Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Why Did I Miss That? " in Analysis: Part One

Self hush

I am often asked, "Why did I miss that?" by an investigator.  I generally respond with the short answer first.

"Oh, me too. I didn't get it until my third pass."

There are many reasons why we have "misses" of important points in Statement Analysis.  In this, Part One, I will address how many times we should analyze a statement.

In Part Two, I will begin the break down of "Bias In Statement Analysis" and then on to "Emotional Misses" in analysis.

Let's begin with:

Q.  How many times should a statement be analyzed?

A.  Three basic times is the minimum for analysis.  These three times are called "basic" because it is always healthy to go back to a statement, but the three times here are done with a specific view.

I.  Presupposition of Innocence

II.  Presupposition of Guilt 

III.  Disconnected Analysis

I.  Presupposition of Innocence

This is not a moral or ethical view.  As you will see in "Analysis bias", Statement Analysis is not partisan, nor does it concern itself with politics.  It seeks the truth and evenly applied, it produces even results.

We go into a statement with the belief, ahead of reading it, that the subject is not only innocent, but is 100% truthful.  He "did not do it", and "he is guiding me in all truth."

This is a fancy way of saying:  Believe him.

The reason why many in law enforcement score poorly on exams of detecting deception (Dillingham) is due to the misplaced belief that "everyone is lying" due to becoming jaded from interacting, day by day, hour by hour, with criminals.  By presupposing truth, not only are we going to be guided by the words, but we set ourselves up for the 'awkward' fall of the "unexpected."

The "Fake Hate" that readers are familiar with is a good example.  In your first "go round" with the statement, presuppose.  In short, Ms. Rogers claimed that three masked men broke into her home, tied her down, carved hate slogans into her flesh, poured gasoline, lit the house on fire, and spray painted hate slogans in her basement.

464 words later, we knew our answer.  (Please see the full analysis on the blog if you are unfamiliar with the case).

a.  Charlie Rogers is a victim
b.  Charlie Rogers is truthful
c.  Charlie Rogers is someone I should empathize with

This way, I have now set myself up to hear certain words, such as "attack" and "blood" and "scared" and "fearful" and so on...

When I do not find these words, I am "surprised" by what she has said.  In this, there is a 'confrontation' of sorts, by words I was not expecting...words like, "game" and "pawn" and "event" and "not afraid" and so on.

The analysis, in round one, "tripped us up" with the "unexpected."  The words we thought we would hear, we did not.  Instead, we found words that were not in line what what we expected someone who has suffered such a horrific attack to use.  At the end of Round One, we concluded that she did not connect herself to the crime, hence, she was deceptive.

II.  Presupposition of Guilt 

Now, we are ready to go back to her statement with the basic premise or presupposition that she did it herself, and maybe had help, but in any case, she is deceptive about alleging a crime.

We now work our way through the analysis thinking to ourselves:

She is truthful, word by word, it is just that she left out that three men did not do this, therefore, the words she used may give insight into how she, or someone else with her, did this.

As we work through it, we are now "entering into her shoes" and she may give us "leaking" information on how it happened.  A good example of this is from the father of Dylan Redwine, who we found to be "deception indicated" in the disappearance of his son.

Mark Redwine.
"Uh, sure I'll take a polygraph..."

Statement Analysis showed deception on his part.  Once this conclusion is reached, his statement should then be analyzed again, specifically from the perspective of:

He did it.  His words are 100% truthful, it is just that he is leaving out that he did it.

Therefore, when we review his statement for analysis the second go round, we learn from his words that there was a confrontation of sorts, between him and his 13 year old son, as his language is combative.  Remember:  if he did it and is trying to avoid telling us he did it, even while describing his last hour with Dylan, he will struggle to do so without "leaking" out details of his crime.  Dillingham reports it this way:  a suspect in a robbery avoided confession, instead, talked on and on about his fishing, including his favorite fishing hole.  It took awhile, but eventually, it dawned upon the Interviewer to get divers to that fishing spot where...surprise, surprise, the stolen goods were hidden.

Why did Cindy Anthony kick out searcher Tim Miller?

"George and I don't believe Caylee's in the woods or anything."

She was conflicted.

She wanted Tim Miller and Texas Equasearch to fly to Florida so that the Anthony family could appear "cooperative" in finding missing Caylee Anthony, without actually finding her, which would lead to murder accusations.  So, she had Miller and company go through major expense of moving equipment and horses to Florida, and when he started asking too many "tough" questions like, "Where should we begin?", Cindy threw him out of the home.

Then, she needed to give some excuse to waiting media.

Her brain knew several things:

a.  Caylee's dead
b.  Casey did it.
c.  Caylee's in the woods, down the block from my home.
d.  I have to get Tim Miller out of here before he finds her.
e.  I can't let everyone know what is going on in my brain
f.  I think I'd like to get a new tattoo with George

So, with her brain running at full steam, she spoke, without notes, to the media.  She did not want to be alone in her guilt, so she said,

"George and I", using both of them:

"don't think", which is in the negative, making it, for us, in analysis, "very important"

"Caylee's in the woods"

"Caylee's in the woods"

"Caylee's in the woods"

Oops.  That pesky brain just leaked it out.

Caylee was found in the woods, less than a half mile from the home.

Analyzing her "as a deceptive person" should have screamed at investigators to scour those woods.

The first round of analysis is to do it thinking that the person did not do it and to believe every word in the statement.  Then, if deception is indicated:
the second round is done thinking the person did it, but that every word is still true and going to guide us and that only missing from the statement is "I did it."

III.  Disconnected Analysis 

This is where an investigator says to me, "Why did I miss that one point?" and I can agree:  I missed it, too, but I knew to go back to the statement with an emotional and intellectual disconnect.  This is where the "40% rule" comes to play (LSI) where the same statement will now yield up to 40% more information to the same analyst.

The trick to it is to

walk away from it.
Engage yourself in something else.

Your mind is made up; you've seen deception and you now have "emotional blinders" on; your  focus is one dimensional.  You need to "break" the connection, and have the statement "feel cold" to you.

A good example of this is the shooting by Chief William McCollum of his wife, Maggie.

My first analysis caused "confrontation" as I presupposed that the gun was not only accidentally engaged, but that it was accidentally left on the bed when they went to sleep.

The statement did not fit my theory of innocence (presupposition) that I began with.

My next go round meant analyzing it as if he did it.  This was a comfortable fit.

Yet, the third (and subsequent) analysis was after I had stopped thinking about it, and had literally moved on to other statements.  (You can accomplish this simply by reading the news websites and "changing" the direction of your brain.  Engage the intellect in something rigorous unrelated.  I find chess to help me with this, while at other times, reading about sports might help.  Go for a walk, have a hot chocolate, play with the dog, etc).

What yield did subsequent analysis produce?

Something very important that I missed initially.
Maggie McCollum, shooting victim 

Chief McCollum was deceptive in the call.  I think this is the most extreme distancing language I have analyzed between husband and wife.
He made it through an entire 911 call while she lay bleeding to death, without once using her name, the pronoun "my", or the word "wife."

This was not just distancing language, but extreme distancing language.  When coupled with passivity regarding the weapon and avoiding ownership of the weapon (something police do not do, and something a weapons trainer himself would not do) the review of the analysis brought me a clearer picture of what happened, including the earlier threat that brought that gun to the bed.


The avoidance of his wife's name, her title, and the possessive pronoun "my" was due to anger.

He was angry that he was in this position, as chief of police, to be calling 911 on her behalf.  He burned in anger, while she lay bleeding to death, worrying about his own career.

He did not want this known in the call, yet it was his avoidance of common words, itself, that told us that this was something that took place deliberately, and not without passion.


A minimum of three rounds of analysis should be done on any important statement.

Next: bias in analysis and how to deal with hit.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Thanks!

GetThem said...

Walking away on the 3rd round is something I'll have to try. I've found myself re-reading and not finding what I am looking for and yet something nags at me that I'm missing something. I've come back sometimes the next day and had that "ah ha" moment and found what was missing the day before. Very cool insight. Thank you.

Tania Cadogan said...

off topic.It seems the public aren't buying their story (neither am i)

How could anyone think we're lying? Homeless couple living at Heathrow are 'horrified' at claims they made up story for money - as generous strangers raise £9,000 to help them

Katrina Smith, 62, and Alan Page, 71, lost their Dorset home 18 months ago
Couple told of how they have been sleeping at Heathrow Airport yesterday
Go Fund Me page was set up by a stranger and has raised almost £10,000
Dozens of well-wishers have offered their spare bedrooms to the couple
They have since been accused online of inventing their story for money
Mrs Smith was distressed by the claims, adding: 'We would never

A middle-class couple who took to sleeping at Heathrow airport after losing their home have said they are ‘horrified’ by accusations they made up their story for money.

The couple were delighted to learn an online donations page had been set up in their name by a stranger, the total of which now stands at £9,300.

Hundreds of people contributed to the Go Fund Me page after reading of how Alan Lane, 71, and Katrina Smith had been forced to move out of their home in Poole, Dorset, after a string of poor financial decisions and bad luck left their savings and income chewed up by debt.

For the past four months they have spent five nights a week in the airport. Yesterday Mrs Smith claimed she and Mr Lane were ‘horrified’ by one accusation in particular which alleges they have been running a bed and breakfast in Staines, Surrey.

The 62-year-old said: ‘It’s absolutely not true, of course it’s not.

‘We’re not running a B&B, we stay in one sometimes and it costs £50 a night.’

Mrs Smith added: ‘We haven’t asked for anything but people have been so kind. Of course we wouldn’t have lied about this. If only they could be in my shoes to know.’

Since sharing their story in Saturday’s Daily Mail, hundreds of people from across the UK and abroad have come forward to offer assistance.

The fundraising page was set up by mother-of-one Natalie Longford. Mrs Longford, who does not know the couple, wrote: ‘Let’s help them raise some money to get a deposit on a flat and turn their life around for the better.’

Less than 24 hours later, £9,270 had been raised by other generous readers touched by the couple’s story.

They have also been inundated with offers of places to live and will stay for free in a self-contained flat in the New Forest for a month.

The flat is owned by Julie Nairn, 63, a volunteer who works with the elderly and lonely, who said she felt obliged to help the pair, as their situation ‘could happen to anyone’.

A single foster carer who lives near Heathrow in Southall, also said they could stay in her spare bedroom ‘for as long as they need’.

Mrs Smith said: ‘We’re trying to get our heads around it. People in this country are just great.

‘It’s amazing and totally renews faith in the human spirit.’

She said she was moved to tears by the kindness of people offering their homes, while Mr Lane described their generosity as ‘amazing’.

The couple, who have been together 28 years, had to sell their home in Poole, Dorset, 18 months ago.

They have been living hand-to-mouth since, at first staying with friends and family, but when the offers dried up, they began spending nights in Heathrow’s different terminals.

They do have a limited income, but say it is not enough to cover their debts, rent and the cost of keeping their belongings in storage. While Heathrow has a group of dedicated social workers offering support to people found sleeping rough in its terminals, no one from the team has approached the couple.

Read more:

Tania Cadogan said...

further to my previous post.

it seems that the b&b they stay in a couple nights a week may be woened by them.
he also has a business and he can be found here


The gofundme page for them

has been stopped and reading through the comments, the majority are smelling a scam possibly involving the woman who started the page and have reported her to the site which is now investigating and to the police.

I can't wait to hear the excuses and explanations for this one.

I misremembered owning a business or two etc.

it is worth noting they have previously refused all offers of help and claim no charity or council will help them,
This has been refuted by many people who have been in similar situations and say they would qualify for help.

This is getting fun :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe they did lose one house, but forgot about their businesses, bank accounts, and possible other homes?

John Mc Gowan said...

Doffs Hat :-)

Watch: Hero Deputies Rescue Man From Burning Car

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Get Them

I will have more to say in Part Two about walking away, but suffice it for now:

you must break the intellectual/emotional bond with the statement.



Tania Cadogan said...

off topic

An 11-year-old girl has been charged with murder in the beating death of a two-month-old baby who was staying overnight with her and her mother.

The girl, her mother and the baby girl, Zuri Whitehead, were on a couch of the house in Wickliffe, a suburb of Cleveland in Ohio, when the mother fell asleep at about 3am on Friday, police said.

Less than an hour later, the woman was awakened by her daughter, who was holding the badly injured infant.

The baby girl was bleeding and her head was badly swollen, Wickliffe police Chief Randy Ice said.

Police reported "massive brain injuries" as well as damage to the baby's kidneys and liver, and extensive internal bleeding

The 11-year-old's mother immediately called 911, Chief Ice said. Zuri was flown to a children's trauma centre in Cleveland, but she died there.

Chief Ice said the girl did not appear to show remorse. "I'm not sure she appreciated the gravity of what she did," he said.

"We're having a hard time getting (our) heads around this," he said.

"You don't see stuff like this."

The police chief said the mother of the 11-year-old and Zuri's mother, Trina Whitehead, have known each other for five or six years but are not related.

Trina Whitehead has three other children and had the girl's mother keep Zuri overnight to give her a breather.

Juvenile Judge Karen Lawson entered a not guilty plea for the girl at a detention hearing on Monday and ordered that she undergo a competency hearing.

The girl, who entered the court in shackles, answered yes when she was asked if she understood her rights.

Media have not reported the girl’s name or her face because she is a minor.