This is the single most successful way from which to obtain an admission from a subject: the Analytical Interview.
It is legally sound.
It is non-intrusive and non-threatening.
To a certain degree, its principles are used intuitively by top therapists and sales professionals and I sometimes meet with law enforcement investigators who practice its principles naturally, flowing with personality, who then become experts with training.
It matters not how many lawyers are present.
Here, a man was accused of having sexual intercourse with a 60 year old female, MR, who had the mind of a 10 year old.
Subject: Yeah, but what are you saying?
Officer: You realize that this is about you having sex with her. She has mental retardation.
Subject: I know it. I know you. You know, you'd you'd have to be sick in the head to do something like this."
From training, the officer recognized how close this was to an admission and after reviewing the analysis with him, he scheduled a follow up interview and reviewed this question with the subject, who affirmed his own words.
He then asked the subject if he had a mental health diagnosis. The subject's words were seeking a defense and justification of his guilt.
Question: Where, in the language of the subject, would this "sickness" be found?
Answer: in the 'head.'
"Yeah, I have a diagnosis. A couple of them. Yeah. Bi polar"
This led to an admission of sexual intercourse, which was all that was legally needed. We did not need the subject to admit that he did it, and then take upon himself the moral responsibility. In fact, he was allowed to talk and talk and talk and eventually, he blamed the victim. This is typical and we allow for it. If one stole, we do not need him to say "it was wrong", but to simply admit what was done. This is the difference between the "admission" and the "confession."
When professional investigators look for confessions, they inadvertently use morally charged language too often, sometimes even while trying to allow the subject to blame the victim, yet it sends a distinct signal to the subject: "Be Defensive; He is bringing guilt!"and the subject closes down.
The Analytical Interview is this:
When a written statement can be obtained, it must be.
It is obtained by saying very little, other than politely giving the subject pen and paper and some water and reminding them to not scribble out anything they wish to change; simply draw a single line through it and continue. If we talk during it, our language will contaminate the statement.
It is analyzed using Statement Analysis. The truth is now known by the analyst or investigator or it is known precisely where questions are to be aimed. This fills the interviewer with confidence and resolve; something not lost on the subject.
The interviewer now uses the words of the subject, himself, asking short, legally sound questions, avoiding, whenever possible, introducing any new words. This is not only to avoid the need to interpret words, it provides a comfort level, very deep, that goes back to childhood, for the subject, who has a long close emotional association with his own words. This comfort facilitates the flow of information right down to admitting what was done. (A "confession" is an admission with the recognition of moral guilt; this is not something needed and many criminals would admit their crimes if the element of morality was kept out of language).
The Analytical Interview is generally 80% talking by the subject, while we do 20% or less. If an interrogation is conducted at the end, this number reverses.
Here is an example of how not to interview. Note that Herring is the assistant director to the FBI and Jordan is a politician.
In politically based interviews, just like televised interviews, the focus and goal is not information but attention for the interviewer.
If we simply look at the number of words each man uses, we see that the politician received very little information, and did most of the talking.
We do not ask compound questions.
We do not interrupt the subject.
We do not introduce new words.
We use the words of the subject.
We reflect back his own vocabulary and ask relevant questions in follow up.
We do not make speeches.
We do not moralize.
We do not make conclusions in the interview portion.
When I am under cross examination, I say very little. When a defense attorney makes a speech and does not ask a question, I remain silent. This has sometimes provoked anger when I am asked, "Why didn't you answer the question, Mr. Hyatt?" to which I turned to the judge and said,
"Your honor, I was not asked a question."
In one case in which the defense attorney became visibly angry, the judge read by the transcript and confirmed: there was no question posed.
How many principles did the politician violate?
Jordan: Mr. Herring, was this case different? You said you’ve been around the FBI 17 years, you’re now the acting director for legislative affairs, was this case different?
Which question does he want answered: "how was it different?" or "was it different?" The compound question allows the subject to answer whichever question he wants.
Herring: I think this case is different in a lot of ways.
Jordan: A lot of ways.
Herring: I do.
Jordan: Can you tell us? Can you give me some – why? I know it’s different in a lot of ways. How about this difference: You ever have a case in your 17 years where the subject of your investigation’s husband meets with the attorney general just a couple days before you’re going to interview that individual in your investigation. You ever had that happen in your 17 years?
4 questions posed
Herring: No, sir.
The politician made a speech and Herring politely answered with a single "no" and "sir."
Jordan: That’s certainly different, isn’t it?
Herring: Yes, sir.
Jordan: Yeah. You ever have a case, in your 17 years – and we appreciate your service – you ever have a case where the attorney general announces publically that she’s gonna follow the recommendations of the FBI even though she has no idea what those recommendations are going to be … you ever have that happen in your 17 years?
Note the unnecessary "we appreciate your service" as a strong signal to the subject: no trouble ahead.
Herring: Not on one of the cases I was assigned.
Here, the subject references potential knowledge of the same on cases in which he was not assigned. For the Analytical Interview, this will now be explored.
Not, however, for the politician:
Jordan: Yeah. Well I don’t think it’s ever happened because the attorney general told me she’s never done that until this time. You ever have – in your 17 years – you ever have a director of the FBI, you ever have them do a big press conference, walk through all the wrong-doings of the person under investigation – you ever have that happen? A big press conference before you make this big announcement? Or normally the FBI just kind of announces whether they’re gonna prosecute or not, right? You ever seen that before?
Herring: I mean we’ve certainly had press conferences. Not quite like that one.
Jordan: Not quite like that one. That’s exactly right. And then have you ever had this: now maybe this happens, but Mr. Cummings said in his opening statement, “Republicans didn’t like the answers Mr. Comey gave.” Well that maybe true, but based on what Mr. Comey did last week where he sent a memo to you and all your colleagues, looks to me like a lot of former FBI agents, and maybe some even current ones, didn’t like some of the answers they got from this investigation. You ever seen that before? Mr. Comey says in this letter, “I explained to our alums, I’m OK if folks have a different view of this investigation.” So there’s obviously some folks who used to work in the Justice Department [who] didn’t like the outcome either. Now they may be Republicans like Mr. Cummings says, they may not be. So I’ve never seen that before either, have you, Mr. Herring?
Here is one question of 155 words in length with an answer of 12 words.
Total: 167 words
In our training, we average 80% subject and 20% Interviewer.
Political interview: 7% subject and 93% Interviewer
Herring: Frequently we get messages from the director on a variety of things-
Jordan: Yeah. Two months after he makes the announcements he thinks it’s important to send a memo out, two months later, to all his employees saying, hey I’d better fill you in on some things here, why we did what we did, you ever have that happen two months after the fact?
Herring: I think often times he wants the employees to understand what’s going on in a full level of transparency both outside the Bureau and inside the Bureau – we’re a big agency-
Jordan: So two months later you get a memo-
Herring: 36 thousand or so employees-
Jordan: This case was different. But here’s the problem, Mr. Herring. It’s not supposed to be. It’s not supposed to be different. Everyone is supposed to be treated equally under the law. And I know deep down you know that. Your 17 years serving in our government – you know that, don’t you? Everyone’s supposed to be treated the same. And in this case, this individual was treated different. And everyone in this country knows it. And that’s why we’re having this hearing…
Jordan intended to tell the public that the Clinton investigation was different than other investigations.
He did so, over and over, and obtained no information from the assistant director.
He did, however, have the camera and focus upon himself. This is what televised interviews are often like, including Nancy Grace and other criminal shows. The priority is not information, but exposure.
In training, we learn the techniques that are most likely to produce admissions from the suspects. We do not violate anyone's rights, nor need to. If the subject agrees to interview, we will get our information.
For training for individuals, at your home or for seminars for your department or business: Hyatt Analysis Services.
The center for all deception detection is within human speech. The learning begins with the written statement and progresses from there. Although we specialize in advanced analysis, our basic program will take you from Statement Analysis 101 to a high level of proficiency.