Is the Mr.Big Sting fair? Or is convicting criminals all that matters ?


The recent Weaven Verdict and sentence probably went unnoticed by most people in the community, other than those who knew the victim, killer or family of either. But this case again reminded me of a tactic the cops use in securing confessions from a suspect,  whether by ethics or agreement, the media are reluctant to report about. I have been working on this for a while, I would appreciate your thoughts AFTER reading the post…Cheers

That is the widely used tactic of the “Scenario” or widely known elsewhere around the world as the “The Sting” or “Mr.Big

Never ever think you have got away with it

It is a covert investigation technique used by undercover police investigators to solve cases for which confessions are considered necessary for successful prosecution. In this method, police officers pose as members of a criminal gang in order to gain the confidence of the suspect, enlisting the suspect’s participation in an escalating series of fictional crimes. Once the suspect’s trust has been gained, the police persuade the suspect to confess to the earlier, real crime.

The technique was developed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (‘RCMP’) in Vancouver, Canada in the early 1990s for cold case homicide investigations. In British Columbia, the technique has been used over 180 times, and, in 80% of the cases, it resulted in either a confession or the elimination of the suspect from suspicion. Since 1990, Victorian Police have also used the technique on over 20 cases, and have successfully obtained murder confessions in several. In Australia, police have applied to the courts, unsuccessfully, to suppress the publication of the details of these tactics. That’s where I come in…Sneaky buggars….Now victims have no need to get narky on me yet…

The MAJOR CRTICISM Defence lawyers and criminal specialists have argued is that the method is flawed for several reasons. In particular, they assert that the method may produce unreliable confessions. Len Hartnett, a lawyer for a Lorenzo Fatava, who was convicted in part using a confession obtained from this type of operation, argued that the police officers encourage confessions, “Telegraph what they want to hear,” and act as an authority figure to the suspect who is in a relatively powerless position.Prosecutors have countered by stating that a confession alone would never be considered sufficient evidence to prosecute a criminal in these cases, and that additional evidence would be necessary.

Now in this blokes trial it was revealed after a trial lasting some three weeks, he was found guilty of the murder of Mary Lou Cook at Narre Warren on 14 December 2008.

(The murder of the victim is of course tragic, and any suspect found guilty deserves all coming to him or her) HOW the catch someone is what I am questioning…I expect some flak!

BUT PLEASE READ ON…

On Sunday 14 December 2008, shortly before 1:00 a.m, Ms Cook was stabbed to death at her home in Darling Way, Narre Warren. The premises were subsequently set on fire. Weaven had had a longstanding relationship with the deceased. Within a few days, Weaven was suspected by police of having been involved in her murder.

On 18 December 2008, Weaven willingly participated in an interview with Sergeant Ronald Iddles of the Homicide Squad. Weaven denied any involvement in the murder. Weaven claimed to have been at his parents’ home, some two kilometres from the scene of the crime, at the relevant time. Sergeant Iddles considered that, although Weaven was a suspect, there was insufficient evidence to charge Weaven with murder at that stage.

The investigation continued for some months. Eventually, in July 2009, the police began a covert operation, using what is colloquially termed a ‘scenario’ method of investigation. Between July and September 2009, Weaven met with undercover police on a number of occasions. Throughout that period, Weaven took part in some 17 different ‘scenarios’, a number of them involving what Weaven was led to believe was criminal activity. Weaven’s belief was that he was participating in the activities of an organised criminal gang, and that he was being groomed for possible membership of that gang. Weaven was paid various amounts of money for his assistance in these ‘criminal’ activities, and was led to believe that there was opportunity to earn a great deal more.

On 18 September 2009, Weaven met a man whom he knew as ‘Gary’ (in fact, an undercover police operative) in a room at Crown Towers Hotel. Weaven believed that Gary was the ‘Mr Big’ of the organisation. Gary told Weaven that he was on the verge of being accepted as a member of the gang, but that there was a problem. Gary said that he understood that Weaven was a suspect in relation to Ms Cook’s murder, and that you had been informed that the police investigation into that matter was continuing.

Gary said that he could ‘fix’ the problem, but only if  Weaven told him the entire truth about his involvement in Ms Cook’s death. He made it plain to you that your membership of the gang was dependent upon Weaven being completely truthful with him about that matter.

Weaven then made a series of incriminating admissions.  Weaven first implied that Ms Cook had been killed by her elder daughter Kayla, and claimed that his only involvement in her murder had been as an accessory to that crime. Essentially, he implied that he had had something to do with the disposal of the weapon. Weaven said that, although the police were looking for a screwdriver, he thought the weapon was a steak knife with a broken blade, which Kayla had with her at some time in the days following Ms Cook’s death.

Gary made it plain that he did not believe this account, and urged Weaven to be truthful.

Weaven then gave a second version of what happened on the night in question. This involved an elaborate and obviously spurious story. Weaven now said that he had attended Ms Cook’s home on the Saturday night, having arranged at an earlier stage to meet a man known as ‘Sean’ there. Sean was said to be a drug dealer. Sean’s purpose in attending that night was to supply Ms Cook with drugs, and to obtain payment in relation to that sale. Weaven described himself as the ‘middle man’ in relation to that transaction.

According to this second version, it was Sean who had stabbed Ms Cook. He had used a steak knife. A piece of the blade of the knife that Sean had used had broken off when Sean had ‘pushed it in’. Weaven then said that after he saw what Sean had done he had panicked, and that he had ‘finished it off’.

Weaven said that he picked up a screwdriver and stabbed the deceased in the stomach with it. Weaven said that he had then set fire to the mattress upon which the deceased was lying. Weaven told Gary that he had subsequently disposed of the knife (including the broken piece) and the screwdriver. Weaven said the he had buried the knife a foot under the soil, and thrown the screwdriver into a drain overgrown with weeds.

Weaven said that after he left Ms Cook’s house on the night in question, he went to the home of his friend ‘Dave’. Weaven said that Sean was staying with Dave at the time.

According to this second version, he had, shortly after the murder of the deceased, arranged for Dave to kill Sean. Weaven said that he asked Dave to do this as a favour, and claimed that he had not given Dave any explanation as to why Sean needed to be killed.

Weaven said that Dave had taken Sean deer hunting, and had shot him with a 303 rifle. Weaven told Gary that Dave had then put Sean’s body through a meat mincer and that he had fed the body parts to his dogs.

Once again, Gary made it clear that he did not accept this version, describing it as ‘fantasy land’. That was hardly surprising. On two occasions, while recounting the story, Weaven mistakenly referred to Sean as ‘Stewart’.

Gary told Weaven that if he wanted to join the ‘gang’, he would have to be completely honest, and stop telling lies. He arranged for Weaven to go off and have a discussion with several other members of the ‘gang’ whom he trusted (and who were, in fact, and unbeknown to Weaven, undercover operatives). After a while, you returned to Gary’s room and gave a third version of your actions on the night in question.

The third version may be described as the ‘scenario confession’. Basically, it consisted of a repetition of the second version, without the introduction of either Sean or Dave (neither of whom, Weaven now admitted, had had any involvement in the death of Ms Cook).

Weaven now told Gary that on the night of Ms Cook’s murder, he had gone to her home in order to have a smoke with her. Weaven said that he had walked the two kilometres from his parents’ home to her house. Weaven said that after he arrived, a dispute had broken out. It arose out of Ms Cook having failed to pay for drugs that had been supplied to her by a third party, in circumstances where he had assured that person that Ms Cook’s credit was good. Put simply, Weaven told Gary that he had grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen and, while she was in the lounge room, stabbed Ms Cook in the neck ‘for no reason’. Weaven told Gary that, in the course of the stabbing, the knife had broken.

Weaven went on to say that after he had stabbed Ms Cook, he panicked. Weaven agreed with Gary’s suggestion that he had ‘just wanted to finish it’.

Weaven said that he had picked up a screwdriver that had been in the lounge room and stabbed Ms Cook in the stomach. He had then set fire to the mattress on which she lay in order to conceal, as best he could, what he had done.

Weaven then repeated what he had earlier told Gary, namely that he had disposed of the steak knife (including the broken piece) by burying it in the ground (this time, Weaven said it was buried a foot to a foot and a half deep), at a location that he could specifically recall. Weaven said that he had tossed the screwdriver into a drain and that it might be difficult to locate.

Gary then questioned Weaven in some detail about his movements before and after the killing. Weaven told Gary that he had been wearing an orange top on the night in question. He said that he had burnt the shoes and clothing that he had been wearing, save for the orange top. Weaven said that the top had been washed repeatedly since.

21 Gary then arranged for Weaven to accompany several other members of the ‘gang’ to the locations where Weaven had said that the knife had been buried, and the screwdriver thrown. Weaven did so. However, it was getting dark at that stage, and no search of the area could be carried out. All that occurred was that the locations that Weaven identified were marked.

22 Later that evening, Weaven was arrested in the vicinity of Crown Towers Hotel, and then formally interviewed. Weaven denied any involvement in Ms Cook’s death, and claimed that he had been at his parents’ home at the time she was killed. Weaven was then charged with murder.

23 On the following morning, police carried out a thorough search of both locations identified by Weaven the previous day. They found a steak knife embedded in the earth, at almost exactly the spot he had indicated he had disposed of it. The blade of the knife was intact, but a piece of the handle was missing. No screwdriver was located.

Now I could go on I hope you have read this far…

The point I’m making is basically is this FAIR GAME? Is it entrapment? Is it a fair and equal tool the cops should be able to use? Lie out of their ass and say and do anything to get a confession?

Obviously the whole sting is set up upon the premise that catch the ego you catch the crim, where the suspect thinks (led to believe) he is so cunning and clever, he is being courted by a major crime gang.

About to hit the big time, and with enough persuasion spills the beans to earn his stripes.

THIS technique is not new, nor is it always successful, because this sting has been pretty well covered beyond the very main stream media it should be obvious to any seasoned criminal awake up to what is going on.

MY POINT FOR THIS THREAD IS TO GARNER WHAT THE READERS, THE AUSSIES THINK ABOUT THIS, is it a serious breach of our rights as citizens, or should the laws be bent to maybe catch a potential criminal?

I look forward to robust discussion from those interested…

Cheers

Robbo

 

 

 

 

 

18 thoughts on “Is the Mr.Big Sting fair? Or is convicting criminals all that matters ?

  1. Robbo.
    its TOTAL entrapment. The police should be charged and or suspended without pay/leave or pensions for committing such a crime.
    These are criminals they are trying to entice confessions from, no brains, looking for feathers to put in their caps.
    These idiots would confess to anything to make themselves look good to a Major Crime syndicate just to get the job.
    It’s a “Job interview” by a “Mr Big” of a Major Crime Sydicate”. of course they will say they need to, just to fit in for the position.
    A pastry chef won’t get the Job.

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    • Robbo,
      It may be entrapment, but if they have to use these tactics to catch the crooks that they know have committed these crimes and get them off the streets so they dont do it again then I say go for it. What is the alternative? do nothing and then they get away with it, they will think they are so clever and not hesitate to do it again. Shouldnt the question be “Entrapment V Serial Offending”? I think a life is worth more than a hoax on a criminal offender, they deserve to be off the streets under whatever method available. Its not like they are going to be in there long anyway according to our stupid courts system. This guy who was even accusing the victims own daughter and two other innocents has no conscience anyway and he doesnt seem to be showing any remorse so Im glad they did what they had to. As you said “‘it should be obvious to any seasoned criminal awake up to what is going on” clearly this guy has shown he doesnt think, so I say SUCKED in.

      Your question “is it a serious breach of our rights as citizens'” – I’m not sure what right you think has been breached? what about the rights of the victim (her right to life) the families and friends left behind, why should this guy who has not followed the rules of society have the same rights as those of us that do? I’m not saying he has no rights now, he still has the right to a fair trial etc and a cushy life in jail, he certainly has no morals or conscience because he had no remorse, blamed everyone else but the cat and then continued to get involved in criminal activity for his own benefit (because he thought he was home and dry) I would have to say NO until I see something else that shows how this shining citizen deserved to get away with it and be afforded the same rights as myself.

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      • Precisely. The whole system is caught up on the way the offender is treated and the tactics used by law enforcement to either help the offender or hinder them.

        What about the Victim ??? We get sandwiched between the two and neither side gives a rats ass about the fact that an innocent bystander’s rights have been breached by both sides.

        We need a real Victim’s Advocacy Centre that focuses on human rights and duty of care, failing this, we will continually hear of corruption and crime. The police protect their own and so do the offenders. Anyone else can just sink or swim.

        In fact, I wonder, how many of the offenders were once victims? Victims that were prevented from claiming their justice through law enforcement channels, victims whose lives were reduced to below standard that, when push came to shove, decided to adopt the ‘can’t beat them join them’ mentality.

        And let’s face it, the system is so dated, and has been screwed up by so many people, it’s going to take a lot of work by a lot of people to turn the wheel from the direction it is heading in.

        *Gets off soap box* …

        PS. Thanks Robbo

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  2. I don’t care what they do to get a suspect to confess to what they DID do. Suspects aren’t as stupid as we think. If they were, most of them would be in the ‘clink’ for their actions ~ they know how to play the system. Or they know how to find a lawyer that can play the system.

    The police should be charged and banned for life when their attempt at getting a confession creates further victims. That’s when I would try the officers on an even harsher basis than a standard criminal.

    When those that we engage to serve and protect the public and to preserve public order, start creating more victims in a bid to acquire a confession that leads to conviction, they are worse than the offender they are trying to catch.

    They are like the priest that preaches one thing and does an entirely different thing.

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  3. John,

    Let me respond with the same level of argument. “No it is not Entrapment!”. All the conclusions you have drawn are therefore null and void.

    But I am going to explain my position, something you failed to do. Entrapment is when the authorities behave in such a way that causes a defendant to, at least in part, to cause a crime for which he is then charged. This did not occur here. The defendant did not go on to perform another crime. Rather, because of the deception, made certain admissions.

    Your second point is that the confession could not be trusted because of the way it was obtained. The confession obtained information not previously held by the police. (the location of the murder weapon) One presumes that this was taken into account by the jury.

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    • If you ask a fair minded law abiding citizen if this is OK they would say yes,but if you asked a criminal they would say definitely not,but if you asked a loved one or family member of a victim of a serious crime you would get a 100% YES.The victims side should be considered every time..

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  4. How is this not the same as a “Verbal ” statements made to police before your rights are read ? You may say we caught a murderer but the practise filters down to lesser crimes .VIC POL you have better tricks to use rather than this old hand me down .

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    • ANTHONY … you may be asking a little too much of Vic Pol with that comment.

      Let’s remember that we are dealing with a Crimes Act from the year 1958 … and sure there is other supporting legislative material dated after that ~ but none of us are naive to the fact that we are the band-aid country (thanks Johnson & Johnson).

      We do well in emerging social areas, because it’s good for us to ‘LOOK’ like we are on the pulse, however, when it comes down to the ‘nuts & bolts’ ~ like human rights and duty of care ~ we ignore the situation here by screaming ‘blue murder’ about what is happening to our citizens that travel to another country and breach the law.

      Case in point, Julia’s little visit to China over the Australian’s jailed for breaching their law, all this effort and cost regardless of the fact that all travelers are warned that when they travel they become subject to the laws of the country they are travelling to, and, where the crime is detected.

      Her territory is Australia ~ she shouldn’t be allowed to leave this country ~ or advise another ~ until such time as she has her own backyard in order. The rates of crime and government corruption reflect she hasn’t even turned her mind to weeding, so why is she even contemplating turning the soil over …

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  5. Oi … Robbooooooooooooooo

    I haven’t read a post from you in a while ~ thought you would be back on deck this week ???

    Don’t tell me the backlash from the authorities has come through on merely a threat to name and shame.

    Please don’t tell me the cops got you under Section 10 of the Mental Health Act and you are now an inmate of a Mental Health Facility ~ the cop’s can now call you a ‘Section Tenny’ ~ that’s their internal jargon for when they don’t know what to do with someone so they pull one of these.

    Spit the pills out ~ whatever they give you ~ don’t take them.

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  6. Below is a letter I have today written to relevant parties about what happened in my past life. It is the last link to the past, which, due to the nature of the situation had to be broken in order to allow my progression, and to allow a return to life and living. We try to do things that facilitate systems and processes, but in all reality, and particularly when the processes and systems don’t facilitate us, it is our own selves we should focus on first and foremost.

    We know our truths, we should live them, regardless of what others think.

    The name at the bottom of that letter is the old me, now I can be known as the new me, the name of the person posting this comment. I don’t care, I really don’t care anymore.

    Have a great day everyone, and enjoy life ~ that’s what it’s for. Not to be embedded under a mountain of paperwork some other person may decide to set fire to.

    *************************************************************************************************************************

    To Whom It May Concern

    I hereby withdraw all statements made in relation to any of the offences that occurred against me by various offenders.

    Reason for Withdrawal

    I am a person affected by the occurrence of events in my life. A human being.

    The law’s intent is to protect my interests and rights as a human being living life.

    In some of the events of my life, I have encountered breaches of the law against those interests and rights. I have reported and made statements in relation to the breaches to those appointed to administer and enforce the law in relation to my interests and rights as a human being.

    These breaches are dealt with by process. The process is run by the government which employs human beings to act like robots running a process rather than human beings dealing with another human being.

    I have fallen victim, which is what one becomes when they are subject to a breach of law, to offences committed by offenders, which is what another becomes when they breach the law.

    I have also fallen victim to process designed to enact the law, which deals with different breaches in different ways, depending on the information or intelligence gathered.

    The information or intelligence gathered in relation to the events I reported as a breach have been PROCESSED and do not meet the requirements that enact the law (via process), that protect my rights and interests as a human being.

    As a result neither the cause or the effect of certain events in my life can be dealt with, regardless of the fact that my rights and interests have been breached, and regardless of the fact that I am a human being.

    I have NOW chosen, which is my human right, to withdraw all involvement in anything to do with those events, and to focus on dealing with the effects on my life of all the events and their handling.

    In so withdrawing, I seek full detachment from the date of this email, from anything to do with the past events. I seek that withdrawal regardless of what may be found down the track. From this moment on, I do not EVER, in this lifetime or any other, want to know anything about what happened and who made it happen.

    If you find something or someone, go somewhere and do something else with it.

    Once I recover from the effects of the past I will have a new present and do not wish it to be infiltrated by past damages done. I live at my pace, not the pace of a process that de-humanises events and their effect on one’s life and environment.

    You, THE GOVERNMENT, win. I don’t know what you win. But it isn’t me and it isn’t rights over the direction of my life and the events and effects I experience. The offenders tried to control me, it didn’t work. Your process tried to control me, it didn’t work.

    Thanks, I learned a lot.

    PS If this email is inadequate to cater to your ‘Withdrawal Process’ then please explain, in detail, by point form, what the process is. I want out.

    Regards

    Tanya Baricevic

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  7. Robbo..i know your busy and stuff..but why aren’t you all over this missing michels and stanley?..like your word on the street contacts and the bat phone to st kilda rd complex..could think of not one other reason why police would want to speak to you about images on your computer unless it was images involving children..as described a serious criminal offence..what the hell have these 2 been up to?…they don’t fit the profile of paedophiles but who knows these days..maybe they do fit the profile..nice to neighbours,spoke to their kids…get on to it robbo..as usual the press are to chicken shit to report anything..thats why i go straight to aussie criminals website if i can’t find stuff in the news.

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  8. This technique you describe is referred to by Victoria Police as a “scenario investigation”. They take a LOT of resources, and I do mean a LOT. Many months of highly trained and detailed work. That’s why I don’t think I’ve heard of such investigations being conducted other than in either Murder or Terrorism trials.

    Though in some rare cases I’ve heard of police forming fake pedophile / child porn rings. That’s usually not necessary, though. It’s usually easier and more effective to infiltrate real rings. Ditto in terrorism trials: Usually, you’d try to find and infiltrate real terrorist cells, not form fake ones. Of course, I’ve heard of the “infiltrators” being accused of attempting to incite terrorist activity rather than monitor it. (Agent provocuer stuff).

    One point I’d want to clarify if I was on a jury in such a case: when the suspect was invited to join the “criminal gang”, was he eager? Did he jump at the chance? Or was he coaxed, nagged, manipulated, or even blackmailed into getting involved in the supposed gang’s activities? The latter would raise extremely serious entrapment issues.

    The idea of a criminal investigation is to cross-check things as much as possible. A bad investigator will get a DNA match, for example, and say “case closed”. A good investigator will proceed to look for all other evidence regarding any connection between the matched individual and the crime. Does it fit? Or is something suss here? The case of Farah Jama shows what can go wrong when you place blind faith in a single link, even one as supposedly strong as DNA.

    I’d say the technique is like many used in policing to get confessions: It must be used with caution, only in appropriate cases, with appropriate rules to minimize risk of false confessions, and confessions obtained carefully scrutinized case-by-case.

    Just in case you aren’t aware, there are other “confession obtaining techniques” which raise significant disquiet as to false confessions.

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  9. Robbo, if you want a somewhat similar example: I know even crooks hate pedophiles. But there has been disquiet about the FBI’s “click this fake link to be raided” technique:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-9899151-38.html

    I’d say it isn’t really needed – there are other approaches which are equally effective (see “wyoming toolkit”). And in cases where police raid the “clicker’s” home and find nothing, I’d say a prosecution is clearly abusive. If they raid the home and find a kiddie porn stash, it’s obviously a totally different matter!

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  10. The assumption that the Police and DPP are trustworthy is a dangerous one has been proven time and again. The thought that the Police should be able to “do what it takes” to convict a suspect they know did it has put a lot of innocent people in jail. They need to be watched. That said the interview that sunk Cowan

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-27/daniel-morcombe-murder-trial–jurors-shown-covert-recording/5288316

    is hard to fault. Most chillingly the wretched POS was there bragging on about his cars just after admitting to murdering a kid. Even in the circumstances he believed himself to be in something like “I feel terrible about what happened” would have shown some glimmer of humanity..

    Like

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