Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Why Did I Miss That? Part III: Analyzing Three Times
Analysis should be done in three rounds for the purpose of being thoroughly done.
Recently, someone from the Department of Defense sent me a statement with his analysis (he was well trained).
It was strong and impressive because it was thoroughly done, and with even application. It was not one that warranted much imagination, but he did not force his imagination onto it (in the realm of "expected.")
I will write to him and ask him if I can publish it here for him, as readers will benefit from his work.
Picking up from Part Two of this series, the three rounds or "passes" of a statement being analyzed are as follows;
I. Presupposition of Innocence
II. Presupposition of Guilt
III. Disconnected Analysis.
"My name is John Doe and I work for Smith Research and Development, where I am a research technician, 3rd class. Mr. Robert Smith (redacted) hired me after a lengthy interview and a background check. I have been working for SRD for almost 2 years now. Mr. Smith is my supervisor and is responsible for assigning specific reports to each of us equally.
I first became aware of the missing funds when a co worker of mine said that Mr. Smith was going around telling people that someone took it. I don't know anything about it. I was asked to write out a statement about my entire day which I think is unfair because I would never take the money. But here I go. I got to work at 8 on the day the funds went missing. This is like every normal day. I am prompt, courteous and a good worker. I reviewed all my reports and looked to see what Smith had assigned me. The co worker in the cubicle next to me got less than me but was already complaining about being overworked. I do as many as I can and Smith had said that this was because I was able to do more and come raise time he would not forget me. He did. Nothing can be done about it. It is the way this company treats professionals.
Ok, at 9, I had a meeting with the entire unit. This is where we were supposed to be able to talk about the work distribution load and correct any imbalances but instead it turned into a lecture about how the owners wanted us dressing differently and they there was going to be a new code book about how we can and cannot speak to each other. Like I need to be told how to dress and talk!
Went to lunch at 12.
At 1 I met with two new clients that I thought were going to sign on with us. They were only considering contracts because of my professional appearance and not due to a company dress code. That they did not sign on the dotted line doesn't even matter. They know how the company cuts corners and to be truthful, I could not contradict this to them. I'm sure they will talk with me again at a later time and date. Trust is important.
At 2 I followed up on some emails I was behind on because of the heavy workload. At 2:30 left the office. I had to go the bank so my rent would not bounce. It was a stressful day. I wanted to get out of the office because I heard talk about money thing and didn't want to get blamed by Smith or anyone else. I just needed a break, is all, and I am due two 15 minute breaks a day and have not taken one in I don't know how long so I felt it was not wrong to do. I didn't think the co-worker next to me would say anything. I have given this company everything for almost two years now and did not get a reason for not getting my raise even though I have outworked everyone else on my floor. I would never steal that money. When funds go missing I think they should look at the lazy ones and not me. I do not steal. That's my day. 5 I'm out the door. I only left without talking to others because I did not want to see that look of suspicion on their faces questioning my ethics. I will not have that. Let them walk in my shoes for a mile before they judge me as a thief. "
I. Presupposition of Innocence
As explained in Part Two, this is not a moral or ethical issue. This is done so that the proper "stand off" between the Expected and the Unexpected can be positioned.
The analysis should be done:
a. Believing the subject did not do it. This means not judicial innocence, but de facto innocence.
b. The subject is going to tell me he did not do it.
c. The subject is going to be 100% truthful and guide me, word by word, sentence by sentence.
The first round with the presupposition of innocence allows the deceptive subject to force me to "confront" one of two things:
a. words I did not expect to hear
b. missing words that I did expect to hear, but are not there.
By now, you should understand from other examples and articles, that you are to analyze the statement as if it is 100% truthful, and that the subject did not do it. You will see if the statement agrees with this presupposition. This surrenders confidence to the subject's words.
Those who are jaded with the "everyone is lying" mentality fail here. They fail to detect deception and they fail to detect (and be guided by) truth.
As you work, word by word, sentence by sentence through the statement, you then see if the words used were the ones you expected to hear. Was there a reliable denial? (Pronoun, past tense verb, specified activity).
We have analyzed line upon line, moving from left to right in the first round. This means that something is missing for the second round.
Objection: What about statements where the subject makes it very difficult to presume that he did not do it?
Answer: These are the best statements because they are the easiest to discern deception.
When someone makes it difficult for us to believe them, it is likely going to be much easier to discern deception. Yet, even if we know he is deceptive, the statistics tell us that it is very likely that what he has told us is, in fact, true, it is just that he left out the fact that he took the money for himself. This makes our work easier as the "confrontation" between expected and unexpected becomes clearer, with deep, richer contrasting colors in language.
There will be inconclusive statements. Yes, they annoy me but they still will yield much information, specifically, where to "aim" the laser of our questions.
II. The second round is now down thinking that the subject "did it" or "may have done it" (in inconclusive first rounds) and will now guide us how it was done.
If no deception was indicated in the first round, as you work through round two, does your new theory that he "did it" fit the analysis? Or, must it be 'forced' to prove deception? Forcing deception can help indicate veracity.
Top to Bottom
Now, we are finished with the word by word and sentence by sentence analysis, and must analyze the statement from "top to bottom", that is, moving the eye across the page in a manner that helps contextualize the statement as a whole.
For example, while we went line by line, we noted that the subject introduced "my supervisor, Mr. Robert Smith." This was a complete social introduction.
Later, he was "Mr. Smith", which shorter (expected) and respectful (consistent with introduction), yet still later in the statement, he became "Smith", with no first name, nor respectful title. We come to see in context, this is where the relationship "changed" and was "downgraded" as "Mr. Robert Smith" was smart enough to hire the subject, but later, when it came time for the raise, "Smith" did not deliver, suggesting to us a motive for theft.
Where was it "funds" and who was present when it changed into "money?"
Change of Language represents a change in reality.
Objection: "I was taught in school to use different language to avoid sounding monotonous."
Answer: The next time you hear someone change language, ask him or her about it. Say, "just now, you said that your car needed repair so you had your vehicle towed. Why did you change your language?"
It is very likely that the person will tell you that they did not even realize that they changed their language. It happens too quickly.
Emotion has the power to change language. "Funds" belonged to the company, but the overworked, under appreciated worker, who was not given his raise, needed "money" to pay the rent.
You now have a great deal of information and it is here where you need to break the emotional/mental connection with the findings of the statement; that is, with your conclusions or even just the opinions.
3. The third round is critical and should now be done with the emotional and intellectual break in connection to the statement. This is something personal to you, and may be impacted by your time frame, your personal constitution, activity level, health, strengths and challenges, and so on.
Vital: Intellectual and Emotional Separation from the Statement.
This is where you must find a diversion that impacts you. It must be something that engages the mind and the emotions. This will break the pattern set up in your brain regarding the statement. Once broken, it is here that you will suddenly "find" information that had been "missed" in the earlier two rounds of analysis.
You must break the emotional and intellectual connection with the statement in order to have success. When we are 'engaged' on both the intellectual (first) and emotional level, the connection is now moving in a "straight line", which is why you miss things. You have a scent, and are following it. The scent has also made sense to you, and built your confidence. This is what causes blindness to there "scents" within the statement.
You are in the position of investigating what happened within a statement. It matters not if you are an investigator, a journalist, a therapist, or a mother, fretting over her teenager's story. You are "on the hunt" and as predator, your "prey" is the truth.
When you discern deception, you have successfully picked up the scent and followed it to its conclusion.
Herein lies the problem: there are other scents for you to follow but you cannot because you are "locked on" to the one pattern (scent) of the statement.
It is only once you have "cleaned the pallet" of the prey that you can now follow a "new" prey, or "new scent", or a "new track" found within the same statement.
It is important that you now note:
Yes, he has been deceptive but this is not the end. There is to be learned:
How he did it.
Why he did it.
Sometimes we get the answers to these even before we get to the interview. Other times, we know to focus the radar lens of questions specifically at certain hours.
I would aim my questions at his lunch hour.
And when this is finished, we must then go back and learn if there is even more information awaiting us.
Chances are very likely that there is.
Profiling has become a "negative" word in our language, yet we do it all the time, whether we admit it or not. It does not have to be popular to be true.
When you walk down the proverbial alley at night and see a shadow of a man, and your heart picks up pace, sending more blood to your legs for flight, and your pupils enlarge, allowing for better night vision, and piloerection makes your hair on your neck stand up, blood moves away from your vital organs, to protect you against assault, etc; this physiological reaction is suddenly reversed when you perceive the man wearing the uniform of a police officer. Your "profile" is that the dark uniform represents safety, even though you do not know if the man is masquerading as a police officer, or is a dangerous officer, or is someone to help you in time of danger. Even while denying profiling, your body does it, just the same, as the brain processes information quickly. Your brain cares little for political correctness when it senses danger.
A profile of a liar becomes essential for not only investigators, but for business professionals. They know that the liar may steal from them, ruin their reputation, file false complaints against them, and do more damage than imagined. This profile can protect the company, even if it just means keeping a closer eye on the employee, just as this profile can help the criminal or civil investigator who now can use it in the interview process, appropriating the specifically worded questions that best elicit responses.
The small tactical information is used within an overall strategy.
The third round is where I seek to learn the personality of the subject. I have already been through enough to know what has happened.
Q. How long does this process take?
A. Given the average statement of one and one-half 8.5 x 11" paper, a thorough analysis generally takes me 6 hours, excluding "breaking off" the intellectual and emotional trail.
Given the nature of "catching the liar" as prey, the stronger the emotional satisfaction from discerning deception, the greater the need for breaking the connection with the scent. Emotion has a tendency to influence one more than intellect.
Here are some personal hints for getting oneself off the intellectual and emotional scent of a statement for the third round of analysis that I use, or that I have heard others use. Some are written in the positive, and others are things I have tried, but not found successful.
There are two elements that must be present to successfully break you from the statement and will allow you to yield up to 40% more information in the Third Round of analysis:
The first is intellectual engagement, and the second is emotional response to the intellectual. Where these two elements are present, you will be sufficiently "broken" from the statement and are ready for Round Three. This might take you just an hour or two, or it could take you days. As you look upon my suggestions, substitute anything that works for you keeping in mind the two necessary elements to successfully break the mind from its scope on the statement: intellect and emotion.
Here are some suggestions from me and other analysts, along with some not-so-worthy ideas:
Playing a chess game means putting intellectual effort into the game or tactics training. No partner needed as online computers are free, including for solving chess puzzles. I do 30 minutes of Tactics Training online, each day. If you have a game or hobby that necessitates concentration, it should work for you.
Crossword puzzles, games in your phone, or something that you enjoy and challenges your mind which will engage you to the point of concentration will do the trick. If there is an emotional element of satisfaction (or failure) coupled with the intellectual engagement, this should work fine.
By the way, there has to be studies somewhere that show that chess helps stem off the tide of aging dementia. It is good for the brain, though some, like John Calvin, expressed concern over the addictive nature of the game. I denied this until I was seen coaching a little league game with a tiny chess book on my lap in between innings. Chess or any similar game that uses the brain and has an ending of reward or failure will suffice.
2. Statement Analysis of another statement.
I do use this, but only when I am overrun with requests for analysis, or face deadlines. It does help, however but it is not something I recommend as it can tire the brain out before facing round three.
3. De-briefing with someone is critical for clearing the brain. The person you debrief with should be, in the least, familiar with analysis techniques and with the case. This person will not likely have the same emotional connection with the statement you have, and may ask you questions that you cannot answer. This is perfect. I will cover this in a separate article in Part IV. It is so important that it gets its own article. (this includes group analysis or group training).
Once you've gone past a certain point in analysis, you'll never hear people speak the same way again. The same is true for reading, especially something with statements or quotes. I always keep a biography nearby and love to read about peoples' lives. I find that any life lived is worth reading about if the writing is engaging. I am re-reading "The Life and Letters of Robert E. Lee" (a must read) but was recently recommended to read the life of John Wayne. Seriously. Where do you think I get things like, "I'm not a Cath-o-lic, I'm a Presby-goddamned-terian" from? Although I am not a fan of actors in general, I respected the recommender enough to get the book and it is surprisingly interesting. It is "John Wayne: The Life and Legend" by Scott Eyman.
The key is to be engaged on an intellectual and emotional level by the book. Biographies not only do the trick, but also teach us about people and how they think. I find this not only interesting, but useful. Find something that grabs you. With biographies, you can read them in short intervals, especially those that are predominantly chronological in nature (rather than focusing mostly on a specific period of one's life) where they begin in childhood and work their way unto death.
One summer, I spent the entire time reading almost nothing but the writings of women during the War Between the States. These were in the forms, mostly, of diaries, and were distinctly from the perspective of women and I was able to "enter into" their sufferings, deprivations and even their hopes. I was so touched by the material that I can recall the emotional tie to suffering at will.
Although I am also "reading" Avizoam Sapir's book on Genesis, this is not so much reading as study, with blue highlighter. It feels too closetowhat I am doing to break the connection and is tiring for my limited intellect.
I like to recommend books and receive recommendations. "Soldiers of Misfortune" was heartbreaking as I considered that some WWII American POWs never returned from Soviet Russia, or "Hunting Eichman" or "The Bedford Boys" that held my interest could be recommended. "Devil At My Heals" will make you despise the movie. Reading Stephen King is beneath me but man, didn't "Salem's Lot" scare me, that is, if I ever read actually read it.
Find a book that is not only intellectually challenging, but one that impacts you emotionally. If you have never read Shakespeare, but want to sound smart, try reading it. It will force you to move slowly (unless you're used to the KJV Bible's language) which is helpful. I have found this even with Charles Dickens or the likes of Joseph Conrad. These can't be read while texting and driving. Going slowly through "As You Like It" may surprise you while broadening you at the same time. I also like to find works that I thoroughly disagree with, every so often, to keep my mind open.
My night time reading is the 'news clippings' of Ernie Pile, compilation in a book, which is so fascinating, as he wrote for Stars and Stripes and for syndication, of what the average "GI Joe" went through. I am currently in North Africa in my journey. It does not require concentration that is tiring, but it is enjoyable and may suffice. White washed? Yes, but even the need for censorship speaks volumes.
Speaking of volumes, reading Winston Churchill, even in paperback, is an experience not to be missed. "War and Remembrance" by Wouk is almost identical to the 80's TV series (War and Remembrance, the second go round, not the first).
I may even break down and get a Kindle one day.
5. What about exercising?
Exercise: exercise is always good for the brain, but I do not find that it engages my mind enough to break the connection with the statement unless I exercise with someone else with whom I enjoy conversation. Exercise is essential to the analyst simply because exercise is essential for overall health. Unless the exercise has a heavy level of concentration, it may not be enough to break the connection, however. I walk every day, and go into my basement, pick up heavy things and put them down again, but it is not useful in breaking the connection.
Yet, if I walk with Heather or the kids, the conversation during the walk, does the job of disengaging me from the statement.
Of course, having to conduct other interviews, depending upon your job requirements, will usually be enough to break the connection for you.
It is something personal that each of us has to discover. One analyst makes himself a drink, and listens to music. I do not find that this is helpful as it causes me to actually concentrate, in a relaxed manner, more so on the statement.
You know yourself best and know what engages you. The key is the engagement must be of an element that touches you emotionally. This is the change needed to cause you to have fresh eyes over a statement.
The subject has a sense of entitlement and resentment towards his co worker. He does not feel appreciated at this job and would not "steal" but might be willing to "settle the score" with the company and getting that raise he felt was promised to him.
6a. What about television?
It's difficult to recommend television because it is a passive activity. If it helps, all the better, but it should be something that has a dialog that is challenging. This precludes most Hollywood movies, post 1939, sayeth the movie snob.
You need writing that is challenging to cause you to think, coupled with the emotional impact. Recently, Christina watched "Pride and Prejudice" with Greer Garson loading up on insult after insult, delivered with a beautiful smile, amongst a solid vocabulary and diction. Clever is not fashionable, but if you can find something that warrants your concentration and has an emotional impact, fulfilling these two elements will cause a break with the statement. Obviously, I am in love with Alice White, circa, 1932, but who isn't? I do find that some stations have interviews, which I love to practice analysis on the fly with, and the former "Military Channel" is interesting. I like "NatGeo Wild" shows with lions and tigers and those big brown killers that contort their faces when they are about to attack someone.
Don't even think about it. Ben and Jerry's has a secret, highly addictive ingredient that will have you talking the language of denial within 3 weeks. Just say "no" to snacking for a diversion.
Anything that challenges the brain and has consequences (positive or negative) will work.
If you like to work on cars, go out and change the oil or give it a tune up or wash it. If it takes concentration, and it comes out looking nice, it will fulfill the two elements' needs. Even if this is 30 minutes, it may be enough to break the "prey" connection you had with the statement.
Use this as a guilt free excuse to do something for yourself, telling yourself (and anyone else who needs to hear this) that it is educational and is demanded by me. If they don't like it, they can send me an angry email. I promise that I am certain that I will not skip over reading it.
The key is to disengage yourself from the "scent" you followed on the statement, so that when you return to the statement, you will not be locked into the one scent because another awaits you.
As referenced in an earlier section, I revised the 911 call of Chief William McCollum and concluded the "anger" within the statement. Reviewing the statement and the analysis itself, presupposing "anger" as an emotion (in a fifth or sixth round of analysis) to see if it fits.
It fits better than OJ's blood shrunk leather glove.
The extreme distancing language where he called 911 for his wife who was dying before his eyes, where he avoided using her name, and the word "wife" was distancing, not just for the sake of guilt, but because he burned in anger towards her, thus, the unemotional demeanor that supporters like to attribute to professionalism is anything but. As a professional law enforcement official, he is unable to use the single most expected word when it comes to the gun that shot Maggie McCollum: the word "my."
Once trained, if the law enforcement official, even once, feels comforted in a dangerous situation by the wearing of his weapon, he is emotionally connected to it. It is "my" gun, or "my" weapon" or "my" service revolver, or whatever noun is used: it is "mine" and not someone else's.
Next, when you consider the subject not only took weapons safety training but was certified in it to instruct others, the lack of the possessive pronoun "my" becomes even more important to us.
The absence of the word "my" in relation to the gun that shot Maggie McCollum is to distance himself from the one thing no police officer wants to be distanced from: his gun.
Combined with the inability to even say his wife's name once, or use the word "wife" but once, is taken with the missing "my" in association with her ("my wife") and the missing possession of the weapon ("my gun went off...") must be understood from his perspective.
"You're the chief of police?"
Unfortunate was the woman bleeding to death next to him.
For me, in conducting trainings with law enforcement and helping law enforcement investigators, I did not want to believe he shot his wife in anger. This was my bias. I faced this bias, within myself, in my analysis of the Ferguson shooting. I did not want to believe he ordered some kid to surrender, waiting until his arms were up, and then fired because of the kid's skin tone. Yet, I had to do one round of analysis with this premise.
It did not fit.
The Ferguson shooting was not racial, nor was it inappropriate. A violent death was going to come to one or the other, due to the actions of the young man who was lawless. "Hands up" fits Al Sharpton, but it does not fit the truth.
Maggie McCollum was shot in anger and the deception in the statement is not only the emotions in the statement, but in specifically concealed information on why the gun was in his bed, in the first place.
This three round analysis teaching is time consuming. In some statements, I will revisit them more than just three times, especially when time passes.
Jonbenet Ramsey case.
There is one mystery there that I did not solve, but was solved for me.
My bias was that this nice religious family would not have sexual abuse and death found in its midst, but the language showed otherwise.
There was deception in the language of both parents; not just one.
There was deception in the ransom note, which attempted to persuade, rather than seek money.
There was indications of sexual abuse in the language of John Ramsey.
There was the reliable denial, delivered not in the free editing process, but in a prepared statement, after analysis had gone public.
There was polygraph shopping, and a bunch of failed polygraphs until they found one who, for the right price, would not only pass them, but would agree to not reveal a single question asked.
The one thing missed in that case was Alex Hunter.
I noted passivity in his statement about the Grand Jury finishing their work.
I did not know what was concealed, nor why he used passivity in his sentence about the Grand Jury finishing their work. The norm was to sign the indictment and then, if he did not want to try the case, to move to dismiss in court, showing cause. He cleverly circumvented this protocol. I have long wondered if he was advised to do so by the Ramsey attorneys. Legal pundits said that this would have been a more "transparent" and "responsible" action, but Hunter was sneaky.
I, like most everyone else, did not learn this until very recently, when it finally reached the media that the Grand Jury had, in deed, indicted John and Patsy Ramsey in the death of Jonbenet.
The concealment, or suppression of information then became known:
Alex Hunter, fearing having to go up against the high priced attorneys he longed to rub shoulders with, refused to sign the indictment.
The Grand Jury heard the evidence, asked questions, and voted to indict John and Patsy Ramsey in the child abuse death of their daughter.
There were going to to to trial in Jonbenet's death. Hunter left the investigation "open" which implied that it was ongoing, but it wasn't.
A simple signature was all that was needed to begin the legal process that our country is so proud of, placing the burden of proof upon the government, and the legal presumption of innocence upon the accused.
The police had worked long and hard on the case. They worked while the DA's office hired their own investigators, leaked out information to the tabloids, and huddled with the Ramsey attorneys. The police worked a fight with one arm tied behind their backs but they won, just the same, an indictment against the Ramseys who worked hard at not cooperating with police, while diligently pressing their publicity machine in high gear.
The final insult to the men and women investigators who worked so hard on behalf of that murdered little girl was just a signature.
A signature that was withheld. Here is his statement. Like most deception, it is the missing information that is intended to deceive.
"The Boulder grand jury has completed its work and will not return. I, and my prosecution task force, believe we do not have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges against anyone who has been investigated at this time."
This was a deceptive statement via what Hunter left out: "they finished their work, indicted the parents, but I refused to sign the indictment..."
The public sided with police, and lawyers chided Hunter for his deception.
He could have signed and let his team handle it. They were to represent the police in court and police knew there was no sadistic killer running the streets of Boulder. He could have given it his best shot but given the nature of the relationship between him and the tabloid, and between him and the Ramsey attorneys, it was all but doomed.
There was in this case, child abuse, and a death that was not likely intentional. There was the creepy sexualized outfits and the numerous urinary tract infections and bed wetting.
There was the language of sexual abuse.
"And hence" is not correct English. We may write, "And", or we may write "Hence", but together, it is redundant.
It was in the ransom note from the "small foreign faction" and it was in a Christmas card handwritten by Patsy Ramsey. Hence, my reference.
I have revisited the 911 call and each time I have, I have lengthened my analysis. These breaks are natural, and often long, measuring time in months, where there is no connection to the statement. Each year I review the analysis of the case and feel "closer" to understanding what happened that fateful night that the little girl wet the bed again, and demanded to be fed pineapple, where, I believe, the accidental death took place, and the staging of "garroting" and crime scene took place, with two novel like ransom notes with the help of one who had read John Douglas' book, and who had watched movies not shown on Turner Classics and heard, "Don't try to grow a brain, John" cliche ridden lines.
A statement requiring thorough analysis should be gone over at least three times.
The first: presume the subject did not do it, and is telling the truth.
The second: you found indicators of deception, so presume deception but consider that the subject is truthful, but did it, and simply left out that he did it.
The third: Break your connection of concentration to the statement so you can go on a fresh, clean hunt.
Use your conclusion of deception indicated or veracity indicated and let the subject speak to you. Let him introduce himself and tell you all about himself. Sit back and listen to him. No more presumptive thinking.
Lastly, be not afraid to have others check your work. Even to the untrained eye, your conclusions should be able to be understood.
I give about 6 hours total work to a statement, overall. It might be fun or exciting to do in 15 minutes, but there will be misses.
Next up: Debriefing and Missed Analysis.