It has become one of those stories that reporters can't type fast enough to keep up with it. Many were speculating the tragic hot car death story of 22-month-old Cooper Harris out of Cobb County, Georgia, would slow down and quiet down once the mother of the victim, Leanna Harris secured a criminal defense attorney. They were incorrect. Since it became news that Leanna Harris has secured a criminal defense and death penalty certified attorney, more updates have been rolling in. At the time of press July 11 we have also heard that Home Depot has fired Justin Ross Harris, the father of the victim facing felony murder charges, and Leanna Harris has left town according to HLN Friday morning.
HLN reports July 11 that Leanna Harris has left Cobb County, Georgia, to visit Alabama and spend time with her family. She was seen staying with friends in Northport, an area near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Neighbors to the area where Leanna Harris is reportedly saying told HLN that they were shocked by all of this, that the family, Leanna and Ross always "seemed so normal."
It has just been reported yesterday that Leanna Harris hired a defense attorney. How long was she planning this trip to Alabama for?
It begs another question, are law enforcement also going to find searches about Alabama extraditions in their forensic analysis?
Is it not the general rule of thumb and first piece of advice from defense attorneys to syay, "Stay quiet and stick around"?
Leanna Harris has not been charged with any crime, she has not been named a person of interest. It is confirmed that she has a death penalty certified attorney anyway. The only thing she really is known for is a lot of behavior that goes beyond the "just weird" point, and for many people weird to the point of suspicious.
Innocent people generally don't run for example, but who wouldn't want to get away from everything for a bit in the face of all that has gone down in the life of Leanna Harris in the last two weeks alone. Her life has just literally blown up in her face.
She would probably get a lot more sympathy on that note however if she didn't keep exhibiting the aforementioned weird to the point of suspicious behavior. It is this behavior that is having people use words like "mastermind."
Did she plan the hot car death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris, and is she making her husband take the hit? She's not saying much and is remaining as stoic as ever. To some that is the stoic face of a grieving mother. To some, they think she doth protest not enough.
Forbes Magazine published a review of the book "Spy the Lie" authored by former CIA agents who said the number one way they note that someone is telling the truth is that innocent people will always deny.
To date, Leanna Harris hasn't actually denied anything. Granted, most of the heat has been taken by her husband until recently, so what has she got to deny?
She has not been charged with anything either, so why should she deny anything?
Or, is this exactly how she planned it? So that she wouldn't have to deny anything at all?
To those that think that her lack of communication and stone-walled expressions mean nothing in the grand scheme of this case, they may want to think again.
According to the FBI, those statements and what they really mean are exactly the kinds of things that law enforcement looks at very carefully when key witnesses in a case are not saying very much. The FBI cites several points of research on their website that they use to analyze what key individuals are telling them "between the lines" of their interviews.
Could the stony face of Leanna Harris be giving law enforcement more information than we think?
According to the FBI,
"Statement analysis involves examining several aspects of someone’s words, including verbs describing communication and uncompleted action; changes in verb tense; minimizing, intensifying, and editing adverbs; extraneous information; unique sensory details; and statement structure, which identifies the person’s focus—on the incident or somewhere else."
In statement analysis of Leanna Harris, statements such as "Ross must have left him in the car" might be used as examples where someone "identified the person's focus – on the incident or somewhere else."
In another statement Leanna tells a lot about her situation without saying much when she says, "Did you say too much?" What are law enforcement thinking about that statement?
The same thing that the rest of the world thinks, that this is a suspicious statement. But one can not be arrested or charged on a statement like that alone. The biggest reason this statement is suspicious is not as harmful to Justin Ross Harris however, as it is to Leanna Harris.
In this statement, she attempts to deflect the focus off of her, and because she is doing the asking what she is basically doing is pointing the finger right back to herself. It was not Justin Ross that asked that question at the police station when the two met up together for the first time after hearing of the death of their son.
It was Leanna that wanted to make sure that he didn't.
Did that mean that she was just checking in with him, and that everything was going to plan for her? Was Ross just the puppet in this plan? That statement has been construed and analyzed by every legal expert on every media outlet from here to Alaska. That's just one theory.
It's why the cheating information is information that will be key in this case.
When did Leanna Harris really find out about it? And what did she really start doing about it? And, when did those "hot car death" searches really start happening, and how close was that timeline to the discovery of the cheating?
Do we know without any uncertainty whatsoever that Leanna Harris wasn't catfishing her own husband that day to frame him during what she knew would become a very crucial timeline for her?
No we do not. Is that crazy?
We're talking about a guy who has been accused of sexting a 17-year-old while his son baked to death in his car, and his wife's biggest concern was, "Did you say too much?" Leanna the mastermind is not such a crazy speculation, nothing is in this case anymore.
Unfortunately for Leanna Harris, if there is unfortunate information there for in the computer forensic analysis, there is nothing she can do about it at this time. In fact, even if there once was unfortunate information there for her, and she or someone else who lived there deleted that, it will turn up during the computer forensic analysis.
That might be one of the reasons she has been so quiet and so stoic as 56 new warrants that began to trickle down since Monday of this week. As they did, more and more technology left the Harris residence and The Tree House, the location of Home Depot where Justin Ross Harris worked.
A former prosecutor Ken Hodges told Eyewitness News in Marietta, Georgia, today that,
"Clearly she's the subject of the investigation. If she's part of the murder, then she's facing life in the penitentiary as well as, possibly, a death sentence. With her going on these websites regarding leaving children in cars and if she went on the other websites regarding begin a childless parent, those would all be strong indicators that she was involved."
This may be the real reason why Leanna Harris is really leaving the state. And, as she is doing so, as WXIA 11 Alive reported out of Cobb County, Georgia, on July 10 that Home Depot has fired Justin Ross Harris. Before the probable cause hearing for Justin Ross Harris, Home Depot was supporting their employee through this troubled time as much as they could.
The company even paid for Cooper's funeral.
Since it became known after the hearing that technology they supplied for Justin's work day was used to commit infidelity, and forensics only knows what else, Home Depot has given Justin Ross Harris the pink slip. It's not shocking news.
Employers are a little sticky about having company property seized as evidence in a murder investigation because you misused company property on company time. We already know those computers were used for cheating on one day, on the day everybody is talking about, on the day that Ross's "buddy" Cooper died.
Another fund that had been established for this couple to help cope with the loss of their son together was established at YouCaring.com according to CBS 46. CBS is reporting that as much as $22 thousand dollars was collected for the Harris family prior to the probable cause hearing of Justin Ross Harris.
A spokesperson for Paypal has told The Associated Press that anyone that donated to that fund can receive their monies back by contacting Paypal for a very quick refund.
Leanna Harris just left town. Do you think that was a good or a bad idea for her? It could be a very good thing for Ross Harris, especially if all of the speculations are based in any kernel of truth.
If those speculations are correct, this story could very well turn into one of those stories where it could come down to which one in this relationship starts talking first, and Leanna Harris has just left town.
Do you think the parents of Cooper Harris planned this Cobb County, Georgia, hot car death together? Do you think Justin Ross Harris did on his own? Do you think this was just a tragic accident?