The year is 2007. Ernesto Reyes had a bad night. He was on drugs, burned bridges with his family and girlfriend and he was alone, all alone. He was hanging out at a convenience store for over an hour, even using the clerk’s phone to call for help. The number he called several times would later identify him.
Melanie Goodwin, an attractive, outgoing, young woman, entered the store. Ernesto Reyes follows her and cameras unfolded what happened next. Reyes' cold hearted acts are gruesome. Caution advised searching the net for footage.
Statement Analysis shows how words betray a liar. My mantra “people say exactly what they mean” once again comes shining through.
Donovan Young, a trial key witness, said that Reyes came to his apartment about 3 a.m. and showed Goodwin’s lifeless body. Amazingly, Young lends Reyes a gas can and money and goes back to bed. (Birds of a feather, flock together).
Reyes however, blamed Young for the murder:
"I don't know (1) how it happened, the fight (2), I didn't know if he was hitting her or messing with her. Then I started (3) getting scared. You (4) could see that she was not OK and then (5) I asked, 'What happened?' And then when I said, 'I am going to leave,' this guy (6) pulled a gun on me, a black pistol (7). I am not guilty, this guy is the one who killed her," he claimed.
1. A witness knows what happened, at least in gist
2. “the fight” is an after thought. It should be the first subject
3. “started getting scared”: apparently not scared yet, just started.
4. “You could see”. Well, no, I was not there. “I could see” would be believable
5. “then” is repeated. It is an unnecessary sequence indicator. Excessive use is indicative of fabrication on the spot. Young children use that a lot.
6. “this guy” is non committal to identifying the friend he knows by name.
7. “a gun .., a black pistol”: again pistol is after thought.
All these indicators suggest deception.
Ernesto Reyes' lawyer did not put him on the stand, yet, he allowed a video to be played in court, which contained an interview with a local TV station.
He says "I am not a killer. I am ... I am ... I never, ...I never been a killer, I never wanted to be a killer. I am not a manslaughter [sic]. I was just there in the wrong place, hanging with the wrong people."
Actually, he did admit indirectly. In the video Ernesto Reyes claims his innocence, yet, literally admits to guilt. Here is why:
He says "I am not a killer" and superficially he denies his involvement in the killing of Melanie Goodwin. What it actually means is "it is not what I usually do". For instance, when I play a game of pool and lose badly because I hardly ever play pool, I would say to my opponent "I am not a pool player" indicating "I am not good at it because usually I don't play pool".
The repeat statements (“I am … I am ….”) are indicative of sensitivity to the subject matter. It implies he is searching for words and subject matter. A person that speaks with candor from memory generally does not speak with such hesitation.
Then he says "I never wanted to be a killer". When I say "I never wanted to be a hoarder", we interpret that I am a hoarder. With this statement, Ernesto Reyes just admitted he is the killer.
Reyes was convicted and is where he belongs for the rest of his life. Although this verdict does not bring Melanie back, I hope her ever so graceful parents Peggy and Glenn Goodwin find some peace after this tragedy.
Peggy Goodwin embraced Reyes' mother after the conviction, who was so shaken and sorry about the events that unfolded in the courtroom. One ruthless act and many lives changed forever.
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Marcel Elfers is a Trial Run Master Profiler™ through handwriting and statement analysis.