A documentary on BBC TV about a possible miscarriage of justice for a man imprisoned for life for the murder of his girlfriend he was having a secret affair with gave us quotes for analysis.
Did police get it right?
Or has a man been in prison for more than 6 years for a murder he did not commit?
In the murder of Paula Poolton by Roger Kearney, the documentary reported that there was was no forensic evidence, only circumstantial evidence upon which he was convicted. We listen to him speak. He should plainly tell us,
"I did not kill Paula" and even with years of processing, this should be the psychological wall in which he remains behind, with no possible alternative reality. If he did not kill her, he did not kill her.
If asked, "Why should you be believed?", we expect to hear the basis of truth as asserted.
If he said:
"I did not kill Paula. I am telling the truth" to investigators when first arrested, it is 99.9% reliable.
Yet, even after years, we find an avoidance of the reliable denial.
When asked if he had killed her, he said the following:
"I can guarantee you that I did not do what they said."
"I've got nothing to hide."
"I've got nothing to be ashamed of."
In the part two of the documentary he gave us a larger statement for analysis.
"One thing I wanted to say to you umm from the last time we spoke was the fact ah, you were concerned that if it came up that I actually killed Paula sometime in the future that it ah would make you look bad. Well ah really, I understand that. I you actually feel that I ah possibly could have done, I ah, I wouldn't blame you if you dropped my case at all but I assure you, I don't think you'll find any evidence to support the police and I promise you that I did not kill Paula, that's all I can say."
The denial comes after several programs and after 6 years in prison.
Lets look at them all with the longest statement last.
1. "I can guarantee you that I did not do what they said."
This is to avoid issuing a reliable denial ("I did not kill Paula") while specifying "what they said."
It is very likely to be true that some things that were said it court were not accurate.
Except the actual killing.
"I've got nothing to hide."
Is another avoidance of a reliable denial and it is to enter into an expansion of time, very likely before the killing of Paula. It is also something that investigators see as an invitation to search.
"I've got nothing to be ashamed of."
This is actually making his lack of denial more pronounced: it is to say "she deserved it."
Killers often blame the victim. In Statement Analysis, we look for this human nature guilt issue of assigning blame to a victim. In his statements, there is very likely to be some degrading, insulting or shifting of responsibility to the victim in his language.
2. "One thing I wanted to say to you umm from the last time we spoke was the fact ah, you were concerned that if it came up that I actually killed Paula sometime in the future that it ah would make you look bad. Well ah really, I understand that. I you actually feel that I ah possibly could have done, I ah, I wouldn't blame you if you dropped my case at all but I assure you, I don't think you'll find any evidence to support the police and I promise you that I did not kill Paula, that's all I can say."
"One thing I wanted to say to you umm from the last time we spoke
Here we have "one thing I wanted to say to you" is very personal to the journalist. This is something very important to the subject. It is not "I didn't kill Paula" but more important to the subject that that. He wants this to be first and it is something he is in earnest to share.
He does not make us wait long to tell us why this one thing he wants to say.
Pronouns are critical. Note that "we" indicates a unity between two subjects: the accused killer and the journalist.
The subject (accused killer) has a perception of reality that unites, in a positive way, himself with the journalist. It is a closeness he feels at the time of this statement.
The journalist may have gotten him to talk via Ingratiation. The pronoun "we" indicates success.
Enter into the subject's verbalized perception of reality. He sees himself unified or possibly even close friends, with the journalist.
What does this unity produce?
was the fact ah, you were concerned that if it came up that I actually killed Paula sometime in the future that it ah would make you look bad.
a. This statement was produced by the unity between the subject and the journalist.
b. The subject is concerned about the well being of the journalist. This is a "positive linguistic disposition" towards the journalist.
Now we deal with the language:
"If it came up that I actually killed Paula" is an embedded admission.
a. First note that the word "if" allows for the possibility of murder.
Those who did not commit murder (or something of this elevated nature, including child molestation) will not allow for it as a possibility. It is rejected because it is false and the emotional heightening comes from the accusation. It is not to say, "if I had stolen $10 from you..." but is murder.
The subject is allowing for the possibility of guilt. We will not contradict him.
b. "if it actually came up" is distinctly not the quote (or even the thoughts) of another. He did not say, "you said that I killed her" or even "police said that I killed her."
There is no "linguistic genesis" from another.
It comes solely from the subject.
It is wording produced by the subject.
"people say that I killed Paula" is to report what people say. This is not the case. He is instigating the scenario and articulating it from his own personal subjective internal dictionary.
This is what an embedded admission looks like.
Well ah really, I understand that.
c. He affirms the embedded admission allowing for understanding of "it to actually come up" with the pronoun "it" indicating proof, evidence, etc.
d. "actually" is produced by the pronoun "we"; at the time of this statement, the subject believes the journalist believes he did not do it. "Actually" is a comparison of two or more thoughts. Here, the context tells us of the supposition of innocence.
Believing them to be unified, he must make sure his "friend" does not entertain doubt.
I you actually feel that I ah possibly could have done,
He allows for the journalist to entertain doubt, and he wants the journalist to know:
I ah, I wouldn't blame you if you dropped my case at all
They would still be "we" if he dropped the case. They would still be friends, or unified and it is, in the language of the subject, something "understandable" to believe in his guilt.
This is the language of manipulation.
We often find this in addicts.
The victim died of 7 stab wounds, which is a very "personal" and "intrusive" crime.
It is brutal and it is unclose.
There is no linguistic connection between this brutal unclose personal murder and innocence. This is the "greater context" in analysis.
His allotment of "understanding" as lesser context, indicates a willingness to accept the crime, in exchange for friendship.
He "assures" the journalist:
but I assure you, I don't think you'll find any evidence to support the police and I promise you that I did not kill Paula, that's all I can say."
This is not to say "You will not find evidence because none exists. I did not kill Paula."
Instead, he only "thinks" the journalist will not find "evidence to support the police."
Not "evidence of the crime" but he now triangulates the police.
He and the journalist, linguistically, are united against the police.
PS Profile: the journalist "supports" him, and in doing so, he can't think of the journalist "supporting" police.
He does not state that he did not kill Paula, but he "promises" that he did not kill Paula. That is an unreliable denial introduced by the indication of habitual deception ("promise") followed by the
ending of communication: "that's all I can say."
This is to indicate the following:
the word "think" is appropriately used. He allows for himself or the journalist to "think" otherwise.
It is the "rule of the negative" coupled with the weak assertion:
"I don't think..."
It indicates his belief that evidence could possibly surface.
"that's all I can say" is in the lesser context, about his weak assertion about evidence that can be found.
This is to indicate: the subject may feel strongly that there is something that could be produced as evidence that will "support" police.
He manipulates this to be "us" versus the "police" as he and the police complete for "support."
"That's all I can say" is to self censor about evidence.
Going further with what he could say, would harm the support.
This is very likely why he must not go on talking about evidence.
The subject killed Paula and police were correct.
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