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The Secret Sam Parker & Theresa Parker

Updated on June 15, 2014
The Link to the video:
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/the-secret/

38:15 minute mark

At the 38:15 minute mark I personally believe that Sam Parker murdered Theresa Parker. I came to this conclusion because of multiple factors: the fact that Sam Parker’s timeline did not hold up to investigation, his phone records, the bruises on Sam Parker’s arms, and the testimony of Sam Parker’s previous wife that he abused and threatened her. The key evidence that has led me to believe that Sam Parker is a murderer is his previous wife’s testimony; according to her Sam Parker not only abused her, but threatened to kill her and hide her body so that it could never be found. I believe this is key evidence as it shows that Sam Parker was capable of violence and had thought about killing his previous wife enough to threaten her with death.

Even though I believe that Sam Parker murdered his wife I do not believe that jury will find him guilty because most of the evidence is circumstantial. I feel that without a body it is unlikely that the jury will convict Sam Parker of murder. I also think that Ben Chaften’s testimony destroyed some of the prosecutions credibility with the jury. The jury was of the opinion that Ben Chaften was an unreliable source of information due to the fact that he changed his story five times. I think this may have given the jury the impression that the prosecution was grasping at straws and could not provide a credible witness. I think that the jury may end up convicting Sam Parker of non-murder related crimes such as physical abuse, mental abuse, and assault.

After the 38:15 minute mark

I incorrectly predicted the jury’s finding before it was disclosed on the show; however, I correctly predicted that Sam Parker was guilty of murder. The jury’s main reason for convicting Sam Parker was the fact that he lied about both his location and contact with Theresa Parker. I incorrectly predicted the jury’s finding because I did not follow all the steps of the HURIER model of effective listening. Listening is “the active process of making meaning out of another person’s spoken message” (Floyd, 216). The HURIER model is “a model of effective listening that involves, hearing understanding, remembering, interpreting, evaluating, and responding” (Floyd, 223).

The first stage of the HURIER model is hearing; hearing is the “physical process of perceiving sound” (Floyd, 223). I correctly followed the first stage of the HURIER model by hearing the video. In this case I heard every word of the video. The second stage is understanding meaning “to comprehend the meanings of the words and phrases you’re hearing” (Floyd, 223). The video was in English and used easily understandable language; language is “a structured system of symbols used for communicating meaning” (Floyd, 144). The video was also easy to understand because it did not use any jargon; jargon is “language whose technical meaning is understood by people within that co-culture but not necessarily those outside it” (Floyd, 48). In this case it would have been easy for the prosecution and defense to use jargon because they are both a part of a lawyer co-culture; co-cultures “are groups of people who share values, customs, and norms related to mutual interests or characteristics besides their national citizenship” (Floyd, 41). The third stage of the HURIER model is remembering meaning, “being able to store something in your memory and retrieve it when needed” (Floyd, 223). I demonstrated my ability to remember when I recalled the main pieces of evidence both for Sam Parker being a murderer and for him being innocent. The fourth stage is when I began to have problems; the fourth stage has two parts; the first is “paying attention to all the speaker’s verbal and nonverbal behaviors so that you can assign meaning to what the person has said” (Floyd, 224). I observed the jury’s verbal and nonverbal behavior and interpreted the behaviors to mean that the jury was more worried about sending an innocent man to prison than allowing a guilty man to walk free. In this case I misinterpreted the jury’s behavior. This was partially due to my inability to participate in the second part of interpretation. The second part of interpretation is “signaling your interpretation of the message to the speaker” (Floyd, 225). I was unable to signal my interpretation to the jury to see if I was correct because I was watching a video instead of having a face to face conversation.

I correctly predicted that Sam Parker was guilty of murder by correctly following the fifth stage of the HURIER model. The fifth stage is evaluating; this is when a person judges “whether the speaker’s statements are accurate and true” (Floyd, 225). This stage also involves separating facts and opinions, determining why a person is saying what they are saying, and considering the speaker’s words based on context. In this case I used the fifth stage to evaluate what I saw as the key piece of evidence, Sam Parker’s ex-wife’s testimony. I evaluated her statements to be both true and accurate as well as being facts instead of opinions. This led me to see Sam Parker as guilty. The last stage of the HURIER model is responding meaning to “indicate to the speaker that you’re listening” (Floyd, 225). Due to the fact that I was watching a video and not talking to a person, the last stage proved to be irrelevant.

My reasoning mostly matched the jury’s reasoning for convicting Sam Parker of murder. Reasoning is “to make judgments about the world based on evidence rather than emotion or intuition” (Floyd, 155). I believed that Sam Parker murdered his wife because of multiple factors: the fact that Sam Parker’s timeline did not hold up to investigation, his phone records, the bruises on Sam Parker’s arms, and the testimony of Sam Parker’s previous wife that he abused and threatened her. My reasoning differed from the jury’s because in my mind the key piece of evidence was Sam Parker’s ex-wife’s testimony. The key piece of evidence that made the jury convict Sam Parker was his cell phone records and the fact that his timeline of where he was did not hold up to investigation.

Being a Critical Listner

As a critical listener there are many actions I can take to improve my ability to assess the credibility of what I hear. I feel that the best way for me to improve my ability to listen critically would be to be a skeptic and practice skepticism. Skepticism is “the practice of evaluating evidence for a claim” (Floyd, 237). Being a skeptic means “setting aside your biases and being willing to be persuaded by the merits of the argument and the quality of the evidence” (Floyd, 237). I need to work on being able to evaluate claims instead of accepting them blindly. This means that I need to be able to listen to arguments with an open mind, set aside my feelings for the person speaking, and question the evidence.

Works Cited
Floyd, Kory. Interpersonal Communication. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.

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