Child witnesses

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Interviewing children is tricky. There are clear government guidelines how it should be done by people with specialist training.

However, it turned out that it was Anneli Auer’s brother Ari Auer together with his wife Minna Auer, who interviewed Anneli’s smallest three children on video several times after Anneli was suddenly acquitted by Appeals Court and released from prison in spring 2011.

These home videos Ari Auer handed over to the prosecutor Jarmo Valkama in August 2011 as new evidence in the Ulvila murder case. He had the whole summer to rehearse the stories with the children. In the meanwhile Anneli was prevented from having contact with her children. Her brother took the children for a long sailing trip, far away from their mother. This way the government guidelines were bypassed altogether. How did the authorities let this happen?

Anneli’s traumatised children eagerly tell horror stories about their mother and their older sister to their uncle. Nearly five year’s after the murder of their dad, the children claim that their mother killed farther together with their 9-year-old sister, and that it was all pre-planned. They tell that their mother had made them to write 666 on the wall with their dead dad’s blood and ashes. They tell that they used to have to do animal sacrifices on Sundays, killing and torturing cats, mice and birds. They tell anything to anyone willing to listen, to make sure that they do not need to go back to their mother, whom they are very, very scared of. How did the authorities let this happen?

Well, the children were lucky, because there has been an army of people listening, and believing their stories. Some of them call themselves experts in the field. Other experts disagree. The one’s that disagree have actually got the training and experience to say so.

Here comedian Jimmy Kimmel as Officer Jimmy, the Lie Detective, interviews a child using a self-made lie detector.

We must note that this child witness is not scared of anything or anyone. Therefore his stories are quite entertaining compared to the stories that Anneli’s youngest three came up with.

I can’t say whether the pink Truth Fairy in the video clip would represent the social services, or the “kind and understanding” psychologist, involved in interviewing Anneli’s children by the authorities at a later date. What I can say is, that the whole case is an embarrassment for the Finnish legal system, when fabricated stories of Satanic rituals and rape are used as evidence behind closed doors, and the prosecutors bring religious secret witnesses in the court room, who believe in the existence of Satan.

What is the point of issuing any government guidelines about interviewing children, if they are not adhered to? Once the children have been allowed to create untrue stories in their minds, those will become false memories mixed with memories of true events. The credibility of the stories is now zero, and yet there are adults willing to believe anything and everything the children come up with.

The Supreme Court in Finland referred the Ulvila murder case back to the District Court last year, because the prosecution had presented thousands of pages of new evidence based on the children’s stories. The proceedings start again in August this year.

The Pori District Court was going to publish some of the children’s stories last week, but the prosecutor and the lawyer representing the children prevented it by appealing against the decision. I am guessing that the District Court would have published the parts of the stories that did not contain porn, like the stories of Satanic rituals.

It is paramount that the public can see for themselves how these stories came about. The children’s mother has been publicly accused of sexually abusing her own children, and a 9-year-old child has been accused of been part of the murder of her own farther. It is very important to find out what did actually happen, and what did NOT happen. Three people stand accused of horrific acts, and their reputations should be protected from false accusations, especially when there is no supporting evidence to the claims, nor supporting witnesses. Four other children, who were claimed to be present when the alleged abuse took place, deny that the stories are true.

It is very important for the three little accusers, too, that the truth of the matters comes out. It is too big of a burden for them to carry for the rest of their lives, that innocent people, one being their own mother, have been put into prison with long sentences, only because of their fearful fantasy stories. When the children grow up they will be able to tell who, or what, made them to tell these stories. It is the responsibility of authorities to get their stories right, so that innocent people do not have to suffer, and the children do not have to suffer either. It is time for the real Truth Fairy to sort it out.

Timeline in the incredible murder mystery of Ulvila in Finland:

…story continues from the previous post…if you are first time reader start from down below from the first post…

14 April 2010, The court proceedings start in the District Court against Anneli Auer. She is accused of killing her husband while having a row with him, and then setting the scene to make it look as though an outside intruder had committed the crime.

22 June 2010, Anneli Auer receives a guilty verdict in the District Court by the judges votes 2-1. One of the judges felt that Anneli was not able to kill her husband during the emergency call, hide the evidence, and also clean herself of blood in the short time of two minutes before the police arrived. Anneli Auer is sent to a psychiatric evaluation against her own wishes.

03 November 2010, Anneli Auer receives a good evaluation of her mental stability.

– My brother had also been interviewed by the police earlier about Anneli’s character, but the police hid his statement from the defence team. My brother had told the police that in his opinion Anneli was a devoting mother, a socially shy person, and in his opinion, would have been unable to commit such a brutal crime. My brother dated Anneli for six months, and in this time the thought of Anneli as the killer never crossed his mind. I strongly believe that my brother would have sensed if there was anything wrong with Anneli.

12 November 2010, Anneli Auer receives her sentence “to life in prison”.

25 May 2011, The Court of Appeal frees Anneli Auer to wait for the verdict.

– What happened next was beyond the imagination of anyone…except three little fearful and confused children, who by now were scared of their mother…and the sick fantasies of the ruthless prosecutors and Satakunta police, who want to nail Anneli for the murder of her husband, no matter what.

1 July 2011, The Court of Appeal acquits Anneli Auer, but the prosecutors plan to appeal to the Supreme Court. They are given 60 days to do so, but first the prosecutor Valkama takes his annual leave until 1 August.

A month later…the prosecutor Valkama comes back to work from his holidays, and receives a pleasant surprise first thing in the morning.

1 August 2011, The brother of Anneli, who has had the custody of her youngest three children while she was in prison, apparently contacts the prosecutor Jarmo Valkama with new evidence derived from Anneli’s youngest children. Anneli’s brother and his wife had prevented Anneli from seeing her children after she was released from prison by taking the children for a long sailing trip, where they video recorded children’s horror stories about their mother for the prosecutor.

15 August 2011, The police starts eagerly interviewing the youngest three children on video, and manages to extract even wilder stories out of them. The stories progress from Satanic rituals, animal torture and animal killings to the events of the night of the murder nearly five years earlier, when all the youngest children had stayed in their beds behind closed doors. They were 7, 4 and 2 year’s old at the time of the murder, and had been unable to tell anything to the police of the events that took place at their home back in 2006.

Usually a person’s memory of events fades, but miraculously the children’s memories became clearer each time they were interviewed. It was only in their last interview that they suddenly remembered an important detail to add in their account of the events. “By the way, I’ve got something important to add and it involves Anneli’s boyfriend” said the little boy meaning my brother, and then started the horrible stories of sex abuse. Note also how the little boy addresses his biological mum by her first name.

Now the very lucky prosecutors had a brand new testimony from the youngest children, a story of a brutal murder carefully planned by their mother and their then 9-year-old sister, – a murder, which the mother and sister had apparently also pre-recorded together, before calling the emergency services. In this new testimony one of the youngest children had heard whispering, and clicking sounds from a tape recorder. He had also seen mother and sister in action, – or perhaps he just heard it behind his bedroom door his head tucked under the pillow? – using a shield made out of wooden blanks and towels to protect themselves from the blood stains.

It just so happened that this new evidence was exactly what the prosecutors and Satakunta police needed to nail Anneli Auer for the murder of her late husband. My brother was only “collateral damage” along the the destruction of two entire families, and the futures of small innocent fearful children. Well done!

29 August 11, the prosecutors Valkama and Kulmala launched an appeal to the Supreme Court based on the youngest children’s stories. The oldest daughter had not been even heard at this point, but hey, who cares? She is a murder suspect now along with her mother. All this despite the fact that the girl has not shown any abnormal behaviour at school, and her mother has passed the psychological tests with flying colours. Why are the prosecutors and police treating Anneli Auer and her little daughter as if they were psychopaths? It begs the question, who are the real psychopaths in this story? Huffington Post blogger Eric Barker says that professions with high rates of psychopaths “offer power and many require an ability to make objective, clinical decisions divorced from feelings.” What chance has a devoted mother of four children?

In the press:

Guilty verdict overturned in high-profile murder case appeal
Published Jul 1, 2011 by Helsingin Sanomat (the largest daily newspaper in Finland)

The Vaasa Court of Appeal has overturned the decision against a woman previously convicted of killing her husband in a high-profile case.

The court overruled a November ruling by the Satakunta District Court, which found Anneli Auer guilty of killing her husband in the town of Ulvila in December 2006. She was sentenced to life in prison.

The verdict has been expected since late May when the court freed Auer pending the ruling on her appeal.

On Friday the appeals court said that there was not sufficient evidence to prove that she murdered her husband and that her professions of innocence seemed genuine.

It added that it was unlikely that Auer would have had enough time between calling emergency services and their arrival to stage the crime scene to suggest that an intruder carried out the killing.

She has unswervingly denied all charges.

The prosecution has 60 days to appeal to the Supreme Court.

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On the 1st of August 2011 immediately after meeting Anneli’s brother, who had presented the prosecutors and the police his new evidence, the prosecutors Jarmo Valkama and Kalle Kulmala announced that they will appeal to the Supreme Court. Prosecutor Valkama claimed that he had considered the possibility of child snatching, a possible motive for the brother to come forward with his evidence, but that apparently there was no evidence pointing to that.

In reality, the prosecutors announcement of their decision to make an appeal to the Supreme Court was published already at 11.26 am in a local news paper, immediately after the meeting was finished with Anneli’s brother. For how long exactly did the prosecutor Valkama consider and investigate Anneli’s brother’s possible motives? Especially, when it is known, that he is making quite comfortable living out of looking after Anneli’s three children. Him and his wife receive nearly 10 000 euros/ month from the state, plus all expenses paid. It is a large sum to loose, if the children move back with their mother.

It is also interesting, that the prosecutor Valkama placed the responsibility for the new evidence solely on Anneli’s brother. Valkama claimed in public that Anneli’s brother had contacted him out of the blue, and he also led the public to believe that the initiative to gather evidence by interviewing the children on video had came from the brother himself. If in fact, the push to interview the children came from the authorities, it would have been criminal, as it is strictly forbidden for any layman to conduct these types of interviews on children. The dangers of creating false claims, and false memories is well documented (children start believing their own story after repeating it), and in Finland there are strict guidelines that the authorities should follow. In any case, the children’s stories are without a doubt highly contaminated, and no charges should have been brought against the defendants in the first place.

In September 2011 came the news that shook the nation:

Anneli Auer remanded on sex abuse charges
Published Sep 16, 2011

A woman recently acquitted in a high-profile murder case has now been remanded in custody on suspicion of aggravated rape, aiding and abetting aggravated rape, and aggravated sexual abuse. Anneli Auer, who was convicted of the 2006 murder of her husband then acquitted on appeal, is suspected of offences committed between 2007 and 2008.

Auer appeared in a three-hour closed session of Turku district court at 13:30 on Friday. The court confirmed that the charges relate to the case of a 50-year-old [actually 48 year old] Helsinki man who was detained earlier this week. Auer’s home had been targeted by police in a surprise search at the end of August.

Police say the current charges do not relate to her husband’s murder.

The matter was first reported by the newspaper Iltalehti.

***

This is how my brother, the Helsinki taxi driver, got connected to the Ulvila murder case. The police needed a man involved in the abuse claims. After more or less offering my brother’s name to the children, they finally got what they wanted. Anneli and my brother were convicted to long sentences in a secret trial behind closed doors at the District Court in Turku in June 2012. The court judgement, which led to the imprisonment of my brother for ten years, was based only on children’s interviews in suspect conditions, and on opinions of the prosecution’s secret expert witnesses. I will discuss more in depth the secret expert witnesses in a separate post.

The next round of secret trials starts on Monday 28 January 2013 at Turku Court of Appeals in Finland, and finishes on 10 April 2013. The verdict will be announced about a month later.

In the next posts I will start filling in the gaps in this complicated and multi-layered crime story, which involves several bodies, death threats, political connections, religious fanatics, corruption etc…I recommend subscribing to email updates and welcome any questions.