Lesson 4 - There is going to be a lot of information gathered from today's statement; so, for today we will work just this case…
Case #5 - Missing Person
1. I saw Donna I spoke with Donna some
2. point on Wednesday Tuesday. She had left a message
3. on my pager or at the house saying I had not
4. called her in a while. I got in touch with her
5. at work or on her cell phone that day. She asked
6. if I would come to Alexandria Va. with her.
7. I told her I could not because I had to
8. get the baby. She said o.k. she would
9. catch me when she got back. Donna left
10. another message on my pager on Wednesday
11. night saying she was sorry she didn’t get to
12. see me but I would see her on Thursday. (19 Aug. 99)
13. I got home Thursday evening Approx. 5:30 pm
14. and made my son dinner. I called Donna on
15. her cell phone Approx. 6:00 or 6:15 and she said
16. she was still at work about to leave. Donna arrived
17. at the house Approx. 7:00 or a little later.
18. She came in side and we conversated as
19. she began to change out of her work clothes.
20. once out of her work clothes she began to
21. straighten up misc. things throughout the house.
22. she also began to pack her overnight bag.
23. Donna mentioned she left her make-up bag at
24. work as she went through some make-up
25. at her vanity. Donna then got dressed in a
26. tan outfit. Once dressed she continued to
27. pull out misc. things for her overnight bag. We
28. conversated about her trip to Atlantic City on
29. Friday. She said she was tired and was going
30. to sleep on the bus. Donna then left the bathroom
31. and went to one of the rooms in the house
32. where I heard her and the baby begin to
33. wrestle and play throughout the house. The
34. two ended up in the bedroom with myself.
35. I told them that was enough because Billy
36. needed a bath. As I told Billy to get ready
37. for his bath the two of them continued to play.
38. I ran the baby’s water and called him to
39. the bathroom to get him started. Donna was
40. in the bedroom at her vanity when I returned back
41. to the room. We talked about her mother having some
42. personal problems and Donna said it’s probably her
43. boyfriend. At some point Donna recalled she had
44. put a prescription in at the Rite Aid Pharmacy.
45. she asked me if I had any money I told
46. her yes. She asked if I could get the
47. prescription for her I told her she would
48. have to watch the baby in the tub. I left
49. at about 7:40 or 7:45. I arrived at the
50. pharmacy and I was told it was not ready
51. and I would have to wait 15 to 20 mins.
52. I waited for the prescription and paid for
53. it at 8:15 pm. I returned home Billy
54. was watching TV/playing with toys and
55. Donna was at her vanity fixing her hair
56. we talked about me paying to much for the
57. prescription. Donna at some point asked if
58. I was still using her CD player cause she
59. wanted it for her trip. I told her yes.
60. she then called Linda Snow and asked
61. if she could bring her sons on the trip to
62. listen to (I am not really sure if that call to Linda was
63. made before or after I left for the store)
64. Donna went back to gathering things up
65. about the room that she had taken out.
66. I left the room for some reason and was
67. called back at some point in time by
68. her. She asked how should she where
69. her hair. We laughed at all the different
70. ways she kept on styling it.
71. Donna and the baby began to
72. play again in the bedroom. I commented on
73. how she was messing up her clothes she
74. said it didn’t matter she was only going to
75. her mother’s house. I began to get Billy’s
76. bed on the couch ready. At some point I
77. called Billy and told him it was time
78. for bed. I went back into the bedroom where
79. Donna was back at styling her hair. I
80. was watching TV and talking to her at
81. the same time. At some point Billy
82. came in the room and said it was to
83. dark or can he have water I don’t recall
84. which it was. I told him I’ll take care
85. of it and he needed to lay down. Donna
86. and myself continued to conversate as she
87. got ready for her trip/work. Donna said
88. she was hungry and did we have anything to
89. eat. I told her to go look herself. I followed
90. her eventually into the kitchen where she had
91. made half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
92. she asked could I help her out and make
93. her another. I started to and she stopped me
94. and said I was doing it wrong. Then she made
95. another half sandwich. Donna said what do
96. we have to drink, at which time she began
97. to drink from the water jug.
98. she asked if I was mad. I said no
99. I do it all the time. She finished up
100. her sandwich and began to clean up the mess
101. as I went into the bathroom. I was using
102. the bathroom and heard fumbling through
103. things in the bedroom. I heard her say to
104. me I’m gone. At that time I heard her
105. slamming the door to the house. / I exited the
106. bathroom a short time later checked on
107. Billy who appeared to be sleep and I
108. turned off the hallway light. I then went
109. into the bedroom and began to watch TV
110. no particular program just surfing around
111. channels during my surfing around I do remember
112. bit’s and pieces of the ten o’clock news.
113. (that’s how I come to the conclusion Donna
114. left between 10:30 & 11:00 o’clock. because
115. it was not late but it was not early.
116. I really don’t have a specific time just a
117. frame) I continued to watch TV and
118. go to the kitchen. also check to see if
119. the cat was bothering the baby. I
120. eventually fell asleep and woke up to
121. Billy climbing in my bed with me. He asked
122. where was DD (Donna) and I said she is
123. at a friends. Billy went back to sleep
124. in bed with me.
125. The next day I was awaken by
126. I think the baby. And I realized it
127. was late because I have Juvenile Court I
128. got up around 9:00 got the baby dressed
129. and took him to his grandma Anna's. I
130. left there and returned home to get dressed
131. for court. I began to look for the summons
132. for court and I could not find one. I came
133. to the conclusion maybe I’m wrong and I don’t
134. have court. I said to myself if they want
135. me they will call me. I laid down and
136. began to watch TV I never received a
137. call from the district so at some point
138. I left the house in the afternoon I don’t
139. Recall if I went anywhere or a particular
140. place but I’m sure I did not stay in the house
141. all day. I eventually returned home to get ready
142. for work. I left the house around 3:00 pm.
143. I was called by 5C99 at approx. 9:00 or
144. 9:30 pm to call Mrs. Downy at a number at
145. which time I called the number and asked
146. for Mrs. Downy /Mrs. Betty. I was told over
147. the phone by Mr. Downy it was her father
148. I was speaking to. He asked had I saw
149. Donna and I told him yes last night but
150. she did not stay. She was going to her
151. mothers. He said her mother is at your house
152. and no one has seen Donna.
153. I called my home and Ms. Betty answered
154. the phone. I asked what was going on. She
155. said in words to the effect Donna did not
156. go to work no one has seen her. I she
157. asked where was I at, I told her I was at
158. work, but I would be on my way home. I
159. went to my OIC and explained I had a
160. personal problem and left. I got to the house
161. and found Donna’s mother, Linda Snow, and
162. Angie Smithers. I was told Donna never went
163. to her mother’s house or work and did not
164. call anyone. I was also told a missing persons
165. report was made prior to my arrival. I asked
166. did they take a picture or get any information
167. on the car. Her mother said they didn’t want
168. to take the report and they did not take a
169. picture. I called 6C09 (Sgt. Francis) of the
170. NW District explained the situation and asked
171. if I could have a look out placed on the
172. car. 6C09 advised me to call citywide
173. and have them broadcast. I called
174. city wide dispatcher who took the info and
175. began to broadcast for the Veh. At that time
176. Angie Smithers was calling Hospital I asked if
177. anybody tried her cell phone or her other
178. friends I was told no one has heard from
179. her. Mrs. Betty, Angie and Linda were joined by
180. one of Mrs. Betty's Girlfriends Mrs. Glenda.
181. we all sat and waited until around 1:30 am
182. 20 Aug. 99 the ladies left the house and I
183. remained there till around 3:00 am at which time
184. I left the house and began to ride around
185. the city looking for Donna’s veh. [vehicle] This was
186. done for about an hour I paged her via
187. her cell phone and placed our emergency code
188. inside which is 811. I returned home where
189. I fell asleep around 5:00am
Case #5 Observations
The writer refers to victim/missing person as “Donna” eighteen times in the statement before she exits the statement. Those eighteen times are as follows:
Line 1 I spoke with Donna
Line 9 Donna left
Line 14 I called Donna
Line 16 Donna arrived
Line 23 Donna mentioned
Line 25 Donna then got dressed
Line 30 Donna then left the bathroom
Line 39 Donna was in the bed room
Line 42 Donna said it probably her boyfriend
Line 43 at some point Donna recalled
Line 55 Donna was at her vanity
Line 57 Donna at some point asked if
Line 64 Donna went back to gathering things up
Line 71 Donna and the baby began to
Line 79 Donna was back at styling her hair
Line 85 Donna and myself continued to conversate
Line 87 Donna said
Line 95 Donna said
The writer used “Donna” eight times in the statement after her exit. Those eight times are as follows:
Line 113 I come to the conclusion Donna left between 1030 & 1100 o’clock (Said in brackets)
Line 122 Where was DD (Donna) and I said (Explanation of who Rock is)
Line 149 he asked had I saw Donna (Father's words)
Line 152 he said her mother is at your house and no one has seen Donna (Father's words)
Line 155 she said in word to the effect Donna did not go to work (Mother's words)
Line 161 I got into the house and found Donna’s mother (Not Donna - Donna’s mother)
Line 162 I was told Donna never went to her mother's house or work (Someone else’s language)
Line 185 the city looking for Donna’s Veh. (Not Donna - Donna’s vehicle)
Conclusion: The writer uses the victim’s name almost to the point of being excessive up until the point where, just before she leaves his story or ceases to exists. After that point he only uses her name to explain what others said about Donna’s property or what others are saying about Donna.
Note: When a writer uses brackets/parentheses in a statement, he or she is "leaving" the statement to talk directly to the reader. That means the writer is very aware of your presence and that s/he is on guard.
The writer used the following words to describe his conversations
Line 7 I told her I could not because
Line 35 I told them that was enough
Line 36 As I told Billy to get ready
Line 45 I told her she would have to watch the baby
Line 59 I told her yes
Line72 I commented on how she was messing up her clothes
Line 80 I was watching TV and talking to her
Line 84 I told him I’ll take care of it
Line 89 I told her to go look for herself
Line 98 I said no
Line 122 I said she is at her friend
Line 134 I said to myself
Line 149 I told him yes
Line 157 I told her I was at work
Conclusion: The writer uses the word “Told” (a stronger form of communication) to describe his speaking during this statement up until the point where the victim leaves his story or ceases to exist. At that point, there is a change in language and he starts using “said” (the weaker form of communication). In fact, the only time he used “Told” after her disappearance was during verified responses -- these are at times and toward responses that we definitely know occurred. The change in language from "told” to “said” is unjustified. (Remember: a change in language can signal a change in reality. These changes should raise some serious questions.)
Line 96: “...at which time she began to drink from the water jug...”
The word “began” means the act was incomplete. This is odd because the act of taking a drink can be so short that unless it is interrupted, this action would normally be referred to by saying something like she took a drink, she drank, she was about to drink,” etc. Instead, saying that "she began to drink” tells us she was stopped before the drink was complete.
The change in language from over-using the victim's name to not using it at all except indirectly or to refer to her possessions and the change from referring to his speech as “said” to “told” then back all occur at the same point in the statement. Oddly enough -- or not -- that point is also the point in the statement where Donna only “began to drink from the water jug.” This is most likely where and when she was killed.
Further explanation of this conclusion
Line 95: The writer stops calling her “Donna".
Line 96: This is where Donna only “began” to drink from the water jug.
Line 98: The writer stops using the word “told” to describe his communications.
NOTE: It has been determined that many murderers will include the time of the killing in their statements.
Line 113: "I come to the conclusion Donna left between 10:30 & 11:00 o’clock. Because it was not late but it was not early." This is most likely the time frame in which Donna was killed.
Also, the word "LEFT" usually indicates missing or sensitive information. An easy way to remember this is that when the writer uses "LEFT", it usually means the writer purposely "LEFT" something out.
Lines 99-104: "She finished up her sandwich and began to clean up the mess as I went into the bathroom. I was using the bathroom and heard fumbling through things in the bedroom. I heard her say to me “I'm gone.” At that time, I heard her slamming the door to the house. I exited the bathroom a short time later.”
"I was using the bathroom" is theoretically unimportant information, which might be doubly important. “I heard fumbling through things,” “I heard her slamming the door,” and “I heard her say to me, 'I’m gone'" also fall into this category of seemingly-unimportant information. Please note that the writer didn't say, “She was fumbling through things,” “She slammed the door” or “Donna said, 'I’m gone'.” He only said he “heard fumbling,” he “heard her slamming the door,” and he “heard her say, 'I’m gone'.”
A vs. The and Her vs. My
Observations on Articles and Possessive Pronouns
Line 44: "a prescription in at the rite aid pharmacy"
Line 46: "could I get the prescription for her"
Line 52: "I waited for the prescription"
Line 56: "me paying to much for the prescription"
The thing that is so interesting about the way "the prescription" is mentioned is that it goes from "a prescription" to "the prescription" as we would expect. The article "a" is used to introduce something or someone. By contrast, the article "the" is used when we have knowledge of someone or something previously introduced to us.
In this case, the writer introduced the prescription by calling it "a prescription." Now that we have knowledge of that item, he can no longer call it "a prescription" and must now call it "the prescription." The problem here is that "the prescription" stays "the prescription" and never changes to becoming, "her prescription." In most cases where an object is never given a possessive pronoun (in this case my or her), you'll find that the author has reason to want to distance the object from himself or someone else. In this case, he is deliberately distancing the object (the prescription) from Donna. This should lead the interviewer to question more about "the prescription." Could it be part of the reason for the murder?
Bonus Information - just something to think about
The word "Both" when used with “We”
As in: "We both went to bed" or "We both had dinner together" It sounds like it would make them close, but the rule the shortest way is the best comes into to play “we went to bed” or “we went to the movies” without both it is together, with the word BOTH there is distance, in fact it doesn’t mean they went bed together. My brother and I would watch late night TV and then we would both go to bed, so that doesn’t mean together and they say it does, it needs to be investigated. As in the next where it says “we Both had dinner together” not “we had dinner together” why the distance?
The word "Both" indicates that the action or state denoted by the verb applies individually to each of two entities. For example "Both books weigh five pounds", means that each book weighs five pounds by itself, not that the two books weighed "together" comes to five pounds.
The word is odd because though it is used to put things together, it is really used to separate things and therefore contradicts the words "WE" and "Together"
This statement is meant to demonstrate the use of "we both" more than anything else (Simply put I don't care so much who gave who the herpes, I'm more interested in the partnership and separation caused by “We Both” )
I started dating this girl ( we are both divorced ) and after some time we became intimate. She said she had not been with anyone other than her ex-husband during the last ten years. I have not been with anyone either. We made love a couple of times and within a week or two she had got herpes. I must have given it to her!?! I did not know I had it and have never had any symptoms that I would recognize as herpes. She has flu like symptoms, pain urinating etc... Anyways, to make the long story short, I think we are going to get married and I assume we both have it. Do we still need to take precautions because we both have it? Can we make our own infection any worse? Can we still have oral sex (obviously not during a known outbreak) and should I always wear a condom?
It is important to note that there is a difference between the words “Distance” and “Separation” While using “We Both” may; or may not signal “Distance”, I think it will almost always demonstrate “Separation”.
That said, as with everything in statement analysis, this only serves to gain/gather questions, and should be viewed as something that would either be marked “Justified” or “Un-Justified”, but it should never become the final answer without a question.
That's all for Lesson 4... see you tomorrow.