Richard Hall did an excellent job as an interviewer in the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann documentary.
Readers here know that i embrace "Analytical Interviewing"; that is, a legally sound, non-intrusive method of interviewing a subject where no interpretation is done by the interviewer. This means the subject interprets his or her own words for us.
The Analytical Interview is based upon the subject's own words and allows us to "enter into" the language.
Richard Hall went into the interview well prepared, knowledgeable, and with the purpose of seeking information. This is not the norm in media where the 'focus' is often the interviewer, himself or herself, for the purpose of ratings. Mr. Hall sought information in his interview and has, in my opinion, bested some professionals, including some very high paid ones. He wanted information and fulfilled this role accurately. Although we strongly follow the 'rules' of Analytical Interviewing in investigatory interviews, law enforcement knows that the rules are guides; not absolutes and will, when need be, interrupt, for example, the subject. After the interview, law enforcement will enter the interrogation phase; something unique to their roles and not part of journalism.
He came into the interview with many strong opinions on the case, but allowed me to 'allow' the parents of Madeleine McCann, to speak for themselves. Whether this agreed with his beliefs about the case or not, he did not allow anything to interfere with this flow of information. This is dramatically different than the propaganda or narrative driven journalism of main stream media today.
Mr. Hall sets a solid example for journalists interested, not in self promotion, but in information.
Next up is the written analysis of this particular McCann interview for readers. It will be more in depth than most blog entries, and for those interested in studying analysis, it is of value to see how we avoid interpreting a subject's words, instead, we embrace them and seek to learn why a specific word was used.
On Thursday, December 1st, I intend to bring a team of analysts through the work, but with a singular focus: Sexual Abuse.
According to the words of the McCanns, Madeleine was not sold into sexual slavery but died in Portugal. This is most evidenced in that Maddie was "beyond parental concern"; something that parents who know their child is deceased often indicate. This is why so many thousands of people, particularly in the UK, felt strongly that the McCanns were not truthful. Many comments reveal the line of thinking: 'the McCanns are more concerned about themselves than the child...', of which the analysis agrees.
Was Madeleine a victim of child abuse?
This is an open question in that child abuse investigations include:
Emotional Abuse (which can differ from Verbal Abuse)
as well as the number one form of child abuse in terms of scope, "Neglect."
In all child abuse investigations, a safety "assessment" is made. Regardless of the allegation, all aspects of child abuse are explored, including:
Sexual Abuse: Doors and Lights
In statement analysis, the topic of sexual abuse is so broad that it requires not only competent study, research and application, but advanced work as well.
We do not interpret: we listen.
We also ask, "why?"
"I opened the door, turned on the light, and there she was."
John Ramsey on the discovery of murdered Jonbenet Ramsey.
First, we believe him.
We believe he opened the door.
We believe he turned on the light.
We believe she was there.
We do not interpret or assign any alternative meaning to the words.
We do ask "why?" in our analysis.
Why did he need to tell us that he opened the door?
Why did he need to tell us that he turned on the light?
The "Law of Economy" says he could have simply said, "I found her in the basement."
Instead, before the 'finding', we have two distinct and unnecessary inclusions:
"door" and "lights."
Decades of research has found an association between the unnecessary use of these words and sexual activity, including childhood sexual abuse.
It is not difficult to understand why.
Here is a short lesson:
If a child is sexually abused in her home, in her own bed, and by a trusted adult, the trauma is more severe than we currently understand.
The heightened hormonal alert can sometimes leave imprinted sensory descriptions upon the brain that stay with the victim her (or his) entire life.
Consider repeat sexual abuse of a child where the child has a distinct and hormonally elevated memory of the sound of a door opening.
The child will suffer. This can be anything from self-destructive promiscuity to compromised immune system to un or underdeveloped brain processing, to...self loathing, substance abuse and a life time of hyper vigilance and night terrors.
The child will suffer.
Some will go on to reoffend.
Others may become "failure to protect" parents, while the vast majority of them become extremely protective; sometimes to the detriment of the child's development.
The "door" is remembered by the brain and will, at times, unnecessarily enter the language.
We do not interpret the "door" as something other than a door: We ask "why" the subject used it and we explore for possible child sexual abuse:
his own, as a victim, or possibly as a predator.
Since "doors", when used unnecessarily in a statement, is sometimes linked to childhood sexual abuse, we next look at the word "light" in the same way.
The word "light" expresses energy and we find it, when used unnecessarily, as a possible signal of sexual activity.
When someone writes, "I turned off the light and went to sleep", we see the action of turning off a light as not necessary to say. We then seek to learn why the subject felt the need to tell us the light was turned off and we sometimes find:
it is due to a negative sexual experience; sometimes impotency or rejection.
In John Ramsey's statement, we find that in the murder of a little girl who was in a "sexualized environment", was a bed wetter, and who had been treated for repeat urinary tract infections, two indications of sexual activity (including one child sexual abuse specific) in one sentence.
We then look at other statements by the parents to learn more about this.
We often find, particularly in a confession or admission, that the subject is now willing to "help" us learn. This is one of the most marvelous educational opportunities any analyst can experience:
The subject's commentary on your analysis.
I first experienced this years ago in a case of theft where a suspect was cleared by a well experienced law enforcement investigator.
She had allowed for her person and vehicle to be searched and was cooperative with the investigation, including a thorough interview.
The officer was convinced she "didn't do it" to the point where he was angry at the analysis. This was my first encounter with "junk science" (also said about polygraph, voice stress analysis) from within law enforcement.
He did not want to do a joint interview and declined the analysis before he interviewed her, calling upon his decades of experience instead.
The statement she had written showed not only the theft, but the time of the theft, the mechanisms of the theft and her motive.
I interviewed her twice.
It is in the follow up interview that we get our most confessions or admissions. (An admission is a confession without moral responsibility. In this case, she admitted the theft, but denied it was immoral to do so as she felt justified).
After the admission, I asked her if she would "take me through" the analysis.
It was amazing.
When, for example, she wrote, "did my work assignment" without the dropped pronoun, she told me, "Well, actually I didn't do it. I went out for a smoke, instead."
Where she wrote, "I sat down with the supervisor" she confirmed:
a. "sat" as body posture was added as she was very tense;
b. "with" showed the distance between them: they strongly disagreed about work hours
c. "the supervisor" is a strong signal of a "bad relationship" between them. She said, "I can't stand her!"
When it came time to show her the exact moment of the theft and how she did it, she was amazed and confirmed it.
I finally asked her,
"How did you fool the investigator?"
She said it was "easy" and that she cried a little and he did most of the talking. She said it was like "he did the work for me."
In Analytical Interviewing, we not only let the subject do 80% or more of the talking, we do our best to use only the subject's words, avoiding introducing any new words.
Interestingly enough, local law enforcement refused to believe she had admitted the theft.
I had her put it in writing.
The twist of fate?
The original investigator had to deliver the court summons. He was not pleased.
A subject who admits or confesses is a golden opportunity for personal growth for an investigator. It increases resolve, confidence in the analysis, true enough, but much more, it broadens his understanding of how powerful this tool is.
For training at home, or through hosting a seminar, please go to Hyatt Analysis Services.
This is for police, journalists, human resource professionals, therapists, and so many other professions where detecting deception is needed.
We offer tuition payment plans, as well as an automatic 12 months of e-support: your work is "proofed."
Everyone makes mistakes. If you are formally trained, you are given the opportunity for precise correction of the error, while in study, and will learn how to spot error, and where to key in on missing information.
With this support, you will never submit an errant report or opinion, if you have your work checked by other professionals.
This is key to learning.
I hope to publish analysis and findings on Friday, December 2nd, 2016, as we continue to study the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and sift through the deception offered by the parents.