Sunday, July 26, 2015

Highlighting Deception in The Interview Process or How to Obtain a Confession

Highlighting Deception in the Interview, or How to Obtain a Confession
by Peter Hyatt 

I go into every interview knowing that if the subject will speak, I will get the information I seek.

I do not debate this with anyone, at any time.  I will even say, "roll the tape and watch" knowing that I am armed with not only thorough analysis and personal resolve, but with something on my side that no matter what we say, what we do, what we mandate, or what we outlaw, remains the same:

human nature.

"No man can lie twice"is the principle in Statement Analysis that you nor I will ever prove wrong.

Since we cannot prove it wrong, why don't we flip it on its head, forget the negative of proving it wrong, and utilize the positive to get a confession or admission, which is the ultimate climax of all the work we have done:  Getting to the truth, and successfully closing the case.

If I have the written statement before the interview (the key to Analytical Interviewing), I know that I am not only going to get the information I seek, but if I have highlighted deception in the written statement, I am going to get my information that I want and need,  and I am likely to get something else, too, because of how I present the information processed through the lens of analysis.

With this confidence, I often get confessions or admissions (mostly admissions) in the interview due to a specific technique that is only available to those who have done solid analysis work on the statement, and who know how to present the "acutely sensitive" portion of the statement to the subject, in the interview.  For legal purposes, there is no need to differentiate between confession or admission; it is only in the social science arena that the difference is important.

Let's look at an example of a known liar and a technique employed by him and how this can, and should be, turned around and put right back at the liar.  Had this been done, even with lawyers present and ready to silence him, he would have confessed.  In fact, early in the investigation, he almost did.

Does anyone remember the combatant deposition in which George Anthony rose up in righteous indignation, asking a question, but not waiting for any reply, making it a declaration of insult:

"How dare you, sir!" 

He was responding to the statement which referred to Caylee Anthony's remains; you know the remains that George Anthony first smelled in the trunk of his car.

It was a declaration statement, not a question seeking an answer.

It was not a "rhetorical' question, in the sense that there was no completion to how one would "dare" to call a "missing" child, "remains."

We have a need to use quotation marks, literally, as a means of communicating deception.

Caylee was not missing.

There was no "dare" proposed to the attorney who referenced Caylee's remains; thereof, the word "dare" in quotation marks.

George Anthony, no matter who you believe, knew Caylee was dead from the time he smelled her in his trunk; even if you are on the fence as to assisting Casey on dumping her little body where she had buried her pet turtle.   Therefore, "missing" is in quotation marks, indicating a need for "more information" from the writer, to the reader.  The additional information is that the report of being missing was fraudulent; deceptive from the start.

What was left after nature had its way with Caylee's body was literally "remains", yet George Anthony feigned indignation over this term.

Was it ever a dare?

No, it wasn't.

Was she ever missing?

No, she was not.

Was she ever alive, making the use of remains inappropriate?

No, she was dead from the time her mother killed her.

The jurors said, "we knew she had killed her, but the prosecution didn't prove it."

How then, you might ask, did they know she was dead?

In Statement Analysis, where does this deceptive indignation find itself classified?

Consider it the same as "sermon" or "sermonizing."

Statement Analysis recognizes that when a question is answered and a sermon like response accompanies it, it is a "need to persuade."

This is most often seen in two topics:

Drugs and Theft.

I once had a theft case in which a young man described his father and uncle as "low life" in prison for theft, and that they were "lower than drug dealers" in his mind.  I noted "sermon", that is, as if he is preaching an anti-allegation message.

His statement showed indication and the interview was conducted from the analysis.

He answered questions while holding his written statement on his lap, referencing it until I said, "Is that your written statement?  You don't need to hide it.  You can use it for your answers."

I didn't mind.

I then said, "Look here, I have it too."

I showed him my copy except my copy was a bit different.  It had colors on it, and it had blue areas concentrated close together.  I watch his eyes as they scan the specific colored portions of his statement.

It has quite an impact upon a subject's emotions and it never fails me.

Eventually, as is often the case with Analytical Interviewing, he made an admission because he was confronted with his deception and could not look upon it and lie about it. It took a few hours and I had to let him preach to me about the continual and generation evils of theft, especially when compared to drug dealing (he was signaling his future plans to increase profit margin by moving into pain killers from relatives resold on the street at a heck of a mark up.

He could not bring himself to lie about his lie, when the lie, itself, was the topic before him.  It is a technique used in Analytical Interviewing that produces admissions (or confessions; the difference being that in an admission, the subject admits he 'did it', but a confession shows an internal distress over the immorality or unethical nature of what he did.  Most, due to the presence of their deceptive indicators, only 'admit' but are in no mood for confessing anything:  they are angry at being called on the carpet through the skillful analysis being presented to him in a way that leaves him no way out.  

The liar hates being called a liar because it is the undoing of his life.

Yes, you read that correctly:  it is his life that has been undraped before "the world", even if it is just a handful of people who know.

This is the nature of a liar:

He or she has been lying since childhood, and due to success, has developed a sense of contempt for the rest of the world, as being too stupid to discern the deception.  The craft has been honed at the expense of the kindergarten teacher, the parent, sibling, coach, love interest, boss, and so on.  The track record yields a tremendous egotistical mentality that recoils from the thought of being caught, but once caught, strikes a blow, like a Cobra, outward, with venom.

Many detective know this and use it to get a suspect to take a polygraph, but this is a much higher level skill that warrants specific training, and actual, hands on practice:

Once the analysis of the statement is finished, and specific deception detected, questions are formulated which seek to:

a.  Use the subject's own words, which disarms him due to the familiarity in the brain, with the specific words used;
b.  Carefully bring the subject to the point of deception by first allowing him to confirm points of truth, elevating his confidence and comfort level

c.  Once 'in a roll' of "success" (they are very bold when telling the truth), the trap is sprung, and at the precise location of deception, the question is now put into the form of a statement with,

"here, specifically, here, you are deceptive indicated..." but it must be built up to where there is no argument left.

It also can be done "third party" with great effect:

a.  Using the subject's own words, he is permitted to affirm point after point that you know is true, and will only build his confidence.  Then the trap is sprung this way:

"We have a written report from an expert who has shown us that here, at this point, you are what they call "deception indicated"; this is how we know you were not truthful."

The ego of the subject will not allow him to look at the lie, that is his own words, and call them a lie.  

If you alter the words, even slightly, you might lose him.

He is a fish that cannot resist his own bait.

In far deeper context, this is what brilliant and high paid therapists use, a do sales professionals who are the best and brightest.

Training is key and it comes from learning the principles of Statement Analysis, practicing it over and over and over (think, 1000 hours initially), then learning how to design the questions with his own words, and how to present the lie.

It is a powerful and amazing technique so that even if the subject gets up to walk out in anger, he is likely to stop and "explain" things.

In law enforcement, the detective must, at this point, have the same preparation as a human resources professional:

You must be armed with a "carrot."

The stick is the blunt presentation, but a carrot is the plea bargain, the deal, the offer to resign, or whatever your planning has come up with because you are very likely going to get a confession or admission at this point.

Detectives can discuss this, before hand, with both their immediate superior and the assistant district attorney.  The "cooperation", that is, the admission is not just the only psychological relief the guilty can experience, but an incentive (reduced charge, for example) can be added to this.

Human Resources can seek to bring a "carrot" to the table, such as, "if you return the stolen items, and resign immediately, we are prepared to not file formal charges against you"; something that companies can do to avoid bad press, while still removing the trouble from the company.

The subject has a psychological need for closure of his "lie" because he does not lie, but is a liar, it is his habitual walk in life, and wants to end the "undraping" of his life:  get it over with.  (This is the technique we teach when a skillful polygrapher wishes to confront the suspect with his failed test results:  it is critical to use his words and not just the failed test.  He can psychologically distance himself, with ease, from the failed test, or even the wild lines on paper; but he cannot readily distance himself from his own words which came from his own dictionary, of which he, himself, the most important and smartest man in the world, chose.  (See the build up?).

The "no man can lie twice" rule, therefore, is the single best method of obtaining an admission. 

For the mental health professional, this is only done when it is not only therapeutically indicated, but a 'crash setting' or contingency plan is in place.

This is because suicide is a possibility.

The client/patient is about to be "undone" through the brilliance of the therapist's work, and his deception is about to come down.  This is something so serious that it has been destroying his own life, and/or the lives of his loved ones and it is all based upon a lie; living a lie, maintaining the lie, and so on, and the "intervention-like" moment must have the contingency plan for possible hospitalization.

Analytical Interview training produces this result.  It is not easy, nor is it for the careless but for those professionals who seek to reach high levels of success in their careers.

Each confession or admission makes him more confident, stronger, and more valuable to those around him.

In Human Resources, this is a wall of protection that makes him or her be the "go to guy" when "it's on the line" and the company needs help.

For the therapist, it is the brilliance of learning the source of the issue, something that sounds easy, but is most often a failure, with attendant or even tangent sources claimed as "the" source.

When the actual source is not uncovered, the 'poison' continues, and the harm, pain, and damage lives on.  This is where the therapist gets a reputation for rare genius.  He literally follows the linguistic footprints, breaks the code, and uses the code to get to the truth.  It does take time, not simply in the learning, but in therapy, even the rare genius will need time to interview, review the notes, interview again, review notes, and so on.  Yet, even if months were invested, when this magnitude of a discovery is made, it can be life changing, as it can be healing.  I would guess that most people who have acute struggling, would embrace this far more than going to the therapist year after year, being coddled, er, I mean, 'supported', while putting the therapist's children through college. The top professionals, themselves, have deep emotional satisfaction at blowing open a case, and discovering the root of the destructive element, and sleep well at night, knowing they have helped 'unclog' a troublesome deep rooted issue that had previously been destroying their patient, including, possibly, the patient's physical health.

Just as the detective reemerges from the interview room with a signed confession, to the shock of his colleagues, this satisfaction is far deeper than his paycheck.

The Human Resource professional also shares in this, including those who do internal investigations.

A $1.2 million dollar settlement is scuttled because the interviewer "destroyed" the fraudulent case with the truth even to the point of a signed admission.  Yes, the value of the saved insurance cost is one thing, but the company's reputation may have been saved, and the professional feels a satisfaction that is unshakable, due to getting something that no one thought possible.

The training helps the professional take the new skill of statement analysis and turn it into a confession by the subject, often signed and dated, with no hope of having it overthrown because it is his own words.

We are most comfortable with our own words.  When husbands and wives live together for many years harmoniously, they not only parrot each others' words, they "enter into" each others' language; that is, there internal, subjective personal dictionary and "share" them, one with another.

When decades go by, people often say how they look alike.

This is not a Hallmark card lie, it is true because when they begin to share a dictionary, they often imitate, without notice, the face expressions that are regularly used with certain words and phrases.  As they mimic each others' faces, they 'look alike', that is, show distinctiveness's that previously had only been seen as from one, but not both.

This training is quite exciting, especially after Statement Analysis reaches the point where solid work is regularly being done and Interview training is desired and the attendees are eager to learn; so much so that they also say, "roll the tape!" and care little for the embarrassment of making mistakes in the mock interviewing, knowing how this will lead to sharpness, precision, and ultimate success.


lynda said...

"He or she has been lying since childhood, and due to success, has developed a sense of contempt for the rest of the world, as being too stupid to discern the deception. The craft has been honed at the expense of the kindergarten teacher, the parent, sibling, coach, love interest, boss, and so on. The track record yields a tremendous egotistical mentality that recoils from the thought of being caught, but once caught, strikes a blow, like a Cobra, outward, with venom"

That is a brilliant analogy Peter. Whole article utterly fascinating.

trustmeigetit said...

I agree!

My mother is that liar. Each person who has called her out on her lies has bece her enemy and are cut out of her life. Friends, family or employers.

I am the only family member left. And we have gone months and years with out speaking because I have addressed her lies.

SA has actually helped me to be more accepting as I see it almost as something that she can not let go.

It fascinates me how this all begins and how they can be so willing to lie to their of detriment.

Buckley said...

I agree with Lynda- brilliant article. I could really see the analyst's mind in the interview process like I haven't before. Thanks

lynda said...

Peter, How does SA work when people lie when their is no gain? I don't know what kind of liar that would make one, pathological? sociopathic? Would SA then use the baseline of, "he/she lies about everything, stupid things, just to lie? Some lies are for gain obviously but when there are proven lies that have been said when their is no gain to the subject, how would you ever know when they are lying?

I know that sounds confusing. I hope you know what I mean.

lynda said...

Ack..I just woke my post above "their" should be "there". Plus, I did it twice!

Anonymous said...

Peter is a brilliant and great writer with an analytical mind that never sleeps.

A great thinker, a brilliant mind, not a closed mind, but rarely backing down. I have known him to re-think a thing and later question his earlier judgment, having only one small quirk or question that might have pointed in a different direction.

Always searching. I admire these qualities so much.

AnniesMom said...

I agree Peter does have a brilliant mind and he's studied hard to attain great insight into others minds.
I'm not really studying SA and I may be all wet but I think Casey Anthony is a near perfect example of a liar almost since her birth.

ima.grandma said...

I also posted this in the Deorr interview part 2.
IDAHO FALLS — The third individual who was at Leadore campsite when two-year-old Deorr Kunz Jr. disappeared said he has no idea what happened to the toddler.

Lemhi County Sheriff Lynn Bowerman confirmed Isaac Reinwand, 35, of Idaho Falls, was at the Timber Creek Campground on July 10 alongside Deorr’s parents Jessica Mitchell and Deorr Kunz Sr. and his as yet unnamed great-grandfather.

The sheriff’s office had previously withheld Reinwand’s name, referring to him only as a family friend at the campsite.

Over the weekend Reinwand’s name was widely publicized on social media, leading to Bowerman confirming the detail to

“Yes, he was at the scene,” Bowerman said in an email. “He’s (been) a personal friend of grandpa’s for about five years. We are treating him no differently than the family, he has been questioned numerous times, and has been to the scene with me.”

Bowerman said Reinwand, similar to Mitchell and Kunz, are “persons of interest” in this case because they were at the scene. However, at this time, neither Reinwand, Mitchell or Kunz are suspects in the missing persons case.

The great-grandfather, who authorities have not identified, also has not been labeled as a suspect. Authorities said his declining physical and mental health ruled him out at the beginning of the case.

Over the weekend, Reinwand was repeatedly identified as a sex offender with an extensive criminal history in online forums and on social media. However, police and court documents dispute that assertion. The Idaho State Repository shows Reinwand was charged with felony rape in 2006, but that charge was amended down to misdemeanor domestic battery.

Sheriff’s officials also have told Reinwand is not a sex offender.

“He does have a criminal record, however the police reports are not consistent with his record (and I’m) not sure why,” Bowerman said in the email.

Bowerman did not elaborate on the inconsistencies. spoke with Reinwand briefly Monday morning on his doorstep. He confirmed Deorr was with him and the great-grandfather before he went missing, but Reinwand declined to answer further questions.

“He just disappeared,” Reinwand said.

Investigators are still classifying the Deorr Kunz Jr. case as a search and rescue. During the last two weeks, search crews have conducted extensive sweeps of the area, including the reservoir and the creek. The search was scaled back after 10 days. There is still no sign of Deorr.

Mitchell and Kunz believe their son was abducted. Bowerman has not ruled abduction out. He said authorities do not suspect foul play, but has said in the past that everything is being considered in the search for the toddler. No suspects have been named in the case.

Deorr has been missing since the afternoon of July 10, when the Salmon Dispatch Center received a 911 call from Mitchell that the toddler had gone missing.

The parents told they left the child with his great-grandfather and when they returned 10 to 15 minutes later, Deorr was gone. The great-grandfather assumed the child was with his parents.

“My dad was standing there watching him and he turned his head and then (Deorr) was gone,” grandmother Trina Bates Clegg said on July 12. “It appears like he just vanished.”

lynda said...

Finally! LE is just all over the place. Parents are "cleared" not suspects, okay with me, etc. NOW they are POI

Unknown said...

Hi Imagrandma!

Thank you for posting this again, I missed it on the other thread. This is the first time I've seen confirmation from anyone other than the parents that Deorr was actually at the campground, and even with Reinwald stating that he was, I'm not sure I believe it.

The story they are telling is so implausible. It makes no sense, from beginning to end. Why would they drag GGP, (who they were caring for due to his failing health) and their barely 2yo over 100 miles to a campground location they had never seen before? Why would they leave their toddler with GGP, (who's mental capacity is in question, and who could not chase after the boy even if he was watching him like a hawk) to go 'exploring'. Why wouldn't they take their toddler exploring? They are adults...if you've seen one creek, you've pretty much seen them all! What exploration could be worth leaving your vulnerable son unattended?

All of this, taken along with what I feel was scripting on the Dad's part regarding calling 911, (as he stated his concerns about his signal, and the 'risk' of being cut off before he finished talking, etc) makes me suspicious.

Concern about the 911 call is where Dad began his account of what happened, suggesting he put his desire for a perfectly executed 911 call, above the urgency to report his son missing. None of this makes sense!

I'm so glad you are back to posting, btw! ;-)

Unknown said...

Exactly Lynda! I was hoping LE was being cautious, and not clueless.

lynda said...

Jen OW...don't get me wrong, I think the Sheriff is in way over his head and there are pissing contests between agencies going on as we speak. That video? Of Reinwald? Really? Good God, he is obviously drunk or high. Kept his eyes closed thru 90% of interview and only perked up when he asked interviewer if he talked to gg yet. He first states that "he just disappeared that I know of" then later, when interviwer probes a bit and says, "so you were watching him with gg when he wandered away"? and he says Uh, huh. Which is it? He just vanished or you watched him wander away? I think LE wouldn't release his name because of his criminal record as he was charged with Rape. Yeah..that makes a good story for the parents, well...we went off to get high, have sex, explore, bird watch, etc. and we left our 2 year old with gg who is senile and a rapist. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Great article. Recently we conducted a series of interviews with a subject. We understood that the subject had a propensity to lie but we were surprised to find out how much she lied and the manner in which she lied.

This subject did the expected lying through withholding information.

What was surprising to us was that we knew the subject had engaged in certain activities, that we had very solid evidence that the subject had committed certain acts and that the stories the subject told us were fabrications: that is, the subject told us that she had gone to certain places at specific times when we knew she was at a different location and she knew she was at a different location. In fact, it was unlikely that she had ever been to the location she claimed as her alibi. She told us stories about what had happened at the fictitious location with a reasonable level of specificity. She also specifically denied on multiple occasions, first person, singular, past tense, and the specific matters under investigation. Finally, to buttress her statement, she said, “That’s the truth. I’m telling you the truth.” She made a similar declaration about telling the truth to related matters which we also knew was not true.

We later presented her with some of the evidence that proved she was lying about her whereabouts for the time in question and boy oh boy was she mad. She changed her story and made up a new one involving a different location which was also fictitious. All the while she was spitting, seething mad and indignant that we were asking her questions. The longer we talked and the more of her lies we broke down the madder she got. We eventually moved to the main issue and she admitted to the main issue and to her actual location but then lashed out at other people claiming it was all their fault. Heck, she tried to blame it on us for asking her the questions. She said we had no right to question her and no right to know where she had been or what she had been doing. Most interviewees move into a state of submission but not her. She would briefly become calm before lashing out again and again.

We also found out that almost everything she said was a lie of some sort. She lied about some things that made no sense to lie about. For example, she told us that she was out shopping for clothes when she was actually at work(during her working hours and where she was supposed to be.) She lied to garner sympathy, she lied to cast blame, she lied to make herself look better (and other people look worse,) and she lied about certain people even existing.

The interesting part for me was her telling us that some of her claims, which were demonstrable lies, were actually the truth.


Unknown said...

Agreed! I haven't watched the video of Reinwald yet, I just read the update. I'll have to watch it.

I have hoped the Sherriff was more savy than he seemed. I'm still not sure, but giving him the beneft of the doubt for now since at least made them POI's, and all of his statements have avoided saying that he believes the parents are innocent. He has said they are 'solid', and not suspects 'at this time', etc...but I felt like he had his doubts due to his language and the other statements he made such as, "we should have found him", etc.

I've been concerned though too, as each day passed and he didn't release the other names, and seemed to be trying to squash speculation about the parents. Until I read the article posted earlier, I had not seen anyone else confirm that Deorr was actually there at the campsite.(I still have my doubts.) That was a huge point that nobody seemed to have an answer for, and they still haven't confirmed how many vehicles were there, who rode with who, exactly what time they arrived, etc.

Also, how could the parent's not be 'person's of interest', when by their own story they went to explore, leaving their toddler NOT specifically in the care of anyone else? That is a crime, it's child endangerment/neglect at the very least.

Anonymous said...

Peter, please analyze the statement from the dentist who killed the lion in Africa and say whether he is lying about anything: