Tag Archives: fire

Most of the Great People I Met in Orlando Were Cops

Police officers across the country have received a lot of negative attention in the press in recent months, but I’m not going to add to it here. Why? Because I met some of the most interesting and dedicated people in the world Monday and Tuesday in Orlando, and most of them were law enforcement professionals of one type or another.

Chad Jeansonne (center) received the 2014 James L. Chapman Award for Excellence Tuesday from the National Association of Computer Voice Stress Analysts. Shown with him are previous award recipients Marigo Stathis and Bob McCarty.

Chad Jeansonne (center) received the 2014 James L. Chapman Award for Excellence Tuesday from the National Association of Computer Voice Stress Analysts. Shown with him are previous award recipients Marigo Stathis and Bob McCarty.

I met approximately 80 of them after traveling to the Central Florida city to speak Tuesday afternoon during the 2015 CVSA Advanced Examiners Conference at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Most represented law enforcement, corrections and other agencies from across the United States as well as Canada, Mexico and a handful of other countries, but all were familiar with the non-polygraph credibility assessment technology known as the Computer Voice Stress Analyzer — or CVSA. Why? Because they are experts in conducting CVSA exams as part of criminal investigations, pre-employment screenings and efforts to monitor certain types of parolees, including sex offenders.

After I spoke for about 45 minutes on the CVSA-related subject matter of my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo (May 2013), I think they learned even more.

Following my presentation, one CVSA examiner received an award.

Bunkie (La.) Police Detective Chad Jeansonne received the 2014 Professor James L. Chapman Award for Excellence from the National Association of Computer Voice Stress Analysts. Named after a man recognized as the world’s foremost expert on the use of voice stress analysis before he passed away unexpectedly in April 2012, the award is given annual to an individual recognized for “Excellence in Research and Contributing to the Worldwide Body of Knowledge Concerning Voice Stress Analysis.”

In the photo above, Detective Jeansonne is flanked by yours truly and by Marigo Stathis, the neuroscientist from Baltimore who worked with Professor Chapman to complete his groundbreaking CVSA study shortly before he died.

Jeansonne is one of the many CVSA examiners I interviewed by phone during the four-year investigation that preceded the book’s release, so meeting him in person was nice.

In addition to Jeansonne, however, I also met several other individuals in person for the first time after interviewing them years earlier about their experiences as CVSA examiners. They included: Mike DeFrancisco, a fire/arson investigator from Columbus, Ohio; Bill Endler, one of the most-experienced CVSA examiners and instructors in the world; and Stathis.

Among the many others I met were two Canadians, Don Wiebe, one of the world’s leading interview and interrogation experts, and his business partner Bob Wall, a highly-decorated interview and interrogation expert with more than 30 years experience. I also Mike McQuillan, a retired Prince George’s County, Md., homicide detective who now serves as a CVSA instructor.

Of course, there were others. At the end of my two-day tripe, however, I can assure you I will share many more CVSA-related stories in the not-too-distant future, thanks largely to the folks named above. So stay tuned!

The only downside of the Orlando trip involved returning to the St. Louis area this morning to find the temperature in low double-digits.

Weather Comparison 1-7-2015

Returning to the St. Louis area from Orlando required getting used to what felt like a 71-degree difference in temperatures.

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UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:23 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

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Click on image above to order Bob's books.

B Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Ferguson Pizza Shop Owners Suffer Third Major Disaster — GoFundMe Account Established to Help Family Recover

If you read the KSDK.com story published this morning about an apparent arson fire that destroyed a Little Caesar’s Pizza in Ferguson, you know the fire came some three and a half years after the same building suffered severe damage caused by a tornado. But there’s more to this story that the St. Louis television news outlet did not report.

For Doyle and Joy Beck, owners of the long-established Ferguson business who also own a Little Caesars at 3100 Godfrey Road in Godfrey, Ill., the fire and tornado stand as Parts 1 and 3 of a real-life drama in which they never wanted starring roles. In between the twister and last night’s fire, Part 2 of their drama came ten months ago when their family home burned down. According to a local news report, a heat lamp that was providing warmth to the Becks’ two dogs, being kept in the family’s garage due to extremely cold weather, was blamed for sparking the blaze.

Though the Becks lost two dogs and a cat in the fire that destroyed their home, they and their four children have managed to escape injury each time disaster struck. Now, presumably, they face yet another decision about whether they will rebuild and/or reopen. Here’s to hoping they recover soon.

Attempts to reach the Beck family during this time were unsuccessful.

UPDATE Nov. 26, 2014, at 8:45 a.m. Central:  A GoFundMe Account has been set up to help the Beck family. Click here to donate.

UPDATE Nov. 26, 2014, at 2:15 p.m. Central:  Justin Beck, the son of Doyle and Joy Beck, is quoted in a USA TODAY article. Read it! You’ll like what he has to say.

UPDATE Nov. 26, 2014, at 6:19 p.m. Central:  The Wall Street Journal (subscription) is carrying the story.

UPDATE Nov. 29, 2014, at 7:31 a.m. Central:  When you read the latest update at the GoFundMe site, you’ll find out 13 employees — several of whom have small children — were affected by the loss of their store. Please help today!

UPDATE Dec. 1, 2014, at 8:15 p.m. Central:  You’ve contributed $4,447 as of this posting.  Thanks!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.