The Insult of Being Lied To
by Peter Hyatt
Never underestimate the power of anger when one is lied to. It can be a force to reckon with.
Investigators are no different emotionally than anyone else. They do not like being lied to. Some don't like it, professionally, but others still, don't like it both professionally and personally, and it is the personal insult that can help drive an investigation.
I have seen situations where a subject would have likely gotten away with it, had he not kept talking, beyond the usual, and boldly not only lied, but kept lying. These are situations where evidence may have been too flimsy to prosecute but the liars so infuriated the investigators, that they dug in a bit deeper to get to the truth.
These were situations where the investigators knew who 'done it', without debate, but were on the fence about presenting the case to the DA due to the DA's unwillingness to go in with a losing case. No one wants to lose, even in the call for justice.
Liars go too far.
It is this self confidence that reaches the level of arrogance that a good Interviewer will play off of.
Recently, I wrote about the hyperbole of mothers who have been previously accused of abuse or neglect of a child, as a linguistic signal to be noted. Sometimes, the arrogance kicks in, along with the 'confidence' that the subject is "getting one over" on the investigator. The wise investigator will be unemotional and allow the subject to keep going.
Roger Clemens could not leave well enough alone. He publiclydemanded that the person who supplied him with steroids come forward.
It never happened. Never happened. If I have these needles and these steroids and all these drugs, where did I get them? Where's the person that gave them to me? Please come forward.
Brian McNamee finally did.
Note his statement for analysis:
1. The word "never" is not a substitute for "did not"; as "never" gives a sense of vagueness to the liar. If the liar has been asked, "Have you ever...?" the word "never" is appropriate.
2. Repetition indicates sensitivity. "never" is repeated as "happened" is repeated. We always note the need to repeat.
3. "These" indicates closeness, while the word "those" indicates distance. This is similar to "this" and "that" in analysis.
This is interesting.
He did not say "Who?" gave him the steroids and needles. This is because he knew who he was, but it is likely that at the point of this 2008 interview, he did not know where, at that moment, Brian McNamee was.
Baseball writers who vote on the Hall of Fame know that Clemens was not successfully prosecuted for steroid use, but they read the same articles you and I do, and, perhaps, intuitively grasp the concept of needing to boast in order to buttress a lie.
Rafael Palmero used the finger pointing, as did President Clinton, who had a half a century of getting himself out of trouble by his smooth lying, particularly it seems to me, when it comes to the use of women.
The liar holds the world in contempt. It may be a big joke to the liar, but this infuriates others. When President Clinton looked at that camera and pointed his finger, he was begging investigators to come after him.
The liar thinks he or she is smarter than you and me and everyone else around and fully expects to "put one over" us. This is the downfall. Clinton is a Rhodes Scholar and a brilliant politician, whether or not you agree with him, and this intellect betrayed him due to pride. How many centuries have passed with the warning of pride and the fall that follows pride?
It is also the insult that they inflict upon investigators who work hard for a living and do not like being insulted in this manner.
The liar's weakness is often seen in taking the offensive.
The liar thinks that the lie will be believed because of the loud confidence of attacking others. Lance Armstrong cheated in his sport (I think most of his competition did, too), but was not satisfied cheating through drug testing; he had to go on the offensive using his millions to destroy the weak.
Masculinity, I was taught, sacrifices its strength to protect the weak. Armstrong used his millions to destroy those who could not afford to hire an attorney, squashing them, ruining them, without concern, for example, for what their families might have suffered. It was, like the President, a "win at all costs" that was once considered unsportsmanlike conduct.
Sidney Crosby took his stick and jammed it into the groin of Dominic Moore, inflicting serious pain and possible serious injury. Henrik Lundqvst sprayed his water bottle back at Crosby.
The NHL fined Lundqvst $5,000, but was silent on Crosby's act. A reporter asked him about the cheap shot he took. Crosby's response?
"What did you see that I might have done?" Crosby asked a reporter. "When he tied me up
at that faceoff? I took a shot or he took a shot?... What do you mean by I took a shot?...
"He's holding my stick, yeah."
Remember the challenge of Justin DiPietro, the polygraph-failing unemployed father who bought an expensive life insurance policy against his healthy toddler only to report her "missing" a few weeks later?
He is cut from the same cloth: lying since childhood, with the belief that he is smarter than everyone else.
He issued a public statement to Nancy Grace to come and spend a day in her shoes.
He likely wasn't expecting her to literally send someone to Maine and knock on his door, causing him to hide in the bathroom, and behind the apron strings of his friend's mommy.
The boldness in his deceptive challenge was met, and like most bullies, he quickly folded in the challenge.
The critical element in all of this is this:
"Extra words give us additional information."
Some analysts will say, "The shortest sentence is best." I agree.
An "extra" word is one in which the sentence can remain complete if the word is removed.
"I locked my keys in the car." Very strong, straight forward.
"I think I locked my keys in the car." With one simple word added, there is now an element of doubt cast upon the location of the keys.
"I think I might have locked my keys in the car."
Even more doubt.
This is why, even in the easier-to-lie to "yes and no" questions, we carefully note each and every word that follows the word "no" as important to us.
It is why we teach listening rather than speaking, in interviewing.
The best interview is going to be 80% to 90% speaking by the subject, and not the Interviewer.
When the lie is found, the challenge is cast. An interesting twist to contemplate?
What to do when you know the subject is lying...
When is remaining silent in the face of a lie best?