john and ann bender

My Thoughts on Ann Bender (48 Hours)

When I watched Ann Bender on 48 Hours, several things troubled me, and I have admit, I do not trust her.  We have a lot of pieces that when added up paint a picture and I don’t believe that picture is what Ann is telling us.

The first thing I notice with Ann is a lack of oblique eyebrows indicating true sadness. This really stood out to me throughout the entire story.  The second thing I noticed was that she said her husband wanted to die, he was suicidal, but oddly she had no concern when he brought a gun to bed.

She said, “It was the last thing I expected him to be doing, even though I knew that he was suicidal.”


If your loved one was suicidal and brought a gun to bed, would you be able to drift off to sleep?  I don’t think so.  Ann’s statement doesn’t make any sense.

Ann says, “I opened my eyes and I saw the outline of the trigger of the gun … and he had it pointed at his head … at himself…”

What troubles me about this statement according to the forensics is that if John was shot in the back of the head behind his right ear, how could she see the gun shadow if she was laying behind him in bed, and he was in bed with his head on his pillow?   Her eyes wouldn’t have likely been underneath the gun to see through it.  It’s possible, but highly unlikely. In the re-enactment, they had John sleeping with three pillows in a very unnatural position.

I am also troubled by the ear plugs, the pillow with the gunshot tear, and the spent cartridge being 15 feet away.

Who wears ear plugs when they are going to kill themselves?  You would actually want to be alert, I would think, to hear what your loved one is doing so they don’t stop you, if you are intent on getting the job done!

I am also troubled with what Ann says.

The first account Ann says:

“I got up on my knees and reared towards him and I tried to grab the gun.”

["Were you able to get it?"]

“No. I was able to get my hands around his and the gun slipped and it went off,” she replied.

This troubles me.  The gun just went off?  I’m not buying it.

The next time she says:

“I lunged forward towards him with my hands. I fell towards the center of the bed … and the gun went off.”

This time she doesn’t even reach John’s hands, ironically.

And another time she says:

“That evening I had no indication of what was going to happen…after the shot, I don’t remember exactly what happened.”

And now another time she doesn’t remember?


I don’t think Ann killed John for money, but I do think he was very determined and headstrong, and he was taking her down in his spiraling depression with him. And Ann knew it and didn’t know how to get away from him, or perhaps she didn’t want to give up their “dream” of the sanctuary. I think she knew she was going to die with him if something didn’t change and John wasn’t open to do anything.  I suspect Ann didn’t know how to get away because he’d seek her out, too, and around him she knew she wasn’t as strong as he was. She was the weaker of the two.  I suspect Ann couldn’t take it anymore and felt this was her only way out.  She wanted to survive and this is what she believed she had to do to get away.

But just because Ann was weaker than John in standing up against him, do not assume that I believe Ann is a weak or meek person.  I do not think that. She is actually quite strong. She isn’t letting her time in prison deter her. She is on a mission to get out, and she isn’t going to give up any time soon, if you ask me.

48 Hours: John and Ann Bender

Did you catch the intriguing mystery on 48 Hours this week? It’s the story of genius John Bender and his wife, Ann, who moved to the rain forests of Costa Rica to live an eccentric life perched in a 50,000 square foot wall-and-window-free home on top a mountain.

It tragically didn’t end well. John allegedly committed suicide.

What do you think happened? Share your vote.

I will share my opinion later this week.

Michele Williams: ‘Black Widow’ Killer?

More ABC news videos | Latest world news

Michele Williams is on trial for killing her wealthy husband, Gregory Williams, in what prosecutors believe was an attempt to get her hands on his $600,000 life insurance policy. First, she told police that an intruder killed her husband, and when that didn’t seem to work, well, she said he committed suicide.

I love watching chronic liars throw stories up in the air as if doing so will cause one version to stick like bubble gum. They sure do hope when they get desperate, don’t they?

In this video, you get to hear Michele’s fake whining cry, and you get to hear her make the most ridiculous statement. Who wants to point it out?

It’s laughable.

Ironically, a well known new source misquoted the statement I speak about above, because I suspect, it was just too weird to conceive the words she actually used. I suspect the person getting the quote in written form subconsciously edited it and wrote it how most people naturally process it.

I honestly think the jury will see this case clearly and Michele will get the time behind bars she deserves!

She is one scary woman–Jodi Arias scary. It would be interesting to put these two women in the same cell!

Attempted Robbery and Mirror Neurons

Here is an interesting video recorded by a Go Pro camera that documents an attempted robbery of a guy riding his bicycle in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Go ahead and watch it if you haven’t.

Chances are your mirror neurons (cells in your brain) will light up as this guy experiences fear and hence so will you! Mirror neurons make us feel what others are feeling when we see them go through an experience. You know when you see a friend cut their finger with a sharp object and you wince?  That’s your mirror neurons!

I find mirror neurons fascinating.

When I teach my class to students, I frequently feel the power of mirror neurons in a really strange way.

I play a lot of emotional videos in my training class and my students mirror neurons work very well. They always mirror the emotions of the victims or suspects in the video beautifully. But I wasn’t prepared for how it would bounce and further affect me.

As the instructor, I have seen these videos hundreds of times so I don’t typically watch them. I am usually not listening to the content of the video or thinking about it either. I am often thinking about other things that I need to do and inevitably, through natural pauses in thinking and looking up at my students, I find my face starting to react to my students’ emotions.

I will start to feel a flush of an emotion overcome me.  It’s surreal because I might be thinking I need to check-in for my flight tomorrow when I start feeling this rush of sadness.  And I will catch the feelings of sadness and be perplexed. Why do I suddenly feel sad?  And then I have to re-orient myself and ask what video are we playing right now?  And 100% of the time the  emotions I am starting to feel correlate to the video playing, but  I am not watching it or listening to it.  But I am glancing at my students and obviously my mirror neurons are firing from seeing them!

It’s the strangest thing.

It’s what I would call a mirror neuron bounce effect. A person in the video feels an emotion. They express it. My students watch it, and they feel what the person in the video feels. Then I see the faces of people watching the video, and I, too, react to them watching the video. It all happens involuntarily, too.

I never expected that mirror neurons would bounce like that, but I have experienced it enough to know they do, and when I see a really intense emotion expressed on a face, I will start to experience the strong flood of emotion myself regardless of the source!

So I wonder, does the movement of the facial muscles activate the mirror neurons?  Or do the mirror neurons activate the facial muscles?

Are you a good liar?

I found the above video interesting.  It’s Richard Wiseman, a professor of Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire (UK).  You can read more about him here.

“Some people will just see [my work] as fun and say, that’s interesting. I would hope a few people then go slightly beyond that and look at the implications. I want people to find that for themselves.”
—Richard Wiseman

So do you draw a Q for you to see or others?

Do you believe it equates with you being a good liar or not?

Thanks to Brent for sharing this!

Expression of the Day

Reading the news this morning, I came across the story of  little Etan Kalil Patz who disappeared from lower Manhattan in 1979.

Apparently this man, Pedro Hernandez, was interviewed by police in 2012 and confessed to killing Etan.

The courts will determine this week  if Pedro Hernandez‘s statements are admissible in this case.

Statistically speaking, 25% of confessions made by people are false, so just because someone confesses, it does not  automatically mean they are one responsible for committing the crime.

When I saw this news story and I looked at this suspect shown in the article, his facial expression stopped me dead in my tracks.  Hernandez’s expression here is extremely threatening. If I saw him on the street, I would immediately look away and take actions to get as far away from him as I could. I would try to become invisible in the shortest amount of time.

What expression is Hernandez making here?  I will share my answer in my comments below (on the blog for those of you reading this elsewhere).

Oscar Pistorius Trial: Not Premeditated?

The judge’s opinion in this case is somewhat straddling two worlds if you ask me. Matt Gutman says the judge doesn’t believe that Oscar was trying to defend himself and Reeva, but that the prosecution’s claim that he intended to shoot her behind the bathroom door also don’t hold water.

What does she believe? I’m curious to hear!

Is she looking to set him free? I’m nervous.

I believe Oscar Pistorius by his own words and the evidence known got into an argument that night with Reeva, and he had a violent temper outburst and killed her in a heat of rage. Did he premeditate the killing as in plan it ahead? No. I don’t believe so.

I believe Oscar Pistorius snapped.

He also didn’t have immediate regrets either as he clearly had no urgency to get her to a hospital quickly. He doesn’t call the ambulance first. No, he calls his friend wasting precious time. That says everything. Did he even try CPR?

I believe Oscar willingly and knowingly murdered Reeva in a fit of rage, and I am very saddened that he will not be convicted of such.

To read more of my analysis of Oscar, click on the tags below.

* This video is programmed by ESPN to auto play on load. I am unable to turn this off. If anyone knows how, please inform me. Thanks!

Do I believe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

The answer is no. I do not.

I see many hot spots in his speech.

Goodell says, “I don’t know how TMZ or any other website gets their information. We are particularly reliant on law enforcement. That’s the most reliable. It’s the most credible. And we don’t seek to get that information from sources that are not credible.”

I think the words “don’t seek” are so key here.  It says it all.

It’s absurd they would say they don’t know where TMZ gets their information. If they did an ounce of investigation for themselves, they would have immediately gone to the casino — the most direct and credible source of information possible.  They didn’t even have to wait for any investigation.

Video surveillance doesn’t lie.  Ever.

Especially when you see a woman being knocked out cold!

A minute or two later, Goodell says, “That’s why we asked for it on several occasions. Because when we make a decision we want to have all the information that’s available. And obviously that was…when we met with… Ray Rice and his representatives, ah… it was ambiguous about what actually happened.”

It was ambiguous?  It’s nonsense.

Goodell and the NFL could get the public records own their own without relying on the police to do an investigation. These records would have delineated Rice’s arrest, and they could see he was charged with aggravated assault, which is a felony.  They could also see where it happened.   If they had any doubt, the NFL could have easily asked for a copy of the video from the casino where this happened to find out the truth, but according to TMZ they never asked the casino for a copy of the video because I suspect they wanted it to “go away”.


Joan Rivers: Unplanned Biopsy Leads to Death?


Last week I wrote about Joan River’s death and that I was concerned things didn’t seem as they appeared. For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you’ve seen the discussions in a more detailed light. I found it very odd for Joan  at her age to go to care facility outside of a hospital for any procedure that would involve knocking her out. And the fact that she did it raised my eyebrows high as Joan is known as the queen of cosmetic surgery.

To hear the latest news that in the middle of a “supposed” routine endoscopy that her doctor took a biopsy which was considered a no-no by qualified experts in the field because it was outside of a hospital setting strongly hints to me that there was more going on then we’ve been told and may ever be told.

I find it interesting in the earliest reports by people who knew Joan that no one said she went in for a routine endoscopy. No one.

No one would use the word endoscopy which was striking to me!

Even Deborah Norville talked AROUND the word “endoscopy” on 20/20 last week. She couldn’t say it!  She said, “a diagnostic procedure … [to] see why her voice had gotten raspy.”  It sure would have been a lot easier to say “endoscopy,” wouldn’t it?

I scoured the news reports last week when Joan was in the hospital and all of the people who knew her said she was going in for “throat surgery” or “vocal cord surgery”–which cannot be confused with endoscopy. If they thought she went in for a routine endoscopy, they would have said so.

I suspect they knew beforehand what Joan was doing and I suspect Joan knew what she was going to happen as well.

And now to read news reports that say the doctor “discovered”, took a “surprise”, “unplanned” biopsy…well, I’m not buying it.

A doctor doing an endoscopy would tell Joan that it makes no sense to do an endoscopy outside of the hospital setting because with medical protocol  he or she would be unable to take a biopsy should it be needed.  That’s only logical, right?

While Joan may not have signed on the dotted line (which could have happened for many reasons), I don’t think this procedure that was “unplanned” was “unknown” to Joan.  I suspect she had nodules on her vocal cords as many have suspected, wanted them removed at all costs, and was willing to find whoever could do it for her, and she did.  It just sadly cost her her life.

Any other way things simply don’t add up — at least with what we’ve been told so far in the media.

(Sorry about the video and text alignment above. I am unable to fix it. There is a technical glitch that I have been unable to resolve that is causing this).