This is the reported emergency call made by Keith Papini to report his wife missing.
Transcript of the 911 call:
[CHP transfers Keith Papini to the 911 dispatcher.]
This is from Mercury News. What we cannot tell with certainty, if this is where the subject (caller, Papini) began his account. Did he give information initially, only to then be transferred?
This is very important because in an emergency call, where the subject begins is always important, and indicates a level of priority.
We now must consider:
Is this a form of "contamination" in the statement?
As a precaution to the possibility, we reduce the level of sensitivity assigned. Note that he begins with "Yeah", which is often an "agreement", which may be in response to something the emergency operator already said.
Papini: Yeah, um, so I just got home from work, and my wife wasn’t there, which is unusual, and my kids should’ve been there now from like day care, so I was like, “Oh, maybe she went on a walk.” Um, I couldn’t find her so I called the day care to see what time she picked up the kids. The kids were never picked up. So I got freaked out so I hit like the Find My iPhone app thing, and it said that — it showed her phone at like the end of our driveway, we don’t have really good service …
We cannot conclude that him just getting home from work is his priority, as this seems like a response to something else.
1. Himself: Getting home
2. Missing: wife not "there" (indication that he may not be calling from the location)
Editorial: "which is unusual"
3. Kids: not picked up from day care
Editorial: "so I was like..." to report his thought process.
Editorial: "So I freaked out so..."
4. Evidence: Phone location: due to emotion, he hit "Find My iPhone" service.
Although it is difficult to discern if this is being freely offered or in response to an earlier explanation (before transfer), either way, he anticipates being asked,
"Why did you hit Find My iPhone?" before being asked this question.
In an emergency call, subjects generally have no need to explain or even state their own emotions.
Because the emotions are evident in the call; they do not need to be stated, unless the subject feels a need to make sure the police (emergency) know his emotions.
It is difficult to imagine a scenario in which an operator asked a question about his emotions or state of mind.
What is not known is this:
Had he already said, "I am reporting my wife missing" and now is explaining this in step by step detail.
He either stated this alone in an open statement (A) or he already reported it before the transfer (B).
The analysis of (A) is very different, therefore, than it is in (B).
This is an example of statement contamination.
One (A) is very concerning, while the other (B) may have concerns alleviated by that which preceded his answer.
The Need to Explain "Why" in an open statement.
We highlight the need to explain "why" in an open statement as very sensitive information if this need is not self-evident. We don't highlight every "so, since, therefore, because" as such. When it is an unnecessary explanation offered, we recognize the subject is thinking, "they're going to ask me why I..." and seeks to preempt it. By "self evident", I mean that the explanation is necessary due to context.
It is such a powerful tool that it often solves crimes on its own before an investigation even begins. There are a number of examples of the first call to police (emergency, 911) where we know what happened and "who done it" by the call, alone.
When it appears to be used in a way that suggests that investigators have not likely even thought to ask this question, it should be considered the highest level of sensitivity in analysis.
That the operator lets the subject continue suggests that initial vital formation was given before the transfer.
Papini: … Not the end of our driveway, but the end of our street. I just drove down there and I saw her phone with her headphones, because she started running again, and it’s — I found her phone, and it’s got like hair ripped out of it, like in the headphones, so I’m like totally freaking out thinking like somebody grabbed her.
He feels the need to assert his emotional state again. This is not necessary. A man who cannot find his wife and then finds her phone with apparent hair ripped out on it, is freaked out.
I cannot tell if the need to explain why her phone and headphones were together ("running again") is an open need to explain before being asked, or if this is in response to something else stated before the transfer.
[911 dispatcher gets his address and his name.]
911: Did you go pick up your children?
Papini: No, I’m going to call my mom and have her do it. I’m going to like knock on every door —
[911 cuts him off, gets his wife’s name and birthdate.]
911: Is her vehicle there, or does she not have a vehicle?
Papini: She has a vehicle, it was at the house. She’s running. Yes, I’m in it right now, driving, and I took a picture of her phone on the ground before I picked it up.
He had the wherewithal to note the phone as evidence (photo) and the wherewithal to report contaminating the evidence ("before I picked it up") but the need to report his emotional state.
911: OK, how tall is she?
Papini: Five-three, five-four.
911: How much does she weigh?
Papini: Hundred pounds.
911: Eye color?
Papini: Uh, like a … bluish … blue.
911: Hair color?
911: Do you know what she was wearing? Is there something she always wears …
Papini: No. I’m assuming she went running, so athletic-type clothing.
911: OK, so there’s not an outfit she usually wears or anything like that? Does she run with a dog, or by herself?
Papini: By herself.
911: What time were the kids supposed …
Papini [interrupting]: She just started running again, and we live in a sketchy … [trails off].I’m sorry, I’m super [unintelligible].
We note the inclusion of "I'm sorry" in any 911 call.
"I'm super" was cut off by the operator. He might have addressed his emotions again.
911: When’s the last time you heard from her?
Papini: She sent me a text asking me if I was coming home for lunch. She’s got a whole bunch of missed —
He does not answer the question. This follows after several direct answers, which is good, but he now wants to give detail on the means of communication rather than the time.
911: What time was that?
Even though the operator wants to know the time, it is very foolish to interrupt. The subject has the information. The operator cannot get it by speaking.
Papini: Give me one second. … She sent me a text at 10:47 asking me if I was coming home for lunch, from work. And I said, “Sorry, long day.” And that was the last — I never spoke to her on the phone or had any other contact with her.
This is the second time "I'm sorry" has entered his language.
Besides having a strong need to offer his emotions, he also has a need to report what he did not do: talk on the phone with her or have other contact. This is to preempt being accused.
Linguistic Profile: Even if not involved in this, he gives indication that he is not likely someone of whom suspicion would be out of the question.
911: What time were the kids supposed to be picked up?
Papini: Way before 5:30. She usually goes at like 4:45-ish, 4:30, 4:45.
911: Are you headed back to the house or — where are you at right now?
Papini: I’m at the end of the driveway, where, uh, I’m at the … Old Oregon Trail and Sunrise, where they meet, ’cause that’s right where I found her phone on the ground. [Unintelligible] telling me that something happened to her, is the way I’m looking at it. There’s like hair in the headphones. Like it got ripped off, like they grabbed —
911: Yeah, no, I, I understand, I understand.
Papini: OK. I’m sorry, I know you’re trying to keep me calm, but [crosstalk].
We now note the third time this is in his vocabulary.
Let's assume, for this example, that he does not have any guilt involved in this case, if the case is a hoax for the purpose of intended exploitation of some kind.
If he is not involved in it, his language tells us that being involved in some form of wrong doing/exploitation is not something foreign to him.
When someone has guilt in general, even when not specifically involved in the reported event, we see this type of language of persuasion, including his need to make certain that police authority know his emotional state. We see this type of language in those who exploit, including "fake hate" and "Go Fund Me" formats.
911: OK. What kind of vehicle are you in?
Papini: I’m in a black Kia Optima.
[Sound of typing.]
Papini: Oh my God. And I live down, I mean we live down kind of a sketchy street, so I definitely — I don’t know if I’m allowed to knock on everybody’s door but I will if I’m allowed to do that.
Noted inclusion of Deity.
Noted his second reference to be seen as helpful. He was previously going to knock on "every" door; but now he is backing away from that, seeking permission.
911: Let’s just have the officers contact you, so they can start, you know, processing everything and figure out what’s going on, OK?
Papini: [Heavy exhale.]
911: I understand you’re freaking out a little bit. We wanna, we wanna make sure we get your kids, make sure they’re OK —
yes, he has said it enough.
Papini: Yeah, I’m going to call my mom and have her — [crosstalk, then deleted portion where he gives his phone number]. Do you want me to wait right here for somebody?
911: If you want to head back to your residence, they can contact you there, and in case she does return.
911: OK. We’ll have them contact you at your residence. And call us back if anything changes, all right?
Analysis Conclusion: Inconclusive
The information appears to be incomplete. That which preceded his statement may have caused possible contamination of the words. We see in some short responses, including his use of the word "vehicle" that he does parrot words back.
The subject passed a polygraph and has offered a second one. We do not know what questions were asked.
Even with missing information, there are some concerns within this call. It is not known if the missing information would satisfy these concerns, or heighten them.
1. Even if the subject does not have a criminal record (convictions), his language reflects someone who others might suspect of wrongdoing, specifically in theft or exploitation.
2. He has a need to be seen as more than what he is presenting.
3. He has a need to be seen as one in a highly emotional state. This is, in his language, a form of persuasion. He repeatedly told or sought to tell the operator what he does not need to be state: his emotional state.
4. He has a need to be seen as helpful. This too, is unnecessary. What husband of a missing wife would be anything but helpful?
He has a need to unburden his conscience. "I'm sorry"is used three times in one call. In one usage, he says he is "sorry" for his emotions, which he has described already.
The use of "I'm sorry" indicates that he has something of regret or a reason to be "sorry." By itself, the usage is not conclusive. We flag it always, but often find it found in the language of "guilty callers" in a variety of crimes. One example is the 911 call of Casey Anthony. It is something we prioritize very low, as we must have strong indicators of deception above it.
Question: is there something else that could cause someone to so regularly cite his emotions?
Answer: Yes. Some who are in therapy or counseling will become "analyze" their own feelings often in inappropriate settings. They can often come across as self-absorbed and immature.
5. He has carefully, while "freaking out", handled evidence.
6. He has preempted some questions regarding his actions. This could be guilty knowledge of a scam now, or it could relate back to the part of the profile that recognizes one who although not involved here, is not above suspicion due to past involvements in unethical and/or illegal matters.
He has passed his polygraph and is not considered a suspect in her disappearance.
He does, however, raise red flags about his own character.
Question: if Sherri Papini, herself, has been involved in past false claims, could this show up in sensitivity in his language, here?
Answer: Yes. He could go into this feeling the need to prove and justify where no such need or justification is warranted.
With husbands and wives, there can be a form of shared guilt.
Question: could "sketchy" circumstances impact his language?
Deception, and even guilt ("I'm sorry") could enter the language in this scenario for other reasons, including possibly infidelity on his or even his wife's part.
There was a media report that she was may have been texting another man, at one point, while there was another report that suggested that Sherri had a history of blaming hispanics.
Question: Could he show sensitivity and guilt if he was thinking of exploitation?
Answer: Yes. If you look at the statements of Davey Blackburn, his wife was not yet buried and he had already planned his own capitalization of her death with advertising. In his case, it was extreme. He showed no concern about his wife's killers coming after him or his son. His linguistic priority? How many people would attend his church, including attendance on line.
In Blackburn's case, his deceptive responses could also include sexuality.
There is a reason why Keith Panini's brain produced "I'm sorry" three times in a single call. There is something he is "sorry" about.
If there is a transcript of Keith Panini's initial call, before transfer, it would be useful in moving from "inconclusive" result to a substantial one.
We do not have strong indications of deception in this call.
We cannot conclude alibi building because of the call transfer indicating missing information.
Question: Do you trust the polygraph?
I don't know the questions asked but when done with a subject's own words, it is almost impossible to beat a polygraph. \
Question: Have you ever had your analysis conflict with polygraph results?
Answer: Yes. It has happened only twice in the years I have analyzed.
In one case, a young girl accused her mother's boyfriend of inappropriate touching of her. Both the alleged victim and the perpetrator wrote out statements of what happened.
The statements were in agreement regarding all detail of time and location.
The subject passed his polygraph.
I submitted the analysis which showed that the girl was truthful and the subject was deceptive, for review, to an expert. He confirmed the analysis as correct, including when it happened and where it happened.
The mother's boyfriend moved back into the house.
Quite a bit of time later, I learned that he had reoffended.
In discussing the case with the police investigator, it appeared that the suspect "tickled" the victim (his language) but the polygraph asked if he "molested" her.
In the other case, a man came home and found his girlfriend and 7 year old son dead. He passed his polygraph, was cooperative and the case closed by agreement between coroner and district attorney: the despondent mother took her son's life and her own. To this, the forensic evidence appeared to agree. The case was closed.
The only evidence I had was his 911 call. I concluded that he (the boyfriend) did, in fact, murder them, also citing within the call, his motive (greed), as well as a profile that was not supported by the record (Domestic Violence and child abuse).
The DA would not reopen the case unless the Coroner changed his finding.
The investigator believed the analysis, and the analysis conclusion was sent to the coroner so he would consider changing the cause of death to "homicide unknown." The Analysis Report was a step by step explanation as to why the conclusion was guilt.
The coroner changed the cause of death and the DA reopened the case and the suspect was arrested.
Two years later, he was quickly convicted by a jury who learned not only of his violent background (affirmed in collateral interviews) but learned that he attempted to steal the woman's house from her. When she realized what he was doing, he killed her.
These are the only times analysis and polygraph results have not matched. I hold the polygraph in very high regard and believe, if the subject's own wording is used, that it is fool-proof.
The best example is:
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky" by President Clinton.
This is a very strong denial.
When we learn that he told Ms. Lewinsky that his personal subjective understanding of "sexual relations" is "intercourse", if asked this question in a polygraph, he would have passed. He knew this and was an accomplished habitual liar.
All the prosecutor needed to have done was to ask,
"What is 'sexual relations'?"
False results are rare, but among them, most will be a failure to catch the liar. It is most unlikely that a polygraph result will show deception where there is none.
Statement Analysis recognizes that the words one speaks, more than anything else, including body language and facial expressions, tell the true story.
With an average internal dictionary of 25,000 words, a human being will process this vocabulary into an answer in less than a millisecond of time.
The need to deceive disrupts this process and it is where our accuracy comes from.