Listen Up, Because…. Time’s Up!

 


“And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk more” Erika Jong 

This is a true and a somewhat embarrassing story. However, if in the telling this story enlightens others then so be it.

I’ve always been considered a knowledgeable person; book smart, analytical, problem solving and possessing just enough street smarts to know better.  But alas, this was one of the hardest lessons of all, to be played like a fiddle by a master manipulator and not even realize it!  I was no match for this person, henceforth to be called “Madam X.” Madam X had a pattern of leading unsuspecting people on a journey to hell and back.

I should have known better…

I didn’t know at the outset of the relationship that I would once again become a crime victim, but also demonstrate an ability to rise above the pain and abuse to save a perpetrator’s life, whatever that was worth.

It all began when I hosted a Woman’s Sunday Brunch gathering within a major hotel in an elite community in central Connecticut.  One Sunday, a new guest, Madam X, arrived.  She was small in stature, was well scrubbed, freckle faced and appeared too cute in looks and personality for words.  In fact, unbeknownst to me, she didn’t just stroll in, but rode in on her motorcycle.

Madam X was charming and cast her spell towards me during our first meeting. It was almost like a dream.  Someone should have rounded the corner, taken me by the shoulders and said, “Wake up woman, this person is bad news!” but no one did.

Madam X and I became friends, but there was something not quite right about the situation.  I had met others like her in the past that were in a tough spot, living on the edge for awhile until finances improved.  But I should have known that the transient little barn converted apartment was for the wayward and not a charming fixer-upper.

Madam X was down on her luck. She had a job but lived paycheck to paycheck. She was a licensed handyperson, but was working in a hotel catering department.  She was a good cook, skilled at arts and crafts, and voiced goals and aspirations.

One day while sitting on the couch in her ramshackle apartment, after finishing a call to someone, she said to me with warning, “You don’t want to know about my problems,” when I innocently offered her help. I had just rescued her stranded with her bike, needing a ride. I should have walked out the door, but I was blinded. This cute and perky person fed into my care taking nature and knew exactly what she was doing.

Madam X needed a temporary place to stay so I obliged, thinking that it was the right thing to do to help a new friend and that our friendship would grow as a result. She moved into my place with a considerable amount of belongings, taking over my “neat nick condominium” and rearranged her life in my home.

Background

Madam X came from a neighboring state and had two sisters.  Both were successful professionals. She portrayed herself as the black sheep of the family who was always trying to prove herself, always the one who was misunderstood.

What I wasn’t aware of initially was that she had burned many bridges, including her family.  It appeared they were in a state of inertia when I desperately called them the first time she disappeared.  I wasn’t in total denial of her problems, and my former rescues, but I wasn’t helping her to face the music and suffer the consequences for such things as losing her drivers license. Unbeknownst to me, she had a drug problem.

I often drove Madam X to her hotel job, rising at 4 am to arrive at 6 am at a location over the hazardous Avon Mountain.  Rather than be the constant chauffeur, I decided to put her on my auto insurance as a driver because her motorcycle was not always the best means of travel. One fine day, she borrowed my Subaru Forrester, fell asleep at the wheel, landed in a ditch and totaled the car, with only a few scratches to her body.

As time went on, the naiveté on my part remained and so did the loans of a few dollars here and there, accumulating over time. I did record all her expenditures in a book as proof of what she owed.  She liked nice things, and a glass of wine with dinner, which didn’t seem terribly out of place at first, until it became every single night.

I wasn’t thrilled with the situation, but kept the thought that the inconveniences were only temporary and would improve as soon as she got a better paying job.  The inconveniences mounted and the psychological control and lies began, so much so that I wanted out of the relationship altogether.  But, I knew she would not go easily.  She was a “hanger on” whose job it was to charm the world. I was never afraid physically, but I was in a constant state of worry, tired of being manipulated by charm and tired of  beating myself up for the stupidity of being duped.

I was able to purchase a new car to replace the one she wrecked, a 2003 midnight blue Toyota Matrix, but, there was more to come.

One night, while I slept, Madam X got up and borrowed my car keys and stole my new car!  The next morning, the car and Madam X were nowhere to be found.  I learned quickly that drug addicts are good at disappearing and re-appearing.

I had to go to work that morning, but was too ashamed and embarrassed to tell my family.  She said she tried unsuccessfully to arrange for rides from co-workers.  I reported the latest incident to the police immediately. My brand new car was placed on the NCIC-National Crime Information Center’s data base for missing vehicles. Although Madam X had no criminal record, I finally woke up and wanted her arrested for stealing my car.

I had to swallow my pride and notify my family members for transportation and for support.  They also didn’t see Madam X’s addiction, they only knew and expressed that she was one of those people from the wrong side of the tracks, a user. They were truly concerned for my welfare. For the first time, I heard my mother threaten bodily harm, and my sister wanted to throw all her belongings out on the street.

A plethora of emotions were at work in my head; anger, disgust, worry, even a little compassion for this criminal.  What made her do this to me?  I was full of self disappointment for being so easily taken in. Can you imagine how anyone could sink so low as to steal the only transportation available for a single person with a disability?

I just couldn’t get over this and began to look into eviction procedures, a legal morass.  I learned that it was no easy task to evict someone who is not an official renter and without a lease.  Time passed with no word from Madam X, and no sign of the car in almost two weeks.

Then I discovered my ace in the hole. Madam X’s motorcycle was left on the property. After consulting the police, or maybe it was an attorney, I asked a neighbor to sell the motorcycle, and he did, giving me a little bit of sweet revenge.

When Madam X finally showed up, dazed and confused, she was totally dumbfounded and felt betrayed that I would have sold the motorcycle.  No sense of responsibility was taken, nothing about my car, only concern for the motorcycle.

My brand new car was located unscathed, thankfully not stripped,  in a high crime area of Hartford. The interior was a mess with many McDonald’s wrappers and a couple hundred miles on the speedometer.  Upon seeing it, I physically shook and was unable to drive it to the detail shop to have it cleaned.

And, big surprise, Madam X stole the car in exchange for drugs.  As she told it, she had a once a month cocaine habit in addition to  an alcohol addiction. My second surprise was when Madam X’s family turned against me for having her arrested. In truth, I saved her life.

I tried to take the high road and be supportive of her inpatient drug rehabilitation, where she was a model patient. She made me arts and crafts projects and colored pictures as gifts. I was biding my time until the court date.  On the surface, temporary remorse was exhibited by Madam X, and as a compassionate person, I didn’t see the value in sending her to jail if she could be put on the right path.

 

The court date came and I had my opportunity to list all of her despicable behaviors. Madam X said all of the right things to the judge.  The judge was very surprised at my generosity to not send her to jail. Drug rehab, urine tests, probation and a halfway house were part of the plan going forward.

There was a near miss, a potential relapse during this time for Madam X.  The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services policies supposedly interfered with the ability to demonstrate a clean versus a dirty test. However, she called me hysterically telling her story, that she was pushed to the brink of purchasing drugs and at the last minute, she flushed them down the toilet.  I saw an injustice happening in her story and dutifully wrote a letter to the Medical Director.

She didn’t achieve the making amends step of the 12 step program during the time we were together, she never showed an ounce of remorse towards me. Several weeks later, Madam X, a couple of transient friends and her sister arrived with trucks to finally vacate my home. It was a tension filled day.

A few weeks later, the Medical Director of DMHAS responded to my letter on Madam X’s behalf and promised to do staff re-training concerning their policies in the future. As a final loose end, I tried to do the right thing and notify Madam X of the letter and its promise.  Response to the message left at the halfway house – a call from the local police warning me not to harass Madam X!!  I continued on with my life by going to Alanon Meetings and tried to forget.

Moral of This Story

Had I not bothered in the first place with Madam X, the master manipulator, the entire sordid tale would not have happened.

If I had not demonstrated the courage to have Madam X arrested, she would not have had the benefit of drug rehabilitation and the court system trying to set her straight.

I would have retained my first car and all of the money owed, but that is never to be seen again.

In other words, even with all of Madam X’s mess-ups and devaluing of other humans, I saved her life, even if it was against her will, and feel good about that one and only fact!  She was headed to being found in an alley somewhere.

I just recently traded in the same “drug car,” which had about 150,000 miles on the speedometer, and the bad memories vanished with it. As for Madam X, who knows where she is today, hopefully living a cleaner life.

 

 

Advertisements

Who is a Missing Person? 

who is a missing person?

This question came across social media to me recently and the question had me thinking about all the permutations of “the missing.” Is there a true definition? Is there an official “Journal of the Missing”, published monthly and doled out to all library shelves at University libraries? A quick internet search revealed nothing.  This is a niche that few have studied in any depth with the exception of grass root non-profit organizations. They, in fact, are the experts with honed skills through “being in the trenches “and figuring out what truly is needed, how to assist the families of the missing, building collaborations with law enforcement and other organizations in order to do everything possible to effect a rescue versus a search for remains.  The CUE Center for Missing Persons stands out among such organizations.

At its core, how do we know someone is missing?

On a personal level, I believe that if someone cares for another person, has a personal tie to them, and that person has not been located in several hours, to days, months, years,  that is a “heart definition” of a missing person. Are there people who go missing intentionally? YES!  Are there people who go missing unintentionally by virtue of circumstances beyond their control? Yes! Should we judge as to if their gone missing status was preventable? NEVER, because one mis-step or series of bad decisions and we could be there is “a New York minute!

Legal Definition (According to US Legal.com) A missing person is a person 18 years old or older whose disappearance is possibly not voluntary, or a child whose whereabouts are unknown to the child’s legal custodian, the circumstances of whose absence indicate that:

  1. The child did not voluntarily leave the care and control of the custodian, and the taking of the child was not authorized by law; or
  2. The child voluntarily left the care and control of the child’s legal custodian without the custodian’s consent and without intent to return.
  3. State agencies work to coordinate reports of missing persons with federal agencies, such as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
  4. In states with an Amber Alert Plan, parents of a missing or abducted child can contact their local police or sheriff’s department to file a Missing Person Report. If a child is missing and believed to be in danger, there is no 24-hour waiting period.  The law enforcement agency will immediately enter information about the missing child into the Missing Person’s database and the National Crime Information Center’s Missing Person File.

Participating law enforcement agencies can request an Amber Alert if their investigation determines that the child’s disappearance meets the Amber Alert criteria.

Types and Examples of Missing Persons:

Every missing person is somebody’s child…

Other Categories:

We also have men and women missing as a consequence of prostitution, “survival on the street” essentially often hiding in plain sight, fighting their demons, trying to survive.

Another huge category of the missing is attributed to Intimate Partner Violence. We need only to go to SusanMurphy-Milano.Com to see the thousands of examples she left for us!

And on and on….

Suffice it to say, the reasons for going missing are many and varied. If we care for humanity, our hearts are big enough to hold all of the reasons. It matters not why in the final analysis. It only matters that we find them and help them back to a “new normal.”

CUE Center for Missing PersonsIf you know of a missing person, please file a report with the police and then contact the CUE Center for Missing persons, a national non-profit organization.  To support their work: http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/donate/

 

Who is a Missing Person?

 

Interrogation of Suspects: Why They Lie

1

On the face of it, we know the answer to this question regarding crime and suspects. Guilty suspects lie for various reasons. Innocent suspects even lie when they are “worn down” by fierce interrogation for hours on end and … they just want it all to end!

The topic of interrogation techniques can be a minefield of controversy – one I do not wish to tackle in depth. However, a primer may be appropriate to illustrate the point further on in this blog.

Valuable time, and resources can truly be wasted, in addition to contributing more torment for victim families!  I was horrified a couple of weeks ago while watching an episode of Dateline about a missing person-homicide case which included two examples of lying that put the case off the track. The reasons they lied… had nothing to do with the case, only their selfish motives!  Such is my motivation for this blog!

“In the United States, scholars estimate that somewhere between 42 percent and 55 percent of suspects confess to a crime during interrogation.” 

Human Nature and a ‘Bare Bones Environment” During Interrogation-

According to several internet sources on interrogation, the keys to gaining useful information depends largely on the skill of the interrogator and the type of interrogation method used.typically only two or three uncomfortable chairs, a table, with no access for temperature control, lighting or bathroom facilities in order to “establish dependence on the interrogators.”

Physical Abuse and Deprivation-

In the case Brown v. Mississippi, the Supreme Court threw out a voluntary confession that was obtained after police officers r\ strung a suspect up in a tree and whipped him repeatedly. The Court’s decision was clear: Confessions obtained by force cannot be used as evidence at trial.

In the 1950s, it was okay to deprive a suspect of food. water, bathroom facilities and physically abuse a suspect for hours.

The benchmark case for protection of suspects during interrogation occurred in 1966 in the case of Miranda vs Arizona in which a  kidnapping and rape suspect, Ernesto Miranda, was not informed his rights of obtaining an attorney when questioned and his right to remain silent prior to providing his confession. Many modern day crime shows, particularly Law and Order, have made this case part and parcel of their stories.  

The moral compass with juries perhaps lying about nonexistent evidence versus lying about the welfare of people, particularly children, may not be palatable as have been demonstrated in documented cases brought to the Supreme Court level.

“Interrogators cannot misrepresent a suspect’s legal rights – Court rulings are clear that because the totality-of-the-circumstances, inquiry is fact specific and determinations of the limits of police deception are case specific” (American Psychological Assn.)

The Reid Technique-

A Chicago police officer in the 1940’s developed this technique which relies on observation of  different kinds of eye blinks and  body language, supposedly connoting anxiety which was interpreted as lying. This technique also uses the  control questions while developing a rapport with suspects. However, this technique has been extensively researched for 40 years and debunked. Anxiety does not mean someone is lying. Rather, it is a natural response to a stressful situation.

Good Cop- Bad Cop-

We all know this technique in which one interrogator becomes the aggressor while the other in the team supposedly takes the side of the suspect, becomes his “friend and protector” in order that the suspect will let down their guard during questioning.

The PEACE-  

Steps in the process-1) Preparation and Planning 2)  Engage and Explain, 3) Account, 4) Closure and Evaluate) is a method conceived in the 1990s and used initially in the United Kingdom. It was developed by law enforcement and psychologists, designed to be non-confrontational and to prevent false confessions.  This technique is  considered best practice. As a suspect composes lies, eventually he will be caught in an inconsistency and, voila, the gig is up! ( I dare say, I think DCI, character Jane Tennison- Helen Mirren  (BBC’s Prime Suspect Series) skillfully used this technique!

Dateline- The Halloween Party Episode -1027 October 27, 2017

What happened to Chelsea Bruck, 22 years old, who lived in a farm town located  in Southeastern, Monroe, Michigan? Chelsea was ten years younger than her two best friends and grew up the youngest of five children in the town of Maybee (Kind of like Mayberry), Michigan.

It happened at Big Mike’s Halloween bash on October 25, 2014.  700+ partiers amid several heavy metal rock bands and alcohol under two tents. In the dark with only the light of the moon and a bonfire, all masqueraded guests. What a nightmare for investigators!  

Becky, and friends Penny and Chelsea, were a threesome that night. However, they became separated and Chelsea never made it home. Chelsea did not drive and her homemade poison ivy costume which she labored for months to create, had no pockets for a cell phone.  She tried to call a friend, borrowing a phone for a ride, but it didn’t work out. In the wee hours of the morning, it was learned that there may have been foul play involved. Her friends were remorseful and filled with regrets. One red shoe, and five months later, over 600 tips helped to solve this case.

This was a very engrossing episode, but, when the leads came about, one suspect lied for the attention, and the other lied for revenge in her own sick intimate partner violence scenario.  What? How could anyone do such a thing when a young girl’s life is at stake?

What lessons can we learn from this true account? What lessons are there about the real challenges for investigators and the unconscionable motives of people?  Chelsea’s family and friends were truly inspiring in their long journey for justice. I invite you to watch this documentary: Video- https://www.nbc.com/dateline/video/the-halloween-party/3608893

HELP FOR MISSING PERSONS

If you know of a missing person-unsolved homicide that needs assistance, contact the Cue Center for Missing Persons – http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/about/
Referenceshttps://people.howstuffworks.com/police-interrogation1.htm;

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/05/jn.aspx

http://forensicoutreach.com/library/4-police-interrogation-techniques-you-should-know-and-why-not-all-of-them-work/

https://people.howstuffworks.com/police-interrogation.htm

miranda vs arizona case;

https://i-sight.com/resources/investigative-interviewing-techniques-the-peace-model/


To schedule a presentation with me at your future event or  conference please contact:

ImaginePublicity,  Telephone: 843.808.0859  Email:  contact@imaginepublicity.com

 

In the Shadow of a Former President: Hero JD Tippit in “The City of Hate”

 

What images come to mind for you as a baby boomer, when you hear, school book depository, Dallas, motorcade, assassination? There is no doubt that any one of these terms are instantly associated with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, an icon to so many who grew up or were parents, grandparents in that era.

However, as often happens, there are many untold stories when the central focus is the planning and murder of a world leader, whose aftermath would irretrievably alter the course of history.  It has been reported that there are no less than 200 books covering every facet and perspective of JFK’s assassination.

There was an unsung hero who never got his due because of the explosive nature of this tragedy. I am referring to an 11 year veteran of the Dallas Police Department  known as JD Tippit. As events would reveal, his role in the ultimate capture of Lee Harvey Oswald was very significant. But in the scheme of things, he received very little “ink.” This blog is my attempt to pay tribute to this unsung hero.

 JD’s roots were in northeastern Annona, Texas, with less than 300 people to its credit even in the year 2000. He was one of seven children with ancestors emigrating to Virginia. He spent two years in the Army from 1944 to 1946 and was awarded a Bronze Star for acts of Valor in combat.. JD married his high school girlfriend, Marie Gasway, the day after Christmas in 1946.  He worked for a stove company, Sears and Roebucks after which he was laid off. He then tried his hand as a cattle rancher prior to moving to Dallas where he made the decision to become a police officer via a VA Training program. He was hired as a patrolman in July 1952 and also worked two other jobs. (JD made $490/month as a patrolman. Oswald earned  $1.25/hour as a book order clerk in the Book Depository building)

JD was assigned to the Beat # 78 in south Oak Cliff. On the morning in which he was killed, he checked in at his police substation at 7 a.m and made several stops to see relatives, to return a book, pay for a football ticket and by 10:30 a.m. had coffee and conversation at the Rebel Drive-In, a ramshackle place for coffee with fellow officers.  They discussed the President’s visit and were concerned re the potential for violence.   

According to Washington Post writer, Rachel Siegel, (November 22,2017), Dallas held the reputation as “The City of Hate” with three prior incidents by right-wing extremists signalling, that despite the common folk crowds that amassed the city streets on the motorcade route,  Kennedy would not be welcomed with open arms by in Dallas.

On the Afternoon of November 22, 1963

JD cut his lunch hour with his wife short to just 20 minutes, in anticipation of being needed. At 12:45 p.m.he received a radio call to change his patrol position in Central Oak Cliff.  This was just 15 minutes after President Kennedy was shot by Oswald. A generic description of “a slender white male in his 30’s” was broadcast to those on patrol.   

At the fateful location, just past the intersection of 10th Street and Patton Avenue, JD spotted a slender man walking down the street, wearing a zippered jacket. He called to Oswald through the passenger side window. Oswald leaned into the window with hands in his jacket pocket.  JD exited his patrol car and walked to the front of the car. At that point Oswald drew his handgun and pumped four bullets into JD; his stomach, chest, a button on his uniform, and to his right temple after which he was pronounced dead at Methodist Hospital. JD  received several police honors posthumously in addition to a monument unveiled on November 20, 2012 at the location of his murder.

There were no less than twelve witnesses to the shooting. The utter arrogance of Oswald, who shot JD in cold blood, disposing of spent cartridges, running across lawns and, ultimately, ducking into a movie theater, reported as a non-paying customer that sealed his capture.

The bastard who was a chameleon politically, who desperately wanted to work for Russian intelligence, who was a wife beater, who “wanted to be important” in the world, met his match with Jack Ruby and became infamous in death!

Videos  Oswald’s Escape -(Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lRLExo7IyU

And from Witnesses

1) Shoe Store Owner – John Brewer-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkKo29TRTCc;

2) Warren Reynolds

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa6MnhlQnUg

3) Helen Markham

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-gap_Cnlt8;

The Aftermath- Marie Tippit and Family

Marie and JD had three children who were irreparably harmed by the death of their father. Over the years, Marie remarried another police officer, was widowed, married again, divorced and ultimately re-took the name Tippit. The public was generous and contributed  $647,579 after the murders. Each child received ~ $80,000.

In 2013, JD’s eldest son Allan, a house painter who worked job to job, was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer after which a fundraiser was held. He was treated at Parkland Hospital, primarily for the indigent, and the same hospital President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald were taken to prior to their deaths.

2013 Interview The Final Day in Marie’s Words

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnNPwqgAslw&t=22s

“Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they will be called children of God”

Matthew 5:9

References:

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/oswald/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._D._Tippit

https://www.jdtippit.com/happen_nov.htm

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/11/22/jfk-in-the-city-of-hate-how-dallas-earned-its-ugly-label-before-the-assassination/?utm_term=.100a3e6afe9c

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/news/2013/01/10/fundraiser-set-for-oldest-son-of-dallas-police-officer-killed-by-accused-jfk-assassin


Donna R. Gore, M.A.

Donna R. Gore, M.A.

 

To schedule a presentation with me at your future event or  conference please contact:

ImaginePublicity,  Telephone: 843.808.0859  Email:  contact@imaginepublicity.com