Thursday, March 31, 2016
Blackouts Quiz: "Statement Analysis Confession"
What is a Statement Analysis Confession?
Here is a basic analysis and an example of "Statement Analysis Confession"; that is, when a subject who is deceptive gives linguistic evidence of admission of the falsehood. It is more common than many might realize, with cold cases often containing "statement analysis confessions" via pronouns.
Memory blackouts from alcohol are the most serious and the least likely to be recoverable. Blackouts from drugs or trauma are more readily recoverable.
Here, however, we have the phrase "I don't remember" in an open statement; words freely chosen by the subject, and not part of a question asked. It is important to note where, in the statement, this is produced. The closer to the top, the greater the possibility of contamination; that is, the subject is responding to something a police officer or interviewer said. However, when it comes 'later' in the statement, the odds of contamination are reduced.
In this case, it was at the end of her entire statement. Only a portion is given here. This allows us to consider the difference between "withholding information" and "suppressing information" within analysis, and how it impacts the interview strategy.
What is a "statement analysis confession?"
"All of a sudden, I felt somebody yank and grab my hair and I swung a punch around trying to whoever it was off. I fell to the ground when I got back up the other person hit me in the head with something and I don't remember much of anything after that, everything went to a blur."
1. "All of a sudden" is the language of story telling. By itself, it does not indicate deception, but should cause us to ask:
"how long has it been since the assault?"
With months or years of processing, the 'sting' may not exist and it could move into story telling. This was hours from the assault.
2. "I felt somebody"
"felt" is a perception and the language of assault is much stronger. An assault is personal and intrusive and the language should reflect this.
"somebody": at this point in the story, the subject does not know the gender of the attacker. I mean this sentence literally.
This is proof of story telling.
This is because at the time of the statement the subject knows the gender and is not interested in re-creating a story to include her own 'unknown' shock or surprise. This is a criminal report of an assault and using "somebody" only works if the subject never saw the assailant. This is a signal of concealing identity and an affirmation of story telling.
Story telling, years later, can be true. It simply means that the subject has long processed the trauma of the brain.
3. "yank and grab" is Casey Anthony's "dead squirrels climbed up into my engine" statement. The squirrels had to climb first before they die. Here, one must "grab" before one can "yank", or pull violently. Oops. This indicates that experiential memory is not in play.
4. I swung a punch around
This is the same thing as above. She should swing around first, and then punch, but she is not working from experiential memory.
5. I swung a punch around trying to whoever it was off
Here, she continues to conceal the identity of the assailant, yet here, she uses deliberate gender neutral language. Most deceptive persons will use "get him off me" knowing that most assailants are male.
"Off": she has not told us that the "whoever" was on top of her.
6. "I fell to the ground when"
"I fell to the ground" is a very important sentence. Since we have already seen that the subject is deceptive about what happened, this is a valuable sentence giving us insight into the subject's personality and just how far she will go with deception. It tells us that we are very likely to be dealing with a habitual liar; one who has lied her entire life, and is unafraid of fabricating reality. No matter what the intellectual level is, and the educational level, this person is confident in her own abilities to get away with lying. She is likely one of which we will find: this is not her first time in exploitation.
Money. (this came from other statements)
This is a long term, personality driven liar who will put herself above the needs of society, including her own children.
"I fell to the ground" uses the pronoun "I", and the past tense "fell", increasing its reliability (hence, the chronic liar status) but it is immediately weakened with the word "when", which introduces the element of time into the statement. The timing should not be part of the trauma of being forced to the ground.
Yet, this presents another problem:
"I fell" is not, "I was "yanked to the ground" or "I was knocked to the ground..."
"I fell" puts the responsibility of falling, not upon the assailant, but upon the subject herself.
You may assume that it was the yanking and grabbing but in Statement Analysis, we do not assume, nor interpret. The deceptive subject wants us to assume and to interpret. We don't. We listen.
She id not say "He caused me to fall to the ground by yanking my hair" which would have included even more direct lying. Even liars struggle to directly lie and add in detail. When they do add detail, they slow down the pace by adding in an over-abundance.
Here the element of time is about getting back up. How long were you on the ground? What did the assailant do to you when you were on the ground?
"when I got back up..." speaks to the period of time in the statement, which is utterly unnecessary. The assault had to take place in time and this too slows down the pace.
8. "the other person" is the Statement Analysis Confession.
Where as the sentence, "I fell to the ground" impacts our interview strategy, our most focused tactic will be, later in the interview, to inform her, "I have your confession here" to watch her reaction.
"person", as you know, continues to conceal not only the identity, but the gender. This may hint towards her being the assailant, but it is not enough to make a conclusion...that is, until she used the word "other."
The word "other" is her "Statement Analysis Confession" that she is not only deceptive, but she is 'responsible' for the black eye.
She gave a description of an assailant's actions only.
In this statement, there is only two people present: one is the subject; the other is the attacker.
The word "other" only works when more than one attacker is identified. It presupposes plurality.
To use the word "other" in the attack is to align herself as one of the attackers.
Although we now know that she is not only deceptive, but has identified herself as the 'assailant', we finish this short portion of the statement:
the other person hit me in the head with something and I don't remember much of anything after that, everything went to a blur."
Always listen for "I don't remember" in an open statement. If you are certain that there is no contamination (here, there was none), where the subject feels necessary to address something that she struggles with, it is a strong signal of "suppressing information."
To "suppress" information is different than concealment. The difference for us is in emotional effort. This is a signal not only of deceptive information being withheld, but that the subject actually wants to confess and tells the one trained in both Statement Analysis and Analytical Interviewing:
"She is going to confess."
All that remains to be done is to conduct the interview in this way:
1. Open Ended Questions.
"Tell me what happened?" followed by "what happened next?"
2. As questions based upon her answers. DO NOT introduce new words, but use only hers. Say little.
3. Ask questions based upon the analysis, in this case, not only motive, but..."when" questions above. DO NOT yet yield much.
4. Ask follow up questions based upon her answers, again, letting her interpret her own words.
5. Keep emotionless "dead pan" demeanor, especially with "yank and grab" moments.
6. Bring her to the confession and tell her, "I know the identity of the person."
This is where you, the interviewer, will not do some of the speaking and changes from interview to interrogation, yet in this case, you have gone from 'subordinate', allowing the liar to 'control' the interview, to, not so much challenge, but a sudden shift in demeanor: your confidence will unnerve her.
She is to be brought to her own words including the "confession" and she is likely to confess rather than lie about her own lie.
7. Allow her to excuse her behavior with, "I have to feed the children" or "My boyfriend really is violent and he..."
Yet, keep in mind:
The analysis suggests that his is not her first time at it. She has likely done this before and she is willing to allow someone to go to prison and ruin a life, so that a company will cut her a check.
Update: The analyst assisting the investigator did research and learned:
the subject did the same thing in the past, also employing poor cosmetological skills which a close up photo was used to confirm the analysis. The motive then was the same:
to exploit a business and obtain money her hands did not earn.
This was a simple statement; easy to analyze, and is offered to not only highlight a few of the principles we follow, but to highlight how people actually 'confess' via statement analysis. It is exciting and infuses the interviewer with confidence that says "I know what happened and I am going to get the subject to own it!"
If you wish for training in Statement Analysis, we offer a pathway of expertise beginning with:
1. Statement Analysis Training. This is not a short, 101 introduction but a course you may take at home. This is a thorough course and quite different from some of the good introductory courses available. The introductory courses often 'grab our attention' for training, which is fuel for education. However, basic introductory courses can lead to oversimplification of principles, leading to errors.
Our investigators and analysts are reporting near, or 100% success rate in determining deception in their cases, including live, unadjudicated cases. Introductory courses have their place, but the professional who's interest is piqued, must push into disciplined learning. Without, discredit of our science, and lowered results will take place.
Successful completion allows for entry into:
2. Ongoing monthly training. This is one day (only!) per month, and you work with professionals where you will grow.
3. Advanced Training. This is also a take home course, consisting of 400 pages and 12 hours of lectures where you learn advanced techniques, including:
*the language of sexual abuse victims
*the language of those sexually abused in childhood
*introduction to Analytical Interviewing
*Profiling by language
*Anonymous Author Identification
*Vetting for Security
University of Maine CEU credits available for training. Please note that without formal training, the Advanced Course is not offered.
See Hyatt Analysis Services and contact us for training today. It is traction for your career, as well as strength for your resume and those who commit to long term training will find the move from analyzing statements to audibly analyzing interviews.
Police, investigators, journalists, therapists, attorneys, human resource professionals and others within communication, including those who wish for justice, become proficient with training.
Each enrollment's tuition includes 12 months of e-support.
The Advanced Course is lengthy, and challenging. Certification is only granted after satisfactory test results and approval of thesis submission. *It is not offered to those who have not completed "Statement Analysis Training" or have had a suitable formal training from an approved agency. This limitation is done to protect our science. As the analyst moves into the realm of profiling, he and she will move into the realm of subjectivity and touch upon psychological profiling to the point where if a solid foundation does not exist, the element of error is likely to be introduced.
There is no substitute for professional education in analysis.