? Why aren`t you telling us where you were that day, you were the last person to be seen with him?

MELINDA DUCKETT: And we have already gone out and distributed the fliers and spoken to --

GRACE: Right, why aren`t you telling us and giving us a clear picture of where you were before your son was kidnapped?

MELINDA DUCKETT: Because I`m not going to put those kind of details out?


MELINDA DUCKETT: Because I was told not to.

passivity means she is withholding the identity of the person who told her not to.  The person was not police, but may have been her own advice to herself. 

GRACE: Ms. Duckett, you are not telling us for a reason. What is the reason? You refuse to give even the simplest facts of where you were with your son before he went missing. It is day 12.

MELINDA DUCKETT: (INAUDIBLE) with all media. It`s not just there, just all media. Period.

GRACE: Let`s go to Dr. Lillian Glass, psychologist. Weak spots?

GLASS: This doesn`t make any sense to me. And the fact that she`s skirting around the issue and can`t get to the point concerns me a lot. Her reaction is not the typical reaction of a mother who has a missing child, whose child was taken from the bed when she says I don`t cry my eyes out. Most people would be emotional about it and the fact that she`s been skirting the issue through this entire interview concerns me.
Dr. Glass is not one to mince words. The behavior of the mother raised questions, but her answers, according to Statement analysis, show deception.

GRACE: And I`d like to point out that according to police, there is no person of interest. There is no formal suspect tonight. We understand that. Police have told our producers that they know where both of the friends are that were with Melinda Duckett the night her child, her 2-year- old boy, went missing. Police have confirmed in contrast to what Melinda has just told us that they know where both of the friends are. Let`s get some illumination. Let`s go out to Nancy Eubank, this is the grandmother. Ms. Eubank, thank you for being with us. Why won`t your daughter give us details about what happened that day?NANCY EUBANK, GREAT-GRANDMOTHER OF MISSING TRENTON: She`s my granddaughter, Melinda is my granddaughter, Trenton is my great grandson. And I can tell you why she probably isn`t and I don`t have her thinking but the media, local media has not been very nice to her. And maybe I understand why because he did go missing from her apartment but Melinda is grieving deeply and then when all of this comes in your lap, she`s 21 years old, it`s just about more than she can handle right now. And I can tell you where Trenton was on Saturday from about 9:30 a.m. until probably 4:00 both Trenton and his mother was right here in this house.
There willl always be those who make escuses for behavior that indicates guilt. The polygraph was the big issue, just as it is currently for Tiffany Hartley. Note that it was not sensitive for Trenton's father; he took it readily, and was confident because he was telling the truth. Tiffany Hartley has avoided the polygraph from the beginning and continues to do so.
People who refuse a polygraph have reason to refuse a polgraph. Tiffany Hartley, Lee Anthony, and others. Excuses are made, but in the end, the polygraph is avoided. It is only the rich who can afford to go "polygraph shopping" where they take test after test until they find one that "clears" them with the right questions, and then the actual questions asked are not released (John and Patsy Ramsey).GRACE: So until 4:00 Saturday we know that Trenton was alive and well, right?

EUBANK: They were in this house and she was doing laundry. He was playing with us. They took a long nice nap in the afternoon, had lunch, etc. In this house. Melinda has not hurt this baby. I heard immediately from a couple of detectives someone told me that they think she hid him to hide him because of this injunction against the father. We were the only people that babysat for Melinda. She would not leave him with anyone else because she never trusted anybody else and I don`t have him. I love him dearly and I would love to bring him home.


John Mc Gowan said...

Great analysis,
it will be interesting to see if she does anymore interviews given how she struggled answering the questions,or not answering as the case may be..

Has she lawyered up.?

KatONine said...

She's dead, John. Melinda Duckett committed suicide shortly after this interview.

John Mc Gowan said...

Thanks KatONine.

Im not familiar with the case..

Meag in Manhattan said...

Yes John - It it thought that this interview (grilling by NG + guilt?) drove her to killing herself.

And the baby boy is still far as I know?!

Most Sincerely,
Meag in Manhattan

Ivy said...

I noticed Josh Duckett also references his son in the past tense, saying he "was a very very light sleeper." There are other flags in his statement but he seems generally forthcoming, whereas mom is off the charts avoiding answering questions.

Gail said...

Link to Melinda Duckett interview tape on YouTube in which she says, when asked if she can even put into words how hard this has been, that "...and I'm doing really well in in in the spotlight."

Tania Cadogan said...

off topic

CHICAGO – A Chicago man accused of binding his 22-month-old daughter with tape and posting a picture on Facebook with a caption that read, "This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back" has been convicted of battery charges.

Judge Lawrence Flood on Thursday found 22-year-old Andre Curry guilty of aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery. Curry is slated to be sentenced Nov. 29, and he's eligible for a sentence ranging from probation to 7 years in prison.

After a bench trial last month, Flood cleared Curry of an unlawful restraint charge.

In issuing his ruling Thursday, the judge criticized Curry for obstructing his child's breathing for his own enjoyment.

Curry's attorneys have called his actions a stupid prank and say he didn't hurt the child.

Read more:

Randie said...

MELINDA DUCKETT: ... the window was open, and the screen -- I know they have taken measurements. It was cut up, up to 10 inches on one of the sides. and that screen -- it is not a hard-wire screen

How did she know the kidnappers "cut up" they could have just as well cut "down"....?

Also the grandmother is ot of order. She said they took a long nice nap in the afternoon..then they ate lunch.

I remember all this. NG and grilled harder than this. This woman's own guilt killed her.

Lara Martinez said...

I just wish she could have left a note telling authorities what she did with poor Trenton. She left notes about herself. And I don't blame Nancy Grace for "grilling" her (even though I don't like NG)--it was apparent immediately that she killed her child & I think that Josh knew it on some level.

It broke my heart to see pics of Trenton--he rarely smiled and had that hyper-vigilant look in a lot of them. He had a tough life and it was cut way too short.

mommaklee said...


Here's video of another interview with Melinda before her suicide.

Her stuttering is quite noticeable in part one. I did not watch all of part two.

John Mc Gowan said...

Thanks Mommaklee,

The reporter gave her numerous opportunities to issue a reliable denial yet she couldn't bring herself to say it ..

John Mc Gowan said...

Nancy Grace Pushed Melinda Duckett To Suicide, Claims Harvard Professor.

Anonymous said...

Good point Randie, about the screen being cut up. How did she know it was cut "up"? Why not cut down? I don't think a 10" cut would be big enough for anyone to climb into or out of anyhow, without crimping and damaging the screen, I don't care how "soft" the screening might have been.

I remember also, there was another interview (at least one) where Nancy disGrace was much tougher on Melinda Duckett than she was on this one. However, based on the above interview, I don't think Nancy disGrace was so tough that it would have caused Melinda to go home to her grandmother's house, go into a closet and shoot herself while the FBI agents were enroute to her house; not if she was honest and had been telling the truth.

Albeit, the FBI had gotten their hands on some raw porn Melinda had made on the floor with the baby right there beside her as she shoved a bottle in his mouth while she was in the act of copulating with some nasty dude. That's about all you can call it with this kind of filthy sex.

I don't know how much of the grandmother's story is true, maybe half true? I do know that Melinda was videoed that day going through a McD's with Trenton in the car, then later back thru McD's where the drive thru hostess said there was no sign of the baby in the car. If memory serves me correctly, Melinda was also videoed that day going thru a toll booth miles from Orlanda and her apt. Not sure now, maybe it was just a tollboth operator who recognized her photos and identified her.

I can no longer stomach Nancy dis/Grace, don't give her the time of day since she got the hots for slimey Ronald Cummings and let him skirt all around the truth while playing up to him and spitting fire over her jealousy of Misty; but if the above interview is what Melinda's grandparentds sued her for, then I hope they lost their suit.

Melinda lied and skirted around every question asked when she obviously disposed of that child. Hell, she even threw his little toys, food and clothes out into the dumpster and immediately had his room painted over. IMO, Melinda shot herself because she was trapped in her lies and knew she had no way out.

In the end, it was pretty dirty and low-life that she would do this to the grandparents who loved her, spilling her brains and blood in their home. No telling WHAT she did with that precious baby. The DCF also should have had some responsibility in the loss of little TYrenton as Josh and his mother had been trying to take Trenteon away from Melinda and had filed numerous charges against Melinda, which the DCF basically ignored. I hope Josh was able to sue them AND win.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Please see updated analysis. Kaaryn added some excellent material!


Randie said...

Peter have you done an analysis of her suicide note?

I put my small analysis in capital letters.

I'M SORRY this is short. Usually I plan things out and am better WITH my writing.

Your focus came off of my son. I love him and only WANTED (past tense) him safe in my arms. You created rumors and twisted words. Usually I am strong and what others say DOES NOT (in the negative) affect me. HOWEVER I am young, have worked my [explicative] off and still being faced with ridicule and criticism.

I only wish you do not push anyone else (SHOULDN'T HER WISH TO HAVE HER SON FOUND). I do not bleed my emotions to the public and throughout THIS situation you did not understand THAT. There were many more errors you made in understanding me, BUT time is short and I have more important people to speak to.”

“There are so many people I would write to if I could and had the time. THIS is a last minute idea, BUT I have felt myself sinking after one week mark of Trent BEING GONE (NOT KIDNAPPED). I love him dearly and he is all I was breathing for. He WAS and always will be my essence and as he grows, I want him to know THAT (IT SHOULD BE THIS).

I have refrained from any negative comments in the hopes that individuals will realize their wrongdoings. Thank you for your time.”

Ivy said...

I would add that she does not denying hurting him, but only claims she is misunderstood.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Is there a full text for the note?

Randie said...

About a week into the investigation, police began to question the time sequence into when Trenton went missing and when he was first reported missing. Investigators reported there was a possibility that Trenton could have been missing up to two days before Melinda contacted police. Police could not find anyone who saw Trenton since he was picked up from day care on Friday, August 25, other than Melinda.

On Thursday, September 7, the report came out that Melinda, unlike any other family members, had refused to take a polygraph. Although this in itself is not an admission of guilt, many have speculated as to her reasons for not wanting to be polygraphed.

Randie said...

Suicide note:

this is all I could find. There seems to be four different suicide notes.

Randie said...

Peter, Here is the website for all the suicide notes.

They are pictures of the notes.

Anonymous said...

once he was tired, he would lay down" - sounds like she put him in his room awake.
She refers to his room as "the bedroom" not Trenton's bedroom. She says "no one would have been in my house" in response to whether the screen was cut from outside. But she has told us her friends were over and we are to believe that Trenton went missing when they were watching a movie. So there were people in her house.
I wonder if something happened to him in relation to being alone in his room and learning how to open the closet?

Anonymous said...

EUBANK: They were in this house and she was doing laundry. He was playing with us."
GGG says "in this house" 3 times.
GGG first says "us"
Melinda has not hurt this baby."
GGG feels the need to tell us Melinda has not hurt this baby. She uses the pronoun "this" regarding Trenton. Why not his name or "the baby". Has Melinda hurt another baby?
"We were the only people that babysat for Melinda. She would not leave him with anyone else because she never trusted anybody else and I don`t have him. I love him dearly and I would love to bring him home."
GGG begins with "we" and ends with "I" don't have him. Who else makes up the "we" and does that person have Trenton?

John Mc Gowan said...


That is a interesting website,thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

White trash with tats, I bet.

anam cara said...

This is another one of those sad cases where we may never know what happened. The short statement to NG from Melinda's grandmother told me the sick reason little Trenton is gone. I believe there was evidence that Josh did not commit domestic violence against Melinda. I don't recall all the details. Melinda was not going to share Trenton. Learning about analysis is so interesting ! I have been looking back now at cases that we know the outcome. Analysis has help show me inconsistencies especially in the cases with probable child abuse and neglect. Peter's analysis of the Di Pietro's statements hooked me for this fascinating study.

Lulu said...

From what I recall about this case, the man in the homemade "porn" was none other than Joshua, Trenton's father. Trenton never stood a chance.

rob said...

If you have ever seen the NG show, you know what to expect when you get there, UNLESS she is wanting to have you on nitely, then she goes easy the first few nites.

Mouse74 said...

OT: For those of you panicking about the next 4 years.

parallelogram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
parallelogram said...

“Honest to goodness I don`t remember. But I do know that when the investigators came in to do the visuals and everything, when they leaned in through the window they could hit the bed. God forbid if Trenton was up or something like that and he was standing up or what not. Nobody would need to crawl in the window. I don`t know if that would be a possibility or not, they`ve already gone over that. But the people, I mean they`d stretch in there and they`d be perfectly fine getting in and out.” Nobody would need to crawl in the window.”

Private Investigator Vito Colucci suggested that Trenton wasn’t even in his bed/room to begin with, and since Melinda said it herself, I agree. “Nobody would need to crawl in the window” to kidnap or harm or kill Trenton, she says. No one climbed through the cut screen on the window, ok. So, what did happen?

I’m not sure I understand what she means by “God forbid if Trenton was up or something like that and he was standing up or what not.” Is she (partially) blaming Trenton, a 2-year old, for standing on his bed, allowing for someone to walk right up and simply "lean" or "stretch" into the window and pluck him out of his room like a piece of fruit from a low-hanging branch?

When children are put to bed too early and before they are tired, they often fool around in their rooms in this very way - standing on the bed, peeking through the window, playing with toys on the floor in the dark. Sometimes they stand on the bed to create distance from some frightening thing they believe lies it). I think Melinda often put him to bed too early. I think she is recollecting and misappropriating an actual memory. I think she may have sometimes looked in on him as the night progressed and found him awake and doing this very same thing.

“I don’t know if that would be a possibility or not.” She is certainly suggesting it.

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla

When I think of the victims I wake in the night to vomit.

Anonymous said...

The MISSING (and some VICTIMS)have no voice, I'm glad SA is able to catch the bad guys.

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Unknown said...

I was hoping Peter would have put up an overall picture of what he thinks happened. I know from this one interview that would be hard.

It seems she was getting rid of her son either the day before, or the one before that. It seems she knows he his dead. She makes a very clear point that she has not pointed the finger at anyone, and that she is done with them after this is all over with.

Her statements to me indicates she is heavy with guilt, obviously lying about times, as peter states there seems to be a connection with someone else she is covering up for. Her son is dead, and she knows it. She blames herself but not directly as in she killed him deliberately, however some neglect or bad judgement involved with someone else has done this.

Its also worth noting that she seems to blame the Father in some way for everything but not directly, she blames him for her actions and perhaps justified it to herself at the times that she wouldn't be doing all of this if the father was any good. The reference to the physical things like Peter said seems to take a shot at the father also, again perhaps she felt like he didn't do enough when they were together, perhaps lazy and this is why she blames him, she felt like she had to do everything and the actions she took after was all on the same note. One of which lead to her son's death.

She seemed to show extreme sensitivity in an interview I saw in a park and her tone changed drastically saying "I know because your supposed to be safe at home" responding to "You wouldn't think someone would come in and take your child" except that was almost inserted in and I think although I can't explain, that this isn't referring to her kid or where he died, but inserted emotion, while referring to herself, perhaps she did not feel safe at her home growing up or currently.

If I had to squander a guess, and this is far from professional, however.

She was involved with someone else.
Her son she knows died.
He died while she was doing an activity, with someone else.
She had felt neglectful, however on this occasion it was her partner that suggested whatever it was, and she agreed.
She blames the father for her getting in all these bad situations.
She blames herself for her son's death and bad judgement
She doesn't want to tell anyone about him and that he has threatened something if she does, or given a really strong emotional trip not to.
She is saying that she is done with him after all this is over.
The son died previous to what she says

She made a point about him "Being friendly to strangers, and not getting up" because she had planned to invite a friend over, and report the child missing during this time, but needed to make sure the friend didn't see or hear the child. This is a pre-empt to someone asking why the friend or friends hear or see the child. It also backs up why if he was taken, nobody heard anything, he didn't scream. If it was as the father said, then the friends would have been alerted and her story is caught.

One of the friends she invited was the man that was involved, the other was the alibi.

The accident might have involved the use of drugs. :- I am not sure, however I might be jumping on this point as I am thinking why cover up a standard accident. It doesn't seem deliberate, hence her suicide (which also in part confirms her son's death, as I think a mothers priority is getting their child back to mommy, and that she is important at that point, so might be feeling down and out but wouldn't ever leave until he is found. Since the shock would force her only to think about him, and not of herself. I expect her to put herself second because anything the child is going through is worse.

Again, this is far from professional.