Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Revisited: Baby Lisa and "Human Lie Detector"
I work with some of our nation's top criminal analysts and investigators.
I am privileged to see the 'behind the scenes' struggles they have to provide justice to an ever increasingly hostile and unthankful society who readily embrace political lies over the truth. Yet, they persevere and continue to both serve and protect us.
These investigators work long hours to get to the truth and as a truth seeker, they embrace the principle of doing no harm; no harm to individuals, society, nor to themselves.
They will not lie in an investigation. They will not violate anyone's civil rights. In an investigation, they get to the truth by using their intellect and their years of formal training. They treat suspects they way they, themselves, would want to be treated. They consider that they treat young offenders as they would want police to treat their own sons or daughters, should they find themselves in this unfortunate position.
In the field, they are the first to use verbal skills in deescalation. They use their intellects above all else, even though they must be both physically and psychologically prepared to defend life.
They have strong empathy for others. Without deep personal human empathy, they could not "enter into the statements" with accuracy. It is essential in analysis. When a statement has been worked for many hours, they feel as if they "know" not only what happened, but they "know" the subject: his background, his experiences, his priorities, and even his personality. They "know" him and will conduct the interview accordingly. They will do a legally sound interview, void of misinterpretation. They will listen and allow the subject to speak without interruption. They know what they are doing takes time, patience, and effort, but justice is worth it. They are top professionals.
It does not, nor will it, make headlines.
There is something every investigator and analyst is taught in Statement Analysis 101 Training:
It is impossible for them, with their training, to enter the free editing process and lie without being caught. Those who are dishonest will show this during early training; the habitually dishonest person will fail in basic analysis, specifically in the area of "the expected" in language.
Consider the following...
Three years ago, we covered the case of a missing child, "Baby Lisa" in which, from the first press conference in which the mother, Deborah Bradley spoke, deception was indicated.
This deception was not based upon a single point, but upon many points of sensitivity, missing information, and language consistent with unintentional death. The analysis was not particularly challenging and it is useful for training today.
What did the analysis show?
Lisa's mother, Deborah Bradley gave us indication that Lisa was not kidnapped, and would not be found alive, and that Deborah Bradley, herself, needed an alibi and help; Baby Lisa was not in need of help nor intervention.
Bradley revealed guilty knowledge of the death, and her account of a kidnapping did not proceed from experiential memory.
Fox News revisited the case on January 2, 2015, highlighting beforehand, that they were going to use the nation's celebrated top "human lie detector", 25 year CIA veteran Philip Houston who went on to reveal that Deborah Bradley was telling the truth, according to the ads run by the news program. Mr. Houston has conducted thousands of interviews, including terrorist interviews and has an impressive resume. We now will listen to his words on the case, to guide us to what he believes about Bradley.
Is he truthful? That is, does he believe his own assertion about Bradley's de facto innocence? (Bradley is judicially innocent in a court of law, and thus far, no one has been arrested. The 'kidnappers' chose the right house, on the right night, in the right room of the house, and were able to get into the house, not awaken anyone, and get out of the house without a stitch of trace DNA evidence.)
Statement Analysis does not interpret. In training, investigators are taught to carefully listen to what one says as the brain tells the tongue, in less than a microsecond, what word to choose from a vast, 20,000 word plus personal dictionary. In fact, we believe everything everyone tells us, as our presupposition, and only 'disrupt' this presupposition if the subject interrupts it for us.
Alcohol Blackouts are real. When one is highly intoxicated (or, in the language of the program, "drunk"), memory can not only be impacted, but alcoholic blackout memories do not appear to be recalled.
In analysis, the lack of memory due to substance induced memory loss, will not appear as deception. Deception appears in intention, within language.
A broken promise, a faulty memory, or repeating another's lie, may not show up in deception detection because the subject does not have the intention to deceive. It is this intention to deceive that triggers internal stress, and when a polygraph is administered without contamination and employing only the subject's own words, it is fail proof.
In an interview 3 years ago, Deborah Bradley "admitted" that she was drinking, but was unable to admit she was drunk. This was an interview set up by high powered attorney Joe Tacopina after the video of her buying wine was released. If she was drunk, we allow her to tell us so. Tacopina boasted about getting the FBI to give him information, and effectively shutting down the case.
Statement Analysis 101 teaches: Listen to the words chosen and do not interpret.
This is the most common mistake made today and it is something that every seminar begins with. Honest people will interpret deceptive people as honest, if they choose to not listen to the words chosen.
Does Houston listen to Deborah Bradley's answer, or does he interpret it for her?
Does Houston reliably assert his belief in Bradley's words, thus, her innocence?
Analysis of all the interviews and statements publicly posted showed that Baby Lisa was never "missing" nor kidnapped, but that Lisa died in the home. Lisa's father, Jeremy Irwin, soon learned the truth of what happened to Lisa, but chose to protect Deborah. In his own language, he responded to a great question: 'What kind of person would do this?'
His answer was to go directly to infidelity.
Statement Analysis indicated that even with NY attorney, Joe Tacopina defending her, deception continued, not only from Bradley, but from others, including those who offered a reward. The language of the reward showed 'guilty knowledge', as it qualified specifically, how it would be paid:
The subject offering the financial award knew it would never be paid.
Like Amanda Knox, with years passing, Deborah Bradley can now issue a statement, "I didn't kill Lisa", as the free editing process has long passed.
During the initial interviews, she did not deny causing Lisa's death. In fact, she showed immediate distancing language from the child, with reporters using Lisa's name when Bradley did not.
To read a prepared statement or parrot this, is not reliable.
1. Deborah Bradley was deceptive about what happened to Lisa.
2. Deborah Bradley did not deny causing Lisa's disappearance.
3. Deborah Bradley revealed that Lisa would not be found alive.
4. Jeremy Irwin chose not to cooperate with police.
5. Jeremy Irwin gave us a linguistic indication of who caused Lisa's demise.
6. Jeremy Irwin, over time, showed that he knew Bradley needed protection; not Lisa.
Q. Why was deception indicated so quickly in this case, where as in other cases you wait for more press conferences?
A. Because of the pronouns. Pronouns (and articles) are:
2. Exempt from Personal, internal, subjective dictionary that each of us has.
3. Reliable. 100% reliability in following pronouns. Where there is an "error" in pronouns, there is deception.
4. The rare exception in pronoun usage is psychological in nature, with cases of Asperger's diagnosed in the United States at the rate of less than .03% (This will be addressed in a future training article).
Although I am more comfortable with a complete interview, and its large sample, in this case, I concluded deception at the first televised announcement where the mother spoke. I heard a mother of a missing 11 month old child avoid using her own daughter's name, and use the language of 'closure' or 'moving on', concerned for self, and not for any 'kidnapped baby.'
Q. What about trauma? Doesn't the immediate kidnapping of a child throw someone into language that is not reliable?
A. No. In the immediate event, we find mother's languages to be most reliable; running on high alert due to hormonal increase, with instincts sharp.
I recently was given an account of a mother who locked her toddler into her car, with her cell phone.
With a rush of hormones, she acted immediately: She found someone with a cell phone, called 911, called her husband, was acutely cognizant of the weather conditions and exact minutes of response time, carefully weighing this against the potential trauma (and injury) of breaking the window.
When she called 911, she was not polite, and she immediately told the dispatcher the need for assistance.
She did not say,
"I was on my way to work. I am a working responsible mother. I had just received a phone call and this has never happened to me before. As I was going around to the driver's side, I..." similar to the alibi conscious:
"Hello? yes, I was asleep, and the door is wide open and I think, and our daughter is missing..."
She was acutely aware, by the 'fight or flight' rise in hormone, of every detail about her, from her daughter's face expression, type of crying, temperature, precise minutes waiting, and so on.
Afterwards, she cried, uncontrollably, as the reduction of hormones brought emotion.
While she told the account, there were no emotions included during the actual event. This, too, is a signal of veracity, while the inclusion of emotions in this most pressing time is often an indication of 'artificial placement' via editing, by a deceptive person or by one who has long processed the information.
Days later, she showed evidence of trauma and has been advised to process the traumatic incident through journaling, both action and emotion.
Her child was fine, the temperature cool, and her maternal instincts, intact under such extreme circumstances, caused her speech to be precisely as we expect an innocent mother to sound.
Deborah Bradley was Baby Lisa's mother. Everything about the relationship between baby and mother is instinctive, close up and personal, and the language will reflect this reality.
When distance is observed, it is indicative of a distancing in reality.
Pronouns are used millions of times by us and we are so good at using them, that they become instinctive for us. Even length of time has little impact on pronouns.
Deborah Bradley did not just distance herself from Baby Lisa, she linguistically 'ran away' from commitment to her story by using the pronoun, "we", from the beginning, and then crossed her pronouns in confusion. "I woke up, we woke up..." and so on. She would not be "left alone" with Baby Lisa's disappearance.
This was noted by readership even before analysis was complete. Note that the inconsistency of pronouns continued throughout not only the first press conference, but in those that followed. If you search on "Baby Lisa" here at the Statement Analysis blog, you will find much information on the case.
Pronouns are the simplest tool in discerning deception. There are those who are intuitive in analysis, and in questioning them, they may not know principle, but are able to follow the pronouns well.
Q. Why did you concluded deception that equaled guilt? Sensitivity doesn't always mean guilt.
A. This is a good question. Not all deception is specified towards accusations.
For example, a parent is deceptive, and fails a polygraph, not because he killed the child, but because he was high on drugs, asleep on the couch, when the child left the home and was found by a predatory child sex abuser. In Bradley's case, the 'admission' of alcohol, under the guidance of her attorney, is helpful in understanding how a ready-to-use excuse was offered. Yet, if we tether ourselves to principle, we cannot conclude that Bradley was drunk, for she, herself, refused to say so .
With Deborah Bradley, she was deceptive about the actual events and details of what happened that night. She was deceptive about specifics, including sleeping, cell phones, and protected her deception by refusing to allow the entire house to be searched.
Q. Philip Houston, the "human lie detector" with 25 years experience in the CIA, said she was truthful.
How can you possibly differ?
A. The clip is here: http://insider.foxnews.com/2014/12/29/dont-miss-kelly-file-special-baby-lisa-mystery-friday-9p-et
Statement Analysis of the human lie detector:
Bradley was asked about having involvement. Her answer:
"None. The only thing I did wrong...(pause) was drink that night, and um, possibly not be alert. (pause) Not hear. I'm sorry. "
This was her response.
We immediately note the "Dependent" word, "only", in which dependent words work when they are connected to another word (or thought). This means she is 'comparing' what she did "wrong" with something else. We note the dropping of pronouns, the weak assertion, and the inclusion of the words "I'm sorry" in her answer. We do not conclude deception on a single indicator, but upon a culmination of indicators. Even here, we have much to analyze.
Houston was asked about the answer. Listen to what he says:
"I didn't see those deceptive indicators. She answered the question directly. We're not giving her credit for answering that question directly. We've giving her credit for not exhibiting those deceptive indicators. You didn't see any significant non verbals. What we also saw was that got our attention immediately that in the question she immediately went to the fact that she had been was drunk that night. She was actually accepting some culpability of what happened."
Let's analyze both:
She was asked, in a lengthy question (which should be avoided) about involvement in the disappearance of Lisa:
1. "None." This is a good answer. We then follow her words to see what happens to her response. She could have stopped there. She did not. Deceptive people often use additional words in order to persuade. A strong response would have been "none" with nothing needed to be added. She now contradicts her answer by listing reasons for possible responsibility:
2. "The only thing I did wrong" is to weigh against the denial of "none", telling us: she did do something wrong.
Will she tell us what she did wrong?
3. "drink that night" is to say that she drank that night. This interview was 3 years ago, which may have been conducted before the attorneys became involved, increasing the odds of getting a good, sound interview.
"possibly not be alert" is two things:
a. "possibly" is reduced commitment.
b. it is in the negative "not" be alert.
Please note that lying, outright, is stressful and the overwhelming deception exists in withholding information.
She does not say "I was drunk", nor does she say "I was not alert" or "I was not paying attention."
4. "I'm sorry" is often found in the language of the guilty as it is in the brain. It is difficult, for example, to picture Desiree Young, mother of Kyron Horman, saying she is sorry or crying or for anything.
Please note that in the answer, Houston interprets her drinking and only "possible" lack of alertness as an admission of drunkenness.
In his personal, subjective internal dictionary, he interpreted rather than listen.
Note that she said "I'm sorry" which may have followed her crying. Why would anyone be "sorry" for being a mother crying over a missing child? We note in Statement analysis the words the brain chooses to use, and do not interpret. The guilt often say "I'm sorry", for one reason or another. See Casey Anthony.
5. "not hear" has dropped pronoun. She did not say "I didn't hear that night" and "I was not alert" and "I was drunk", yet the CIA human lie detector interprets this as a signal of veracity.
"I didn't see those deceptive indicators. She answered the question directly. We're not giving her credit for answering that question directly. We've giving her credit for not exhibiting those deceptive indicators. You didn't see any significant non verbals. What we also saw was that got our attention immediately that in the question she immediately went to the fact that she had been drunk that night. She was actually accepting some culpability of what happened."
Note "she had been drunk"presupposes her meaning. She did not say she was drunk but Houston concludes that is what she said. This is what we do in training:
We teach investigators to listen to what one says and to not interpret.
Houston did not listen to what Deborah Bradley said. Houston did not accept that after her strong denial, she had reason to give additional information.
6. The only thing..." only" is a dependent word. The use here should lead the interviewer to ask about "other" things she did wrong. This should be understood in light of where she may have been that night: at her neighbor's home. (see below when Jeremy Irwin is asked what kind of person would do such a thing). By using the word "only" she is comparing it to other things.
It is not an essential word to use unless the brain is comparing it to other things, in the plural, making it then an appropriate word.
The answer by Houston is useful for instruction to see how easy it is for us to interpret others' language. Houston, by his interpretation, is revealing something about himself: he is likely not an alcoholic and is likely a responsible person. We all do this, but it is especially evident when we interpret. Honest people often interpret others as honest, and must be trained to "turn off" their interpreting (dulled listening) and learn to listen to the precise words used.
Remember; We choose our words, from the brain to the tongue, in less than a microsecond. This is what makes Statement Analysis such an accurate tool. The issue of being drunk is important and there is separate analysis done on the interview in which the press concluded she was "drunk" but in that interview she is unable or unwilling to say she was drunk.
7. Note that he is asked "what did you hear?" but answers "we saw", and not "I heard." This is a change of language and indicates that Houston is not listening, but interpreting. He was ready to give his answer.
Next up: What did the Human Lie Detector find regarding Jeremy Irwin?
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