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LAW AND DISORDER-John Douglas and Mark Olshaker

2013-03-13 | 🔗
For twenty-five years, John E. Douglas worked for the FBI, where he headed the elite Investigative Support Unit. The real-life model for FBI Agent Jack Crawford in "The Silence of the Lambs", he's had a brilliant and terrifying career, getting inside the minds of notorious murderers and serial killers including Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and David Berkowitz (Son of Sam). Written with long-time collaborator Mark Olshaker, "Law & Disorder" is Douglas' most provocative and personal book to date. In it, he addresses every law enforcement professional's worst nightmare: those cases where, for one reason or another, justice was delayed ...or even denied. Through a series of character-driven case histories - from the earliest trials in Salem, Massachusetts to the bungled trial of Amanda Knox - Douglas shows what happens when the system breaks down and bias, media coverage, and other influences get in the way of a dispassionate pursuit of the evidence. Here also are Douglas' personal reflections on his ongoing search for the truth - from painful lessons learned early in his career to his controversial findings in the West Memphis Three and Jon Benet Ramsey investigations. Brimming with procedural detail, "Law & Disorder" is an eye-opening insider's account of the exhilaration and frustration that attend the quest for justice. LAW AND DISORDER-Mark Olshaker
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Of course, we'll go right into the lawn, progressive casualty, insurance company, affiliates and other insurers discount not available in all stages situations, to radio. You are now listening to true murder, the most shocking killers in true crime, history and the authors that have written about them: Gacy, Bundy, Dahmer, the night stalker Btk every week, another fascinating author talking about the most shocking and infamous killers in true crime, history, true murder, with your host journalist and author Dan Spanky. Good evening. This is your host Dan
for the program to murder the most shocking killers and true crime history Annie does it have written about them for tonight five years, Johnny Douglas work for the FBI. Excuse me captain. This is your wake up call from the new track phone wireless? What's that now what? If you had to fly this plane while sitting back in the cabin, I wouldn't have any control? Well, that's what it's like going with some wireless companies but track phone wireless gives you control, get unlimited talk and text on America's best, four g Lte network, starting at twenty dollars a month, no contract plus unlimited carry over data with active service, that's cool! But how did you get my cockpit? This is your wakeup call people the new track phone wireless now you're in control, see terms and conditions at track phone com where you headed the elite investigation support unit. The real life model for FBI, agent, Jack Crawford in silence of the Lamb he's had a really and terrifying career getting into
the minds of notorious murderers and serial killers, including TED Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and David Berkowitz, son of SAM, Britain with longtime collaborator mark or sugar law disorder is Douglas most provocative and personal book to date it addresses every law enforcement professionals worst nightmare. Those cases where, for one reason or another justice, was delayed, or even denied, through a series of character, driven case histories from the earliest trials in Salem Massachusetts to the bunch trial of Amanda Knox Douglas, shows what happens when the system breaks down. Bias media coverage and other influences get in the way of a dispassionate pursuit of the evidence here. Also This is personal reflections on his ongoing search for the truth from painful learned early in his career to his controversial findings in the West Memphis three and Jon Benet Ramsey investigations brimming with four
A detail, law and disorder is an opening insiders account of the exhilaration and frustration that attend the quest for justice. The book we're featuring this evening is law and disorder and with my special guest off and documentary and no filmmaker mark or shaker welcome to the program and thank you for the to this interview mark. Thank you, Jan thanks for having me, I hope, that's the proper pronunciation of your yes, it is. You did very well the name like hanky. I guess you can appreciate the name like all shaker. That you can pronounce. My name is fantastic, then one it around here. So it's amazing. I've heard everything. So thank you very much for this. Big thrill, like I had said to previous the we got to speak a little bit.
The mine hunters is huge. I first got introduced to your put your writing with John Douglas Mine hunters and then journey into darkness. So, and and and of course, you guys are just legendary in terms Now that you see criminal minds, big series on television, and so my emphasis on the stuff that you were with way back, when tell us a little bit I had. I was just fascinated with your background if I'm not corrected the date in nineteen. Ninety two, you You eventually won an Emmy for this PBS series on Nova the mind of a serial killer, and serial serial killer? You could tell us a little bit about that, because we want to get the background on how you two guys teamed up. Basically, this is not some some of the relationships where you know there is a alone
horsemen guile, there's a journalist and author, you guys, are an actual team, and you got together ninety. Ninety four mine hunters incorporated tell us about, though the mind of a serial killer in That's your please! What what happened then was I like so many other people. I had read silence of the lambs, the book by Thomas Harris, and I was fascinated by it, and when I heard that they were going to make a movie of it. I went to my producers at Nova, the PBS Science Series and said: look. I read this book, which I love other than that the movie is anywhere near is good. I had no idea would be the huge hit it was. I said people are going to be very interested in this subject and why don't we go in and get the real story, and at that point
The FBI was very cooperative. They were happy to have the publicity and I brought my production team into the FBI Academy at Quantico and we started looking into it, and I said this is a fascinating subject and the most fascinating part of it was this guy John Douglas, who I had not known before, but who himself had been a legend in criminal, thus the gate of analysis circles as the behavioral, profiling pioneer and he he was the one who the character Jack Crawford in silence of the lambs, was based on and he was the head of this group. Profilers called the investigative support unit and we made a film mind of a serial killer. As you talk about which shows how this unit, brought a brought a repeated
serial rapist and murderer to ground and got him prosecuted and convicted, and the show did very well, as you say it had any consideration and, interestingly enough, once it was on PBS, the investigative support unit overnight started getting even more requests than it already had, and I just became fascinated by this. This unit that, where the people look at a crime scene or is John, did look at photographs, crime, scene, investigative materials and say Ok, you're, looking for a twenty two to twenty seven year old white male loner, who lit within a mile of the crime scene. He went to cut high school, he graduated high school, but not college. He is on psycho trophy drugs of some parting, some type he lives with
his parents or some other family member. He does not drive no driver's license. He is nocturnal. He is under employed by the way you've already interviewed him and describes. This actually describe someone who is now serving a life term for murder in the New York Correctional system. So I became fascinated by this and I often say to people all that is a previous novelist of thrillers and as a documentary filmmaker Euro looking for great characters, and I found one right in front of me- a living character who was fascinating and then a couple of years later, when John got ready to retire from the bureau. After, as you say, twenty five years of service, he called me and said. Would I be in
did in working with him honor. On a memoir of his experience- and I said yes, I would let's one and I'll introduce you to my agent- will go to New York and see if there's any interest. While there was a tremendous amount of interest and out of that book came the book Mind Hunter, that you mentioned, and it did well enough that we were asked to do other books and this book, which we have just published law and disorder, is our right and our eighth book together now, and so I don't know how you describe our relationship, but we often joke that. John is a detective pretending to be a writer and I'm a writer pretending to be a detective, but in fact we really do have sort of a Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson relationship and We now investigate cases together and write about them. Yeah, that's fantastic! Now this latest book
you spend together is up what is the intention or what is the focus of this book law and disorder. Actually the critical question Dan and what all of our other books, have really been about Showing how is showing how to get the bad guy and we realized here with John got out of the euro and he started working for one cases like the Jon Benet Ramsey case. What we realized was that the skills he developed in the bureau. What we call criminal invest analysis or or behavioral profiling. We're not. Only applicable to catching bad guys, but they were justice. Applicable to getting to the truth of cases that are already been adjudicated and
exonerating: people who had been unfairly or wrongfully convicted or, if not, and if not convicted in the courts convicted In the arena of the public or the as was the case of but a Ramsey's parents who were worried immediately convicted in that quarter, public opinion and as soon as John began working on the case, he realized that they didn't do it. And what so? What this book is really about is the purse the on ending and difficult quest for real justice, and we, go through a number of cases, including the Ramsey case, including the West Memphis three case, which have been quite celebrated in John, was involved with also the Amanda Knox case in Peru, Je Italy, in which it should
have been obvious to investigators what actually happened, but instead the wrong people were convicted and what we do is we go. Through these cases and show what happens what the horrible consequences can be when preconceived notions or an already existing world view or prejudice, or whatever else takes the place of. Rigorous investigation and evident end evidence based investigation and searching- and this can apply I too, police to prosecutors, the media, to the policy Look in general and what happens is when you get all of them. Together. You have a perfect storm, which leads to false convictions and one of the things that are made,
me Dan, when I, when I started the researching this book with John, is how many times cases hang on what we call false confessions, in other words, a confession. That is not true, and there are any number of reasons for them, but what no one of the things we realized was that anybody who is reasonably trained in investigative techniques and you don't even have to be a John Douglas. I consider my Consider myself, one of those at this point I could get it can. I could get a confession from almost anybody on anything anything if you give me enough time I'm in resources, and we have to touch the person I dont the beat them up or threatened them. I just need enough time with them, and I can get a confession. So getting a false confession is not that difficult. Getting a true confession is this more problematic yeah, that's really. Well, you know what I found interesting with this book. To is that you really do basically
spell out that your profile it really is just the railways talk about well, it's not the end, all and be all it's just absolutely, but really profiling and and the work that John Douglas has done with this investigative special unit. Is that really it's just better evidence analysis? It's it's looking like he says it. You can't just pro, of the crime scene. You have to profile everything you have to profile the environment, the location, the situation. So again, it's looking at the crime seen the crime itself, the perpetrator, the interview, this looking at a little more a lot more progressively absolutely right, then I think that's a tremendous point to size and here would be a perfect example of what you're talking about would be the John Bunny Ramsay case. Everybody in the public and the police was can since these parents head
this little girl, because that would parents do and that's what they expected. But if you, if you stay the medical examiners report and other nothing to do with profiling. You studied medical examiner report on how this child died and then you, Try to correlate that with the behaviour on the scene and what we know you will see, as we explained in this book, that the parents couldn't have done it. So what this is about doing is this is taking good, solid. Scientific evidence, evidence based investigation, coral getting it with what we know about profile, in human behavior and coming up your conclusion in a logical, methodical way based on that evidence, why are you, but you also point on the book to that there's also understandable, sometimes not necessary, obviously not tolerable, but that it certain amount of pressure created by say. Sea response
civil media or to failure to have solved something recently. So there ends up being this very human nature coming into play. Where there's a lot of pressure, and so again just this is not does not prevail in this house and you brought up another very good point Dan, which is that justice does not take place in a vacuum, always is a social public media context do everything, as you pointed out, and and and you can't you can't miss that when you're evaluating the case, what are some very, very interesting and I was laughing, and then I found a very humorous and of course fascinating- and I didn't know that what we're about I thought I knew quite a bit about the salem- and then of course, and then, of course, concern so tell us about the the begin.
The book and why you included, didn't you tell us about it, but also why you included the story about Salem Massachusetts and tell us about that and another another good question. Everybody knows the name Salem witch trials. Not many I know that much about them. What was interesting is why, a metaphor. It was for the worst of criminal injustice. Today we start, we start the book, as you say, with the Salem witch trials. Sixteen ninety three in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the first person to be before the what they called at that point Court of Oil and terminate was the woman named Bridget. Bishop, oh, wore black, she was considered awed by the community and she didn't go to church. Three hundred years later, exactly one thousand nine hundred and ninety three in West Memphis
and saw three eight year old boys are pair only brutally murdered in a week, it reveals the first, and they bring to trial as a defendant. Is eighteen year year, old kid named Damien. He is accused of having murdered these kids in satanic ized way. What's interesting Damien and remember what I just said about Bridget Bishop. He always or black, he was killed odd by the community and he didn't. Go to church and he was convicted and sentenced to death, you know that's three hundred years separate these two events, but not much else yeah. It is fascinating and. Tell us a little bit more about the original Salem trials and what What you're trying to convey then in its representation? Well, this is this is why
We decided to use these, because what the theme of this book really is is what happens when. A crime occurs that, rather than think about it as an individual crime, it fits into the preconceived notions or world view of the community now this community in Salem, believed in witches? They believe in witchcraft and the supernatural, and so when a group of young and teenage girls started acting in it. Very peculiar manner and started, doing things that were not explainable in any kind of rational sense. It was assumed that they had been possessed by witches and so the first thing you do. Is you look for the witches and they were all too eager to identify, by the witches and then they started. Then they started prosecuting them now
we think of medieval, which is being burned at the stake and all of that well, this was a little more modern than that. Nobody was burned at the stake here. These witches were hanged, but they were, in fact executed and. What happened was soon. The community started cannibalizing and turning on itself and you never knew who was going to be accused next, and there are so many interesting peril- to the present. For example, they thought they had good scientific evidence and the scientific evidence that they had was, if, somebody saw a accused which his shape or spectre. In other words, there supernatural LE embodiment working above them. That was considered good, scientific proof that that person was a witch and that was used to connect people, but then cotton, Mather who was one of the one of the most important
of the day in the Massachusetts Bay Colony said, you know I think you may have it wrong. This is not good science and the reason it wasn't good science was because if was all if these, which is all acting on behalf of the devil, the devil could assume any shape. You everybody knew that so could have been misinterpreting the evidence, it might not have been these individuals themselves who are accused of being a witch. It could have been the devil and suddenly everybody said: oh you know, maybe the science isn't so good after all, and what was and what's fascinating is we still have bad scientific evidence today now again going back to. West Memphis three hundred years later. This was a community and a law enforcement establishment that believed in Satanism. They satanic activity was happening all over the place. So when three young Boys were killed in what looked like a rich at first a ritualistic fashion? They figured alright
was likely to have committed that kind of thing. They rounded up. Three kids, one of them, whom was a young, was the written had a functional like you of that, sixty five They got him to confess to a crime which clearly, he hadn't done and name to other people who he hardly knew again a very interesting parallel, but the parallel almost stopped there, because by the next year by six, one thousand, eight hundred and ninety four people around Massachusetts Bay, serious second thoughts about what they had done, particularly when cotton mad Father increase Mather, who was the President of Harvard. University and a very distinguished cleric he had been in England and when he got back, he said you know. This does not seem like the right thing and people started thinking it, and within a year anybody was left in prison had been letter. The families of those killed had been paid reparations by the sea Legislature, and they started,
immediately to try to live it down in West Memphis Arkansas. It took eighteen years for people like John Douglas and other investigators to get these three since the young men, not not exonerated, just let out of prison. What happened? two years ago and by the time Damien, Eccles Thea Supposed ringleader was let out he'd be what he went from age eighteen when he was convicted, he was let web jail, prison off of death row when he was thirty. Six years old, he had spent half of his life on death row for a crime. He not only didn't come. Mid, but was nowhere near something down the community. The police should have known. It should have been obvious by the type of crime by the type of evidence by the lack of evidence, and yet it took somebody like John Douglas coming into the community and saying
You've totally misinterpreted this crime and then having the scientific experts to back him up with good hard science which they never had before. And- and it's really a shame, the same thing with the man Knox case in ITALY, you have this twenty year old american girl, who is convicted of to realistically Satanic Lee, killing her a flat made in this bizarre ceremony. Now I submit to you that this done, first of all, the Satanic murder basically does not exist. It's a though to believe and some in law enforcement with the FBI has no documented cases of taking place. The western country and yet the poor Security was sure that this is what had taken place, and so all evidence then pointed to
this young girl, who had never been in trouble in her life, suddenly seized with seized with the idea that you kill her roommate in a ritualized sexual orgy, yeah and, and they get the evidence, just wasn't there and what was particularly interesting in this case. The evidence of who actually did it was there. They they caught that the police did catch, that person, His dna was all over the place. Amanda's was nowhere, and yet they stuck to their story, and she spent five years in prison before she was let out. While it is about them, two programmes have run. Convicted persons in the US and it Overzealous prosecutes prosecutors even when their face with DNA. Evidence are reluctant the you legacy the was mentioned
They couldn't have wasn't exonerated, but they reluctantly, let him out. I mean that's right, not only was John Douglas involved with that there was Hollywood stars lined up for this There was a lot of people that were there we It seemed bodies to a lot of people and Johnny. Depp was Metallica, but Metallica yes some, so many people were involved and a lot of it. Was financed and orchestrated by Peter Jackson, the director of Lord of the rings, who, with his his life, companion, Fran Walsh, we're really tremendous heroes in this yeah shameful. But you know, I'm a proud judicial system is actually being it's. You know it's it's shape Although the reputation of that judicial system is, is marred by these again, people didn't if you're wrong, you're wrong, and you have to say that so exactly person like
Douglas, which has been on line on the side of law and certainly not, he talks about a murderers being executed and doesn't shy away from that verdict. Absolute for him to be basically the other side of the system. Looking for instance, people among convicted people. It is an interesting and profound testament itself. Thank you for saying that I agree with you. And and and enough that you can add to it. You dedicate a whole book to this as well. You know and so I I applaud you guys for doing that as well. You know we, we have. We there's a number of crimes in this book. We've been very reflective and John has said where he was wrong in past cases because of things he didn't understand or because he is soon all evidence. He got he received from local police or local investigators was good evidence and you know it
had to go through a lot of soul, searching and introspection. When we wrote this book because he had to your stand and admit the times when he was wrong or here's another perfect example years after the all the to do. In the John been a Ramsay case when the boulder district attorney finally identified John Mark Car, who is that very strange young man who they apprehended in Thailand, who said that he had been there when John Beneath had died and had given all kinds of strange stories about that and John, and I believed that they had finally gotten the right guy. Why did we believe that we believe it because of a preconceived notion of ours, which was that, with all that, they'd been with all the embarrassments with all of these false leads? In that case, the boulder district attorney's office office certainly
have gone public and made a big deal out of this, if they didn't have this guy dead to rights that they didn't know everything about him and were sure that they find had the right guy then, when they extradited him and brought him back to Colorado and his dna didn't even match exemplars they had from the crime scene. We up upper hands and said: what are they their minds to do something like this, but we were taken in because we- We believe that they would make the same mistake again, so we were taken in yeah incredible on the media was Medio. Basically what it also taught me a lesson to us. It was my younger and obviously much more naive alone people try to judge a lot of things, a politician by a debate or by commercial or it's the same when you see Ramsey was she was distraught and she was obviously on medication. So
to someone me at like me at that time, I thought you was just in and so I I convicted her in my mind, from her reaction on television, which is a response. On the media, freedom, Well, well, you know Dan you're, absolutely right, and this goes back a long way back in nineteen, thirty two, when Charles Lindbergh's toddler son, Charlie Junior, was kidnapped in New Jersey, a lot of the thought that Lindbergh himself must be involved because he was so stoic and he never showed any emotion and he seemed so control oriented and just have to realize everybody reacts in their own way, and this is a man who knew that the only way to survive in desperate situations like across the Atlantic Ocean by yourself. For the first time is to be in tone control to be totally disconnected dispassionate and he was able to do that, and so it's very easy,
to misinterpret some bodies. We realized in dealing with all the victims and victims, families that we've dealt with over the years. Is you really don't know how you're going to react in the time of crisis and horror and tragedy, and if we evaluate or judge other people who we see in those situations. We do so at our peril because we don't know how we would react ourselves. I swear to you yeah. Well, the thing is, if you your basing it on that, then that's that's what normal police procedure was they did have tunnel and narrowly focused on suspects- that they felt were good and did a lot of this gut instinct profile. Really does a lot of excluding of people like yours with this book is got to the point where you can exclude people? Even in retrospect, you can go I right information and I think that's another important point to get
cross which is profilers like John Douglas. They don't catch criminals, the police catch criminals, they help what they, what profiling Do for a for local investigation, is either reaffirm or redirect. The investigation, in other words, show that you're on the right track with suspect you have or that you should readjust and go in a different direction. That's what it can do and then, when a suspect is apprehended. You can also evaluate and see. Well, does this person meet the right criteria and If not go in a different direction, and if he does, how can you interrogate him? We? What? What are some good Intel? techniques? Nation can use what a proactive techniques and then, if you, the trial, we also have good the trial strategy, profilers can help with well the base. Guard or science of profiling has been criticized by some people, but what's interest
Is it and probably why you have so much credibility as well as that, the when you had the attempt at identifying a suspect through profiling, with your mind of a serial killer, you guys are accurate, but one detail and even that one detail, it you're still confident, because you say that one detail can be explained as well. All right, that's very interesting and you're talking about age. Of course, I know and and this in the mind of a serial killer. The profile profilers got the age wrong by fifteen years and what was very interesting. Is that when you looked at these suspects record, he had been in prison, on sexual charges for fifteen years, so essentially he'd been put on ice. His development had been arrested and when he was let out he picked right where he left off tell us more about that profiling that you did do and and the identification the whole the whole process.
That you were successful in identifying- and this is you know back in ninety two- so tell us a little bit more about the the bit of the not the victim, but the suspect itself how you were successful and what was what made up the profile itself? Well, the first thing you who is you look at the crime scenes you see what kind of person it is. You can tell a lot about crime scenes of from crime scenes, and one of the things it became clear in this case is, first of all, all of the victims were prostitutes or street people. Now, what's interesting is think of it at first, but we can often lump prostitutes, children and the elderly into some of the same categories, and that category is that they are the most vulnerable. They are the least able to defend themselves,
somebody who would attack a prostitute. We would start by concluding. This is not somebody who feels good about himself. This is not somebody like a TED Bundy who who is handsome and glib and see that he has the gift to seduce a woman and get her under his influence on his own with a prostitute. All you have to do is say come along, and so we knew immediately that this was not somebody who felt good about him. Health who had a lot of social skills. So that tells you something We found out we found out from the crime scenes that this person was coming back to the crime scenes after death, he probably had some necrophiliac and he was masturbating on the at this seeds. We also were there were number there were a number of in India
patients that he had already injected himself into the investigation. So we started looking at places that police tended to hang out and from experience we knew each of these things we were finding out, has other elements and attributes attached to them and and then and eventually he was he was identified. He was caught and convicted. He he admitted the crimes but claimed. Could be a multiple personality which is very interesting because we find out that in most multiple personality seem to develop a post arrest, but he he was. He was convicted and put in prison in New York and and died in prison. For the rest, with us yeah successful conclusion
did he had it. What was the evidence that he had? What exactly was the evidence that he had inject himself to the investigation, you know I don't remember at the at this point any more, but I think you know you can tell me what One of the things that you can that you can do. Is there a proactive techniques where you can put out certain pieces of information which you can then see if the unsub or unknown subject is responding to. Sometimes you can plant information. That is that only he would know or that he would not know is not true. So there are I'm not giving away any secrets. There were any number of ways that police in investigators have of, manipulating subject so that their behavior will give them away, and I can tell you, or you try to if you are a if you're, an offender, the more
you try to cover up your behavior, the more behavioral evidence you were going to display. Those serial killers that are listening and know and yes they are listening. I do the one thing I want to get across and do we said this over and over again there are no Hannibal. Lecter is out there that say: yeah, that's a figment over writers, imagination or most serial killers. Most predatory sexual offenders are inadequate. Now unaccomplished nobody's, whose only whose only accomplishment and only quest in life is for this manipulation, domination and control of those that he perceives weaker than him so that he can get satisfaction. That's the only way you can get satisfaction and when they're not on the hunt, they're fantasizing about it, and
so these are not heroic individuals. These are not macho individuals. These are deeply inadequate. Cowardly individuals. Yeah and and not so bright, and not so bright. Thank God! one thing we have working for us Evil genius here, not exactly now. The thing would you include in your book to is is the A case in nineteen, forty six with the Suzanne was kidnapped now. What does this tell us? about this case and and when you finished, and we can I'll. Ask you what learn from this and why it felt it necessary featured in the book what exactly you're trying to convey in in the book with your this that you're, referring to this was someone who was terrorized Post
Chicago in nineteen forty six, it was the so called lipstick killer and he was called the lipstick killer because he killed two adult women supposedly on on on the mirror of a bathroom mirror of one of them. He wrote in Dick forth, for Heaven's sake catch me before I kill more. I cannot control myself and then some Lee and you'll see why I say, supposedly in a moment, this same killer killed young girl, Susan Degnan, who you talked about and chopped up her body and put it in very foot pieces. In various parts of the sewer sewers The Chicago police went through a lot of suspects before where they finally found a young student, a young college student named William herons gee. I r S and
We know that he was kind of a petty thief he did breaking and entering. He had done he's like collecting souvenirs that he yeah from places that he broke into and after going to a number of other suspect you, I must say, according to the records we found, the police treated brutally, some of whom ended up in the hospital after interrogation, they decided that the herons was their guy. They got him to take young they caught him in a breaking and entering they got him after several attempts to sign the concession threatening him with the death penalty. If he didn't, he signed, the confession went to trial, went before a judge pleaded guilty on the advice of his court appointed lawyers. Almost a me. ITALY recanted his testimony and He died last year as the longest serving prisoner in the american penal system. Now
one of the first people to John Douglas interviewed when he was a young f B. I agent trying to do the study of actually Kerr serrated killers and what he said was what John said at the time was. Boy, this guy he's got an answer for everything. He said. If I hadn't seen the record, if I hadn't seen the finger prints themselves, if I hadn't seen the confession, if I hadn't seen the crime scene photos, I believe this. Guy was telling the truth. I believe he was innocent and that's actually what we said in our first book Mine Hunter and then, in light of all of the other things that we've learned since John left the bureau and that all evidence is not equal and that all in gation's are not properly conducted. We started looking into all of the elements of this and We realized that William, herons previous behavior did not fit in with the kind of crimes that the lipstick so called. Lipstick killer, committed his crime,
did not at all relate to those of somebody who would murder a little girl, chopper up in pieces and put her body in the sewer none of his previous crimes, none of his previous behavior correlated with these cases. In fact, we found suspect that the Chicago police had dealt with actually made more sense, and we concluded that in all likelihood, William Herons, although a petty thief, a breaking and entering guy, was probably innocent and spent his whole life in prison. Needlessly, and that was white? A quite revelation quite something to have to deal with. We realised that we look back at all the evidence. The finger prints, everything and there was nothing to say it Couldn'T- have been planted and then, when we looked at the behavior of the Chicago GO police at that point, we realise that, as you
self pointed out down at the beginning of the show, it was very important to them too. Stop this reign of terror, and this public demand for blood was very important for them to have a suspect and then a convicted defendant and that's what they got. Well it's it's such an incredible. So that kind of an object lesson for John and me and and it stayed with us yeah. This is A lot of comprehension when you see that they beat the one aspect enough that he got this huge settlement for the time exactly, and so then they would talk about increased pressure. They were, they were pressured enough. This beat this guy day, that's right right and then from there they were really looking for somebody to discover their own tracks absolutely be the proper and also if you are a if you are publicly elected prosecutor, which is another thing we think you know, we don't believe the judges or Prosecutors should be a publicly elected if you're, a publicly elected prosecutor, and you have
major crime and you have the choice to make of whether to indict someone or leave the case open. There's all you were gonna find very hard pressed, not to come up with a suspect that your voters want. Yeah in Canada. We don't have that system, we don't vote for judges and we don't prosecutors. And sheriff so we don't have the politics coming into play, yeah, which is which is very good. It's better. It's better! In that respect, I think, especially when you see overzealous again, convictions know so in small places as well. So by the time anybody looks at these things You know the the small center, not the town, but you know the thing can take on a whole life of their own. Absolutely. Now the the their idea will permit the other idea
William herons how certain and this one I'm just speaking as somebody that might be again looking at this and saying how? How can you show us make that kind of decision that you said well, there could be possibly the fingerprint planted and merrily there was there wasn't enough for the fingerprint to be conclusive, wasn't at nine points out its work of something like the older or nine out of eighteen or whatever, whatever the current the standard at the time was, I don't know but right, but even that we're finding those silver prints on. How are you so certain based on the technique of profiling, itself. I know you said that when you talk about that, he could not have committed this crime because the level the level of sophistication or the level of the gravity and based on? Did he didn't have any of that background whatsoever? yeah, maybe they want it up right. I understand one. The one one of the things you look at his past behavior and
Every criminal evolves in in certain way, in other words, nobody's suddenly wakes. One day and says why think I'll go, commit the perfect crime or, I think I'll go out and murder somebody just because I feel like it is usually an evolution and there's usually a connection, and we found that the criminal generally stay within their own comfort zone or they evolve in the same direction. There going William Herons was a student in school. He was a smart guy He had a bad family background and he took it out through breaking and entering. But when we looked at him, there was Nothing in his background, nothing in his cycle, logical profile that would suggest that he would then become a murderer. Now. This is complicated by the fact that he did care
a gun and when he was apprehended he did shoot at a policeman, but there isn't. There was nothing credit that was deferred sit on his part, although certainly wrong. There was nothing in it background that we could describe as predatory or looking for looking to be a rapist or a murderer, and so, when you put it all together, when you put the two of of the case. Together with the fact there were other suspect who actually work more related in their backgrounds and the evidence to these three crimes, we conclude that o n. And when you take into consideration the fact that he was brutally interrogated that he had court appointed lawyers who believed he was guilty who are just trying to save his life, that they tried to get him to confess several times, and he didn't he would he did once then he went back on it and he went back and forth
that he he finally confessed the concession after rum Mendous amount of coercion and almost immediately withdrew it. You have to say when, if you look at the time fatality of the evidence, if you look at the context of the time and what we know that the sugar, Lego police were doing to get confessions at that point. The Overwhelming likelihood when you take all of that in totality is that this was a bad. Conviction I can't say, a hundred percent, but the preponderance of the evidence certainly suggests that at this point, it is the other that the the other thing I might just add down the other thing, is for six some years he was a model prisoner. He gave nobody any trouble after that in prison there are a lot, nothing aggressive about him. The thing is what I found interesting is that you talk about that. There was no,
and again, this is the evolution of the of the research that John Douglas was was involved with early as a pioneer, and then there has been an evolution and, like you say to John, is realised, realized his past levity regarding this, and he had a different outlook regarding some the evidence that the way he looks at it as opposed to the way he would have looked at it. That's right. I talk about that. There was no traumatic event in William Heron's life. That would then turn them into something like this. There was nothing that would precipitated this. There was nothing that would there was no trigger. There was no rigour, no precipitating incident, that's right at it break artist. You really reason, wasn't really wasn't there for the goods, it wasn't. He wasn't a desperate if he didn't get your money so much this role. I think this is you know this is how far profiling is gone, that you guys can look at this evidence and again a completely different perspective.
Again, you have to be mature enough to say you may have been wrong in the past, but it makes it hard for projects absolutely go back twenty five years and to admit something like that they've been holding on is, of course, somebody said. In jail for twenty five years, that that would weigh heavy on your conscience. It certainly would weigh heavily on your conscience, but we we end the book with well with a the citation of a case from nineteen thirty five that went before the Supreme Court in Burger Burger versus the United States and that established the principle that which I'm sure you have in Canada and should have elsewhere in the world where a prosecutor is not there solely to solely to convicted A defense attorney. Is there solely to defend a a
an accused man or woman defendant, but a prosecutor has a higher responsibility. The prosecutor is supposed to determine the justice is being served and the prosecutor, if he does not, that there is sufficient evidence to bring a conviction that prosecutor is supposed to do stand up and say this is not a good case and very few have the courage to do that. I see a lot, cases of circumstantial evidence being put to a jury where not not to talk Canada so much, but canadian courts will if they're isn't enough evidence then case is going to collapse if it doesn't bright, if they don't take it to a jury, at least the jury is instructed, or at least the case proceeds that that person is and was not convicted. You know I circumstantial evidence sometimes gets a bad name, but if it's good circumstantial evidence, that's as good as anything else I mean eyewitnesses can be
wrong. As you know, as we said, confessions can be wrong, so it's the totality of the case and one thing which we, which we say is Europe. Communicator as you're you're, a journalist of what we do is tell stories, but that's all So what does the criminal justice system is all about in a try you have. Both sides are using basically the same fact pattern, and yet the process Peter and the defence tell stories and the one that jury thinks rings. The most true is the most interesting is the most likely is the one that wins. Certainly, certainly now tell us a little bit about when you talked about year, your team that you have you and John, that he's part detective Europe
reporter that he is the analyst and you're. The interpreter tell us a little bit more about about this mine hunter. I that you came up with a nineteen. Ninety four. What was your goal and, and how do you guys actually work? Well, what we decided was that we got one very well- and I guess we both have our own, he goes, but I think we really appreciate each other's and talents, and so when John got out of the out of the bureau- and we started writing books, we formed mind hunters incorporated as a as an entity and we've written or books through that leave when we had to hire other researchers or investigators. We do it through that entity and we have now start. You started gating cases that John has been called into. We also now have a website in which
We post our own views and commentaries perspectives on profiling and criminal justice. The web address w you w dot, mind Hunters INC, dot com. Am I indeed h? U n t the arrests, dot com I and see dot com which we invite all of your listeners to look at and where we can fact is a team. Now John is certainly the lead investigator on that team, and we try to pick cases where we think he can make an impact. As is the case with the West Memphis three, where, when he went down and started looking into that case, what he really did was redefine the entire crime away from a an Ritual Eyes group cause homicide into what
we call a a personal cause, homicide where he said this is not three people there's no evidence of three people. This is one person, it has nothing to do with with satanic ritual, and it is clear from the behavioral evidence that the debt, the killer, actually knew at least one of the three boys and probably all three, whereas the three defendants who were convicted didn't know any of these kids never met them. Yeah very interesting: now you have up project, and I don't know the first one was with John, but is this new Nova project on PBS who killed Lindbergh yes, yes little bit on involved in that one. That was actually based on a book we didn't. Of years ago, called the cases that haunt us we're? We investigated prominent
This is where of murder cases where there was no satisfactory outcome where it was never solved. We started with Jack the ripper when all the way up through John Benet, Ramsey and explained took a completely fresh look at each case and said: what can we at this point tell and what can't we tell. I do believe that we actually solve the jack the ripper case. Other people may disagree with us. We analyzed the Lizzie Borden case and Limburg and and we've gotten through one of our correspondents who had read the book. We got some potentially interesting new evidence on the Lindbergh case, which, in american courts in american newspapers, was called the crime of the century, one thousand nine hundred and thirty two you have to remember at the time Charles Lindbergh was the most famous man in the world. He was he white and were like american royalty and when,
his baby. His twenty twenty month old son was kidnapped. It was like the Prince of England had been kidnapped. And so we went back and examined this eighty year old case went back to the actual crime scene to the house where it took place and said: what can we tell about this? What what new things can we learn or what can? What at this late date? Can we say conclusively about this crime and we said several things big, the big controversy all these years has been well. Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who was convicted and executed. Was he really guilty or did? Was he set up, determine several things one? He was definitely guilty number two He did not act alone, and we did this through a combination of profiling and scientific analysis, and we have a reason.
The good candidate for who worked with him so were that program is, you can take a look at it now it was on January thirtieth in the United States. Anybody wants to wants to see it can go to PBS, DOT, org and look up who Nova who killed Lindbergh's baby, and you can now see the program online if you're interested John, is the star of the show yeah. It's amazing. Now you guys are doing profiles of historic crimes. It just incredible so and- and I think that when we did Jack the Ripper for instance, we went back to London, we retraced all of the crime scenes. We went back to Scotland Yard not through their records, and we found out something that we thought was rather astounding. Aside from thinking we figured out who it was we also realized- and I think the evidence is very strong for this- although it's not been made public public other than by us, is that
yard actually knew the identity of Jack the Ripper and chose not to make it public incredible, incredible yeah, I have a lot of people were hitting out of hell was there was not exactly that, but the ship might be some a possibility. The other thing I thought was very fascinating. Was that you and again I've heard talk of this, but you guys really, I think, nailed it. It was that the message one of the messages left by Jack, the ripper, was again not likely exactly that, and that is one of the great ironies of the case that the only note from Jack the ripper in which he calls himself jack the ripper we believe to be a fake, whereas, as you as you can imagine the from Hell note, which was another note, we believe to be from the actual killer. There is no mention of the name, Jack or the ripper, or
anything else like that, and what's very interesting about all this and the sort of the greater lesson is, we were really hoping against hope that we would find out that the killer. Is one of the really interesting sexy possibilities like the Son of the Prince of Wales or the royal physician or even Walter sicker, the victorian painter or somebody like that. The person it turned out to be was quite obscure and that's the problem if you have a case like Jack, the ripper, if you have a case like Amanda Knox, if you have a case like John Benet Ramsey, the press grabs hold The story is much more interesting in its way than what really happened. In other words, if you say and demand an ox case, this beautiful american teenager comes over suddenly kills her room in this ritual ized frenzy. That's a much more interest thing and titillating story than to say this african
rift her from the Ivory coast came in and to rob the place look for drugs and when he saw that somebody was home, opportunistic Lee raped and then murdered. Her that's not near is interesting is the first scenario I put forth, but that happens to be the truth, and the media loves good, looking people, whether an absolute right or absolutely absolutely and it was interesting too, is that you also spoke about the lipstick killer and the same thing that you determine that you know what this might just have been the same thing where you know very, ambitious. Journalist said I'm going to make the story even better than it is, and what's very interesting and that's that's absolutely right in the lipstick killer case. All of the great report working on that story and when I say reporting, I really mean great novel- writing came Chicago Tribune I mean it wasn't from the police.
I tribute made up the case yeah incredible yeah. Yes, sometimes they stick with it and that you know of of the man an ox was another one where the I tell in media had sort of bone to pick with the s you better return turned so those evil american tourists, one women kind of you know for the prosecutor again trying to save face a little so. That was another very, very interesting aspect of the story. That again, it's understandable, but certainly not anyway, and and we tried to cover all of those dynamics of all of these cases in law and disorder- and I hope, you're right, you're listeners will love, will find it twisting and and edifying which to tell stories that are stored, driven their are character, driven and and yet have a point to them, and I hope we ve done it here yet in some of the biggest cases that
no matter how much analysis whether you've read one book with this perspective that you guys have with this different way of looking at things of, and especially these cases again, it's just like a fresh look at some of the things you thought you knew. So it's very very, very interesting yeah absolutely- and you know the- I can't. Are you Dan how many times people have come up to me and said oh you've, written about Amanda Knox? Well, she really did it didn't she and I say no and they said you're kidding and I said well, it makes you I think they have and they'll say well, just assume that she looks like she's done it I mean they did the press says that she did it yeah yeah, it's it's! It's a sad state that we don't learn anything from the media. Would it be almost began with Jack, the Ripper and Hh Holmes and absolutely
and I don't know how much we've learned from that- the sensationalistic taken to totalizing media, sometimes once they focus on something that it's incorrect, it doesn't matter. It's the desert, it takes on a life of its own. Absolutely and again, to the miscarriage of justice and really I'm glad you guys have hammered home. That point, because sometimes it is just about winning. We know some of the biggest where's that information sometimes is law and order on television which is fictional, but a really does come down to winning cases rather than let's keep in mind here. What this whole system was set up to do exact, not some tires the best, just as we can yeah the the the best justice we can come up with is to say, we don't know who did it but we know for sure who didn't do it. Yeah then got gotta, keep that in mind, and that is the
the most virtuous pursuits. So when we're talking about this, of course, that's why yourself and John, have joined on this pursuit. So I want to thank you very much and thank you very much for on the show mark well. Thank you Dan. Thank you for your astute and penetrating questions. It's always. It's always a pleasure to the interview by somebody who is red. The material understands it and has thought about it. While they very much. This has been a big thrill and I'm sure the audiences enjoy this, and I hope to talk to you again soon in the very near future and anytime. That, like my pleasure, thank you very good. Did I hear about
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Transcript generated on 2021-06-10.