Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Statement Analysis Test: Two Opinions

Statement Analysis is an amazing tool in digging towards the ultimate end:  truth.

Here is a statement for analysis as a test for you.  The only thing you need to know is the accusation.

You need to know what is alleged and that the subject knew the accusation. 

In Idaho, a 7 year old boy was found with a black eye, and when asked by his teacher what had happened, he said his step father had punched him in the eye. The teacher reported this to the Department of Children and Families as well as the local police. 

 The police responded, with a social worker from DCF, specifically trained in child abuse cases.  

The teacher said the boy is truthful, but his last year's teacher said he is known to fall and known to fabricate. 

The officer and social worker conducted interviews of the step father, the mother and the child, collectively and recorded the interviews.

The officer closed his report with "it appears the boy hit his face while falling out of bed, against a shoe rack."

The social worker concluded her report with "the step father hit the child with a closed fist.  They need further intervention as he has anger issues..."

They debated it, but both felt firm in their conclusions.   One said that the boy was lying; the other said he was truthful.  


The interview was conducted in the subject's home, and it was very short.  The step father was against speaking and watched his words carefully.  He was more interested in talking about politics and kept going back to complain that government was not doing enough for children.

The step father was asked, "What happened that your son got a black eye?" This was after he learned that his step son told the teacher that the black eye came because the step father punched him, with a closed fist, in the face.

The step father, upon hearing the allegation, looked down, shook his head, and said, "the boy is known to tell stories, just ask anyone."  

When specifically asked what happened, he said, 

 “We was in bed asleep.  We had a lot of snow on the roof.  I want to say it was about 10, 10:30.  You can always hear the snow sliding off the roof, instead it was Bobby on the bunk bed.  He has 20-25 pairs of shoes.  Woke up and his eye was black.”

Now, view his answer again, with emphasis to assist you.  What does your analysis conclude? 

 “We was in bed asleepWe had a lot of snow on the roof.  I want to say it was about 10, 10:30.  You can always hear the snow sliding off the roof, instead it was Bobby on the bunk bed.  He has 20-25 pairs of shoes.  Woke up and his eye was black.

Did the father hit the son, as the son said, or, did the son fall out of bed and hit his eye on the shoe rack, as the officer concluded?

What happened to the boy?
pollcode.com free polls 


alllikatpurple said...

The father's statement doesn't make any sense. If he knows he has been accused of hitting his own child, and he was innocent, why not just say: "I did not hit/punch _____ (insert name of child here)"? Why is he so defensive?

Why does he need to set the seen if what really happen was that his child fell out of bed. Why mention the number of shoes his son has? It sounds like he is trying to prove a need for said shoe rack to be there.

Also, children don't lie about abuse. The man is guilty.


Pineapple said...

The bastard step dad hit the kid. This is just like Billie Dunn, starting the story with extra details that aren't necessary, alibi making.
We was in bed... No one asked you where you were. And you weren't in HIS bed, were you, you freak? He doesn't say I' didn't do it. But note the child made the accusation without added words. If he's known to fabricate, it's probably because his stepdad has hit him before and made him take it back.

Skip said...

Children DO lie about abuse. And children do make up some wild stories. My friend had DHS called on her because her daughter made up a story about her 'boyfriend,' at age 7. DHS closed it out as unfounded, after a lengthy investigation.
However, very little kids do not want their lives disrupted and they're usually willing to take the abuse to keep the family structure, even sexual abuse victims.
I think the reason people give more info than necessary is because of the amount of time we're asked to 'start from the beginning' and paint the picture of what happened. Even innocent, I can see myself doing that.

John Mc Gowan said...

“WE was in bed ASLEEP. WE had a lot of snow on the roof. I WANT to say it was about 10, 10:30.YOU can always hear the snow sliding off the roof, instead IT was Bobby on the bunk bed. He has 20-25 pairs of shoes. WOKE up and HIS EYE WAS BLACK.”

WE was in bed ASLEEP.

We always follow the pronouns.

WE: Indicates 2 or more people,yet he doesn't introduce anyone else,it should also be noted that when someone uses WE, this may indicate sharing of guilt.

WE was in bed ASLEEP

This sounds to me like alibi building.

We take note of were a person starts their account of event's and what is foremost in their mind,He begins with telling us he was asleep,again alibi building.

WE had a lot of snow on the roof.

Who is the WE he keeps mentioning?

I WANT to say it was about 10, 10:30.

Here we have a change in pronouns from WE to I,Deception noted.

He WANTS to say it was about 10,10:30.

If he doesnt commit to it, we cant do it for him,"WANTS TO" also qualyfies his statement giving him room to change the time later.

"YOU can always hear the snow sliding off the roof, instead IT was Bobby on the bunk bed.

Here we have another change in pronouns,from WE to I and then to YOU.Deception indicated.

"instead IT was Bobby on the bunk bed".

What is "IT"?

He doesn't introduce bobby,this could be him distancing himself from Bobby.


"WOKE UP" Dropped pronoun suggest he is not commited to saying he WOKE UP.Who woke up,him or bobby,he doesnt say so we cant say it for him.If it was him that woke up(alibi building)how would he her bobby on the bunk beds as he stated earlier.

"HIS EYE WAS BLACK" this is passive language and used to minimise the the events.
No Reliable Denial..
Alibi building,changes in pronouns,dropped pronouns,Sharing of guilt,distancing language,minimising language and qualifying language all suggest to me GUILTY

Shayna said...

Stepdad could not bring himself to say, "I didn't hit Bobby." No reliable denial.
Stepdad stated "We was in bed." Alibi building and sharing responsibility with the word we.
The extra details about the time of night and snow sliding off the roof and the number of shoes are unnecessary. If Bobby really just fell out of bed, say that!
In addition, i used to be a pretty violent sleeper/dreamer. I'd wake up at the wrong end of the bed, on the floor, once hitting my head HARD on a night table...i never got a black eye and i bruise easily.

John Mc Gowan said...

Anyone have the link to tonight's show?


C5H11ONO said...

He was given the opportunity to deny hitting him. Throughout the entire statement he didn't say, I didn't hit Bobby (or whatever his name is). When the innocent are accused of something, they deny it quickly and often.

ACH said...

We was in bed asleep.
He doesn't say he was awakened by Bobby "jumping" on the bed, in fact, he only says "it" was Bobby on the bed. He doesn't say when he woke up. He skipped a lot of time from 10-10:30 until "woke up". He possibly hit him at 10:00-10:030.


Anonymous said...

That is a very weird passive uninformative statement. I would guess the boy is telling the truth.

Anonymous said...

A normal reaction for the father might be "Bobby, why would you say that?"

Extra info with the pairs of shoes.

Feels the need to add "asleep"

Woke up--skips time

Doesn't really own any of his explanation with the word "I"

Changes from past tense to present with "can".

Sus said...

When asked, the father did not issue a denial.

Anonymous said...

Do policeman not get trained on statement analysis? This seems straighforward that the step father was lying.

Mainah said...

Everyone was telling the truth.

even LE said: "appears"

Shut Up About Snow Shoes said...

I think if stepdad really was innocent and the child was a liar, he'd deny it, briefly and to the point, and then be pissed as hell. He wouldnt talk politics about how we're not doing enough for children. If stepdad was actually nice and the child was just lying and being a trouble maker, stepdad would not even think about how we are not doing enough for children in this country. He might ponder our youth's growing sense of entitlement, however, if he thought about politics at all. My guess is, if you asked an innocent person about politics, they'd tell you to stfu because it has nothing to do with a kid making a horrendous accusation against him/her.
Stepdad is a liar, a child beater and an obliterator of the English language, I ditto what John said.
Euthanize the man.

Guyhawks said...

Wake up. 'Everyone' was not telling the truth unless the stepfather was saying, usually you hear snow but that night I knocked the shit out of Bobby and he woke up with a black eye. What everyone else usually hears as snow has been Bobby the whole time. Jeez Mainah. 'Appears' is not reliable either. YOUR statement makes no sense.

Baxtie said...

John's response at 6:37 PM nailed it, in my opinion. Step-father is a douche.

Lemon said...

"We was in bed asleep." is akin to Hailey went missing "while I was at work" a la Billie Jean Dunn.

The father has a need to state, while speaking of his son, where "we" was - in bed, asleep. It is this need that is telling.

Apple said...

You and Mainah are of the same opinion. Please be more kind.

Thinkin it over said...

He never denied it so we can't do that for him.

Nanna Frances said...


Link for tonight's show:


You can hear it all even after the live show stopped.

Anonymous said...

What growing child has 20 - 25 pair of shoes??? Hope dcfs was all over that.

Practicing Anon said...

The stepfather's first reaction was to disparage "the boy" by in essence calling him a liar.
"the boy is known to tell stories, just ask

Next he tried to claim "an alibi and share the guilt.
“WE was in bed ASLEEP"

He didn't say it was 10:00 or 10:30 ( a 3 thrown in for good measure), he just said he WANTED to say it.
He didn't even go so far as to claim that a sound woke him up and he assumed that sound was snow sliding off the roof. He just threw a random statement in to confuse and mislead by letting the interviewers assume a connection.

He said IT was Bobby on the bunk bed. We are to assume IT means the sound "YOU can always hear".
How did he hear Bobby ON the bunk bed? Wouldn't he have to have heard Bobby fall OFF the bed? He didn't say it so we can't say it for him.

He just tosses in that Bobby has a lot of shoes. He never claimed that Bobby fell out of bed and hit the shoe rack as the PO concluded, just as the stepfather hoped he would.

The stepfather implies that a sound woke him up (just him I guess because he never mentioned the other half of "we" waking up too) and he thought it was nothing to be concerned about so he went back to sleep.

I can't remember what the percentages are supposed to be but the majority of what he says is in the middle of his statements.
He starts his account with alibi building. He tells his story in logical sequence. I would have expected Bobby to wake him/them when up when it happened, or at least the next morning when they work up and discovered that Bobby had a black eye, that he would ask Bobby what happened. And that is the order I would expect him to use. Then, he would go back and ask himself why he hadn't heard anything unusual.

Ivanna-Anna said...

Liars seem to think: "I don't lie - I just say things in a sequence. It's the listener's fault if his brain stitches the meaning of the sentences together and comes up with something."

He said:
- the boy is known to lie
- Bobby was on the bunk bed
- Bobby has 20-25 pairs of shoes
- his eye was black

The stepfather expects the listener's brain to do what brains do so well: make a connection. ->

Because none of the sentences were lies in themselves, I don't think he even feels guilty that he lied.

Anonymous said...

How do we know the child was a liar? Because the step-father says so? It suits his own needs to say it. Because last year's teacher said it? How did she say it, to what was she referring and what did HE say that was taken as a lie.

Abused children WILL lie to stay out of trouble. They know the truth is not met with mercy or forgiveness, so they learn to say what will save them. I would think that a child of that age lying - if it's true he was - would point directly BACK to the FAMILY situation. What is going on in the home that causes this. A police officer should know better. So should a teacher. Teachers are mandated by law to watch for signs of abuse and report them. The cop part speaks for itself. Shame on them. Someone needs to get this child out of the house before he grows up to be an abuser himself. If he is allowed to grow up.

Devrie said...

I was going to comment on the "known to tell lies" thing, as it's passive. He doesn't say, "Bobby tells stories."

The question was direct: What happened to cause a black eye? The step-father focused on the allegation of the teacher...

However, I really, really have a question about statement analysis...

Could a person who is afraid to be accused of something be deceptive? What if the father felt guilt that his kid was sleeping on a bunk bed when he falls out all the time? What if the father is afraid that someone will find out that the step-father is an alcoholic and was passed out drunk and had no clue what happened to the kid?

let's just say you're skipping work one day, and on your way to the beach, you get a phone call from your boss on your cell, and as you're looking at your phone (deciding to ignore it), you hit someone on a bike. Might you lie about what was happening? Add details? "I was on my way to Walgreens to get some bayer, because, the one closest to me was out last time I had a migraine and my head hurt so bad I didn't even want to take a chance. Just then, the phone rang, and my head was hurting, and that's when my car swerved and accidentally hit the guy on the bike."

Devrie said...

I want to add that, looking at John's analysis, regarding the "we," and the transition to "I," it sounds like the step-father could be hiding the real cause of the black eye, for sure.

The snow falling off the roof and "It was Bobby," seems to recall a memory to me. Like, he heard "it."

"Woke up, and his eye was black." Who noticed it when they woke up? It's like step-dad is saying someone woke up and the eye was black, but won't identify who: Bobby, Step-dad?

Sus said...

Also notice that the father says, "YOU can always hear the snow sliding..." .He did not say he heard the snow that night.

He says, "INSTEAD it was Bobby..."
It replaces the sound of the snow sliding off the roof. He heard Bobby at 10:00 or 10:30.

Next is the critical part, "...ON the bunkbed."
The stepfather knows what time it was, he knows it was Bobby instead of snow, and he knows Bobby was ON the bed, not sliding off.

Norway said...

What I do not understand is this: If someone (teacher, police) asked me: Did you hit your daughter?

I would not have been able to say just "no". I had been saying all these things one is not supposed to say when telling the truth.

"What?!" "I would never do that!" "Are you crazy?!"
"We are just a normal family!"

So, Peter, can you honestly say if being questioned by the police: Have you ever hit your wife?, you would simply have answered "no"..?

I am not trying to be smart or anything, I really want to learn.

And sorry for spelling, I am from Norway.

John Mc Gowan said...


Convicted child Murderer Mick Philpott on the Jeremy Kyle show 2oo7.


SAlurker said...

(I skipped over the other replies so that I could give my opinion without being influenced by others. So I might be redundant.)

“*We* was in bed asleep.  *We* had a lot of snow on the roof.  I want to say it was about 10, 10:30.  *You* can always hear the snow sliding off the roof, instead it was Bobby on the bunk bed.*  He has 20-25 pairs of shoes.  *Woke* up and his eye was black.”

We = subject wants to share responsibility.

This sentence indicates to me that the step dad was irritated that his step son was still awake & his step son got a black eye to show for it:

"*You* can always hear the snow sliding off the roof, instead it was Bobby on the bunk bed.*"

The following sentence is missing a pronoun:

"*Woke* up and his eye was black.”

No reliable denial given. If someone can't say it - we can't say it for them.

With the limited information given I would say the step dad did hit his step son.

Also to note:
The police officer's statement was weak. While the social worker's statement was strong.

Question: Does snow have the same connotation as water in statements?

S + K Mum said...

Stepfather didn't say he never hit Bobby(no reliable denial), he doesn't say that Bobby hit his eye on the shoerack either. He is implying 'IT' happened on the bed.
Makes me think Bobby was maybe jumping on the bed, got into trouble and the stepfather lost his temper.
Maybe he mentions the shoes because he tripped over them. The shoes are sensitive.
Has Bobby made allegations in the past about the stepfather(?) and it's always been dismissed as story-telling (previous teacher thinks he makes things up)? New teacher and Bobby have a better relationship so maybe Bobby felt he could tell him/her and be believed.
Kids can make things up - if Bobby did make this up then I would want to know why and think it's important police should know too. Is it because he is scared of his stepfather or because he resents his stepfathers presence over his own father?
It would be useful to see the statement from the mother - what excuse does she make for Bobby allegedly making this story up?

Mainah said...

guyhawk, stick around to learn how people tell their truth(s) not our truth(s). The subject did not deny the accusation, he "moved" around answering it in a conniving, self serving manner, as SA fans have articulated very well, see above.

Ney said...

Peter, I've watched an interview with Jim Clemente, he spoke about the "I would never do that..." term
He called that a "protest". He said that is a protest, not a denial.

An intersting label for this not reliable denial :)

(he speaks about the jodi arias trial)


S + K Mum said...

Also - while thinking about the previous teacher who says he is known to fall and to fabricate......it would be good to know if he/she has actually seen him fall and knows he fabricated the reasons or is this what she is being told by his parents? How many times has he fallen (and fabricated a story)?
Has he had a lot of time off school?

Unknown said...

Stepfather could have easily issued a reliable denial.
He did not.
He caused the injury to his stepson.

Hopefully the Social/Case Worker convinced the LE and got the child removed from that animal?!!?

Most Sincerely,

Dee said...

“We was in bed asleep. We had a lot of snow on the roof. I want to say it was about 10, 10:30. You can always hear the snow sliding off the roof, instead it was Bobby on the bunk bed. He has 20-25 pairs of shoes. Woke up and his eye was black.”


This is a very disjointed statement. He already knows that Bobby accused him of giving him the black eye so he starts with alibi building - "We was in bed asleep". Who is the "we" he refers to? He was in bed with someone, he doesn't say my wife Mary and I were in bed asleep. There is an improper social introduction. He also states "we" were asleep. If he was asleep how can he know the other person was asleep?
"We had a lot of snow on the roof" jumps out at me as an odd statement to make and odd placement in the statement but I can't put my finger on why.
"I want to say it was 10, 10:30." He wants to say it was instead of saying it was between 10 and 10:30. He's uncommitted to the time frame.
"You can always hear the snow sliding off the roof, instead it was Bobby on the bunk bed."
Another odd statement to me. "You can hear", not I hear snow sliding off the roof all the time. "It was Bobby on the bunk bed". How does he know that's what it was unless he saw Bobby on the bunk bed making noise. How did he see Bobby on the bunk bed if he was asleep?
"He has 20-25 pairs of shoes."
Why mention how many pairs of shoes there were? This statement makes me feel he resents Bobby, the money spent on him and the things he has.
"Woke up and his eye was black."
There's a dropped pronoun. Who woke up? He doesn't say. If he just now woke up then how did he hear a sound like snow falling off the roof earlier? He doesn't call Bobby by name when saying his eye was black.

Peter or anyone more knowledgeable in SA, I have a question. He mentions snow a twice in a very short statement - a lot of snow on the roof and snow sliding off the roof. It stuck out to me but I don't know why. I would like to know if there is some significance to that.

Eliza said...

I haven't read any comment so far. This is my opinion:

Why does he change the pronouns? Why does he talki about the snow? It's irrelevant. There is a leap in time, he says (woke up) amd he doesn't even use a pronoun. Who woke up? He doesn't answer the question. If he doesn't say he didn't do it we can't say it for him.

Alli said...

This child isn't lying ... but it's not true that children NEVER lie about abuse. I told a school counselor when I was in first grade that my father constantly hit my mother and ran around with big sharp knives in his pockets. Actually, my father, although intimidating, was never physically abusive, and he certainly never carried a knife in his pocket. I was a very troubled kid who had other problems - among other things, my father was an inadequate parent at best, and frequently emotionally abusive. The fact remains, though, that the story I told the counselor was a lie.

Practicing Anon said...

Dee, I think you might have hit on something. The mention of how many shoes Bobby has coupled with the stepfather thinking the government doesn't do enough for kids might suggest that he thinks his stepson costs him too much money.
Bobby might have angered the stepfather by jumping on the bed or throwing the shoes around the room.

Tania Cadogan said...

The step father was asked, "What happened that your son got a black eye?" This was after he learned that his step son told the teacher that the black eye came because the step father punched him, with a closed fist, in the face.

The step father, upon hearing the allegation, looked down, shook his head, and said, "the boy is known to tell stories, just ask anyone."

When specifically asked what happened, he said,

“We was in bed asleep. We had a lot of snow on the roof. I want to say it was about 10, 10:30. You can always hear the snow sliding off the roof, instead it was Bobby on the bunk bed. He has 20-25 pairs of shoes. Woke up and his eye was black.”

"The boy is known to tell stories, just ask anyone."
Note the distancing language with the use of the term The Boy
Why this and not He or the boy's name?
Even though he is the stepfather there should not be this degree of distance.
Why the need to immediately reply with the boy tells lies which is effect disparaging the victm and not subtly either.
This tells me there is a poor relationship between him and the child.
This is often the case where the step child is often a victim of abuse simply because the child is not biologically that of the step parent, the step parent will favor their own flesh and blood over that of a step child, something seen all too often in the wild when a new male becomes leader.

“We was in bed asleep.
What happened is a good question to ask as it allows the subject to choose where to begin and allows them to ue free editing in the process.
Here we see the subject immediately starts with alibi building.
He is asked what happened not where were you when your son got a black eye, this makes the question of what happened sensitive.

We had a lot of snow on the roof.
This is the second sentence in response to what happened and he introduces an irrelevance to what happened, the snow on the roof.
He still hasn't answered the question which was "What happened?"

I want to say it was about 10, 10:30
He doesn't tell us it was about 10,10:30 only that he wants to tell us it was about that time.
he isn't committing to the time so we can't either.

You can always hear the snow sliding off the roof, instead it was Bobby on the bunk bed.
He doesn't tell us he can hear the snow sliding off the roof only that we (you can) which is distancing.
He doesn't tell us snow slid off the roof so we can't assume it did for him.
Now we have the introduction of the boy's name Bobby.
He tells us it was Bobby on the bunk bed not Bobby falling off the bunk bed.

He has 20-25 pairs of shoes.
He again introduces an irrelevance the number of pairs of shoes.
That he introduces it makes it sensitive since it doesn't tell us why Bobby got a black eye.
Perhaps though it gives an inkling of his motive, jealousy.
Order is important.
Here we have:

Tania Cadogan said...

The boy tells lies.
We were asleep (alibi building)
Snow on the roof.
The approximate time.
Snow can be heard sliding off the roof.
Bobby ON the bunkbed (not falling OFF the bunk bed)
Number of pairs of shoes.
Waking up.
Black eye.
Woke up and his eye was black.”
We now have an answer to what happened, Bobby had a black eye.
However we have a temporal lacuna between the time he gave 10-10:30 and waking up.
Who woke up?
He doesn't tell us as there is a dropped pronoun in relation to the waking up.
If he can't take ownership of waking up we can't do it for him.
He hasn't told us how Bobby got his black eye.
It has taken him 58 words to get to the point of saying what happened and only 7 words to say what actually happened which is deceptive on form alone.
Guilty people violate the 25%/50%/25% form principal as they delay getting to the sensitive time, rush trough the senitive time and then relax a bit once past it.

He still hasn't told us how Bobby got the black eye.
He hasn't told us Bobby fell off the bunk (he said he was on the bunk)
It is The bunk not his bunk which again indicates distancing.
By not telling us how Bobby got a black eye he hasn't answered the question of "what happened?"

Did the black eye magically appear overnight?
Was the Sandman overly enthusiastic?
Why didn't he say he asked Bobby how he got his blackeye which is the normal parental instinct assuming that on hearing a thud you haven't gone up to check the kids.
He doesn't tell us he asked Bobby what happened simply because he knows what happened.

The father caused the black eye on Bobby.
I suspect jealousy is part of the reason given he introduces the number of pairs of shoes he has.

~ABC said...

The boy is known to tell stories, just ask anyone."
The step-father does not give a denial at all and he blamed shifted to Bobby immediately, even offering "proof" that Bobby is a liar. The step-father is a scoundrel taking advantage of Bobby's reputation for fibbing according to a previous teacher. Step-monster figures no one will believe Bobby anyway! This is what my mind was focused on as I read the statement the first time. I was looking for the denial. So to me that definitely indicates deception, not to mention him taking advantage of this young boy's vulnerability in every way.

“We was in bed asleep. We had a lot of snow on the roof.
Blame sharing or shifting.

I want to say it was about 10, 10:30.
I want to say isn't saying. He is implying a time and wants others to assume. I'm sure what he's doing, but I'm not sure what it means in SA. Maybe this is the time of the incident or maybe he's trying to shift attention away from the time of the incident?

You can always hear the snow sliding off the roof,
This is wormy, out of context and meant to plant doubt in the listeners mind. It could be alibi building, but he isn't owning it. He wants again for others to draw conclusions of their own choosing. Very Billie Dunn like.

instead it was Bobby on the bunk bed. He has 20-25 pairs of shoes.”
I think he wants it to be assumed that Bobby fell over the shoes. To mention how many pairs of shoes Bobby has seems like resentment. It also seems like an exaggeration.

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