Friday, December 16, 2011

Missing Baby Lisa Irwin: Additional Insight

The more I listen, the more I learn. I think Mark Twain said something profound about that or maybe it was another pundit.

Yesterday, a fellow private investigator (PI) friend of mine was in town.  The thing that makes PI work interesting is that so many of us come from different backgrounds that give us the experience in the work we do.  He is former law enforcement.

We discussed the Lisa Irwin, missing baby case (it seems so impersonal to me to refer to her as Baby Lisa; just a preference of mine).  I filled him in on some undisputed facts on the case, as well as items that were not confirmed, but verbalized.

I told him that, albeit unsubstantiated, Lisa's mother Deborah Bradley reportedly failed only one question on the Kansas City PD polygraph.  I am told it was if she knew where her daughter was.

My friend says while that sounds bad, much depends on what the subsequent questions were.  Was she also asked, do you think your daughter is in Kansas City?  Assuming she said no to where her daughter is, is it because she actually thinks her daughter is in heaven?  You get the idea.

Then, I shared with him that I do not have an opinion, at this time, as to who I think is culpable.  Since learning new information in the case, rather than point fingers at one or more individuals, I have gathered information or it comes to me, and then I let the reader make their own determinations.

I told him it is hard to get beyond a cadaver dog "hit".  The information I read and the people I talk to tell me it is indisputable.  Is that true?

He said, "let's find out".  He called a colleague who owns a cadaver dog.  Reporting back to me, he told me this owner says we need more information about the "hit".  Not to be graphic, but unless a dead body was on the floor at that spot and someone put it in a plastic bag right there, there should be a trail from that location resulting in subsequent hits.  Also, was the carpet lifted up and the dog allowed to sniff the hardwood floor underneath, in case vomit and other things result in "hits".  This is just the opinion of one person who shared it with me.

Then, there is my friend Pat Brown, the criminal profiler, who I respect immensely. Here is an article she wrote this week on cadaver dogs.

I know my discussion of this is going to result in attacks on me by those who believe Deborah Bradley knows what happened to Lisa.  The tone of feedback I get from my comments or my blogs depends on what the person already has in their mind to believe.  I have noticed their opinion is not changed.  They only decide whether they like me or what I say based on what their opinion already is.

Again, I do not know what happened that night.  I suspect whomever is responsible for Lisa's disappearance, only a few know the truth or somebody would have already blabbed.

If you do not like the information that comes my way, feel free to ignore it.  I am good with that.  But somebody needs to try to get answers.  I keep trying because I can.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Progress for Lisa Irwin

There are still no definitive answers as to what happened to Lisa Irwin, missing for over two months now.  However, I have personally been in a whirlwind for nearly a week now with new information that has come my way.  I share the new information in hopes that others will have a greater understanding and maybe some how we can work together for some positive results.

I now know the answer to one of the questions.  When family attorneys say that the 50 second phone call did not go through to Megan Wright's phone at 11:57pm on October 3, 2011, I can confirm they are correct.  This information was confided to me on condition of anonymity and I am personally satisfied it is accurate.  That may make Dane Greathouse irrelevant to this whole case.  Since the call did not go through, we know that Dane did not withhold knowledge of receiving a call.  He may very well be the unlucky guy who happened to be taking advantage of use of a free phone that night at a very inopportune time for him.

After I received this information, I texted Dane at his new number. I explained to him that if he would like to shed light on the phone calls he made and received that night, he could very well get people to stop talking about him.  His reply via text, assuming that was him replying on his phone (confirmed that it was his phone via the voice mail message): "I don't have time for games.  Unless u have a milli in cash.  all ben franks. Top it off with everyday i haue (sic) a full tank. Ha good night."

He had an opportunity to clear things up. If he still wishes to do so, I am not hard to reach.

I then spent some time with James Brando on Saturday afternoon, the next door neighbor to Lisa Irwin's parents.  James offered to help me decipher any cell information that came my way, telling me about his experience in that area.  He laughed and said I am sure you are aware of my experience.  I told him a lot of us are aware.  We then discussed Gil Abeyta's "profile" that fingers him as the lead suspect.  He said he has a copy of that report.  If I remember right, Mike Thompson (the motorcyclist with the potential 4:10am sighting of a potential suspect) said the person had salt and pepper gray hair.  At this time, Brando has his hair trimmed to the scalp and it did not appear to have much gray from the growth I saw.  I am not convinced, with all due respect to Mr. Abeyta, that Brando has any culpability.

I also met Samantha Brando for a bit as James and I spoke.  She remains friends with Deborah Bradley.  Again, both of these persons appear to be innocent players as much information as I have pulled together from both this weekend and previously.

Sunday, before going out to do other work, I stopped by the prayer vigil that was to be conducted at Penguin Park.  Nine persons, including some teenagers there with their moms, showed up.  One cameraman for a local TV station was there without a reporter.  Following a brief prayer, the attendees went to a nearby traffic light intersection to pass out flyers to any motorists who would roll down their windows while they were stopped.

More drama.  One of the attendees who I have previously had very pleasant conversations with and has shared some information and ideas with me, instead of approaching me as I visited with others there, chose to walk off when everyone disbursed shouting from across the parking lot.  She said she knows that I am protecting Megan Wright, but I need to take a closer look at her.  After I posted this occurrence on my business Facebook page (, she later emailed me and apologized, admitting that her anger was displaced.

I explained to her that I am not protecting anybody.  But, I do not believe Megan has anything to do with what happened that night.  Megan does not know that family and, in spite of Facebook posters contentions to the contrary, she told me Sunday she does not know Deborah Bradley's brother Tony Netz.

At the vigil event on Sunday, Teri Carlson came up to speak with me.  Teri lives on North Chelsea not far from the Irwin residence.  She lives next door to a man named Denny.  This is the residence where Jersey (John Tanko) was staying while the owner was out of town and watering his lawn.  The lawn had just recently been seeded and Jersey's job was to rotate the sprinklers and keep the lawn wet.

She said she had seen him between 11am and 5pm on Sunday, October 2.  She asked and he accepted to go to church with her at Sheffield Assembly of God.  After church, he shared Sunday noon dinner with her.  She also had other company, a fellow church goer and his son.  At some point, Jersey offered the son "some weed".

Later in the day, Jersey asked Teri for some ice for his cooler for his alcohol.  I am not clear why, since he was staying at Denny's house, he did not get ice there.  Nonetheless, he also showed Teri, a licensed massage therapist, his swollen knee.  He claimed he had been hit by a car while walking on North Brighton (previously reported as N. Lister and now corrected).  I asked Megan about that yesterday and she was not aware of it but said she had seen him on one occasion using a cane.  He was not using a cane on this day.

Teri then left for her second job at 10pm that Sunday night and did not see Jersey again on Monday.  She noticed on Tuesday morning (after Lisa had gone missing), however, Denny's yard was muddy from over watering.

I would be interested in knowing if cadaver dogs were ever taken to Denny's property.

I also spoke, over the weekend, to a source close to the family (nobody I previously mentioned here).  I am told that the carpeting that was taken by law enforcement the day the search warrant was executed came from the shed behind the Irwin residence. This person suspected this was more of a photo op than anything else.  I cannot confirm this, in fairness.

More information continues to come to me.  My work here is to share it in hopes it will trigger information from others who can help.  I have pledged to an extended family member that I will not post anything that could bring harm to Lisa or hinder her return.

Why me and who the hell am I?  Early in this case, I was criticized because I was not doing anything to help.  Once I started helping, I was criticized because who the hell am I to insert myself into this case.  Marc Klaas, father of Polly Klaas (abducted in California nearly 20 years ago) and founder of KlaasKIDS, told me the best advice he could give me was pay no attention. He said he was the target of a lot of misguided, mean comments, and to just ignore them and do my work.  I, in no way, put myself on the same level as Marc.  We have become friends, however, in the last several weeks and I feel for what he went through and can only thank my God that I do not know his pain.  Marc is someone I have immense respect for.

As a former news reporter and now a private investigator, I live less then 10 miles from the crime scene and my office is 10 miles the other direction.  Early in this case, but not at the outset, I got to know both network and local reporters and shared thoughts and ideas as we were all trying to figure this out.  Without seeking publicity, behind the scenes, I have given information to several and shared some ideas on potential questions to be asked.  Humbly, I am sure they did not need me, but they seemed interested and open.  When Dane returned to town, I was responsible for providing Dane's new cell number to one reporter, which he ended up exchanging text messages with.  There are other behind-the-scenes assistance I have provided but I still do not need to enumerate to get credit.

I raised my own boys with no child support after getting custody of them six years after their mom and I divorced.  It was that divorce that prompted me to go in the private investigation business some 17 years ago, full- and part-time.  Three years after I got custody, I decided I was not spending enough time with them.  I feared they would grow up too soon and after working so hard to make sure they were safe with me and had a good upbringing, I did not want to blow it so I quit a lucrative full time job and took my PI work full time.  They are adults now.

My work experience also includes working in public information for the director of the Missouri Department of Social Services under then-Governor John Ashcroft's administration.  We dealt with many children's issues in my work there.  From my professional experience and that of being a father, I care about kids.

I was also lucky to have a good upbringing.  Raised on a Mid-Missouri farm, both of my parents taught Sunday School and my dad was a deacon in our church.  My dad is not a formally educated man, but he is smart and always been respected by many.  One of the many things he taught me was your word means everything.  If you cannot give your word, you have nothing.

In all humility, I am no more talented than most other PIs.  Admittedly, I normally do not take criminal cases.  My background is in journalism, not law enforcement.  But, in this case, people have opened up and talked to me.

As crazy as it makes some armchair detectives, when I quote a source anonymously rather than name them, it is because I have assured them that, for whatever the reason, I will share information they will allow me to, but I will withhold their identity.  Sometimes they want their identity withheld because they do not want the public spotlight.  Other times they could get in trouble for talking to me.  They continue to have my word.  If we all work together, maybe more answers will come our way.

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