Steven Avery: Guilty of Teresa Halbach's Murder? #2

I had time at work yesterday to look at my battery book and check the specs on the Group 35 vs 58 batteries.

They are close to the same size with the main dimensional difference being that the Group 58 battery is almost 2 inches shorter. That means in order for the OEM battery bolts to work the threads on them would have to be long enough to make up that difference or you would need to use a spacer on the bottom of the battery to bring it's height up. Or use shorter bolts if you have them.

The other difference is that the positive and negative posts are reversed between the two group sizes. That can be a problem if there isn't enough slack in the battery cables to account for that. Usually just putting the battery in "backwards" so the positive and negative posts are placed in the same left to right configuration will work to solve that problem.

The J4 stamped on the battery appears to be a date code. The automotive industry usually leaves the letters I and O out of date codes so that they will not be confused with the numbers 1 and 0.

Using that I figured that J4 would be September 2004 for this particular battery. However after looking online I found information saying that Interstate battery didn't skip the letter I in the date codes and some that said they did.

I also found information saying that Interstate battery uses a four or five digit date code and not a two digit one. They will also stamp a date code on their batteries if they sit in the distribution centers for too long and need to be recharged. That could be what the two digit J4 code is about on this battery. Or perhaps the J4 code is a code for the plant that made the battery. Or it could be an internal code use by the manufacture for other tracking purposes. JMO
 
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It’s kind of interesting RE: the day planner. I had a curious moment and decided to read some of the “psychic readings” people had produced in this case. Most of them implicated the ex. There was one though that made me prick my ears up who stated she was getting from TH that “papers” in her house would point in the right direction.... this was over 3 years ago, then I watched the second series and Lo and behold “day planner pages”.

That’s a massive coincidence !
 
Wasn't sure where to put this... lol KZ tweeted:

'Making a Murderer' Brain Fingerprinting Expert Offers Ken Kratz Free Session: 'Put Your Brain Where Your Mouth Is' We are waiting for Mr. Kratz, the investigators, Bobby, Scott Tadych or Ryan Hillegas to jump at the opportunity. #MakingAMurderer2

with a link to:

'Making a Murderer' brain fingerprinting expert offers Ken Kratz free session: "Put your brain where your mouth is"

Why would they ? It appears that it shows a guilty man as innocent and would probably get tossed from any court proceeding.
 
Why would they ? It appears that it shows a guilty man as innocent and would probably get tossed from any court proceeding.
(quote)
The advantages to Brain Fingerprinting are that it offers higher accuracy than other techniques, is non-invasive and has been deemed to meet the Daubert Standard in the US for scientific evidence.

Our Case Scenarios highlight Brain Fingerprinting’s instrumental value in security today. Contact Brainwave Science today to learn about this innovative and indispensable law enforcement technology.
Law Enforcement - Brainwaves
 
Wasn't sure where to put this... lol KZ tweeted:

'Making a Murderer' Brain Fingerprinting Expert Offers Ken Kratz Free Session: 'Put Your Brain Where Your Mouth Is' We are waiting for Mr. Kratz, the investigators, Bobby, Scott Tadych or Ryan Hillegas to jump at the opportunity. #MakingAMurderer2

with a link to:

'Making a Murderer' brain fingerprinting expert offers Ken Kratz free session: "Put your brain where your mouth is"

Thank you for posting this. It reminded me to actually look into this. I heard about it AGES ago, in the mid-1990s and was intrigued, MaM2 re-ignited the interest, and you re-re-ignited my interest.

Your article has this juicy quote
One of the largest critics of Farwell’s technology is former prosecutor Ken Kratz.
Oh well if anyone is qualified to determine the merit of this technology, it would be world renown neurologist Ken Kratz.
And now the offer to Kratz makes more sense to me.

In MaM2 Zellner pretty explicitly stated the value of the test to her was more in Steven's willingness to take it.


I found an interesting article on Brain Fingerprinting. Here are bits I think are worth posting here. I have written summary at the end for the reasonable people, look for the red text to find the summary. One should note the article I use is from 2005 and more research into brain-based deception detection methods has occurred. The article is very broad and pretty good though.

As for Brain Fingerprinting itself, it has its basis in what is known as the "P300" response. Essentially, after encountering a familiar/meaningful stimulus, your brain reacts approximately 300 milliseconds later. This phenomenon was discovered in the 1960s and has been studied extensively.

The way Brain Fingerprinting works is you are shown a word that maybe has something to do with a crime or maybe it doesn't and you have to answer yes or no. Familiar/meaningful ones result in that P300 response on an EEG. If you answer no and the p300 is present, that is indicative of a deceptive answer.

The bones of contention with Brain Fingerprinting itself is that the P300 response gets used as a lie detector, when what it truly tests is familiarity/meaningfulness and there are complications. Other than that, Lawrence Farwell (the guy who did the Steven Avery Brain Fingerprinting Test) uses a lot of "Florid advertising copy" when talking about his research and his product. Never forget that Brain Fingerprinting is, in fact, a product.


Source:
Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice

This article is sort of a meta-analysis of Brain Fingerprinting. It is a study of the research done on the field. It is, overall pretty critical of Brain Fingerprinting as a lie detector as Farwell does it. It goes into the history of trying to use the P300 response as a lie detector, the author of the article has a history of trying this himself. Here is an interesting quote
Our lab planned and executed a study in which subjects pretended to steal one of ten items from a box. Later, the items were repeatedly presented to the subject by name, one at a time, on a display screen, and we found that the items the subjects pretended to steal (the probes), but not the other, irrelevant items, evoked P300 in 9 of 10 cases.


It should be evident that the ability of P300 to signal the involuntary recognition of meaningful information suggests that the wave could be used to signal "guilty knowledge" ideally known only to a guilty perpetrator and to police.

The author lists some limitations that can muddy the water of Brain Fingerprinting's usefulness, such as sobriety of the suspect and the fragility of memory. A guilty person may not have guilty memories. He also, much later, points out countermeasures CAN be taken to throw off the results. Another thing is that the brain could be paying attention to something else, if the suspect is presented with the word "necklace" and the suspect didn't notice a necklace, that could give off inaccurate results.

The author of my source says that his own research tended to accurately find guilty parties based off of P300 responses 80-95% of the time. Another group of researchers had a 90% detection rate. Yet another group found 27-47% detection rates. A study by a Japanese police department tested it and got 48% success. So depending on who does it,the specific methodology, and who it is tested on you can get pretty variable results.

That is kind of normal, I guess you could say. The problem is there was/is nothing all that standardized, there was/is no solidified gold standard method. With no gold standard, things will be all over the map; researchers are mostly not being taught how to do it in college and are working it out for themselves to some extent. Stuff like that happens in emerging fields of study.


Brain Fingerprinting was used in an Iowa court. The guy was already in prison and tried using BF to get out. His case ultimately made it to the Iowa Supreme court which granted him the right to a new trial. The SC determined there was plenty of reason to grant him a new trial without the BF, so they kinda just shrugged at it, choosing not to really say one way or another whether it is a useful tool. That is normal for courts, they hedge their bets and if they don't need to set precedent, they often avoid doing so.

From a report by the U.S. General Accounting Office titled “Federal Agency Views on the Potential Application of ‘Brain Fingerprinting’”
This report states that “Officials representing CIA, DOD, Secret Service, and FBI do not foresee using the Brain Fingerprinting technique for their operations. . . . CIA officials concluded that Brain Fingerprinting had limited application to CIA’s operations. . . . Overall, DOD officials indicated that Brain Fingerprinting has limited applicability to DOD’s operations. . . . According to FBI officials, the developer had not presented sufficient information to demonstrate the validity or the underlying scientific basis of his assertions
Source:
Investigative Techniques: Federal Agency Views on the Potential Application of 'Brain Fingerprinting'
Of course, in the context of the time period, "enhanced interrogation techniques" were widely used and accepted, so lack of interest may be as much "we already have a system we like" as much as it was "it isn't worth our time trying this."

From the meta-analysis :
One should, however, conclude with the hope that the baby will not be thrown out with the bathwater: just because one person is attempting to commercialize brain-based deception-detection methods prior to completion of needed peer-reviewed research (with independent replication) does not imply that the several serious scientists who are now seriously pursuing this line of investigation should abandon their efforts. On the contrary, brain activity surely forms a substrate for deception which patient investigation may elucidate. It appears that detecting deception will continue to be of interest to various agencies and institutions. If it is to be done, it may as well be done well.



All that said, there are other researchers working on similar techniques, here is an article doing more or less the same general thing as Brain Fingerprinting, and is more modern and done by less....excitable researchers.

You probably don't have much need to read this article, it's very dense with jargon and math.
It is mostly here to demonstrate this is still an active field of research and there are competitors to Farwell and Brain Fingerprinting; if Farwell is shaky ground to stand on, there are other, superior options.

These researchers manage to surpass a 95% confidence interval in their methods. 95% is the standard for psychology research. A confidence interval sort of tells you the odds your result is good. Even Farwell, with his weirdness sometimes doesn't do this well sometimes.
P300 amplitudes in the concealed information test are less affected by depth of processing than electrodermal responses
The Concealed Information Test (CIT) has been used in the laboratory as well as in field applications to detect concealed crime related memories. The presentation of crime relevant details to guilty suspects has been shown to elicit enhanced N200 and P300 amplitudes of the event-related brain potentials (ERPs) as well as greater skin conductance responses (SCRs) as compared to neutral test items.


----- TL;DR/SUMMARY----

-At this point in time, I would describe it as "unproven but not wild nonsense." I'm not finding anything that explicitly determined this can't work, more that Lawrence Farwell (the creator and the guy who tested Steven) overstates the accuracy and reliability of his procedure as vigorously and as often as he can; he claims 100% success, the author of the study I cited said -Farwell's results are more like 87-90%, and he only tested pretty small numbers of people.
-Farwell is a weird dude, research-wise and there are people doing similar but higher quality research. Farwell may be the only one you can hire to do these tests on a person in prison?
-The author of my source repeatedly points out problems with how Farwell works, but gets results similar to Farwell. Farwell raises red flags but if other people are getting similar or even better results, so I don't know what to really think about that.
-This brain-fingerprinting thing is probably the shakiest thing Zellner has done, but then again, she would have known that going in and said she primarily wanted to see if Steven would even willingly go along with it.

-I see nothing precluding this from being/becoming useful in the future in at least some instances.

My primary source again:
Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice
 
I think the brain fingerprinting stuff is interesting, but i'm sure KZ's whole PCR doesn't solely rely on it, and she has much more evidence than that to make her case for an exoneration.
I like that KZ is challenging certain people to take the test though, and wonder if there will be any takers?
Or will they decline?
 
I think the brain fingerprinting stuff is interesting, but i'm sure KZ's whole PCR doesn't solely rely on it, and she has much more evidence than that to make her case for an exoneration.
I like that KZ is challenging certain people to take the test though, and wonder if there will be any takers?
Or will they decline?

What did SA have to lose by the taking the test ? If he did not pass, KZ does include the results and does not even bring it up. No different than the a lie detector test. And how reliable is a test that is taken 10+ years after the actual murder ? I'll bet none of you can lay out what you did on 10/31/05 and if SA is indeed innocent, he would not be able to remember either as it was "just another day".

And what benefit would this have for any of her other "suspects" if they already know they are innocent ? You'd have to be a fool to subject yourself to a test like this.
 
What did SA have to lose by the taking the test ? If he did not pass, KZ does include the results and does not even bring it up. No different than the a lie detector test. And how reliable is a test that is taken 10+ years after the actual murder ? I'll bet none of you can lay out what you did on 10/31/05 and if SA is indeed innocent, he would not be able to remember either as it was "just another day".

And what benefit would this have for any of her other "suspects" if they already know they are innocent ? You'd have to be a fool to subject yourself to a test like this.
So why do LE still use polygraphs? I agree they are not infallible, but can be a useful tool depending on the person they are used on IMO.
They can be admissable in court at times a Judge will allow it. And the brain fingerprinting can be as well. But there would certainly have to be more than that as evidence to convict someone at trial.
 
So why do LE still use polygraphs? I agree they are not infallible, but can be a useful tool depending on the person they are used on IMO.
They can be admissable in court at times a Judge will allow it. And the brain fingerprinting can be as well.
One reason why LE uses polygraphs is that an examiner can ask a suspect questions with or without reading them a Miranda warning and anything they say can be used against them in court. JMO
 
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One reason why LE uses polygraphs is that an examiner can ask a suspect questions with or without reading them a Miranda warning and anything they say can be used against them in court. JMO
On top of that they can lie about the results. It is a thing that adds pressure to a suspect. If they believe they failed, even if they are innocent, it might make them more willing to cut a deal or try to "talk their way out" which literally never works and only makes things worse.
What did SA have to lose by the taking the test ? ... No different than the a lie detector test.
He would look guilty. It IS no different from a lie detector test in that way. Except WAY more is known about lie detectors and how awful they are and people STILL use them as evidence that someone is guilty. Fail a polygraph and people go " Yeah, sure that dude might have been in another country during the murder but HE FAILED THE POLYGRAPH". Looking guilty to your lawyer isn't a good thing.
I'll bet none of you can lay out what you did on 10/31/05 and if SA is indeed innocent, he would not be able to remember either as it was "just another day".
I cannot lay out what he did if he is guilty either. Not while backing it up with evidence.
If I recall correctly, he did have a lot of trouble explaining what he did that day.
And what benefit would this have for any of her other "suspects" if they already know they are innocent ? You'd have to be a fool to subject yourself to a test like this.
People who are innocent take polygraphs. Same reasons there.

Also, to your "it would get tossed out of the court room" statement, that is probably the least likely result possible. If a judge allows to be used in court, it is in. It is more likely that is doesn't get used or that enough uncertainty gets raised about it that people distrust it. I have never heard of a judge allowing an expert testimony type situation and then kicking the expert out later on.
 
The Brain fingerprinting has been a head scratcher since Zellners original PCR. I believe she is using it for a purpose. It certainly isn't a key component of her case.

I think she will do just fine with everything else she has:

multiple brady violations
multiple incidents of prosecutorial misconduct
multiple instances of ineffective assistance of counsel
multiple incidents of impeached testimony by key prosecution witnesses

I think she will be just fine with or without the brain fingerprinting.
 
One reason why LE uses polygraphs is that an examiner can ask a suspect questions with or without reading them a Miranda warning and anything they say can be used against them in court. JMO
BBM, A polygraph is voluntary and LE can't force a person to take one.
In most circumstances polygraphs aren't admissable in court as evidence of guilt or innocence, and it depends on the discretion of the judge. I would think it would be a rare occurrence that a judge would allow it anyway, and if that happens there would have to be other supporting evidence.
 
The Brain fingerprinting has been a head scratcher since Zellners original PCR. I believe she is using it for a purpose. It certainly isn't a key component of her case.

I think she will do just fine with everything else she has:

multiple brady violations
multiple incidents of prosecutorial misconduct
multiple instances of ineffective assistance of counsel
multiple incidents of impeached testimony by key prosecution witnesses

I think she will be just fine with or without the brain fingerprinting.
Yes there is much more than the BF to prove her case.
I think it was more a case of SA was eager to do the test to prove his innocence. And according to their testing on him he was.
The BF also meets the Daubert standard.
(quote)
Daubert Standard
Definition
This is the standard used by a trial judge to assess whether an expert witness’s scientific testimony is based on scientifically valid reasoning that which can properly be applied to the facts at issue.
Daubert Standard
 

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