Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No Heroes Here

by Holly Hughes

As the last Thanksgiving holiday came and went, the social media sites were busy reminding us all that we have much to be thankful for. A lot of postings were put up honoring our military. Those brave men and women who literally sacrifice their lives so that we might be free. They are heroes. They should be honored, remembered and thanked every day that we breathe the air of freedom and enjoy all the rights afforded to us by this great country of ours.

Then my thought turned homeward. As proud as I am of our fighting men and women, I am equally appalled and embarrassed by what is happening on our college campuses across the country. We call them institutions of higher learning. The young people attending them are supposed to be our best and brightest. What a sad state of affairs. What exactly are we teaching these young people? Certainly not honesty, integrity, decency or compassion. Arguably, a well-rounded individual would be encouraged to learn and grow morally and spiritually as well as intellectually.

Instead, what has come to light, shockingly, is a hierarchy that values the reputation of a football program over the physical and psychological well-being of children. As we watch the Penn State Pedophilia Scandal unfold it becomes increasingly aware that multiple adults were aware of what Jerry Sandusky was doing and yet, not one stepped up to do the right thing. Despite the fact that Pennsylvania has mandatory reporting laws, the head-coach, the graduate assistant, the janitor, the janitor’s co-worker, the janitor’s supervisor, the head of finance and the head of business decided to disregard those laws and allow a pedophile to continue abusing children unchecked. We have all heard the expression that it takes a village to raise a child. All it would have taken here is one man. Just one to step up, to “man up” as it were. 

Instead, we see conspiracy of silence carried out by the very people who are supposed to be setting examples for our young people. Most, if not all, of these men knew that Sandusky had six adopted children and took in foster children. Not to mention, the hundreds of children he had access to through his “charity”, The Second Mile. Can any of these men argue with a straight face or a clear conscience that they thought pedophilia was a one time event? Part of the Penn State Alma Mater reads “may we do nothing here that would bring shame” or words to that effect. They have certainly failed miserably in this instance. The example they have set is one of dishonesty, deceit and disregarding the law if it might affect their bottom line. There are no heroes here.

Next, we turn to the Syracuse mess. Assistant coach Bernie Fine has been accused publicly of molesting at least two young boys with a third recently raising new allegations. At first blush, this case seems distinguishable. There was not a long grand jury investigation which unearthed multiple victims. We had no eyewitnesses to this alleged abuse. Or, so we thought. In a sick twist we now find out that not only did coach Fine’s wife know about what was happening, but she even made jokes about it with one of the alleged victims. She admits in a 2002 recording that she “knew everything” that coach Fine did to this young boy. In fact, she tells him, she looked through the window one time and watched while she was pretending to take out the trash. In my humble opinion the trash she should have taken out of her home was not the sack of garbage she was carrying. 

Here again, we have a coach, an authority figure, who not only betrayed the young boys he is accused of molesting but every student to whom he held himself out as a role model. Then we turn to the wife, who is, incidentally, still married to this man. The same man who she explained on the 2002 tape “had no interest in me and vice versa." The same man she told the alleged victim could only get satisfaction from boys and not her. A mother of three children herself, not only did she not rescue this young boy from the abuse, but she herself engaged in a sexual relationship with him when he turned 18. The woman with the power to stop this situation, instead exacerbated it. There are no heroes here.

Another disturbing university incident comes to us out of University of Florida, A & M. This past year a young man, a 26 year old died as a result of hazing. Which fraternity, you might ask? None. This was the band. Yes, the band. In the wake of this death we are now hearing an alarming number of parents coming out to the press and saying they had lodged numerous complaints about the hazing in the past. Some authorities at the school have come out in defense of themselves blaming it on certain students. They claim they strongly discouraged hazing and taught that it was a prohibited practice. But, ultimately, doesn’t the buck stop with the leaders? If they knew there were “rogue” students out there continuing to engage in this practice, why weren’t they dismissed from the band? Could it be, again, the reputation and monetary advantage to having them remain untarnished? I don’t know. What I do know is that a young man is dead and it could have been prevented. There are no heroes here.

Lastly, I turn to the events at UC-Davis. A group of peaceful protestors, sitting cross-legged on the ground with their arms intertwined were sprayed full-on in the face with pepper spray by the university police. I am a huge proponent of law order. As a felony prosecutor for ten years I got to know a lot of police officers and have enormous respect for them and the job they do. But, having said that, I cannot support the decision here to pepper spray a bunch of college students in the face for exercising their right to free speech. In all the reports released on this incident there is no claim that these students were threatening, verbally or otherwise. There is no allegation that any of them had weapons. No hint that the crowd standing around was rushing at the police or being intimidating in any way. Once again, the people in authority have failed to act appropriately. The people with the power to set a good example, instead used excessive force simply because they didn’t get their way. There are no heroes here.

It has been a sad and disturbing year for colleges in the news. Hopefully, these terrible tragedies will cause those in power to review their policies and their priorities. An acknowledgment that being charged with the molding of America’s youth is not a challenge to be taken lightly. We must not only tell them to do the right thing, we must set an example by doing it ourselves. If we trained our college students like the military is training our troops, with honor and a sense of duty we might turn out some heroes of our own.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Media and the Public Miss the Mark in Identifying Domestic Violence

Article Written By *Ava Rose and Robin Sax with input from Debi Biederman-Ash, Patti Giggans (Peace Over Violence) Hillary Selvin (NCJWLA), Terra Slavin (LA Gay Center), Ruth Williams (NCJWLA

The headlines come in every day, from cities, suburbs, rural communities, and elite enclaves:
“Authorities say a man fatally shot his estranged wife at the Hemet Courthouse Wednesday, then turned the gun on himself in his car a few miles away…. Both victims were at the courthouse to attend a hearing regarding child custody/support issues.” (, 1/04/12) 

 “An employee opened fire outside a northeastern Georgia food processing plant Thursday, fatally shooting his wife before killing himself, authorities said.” (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 1/05/12). 

“Bayonne was reeling Tuesday from a spasm of butchery after a jealous man murdered his estranged wife, her boyfriend, and his rival’s baby boy."  (NY Daily News, 12/06/11).

Or just today: A pregnant woman was allegedly beaten and held captive for nine days in a bizarre ordeal that ended when police in the Central Valley town of Ceres arrested her boyfriend and two other men Tuesday. The victim's boyfriend, 21-year-old Richard Garibay, found a message on the woman’s phone on Jan. 27 that he didn't like, according to Ceres police.” (LA Times, 2/09/12)

So often, the reports characterize the attacks as “bizarre,” “unexplained,” and “shocking.”  The authorities are unsure what motivated the attacks.  Sometimes, the perpetrator is even identified as one of the “victims.”  And always, the reports describe the disbelief of families, friends, coworkers and neighbors, who never saw it coming.  Events like these are so often presented by the media as “unexpected and unexplained.“  But are they really?

If you do a Google search, you will find hundreds of these incident reports, and if you read past the first few paragraphs, between the statements of shock and incredulity, a pattern will begin to emerge.  The couple was “estranged,” the victim was the assailant’s former wife or girlfriend, there is a history of child custody “issues,” and the precipitating event was a break-up, divorce filing, or the discovery that the victim had begun another relationship. Often, if you make it down to the last paragraph, you will find a history of “domestic disputes,” a prior restraining order, or even a previous charge of spousal battery.  And yet, no one seems to identify the pattern. 

Even after the victim has been severely injured, killed, or goes missing, there is rarely an effort made to connect the dots.  And by reporting these stories as if they were inexplicable disasters rather than cautionary tales, we are missing an opportunity to educate the public about the signs that were missed.  Consider this.  What if domestic violence-related killings were given the level of scrutiny afforded to the passing of Whitney Houston?  What if we took the time to piece together the tragic events leading up to these deaths, as we did when years of substance abuse and sycophantic enabling resulted in Michael Jackson's overdose? Throughout the last week, many people had no trouble saying, "we are shocked but not surprised" by Whitney's demise, because the public has come to recognize the dire consequences of drug addiction.  In the world of Domestic Violence, so often we, too, are shocked but not surprised.  No one sees the pattern better than those of us who work with these victims.  We know, because if you have spent any time with battered women, you are not shocked by these murders at all, just overcome with a dreadful feeling of “here we go again.”  You know that an abused woman is seven times more likely to be killed when she leaves the relationship.  And this is not a random series of unforeseeable events.  In fact, the pattern is all too clear: possessiveness, jealousy and abandonment rage are pervasive in relationships that end in homicide, as are struggles over property and children. 
If you understand domestic violence, then you do not say, as many in law enforcement and the media do, “We do not know what was in the mind of [the suspect].”  You know that regaining control is the driving force in violent relationship, and you recognize that an abuser never feels more out of control than when his partner has left him, or has custody of their children, or takes up with another partner.

Are these events tragic?  Without question.  But are they unforeseen, “one-off” events that could not have been predicted?  The answer is NO.  And would recognizing the patterns prevent all these heinous crimes?  Of course not.  But until friends, neighbors, family, coworkers, law enforcement, prosecutors – and yes, the media – see the picture, we’ll never know how many deaths we could prevent.

*Ava Rose, LCSW is Director of Women Helping Women ~ Community Counseling & Support Services, a program of the National Council of Jewish Women/ Los Angeles, and Steering Committee Member of the Westside Domestic Violence Network.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Miramonte Elementary School Scandal and the Psychology of Paraphillias

by Gina Simmons, Ph.D.

A dark cloud hangs over a Los Angeles Elementary School after two long-term teachers were arrested on allegations of lewd acts on children under the age of 14. Miramonte Elementary, educates low-income, mostly Latino youth, and ranks at the bottom in achievement for schools in its comparison group. When a film processor notified authorities about strange photos of blindfolded children with tape over their mouths, Miramonte Elementary hit a new bottom.

Veteran teacher, Mark Berndt, allegedly masturbated in the classroom, placed his semen on a spoon and fed it to blindfolded children in a "tasting game." Photos of children with the milky substance near their mouths alerted the film processor and stemmed a nearly year long investigation. Investigators allegedly found a blue plastic spoon with semen on it in a trash container at the school along with hundreds of photos of children.

Disturbing as the allegations are, the story gets sicker. Investigators arrested another suspected Miramonte teacher, Martin Springer for lewd acts on young children. He and Berndt were apparently friends. Two teachers aides also came under suspicion at the school. One was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2005 for lewd acts on children in cases going back as far as 1995. Another teacher's aide wrote a love letter to an elementary school child. The mother of that child complained to school authorities and was allegedly rebuffed. Students who reported the strange sexual behavior were allegedly told to "stop making things up."

In reaction to these disturbing allegations, Los Angeles Unified School District administrators removed the entire staff of Miramonte school and replaced them with new people. They provided counselors for each classroom, as the investigation and interviews of students and staff continues. Some Miramonte parents have spoken in protest of the removal of teachers beloved by their students. An atmosphere of anger and distrust, mixed with poverty and powerlessness, likely creates a toxic environment for learning. Those with immigration issues may have felt more powerless to report abuses to authorities.

How Did They Get Away With It For Decades?

Pedophiles, those with a sexual attraction to children, are a sneaky bunch. They know that children don't understand sexuality and cannot talk about it intelligently. They know that most people don't want to believe sexual exploitation of children exists in their neighborhood, school, house, backyard, or office. So it's easy for them to hide in plain sight.

I once worked with a boy who was molested by his grandfather, while sitting on Grandpa's lap, at the computer, with his parents sitting a few feet away in the same room. When I worked in residential treatment with a group of pedophiles, I learned that they can engage in sexual activity, with one hand under the table, while eating dinner. The other diners, unless they have x-ray vision, won't see or suspect a thing. Psychologists call this "perceptual set" which prompts us to see what we expect based on our emotional needs. If your basic need is food, you'll focus more on the spaghetti and meatballs on the table.

The Psychology of Paraphilias

Besides being sneaky and immature, pedophiles can become fixated on specific objects, rituals or behaviors that stimulate them sexually. Called paraphilias, these fixations can become the primary way the individual finds sexual satisfaction. Besides pedophilia, other paraphilias, like frotteurism (touching and rubbing against people against their will) or voyeurism (watching the private activity of others without their consent or knowledge) have a hostile component. The prowling perpetrator gets a power rush by sexually exploiting someone without their knowledge or consent.

Pedophiles often reveal a history of childhood trauma and sexual victimization. When they molest children, they psychologically reenact the abuse, bringing it under their own control. Recent neuroscience research finds abnormalities of the brain in the early development of pedophiles. They show a decrease in the volume of gray brain matter in the central striatum which impacts their emotions and behavior. In addition they show abnormalities in the frontal and central regions of the brain. These parts of the brain control the ability to practice restraint, use good judgment and apply reason to their behavior. These folks are sick and it shows in their brain scans.

What Can We Do About it?

Pedophilia is not curable. Those who enter treatment with a desire to get better usually need lifelong therapy and medication. Usually they are given antidepressants to reduce the drive to molest, in addition to hormonal medication to reduce the sex drive. Our best defense for our children is to pay attention. Ask the school their policy on reporting possible offenses. Do they screen employees. How do they handle complaints? Teach your children about these people so that they know what to do when an adult asks something of them that feels creepy or weird. Encourage your children to speak up when something feels wrong to them. Blindly obedient children make easy victims. Finally, try to stay involved in your child's school, and get to know the teacher. Your visibility and observing eyes can act as an inhibiting factor for a molester.

Photos courtesy of CBS News and Willibys-corruptjustice.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Developing Fingerprints on Submerged Weapons Now a Reality

by Andrea Campbell

When new technology comes down the pike, to me, it’s just as interesting as how it came to be—or whose brainchild it is—as is what the science enables us to do. That’s why when I read about this technique for pulling latent fingerprints off of handguns that have been underwater, I had to share it with you as it is on the cusp of becoming mainstream. Some information about the authors and the tests follow.

Kathryn Book for nine years has been a Physical Scientist/Forensic Examiner in the Latent Print Operations Unit at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico. Part of her job is to work with the Bureau’s Evidence Response Team providing latent and human remains processing. The other author and teammate of this plan is James Tullbane, a Supervisory Special Agent on the Technical Dive Team in the Evidence Response Team Unit. Previously he worked as a member of the Underwater Search and Evidence Response Team (USERT) for five years. It’s not surprising that this kind of talent has endeavored to take on a discipline as yet unproven.

The Typical Past
Divers who have recovered materials from water in the capacity of providing evidence for collection, detection, preservation and processing of weapons underwater have basically turned the materials over to the Firearms and Toolmarks Units in order to discover any distinguishing characteristics such as caliber, ammunition and other related tasks. Never had the evidence gone first to the laboratory for latent print processing as it was thought that nothing of significance could be collected in the way of individualistic fingerprints.

Book and Tullbane, however, launched some tests and subsequent studies to see if the possibility of latent print detection and recovery of print evidence could be obtained on handguns that had been submerged in water.

Collection Techniques
The current protocol for collecting handguns within the FBI parameters are to: 1. Photograph the weapon in place, 2. Package the evidence in the found water, and, 3. Submit it to firearms for ballistics testing.

The study and new methodology the authors of these tests took upon themselves found great success: latent prints were developed on weapons tossed into various types of water, well up to 70 days under submersion!

What Are Latents?
In order for fingerprints to be deposited on a surface, they are of two types: Eccrine or Sebaceous. Eccrine (or merocrine gland substances) are the major sweat glands of the human body found in virtually all skin and are fingerprints and is made up of sweat or perspiration that is exuded from the pores of our skin and which highlights the friction ridge patterns on our fingertips. These glands produce a clear, odorless substance consisting primarily of water and NaCl, secretions of the apocrine glands. NaCl is mostly reabsorbed in the duct to reduce salt loss.

Sebaceous prints on the other hand, include fatty acids, lipids, cholesterol and glycerides, including both eccrine secretions and the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands; this is an oily secretion comprised of free fatty acids, wax esters, squalene and more. The most likely method of deposit is when someone touches their nose, hair, skin or other object that contains oils. Now the likelihood of developing the water-based or Eccrine prints is unlikely as they will dissipate in water. Sebaceous prints are less soluable—capable of being dissolved—and the potential for reading them after they have been deposited on a weapon thrown into water is greater.

Difficulty in Processing
Several factors make it difficult to pull prints such as, the surface of the weapon in the way of textured surfaces or a phosphate finish on the weapon, previous oiling or storage of the handgun, and a wiping clean of the gun often provide effective in removing all trace of latents.

Test Set-up
For the testing several natural prints were applied to the weapons along with another print using Lightning Powder’s Latent Print Reference Pad, and all were marked and placed on both sides of the barrel and photographed for reference. Although the tests were conducted in a lab in a controlled environment (e.g. plastic containers), the water used was both fresh and salted with Instant Ocean. Nine trials were done using elapsed time intervals up to 70 days.

Regardless of method of development, processing handguns immediately after removal from water yielded positive results. There were some factors that help to determine the ideal conditions and the things that affect less than prime results are: handguns should be processed immediately, the water temperature if too warm impacts the results; the best results occurred with metal weapons in cold water; and the addition of heat and salt greatly reduces the detection of latent prints.

Obviously further testing and documentation is needed for presentation in court, and evidence proofs in court, but we are very encouraged this will become a mainstay for processing fingerprints from guns thrown into water.


--Book, Mary Kathryn and James Tullbane. "Detection of latent prints on handguns after submersion in water" Adapted from Evidence Technology Magazine, September-October 2011, pages 22-25 and 29.
Image: Stuart Miles /
Gun on dock: Image: Simon Howden /

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Milford Memories: A Haunted Park

by Donna Pendergast

Milford Michigan is a sleepy serene village located in a bucolic area of affluent Oakland County Michigan. Despite it's trendy shops and a recent burst of development on the village outskirts it retains a small town charm with Victorian style architecture downtown and several parks sprinkled throughout the small village. The largest of these parks is Central Park which sits on the banks of the Huron River just off the downtown business district. With it's tennis courts, play scape, picnic areas and wooded trails, Central Park appears to be the picture perfect small town park.

Appearances can be deceptive.

On January 4th 1992, Cynthia Jones a 15-year-old honor student was abducted from Central Park at knife point by a masked man who left her boyfriend tied to a tree. The boyfriend later became a target of the investigation. He was the subject of intense scrutiny right up until May 27th, 1992 when serial murderer Leslie Allen Williams was apprehended by authorities and and confessed to Cindy's abduction and subsequent murder. Williams also confessed to the murders of three other teenage girls, Kami Villenueva who was abducted from her home a few months before Cindy was kidnapped and sisters Melissa and Michelle Urbin who were abducted while walking near their rural home in Fenton Michigan.

Leslie Allen Williams, an almost forgotten serial murderer, is a miscreant who had multiple violent felony convictions at the time of his apprehension. Described by psychiatrists as a woman hater and a sociopath motivated by sadism he was a time bomb waiting to explode. After confessing to the four murders he led authorities to the makeshift graves of all four girls. He later pled guilty to all four murders which spared the families and myself the rigors of a trial. His parole on multiple violent felonies prior to the teens murder was the impetus for a complete reform of the Michigan parole system. The multiple pleas of guilty ended the court saga of Leslie Allen Williams but they would not be the final chapter in Central Park's dark history.

On August 9th, 1995, two twelve year old girls, Casey Fiolek and Jennifer Wicks went missing in Milford and were widely reported as possible runaways. I remember like it was yesterday hearing the news of their disappearance on the radio. Call it what you will, a premonition or prosecutor's instinct I knew instantly that this would end badly. I knew in my heart that Casey and Jennifer had not run away. In the days following the disappearance I was astonished at how little media attention was paid to the disappearance of two 12-year old girls.

Unfortunately the situation was about to change and not in a good way.

On August 12th, 1995 a teenage boy was present at Central Park for a festival called Milford Memories. He wandered into a wooded area of the park and observed what appeared to be part of a body sticking out of a culvert pipe. What appeared to be a body was, in fact, two bodies: Casey and Jennifer, one on top of the other, sexually assaulted, choked and stabbed and stuffed into the culvert like two discarded rag dolls. The discovery was beyond horrifying. The story of how they ended up there, more horrifying yet.

An intense police investigation led the police to two local but homeless drifters, Aaron Stinchcombe and Russell Oeschger, miscreants who had been living temporarily in a wooded area of the park. Stinchcombe knew Casey's older brother from having grown up around town. He along with Oeschger had befriended the two girls in a more populated area of the park earlier in the day on the date of their murder.

The two girls spent the afternoon hours preceding their murders hanging out with the two much older men. Aaron Stinchcombe was 20 years old and Russell Oeschger was 30 years old. During the course of that afternoon the girls persuaded the men to purchase alcohol for them to celebrate their upcoming 13th birthdays. A plan was put in place where the girls would meet back up with the men at the park late at night. Little did Casey and Jennifer know that a much more diabolical plan would be hatched after they left the park in the late afternoon hours.

Jennifer was spending the night at Casey's house and the two girls snuck out of a bedroom window shortly before midnight. They headed for Central Park not knowing that what really waited for them in the park was no party but rather two monsters of the night wearing human faces. The girls met up with the men and while sitting around a picnic table began drinking the alcohol that had been purchased. Having never consumed liquor before the girls became intoxicated very quickly. After the girls became intoxicated, Russell Oeschger led Jennifer away under the pretext of showing her the bathrooms. Aaron Stinchcombe led Casey deeper into the woods to an area under a tree. What started out as a lark in the park for two young girls was about to become a scene worse than any nightmare or horror movie.

Jennifer was raped, choked and stabbed to death by Oeschger up near a bathroom located within a park. At about the same time Casey had sobered up to the point where she realized that something had gone very wrong. She began screaming "Where is Jennifer, You killed her didn't you?" to Stinchcombe who than began to beat her. At some point, Oeschger having already killed Jennifer, came over to assist Stinchcombe with Casey. Casey was raped by Stinchcombe and beaten and stomped on by both men to the point where both men thought that she was dead.

As Stinchcombe and Oeschger debated what to do with the bodies, Casey surprised both of them by jumping back up and beginning to scream. The men began twisting her head around on her neck chanting "wind up toy, wind up toy." Casey was then choked and stabbed to death and both girls bodies were then transported to the culvert and stuffed inside.

The chilling details are known only because both men made ghastly almost matching confessions that haunt me to this day nearly two decades later. I introduced those confessions in Stinchcombe and Oeschger's respective murder trials to two different but equally horrified juries. Both men were convicted of first degree murder and will spend the rest of their natural lives in prison.

Unlike the happy connotation attached to the name for the annual summer festival, my Milford memories cause me to shudder every time that I think of Cindy, Casey and Jennifer. In the case of Casey and Jennifer I always wonder how two ne'er-do-wells could escalate from petty crimes to such diabolical and monstrous acts of murder. As to all three cases, I wonder what the odds are that such a seemingly idyllic setting in such a serene and quiet community would be the scene of such horrific evil not once but on two different occasions only a few years apart. I'm sure that these questions will haunt me for the rest of my life.

As I told Casey and Jennifer's respective juries during opening statements at trial: "We tell our children there are no monsters. They don't come out at night, they don't hide in the dark, they don't torture and kill little girls. This case will prove beyond any doubt that we delude ourselves..."

But even those words did not do justice to explain the crimes and evil that befell Cindy, Casey and Jennifer in Milford's Central Park.

In the age old cycle that defines the evolution of any community people come and people go and memories fade with time. But in this case my memories of Cindy, Casey and Jennifer will remain with me for the rest of my days.

So Cindy, Jennifer and Casey, since I can't forget here is my prayer to you:

Rest assured you are still remembered
Keep those who remember in sight
Please watch over and protect our children
From the monsters who lurk in the night.

Rest in peace sweet angels, you are remembered today and always.

Statements made in this post are my own and are not intended to reflect the views, opinion or position of the Michigan Attorney General or the Michigan Department of Attorney General.

Friday, February 10, 2012

No Visible Tears, Defensiveness and Body Language Tells of Baby Lisa’s Parent’s on Dr. Phil

by Dr. Lillian Glass

After watching Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, the parents of missing Baby Lisa Irwin, on Dr. Phil, it is my view that something does not seem right from a body language and communication perspective.

There were several signals of deception in my view along with signals of defensiveness. Her “crying” on the air seemed to remind me of the non-tears and extremely quick recovery time, complete with lack of facial transition of Casey Anthony and Susan Smith.

What struck me a odd was her immediate display of a crying facial expression as soon as Dr. Phil asked her about the Kansas City Police Department and if she thought she was treated unfairly. There are no tears as she transitions to a non crying facial expression within milliseconds. In my view anger would be a more appropriate reaction instead of self sympathy tears.

She then gets defensive and volunteers the following information in a harsh and defensive vocal tone . Say says “It’s not a circus. It’s not a joke. ” Those are her words No one else said it was a circus or a joke? When someone volunteers extraneous and tangential information that has little or nothing to do with the case , it usually indicates a signal of deception. It may very well be a case of “thou dost protest too much.”

She goes on to say “This is not a game. This is my baby.” Once again no one said anything about a game. In analyzing her statement, when someone is playing games and is the first to bring up the term “game," it is often a game they may be playing.

In Debbie Bradley’s case, perhaps she is playing that “cat and mouse game” with the Kansas City police as they says he is not cooperating. Perhaps the reason she has been interviewed b them so many times, according to her attorney Joe Tacopina, is because they don’t feel thy are getting any answers from her and may very well feel as though she is playing games.

Deborah Bradley clutches on to Jeremy Irwin’s hand as his finger is extended. And does not interlock with hers, showing distance between them in my view. His cupped fist may also display anger. Perhaps he is angry at Debbie for what may have happened to Baby Lisa on her watch.

As he speaks he breaks away from her grip and comforts himself by interlocking his own fingers as he places them on his groin area. This indicates that he is feeling extremely vulnerable. He ignores the hand that Deborah places on his thigh.

His tone is robotic, yet his voice betrays him as he displays a shakiness as his words tend to trail off at the end. This may be further indication that he may be masking his true emotions.

Dr. Phil then asks Deborah if during the 90 days new light was shed and whether something developed.

Deborah looks down and says in an arrogant manner “ Yes but I’m not gonna talk about it.”

If she is not going to talk about it then why appear on Dr. Phil? Why not speak to the Kansas City police and tell them about the these new developments.

The constant dabbing of her non-tears with no liquid present throughout the interview is very disturbing.

Joe Tacopina spins his spin and speaks on behalf of the couple. As he does this we see several signals of deception with him in my view from his cocked head to his blinking, shoulder shrugs, etc, which may indicate to me that he may not really believe everything he is saying.

As he speaks, we continue to see Deborah dab her tearless eyes. To me that is a HUGE red flag body language wise.

When Dr. Phil asked baby Lisa’s mother if she was wrong when she said that all the lights were turned off in the house after her husband Jeremy contradicted her by saying the lights were on when he came home, she immediately went on the defensive and began to attack Jeremy . She leaked out anger as she looked up and said that what he said was a it was a huge exaggeration.

Her looking up during his crucial statement along with her anger and defensiveness could be interpreted as a signal of deception. It is interesting to note that Jeremy doesn’t speak up and intervene and agree with her statement.

When Dr. Phil asked her about the cadaver dog’s hit we could see her squirm around, indicating discomfort at this line of questioning. Then we see her lick her lips, no doubt due to a case of ”cotton mouth” which is due to anxiety, which is often a signal of deception. We then see her bite her lips which indicates she was no doubt holding back information.

While I am not accusing Deborah Bradley of wrongdoing, her body language and facial language and speech content and Jeremy’s voice patterns and body language may speak volumes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Press Release: Cease-and-Desist Letter issued to Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of Missing Madeleine McCann


Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of the missing Madeleine McCann, find themselves for the first time at the other end of a potential legal action. Top defense attorney, Anne Bremner, counsel to the Friends of Amanda Knox and the families of Rebecca Zahau and Susan Cox Powell, has issued a cease-and-desist letter (content posted below) on behalf of American criminal profiler Pat Brown whose book, Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, was removed from sale by Amazon following a claim by the McCanns that the book was defamatory. In recent years, the McCanns have instructed their solicitors, Carter-Ruck, to send numerous cease-and-desist letters to people who have publicly questioned their possible involvement in their daughter’s disappearance nearly five years ago while on family holiday in Portugal.

Next week, on February 8th, retired solicitor Tony Bennett faces English prison as the McCanns’ fight to shut down his efforts to bring focus to aspects of the missing child case that point to the parents’ possible involvement. Also, the McCanns have sued the detective on their daughter’s case, Dr. Goncalo Amaral, for libel and have had his book, Truth of the Lie, pulled off the worldwide market. The trial is scheduled in Portugal for April. Now, Pat Brown has fought back for the cause of freedom of speech and justice, alleging that the McCanns have interfered with her right to conduct business and have damaged her professional reputation with their successful removal of her book from sale.
On Monday, Pat will leave for Portugal to continue her quest for truth and justice in the case of Madeleine McCann.

The Find Madeleine Campaign operated by Gerry and Kate McCann has spent some 2.5 million pounds on the supposed search for their daughter, Madeline, who vanished in Praia da Luz, Portugal while on vacation with the family nearly five years ago and have come up empty handed. Since last May, a 37-man team headed up by Scotland Yard has spent 1.5 million pounds on salaries plus many more pounds following up supposed leads with no sign of success. Altogether, four million pounds has been forked out to locate a missing child with zero results. What, then, does American criminal profiler Pat Brown hope to accomplish with her two week trip to Portugal, beginning next week on February 6, with her small band of assistants and a few hundred euros of her own money?
She could find the truth. She could find Madeleine. She could find nothing but at least she won’t be costing the taxpayers millions or draining the pocketbooks of kindhearted donators chasing useless leads.

Pat Brown will be following up on the theory she purported in her Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, her eBook which was pulled by Amazon at the request of the British solicitors Carter-Ruck on behalf of Gerry and Kate McCann. Amazon was told the book was defamatory in spite of the fact Ms. Brown clearly stated facts in the case, developed a theory based on those facts, and repeated numerous times that she makes no claim that the McCanns are guilty of any involvement in their daughter’s disappearance (other than leaving three children unattended night after night in the resort apartment). Since Gerry McCann clearly stated during the Leveson Inquiry, “I strongly believe in freedom of speech” and “I don't have a problem with somebody purporting a theory,” it is difficult to understand why the McCanns wanted the book to be repressed, except that it was selling well and that the theory she presented was being considered credible by a number of readers.

During her trip to Portugal, Pat Brown will study the town of Praia da Luz and environs, reconstruct the crime, and examine possible locations as to where Madeleine might have been taken, dead or alive. If she discovers evidence to support a theory other than the one that was the focus of her book, she will pursue that information. She is looking forward to meeting with Dr. Goncalo Amaral, the ex-detective on the McCann case. Meanwhile, it is her hope and that of her lawyer, Anne Bremner, that the McCanns rethink their actions regarding the Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann and instruct their solicitors to have Amazon return the book to the market (now available at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble online).

For interviews and media appearances, please contact:

Pat Brown
The Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency

Anne M. BremnerStafford Frey Cooper, PC
3100 Two Union Square
601 Union Street
Seattle, WA 98101-1374


Cease-and-Desist Letter

Anne M. Bremner
Stafford Frey Cooper, PC
3100 Two Union Square
601 Union Street
Seattle, WA 98101-1374

February 1, 2012

Adam Tudor
6 St Andrew Street
London EC4A 3AE

Dear Mr. Tudor,
In July 2011, American criminal profiler, author, and television commentator, Pat Brown, released on June 15, 2011 a self-published book of thirty-pages on,, and, for the price of US2.99. It was titled Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, sold 850 copies over the next five weeks and garnered 49 nearly all five star reviews on alone. Then, the book vanished from sale on all three sites. Upon questioning, Pat Brown was informed by Amazon that they had received communications from Carter-Ruck on behalf of their clients Gerald and Kate McCann that the book was defamatory.
Mon 7/25/2011 7:27 PM

Dear Pat,
We have received a notice of defamation from Carter-Ruck Solicitors that says the content of Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann (UPDATED) B0055WYVCQ, contains defamatory statements regarding their clients, Gerry and Kat (sic) McCann.

Because we have no method of determining whether the content supplied to us is defamatory, we have removed the title from sale and will not reinstate it unless we receive confirmation from both parties that this matter has been resolved.
Carter-Ruck can be reached at:

6 St Andrew Street
London EC4A 3AE
T 020 7353 5005
Best regards,
Robert F.
This was quite a surprise to Pat Brown as she had never received any communications from the McCanns nor their solicitors concerning any defamatory material in this book, nor had she ever received any communication concerning any defamatory material in her blogs on the case she has posted online at The Daily Profiler over the last four years. As Ms. Brown is an analyst of evidence, she is careful to not state anything as a fact that is not a fact and to clearly state what is a hypothesis or a theory as opposed to proof. She has publicly and repeated explained to anyone reading her analyses of crime that criminal profiling is a methodology which explores the possible and theoretical scenarios that might be considered as logical based on evidence connected with the crime - forensic, linguistic, or behavioral. Any findings resulting from investigative tools which are not acceptable in certain courts of law (such as cadaver dogs or polygraphs) are noted as suitable for speculation, but not as solid proof of anyone’s guilt or involvement in criminal activities. Criminal profiling itself is an investigative tool and not a finding of guilt as Pat Brown clearly notes in her book.

Due to the speculative, if analytical, nature of Deductive Criminal Profiling, the methodology used by Pat Brown, she was careful to repeat numerous times throughout her publication that she was not accusing the McCanns of being involved in any crime or in the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine. She was clearly only “purporting a theory” and exercising “free speech,” both manners of communication Gerry McCann stated he strongly supported under oath at the Leveson Inquiry on November 23, 2011 in London:
"I would like to emphasize that I strongly believe in freedom of speech, but where you have people who are repeatedly carrying out inaccuracies and have been shown to do so, then they should be held to account. That is the issue. I don't have a problem with somebody purporting a theory, writing fiction, suggestions, but clearly we've got to a stage where substandard reporting and sources, unnamed, made-up, non-verifiable, are a daily occurrence.” Gerry McCann

Pat Brown also believes in free speech and the right to purport a theory, it would seem she and Gerry McCann are in agreement that any work that purports a theory as opposed to false statements of fact is acceptable under freedom of speech. Pat Brown’s Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann opens up discussion of what happened to the McCann’s daughter, further stimulating interest in the case, and keeping Madeleine in the minds of the public. As the McCanns claim this is what they want, Pat Brown’s book is in accordance with this desire. In fact, it is the McCanns themselves who have clearly encouraged massive interest and speculation on this case. Pat Brown is in no way, therefore, infringing on any wish to keep talk about the case to a minimum.
By speaking and writing out quite often and in such a high profile manner, the McCanns have succeeded in making Madeleine McCann the most well-known missing child in modern history (since the Lindbergh baby in 1932). They have stimulated debate worldwide as to what happened to Madeleine. They have publicly purported their own theories; that someone took Madeleine because they wanted to raise a child, that she is being held captive in a sex ring, and that a pedophile had taken her. They have publicly disclosed many details of the case and repeatedly told their version of what occurred before, during, and after the disappearance of the daughter. They have discussed their emotions, behaviors, and opinions. Pat Brown is carrying on that discussion.

Utmost of importance in the entire matter, is the handling and funding of child abduction cases, the prevailing attitudes toward these crimes, and the future of catching child predators. Because the victims are so young and innocent, missing children are among the most publicized cases in the world. In the last three decades with the increase of the Internet and the 24-hour news cycle, awareness of child sex predators and stranger child abduction has radically increased fears of parents that their child will be taken and murdered. In reality, stranger abduction continues to be exceedingly rare for children of Madeleine’s age. Regardless, the paranoia that is engendered when a small child goes missing is a great stress to the community, the police, and resources. Therefore, it is extremely important that each and every case be properly analyzed and understood so that wrong ideas aren’t promulgated and funding and efforts are wasted investigating such crimes improperly. Each child that goes missing is a terrible tragedy for the parents, siblings, relative, friends, and community. Pat has great empathy for any family of a missing child and, most of all, compassion for the innocent young person who has suffered abuse, terror, sexual assault, and, possibly, an early death at the hands of others.

We are requesting that you respect Pat Brown’s right to free speech and to purport a theory as Gerry McCann has stated is not a problem for him. We request that the claim of libel be retracted for the Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann and the book permitted to be returned for sale at Amazon.

Anne M. Bremner