Motives of the False Accuser According to the FBI: Mental Illness, Attention-Seeking, Profit, Blame-Shifting, and Revenge

Posted on March 21, 2014


“At 7:30 a.m., an unknown male abducted Pamela at knifepoint while she fueled her car at a convenience store. The offender then forced her to drive to a bridge, where they crossed into a neighboring state. During the long ride, he choked her with a bicycle security chain and slashed her with a knife.

“Next, the assailant ordered Pamela to park the vehicle in a secluded rural area and led her into the woods. He bound her to a tree, placing the bicycle chain around her neck. The subject then assaulted her vaginally with a box cutter and lacerated her breasts and right nipple.

“Then, he ordered Pamela back into her car and had her drive them to a nearby ferry. The subject exited the vehicle and disappeared while heading toward the ferry at about 3 p.m. Pamela drove herself to the nearest hospital for treatment, and staff members notified the police. After receiving medical attention, she was released.

“State and local police investigators conducted the initial interview of Pamela at the hospital. Although initially cooperative, she stopped answering questions. Pamela agreed to meet investigators at a later date at the state police barracks to discuss the abduction and sexual assault, but she never arrived.

“A review of hospital medical records showed that Pamela received treatment for superficial lacerations to her right hand, left breast, right breast and nipple, and neck. She also had several superficial abrasions in her pubic region. The doctor described her as tired but in no acute discomfort.

“Officers found no forensic evidence from Pamela or her vehicle. They contacted the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) for assistance in developing an interview strategy. Investigators determined that Pamela suffered from depression and anxiety and had a prescription for an antidepressant. Working with NCAVC, officers developed a successful interview strategy, and Pamela finally admitted that she fabricated the abduction and sexual assault.

“Her false allegation tied up the resources of several state and local police departments, as well as the area FBI office. Significant media attention focused on the case prior to her confession. An artist’s sketch of the imaginary offender circulated. The media quoted a spokesperson for a local women’s rape crisis center as saying, ‘What I see is a community that is scared….’”

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Does this sort of thing happen frequently? No. What’s often and deplorably discounted by those hostile to exposure of false allegations, however, is that it does happen. And typically the alleged offender isn’t a phantom but a real person (victim).

The likelihood of false allegations to withstand critical scrutiny by multiple police agencies is remote. What the cited case highlights, however, is that false accusers can be extremely convincing and deliberate in their frauds; and what this blog seeks to expose is that false accusers can very easily abuse civil procedure, specifically the restraining order process, according to the same motives that false criminal accusers exhibit, which according to the FBI are these:

  • Mental illness/depression
  • Attention/sympathy
  • Financial/profit
  • Alibi
  • Revenge

It’s no coincidence that this catalog exactly corresponds to the motives of false restraining order applicants, whose allegations are made in brief, five- or 10-minute interviews with judges, and are subject to no particular scrutiny whatever. Any number of the posts on and comments made to this blog concern abuses motivated by mental illness or personality disorders, attention-seeking, financial gain (including wresting money, property, and home from the falsely accused), blame-shifting (establishing an alibi for misconduct and shifting the blame for that misconduct onto its victim), and/or good old-fashioned vengeance.

These motives for legal attacks are moreover readily corroborated by psychologists.

The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin I’ve quoted goes on at some length to detail the difficulties and complexities that unraveling false claims entails for agents of the FBI. Appreciate then how absurd is the state’s faith that a single judge—or a couple of them—can ascertain the truth of civil restraining order allegations by auditing claims in a hearing or hearings arrived at with no prior information, that last mere minutes, and that are furthermore biased by the preconception that the accused is guilty.

The only reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that the state believes judges can discern what teams of crack FBI specialists working around the clock may not or that the truth doesn’t matter.

What makes this conclusion outrageous is that though false criminal allegations may result in a false conviction for a crime, the consequences of false civil allegations may be no less severe.

At the very least, those falsely accused in civil court are subject to threats, menace, curtailment of freedom, humiliation, and the contamination of their public records, which can permanently interfere with or exclude employment prospects and options—all of this topped off by the psychological trauma that necessarily ensues. The falsely accused may further be subject to incarceration resulting from further false allegations by malicious and/or mentally ill or personality-disordered plaintiffs (possibly for terms as lengthy as sentences based on false criminal allegations might impose), as well as loss of entitlement to home and property. Some false restraining order defendants are left homeless and bereft of everything that made their lives meaningful. As one advocate puts it, the falsely accused may be “erased.”

These consequences, recall, stem from cursory auditions of allegations that are answerable to no standard of proof. Allegations in civil court are judged largely according to impressions. Civil rulings, contrasted with criminal investigations, are no more conclusive than coin tosses.

The restraining order process is a tidy workaround that allows false accusers to realize the same objectives fraudulent criminal allegations might gratify, possibly to a much greater extremity, while requiring no lengthy interrogation and threatening no risk of criminal consequences to the false accuser who’s caught out. False allegations made in civil court are more often than not slyly ignored even when detected, and they’re certainly not recorded in any statistical database. They’re typically unremarked, typically unremarked on when discerned, and duck public awareness and scrutiny entirely.

The reason why this is so lies in the last line of the epigraph: “The media quoted a spokesperson for a local women’s rape crisis center as saying, ‘What I see is a community that is scared….’”

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