Friday, May 27, 2016

David Shoar Statement: Michelle O'Connell

Sheriff Shoar's statement on release of information on Michelle O'Connell.

The analysis of Jeremy Banks' 911 call indicates deception by Banks in the death of Michelle O'Connell.  

It is not difficult to discern. 

The family of Michelle O'Connell exhumed her body disagreeing with the DA's findings.  

Elected official, Sheriff David Shoar issued a public statement about the family's position. This, too, stands the same analysis:  expected versus unexpected. 

What is expected?

A respectful disagreement with the family and a statement showing that the subject knows Jeremy Banks did not kill Michelle O'Connell, while remaining sympathetic with a grieving family.  As an elected official, we can expect a personal 'plug' or political positive, to be made for re election.  This is a general expectation we consider before reading the statement. 

Please note:  most readers are familiar with some of the basics of Statement Analysis.  For example, in "Analytical Interviewing", we interview based upon the analysis by asking legally sound open ended questions.  We avoid leading questions and compound questions.   We let the subject speak for himself.  

Analysis Question:  What does David Shoar believe about Jeremy Banks?

Does he assert strong belief that Shoar did not kill Michelle O'Donnell?
Does he indicate doubt?
Does he show belief that Shoar may have killed Michelle O'Donnell?

Is this a typical 'blue wall' of defense of a law enforcement official?  

Also listen to a portion of the interview done.  Note compound and leading questions and the need for training:  NY Times

A news release from Sheriff David Shoar --

On January 12th, 2016 media reports circulated that the body of Michelle O’Connell was removed from her place of rest by certain members of her family.  At the time, no one was certain exactly why this was done but the speculation was that a paid expert witness would be hired by these family members to produce a report that of course would support their belief about the case. 

The first thing we notice is the additional language.  "Additional language" is that in which, if removed, allows for a complete sentence to still exist.  It takes an extra effort to add in words, and these additional and unnecessary words become vital sources of information in analysis.  

The subject targets not the family of Michelle O'Connell, but "certain" members of the family.  This may suggest a personal emotion regarding specific members of the victim's family.  We will have to wait to see if the statement affirms a personal negativity, negates it, or does not address it (neutral), as we progress through the statement.  

"At the time, no one was certain exactly..."

Here we have a specific time frame in which "no one was certain"; with "no one" a label of nondescript.  It is impossible to know this, therefore, "no one" must refer to specific people.  It is to go to each "one" and find "none" to know "exactly": 

"was certain exactly

This shows that many were "certain" but their certainty may not have been "exact."  This further weakens the assertion. 

"but the speculation was..." is passive voice. This is to conceal responsibility of knowledge.  This suggest much discussion and knowledge by very specific individuals.  

"a paid expert witness would be hired"

a.  Note both "paid" and "hired is used here.   When one is "hired", one is "paid", with the additional language (redundant) being "unnecessary" in analysis.  

Principle:  Unnecessary language is very important and here we have a weak "need to persuade" rather than report honestly. Expert witnesses that are paid are used in both defense and prosecution.  The "law of economy" says that the shortest sentence is best and additional language takes an additional effort, and the information from the "unnecessary" word is often vital.  

b.  "Of course" means to accept without question.  

Yet, there is much to be questioned in which the subject does not wish to allow.  This is another weak statement.  We believe what one tells us unless we have reason not to.  We must, however, hear the person to tell us the information and do not accept information that is not stated.  

The statement shows that the source of the information needs to be concealed and that specific people knew, though without "certainty" of the family's plans to exhume the remains of Michelle O'Connell.  

The subject is very concerned with tainting a testimony in the eyes of the public before testimony is given.  This is akin to ignoring a message but attacking the messenger.  

It's need is concerning.  We seek to learn if this continues.  

 Today we learn that this speculation was accurate.  The report of the paid expert was delivered by a resident of Clay County who has a “private investigators” license with no connection to any official entity including law enforcement. 

Note that which was known, though without "certainty", with the source concealed, is called "speculation."

Note next the repetition of paying an expert with "paid expert" as sensitive to the subject. 

Principle:  Social Introductions reveal the quality of a relationship.  We look for 3 elements:
a.  pronoun giving ownership
b.  title
c.  name

"My supervisor, John, said..." is an example of a complete social introduction, and reveals a good relationship.  

In a more distant context, "a citizen named John" would also be acceptable

"My ex husband John" is indicative of a good working relationship in spite of divorce. 

"The ex said..." is to avoid the possessive pronoun, title (husband) and name, and shows a very poor relationship.  

When no relationship is expected, we can see quality of thought, such as respect, as well as disrespect, or even contempt.  

Note "a resident" is now introduced, without name, which is an incomplete social introduction indicating that the subject (writer) has a 'bad relationship' or ill will towards him.  Note that it is unlikely that no name is given due to lack of knowledge:  the citizen's license is reviewed. 

The omission of the private investigator's name, being an incomplete social introduction, is an intended insult.  The "bad relationship" may not be a relationship, but a specific view point.  

The need to insult, via withholding the name, suggests weakness in position.  We must see if the "shoot the messenger" theme continues.  

Note next that "private investigator" is put in quotes, as to call the attention of that 'which is not real' to the subject.  This is the second insult of the PI.  

Then note that the need to insult the licensing procedure:  the entity that issues the license is not associated with any "official" entity (state?) nor with  law enforcement.  The attempt to smear (insult) the PI before any information is revealed on findings has been compounded.  

The need to insult rather than answer is acute.  

 It is critically important to note that no person officially associated with a prosecutor’s office or law enforcement agency was in any way involved including when she was removed from her place of rest. 

"Importance" is now made sensitive by the word "critically."

He states that this is "critically important" that neither he, nor other law enforcement (including prosectors) were consulted as "critically important" but does not tell us why this is critically important.  

This further weakens the statement.  

 Why did these certain family members not request a judge to order a proper and officially sanctioned exhumation? 

Here we have a question in an open statement.  He does not ask, "Why did the family...?" but "these" and "certain family members" show a specific target of the sentence.  The question given, without answer, indicates an increase of emotion for the subject.  

Since it is that law enforcement, which includes the prosecutor's office, cleared Banks in the death of Michelle O'Connell, the subject knows the answer to the question which means the question, itself, is to be considered "unnecessary", making it, again, very important to the analysis.  The need to cause the public to "join in" with the question is another element of weakness in a statement that has repeated areas of sensitivity and weakness. 

With the phrase "these certain" family members, the element of emotion is present.  We now expect the subject to strongly assert the answer for himself:  

 We suspect the answer is that they would not have met the threshold for a judge to order one.  

Note the use of "we" rather than "I."

Note also that the topic of exhumation is now brought to question; not the results, nor testimony, but the exhumation itself. 

If a family can legally exhume a loved one, why the need to go through a judge with the additional labor?   

This, too, is an attempt to discredit "these", specific family members as if what they have done is "lawless."

This is another "need to persuade" rather than report truthfully and further undermines the statement.  

Most importantly, there have been three separate officially sanctioned medical examiners review this case as well as two officially sanctioned special prosecutors (Jeff Ashton and Brad King) appointed by the Governor, all have determined there is NO evidence present to indicate anything other than that Michelle died by her own hand.  

"Most importantly" shows the increase of emotion here.  Note that the medical examiners are "officially sanctioned" medical examiners.  This is unnecessary language and is used to insult a medical examiner who may not be "officially sanctioned" (by whom, it is not given), which seeks to 

insult the medical examiner's findings before they are made.  

Please note the findings of special prosecutors who are given full names:  "NO evidence present" with the emphasis on "NO" (weakness noted) but the word "present" as unnecessary.

Being unnecessary means the subject has added it for support for his assertion.  This is a signal of weakness, but in using additional language, we are given additional information. 

"present" is to appear, or to show up.  

He could have written, "no evidence to show..." but he opted for "NO" (emphatic capitalization) and the evidence that was "present" is added.

This suggests that the subject may know or believe that evidence exists to the contrary that was not present.  

It also does not make a strong statement (in the wording) that "Michelle O'Connell committed suicide."

Look at the language: 

there is NO evidence present to indicate anything other than that Michelle died by her own hand.

compare it to: 

"they found that Michelle committed suicide." 

He does not assert that Michelle committed suicide but uses the lengthy sentence revealing that there was NO (in the negative) evidence that was there, or present, to indicate this, and that instead of stating she committed suicide, his focus is upon only the evidence present.  

The analyst must now consider if the subject, himself, believes that Michelle committed suicide. 

"These certain family members" shows, technically, an "incomplete social introduction", or avoidance of their names.  This suggests personal emotion, perhaps animosity, from the subject himself.  "These" indicates closeness to him, and "certain" seeks to separate "these" from others in the family.  He does not give the victim's family, in any account (suicide or murder) the norm and respectful status of

"the victim's family" or "the family."

He has thus far ridiculed the means, and not the end.  The attack of the means (not the findings) and the use of ridicule raises the level of insecurity in the findings of the special prosecutors, which is supported by the language of "by her own hand..." which should be examined and considered, separate from "suicide."

Law enforcement reports "suicide."  This is done regularly. 

To state that "Michelle died by her own hand" is to blame the suicide victim; something that is unnecessary. 

By virtue of suicide, the victim is the one responsible.  There is no need to say "she killed herself by suicide."

To state that "Michelle died by her own hand" is to blame the victim for that which she was already responsible for. 

This is, in Statement Analysis 101, "unnecessary language" which is 'to be deemed doubly important.'

Doubly important to whom?

Doubly important to the subject and subsequently, to the analyst.  

It is personal. 

He does it by identifying the victim by her first name, and it is to literally use a body part ("hand") belonging to the victim.

The subject has a need to blame the victim for something of which there is no need to assign responsibility by definition. 

This is to tell us that the subject has a need to persuade his audience, and perhaps, himself, that Michelle O'Connell committed suicide.    

The last special prosecutor went so far as to write that he was, “thankful it was NOT a homicide because had it been, it could never have been prosecuted due to the actions of the state agent who at one time was involved in this case.”  

Since it was "written", does the last special prosecutor (unnamed here) have in his final report the word "not" in all capitals?  

The information presented today is nothing new and all was reviewed during the initial autopsy.

This is the first mention of "information" and he does not offer refutation of anything; only using the dismissive "nothing new" and that it was "all" reviewed.  

How personal is this to the subject?

Molesting Michelle from her place of rest using some freelance type approach is beyond unconventional, it was reprehensible.

This is very concerning language.  

The exhumation is now labeled a "molestation."  It would be interesting to learn if the subject has ever been involved in an exhumation before, and if so, was it a "molestation."

The use of this word, in such a weakened assertion and personal attack is unexpected, unusual, and concerning.  

Note that exhumations are done 'conventionally' that is, through court order forcing the state to pay for its cost rather than fall upon the burden of the family. This is the 'conventional' ("normal" in analysis) means to an end. 

Here he calls the family's personal initiative "reprehensible."

This is to affirm the personal animosity noted above.  The subject, himself, would have to tell us why the removal of a lifeless corpse is "molestation" and why not going "normal" routine is "reprehensible."

This is the weighted personal contempt for the family.  

A person with a broken arm does not get upset nor defensive seeing someone with a fake cast on his arm.  

The subject has an intense need to personally punish the family members in this case.  He does not show confidence in the outcome of their investigation, nor does he show confidence in the work of prosectors.  

The analyst should at this point question if the subject knows or possesses information contrary to the official or "conventional" findings.  

He has ridiculed specific members of the family, but with "reprehensible", he has publicly condemned them for doubting or questioning the finding.  

He has specified and ridiculed specific members, and now he reveals 'their motive' for what they are doing.  They are not going through personal expensive (emotionally and financially), as he asserts to know their motive:  

The primary advisers to the few family members who will go to any lengths to maintain their moment in the spotlight consist of the private investigator, a former St. Johns County Deputy Sheriff who was fired for ethical misconduct and who is now a candidate for political office.  

They are "reprehensible" because they are going through all of this just to seek public fame, according to the statement.  This explains his use of "reprehensible."

How he asserts that he knows their motive is not revealed.  

He now takes to insult the private investigator "who was fired for ethical misconduct" and accuses the connection of "moment in the spotlight" with "political office."

He does not tell us what the ethical misconduct was, but we note the need to impugn the reputation of the PI, rather than refute the assertions made that Jeremy Banks killed Michelle O'Connell. 

Simplest is to issue a reliable denial.  

We see this in the language of defense attorneys.  They silence their clients but then reveal to us their own personal belief in their client's guilt or innocence.  On the few occasions where the reliable denial is issued, we have seen vindication.  

Interestingly, this same individual has been hinting at some recent political events that there was some “big news” coming regarding the O’Connell case.  Coincidently, the last time Michelle’s sister was interviewed on local television she actually told the reporter that this case is about, “politics”.  

The 'incomplete social introduction' in Statement Analysis shows 'bad relationship' and where no actual relationship exists, we are able to judge the emotional attitude the subject has towards the one introduced.  Here, he calls her "this same individual" ("individual" seeks to separate her from others in the family, and is consistent with "these" and "certain" used above; that is, to isolate her, as alone in what she is doing).

He then calls her "Michelle's sister" ; 

He then reuses "politics" without explanation.  It may be true that "politics" is part of the equation, but if so, why the need to present it without explanation is not known.  

"Politics" is a word repeated by the subject; making it important to him. 

Please note that David Shoar announced that he would be running for re-election in 2016.  

Though the reporter never followed up on her comment, as the political season evolves it has become very clear what she meant. And finally a career “drug” investigator and current state agent who was recently reprimanded for conducting a “substandard” investigation into the death of Michelle O’Connell.

Note the need to ridicule using quotation marks.  

A great question for the public and media to ask would be, why hasn’t the family filed suit against the person they think was culpable in Michelle’s death?  The answer is probably the same as why they did not seek an official exhumation, because there is no Probable Cause to indicate Michelle died by anything other than her own hand. 

He repeats the same victim blaming from above.  This question ultimately is answered.  

 Of vital importance that most folks do not understand is that the person that certain members of the family think is culpable in Michelle’s death, is one of only two people (along with Michelle’s brother Scott) who HAS filed a civil suit in relation to this case (against FDLE and Agent Rodgers).  People who are culpable or have committed crimes do not file civil suits because when they do, they can longer shield themselves behind the Fifth Amendment and a civil suit puts everything under a microscope.   

Note:  See Lance Armstrong  

Fortunately, the civil suit filed by Michelle’s brother Scott and Jeremy Banks is well under way and hopefully there should be closure within the next year.  I have always taken the position that if a jury ever gets to hear what Scott and Jeremy had to endure because of the conduct of a few people with personal agendas, it would shock their consciences and they would rule in favor of both Scott and Jeremy, I still maintain that position.  

This analyst is shocked at the 911 call made by Banks, and shocked that an elected sheriff would make such a weak, personally embittered statement using ridicule rather than reason.  

The record clearly shows that we have always held employees accountable at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office when they violate our policies or engage in criminal conduct.  In the past, I have had to discipline and even arrest employees for misconduct.  If, however, an employee is unfairly and maliciously targeted by external forces they will have no stronger advocate than myself.  This case is an example of the latter and not the former.       

The use of the pronoun "I" indicates an increase in importance.  This is to say that it is important that the public know "I have..." in several instances.  This is to defend his political record for the purpose of re election. 

Analysis Conclusion:

The subject does not possess confidence that Jeremy Banks did not kill Michelle O'Connell. 

He has a need to "shoot the messengers" rather than answer the message and while decrying "politics" he reveals his own political agenda.  

He holds both the victim and her family in personal contempt.  

Most telling is his need to report that suicide was by the victim's own hand.  This is to blame the victim in redundancy.  

He shows deep animosity towards the family and a need to persuade the public of his own record.  He offers no strong defense for Banks.  

It is likely that he has been made aware of reports of domestic violence and if he has had any training in analysis, he knows the 911 call reveals the status of guilty caller in a domestic homicide.  

Please note:  This public statement is not a defense of Jeremy Banks.  This is a statement made by a politician and not a cop.  This is not a blue wall of protection that law enforcement sometimes needs.  

This is a self-driven and self motivated statement in defense of early errors done in the investigation.   Note the word "employee" is how he views police and law enforcement;

not as a brother.  

They are not his brothers and he is not one of theirs.  This is to defend error, for the purpose of politics, which is why politics is part of this statement.  

His contempt for the family, and his use of "molest" show pragmatism, though there are other concerns regarding the choice of wording beyond the scope of the analysis question:

Does he have doubts about Jeremy Banks' innocence?

Yes, he does.  

He has a need to attack others, rather than defend Banks.  He avoids defending Banks, using arbitrary arguments, including the civil law suit. 

The final chapter tells the reader that this is about him and his political career, justice be damned.  The ego-centric exploitation for political purpose is readily seen in his victim blaming and condemnation of the family as "reprehensible."  

In employing the additional wording, in each paragraph, he first undermines, and then refutes his own credibility.  

It is not a defense of law enforcement.  

It is a defense of himself, for the purpose of election.  It is not loyalty to law enforcement; and it is not loyalty to truth, or the citizens.  He could have disagreed with the family politely and objectively.  Instead, he resorts to ridicule and targeting the messengers while avoiding the message. 

He does not state plainly his belief about Banks.  

This statement is a political attack statement and one void of ethics that respected law enforcement officials follow, hold to, and believe in.  

He smears rather than report.  

If a court had ordered Michelle's exhumation, would that have been "molestation"?

When a body is exhumed, is that "molestation"?

Has he ever been involved in exhumation of remains for the purpose of evidence seeking, and if so, is he "reprehensible" for doing so?

What of his prosecutors?

Are they guilty of molesting corpses any time they have had bodies exhumed?

It is likely that rank and file law enforcement are well familiar with his view point of them being his "employees", rather than his brothers in arms.  

It is likely that internal disagreement has been strong in this case, as most seek truth and justice, over all else.  

David Shoar shows a lack of familiarity with the language of humility, and shows little empathy for the family of the victim.  Spurious arguments and taunting insults are not the language of a professional.  


elf said...

In the introduction to the analysis, do you mean did 'he assert belief that Banks did not murder michelle' ?

lynda said...

"politics" is sensitive to him because he is in an elected position and wants this to go away NOW since he is up for re election shortly. I hope people realize how awful and demeaning this statement was to her family. He loathes her family because they will not let this GO. He has no control over his department, they screwed up royally and now are covering it up so he can get re elected.

"Paid" is sensitive because he is LYING. Michelle's Aunt has posted on Social Media that the Sheriff blatantly LIED with his constant use of the word "PAID" experts. She has stated that the examiner and others involved did their work for FREE. They volunteered to do it for the family for FREE. I hope that some reporter publishes that!

Peter said,

To state that "Michelle died by her own hand" is to blame the suicide victim; something that is unnecessary.

By virtue of suicide, the victim is the one responsible. There is no need to say "she killed herself by suicide."

To state that "Michelle died by her own hand" is to blame the victim for that which she was already responsible for.


Excellent lesson here Peter, I did not pick that up at all.

I hope that the voters in that county realize that to say the family is doing this for "their moment in the spotlight" is what is truly reprehensible. I don't think there is a loving family anywhere in the world that would hope one of their children was murdered so they could have their 15 min. of fame. That was truly a disgusting statement by the Sheriff.

Spot on with Lance Armstrong example. I hope some reporter picks that up too!

Unknown said...

This Sherriff should be ashamed for making a statement like this!

To suggest that Michelle's family is enjoying their time in the spotlight is disgusting. They are seeking justice, and have no choice but to bypass those which has failed to obtain it!

The idea that the Sherriff could hear the 911 call of Banks and not recognize his blatant contradictions and guilt, is laughable. His seething animosity toward her family, and their efforts to obtain justice is telling, and suggests that he knows the truth...and feels the truth is a danger to him personally.

Reading this statement was infuriating!

Nic said...

Here is a link to the PDF of the results of an investigation by the State Attorney’s office into alleged misconduct by FDLE Special Agent Rusty Rodgers to address Sheriff Shoar’s “concerns”/“complaints”. Also included in the PDF is reference to the 911 call/SA in Rodgers’ investigation. The 911 transcription Rodgers used was transcribed incorrectly. Inaccuracy aside, Shoar imo, really comes off as grasping at straws, so obviously vicious is his attack/need to discredit Rogers he tried to destroy the man’s career. IMO, Shoar's most recent public statement is more of the same.

“For ease of use I have attempted to break down this memorandum by the nature of Sheriff Shoar’s complaints.”

Nic said...

Shoar is trying to imply bribery by using the term "paid expert witness". Note he's being slimy by inserting "expert" in his attempt to discredit and sully their findings.

Regular witnesses, like a friend of Michelle, would not be paid for their testimony because it would make them look bias and undermine their credibility...which is what Shoar is attempting to trick people into thinking about the expert findings.

Shore's words and behaviour lends much credibility to the family's complaint.


lynda said...

Good piece in the NYT about the murder, including backstory which is quite eye-opening. Confirms Peter's analysis of Jeremy BAnks and Sheriff in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

OT - 11-year-old Josue Flores was stabbed to death while walking home from school, and a knife was found at the scene.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for analysing Sheriff Shoar.

The Sheep said...

New Hampshire man changes plea to guilty in teen's kidnapping

By Ted Siefer

(Reuters) - A man pleaded guilty on Thursday to kidnapping a 14-year-old girl in a New Hampshire town and repeatedly raping her over a nine-month period of captivity during which local residents carried out a frantic search.

Nathaniel Kibby, 35, pleaded guilty to seven charges, including kidnapping and sexual assault, stemming from the abduction of the teenager in North Conway, New Hampshire, in October 2013. He initially pleaded not guilty in 2014.

The plea deal reduced the number of charges Kibby was facing from nearly 200, but the charges still carry the possibility of a sentence that could put him behind bars for up to 90 years. His plea avoids a trial that was slated to begin next month.

The teen's disappearance from the mountain town in northern New Hampshire prompted a months-long search that agonized residents. She returned home nine months after she disappeared.

At the hearing at Belknap County Superior Court on Thursday, Associate Attorney General Jane Young said the teen was walking home from high school when she willingly accepted a ride with Kibby because her feet had blisters.

Kibby soon pulled out a gun and threatened to blow her "brains out" if she attempted to escape, Young said.

The teen was alternately confined to a storage container and Kibby's nearby trailer in the town of Gorham, where she was gagged, chained to his bed, blindfolded and made to wear a dog collar that would shock her if she made too much noise, Young said.

The teen was repeatedly raped and sexually violated, Young added. Young said Kibby let the girl go only after he was convinced he had frightened her into not giving him up.

The victim, who was not identified by prosecutors, was in court with her family on Thursday. The victim's mother told Kibby: "There's a part of me that hates you and there's a part of me that wants peace," according to local broadcaster NH1.

The victim, now 17, told Kibby she was not the same person she was before her abduction but that she forgave him, NH1 reported.

(Reporting by Ted Siefer in Lowell, Mass.; Editing by Curtis Skinner and Peter Cooney)

Statement Analysis Blog said...

I have received some helpful feedback from other analysts and have broadened the analysis question to include new answers.

updated 2pm EST

Nic said...

Jeremy Banks Account
Detective Jessica Hines interviews Jeremy Banks on the night of the shooting

All right, this is Detective Hines. It is officially September 3rd at 1:23 in the morning. Um…

Jeremy…I’m here with Jeremy Banks.

Hines: Jeremy, tell me about tonight. Where…Tell me where you were you at, what did you guys have going on?

Banks; We uh, were at the amphitheater for the concert that went on. And, but, we argued a little bit there. We, you know, argued a little bit earlier today, but nothing terrible. Just we were both fed up with each other’s bullcrap that we’ve been going, we’ve been dealing with. We’ve been together a year and some odd months. I guess a month now. But, um, we were at the show, I enjoyed the show, she enjoyed the show from what I understand. And in the car, we were talking about it. We had decided that we were gonna break up. She was gonna move out. (25 seconds later) We came home and we weren’t arguing when we got home. We got home and we, we talked about it, we just said, you know, enough’s enough. We’ve been fighting, we’re done and we’re tired of each other’s sh!t. An I-I-I told her that I-I-I do love her, tha- that I love lexis, her little girl. But, I just don’t feel like she’s — that we’re best friends anymore. I-iit’s just, not working out. And she agreed… (8 seconds later)

Hines: Right

Banks:I sat on my motorcycle and that’s when I …I heard the gun pop.

Hines: K. You…You were outside in the yard? Driveway?

Banks: I, w My motorcycle was int he garage, I was sitting on it with my head down. Just upset about, you know, the breakup.

Hines: Sure.

Banks And I And then uh, I heard it pop and I knew exactly what it was.Just instinct. I just said, “Oh sh!t. And I ran inside, I started screaming her name and the bedroom door was locked and…I screamed her name again. I heart it go off again for the second time. I ran into the living room I grabbed the pone, and I kicked it, the bedroom door in and I found her laying where she is. And the sheriff’s office showed up.

Hines: OK (5 minutes 3 seconds later) What was it — what’d you get to rink tonight?

Banks: I was drinking beer.

Hines: What kind of beer?

Banks: Bud Light.

Hines: Ugh

Banks: Big ones.

Hines: (laughing)

Banks: I’m not gonna lie.

Hines: How many do you think you had?

Banks: Four. Five maybe.

Hines: Ok (6 minutes 9 seconds later) And I know this part’s really hard, Jeremy, but…When you did get that door open…Your’re on the phone with 9-1-1. Tell me, tell me exactly what you did.

Banks: Deep breathing, I kicked the door open. I-I-I-I-kind of veered in and I saw her feet. I ran in. (crying) I saw the blood coming out and I just grabbed her hand and I started I dialled 9-1-1.

Hey Jude said...

I agree It is a shocking statement - Jeremy Banks 911 call is shocking, too. Both men abuse their power and positions and seem at ease in so doing - the personal nature of the Sheriff's attack upon Michelle's family makes for particularly disturbing reading - it's so unprofessional, bullying, cold and calculated - it's his own behaviour for which the word 'reprehensible' is fitting, He has no care or respect for victim or family. I find the effect to be nauseating.

How does one deal with such feelings? It makes it difficult to engage in a detached manner - I want to insult them both, which I know isn't conducive to allowing either of them to 'be dead' to me for the purposes of analysis. :-/ I have found a sympathetic interest to come quite easily in other cases - perhaps it is knowing so little about the victim and her family which makes a difference. I can't get past the negativity and sickness induced by Banks and the Sheriff, so it has to be better just to read for the time being rather than to try to add anything myself, which would be superfluous, anyway. They are great analyses, and thank you - I will come back to them when my stomach is stronger.

Anonymous said...


Clock Boy's hometown

Pt. 1

Muslims are now an organized political force in Irving

Something remarkable is happening in Irving, a city that, for the better part of a year, clumsily became a tinderbox for anti-Muslim madness.

One vote makes the difference as Meagher declared winner in Irving council race
Irving Muslims join voter rolls in record numbers
Irving’s clashes over Islam draw attention of Esquire, the Guardian and BBC

This is the town where Ahmed Mohamed, the “clock boy,” gained notoriety last fall for bringing a homemade project to school.

Time flies when you’re facing cultural bias and religious persecution.

Over the past 15 months, since Mayor Beth Van Duyne began stoking fears that Muslims were setting up a Shariah law court at an Irving mosque, the Muslim community hasn’t just turned the other cheek — it has rolled up its sleeves and gone to work.

We noted last year that Muslims, who have generally refrained from city politics, had begun organizing get-out-the-vote drives and showing up in record numbers at the polls.

But then, in what seems like a script straight out of Hollywood, an Irving City Council race that hung in the balance this month was settled by a single vote — a provisional ballot cast by a Muslim voter.

Allan Meagher, the Place 2 incumbent who has stood against the town’s foolish, anti-Muslim fervor, found himself with exactly 50 percent of the vote against two challengers.

He needed only one more vote to avoid a June runoff that would have cost the city $70,000 and forced him to dig deeper into his campaign chest.

One man — a disabled Muslim in his 20s who’d gotten his mother to drive him to the polls on Election Day — made the difference. When he got to the polls, he was told that his ID had expired, so he cast what’s called a provisional ballot.

That means the only way he could secure his vote was by returning within days of the election with a valid ID. After hearing on the news that Meagher needed one more vote, the man’s family drove him to the courthouse to put the finishing touch on the race.

“It changed the election,” said Meagher, a UPS manager. “I did hear that the provisional vote was a Muslim voter and I’d like to meet him.”

But here’s the rub: What would rightfully be a gleeful moment for any other voter is one the young man — and Muslim community leaders — are hesitant to gloat about for fear of a backlash.

“It’s definitely a pride for the community,” said Yasir Arafat, a 32-year-old electrical engineer and leader of the Good Citizen Committee that has organized voter registration drives.

“But we care not just about our community, we care about the whole community of Irving,” he said.

More pointedly, what the Muslim community doesn’t want is to be further isolated or stigmatized by flexing its political muscle.

Which is why celebrating this milestone — and the record number of Muslim voters — gets tricky.

Arafat said he’d rather focus attention on the idea that everybody’s vote counts, and that this one particular vote saved taxpayers at least $70,000 — which, he pointed out, could be used to build a road, pay for a police officer or provide medical services.

He said he wants the Muslim community to get more engaged in civic affairs, including voting, to help Irving grow and prosper.

“This is how we can make this city an international city,” he said. “We have so many religions, nationalities and cultures in our city. We can work together and learn to respect each other and our differences. That’s something I believe in.”

Anonymous said...

Pt 2

For a religious community that has faced so much open hostility — including bomb threats at its mosques and Islamic Center, which houses a school of several hundred children — you can’t ask for a more graceful, democratic response.

“It’s a great testament to the community that it responded the way it did,” said former Irving Mayor Herbert Gears. “We do have a really diverse population out here, and the politicians must learn that they’ve got to treat people respectfully or there will be a consequence at the ballot box.”

Those who keep tabs on voter rolls say the number of Muslim voters has jumped from about 150 two years ago to over 800 in the May 7 election. Of the city’s 92,000 registered voters, about 3,800 — slightly more than 4 percent — identify as Muslims.

But they made up nearly 18 percent of the ballots cast in an election where the turnout was low.

“Seeing this is an amazing improvement for the community,” Arafat said. “Muslims are a democratic people, and we just want to make sure we are engaged in the political process.”

Anthony Bond, a longtime community activist, said he sees what happened in the last election as a sign that “the tide has turned in Irving.”

“There are people here fearful of Muslims because they don’t know any,” he said. “But we’re all in this boat together, and that boat is called America. We’re all going to float or sink together; that’s the whole issue. We can’t let our disagreements sink the boat.”

lynda said...

Peter said,

Please note: This public statement is not a defense of Jeremy Banks. This is a statement made by a politician and not a cop. This is not a blue wall of protection that law enforcement sometimes needs.

This is a self-driven and self motivated statement in defense of early errors done in the investigation. Note the word "employee" is how he views police and law enforcement;

not as a brother.


Thank you for the update Peter, particularly this part as that was my first thought. Seeing it broken down as you did clarifies and makes perfect sense to me.

lynda said...

Nic..thanks for that transcript!

" An I-I-I told her that I-I-I do love her, tha- that I love lexis, her little girl. But, I just don’t feel like she’s — that we’re best friends anymore. I-iit’s just, not working out. And she agreed… (8 seconds later) "

"Banks: Deep breathing, I kicked the door open. I-I-I-I-kind of veered in and I saw her feet. I ran in. (crying) I saw the blood coming out and I just grabbed her hand and I started I dialled 9-1-1."

Doesn't Peter say that every "I" indicates stress/sensitivity and three "I" stutters means that the subject is near a nervous breakdown? He stutters FOUR times when telling how he got in room and what he saw first. Liar, liar pants on fire. Someday I think it would be really cool if I could actually be around when someone lies and their pants actually DO catch on fire.
This murderer married soon after he killed Michelle and he has a child. So awful.

I'm not that well versed in SA and I can see many, many sensitivity and deception indicators.

Tania Cadogan said...

The last special prosecutor went so far as to write that he was, “thankful it was NOT a homicide because had it been, it could never have been prosecuted due to the actions of the state agent who at one time was involved in this case.”

This caught my eye and struck me as odd.
Why was he so certain that, if it had been, in his words "a homicide" it could never have been prosecuted?

It is not for him to decide to prosecute or not, it is for the prosecutors to make the decision and go ahead with it leaving it for the jury to find innocence or guilt.

The defense would be the ones to suggest their client was innocent and blame the poor actions of whoever for making their client look guilty.

Why then is he so defensive?
Why is he so insistent it was suicide and the case should be dropped rather than have it go to trial where all the evidence is revealed and explained and have banks found judicially innocent of the crime and that it was indeed suicide?

Further thinking lead me to wonder about prosecution rates by the dept?
Crimes that are ignored completely or minimized down to something petty?

On down the path and i got to wondering:

What is the relationship between banks and the sheriff?

Why is the sheriff protecting banks and demeaning and insulting both Michelle and her family?

Why is he so desperate for the case to be dropped and listed as suicide?

Why is he effectively putting his job on the line to protect banks, a man who indicates for deception in the death of his wife Michelle?

Does banks have something on the sheriff that could result in loss of his job or even criminal charges?

Is this just something between them or does it also include other officers?

Lis said...

I'm so glad to see this analysis. I was stunned when I first read the statement as it was so personal, so bitter, and so unprofessional. I learned a lot about the underlying political motivation; I see it now.

I also felt that in phrasing Michelle's burial place to be her "place of rest" he set it up to seem as if she had been peacefully at rest and the family cruelly disturbed her. He repeated "place of rest" 3 times.

This letter alone should make everyone question the clearing of Banks.

BTW, is the prosecutor he named, Jeff Ashton, the same one that prosecuted Casey Anthony? I thought he retired?

Lis said...

^^ I meant to say I learned a lot from the analysis in terms of what the statement revealed about the political motivation, I didn't make that very clear.

Krayon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nic said...

What is the relationship between banks and the sheriff?

Banks' stepdad is a sheriff in another county. (Sorry I'm not American, I don't understand US jurisdiction.) His stepdad was on the scene speaking to Banks before the investigators (per a report I read.)


Anonymous said...

The wording of "she died by her own hand" is interesting. When we hear suicide, we know exactly what it means. We envision the person dying alone. We don't even need to know how the person died. But to say she died by her own hand could be a sly way of rewording "murder" so that it implies suicide.

It doesn't necessarily mean she died alone or of her own will. Someone could have been forcing "her own hand."

Nic said...

Agreed, Anonymous @ 1:53. It's like saying, "she tripped" but leaving out the part that [they] deliberately hooked their foot in front of hers.

Hey Jude said...

'Died by her own hand' - maybe the Sheriff does not say 'suicide' because he no longer believes Michelle committed suicide. 'By her own hand' is a way of saying she was the cause of her own death but not also that she necessarily intended to die. (i.e Heath Ledger's sister said that 'he died by his own hand' - his death was concluded to be the result of an accidental overdose. She meant that while he caused his own death, he did not intend it -to say he committed suicide would not be fitting as there was no indication of such an intention. 'By his own hand' is not, in such a context, intended as a slur - more an acknowledgement that, sadly, he unintentionally caused his own death.) In the Sheriff's use it appears to be victim-blaming, yet it may also be an indication that he has more recently privately stepped back from the belief it was suicide. I wonder if it may also be a psychological 'justification' of the crime - akin to leakage? Sometimes the defence is that the victim upset the perpetrator, thereby provoking the crime - she died by her own hand - or doing. He thinks Banks is a fine young man, stigmatised by false accusations, despite Michelle's sister's (ignored) claim that there was a history of domestic violence between Banks and Michelle.

'When the O’Connell family met later with Lieutenant Bradley, the sheriff’s representative, Christine complained that on the night of the shooting, officers had rebuffed her efforts to tell them what her sister had revealed at that lunch.
“I said: Am I allowed to submit a statement? Because she told me a lot of things about — and I’m just going to spell it out for anyone here — domestic violence. She came to my house, she said: ‘I’m leaving. I’m scared of this and that.’ And I said, ‘Michelle, don’t go to the concert,’ ” she told the lieutenant.
This information was of no use, the police told her, because it was hearsay.'

John Mc Gowan said...


The scene was as grisly as it gets: Two gunshots fired, a beautiful young woman found lying in a pool of blood with a bullet through her throat. Deputies investigate and the death is ruled a suicide.


Lis said...

OT Anyone want to tackle this for statement analysis? o.O

China denies exporting cans of human meat and selling it in Africa as corned beef

Lis said...

The last special prosecutor went so far as to write that he was, "thankful it was NOT a homicide"

This makes me think that he was told it was not a homicide as though that was fact and he took the information at face value without question.

Tania Cadogan said...

Lis said...

OT Anyone want to tackle this for statement analysis? o.O

China denies exporting cans of human meat and selling it in Africa as corned beef

May 28, 2016 at 4:10 PM


lynda said...


This is another case that may not be prosecuted because of the inexperience of the initial investigators and failure to collect evidence promptly because they were dealing with one of there own. Since the investigation, or lack thereof, was so inept, the Sheriff has to save face by vilifying the family.

If all the evidence gathered in the NYT article was presented to a grand jury I was vote would be to indict. I also would have no problem convicting him either. This article was written 2 years ago I think and there has not been justice for Michelle. How can anyone read it and think for one second that JB didn't murder her? When are these depts. going to be held accountable for not doing their jobs??

Anonymous said...

Was it indicated that her finger/hand prints were or were not on the 'duty' weapon? Wouldnt that be checked firstly?

lynda said...


Michelle's hand had gun powder residue on it. Her fingerprints ONLY were on the gun even tho it was Jeremy's service weapon and he had had it with him all day. His fingerprints SHOULD have been on his gun, but they were not. At all.

The gun powder on Michelle's hand was on her LEFT hand, meaning she fired with her left hand. Michelle is right-handed, not left

The purse next to her body had 2 rx. pill bottles with sedatives? I think. They were open, with the caps off.

Michelle's fingerprints were NOT found on the bottles but JEREMY's were

JB was drunk that night

Anonymous said...

Does report say if his fingerprints were on her hands & wrist?

Anonymous said...

Its alledged that she shot herself twice? How common is that among suicides?

Lis said...

Thanks, Tania. That article just cracked me up but ewwe!

Tania Cadogan said...

My pleasure Lis :)

Unknown said...

Great article you linked - It brings into focus several factors

The dramatically different treatment given to Jeremy Banks "one of their own" versus the hostile and dismissive treatment of the victim and her family, throws up big red flags for me. Law Enforcement officers who describe themselves as his friends and other fellow officers are first on the scene, as time goes on, more officers show up to give "support" and end up compromising the crime scene.

"Ms. O’Connell, the sheriff’s office concluded, took her own life. Detectives were so certain in their judgment that they never tested the forensic evidence collected after the shooting. Nor did they interview her family and friends, who would have told them that she was ecstatic over a new full-time job with benefits, including health insurance for her daughter."

The dismissal of Jeremy Banks, a deputy sheriff for St. Johns County, as a prime suspect in the death of Michelle O’Connell is not only shocking, it flies in the face of common police procedure, homicide statistics, suicide statistics and common sense. This is Especially troubling when considering the facts we know:
(1. Jeremy Banks was intoxicated and was so angry and out of control he punched dents into a police car.
(2. Michelle had just broke up with him and was packing up to leave
(3. Two shots were fired from HIS service pistol.
(4. Michelle had a new job with good benefits for her little girl (People contemplating suicide don't make plans)
(5. Michelle's sister received a text message less than two hours before she died saying "I'll be there soon". Her sister was watching her 4 year old daughter.
(6. Michelle was a victim of domestic violence - a fact brought up by Michelle's family and two neighbors "who reported hearing a woman screaming for help followed by two gunshots." Which prompted the medical examiner to revise his opinion from suicide to homicide, a conclusion shared by the crime reconstruction expert hired by state investigators."
(7. No forensic testing is done, no statements are collected of family, friends and neighbors.

It is at this point politics seem to invade the case, Gov. Scott Walker steps in and appoints a "special prosecutor" after the medical examiner and a crime reconstruction expert conclude that Michelle's death was a homicide. The "Special prosecutor" finds insufficient evidence of murder. This is in direct conflict with previous findings and an independent investigation supported by the victim's family. " The Times examined the case in collaboration with the PBS investigative news program “Frontline,” reviewing police, medical and legal records, interviewing dozens of people connected to the case, and consulting independent forensic and law enforcement experts."

"The examination found that the investigation was mishandled from the start, not just by the sheriff and his officers, but also by medical examiners who espoused scientifically suspect theories that went unchallenged by prosecutors. Because detectives concluded so quickly that the shooting was a suicide, investigators failed to perform the police work that is standard in suspicious shootings, including collecting and testing all available evidence and canvassing neighbors."

Sheriff Shoar declined to comment on the Times article but he did issue a statement after the article was published. His statement is vague and broad, it's appears politically motivated. He does not reference the case in question, nor does he cite any "subordinates" he's held accountable, much less address Officer Banks, the problem of domestic violence in law enforcement or the O’Connell family. He is distancing himself from the case, covering his hide and protecting a possible murderer to protect his own image.

Anonymous said...

Read the book Tomato Land. You'll not think favorably about the state of Florida again. Watch the TED lecture on youtube. What has been done to seasonal workers is unbelieavable.

ima.grandma said...

my family is worried i could be arrested because of the night of may 20/16 do i need an attorney?please advise.

ima.grandma said...

kim is takKing me to the heaRt hospital on I-240 shes worried i had another stroke because oi im showing signs of facialfCial paralysis

BlueNailsBetty said...

Unless the sheriff, deputies, and medical examiners were volunteers then they, too, are "paid experts". This guy is an idiot and I hope the voters vote him out of office.

Anonymous said...

may purple reign,

What did you do that your family fears could land you in legal trouble? I can't imagine you did anything that bad?