Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Statement Analysis: Gregory Lewis, Father of 2 Year Old Myra
Analytical Interviewing asks open ended questions and reflects back the language of the subject. It is the single most effective means to gain information, as Statement Analysis of the answers are used in formulating questions, even 'on the fly', that is, as they happen. This is why training is essential.
Analytical Interviewing avoids compound questions, which allows the subject to pick and choose which question to answer, squandering the opportunity for valuable information.
This is the case here in which the interviewer asked a compound question, and did not follow up on the answer.
From the local media article:
Myra's father, Gregory Lewis says he just wants his daughter back home.
He says since Myra disappeared, his family has faced many tough obstacles.
He addresses the question many people are asking regarding his involvement in his daughter's disappearance.
"Do you know where Myra is, or what happened to her?" asks reporter, Perrise Thomas
Unfortunately, this is a compound question. This should have been asked ask separate questions.
"No, I do not. I don't have any idea or the whereabouts of where my daughter is at this time." says Lewis
"No I do not" is a strong response, however, we see that he continued and it is that additional wording reveals additional information.
Note "at this time" is added, which suggests that he has knowledge of where she was previously. This is sometimes the case when a body is thrown in water and is naturally moved.
"I don't have any idea" is difficult to believe from anyone on anything. Sometimes it is used in frustration.
It is also sometimes used by the lazy minded, or by those who wish to not engage in thought. Here, however, he added "or the whereabouts"as additional language. "Whereabouts" is not something we generally hear with a 2 year old child, as it is something more often used in reference to a person old enough to move about.
"At this time" is the most concerning of the words he chose in his answer. This is why the compound question should have been avoided, and asked separately. This should have prompted a follow up question.
Gregory Lewis tells us the whole situation has been tough on his family, especially after his wife was jailed for an unrelated charge.
"I've never been in a situation that I couldn't control. This is the first one and I really don't know how to deal with it."
"Control" is an interesting word. It is reported in the negative, making it important. It is also concerning as often abusers have a desperate need to control.
Lewis says he feels his wife's arrest has affected the search for little Myra.
"In my opinion, it got in the way of what the actual reason for being there was. They were there to help to find my daughter and everything got twisted." says Lewis
He recognizes that with this particular topic, there are other opinions.
Myra's family has started their own efforts.
They've created t-shirts with the toddlers picture, asking for her safe return.
"They're focusing on my family. They're just focusing on us and I'm just feeling that the search for my daughter is not going on like it should." says Lewis
Lewis believes someone has Myra, he is pleading for her return.
"All is ask is that, they return her home safe."
The Lewis family tells us proceeds from the t-shirts will go towards a reward to bring Myra home.
"What happened? (part of the compound question) would have provided us with detail and insight.
By asking "What happened?" it would have allowed Gregory Lewis to begin his statement wherever he so chose to do so, and the language itself would have given us information. By asking a compound question, she allowed Lewis to choose which question he wanted and is a lost opportunity for information.