Police alter tape evidence:

while the Courts protect them.

For best results use a Computer / Web Browser with the capability to play .WAV files.

Almost as bad as the police altering this tape evidence, is the fact that the courts, Police Internal Affairs, and Deputy District Attorneys (even a DA that specialized in accusations of police abuse) all look at it as "No big deal" and not worthy of their time or their staff's time to investigate these allegations. In essence, the system sees the police officer who alters evidence to get the "Bad guy", as simply creatively doing his job, and the fact that a conviction (a "no contest" plea) was obtained from it, proves this tactic works.

A note on authenticity: A partial set (ie. missing the first phone call) of transcripts of the altered tapes is on file with the clerk of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County under court case # 139218. These were presented in our "Writ of Err Corum Nobis" motion in January 1992. A complete set of transcripts (and more accurate) is being held by my attorney, Daniel Mayfield whose office is at 730 N. First St., San Jose CA 95112. A complete set of the copies of the official evidence tapes is also being held to protect their evidentiary value. Also, for a modest fee, a sworn statement as to the authenticity of the sound snippets presented here and of their locations within the evidence tapes, is available upon request.

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Background: the extent of editing done by police

While in jail, and working through my public defender John Vaughn, it was obvious that at lease one important piece of the conversation between me and "Barbara" had been removed from the evidence tapes: that portion where she blatantly solicited sex with a ten year old boy living at my household, from me and where I adamantly refused. The public defender and I came to the conclusion that she must have turned off the tape recorder before making that statement, and then turned it back on later. He further said that we might not be able to prove that portions of the conversations were missing.

His statement would have been true, if all that was done was to remove a few key phrases, but the more edits that were made by police the more likely they made a mistake. My public defender had "forgotten" to mention that I could listen to those tapes. When I did finally listen to them in March of 1991 while preparing for my appeal, it took only a few hours to realize the extent of the edits that had been done by police. Except for a twenty five minute dissertation I give on the first tape where I talk about my libertarian principles, which seems untouched, in the five hours of total taped conversation, the average is about one major edit every five minutes with many of the edits being the moving of conversation from one phone call to another.

I now know that "Barbara" had called me on the morning of Saturday March 3rd, 1990 (that call ending a little before 7:37 am). That phone call officially did not occur, but portions of me talking during that call were used to replace her talking on the other tapes, to make her sound like she was just a passive listener instead of having driven the conversation as she had.

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Writ of Err Corum Nobis:

trying to get the original tapes for analysis

It took me awhile to get the money that my attorney wanted up front, but finally in January of 1992 he submitted a "Writ of Err Corum Nobis" (notice of a serious error in facts) requesting that we be allowed to have the original tape evidence analyzed by a forensic tape expert. The motion was made to the Santa Clara County Superior Court, Judge Creed presiding. Because Officer Brenda (Wells) Herbert had made a sworn statement that she had not altered the tapes [See Sworn Misstatements], and since we had not submitted positive proof, the motion was denied.

We then appealed that court decision which took another year. The Appellate court reaffirmed the right of the Superior court to refuse to release the original tapes for analysis by a court approved tape forensic expert. So much for our courts going out of their way to prevent the illusion of impropriety in our "Justice" system.

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Catch-22: courts protect police that alter tape evidence

Judge Creed of the Santa Clara County Superior Court, had come up through the ranks as a police officer apparently knowing what police officers sometimes "have" to do. He had a standing order in the courts, that all requests for originals of tape evidence had to go through him. And before he would allow their release, he in effect required proof that there were alterations. He had in effect, established a "Catch-22".

The most convincing physical proof of tape editing is the start and stop marks left on the tape by the record head during editing. Making a copy of the edited tape, however, removes much of this proof. Many times the only proof left after copying is that you might still be able to prove that a tape, that is supposed to be an original, is actually a copy. But since you only had a known copy to analyze, that information would be useless.

All the Tape Forensic Experts -- whose testimony is accepted in courts --, refuse to testify about anything but un-refutable evidence (perhaps to keep their status as court qualified experts). The best I could get out of one forensic expert was a double negative: "The sound on the tape is not inconsistent with editing" (but there might be some other way it could have been produced). Useless in a court of law.

All that would be required of someone that is altering tape evidence, is to know a little about what the forensic expert looks for when analyzing tapes, plus assurance that the "originals" won't be analyzed, and there is little chance of being caught at it.

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Examples of Edits in tape evidence:

police make both good and sloppy edits.

The following snippet of tape recording was taken from the evidence tape supposedly of March 7, 1990. I believe this is where "Barbara" solicited sex with the ten year old boy, from me and where I adamantly refused. On the next phone call, she soft peddled her solicitation ("sometime in the future, if the boy ever shows an interest, etc.") to which I gave a more favorable response ("I wouldn't rule it out."). That response was placed after the original question. Because of the poor quality of this edit, it may have been done by Officer Brenda (Wells) Herbert herself without the knowledge of her team/department that was doing more professional edits.

Apparently the actual edit click, was covered up with a huge glitch (fingernail on microphone?). The entire edited tape was also probably later cleaned up professionally (ie, filtered) when they figured out that I was going to get a copy. A forensic tape expert examining my copy claimed it was "acoustic" and not proof of an edit.

J} ... when he's over here, anyway..

B} (*Glitch*) (?who-are-you?)

J} Not.. not for doing anything.

B} Oooooh.

 

Background Music:

During the March 8th phone call I put on a CD and gave it's name, (Kitaro - Silk Road I). I then turned up the volume so that people outside my room would not be able to hear what I was saying on the phone; it was so loud that I had trouble understanding "Barbara" myself.

Even still there were many edits on this tape. These edits probably required more sophisticated equipment/ expertise because of the background music. This expertise was probably supplied by the US Postal Inspection Service. Apparently, in the areas where these edits were made, the background music was first removed, the edits made, and then the music replaced (either from the original tape, or from their own CD) at a much lower volume.

The computer program that would remove the background sounds would de-emphasize sounds below a certain amplitude, and reinforce sounds above that threshold. Apparently in the following evidence snippet, several musical notes of the original background music made it past that threshold to be emphasized as if it were a foreground sound. Those notes were then missed in a manual check. They are substantially louder than the "official" tapes background music and also out of place.

J} (chuckle)[** 2 tones, 430 Hz & 377 Hz**]

B} Tell me.

 

Rumblings:

Another sound that seems to be from the original background music that made it through the filtering but with a lot of distortion, is the following rustling/drumming sound:

J} ... about the ah .. um.. (**drumming**) ah.. adultery thing,

That drumming apparently came from another place on that CD (Kitaro - Silk Road I, track 8 ) that was playing in the background but at least eighteen minutes out of place. There is no drumming on that CD corresponding with time of the drumming on the tape (6 min. 8 sec into CD).

Admittedly the volume of the background music will vary considerably depending on the direction that the telephone microphone is pointed, however at a point in the evidence tape some 24 minutes 30 seconds after I put on that CD, when that track 8, with its drumming, should be playing in the background, nothing can be hear during a pause in "Barbara's" talking.

 

The plot of "The Missionary":

This is an edit of the tape of Thursday March 8th that would be obvious to anyone who knows me. I was excited about telling "Barbara" about the video "The Missionary". No way would I have changed the subject without telling her at least a little about the plot. My memory of this is that she forced a change in subject; on the edited tape they have me changing the subject.

Incidentally in the video, the missionary is sent into London to "save" fallen women -- prostitutes -- and ends up running a home for teenage girls who show their appreciation to him with sex; when the church excommunicates the missionary and he loses his funding, the girls return to the streets to earn the money to keep the place going.

J} ...Oh, y'know, there's a good video which ah.. is one of my favorite kind. It just.. it touches on some of the things. Have you ever seen The Missonary ?

B} Unk, un.

J} Auh.. It's great ! Ah.. it's ah legitimate video, y'know, you can go down and rent it.

B} What's it about ? (** Voice over, with background voice {me} at wrong speed; **)

J} Can I.. can I ask you what city you're in, by the way.

B} Oh, do I have to tell you everything ?

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One High Stress talk with trembling voice:

Pieces show up spread all around phone call.

A number of the edited and moved conversation segments that showed up on the evidence tape supposedly of March 7th can all be traced back to a single 5 minute extremely high stress portion of conversation where my voice was quite noticeably trembling. Except for that one conversation and a twenty minute serious discussion of my philosophical values on the first phone call (February 23rd) literally all the rest of the phone conversation with "Barbara" was low stress, light and fun fantasy /"Gee it would be nice" sex talk.

For the listener not familiar with my normal voice, the effect you should listen for is similar to what would result from patting your chest (approximately 4 pats per second) while talking. In the .WAV files presented, I try to include some of my normal voice for comparison from before or after each edit.

 

Background, leading up to high stress conversation:

The entrapment scam was designed to make the victim believe that he had at long last found a "soul mate" that would accept him warts and all; someone that he should try to hold on to at all costs. The undercover policewoman would then start going weirder and weirder, seeing how far she could get the victim to go along with her.

Following this agenda , "Barbara" had gotten pretty pushy with her requests for fantasies concerning the 10 year old boy (let's call him Timothy) living at my residence. Eventually, she blatantly solicited sex with Timothy from me, to which I adamantly refused (all of this removed from the evidence tapes). On a subsequent call she soft peddled her request by saying that she had meant sometime (years ?) in the future if Timothy ever showed an interest.

I had convinced her that any sexual contact between her and Timothy should be initiated by him and be at a level that he was comfortable with. I of course knew that this would effectively put off any possibility of such an encounter years away. "Barbara", however, wanted me to demonstrate my willingness to at least work toward that end. Together we came up with a plan that she considered an absolute minimum demonstration of my willingness to go along with her ideas. She made it quite clear that if I failed in this demonstration, that there was not any reason for her to even continue the phone calls with me, much less ever meet with me.

The plan was for me to set up a series of private "man to man" talks between myself and Timothy, starting with an explanation of what "adultery" was (he knew about the Ten Commandments, and had asked me to explain this), and leading into an explanation of how adults give each other "sexual pleasure". Later I was to suggest to him that if he wanted to personally experience these things that I could arraign a meeting between him and "Barbara".

During these talks I was also supposed to get a closer bond with Timothy through hugs and non-sexual body rubs.

The first private talk was to take place the following evening after everyone was asleep. I was to sneak into Timothy's bedroom and wake him up. As I was trying this (by touching/shaking only his shoulder), the moment that he started to wake up, it finally hit me just how totally inappropriate this whole plan was, since I was not his father. I quickly left his room, closed his door, and returned to my room.

Unfortunately, Timothy continued to awaken and had heard his door close. He started calling for his mom over and over and asking who was there. I was sure that his mom would quickly respond, and that she would figure out that I had been in her boy's room in the middle of the night. I knew that she would be totally justified in demanding my immediate eviction from her property. Instead, after several minutes with his mom not responding, I returned to outside Timothy's closed door and reassured him that it was only me, and that he should go back to sleep.

The whole next day I waited for the inevitable to happen, that Timothy would tell his mom that I had been in his room in the middle of the night, that she would confront me, and that I would be evicted. Somehow, it never happened.

 

The conversation with Trembling / Shaking Voice:

Eventually, "Barbara" called again. I knew that I would have to tell her that I not only had failed to go through the minimum acceptable plan that we had developed, but that I would refuse to try it again. I further knew that I had to demand that she drop this fantasy/desire talk concerning Timothy. In short I knew that what I had to tell her would make her decide never to call me again and never to meet me.

I was so stressed out from this "No-Win" situation that I was actually shaking uncontrollably; I could even hear the trembling in my own voice as I was speaking (approx. 8 cycle/sec. modulation of my voice).

I started this conversation by asking to be excused to close my door in order to insure privacy (it was possible that Timothy's mom might come home unannounced and overhear me talking on the phone about having gone into her son's room in the middle of the night). I then went into the details of what had happened the previous night -- with my voice shaking.

J} So, cause I thought surly he had mentioned it to his mom that I had been in his room at three in the morning.

I calmed down only after I began to realize that "Barbara" was not going to chastise me for my failure and for my insistence on her dropping the talk about Timothy.

 

The Edits: how they moved segments

The segment where I ask to be excused to close the door, was moved to a place 10 minutes later on the same tape (of March 7th) during a low stress portion of conversation where I am turning on my computer to input her statistics. (Note: I now know the computer turning on was taken from a March 3rd phone call).

J} Yea.. wait.. let me.. hold on.

B} Is this going to help you fantasize better ?

J} Yea, (chuckle) just a second, (*sound of computer/printer being turned on*)

B} You put this in your computer ?

J} Yea, hold on..(** note sudden quiver in voice, this line and next J} line below **)

B} Oh, come on..

J} Now just a second, hold on, (*click*) let me ah.. let me close the door first.

B} O.. Ok..

They also interleaved segments from the beginning of the conversation where my voice was trembling, with later conversation (where my voice was no longer trembling), to make the trembling less noticeable.

J} (*Trembling*)Yea.. m.. my.. way.. ah.. I just.. By the way I didn't want to go and.. (*Not Trembling*) Ah, are you at home now.

B} Yep.

 

In addition...

to moving the segments where my voice was trembling, they also moved my explanation of what I intended to do when I went into Timothy's room, from probably March 5th, to a date (March 8th) after I had gone in. This accomplished two objectives for them. First, it left the entry into his room without explanation so that a jury would believe that my intention was to molest Timothy; and second, to make it sound like I intended to go in again.

This point was one of the main inconsistencies of the tapes that was brought up in our Writ of Corm Nobis motion in January of 1992. It didn't make sense that I would talk about how it would be "relatively safe" to sneak into his room a second time after I had come so close to being caught the first time.

As you listen to this next sound snippet notice that I am talking about what I might do in the future (actually taken from our discussion formulating our "minimum acceptable demonstration" plan) while "Barbara" tries to pressure me into including sexual rubbing during the first up-coming private talk with Timothy (note that she uses a tense of speech that works for both past and future, apparently knowing it would be moved). At the end of this sound clip, "Barbara" (ie. Officer Brenda Herbert) provided a voice over ("Now is this what you did the other night") to make the sound segment fit in better within this phone call that occurred after I had gone in. Also note that while I was supposed to awaken him with affectionate (though non-sexual) rubbing, I chickened out and only shook his shoulder, so this is NOT "what I did the other night" but rather what I was intending to do on that night in the future.

[taken from March 8th evidence tape; note this is a 1/2 meg sound file that could take a while to load]

J} y'know, in what could be a honest..

B} Where ? Where do you rub him ?

J} Yea, I mean like on y'know, over his back or something, but I.. I was thinking also with him having blankets on (B}Un huh) that it would be relatively um.. relatively safe to have ah.. to where I would actually rub him even when he's face upwards, y'know, on.. on.. on over um.. his blankets y'know, still over.. (*Click, click*) (B}Uh huh) but anyway..

B} Uh huh, How ah.. well when you're doing this rubbing how far down do you go ?

J} No, I was.. Oh, y'know, down to his.. his bottom.

B} His bottom ?

J} Well, y'know I mean, to his.. y'know when he's on the back y'know, down to his ah.. y'know to his.. to his buttocks, y'know.

B} What.. Now, is this what you did the other night when you went in there ? (***Voice Over***)

J} Yea, right. (*** Doctored response ***)

 

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Big Mistake in Editing:

Police choose the wrong call to eliminate.

San Jose Police took one of the calls between myself and "Barbara", pretended it didn't occur, then used portions of my talking during that call to cover up (replace) much of "Barbara's" talking on the other tapes (while keeping those tapes the same duration). This was done in order to make her sound like she was only a passive listener instead of having driven the conversations.

The official calls were on February 23rd, March 5th, March 7th, and March 8th of 1990 (there also was a 4 minute call on the 9th, confirming the meeting).

The call they eliminated was one on the morning of Saturday March 3rd, 1990. During this call I turn on my computer with the intent of inputting "Barbara's" statistics (ie. height, color hair, etc.) into some file. She tells me not to put these into my computer, but since my computer is in the middle of its "boot-up" sequence I have to allow it to finish (turning off the computer during disk accesses could destroy data). This takes about 40 seconds.

While this is going on, I am talking to "Barbara" on the phone while looking for a pen or pencil and can't find one near by. So I decide to go ahead anyway and use the computer.

This whole episode stuck in my mind because what was supposed to be a trivial exercise suddenly became an impossible frustration. My computer, at the end of the "boot-up" sequence, automatically jumped into a disk "Back-up" program. I had about one second to press a key to prevent this, but since my attention was on my talking to "Barbara" I had hit the key too late. That key was accepted instead by the "Back-up" program to where it was asking for the first diskette to be inserted into the floppy drive. It wouldn't let me escape out, so in total frustration, I turned off the computer with no way to record "Barbara's" statistics. At the end of the call with "Barbara" I turn my computer back on, and allow it to actually perform the back-up of my hard-drive to diskettes.

That sequence, with me turning on the computer, showed up on the evidence tape of Wednesday, March 7th.

In June of 1995 when the San Jose Police finally returned my computer that they had been holding since March of 1990. On my computer were two important pieces of data. First, the data file used by the "Boot-up Scheduler" program that I had written, confirmed that disk drive backups were scheduled every Saturday, and the "Back-Up" program's history list showed that its last backup had been performed at 7:37am on March 3rd, 1990. This would have corresponded with the end of that phone call.

This snippet taken from about eighteen minutes into the evidence tape of supposedly March 7th, actually has two pieces of evidence showing that its an edit. The first is me turning on the computer which I know happened on March 3rd, this was a low stress conversation, asking about the color of her hair; the second is that immediately following this, where I say I'm going to close the door -- with my voice quivering -- This line was taken from the beginning of a very high stress portion of the conversation where I was actually shaking, some ten minutes earlier on the tape (I was closing the door to insure privacy before that conversation).

J} Yea.. wait.. let me.. hold on.

B} Is this going to help you fantasize better ?

J} Yea, (chuckle) just a second, (*sound of computer/printer being turned on*)

B} You put this in your computer ?

J} Yea, hold on..(** note sudden quiver in voice, this line and next J} line below **)

B} Oh, come on..

J} Now just a second, hold on, (*click*) let me ah.. let me close the door first.

B} O.. Ok..

  

Another misplaced portion of conversation, that I now know came from this missing phone call on March 3rd, was a sentence I spoke that showed up on the March 8th evidence tape.

J} trying.. trying to get ah.. some of the things, I'm trying to remember the things that I've thought about, since the last time I talked to you, and (*Glitch*) ah..

I remember having said this when it had been about a week since I had talked to "Barbara" last (Feb. 23rd to March 3rd). But they put it into a tape of a phone call of March 8th where I had talked to her the evening before (March 7th).

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Audio Spectrum Analysis program:

View of Win_FFT.exe

The MS Windows program that I used to analyze much of the tape evidence, is of my own making. I designed it to provide audio spectrum information about sound files so that I could analyze copies of the evidence tapes and also so that I could perform searches for specific tones, but it is of marketable quality. It is a program that will run under Windows (98 and newer). It allows the playing of small segments of large sound files (.Wav files, uncompressed), and displays both the time waveform and the audio spectrum of those small segments. The program performs 2048 point FFT's, producing 1024 point audio spectrum graphs from zero to half the sample frequency (typically 22 kHz).

Since you have taken the time to look into this web-site this far, you may acquire a FREE copy of this program (donations are encouraged but not required). Contact me through E-mail or snail mail at the address below. Include your full name and city/state of residence.

With this program you will be able to analyze the sound snippets included with this web site.

E-mail address of John Webster: <jwebster@ix.netcom.com>

{Zipped program will be returned as an attachment with return e-mail}

Snail mail address:

John Webster
809-B Cuesta Dr #167
Mountain View, CA 94040

{Include $1 to cover postage and the cost of a diskette}

{Zipped program will be on a HD 3 1 /2" diskette included with return mail}

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