Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Value of Training In Statement Analysis

More to come but given a crime and a statement, the average untrained person has a 50/50 chance of concluding "deception" or "this really happened..."

What are the odds when someone has basic Statement Analysis Training?

From 50% to 100%, please render an opinion on what percentage of basically trained students will correctly identify "deception" or "this crime really happened" when given a one page, to one and one half page statement, by the subject.

I will address a recent scientific study, including the criteria and results, in an upcoming post.


Mainah said...

OT: 3?

A woman at the residence reported at 12:22 a.m. that three masked men forced their way into her mobile home.

Mainah said...

A full page statement or more; I'll go with a conservative number and say 99%.

I'm that confident in SA "basic training". I've witnessed it over and over in casual conversations.

John Mc Gowan said...

Basic knowledge of following Pronouns and Articles will give you a, in my opinion, a superior advantage in detecting deception than not.

John Mc Gowan said...

HI Mainha, I'm intrigued with your OT. It would be nice to have some quote's from the alleged victim.

Tania Cadogan said...

JAY — Police say a woman who reported a home invasion early Saturday on Macomber Hill Road has stopped cooperating with them and a state fire investigator, police Chief Larry White Sr. said Wednesday.

A woman at the residence reported at 12:22 a.m. that three masked men forced their way into her mobile home. She told police she was directed to sit in a chair as they started to stockpile items near the door. When she used a cellphone to call police, they fled and set her husband’s truck on fire before leaving the property, she reported. The truck was destroyed by the fire.

“The alleged victim in this incident is no longer cooperating with police and has attained an attorney,” White said in a statement. “There are some inconsistencies with her statements. The alleged victim’s unwillingness to cooperate any further directly with the Jay Police (Department) or State Fire Marshal’s Office is hindering the investigation; however, the investigation will continue.”

Police have cleared occupants of a red Dodge truck they had been looking for in connection to the case, White said.

The residents of the town have concerns and anxiety over this crime, he said. He wants residents to know the status of the case and that the department will continue to investigate along with the Maine Office of the State Fire Marshal, White said.

“The collection of evidence and statements and interviews are ongoing,” he said.

Jay Detective Richard Caton IV and state fire investigator Ken MacMaster are the lead investigators in the case. Jay Cpl. Jeffrey Fournier and officer Derrick Doucette were the first to arrive at the scene when the home invasion was initially reported.

Evidence and facts in this case will be reviewed by the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office once the case is completed, White said.

Anyone with any information in this case is asked to call the Jay Police Department at 897-6766 or the Fire Marshal’s Office at 626-3870.

Tania Cadogan said...

OH dear,

First we have the number 3, the liars number (Mark McClish)

Then we have the intruders directing her to sit in a chair.
This is ph so polite making me think of ushers rather than home invaders.
Directing comes across as passive as in please take a seat rather than the expected ordered or forced her to sit down.

They then started to stockpile items.
Started tells us they began but doesn't tells us the competed or were successful.

There is a gap where she uses her cell phone ( umm why didn't they have someone watch over her since there were 3 of them whilst the 2 got the stuff. Was she left alone whilst they did their nefarious deeds, in which case why didn't she run for the door?

She calls police on her cell causing them to flee, yet, they still have time to torch her husbands truck!.

Trucks don't ignite at the press of a button, they don't catch fire if you light a piece of paper and toss it on the seat, it usually takes an accelerant to get it going so did they apply accelerant before invading or did they leave it by the truck just in case? if they set the fire via the gas tank they again have a problem since gas isn't flammable, it's the vapors that burn. Did they make the truck a giant sized molotov cocktail? If so they still had to hang around to make sure the wick stayed lit and if they were too close when it went boom no more bad guys. Why waste time torching a truck when the cops could have turned up at any second depending on how close they were to the location.If you flee the scene of crime you flee, you don't hang around. Why torch the truck anyway?

I suggest they do a financial check and see if the truck was on finance and if the payments were up to date. I would also be checking her hands and clothing for gas or other accelerants or if she had bought a gas can recently.

I would also be checking on how her relationship is with her husband, any reports of domestic violence, financial difficulties or martial difficulties.

elf said...

I've been reading here for almost a year. I would say that before, I indeed did have a 50/50 chance of telling when someone was being deceptive. Now, I would say I may be able to recognize deceptive statements with an 90% chance I can now see deceptive statement.

John Mc Gowan said...

They then started to STOCKPILE items.


1. A supply in reserve, esp. for use during a shortage.

2. To accumulate for future use; put or store in a stockpile.

It would be interesting to see what her definition of stockpile is.

Does she work, or has she worked in a warehouse, does her husband/boyfriend or herself have any links to LE or the Army, and have they worked with munitions or incendiaries or things of that ilk. Her choice of the word STOCKPILE may have many definitions, its the way she use's it that caught my eye, especially that she says they set her husbands truck on fire.

When i hear the word STOCKPILE, what i see is a munitions factory. That is because i was in the Territorial Army. Just a thought..

John Mc Gowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Mc Gowan said...


Judge allows Colorado soldier's defense of citing twin as potential suspect.

Could this be a case were Statement Analysis would come into its own?. Although there arnt any statements to analyze here, i would be very interested to see if the language used by both men are similar in any way given they are twins.


So-called "evil twin" defenses have been used before in courtrooms, experts say. Defendants with an identical twin have sometimes accused the sibling as the real culprit to try to create reasonable doubt and seek acquittal, but the finger-pointing isn't a sure-fire strategy, said CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos, who's also a criminal defense attorney.
"No two of us have the same set of DNA -- with one exception and that is identical twins," Cevallos said.
"Cases like this are interesting," he added. "Each twin essentially has to come up with an alibi, and we're seeing that in this case and seeing it in other cases. It comes down to whose alibi is a little bit better. You can imagine the complexity if both twins are in the same geographic area at the same time of the crime."

Nic said...

I remember you posted a statement a year or so ago and let us analyze it. I failed miserably. I believe had I no "training" I would have agreed with the analysis. After I (mis) applied the principals I thought I learned, I was 100% wrong.

I didn't agree with the excuse that she was above reproach/deception wasn't indicated because of what she did for a living/was stressed because of her occupation. I felt she was given a "pass" because of the demands of her job.

Mainah said...

OT: 3 Masked men

On "stockpile", I first think of weapons, my second thought is food storing. The words used were that of the officer. "Directed" and "stockpile" are expected coming from an LEO's internal dictionary.

Another (OT) observation regarding the number 3: It may be instilled at a very young age. My grandson and I make books and write stories together. We take a few blank pieces of paper, fold them in half; he writes the stories and usually has me draw the pictures.

Several months ago, he was seven at the time, he begins a spooky adventure story with 3 friends. Then goes on to incorporate 3 spiders, 3 rooms, and he asked me to draw a picture on the cover, of a hand with an eyeball on it and the number 3. I had to hide my chuckling. I asked him why the number 3? He said, it was just the number that his mind came up with.

Go figure, lol.

Unknown said...

I don't want to post my answer in case the study you are using is the same one I sent.

However I will say this - since reading Mark McClish's books and spending a lot of time reading the excellent articles and (mostly) intelligent comments on this blog; my ability to spot deception in statements has gone up massively. I identified that Stuart Hazell was being deceptive when giving an interview to a UK TV station about the disappearance of Tia Sharp. He has since been found guilty and sentenced for her murder. This was the first time that I specifically set out to use the techniques to analyse a statement.

I for one am a SCAN convert.

Unknown said...

Also on the number three. When I worked in sales many years ago, we were taught that three is a psychologically powerful number. Decorators put ornaments, pictures and candlesticks etc in threes. We grew up with rhymes and stories such as the three blind mice, three musketeers, three wise kings, the black sheep had three bags of wool etc etc.

Tania Cadogan said...

Hi Stephen, i saw the stewart hazell intervies and his statements in the media and all my redflags went off along with alarms and flares. I had the same thing with the philpotts , especially mick at his presser, it was so obvious. I did notice the cop at the desk watching him closely and not buying his story or fake tears.
Once you get your eyes and ears focussed it becomes second nature. I find myself listening to people talking as i wander round, catching dropped pronouns,, distancing language and all sorts. The mccanns drive me nuts especially gerry's accent and his smug face ( i so want to slap him with a wet haddock) It is so obvious they are lying and are involved, i want them arrested yesterday, how come so many are buying their fairy tale?

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi Mainah, that's why asked was there any direct quotes. Iv'e searched and searched and can't find any. As you rightly pointed out, was the word "Stockpile" used by the officer who interviewed her ?

Mainah said...

I was taught in a train the trainer class, (teaching adults financial fitness for home ownership), to always try to give 3 examples or alternate phrases that mean the same thing. An example would be to say the "closing documents", "paperwork" and "contracts" include the mortgage and security, promissory note, etc. are agreements you sign with the bank disclosing the terms ....then I'd go on to give 3 alternate names for the Promissory Note, Promise to Pay aka as the Note...

The reason given was that not all class participants would have the same level of knowledge and understanding coming into the class. Some would know a significant amount about the home buying process and some would have virtually no experience or understanding of it.

I do this second nature now. I catch myself frequently giving 3 words or phrases to explain my meaning.

Mainah said...

OT: 3 masked men

John, There haven't been any quotes from the "victim" that I know of. I sure wish there were. I think she will eventually be charged for filing a hoax report.

Shelley said...

I am gonna guess at about 75%. That being because it was just basic training. I think it requires much more that that to fully catch some of the less obvious lies.

Unknown said...

Hi Hobs. I enjoy reading your thoughts and analysis of the McCanns, they are very insightful, and I agree with you 100% I think the reason that the masses largely don't see it is because it is easier to accept a lie than to recognise a terrible truth. No-one wants to believe that parents, in the McCann case also GP's could be involved in the death of their own child. People can blindly accept information and direction fed to them by a perceived person of authority such as a doctor. If only Milgram and Zimbardo were mandatory reading in schools! As for Philpott ... That man is a whole different kind of creature, and you're right, that policeman had the measure of him.

John Mc Gowan said...

Update on Mainahs OT..

This is why quotes from the alleged victims are important.

In the article above it states that " They then started to STOCKPILE items".


In this article it states.


"They started COLLECTING things to steal".

More from the article.


They escaped with a broken shotgun but not much else. The truck was engulfed in flames, according to the Jay Fire Department.

Police said it appeared the men were familiar with the house. All three were wearing gloves.

TrishapatK said...

I think that there are other variables that have to be taken into account.
1.How long have the people who've been trained been using their training?
2. How much of this is a talent? Even though training is necessary and learning is objective there are probably some people who are going to be naturally better and others who have a harder time applying the concepts they're learning.
3. Who trained them? How good was the teacher at explaining the concepts and making sure that the students had understood them before declaring them "trained Statement Analysis" professionals? Some teachers are much better than others and insist upon some kind of proof that the student got it rather than just finishing the course material.

So, given those variables that we don't have any input on, I'll wager a guess of 30% accuracy in detecting deception or truthfulness.

Fig Roll said...

I say 84%

andrize said...


Anonymous said...

given a crime and a statement, the average untrained person has a 50/50 chance of concluding "deception" or "this really happened..."

given truth or deceit (assuming the statement is deceptive about a crime) the average person has a 50/50 chance of accepting their God given ability at truth discernment, and even fewer take action…So sad

Unknown said...


Mainah said...

Peter said a whole page to a page and a half of statement from the subject and basic training! I'm just a SA hobbyist, housewife and I think I could manage to find enough in a full page statement to know for certain.

At the end of one of the SCAN courses I think 99% of the students trained, if not all, can discern from a full page to page and a half if the subject is being "deceptive" or "this crime really happened". It's gotta be a high number.

Mainah said...

I'm looking forward to the upcoming post.

OT: Time for sleep. I stayed up late last night watching the history of mufflers and I've been feeling exhausted all day ;)

{hugs} for all.. nigh, night

Lemon said...

I say 92% :)

John Mc Gowan said...

OT Of Sorts.

I found this an interesting read, i think #3 is more relevant to SA.

Top 10 secrets of effective liars:

C5H11ONO said...

John, regarding your O/T of sorts...

Interesting article, and I noticed one of the posters that posted anonymously had this to say:
number 3-"You told me you loved me."..I never told you I was IN love with you."
I really don't know what the difference is and I didn't know that I needed to ask for what type of love he was in with me.

This liar told the truth, she just failed to go into his internal subjective dictionary to figure out that to him there is a difference between loving and being in love with someone. Interesting how clever they are and how a regular person wouldn't have picked up on the lie. I wouldn't have just like the anon, but there was a big different to the liar.

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi C5H11ONO,

Thats what good liars do, they tell the truth and skirt round the lie. Peter has posted a few articles on this subject. Every word spoken was the truth.

A man said he heard a gun go off then seen his wife on the floor with a bullet hole in her, or something on the lines of that. That is the truth, however, what he failed to add, and left out, was that it was him that fired the shot. This is were i believe SA is invaluable.

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi Anon,

Anon said.

Speaking of shades of truth and shades of lies:

Where is everyone now that authoritieso in the Meredith Kershner murder case have announced that only Amanda Knoxs' DNA blood was found on the butcher knife from the kitchen they had claimed she killed Meredeith with, and therefore couldn't have been the one who killed Meredith? ummmm...?

I think you will find that no-one said that she murdered her, only that she was present at the time of said incident..