The child has been found murdered and thus far, the father has been charged with the murder.
Question for analysis:
Does the mother show guilty knowledge of the call?
Analysis of 911 call is not unique, nor is it a "specialty" with different sets of rules or applications. It is simply an interview with authority in which the priority is to obtain assistance or intervention.
Transcript 911 call - missing infant Caliyah McNabb.
Hat tip: "Hey Jude"
PO: What is the emergency?
CB:I just woke up, my daughter woke me up on the couch, um, I have a two year old and I have a two week old - and m- my two week old is not in her sleeper, and her paci is on the floor
She has a missing child to report, but does not. Here is what she reports:
1. I just woke up.
This is to indicate to police (911 is representative of police/authority) that the caller's priority is that she could not be involved nor possess any knowledge about what happened to the victim because she "just" (time) woke up.
Note the need to presuppose that she was asleep. She does not say "I was asleep" instead focusing upon her point of waking up.
2. "my daughter woke me up."
Second is the one who caused her to wake up. This would be to double down on the fact that in order for her to be awakened, she had to be asleep.
If her own words were not believed, she now introduces an eye witness: her two year old daughter.
Note the element of neglect in which the mother is awakened by her two year old.
3. If you still don't believe she was sleeping and don't believe the eye witness testimony of the two year old (the second person introduced in this interview), she now gives the location of where she was awakened.
"...on the couch."
This is as to say "you have to believe me but if you don't you have to believe the 2 year old, but if you still don't, here is an unnecessary specific detail that only a truthful person would give...I was on the couch,
This is all to overwhelm the listener with persuasion that the caller was asleep.
This need to persuade tells us: Caller was awake.
The priority for the caller is that she could not possibly be accused of anything because she was sleeping and can "prove" it.
Will she report her child as missing?
4. I have a two year old
She further revisits that she must be truthful about sleeping because not only did her two year old wake her (on the couch) but this two year old, does, in fact, exist and his hers.
5. and I have a two week old
The victim is her fifth point, but she has not yet reported her missing. This sounds like an afterthought; not the purpose of the call.
One should consider why this addition is made. It may be because she knows she "does not have" a two week old; suggestive of knowing the child is dead.
Analysis Question: What is the purpose of this call?
This assertion of having both is unnecessary information. It suggests to the listener the need to persuade that she has two children.
This should lead us to question,
At the time of this call, does the caller know she has but one child?
She now gets to her 6th point:
6. and m- my two week old is not in her sleeper,
She does not report the child missing. She reports where the child is not.
This is an example of deception while being 100% technically truthful.
It is true that the two week old is not in her sleeper.
Where else is her two week old not?
7. her pacifier is on the floor.
Regarding what happened, the priority of the call is that the caller was not awake.
She has not reported her missing. This is not lost on the 911 operator who repeats back the words in the form of a question:
PO: She’s not in her sleeper?
CB: She’s not in her sleeper- sh-she’s not here, I’ve looked everywhere, I’ve looked under clothes and everything
She repeats back the 911 operator's words. This indicates one who is using unintended recipient (audience) and is limiting her words. This is consistent with scripting rather than excited utterance.
Only after repeating that she is not in her sleeper does she report where else the victim is not:
"she's not here" is also to report in the negative, another location where she is not.
This is language we sometimes see when the subject knows the location of the child, but wishes to only focus on "safe" locations; where the child is not.
She does not say, "my baby is missing" but reports two locations where the child is not:
"in her sleeper" and "here."
She then breaks with maternal instinct:
"I’ve looked everywhere,
There is no need for police to search for her because the caller has searched "everywhere."
This is another indicator of guilty knowledge: she does not want the child found.
This is often in the language of those with guilty knowledge of not only location, but also what condition the body is going to be found in.
Since "everywhere" has been searched, there is no possible hope of finding her.
She then expands on what "everywhere" is in her subjective understanding and uses further language of neglect of a household:
I’ve looked under clothes and everything
PO: What’s your address, ma’am?
CB:12145 highway 36, lot 31
CB:Yes, lot 31
PO: Do you think somebody took her, ma’am?
This question is forced because the caller will not commit.
Recall the language of the McCanns in what they refused to linguistically commit to.
Her answer gives further insight into neglect and the caller's personality:
CB:My child said - m-m-m-my two year old said she’s gone…a-a-and I’ve looked everywhere in the house, so I - and I don’t know another possibility
This is the same "child" who, at age 2, woke up the caller (on the couch) and made the report.
This caller will, in self survival, blame anyone, including those closest to her. This is critical information for the interview and interrogation.
She will not say "someone kidnapped my baby" for herself, in the free editing process. This is where we see similarity to the McCanns.
PO: What lot number are you at?
PO: Okay. And you said you were asleep, woke up and she was gone?
CB: Yes. Ma-ma-ma two year old came and woke me up
She avoids saying "I was sleeping" and stays on script.
CB: That’s [inaudible] on the couch.
CB: Caliyah!! [calling loudly to missing baby]
This is an example of unintended recipient or audience. She is playing to the recording.
PO: How old is she’ ma’am?
CB: Two weeks old.
PO: Okay. Who else would have come in your house?
The operator gave her these words; she did not produce them for herself and the operator follows up on the operator's own wording. This is to indicate that the caller is not working with police to facilitate the flow of information necessary to recover her child.
CB: I - I mean - as far as I know nobody would’ve came in my house. My two year old says Poppa but I called my dad, and I called my grandparents, and they don’t have her. My dad’s on the way here now.
She now further names those she would consider blaming to save herself.
[CB shouts something inaudible - a name?]
PO: Alright, how long have you been asleep?
Remember: this is an assumption that the deceptive and manipulative caller led her to. It is not what the caller said.
CB: Um, the last time I woke up with her was around - I guess five, maybe
a. note the child is without a name
b. note the word "with" between herself and the child indicates distance.
The refusal to use the child's name is psychological distancing language. Review the "Baby Lisa" case here at the blog for further understanding of how guilt will drive distance into language.
PO: Okay. So you were asleep till five o clock?
Simple question repeating back the words. This is a "yes or no" question and the answer is important:
CB: [lengthy pause] I didn’t mean to fall asleep on the couch…I set down for a minute after dealing with her all night…
What did she avoid saying besides "yes" or "no"?
Answer: "I was asleep."
The avoidance of this indicates not only the need for an alibi, but demonstrates how difficult a direct lie in an open statement is to tell.
The revisitation of the location is to stay to script and persuade that with such a detail, it can't possibly be a lie.
PO: Can you tell if someone’s been there - is her blanket there or gone?
As a mother, which would be more important to you? If someone came into your house, or the blanket?
This allows her to choose which to answer:
CB: Ur - her blanket’s gone, her paci’s here on the floor - her blanket’s not with us, I don’t know where - I mean - I g- I don’t know, I guess it’s with her
Although compound questions are to be avoided, a child with her blanket is often the work of a parent. Perhaps the 911 operator knew this instinctively.
Can you think of a case where the victim was found in a blanket and the parent or parents lied about the case?
CB: And I have clothes in totes, but i’ve looked all in ‘em and she’s not here
A two week old child in a tote, under clothes, tells you insight about the mother.
PO: Is there anything else missing, like a baby bag, that she would have, or anything -
CB: No. Her bottle’s here - on top of my shelf -
PO: Okay, what about
CB: Ah - my roo-In my bathroom on my vanity…
PO: What about anything else that could possibly have gone like, could be hers, that could’ve gone with her?
CB: Um - no. Nothing else. Just her and her blanket
This is likely true, but without an inventory of the house, how would she know otherwise?
PO: Okay, so the only thing that’s missing is her and her blanket? You didn’t talk to the dad, or her grandma, or anybody else?
Remember the question about someone being there? It is on the caller's mind:
CB: Her dad was here, and her dad just left- an-an he’s walking around the park looking for her - because my two year old says - I asked her - did somebody come in and take her, and she said - yeah, but I don’t - she’s two - so I don’t know whether I can believe that or not
She now addresses who was there. Before she offered others, from the testimony of the 2 year old (who woke her up on the couch).
"her dad" is now very important.
What do we know about "her dad"?
1. Her dad was here,
This is not what she offered before. Instead, she offered names of those who were not there.
2. and her dad just left-
Here is a signal of withheld information. Rather than tell us where he was ("walking around the park") she reports his departure. She is not "moving forward" linguistically. He cannot be at the park unless he left there. This is unnecessary deliberately withheld information.
an-an he’s walking around the park looking for her -
Why is he walking around the park?
She anticipates being asked this question.
No one would ask this question. Of course he is out looking for her.
He was not.
He was "walking around the park."
She anticipates being asked, "Why is her dad walking around the park?" unnecessarily and this is how she, herself, is caught. She wants to preempt the asking of this question.
Note how she gives the reason why as it is highlighted in blue? This is called a "hina clause" and it is longer than just a single word.
These two points of sensitivity, so close together, tell us that she is deceptively withholding information about the child's dad.
The dad's location is so sensitive to her that she is not done yet, explaining why:
because my two year old says - I asked her - did somebody come in and take her, and she said - yeah, but I don’t - she’s two - so I don’t know whether I can believe that or not
Deception Indicated about the dad's involvement in the disappearance.
PO: Have you looked through everything, ot under the bed?
CB: Yes ma’am.
PO: The bathroom?
CB: Yes ma’am.
PO: Alright, what’s your name, ma’am?
CB: Courtney Bell C-O-U-R-T-N-E-Y B-E-L-L
PO: Just to let you know, Courtney, they've been on their way out, I’m just giving them this information to update them, okay?
CB: Thank you so much,
PO: What’s your phone number?
CB: Um, i’m not sure of this number, I - uh, my phone busted the other day, um this is my grandmother’s phone she’s been letting me use
PO: Alright, so you and the dad both were - i’m just trying to get to understand so I can let them know cause of the questions that they’re asking me
PO: You and the dad both were asleep, or he just came back home?
Note the need to link the two of them together. This is information she withheld. She gives it because she has to (she's been asked) but then returns to script:
CB: No, w-we woke up together - she woke us up together
PO: Okay. The two year old woke y’all up and told y’all that the baby was gone?
CB: Sh - ah - she was kinda freaked out - I mean, h - uh - I, I don’t know - cuz she was just standing there beside the couch in the corner, and I told her come here, and I loved on her, n’then I told my baby's dad to go check on Caliyah, and then he's talking about she’s not here, she’s not in here?
PO: Okay. So the police should be in the area now
CB: Thank you
PO: I’ll go ahead and let you go, okay.
PO: Uh huh
The politeness is the "Ingratiating Factor" where the guilty caller has a need to align herself with police. She linguistically "ingratiates" herself into their good graces. This is another signal of guilt.
Who needs to be seen as the "good guy" with police?
Answer: a "bad guy."
This is similar to DeOrr Kunz spending a great deal of time and energy thanking police and authorities for not finding his missing little boy.
This mother has guilty knowledge of what happened to the baby.
Note the mother addresses the child as an afterthought and does not ask that she be found.
This mother knows what happened to her child and that the father is directly involved.
As of this writing, only the father has been charged.
By this call, alone, the case is all but solved.
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