Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Police Chief William McCollum Resigns

Police Chief William McCollum has resigned from his position as police chief of Peachtree City Police Department.  A Grand Jury will hear misdemeanor charges of "reckless endangerment" against him on April 15, 2015.  

On New Years, 2015, he called 911 to report that his wife had been shot in their bed.  Below is the transcripts of the call, with Statement Analysis. 

Statement Analysis of 911 calls follows the same principles of other statements, as we line up the "Expected versus the Unexpected" and utilize the same linguistic indicators that we do in verbal statements, written statements, emails, etc.

Statement Analysis works on the notion of presuppositional thinking. 

We "presuppose", first, that the caller is an innocent caller reporting truthfully, in the expectation that the victim will receive help. 

If the analysis and the expected is 'confronted' by that which we did not expect, and deception is indicated, we analyze a second time, presupposing guilt (that he 'did it'), and now view content.  

In a domestic, we lay out a list of words or phrases that we expect to hear from an innocent caller, and move on to pronouns, change of language, temporal lacunae, and priority.  

This analysis was published shortly after the shooting, when police released the 911 call.  It is useful for instruction, particular in the realm of:

Order showing Priority;
Social introductions
Unexpected language. 

We analyze the words, not the voice inflection, nor information outside of the language.  

  Maggie McCollum, the victim and his wife, is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.  Media also reported that Mrs. McCollum "thinks" the shooting was accidental.  

The analysis is written in such a manner as to explain principles to those not familiar with Statement Analysis.  

His resignation statement:

"It was my pleasure to serve with the men and women of the Peachtree City Police Department in the capacity of Assistant Chief and Chief. The City of Peachtree City has every reason to be proud of their police department as the personnel are both competent and professional. I wish each of them the best as they continue to serve the citizens. I have had had two families in Peachtree City – my police family and my personal family. In light of the recent tragedy in my personal family, I need to continue to focus my time and efforts there."

Note the order with "police family" coming before "personal family" as consistent with what happened.  

Police Chief shoots wife 911 call has now been released. 

In Statement Analysis, we view the Expected versus the Unexpected in 911 calls.  In a domestic shooting, how the caller relates to the victim is critically important.  He will either show a good relationship in the call, or he will show a troubled relationship.  

Presuppositional Thinking in Statement Analysis means going word by word, first, presuming innocence (de facto innocence, not judicial), seeing if the language "fits" or is appropriate. 

Then, re-do the analysis presupposing that the caller has had a domestic dispute with his wife and see if the language is fitting with this presupposition.  

The Expected Versus The Unexpected. 

We set up what we expect to hear from an innocent caller, who's wife has now accidentally been shot.  What do we expect to hear, in such a case as this?

It is expected that the caller will:

a. ask for help for the victim, specifically for the victim; not in general, and not for himself.  

b. show concern for the victim not for the caller himself.  His wife is, perhaps, mortally wounded, and we expect to hear him care only for her.  

c.  use direct language befitting an emergency not staged language for the recording.   This should sound like "excited utterance" and be helpful. 

Given that he is law enforcement, we expect him to not only answer the questions, but to offer relevant information to the operator.  

Remember, this is an Interview.  The 911 operator is asking questions because she needs information.  

In every interview, there is an impression:

Either the subject is working with the Interviewer to get the information, or the subject is showing resistance or reluctance, to impede the flow of information.  This also can be where the subject impedes information by using tangents or avoidance.  

d.  Passive Language:  passivity is used to conceal identity or responsibility   In an accidental shooting, it would be expected about the gun going off, but nothing else.  If there is passivity, it must be noted.  The passivity should not be coupled with distancing language, since passivity already shows distance. 

e.  The social introduction is key to understanding the relationship at the time of the call. 

If he and his wife fought, and this caused him to threaten her, perhaps, and the "gun went off", we may see him distance himself from his wife by avoiding her name, coupled with her title:  "my wife______"

I expect him to say, "This is William McCollom, I just shot my wife, Margaret.  She needs help." and give the address.  Then when he is asked for details, he will say that the gun went off accidentally.  

Order teaches us priority. 

Police Chief William McCollom's 911 call analyzed.  

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911: Fayette county 911, what’s the address of your emergency?

Chief: 103 Autumn Leaf.

911: What’s going on there?

Chief: Uh, gunshot wound…accidental. Need medical asap.

Note the order shows priority.  

Gunshot Wound is first, and not his wife. 

Accidental --alibi set
Medical is asked for after responsibility for shooting.  

The priority is not the victim.  

Please note:  

Here is where we expect him to say he shot his wife, If it is his gun, using her name, and asking for help for her. 

If she owned a gun, and slept with it, it may be appropriate.  

If this is his gun, we expect him to take responsibility because his concern is not being blamed or not being blamed, but his wife, Margaret's, condition. 

 Instead, he speaks in short, broken sentences:  

1.  "Uh" is a pause to think.  This pause is noted as sensitive.  "Excited utterance" is expected in a 911 call in which someone is bleeding to death and is in need of immediate medical intervention.  What has caused a pause?

2. "gunshot wound"  avoids saying "I shot my wife" or "my wife needs help!" He does not say who has the gunshot wound, or how she got it.  He does not even say who has the gunshot wound.  

2. "accidental" is not to say "I shot her by accident"  Please note that people do not generally lie outright, but are deceptive through missing information, including dropped pronouns.  We note what sentences are missing pronouns, and what sentences produce pronouns . 

3.  "Need medical asap" is without a pronoun. He does not say who is in need of medical help.  

He does not ask for help for her, specifically.  This is not expected.  This early in the call we looked for a complete social introduction which would tell us that it is a good relationship. 

Statement Analysis deals with not only what one says, but what one does not say:  

Note that "I just shot my wife, Margaret, by accident, she needs medical assistance asap!" would:

1.  Use the pronoun "I"

2.  Give the complete social introduction "my" showing ownership, "wife" is her title, and "Margaret" her name.  A complete social introduction indicates a good relationship. 

In this opening, he has indicated that there is a problem in their relationship. 

Their history will have to be explored.  

911: OK. Where are you shot at? 

Because of his failure to adequately inform the operator, she has to ask where he has been shot.   It is not clear to her what has happened.  This is coming from a man who has likely spent many years in this specific field of information.  His wording appears careful and cautious.  We now look to see if he will give indication of a good relationship, and care for her life and get the flow of information to the operator.  

Statement Analysis does not deal with voice inflection, but the 911 operator does.  It may be that his inflection, with staid emotions, is causing her to ask questions.  

Listeners may question why he sounds calm and collected and will consider his training as a possible explanation.  The 911 operator, however, must gather information and it is expected that someone with his training will freely help her in this manner. 

Chief: What’s that?

911: Where is the person shot at?

"Person" is gender neutral.  Thus far, the 911 operator does not know who has been shot 

Chief: In the back.

The subject gives the location of the wound. 
He does not say "in her back" with a pronoun to identify the victim.  This is a subtle distancing language which distances himself from the victim, but it also distances the wound from the victim.  

This is not expected.  

He gives short answers.  Because he has yet to give a social introduction, he forces the operator to ask:  

911: Is it a male or female?

The 911 operator had to ask this.  She should not have had to ask.  

Chief: Female.

This is all he says.  

This is a signal that he is not cooperating with the police.  Here is where he often hear the phrase "fully cooperating" making "cooperation" sensitive, and in need of description.

When police say "he is fully cooperating" it means that there is another type of cooperation in mind: that is, less than complete.  

He is cooperating with police, by answering the 911 Operator's questions, but he is limiting his words carefully.  It is right here, at this point, that the expectation is not "female" but "my wife" or "Maggie" or anything that "ups the level" of information. 

Here is where we expect him to now use the introduction since he has not used it yet.

He continues to avoid saying, "my wife, Margaret"    This is another place where he could identify that it is his wife in need of assistance. 

That he has not yet used his wife's name is distancing language indicating a poor relationship and/or a need to distance himself from her. 

This is not expected when there is a good relationship and the married couple are "one", in their minds and in their language. 

In a close, married relationship, the couple often feel like "one", so that when one suffers, they both suffer.  

Here, in the midst of a life or death trauma, he will not even use her name. 

911: How old is she? How old is she?

Chief: 58

he does not use her name.  He answers the question in the shortest possible way. 

What else might he have said?

"She is 58."  Instead, "58" uses no pronoun.  This is distancing language. 

He might have mentioned something about her condition, as well, at this point. 

He does not.  

*911: She’s shot in the back and in the side?

we do not know why the 911 operator made this assumption.  This is to be shot in either two locations, or that the bullet entered and exited (back to side).  

Chief: Yes…and numb in back. Come on. Let’s get them here.

It may be that he is not listening carefully as she has assumed two shots possibly.  (see note above). 

He does not ask for help specifically for her.  He has not used her name.  

In analyzing 911 calls, some guilty callers will ask for help, but not for the victim specifically.  Some will even say "help me!" in the call.  

"Let's get them here" is as if he is part of the team, as in "Let us..."
He is not part of the team.  His wife is bleeding near death beside him, because of his action.  This may be an attempt to portray himself as part of the help, not the cause.  

The word "Let's" is an abbreviation (casual) 

911: Somebody else is dispatching help. I need to get some more information from you. You said it was an accident?

Please note that "somebody else is dispatching help" is something the subject likely already knew.  This makes "Let's get them here" possibly sound artificial. 

Chief: Yes.

He gives no further information, causing her to ask more questions:  

911: She was shot twice accidental?

That she was shot "twice"  is affirmed by the operator.  

The gun went off twice?  This is not something expected in a shooting where a trigger is pulled accidentally, by, for example, someone rolling over on it in bed.  

Chief: Yes.

The word "yes" is a strong response, but we do not know if he is saying "yes" to the "shot twice" part of the question, or "accidental" part.  This is why compound questions must always be avoided. 

Please note that we are also tracking the difference in context between "yep" and "yes."

Due to the limited information he has given her, she must now ask:  

911: Who shot her?

Chief: Me.

No explanation beyond this point. 
This is not expected.  
Note that he does not say "Me, I shot her" or "I did, but by accident."

He takes ownership of shooting her with "me" rather than saying "the gun went off."

This will prove important to analysis and to the subsequent investigation.  Since he has given no explanation, she must now ask:  

911: How did you shoot her?

Note that the 911 operator did not say "why did you shoot her?" because she has clearly heard him say "accident", as it was a priority for him, coming even before the need for medical intervention in his order of speech.  

Chief: I wasthe gun was in the bed. I went to move it…uh, put it to the side and then it went off.

a.  "I was" is broken off:  this is self-censoring.  It is an indication of missing information, deliberately suppressed by the subject. 

What was he going to say?

"I was asleep"?
"I was cleaning it..."?
"I was moving it...?

With the pronoun "I" we would have seen some responsibility.  Instead, in the self censoring, he suppresses whatever he was going to say.  

b.  "the gun"  is not "my gun"

Note "the gun" and not "a" gun as first introduced, and, since he is chief of police, he does not say it is "my gun" which would take ownership of the gun.  

This means that there is something sensitive about ownership of the gun.  

c.  Passivity and the gun.

Passivity in language conceals identity or responsibility.  When an identity is not known, for example, passive language is appropriate.  

Guns do not go off by themselves:  one must pull the trigger.  

Guns do not go to bed.  Someone must put it there.  

In an accidental shooting, for example, where someone rolled over the gun while sleeping and caused it to go off, passive language would be appropriate.  

If the gun went off inadvertently, passive language is appropriate because one does not know how it went off, therefore, no responsibility is assigned. 

This is especially true if it is her gun, and she generally sleeps with it.  He does not say "my wife's gun" nor does he say "my gun."

This is distancing language from the gun.  

Next, we note  that he says

"the gun was in the bed" , which employs passive language. 

 This conceals or refuses to identify how the gun got into the bed.

This is important. 

If one of them rolled over and caused the gun to go off, the passivity of 

"the gun went off" is appropriate.  No one deliberately pulled the trigger making passive language appropriate. 

However, here, we find "the gun was in the bed" deliberately avoids saying who is responsible for putting the gun in the bed. 

This is a deliberate use of passive language which provokes the natural question:

"Who put the gun in the bed?" since guns do not go to bed by themselves  

Because it is the subject, himself, making this statement, it is an indication that he brought the gun to the bed, but does not want this to be known. 

Ownership of guns by Law Enforcement.  

We are possessive creatures and due to the nature of life saving, preservation of life, and many hours of practice, it is expected that a law enforcement officer will say "my" gun (just as he would say "my wife.")

In law enforcement, officers often report a close relationship (evidenced by language) with their gun.  This is no surprise since the gun may save his life, the life of others, and he spends a large number of hours in training and practicing with hit.)  The possessive pronoun, "my", therefore, is not only expected, but highly expected, by someone in law enforcement, if the gun is his.  If it is not, it is appropriate to have it absent from the language. 

As police chief, if it is his gun, we expect him to take ownership of it.  

d.  Intentions

Please note:  "went to move it" tells us what he intended to do.  We let his words guide us. Deceptive people often tell us about intentions, hoping that we will interpret the meaning as completed.  Yet, we believe what the words tell us and follow the subject closely.  

Please also note what is missing from this response:  the pronoun "we"; that is, the instinctive pronoun that is used to describe unity and cooperation.  

Question:  Did he say he moved the gun and it went off?

Answer:   No

He only "went to" move it.  He does not say he moved it.  

Thus, he further distances himself from the gun.  

"Went":  this word is important.  "I went to move it" means that he knew it was there.  This indicates intention, but not action.  

Where was he when he "went" to move it? 

Was he in the bed with her? 
Was he in a different room, realizing that it was left in the bed where she was sleeping?

Why did he need to move it?  What was it doing in the bed in the first place?
why does he deliberately conceal the identity of the one who brought it to bed?

If his wife did it, it would not cause stress to say so, since it was an "accident"; but if he brought it to bed, he knows he is naturally going to have to explain why he brought it to bed.  

He knows that investigators will wonder: Did he bring it to bed in a threatening manner?

This will be an important place to focus the interview. 


Please note that this use of "went" could be a figure of speech, or even a regional expression.  Some will use this form of intention to deceive, but some do so as a habit of speech.  "I went to" indicating what one has done.  It would be important to learn if this is part of his subjective personal dictionary, or if it is a common local phrase.  

911: Is she awake?

Chief: No.   Everybody was sleeping.

Please note: 

The question is "is she awake?" to which he says, "no", yet the 911 operator could hear her crying. 

What about his verb tense?

Is he thinking about when the shots happened?  

If so, there are new questions to be answered.  

Please note "everybody" is not defined.  

He has not used his wife's name;  this is distancing langue.  We must now learn who "everybody" is.  

We must learn  who is in the home as this is an indication that there are more people in the home than just he and his wife, and this is in the past tense. 

At the time of this call, it appears to be just the caller and the victim.  Yet, he went to the past tense, perhaps back to the time of the shooting. 

What caused him to say "everybody was sleeping"?

a.  If it was just the two of them, it may suggest editorializing (story telling)

b.  Was he thinking of someone else?
c.  Was someone else there previously?
d.  Had he plans to leave to meet someone else, a love interest, who was sleeping?
e.  Did they have a visitor earlier that night?
f.   Did one of them have plans to have someone over that night?

Clearly, "everybody was sleeping" is not to say "we" were sleeping.  "We" shows unity and cooperation. 

There is no "we" in his statement, which affirms just how bad the relationship is in the statement.  

Investigators need to learn if he was unfaithful to her, or if she was unfaithful to him, and if either was threatening to have an affair. 

This is very strange and not something expected from one who is alone with his critically bleeding wife. 

911: No, is she awake now?

The operator intuitively heard the verb tense.  She also heard the plurality of "Everybody" and seeks clarification. 

Chief: Huh?

The subject is distracted.  

911: Is she awake now?

Chief: Yes.

He answers with the strong "yes"
Please note that we are comparing his use of "yes", with the casual, "yep" which is something that is often found when one 'agrees' with another.  

911: Is she breathing?

Dispatch is asking questions because the subject is only answering specific questions and not giving any additional details.  In a marriage, this is most unexpected.  

Chief: Yes.

This is a strong response.  

911: And…103 Autumn Leaf. What’s your nearest intersection or street?

Chief: Uh we’re in Center Green 

This is the first use of "we" and the context is the location and not personal.  

After giving the 911 operator the location where they are at, she asks about the location of the gun:  

**At 1:32…911: Where’s the gun at?

Chief: Uhhh, geez I don’t know. I threw it to the side. It might be in the bed here. I don’t know.

The location of the gun is important for the safety of the responders.  

Note throwing the gun produced the pronoun "I" and he had the presence of mind to "throw it"; why the need to throw it?

Also, if he threw it, was this in anger?  staging?  

"Uh, geez":   the meaning of geez is surprise or annoyance. Which is it?

It does not make sense that it would be surprise, since this is a question that has to do with responders' safety. 

I feel it's the latter, since he is annoyed that he's being asked about the location of the gun.  He does not like being questioned.  He may feel that he is "above" such a question since he is the chief of police.  

 Chief: You having trouble breathing, Dear?

This is a term of endearment.  Investigators will need to learn if this was a usual term used by him, or something for the call.   It is spoken clearly into the phone and comes across well in the recording.  This will be compared to other things he says, including the volume of which the voice transmits.  

Please note that terms of endearment, in Statement Analysis, are often signals of a very bad relationship, as they are used to persuade.  This, however, is about written statements where someone might write, "I said "I love you" to her and kissed her goodnight and she went to sleep."  That the subject had the need to include "I love you" (similar to term of endearment) is flagged for possible bad relationship, as it may underscore the need to persuade the audience. 

Is the subject, here, using the term, "dear" to play to the audio?

Since she is lying in agony and "of course" she is having trouble breathing, this does not sound genuine, but may be an attempt to persuade the listener (police) of a tender and caring subject; yet that is not what the call reveals.  

He does not ask for help for her, specifically, something we flag in 911 calls where domestic violence is in question. 

He avoids using her name and her title of "wife", which is distancing language.  

He does, however, show concern for himself.  

This taken collectively may indicate that "dear" is indicative of a bad relationship, particularly due to context. 

911: Alright, I want you to…you are with her now?

Instruction was about to be given, but then the operator changes course to ask this question.  

Please note that the 911 operator did not assume that the caller was with his wife, which is unusual.  He did not even use her name or title (wife) which, even without training, the 911 operator will have a 'feel' for distancing language.  She may have even been surprised that he was so close to her to talk to her.  

The question is:  "You are with her now?"  Note his response.  He may have felt insulted by her question:  

Chief:  "What’s that? I’m the Chief of Police. It’s a…the bed, the gun is on the dresser.

1.  He answers her question with a question.  He is the one who sounded so distant from the victim, but when asked about it, he shows the sensitivity by answering a question with a question.  

If he did not hear her question, the response, "What's that?" is appropriate.  Yet, he then chooses to go on instead of waiting for her to repeat the question. 

He gives her an assertion that produces the pronoun, "I" in a call of which the pronoun "I" is not strongly used.  

2.  His affirmation:  

This is an arrogant statement.  

 He identifies himself, not as a police officer, but as the "chief of police", which is not what she asked. 

Remember in statement analysis:  when one goes beyond the boundary of the question  every word is important. 

That he is the "Chief of Police" is very important to him.  Please note:

he does not show verbal concern over his wife's condition.  He does, however, show concern over his own career. 

That his response is high minded must be noted.   This should cause investigators to consider past Domestic Violence.  High-minded and controlling are issues associated with D/V.  This is a call in which a wife has been shot by her husband, who, in the call, refuses to identify her by name or by the fact that she is his wife.  

He refuses to give her a title of "wife" but he gives himself the title " the Chief of Police."

This is far more emphasis than she was given, though she is near death.  

That he has a history of D/V should be learned, and will not be surprising if verified.  

He gets a title, but the one lying bleeding to death, does not.  This is not lost on the 911 operator who can hear the victim's moaning:  

911: OK. You’re the Chief of Police in Peachtree City?

Chief: Yeah, unfortunately. Yes.

"Unfortunate" is the condition of the 58 year old woman lying beside him, bleeding to death. 

yet for him, "unfortunate" is himself, due to the job he currently holds at the time of this call.

This is extremely calloused. 

In his personal, subjective, internal dictionary, "unfortunate" is his job status, but not his wife's precarious status of life and death.  

This is not expected.  

Here, we have the subject showing concern for himself.  This is not expected.   This may have prompted the next question: 

911: Alright, is this your wife?

It is strange for the operator to have to ask this question.  

Chief: Yes.

911: OK sir. Um, I do want to ask you some more questions about her health right now. Somebody else has already dispatched help so we’re not delaying that OK?

Chief: OK.

911: Is that her crying?

operator shows concern.  Also, did operator feel need to identify who it was that was crying, thinking that someone else might have been there, based upon his language?

Chief: Yes, she’s having trouble breathing now.

She is having trouble breathing "now"; did she have trouble breathing earlier?  Due to the seriousness of the injury, she likely did.  

Please note:  he knew that she had internal bleeding (below) 

911: OK.

**At 2:35…(you hear moaning/crying in background)

911: OK. (more moaning) This just occurred now right before you called?

Operator is suspicious of a possible delay.  

Chief: Yep..yep went off in the middle of the night.

Note "yep" instead of formal "yes."

Some people use "yep" when they are agreeing with someone else.  

We will note where he uses "yep" versus where he uses "yes."

I am concerned that this call was not made immediately after the shooting, based upon his response:

"yep" is repeated, as if 'agreeing' with the 911 operator

then taken with "in the middle of the night" rather than "just now" in his language.  

This suggests a delay in calling.  

This may be difficult to understand on the audio but the call should be right after the shooting.  "went off in the middle of the night" sounds more like editorializing, or story telling. 

Note that he even drops the pronoun "it" 

This is more distancing language.  

The passivity over a gun going off is expected if the subject does not know how it went off, but the dropped pronoun is not expected.  Let's say that one rolled over and the gun discharged, it would be passive, since the caller did not know which of them caused it, but might say, "it went off" with the pronoun, "it."  He wants to distance himself from the gun. 

"in the middle of the night" is not necessary because it just happened.  This is something that sounds more like story telling.  

"Middle of the night" could cover a great deal of time.  The expected answer is "just now" and nothing else.  Even a slight delay for trying to stop the bleeding would still be an immediate response.  His need to editorialize may have confirmed the intuitive suspicion of the 911 operator. 

911: Is there any serious bleeding?

Chief: Well, it’s internal but yes there is.

She is in critical condition, shot in the back. The only answer to this question is "yes" 

He uses "yes" after the word "but"; note it is not "yep"

The word "but" refutes or minimizes that which preceded it.  This may indicate that he knew there was internal bleeding.  Investigators should learn if there was a time delay in calling 911.  

"Well" is a pause to think.  This is not expected as he compares it (the word "but"), while recognizing it as internal.  

911: OK, is she completely alert?

Chief: Yes

"Yes" rather than "yep"

911: OK

Chief: And you already told me it was the back.

 Chief: She’s starting to have trouble breathing now so it must be internal.

It would be important to ask him about her breathing earlier (not in this call, but the investigative interview). 

911: OK. Is she on her back?

Chief: She’s laying on her stomach.

911: She’s laying on her stomach. OK. If you see any external bleeding, we’re going to apply direct pressure to that OK? Is she bleeding where you can see it?

Note the intuitive use of "we" which is always wise.  The word "we" reduces the tension that may exist between police and caller.  This operator does a good job.  

Chief: Yes.

The expectation is that with his background, he had already begun basic emergency care applying pressure to the wound. 

This is also "yes" and not "yep"

911: OK, I want you to get a dry clean cloth and I want you to apply direct pressure to the wound.

Chief: OK.

 (sound of moaning) Chief: Ok

911: Ok I want you to hold the cloth there. Do not lift it to look at it. Just keep applying pressure 

This would seem unnecessary but the operator, rather than asking if he has applied immediate care, instinctively instructs him to.  

Chief: (hard to understand)

would one of his background have already put pressure on the wound?

911: Ok. You want them to enter through the front door?

Chief: don’t care if they come in the side door. It’s fine, I don’t care.

He should give the answer in which the victim is accessed in the quickest route.  That he does not care may be an attempt to sound cooperative, as if coming through a different door does not inconvenience him.

He should have told them to come in the most direct route.  

Chief: alright, come on guys…get here.

This is still not to ask for specific help for the victim. 

Chief: Yeah, I got the door open for them.

Chief: Oh my God.

Note the use of Divinity:  

He does not ask God to help or save his wife.  

911: What’s your name sir?

Chief: How did this happen?

Note the open question by the subject being asked out loud.  Only he can answer this question  yet he asks it, anyway.  This is another red flag.  This is concerning and may be a play for the recording. 

911: What’s your name sir?

Chief: Will McCollum 

**At 4:15…911: Were you asleep also sir when it happened?

Chief: Yep,  are you alright dear? I know you are not alright. I mean, are you still breathing? Still alert for me?

"Yep" is not "yes" but more casual.  "Yep" is often used when one finds an answer within the question, to agree to.  

Please note:  he affirms that he was asleep when it happened, making it an accident where one rolls over in his sleep, yet only uses the weak "yep", rather than stronger "yes", which must be compared with:

"I went to..." contradicts being asleep. 

Regarding speaking to his wife:

She may have answered him harshly.  This may indicate that an argument took place before the shooting. 

911: Is there anybody else there with you guys?

That he said "everybody was sleeping" has likely prompted this question.  Since "everybody" was sleeping, who else is there?

Chief: No.

Did he say "everybody" was asleep earlier?  This is concerning.  It could point to the attempt to build 'a crowd of support' due to guilt and the need to share guilt. 

Guilty parties often feel that if others are around, they can spread the guilt out.  We see this in school children.  Yet, there was no one there but the caller and the victim, who's name is avoided.  

 Chief: Come on. Hurry, hurry, hurry.

Please note that he knows how the system works; dispatch while he is speaking.  

This sounds staged, just as his other phrases, including "God" and "How did this happen"" do.  

911: I hear them in the background. They are coming as fast as they can. Ok?

Chief: I can hear them.

911: Do we have that dry clean cloth on her wound?

This is intuitive.  She uses the word "we", as cooperation, instead of saying "Do you have that dry clean cloth on her wound?" revealing her own suspicion. 

To use "we" indicates a need for cooperation.  She does not sense he is cooperative and she has her doubts that he has tended to her wounds.   

Chief: Alright come on guys.

He is not engaged with the 911 operator. 

911: You see them sir?

**At 5:30 Chief: Right there on the dresser is the gun.

911: Is there an officer there?

Chief: Jamie is here, yeah.

Please note that he used the officer's name while avoiding his wife's name in the entire call.  

911: Ok, Chief I’m going to let you go

There are enough red flags in this call for police to consider the chief a suspect and seek to learn about the marital relationship's discord.  From this call alone, 

I conclude that their relationship is not good;

that he uses distancing language from her;

he uses distancing language from the gun;

he inappropriately uses passivity in language, avoiding the responsibility of how the gun even got into the bed.  

He expresses concern for himself, but not for her, who's name he was unable to use in the entire call.  

If I did not write the word "Margaret", you would not have known her name. 

If the 911 operator had not specifically asked, she would not have been identified as his wife.  

How does he get through the entire call without calling her his "wife", nor use her name?

He should be a suspect in this shooting.  The sensitivity indicates trouble in the relationship. 

Presuppositional Statement Analysis:

1.  Presume innocence.  Ask yourself, "What would I say?"

Could you make it through an entire 911 call without using the word "wife", in his shoes?

Could you make it through the entire 911 call without once using your wife's name? (or knickname)

Walk yourself through the call, putting yourself in his shoes.  You have law enforcement background and may even use "cop speak", with such things as "ASAP"

Ask yourself what you might say if your wife was laying in the bed, internally bleeding from not one, but two gun shot wounds, and may not survive.  Loving her, would you care about yourself, or your job, or reputation? Would you need to "not care" which door paramedics enter through?

If you are married, work it through with your spouse. 

2.  Now, Presume a poor relationship, an argument, and a guilty caller.  Presume guilt.

Work through the statement again, presupposing that this was a domestic dispute in which he shot her twice.  

Follow the same as above, even working it through with your spouse. 

With presupposed guilt, does the language now "fit"?


The caller is deceptive

If he was asleep when the gun went off, why the anger towards his wife now?

His words show concern about himself and his career, and not for the victim.

The relationship is bad. His distancing language is acute; something more expected in a domestic homicide than anything else.  He was unable to use her name nor did he even use the word "wife" in the call. 

He did not help the operator gain information but showed restraint and reluctance. 

At the time of this call, he is angry towards the victim of whom he does not use her name, nor title.  

In Statement Analysis, this equals a very problematic relationship. 

He may have a history of D/V allegations against him.  

He likely did not call 911 immediately.  


Police are seeking only misdemeanor charges and say that no evidence shows deliberate action, nor motive on his part.  

We  learned of a report that his wife, while separated from him in Florida, confided in coworkers regarding domestic violence.  

This was his fourth marriage.  

I believe that overtime, the victim may have more to say.  



Anonymous said...

hope he goes to prison too.

GetThem said...

Chief: Uh, gunshot wound…accidental. Need medical asap.
PH - "Note the order shows priority."
1. Yes, the order is interesting.

Chief: You having trouble breathing, Dear?
1. This sounds very relaxed as if he's asking her if she'd like a second cup of coffee. I can imagine if it were me, I'd be like "OMG, he stopped breathing, is he breathing? Help, hurry!!!

Chief: Yep, are you alright dear? I know you are not alright. I mean, are you still breathing? Still alert for me?

1. "I know you are not all right." -- Sounds more like he is correcting himself.
2. "I mean are you still breathing?" -- Most people who aren't breathing can't respond! This is an odd question and it sounds like it's for "show."
3. "Still alert for me?" -- Missing pronoun. That part "for me" is cringe worthy.

Anonymous said...

Why is a Grand Jury needed to decide misdemeanor charges?

To clear him of attempted murder charges later?

It is easy to see why his police family came first! You get my back and I get yours.

He would never have become cheif as a single man. He knew it. He knew the town.

Tania Cadogan said...

I wonder if he resigned before he was pushed?

sidewalk super said...

The victim, or wife has made no comment to anybody yet?
And where is she now, since she is paralyzed?
Ex-police chief would be a poor caregiver, yes?
There have been some charges against ex-chief but certainly not as serious as I would think are warranted.

Sidewalk Super said...

I do not think he's commited a crime.