Saturday, April 27, 2013

Statement Analysis of Anonymous Letters

update:  see addition from Kaaryn below.

Using the SCAN technique, we are often able to take anonymous letters and learn much information regarding the identity of the writer.

Often, the identity is found within the letter, itself.

We are also able to determine if a threat is real or not, though caution is always to be exercised just the same, as well as learn the motive of the letter.

Going word by word, we ask:

1.  Does this indicate gender?

This means that in order to do this type of work, one that is 'politically correct' and insists upon gender neutral language will fail.  We have to ask ourselves:

Is a man or a woman more likely to use this particular phrase?  This takes time to develop.

2.  Age?

We often date ourselves by our reference point.  Said the heavyweight champion to Rocky Balboa:

"It ain't over till it's over?  Where's that from, the '80s?"

"Uh, I think that's from the '70's" said Rocky.

Age is one of the easier things to pinpoint, unless the subject comes from a large family of older siblings, and then will often have references that appear to date him a bit, but even this is somewhat rare.

Some young people love old movies but when one says he is "smarter than the average bear" I am thinking that he did not grow up on Sponge Bob.

2.  What is the education level?

There are those of high intelligence who may have been under-educated, while there are those who receive advance degrees but leave us wondering how they ever passed anything.
Is the subject deliberately dumbing things down to appear to be someone else?

3.  What is the emotional intelligence level?

This is a hot-button point for some, but it does a wonderful work in identification.

Businesses are fond of attempting to identify those who solid-working intellects.  Having someone, for example, in a business who has a high IQ, but is socially awkward to the point of turning away business, is something necessary for productivity.  In most government agencies where no profit must be turned, this person is ripe for promotion, as he or she poses little threat to upper management, but will never bring productivity to fruition.

 What is this person like?

What do they understand about their own selves, and about the world around them?

 Does he possess self awareness?

Does she have any familiarity with the language of humility?

Is it likely that an above average intelligent woman with a BA degree is going to listen to a heavy metal rock band screeching about rape?  Not likely.

There is always an exception to a rule, but remind yourself:

Norms, or principles, are not built on exceptions.

Somewhere out there is a woman who is going to bench press more than me.  I will not, however, bet a cup of coffee on it.  We must be flexible and not bring our pre-conceived notions into analysis, whenever possible.

4.  Marital status

There is language that indicates one being married (or, today, in a long-term relationship) versus the language of someone single, though we must be on our guard because a married person who uses 'single' language may be indicating a bad relationship headed for a divorce.  As society shifts, we may eventually make slight changes to "committed relationship" rather than "marriage" but we will not change our pronoun usage, as humans are possessive creatures.

5.  Geography

Does the statement contain any regional wording?

Is it "wicked hot"?  Is it that "good Southern sense" that one might have?
Is there any references that may indicate geographical location?

6.  Likes, Dislikes

I like to joke about what a friend said to me, years ago, before he got married about his bride, "One owner, clean, in and out, no major accidents, no body work, good tires..."  Of course, he was in the car business but it is that our world view is often shaped by what we do to pay the bills.

I use this same principle when accepting "friend" requests on Facebook during times when agitators wish to have access so they can seethe or threaten, under several different facebook names.  Like the woman walking down the dark alley instinctively "profiling" the man dressed in a tuxedo walking towards her...well, you get the idea that thought must be given.

Our language reveals who we are, even when we attempt to masquerade ourselves, and like any analysis, the more sample we have to work with, the greater the accuracy.  Learning Statement Analysis will not teach someone how to be a good liar, as we all are exposed when we enter the Free Editing Process.

Objection:  But what if one avoids the Free Editing Process and stays to script?

Answer:   We will note that the subject has a need to avoid freely speaking for himself, and his need to stay to script as sensitive.

Today, people will reveal themselves, for example, with musical references.  If someone references a love of all things Bing Crosby, methinks we are not dealing with a trendy 16 year old.

Of course, at any point, we have to be flexible.

What makes it exciting is the twists and turns of the journey and it sometimes goes like this:

a.  This really sounds like a female.

b.  This sounds like a female.

c.  This sounds like a male.

d.  Oh, but now this sounds like a female...and back and forth it can go, demanding an open mind.

We have 3 sentences that really sound like a female, but this one sounds like a male, so we are leaning towards female, but remain open...OK?  Next sentence suggests that this person is, in the least, educated to the high school level, but notice this word.  "Attache."  Hmm.  Not many foreigners call themselves foreigners and kidnappers using the word "attache" is causing me to think...

and off we go on the obvious references to Patsy Ramsey and the ransom note.  Back and forth, to and fro, seeking truth while trying to enter the statement and let it guide us.

Or the one who wrote about having "visitation" with his own child...revealing that, perhaps, it is a court supervised issue and there is tension.  Or the man who proposed, not marriage, but a "merger"...it is sometimes humorous, but it can be revealing.

Recall the "truck driver wheels on the road" observation regarding Baby Ayla?

It is exciting work but not for the hard-hearted, nor the politically correct, nor for one who is easily offended. There is, statistically, a correlation between anonymous threatening letters and those who have sexual confusion.  If that offends you, even though it is not a moral statement, you can't do this work. If you insist that men wear pink, refuse to take out the garbage, and always rush home to see Oprah and eat bon-bons, you are going to struggle with trying to discern gender, from the very beginning.

 It must be that the analyst remains open, willing to change his or her mind, and open to being wrong.

********************Kaaryn Gough

 I have worked on several anonymous letters and it can be challenging to uncover the author's identity. It's made even more challenging when more than one person created the letter.

When I work on an anonymous letter and begin to suspect more than one person was involved in its creation, I try to discern the "voices" of the authors. What voice is the voice of the one who is doing the actual physical writing of the letter and what is the voice of the one who is doing the "dictating". After all, they both can't sit and write it at the same time. Generally one person does the physical recording of the words.

The mental process of recording one's own thoughts would be different from recording an other person's thoughts. I look for where the voice seems to come from an internal source and where the voice seems to come from an external source.

If the writer is recording what is coming directly from his/her own thoughts, then the process is a direct one--the words are generated in his/her brain and are transferred directly to the paper. Whereas, when the writer is recording what someone else is saying, the words are coming from an exterior source. they are not being generated inside the writer's own brain. The words must pass through the writer's brain before they are transferred to the paper.

Depending upon the level of collaboration between the creators, discerning the voices can be either very easy or very difficult. 

For example, if the two work on each and every sentence together, writing it, re-writing it and fine-tuning each an every word, this makes it very difficult to separate the voices. However, if one person is basically "dictating" to the one recording the words, then frequently the dictation perspective leaks through. it only takes one word to reveal there is another voice present inside the letter.

In instances where there are multiple letters sent over a period of time, I compare the language and structures inside each letter and between all letters to discover patterns, similarities and differences in order to discern if a different voice is present from one letter to the next.

Recently, I said to Peter, when I work on an anonymous letter, I feel as if I work my way into the writer's "skin" through his/her language. I know, sounds gross--something out of "The Silence Of The Lambs"--but this is how I work to discover both the writer's linguistic code and how to decipher it. 



42 comments:

john said...

Another great article Peter.

Geezz you must be shattered,being up so early and that.I guess last nights outcome kept a lot of us awake,me included.

Once again Thanks Peter..

Anonymous said...

When you go back and forth like that trying to discern gender, how can you tell if it is or isn't a collaboration between a woman and a man? I am thinking of the Ramsey ransom letter, and remember reading how they did an analysis on it. It wasn't called SA but something else, and I think they came up with a 70% chance it was a woman, if I remember correctly. I always thought he could have been sitting there with her while she wrote it suggesting things.

john said...

Anon 5:19,

I think that is a great question and would certainly like to read Peter's reply..

Apple said...

A practice letter, Peter? :)

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

OT, update.

Dylan Redwine case:


Vallecito Reservoir search turns up nothing.

Snipped:

Search dogs picked up a scent along the reservoir shoreline over the weekend. That prompted the two-day search below Middle Mountain Campgroud.

Crews built a dam and drained a section that was 20 feet long and reached 10 feet in the water, according to the Durango Herald. But they found nothing.

"We’re satisfied that we thoroughly checked that spot," Dan Bender, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, told the newspaper.

"We have had canine alerts at multiple locations around the lake throughout the winter," Bender told 7NEWS. "They have all been negative."

Bender said investigators are exhausting all THEIR possibilities.


http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/state-news/dylan-redwine-case-vallecito-reservoir-search-turns-up-nothing

Anonymous said...

Well, one thing we know: A dead body (or bodies) has been around and/or in that lake, otherwise the canine searches wouldn't keep hitting on hot spots for detection of human decomposition. This would seem to me that somewhere in that lake has to be at least one discarded body, or either was buried in a shallow grave somewhere the waters' edge.

Marc Redwine ought to be taken down to that lake and waterboarded until he reveals what he did with little Dylan. Anon 1

rocker said...

heavy metal rock band screeching about rape? don't know of any.. sounds more like rap artists

Peter Hyatt said...

Anonymous said...
When you go back and forth like that trying to discern gender, how can you tell if it is or isn't a collaboration between a woman and a man? I am thinking of the Ramsey ransom letter, and remember reading how they did an analysis on it. It wasn't called SA but something else, and I think they came up with a 70% chance it was a woman, if I remember correctly. I always thought he could have been sitting there with her while she wrote it suggesting things.
April 27, 2013 at 5:19 AM >>

It is very difficult.

People collaborating together isn't unusual. We look for changes in language in which one writer might enter the language of another: if they are married or together for a long time; making it even more difficult.

There are times where I find that I just don't know, and conclude:

If it is a male, the male is likely...
but if it is a female, ...

and on it goes.

Great question; weak answer.

Peter

Peter Hyatt said...

rocker said...
heavy metal rock band screeching about rape? don't know of any.. sounds more like rap artists

April 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM >>

This was my marbles falling out.

Nic said...

I loved this article, Peter. I found it particularly interesting because of the way we communicate/interact today. (Internet) Some time ago I was part of a community and assumed we were all women. There was one poster who when participating spoke about their daughter and being their "mother". Many of us would reference our kids, but in hindsight, who begins references of their kids with things like, "being so 'n so's mother, when they were little..." "She" came across aggressive and, sometimes ornery. I just chalked it up to someone who was having a hard life and being insecure. But one day she called us "all pu@@ies". IMO, that's a man's word and IMO, it spoke to their masculinity. From then on in I saw that person's participation as a form of entertainment for them (troll) and ignored them.

veruca said...

Not to get technical...
Nirvana. Rape me
Stone temple pilots. Plush

Wait did i just give my.age away?...

What about the shawnboy thing? Is this a throw off to make it sound like they are close?


Peter Hyatt said...

I leaked out something regarding the music and if given permission, it will make sense upon posting.

john said...

"twists and turns"Back and forth, to and fro,


Bing Crosby,

"Back and forth, to and fro,"
(mentioned twice)is this dancing you like peter,or a dislike thereof.

Just a guess..






Katie said...

Peter,

I can't wait for you to post your analysis of the letter to Pointhunter.

Thank you for the new lessons. I understand now what your cryptic statement was about that you made the day before yesterday when you said you were pressed for time and what you wrote belonged in an article. I think it was about the upcoming news that the remains were in fact those of Hailey.

Sus said...

Yes, I think Shawn would call himself "Shawn boy", and someone else write it down.

Anonymous said...

Shawn boy suggests contempt, therefore it is deflection meant to sway the readers focus towards the subject.
It reeks of jealousy.

Anonymous said...

Peter, Thank you for your answer. It was a good answer. I guess you don't want to be sure if you are not sure, yet you can make suppositions and look at it this way and that; it's what made Cezanne such a great painter. He was scrupulously honest.





Kaaryn Gough said...

Again, Peter, an excellent post! I have worked on several anonymous letters and it can be challenging to uncover the author's identity. It's made even more challenging when more than one person created the letter.

When I work on an anonymous letter and begin to suspect more than one person was involved in its creation, I try to discern the "voices" of the authors. What voice is the voice of the one who is doing the actual physical writing of the letter and what is the voice of the one who is doing the "dictating". After all, they both can't sit and write it at the same time. Generally one person does the physical recording of the words.

The mental process of recording one's own thoughts would be different from recording an other person's thoughts. I look for where the voice seems to come from an internal source and where the voice seems to come from an external source.

If the writer is recording what is coming directly from his/her own thoughts, then the process is a direct one--the words are generated in his/her brain and are transferred directly to the paper. Whereas, when the writer is recording what someone else is saying, the words are coming from an exterior source. they are not being generated inside the writer's own brain. The words must pass through the writer's brain before they are transferred to the paper.

Depending upon the level of collaboration between the creators, discerning the voices can be either very easy or very difficult.

For example, if the two work on each and every sentence together, writing it, re-writing it and fine-tuning each an every word, this makes it very difficult to separate the voices. However, if one person is basically "dictating" to the one recording the words, then frequently the dictation perspective leaks through. it only takes one word to reveal there is another voice present inside the letter.

In instances where there are multiple letters sent over a period of time, I compare the language and structures inside each letter and between all letters to discover patterns, similarities and differences in order to discern if a different voice is present from one letter to the next.

Recently, I said to Peter, when I work on an anonymous letter, I feel as if I work my way into the writer's "skin" through his/her language. I know, sounds gross--something out of "The Silence Of The Lambs"--but this is how I work to discover both the writer's linguistic code and how to decipher it.

john said...

Hi Kaaryn,

great post,and thank you too, for all the work you put into the Hailey case.

Kaaryn Gough said...

John,

You are welcome. Let's hope the results of this blog and everyone's efforts help to resolve the many cases still outstanding and unresolved.

I often rely on Peter to keep me abreast of what's happening and I'm truly amazed at his ability to maintain this blog. He's a veritable fountain of information and knowledge. I am happy to contribute when I can and provide any additional thoughts that might help.

melvania said...

What if this SA of Anonymous Letters is an entire storage building of leaked marbles, i.e. the letter received by Pointhunter?
Did Peter tell us so?
(often), the identity is found within the letter, (itself).
Did Shawn write a letter dictated by Billie....Billie doesn't have a Bachelor's degree, does she?

loulou said...

Yesterday, Peter made mention of the threats made to him.... were they made anonymously?

Trigger said...

As I look at this photo, I noticed a hoof print from a shod horse on the right upper part for the photo.

I am wondering if someone rode by those remains and missed them completely or was pointhunter horseback riding when he found Hailey's remains?

Anonymous said...

if you say that it's not likely well educated women listen to "heavy metal screaming about rape" you are dating yourself --- this combination is not unusual.

Excruciating Headache said...

...says the person who is not an educated woman.

Excruciating Headache said...

Just wanted to be clear: I disagree with last Anon, not PH. I may be generally disagreeable, but I'm not stupid.

On second thought, maybe I am dating myself as well. As a forty-something educated woman, I can say unequivocally that my peers do not listen to music that degrades people.

Maybe younger female grads do that. I seriously doubt it.



Anonymous said...

Please read the last words by Billie Dunn posted Below, she says "I can take some comfort knowing my baby is safe & happy"

Is she nuts? The child is DEAD!


from Hailey's Mom Billie Jean Dunn 1 hour ago · I have received such a great out pouring of love & condolences,so much so that I couldn't name you all individually. Thank you to everyone who held hope up until we couldn't any longer. My hope has ended,but now closure can begin for me,my beautiful son & husband,all our family & friends. My baby has been found. Now to get her home where she belongs & get her justice. Today I learned my daughter has been murdered. Robbed of her short,innocent life. I'm just so grief stricken,but on the other hand,I can take some comfort knowing my baby is safe & happy

Sus said...

"you think you are so smart caus you found Haileys bones. It dont mean a thing. Shawn boy wont see a day in jail."

I have changed my mind. I believe Shawn wrote this himself. There is a female influence in the first sentence which I am attributing to Billy telling Shawn he didn't hide Hailey well enough...once pointhunter found Hailey.

I hope you don't mind if I take a stab at this part of the letter.

"you think"
Shows that the person writing the note feels entitled to judge another person's inner thoughts and motives. Sign of a bully and/or used to having their way.

"you are so smart"
The word after so is important ...SMART...the writer is concerned that pointhunter is smart. "So smart" sounds like something a female would say. Remember Billy has been saying that Shawn is whatever her word is for MHMR.

Why does the writer say pointhunter thinks he's so smart?
"caus you found Haileys bones"
This person had a personal stake in keeping Hailey hidden. This person feels or heard he was dumb for letting them be found. This person is angry that pointhunter was smart enough to find the "bones." Smart relies soley on FOUND.

"Haileys bones"
By using the possessive form of Hailey, the writer shows extreme closeness. Yet bones seems so callous. Showing possible internal conflict. Not to mention this writer named the bones as "Haileys" before an announcement.

"It don't mean a thing."
Now the writer basically says, "so what?" Which is to actually say, "Ok, it was smart to find Hailey because I thought I hid her well, but it it won't help." With what? And we have to think who has a personal investment in the body being found not meaning anything.

"Shawn boy wont see a day in jail."
Showing bravado that even though a body was found, there isn't any proof to connect Shawn. I think Shawn boy is how one speaks highly of oneself...like homeboy. I hope this is bravado or entitlement rather than a threat.

I think the writer is a male, low emotional IQ, and easily made jealous. He left out punctuation in contractions and possessives, but capitalized...even Hailey's name. He used jail rather than prison, which tells me he thinks "locally." I think Shawn wrote it, pushed by Billy goading him for not hiding the body well and by her speaking out lately about him.

Sus said...

Whoops, I forgot.
The note writer connected finding Hailey's bones to Shawn not going to jail. If they wanted to threaten pointhunter and call him "so smart", at least don't be dumb enough to leak out Shawn's name in the note. Obviously the writer's mind was on Shawn.

Anonymous said...

If you spend a lot of time online in chat rooms, or playing multi-player games, you get a lot of practice at trying to figure out if someone is male or female. Many times they will purposefully try and fool you, as in a male playing a female and trying to flirt as one, or vise versa. One of the major clues I have found is, if someone eventually uses the word buddy it's a male, if they say 'hon' people will ask if they are either gay or female, and if someone uses the word fella, its a gal.

Anonymous said...

Kaaryn,

I am a behavioral scientist (BS) with a PhD in neuroeducation. How much training have you had in learning and memory? You grasp of numerous concepts within the field of neuroscience is vast, and I was wondering the source of your knowledge base particularly in the area of memory. Thank you.

Local A2

sha said...

LOL Nic, your post made me chuckle. I have known many women who will call other people pu$$ies, and Nic is as ambiguous a names as mine is....I'm guessing a lot of people think you and I are male.

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something? Where is the letter?

Anonymous said...

She speaks as one who learned a trade in career and technical school or possibly a community college. The reason I say this is not to put down degrees from those institutions but they rarely require a lot of English, usually 2 in high school and an additional semester at the community college. My husband is an electrician and graduate of both and thats all the upper level English courses he has taken. JMO

Anonymous said...

True. Todays lyrics on pop radio are edited and they are still pretty sexual and curse. I am thinking about one which speaks of a womans sex being like the mans heaven and how it satisfies him even to a religious level (it makes him testify). No it isnt rape but it is played on every tv station and show and everywhere. If that is acceptable, common, and considered tame and everyone is singing it then I can only imagine what others who are more intense are singing about these days. Btw, this same singer had another popular song out a while back that the masses including children everywhere where singing because of its catchy tune that glorified masturbation. Anymore we dont know what we are listening to and singing until it is ingrained so deep we catch ourselves smiling and singing along with our children the most appalling things. And this is todays America Bandstand top 100.

Anonymous said...

Sus where did you find that quote?

Sus said...

It is from a note pointhunter found on his car. He gave just this part on an earlier post.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sus. Do you happen to remember which one? If not thats ok. Thanks again.

Locale A2

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Kaaryn and Peter both.

joyce said...

Hi Peter, left you a message on Facebook in case you could help me out. Thank you!

Lara Naidoo said...

Hi there

Not sure where to ask this but I would really like to have 2 anonymous letters I have received analysed. Where can I go for this

Thanks