Subornation of Perjury- Part 2: The Doubtful Testimony of the Marathon Sports Manager

So many lies have been told about the events of that day and that week. So many lies have been published, reported on and stated under oath about the Tsarnaevs. I am glad to be one of the group of awakened individuals continuing to challenge the lies about what happened at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

On September 3, 2016, I wrote Subornation of Perjury, a blog post examining the testimony of Bill Richard. After re-reading that of Shane O’Hara, manager of Marathon Sports in Boston, I must revisit this subject.

Shane O’Hara was the second person to testify at the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Marathon Sports is located at the site of the first alleged explosion – the one they hung on Tamerlan. At Dzhokhar’s trial, the judge forbade the defense from mentioning Tamerlan Tsarnaev and yet the government’s second witness testified of events alleged to have been committed by him, not Dzhokhar.

And now Dzhokhar is on death row, right where they wanted him.

With O’Hara’s testimony, the government introduced exhibits 6 thru 9. Two of those exhibits, #8 and #9, have never been made available to the public. Keep that in mind as we look at O’Hara’s testimony.

After verifying the usual pleasantries: “What’s your name?” “Where do you work?” What do you do there?” Attorney Weinreb asks:

Q: Were you working on Marathon Monday in 2013?

A: Yes, I was.

I realize this is stating the obvious, but Marathon Monday is THE day in question, the day the alleged bombs exploded at the 2013 Boston Marathon.  That’s why Weinreb led with a question to establish his witness was working in the store on THAT specific day.

Q: And do you remember when you and I met earlier, you looked at some pictures that had you in them?

A: Yes.

Weinreb: Okay, those were exhibit 6, exhibit 7, exhibit 8 and exhibit 9.

Q: Were those fair and accurate pictures of what it looked like outside the store AT THE TIME THAT THOSE PICTURES WERE TAKEN?

Did you catch that?

Why didn’t Weinreb ask if those exhibits were fair and accurate pictures of what it looked like outside the store on Marathon Monday in 2013 after he has just established this as the day in question?

At first, I suspected it was because the day in question, Marathon Monday 2013, and the time that those pictures were taken were two different days. If not, why make the distinction?

Then I asked myself: Is it possible for the subject of a photograph to look like anything other than what it looks like at the time it is photographed?

No it is not – unless the photo has been photoshopped.

I believe it is fair to say most people, especially those over a certain age, don’t look at a photo and wonder if it has been altered with photoshop – especially not when that photograph has been submitted into evidence in a court of law. Yet that is exactly what the ever-tricky Weinreb is asking O’Hara to testify to: that the photos have not been photoshopped – without ever using the term.

When you add together the fact that Weinreb asks O’Hara this question and the fact that two of the three exhibits the witness is questioned about have never been released, it tells me these exhibits and this testimony need closer scrutiny.

It is highly likely the photos never released to the public were altered with photoshop AND that the store surveillance video footage that became Exhibit 7 was created on a day OTHER than Marathon Monday.

The truth matters little to Weinreb; he and the rest of his team play to win.

Not that I think the members of the jury, were paying close attention to this testimony, having already heard Dzhokhar’s own lawyer proclaim “it was him.” Judy Clarke’s words, in direct conflict with her client’s, lulled any member of the jury who may have come to court determined to keep an open mind into fully accepting the fact of his guilt before a single piece of evidence could be offered.

From: The 10 Tell-Tale Signs Signs of Deception by Paul M. Clikeman, Ph.D, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner)

Linguistic text analysis involves studying the language, grammar and syntax a subject uses to describe an event to detect any anomalies. Experienced investigators are accustomed to studying interview subjects’ nonverbal behavior, such as eye contact and hand movement. Text analysis, on the other hand, considers only the subject’s verbal behavior. Because text analysis evaluates only the subject’s words, investigators can apply it to written as well as oral statements. In fact, many investigators prefer to analyze suspects’ written statements before conducting face-to-face interviews.

Text analysis is based on research originating in the 1970s. Psychologists and linguists studied the language and word choices of subjects in controlled experiments and found predictable differences between truthful and deceptive statements.

Of the 10 signs of deception explained in this article, these are the ones displayed by Shane O’Hara:

LACK OF SELF-REFERENCE: Truthful people make frequent use of the pronoun “I” to describe their actions. Deceptive people often use language that minimizes references to themselves. One way to reduce self-references is to describe events in the passive voice.

“The safe was left unlocked” rather than “I left the safe unlocked.”

“The shipment was authorized” rather than “I authorized the shipment.”

Another way to reduce self-references is to substitute the pronoun “you” for “I.”

VERB TENSE: Truthful people usually describe historical events in the past tense. Deceptive people sometimes refer to past events as if the events were occurring in the present. Describing past events using the present tense suggests that people are rehearsing the events in their mind. Investigators should pay particular attention to points in a narrative at which the speaker shifts to inappropriate present tense usage.

EQUIVOCATION: The subject avoids an interviewer’s questions by filling his or her statements with expressions of uncertainty, weak modifiers and vague expressions. Vague statements and expressions of uncertainty allow a deceptive person leeway to modify his or her assertions at a later date without directly contradicting the original statement.

Non-committal verbs are think, believe, guess, suppose, figure, assume.

Equivocating adjectives and adverbs are sort of, almost, mainly, perhaps, maybe, about.

Vague qualifiers are you might say, more or less.

Now, back to the testimony:

Weinreb asks O’Hara general questions immediately before and after introducing Exhibit 6 in court, eliciting straightforward answers from his witness:

Yes, I was. Yes. Yes, they were.

And  then:

Q. Okay. And you also remember looking at Exhibit 7 which was a surveillance video from the surveillance cameras in your store?

A. Uh-huh.

Weinreb: You have to say yes or no.

A. Yes.

Q. And was that also a fair and accurate depiction of what was going on inside the store at the time that video was taken?

A. Absolutely was.

There he goes again but this time Weinreb gives him a free pass on the “yes” or “no” rule. So O’Hara says that Exhibit 7 absolutely was a fair and accurate depiction of what was going on inside the store at the time that video was taken, NOT that the video was a fair and accurate depiction of what was going on inside the store on Marathon Monday 2013. That distinction is important but the defense and jury seem not to have noticed it.

Weinreb: Can we have Exhibit 6, please.

Q. So do you see that store called “Sugary Heaven?”

A. Yes, I do.

Q. And Marathon Sports, your store, just to the left.

A. Yes.

Q. And is that you standing in the doorway with your arms crossed?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. What are you doing in this picture?

A. Watching the runners.

As you might have guessed, that’s not his answer. But you expected that’s what he’d say so you believed it was his answer, right?

Keeping in mind the signs of deception, here’s what O’Hara said:

A. Basically I’m – the finish line is obviously just to the left of where I would be looking so I’m just watching some of the runners finishing, probably noting maybe the times that they’re coming in. Because I have to kind of go in and out, I can’t really hang out necessarily out there, so I just kind of guard the door a little bit.

Whoa, that’s a lot of words just to convey the fact that he was watching the runners while guarding the door. And guarding the door? Why?

To keep people out while video footage was being created in advance of the day it would be needed?

Q. How well do you remember the events of that day?

A. Very well.

Q. Did they make a strong impression on you?

A. It’s something I’ll never forget in my life.

Q. Have you thought about that day much since it happened?

A. Yes. Every day. 

Ok… so those would have been my answers if I’d been through a traumatic event like these crisis actors were claiming to have been through. Here are O’Hara’s answers:

Q. How well do you remember the events of that day?

A. I feel I remember them pretty – very well. Yeah. I wouldn’t be able to say that I remember exactly, but I remember it very well.

Q. Did they make a strong impression on you?

A. It would be something that you would think that you would never forget in your life.

Q. Have you thought about that day much since it happened?

A. We take our runners out and watch them run in the shoes that we’ve provided for them, so every day I do because I – every day you walk outside, you can – you are in that area.

Answering with language that minimizes reference to himself, suddenly switching from “I” to “you” when describing his actions at key moments, referring to past events as if they are occurring in the present, filling statements with weak modifiers and expressions of uncertainty… Shane O’Hara does it all while on the witness stand.

Let’s look at what he says about the alleged bomb.

Q. What’s the first thing you remember happening when the bombs exploded?

A. Probably (there’s that weak qualifier word again) the first thing I remember is the sound, turning and seeing the instant cloud of dust.

Did you catch that? Dust.

 

 

Q. What was the sound like?

A. To me, it reminded me as a kid playing with firecrackers. It was like a big canon sound.

Ok – there’s a big, BIG difference between the sound of a kid playing with firecrackers and a big canon sound.

Q. And you say that you saw smoke?

No, Weinreb, he said dust. Stop leading the witness.

A. Yes. (O’Hara realized his mistake and recovered quickly.)  Then:

Q. Was that outside the window of your store?

A. Completely engulfed the whole window.

Q. That’s fine. Did the blast shatter the window of the store?

I am amazed O’Hara had to be prompted to mention something as big as a picture window shattering. But what amazes me even more is that Weinreb says “That’s fine.”

That’s fine?” What is? Why on earth did he say that? He seems to be thinking out loud in my opinion. I’d be willing to bet O’Hara was supposed to say something else but when he didn’t, Weinreb decided the omission was fine, the testimony was OK without it – whatever “it” was.

I could continue to point out instances of what I see as obvious deception by Shane O’Hara, but honestly, reading transcripts becomes depressing after awhile when I remember a jury convicted and sentenced an innocent young man to death because of what people were willing to do and say, or not say, for money.

Clarke: No questions, your Honor.

The Court: No questions?

Shame on Clarke and the rest of the defense team for betraying their own client. Shame on those who urged Dzhokhar to agree to their representation when another legal option was available. And shame on all who are satisfied that justice was done with so much evidence to the contrary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Subornation of Perjury- Part 2: The Doubtful Testimony of the Marathon Sports Manager”

  1. Lynn, according to Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, Volume 4, during the reign of Good Queen Bess a person who suborned perjury was punished by having to stand in the pillory with both of his ears nailed to the pillory. Fancy that.
    Signed, Mary W Maxwell, author of Marathon Bombing: Indicting the Players. Ten bucks for the delicious paperback at Amazon, or free download from http://www.MaxwellForSenate.com

  2. Lynn, I find each of your interpretations plausible but not conclusive. I mean the phrase “at the time the pix were taken” COULD in fact mean Marathon Monday. (I realise you do not say they are conclusive; you are musing.)

    but the “That’s fine” does seem to me to be what you say it is. (Any lawyers reading this who think otherwise, please comment.) I think it’s a give-away. Like in your first Subornation of Perjury article when Richard doesn’t know how many years he’s been married. I think that’s a give-away.

    Signed, Mary Maxwell, current candidate for US senate in Alabama

  3. Good article Lynn! It really is astonishing what the evil criminals involved in this farce will do, and even more astonishing what so called normal ordinary people, including jurors will believe. It seems the sky is the limit. It makes me so sick to think about all the horrendous things that have been done to an innocent Dzhokhar. I just cant imagine how he copes with this level of injustice and all the suffering he has gone through.

    1. I have to assume the pressure on the jurors was tremendous because they were the last possibility for the whole thing to fall apart if Dzhokhar were found innocent and freed to tell the truth. I believe somewhere in strategic positions are people who know the truth about Boston and are just waiting to hear from the Lord what to do about it because they want to expose it.

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