Steven Avery’s Denial

netflix making a murderIf someone tells you they didn’t do something, how do you know if you can believe the denial?

In 2007 Steven Avery was convicted of killing Teresa Halbach and is currently serving life in prison. If you watched the ten-episode Netflix series, Making a Murderer, you may have an opinion as to whether he killed her, or if he was wrongly convicted for a second time.

Making a decision on his guilt or innocence merely based on 10 hours of film is unrealistic and unjust. How can you make an informed decision without all the facts?

The producers of the documentary admitted they only included the information they felt was relevant. They filmed over a ten year period and collected over 200 hours of film. Imagine the multitude of additional information related to this case that wasn’t included in those 200 hours.

Even as a solid, educated, deception/credibility specialist, I am not prepared to weigh in on his guilt or innocence. I would need much more information than what I gathered merely binge watching this 10 hour series.

However, from a credibility standpoint I do want to address Steven’s denial during an interrogation shown in Episode 2. If you want to reference his statements, and are a Netflix subscriber, you’ll find it at the 0:49 mark.

Steven tells investigators Mark Wiegert and Tom Fassbender, “I did not do it. I did not do it. I didn’t do it.” When asked Who did it? he responds, “I don’t know.  I do not know. I didn’t do this one.  I didn’t do it. I didn’t do nothin’. How could I make a mistake if I didn’t do nothing? I didn’t do nothing. I didn’t do nothin’. “  Then again at 0:51 he says, “I’m not scared. I didn’t do it. I did not kill her. I did not do this.”

In just those extremely brief interactions, twelve (12) times Steven Avery says he did not do it. If you have not watched the series, you may not be aware that his baseline language includes poor grammar. Therefore the double negatives are not relevant here.

When someone says, “I didn’t do it” he is denying the act. He is telling us he did not commit the crime or he did not commit a certain act. The only true denial is to state, “I didn’t do it” or to specifically deny the act itself by saying, “I didn’t kill her” or “I didn’t rape her.” Conversely, if a person says, “I had nothing to do with it,” that is not a true denial.

Richard Jewell’s Denial

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Gov Snyder Flint Water Emails

On 20 January Michigan’s Governor, Rick Snyder released 270+ pages of emails as it relates to the current Flint water crisis. You can read these emails here.flint water snyder emails

I read through all of these emails with the intent to do a forensic content analysis on them for credibility purposes. In the end, I did not perform such an analysis because this cache of documents does not provide the material I need to conduct an accurate evaluation.

What I mean by that is much of these emails contain technical information, press releases and other non-dialog content. In order to accurately conduct a credibility analysis it’s important to have the author provide free flowing statements. While some of the emails are a bit more casual, nonetheless they are still government emails being transmitted, and as such are worded professionally and I suspect, somewhat guarded.

It would be irresponsible of me to take what has been provided to offer an expert opinion based on a reasonable degree of scientific probability as to the credibility of these emails.

Notwithstanding, if you are at all interested in being informed (vs. opinionated) on this subject I encourage you to read the emails. They do provide a great deal of insight and timeline as to what transpired.

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Winter Tips for Firearm Maintenance

“Frigid cold sweeps the nation!”  Record breaking low temperatures top the morning headlines.firearm maintenance

For many of us living in the United States Old Man Winter has come calling with authority. It’s the time of year when any excuse to remain secluded in the warmth of a home is good enough. Not surprisingly, the cold snap jolts us back to reality as the mundane tasks of the day await; and outside we go with our coveted personal defense firearm always close at-hand.

For those of us who have made the choice to legally carry concealed, here are some winter maintenance tips to ensure your firearm is ready to perform when needed.

  1. Keep your firearm clean and dry. Winter cold can be hard on your body and it is not a friend to your pistol. The school of thought that your gun must be thoroughly lubricated to function properly is an old wives’ tale. Petroleum based products and cold air temperature make for sluggishness performance when it relates to firearms.  Keep your weapon free of oils and grit when the weather turns cold. At most, a very light coat of a Teflon based product or dry lubricant is all that is required, and only sparse application is needed on moving parts.
  2. Keep your firearm nice and toasty. By keeping your pistol close to your body and under layers of clothing you help mitigate the adverse effects cold air temperatures have on gun metal.  This includes magazine springs and cartridges if your firearm is so equipped. If the metal on your gun is cold to the touch then you could be flirting with disaster.  Try keeping it as close to body temperature as possible and check on it often as you would your own child.
  3. Get the crud out. At the end of the day upon returning home, perform a little maintenance before turning in.  To begin, ensure your weapon is unloaded. Double check the chamber and be positive that no round is present.  Once certain the weapon has been cleared and rendered safe, cycle the action several times to exercise the mechanical parts.  This drill will ensure the mechanism is free of any foreign debris that may have been picked up from your holster, purse or clothing.

Gunk in your firearm is never a good thing, but the problem is made worse during cold weather…think sluggishness again, or worse, a barrel obstruction.  Finally, give your firearm a thorough wipe down.  Condensation can form on cold metal as it warms to indoor temperatures.  This potentially leads to moisture on the surface and internal components.  Moisture left unattended on metal equals rust and corrosion. I don’t think it is necessary to harp on why rust is a bad thing for firearms, in particular one that you legally carry to protect yourself and those you love.

Follow these simple steps and your firearm with always be ready when you are. Stay Safe.

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