Monday, December 30, 2013

Search for Melissa Sowders

Search for missing pregnant woman continues in north Harris County


Melissa Sowders was last seen by her boyfriend, Jason Sanford, who said that she had dropped him off for work at 6:15 a.m.
Sowders was in their white Honda Accord, which deputies found Friday night on Interstate 45 near Richey Road.
Texas Equusearch began assisting with the search for Sowders at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday with their staging area set up at the Daily Bread Church, 106 Bammel-Westfield Road. They spent most of the day searching the area around Cypress Creek.
Sowders boyfriend yearns for his girlfriend and their unborn child.
“She always wanted a kiss, so soft. I don’t know where Melissa is at. Where are you?” Sanford said Saturday.
Note that he references her in the past tense.  This is not from a parent of a missing child, but should be considered.  What causes him to use past tense?   Note also that he does not say that he does not know where she is, but where she is "at", which is often used in terms of emotional or intellectual positioning rather than geographical.  

Note that the past tense reference could be that he knows she is not alive, or that he suspects she is not because of the ex husband.  See quote below where he "fears the worst." 

His statement is concerning and the journalist should have followed up with him.  
Sanford said Sowders, who is pregnant with their child, was supposed to go meet her ex-husband, Matthew Sowders, and their youngest daughter at the McDonald’s on FM 1960 near Kuykendahl Road.
The father has custody of all their children.
She called me and said she was there and everything,” Sanford said.
Indicating more information.  She was "there", at the location, but what is "everything"?
No one is sure what happened after the visit at McDonald’s but Sowders hasn’t been seen since.

Why not a follow up with the children's father??  Very poor reporting. 
Jimmy Newsom, Melissa Sowder’s father, admits he is suspicious of her ex-husband.
“She’s afraid of him because of he was physically and mentally abusive,” Newsom said.
Note that "physical" comes before "mental" regarding abuse.  This is expected in domestic violence cases as more priority to the father is his daughter's physical safety since she is missing. 
Newsom also said not staying in touch was not his daughter’s style.
It’s not like her not to call us back or if we call her she always answers the phone or if not she’ll call us later on,” he said.
Now family members are re-reading a Christmas card she gave them.
Now that I’m with Jason, I’ll be around a lot more. I miss you guys,” read Newsom.
If they find her, she’s not going to be here anymore,” Sanford said. “I fear the worst. I love you baby. I miss you so much. I want you to come home.”
It is not known why the journalist would not ask for elaboration at this point.  
Deputies are asking for the public’s help to find Sowders. They believe foul play might be involved in her disappearance.
If you can help find, contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit at (713) 967-5810 or Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Does Statement Analysis Aid Criminals?

Peter Hyatt


                                  Does Statement Analysis help criminals learn to lie?

Can't one just read, and parrot, "I didn't do it" while making a statement?

Did John and Patsy Ramsey read analysis before their press conference?

What about the lawyers?  Didn't they prep the Ramseys?  Didn't they hear the analysis on the news?

What of Billie Jean Dunn, mother of murdered Hailey Dunn?  Didn't she not only read the material here, but bring it into a TV studio?  Didn't her lawyer read it as well?  Couldn't they simply learn the principles and 'outsmart' analysis?

What of Justin DiPietro?  Couldn't the lying father of Baby Ayla mimic the words published here or elsewhere?

With my study of Statement Analysis, and having dedicated my life to it, should I commit a crime, I could write out a statement that appears "fool proof", however, once you (interviewing me) get me talking, and enter the "free editing process", I will be seen as guilty.

                           Statement Analysis does not help anyone lie or cheat.

This past year, a  small town cop with a big city ego called me, and accused me of "stealing" his "identity."  I said, "It would help to know who's identity I stole" in which he said, "You know who I am.  You know exactly who I am."

I didn't.  As the conversation progressed, I learned his identity and from what he revealed in the next ranting 20 minutes, I wished I hadn't.

He said that by my posting analysis on a 911 call I would "teach murderers how to get away with murder."  He was fuming over the posting of analysis and quickly escalated in anger, and denigrated to cursing and name calling.

There was no fixing that sort of thinking...and all I could say was, "Do you really want to stay with your assertion?" knowing that this lack of knowledge, along with promotion in a small fish tank, had left him bereft of the ability to learn.  Knowing that he legally carries a lethal weapon is no comfort to those he pulls over, as citizens are forced into a stage of hyper-deference as we've seen a generational decline in education make its way into law enforcement. He claimed as his own that which belongs to LSI, from whom he had not even studied.  An 'errand boy' for research, he demanded recognition, "or else", he said, he would show up in my small town in Maine.  He also asserted that he was on the FBI task force, locally.

I contacted his superior who declined to deny that his subordinate was small minded and quick tempered and asked that he be given a "professional courtesy", that is, let nothing more come of it.  I did call his local FBI office which reported that he was not known to them, nor part of any task force.

Threats have become common place in the new internet world where information flows freely and quickly, and envy can blind the mind, but when coupled with ignorance, it creates a storm of anger.  I pitied the small town's population subject to such a person, and wondered how deferential must one be, to him, while being ticketed for going 35 mph in a 25 mph roadway.  Thus the reduction of respect for our modern law enforcement, overshadowing the good done by dedicated professionals.

I struggle to imagine a murderer reading a blog on a 911 call, prior to killing, and then fretting over how he would word his call to the emergency operator.  "Hmm, let me think...I need to ask for help for the victim and not for me..."

The work on 911 calls is the SCAN method applied; nothing more.  It is SCAN's "Expected versus Unexpected" with a study in domestic homicides.  It is, for example, expected that the caller will ask for help for the victim immediately.  It is not expected to hear a greeting, or for help for the caller, himself.  Statement Analysis deals with the unexpected.  If anything was "stolen", it was the theft of credit; that is, taking credit for LSI's work, as if it was one's own.

Today, we have a crisis of confidence in law enforcement with some famous cases, including Baby Lisa, Baby Ayla, Hailey Dunn, and others, in which no mystery remains other than why no prosecution.

It is easier to teach the Reliable Denial in the private sector than it is within the realms of law enforcement, as money attracts talent away from service, as well as the 'jaded' nature of someone who works in police work, constantly having to do on-the-fly interviews and listening to lies.  Of course, there are those educated and intelligent who remain in law enforcement as a calling and duty in life.  It would appear, however, that they are in the minority in many locales, today.

The Free Editing Process holds the key to understanding.

The Free Editing Process is when a person (the "subject") speaks freely for himself, openly engaged, rather than parroting back words or reading from a statement or memory.  This is why the interview is key.

"Did you kill your daughter?"

Answer:  "I didn't kill my daughter" is the mere parroting back of the interviewer's own words.  This is why open ended questions are best:

"What happened?" followed by "What happened next?" as the "magic" questions to gain information.  Television interviewers rarely ask open ended questions because they seek to bring the spotlight, not upon the flow of information, but upon their own selves, for the purpose of image building and ratings.

"Tell me what happened..." then allows the subject to choose not only how to begin the answer, but where to begin.  How someone chooses to begin an open statement is often the reason for making a statement.  It is always important.  This principle should be applied to letters, emails, and so on.

This was seen a few years ago on the Nancy Grace Show.  13 year old Hailey Dunn was reportedly missing and Nancy Grace, a TV interviewer, asked two questions of the mother, Billie Jean Dunn, in which we learned all we needed to know about the case.

Nancy Grace introduced the topic as a 13 year old girl went to go to sleep over at a friend's house, and never made it.

Nancy Grace:  "How far did she have to go?"

Billie Dunn:  "About 2 or 3 blocks.  She wasn't allowed to go out after dark."

The mother started out just fine, answering the question with "2 or 3 blocks", but then, as deceptive people are oft to do, went beyond the boundary of the question with:

"She wasn't allowed to go out after dark..."

This raises the question about her missing child:  is she still allowed to go out after dark?

Deceptive people feel a pressure that truthful people do not.  The pressure is the need to be believed, or the need to persuade.  This is why they use extra words as they wish to "drive home the point" where no "driving" is even called for or expected.

Here, the mother of a newly missing child has referenced her child in the past tense.  This is a 'slip' where she reveals to us that she knows or believes her child to be dead.

Then, Nancy Grace asked, "Tell me what happened" to the mother.

The mother said, "She went missing while I was at work."

Nancy Grace did not ask "when" Hailey went missing, but this is where the mother decided to begin her statement.  What does it tell you?

It shows that the mother is concerned with an alibi.

Now you know two things:

The missing child is dead; and the mother needs an alibi.

Thus it would work out that the mother would be involved in drugs, child pornography, bestiality, violence and would go on to fail a polygraph, along with her boyfriend, Shawn Adkins.
She, a liar since childhood, was unable to keep herself from leaking out the critical information as she entered the Free Editing Process, one in which she edits her own words, and edits her own account, showing what was most important to her.

It is in the Free Editing Process that an innocent person will say that he didn't do it, without being asked, and without qualification.  We saw this in the incredibly abusive interview of Kevin Fox, falsely accused of killing his young daughter, by ignorant law enforcement.

Bullying is the bane of the weak minded who eschew training and hinder the flow of information by the combination of ignorance and arrogance.  See the analysis HERE for understanding.  He was bullied for hours, with no assistance from an attorney, and although he kept up with reliable denials, and showed no deception, they "knew" better.  This is where ignorance mated with arrogance, and bullying took place.

Good interviewing skills will always yield more information than bullying or even torture.  Menachim Begin wrote about the Soviet torture technique, which yielded some information, but it was when they gave him 30 days of no human contact that he was unable to be silent.  We are creatures made to communicate.  Bullying cops, already at a great advantage with a weapon, give intelligent law enforcement an overall bad name.  I've met some who believe that tapping their gun and screaming in the face of a suspect yields the answers they seek, and in short order.  It's wrong and its unAmerican, but that is for another day.

In Analytical Interviewing, we do not interrupt the subject, even when he is attempting to give a long-winded tangent.

In the case of a rambling tangent, we know he must choose his words from somewhere, and it is even within these words, that we find truth.

Remember during the Casey Anthony saga that CNN analyst Mike Brooks made everyone laugh with the corny, "Do you know how I can tell Casey Anthony is lying?  Because her lips are moving!"?  Well, it was within Casey Anthony's own words that she revealed that Caylee was dead and that she was buried near the home.  It was in Cindy Anthony's own "negation" that the location was given:

"George and I don't think Caylee's in the words or anything."

She was not asked if she thought Caylee was in the woods.  She offered this, in the negative, making it vital information.  Brooks, a former cop, got chuckles from the studio attendants, but not from those serious about learning the truth.

For a deeper understanding on how even seemingly innocuous references have meaning, see some of the analysis done on the Ramsey case HERE where the SCAN technique is applied to the Ramsey's press conference.

Please note that analysis done has shown that Jonbenet Ramsey likely was a victim of sexual abuse, and that my own analysis agrees with the Grand Jury finding that Jonbenet Ramsey died as a result of child abuse, and that her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, are responsible for her death, as well as the cover up, which includes a fake ransom note.  In the SCAN analysis, the genius of Avinoam Sapir is seen in the subtle phrases, particularly in how a parent references a child.  He follows pronouns like a blood hound and puts his faith into the subject to guide him.  The Ramseys do not disappoint.

We saw this with the deception of the McCanns, as well, and we saw how Amanda Knox did not kill her roommate, but indeed was present for it, and was involved in the coverup as well.

The Free Editing Process yields the most information.

Look over the analysis of Mark Redwine and you will see how he chooses words that Analyst Kaaryn Gough pointed out, all indicated a violent struggle with his son, Dylan, which resulted in Dylan's death, and Mark Redwine's cover up.

Want to see how deep analysis can run?  Take a look at Kaaryn's work on Mark Redwine HERE and use the search feature for additional analysis.

Case after case after case, we find that in spite of intellect, the human species is built upon communication, and where there is communication, there is the need for analysis.

The one case that was remarkable for the lack of communication was that of Susan Powell (Cox), where her husband, Josh Powell,  was incredibly quiet for the most part, giving only short answers to the press.  Eventually, however, he could not keep silent as his pride got the best of him and he shot off his mouth, and the words he chose to use, indicated the manner of death that Susan met.

Our words give us away, and even those who have studied and become strong at analysis will be caught up in their own words.  In one case in which a police officer was proficient in the Statement Analysis questionnaire, he was caught, in spite of his training, by the written statement, as he had stolen money from the evidence room.

Good journalists know, instinctively, to ask questions 'on the fly' in order to "catch the person off guard", which is just another way of saying to get the person to answer a question without pre-thought.




Saturday, December 28, 2013

Time and Form in a Statement

Time and Form
Hooked on Reading at 8 Months



By Peter Hyatt


In Statement Analysis, the issue of time is an important one.  We view time in four distinct ways within a statement:

  1. Objective Time
  2. Subjective Time
  3. Form
  4. Temporal Lacunae

We view “form” as a complete overview of a written statement. 

As said elsewhere, the order in which someone speaks is always important, and order can be viewed within the subject of “time” as when something is out of chronological order, it is a sign of deception.

Let’s look at our we measure “time” within a written statement.

  1. Objective Time

Objective Time is any time mentioned within a statement by the subject. We then take the time mentioned and write it on the margin of the paper exactly as the subject wrote it.
 

  1. Subjective Time

Subjective Time is a measurement (connected to “form”) of the pace of the statement. This is done by counting the number of lines in a statement, and measuring the passing of Objective time.


  1. Form.  Form is the overall breakdown of an event as written by the subject.  In the form there is generally an introduction, a description of the event, and then what happened after the event.

  1. (Form) will be shown in a separate study besides the brief entry here.


  1. 4.  Temporal Lacunae   This is when we encounter missing gaps of time as seen by phrases such as “the next thing I know” and “later on” as well as “after” or any other term that spans time.  We highlight any Temporal Lacunae in “pink” so that we are able to revisit the time period in our interview.





                                       Petty Fund Missing


“At 6a, I got up, turned off my alarm clock, brushed my teeth, and hit the shower. I ate some pop tarts and left the house at 6:50AM.  The traffic was really bad and I had to make some stops and get gas. At the gas station I saw a guy I knew and talked for awhile about my car.  The brakes have been making noise lately and he works there part time and said he could fit me in next week but I don’t know how much money it is going to cost.

I got to work around 7:20a and listened to my messages.  I had a large number waiting for me because I took off time from work the previous week. I also had to collect data from each of the supervisors and get them each to sign the right forms which meant going to each office. 
At 8a I had to be at a meeting and at 9a I knew the boss would be waiting for the report.
At 10a I finished up the report from yesterday. Left the office for awhile.  Gym. Signed out. 12p is usually lunch and at 2p I finished my typing. 
At 230p I was feeling sick from not drinking enough water which sometimes happens at the gym.  I usually work out at high intensity and if I don’t drink enough fluids I can become sick to my stomach. After that I knew I needed to get work done.
1p I met with the boss.  He told me about the missing petty fund. It was the first I had heard someone tell me about it.  I don’t think he thinks I did it or anything but he talked to me a lot about it as if I knew what happened to it. I feel like he wasn’t accusing me or anything, but I don’t remember what I said to him about it.
At 2:30PM I told him that I still felt sick and left.
Met my boyfriend for the first time that day.  He was angry that the boss maybe thought that I knew what happened to the missing cash. We went to the pharmacy and then got home later.
I gave my final report in that day from the day before at 9:30a.  The boss acts like I always forget but I don’t.
Around 6p I ate dinner with boyfriend. I think I was probably watching TV when I fell asleep afterwards.  I turned out the light and went to sleep. 


  1. Objective Time.

Objective time is what she told us, using mostly 8a, 9a symbols.  When there is a change, we note it and will ask questions about the time period that is marked differently.  In the interview, the investigator learned 6:50AM was significant because her boyfriend was screaming at her.  The investigator learned this because during the interview, having marked “brushed my teeth”, he asked about her boyfriend and she revealed fear of him.  She ran from him at 6:50AM into her car.  The investigator also noticed that 2:30PM was not the usual 2:30p.  This was due to the guilt she felt when the boss questioned her about the money.

In her statement, she goes out of chronological order towards the end, where she wrote “9:30a”.  Because the investigator simply wrote the objective times on the margin of his photocopied statement, he found it out of order.  This is an indication of deception. When truthful innocent people speak or write from memory, they can recall it forwards and backwards. When something is out of order, it is “just remembered” and is an indication of deception within the statement (not necessarily at the time, but in the statement, overall).  We mark this as a sign of deception and proceed attempting to learn what it is that the subject is being deceptive about.

  1. Subjective Time.

Subjective time is a measurement uses in Statement Analysis to indicate deception within a written statement.

Years of data compiled since the 1920’s has shown that people will normally write about 3 lines per hour when writing what happened. In other words, they will devote an average amount of information per passing hour. 

In shift investigations, staff are told to write out what they did during their shifts, which may include overnight asleep time. Therefore, we remain flexible about the averages used.  However, the principle remains the same:

Any deviation from average is noted.

So, if a staff person averages only 1 line per hour (which in a criminal or civil investigation would be flagged as deceptive), we will measure 1 line per hour as average, and flag any strong deviations from it.

The norm is 3 lines per hour.  When someone writes 1 line per hour, or less, it means that at that time frame, deception is present.  If someone writes above 9 lines per hour, deception is coming soon in the statement.

Why?

It’s actually simple.

Let’s say that you stole your office phone at 12:30PM, while everyone was down in the cafeteria.

It was discovered to be missing.

Because 20 people worked there, interviewing all of them would be difficult, so instead, we interview them through the use of the Questionnaire. The Questionnaire is a few short questions in which those who are truthful are quickly cleared (sometimes it only takes a few moments in reading Page 8 of the Questionnaire). The likely percentage would be that of the 20 people who filled out the questionnaire, 14 of them are immediately cleared and dismissed, with 6 remaining.

We then review the 6 remaining and view the other pages.  Likely, there will be 5 who will be cleared by the other pages.

There is one left.

We then take the one left and use Statement Analysis on page 5 which asks the subject to write out what they did from the time they got up until the time they went home.

Now, the person who stole the phone writes out, on page 5, everything they did from the time they woke up, until the time of this writing.

They KNOW that they stole the phone at 12:30PM.

How will they write?

Just like anyone would write who knows that they have done something wrong.

They will slow down the morning pace.

Why?

Because they don’t WANT to get to 12:30PM when the phone was stolen!  This will be evidenced by lots of extra details at 8AM, 9AM, etc. Then suddenly, at 12PM, they will likely write very little (and may drop the pronoun “I”) until they get to the after lunch period, and then write what they did from 1PM until 5PM at a more normal pace, perhaps 3 lines per hour.

At 6AM, they were writing a comfortable 2 or 3 lines per hour until, perhaps 8AM when they arrived at work.  Now the pace is about to slow down.

At 8AM, they were writing upwards of 6,7, 8 or even 9 lines per hour; stalling.  This is an indicator to the investigator that deception is coming soon. (9 lines per hour and above is considered to be 100% deceptive in investigative statements.)

But at 12noon until 1PM, they glossed over it quickly. Why?  Because lying (and stealing) is stressful and they want to “get past it” quickly!  After the theft, the subject returned back to a more normal pace. 

This change is noted by the investigator, who has analyzed the statement BEFORE conducting the interview, and presses questions around the 12 noon time period touching upon the sensitivity of the theft eventually producing an admission of guilt.

This is why we measure Subjective Time before an interview.


  1. Form

The same studies that have concluded that investigative statements are considered normal to have 3 lines per hour (we may allowance for  investigations that have overnight staff) and 1 line per hour or less to be deception present, and above 6 lines per hour to be deceptive (with 9 lph being the threshold for certainty) have also concluded that the form of a statement will also indicate truthfulness and deception.

 We know that when an investigation is done around a particular event, innocent and guilty people alike will describe what happened by introducing the issue, writing about the issue, and reporting what happened after the issue.

For instance:

A client was assaulted by staff.

A staff who witnessed the assault may write something like this:

I.               Introduction:  I was walking the client to her day program.  She was having some challenges that day.

This is the introduction and we would expect it to be shorter than the actual assault.


II.             The client began to become agitated and yelled at me and Staff B. The consumer said she did not want to go to day program and picked up her soft drink and threw it into the face of staff B. Staff B was very angry and turned to the consumer and said, “You don’t do that to me!  Now I have to change my shirt” and I saw Staff B slap the consumer across the face with her open hand.

The issue is the assault and the witness has used more lines to describe the assault.

III.           Then, I told Staff B to go inside and calm down and took the client back to the house and called the supervisor. 


The “after event” is also short. This would be an indication of veracity based on its form.
The “form” is one indicator of truth or deception.  Honest statements are generally within the bounds of:



25% introduction
50% body of what happened
25% post event

Our sample statement is 10 lines long.

2 lines before slap
6 lines describing slap
2 lines after slap

20 % pre event
60% event
20% post event.

This falls close to our expected parameter and would be deemed reliable based upon its form. 

85% of deceptive people to the “before” time than the do to the “after” (LSI)

Investigators are taught: prior to the interview, photocopy the statement. Before reading the statement: Circle all pronouns. Then, count the number of lines in a statement.  If the subject has used more than 33% of the statement without getting to the subject, the Interviewer should suspect that deception might be present within the statement.

In overlapping shift  investigations, this is difficult to measure when staff is describing several days of shifts (where it is not known what day money went missing, for example) but it most useful in investigating a single event where the time of the event is known but staff is denying, for example, assaulting a client. .

This is also most useful in the “he said; she said” discrepancies that we often face.

Allegation:  Client at a nursing home reports being slapped in the face by Staff B.  Client is well known to fabricate. No physical evidence of the slap exists.

Staff B denies hitting client.

Staff A reports witnessing the slap.

Staff B and Staff A used to date and had an unpleasant break up.

This is the “he said; she said” standoff that can be easily dismissed. 

An agency faced something similar to this in which Staff B accused Staff A of sexual harassment.  The Agency said that their usual protocol would be to have each staff write out a statement but in this case, the “he said; she said” appeared to be unsolvable.  They reported that Staff B denied being in a relationship with Staff A.  No witnesses; no text messages, love letters, etc. Agency asked if I could help.

I received the two statements, photocopied them, and circled the pronouns. I reported back to the Agency that they needed to confront Staff B and say “I have inside information that reports that you and Staff A did actually have a relationship.  How do you explain it?”

The Agency did and reported back to me that the lawsuit wasn’t going forward, as Staff B admitted being in a relationship with Staff A.  How did I know? 

I measured the form because it was one particular date and time where Staff B alleged that Staff A had cornered her in the break room and made suggestive comments. I found Staff B to test deceptive.

I also circled the pronouns. 

The pronoun “we” was used in sensitive areas. 

“We” told me that there was cooperation between them and that Staff A had been factual (his statement tested reliable on its form).  Staff B was transferred to another location and quickly began a new relationship with another staff, just as Staff A did after Staff B’s transfer.  Staff will give us no shortage of practice in analyzing statements.  J  Both described each other as “friends”, but one said “a friend” and the other said the stronger “my friend”, which gave an indication of closeness.  Staff B wrote “I didn’t think my friend would say such things to me”, rather than “a friend” which told me that there was closeness there that Staff B did not want the reader to know about.

With Subjective Time, 70+ years of research has shown:

The average written investigative statement is between 1 and 1 ½ pages long.
The structure or “form” of a statement is a quick linguistic lie detector.
Be flexible with the 25/50/25 form, but not any extremes as deceptive.
If 85% of deceptive people give long introductions, take note of the quick post event language.  “I wrote up a reportable and that’s it”.  Usually, when an event has taken place, peripheral staff will be impacted about what happened and will talk to this person or that person and may include emotions in the conclusion.

  1. Temporal Lacunae

And after that, I…” tells us that time has spanned by, and we do not know, from the statement what happened. “The next thing I know, the consumer woke up and said her money was missing” tells us that the subject has passed over time and has left out information.

A temporal lacunae does not, by itself, indicate deception. It means that information has been left out which the subject either does not consider important, or, the subject knows it is important and has left it out on purpose.

The rule of thumb: flag any passing of time (pink if it is in a written statement) and make a note to visit it in the interview.

“You said, “the next thing I know”; tell me about that.  “I don’t remember.”  When you encounter this response do not accept it. “Take a moment. What happened? “ and “what happened just before that?” and continue to dig using vague and open language.

The following are the answer to the most common questions that subjects ask us, especially if we have identified deception in the written statement, on its form. The subject is stalling and may even seek to build an impasse:

  1.  Where should I begin?
A.   From the beginning.

Q.   What do you want to know?
A.   Everything

Q.  But that would take a long time.
A.  Tell me what you think is important for me to know.

Q.  Ask me specific questions and then I will tell you.
A.  How can I ask you if I don’t know?  Answer me and then I’ll ask you specific questions.

Subjects want to know what we know. This last request will come from a subject who likely has some guilt or guilty knowledge of abuse, neglect or exploitation, and wants to find out what it is that you, the Interviewer, know, so that the subject can lie.  Specific questions give this information away and may contaminate the interview. Closed ended questions, especially early in an interview, not only reveal what you know, but teaches a subject how to lie.

 If the subject pauses, we should not tell them to go on.  We should wait and look at him.  Wait with patience and confidence.

This impasse may arise at the temporal lacunae, which now tells you that the information is sensitive and it is something the subject does not want you to have. It will be revisited until we get the information we need. This is exhausting work.

The temporal lacunae and the quickening pace generally are seen together. It is difficult to pick up audibly during an interview, but does come with practice.
If you hear a phrase like, “and then later on” along with a missing pronoun, you are likely at the place where the event took place, and likely speaking to the person responsible for abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Since pronouns give us ownership, and we see by the temporal lacunae that the subject does not want to take “ownership” of the time that passed, you will likely find that he will drop pronouns. 

Returning to our sample statement:


“At 6a, I got up, turned off my alarm clock, brushed my teeth, and hit the shower. I ate some pop tarts and left the house at 6:50AM.  The traffic was really bad and I had to make some stops and get gas. At the gas station I saw a guy I knew and talked for awhile about my car.  The brakes have been making noise lately and he works there part time and said he could fit me in next week but I don’t know how much money it is going to cost.


I got to work around 7:20a and listened to my messages.  I had a large number waiting for me because I took off time from work the previous week. I also had to collect data from each of the supervisors and get them each to sign the right forms which meant going to each office. 
At 8a I had to be at a meeting and at 9a I knew the boss would be waiting for the report.
At 10a I finished up the report from yesterday. Left the office for awhile.  Gym. Signed out. 12p is usually lunch and at 2p I finished my typing. 
At 230p I was feeling sick from not drinking enough water which sometimes happens at the gym.  I usually work out at high intensity and if I don’t drink enough fluids I can become sick to my stomach. After that I knew I needed to get work done.
1p I met with the boss.  He told me about the missing petty fund. It was the first I had heard someone tell me about it.  I don’t think he thinks I did it or anything but he talked to me a lot about it as if I knew what happened to it. I feel like he wasn’t accusing me or anything, but I don’t remember what I said to him about it.
At 2:30PM I told him that I still felt sick and left.
Met my boyfriend for the first time that day.  He was angry that the boss maybe thought that I knew what happened to the missing cash. We went to the pharmacy and then got home later.
I gave my final report in that day from the day before at 9:30a.  The boss acts like I always forget but I don’t.
Around 6p I ate dinner with boyfriend. I think I was probably watching TV when I fell asleep afterwards.  I turned out the light and went to sleep. 

We have seen that the subject had sensitivity in the home life with her boyfriend, was rushing off to work while arguing, had a change of pace at 8a, and dropped the use of pronouns when she left her office. 

  1. Did she go to the gym?
  1. We don’t know; therefore we cannot say that she did go to the gym. By leaving off the pronouns, she would like us to think that she went to the gym.  The sudden disappearance of pronouns shows distance, as she “removes” herself from the gym.

Note:  We not only circle all pronouns, but we make a circle where a pronoun should be.

This woman was arrested and charged with theft.  Her boyfriend was abusive and pressured her into it to support his drug habit. The money was taken from “petty cash” something employees often kicked in for special luncheons and parties.  She claimed to have left work not feeling well, which was truthful; she was sick to her stomach worried that she would be caught. Notice also in her language that she “knew what happened” to the missing fund, which is now “cash”.  The “fund” became “cash” when she gave it to her boyfriend, as “cash” is spent, but “fund” is collected and held for a purpose. Notice “told” instead of “said” in relation to the boss, who is not properly introduced (poor relationship).

The boss had suspected her because there had been rumors around the office that she lived with an abusive drug dealer, and had come to work under the influence of narcotics a few times. Although arrested, an agreement was reached to return the stolen money and enter rehab as well as receive counseling for the domestic violence.

For Time,

We view Objective Time, which is the times the subject mentions in the statement. We note any changes in how it is expressed, and we note that if anything is out of chronological order, there may be deception.

We view Subjective Time, as most investigative statements are 1 to 1 ½ pages long, and average 3 lines per hour. We make allotment for long shift investigations where long periods of staff time, written often as a “log” are submitted, and note any change in the pace.

We view the overall Form of a statement, knowing that any deviation from 25% introduction, 50% event description, and 25% post event may indicate deception. This is a powerful linguistic polygraph device that can be a time saver for busy investigators.




Friday, December 27, 2013

ATM Robbery Statement Analysis


What do you make of the following statement?

First, read the statement, and copy/paste your comments in the comments section.  Then, scroll down to see the same statement, with emphasis added.

Do you find changes in your analysis?

Robbery at an ATM



Saturday night I walked over to the ATM near my job around 10 PM, after I got out of work. I work at a bar. I entered the building using my debit card since it was after business hours. As I was opening the door there was a man behind me, so I held the door open for him. Nothing really seemed off about him. He was tall, white, brown hair, but I couldn't tell much else because it was dark. I didn't think much of him entering after me. I was just there to quickly deposit some cash and check my balances. There's only one ATM in there, so I wanted to get my transactions done as fast as I could to not make the guy wait a long time. I had just put my card into the machine and entered my PIN when the guy came up next to me and started shouting. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was along the lines of "Give me all your money right now." I was freaked out. I had no idea this man would be harmful, it came out of nowhere. I've never had anything like this happen to me before, but I knew I was supposed to give in, in case he was going to kill me or hurt me. I opened my wallet and took out all the cash I had and the money I was there to deposit. I think I had about 90 dollars in cash. I thought it would be enough, but when I handed it to him, he yelled "The money in your accounts, too and your phone!" He was standing right next to me so I couldn't act like I didn't have much in there. I withdrew 500 dollars. I told him I couldn't get any more because the bank limits me. I was terrified that he'd not be okay with that and take it out on me. He seemed really jittery, shaking and everything. I gave him the cash from the ATM and my cell phone, and he just ran off really fast. I waited until he was out of my view. Then I ran back to my job and called 911.



Here is the same statement, with analysis added, so that you might review your work.  Recall that the color coding used by SCAN (www.lsiscan.com) uses blue as the highest level of sensitivity.  We use it for the departing of a place ("left") and the reason "why" something has taken place. The reason why shows that the subject is actually anticipating a question of "Why did you..?" in his statement, making "so, since, therefore, to, because, etc" very sensitive to him.  It may indicate a need to explain.  

Of course, if you copy/paste and print, circle all your pronouns, and note the articles. 

Also note any change in language.  A change in language can signal a change in reality.  Put any name in a box and draw a line connecting the same noun that has experienced a change, and seek to learn what it is that has happened in between (in context) to cause the change. 

Note, in an open statement, anything in the 'negative'; that is, what did not happen, was not said, and so on. 

Emotions:  note the location of emotions.  If they are in the perfect, or logical part of the story, it may be that they have been placed there artificially.  

ATM Robbery 


Saturday night I walked over to the ATM near my job around 10 PM, after I got out of work. I work at a bar. I entered the building using my debit card since it was after business hours. As I was opening the door there was a man behind me, so I held the door open for him. Nothing really seemed off about him. He was tall, white, brown hair, but I couldn't tell much else because it was dark. I didn't think much of him entering after me. I was just there to quickly deposit some cash and check my balances. There's only one ATM in there, so I wanted to get my transactions done as fast as I could to not make the guy wait a long time. I had just put my card into the machine and entered my PIN when the guy came up next to me and started shouting. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was along the lines of "Give me all your money right now." I was freaked out. I had no idea this man would be harmful, it came out of nowhere. I've never had anything like this happen to me before, but I knew I was supposed to give in, in case he was going to kill me or hurt me. I opened my wallet and took out all the cash I had and the money I was there to deposit. I think I had about 90 dollars in cash. I thought it would be enough, but when I handed it to him, he yelled "The money in your accounts, too and your phone!" He was standing right next to me so I couldn't act like I didn't have much in there. I withdrew 500 dollars. I told him I couldn't get any more because the bank limits me. I was terrified that he'd not be okay with that and take it out on me. He seemed really jittery, shaking and everything. I gave him the cash from the ATM and my cell phone, and he just ran off really fast. I waited until he was out of my view. Then I ran back to my job and called 911.