SHANE CRUM IS INNOCENT
HE HAS BEEN IN PRISON SINCE 1996

SUGGESTIVE    INTERVIEW    METHODS

  HOW SUGGESTIVE INTERVIEW METHODS WERE USED IN MY CASE

       We already have evidence of suggestive interview methods used in my case and contained in the court records. However there may be even more examples we have not seen, and possibly contained in the following documents.  

       1) The grand jury transcripts.
       2) Christine McNutt/Confalone's statements to detectives and prosecutors.
       3) Johnny Confalone's statements to detectives and prosecutors.
       4) Linda McNutt's statements to detectives and prosecutors.
       5) Recordings, transcripts, and notes of Dr. David Coleman's interview with Kayla.         6) Recordings, transcripts, and notes of nurse practitionioner Donna Abbott's interview with Kayla.
       7) Recordings, transcripts, and notes of detective Jill Stevenson's interview with Kayla.

       None of the research and information mentioned above was used in my case at any point. Johnny's account of his interragation of Kayla did not come out until he testified at trial. At the time Christine and I were in the middle of a bad breakup and this is evident by all the lies she told about me to the authorities during the course of this investigation. Kayla herself was only 4 years old and in preschool at the time. She was obviously too young to fully comprehend what she was doing. Johnny's account of his initial interrogation of Kayla points to heavy handed suggestive interviewing tectniques. Johnny demonstrated a number of suggestive interview methods in his account, according to Johnny's testimony at trial, he waited for Christine, the mother of the child, to leave for work before questioning Kayla. This means Kayla was left alone with Johnny, the only adult. Johnny said that he asked Kayly where she learned to kiss with an open mouth (which is both a specific question and a leading one) Johnny told Kayla what he wanted to discuss. Johnny also that Kayla's first response to this specific question was, "on TV" Johnny did not follow Kayla's lead, but rather repeated the question and introduced the content about the kiss he wanted to discuss. Kayla's second response was, "I don't know" according to Johnny. He again ignored another alternative response for the one he was so obviously looking for. Clearly Johnny already had the response he wanted to hear from Kayla in his mind and simply was going to keep questioning her until he heard it. Only after repeated questioning did Kayla finally say, "maybe daddy" Johnny then says that at this point Kayla was so upset and crying that he had to put her to bed. Why was she that upset? She was obviously frightened and intimidated. What was Johnny's behavior? Was he threatening or hostile? Was the atmosphere aggressive, or accusatory? Was Johnny repeating questions rapidly, speaking harshly to Kayla, and otherwise intimidating her? Did Kayla suffer from sleep deprivation, was she being yelled at, told she was lying, the interrogation would not end until she told the truth. Whatever it was that had her that upset. The mere mention of "daddy" put and end to her nightmare, and Johnny rewarded her by allowing her to go to bed. Putting Kayla to bed after the interrogation has the hallmark of negative reinforcement. This was the first time Kayla ever said anything that could be construed to be sexuly abuse, but it was not spontaneous, voluntary nor freely giving, and it was not a clear report of abuse. Kayla did not make any type of allegation, let alone one of sexual abuse until after suggestive questions were asked. Either there exists an accusation prior to the interviewer corrupting the statement, or there is no reliable evidence. The first statement was during an interrogation by Johnny. Every subsequent report should have been viewed with skeptisism.

       Kayla was interviewed by two case workers from the department of human services. The start county prosecutors office (a number of times prior to trial), perry township police, nurse practitioner Donna Abbott, Dr. David Coleman (in multiple  "therapy" sessions with anatomical dolls), during the grand jury, at trial by both the prosecution and defense, Johnny multiple times, Christine multiple times, discussions with family and friends, and continues to have conversations about this non-event to this day. A great deal of this occurred prior to trial, and she provided more detailed information with each interview. Kayla's accusations incresed in quantity and serverity with each additional interview. From learning an open mouth kiss on TV, to daddy molested me by trial. It is evident that Kayla is the victim of memory alterations due to all of these interrogations and interviews, which resulted in her believing in a false memory. To my knowledge none of these interviews with Kayla were ever recorded. Everyone ignored Kayla's bizarre, inconsistant, and reluctant statements They did not investigate the implausible reports, detractions, or denials. While on the stand at trial, Kayla said, "We agreed that Shane is a bad man" (Which is a textbook example of stereotype induction). Using the court record alone, there can be no doubt suggestive interview methods were used on Kayla.

       Nurse Abbott's physical examination of Kayla was the report that was dated the earliest in discovery (2/7/96) the prosecution sent to us, and should have been the first thing to be checked, once an allegation was made. However, it is clear that Kayla was "interviewed" by multiple people prior to the examination, and everyone who "interviewed" Kayla prior to the examination did nothing more then to confirm the abuse allegations. Yet, we never recived records of those " interviews". Moreover, Dr. Colemans report states that these accusations were made in January. So, why did it take them a month to get Kayla to someone who could perform a physical examination? It would almost appear that no one including Christine's side of the family were truly concerned about these accusations. in nurse Abbott's report, on a page marked "historical data continued" there are boxes for nurse Abbott to check. One column is marked "patient", and another is marked "historian", with the word "mom" hand written next to it. Oddly, the worst acts were not discribed by Kayla, but by Christine (the mother). Apparently, the worse thing Kayla describes is anal penetration by a penis, but nurse Abbott found no physical evidence of that claim, and with everything else going on, even this is called into question. This is the first time in records that Kayla actually gives an account of physical abuse. This becomes more relevent later in the report, and as time goes on as the case unfolds. On the page marked "narrative history of incident" it state that nurse Abbott and"Jamie Donohue" initially met with Ms. McNutt. This is an indictation that much of the story being told is coming from Christine and not Kayla. Again and again,throughout the course of the so-called investigation, people were relying upon what others had to say, and not any spontaneous statements being made by Kayla. That is because they had to wait until they sufficiently couch her on what to say. This report goes on to state that Johnny Confalone had moved in with Christine and Kayla only 5 months prior to the "incident" ( a very short period prior to his interrogation of Kayla).What this does not say is that Johnny and Christine had only been dating since July, and only one month proir to Johnny moving in with Christine and Kayla, and a grand total of 6 months before this supposed incident. Is everyone to believe that Kayla just opened up to Johnny about potential sexual abuse, after knowing him such a short time and without prompting nor pressure? It seems more then strange that Kayla did not say anything to anyone else. That only after Johnny interrogated Kayla did anyone say they saw Kayla performing sexualized acts prior to this and the fact they never questioned her is stranger still. The report says that shortly after Johnny moved in with them, Kayla apparently tryied to kiss him with an open mouth, Johnny asked her how she learned it, Kayla told him her father taught her, her father put her fingers inside her pee-pee, and her father put his "pee-pee under her arm by her boobs her pee-pee her butt and wiggles it. She also said he put his tongue inside her mouth and wiggles it". The very next sentence says "Kayla was then interviewed alone by myself and Mr. Donohue". This means the entire account that was just given is another example of Christine making these claims, not Kayla, and according to them the rest is an account given by Kayla which describes little if anything. This report states very clearly that Kayla is in preschool, which the research says is the most vulnerable age for the influence of suggestive interview methods. This report states that when they asked Kayla if she knew why she was there, Kayla says, "cause my other doctor came to my house to talk about my dad" and when she was asked what she talked about with the other doctor Kayla responded, "cause my other doctor tried to call them my private parts". This is proof that Kayla was interviewed at least once by someone she viewed as a doctor, and evidence of suggestive interview methods. The report says that they asked Kayla this question, when asked what she talked to the other doctor about her private parts, she said, "my dad put his pee-pee here, here, and here", this is a leading question, that told Kayla what they wanted to talk about. Another leading question theyasked Kayla was, "if anything came out of his pee-pee, to which she said, "water came out" Kayla states that, "he put his private part inside my butt", and they asked her how it felt, to which she replied, "I don't know". Kayla would have been traumatize had that actually occurred, and would have expressed as much. Moreover, nurse Abbott would have found physical evidence of this occurring. This account also says Kayla stated very clearly that Christopher saw something going on, and is something that she would change in Dr. Coleman's report.The physical examination data sheet has a number of items they checked on Kayla, and next to each is typed, "no trauma" next to the item "hymen (discribed in detail)" is typed "crescentic; smooth, sharp rim; no tears or disruptions". Yet nurse Abbott testified at trail that the hymen could regrow. There are so many things wrong with that statement Ask any woman on the planet, and they will tell you a hymen can not regrow. if for arguement sake a hymen could regrow, wouldn't there be some tearing, scarring, or other indicators that it had been damaged and regrown? I have a lot of wounds that left scars. In fact, some women are paying alot of money to have their hymen surgically re-attached by a doctor. Why would they pay that kind of money if all they had to co is wait? Moreover, such a claim about regrowing has never been supported by research nor widely acceptedby the scientific community. So how then was nurse Abbott able to testify as an expert, especially in light of such a claim? The only marks recorded on the diagnostic data sheet was to say there were audio visual recordings of the exam made, and these recordings may contain portions of the interviews in question again, another page indicating no physical evidence. The evaluation summary page has a check mark next to the box that says, "no physical findings history and/or behavioral indicators consistant with", and a typed section at the bottom saying that the physical examination indicates only the absence of residual penetrating trauma. The acts she describes can occur with no residual findings. Yet, nurse Abbott testified at trial that sexual penetration had occurred, so how do you have sexual assault with no residual findings and then testify at trial that sexual penetration had occurred. So how do you have a sexual assault with no residual findings and testify at trial that there was penetration?  Nurse Abbott's report and her testimony are full of contradictions. The social work intake and summary form gives Christine's account and not Kayla's. Once again, Christine is discribing acts of sexual nature, and not Kayla. If nurse practitioner Donna Abbott is trained to perform the physical examination, then why would she be asking Kayla questions? Was she also trained in the proper methods to interview children? She even disregarded her own findings when giving her opinion. How was she able to then testify as an expert in a court of law? Jamie Donohue is a social worker, and was he trained on the poper methods to interview children? They both obviously used suggestive interview methods when they actually did speak to Kayla, but the vast majority of their report relied on what Christine had to say. They relied upon the one person who had a reson to lie, and ignored physical findings they themselves reported.

       Dr. Coleman's report state that the allegations were initially investigation by Denise Branson of Stark County Department on Human Services and detective Jill Stevenson of Perry township police department in Febuary of 1996. Why did it take a month to begin the investigation? He then goes on to say that his first contact with Kayla and her mother was on 4/11/96, and that the "family has subsequently attened four of five scheduled sessions through the writing of this letter" dated 5/15/96, and would latter state she was interviewed over the course of five sessions. Here is  direct evidence of repeated interviews (a form of suggestive interview methods). That is approximately one interview per week for four weeks, and it does not say how many interviews Kayla went through before that. Also, if Kayla's family was present during these "sessions" we can not guarantee that it was Kayla alone who was ansering Dr. Coleman's questions. Moreover, nurse Abbott's report was completed in Febuary of 1996, and it proved there was absolutely no physical evidence Kayla had been sexually abused. Why didn't Dr. Coleman take this into account before he began his interviews with Kayla? His report then states Christine's false allegations about our relationship. Christine told Dr. Coleman that I verbally and physically abused her from the beginning of our relationship, which lasted years. Yet, no evidence of this abuse was ever presented at any time. Again, none of this information was ever considered. Such false and unsubstantiated claims are indicative of a bad separation. Dr. Coleman also reports the circumstances surrounding the initial allegation. He mentions the attempted open mouth kiss and the fact that Johnny questioned Kayla where she had learned it. He reports only one of the answers Kayla gave as being "on TV".and then states, "but upon futher questioning, indicating that her father had showen her that type of kiss". That showed interviewer bias at it's best, but everyone just accepted this responce. Whydidn't anyone accept Kayla's first response as tha truth? Christine apparently tells Dr. Coleman that Kayla exhibited sexualized behavior since the age of two. Yet, she never reportedany of this "behavior", and Kayla had plenty of check ups by doctors over that period of time which never produced any evidence to support Christine,s claims. These are simply more accusations to make me look like a monster to people who do not know anything about me. Dr. Coleman's report also said, "unlike many children her age , Kayla required little time to emotionally prepare before detailing her allegations". Here is an example of a non abused child,seemingly credible and sincere, detailing events involving her own body, and showing appropriate facial expressions. These are definitely not indications of abuse. When Dr. Coleman apparently asked Kayla if she knew why she was visiting him, she stated, "because of the bad stuff Shane did to me". This is stereotype induction. Someone had gotten it into Kayla's mind that I was doing "bad stuff". WhenDr. Coleman asked her what bad stuff Kayla responded by listing several things that she had not said to Johnny when he interrogated her, and gave some bizarre accounts that no one questioned futher. Dr. Coleman also stated that Kayla "evidenced little upset while making these allegations". As everyone assumes, such events would be traumatizing to a 4 year old girl. So, why then was she showing so very little emotion when detailing these events? Dr. Coleman says he asked Kayla if any if anyone told her what to say to him, to which Kayla responds "no". He then asks her if Christine or Johnny told her what to say, and Kayla affirms they told her to tell the truth. To a 4 year old child, there is a significant difference between asking if someone told you what to say, and are you telling a joke? Or did this really happen? Moreover, it is evident that Christine and Johnny were coaching Kayla. Otherwise, they would never have had a conversation in which they had to tell Kayla to tell the truth. Dr. Coleman says he asked Kayla "open ended questions" to "flesh outsome of the details" about the locations and frequency of "her father's behavior". he is telling her what answers he is looking for. Dr. Coleman reports that Kayla says the abuse only happened at her father's friend Christopher's house. I only lived therefor a few months before the allegations were ever made. Therefore Christine story about seeing abusive behavior in Kayla at the age of two would be a lie, the prosecutors bill of perticulars which gives a full year and five months of when this could have possible taken place would also be wrong in addition to the three locations they gave in an amended bill of particulars, and Christine herself said overnight visits were stoped when I moved in with Christopher. No one needs to wonder why Christine would lie about these alleged behaviors she supposedly saw years prior to these false allegations and about the so called abusive relationship. So, why did the prosecution claim this happened over such a long period of time and at so many locations? Dr. Coleman asked Kayla if anyone (more specifically Christopher or Mark Mowery) had seen these things happen to her, and she responded, "no". Dr. Coleman had to have read nurse Abbott's report in which Kayla indicated Christopher had seen the abuse occur in order to ask that question, and asking a "specific question" is not an open-ended question. This also means Dr. Coleman knew there was no physical evidence in this dase. If Christopher and Mark were always out or at the store, then why did Kayla say Christopher saw something in nurse Abbott's report? Also why would she retract that statement only after Christopher gave a statement to the police proclaiming that event never occurred? Dr. Coleman also said in his report that he used anatomical dolls with Kayla who was 4 at the time. Studies and reports 2 years earlier proved that anatomical dolls should not be used on young children and that they increase false reports of sexual abuse in non-abused children, additionally Dr. Coleman says in his report that he got Kayla to demonstrate her allegations by attempting to put the dolls penis inside the other dolls vagina, to which he asked her how that felt. That is not an open ended question, and Dr. Coleman clearly asked Kayla to use the dolls as a representation of herself. Dr. Coleman already knew there was no physical evidence in this case, so why ask this question? When Dr. Coleman asked Kayla why she decided to tell on Shane, she replied, "I just don't like him anymore". This is what Christine told Kayla, word for word, as to why we where not together when Kayla asked. Dr. Coleman reported that Kayla would be sufficiently emotionally stable to with stand the rigors and stresses of a formal hearing process, and that it would be helpful to provide Kayla with prehearing preparation to insure her competent testimony. Again, this would be another form of repeated interviews and suggestive interview method. additionally, if Kayla was so articulate in her interviews with Dr. Coleman, and able to detail her allegations, then why would she need prehearing preparations to ensure her compentent testimony, something Dr. Coleman already said she gave him? Dr. Coleman reported that Christine believes Kayla's allegations. She would have to say that in order to keep up appearances and to achieve her true objective. Dr. Coleman reported that Kayla was repressing a variety of emotions regarding her father that included fear, hurt, anger, and disgust. Moveover, that these emotions became more evident during her demonstrations with the anatomical dolls as she appeared to experience distressful levels of anxiety. As previously stated, the studies on the use of anatomical dolls indicates the childrens rejection of the suggestion to pretend the dolls were a representation of themselves, and that this caused anxiety for them when asked to do so. Yet, this is exactly what Dr. Coleman asked Kayla to do. Dr. Colemansuggested, and Christine accepted, additional therapy sessions for Kayla that willcover the emotional and "educational" aspects of her alleged abuse. These additional sessions are a continuation of the repeated interviewing, and repeated questioning suggestive interview methods. Moreover, this is the very foundation for a child to develop a false memory of an event that never occurred. Christine, Johnny and Linda all knew Kayla was never sexually abused. Yet, they each allowed her to suffer through aphysical examination, multiple interviews and interrogations, and years of repeated conversations in which they kept telling her she had been abused. What kind of people would do that to a child and worse yet, to a child in their own family?

       Research shows that experts and professionals could not distinguish between reports of actual events and those produced by suggestive means. Denise Branson, Theresa Neiwndowski, Jill Stevenson, nurse Abbott, and Dr. Coleman are no exception to this fact. They each ignored the absence of physical evidence and never once tested the validity of these accusations. All of which became known in nurse Abbott's physical examination of Kayla. In fact, the physical examination came well after Kayla already had multiple interviews and interogations about the alleged "kiss". how many of the experts and professionals in this case reinterviewed Kayla once the lack of physical evidence became known? All they appeared to be doing was nothing more then attempting to get Kayla to affirm what they already believed. Not one professional in my case used the complete lack of physical evidence as a basis to ask questions, nor didthey make a single attempt to test an alternative hypothosis. Once the complete absence of physical evidence became clear, the investigators should have made a determination as to the circumstance in which the alleged accusations were made, the methods that produced them, how many times Kayla was interviewed, who she disclosed the alleged abuse to, at what point the suspicion of abuse became crystalized, and if spontaneous allegations of abuse were initially present. No such determinations were ever made in my case. in the absence of physical evidence, the case rest promarily on results of the interviews and how they were obtained. No one concerned themselves with the context of Johnnys interrogation of Kayla. No one ever asked Kayla any common sence questions like: "did that really happen to you or are you just pretending? Did you see this happen or did someone tell you it happened? Are you sure this happened or are you telling a joke?". dispite the prosecutions best efforts, not one accusation from Kayla was proven to be giving freely and/or spontaneiously. The judge never held a hearing to determine if Kayla's statements were reliable, even though they did hold a competency hearing. All of this needs to be looked into.