"I can't recall" is the number one verbalized deceptive answer in court, according to many deception detection experts including Dr. Paul Ekman.
In an open statement, a subject can only tell us what she does recall. When in an open statement a subject tells us what she cannot recall, the analyst must be on high alert for deception. Statement Analysis is in bold type.
Jodi Arias said she grabbed a gun from Alexander’s closet to protect herself, pointing it at him but failing to halt his attack. “He got like a linebacker,” she said.
Jodi Arias, the Arizona woman charged with fatally stabbing her ex-lover 27 times and shooting him in the head in a jealous rage, testified Wednesday that she had no recollection of killing him.
The 32-year-old Arias has spent eight days on the witness stand recounting in precise detail one life event after another — from an abusive childhood to specific kinky sex acts and ex-boyfriends — but when pressed about how she killed Travis Alexander, she drew a blank, noting there was a “huge gap” in her memory from June 4, 2008.
Arias said she remembered getting in a fight with Alexander, possibly shooting at him as they tussled, putting a knife in the dishwasher and disposing of a gun in the desert as she drove from Arizona on her way to see a friend in Utah.
But when asked by her defense lawyer if she remembered stabbing Alexander, she replied:
No evidence yet corroborates Arias’ testimony that Alexander kept a gun. Also, her grandparents reported a .25-caliber gun missing from their Northern California home about a week before the attack, the same caliber used in Alexander’s killing. Arias said she knows nothing about the burglary.
“I have no memory of stabbing him. I remember dropping the knife, and it clinked on the tile. ... And I just remember screaming. I don’t remember anything after that.”
A person can only tell us what they do remember.
1. No memory of stabbing
2. Memory of dropping the knife, including sound hitting the tile
3. "just" is only; screaming, yet she asserted to remember sound of clinking noise
4. "I don't remember" in a statement here is deceptive.
Note also the order that she does not remember anything "after that" yet the stabbing came before the dropping of the knife.
Arias said the fight started after a day of raunchy sex after she accidentally dropped Alexander’s new digital camera while taking racy photos of him in the shower of his Mesa home.
She said the mistake sent Alexander into a rage. He body-slammed her and chased her around the house “like a linebacker,” Arias said.
JODI ARIAS VIA MYSPACE
Jodi Arias is charged in the 2008 stabbing and shooting death of her lover, Travis Alexander. She faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.
She said she then grabbed a gun from his closet to protect herself.
"I pointed it at him with both of my hands. I thought that would stop him, but he just kept running. He got like a linebacker. He got low and grabbed my waist, and as he was lunging at me, the gun went off. I didn't mean to shoot. I didn't even think I was holding the trigger," she testified, according to ABC News.
Note that he was "running"; Note that he got like a "linebacker" Note that he "was lunging" and not "he lunged" Note that "the gun went off" is passive; seeking to conceal responsibility. Note that she reports what she did not think
"But he lunged at me, and we fell really hard toward the tile wall, so at this point I didn't even know if he had been shot. I didn't see anything different,” she added. Note that she reports what she did not know.
"So he's grabbing at my clothes, and I got up. And he's screaming angry, and after I broke away from him, he said, 'f---ing kill you b----,'" she said.
Note the change of verb tense from past tense to present tense. This change is noteworthy as it reduces reliability. Note how she uses past tense and present tense in the same sentences.
Arias faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.
Authorities have said Alexander likely didn’t own a gun; there has been no testimony to back up Arias’ account that he kept one in his closet.
Arias’ grandparents reported a .25-caliber handgun stolen from their Northern California house about a week before the killing — the same caliber used to shoot Alexander — but Arias said she knows nothing about the robbery.
Arias also testified Wednesday about why she repeatedly lied about her involvement in the killing. She first told police she knew nothing about Alexander’s death, later blaming it on masked intruders before settling on self-defense.
JODI ARIAS VIA MYSPACE
Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander, whom she said was inclined to be violent. Arias said the fatal encounter began when she accidentally dropped his camera, sending him into a rage. At first, she claimed to have no involvement in his death.
“I just have always heard ‘Don’t admit to anything,’” she told jurors in explaining why she denied involvement for so long.
Note the passivity: she conceals who told her this.
She also later told jurors how she left Alexander’s home and immediately began planning an alibi, traveling to see a friend in Utah after disposing of the gun in the desert to “throw the scent off for a little while.”
Her attorneys concluded their questioning of her Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors are set to begin their cross-examination Thursday. She faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in Alexander’s 2008 killing.
The trial has drawn attention for the explicit details Arias has shared about what she has described as Alexander’s “deviant” urges, which included anal sex and violent outbursts.
During previous testimony, Arias described how Alexander made repeated sexual advances while converting her to the Mormon faith during their initial courtship. She said she didn’t tell him to stop, but the sex made her uncomfortable because she felt it violated the teachings of Mormonism.