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”
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…