A very wise old Milwaukee police academy instructor once said: “Everybody lies (in certain circumstances)…”
Some articles catch my eye more than others, I’ll admit. Every day, there the is deja vu of yesterday’s news, i.e. high-speed pursuits, lengthy standoffs, an intoxicated idiot roaring the wrong way down a highway somewhere, a domestic eruption over what cable channel to view, ad nauseum.
My focus is to always look for stories that can teach something of value or offer up even a scintilla of new information that, perhaps, some law enforcement professionals may not have known.
Such was the case when I glanced at this headline in the news: Ex-Memphis Grizzlies’ Exec. Killed By Wife, Who Said He Stabbed Himself, Court Records Show.
That grabbed my eyes, as do most stories of murder and mayhem which involve sports, sports celebrities, sports bigwigs–– you get the idea.
Wife (Danielle Redlick) said he stabbed himself.
45-year old Danielle Redlick had made a 9-1-1 call to the Orange County S.O. in January to report that her husband “was stiff” and may have had a heart attack.
She then changed her story and said that she and her husband had a fight that led to him “stabbing himself,” that she had run and hidden in the bathroom, come out, and found him in a pool of blood, then realized she couldn’t help him.
She said she laid down next to him and “wondered what to do next.”
Her story was that she had tried to clean up the blood with towels and kept slipping on it in an effort to find her cell phone.
Interestingly, she used her cell phone to make calls two hours before reporting the death to police—11 hours later, including one to an online dating app!
When the police arrived, they:
– noticed the smell of bleach
– found bloody towels surrounding the husband’s body
– noticed that his jeans were stained with blood
– noted some of the stains had circular marks, indicating someone tried to clean them up
– saw a trail of blood leading to the master bedroom
The medical examiner said:
– some of the man’s stab wounds were not self-inflicted
– some of his injuries appeared to be defensive in nature
Investigators further stated, “The wife had been on the phone two hours before calling 9-1-1 despite insisting she had been unable to find it, after slipping and tripping in her husband’s blood.”
Danielle Justine Redlich was arrested on charges of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of her husband, Michael.
She had also filed for divorce almost a year earlier saying her marriage “was irretrievably broken,” but the case was dismissed due to lack of action by the woman, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The couple have two children together.
- How important is it to ask the right questions?
- What questions would YOU have asked this subject first?
- How important is it to always LISTEN intently to the answers to your questions?
Do you make it a point to ask the same questions but, perhaps, in different ways?
- How important is it to document, record those answers?
- At a violent crime scene, what do you notice the most?
- How aware are you of blood spattering and its characteristics?
- How important is it to preserve the crime scene as best as humanly possible?
- What should any law enforcement agency teach all officers, in your opinion, about preserving a crime scene?
- Where have you seen first-arriving officers make the most mistakes when coming on a crime scene?
- At what point do you feel a subject’s story begins to “fall apart”?
- If you detect one flaw in a subject’s story, what are the chances or likelihood of there being additional flaws in your opinion?
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This is stuff you never, ever learned at the academy. From in the line of duty, I am about to prove to you that one of my personal axioms needs to be told at every academy and every roll call in the land. It’s simply this, that very often just like grapes, a-holes hang out in bunches, which is why without a shadow of a doubt, when cops are on the lookout for dog turned, they may very often misstep into one.