Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Statement Analysis: Sheena Morris Case

Sheena Morris was found dead, hanging in the bathroom of a hotel room.  Police quickly concluded that it was a suicide, and that Sheena had a history of issues.  Instead of this young, beautiful woman marrying and bringing her family grandchildren, her family is left bereft of not only the life that is not, but of answers, justice, and closure.  

Statement Analysis gets to the truth.  By principle, we listen carefully to what one says, and even to what one does not say.  

If you were falsely accused of causing Sheena's death, it is appropriate for you to think how you would answer the allegation. 

I would say, "I didn't cause Sheena's death." and in subsequent questions, I would add, "I was not there when she died.  I did not contribute to her death.  I love Sheena..." and so on. 

It is this simple. 

I recommend reading the analysis before watching the "20/20" episode.  It is persuasive about highlighting that this was not a suicide.  My preference is to let the subject, Joe Geonese, speak for himself first.  He appeared on the Dr. Phil Show, and on 20/20.  He voluntarily submitted to a polygraph. 


The question at hand is simple:  Is Geonese truthful?  

The following is Statement Analysis of Joe Geonese appearance on the news program, “20/20”, which included a short clip from the “Dr. Phil Show” in which the subject, Joe Genoese was given opportunity to speak for himself regarding the allegation that he had involvement in the death of Sheena Morris.

The quotations are in italics, with underlining and color added for emphasis, with the Statement Analysis in bold type.

On the 20/20 Transcripts, the subject is on pages 20-29.  No changes have been made to the subject’s words.

Lying is stressful.

People do not generally directly lie due to the internal stress it causes.  Mostly, people will either mislead, in order to deceive, or will deliberately leave information out of their statement for the purpose of deception. 90% or more of deception is done in this manner. 

It is in the will to deceive that we find linguistic indications.

The Expected Versus The Unexpected

Statement Analysis presumes innocence.  This is done so that we might set up the difference between “the expected” response from someone who “did not do it”, against any response we receive that does not deny involvement.  This is the “unexpected” from the subject.

By presupposing innocence (not merely judicial innocence but de facto innocence) Statement Analysis is confronted by words not expected to hear.  This is how truth from deception can be evidenced.

An innocent person will not surprise us.  He will say “I didn’t do it”, early, and often if necessary, and will not show sensitivity indicators within his speech.  For example, he, the innocent person, will not allow weakness in his statement:

I don’t think I killed Sheena” would be to add weakness by the word “think” in the sentence.  To say “I don’t think I killed Sheena” allows for the subject, or someone else, to “think” differently. “I didn’t really kill Sheena” qualifies “kill” with the word “really”, something an innocent person would not say.
"I'm not guilty" is to deny judicial guilt; not the killing of Sheena.  It is not reliable. 

Short sentences are seen as best, with no psychological need to buttress them with many words, in an attempt to persuade.  It is the need to persuade that the analyst must take account of. 


Sheena Morris is dead, found hung in a bathroom, in an apparent suicide.  The subject is being accused by Sheena’s family of murdering her. 

We presume the subject did not do it, therefore, in being interviewed by national television, or by the police, he will, on his own accord say, “I didn’t kill Sheena” freely.

Dr Phil:   These two people think you had something to do with their daughter's death.

Please note that Dr. Phil Shows generally have an allegation presented so that the subject can speak to the allegation choosing his own words.

When a person speaks for himself, it is call the “Free Editing Process”, that is, that the subject is freely choosing his words, what to add in and what to take out. This allows the subject the opportunity to say that he did not “do it” in a “Reliable Denial.”

A “Reliable Denial” in order to be reliable, must come from the subject’s own words.  It consists of three (3) components.  If there are less than three components, or more than three, it is no longer to be deemed reliable.  The three components are:

1.     The Pronoun “I”
2.     The Past Tense verb “Didn’t” or “did not”
3.     The Specific Allegation Addressed

In this case, a Reliable Denial would be:  “I did not cause Sheena’s death.”  The innocent will simply make this statement, often not even waiting to be asked.  It is to be deemed reliable.
Other denials that are not reliable include:

1.     Didn’t do it”, dropping the pronoun “I”
2.     “I would never cause her death”, with the words “would never
3.     I did not harm Sheena”, which now minimizes her death to “harm”
4.     I never caused Sheena’s death” as the word “never” is substituted for “didn’t” or “did not” and is not reliable.

parroting or reflective language reduces reliability for the analyst: 

The denial must be his own words.  For instance, if asked,
Did you hang Sheena by a dog leash in the bathroom” to which the subject says “I did not hang Sheena by a dog leash in the bathroom” would be to enter into the Interviewer’s wording, and not freely choosing his own words.  This is why leading questions are to be avoided in an interview.  Best to say “How do you speak to the accusation?” and allow the subject to simply, without qualifiers, say, “I didn’t do it.”

In Statement Analysis we have a principle:

If the subject is unwilling or unable to say he didn’t do it, we are not permitted to say it for him.
By Dr. Phil’s laying out the scenario, we now have “The expected”, that is, what we expect an innocent person to say.  This is the perfect opportunity for the subject to say “I didn’t do it.  I didn’t cause Sheena’s death.”

Presuming innocence, we look for him to say so:

Geneose:  All these things are lies.  They're just, they're not true.”

Please note that “all these things are lies.  They’re just, they’re not true” is not to say “I didn’t do it.”

He does not issue a Reliable Denial.

We do not know what “all these things” (plural) are that he refers to. He is accused of murdering Sheena Morris and it is expected that an innocent person will tell us that he did not do it.  The subject fails to do so.

He says that “all these things are lies” but he does not tell us what things are lies, nor who is telling the lies. 

Next, note the word “just.”  The word “just” is used when comparing two or more thoughts, with one being lesser.  For example, if I sought to sell you a car for $15,000 but knew it was very expensive for you, I might show you a car that is $20,000, knowing that it is far too expensive.  After you turn down the $20,000 car, I say,
Wait.  Let me show you this other car.  It is just $15,000.”  The word “just” is used to compare. 
What is the subject comparing that which is “not true” towards?  He does not tell us what is “not true” nor does he tell us what “all these things” are.  This is to employ vague language, which avoids the simple, and easy Reliable Denial of “I didn’t do it…”
The next context is that the subject voluntarily agreed to take a polygraph but failed it.

 MUIR:   How do you explain those test results?
  And what it was that led to this...

 GENOESE:  Can we cut?

  DAVID MUIR:  Tonight, as some of Florida's top investigators take another look at the mysterious death of Sheena Morris found dead in that hotel shower, the man she was getting ready to marry, who failed that polygraph, has decided to sit down with "20/20."

Hello.  How are you?

DAVID MUIR:  Nearly five years after he lost his fiancée, Joe says he is a victim too...

So why sit down with me?

Topic:  Failed Polygraph

The question is designed to allow the subject to defend himself.  Regarding a failed polygraph, we expect an innocent subject to state:

“I told the truth” with three components:

1.     The pronoun “I”
2.     The past tense, “told”, since the polygraph test took place in the past
3.     The word “truth” should be in place.  We note any inclusion of the word “lie” or “lying” as not reliable.
He is asked now to explain the result.  The expected is “I told the truth”, and it is that Statement Analysis is confronted by the “unexpected”, that is, one that will not say “I didn’t do it” and “I told the truth.”

The subject can be nervous when he takes the polygraph, but a truthful subject is expected to say “I told the truth” and allow the blame to fall upon the machine, itself.  The truth stands alone and it stands strong.  It does not need extra words to buttress it, nor does it have need of persuasion.  Better to hear, “I told the truth” than anything else. At this point, our expectation has been:

“I didn’t kill Sheena” to be said easily, and regarding the polygraph, “I told the truth.”
He has been unable or unwilling to say either.

 GENOESE:  Because I have to tell you my side of the story.  I'm being victimized 'cause I cared about someone.  I was there for her when her family, a lot of times, wasn't.

We note that he has a "side" in this. 

Statement Analysis deals not only with what one says, but also what one does not say.
First, note that he does not say “I told the truth” in challenge to the results of failure.  Instead of disputing the results, he says he has to tell his side of the “story.”

One might question if he considers his account a “story.”

Note that his fiancé is deceased yet he says “I’m being victimized.”  He also gives the reason for being “victimized” as caring about “someone.”  Please note that he does not say he cared for Sheena, but only “someone.”  Direct lying is internally stressful and often avoided by deceptive subjects.  Here he does not use Sheena’s name, which may suggest distancing himself from her. 
Please now note that instead of saying that he did not kill Sheena, and that he told the truth, he disparages those who accuse him:  I was there for her when her family, a lot of times, wasn’t.”
Please note that he does not say he was there for “Sheena” but only “her”, where he had previously used the word “someone.”  To call “her” from “someone” is to distance himself from Sheena.  He does not assert that he cared about Sheena, nor does he use her name while attempting to disparage Sheena’s family.

This is not expected from an innocent subject, but is the “unexpected” in analysis.
When the victim or the victim’s family is blamed, even in a subtle manner, it should be carefully noted as guilt.

Guilt causes stress, and a guilty subject might attempt to mitigate the guilt by:
1.     Blaming others
2.     Disparaging or blaming the victim
3.     Share or “spread around” the guilt by using the pronoun “we” when the pronoun “I” is expected.  This is something that parents of children readily recognize, especially where teens are concerned, as they like to “hide in the crowd” of “everyone doing it”, reducing their own guilt or responsibility. 
Thus far, we must note:
1.     The subject has not denied killing Sheena
2.     The subject has not asserted that he has told the truth
3.     The subject has disparaged his accuser rather than answer the accusation.

DAVID MUIR: .put under the microscope, he says, by a mother determined to prove her daughter did not commit suicide.

BRENDAN MCLAUGHLIN (ABC ACTION NEWS):  The story we've been following for years now.

DAVID MUIR:  Joe says the portrait painted of his relationship with Sheena is not a true one.

 REPORTER (MALE)    A domestic dispute between Morris and her fiancée.

 DAVID MUIR:   We've interviewed a lot of Sheena's friends.



MUIR:  Many of her friends say that this was a tumultuous relationship.

Please note that this is the perfect place for the subject to deny domestic violence, or even simply deny that it was a tumultuous relationship. 

Interviewers should seek to avoid introducing language whenever possible.  

JOSEPH GENOESE:    I just don't understand where they're getting at, you know?

The subject does not deny that the relationship was tumultuous, but only that he does not “understand” where “they’re getting at”, or “where” the information, or the point is coming from, or “getting at.”

This is to avoid saying “it was not tumultuous” or something similar, with, perhaps, a different word than “tumultuous” if he was not comfortable with it. 

This is also the place where he can describe the relationship in positive terms.  He has just heard the accusation:  the relationship was negative, therefore, this is the perfect place to say that this claim is not true, and that the relationship was positive. 

Please note that “you know” is an habit of speech. Like any habit, we note where it appears and where it does not appear.  “You know” is an indication that the subject is acutely aware of the Interviewer’s presence at this point, with this question.
This is the place for him to tell us that not only was the relationship not tumultuous, but that it was a good relationship.
He does not. 
His answer appears not to be lost by the Interviewer, David Muir, who then specifically asks:

   DAVID MUIR (ABC NEWS)  There wasn't any fighting?

The Interviewer asks this question in the negative, making it important for the Interviewer, himself.  This may signal that the Interviewer may not believe that there was no domestic violence or "fighting" in the relationship between the subject (Genoese) and Sheena. 


Well, in a relationship, there's always, there's always arguments and stuff.

The word “well” is a pause, which means that the question, itself, has caused the subject need to pause and think of his answer. 
The question about “fighting” is now sensitive to the subject.  One might wonder why a question about “fighting” would be sensitive to him, and cause him to need to pause to think longer before answering.  It is another habit of speech and like all habits, we note what questions cause it to enter his language, and what questions do not cause it. 
He says “in a relationship” and not in “my” or “our” relationship.  This is to avoid answering the question.  This is the second indication that the question is sensitive to him.  It is to distance himself by moving away from “my” or “our” relationship. 
Note “arguments and stuff” does not define what, besides “arguments” the subject is speaking of.  This is where the Interviewer can ask, “What stuff?” and learn what the subject is thinking of, regarding “fighting” besides arguing.
It may be that in “fighting” there is “arguments” but for the subject, there is something else in addition to arguing. 
This should be taken along with the two indicators that the question on fighting, itself, is sensitive, therefore, it is a likely a signal that there was domestic violence in the relationship. 
Remember, people do not like to lie outright, and to avoid the internal stress, they will deceive by leaving out information instead. The interviewer senses that there was more than just “arguing” in his answer, and that he avoided speaking for the relationship itself, instead turning to vague terms that might apply to others instead of himself.
He avoiding answering if there was “fighting” making “fighting” very sensitive to him. 
Principle:  When a question is avoided, the question, itself, is sensitive.

Muir:   It was never physical?

This is a “yes or no” question, which is easier (less stressful) to lie in response.  We note every word that is added beyond  the word “no”:


No.  You know, in a normal relationship, there, there was fights, there was, you know, back and forth.  But there was no, never any violence.  No.

Deception indicated.

The word “no”, by itself, is a good answer.  Instead, he continues, as do many deceptive individuals who are concerned that the simple “no” is not strong enough by itself.  They feel the need to emphasize the denial, which actually weakens it. 

Please note that in Statement Analysis, any word that is repeated is sensitive.  We see that in this one answer, he uses the word “no” three times, making it very sensitive.

Please note the inclusion of the word “normal” in statement analysis is indicative that it was not normal.  Even in early grade school readers when a young student reads, “it was a normal day like any other”, they know that someone not normal, or extraordinary, is about to take place.
This is a strong signal that this was not a “normal” relationship within the context being domestically violent. 

Note that he was said “back and forth” which appears to be a subtle blaming of the victim, that not only did the violence go in one direction, but in two.  This voids his answer of “no” that he began with.  Each word that goes beyond “no” is critical in analysis.  

Note that “You know” appears twice in this answer. This is to be acutely aware of the Interviewer’s presence while asking this question. 

The word “never” in statement analysis is not a reliable denial unless the word “ever” is in the question.  When the word “never” is added to “no”, it is to be noted.
It is very likely that not only was this relationship domestically violent, but acutely so. 


 Nor was there ever any violence with his ex-wife, according to Joe, when we asked him about those battery charges that were dropped.

By simply stating the accusation, this allows the subject to say "there was no violence" and direct his answer to the relationship between himself 

GENOESE:  It was a push back and forth.  She pushed me, I pushed her back.  And then she looked at me and says, "Now you're going to jail."

Note that “push back and forth” is not “violent” according to the subject. 
Note the order:
1.     She pushed me
2.     I pushed her back
This puts the priority upon her, that he only pushed her “back”, which is to minimize.
Please next note that he said, “And”
Sentences that begin with the word “And” indicate that there is missing information between the sentence and the one that preceded it.  After he pushed her back, and before she “looked” at him, there is missing information that he is deliberately withholding.  This would be a good place to ask about it. 
Note that when he quotes her, he does not say “she said” but moves into the present tense “says”, reducing reliability.  Note also that he does not say “she says” but “she looked at me and says”, with “looked” in the past tense.
One might want to know what it is that is missing between the sentences that caused him to say “she looked at me”:
When he pushed her, did she fall in such a way that in order to address him, she had to rise to her feet and turn around in order to look at him while speaking? This indicates that prior to her speaking, she was not facing him.
This may have been a serious assault or “push” that took place.  This should be seen in light of the above conclusion of an acutely violent relationship.

                                            DAVID MUIR (ABC NEWS)
  And he points out his ex-wife dropped it all.  And he says his fights with Sheena, including the one that New Year's night, were often caused by her jealousy of the family he already had.  And he also says that Sheena was often depressed.  Remember that Christmas morning video, where Kelly sees her daughter smiling and laughing.

At least I'm (inaudible).

                              DAVID MUIR (ABC NEWS)

  He sees something else, remembering the fiancée who couldn't get out of bed that morning, who didn't wanna spend Christmas, he says, with her family.


She wasn't out of bed for two days, hadn't eaten anything in two days.  And...

Please note that he again avoids using Sheena’s name, which suggests distancing language. 
Please note the missing pronoun, “hadn’t eaten…’, which reduces commitment to the statement.

When a name of someone as close as a fiancé is avoided, it is a signal of emotional distance.  Why would an innocent, bereaving fiancé avoid using his love's name?  We look to see, by the language itself, if there was trouble in the relationship.  

                                      DAVID MUIR (ABC NEWS)
Was she depressed?

This is another “yes or no” question in which we expect the subject to answer with one or the other, or an explanation why "yes or no" is not an appropriate response.  "Was she depressed?" is very straightforward, especially in a suicide case. 


I guess she was upset with the fact, or depressed with the fact, that I was spending time with my kids over the holidays.

Please note that he does not answer the question about depression.  This indicates that the question, “Was she depressed?” is sensitive to the subject.

Please note that he only says “guess” which is to express uncertainty and instead of using “depressed” he uses “upset.”

Note that she is not “upset” but “upset with the fact”

Note that she was not “depressed” but only “depressed with the fact.”

Principle:  Change of language should represent a change in reality.  If there is no apparent change of reality within the statement, it may indicate deception on part of the subject.

For example:  The officer pulled his gun and fired his weapon at the suspect.  He re holstered his gun and called for back up.”

The context shows veracity:  it was a “gun” until it was being fired, at which time it changed into a “weapon”, but after it was no longer being fired, it returned to being a “gun.”

The car sputtered. I left the vehicle on the side of the road.  After it was repaired, I picked up my car at the garage.”

It was a “car” until it no longer operated, at which time it became a “vehicle”, but once it was back running, it returned to being not only a “car” but “my” car.  This is a sign of truthfulness in a statement.

In the subject’s response, there is no apparent change of reality from “upset at the fact” and “depressed at the fact.”

Conclusion:  deception detected.

                                            DAVID MUIR (ABC NEWS)
  And Joe says that surprise New Year's trip was out of concern for Sheena because she had been down.

This is a statement.  Best to ask questions, but the inference is, 'Did you take the trip to help her with depression?' but keep in mind that the subject (Genoese) did not assert that Sheena was either suffering from depression, or that she was depressed. 


And I said to myself, maybe we'll just go down there for New Year's Eve, since we had a crappy Christmas.

Here, it begins with "And", which may be an editing issue, as a sentence beginning with "And" is a 'connection'; that is, a signal of missing information between sentences. 

Note that he did not state that she had depression, or was depressed, and that this trip was to help with depression.

Instead, depression is avoided, and it is not that "Sheena" had a "crappy weekend" but that "we" had a crappy weekend.  

This is to avoid the depression issue and bring the focus to them, as a couple.  They had a crappy weekend, rather than Sheena being depressed.

Remember, people do not like to lie outright, but will 'skate around' the truth, to leave an impression of deception, rather than lie.

Sheen lived with him.

He is unable to bring himself to say that she was depressed.  We are not to say it, nor conclude it, for him, nor to match the police finding of "suicide."

It is not because of depression, but because of a crappy weekend.  Follow the subject.  Do not try to make his words fit any police theory, or murder theory ; just listen to him. 

                                           DAVID MUIR (ABC NEWS)

(VO)  And Joe says that Sheena was happy that New Years Eve night.  He remembers, too, as she sat there texting her friends from the dinner table.

We don't know if the Interviewer is quoting the subject or not.  When body posture enters, it may signal an increase in tension.  Is he quoting the subject?

Here is an example:

1.  "My boss told me to be at work at 8AM.

This is stronger:

2.  "My boss stood and told me to be at work at 8AM" with the body posture a signal of increase in tension for the subject. 


We went out to dinner at the place we were gonna get married at.  She was texting and talking with her family most of the night.

Please note that even though they were out to dinner at the place they were going to get married at, there is distance between the subject and Sheena:
1.     He continues to avoid using Sheena’s name
2.     He does not tell us that Sheena was talking with him, but instead, communicating with her family, which would leave him out of the communications, as he is not mentioned.
This was not likely a good night between them, even if Sheena enjoyed communicating with her family. 
Note that she was not only “texting” with her family, but “talking” with them.
Note that this went on for “most of the night” which may make one ask if this angered the subject and gave occasion for “fights and stuff”

Next, notice the location of the dinner is important to the subject.  It is unnecessary information, therefore, it is important.  By using the location of the dinner, he is emphasizing that it was a special place for them to get married at.  

During this special time for where "we" were going to get married at, she was both "texting" and "talking" with her family, not only during the dinner, but "most"of the night. 

This is a signal of discord between them.  This is the domestic fighting that is of primary concern; more than depression, which has not been acknowledged.  Remember:  listen to his words to guide you.  If he is unable or unwilling to say it, we must not say it for him. 

                                           DAVID MUIR (ABC NEWS)
 And he remembers their kiss at midnight.

The interviewer introduces the word "kiss."  Better is, "What happened at midnight?" which allows the subject to  choose his own words.  New Year's kiss is something significant.  Will he affirm the Interviewer's statement about the kiss?


And then New Year's, you know, 12:00 came.  And we - went out on the balcony and fireworks went off, and you know, we celebrated New Year's.

1.     “And”:  when a sentence begins with “And” it is an indication of missing information between sentences.
2.     “You know” as a habit of speech showing acute awareness of the interviewer at this point.  Here, it enters his speech twice.
3.     He does not say that they “kissed” at midnight.  They “celebrated” but not kissed?
It is likely that midnight was sensitive to the subject, as it is not something he wishes to disclose here.

                                        DAVID MUIR: 
 A New Year's kiss?
The failure to mention “kiss” is not missed by the interviewer.


Yeah.  Exactly, yeah.  Everything was great.

“Yeah” is to agree rather than assent.  Then it is repeated, making it sensitive, but it is also described as being “exactly”, giving us three indicators.  The need to say “Everything was great”, when he was only asked if they kissed should lead one to ask if they fought at midnight. The need to say “everything was great” may come from the fact that “nothing was great” at that point. 

                                          DAVID MUIR (ABC NEWS)

 Great, he says, until he went back inside that hotel room to call his children, to wish them a happy New Year too.

He leads the subject. 


It lasted all about 15, 20 seconds that I was on the phone.  And as I turned back around, she was right there.  She just looked at me and said, "You just (censored by network) up the whole night."

Note his need to add in the time of the call. 
Note body posture.  “And” indicates missing information.
“And as I turned back around”  This is an indication that physical maneuvering was part of his memory.  He not only turned around, but “back” around, indicating that he may have turned from her deliberately.  This was not a pleasant exchange.

        DAVID MUIR:
  Why did she have such a big problem with you calling your kids?

Please note that Sheena was not able to speak for herself and rebut this assertion.  This is the subject's assertion, in the words of the interviewer.  What will this topic reveal from the subject himself?


She just didn't want me involved with my children.  It was like another family to her.  And she started getting really upset, screaming and yelling.  And then she started punching the wall.

“And” indicates he is skipping over periods of time, withholding information that has to do with “really upset” and “screaming” and “yelling” and eventually, “punching” the wall.

The word "with" when it is between people, suggests distance. 

My wife and I went shopping" is one way of saying it. 
"I went shopping with my wife" puts, "I", as far away from "wife" as possible.  This is distancing language. 

Something like the above may simply be distance due to the fact that in the first sentence we were shopping together, but in the second sentence, I did not really want to go shopping with her. 

Note that he says "she just didn't want me involved with my children" reduces the relationship to not parenting, but only being "involved" with his children.  The distancing indicator is between the word "me" and "my children."

Perhaps it is he, himself, that caused the distance, and not Sheena. 

   DAVID MUIR:  Joe says initially, it was Sheena's idea to leave the hotel but that she suddenly changed her mind, refusing to go.


 She actually at one point tried to grab the money that I had on the bureau so and - she said that I wasn't leaving.  And I told her, "I am leaving.  We're leaving."  Because at that point, I, you know, from her punching the wall and screaming and yelling the way she did, I, I was afraid that, you know, cops were gonna come.

Every person has an internal subjective personal dictionary.  When one says “boy” for example, one reader here might think of a new born baby boy, while another thinks of the fighting “boy” in the military at 21 years of age over in Afghanistan.

 It is subjective and follow up questions, or context might be needed to give clarity.

Everyone one of us has a personal, internal, subjective dictionary.  A good interviewer will "decode" it. 

There are two exceptions: 
1.     Articles (“the, a, an”)
2.     Pronouns

Pronouns are instinctive.  They do not require thought and are reliable for analysis.  Here he described “she” (he continues to avoid using Sheena’s name) and said “I am leaving” but this changed to “we’re leaving.”  Pronouns that are confused are often indicators that the subject is not speaking from memory but is being deceptive.

Note repeated “you know” in context.

Stuttering I” in Statement Analysis.

When a non-stuttering stutters on the pronoun “I”, it is an indication of an increase of anxiety at this point of the statement.  The pronoun “I” is used millions of times by us, therefore, the stuttering upon it is an indication that the topic the subject is speaking about is causing him anxiety.

The word “actually” is used when comparing two or more items.  “Do you like chocolate?”  “No, I actually like vanilla.”  What is he comparing this response to? Sometimes it may be that the subject is comparing a deceptive statement to what actually happened.


The subject was asked to explain what happened.  When someone who is asked to explain what happened feels the need to explain “why” something was done, it is very sensitive.  It means that the subject anticipates being asked why he did something and feels the need to explain it first, as he does not want to be asked.  This is very sensitive information.

  DAVID MUIR:   But guests were already placing that call to 911.

                                                       CALLER (MALE)
There's two people over there just screaming and yelling, a woman and a man, at each other.
 And Joe told us what police say he's always told them.


 And where did you go?


Home, straight home.  Straight to my townhouse, where there were people there, they were having a party, and at least five or six people saw me.

Deception indicated. 

Please note that when he answered, “Home” it was a very strong answer, but he did not stop with “home.”
Deceptive people say too much, and use too many words.  They feel the need to explain and add words in order to sound convincing.  It makes them sound deceptive instead of convincing, as it underlines the weakness in the assertion.
Instead of simply saying “Home”, he adds, “straight home” suggesting that he could have gone somewhere else.  But then he changes “home” into a “Townhouse” which we see what caused his “home” to change:  a party.
Note that he adds that five or six people saw him:
This is alibi establishing.
This may cause one to ask why he feels the need to establish an alibi?
These additional words indicate that he has a need to be “seen” and that before going “home” to the “Townhouse” in order to be “seen”, there is missing information about where he was.
Note that he does not say “we were having a party” but “they” were.  Where?  His “home” or his “Townhouse”?
He reveals that he needed to be “seen” suggesting that he knew what he had to do in order to establish his alibi.

On the drive home, Joe says Sheena was on the phone with him suddenly sinking into that depression.

"sinking into depression" is the words chosen by Muir, taken from the subject, pre interview.  The follow up question should be:

"If she was sinking into depression, why would you leave your fiancé alone in a hotel room?


 What was she saying to you?

If she was "sinking into depression", this is a good question.  Was she begging him to return and help her?  

 GENOESE :  There was one thing that she did say.  In a somber note, she said, "If I can't have you all to myself, don't wanna be here."

Note that additional wording often gives away the deceptive subject.  He was asked what was she saying to him and instead of simply answering it, he affirms only one particular thing with the wording, “there was one thing she did say”, giving us the word “did” as unnecessary. 
Note the editorializing: “in a somber note” is added.
The word “did” along with the editorializing suggests:   rehearsed speech. 

Please note that he is presorting to speak for her, but even here, we have a dropped pronoun:

"...don't want to be here."

Even in repeating this, he drops a pronoun.  Was he quoting her accurately while dropping a pronoun?  

If so, it may be the first time I have ever encountered such a thing.  

I do not believe it. 

It appears that the Interviewer did not either. 

Even without training, a dropped pronoun sounds awkward.  It may be that David Muir heard that, and did not even know why it didn't sound "right", but knew enough to ask about such a strange thing. 

People drop pronouns when they are being deceptive -it shows a lack of confidence in the statement. 

DAVID MUIR :   Had she ever said that before?

This is a “yes or no” question.  It indicates a strain:



Please note that he is able to answer a “yes or no” question with a simple “no” showing what a truthful response looks like.  

This is likely a truthful answer. 

He has no need to add any emphasis. 

I believe his answer.  I don't think she ever said that to him before, and, in fact, I don't believe he ever said it...period.  


And as for that 911 call Sheena made just after 2:00 A.M...


He just made me bleed and left claw marks all over me and stuff.

The subject will now speak to the allegation, via 911, that he made her bleed and left claw marks all over her.  "And stuff" indicates that he did other things to her, that may not have left visible proof, but were done just the same.

 GENOESE:  The scrape on her, on her finger, we know that came from her punching the wall.  And the scrape on her neck, when she went to grab the money off of the bureau and I grabbed her by her - her shirt, and - and it got her necklace and it, and left a little scratch on her neck.  That's, that's it.

Deception indicated.  

Pronouns are instinctive.  Here he says “we know” instead of “I know”, since he was there personally.  Sheena had reported where the injuries came from.  He was there, alone with her.  Who is the “we” he now speaks of?  This is a very strong indication of deception.
Note the admission of “I grabbed her by her her skirt” with the stutter.
Note that “that’s it” is unnecessary, which gives us an indication, since he was not asked if that was all that took place, that there was much else that took place and that he has the need to stop the flow of information and end it with “that’s it”, yet stuttering on the word “that.”
This is a strong indication that he is not truthful about this.

 DAVID MUIR:   And he says like the mother who loves Sheena, he was devastated, too, on that New Year's Day when they all learned Sheena was dead.

The interviewer uses the name, “Sheena” but her fiancé distances himself as he is unable to bring himself to use her name. 


And I walk up, and I - and I look, and I was like, what's going on?  And he looked at me and said, "I'm sorry for your loss."  And I, I fell to my knees.  And I just looked at him.  I couldn't believe what he said to me.  Can we cut?  Can we cut?

Please note that the subject speaks in the past tense about what has happened, yet now, he slips into the present tense with, “I walk up” instead of “I walked up”, and “I look” instead of “I looked.”  Yet, when it comes to the activity of another, he appropriately says, “And he looked at me” in the past tense “and said”, which is also in the past tense.
Speaking of himself, he slips into present tense, but speaking of another, he remains in the reliable past tense.
This indicates that his reaction is artificial, while the reaction of the other person is real.


  And when he was ready to continue...

She was a beautiful girl.  I - this is a tragedy in everybody's lives, you know?

Note that she is a "girl", not a "woman."  
Please also note that she is not “Sheena”, the name he has consistently avoided in the interview, which is distancing language, but the phrase “you know” reenters his language, regarding it being a “tragedy.”
The interviewer caught this fact:

 DAVID MUIR:   For you too?

This is a “yes or no” question.


Absolutely.  I was engaged to her.

Note the need for emphasis with “absolutely” while he continued to avoid using her name, distancing himself from her.  See "Joey Buttafouco"

 DAVID MUIR: Do you think everybody's forgotten that you felt this way too?

No.  I just think that they, they're on the Kelly train.  And if you go against what Kelly says, then you're not an advocate of Sheena.

Here, he finally uses Sheena’s name.  This is a very significant point of the statement.  What has caused him to finally say Sheena’s name?

Please note that it is the entrance of “Kelly”, Sheena’s mother, which causes the subject, Joseph Genoese, to finally use her name.  With Kelly present, she is “Sheena”, a person with a name and identity. She is now close, because “Kelly” and the “Kelly train” is present.

It is the entrance of “Kelly” into his mind that gives “Sheena” a voice, life, and the respect that is rightfully hers.  “Kelly” is a very, very important person in the life of Joseph Genoese.  One may wish to learn why Kelly is far more important to the subject than his deceased fiancé.

The name "Sheena" is not in his vocabulary as:

his fiancé,
a beautiful girl
a suicide 
a person involved in domestic dispute
the one he went to dinner with
the one who talked to and texted her family
the one who was left alone in the hotel room

She was never "Sheena" until a new atmosphere, or context arises:

She is now "Sheena" in an adversarial role.  

This is highly significant. 

His concern is the "obsessed" mother, Kelly Osborn.  It is his worry, and the language reveals why:  he is deceptive about the death of Sheena Morris, Kelly's daughter. 

Kelly is demanding justice.  Kelly has seen him fail his polygraph.  Kelly has known he is lying and that he assaulted Sheena and caused her death in a domestic homicide and staged the hanging. 

The presence of Kelly is enough to trigger closeness to Sheena.  

He is distance from Sheena in all things, except in justice.  Now, faced with accusations and guilt, Sheena is "close" and right in his mind.  

This is a striking comparison. 


 A grieving mother out for answers no matter the cost, refusing to accept the possibility that her daughter could have taken her own life, or a fiancée covering his tracks?
  We've talked to Sheena's mother, her family, her friends, and they all categorically say she never would have taken her own life.

This is issued as a challenge to Joseph Genoese, and the final place for him to say "But she did.  I did not cause Sheena's death."

He has had many opportunities to 


My personal opinion is nobody ever thinks they're gonna take their own life.  Does anybody presume that somebody's gonna take their own life?

Note that it is not only his “opinion” but his “personal opinion”, which suggests that not only do others have differing opinions, but he, himself, may think otherwise.
Always note a rhetorical question within a statement as it may be that the subject is speaking to himself.

 MUIR:  "Did she ever say to you that she was depressed or, or having suicidal thoughts?"

This is a fair question.  Was there a pattern of suicide?  His answer is important:


She told me she tried to commit suicide when she was 15 years old, took a bottle of pills.

Communicative language:
We note how one portrays communication.  “Sheena said she tried to commit suicide when she was 15 years old…” is not what he said. 

1.     He avoided her name again
2.     He used “told” and not “said.”  The word “told” is more authoritative.  For example:
“My boss said for me to be at work at 8” is not as strong as “my boss told me to be at work at 8” 
One may wish to question why a young woman, confessing a weak moment as a teenager, would need to use authoritative language to report something embarrassing and even shameful, while confiding to her fiancé?
The language does not appear to fit well. 

Muir:  In fact, that's the same story police say Sheena's mother told them the day her body was found.

 Had there ever been suicidal thoughts before?


She had gotten in some trouble with her dad and, and she kind of, like, said to her father that she took some pills.  They checked everything out.  She really didn't take anything.  It was a false alarm.

 MUIR   Joe says he understands Kelly's need for answers but says she's looking in the wrong place.  But how does he explain the mountain of evidence?  The sand on Sheena's feet but no sand in the shower, her perfect appearance, her hair, her clothes, and that diamond bracelet on the wrong wrist.

This is another place for him to say “I didn’t kill Sheena.” 

I let that, the professionals deal with that, the investigators and everything else.

Note that he does not bring himself to say “I didn’t kill Sheena” though he has been given another opportunity to say so.  If he is unwilling or unable to say it, we are not permitted to say it for him.  Also note that he is not only leaving this to the investigators, but “everything else.”  What is “everything else”?

  He welcomes this new investigation because he insists he still has nothing to hide.

  And once and for all, did you kill Sheena?

This is a “yes or no” question, to which he should say “no” without the need for more wording.  Every word after “no” can weaken the denial.  We have already seen that he knows how to answer a "yes or no" question with the answer, "no", without the need to add words or change words for emphasis.  The best answer is "no", with nothing added: 

 GENOESE:  "Absolutely not.  What would be my motive, for God's sake?  I'm 50 years old.  I have three children."

“Absolutely not” is to avoid saying “no”

“Absolutely not” is to show the need for emphasis, weakening the denial.

Please note that he then asks a question.  This is sensitive.  He challenges as to his motive, and this is not something that the “Kelly train” would struggle to answer, nor is it something an analyst, who knows nothing more of this case than this transcript:
Domestic violence. 

Note that having 3 children does not indicate innocence. 

Muir:  But what about the polygraph?

This same question would be asked on the polygraph, perhaps worded "Did you cause the death of Sheena?" so that he cannot say he didn't kill her, but the rope did.  The polygrapher was retired FBI and well experienced. 

 DAVID MUIR (ABC NEWS)   But why take the test?

This is another "soft ball pitch" where the Interviewer lets the subject say "Because I didn't kill her.  Because I am telling the truth."

 GENOESE: Cause I had nothing to hide.

Better is to say "I took the polygraph because I did not kill Sheena.  I told the truth."
If this was his response, the Statement Analysis would have been finished. 

  DAVID MUIR:    How do you explain those test results?

This is where an innocent person will say “I told the truth” and need nothing else to add.  Will he now, given this easy opportunity, assert that he told the truth using the three elements:
1.     The pronoun “I”
2.     The past tense verb “told”
3.     The word “truth”?
Will he now make this simple statement that honest innocent people do?


Well, I don't.  I was uneasy with a lot of the questions he asked, first of all.  Second of all, I was told by a professional the questions that he asked should never have been asked.  They were setup questions.

1.     He uses “well” as a pause, showing the need to think
2.     “I was told” is passive.  Passivity is used to conceal identity or responsibility.
3.     The simple questions about causing the death of Sheena “should never have been asked” is something that “a professional” would not want his name attached to.

Please note that sample questions in a homicide are like these:

1.  Is your name Joseph Genoese?
2.  Did you cause the death of Sheena Morris?
3.  Is today Thursday?

and so on. 

There would be no surprise questions and the pre screen interview would make this clear.  

DAVID MUIR:   But now for Joe, there are new questions to answer, this time from those investigators taking a fresh look at the case with the real possibility that someone could be charged with murder.
 When was the last time you talked to the investigators on the team?

 JOSEPH GENOESE: Three weeks ago.

Note the short response is very likely to be truthful.

DAVID MUIR:  Were you nervous?

GENOESE: Of course, I'm nervous.  I mean, who wouldn't be nervous?

“Of course” is when one wishes us to take an answer without questioning it.  Please note the rhetorical question as he may be speaking to himself.

 When we come back, Joe's message tonight for Sheena's mother, what he wants her to hear.  And we ask Kelly how she will react if no one is charged with murder in her daughter's death.

MUIR:   Sheena Morris' mother gave up everything to become the lead investigator in her daughter's case when she says no else would, determined to find answers.  The boyfriend who lost his fiancée says all these years, he's been asking questions, too, of the young girlfriend found in that shower.

GENOESE: "I ask the question all the time.  I - I asked her, "Why did you do this?"  I don't understand it.  I mean, I, I, who, who understands it?  I don't.

In this short response, he uses the pronoun "I" 8 times.  This is a signal of anxiety. 

Please note again that this is the perfect place for him to say “I didn’t do it” but he is unable or unwilling to issue a denial.

Note also the stuttering “I” as an increase in anxiety. 

Note that he is referring to Kelly.  It was Kelly who’s presence in a statement caused him to finally identify Sheena by name.  Kelly brings Sheena close to him.  Otherwise, he keeps her distant, in the statement.  He has a need to distance himself from his own fiancé.  This is not expected from an innocent person, but is expected from the guilty.

DAVID MUIR:   What are you hoping to hear?


I'm hoping my phone rings and it's the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and say, "Miss Osborn, we have a suspect in custody."

DAVID MUIR:  Will this ever be over?


When there's a trial and the jury finds the suspect guilty.  That chapter will be over.


She needs some answers.  The community, Southwest Florida would like to know what happened to Sheena.

DAVID MUIR:   Do you think they'll ever know?


Yeah, I do.  I would be very surprised if they come back with a, it was a suicide, because the evidence is overwhelming that it's not.

Joe, as you sit here across from me, have you gone there?  Have you thought about possible charges?

 GENOESE:  I'm not guilty of anything, so...

This is a truthful statement.  He has not been convicted of anything.
It is also a statement that avoids saying “I didn’t kill Sheena”

 MUIR:   You don't fear there are charges coming?


No, absolutely not.  As a matter of fact, if anything, I think I should bring civil charges against Kelly and her family.

Note that “no” is weakened by “absolutely not”.
Note that “I think” is weak, as it allows for him, or someone else, to “think” otherwise.  Why would he only “think” he should bring civil charges against Kelly?
One might wonder if he is not sure he wishes to bring civil charges against Kelly because he would have to answer questions under oath. 

 MUIR:   Do you plan to?

GENOESE:   We'll see how it - I'm gonna wait till the investigations is over with.  You know, there's no reason why this family did what they did to me.

Note the change of pronoun from “we’ll” to “I’m.  Note the blaming of the family what “they did to me” and not what “Kelly” or the “Kelly train” did to him.  It may be that he is, here, adding Sheena into the equation, subtly blaming Sheena for the domestic violence that ‘forced ‘ him to kill her, in his mind.

 MUIR:  If they clear you once and for all, do you think that will be enough for Sheena's mother?

Another great place for him to say he didn’t do it.

GENOESE:  No.  I don't think she'll ever stop.


 Analysis Conclusion:

Deception Indicated.

The subject is deceptive and withholding information about what happened to Sheena Morris.  This interview reveals a domestic homicide in which Joseph Genoese is unwilling or unable to tell us that he did not cause Sheena's death. 

We are not going to say it for him. 

He is deceptive about the nature of his relationship, and of what happened that night.  He uses distancing language throughout, until finally "Sheena" is in the place of pursuing justice via her mother, Kelly Osborn, which provokes the name, "Sheena" to enter his language. 

The Statement Analysis of this interview agrees with the result of the polygraph:  Joseph Genoese is not telling the truth about his involvement in the death of Sheena Morris.  


getthem said...

No. You know, in a normal relationship, there, there was fights, there was, you know, back and forth. But there was no, never any violence. No.

Peter, he repeats the words "there was" three times. Do you think those words are significant?

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

I just finished it. I can't believe he wasn't charged with anything. GREAT analysis Peter.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Thank you, get them.

I am emotionally drained from the 2 days doing this, and there is much more that I can return to and add, but I am most exhausted from thinking how Sheena's mom, Kelly, has fought so hard against stubborn, prideful, ignorant and arrogant investigators who did not like being embarrassed by Kelly.

They concluded suicide and did not even interview this guy for 3 weeks!

How could they have missed Domestic Violence homicide??

But what is worse is how they did not posses enough humility to admit that they were wrong and put this guy in front of a grand jury.


Anonymous said...

Spot on analysis Mr. Hyatt and your comment, beautiful, expresses your passion and purpose so well.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Thank you, Anonymous. Choose a name! :)

Unknown said...

Wonderful analysis as always Peter! Thank you for the time and effort you put into these cases, and for sharing your knowledge with us on this blog!

Nic said...

Thank you, Peter.

Incredible. Even if you, generally speaking, didn't know about statement analysis, you would know that Genoese was not being honest. It really struck me that he wouldn't use Sheena's name.

Kelly, has fought so hard against stubborn, prideful, ignorant and arrogant investigators who did not like being embarrassed by Kelly.

In Kelly's investigation she would be documenting everything, especially their non-performance. They would be stonewalling her at every turn making her burn her finances (trying to put out the fire). I hope whomever screwed up and has gone beyond the call of duty to give Kelly a hard time is reprimanded.

I'm glad to hear that the investigation is being revisited with "fresh eyes".

Anonymous said...

OT: Shelby Dasher pled guilty to 2nd degree murder and child abuse today. She beat her 13-month old son Tyler Dasher to death and then hid his body in the woods.

Shelley said...

There is a big part of this story that is missing.

There are claims he is connected to the Genovese crime family.

There were also claims he was involved in slot of illegal activity and Sheena knew.

I believe when he talks about her being mad at him for calling his kids that it was not his kids he called but rather a call to the "family" (aka crime family".

I think she may have threatened to turn him in.
I also wonder if his crime family helped him clean up.

There were also no fingerprints in the room. It had been cleaned.

Also read that Sheena was not with him but did have evidence of his criminal activities in her home. Her key was stolen as well before the murder and all the evidence she had collected was gone...

He is being protected.

Kellie said...


Holly Bobo Murder Suspect Indicted

Anonymous said...

Relisha Rudd 8 years old is missing with a 53 year old man not related to her. It sounds like he has had her for a month and his wife was found beaten to death a few days ago. Relisha's mother out to be arrested.

Tania Cadogan said...

off topic

At D.C. General Wednesday, teams of police cadets searched the grounds and eventually inside the homeless shelter where Relisha Rudd lived with her family. Rudd was last seen on Feb. 26 and is believed to be with Khalil Tatum.

"They're doing a door-to-door canvas to try to see if they can locate any witnesses that we have not yet interviewed," says Cmrd. Danny Hickson of the Metropolitan Police Department Youth Investigation Division.

Mayor Vincent Gray's administration raised questions about the child's grandmother, Melissa Young, and mother, Tamika Young. Around the time Relisha was seen with Tatum in surveillance video from a Northeast Washington hotel, staffers at Payne Elementary, where Relisha attended school, demanded to know why she'd been absent for so long.

School officials say Relisha's grandmother presented the school with a paper and the number of a "Dr. Tatum." The school called the number and a man answered, whom police now assume was Khalil Tatum, a janitor at the shelter, pretending to be a doctor.

When the school insisted on a written confirmation and Tatum reportedly told them to drop the form at the D.C. General shelter, school officials learned there was no Dr. Tatum. That's when they called police.

Rudd’s grandmother Melissa Young said on Wednesday that she is even more worried about her missing granddaughter because she may be in need of medication:

"Relisha suffers from real bad headaches, since she was one...then about October last year, she had a seizure."

Young also said that the family had been trying to get her in to see a neurologist to figure out why, and that Khalil Tatum likely knew this.

"But not one time did we ask him to pose as a doctor," she assured.

A startling accusation from city officials implies that the family was in on the hoax; but Young said Tatum told them Relisha had been having headaches.

We asked Young about that chilling hotel surveillance video, where the child seemed more than comfortable with Tatum:

"To her he was that friendly man that took her to spend time with her grand kids. This is not a child that cries not to go with him, this is a child that cries because she can't go with him."

Now, she says she’s just praying for him to bring her back.

Sources tell ABC7 that when Relisha disappeared, they tried to get the girl's mother to approve an Amber Alert, but she refused. It was only after Tatum's wife was discovered dead in a Maryland hotel room and police considered Tatum a suspect that an Amber Alert was declared.

In a statement released by the FBI on Wednesday night, it is being reported that Tatum has ties to Atlanta, and may be there currently or traveling in that direction

Read more:

Tania Cadogan said...

John Mc Gowan said...

Great analysis Peter,

Does anyone have a link to this episode, i can't find it?


Unknown said...

Very interesting analysis. Thank you, Peter, for this important work that you do. I have been reading your blog. While and thought I'd ask a question regarding your interpretation of the use of the word "told". You indicate that use of thos word usually means that there is some sort of argument or adversarial communication. (Correct me if I'm wrong on that)

Unknown said...

Continue...the last question that always the case? Because I use that word often when I'm just referring to something that someone told in relaying information or a story. It is theist tense of the word "tell". So I'm just curious how you interpret this word use as adversarial or indicative of an argument.

Anonymous said...

What is the connection to lies and the number 3? Tia.... Bren in Tucson

John Mc Gowan said...

Please note that it is the entrance of “Kelly”, Sheena’s mother, which causes the subject, Joseph Genoese, to finally use her name. With Kelly present, she is “Sheena”, a person with a name and identity. She is now close, because “Kelly” and the “Kelly train” is present.


John Mc Gowan said...

I couldn't help not thinking about the Leanne Bearden case while reading this. Something still doesn't sit right with me regarding her suicide, and i can't for the life of me shake it off.

GeekRad said...

John, suicide is so senseless. I don't think any suicide can sit right. They will always create so many questions.

Shelley said...

For those that missed my post above on Sheena….

There is a big part of this story that is missing.

There are claims he is connected to the Genovese crime family.

There were also claims he was involved in slot of illegal activity and Sheena knew.

I believe when he talks about her being mad at him for calling his kids that it was not his kids he called but rather a call to the "family" (aka crime family".

I think she may have threatened to turn him in.
I also wonder if his crime family helped him clean up.

There were also no fingerprints in the room. It had been cleaned.

Also read that Sheena was not with him but did have evidence of his criminal activities in her home. Her key was stolen as well before the murder and all the evidence she had collected was gone...

He is being protected.

JoAnn said...

This was a great analysis. Thank you, Peter, for posting this one. I did see the Dr Phil show where Joe G appeared, so I couldn't approach this with a presumed innocence - there were so many red flags, both in speech and behavior (I was watching the show with someone who commented, "I don't know anything about this case, but this guy just LOOKS guilty," and I think they were picking up on his stuttering, missing pronouns & not using Sheena's name).
It's fascinating to me that when he finally does use Sheena's name, it is from an adversarial position - which tells me that is the truth about how he views their relationship.

Shelley said...


Anonymous said...

John, here is the link to the ABC 20/20 story

Kelly said...

Peter, Thank you for your hard work on Sheena's case! I know it has been draining on you.

Nic said...

Dr. Phil clip. Geonese nods yes to both lie detector questions as they go over his results on TV...

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi Nic,

Although he nods yes while saying no, i believe he maybe affirming to Dr Phil that he answered "No" thus nodding when saying "No".

Dr Phil asks the question, then says, "Your answer is "No". He then says "No" affirming what Dr Phil said, at the same time nodding in agreement yes that's what i said.

Its a bit of a grey area in Body Language terms when this occurs.

It would help if we could get a baseline from him answering "Yes/ No" questions to see if he nods yes when saying yes, or shakes his head no when saying no, or vise versa. I'm always a little sceptical when it comes to head shaking/nodding in Body language terms of veracity.

We only have to see his reaction, or lack thereof to finding out deception was indicated, to tell us are answer. I would have hit the roof finding that out, when i know i didn't do it.

Hi Anon, that link will not allow me to watch it outside of the USA. Thank you anyway.

Kelly said...

His head nodding and answering was the first time I had seen this from him. I had not seen that before, only during that segment/portion. When I have tried to answer no and shake my head I found it difficult to do. Maybe that's just me.

GeekRad said...

Whew, i finally got through this post. No wonder Peter is emotionally drained!

Terrence said...

If there is "no evidence of homicide" than "deception indicated" is incorrect.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Terrence said...
If there is "no evidence of homicide" than "deception indicated" is incorrect.
March 27, 2014 at 6:49 PM

I wish I could follow this.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

I think Rene ("Eyes for Lies") covered this man and concluded deception as well.

It is deception and it is about Sheena.

Sheena is deceased.

The failed polygraph (which was focused on 'did you cause Sheena's death?') and the Statement Analysis here are...

in agreement.


Statement Analysis Blog said...


I am not sure that he is being "protected", though there certainly is speculation, especially given how bizarre it is that there has not been an arrest, or even that this case being taken to a Grand Jury.

What it feels like to me (and I could easily be proven wrong later), is that a detective made a conclusion, quickly, and was too prideful to back down.

They went almost 3 weeks without interviewing the fiancé which now is in the realm of

embarrassing mistake.

From there, Florida law enforcement dug in their heels, and began to attack Sheena's mother.

From this vantage point, it looks like they do not want to own the errors of the case.

Statement Analysis indicates deception.
He failed a polygraph about her death.

A solid investigation was not done.



Terrence said...

LE said there is "no evidence of homicide." If she wasn't murdered then Joe isn't lying.

You can't 'back into it' by saying because SA shows deception means she was murdered and LE botched the investigation.

Evidence doesn't work that way.

The problem is your assumption that SA is always correct.

Red Ryder said...

I remember when Sheena was killed. What is so surprising is that LE did not pick up on the staging of her body~the sand on her feet! It must be hard to have to fight like Kelly has to try to get justice when you are grieving. Incredible that LE waited 3 WEEKS to talk to her fiancé! Wow.

Anonymous said...

Terrance, The secondary issue here is law enforcement besides Genoese's deception. Law enforcement botched this case from the beginning then finally when the Florida Department of Law Enforcement stepped in it was only to assist the department that botched the case and help that department overcome scrutiny. When you say there is no evidence it is due to hiding the evidence.

Charley said...

It appears there is newly released information on the website. The information posted is that the cell phone pinging map from law enforcement was manipulated in effort to suit their case. It shows two other communication experts worked the data and the law enforcement's is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

This is a curious and troubling case. I hadn't heard of it so I Googled Sheena and found these links:

The first one goes to Kelly Osborn's site and the second one is a report by Arthur Brown, Homicide Division Chief, now Assistant State Attorney. Also, in the second link you can go to the index page - - and search 'Sheena Morris' to find other reports and communications relating to the case.

According to the reports, Kelly Osborn was satisfied with the ruling of suicide in the days following Sheena's death and supplied information to the police about Sheena's mental state that would help explain why she would take her own life.

I didn't watch either of the TV shows, so I don't know what happened to change her mind.

While it's clear that Joe G is a liar – for example, witnesses who heard them arguing all said they were fighting over money, not his children – the polygraph results raise some questions. In the first one he failed when asked “Did you cause Sheena Morris' death?” but in the second one, he passed when asked “Did you return to the hotel room that night?”

A psychologist pointed out that guilt can skew the results, so it's possible he felt responsible but didn't actually kill her. In fact, on November 20, 2013, a Herald Tribune article ( states:
Now, Osborn said, she can accept that her daughter killed herself.
“FDLE spent a year and two months — they investigated everything,” she said. “They were able to provide all the answers to all the issues in this case. It's what we needed to know.”

Osborn, who said she was “shocked” on Wednesday, said she still blames her daughter's former fiance, Joe Genoese, for the death, although now indirectly.

“I still hold Joe Genoese responsible for Sheena's death,” Osborn said. “He should never have left her.”

Osborn also said Diaz and his police chief, Sam Speciale, could have done more.
“They're responsible for the anguish we've gone through for the past five years,” she said. “If they'd given us answers, we would not have to have gone through this. Diaz came to a conclusion in one day. FDLE investigated the case — with a team of agents — for more than a year. We finally got the real investigation we've been waiting for.”
So it appears that the police fell short in their initial investigation and Joe Genoese lied about the circumstances, causing 4 years of anguish to Sheena's family that never should have occurred.

Charley said...

Anonymous, Sheena's family only had a few minutes to contemplate what the FDLE and State Attorney had just presented them in their meeting. A few hours later the family learned they had inserted finger prints that never originally existed along with additional information that was false. This family was exhausted and quickly learned what really happened in the so-called investigation. At no time has the family of Sheena ever agreed to suicide. The LE has and always will insert what they choose and how they choose. They worked to discredit the family and Sheena. The family urged the detective right away to question the boyfriend and he wouldn't until the family showed up at the department 21 days later with their plea. That was only completed to satisfy the family, there was no written statement and no recorded interview.

Anonymous said...


Ah, okay, thanks for that! Are you referring to the latent print found on the showerhead? Forensics said it didn't match Joe G, and for some reason they didn't have Sheena's prints to see if it matched. Is this the one that Kelly Osborn says was inserted later?

I did another search and I see what you are saying about Osborn subsequently rejecting the investigation findings -

It looks like both sides encountered problems with their respective experts. Apart from that I couldn't find exactly who informed the family about the police inserting fingerprints later and falsifying reports. The last media article was November 25, 2013.

I also watched Kelly Osborn's November 21, 2013 press conference about the findings (link found on ) -,AAAAABGMt5k~,kdJA6jXsRli8Dx_p9z8IYKNJDHGSKjTN&bclid=2852966354001&bctid=28570

- where she spoke about new information coming in, including comments from Sheena's friends about their interviews and comments on Sheena's FB page.

At 5:18 in part 1, she said:

“What I do know, and what we all know, Joe Genoese is not a murderer. But I hold him responsible for leaving my 22 year old daughter alone in a hotel room, taking her money, her keys, and leaving her in another town. I hold him responsible for this. And I hope the Bradenton Police department never does this to another family, and then try to shut them down and not answer questions.”

Then, at 8:20 she said she knows for a fact that Sheena did not commit suicide and that her comments in the police report about Sheena's mental health were the result of Joe Genoese telling her that Sheena was depressed and she was just relaying that to the Medical Examiner while emotionally distraught. However, what she described doesn't fit with her actual statements in the police report and she doesn't challenge their accuracy.

This is what's so frustrating; I don't understand what she wanted to convey in this press conference. If only she would have shared where her information came from. Instead, she mostly talked about questions arising as she read the report and how Sheena's friends felt after the report – I wish they would have contacted LE and insisted to be re-interviewed in order to correct statements they felt were taken out of context.

It's clear that Joe G is a liar and it's clear that Sheena Morris' family continues to suffer. My heart breaks for them, especially her mom. But it's hard to comprehend that so many people – LE officers, State Attorney, CSI, Forensic Technology, ME, psychologists, etc. - were willing to lie in their reports in order to cover up for FDLE and the Bradenton Police.

It's possible, but the argument would be stronger had there been physical evidence of a struggle and if the hotel guests next door heard someone going back into the room after the police left for the second time. The walls were thin and they heard the earlier arguing loudly enough to call 911.

Charley said...

At the time of the press conference Kelly had to be careful to not say Genoese was a murderer due to possible civil action. The family had to be extremely careful what they said about anything. They spent the last four month going through the entire investigation. I know the family won't mind that I share this. The first four years the family fought for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to look into the many issues and questions with the case. Each time the family was told they do not investigate homicide. It wasn't until the family held two Justice 4 Sheena's Marches, one in Tampa the other in NY where media was covering the march. It was then the FDLE said they would investigate. Also during this time Kelly was invited to a luncheon by an attorney who was running for state attorney. Sheena's case was used at this political event against the other attorney also running for state attorney. The assistant state attorney running for state attorney was put on the hot seat in front of many people. This wasn't a pleasant exchange. This explains the State Attorney's Office. During the March for Justice family and friends marched with signs that read FDLE = Frequently Delayed Law Enforcement. These signs were then viewed on national television. The family did not make friends with any of the agencies involved. Rightly so since those agencies put the family through so much for so long. The first line of business they had to cover up was the domestic violence call. That was mishandled and protocol wasn't followed. Law enforcement tries to call it a loud noise complaint after Sheena is found deceased. Sheena's 911 call was very clear. The family was told repeatedly that Sheena never made a 911 call. Sheena's mother found the 911 that law enforcement said never happened. In reference to the people next door, they heard the fight was over money. Both of the witnesses said on audio they couldn't hear in the room unless they stood at the adjoining room door. The only recordings were done by the State Attorney's office none by the FDLE. The recordings are much different that what the agencies put in paper.
The finger prints, the original reports state only a partial print was found on the shower head. No others. They are unsure where they come up with any others. The question many people have is there should have been many prints in that shower. The lack of finger prints is a concern. Genoese could have entered the room at anytime. Sheena could have been smothered that would or could eliminate hearing a struggle. The pillow under the bed was never taken into evidence. They family just released yesterday the cell phone ping reports. The family learned that the law enforcement's map is incorrect. Two other specialists who are communication experts have proven law enforcement wrong. The family doesn't feel that this was a mistake by not one but 3 agencies. It is upsetting to see this go this far however it is Florida they are dealing with.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the clarifications! Your information explains a lot and re-opens possibilities I had discarded, like JG returning and smothering Sheena.

And yeah, I'm so glad I don't live in Florida anymore.

Kelly said...

I keep wondering why the FDLE left this out of the investigation from one of the alibi's. It seems rather important. One of the alibi's told me that Geneose never told him and her that Sheena had died for almost a week. They asked about the services but Genoese told them the services were small and family only. We had two services for Sheena with appox. 300 people at each service. Only one person showed up on Genoese behalf, we are told that Genoese told this to everyone. Why did he not want any associate of his at the services?

Nic said...

Charley, how awful for Sheena's family. I hope whomever purposely planted/misrepresent the facts are fired, if not incarcerated themselves. I can't believe that events have gone on for as long as they have. It's unreal!

Charley said...

I will pass that along to Sheena's family. It's not surprising here in Florida, it's quite common. You can look at the Murray Cohen Murder, Alex Teehee, the Winston rape case and of course there is the Trayvon Martin and Caylee Anthony case. I am not trying to classify all law enforcement in Florida, there are many great ones. The phone calls are plentiful to the home of the family. Many who call to share their painful stories of the cover ups into the death of their loved ones. Now just watch, it won't be long before you see law enforcement start chiming in here. They will slip in here to discredit the family. It's how they work. They will still visiting the website each day for three months after the investigation was over until the family announced that on the Facebook page. Then they stopped but the family knows they are watching the Facebook page. Law Enforcement told this to the family. I know the family appreciates all those who are supporting them.

Anonymous said...

Reports, information, findings, Sheena Morris case

Florida P.I. blog site

lynda said...

Peter...I can understand why this was such a draining analysis. It was emotionally draining to read! Your analysis was spot on as usual. While it is astounding that this case was so botched and another murderer roams free, it does not appear to be unusual. People think of police work as "Criminal Minds", everything falls into place, the LE officers are the best and the brightest, state of the art equipment, etc. and that isn't true. Society has gotten to where they can't even make a decision on an obvious murder (Caylee) because it is NOT like an episode of Criminal Minds. This man should be held accountable for what he did. I watched a 20/20 vid and I was appalled when an attorney stated that FDLE was correct because the witnesses did not "hear" a struggle. How loud is a strangulation?? Good Lord. It's like when people say, "She had some redness on her face but no bruising" which negates for them that she was hit. She must be lying. Can it really be true that people are so dumbed down in our society that they don't realize that bruising PROGRESSES? 2-3 days after the incident is when her face is going to be as black as the ace of spades. Same with Sheena, the mark on her neck and hand STOPPED progressing upon her death, who knows what it would have looked like 2 days after. Ugh..this isn't just a tragedy, it's an embarrassment to any good LE officer and/or department. The cover-ups and ineptness of LE are staggering and my prayers go to the family to not give up and for the hope that one day they have justice for their daughter.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

lynda said...
Peter...I can understand why this was such a draining analysis. It was emotionally draining to read! Your analysis was spot on as usual. While it is astounding that this case was so botched and another murderer roams free, it does not appear to be unusual. People think of police work as "Criminal Minds", everything falls into place, the LE officers are the best and the brightest, state of the art equipment, etc. and that isn't true. Society has gotten to where they can't even make a decision on an obvious murder (Caylee) because it is NOT like an episode of Criminal Minds. This man should be held accountable for what he did. I watched a 20/20 vid and I was appalled when an attorney stated that FDLE was correct because the witnesses did not "hear" a struggle. How loud is a strangulation?? Good Lord. It's like when people say, "She had some redness on her face but no bruising" which negates for them that she was hit. She must be lying. Can it really be true that people are so dumbed down in our society that they don't realize that bruising PROGRESSES? 2-3 days after the incident is when her face is going to be as black as the ace of spades. Same with Sheena, the mark on her neck and hand STOPPED progressing upon her death, who knows what it would have looked like 2 days after. Ugh..this isn't just a tragedy, it's an embarrassment to any good LE officer and/or department. The cover-ups and ineptness of LE are staggering and my prayers go to the family to not give up and for the hope that one day they have justice for their daughter.

You've said so much!

Your most weighted comment is about society.

Here we have, literally, used racial prejudice to harm ourselves.

Instead of the best and brightest, we have made choices on something as arbitrary as skin color.

Can you imagine telling your children, "Now, racial prejudice is wrong. It is wrong to judge someone on the color of their skin. Instead, you need to judge intellect, morals, abilities, talents, and so on" but then go on to say, "I am going to correct racial prejudice by being racially prejudiced!"

It is madness.

We have an entire generation raised on movies where law enforcement knows all, and solves all, and now we have a cultural elitism that demonizes law enforcement.

The pendulum's extreme swings!

I know some in law enforcement that are "the best and brightest" and a common trait with them all is the ability to withstand correction. This humility is essential otherwise an error is made, and the heels are dug in, and a killer goes free.

Sound familiar?


lynda said...

I was married to an LE officer for many years. One thing that we both saw over and over again is an LE officer that gets boxed in. They fit the scene/clues/tips, etc. into what they have presumed happened right off the bat instead of letting the clues TELL/SHOW them what happened. That presumption gets to be fact in their minds and the egos you are dealing with are HUGE. Any new info that does not "fit" with their findings is discarded plain and simple. The statement you made about humility is right on. Pair that with towns and cities are re-electing the same officials over and over again solely on name recognition, and you get a case like Sheena's. It's like the old Seinfeld epi where Elaine can't find a doctor because one doctor told other doctors, etc. and all of a sudden, there is no one else to turn too. The Blue Wall is built and you will NEVER get over it. No door will ever be opened, no ears will ever hear you. I pray that one day SOMEBODY in Florida pulls a Serpico and they all fall down. It only takes one.

lynda said...

I also agree with your cultural elitism that demonizes LE. Not only LE but anyone of a specific race, sex, etc. Social Media perpetuates either falls into the category of hate-mongering or "softening" a crime so drastically that the sheep of society begin to think.."Well, I guess that's not so bad, everybody says it's not" Take for instance, "Child Sex Workers" This implies that a child is hiring themselves out, working per se, for money by having sex with numerous people per day. They are not WORKERS, they are SLAVES..being bought and sold like chattel. "Trafficking" is SLAVERY. The men that BUY these children/women/men/boys ARE PEDOPHILES! They are BUYING AND SELLING CHILDREN TO RAPE. But we have to call it sex trafficking.Much more palatable to society that the softening or minimizing of what is truly going on is needed so if doesn't offend delicate sensibilities. UGH UGH UGH...It is SO frustrating.

Anonymous said...

You're reading way too much into this, while ignoring some glaring problems with the murder theory. I know you put a lot of work into this but it is still ignoring several major, highly important points.

She killed herself, and her mother can't accept it.

Sheena's former boyfriend hung himself in 2008, about a year prior to her own death, by way of a very similar manner--with a dog leash-- and one of her close friends also committed suicide within a month of her death. She had given a number of possessions away in the weeks before her death, namely to a close girl friend of hers (who she used to work with at a strip club).

She also confided in her close friends that she often suffered depression (bi-polar disorder, actually) and had so for years. Those conditions put together are high-risk for suicide.

Cell phone records showed the boyfriend, Joe had left the night in question, as he said, and those records showed he indeed made it back to his destination. (He and Sheena talked as he drove back, confirmed by those records). No, he's not a likable guy---but that does not equate to murder. She killed herself, sad to say.
And most importantly, there just isn't evidence of homicide, but ample evidence that points to suicide.