The Confession Tapes is a Netflix series about false confessions.

As of mid 2021 none of the law enforcement agents and officials involved in the well documented misconduct in these Netflix cases have been held accountable in any way by any government agency, local, state or federal. In most cases the law enforcement agents were professionally rewarded for convicting an innocent person.

Episodes 1 & 2 involve the triple murder of a Muslim man and his family from Canada, people who were originally from Pakistan.

Non guilty victim still in prison.

Offending officers have not accepted responsibility. No other officers, nor any other personnel in the justice system, have acted in this case to help the victim.

The first, most obvious point, made at the beginning of the episode, was that the killers were not super sophisticated. They did not make any effort to hide their traces and it probably would have been easy to gather real evidence if that were what the police had been trained to do.

It turned out that the police had the killers literally handed to them several times, shortly after the murder, but declined to pursue the killers for psychological reasons that are interesting.

In a real society, a tribal society, there is no punitive targeting after a 'crime'. Punitive targeting is something that evolved as melting pots had to assimilate groups with more and more divergent beliefs. In other words, in a completely homogenous tribal group 'motives' are immediately obvious and comprehensible. When and where a motive is not supportable then the solution is not punitive. Melting pots are quite different, but they try to imitate tribal functions to appear homogenous.

A long time ago you would find one hodgepodge melting pot fighting another hodgepodge melting pot. One would win and then start assimilating the conquered tribes as lower status members of society. When a 'crime' would occur generally the lower status, recently absorbed, population would be 'responsible' since they had different beliefs and their actions were less comprehensible to the broader society.

Fast forward to this crime, and you see a melting pot which appears stable on the surface. The United States has a vast complex infrastructure, lots of money and power globally, and it presents itself as 'an original society' i.e., a consolidated tribal entity. People in the United States are carefully 'kept stupid' in order to promote 'nationalism' so they will not look further.

When the police addressed this crime they had various possible targets.

a) They had met the victims' surviving family member, an obviously 'foreign' person, but somebody they knew they could beat easily. In other words, as a target the survivor offered both the ability to focus on 'the foreign enemy' as well as the easiness of focusing on an enemy you can understand. So this would be an easy, lazy choice, it would be ideal for police if he were the killer. They could present themselves as both 'experts' and 'heroes', something that is a big part of the reason many people like to become cops.

b) All of the evidence, as well as explicit information from other police agencies including the FBI, pointed to a 'more foreign' target. In other words somebody who would have to be addressed using knowledge or skills they did not have yet. The police would have to learn something new about their target, and validate that knowledge, legitimize it as a real subject which their enemy knew more about than they did, if they wanted to go this route. In fact the killer had been identified by the FBI and the police were told about this.

So the police had to choose between an easy win, but arresting somebody they knew was not guilty vs a complex 'battle' with people they did not understand and did not want to tangle with, but who had been identified by the FBI as being actually guilty.

Then the case takes an international turn, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police become involved. It starts to become a psychodrama. The RCMP is a major agency with vast resources and links to foreign governments, including law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The RCMP invested a large sum of money in setting up the family member so he would appear guilty. The set up is elaborate and involved using psychologists to consciously create a situation which would get an innocent young person to appear guilty. They would not have invested those resources unless they had made some contact with a national police agency in the U.S. i.e., the FBI.

So at this point a person would look at the motive, on a bigger scale, of individuals employed at the federal level in Canada and the U.S. who wanted a soft local target and did not want to deal with a harder international target. In cases like this there are an endless number of excuses available, none of them valid.

Once the FBI and RCMP got involved, and remember that the FBI already knew that the people they were trying to frame were not guilty, those 'national' police agencies then took direct control of the case, and planted fake news in the Washington state newspapers that their target read.

Interesting also that, even after the exoneration, the detective involved tries to go out on a phantom limb that the FBI and RCMP created. He knows that the FBI and RCMP created elaborate lies, but he cannot break free from them for the same reason he could not target the real killers.

One Japanese young man who the FBI and RCMP lured into helping with the set up moved back to Japan after as a retreat back to tribal security. The vast majority of people do not have such a retreat.

A lot of the fraud committed by the FBI and RCMP in this case was of a sophistication far beyond local 'law enforcement' deceptions. For example, part of the strategy was to extract a confession, in Canada, using a technique that could be suppressed in the United States. In other words a) Get a false confession, b) Publicize that false confession, and c) Then prevent scrutiny of it.

Look at the Esar Met false confession, and the FBI does something very similar, as it hides its actions behind 'defense lawyers' and actions they can be drawn into performing.

One of the as yet unexamined aspects of the Washington case is the cost/benefit of the entire project.

Some very experienced strategists were used to frame some young men for crimes they did not commit, and those strategists had a vast amount of resources available to them. It is extremely unlikely that they were given carte blanche simply because the FBI wanted to frame a few obscure boys.

If you look at the Esar Met case, the FBI promoted the false confession, and got a conviction, in such a way that they were able to cultivate a lot of influence within the Utah ethnic 'Karen' or 'Karin' community.

In the Washington case, the real killers were associated with an extremist group. Targeting innocent people gave the FBI leverage to use in their own 'undercover' projects involving that group, and the types of leverage they would have used are laid bare in the RCMP/FBI's own videotapes of their framing of the boys.

A separate page may be written about this aspect of the case.

The case had a lot of unusual turns which appear spontaneous, but would have been easily arranged by the same psychologists who helped arrange the initial false confession, considering federal agents had access to control every aspect of the case, including defense appointments. 

One of the 'strengths' that the federal agents involved in these, and similar, cases seem to have is that they appear to many people to be operating on some higher motive, for example 'national security' or 'drop a small crime to solve a bigger crime' or whatever. But the truth is that they are not acting on any higher motive, and that can be shown by examining them.

Their entire motive is personal benefit, usually in the form of professional advancement. They create elaborate fictions to convince people that they are being, and have been, promoted into positions in which they have such 'authority' on the basis of their supposed knowledge of a 'bigger picture', but it's all nonsense. There is no real big picture they are defending, and the harm they do becomes, in the long term, the only big picture they were involved with.

Above all else, the guilty parties in most of these cases are gifted at diffusing and evading responsibility by taking power as a group, a gang, and then promoting each other into power.

When a person examines, for example, the Nick Berg killing, they see certain commonalities and patterns which re appear again in related cases. The people involved in killing Nick Berg, at that time, were what a person could call 'lower level federal agents' i.e., they were still soldiers.

Slowly they work their way up, always targeting people for their usefulness and vulnerability, until they have a network capable of pulling off something like the framing described in this episode.

Episode 3 involves a case of local police corruption

Victim freed, after agreeing to plead guilty to a crime somebody else committed. Police forced the person to plead guilty in order to be released so they could claim they caught the real killer.

A person is killed, and police have a conversation with their suspect, after carefully hiding a camera in a box of Kleenex.

But when they later conduct the official interview about the crime, they appear to have not had a camera available, or they lost the videotape.

So police are not really interested in any facts, they are playing cop and living out their own fantasies.

This is sort of like the Malthe Thomsen case, in that the police convinced him that he had committed the murder without knowing about it.

A separate issue peculiar to this kind of false confession is that if somebody knew the victim then it is a lot easier to get them to take responsibility, since most people believe they have some responsibility when somebody near them dies, but the specific degree of responsibility is vague if they did not directly cause the death. So the police in this case knew that, since the accused knew the victim he would have some guilt about her death, and could be induced to confess easily if they altered facts.

Notice at 26 minutes 20 seconds the police officer suggests that the accused is not feeling guilty enough by using a 'third person' narrative with which any person close to a victim would try to identify. Like most cases, it has nothing whatsoever to do with facts, and everything to do with ambitious sales people whose most profitable product is lies. Confessions are not proper 'elements of an investigation' and when investigators deliberately solicit a confession it is like a technician who visits a bank to install electronics, and then rummages through the cash drawers.

One of the problems with 'confessions' is that many people are taught to believe that a confession is a public event. A false confession is a public event, certainly, but there is no such thing as a genuine confession which is properly a public event. In extremely rare situations it might be appropriate for somebody investigating a crime to, separately, involve themselves peripherally in a confession, but to investigate a crime with the intention of 'finding' or 'creating' a confession is silly.

One interesting thing about this 'confession' is that investigators bolstered it with 'microscopic hair analysis', a 'fake science' tool which the FBI used to send many innocent people to jail. When there is a science which is claiming to be reliable, of course any practitioner of that science is free to spend 5 minutes of their spare time testing the validity of the science. Despite a lot of FBI agents sending many innocent people to prison, for some reason, none of those FBI 'experts' could be bothered spending a few minutes simply testing the science they were selling. More than two dozen people received death sentences related to the false science the FBI used. 

This scandal was developing just as prosecutors were preparing the Esar Met prosecution in Salt Lake City. The hair evidence in Esar Met's case appears to have been lost by the FBI before trial.

The final resolution of the Wesley Meyers case was the discovery of DNA evidence pointing to somebody else, followed by the state threatening to keep him in prison unless he pled guilty to a reduced charge, so that there would be little or no public scrutiny of authorities and their misconduct. He pled guilty after he was 'exonerated' and as in all such cases there has been no accountability for the misconduct.

Episode 4 is another 'easy confession' case

Non guilty victim still in prison.

Offending officers have not accepted responsibility. No other officers, nor any other personnel in the justice system, have acted in this case to help the victim.

When a child dies of anything the parents usually have a lot of guilt. Building that guilt into a false confession is much easier than it is in other cases.

Another important aspect of such cases is the contrast between legal and natural responsibility. In a stranger vs stranger murder it is always appropriate for an outsider to analyze the situation, and look for how 'justice' applies, but in a case where a child dies by a parent it is not so much a matter of outside interest, except to the degree the parent invites outside involvement.

Not having watched this whole episode yet, the first obvious conclusion is that it would be unusual for a 14 year old to die during the day in a fire, in most houses. A baby could die easily if it were too young to walk, but almost every modern building does have an easy exit if a person is awake, smells fire and can walk or climb. A teen would probably not be sleeping in the middle of the day, so it seems likely she was unconscious when the fire was started, or she committed suicide. The most 'normal' suicide for females is usually drowning or pills/poison, and a fire suicide seems kind of difficult if a person is conscious.

So the premise seems to be that the mother killed the child then set a fire to cover up the murder. Not likely in any situation.

The interview seems to suggest the mother had been concerned about the possibility of suicide before the fire, and her question about where the gas can was found was related to that. This is one of many reasons why the death of a child is not a subject for outside scrutiny unless the parents request it. If a person wanted to follow that line in the interview intelligently, they would find out, from the mother, why she expected the gas can there. This would lead to a series of family drama type stories which no outsider needs to intrude into. An investigator can try to pretend they have mastered all sorts of complex motives involving one type of person killing another, but to step into a family that is not yours, and announce you have figured out an act or a motive, based on an interview, is silly.

If it got to the point where  a police investigator wanted to 'fix' that family by pretending to solve a drama then in this case the first step would have been a thorough search for chemicals in the girl, or other means she might have used to make herself unconscious as the fire burned. If she had a rope around her neck or something else obstructing her breathing then the source of the material should differentiate between murder and suicide. If the mother suspected suicide then that should have been the end. An investigator could try to convince her that an investigation is appropriate, but it is up to the parents ultimately. They are not going to 'get free' or 'escape justice' regardless their connection to the death, and it is not any outside paid investigator's business to pretend they are the mechanism for 'accountability' in that kind of case.

The chilling 'signature melting pot' aspect of the interrogation is when her neighbor, a police officer, is brought in to interrogate her. It would be obvious fiction, a long lost chapter from an unpublished George Orwell book, except it appears to be true.

What police don't seem to realize in cases like this is that the exact same thing can be done to them, but in a slightly different way, and they are causing that societal tendency to develop. Imagine a cop is injured seriously and a passerby finds him. The cop says 'call an ambulance' and the passerby says 'I really need some money more than I need to call an ambulance'. The offense by the police in this case is much more serious than the offense by the hypothetical passerby, but a better example could be found by anybody with an imagination. If it is acceptable for police to do something to non police then it is equally acceptable in the other direction as well.

Episode 5 is a more common type of false confession where police target random members of an ethnic group

Non guilty victim still in prison.

Offending officers have not accepted responsibility. No other officers, nor any other personnel in the justice system, have acted in this case to help the victim.

It's the kind of thing called 'common' police misconduct, where one suspect is the same as another to investigators.

The problem that sometimes arises though turns up in this case. Police fabricate a solution to a murder that involves a violent attack against a woman with a long pole shoved in her that damages her internal organs. A few years after 'solving' the crime, the same crime happens again. Somebody looking at the original paperwork by chance notices that the actual killer was a suspect in the first murder, but was ignored.

One underexamined piece of evidence was the 'anonymous tip' that triggered the initial arrests and false convictions in the first murder. It's likely it was made by a cop who was in tune with the atmosphere in the police station and knew what would be needed to start a lynch mob. Just listening to the voice and identifying the person, if it was a cop, would answer some questions.

Notice that during one of the false confessions a detective made a semi hostile gesture towards the person being interviewed, and that person then worked that gesture into his fictional story about what the fictional killers did to the woman. Then the person who turned out to be the most likely real killer was shown to have a very violent history specifically targeting women. In a patriarchal society, men will tend to be encouraged to treat less powerful groups as 'women', and then those less powerful groups are encouraged to do as was done to them.

Episode 7 is an obvious example of creating a criminal.

The accused in that case had a leg cramp, which might sound like an implausible scenario to some people, but not to people who have severe cramps in their muscles. At least once every several weeks I have a cramp in a leg that requires me to straighten the leg completely. There is absolutely zero control of the leg until it is straightened. This is caused by the balance of salts in a person, and by playing with different salt levels, whether potassium and magnesium or their complements like sodium and calcium, or other salts a person can change how severe these are.

A simple blood test would probably show him very low on potassium or magnesium, and if not then a little testing with other salts could probably figure it out. It could be that he took epsom salt or milk of magnesia for a while, then stopped several days before the accident. Also possible that, since he had kids, he was consuming a lot of dairy with them, and his magnesium fluctuated a lot.

The stunning thing is how the predatory 'Lord of the Flies' investigators let themselves imagine that they are 'helping' anybody. He had a solid foundation after the accident, as evidenced by his comment that the children died in the reverse order they were born. He's had a bad tragedy but had landed on his feet and was on track to solve the problem that led to the tragedy. Enter law enforcers who are caught up in a fantasy in which they must 'heroically' intrude into a family that lost its children. Their goal has absolutely nothing to do with helping anybody, it's a simple 'fake hero' play in which they force the victims and witnesses to pretend untruths, as they, the law enforcement employees, co opt authority from the victims.

Watching the so called experts in the case reminds a person that people do not go into law enforcement because they are attracted to work that requires intelligence, nor because they excel at any science. They like the power of being able to secretly arrange easy victories for themselves which others are not able to challenge because it would involve challenging their whole gang. It's very similar to the expertise which proliferated in places like the Soviet Union.

A healthy, normal, marriage involves two people. A healthy normal marriage with four children involves 6 people. It doesn't involve any bureaucrats. The big public subject in this case does not involve the accident, but rather the mystery of how so many people are now involved in that marriage. That is not healthy nor a good omen for broader society. There was never any indication of any intent by anybody in that car to cause deaths. If an outsider wanted to be constructive, they would look at what was offered by the survivors i.e., vehicle information, leg cramp information, and develop solutions from that. The 'solution' those dark bureaucrats came up with, to attack the parents, is the opposite of a solution, like spraying a water hose at somebody drowning, simple predation.

Very funny is the cop in that case who wants people to call him 'Dirty Harry' and who claims, or believes, that he looks like Clint Eastwood, and who tries to mimic a movie character as he talks, probably so others will promote that fantasy. It's funny, but he is playing some sort of childhood game while he is being paid to do honest serious work, so its not really super funny. He has no expertise in anything relevant, in fact he is way short on even common sense, but he's a cop among other cops playing the same game he is and there isn't anything a person can do about it. One solution might be to beat him over the head with a baseball bat until cranial space opened to allow common sense in.

It's very easy to get any dependent or vulnerable person to take responsibility or falsely confess to anything, but a parent who has just lost a child pushes it into a whole new level of easy. The parent already has a vague sense of guilt, which they will follow anywhere, and building an opportunistic framework around that is an easy way for a stranger to empower themself at the parent's expense.

Cases like this have the quality of canned hunts that celebrities go on. A lion is raised in a small pen, made feeble so it can't attack, then a celebrity pays big money to stand outside the pen and shoot the lion. Later you see the trophy lion mounted in a position that suggests it was about to pounce on the hunter. The heroic celebrity says 'Yeah, I'm a pretty good shot. I was going to be a cop, but being a celebrity pays better. Sometimes I have to shoot dangerous animals though. Lions are very dangerous."

Another interesting thing about that episode is the polygraph examiner.

A specific type of personality is attracted to pseudosciences. It comes from an obvious developmental step. A very young person who does not know any science, the basic theory of science, will gradually have that understanding 'beaten' into them by a mix of negative and positive experiences. Somebody who has avoided the negative experiences will be drawn to pseudo science. It lets somebody make their own rules for the science so that when asked for an explanation of some rational question within the science they can yell 'Because I say so', then they whisper 'I'm an expert'.

Polygraphing is a legitimate tool. It provides 'extra' sensory information, like an interrogator having one more expression to watch. But being 'a professional polygrapher' is like a professional driver saying he is 'a professional gas pedal pusher'. If that really is the main specialty of a professional driver he gets to drive once.

The polygraph expert in this case is very similar to the FBI polygraph expert who handles another case on the Esar Met page. His incompetence and lack of any useful skills in what is being investigated is glaring, but all of his stupidity gets rolled up into a bureaucratic package and stamped 'expert', so people have to pretend he is not an utter imbecile. He probably does have some real skills. He may be good at fixing appliances, or maybe he is an expert at wood carving or driving complex machinery, but that expertise is hidden, and probably atrophies, because he is forced to pretend he is an expert at something in which he is a complete moron.

One of the problems with 'suppressing' false confessions in cases like this is that it feeds the crooked police, not their victims. In this case the judge viewed the confession, saw it was false, and then said 'nobody can see it', he suppressed it. If he was able to understand that it was a false confession by watching it, why would he want to prevent others from watching it? It is more a behavioral question than a legal one. Regardless his job or any intentions, why would a judge hide such evidence of innocence, such evidence of misconduct by police?  

Season 2, episode 1 looks like a common scenario of a crime possibly committed by a cop

The initial part of the episode shows a crime which appears to have features that might point to a cop being the killer. This, by itself, is strong evidence that police will try to find a killer quickly, regardless whether a cop was actually involved. Their fear is having to arrest a cop, so they will start pushing evidence where it does not belong.

The fact that an FBI agent is involved in a local interrogation is another warning sign that the case will be following something other than the evidence. Part of the FBI's 'mission' is to pump the public image of law enforcement and to help hide corruption unless it has spilled into the media already. At this point of the case, a murder with features suggesting a cop may be responsible, the FBI will be trying to do whatever they can, as long as there are no public questions about whether the killer was a cop. If those questions do arise then of course they have to shift to a position which will throw the local police agencies under the bus and portray the FBI as heroic.

The fact that the second interrogation, following the arrest, involved driving past 4 or 5 local police agencies in order to interview the suspect in a shed in a backyard of the sheriff gives a fair amount of information. The fact that that interrogation appears to have been facilitated by the FBI gives even more.

A lot of murders have occurred, and still occur, which have a lot of indications that they were committed by 'law' enforcement employees, cops, and these murders almost always have the common feature that they are not investigated properly.

FBI Agent Boyd Boshears, who participates in the shed interview has a sleaziness similar to the FBI interrogator in the Esar Met case. Both seem to be basking in their power as they knowingly arrange a person to be convicted for a crime that person did not commit. They are the perfect examples of people who should not be cops, but in both cases they are 'teaching' local cops how to frame somebody.

This case is sort of similar to the previous one, where law enforcement preyed on the vulnerable parents of children who had just died, but in this case the FBI agent and local police led their victim to believe his still living child / children would be in danger if he did not do as they wanted. So he knows at that moment his child / children are well, and he has as much a motivation to keep them well by giving the FBI agent and police what they want, as the surviving parent in the previous case had for accepting any guilt that was pushed at him. In both cases the FBI and police are playing on a parent's motivation to protect their child's interest, but in one case the child is already dead, and in the other case not.

At 34 minutes 50 seconds the sheriff admits he knows people who the victim 'spent the night with' at an unknown time, implying a connection between the sheriff and somebody associated with the victim's then boyfriend. This is something the FBI would have been able to research quickly, and the details of that information are probably what led the FBI to coverup the murder.

Season 2 episode 2 starts as a regular false confession

Police get a false confession from one person and he implicates somebody else, so they have two people they can convict.

Then some other police research some evidence which leads to two other suspects.

They get a confession from at least one of those two, then at about 35 minutes 30 seconds one of the real killers is trying to cooperate and asks the police who they want to be put in the crime. The person is fully cooperative, and willing to play, the detectives only have to say 'Add such and such to the murder, say they were there'.

But instead, the police say 'We have two other people who also confessed'. Now this person is computing all the possible scenarios and has a twilight zone moment where nothing is real. Why would police need to have her add the other people if they confessed? This person has made elaborate defenses against confessing, and would not easily confess to something they did do, but now the police are saying they need help convicting somebody who confessed to something which, this person knows, they did not do. Initially she had some sense of the roles involved in her drama, for example the role of the police, she believed, was to catch criminals. But now, briefly, she has to step back and figure it out again.

A person can look at that person, who has just confessed, and see that there is a bit of an acceptance that 'the right thing' was confessing. She accepts at that point that there is 'an adult world' which she now accepts as valid because it has some underlying value which she instinctively can support, even at a high price to herself.

But when the detective says that they have two more people who have confessed she realizes that whatever value system her murderous friend had was correct after all. She realizes that the 'murder' value system of her partner was better than the 'official' value system of those who had caught her.

Another interesting thing about this case is that a technician who planted evidence was sentenced to two years in prison because he was not a cop. If the Avery case ever gets sorted out the cops who planted much more evidence, and committed much more serious crimes, will not pay any serious price because they are cops.

There is one big issue in this case and a lot of similar cases which is ignored. The reactions of the various individuals involved in false confessions is analogous to a criminal who commits a crime, gets caught, and then throws up a lot of smoke about not having committed a crime. In other words a lot of these prosecutors are covering up something beyond that which they are yelling about. The reaction of the technician who planted evidence, and served two years for it, is distinctly different, sort of like the sheriff in the previous case. Both of those two obviously have a lot of information about corruption which they feel outweighs any deeds they were responsible for, but the ones who have good cause to feel guilty, most of the cops involved in most of these cases, are creating a smokescreen to minimize scrutiny of their past conduct in other cases. They know the type of interrogation which would get that kind of information from them, and they know the price they would pay.

Season 2, episode 3 is interesting because it exposes the underlying motive in extracting a confession

The 'criminal' aspect is not unusual.

a) Person does not commit crime.

b) Person confesses.

c) Cop gets some prize, usually prestige or a promotion.

This episode starts with an overtly sexual conversation between an unusually vulnerable woman and a cop. The normal interrogation involves 'a group of men' trying to force another man to 'submit' to them, and there is always underlying sexual imagery in what the group of men do.

In this case a single detective has been put in the room with an attractive vulnerable woman. It's virtually certain that a higher level cop who understood the dynamic arranged that scenario deliberately, maybe for a laugh.

The detective has to 'get the girl', but in this case 'the girl' really is a girl. So he goes to town, he knows the payoff will be huge. He can feel it in his loins.


Netflix has another series called Exhibit A, looking at faulty forensic evidence

Season 1, episode 3 is an unusual case, because no real evidence is presented pointing to a mistake having been made. The evidence is not strong at all, but there is no evidence contradicting it. The case involves a young black couple who were suspected of killing their child, but a body was never found. There are photos shown of the child who has the scared look of a child who is in danger, but there could be other explanations. The parents believe the child could still be alive. The one obvious piece of evidence not examined on video was a ski mask that could have come from carjackers. A ski mask would have DNA and would probably identify the kidnappers, if there were. If the kidnappers were identified they could explain what happened. It isn't clear if the parents are telling the truth, but testing the ski mask for DNA would be a cheap way to get more information and possibly solve a long shot.

Season 1, episode 4 is a case in which a gay black guy was attacked by a Jewish community patrol in Brooklynn and the show focuses on DNA. It's clear that a lot of cleverness was used to avoid any accountability, and many people would say that is not really what Jewish law is about. There was no doubt the victim was attacked and blinded by prominent members of the local Hasidic community. It's normal to be clever to avoid jail, but it would have been proper to pay a substantial settlement to the person who lost an eye. Failing that, the victim should have filed a lawsuit to at least get monetary compensation.






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