Here is a good lesson about a Reliable Denial.
It should not take a long time to say it; it should be first and foremost as a priority. Note Gov. Chris Christie's analysis where it took almost an hour to produce what everyone had gathered to hear.
It must be freely spoken and not parroting language.
In an interview, the subject is given many opportunities to say, "I did not kill Teresa" on his own.
Eventually, the interview moves to interrogation where he is accused of killing her.
If he said "No I did not kill her" in response to "you killed her", it is not a reliable denial, as it was not produced freely. It is parroted language.
Once this begins, it may continue, but it is not reliable.
This case is a perfect case of emotion versus science, where the documentary's stitching of events, paring down of information and use of music is intended to persuade, emotionally, in one direction, while the statements go in the other.
I go into publishing analysis on this blog knowing that the audience is likely to believe the analysis. The longer the reader has been here, the more readily he or she will accept the conclusion because of the understanding of principle and the historical accuracy.
Newer readers need lengthy explanations which are time consuming.
Blog analysis is not complete analysis, which is something that is saved for law enforcement or human resources who need far greater detail.
There are some cases in which I go into publishing knowing that there will be resistance, such as the Jonbenet Ramsey case or Michael Jackson. I recognize certain resistance due to emotional connection to stories.
Some resistance comes in politicians' analysis, which is not so much emotional, but partisan. The most common 'rebuttal' is, "yes, but George W also said..."
When I first published analysis on the murder of Amanda Blackburn I expected much more resistance than I received. This took me by surprise, initially. When I first published analysis, we had only his initial statement. Later, he helped reduce resistance due to his behavior and statements.
Making a Murderer, however, is one in which I expect few people to agree with the findings, and these will be the long term readers.
This is due strictly to emotionalism and speaks to the power of propaganda by an unfair documentary. My expectation is that emotionalism will 'press' arguments; rather than suggest them, against the conclusion. This is most evident where someone disagrees with the conclusion (Avery killed Teresa) and 'forces' arguments, trying to defuse the use of principle. One anonymous poster even wrote, "Statement Analysis is best used on the middle class..." as if she has read all sorts of statistics showing that Statement Analysis doesn't work on someone with a lesser IQ who uses the word "ain't" in his vocabulary. This is to show an emotionally driven opinion that strains to find support.
It is fascinating to read and it is, itself, useful for learning, especially when it comes to explaining analysis. When one can speak on and on and avoid a Reliable Denial, but finally someone says it (it took almost 60 minutes before Chris Christie made a denial about Bridgegate. This is similar to 'adding to' the denial: it is not reliable. ).
Next, guilty people can make a reliable denial, though very rare, but when pointed to their denial, will be incapable of lying about their lie.
The person will not say, "I told the truth", while addressing his lie. John Ramsey, after hearing analysis either first hand or more likely through his attorneys, took to the microphone and addressed the analysis by giving a complete social introduction and a reliable denial.
Anyone can parrot.
It is when we get someone into the free editing process that we can get to the truth. Even the world's greatest statement analyst will get caught lying when he enters the free editing process.
What about Steven Avery?
This documentary series, as unfair as it is, is a most valuable tool for learning analysis, as there are so many deceptive statements, and an over "narrator" behind it,
We are fortunate to have the transcripts from the documentary available. I have not come across something this challenging where the emotions are set up versus the language. The emotions are manipulated through careful editing, music, and camera work.
It is amazing to see "Jodi" got arrested for "smiling", with musical score, but only letters on the screen telling us she was arrested 3 more times, leaving some viewers to think she was arrested for something related to Avery. It is clever manipulation of the audience.
The documentary portrayed Avery, repeatedly, as a victim. He was a victim of injustice in that he was imprisoned for a rape that he did not commit. The documentary sought to transpose this to the murder case. It's portrayal was one sided.
For example, Steven Avery killed a cat. He said he threw it and it landed in the fire.
What is missing is that he soaked the cat in oil and added some gasoline before throwing it in the fire. The killing of an animal and the use of fire in this deviant manner is, for criminologists and others, a link to sexual deviance. None of this is highlighted. We are given only his deceptive use of passivity.
Here is the second installment where we get to specific references to murder.
We look for a reliable denial where he speaks freely and in priority. For that which makes up a reliable denial, see the prior entry of analysis on his closing statement. There, too, it was expected that he would state, first and foremost, "I didn't kill Teresa. Her killer is still out there and people are in danger as they put me in jail while the killer is out there..." in his own words, employing his own linguistic subjective dictionary, and means of communication.
Remember: he speaks with the presupposition of being understood. He speaks for the purpose of communication; therefore, we may analyze his statements. I have edited out the intermingled interviews with others to focus on Avery's words. Analysis of others involved will be in separate articles.
female reporter: "She was there to photograph this 1989 Dodge Caravan. Avery regularly advertises in Auto Trader magazine and says Halbach has visited his home on assignment several times in the past year. Did she mention any other appointments that day or anything like that?"
Avery: No, I don't think so. Because most of the time, she takes a picture and then she writes down the serial number... and then she comes and collects the money and... and that's about it.
Reporter: OK. So what kinds of questions are police asking you?
Avery: Just when she was out here. What time. Around. That was about it.
Reporter: "Did they ask you to take a polygraph or anything like that?"
Asking about the polygraph increases the affirmation of an allegation against him.
Avery: "No. No. Tonight the cops come and they asked me if I remembered anything and I told them no. You know, then they asked me if they can come in the house and check the house over. I said, "I got no problem with that. Come on in." So they checked the house all over. You know, everything was fine and then they left. "
As his mind is focused upon the time of their departure, it is a signal that he is withholding information relevant to the question, at this specific point in time.
female reporter: They blocked off about a four-mile stretch of the highway that surrounds the Steven Avery home. And earlier, hazmat vehicles also arrived on the scene, as well as the Great Lakes K-9 Search and Rescue.
Jodi: It's just bullshit that they can go and search our house and nobody there.
Steven: Well, yeah, they got the whole yard tore apart.
This is a time where Avery can assert that he did not kill Teresa, nor cause her disappearance, in his own wording. Guilty parties will seek to avoid direct lies as they cause the most internal stress. This stress is seen in the disruption of the processing of language and is not only dependent upon a conscience. Those who feel no guilt nor remorse will also avoid the 'confrontation' that is internal, when using a direct lie. The direct lie is avoided more than 90% of the time that deception is present. This is why even the words of someone who is deceptive are so valuable to the investigation.
Jodi: Do they?
Steven: Yeah, the whole shit.
Jodi: I'm scared.
Steven: Yeah, me too.
Due to the wrongful rape conviction, this is a justifiable fear, but it is also another opportunity to deny the allegation.
Jodi: Well, not scared, just worried.
Do you think your two brothers could've had anything to do with this?
No. No. Not at all. Look, anybody can go down the road at nighttime, you know, when everybody's sleeping. You know, just drive in. My brother ain't gonna hear nothing.
So who do you think did something with her?
I got no idea. If the county did something, or whatever, in trying to plant evidence on me or something, I don't know. I wouldn't put nothing past the county.
female reporter: What is your response to Mr. Avery's comment that Manitowoc County may be trying to pull one over on him?
Yeah, that I'm happy to talk about. That's something that, again, District Attorney Rohrer and Judge Fox and really the Manitowoc Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement community was very sensitive to... any appearance at all of conflict. Not just an actual conflict, but any appearance of conflict, I think. Again, talking about District Attorney Rohrer, the foresight that he had to bring in another agency, a law enforcement agency, like Calumet County, another prosecutor like the Calumet County District Attorney, was meant to do just that, to make sure that there couldn't even be those kind of allegations.
Steven: They ain't finding nothing. 'Cause there ain't nothing there, so why are they gonna find anything? All I can think is they're trying to railroad me again.
In statement analysis, we always note the rhetorical question for potential information. To whom is this addressed? Would they not find anything because "I didn't kill Teresa", or is there another reason why they will not find anything. When claiming to be railroaded again, it is a good time to assert that he did not do it.
woman: "Dear Mr. Avery. I would like to invite you..." Here, I'll move this chair. [clears throat] man: There's a hole in the floor right here. Be careful.
woman: OK. "...to a luncheon that the Wisconsin Innocence Project will be holding for exonerees from Wisconsin and surrounding states on November 19th of this year. The purpose of this luncheon will be to bring exonerees together to build a network and support group for each other."
[laughs] I don't think he's gonna be able to make it.
woman: We should take all those shoes in case we have any unsolved burglaries with foot impressions. man: Yeah, there we go. Can you move it over here a little bit? Perfect.
Steven: I hadn't been home. They just been searching. You know, how hard is it to put evidence in the house? Or on the property? The sheriff... The old sheriff was out to get me the first time. How do I know he ain't got nothing to do with it this time, you know? I don't know.
We note, again, the rhetorical questions he asks without answers, and without a denial.
Tonight the Averys feel like they've become the focus of this investigation and feel like police are calling them liars.
This now tells us that the shadow of allegation is upon them. This is what should trigger, first and foremost, a reliable denial while the subject is speaking freely. In fact, many times, innocent people will offer the denial before being asked; they know the allegation is upon them.
female reporter: The entire Avery family is holed up in their Marinette County cabin right now, being told after three days they still cannot go home. Yet they say investigators won't tell them what's going on. Avery says he once again feels like a suspect and fears that any moment, police could arrest him.
Avery: "It all comes back. All these memories and everything else, and they're... just sketching me out again. And deep down, it hurts."
Each time the allegation is mentioned, it is opportunity for denial.
Who originally found the vehicle was a member of our search party. It was a member of our search party. Who asked permission to go onto the site. But no one other than that has ever been on the Avery property. On the actual site. It's been crime scene and taped off. Secured.
man: Significant evidence has been discovered over the past 24 hours at the Avery Salvage Yard. And the evidence that we've collected is leading us to that of a human person.
You know, we're all victims. You know, and they just won't leave us alone. They just keep it up, keep it up. You know, it's... You know, a person only can take so much. You know? Right now, I got enough of 'em. You know? They can go somewhere else and... and just leave us alone. Let us do our life and live normal.
"You know" is a habit of speech that appears when the subject becomes aware of his audience. What we do with this is:
We note what topics cause it to arise, and what topics do not.
Here is another place to deny the allegation but no denial is issued.
We also note that the word "normal" is used signaling something 'not normal' is on his mind.
Well, as I am sure everybody is aware, the scope of this investigation is now criminal in nature and we are classifying it as a homicide investigation. Um, it appears that an attempt was made to dispose of a body by an incendiary means. Pieces of human bone and teeth were found on the Avery property, and the key that was used to start Teresa Halbach's vehicle was found in Steven Avery's bedroom. And again I want to emphasize that the investigation revolves around one victim in this case and that's Teresa Halbach. And I also want to emphasize that the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department's role in this investigation was to provide resources for us when they were needed. As we needed items on the property to conduct searches, they provided that piece of equipment and that's their role and their only role in this investigation.
I spoke with Steven Avery's attorney by phone this afternoon. Walt Kelly told me he'd been unable to speak to Avery, didn't know where he was and feared what might happen to him when he was questioned about Teresa Halbach's disappearance.
Kelly on phone: I spent the entire afternoon, including direct conversation with Sheriff Pagel, trying to locate my client. My colleague Steve Glynn was in an automobile in the area trying to find him. I think they purposely have kept him away from us. I think they want to question him in our absence.
female reporter: Where is Avery right now? Which jail? Do you know?
I don't. I'm sorry. I don't know which jail. I...
female reporter: You don't know where Steven Avery is?
We know where he is, but we are not releasing that information because we do not have contact...
female reporter: He's entitled to... [indistinct chatter]
Here is where the confrontation with the allegation takes place and no reliable denial is issued:
Wiegert: You know how this works. You can't beat the evidence.
Fassbender: Work with us a little.
Wiegert: Think of your family.
I did not do it.
How's your family gonna be when they think you're a cold-blooded person?
I did not do it.
Here we have the specific allegation avoided. There is murder, burning the body, and perhaps sexual assault.
If you made a mistake, they'll understand that.
Yeah, but if there's a crooked cop...
So you're telling me somebody planted the body?
I didn't do it.
Who did it?
I don't know.
I do not know.
Steve, think of your family here for a second.
I am thinking of my family!
No, you're not. You're thinking of yourself.
You're thinking of yourself.
Fassbender: And we don't blame you for doing that. Goddamn it, you had 17 years in prison for something you didn't freaking do.
I didn't do this one.
And we understand that. You made a mistake. You made a mistake.
No, I did not. I didn't do nothing. How could I make a mistake?
So you intentionally killed her. That what you're telling me?
No, I didn't. I didn't do nothing.
How did it happen? Explain to me how it happened.
Wiegert: I know you're scared, Steve. I know you're scared.
I'm not scared.
Here one would be scared especially since he spent 18 years in prison for a rape he did not commit.
Next, he parrots the words of the interviewer:
Because you didn't mean to kill her. I don't think you meant to kill her.
No, I did not kill her.
This is parroting back another's words. It took a while, but he finally parroted them back to the interview and this continues as the interview progresses. It is something he did not say on his own, and only now he says it, repeatedly, after the interviewer introduced it to him.
This wasn't a planned thing.
Did you plan it?
OK, I didn't think so. I didn't think you're that kind of a guy from meeting you. I think what happened, you come out of prison for serving time for something you didn't even do...
I did not do it. ...
and it screws you up in the head. Like it screws everybody up. They didn't give you any counseling. You said before they gave no counseling.
I did not kill her.
The body's on your property. The key is in your bedroom. You know the key is there because you put the key there. That's the only way the key gets there.
Yes, Steve. Yes. That's the fact. You can deny it all you want. The evidence will show that, OK? That's the way it is. But the cops got the evidence.
Two independent investigators that have never met you. Two people who have never met you. Have nothing against you. I know nothing about you.
No, you see, if somebody else plants that sh1t there, you ain't gonna see it...
Then why are your... Why is your DNA in there? Why is her blood in your house? How are they going to get that blood in your house? How is her blood in my house?
It can't be. I used to leave my house open all the time.
Note both that it can't be, but the house "used" to be open all the time.
How does your DNA get inside of her truck?
My DNA ain't. That's because they got blood out of me. How much blood do they get out of me? A lot of blood.
They got a lot of blood outta me. That sheriff?
Steve. Come back to reality here.
No, you're not.
I did 18 years. You think I want to do any more?
As special prosecutor, I have also been asked to comment upon any possibility of tainted evidence or of something along those lines. There was some mention, in the media, that this key in his bedroom could've been left or planted or something of the like. Now that Mr. Avery's DNA is found on that particular key, I was left to question whether or not people would have me believe that not only are they carrying around keys for Teresa's vehicle, but they're also carrying around vials of Mr. Avery's DNA with them, whether it's perspiration or whatever. It's absurd. Because DNA evidence from the suspect, Steven Avery, was found on the key and Mr. Avery's blood is found inside of Teresa Halbach's vehicle, it is no longer a question, at least in my mind as a special prosecutor in this case, who is responsible for the death of Teresa Halbach.
female reporter: Hey, Steve! Everybody's listening! What do you want to say today?
female reporter: What else do you want to say, Steven? We can't tell it without you.
Steven on phone: You know, last time, it took me 18 years and six weeks to prove my innocence. This time, I don't know how long. [theme music plays]