Tuesday, 11 July 2017
911 Call: Daughter Shot
Or, is something else going on here?
Here is a transcript of a recent 911 call in which a man found that his daughter had been shot. Let's listen to what is most important to the subject (caller) to learn the truth. Thanks to John for transcription.
OP: 911 where's your emergency?
The question begins with location.
C: I think I need an ambulance, somebody broke into the house i dunno two just just I was upstairs i was sleeping. I heard two gunshots, my daughter is on the, on the floor..they..
a. We note that the caller asks for help for himself ("I need") and not his daughter needs. This is appropriate if he is administering first aid. If he is not, however, it is a signal that he, himself, needs help.
b. We next note the weakness of his assertion. He only "thinks" he needs an ambulance. It is very difficult to imagine even a small gun shot wound that one may not know the need for an ambulance.
c. Order = priority
We expect a father to say "my daughter is shot! We are at 1515 Mockingbird Lane!"
What is his order?
1. he thinks he needs an ambulance; not that he knows
2. somebody broke into the house; indicating that the shooter was not invited in. This is, at this point, unnecessary information given the context.
3. His location and activity: he was upstairs and he was asleep. This is a priority: he could not have done it because the one who did it "broke in" and his alibi is now established before he reports what happened to his daughter.
4. He heard two gun shots. This is to continue to delay getting to his daughter. This is reported in a reliable way.
5. His daughter's location is given.
He has not reported that his daughter was shot.
OP: Okay, slow down, So you say you were sleeping and you were woken up to two gunshots?
The operator reflects back to him his own priority: self preservation.
C: Yeah, my daughter is laying on the floor in the house.
Not only does he not give location (urgency, even if 911 has it) but he has not said that his daughter is shot.
Direct lying is very stressful and it is rare. When we find it, it is a powerful lens of insight into the personality of the deceiver. Most all deception is via missing information.
OP: Is she shot?
The operator is forced to ask this question. We now conclude that his daughter being shot is "very sensitive" to him.
C: Yeah, shot, two shots.
OP: Where is she shot at sir?
C: I dunno I dunno
OP: She's shot twice you don't know where?
The operator does not believe him.
We now know he is not administering first aid. We recognize that guilty callers seek help, but not always for the victim as they recognize on a deeper level, that they are in need of help.
He has not given his daughter a name yet.
C: No, I dunno
OP: On her body?
C: I guess, well they just fired two shots. I..she's not talking to me
He refuses to give information and refuses to assist his daughter. This may suggest that he wants her dead.
OP: Is she awake?
C: No. I dunno
The "I dunno" along with "no" is a lack of commitment to any specifics. The need to be vague is associated with deception just as a ridiculous amount of detail calls our attention to the pace.
OP: Is she breathing?
C: Oh my God, I don't know
a. Deity noted
b. refusal to cooperate regarding her physical status. This, too, suggests intention for murder.
OP: Okay, the people that shot her , sir, where are they?
The operator wisely went with plural because that is what he reported.
C: They ran out of the house
It is interesting that he notes how they left his house.
OP: Okay, any description? Were they males? Were they females?
C: Black hoods
Every interview, including emergency services, will lead the interviewer with one of two conclusions:
Either the caller is working with me to help facilitate the flow of information, no matter how extreme the circumstance, or the caller is working to hinder the flow of information.
Our subject is deliberately hindering the flow of information by being vague and giving as little information about the victim as possible.
Now he gives as little information about...
the shooter (s) as possible.
OP: Excuse me
C: They had a black hood. Black hoods
OP: Okay, how many..how many were there?
C: Two, i'd seen
OP: Okay, were they white black hispanic?
C: I couldn't tell
OP: Okay, they were males?
OP: They were males, sir. Two males?
OP: OKay, we don't know the race and what were they wearing?
The use of "we" is very wise as it will slightly disarm him. To ask him, "you don't know the race?" is to challenge him and put him on the defensive. Some 911 operators become very good at this.
C: Black hoods
OP: Both in black hoodies?
She changed the language. This is a mistake.
C: she's dead, C'mon
His daughter has no name.
He did not know where she was shot or if she was breathing but accepts that she is dead. This is a red flag because of paternal (and maternal) denial is a powerful instinct.
With her being dead, what is the need to rush an ambulance?
OP: And did they leave on foot or a vehicle?
C: They left on foot I didn't hear nothing..I was..
Here he parrots the operator (reducing commitment) and reports what he did not hear. Truthful people will, in open statements, tell us what they did hear, see, etc.
OP interjects. What direction?
OP: what direction?
C: I dunno it could've been towards Wimslow
OP: Okay, well you're in Wimslow did you see what direction they left in?
C: No I didn't, I told you I was asleep
Here is his priority. Incongruence noted. He did not see which way they went because he was asleep, but while asleep, he did recognize that there were two of them, wearing hoodies and that they ran.
He continues to build his alibi:
C: and my daughter screaming and I got out of bed I thought I was dreaming but I wasn't
OP: How old is your daughter?
OP: Okay, and what room is she in?
C: She's in the corner of the house. I'm in the bathroom. She's dead
OP: In the corner of the house?
C: She's dead. She's not even talking to me
Note the order. This is what it looks like when one does not speak from experiential memory:
When Casey Anthony's car reeked of human decomposition, she gave an explanation for the order:
"Dead squirrels climbed up into my engine"
either the caller is attempting to conceal or he is suffering from dementia.
OP: Okay, do you know how these two gentleman got in your house?
C: No, I dunno, I got through the front door. (The transcript on screen reads "front door", but the audio sounds like "cellar door".
OP: I have them on the way over there sir
OP: Okay, are you able to go in the room and..see your daughter?
Silence for 6 seconds
The caller's words reveal that his priority is to establish an alibi to avoid being charged with her murder. He was deliberate in his attempt to hinder the flow of information to police.
What caused this fear of being charged?
Almost always, it is guilt, but we must also learn his age and mental capabilities. If he is very aged and hallucinating, this must be taken into account.
The "dreaming" is either intent to deceive or a possible indicator of acute dementia.
Remember that with any forms of dementia, reality is changed.
If he is in possession of his facilities, with no dementia, he is likely to face charges.
This happened in the end of June. Police would know immediately if he suffers from dementia and irrationally feared arrest or if he is involved.
This is a fascinating example, however, due to the rarity of age. The broken sentences withheld information...or they simply do not flow due to poor brain processing of Alzheimer's, or other such conditions.
If you would like formal training in Deception Detection, we offer our Complete Statement Analysis Course to be taken in your home, with 12 months of e support. Visit Hyatt Analysis Services to enroll.
By Peter Hyatt