Saturday, October 16, 2010

Miscarriage of Justice in Maricopa County, Part IV: The Police Interviews

When we last looked at the Jacobson case in Maricopa County, Arizona, there was this little issue about “feeling the heat,” that is, about 140 degrees of heat in an unfinished attic where the 14-year-old Jacobson boy was supposed to have coerced three other children and “forced” them to engage in sex play. Unfortunately, the issue of excess, potentially-lethal heat is not the only point of idiocy in the prosecution’s case against the youngster.

No, it seems that the police reports themselves contain the very things that most discredit this case: huge conflicts in the stories that are told, not to mention admissions from one of the children that completely undercuts the police and prosecutorial narrative. To put it another way, had Det. Terje Boe acted like a real cop with common sense instead of the ilk in blue costumes that dominates Phoenix, he would have told his superiors that there was no case at all. None.

Unfortunately, modern police begin with a narrative, and no matter how ludicrous the account becomes, these people ride the horse over the cliff, if need be, but they ride that horse. Thus it was in the Jacobson case.

I first would publicly like to thank Kerwyn for going over the details of the reports about the interviews in fine-comb detail that covers 15 pages and almost 7,000 words. (Kerwyn and I don’t have access to the actual interview transcripts, which we suspect would further damage the state’s case, but if we do get them, we’ll flyspeck them, too.)

Kerwyn’s final product is an amazing line-by-line dissection of the reports, complete with numbering of the lines, and what she pulls out of the material really is stunning for no other reason than it demonstrates that Phoenix has stupid cops and that so-called child protective officers in Arizona are clueless, as is Jennifer Ingalls, who once again has thrown herself in front of a train.

(Ingalls, who was responsible for the false accusations of child pornography against one couple and who played a key role in a horrendous false accusation case in which the authorities actually announced their intention to execute an innocent woman, is the point person in the Jacobson case. In baseball, it is “three strikes and you’re out,” but in the “child protective” business, one can whiff indefinitely, as there are no umpires in that system to count strikes.)

Now to the content of Kerwyn’s document. The first thing that becomes obvious is that people are not getting their stories straight. Once upon a time, wildly-differing stories of supposedly the same events used to make investigators skeptical. That more sane age came before the advent of “professional interviewers” who now insist that inconsistency is “proof” that all of the stories are true (read the nonsense of the Duke Lacrosse Case and you will see what I mean).

In our examination of the various statements from the children to Boe, we will look at the different items to point out not only are the statements inconsistent, but it becomes clear that the entire narrative does not seem to fall under the rules of logic.

The Individuals Involved

Because we are dealing with minors, the real names of the children involved will not be used. Instead, we will use pseudonyms for each of the individuals:
  • "Bob" Jacobson: a 14-year-old boy who is accused of child molestation and who is being held in a juvenile detention facility
  • "John": He is 12 years old and the main source for the police report
  • "Jane": She is 9 at the time of the alleged incident, and she is "John's" sister
  • "Alex": He is 9 at the time as well, and is a friend to John and Jane
There are others who play a role (parents and "Bob's" younger brother), but we will concentrate on the children we have named above.

The Alleged Incident

The police and prosecutors claim that Bob coerced John, Jane, and Alex on three consecutive days last June to come to his house, where he forced Jane and Alex to take off their clothes and engage in sex play ("Truth or Dare"). The first two days, the coerced activity occurred in an unfinished attic in the Jacobson home, and on the third day, it was done in Bob's bedroom.

According to John, Jane, and Alex, the children were frightened of Bob, who threatened to hurt them if they refused to play along. The police and prosecutor also allege that Bob held these children against their will and refused to let them leave.

The Attic "Crime Scene"

 As noted previously, the location for the first two days of this supposed three days of horror was the attic in the Jacobson home. The pull-down ladder entrance to the passively-ventilated space is in the garage, with the room itself being over Ms. Jacobson's bedroom.

One person writing comments on an earlier post said that the 140-plus degrees to which the room probably would have been heated during any of those days really was no obstacle at all, as he cited U.S. soldiers in Iraq. He wrote: "I would say it’s easy to believe that a few kids could sit in a partially vented attic for a few hours when they are lightly dressed." He then noted that construction workers in that area don't quit for the summer.

Kerwyn answered his points:
You are factually incorrect as to heat tolerance.

Heat tolerance as in your example of military is acquired. As a matter of point, when our troops first deployed the "casualty" rate for heat exhaustion was over 70%. The military quickly learned they had to acclimate the soldier prior to front line deployment or lose them to heat exhaustion/stroke.

OSHA sets very strict guidelines for heat acclimation in industry where the adult employees regularly work in very hot environments and OSHA forbids the use of any child as a worker in those environments. Once acclimated, an adult (note the word Adult) can withstand high temperatures as long as they have several short breaks in a cooler area AND keep completely hydrated due to the base 10 to 20 mL/kg per hour passive fluid loss. Even an adult who is acclimated to high temperatures, who fails to keep completely hydrated will suffer heat exhaustion and/or stroke due to passive fluid loss.

High heat exposure affects children much differently as their bodies heat 3 to 6% faster than an adult's and lack the metabolic cooling, faster passive fluid loss (and the attendant loss of vital minerals such as potassium and sodium), smaller available sodium and potassium present in their bodies and smaller body surface area for heat loss that an adult has. You can read the landmark study done by Tsuzuki-Hayakawa and Tochihara to become educated in WHY children do not and cannot acclimate like an adult and why, in very short exposures to high temperatures become seriously compromised.

There are several excellent pediatric studies done on enclosed heat environments and how deadly they are. Automobiles are an excellent example given they have little ventilation (even with windows cracked) and heat very quickly. The unventilated attic temperatures reach these same levels with the same effects.

Prior to coming here and using an acclimated adult as your example, you really should do a bit of research on the subject. Children are NOT little adults. Their bodies and metabolism do NOT work the same way and adults who think that are plain ignorant.

I would also recommend you read the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics as to use of the WBGT so that you too can determine intellectually that 140 degrees for 2 hours is too long for a child.
In other words, the potential attic heat issue is not trivial, nor can one easily dismiss it, as have police and prosecutors. For now, they pretend it did not happen, just as the New York Times pretended during the Duke Lacrosse Case that Reade Seligmann had a "magic towel" and that he could be in two places at one time.

John's Account to Boe

Terje Boe clearly spends most of the time talking to John who was the main "eyewitness." Except he saw nothing. John told Boe that for the first two days, he closed his eyes, but heard what was happening. (He definitely must have heard a lot of "details" that I had no idea could be identified by sound.) However, he claims that on the third day, he sat under a table and closed his eyes.

Keep in mind that it is being alleged that Bob forced a child to molest John's sister, but John did nothing while his sibling supposedly was being molested against her will. Furthermore, he told no one until confronted by parents. This alleged incident did not come to light until John was caught telling another friend about what had happened by the friend's father. So he was so in fear of his life he didn't tell his mother or any other adult.

Jane's Revelation About Alex

According to the police, Jane was forced to do unspeakable things with Alex. However she told Boe that she and Alex stayed in the attic after the others had left and continued to do sex play. She also told Boe that she and the boy have done these things at other times, as well, since she wanted him “to be her boyfriend.”

Obviously, such a statement does not fit the "Really Mean Boy Forces Child To Do Sex Acts Against Her Will" narrative that the authorities in Phoenix seem to have swallowed (and want everyone else to swallow, too). To add to our suspicions that Boe and Ingalls really were not interested in finding out what happened, but rather just wanted to build a case against Bob, the "detective" failed to ask Alex about any of Jane's allegations. Yet, Jane's statement is mutually exclusive with the claims that Bob forced her to do sex acts.

The "Bob Threatened Us" Claim

The only way the police/prosecution narrative even can make sense is that the children claim Bob coerced them. Having seen pictures of "Bob," I can say that he is not exactly a strapping lad and I don't think that his presence would strike abject terror into many people. (I am NOT giving "Bob" a lack of respect, but rather am pointing out that we are dealing with a boy, not a monster.)

However, the tales of threats (like about everything else) are quite inconsistent. Kerwyn has been able to get the following from Boe's notes:
  • John: Bob threatened to kick Alex in the groin, but he does not recall what, if anything, Bob said to Jane;
  • Jane: Bob threatened to punch her;
  • Alex: Bob told him that "I better not get in trouble for this."
Then there is the inconvenient fact that Bob supposedly was able to force these children to leave their air-conditioned homes for two consecutive days to spend a couple of hours each day in an attic that would have been slightly more comfortable than sitting in a heated oven. For that matter, each of the three children has a different take on why they went to Bob's house in the first place, none of them involving the hint of coercion.

There is one more thing that does not make sense. The children claim to have been held against their will, but they had cell phones and when the parents called John and told him that he and his sister had to come home, they went home. Could have they called someone for help?

I also need to point out that Boe used the tactic of telling one child that another child already had "disclosed" certain information. This is smarmy in my view because (1) it is dishonest, (2) it generally is used to try to pry false information out of a person being questioned, and (3) it is a tactic one uses with hardened criminals, not 9-year-old children.

(One should note that this was a favorite tactic used by Joseph and Laurie Braga when they worked for Janet Reno in some infamous sex-abuse hysteria cases. They would tell a child that another child already had “disclosed” and that he or she should do the same thing. Once the child gave answers the Bragas wanted, the child was rewarded, while those who did not “disclose” immediately were badgered until they “disclosed,” too.)

So, this is our story. The main “witness” apparently didn’t see anything because he sat under a table with his eyes closed, but yet described what he says he didn’t see in rich detail. The girl says that she and the other boy loved to play sex games together and they did it often. (Boe and Ingalls apparently ignore those statements, as they don’t fit their narrative.)

The two boys claim that Bob threatened them, although when they give Boe reasons as to why they would voluntarily leave their houses to go to the home of a “dangerous predator” on three consecutive days, none of them involve threats. (The boys wanted to play video games, while Jane hoped that Alex would be there.)

Furthermore, they voluntarily left their air-conditioned houses in the 100+ Phoenix heat to spend hours in a passively-ventilated attic where temperatures would be upward of 140 degrees, and the Jacobson boy would not let them leave. Except he let them leave because it was time for the other kids to go home, according to the police document.

I don’t know about my readers, but some things seem to be missing here. First, we have covered the attic business, and the heat and condition of the attic itself make it highly unlikely that children could have engaged in anything up there for a couple of hours. Second, the coercive and dishonest method of Boe’s questioning clearly taints the questioning, and Kerwyn and I both suspect (we emphasize the word “suspect”) that the transcripts of the interviews would demonstrate the dishonesty of this so-called investigation.

Third, the girl’s claims that she and the other boy have been doing sex play on their own damages the “he forced us to do this” narrative that Boe, Ingalls, and the others involved in this case are trying to project. Boe’s failure to follow up on this line of questioning demonstrates to us that he saw this “revelation” as being a problem, so he just let it be.

Once again, we see police and prosecutors trying to pound square pegs into round holes – insisting all the while that the pegs are round. There is something else that is important here; not only are aspects of these accounts not believable, but the material we have seen is the basis for holding a 14-year-old boy in custody and threatening to try him as an adult and destroy his life.

This is a situation in which child-on-child touching and imitation sex play was discovered by parents. When that happened, the kids acted like, well, kids. They made up stories that Bob had forced them to do it instead of admitting that they were doing it on their own without coercion. Yes, they knew they should not have been doing it, but by accusing Bob, they could (in their minds) get off the hook.

The parents, not surprisingly, in this day of getting the authorities involved in everything, went to the police, and the police were all-too-happy to feed the fires of hysteria. In an earlier age, police would have told the parents that their kids were lying to them (and, by the way, the parents would have known that and probably not gone to the police in the first place). Unfortunately, with false accusations being the order of the day with law enforcement and "child protective" organizations, we can see that this case got legs and it was "on with the show."

One would hope that police and prosecutors would have more sense, but perhaps that is hoping for too much. Once again, we see a rush to judgment based upon flimsy evidence and a set of conflicting statements.

Phoenix advertises all around the country in colleges for new police recruits. An advertisement that was in the hall outside my office had a picture of a woman in civilian clothes looking at herself in a mirror wearing the blue costume of the Phoenix police, with the heading something like “Picture yourself as a Phoenix police officer.”

The woman in the mirror is wearing a police hat. From what I have seen in this case, like so many others in Phoenix, maybe this wannabe cop should have been wearing a dunce cap.


Anonymous said...

Some investigators in Arizona and some in North Carolina must have been separated at birth. They think along the same line, yes, line, just one. Can't branch out, they are just focused on 'he did it', no questions asked.

Doc Ellis said...

Shared on BoN; and tweeted to FB MySpace, & LinkedIn as 'Bill Anderson:...modern police ride the horse over the cliff, if need be, but they ride that horse.'

Thank you for writing this

Kerwyn said...

I have no doubt the sex play happened just as described (for the most part). The stories the children tell "for the most part" are similar enough to not make me think they are lying.
There are a few glaring discrepancies between the children and the police summary has a very adult spin put on what the children said.

The difference is, was it coerced or not.

After reading all three statements, I cannot find coercion of any kind. The "threats" that were claimed have some singular issues. The brother and sister claim the threats were made the first day, but not the second (or Boe never asked or documented them) or the third. The threats that were claimed don't match (at all) and the third boy does not mention a threat at all other than a standard kids comment of "I better not get in trouble for this".

Yet these children claim that even though they were threatened and FORCED to do this on day one, they went back and kept going back.

The more I dissect these reports, the picture that begins to emerge is kids getting caught doing what they shouldn't while doing it willingly.

What makes me really question is one particular thing. The brother gets caught telling this story to his friend, by the friends Father a MONTH later. Boe never bothers to interview (as far as I can tell) this boy and his father as to WHAT and in what tone this conversation was.

It makes me wonder if the brother wasn't actually bragging to his friend "dude guess what my sister did" or words of kind and got caught by the Dad. Of course the next step is to look his parents in the face and say, HE FORCED US, WE WERE TERRIFIED OF HIM, which is why we kept going back and I did nothing while my sister was molested except close my eyes and uh I didn't tell you or anyone else and uh I kept going back but I closed my eyes and let my little sister be sexually assaulted.

Ya right,..... I got a bridge.

john lichtenstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john lichtenstein said...

Jennifer Ingalls comes off looking pretty good in the Phoenix New Times coverage of the attempted lynching of Lisa Randall. Prosecutors criticized her for taking too many notes.

William L. Anderson said...

I understand your point, John, but nonetheless Ingalls was involved in a police and prosecutorial effort to have an innocent woman executed. Put to death. Ingalls was part of that machine.

These people are animals. They are dishonest, they are murderous, and they believe they are accountable to no one. Think about this: police and prosecutors are complaining because someone had information that they did not want people to have.

What kind of people seek to have innocent people executed? The United States today is going the path of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, where executions of the innocent became a matter of course.

In this country, we do these things under "color of law," but we do them. It still is wrong.

So while I understand your point, I cut Ingalls no slack at all. She never spoke out against this murderous persecution of Lisa Randall and I am sure she would have gone along with the woman's execution, had it come to that.

Dan said...

I submit that the innocent need to be considered as a "special class". When the innocent are prosecuted, that act should be handled the same as any "hate" crime.

As in Orwell...
All pigs are equal, some are more equal than others.

Anonymous said...

"I have no doubt the sex play happened just as described". So, what does that do to your theory that it's impossible for them to be in the attic. You ready to eat those words Bill? You’re basically saying this occurred but question the validity of the threats. Isn't that something that can only be determined by the person involved? What one perceives as a threat may not be taken as a threat by another.

"I don’t know about my readers, but some things seem to be missing here." It's common sense. You claim the stories are some what different and that is wrong. If you have interviewed people you would know that each person sees their version of events so you get different variations of a story, sort of a picture from three different perspectives. There's a lot of eye witness experiments on youtube for those who want to see how common it is for two people to have the exact story. This is where you black and white view of things hampers you from correctly evaluating an interview.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:36. Your cluelessness is only trumped by your stupidity! You wouldn't know common sense if it slapped you right in the face.

It's not a picture from 3 different perspectives if one child says they did the sex play without the others present and the police conveniently doesn't follow up on this.
It's not looking at things from 3 different perspectives if one child describes in great detail the different sexual acts but then claims he had his eyes closed the whole time.
And it certainly is not looking at things from different perspectives if one child said the threat was that they will be kicked, the second says the threat was to be punched and the third says that the accused better not get in trouble.
According to your logic if one eyewitness says the victim was shot, the second says he was stabbed and the third says he was strangled would just show the different perspectives because the end result is that the victim is dead. Right!!
Tell me, when you start working for those agencies do you have to check out critical thinking and common sense at the door? Or is it a requirement to have no brains when you are hired?

Anonymous said...

Bill's giving you three days worth of statements in a few sentences. I'm sure he's spinning what was said to suit his mission here. Were the threats provided to the group as a whole or was each child threatened seperately. Did the this molester make multiple threats in the same day. Would explain the differant threats. It's more outrageous to believe this one kid sat in that hot room and kept his eyes closed the whole time then to discredit the fact they were ever there. Last, you don't know what kind of sex play the kids did seperately from the group, we don't know the victim's prior knowledge of sex so your making a leap in your assumption.

Anonymous said...

"Last, you don't know what kind of sex play the kids did seperately from the group, we don't know the victim's prior knowledge of sex so your making a leap in your assumption."

As the boy has not been convicted, it is still the alleged victim.

I was hoping that despite of the fact that you seem to have a problem with spelling and grammar, at the very least that you are capable of reading. Apparently that is asked too much. It says that the alleged victim told the detective that they did the same sex play on several different occassion WITHOUT coercion and without anyone there. It sure would be interesting to know what prior knowledge a 9-year old has of sex but the detective doesn't seem to bother with that.
Has it ever crossed your mind that sometimes when kids get caught doing something they know they are not supposed to do, they point the finger at someone else?

Carola said...

There's nothing like reasoned, intelligent discourse to elevate a conversation to new heights! Anon 9:36, what specific information do YOU have that makes you an expert on why my son is a "molester" and that Bill is "spinning".
Have you read the police reports?

Without going into too much detail I would say if a 9-year old girl says that everyone left BEFORE she and the other 9-year old engaged in sex play and when asked why that is, she answers "because we didn't want them to see it" common sense would indicate that there was no coercion or threats. Why this is not followed up by the detectives, CPS or psychologists? I leave it up to the readers to draw their own conclusions on that.

And unfortunately it is not one isolated inconsistency that is picked out and dwelled on. There are a lot of statements that make no sense.

Anonymous said...

Carola, first of all, thank you for bringing your son's ordeal to light. Second, I am praying for you & your family as hard as I did for Tonya Craft. I can't imagine your pain.

With this specific troll, "it" never brings anything of substance to the table. Its few analogies & references are complete & utter nonsense. This thing is a guilty until proven innocent type of person which says a great deal about their character & understanding of law, order & the Constitution. It keeps stating that the law is not black & white, when in fact, the law is supposed to be just that. Truth is truth, lies are lies. This person should go back and understand the saying "the letter of the law". Our laws were founded on great ideas & over the last 2 centuries, have been bended, twisted & are complete jokes. We, as Americans, call out other countries for their ways of punishing people & their laws, but yet we don't look inside our own MAJOR problems here. This "person", & I do use that term lightly, wants us to look at youtube for research. I would rather go with actual research & training. This "person's" idea on perspectives is completely asinine. If 3 people are "witnessing" the same crime, then everything will fall into place. The only things that may differ are someone's idea of height, weight or age, especially when it comes to children. But it all still comes down to truth and facts. This "person" does not understand that concept & probably believes that every person accused of a crime is guilty. Sorry buddy, but it has been proven over & over again, that is NOT fact.

As to you, our little troll from hell, I am a victim of 2 major crimes. One was a violent kidnapping & rape & the other was a bank robbery. In the bank robbery, there were 6 witnesses. Oddly enough, we all had the same version of events of the actual robbery. I had more to offer because of where I was standing before the robbery took place & knew something was about to happen, so I watched closely to every move & every bit of the guy's face. When it came down to it, the FBI agent in charge said, "this is exactly how these people get caught." What he was referring to was the fact that every person gave the same description of the incident. After they looked at the video, they compiled a photo line-up & guess what....we all picked the guy out!!! So, please take your analogies on "perspective" & flush them down the drain. They have no truth or factual background to them. As I've said before, it's bunk.

Carola, I believe your son is innocent. He is definitely the victim here & I pray for his return to your home & that you guys get the hell out of Arizona. My prayers continue.


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