"Teaching Criminals To Lie"by Peter Hyatt
Once, someone said I was teaching future murderers how to lie on 911 calls in a domestic homicide cases.
In this discussion, I failed to persuade him that in domestic homicides, it was not likely that the perpetrator of a domestic homicide would:
a. Study how to deceive a 911 operator in a future, planned homicide
b. Come across this blog entry
c. Learn how to apply them
d. Avoid the free editing process in answering questions from the 911 operator
e. Avoid being interviewed after the report to 911 because the interview would drag him into a place where scripting and Statement Analysis training would fail him.
Question: Can publication of analysis teach a criminal how to lie?
In fact, we, the "Interviewer" in law enforcement, civil investigations, insurance investigations, human resources investigations, and so on, are more likely to teach a subject how to lie, than any training or publication of analysis. I will show exactly how this is.
First, what about the publication of analysis?
There are two answers to this, one being a principle of analysis:
In the free editing process, it is close to impossible to lie outright.
Jonbenet Ramsey case.
Some facts and assertions :
Jonbenet Ramsey, 6, was murdered in her home right after Christmas, 1996, either before or after midnight, with the parents choosing "December 25" on her tombstone.
John Ramsey did not fit the profile of a killer, as former FBI profiler and author John Douglas asserted.
John and Patsy Ramsey did not cooperate with the investigation as innocent parents would. This included refusal to be interviewed separately, obtaining lawyers immediately, and so on. Later, this included failed polygraphs and "polygraph" shopping to find one who would pass them, and refuse, for life, to reveal a specific question asked in the polygraph. The fall out from the case was wide spread.
John and Patsy Ramsey were indicted in the death, via child abuse, of Jonbenet, by a Grand Jury.
District Attorney Alex Hunter refused to sign the indictment, effectively completing his sabotage of the investigation, in cooperation with Ramseys' attorneys.
Statement Analysis revealed:
1. The Ransom note was deceptive, in that it was not a genuine directive to pay a ransom in exchange for the child.
2. The author of the ransom note wrote specifically to mislead the investigation highlighting the need to deceive.
3. John and Patsy Ramsey were both indicated for deception in their statements
4. Sexual abuse was associated with their language of the Ramseys, which coincided with Jonbenet's history of bed wetting, urinary tract infections and the sexualization of the child, via the beauty pageant circuit.
What did John Ramsey say to a national audience?
"I did not kill my daughter, Jonbenet."
This is not only a reliable denial, but uses the complete social introduction of
a. "my" (possessive pronoun)
b. "daughter" (title)
c. "Jonbenet" (name)
This indicates a good relationship.
The denial has:
a. The pronoun "I"
b. The past tense "did not"
c. The specific allegation "kill"
The Statement Analysis principles thus indicate, from this statement, that John Ramsey did not kill Jonbenet, and he had a good, father-daughter relationship.
It is also completely unreliable.
How can this be so?
The average person has an internal vocabulary of 25,000 words. John Ramsey, an intelligent man, likely has even more. When speaking freely, he must go into this vast library of words and choose only a few, leaving out the vast majority, order them properly, and use appropriate tenses and syntax.
All this must be in less than a microsecond of transmission from the brain.
In the free editing process, this rapid transmission is the basis for our success: it is why we look at the mumbling of "umm" or "well" as a pause, or disruption in the speed of transmission. It is the need to pause, itself, that we 'pounce' upon with our questions. ("pounce", but not necessarily immediately, as waiting is often wise).
Ramsey did not make this statement freely, early, or of his own accord when the body of Jonbenet was first found.
In fact, Statement Analysis had already been published in media by the time he made this statement, months after the murder, in correlation with his attorneys. This publication included radio broadcasts.
It was not made in the free editing process no more than Amanda Knox' denial in her recent book (even if she wrote it) while refusing to be truthful in so many opportunities prior to the book.
For John Ramsey, it was a carefully prepared statement after much coaching by his attorneys. If you were his attorneys and knew the truth, would you not read or listen to analysis, and counter it?
Next, and even more importantly:
Even when a criminal understands that he must issue a reliable denial, by bringing him into the Free Editing Process (FEP), that is, when he is freely speaking on his own, he will still give away the truth.
Should he have the need to disrupt the speed of transmission to say, "I did not kill my daughter, Jonbenet", or in a recent case, should Brooks Houck have been informed of analysis of his statement online, it will not preclude him from the same principles of language we are all subject to.
All the liar can do is parrot a lie.
Former police chief William McCollum shot his wife, New Year's Eve, this past year. Statement Analysis indicated him for deception, specifically about how the gun got into his bed, and for "extreme psychological distancing" from his wife and victim, Maggie McCollum.
The analysis did not conclude that he shot her intentionally.
The analysis concluded, however, that he deliberately lied about how the gun got into his bed, and that the situation of the shooting was one of which triggered his anger. What does this mean, practically?
It means animosity towards the victim and deception which could have caused investigators to understand: this guy threatened his wife, brought the gun to bed to terrorize her, even if it went off while moving it.
He made it through an entire 911 call giving the least possible amount of information, and avoided using his wife's name, the pronoun "my" and the word "wife." It is a stunning example of distancing language. He likely did not shoot her on purpose (she would not have survived) but this was not all there was to the story.
What might he say today?
"I did not shoot my wife, Maggie, on purpose" giving us words he refused to give during the Free Editing Process and the extraneous scenario of a 911 call.
He did not shoot his wife intentionally, but he did bring the gun into the bed intentionally.
|paralyzed from the waist down|
Parroting language is language in which we repeat another's words. It should be understood, psychologically, by all Interviewers, criminal and civil, that:
a. Parroting Language is not reliable
b. Parroting Language reduces internal stress for the subject
It is less stressful to parrot back answers, even more so than "yes or no" questions, within an interview.
It is why we ask legally sound, open ended questions and avoid with all effort, the introduction of language to the Interview.
Literally, we teach subjects to lie in the interview process and can even teach one how to pass a polygraph.
This is one of the most least understood principles impacting a polygrapher. The polygrapher must learn or decode the subject's own language.
Each one of us has our own internal subjective dictionary and the polygrapher must listen, and be the one who parrots.
How we phrase our questions often teaches the subject:
a. what we know
b. what evidence exists
c. what others have said about him
d. what is in our minds
e. the direction of the investigation
f. whether or not he should continue to talk to us
in short, how we phrase our questions teaches him to lie.
Even patrol recognizes the purpose of, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" up to
"Do you know why we are here for an interview?" to allow the subject to reveal knowledge and not the other way around.
Parroting language is not only deemed "unreliable" (which it is) but there is more to parroting language than just being unreliable:
It is the need to parrot which makes it sensitive, by itself.
Each time the subject has to withdraw himself from freely choosing his own words, he is avoiding the question at hand further affirming to us: we have a guilty person before us.
We, the Interviewer, can literally teach a suspect how to lie by the words we choose in our interview process, which is why the interview training (Analytical Interviewing) is:
a. Based upon Statement Analysis
b. Requires 'hands on' practice of interviewing, step by step
c. Is legally sound, protecting all rights
d. Is approved by union officials, attorneys, etc
e. Clears the innocent
Even when a defense attorney interrupts the answer, the interruption, itself, is necessary and yields information for us.
In the case of Brooks Houck, he was unwilling or incapable of issuing a reliable denial in the disappearance of 35 year old. Should he return to the show and say, "I just want to state this from the beginning, I did not..." even the untrained would say, "Isn't this a bit late?"
In Hailey Dunn's murder, mother, Billie Jean Dunn and her attorney, not only had the analysis, but carried it around with them in printed versions. This still did not stop her from being indicated for deception.
Because we, as humans, have a very difficult time lying and once we are in the free editing process, other than parroting, we are going to give ourselves away in deception.
Understanding Statement Analysis, it is so that reading the analysis can only produce parroting, but once he is moved into the free editing process, the information we week to conclude the case will either come out via his words, or he will refuse to cooperate. By going on national television and not issuing a RD, revisiting the show, making the statement, should not preclude Nancy Grace from asking open ended questions as well as specific questions based upon his answers.
It is very difficult for a human to lie effectively, and it is not simply based upon "conscience" and it does not mean that sociopaths get a "pass" on this.
Sociopaths also feel the stress of lying because of the source of the stress is not the conscience (which is useful in interviewing the larger population) but due to the disruption in the speed of transmission.
Sociopaths' language reveals the "need to deceive" even if it is just for self-protection and not for empathetic reasons. We humans have an incredibly vast way of self-justification, but even if no desire for self-justification exists, and there is no fear of being caught, there is still the fact that information translated into language that does not come from experiential memory will slow down the speed of transmission, causing a stressful reaction in language.
|"What does it matter?"|
Those who appear unfazed by empathy for fellow humans ("What does it matter?") or even those who care little for consequence, still reveal themselves in language.
Lawyers who defend, successfully, criminals, can attempt to minimize the impact upon conscience by telling themselves that they are "only" doing their job, protecting the rights of their client, fulfilling their duties, etc. But what might an attorney, for example, who saw the Ramseys repeatedly fail polygraphs until they "found" just the right one?
Answer this question by putting yourself in their shoes. What might you tell yourself in order to sleep? Would you say, "They're not murderers. It wasn't intentional", or "I'm not the one that passed them, the polygrahper was", or, "I can't apologize for being good at my craft" or any of a host of excuses?
Analysis does not teach criminals to lie. Poorly trained Interviewers, however, just might. Once a criminal knows the language of the polygrapher does not match his own, he can "beat" the test by getting it to either not catch him outright, or to give "inconclusive" as a result. If the entire session is recorded, you are likely to hear the pre-screening interview have too many words spoken by the polygrapher to be an uncontaminated interview.
A man who wishes to murder his wife, for example, rather than be destroyed financially and lose custody of his kids may plan such a thing. He may 'study' the topic of missing persons, online. He (or she), for example, may study "chloroform" and even use it, as was the case of Casey Anthony, and an attorney will come up with lies to disregard it, (as if a defense attorney's original call was to use deception as a tool to 'win the game') or even deceptively persuade a jury that it was for something else, but eventually, in the free editing process, the truth comes out.
This is an essential part of the training, and elevates interviewers to the point of excellence, rather than to rely upon someone else, which includes submitting a strong interview to a district attorney for prosecution; one in which is very difficult to ignore, as Statement Analysis, now in writing, "analytical report writing) is strong, and will suggest to clear minded individuals, that the person "did it" without the weakness of persuasive language.
The training is intense, but so are the results.
Let them parrot all they want, but once they are talking freely, we will get the information we need to get to the truth.