Saturday, February 23, 2013

Statement Analysis: Molestation Interview

I encourage journalists and therapists to take LSI's course on SCAN (Statement Analysis) as it is invaluable in the Interview process. Here's an example of just how valuable it is. 

 It is the seeking of information, obtaining the "pure version" of what happened against the tide of natural human resistance and denial.  In other words, the interview is a fight against an often guilty conscience. 

                                  Who will win?

The victor is the seeker of information, whether it is an investigator, a social worker, a journalist, therapist, junior high school principal, human resources worker, blogger, jilted girlfriend...

The victor can gain the information through the lens of Statement Analysis, which will help show the missing information in a statement and bring the interviewee to the place of truth. 

In analytical interviewing, the interview is based upon open-ended questions, such as "What happened?" and "the accusation do you speak to it?" to allow someone to give a reliable denial. 

A reliable denial has not only three components, but it also must be given during the Free Editing Process, that is, when the subject is speaking for himself, not using another's wording, nor entering into the language of the Interviewer.  

1.  Pronoun, "I"
2.  Past tense verb "did not" or "didn't"
3.  Specific to the allegation

This must come when the subject is speaking for himself, and not part of a question such as, "Did you touch her sexually?" where he says, "I didn't touch her sexually."  This is reflective language and is not reliable.  This is why we give opportunities in abundance for the innocent to simply say so. 

Here is a portion of an interview of a man who had sexual contact with a minor.  The first portion set the pace:

1.  Name
2.  Address
3.  How long have you worked here?
4.  Describe a typical day of your duties here...

and so on.  This set a tempo of answers making it "impolite" for the subject to suddenly become silent or shorten his answers.  After this, more direct questions are asked, and as you will see, eventually, the allegation's specifics are introduced.  He knew, all along, the allegation, but specifics have been withheld from him. 

He has been unable to bring himself to say "I didn't do it" throughout the interview.  

Interviewer:   The allegation is that you had sexual contact with her. 

Subject:     Okay. 

Here, we note that the subject 'agreed'; that is, it is "okay" with him that the wording "you had sexual contact" was used. 

We find that innocent people will not find this to be "okay"as there is no agreement between the subject and the allegation.  There was a pause here, so the subject was now shown that the Interviewer has a specific detail to present.  This often unnerves the subject and depending upon the constitution of the subject, and how long and how much guilt is being felt.  For this subject, it was about 24 hours that he knew authorities had been contacted. 

The Interviewer allowed for the silence to continue a few moments.  

"I love my wife.  I love my son."

The subject now introduced his wife and his son.  This is almost always an indication that sexual activity took place, legal or illegal, including on cheating spouses.  

The skilled interviewer has recognized that he has given his 'agreement' to the allegation by the word "okay" and is now thinking that an admission is about to arise: 

Interviewer:  Well, one of the allegations is that you had oral sex with her.

Analytical Interviewing (Interviewing based upon Statement Analysis) seeks to avoid introducing any word at any time.  Here, having exhausted all the open ended questions, the Interviewer is now relying on the words of the victim and introduces "oral" into the interview.  This is only done when everything else has been covered and it is done in as small a portion as possible. 

Subject:  Okay.  (pause).   

Another agreement. 

The Interviewer allowed the silence to continue this time.  It was uncomfortable for the subject who finally, after what seemed to be a long time, spoke.  In time, it may have been almost 60 seconds: 

No.  I've never even even seen her naked. 

Here, the subject used the word "no", which is not a stress-inducing word when deception is present.  Yes or No questions are easiest to lie to. 

The Interviewer wrote down the word "naked", slowly, and in a deliberate manner in which the subject was allowed to see it. 

Our tendency is to be polite and fill in the gaps of silence, but here, the Interviewer did not.  

The Interviewer went through more details.  The Interviewer knew that "naked" was important enough to introduce, but it was presented with "never" and "even" making it unreliable.  The Interviewer now recognized that he and his victim being "naked" is sensitive. 

Interviewer:  The allegation is that you kissed her.

Subject:   No, I wouldn't do that.

The subject is unable to say that he did not, only that he "wouldn't" do that.  The word "that" shows distancing language from the allegation. It is an unreliable denial.  

The subject will now be presented with something else that he does not know is known.  This is where he cracks.  

Interviewer:   The allegation is that you sent sexual text messages. 

The under-aged victim had deleted the text messages, but they can be retrieved; it just takes time. The Interviewer is betting that the subject is not smart enough to know that in 24 hours, the Interviewer would not have them retrieved as of yet. 

Subject:   I know that looks bad. 

Long pause.  The Interviewer let him struggle.  He sagged in his seat, as if to protect himself, going deeper and deeper into the couch. He needed 'protection' and could not comfort his body. The Interviewer recognized this and pounced: 

Interviewer:   Is there anything you want to tell me. 

Subject:   Yes, it happened.  

Interviewer:  what happened?

Subject:  I kissed her.  We kissed.  

Admissions come, often, in small increments.  The guilty conscience fights natural denial.  Often, even in an admission, there is a portion of denial.  

He began with some responsibility.  "I kissed her", which uses the strong pronoun, "I", but then quickly moved to sharing responsibility with "we", plural.  The pronoun "we" indicates unity, cooperation, and sharing.  This is his perspective, not the law's.  

Subject:  We were naked in the bedroom and there was some petting. 

Note that he re-introduces the word "naked" into the Interview.  Recall his unreliable statement above, where he was not asked "Were you naked?" but instead, in an open statement, that is, one in which he is choosing his own words, he used the word "naked."

Notice also that the procedure is continuing:

1.  I kissed her
2.  We kissed
3.  There was some petting

"There was some petting" is passive language.  Passivity seeks to conceal responsibility.  

The Interviewer stayed on top of the passive language leading the subject to admit the sexual contact that took place between him and his victim.  

Victory came due to truth.  

There was no bullying, no screaming or yelling, no sitting on top of someone to intimidate them. 

It was, however, a very lengthy interview that went on for hours while the subject talked about his day, his life, his wife, his children and was, in anyone's description, boring. 

Yet it is in this method that we get to the truth.  We don't need bullying tactics.  In our country, we don't need false confessions and false convictions.  Recall Kevin Fox, falsely accused of murdering his daughter.  He said, of his own volition, "I did not kill her" but the bullying detective, busy congratulating himself, was not listening. 

Statement Analysis gets to the truth.  


John Mc Gowan said...


The Jackson brother says "artistic reasons" are behind his new name change, not a family disputJermaine Jackson Changes Surname To Jacksun.
e.6:19am UK, Saturday 23 February 2013

Jermaine Jacksun is on tour with his brothers.
Jermaine Jackson has changed his surname to Jacksun - but denies it has anything to with a recent rift in his family.

He said he sought the name change for "artistic reasons", NOT BECAUSE of a DISPUTE over the care of Michael Jackson’s children and family matriarch Katherine Jackson.


NOTE:Anything in the negative.
BECAUSE:When someone has a need to explain we note this with the highest level of sensitivity.

DISPUTE:What is his definition of the word DISPUTE?

"To him, it's no big deal. It's for artistic reasons. It's changing one letter to put in something bright and positive. Phonetically, it's still the same. I don't think he'll be changing it as often as (Sean) P Diddy (Combs)," friend Steve Dennis previously told the New York Daily News.

This leaves it open for others to think it is a big deal(Family and friends)
Anthing said in the negative is always flagged.
"THINK"Also weakens what his friend has said.
A Los Angeles judge approved Jacksun's name change.
The 58-year-old, who shared lead singing duties with his younger brother Michael in The Jackson 5, did not appear in court.
His lawyer, Bret D Lewis, said the singer was performing in Sweden with his brothers and did not know whether he would comment further on the creative reasons for the change.
After briefly going to war with the executors of Michael's estate last summer, Jermaine has been touring with brothers Tito, Marlon and Jackie as well as promoting his book You Are Not Alone.

John Mc Gowan said...


My apologies for another OT.

RE: The Dr Phil show airing Tuesday.
Given that i'm in the UK does anyone know were about on the internet it may stream.


Anonymous said...

"The victor can gain the information through the lens of Statement Analysis, which will help show the missing information in a statement and bring the interviewee to the place of truth."

I do agree statement analysis is a useful tool/help.
(no caps)
I also know a full toolbox works better than ‘only’ one tool.
My personal gift is body language … if I dissect that given gift, I might lose that gift.

All human senses are valuable.

I am an avid reader, of many topics … picking ‘one’ tool over all other available tools is not logical.
Useful, yes.
Complete, no. -mo

sidewalk super said...

After the trial, the arias interrogation would be very good to see here. Congratulations to the detective who finally got some semblance of truth out of her.

Trigger said...

Good post!

Simple and to the point.

Tania Cadogan said...

"To him, it's no big deal. It's for artistic reasons. It's changing one letter to put in something bright and positive

Is there something not bright and positive in the name Jackson?

Apple said...

Austin Sigg's 911 call will hopefully put him away for life

Anonymous said...

OT How about a change of pace and do a Statement Analysis on Austin Sigg?

John Mc Gowan said...


This is the only bit of the 911 call i could find.

911 CALL

The Prosecution also played part of the 911 call made by Mindy Sigg. A portion of the called included the following transcription:

MINDY SIGG: Come to my house. My son wants to turn himself in for Jessica Ridgeway's murder. He just confessed to killing her. He did it. He gave the details. He remains in my house.
DISPATCHER: How old is he?
DISPATCHER: What's his name? Austin Sigg?
MINDY: He did it. He wanted me to call.

The dispatcher then asks to speak to Austin Sigg. He gets on the phone.

DISPATCHER: How are you feeling?
AUSTIN SIGG: I don't know why you're asking me these questions.
AUSTIN: I murdered Jessica Ridgeway. I have proof that I did. You should send a squad here. [She's] in the crawl space.
DISPATCHER: Did you know Jessica before this?
AUSTIN: No I did not.
DISPATCHER: Do you have any weapons in your home?
AUSTIN: Yes, I plan to use none of them. I have knives in my room [but] there will be no resistance what so ever.

The dispatcher asks if he has any criminal record.

AUSTIN: The only other thing I've done is the Ketner Lake incident. The only other criminal history is a speeding ticket.

Apple said...

Thank you, John. The details of Jessica's final moments are horrifying.

Deejay said...

Respect to sidewalk super. But 8 days on the stand so far- I vote we don't analyze Arias. She is such an energy suck...

sidewalk super said...

She's auditioning for the porn professionals as near as I can tell.

Yup, good term, energy suck.

It's how the detective wore her down would be interesting?

Statement Analysis Blog said...

What part of the article says use one tool?

Did you not read the investigator's noting of his body language?

DId you not read that questions from the victim's information were presented?

I don't assert a one tool investigation in the article, nor in life.

John Mc Gowan said...

Anon 11:22 ,Said,

"My personal GIFT is body language … if I DISSECT that given GIFT, I might lose THAT GIFT"

You use the word "GIFT" 3 times making it sensitive,are you trying to convince yourself or others that you have a "GIFT".




Why would you want to distance yourself from your "GIFT"?

"DISSECT" is an interesting choice of words..

Deejay said...

I agree that the cross examination of Arias would be interesting- where he appeared to get her to admit what we 'know' is the real truth- Hard to imagine she could convince a jury 27 knife wounds to the back is self-defense.

Unknown said...

Peter, I find myself looking at my notes after an interview sometimes and thinking in terms of statement analysis lately. It must be sinking in. But I only seriously tried to employ it once recently - a story in which biz owners were complaining about trees in front of their buildings being chopped down and two officials blamed each other for the decision. After interviewing both I looked at my notes with a critical eye and looked for reliable denials - finding one in neither interview. Now as a journalist it's not my job to pin the blame on someone, only to report what was said and what was done - expose facts and ultimately let the reader decide. But by looking at the lack of a reliable denial and finding sensitive areas, I got an idea to call the officials back and ask more specific questions. I think that's a pretty good result of trying to use statement analysis in my work - even though I understand only the most basic points.

Lis said...

This is very good. Knowing what to ask (and not ask) and allowing those uncomfortable silences to work, it just requires patience.

sidewalk super said...

to Deejay..
Considering some of those knife wounds are in the backs of his ankles, so I kinda think he was down on (bed?) and she slashed him there, at an easier height for her to reach?