Let's talk about those five w's

The Silence is Deafening

on April 22, 2012

When I was a teenager and had done something wrong, I often used one of two tactics to defer or lessen punishment.

The first tactic was to talk too much. I thought that if I engaged my mother in lively, nonstop conversation, that she wouldn’t have the opportunity to get a word in edgewise, let alone about whatever it was that I might have done.

The second tactic was to remain silent. When she would ask me about certain things, most likely trying to pin down what it was that I was hiding, then back me into a corner, I would answer with the least amount of information possible to satisfy the question at hand.

What I discovered was that an overabundance of talk created a situation where I had to lie or deceive to a greater extent than I really wanted to. Sure, I didn’t want her to know that I had skipped school, but I didn’t want to make up all kinds of other things in order to cover up the fact either. It just made things worse in the end. Plus, she began to recognize it as my “tell.” She’d zero in on inconsistencies like a CSI and suddenly there was nowhere my mouth could take me. I was stuck with what I’d said and it became a constant battle of lying to stay ahead of her questions.

When I look at the DiPietro family, I can see myself – slinking home from my friend’s house on Sunday afternoon, knowing full-well that I’ve done something but hoping that the right questions aren’t asked and I’m not forced to answer them.

The public asks: “How much blood was found?”

The MSP answer: “We can’t get into that, but some of it was Ayla’s.”

The Reynold’s family answers: “We were told before the vigil that it was ‘more than a small cut would produce’ and after the same vigil that it was ‘more than a cupful’.”

Justin answers: “I don’t know.”

Phoebe, Elisha, and Courtney answer: Well, they didn’t actually.

When not asked, Heidi Tudela answers: “Three small dots.”

This is a perfect example of deliberately not answering something that is of great importance because any answer given is going to create more answers or back you into a corner.

If Justin were to answer: “They told me it was more than a cupful.” The next logical question would be: “How do you explain that?”

Well, he can’t. Because if this is truly the case, the answer will implicate him in something that he is desperately trying to remain clear of.

Their silence is deafening.

Phoebe isn’t talking because the last time she opened her mouth, she put eight feet in it. Her’s, Justin’s, Elisha’, and Courtney’s. She started the silence ball rolling. It’s debatable whether or not they would have remained so mum if she hadn’t royally screwed up during that CNN interview. They saw first-hand what kind of backlash it created and realized that the public was hanging on their every word.

Justin only talks in generalities. He “doesn’t know.” He can’t say anything right now because “it’s not the right time.” When asked a direct question, he responds with an answer that doesn’t address the question, but evades it. I can’t think of the interview right now, but there was one in particular where he was asked a very specific question that would have required a very specific answer, but what he responded with was completely off topic. It was very disappointing and bolsters fears that he is indeed involved in something other than a simple “kidnapping.”

Elisha… The biggest thing we’ve heard from her is that one of the investigators she spoke with told her that they think she is telling the truth. I remember watching hours of Casey Anthony interviews and saw the same technique. Initially, law enforcement personnel coaxed her into a false sense of security. Sure Casey, we believe you. Tell us more. (Sink yourself) Uhuh, uhuh. So it was Zanny? Go on… Elisha wants us to believe that she’s telling the whole truth and nothing but the whole truth based on her statement that one of the investigators she spoke with said during an interview that they told her that they thought she was telling the truth. Is she trying to convince herself?

Courtney has been rumored to have authored or at least given the inspiration for some blog posts that were written describing events leading up the 911 call. She has appeared on some social networking pages. But beyond that, she has said nothing in her own defense. Nothing in Justin’s defense. Nothing in Elisha’s or Lance’s or Phoebe’s defense.

And I think this is the most important part of this silence. They appear to be deliberately avoiding defending themselves. Not that they have to necessarily, but if you have nothing to hide, why not clarify certain things so that your public opinion meter rises up a little bit. People who are innocent shout it from the rooftops. They don’t avoid this, they can’t help but do it. Who wants to sit back and accept it? No one.

A person’s first reaction, when they are innocent, is to speak up. It’s human nature. Almost instinctive.

We don’t hide in the shadows and hope that alternative conclusions are come up with. Nor do we allow others to do the talking for us. When we let others be our mouthpieces, the only thing to gain is that if something is misstated, we can then claim that those weren’t our words.


I ate the last cookie. Mom asks me and my sister who did it. I say nothing. My sister proclaims her innocence.

Who does my mother zero in on? Me.

Why? Because I didn’t speak up for myself. My silence told her what my words didn’t.

Another example:

I ate the last cookie. Mom asks me and my two siblings who did it. I say nothing. One of my sister’s proclaims her innocence. The other sister tells mom that it wasn’t her and it wasn’t me.

Who does my mother zero in on? Me.

Why? Because I didn’t speak up for myself. She now suspects my other sister too, because her speaking up for me implicates her as well. She assumes that I took the last cookie and split it with her. Or, at the very least that I took the cookie and she knew about it.

Justin, where is the cookie?


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