Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

There is a famous Colombo episode where he is, as usual, up against a rich and powerful adversary, who constantly flaunts his wealth and superiority before Colombo. Wait a minute…that’s actually every  Colombo episode. I’m thinking of one where the murderer is a high-tech genius, mid-70’s vintage. At one point, he shows off to Colombo his high-tech wristwatch…an electronic readout where you actually read the numbers instead of looking at the hands to tell the time! Of course, this was the original red 7-segment LED readout, but in 1975 it was brand new. And ironically, it would be the villain’s downfall. I don’t remember exactly how it came down, but it hinged on the fact that someone remembered something happening at “5:27” instead of “almost fife-thirty”, which could only have meant he was wearing that special watch. It was a typical Columbo “i-gotcha” moment.

And now I was going to have a Colombo moment of my own.

In crafting their story of the home invasion, there were few details the Bushes’ took more care to nail down than the ten-minute interval between the phone call and the doorbell ringing. It first appears in their Statement of Defence as “minutes after Mr. Bush spoke with the Plaintiff…”. In George’s Affidavit, it is framed by the time of the phone call, “approximately 5:00 pm”, and the time when he came up from the basement “at approximately 5:15 pm.” In Heather’s affidavit, she put’s the phone call at “approximately 5:00 pm”, and my arrival at the door at “approximately 5:10 pm.”  

Of course I  knew they were lying. After driving all the way to the ends of Assiniboia to find their house in a looming blizzard, and having phoned ahead to make sure they were home, why would I sit in my car for ten minutes before ringing the doorbell? It didn’t make sense…unless the Bushes were trying to justify why they didn’t suspect it was me at the doorbell…because George wasn’t trying to evade service, he just happened to have wandered off to the bathroom, or the study, or wherever?
In fact, as soon as I started to realize that George wasn’t going to let me state my business over the phone, but was instead going to hang up on me, I got out of my car and starting rushing for the doorbell…because I still hadn’t verified that this was the right house! If I rang the doorbell while we were still on the phone, I would hear the ringing in my phone, and then even if they didn’t answer, I would have identified the house. I assumed they wouldn’t come to the door, but it wouldn’t matter. I could hire a process server if I wanted…either way, Professor Bush was getting served.

But I got there just seconds after George hung up on me. I was  a little surprised when Mrs. Bush actually came to the door, but that makes sense if George said to her, “get rid of him…and whatever you do, don’t let him give you any papers.” Either way, the 10-minute gap doesn’t make sense…except now it was my word against their word. Or was it?

In all their written affidavits, the Bushes were careful to note the times “approximately”. But then I noticed that in the written transcript of his application for a protective order, Bush had placed the phone call at “5:03”….shades of Columbo. How would he know the exact time? He must have verified it by checking his call history. Or maybe he looked it up later on his phone bill? But I have phone bills too. I ordered a copy of my Telus bill, and sure enough a call was placed to the Bushes at 5:03 pm. In fact, it was billed as a two-minute call, so George was evidently doing quite a lot of ranting before he got around to hanging up on me. (It was definitely a one-way conversation because he testified that he didn’t give me the opportunity to state my business.)

But what about the doorbell? Do electronic doorbells have a call-history option? Maybe not, but what about the 911 call after I left? Surely the police have all that on record. But it turns out they won’t just show it to you. You have to make a FIPPA (Freedom of Information) application, they you have to wait a month, and what they end up releasing is hightly censored. To my great disappointment, although the notes of the 911 operator were released to me, they were so blacked out as to be almost incomprehensible. And worst of all the time stamps had been edited out.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The Bushes had also made FIPPA applications for the police records, and it seems the police censor was a little more forthcoming with them than she was with me. The Bushes had attached those police records to their affidavits, and evidently the 911 call had been picked up at 5:07:10 (ten seconds after the minute hand passed 12), no more than three minutes after the slamming down of the phone at 5:04!

According to the Bushes, I had called them on the phone and after hanging up on me, they had proceeded with business as usual. George had wandered downstairs, and unbeknownst to him, five or ten minutes later, his wife had answered the doorbell. After a brief standoff in which she asked my name and told me her husband didn’t want to see me, there was a struggle that lasted about a minute, with me trying to desperately force my way in, and Heather desperately trying to keep me out. George wandered back upstairs just after his wife had locked the door on me, to find her “white and shaking”. After taking about five minutes to calm her down, he called the police.

Their timeline adds up to over fifteen minutes. Allowing for human errors in recalling times, it would be altogether believable if it happened in ten minutes or even less. But three minutes? Not a chance. 

The Bushes were lying, and I had them cold.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Bushes' Story Falls Apart

It had been a long and gruelling day of testimony for Mr. and Mrs. Bush. I had caught them in one contradiction after another, pinned them down on evasion after evasion, but they still clung to their story: On the evening of January 11th, I had tried to force my way into their home.

What is clear is that I had phoned Mr. Bush at around 5:00 pm that evening, but he had slammed down the phone without allowing me to state the purpose of my call. (Except that in his Affidavit of May 30th, he claimed that I indicated I had papers to give him.) And when I rang the doorbell he didn’t hear it because the doorbell doesn’t ring downstairs…except it does! And he was in the study on the computer (except when he testified in Provincial Court, he was in the bathroom and he did hear it ring.) And when I subsequently appeared at the door and extended those papers towards his wife, she shut the door without warning on my outstretched arm. And when I asked her in court why she wouldn’t just take the papers, she claimed she thought it was a term paper, and she wouldn’t accept it because it was overdue! (Even though she had heard her husband minutes before telling me that I should communicate through his lawyer…why would I be submitting a late term paper to his lawyer?)

And then came the alleged struggle…a period of close to sixty seconds when I was desperately trying to get in the door, and Mrs. Bush was desperately trying to keep me out. Why didn’t she call for help? She claims she was struggling so hard she didn’t have the breath to call! And when I questioned whether that was even phsyiologically possible, she changed her story: she didn’t call her husband because she didn’t know what I might be carrying and wanted to keep him as far away from me as possible! Of course, that doesn’t explain why she didn’t scream out “Call the police!”

And if there was indeed such a death-defying struggle as described by Mrs Bush, and her husband came upstairs to find her “white and shaking”…why, when he phoned Prof Metz minutes later, did he say little more than “Martin attended at my door despite my instructions to the contrary….Heather shut the door on Martin.”

But the most obvious question of all is: before it got to the point of “physical confrontation”, why wouldn’t she just take the papers, say “thank you” and shut the door? When I asked her that, she evaded the question: “we were beyond that already,” she claimed. What does that even mean? Yes, we perhaps we were “beyond that” at the point where I was supposedly trying to force my way past the door, but were we “beyond that” when I was simply standing on the threshold with the papers extended towards her? She doesn’t answer that.

She doesn’t answer because there is only one answer, and it’s obvious to anyone. She won’t take the papers because she’s trying to prevent her husband from getting served. Because that explains everything! The slamming down of the phone, the “call my lawyer”, the repeated claim that “Martin did not state the purpose of his visit” (they subsequently admit they didn’t give me any opportunity to do so), the “my husband doesn’t want to see you”, the “you can mail it” (because she knows I can’t mail it…you have to serve someone personally by putting it in their hands!)…and especially…George staying safely out of sight for the duration of the “struggle”…because they know that all I have to do is catch a glimpse of him in the background, and then I can serve him legally by simply dropping the papers to the ground where I stand!

There is one simple reason which explains all the alleged circumstances of the home invasion…the fact that George Bush was worried that I was going to serve papers on him, and he didn’t want to get served. And that’s why his wife answered the door instead of him. Not because he was in the study, or in the bathroom, or he didn’t hear the doorbell, or he may have heard it subconsciously…not of that holds up. I believe he heard the doorbell and immediately bolted for the basement, telling his wife…”get rid of him, and whatever you do don’t let him give you any papers!”

But that’s not how it happened, they insist. The phone call was around 5:00 pm, and after telling me he wanted nothing to do with me, George and his wife were totally at ease, confident that the matter had been taken care of. So when the doorbell rang ten minutes later, there was no reason for either of them to think it might have any connection to the earlier phone call…

Friday, December 20, 2013

Some 'splainin to do...

I've told you George and Heather Bush's story of the horrifying events that led to me being banned from the U of W, Lloyd Axworthy authorizing an extra detail of four guards being hired (at a cost of $10,000) to keep a lookout for me, and eventually me getting thrown in jail and held for nine days. If you believe their story, maybe I'm not the kind of guy you'd trust to be in charge of children. But first there were are a few small details that I was going to ask them to explain.

Now, before I get my ultimate day of reckoning, there are a hundred and one ways the legal system can still screw me over. If I was in the University's kangaroo court, it would have already been a done deal...accused, "tried" (in absentia), convicted and sentenced. But in the real courts, I theoretically had the right to cross-examine my accusers. I say "theoretically" because I still had to fight like hell to get them subpoenaed, arguing two separate pretrial applications before Provincial Court judges. But in the end, the system did not deny me the opportunity to cross-examine the Bushes. And so I was able to confront them with the following questions:

When I phoned in advance of knocking on the door, why did Mr. Bush slam the phone down on me?

Weren't the Bushes worried after the phone call that I might come to their door?

When I subsequently rang the doorbell, why did his wife answer the door instead of him?

When I asked to see her husband, why didn't she call Mr. Bush to the door?

When I tried to give her papers, why did she refuse to accept them?

Why did she slam the door on me?

While she was struggling against me (as she claims) for about a minute to close the door...why didn't she call for help?

When her George later wandered up the stairs and found Heather "all white and shaking", why didn't he say: "Why didn't you call for help?"

When he phoned his buddy Don Metz minutes later to report what had happened, why did he emphasize the fact that he had called police because I had disobeyed his (supposed) instructions not to come to the door...in fact, other than telling Metz that Heather had shut the door on me, he claims to have said nothing to Metz about me trying to force my way into his home (and Metz backs him up on that). Why would he leave out that small detail?  

Here are the answers they gave when I asked them these questions in court.

Why did George Bush slam down the phone when I called him? He says "I told you in no uncertain terms that you had no business calling...if you wanted to contact me, it should have been through the university."

Actually, that's not what he actually told me...he said I should contact his lawyer. But on the phone, he didn't find it necessary to tell me his lawyer's name. And he refused to let me explain the purpose of my phone call...as he told the court: "Why would you, why would you, a student of the univerity, come to the, phone a professor or a faculty member, why would you want to do that?"

A former student has never phoned you?

"Never, never. It's always done by email or I've contacted, I've met the person in person. No one has ever called me at home."

Mr. Bush went on to summarize his reasons: "I just didn't feel appropriate that you would call me personally at home. I just didn't want to talk to you". No reason, I asked him? "No."

Okay, so that's why he slammed down the phone without giving me a chance to explain the purpose of my call. Then I went on to ask him if my phone call didn't set his spidey-sense tingling in any way that something might be wrong. Weren't there already some things that had happened that had caused him and his wife to be on edge about me?

"No. None whatsoever."

That's not what his wife had said. I confronted George with Heather's testimony: wasn't it just the day before that she had told you I was stalking her on her web page? Mr. Bush allowed that on second thought, yes, they had certainly talked about that. And then he "remembered" being concerned about a visit to his church that he had also reported as being suspicious. (There happens to be an after-school math program run out of the same church that George Bush attends, and he found it highly suspicious that I would be trying to volunteer in that program.) So it wasn't just the phone call, then?

"No, we were also concerned."

And yet with all these supposed precursors, the phone call didn't cause him to be disturbed or alarmed about what I might be planning to do next?

"No, not at all." Not in the slightest, I asked? "Why? It's finished. I asked you not to call. I asked you to deal through the university, and as far as I was concerned, that was it. I never dreamt in my wildest dream that all of a sudden 10 minutes later you'd knock on the door. I was downstairs doing something in the basement."

Interesting. You'll notice that here he's already answering the next question, which I haven't yet asked him: why did his wife come to answer the door instead of him? And he has three different reasons:
  •  Having told me not to contact him, he has complete confidence that I will follow his instructions
  • I didn't come to their house until ten minutes later and by then neither he nor his wife connected the ringing of the doorbell with the earlier phone call.
  • He was downstairs doing something in the basement, so (as he subsequently explained) he didn't even hear the doorbell himself.
It didn't take me long to demolish those three reasons. First I confronted him with his testimony before the Provincial Court judge when he applied for (and was denied) a protective order against me:
 "Marty Green....has continuously demonstrated his defiance and complete disregard for authority including enforcement officers. He was forcibly removed from Gordon Bell High School and he was forcibly removed from the University of Manitoba. In each case he disregarded authorities and deliberately returned to those facilities to continue his agenda."
All the "facts" he cited above were things he knew about me long before the evening in question. And yet when he hung up the phone on me, he claims to have been perfectly satisfied that the situation had been dealt with, that I was simply going to do what he said? I asked him how he could reconcile his apparent complacency with what he claimed to know about my character. Mr. Bush didn't like that. He turned to the Judge and said: "Is this terribly critical?" The judge told him to just answer the question: when I told him to leave, did he think that I would leave him alone? "Well", said Mr. Bush, "we felt, I felt that he would."

And when the doorbell rang "minutes" later, you didn't put A and B together?"

"I wasn't...the bell doesn't ring in the basement."

Oh yes it does. Oh yes it does. I had him cold there. I knew it from his testimony before the Provincial Court, and he knew I knew...so after some verbal sparring, he finally conceded: "No...there, there are two bells, and I, it may have, I subconsciously may have heard something. I don't recollect hearing the bell."

But it does ring downstairs, doesn't it?

"Okay. Good. Well, then you know that then."

Yes I do, Mr. Bush. And so does the court.

Meanwhile, I've knocked out two of the three reasons he gave as to why his wife answered the door instead of him. The fact is that I had called his home, and that phone call was of great concern to both him and his wife. And after first denying that the doorbell even rings downstairs, he reluctantly admits to having heard the doorbell ring "ten minutes later", if only "subconsciously". (But back in January, before the Provincial Court, he had testified that he did indeed hear it ring.) So both of them were concerned about me, and they both heard the doorbell ring. Why then did neither of them connect the ringing of the doorbell to the earlier phone call?

The key to this was the ten-minute interval. Ten minutes isn't that much time, but it just might possibly be enough for a frightened couple to forget that a deranged stalker was after them. Either way, that ten minute interval is critical to the credibility of the Bushes' entire narrative. And that's where the story gets interesting.

We'll talk about that when I return.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In Which Heather Bush Fends Off An Intruder

The other day I told you how Professor Bush described the alleged home invasion which led to me being banned from the U of W and subsequently thrown in jail. Now lets see how his wife describes the same incident. She picks up her story with the phone call to her husband:

“…Martin Green called my husband, my husband answered the phone, I was sitting right there, and my husband told him that it was inappropriate to call the house and that he needed to, if he wished to contact him, talk to his lawyer. He hung up the phone. He went downstairs and the doorbell rang. Martin was standing there…he said he wanted to talk to George, and I said, “who are you?” And he answered that he was Martin green…he came and stepped up towards me very closely and said that he was Martin Green. And I said  that I did not…he, I, my husband just finished telling him on the telephone that he did not want to speak to him, and I went to shut the door and he had a piece of paper in his hand and he said he was there to give him a paper, and I thought he meant term paper, so I thought I do not care what kind of paper it is, he just finished telling you that he wanted you to contact his lawyer. And I pushed the door shut, and what happened was Martin pushed against the door to stay with the door open, and I pushed against the door, and for about a minute there was a pushing match between myself and Mr. Green to try to force the paper on me, or I don’t know what he was doing. At this point I got very scared and I did not know what Mr. Green’s purpose was, and my adrenaline kicked in and I felt very afraid and I pushed as hard as I could. And the door finally shut with Martin’s hand in the door, and he pulled his hand out and I shut the door and locked it and I was grunting as I pushed on it before that, so I could not call for help because I was pushing with all my might.”
You see that she's very careful to avoid saying that I tried to force my way into her home. Yes, there was a pushing match that lasted for about a minute (!) and she felt very afraid and her adrenaline kicked in. Yes, I was "trying to force the paper on her"...or "I don't know what he was doing"...but nothing about me trying to force my way in.

But the most interesting thing is her apparent silence during the prolonged struggle. No shouting, no screaming. So why didn't she call her husband? Mrs. Bush had that covered: even without being asked , she had been careful to explain that she could not call for help because she was pushing with all her might!

That's quite a story. A whole minute she was struggling with a scary guy trying to...well, she doesn't say what I was trying to do...but she was unable to open her mouth and call for help?
 "Yes, I was pushing with all my might and I was exerting myself as hard as I could, therefore, I did not have breath to call."
She was so preoccupied with desperately trying to hold me at bay, that she literally didn't have the breath to call out: "Help me, George! It's Marty Green! Call the police!" Didn't "have the breath to call".

I don't know if that's even physiologically possible. It's not something I've ever heard of before. People scream, people shout for help...but not Mrs. Bush. She was single-mindedly concentrating all her physical strength in trying to close the door, and there was literally nothing left over.

Or at least that was her story at the start. Eventually, even she decided maybe she had try something more believable. Evidently her husband just happened to wander upstairs just after she had succeeded in closing the door, to find Heather "white and shaking." So I asked her: Did your husband ask you "why didn't you call me?" Here is what she said:

"I don't remember exactly...no, he never asked me that because he knew how tired I was when he came up the stairs."

I told her I didn't find that credible. And that's when she changed her story! Listen:

"I was, I was...worried about him, what you were going to do to him. I didn't want him to come upstairs."

You didn't call him because you were worried that I'd...

"I never thought of calling him. I thought keep him away, far away. I don't want him anywhere near here because honestly, I thought you might have a, something dangerous, I don't know. I didn't kinow what you were up to. Right."

Right indeed, Mrs. Bush. When we return, we'll see how well your story holds up against other facts which were just now beginning to come to light.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Professor Bush Describes the Home Invasion

I told you yesterday that the University had a problem with the accusations by Professor Bush that I had attempted to force my way into his home. The problem they had was that there were two simultaneous court cases going on...a civil case where I sued Bush for defamation, and a criminal case where I was charged with...well, that's hard to say. But it had something to do with a home invasion. At least that's what the Crown told the Judge when they locked me up last winter. We'll come back to that later.

The problem facing the U of W was that the lies they needed to tell in order to beat me on the criminal case were different than the lies they needed to tell to beat me on the civil case. They might have thought about that before they had me thrown in jail last winter, but they didn't. And now it's coming back to bite them in the ass.

So what exactly is the problem, according to me? Well, there are two pretty different stories going around about what happened on the evening of January 11th. Today I thought I'd tell you how Professor Bush described the events in question immediately after they took place. How do we know what he said? We have his sworn affidavit: and this is what he says he said:

"I did contact Don Metz, professor with the University on the evening of January 11th, 2013. Both Metz and I were involved in respective grade disputes with Martin while Martin attended the University. As Heather (Mrs. Bush) and I were concerned that Martin had followed me to my home, I phoned Metz as a cautionary measure in case Martin attended his home. I informed Metz that Martin had telephoned my home and then proceeded to disregard my instructions and attended my front door. I further informed Metz that Martin had attempted to give Heather papers. I also informed Metz that Heather shut the door on Martin."

And that's it. Nothing about a home invasion, or trying to force my way into his house. So what was the big fuss about? Why were police called, and the University notified? Bush explains it this way, filling in the background with the following details:

"On January 11 2013, at approximately 5:00 pm, I received a phone call at my residence from Martin. Martin identified himself and indicated that he had papers to give me. I immediately asked how Martin got my home number as it is an unpublished phone number. I informed Martin that it was inappropriate for him to be calling my home and advised him that any communication should be directed through my legal counsel.
"After getting off the phone I went into the basement. I have been informed by my wife...that while I was in the basement Martin attended my home. At approximately 5:15 pm...I was coming up from the basement at the time Heather was shutting the front door. While visibly shaken, Heather informed me that Martin had just attempted to give her papers to deliver to me.
"Martin had attended my home minutes after I informed him over the telephone that I did not want to have any contact with him. In consideration of Martin's disregard for my instructions, and the fact that Heather was rattled by her interaction with martin, I called the Winnipeg Police."

And that's his story. Still nothing about a home invasion. Yes, he says his wife was "rattled" by her interaction with me, but he doesn't give any details as to why she would be. In fact, Bush is quite clear that the reason he called the police was simply that he felt it was inappropriate that I had disregarded his instructions by coming to his home. Even though he says I was only there to deliver some papers.

It doesn't seem like much of a home invasion. Maybe he's leaving something out? It turns out he is. How do we know? Because we have the sworn testimony of Don Metz, who disclosed that there was just a bit more to their phone call than Bush had let on. We can't exactly accuse Bush of lying, because a careful reading of his affidavit shows that he only said "this is what I told Don Metz"....he never says "this is everything I told Metz." So it's it's possible there more...and as we see from Metz's account, there was indeed. Here it is in Metz's own words:

"On the evening of Jan 11 2013 I received a telephone call from George. George advised me that:
  • Martin had telephoned his home earlier that evening;
  • during their telephone conversation George advised Martin that is was inappropriate for him to be contacting him at his home;
  • subsequent to their telephone conversation, Martin attended the front door of George's home that same evening;
  • George's wife, Heather Bush, answered the front door.
  • Martin did not advise Heather of his purpose for attending the Bush's home;
  • Martin attempted to give papers to Heather to give to George;
  • Martin put his hand in between the door and the door frame while waving a paper towards Heather;
  • Heather attempted to shut the door as Martin pushed back on the door to prevent it from closing;
  • Ultimately, Heather was able to shut the door; and,
  • the Winnipeg police had been contacted.
It's not terribly different from Bush's account of the conversation, except for the added detail that I had extended papers through the door towards Mrs. Bush; that she had attempted to shut the door, and I had "pushed back to prevent it from closing". It still doesn't add up to a home invasion; Metz's carefully chosen words are consistent with the theory that I had momentarily resisted the shutting of the door simply to stop my arm from being crushed. But more importantly, Metz then goes farther than Bush by stipulating that the above information "summarized my entire telephone converstion with George." Again, absolutely nothing about a home invasion.

And there you have it. It's hard to see from the preceding testimony how I did anything other than unsuccessfully attempt to serve papers on Mr. Bush. It certainly doesn't support the accusations I made in my Statement of Claim, whereby I say that Bush accused me of trying to force my way into his home. But there's the rub...or, as we say in Yiddish, dâ liegt der hund bagrâben: this is where the dog lies buried! Those affidavits were sworn for the express purpose of warding of the civil suit for defamation. And so they deny saying the things I accuse them of saying. Since I have no witnesses, it's their word against mine. 

Having constructed this impregnable fortress of affidavit evidence to hide behind, they subsequently  moved for Summary Judgment on the defamation case, arguing that I had no arguable case in law. But in the meantime, they had the small matter of the criminal case to deal with, where I had supboenaed Metz and the Bushes to testify as to the events which had got me banned from the University campus and subsequently thrown in jail. And to accomplish that purpose, they were going to need something a bit more lurid than me getting the door slammed on my arm.

There were only two eyewitnesses to what happened at the front door that evening...me, and Mrs. Bush. When we return, I'll show you how Mrs. Bush described the innocent-sounding events as set out above by her husband.