Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Blackburn Murder: Change of Language

At the most sensitive times, Davey Blackburn, husband of murder victim Amanda Blackburn, experienced an immediate, intuitive change of language. 

He went from the strong, reliable pronoun "I", to the plural "we", though he was alone, and was addressing his own thoughts and his own feelings about his wife's murder, as well as having nothing "to hide."

This tells me that the subject has "something to hide.

Each time someone tells you that he has nothing to hide, there is something "in his pocket", that is, something he is thinking of while making this statement.  He is inviting you to guess.  

The guilt that is indicated within Statement Analysis is one of two things:

1.  Guilty knowledge connecting him to the shooter (s)

2.  Guilt of being freed from a bad marriage.   

He avoided any personal strong connection to Amanda.  He avoided the direct "love" to her, and from her. 

When he retreated to the pronoun "we", no matter who "we" is, he sought to hide guilt among a crowd; guilt over not mourning.   This type of guilt is so powerful that it impacts language to change.  

If he is not associated to the gang members, the guilt within him is powerful enough to change intuitive instinctive language. 

It is a serious guilt, whatever it is, and it appears stronger than just relief. 

This is the type of language that appears to be guilty of a crime, but when evidence says he is not guilty of a crime, it is guilt of something serious. 

In an case where a woman went missing, the husband's language showed intense guilt, and it eventually became evident what the source of guilt was:

The husband was having an affair. It was something powerful enough to produce indicators of guilt in his language. 

In a missing child case, the father had indicators of guilt and deception in his language:  he did not kill his daughter, but was under the influence from drugs and alcohol, passed out while his toddler wandered out the front door. 

It is something that is serious guilt.  

It could have been he had an affair, which would trigger powerful language changing guilt.  It would be an affair, to produce guilt that would have been active during the time of the murder.

It would not be guilt for having forgotten to lock the door, as this is something that most anyone would feel but would no impact language. 

The guilt is something that, just one month prior to the murder, he spoke freely of how bad the murder and pregnancy were for him.  When she was murdered, he used not only distancing language, but consistent distancing language. 

The violent language in the videos, and the waving of a gun, the open declaration of his sexual drive, and the degradation and humiliation, even subtle, in his language towards his wife tells me:  this is  a very disturbed narcissistic young man who's language appears sociopathic in nature.  

His own language caused the public to suspect him and police have been investigating him from the beginning. 

I will be patient through the investigation.  

That she was not raped changes the landscape for investigators observing the case from without.  I continue to watch the language and we have now seen a powerful shift in language that shows an awareness of criticism from the public.  

That he offered, 

"for us, we have nothing to hide" tells me one thing of certainty:

by refusing to issue a reliable denial, he offered in the negative, what is impossible: having "nothing" which means:

Blackburn has something to hide, even if he is not associated with the gang members arrested.  

"For us, we have nothing to hide..." even spoken to a junior high school principal would cause one to ask, "What are you hiding?"

Every parent knows that this is a challenge to search.  

It is not known what "we" are hiding, but it is something and it is something that associates him with someone else, which produced not only the "we" he so often used, but confirmation with the word, "us", which is a needless repetition that is intuitive.

Whatever guilt he is experiencing is powerful enough to produce a change of language and upon reading of the suspicion of the public, the awareness of such is now evident within the latest statement. 


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Anonymous said...

What a contrast seeing Amanda's Dad.


GeekRad said...

Peter, to clarify and elaborate on your question. Sorry! I was multi-tasking when I responded. The timeline- LE (at least media) were reporting two burglaries at about 5:30 am across town from each other. Turns out one was reported around 5:30 and the one in the Blackburn neighborhood was taking place around 5:30 am, as seen by the time they disabled a surveillance camera. DNA recovered from the first burglary, cell phone pings check out. Read the accounts of the "cooperating individual" (CI). The CI says Taylor was carrying a gun and wanted to kill the first robbery victim and Watson and Gordon convinced him to leave. They came back and wanted more money so they drove to a west side subdivision (Blackburn's), robbed the neighbor's house, then Blackburn's. Taylor reportedly told 3, possibly 4 people he killed her because she charged him, story consistent with what was found. So I think these are thugs, probably drugged up and Taylor got out of control because Amanda was trying to protect Weston. Maybe even thought it would buy him respect in the gang. Until I read the affidavit I was leaning towards Davey or his church having something to do with it. Now I think the evidence points to a whole lot of terrible coincidences and a pastor with a Messiah complex or some other disorder and a lot of guilt. I haope that answers your question

andrew said...

I'm back again--my self-imposed exile didn't last long! LOL.

It's a shame that there isn't a separate branch of Statement Analysis that allows practitioners to definitively identify cognitive dissonance because it is clearly in play among many posters on this site.

All of these strong, definitive pronouncements: "Mark my words..." "It doesn't add up..." "Here is what is happening..." "You read it here first..." "He's definitely guilty of something..." etc. etc.

All from people who appear to have made up their minds based on DB's odd behavior, body language, and syntax indicative of guilt (or shame). Some of these people have apparently abandoned the original goal of establishing DB's guilt or complicity in the crime and are now pouring their efforts into demolishing his character. Others persist in believing that the police are either incompetent, corrupt, or playing out a long con. What a spectacle!

I will say this: as off-putting as I find Davey's demeanor in the interviews, it is nothing compared to how off-putting I find the possibility that people are raining down judgment on a husband/father that the police have cleared of wrongdoing.

Before you post your deeply-felt conviction that DB is a terrible human being, a narcissist, and a probably accomplice to the murder of his own wife and unborn child, please stop and think for a moment. Do YOU really want to be that person who--perhaps wrongly--condemns another human being's personality flaws WHILE THAT PERSON IS GOING THROUGH SOMETHING AS UNIMAGINABLY HORRIBLE AS THIS?

I really do get it: DB's behavior is weird and insincere. It sets off all kinds of alarms. But at some point reasonable and compassionate people have to acknowledge that this may not be indicative of guilt---especially after arrests have been made and the police have cleared DB as a suspect. And if it is not indicative of guilt, then what is the point in casting stones at the man's character? It is not a crime to be a narcissist, a borderline, or simply a bad human being (not that anyone KNOWS that Davey is any of these things). Such people suffer tragedies just like the rest of us and are just as deserving of kindness, respect, and the benefit of any doubt.

Statement Analysis is a tool, just like other forensic techniques. It is a cool and useful tool. I like it, and I hope to incorporate it into my own work. But it is not a 100% perfect "truth detector." At some point, the physical evidence has to take precedence in a crime investigation, even when it is at odds with Statement Analysis work. That is apparently what has happened here.

GeekRad said...

Andrew, Welcome back from your self imposed exile. Stay with us and try reading some older posts on cases that aren't so emotionally charged. You can learn a lot.

andrew said...


Yes, I will do that (read the older posts). I really do like this practice of Statement Analysis. Just think that it not infallible and should not be exempt from our skepticism.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who might be able to shed some light on question at 4:38?

Anonymous said...

Louise k, I like you. Keep your posts coming :)

southerngal said...

The affidavit said on page 12 that Taylor and Watson went into the house through the front door. Gordon waited in the car. Watson comes out and tells Gordon that there was a woman inside and that Taylor had hit her in the mouth with a gun. Then, Taylor comes out to the car LEAVING AMANDA ALONE IN THE HOUSE and throws some credit cards into the car. Taylor goes back into the house while the other two went to the ATMs. I'm just wondering what she was doing while all three of them were outside? The affidavit didn't say she was bound. Was she already dead? If so, why wouldn't Taylor had gotten in the car and left with the other two? If she was not bound, why didn't she go get DB's gun or call 911? And remember the claim that she charged at Taylor, which means she wasn't bound. Why didn't she take action when Taylor left her to go out to the car and gives the other two her debit cards?

trustmeigetit said...

Anonymous November 24, 2015 at 9:54 Am said "I find it next to impossible to believe that Amanda charged him"

Agreed! It made me think about Jodi Arias and Travis charging at her for dropping the camera. Her "self defense" ploy.

JMTO said...


Listen, if people didn't ask questions, if they just stood on what LE, the prosecutors, witnesses said, and there weren't people put there doing their digging, their research and just plain looking where others hadn't bc it was an "open and shut" case,

Innocent people, like The West Memphis 3 would still be in jail.

If Davey is innocent then he is innocent, nothing will change that.
Unless there is evidence that links him to the murderers there is nothing that will change that. He is free to live his life as he pleases.

If he is worried about his reputation, perhaps he should stay out of the limelight for a little while and focus on Weston and getting himself the grief and other mental health counseling he needs.

But those are JMTO

Anonymous said...

But what I'm wondering is how much "fact" should we expect from affidavit. I'm not familiar with such documents, nor do I know their "fact-gathering" technique. Should we assume it's a fairly accurate accounting? Or should we take it with a grain of salt. How do the police view the document? Is it meant purely as a public statement?

Anonymous said...

The descriptions of what happened seemed so brief/abbreviated. Surely, there must be so much more detail that was omitted from the document. Is it based on individual questioning of all involved?

~mj said...

Andrew, your points are well thought out and nicely delivered. However, perhaps it is I who missed something, but if you strip away all the fluff here, what is left? SA indicating that DB is in fact hiding something and that DB has a reason to use the improper pronoun "we."

No matter if LE conclude their case as is, the physical evidence does not indicate that DB has nothing to hide and that he has no need to use the pronoun "we" - it would only prove he had nothing pertinent to hide as it directly related to Amanda's murder and therefore committed no crime.

It also does not mean that DB IS guilty of being in cahoots with the perpetrators. So condemning him as such would absolutely be wrong.

But to say that SA was flawed would also be wrong. Because those who are seeking truth, should not be implying SA is saying he is guilty specifically of anything. Because that is unknown. But what is known is he is hiding something and he has cause to use the pronoun "we."

It may be that we never know more because it is irrelevant to the murder. It also may be that we will learn more, either because it is relevant or because details of ones private life often are revealed in cases like these. Only time will tell.

GeekRad said...

Anon at 5:40,
The affidavit is the evidence they have collected and documented. If there is enough evidence charges will generally be brought. If not enough, charges generally not. It is not to be taken with a grain of salt, it is the basis for the case. The fact gathering was interviews, surveillance images, recovered stolen items, the ATM receipt for the use of Amanda's bank card, DNA and cell phone records. It is not meant as a public statement, it is the probable cause to bring charges. Sure, it can be inaccurate if someone lies in an interview but it is the facts as they are known to bring charges. You should really read it then you will have a better understanding. I posted the link this morning as have others. I hope that answers your questions.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Anonymous said...
I am wondering about the Affidavit for Probable Cause. Should I take that as a reasonably reliable description of what actually happened? I'm assuming the police put it together by interviewing, separately, all the people involved.

very wise.

Cold Cases testify to mistakes made.


Anonymous said...

My what an imagination you have

southerngal said...

Go back and read what Taylor said. He was not very forthcoming and said that he was so "messed up" and didn't remember anything. The account of the incident is coming from an anonymous informant. That's why Taylor is pleading not guilty.

Gngr~snap said...

Someone mentioned something about whether any cash was stolen from Amandaa's purse. I may be completely wrong or as part of their religon,Davey as the head of home,  controlled how and what the money was spent on
I noticed Amanda was only "allowed" to spend $500 on furnishing the nursery.  <-- Does anyone else find that amount low? She sure worked hard on her vintage refurbished crafts that she sold on her WEATHERED WILLOW Facebook online store!


* sorry about the dumb name, it's from a dog blog.

Gngr~snap said...

Someone mentioned something about whether any cash was stolen from Amandaa's purse. I may be completely wrong or as part of their religon,Davey as the head of home,  controlled how and what the money was spent on
I noticed Amanda was only "allowed" to spend $500 on furnishing the nursery.  <-- Does anyone else find that amount low? She sure worked hard on her vintage refurbished crafts that she sold on her WEATHERED WILLOW Facebook online store!


* sorry about the dumb name, it's from a dog blog.

Anonymous said...

GeekRad, I've read it. I printed and poured over every word as soon as it was available. Thanks for reply, Peter. One of the reasons I ask is because "He Watched Her Bleed" was one of the common headlines today in the news. Only one person could have reported that "fact", with no "documentation" whatsoever. I'm not saying I doubt he did that, but it made me wonder about all the information given in the affidavit.

Anonymous said...

GeekRad, thank you - your reply DOES answer my question. So the document is used by law enforcement to bring charges. That's one of the things I was wondering!

Anonymous said...

Please leave at any time you feel like anon @ 6:11
You don't have to stay and read.

Anonymous said...

So the word "probable" in Affidavit of Probable Cause means "this is what probably happened". Okay, got it. Thank you for clarification I was looking for!

Anonymous said...

..."-- just one month prior to the murder, he spoke freely of how bad the *murder* (do u mean marriage?) and pregnancy were for him..."

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:43--I was wondering about the same thing regarding the affidavit. The sequence of events on the final pages given by the "cooperating individual" has some strange wording. In looking at the locations of the apartments where they stole the car, and then the location of the Blackburn's house, it is quite a distance--11 miles or so (info via google maps). Affidavit describes the break-in at the apartment (via back patio) and theft of some items and a silver Chrysler Sebring. It then says, suspects decided they "wanted money" and drove to a westside subdivision (where the Blackburn's home is)--there are plenty of subdivisions in-between in that 11 mile stretch, why that one? They broke into the first house (again, via the back patio), stole some stuff, decided they "wanted more money" and "walked to the" Blackburn home and "opened the front door". So they (two of them, third person mans the stolen car) go from breaking in via patios to walking down the street and trying peoples front doors where they quickly find one unlocked? Strange.

Affidavit also states that the person (3rd perp) driving the stolen car ends up in the driveway, where the first perp comes out of the house to say there is a woman inside, then SECOND perp comes out to give them bank cards. So apparently, Amanda is alone in the house while this takes place--why does she not slam the door shut, lock it, call 911, or run outside screaming for the neighbors? While the two perps drive off to try the bank cards, third perp walks back into the house to finish the job. Maybe she was knocked unconscious by the face punch.

Of course this is all coming from the "cooperating individual"--actual events varied I'm sure. But this is confusing language. What led the perps 11 miles between robberies? Why did they change from rear entry break-ins to front door? Why did the dog not bark? What does the black SUV mentioned in previous reports fit in?

This is all just weird. Most murders like this involve a family member and I suspected the husband immediately. Then I saw those weird videos of his and figured girlfriend/affair had something to do with it. I'm not ruling him out but this could just be one of those random deals I guess. But poor Amanda suffered, no doubt, and it's painful to read about it. I'm mainstream solid Christian but CD's actions are beyond anything I would have suspected from a "grieving" husband.

Anonymous said...

Maybe one reason for appearing to feel guilt is the possibility that if Davey entered the home as soon as he got home, instead of 40 minutes later, Amanda might have had a chance to be saved. (We don't know if she could have been saved - that's just a speculation.) Anyone would feel guilty for realizing that their spouse was suffering and dying alone when they were just a few feet away unaware of it.

I also wonder: if the baby was crying in the house for a long time, could that be heard in the garage during the time Davey was on the phone? If the baby did cry for a long time (and we don't know this yet) then Davey would know something wasn't right. It's unlikely that Amanda wouldn't go to her child. That would have been an indication that something wasn't right. Again - that's a pure "what if" not based on any facts known at this time.

Any of those things would cause tremendous guilt to the spouse who could have helped faster, and who might be tormented forever because he did not go in the house but stayed in the garage on the phone.

At this point, it seems like this was a group of really stupid and vicious thugs who were so dumb that they left their dna at one of the houses on their crime spree. It's just a coincidence that this murder then amplified many questionable issues going on as the public took a look at the church videos plus the interviews.

I do wonder if Amanda expressed unhappiness in her marriage to her parents or to anyone else. She looked very unhappy in the video I watched where they are wearing sunglasses.

They were together 10 years, a very long time, and it sounds like she had to deal with some serious matters during the marriage. I wonder if she ever considered divorce.

Also keep in mind, despite being a public speaker as a pastor, that's completely different from going on national tv to talk about a sudden life-changing event. Not everyone presents themselves well in every single situation. You can't know what's going through someone's mind by the way they answer a question - there are people who don't react in the way most people would react. That doesn't make them guilty.

I hope that this scrutiny will make this kind of church understand how distasteful is their focus on sex by trying to be hip, and using vile, trashy references trashy. This is not what even young people go to church for. They want to be inspired and uplifted and given direction. If they want "cool" they can listen to obnoxious DJs.

It's great that Amanda's father spoke and I'm sure they know more about this situation than anyone. If something was suspected, they would have already spoken to the police about their concerns.

-- L.

Anonymous said...

The tweet from Davey's friend shows 5.18am for me too and I am in Australia.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:28 Affidavit makes it sounds like his first attack on her was he slammed her mouth with his gun, splitting her lower lip and knocking out a lower tooth. Yikes!!

Anonymous said...

That could knock a person out!!

Anonymous said...

Three things cannot be hidden for long: The sun, the moon and THE TRUTH.

Great blog great comments!

Anonymous said...

Affidavit also states CD drives an 18 year old car, a 1997 Honda Civic. Does that suggest financial struggles?

Affidavit says perps drank beer/wine at the first house--maybe they did get "messed up" and got more brazen in the process and started trying front doors until they found the Blackburn's. It did say the guy wanted to kill the apartment dweller--so killing was not far removed from their minds.

Still doesn't explain the other oddities in my post above at 6:28. This type of stuff happens all the time though, I guess I have to admit that one of the draws to this case is that they seemed like a perfect little family with a bright future. Seems so much like those Dateline NBC murder stories that are always on.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Anon 6:41 - this is a great blog! I discovered it over this crime, but I'm so hooked and look forward to learning as much as I can!

Carnival Barker said...

Anon 6:28,

Excellent points! I also had some questions re the Affidavit. Two of the robbery victims reported their door being left open after the robberies took place. Did the murderer suddenly remember his manners and shut the door behind him at the Blackburns' house? If it was left open like it was at the other victims' homes, why didn't DB notice his door open when he was doing life on the phone for an hour?

Also, according to Google Maps, the first ATM was 10 minutes from the house, the second ATM was 15 minutes from the first one, and the drive back to the Blackburn home was 24 minutes from there. Taylor was in the house all that time and all he grabbed was a laptop and some books? According to the timeline, the shots were fired in the time between ATM 1 and ATM 2, so what was Taylor doing for the 20+ minutes between shooting her and his ride showing up? I mean, he stole a sweater and a bag of oranges from the neighbor. He couldn't find anything else to take while he was just waiting around??

DB has to be the UNLUCKIEST guy on the planet. He leaves his front door unlocked on the very day there is this crime wave in his neighborhood and he manages to miss the perpetrators by mere minutes of leaving for the gym and by mere minutes returning.

Also, the cigars on the counter that DB told the police didn't belong there baffled me. Did the burglars/murderers bring a box of cigars with them to the robbery?

Anonymous said...

Carnival Barker, it appears from probable affidavit they left a box of Swisher Sweets cigars on the counter.

Louise K said...

All y'all who are saying "stop being so mean to poor Davey"

This is not a sooky sleuthing site


and if you apply SA you KNOW without a shadow of a doubt

DB may be clumsy, awkward, charismatic, picked on, whatever - all that may be true...but one thing that IS true, in fact he's shown us over and over again with his camera loving appearances -

He doesn't give a big rats arse his wife and unborn baby are dead.

He may be the nicest guy in the world otherwise and I don't see anyone calling him names...

Just discussing the results of our own personal Work and that of the Blogger Peter.

And guess what...WE'RE ALLOWED TO!

Louise K said...

I'll tell ya what "doesn't add up" = grinning like an idiot on the teev when you've just scrubbed your murdered wife and babys blood off your trousers

Louise K said...

Whats the bet the idiots had the Swisher Cigars from one of the other "burglaries" accidentally put it down forgetting they are supposed to be Thieves not Murderers.

The Fail is strong in this one....

Anonymous said...

The Affidavit says they had to get a search warrant to process the Blackburn home. I heard they went in after carpet was professionally cleaned, but I thought that was after the crime scene had been processed.

Skeptic said...

Southern gal at 5:26pm

Excellent question. When Taylor goes to the car supposedly she has only been hit in the face. She would have to have still had the strength to "charge" him after he comes back in - the reason he gives for killing her. All three are outside. Couldn't she have just locked the door? It doesn't make sense that both Taylor and Watson would go out, you don't need two people to carry a debit card.

Pak31 said...

I just came home tonight from a wake for an 88 year old veteran. Tears were seen but mostly average emotions. He lived a full life. It was still an experience looking at his family, the photos, seeing what a wonderful life he lived. I heard about his last moments. In hospice and a slow gradual passing. This affected me. It made me realize that life is a gift and should be loved to the fullest. This is a catholic family. They believe he is in a better place now. But the immediate family is not in a good mood. Yet DB witnessed so much more and is all fine and dandy. Less than two weeks after seeing your soul mate in a pool of blood, dying. Then watching her die. Your whole life just crumbled before you and he's out promoting his business. Makes me ill. He is not normal.

Anonymous said...

Quick search and I answered the question the qurstion I postwd @10:20.

To process a crime scene written consent or seatch warrant is required. Even if consent is given, its best to get a search warrant that will cover the legal issue of removing evidence from the property.

Anonymous said...

No it's not odd. What's odd is that you and many others think because you do something everyone else should!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous@ 1:45 AM:

A little OT perhaps, but...as a retired police officer/crime scene investigator, in my decades of crime scene processing in the metro DC area, I have never once had to obtain written consent or a search warrant. Everything directly related to the crime that is there at the crime scene, to include the body, shell casings, weapons, bodily fluids, etc., you get the picture, belongs to us until we are done. No one enters the crime scene and nothing leaves the area until we are finished, even if it takes weeks.

However, once we have released the scene back to the owner, if MORE items are needed that could be related to the crime (like a computer), a warrant is needed. In this case, the detectives in charge of the case are the ones to obtain the warrant and collect the items - not us.

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