Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Training Results 2015

         Statement Analysis Training Results 2015
                                                            by Peter Hyatt

Over the past two months, I have asked analysts to go over their statements from 2015 and report back to me their results.

I asked them to include all analysis done, including:

The work with others, including their monthly training;
Analysis done in live investigations
Analysis done for co workers
Analysis done for employment hiring 
Analysis done on cold cases

In short, include it all.  

This is not a true "test" figure for them because their work is advantaged work, that is, work that is checked by peers or instructor, yet little of it was theoretical; it was assigned work that led to arrests, polygraphs, hiring, and so on.  Thus far, the analysts range from law enforcement to human resources, to psychology and security.  


All have had a base of formal training, including LSI, the FBI academy, or their state's own academy. 

All have been involved in monthly, ongoing guided training.  

The commitment of a minimum of two years is critical.  Consider, however, how this compares to a degree, for example, in history. 

If you receive a four year degree in history, you studied:

Four years, which is broken down to 8 semesters, with summer off. 
In the classes, history is not studied all day, but part of other classes, which is important to overall instruction and learning.  

In Statement Analysis training, the formal training is structured and, at times, intense.  In the home course, the advantage of recorded lessons allows for a great deal of repetition.  
This, and the Advanced Course, will involve daily work, without break, for months. 

Added to this is the monthly guided training, which is 6 hours of deep, intensive concentration.  

Woven through all of this is the daily practice which is often done within shared emails or text'd statements and analysis.  

What of those who have studied for all of 2015?

Here are some common reactions and then the actual results:

*Initially, analysts see a marked difference from their own commentary on statements, and the general analysis here at the blog, from their own new work.  

There is often a reaction that "this was harder than I thought" from the blog.  

There is, for many, two moments of personal 'crisis':

a.  Is where complexity arises, particularly, principles 'crashing' one into another

b.  Most, if not all, experience an eye opening and often unpleasant self-analytical view.  I consider this a very good sign for progress as their own honesty emerges, human empathy increases, and the analyst is better suited to enter the 'shoes' of the subject, via the statement.  

Lesser critical moments include:

"I did not realize how much deception was in the world!"

"I did not realize how little outright lying is actually done."

"I cannot believe how much I did not know about liars in general."

"I can't believe I missed that!" 

For all, the 'surprise' of accuracy remained. "This really works!" and "Wait'll you hear what happened!"  

No one became 'accustomed' to accuracy.  This is a most thrilling moment, in spite of being oft repeated.  

Some of the best moments:

1.  "A to Z" where analysis, polygraph and confession all come to play.  This is particularly rewarding when the analysis 'reconstructed' what happened, versus the deceptive portrayal by the subject initially, causing the analyst to doubt his work, only to find out, via the confession:  the entire reconstruction of what happened is "really what happened!"

2.  Overcoming colleague doubt, including expert opinion. 

A colleague had assured the analyst that the subject is telling the truth (particularly in a sexual assault) where the colleague is an expert in sexual crimes.   Here, an analyst/investigator stood with his analysis against the opinion of experts (plural) who "knew from years of experience" that the "victim is telling the truth" and "this is exactly how a victim speaks!" 

When she failed her polygraph and fessed up, the confidence in analysis went through the roof; not just for the investigator, but for others involved in the analysis, itself.  

3.  Overcoming opposition from superiors. 

Several reported this thrilling moment in analysis.  The superior says one thing but the analysis says another.  The analysis was checked and checked again and in the end, it proved accurate. 

4.  Overcoming the Polygraph

Only one report from early 2015 faced off against the polygraph result.  The analysis was so clear, however, that an arrest was affected and adjudication awaits, though a guilty plea of sorts may be entered.  The polygraph error is mostly traced through examiner contamination.  Unless the subject's own internal dictionary is used, errors can and will be made.  Examiners trained in analysis have acute advantage as their work will produce their own internal and private data base.  

For years, I had to transcribe my interviews with the psych profile at my right hand.  This helped me immensely, though at the time, it seemed overwhelming.  

Profiling reports are mostly that from Human Resources professionals, though in law enforcement, many interviews have a marvelous intuition which only sharpens with training, and helps with overall interview and investigative strategy. 

 Some notable victories include:

a.  The analyst concluded that an applicant was deceptive about his history and did not hire him in spite of a great presentation and impressive resume.  Later, he learned that his analysis showing "deceptively withholding information about his past" was accurate in spite of the clean background check and good references, with an out of state conviction of a serious nature.  The analyst knew that there was something significant missing.  

b.  The analyst profiled a 'trouble maker' but was overruled by his boss and the employment proceeded.  It took but a few months for the trouble maker to get caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  The boss dismissed the analysis because he  thought that there was an issue with 2nd language, but the analyst had concluded deception and was firm that the interview was such that showed the applicant was not translating words, but was, in deed, in the "free editing process" during the interview questions.  


One may argue that there is no real "test" of skills since the work is constantly being checked by others.  

I argue that this is not theoretical, but life and that having either peer support or professional review should be best practice and should not end. 

As one analyst said, into her second year, "We don't just stop at 2 years, right?"

It will take a minimum of two years to reach the level of proficiency that will consistently maintain lie detection at 100% or very close to it, while moving deeper into  "Analytical Profiling", security vetting, and Anonymous Author Identification. 

Once one has reached a level of professional proficiency, the analyst so loves the work that meeting monthly for training is not so much study, but an enjoyable time of helping others, while always learning, as human nature never fails to throw new curve balls, via language, at us.  

To combat the "101 -itis", I sometimes throw a simple statement to be analyzed knowing that the investigator is very likely to be wrong due to conflicting of principles in play.  Yet if the 101 course has so infused him or her with zeal, it is of great value for training.  I am privileged to see the work of those with decades of experience acting like school boys with a new toy, full of zeal and excitement over learning.  It is contagious.  

The "advantage" of peer review and professional oversight should be a norm.  True testing has its role and purpose, and is useful in study, but when real defendants with real accusations are on the line, or life changing decisions are to be made, best practice is to always have the work checked.  

The Results

Is he lying or telling the truth?

The results have trickled in, especially the past several weeks and it is exciting.  

Consider that testing shows the general public to be no more than 50%, which is simply guess work, and rank and file law enforcement to be not much higher (criminals score better while judges do not score well) 

Thus far, every analyst has reported having either 100% success, or very close to it.  

To date, "contamination" continues to be cited as the cause of error, with only one analyst reporting missing the mark due to failure to balance one principle against another, which is part of the Advanced Work.  We cover some hints to stop contamination and how it is still possible to do some general analysis of a contaminated statement under certain conditions.  

If you wish to host a seminar, or take our course, please visit Hyatt Analysis Services for details.  See what others are saying about the courses, look at the tuition costs, and some of the samples.    

Successful completion of the first course allows you access to ongoing monthly training and will permit you to take the Advanced Course for the certification.  If you have a professional license which requires renewal, CEUs are awarded by the University of Maine.  Enrollment in any training  is accompanied by 12 months of e support.  

If 100% accuracy is your goal, you will need solid training, commitment, humility and support.  The results are worth the effort.  

If the results did not convince you, perhaps this will.


John Mc Gowan said...

OT Update:

Scheduling order outlines Sidney Moorer court dates

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – A scheduling order offers new details on when Sidney Moorer, one of two suspects charged in the Heather Elvis case, will next appear in court.

The scheduling order was signed by Judge R. Markley Dennis on March 17 and filed with the Horry County Clerk of Court on March 22.

The proceedings, according to the scheduling order, will occur as follows:

APRIL 4 – Deadline for filing of all pretrial motions by parties

APRIL 15 – Opposing counsel shall respond in writing to all briefs filed in support of pretrial motions, or the moving parties’ motion is considered stipulated to

APRIL 18 – All pretrial motions that counsel or court want heard prior to juror questionnaires or juror summons being sent out by the Clerk of Court

MAY 2 – 800 juror summons and questionnaires mailed

JUNE 2 – Questionnaires are to be sent back from jurors by this date

JUNE 3 – List given to sheriff on no responses

JUNE 13 – JUNE 17: Final hearing dates for any and all pretrial matters that need to be resolved prior to trial. Hearings will begin at 9 a.m. at the Horry County Justice Center, third floor.

JUNE 17 – Attorneys to provide witness list to the court. The State and Defense shall be prepared to stipulate by agreement as to those exhibits to be introduced at trial by the parties or to set forth their objections to said exhibits.

JUNE 20 – Jury panel arrives to Horry County Justice Center and reports to the Jury Assembly room. Qualification process begins. Jury to be chosen, trial to begin upon qualification of the panel.

JUNE 27 – Trial continues if necessary
Murder charges were dismissed against Sidney Moorer and his wife, Tammy, in early March. Both were charged by the Horry County Police Department with murder in the disappearance and death of Elvis, who was last seen in December 2013.

An obstruction of justice charge against Tammy and charges of indecent exposure against the couple were also dismissed this month.

Both are still charged with kidnapping, while Sidney is also charged with obstruction of justice.

Authorities had said earlier that Elvis was allegedly killed after Sidney Moorer had an affair with her.

elf said...

I wonder why Sidney is going first?

John Mc Gowan said...


RCMP: ‘We are doing everything we can to bring Chase home’
Hundreds search for toddler last seen playing near a rural Manitoba home

AUSTIN, Man. — Small planes circled overhead while hundreds of people on ATVs, horseback and on foot combed farmland Wednesday near a rural Manitoba home where a two-year-old boy vanished while playing outside.

RCMP said it was too early to say whether foul play was involved in the disappearance of Chase Martens, although investigators weren’t ruling anything out

The priority for everyone searching the area, about 130 kilometres west of Winnipeg, was to find the little boy, said Sgt. Bert Paquet.

“The first 24 minutes are crucial and obviously the first 24 hours as well,” Paquet said. “We’re talking … of a little two-year-old boy who’s out playing and all of a sudden is just not there anymore. (We’re) asking for any information from the public at this point.

“We’ve often solved cases similar to this with very minute pieces of information.”

Chase was last seen at 6 p.m. Tuesday outside his home in the Austin area, where temperatures dropped to -12 C overnight.

He was wearing a blue jacket, black splash pants, a red hat and boots that light up as he walks. He is described as being 2 1/2 feet tall and weighing 30 pounds. He has blue eyes and light-brown hair.

The search for Chase included nearly 400 volunteers and officers, firefighters, police dogs, the Winnipeg police department’s helicopter and an RCMP plane, Paquet said.

Dozens of searchers could be seen Wednesday walking in a straight line across neighbouring fields. Volunteer fire department trucks, search-and-rescue vans and ATVs constantly moved out of the family’s driveway. Volunteers walked around culverts and fields covered with ice and water from overland flooding.

Chase’s mother, Destiny Turner, told the Brandon Sun she was out all night searching for her boy. She was quoted as saying her son — the youngest of three — was playing outside while she prepared dinner and had never strayed past the family’s woodpile before.


John Mc Gowan said...


“He’s just a little boy. He can’t even take care of himself yet, and that’s the scary thing, because he’s so dependent on me,” Turner told the Sun.

“We can’t even find a mitt or a footprint.”

Elie Kleinsasser joined the search as soon as he heard the news. He and several dozen others from his Hutterite colony searched all night. The father of five was trying to remain optimistic.

“It makes me feel scared,” Kleinsasser said. “We’re looking for a little boy, hopefully alive, but it was very cold during the night, so we don’t know what to expect.

“At this point, we’re just looking for a little boy, dead or alive.”

Leanne Waddle had just finished her night shift as a hospital nurse when she heard about Chase on the radio. She and her husband saddled up their horses and joined the effort. Waddle said she’s particularly troubled by information from other searchers about a creek near the boy’s home.

“There’s lots of soft spots,” she said, tears streaming down her cheeks. “I hope that he didn’t go that way. I hope probably like everybody else.”

Wilfred and Bernice Catcheway have been searching for their own daughter, Jennifer, at a nearby reserve since the 18-year-old vanished in 2008. When they heard another family was going through the same pain, they joined the search and were going up and down the banks of the creek close to the Martens home.

“It’s heart-wrenching. Pulling up here, I just broke down and cried because that’s just a baby,” she said. “It’s a little baby out there that needs to be found.

“There is always hope. You have to have that hope.”

Don Poschenrieder heard the news from his neighbours on social media, grabbed a walking stick and headed out. After hours of searching, his optimism was fading. His hopes rested on the planes circling overhead.

“Makes you wonder, how far he could have got,” he said.

RCMP said they had enough trained searchers and supervised volunteers and suggested that anyone else wanting to help should simply pray.

“We are doing the same, and we are doing everything we can to bring Chase home,” said Paquet.

John Mc Gowan said...

Apologies for another OT

Police search for missing one-year-old in Spencer

SPENCER, Ind. (WISH) — Authorities in Owen County are searching for a missing 1-year-old girl believed to be in danger.

Emergency crews from multiple agencies have been searching for 14-month-old Shaylyn Ammerman since Wednesday morning. Shaylyn is described as 20 inches tall, 20 pounds, blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing white zip-up pajamas with an owl design and carrying a “Winnie the Pooh” blanket.

She was in the care of her grandmother and father Tuesday, according to Indiana State Police. The mother and father are not together but share custody of Shaylyn.

Tamara Sue Morgan, the girl’s grandmother, told police she put Shaylyn to bed and last checked on her around midnight Tuesday in a home in the 400 block of West Jefferson. When Morgan checked the crib in the morning, she told police the child was gone. Police and search and rescue crews have been looking for the girl since around 9 a.m. Wednesday.

A search is underway across the small town of Spencer. ISP says crews used sonar to check the White River. A cemetery near the home was searched, police say. An ISP chopper is on scene and K-9 units are combing the area for clues.

Police said several people were at the home the night Shaylyn disappeared. Officials said they have interviewed several witnesses including family of little Shaylyn.

On Thursday, 50 to 60 law enforcement officers were joining the search. DNR, state police and other county agencies were expected to be involved. Police say they will continue to spread out all over the county to find Shaylyn.


John Mc Gowan said...


They say several search warrants have been served at homes and for vehicles across Owen County.

“Just shocked that somebody would do this to me. I have no idea why or what’s going through somebody’s mind that would do this,” said Shaylyn’s father Justin Ammerman. “I’m going crazy. I don’t know what to think.”

Ammerman said he didn’t have people over Wednesday night, and he thinks someone took his daughter from her crib in the middle of the night.

“I don’t know who in their right mind would do this,” he said. “Somebody’s got a big grudge over us. I don’t know who it is, but they better confess and give my baby back.”

Jessica Stewart, the girl’s mother, spoke to 24-Hour News 8 Wednesday evening.

She said her daughter’s blanket and diaper bag are also missing.

“I’m hoping that whoever has her is taking care of her and will bring her back home safe,” Stewart said. “I’ve got a bad feeling since talking to the cops today and I am hoping I am wrong.”

Stewart also said she knows of no one who would want to take the child.

“I just want her home,” she said.

Indiana State Police is assisting the Spencer Police Department with the case.

A man who answered the phone at the Owen Valley Fire Department said that his department has been inundated with phone calls from members of the public wanting to help with the search effort. At this time, there are no calls for the public to assist in the investigation.

An Amber Alert has not been issued since police say they don’t have any suspects.

If you have any information about the child, call the Spencer Police Department at 812-829-3932.

elf said...

The father is pushing the grudge theory pretty hard. I've read a couple articles where he says that.
One quote from the grandmother, Tamara Morgan, struck me.
"I put her to bed around 10:00 or 10:30 and I checked on her at midnight before I went to bed. She was laying in her bed sound asleep and then we went to bed and we woke up and she was gone."
The first sentence she said 'I went to bed' and in the second sentance she said 'WE went to bed'
why the change?

Anonymous said...

Here's another quote from the grandmother:

"The front door was unlocked, because we just don't ever lock the door," she said. We don't have a reason to lock the door. I've lived in Spencer all my life and, you know, we just don't lock doors here."

And another quote from the father:

"Really I feel like crap right now," he said. "This has never happened to me. This is my first child. I don't know who in their right mind would want to go and take a little girl."

John Mc Gowan said...

Just <<(Dropped pronoun) shocked <<(emotional placement) that somebody would do this to me<<(no concern for his daughter but rather about him). I have no idea<<(everyone has an idea, be they wrong. It is also a sign of a lazy mind) why or what’s going through somebody’s mind<<(vague and passive) that would do this,” said Shaylyn’s father Justin Ammerman. “I’m<<(again no concern for his daughter) going crazy<<(emotional placement). I don’t know what to think.”

I’m hoping that whoever has her is taking care of her<<(this is good. She is thinking about her daughter) and will bring her back home safe,” Stewart said. “I’ve got a bad feeling<<(why, passive)since talking to the cops today and I am hoping I am wrong.<<(is it only that she was "talking to the cops” that she has a "bad feeling?)

Stewart also said she knows of no one who would want to take the child.

I just want her home,” she said.

John Mc Gowan said...

Anonymous said...

And another quote from the father:

"Really<<(dropped pronoun) I feel like crap right now<<(emotional placement)," he said. "This has never happened to me<<(Said in the negative, and thinking of himself). This is my first child<<(Possible abuse?). I don't know who in their right mind<<(I can't put my finger on this) would want to go and take a little girl<<(change in language)."

elf said...

Isn't it kind of weird/coincidental that this case is almost a mirror of Ayla's case? So many similarities :(

Nic said...

Peter I would love to take a course, but I don't think I meet the requisite qualifications to do so. i.e., I don't work so I'm essentially limited to social liars (people I work hard to avoid,) or newsworthy liars.

I love your blog. I am very grateful for your generosity to have created this forum to begin with, and I will support you every opportunity I can.

elf said...

I'm in the same boat Nic :) I use most of what I learn from this blog on my kids and step kids. I may never be an expert but at least I can tell when I'm being suckered :)

Anonymous said...

Nic and elf, as you've both observed you don't need to work to use and benefit from SA. Directly it's useful in evaluating news, reporters, politicians, even advertising and salespeople.

Indirectly it greatly enhances critical thinking, objectivity and understanding of human nature just to name a few.

Anonymous said...

Quoting transcription:
"Really I feel like crap right now," he said. "This has never happened to me. This is my first child.

What?!? He sounds like missing children are an inevitable rite of passage, like one's first fender-bender (minor car accident with no injuries, UKers :^D), or getting a door ding in a parking lot!