|Did he tell the truth?|
Is Russell Lindstrom deceptive about what happened to his daughter, who died while in his vehicle?
Recently, Dr. Paul Ekman said he would not answer whether or not Edward Snowden was truthful or deceptive unless he, himself, could ask the questions and observe the answers. Snowden was recently interviewed as Americans have been torn on whether he is a hero whistle-blower, or he is a traitor. The television interview may have answered questions for many Americans, but more on this later.
It is helpful to know what questions are asked, but in the simple, "What happened?" we often know, thanks to Avinoam Sapir (www.lsiscan.com) if the subject is truthful or deceptive, and, using Mr. Sapir's instruction, much more may be known as well.
All Statement Analysis taught in the United States (and internationally) owes the debt of knowledge to Mr. Sapir. This is why I often refer to him, and his instruction for everyone from journalists, to therapists, to investigators, to learn to listen and "decode" the personal, internal, subjective dictionary of a subject, in order to gain vital information.
Is Russell Lindstrom, father of deceased daughter, truthful or not?
I will answer this question directly at the conclusion of the article. Child Protective Services is investigating him for Negligence in the death of his daughter. They are doing this with police.
I will employ a measuring technique as well as look at specific indicators within his speech as I believe there is enough here for me to make a conclusion.
Statement Analysis counts words to make determination of deception. There is a general math formula that is very useful. It is the:
25/50/25 Measurement of a statement's balance.
First, some short statements made by the subject.
We have seen how the father of the dead child placed his emotions artificially within his story, as well as a few other red flags, including early willingness to accept death, and conflicting accounts of knowing if his child was dead. The death of a child is a brutal, shocking event. It takes time for humans to process emotions. In truthful accounts, emotions are usually given after the account. In story telling, emotions are placed in the "perfect" or "logical" part of the story, such as:
"I was walking alone in a dark alley when I felt terrible gnawing fear within me, when suddenly a man jumped out..."
It makes for great story telling. However, in real life:
"I was mugged by a man in that dark alley. I gave him my money and called police. I was terrified." is something that is more likely to be true. It doesn't grab your attention as much as the former, but it is how truthful accounts appear.
Deceptive people feel as if they have a need to persuade that it really happened and they really felt fear, so they put it in to the part of the story where they think they should feel fear. It is often artificial.
Recall that in Statement Analysis, we draw a conclusion based on many signals, and not just one. A single artificial placement of emotion will not be enough for an experienced analyst to make a conclusion. It's often done "anonymously", but not when the analyst's reputation is on the line.
I want to be certain.
I will do the same with measurement (form) and pace of a statement. Truthful accounts sometimes have a few red flags, but it is the overall portrait that I seek to judge.
We also saw that drugs may have been involved, as marijuana was apparently found, and as I have written and said many times, drugs and children do not mix.
Will Russell Lindstrom face Negligent Homicide charges?
“They're treating me like I murdered my little girl,” said Lindstrom.
"I murdered my little girl": is the subject quoting someone else, or does this come from his own free editing process? Is it an embedded confession, or is he quoting police?
“I've been in terrible situations all my life, especially in the military and nothing like that can compare to losing your daughter, to losing one of your own children, especially at an age so young,” he said.
Note that he avoids the personal, "losing my daughter" and "losing one of my own children", instead opting for the second person, "you", which is distancing language.
They found marijuana, percocet and confiscated several computers. This, when coupled with the infusion of the word "laundry" within his statement, draws our attention and concern.
Here is a transcription of some of the video interview, first alone, and then with analysis:
"Yesterday started out pretty much like any other day. There was a little bit of excitement because the vehicle that my daughter died in, we were supposed to be trading in for another vehicle yesterday. A 2008 Chevy Avalanche. And my kids were really excited cause they (hard to understand this part) were gonna get to go and leave the house. Or as they would put it, they were gonna get to go “bye bye”. And… but they got up in the morning and then ate breakfast and came outside and played because a couple of days ago it rained and they’ve been cooped up in the house and there real outdoors kids. And so, they came outside and I was outside with them. They were running around the yard playing Dora the Explorer and even tried to run off in the woods a couple times like she does on the cartoon. Yah know I had to yell at them to stay in the yard a couple of times because of it. And (long pause) lunch time came around, they came in the house, I fed them something to eat and then we came back outside after they were done eating. Maybe an hour later err later. I can’t be yah know, accurate on times. What happened was my kids generally put themselves down for a nap especially when they’ve been outside playing a lot and ah especially on a warm day. And they came into the house and started playing in their room quietly and then they both wrapped up in their blankets and laid down. And I thought they went to sleep so I figured I had time to do go do some chores in the house. I was in the back of the house doing laundry and straightening things up. And in between load of laundry I’d go sit on my bed which is in the next room over from them and cause from my room I can always hear them when they get up and start moving around. And so I thought they were asleep and I thought I had time to do some chores and didn’t have to worry about them. And I came outside to have a cigarette and fiancés little brother came out and asked me when the last time id actually seem my kids was and I told him it was about an hour and both of us immediately got up and started looking for em just because anytime you’re a parent and somebody brings up the fact that you haven’t seen or heard from your kids for a little while, you go look for them. And so we checked the house, they weren’t in their room, they weren’t anywhere in the house. We checked all the rooms in the house. All the places they like to hide and get into things..."
This is 476 words. We can divide the statement into three basic parts to test the statement's "form" as we know that, in general, a Truthful or Reliable account will have a balance to it.
Part I is the Introduction to what happened. This is, generally speaking, about 25% of the account, in truthful and reliable statements.
Part II is the most important part of the statement, it is the Main Event, or, precisely, what happened. The bulk of the statement should take up about 50% of the account.
Part III is what happened afterwards and is generally about 25%. This is what happened afterwards, including calling police, etc.
This is only one way of measuring a statement. The overwhelming number of deceptive statements have a lengthy introduction. Psychologically, this makes sense because if the account is deceptive, therefore, stress inducing, it is only natural that a subject would want to delay it as long as possible. This is why a very lengthy introduction is a sign of imbalance.
Anything that is close to the 25/50/25 will not be deemed unreliable, and the analyst will then go into the words to look for other indications of veracity or deception. It is possible to have an "unreliable" statement in measurement that still does not indicate deception. It is just one tool of many to use. We look for imbalance, particularly, how long does it take to get to what happened?
If it takes a long time, with lots of tangent detail, it may signal that the subject does not want to get to what happened.
In this case, had I lost my two children and found them in the car, I ask myself, "What would I say?"
I'd likely go right to the point. Let's look at Russell Lindstrom's statement, noting that it is not likely complete.
Part I is the introduction. He uses 402 words to introduce his story before telling us what happened.
Part II begins when the fiancé's little brother and subject "immediately got up" to look.
Part III is what happened after. This is not in his statement.
the introduction is 402 out of 476 words, or 84%.
This makes the statement Unreliable or Deceptive, based upon its form. This is a measurement which is only one tool of many to use, and it is from the video, which may tilt the math downward, but still, at 84%, it is extremely imbalanced.
Although there may be more, after finding them he took action, cooling them down, CPR, etc.
Yet, even without a full statement, this is a lengthy introduction with other issues for the analyst to consider.
"Yesterday started out pretty much like any other day.
Even a child in the First Grade knows that when someone is telling a story and starts out like it was a "normal" day, it was anything but normal. It is a tool of story telling. Always flag the word "normal" (or words similar) so that you are on the alert for something not normal.
There was a little bit of excitement because the vehicle that my daughter died in, we were supposed to be trading in for another vehicle yesterday. A 2008 Chevy Avalanche.
This is a strange thing to even be thinking about having just had a daughter die. It appears utterly irrelevant, given the death of a child, and how the child died. Yet, it entered into his language.
I cannot help but ask why this was in his mind? The vehicle has been impounded by police. The "vehicle" his daughter died in was to be traded in for another "vehicle"; using the word "vehicle" twice.
And my kids were really excited cause they ___ were gonna get to go and leave the house. Or as they would put it, they were gonna get to go “bye bye”.
This is to portray the kids as happy, excited or content: in other words, he is portraying the children in a positive manner, while one of them is dead.
The analyst must ask, "Why does he need to portray things as positive?"
Putting "excitement" in the statement while his daughter is dead strikes us as strange (view comments) but for the subject, he is moving the topic away from his dead daughter and more about the vehicle. This is why we see the model and year added. Most people would be too distraught to even think of such things, no less speak them, so early after what has happened.
We highlight the subject's need to move away from the topic at hand: his daughter, and to take the listener to the vehicle.
It is a diversion.
That the kids get to go "bye bye"; is this something so special to them that it is an event, unto itself? Do they not get out often?
Were they usually locked in the house?
In today's age, kids are out and about in life constantly. This appears unnecessary, which makes it very important to us to try to learn more about their lifestyle.
And… but they got up in the morning and then ate breakfast and came outside and played because a couple of days ago it rained and they’ve been cooped up in the house and they're real outdoors kids.
The word "but" is used in comparison, to refute, to compare, that which preceded it. What was in his mind that produced "but" here? Recall:
he just portrayed them in a positive manner and now uses "but" and goes on to explain about rain from a couple of days ago.
This is out of chronological order, for us, and before getting to find his daughter, he first began in the specific day, but now has gone back a "couple" of days. This should be part of the interview process, knowing his actions and activities the days preceding, especially since drugs may be a part of the equation.
"Came outside" may indicate that that is where he was. What was he doing outside? This is what Analytical Interviewing does: he asks questions off of the analysis.
The need to explain why the kids had to come outside may suggest interruption of what he was doing; an intrusion of sorts. I then note that he needed to tell us that they were "cooped up" and "real" outdoor kids. This may be a subtle shifting of blame:
Were they so out of control that he locked them in the vehicle, not considering what the temperatures would do to them?
Let's say, for argument sake, that he was very busy doing something important and he could not get them to behave, so he put them into the vehicle, and locked them in, so he could do whatever it was that was more important to him at the moment.
He would now feel guilt.
Guilt has a strange way of trying to alleviate itself, and is often well suited to finding ways to blame others.
If they weren't so "cooped up" and they weren't so "outdoor" kids...is to touch upon not only circumstance (blaming the rain) but also it speaks to character of the kids, being not just "outdoor" types, but "real outdoor" types.
And so, they came outside and I was outside with them.
This is an awkward statement that shows distancing language from the children.
He does not say, "They went outside" but they "came" outside. This indicates that he was outside first.
Next, he says he was outside "with" them. Why the need to tell us, if they "came" out, that he was with them?
This father uses a lot of distancing language and when the word "with" is found between people, it is distance.
"Heather and I went shopping" versus "I went shopping with Heather." The latter shows distancing (I didn't want to go shopping). In his case, the distance is there, but why?
We sometimes hear a father say this, "I was outside with the kids" for something like this:
He was mowing the lawn while they were playing.
He was raking and they were pestering him to play with them, instead. Thus, the distancing language can enter his vocabulary as he recalls being outside with them.
In context, we are at a situation in which a child is dead.
There is, at this point in his statement, distance between himself and his daughters. Then, "them" and not "my daughters" or "my kids" is also noted.
He may give us the reason for the distance here:
They were running around the yard playing Dora the Explorer and even tried to run off in the woods a couple times like she does on the cartoon. Yah know I had to yell at them to stay in the yard a couple of times because of it.
In spite of the positive portrayal of the kids, the word "but" refuted it, and now we have not only the details of the rebuttal, but, perhaps, the reason for distancing language:
He was having a hard time controlling them.
He mentions "Dora the Explorer" rather than "they were playing" or "they were playing a game", but gives the additional detail of the specific game they were playing. This may be an attempt to portray himself as very close to them, to the point of knowing what they watched (Dora is a TV program, versus "real" outdoor kids) and played.
This reminded me of Dylan Redwine's father trying to persuade the audience that he knew his son well, by mentioning TV shows, but those shows were too young for Dylan and ones he had outgrown years earlier.
It is the NEED to persuade that Statement Analysis focuses upon.
Next we continue to ask:
Is this a subtle blaming of the victim?
Were they so out of control that he locked them in the vehicle?
This is where police should focus, not only upon drugs and neglect, but his temperament at the time of the event.
He was under stress. This is evident in his lengthy opening and need to attempt to make things sound positive when they were not. He "even" noted that they took off to the woods. This is the language of exasperation, and, perhaps, 'challenge' of sorts.
It is as if he is blaming the rain, and the children's character, for what he may have "had" to do to control them from running off, "even" to the woods, where there would be danger. This sounds like a father attempting to justify his actions.
And (long pause) lunch time came around, they came in the house, I fed them something to eat and then we came back outside after they were done eating.
They were out how long?
Note that he gives details about the vehicle, but not about anything he fed them.
Note the word "we" (unity, cooperation) enters his language here: they may have been better after eating.
Maybe an hour later err later. I can’t be yah know, accurate on times.
What limits his ability to be accurate about "times"? This is concerning.
What happened was my kids generally put themselves down for a nap especially when they’ve been outside playing a lot and ah especially on a warm day. And they came into the house and started playing in their room quietly and then they both wrapped up in their blankets and laid down.
This is also concerning. He not only tells us what they "generally" do, rather than what they did, he tells us:
a. warm day
b. wrapped in blankets
"They both wrapped up in their blankets" does not tell us if they wrapped themselves, or he wrapped them. This is an awkward and alarming statement.
And I thought they went to sleep so I figured I had time to do go do some chores in the house.
Here he tells us why he thought he had time to do chores. This anticipates the question of "Why did you have time...?" but, why would anyone ask such a question? This does not make sense to us, but it does to him. We need to learn why.
Note that "blankets" (coverings) are associated with:
Sexual abuse, particularly childhood sexual abuse, but it also is associated with sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from combat situations.
Some linguistic signals of childhood sexual abuse:
water, in various forms
doors, opening and closing
lights (sexual activity, both abusive and non abusive)
windows open, closing
coverings, blankets, towels, etc.
"I took a shower, and dried off with a towel, got dressed and went to work" with "towel" being completely unnecessary to us, but not to the subject. The subject needs to be "covered", or "protected" with the towel. We did not think he ran around naked to dry off. Unnecessary information should be deemed "doubly important" (LSI) to the analyst.
I was in the back of the house doing laundry and straightening things up.
laundry is noted as associated with "water"
And in between load of laundry I’d go sit on my bed which is in the next room over from them and cause from my room I can always hear them when they get up and start moving around.
Here we have indications of deception as he does not tell us what he did.
He changes from past tense verbs to present tense. He changes from what happened to what 'usually' happens.
Note that body posture ("sit") is a signal of increased tension for the subject at this point of the statement.
"I can always hear them" is what he can "always" do, but is not what happened. He is avoiding telling us what he did at this time.
And so I thought they were asleep and I thought I had time to do some chores and didn’t have to worry about them.
Here is another 'out of chronological' order of events. He is backtracking to explain why he had time.
Note he tells us what he "didn't" have to do. This also appears artificial.
And I came outside to have a cigarette and fiancés little brother came out and asked me when the last time id actually seen my kids was and I told him it was about an hour and both of us
1. "fiancé's little brother" is an incomplete social introduction which may suggest problems in the relationship at this point in the account.
2. He is "little" brother. Why the additional word "little"; is it demeaning to him?
3. "Actually" is a word when comparing two or more things. "Would you like vanilla ice cream?" "No, I'd actually like chocolate..."
In this statement, there appears to be tension, and a challenge from the "little" brother. When was the last time you actually seen...argument.
4. Note "told" him and not "said", indicates authoritative or argumentative (firm). "My boss said to be at work at 9." "My boss told me to be at work at 9" is a lot firmer. Add in the word "stood" and you have tension.
5. "both of us" instead of "we", shows distance and affirms the argumentative challenge that took place. The "little brother" challenged the subject.
immediately got up and started looking for em just because anytime you’re a parent and somebody brings up the fact that you haven’t seen or heard from your kids for a little while, you go look for them.
"Immediately" is unnecessary and often found in 911 calls when someone feels the need to portray themselves in a favorable light. No one would think that the subject stopped to have another cigarette first. That he adds "immediately" tells us that he is concerned about perception rather than reality.
"Because" shows that he feels the need to explain why he did not delay looking for his daughters. This is a very sensitive issue to him.
Yet, he immediately distances himself from the scenario: "you're a parent", not that he is a parent, and "somebody" brings up the fact...
This is not his first act of Neglect.
He may have a CPS history, or has been accused by friends/relatives of neglecting the children.
And so we checked the house, they weren’t in their room, they weren’t anywhere in the house. We checked all the rooms in the house. All the places they like to hide and get into things.
The unity returned as they shared the same purpose.
Although we do not have the complete statement for a complete mathematical number, the lengthy introduction with unnecessary details tells me he has a reason to delay getting to the point.
The distancing language is noted.
The argumentative challenge between the subject and his fiancé's brother is noted.
As I take these into consideration, along with his other statements, I am able to conclude:
Russell Lindstrom is deceptive in his account of what happened to his daughters.