Statement Analysis®

The Cabin 28 Murders - Martin Smartt's Interview


John Boubede's Interview
2016 Update
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Here are some excerpts of Martin Smartt's interview with the police shortly after the murders. The complete interview can be found here.

In this portion of his interview, he is describing seeing an unusual man in the bar the night the murders took place.

Smartt: "O.K., we left our house about 10:00, my wife, myself and John and ah, we kept, we were around the bar until about 1:00, like I say it wasn't real crowded but it was You know, fairly crowded that night, and it was, I didn't really notice anything unusual except for one pers, one individual came in about oh, I'd say 10:30 or 11:00 that I'd never seen before and nearly the rest of the people you know."

Smartt: "But you live here awhile and you see em. I used to work in the restaurant here and I become familiar with a lot of the customers and that one individual you know, just the way he carried himself, he looked like trouble. He looked out of place for that type of establishment, is what I mean. He was in a t-shirt and Levi's and wearing a buck knife, extremely long hair."

Smartt: "Ya, like I say about 5' 7", 5' 8, extremely long hair, it was tied in a pony tail and the individual didn't look like he belonged in the Back Door Lounge, ya know, it wasn't the type of clientele that they cater to, but he left shortly thereafter. He walked down, sat at the bar where we were, well we went back into the little dance area and went back out and left. As far as I know I didn't see, notice the guy again. That's the only person I saw that looked unusual, you know, out of place that night."

There are no synonyms in Statement Analysis. Every word has a different meaning if only slightly different. A truthful person's language will remain consistent through out his statement. For example, if a person views a firearm as a "gun" he will always call it a "gun." He will not refer to it as a "pistol" because to him it is a "gun." When there is a change in language, it is an indication of deception unless there is a justifiable reason for the change. Perhaps when the gun is fired it now becomes a "pistol."

Smartt used three different words to describe the unusual man he saw in the bar: "individual," "guy" and "person." It is unlikely there is a justification for using three different words to refer to a man in a bar. This is an indication Smartt is making up the story about seeing the unusual man.


In describing the unusual man, Smartt stated the man had a, "Mustache, dark heavy mustache and his hair was dark brown and of course it was dark in there, I couldn't, I didn't, pay enough attention to him to get a lot of description but I did know he had a mustache but no beard."

When people use the phrase "of course" they often want us to take for granted what they are saying is the truth. However, we take nothing for granted and only believe what people tell us.

Smartt stated, "I couldn't" as if he was going to say, "I couldn't tell..." He then changed his statement to, "I didn't." There is a reason why he changed his language. Perhaps he could tell what the man looked like. Perhaps the man did not exist which caused him to change his language.

He stated, "I did know he had a mustache but no beard." He uses the wrong verb tense. He should have said, "I do know" because at the time of the interview he would have still known this.



Smartt: "Geez, I don't remember, like I said, I didn't, it was dark and I didn't really pay close attention to the guy."

Smartt: "Ya, in the area, should be a street light in there, I didn't notice but I thought it was awful dark in the area. But ah, like I say, we were involved in a conversation and we really didn't pay any attention."

People use the word "really" to add emphasis and bolster their statement. However, this word often weakens the statement. "I didn't pay attention" or "We didn't pay any attention" is a good definitive statement. By using the word "really" Smartt is telling us he did pay some attention to what was going on.



Smartt: "And likewise, when we came back it was oh, ten minutes later, we had enough time to take off our, we were wearing three pieces, so we had enough time to take off our jacket and vest and then put our jackets back on. And when we came back down and, ah, well, then, once again, we were in conversation. I can't think of anything at all during that period. We came back down, that I noticed, that was out of place."

The shortest sentence is the best sentence. Extra words give us extra information. The words "at all" are not needed for us the reader but Smartt needed to add them to his statement. These words are usually used to get us to believe what the person is saying is true.



In talking about leaving the bar after it closed, Smartt stated, "We had about enough time to drink one drink, which, about a half hour, must have been, oh, I'd say 1:45 when we left there and started back up. And, again, we were cuttin up jackpots and talking."

The word "started" means the act was interrupted or never completed. When he said he left the bar the first time, he stated, "Then we walked back home." That is what he should have said this second time he left the bar, "We left and walked back up." The use of the word "started" is a strong indication they did something else before they went home.

After getting home, Smartt stated, "I went to bed about ten after two. After, well, see, we keep the medicine put up because of the kids, I had to get John's medicine out, and I gave him two phenobarbitals, and a delantin. Oh no. Two phenobarbitals and two delantins, to go to bed on. That's what the doctor prescribed."

The word "after" means Smartt has skipped over something in his story. After what? He wants us to believe he went to bed after he gave John his medicine. However, never specifically states that. His language tells us he went to bed after doing something.



Crim: "Then you went to bed."

Smartt: "Yeah, I went to bed. I woke up again around 3:00, to stoke the fire."

Crim: "Nothing unusual woke you up, you just..."

Smartt: "No, that's just a matter of habit. I always wake up around 3:00, 3:30, and stoke the fire. I got up, ya know, checked the house, and ah, stoked the fire, and ah, matter of fact, I opened the door and went outside and got a piece of wood, came back in. I didn't notice anything."

Although Smartt does tell us that after giving John his medicine he went to bed, it appears this was suggested to him. The transcription shows Crim making a statement and not asking a question. Even if it was formed as a question, it would be a suggestive question.

The word "just" is not needed. Saying, "That's a matter of habit" is a better statement. The word "just" is often used to minimize things. Smartt is saying the only reason he was up at 3:00 is because he automatically wakes up to stoke the fire. That may be true. It may also be he was up at 3:00 because he was committing the murders. In order to minimize his actions that night, he used the word "just" to convince the authorities that was all he was doing.

When deceptive people have to come up with a number, they often choose the number three. The appearance of the number three (3:00 or 3:30) does not mean the person is lying but it is an indication of deception.

It is interesting that he tells us that he went outside in the early morning hours. He places himself outside of his cabin.



Crim: "Just nice and quiet?"

Smartt: "About quiet, uh, matter a fact, usually about that time, a train is going by. I didn't notice the train. And then I go to sleep. Very peaceful and quiet. You know, like I say, I can't think of anything."

He said he did not notice the train go by which usually goes by at that time. Did he not notice it because he was in Cabin 28 committing the murders?

The word "then" is usually used to transition from one thought to another thought. Deceptive people will use this word to skip over something in their story. This is because the word can mean "immediately" or "soon afterward." If it is used as "soon afterward," we have some missing information.

The sentence, "I can't think of anything" sounds as if it is an afterthought.



Bradley: "Was your wife still in the sack when you got back? In bed?"

Smartt: "Yeah, when I got home she was just gone, slept right through."

In Boubede's interview, we find the following:

Bradley: "When you got back to the house, was Marilyn up or in bed or what?"

Boubede: "No, she was up."

Smartt says his wife was in bed when he and Boubede returned from the bar. Boubede states she was up.

Smartt states that his wife "slept right through." What did she sleep through? It does not make sense he is referring to him giving John medicine. The implication is she slept through some type of incident such as the murders. His language indicates she slept through it but he did not. This means he was awake when the murders were committed.



Smartt had a 12 year old step-son named Justin who was sleeping in Cabin 28 the night the murders took place. He and two other boys were in another room. They were unharmed and slept through the night. In talking about the possibility that Justin witnessed the murders, Smartt stated, "He is quiet enough to where he could have noticed something without me detecting him."

The murders allegedly occurred in the early morning hours while Smartt was asleep. Since Justin was sleeping in Cabin 28, there is the possibility that Justin woke up and heard or saw something in regards to the murders. Since Smartt was still asleep, we would expect him to say that Justin may have "noticed something without me knowing it." By saying, "without me detecting him" implies that Smartt was awake and suggests that he participated in the murders. He did not notice that Justin had detected him.



Smartt: "Ah, I don't know, I'd like to see the hammer; I've been in Sue's house. The only hammer I ever noticed comin' out of there was a wooden-handled one. Ah, my hammer is missing."

The victims were struck with two different hammers. One hammer which I beleive belonged to the victims was found in the cabin. The other hammer was never found. (See update.)

In talking about the missing hammer, Smartt stated, "I ain't noticed it layin about. We can't. On top of that, there's more. Ya know, cuz of this guy comin' right by my house. Y'know? Geez, you'd think, if that was true, if he would have picked up my hammer, why in the hell didn't he take my hatchet? It's a lot better."

The word "this" indicates specificity but it also shows closeness. He could have stated, "the guy" which would distance himself from the killer. Instead, he used a word that brings him close to the killer.

Based on his language, there is a strong indication that Martin Smartt was involved in the murders that took place in Cabin 28.


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