Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Statement Analysis Quiz for Law Enforcement

Deception Detection is a science based upon principle. 

Principles serve the analyst to bring about a conclusion.  The accuracy rate of those self disciplined is at or near 100%.  If the sample is too small for a conclusion, the analyst does not conclude Veracity nor Deception. 

How many points of sensitivity can you find in the following denial? 

What do they mean?

Each point should be identified and classified; use a short explanation when necessary. 

What is your conclusion?

Is it reliable?
Is it unreliable?
It is "not reliable", meaning we need more sample?
Is it "Deception Indicated"?

Context:  The subject, a CEO of a large business had groomed his protege and assumed successor to take over the company upon his retirement. This was something the Board of Directors had long given positive feedback over, in spite of the person's history, which has a lengthy history of financial fraud and exploitation. The intended successor had never been indicted in any of the alleged crimes. One of the accusations was that he was accepting large payments from foreign investors in exchange for "sweetheart" business agreements.  

The assumed successor was now under federal investigation for fraud, illegal disclosure (insider trading), conspiracy ("quid pro quo" agreements)  and other crimes due to powerful political influences to benefit the successor and the company.  

Two law enforcement  entities were investigating at once; Federal law enforcement and Federal regulators.  

In this publicly traded company, as well as a formal agreement with the federal investigators and his own Board of Trustees, the type of investigation had to be independent of his office. 

The CEO was to have no connection, contact nor communication, including briefs, with this crucial investigation. 

This meant an utter black out of information between the accused and the CEO (subject) as well as no contact between the actual investigators (two teams) for the government entities  and himself.  

With many suspicious of the CEO's history of control, he was accused of "overseeing" the investigation.  There have been investigations previously but without resolution, indictment, closure, etc.  Shareholders had become increasingly concerned about corruption on many levels, bringing their investments into question. If true, millions of investigators, via mutual fund investing, would be impacted. It would be the largest coverup in the company's history, eroding confidence from investigators in the United States as well as the world markets. 

Accusation:  Violation of No Communication: he, the subject, is accused of using his influence to have contact with investigators to corrupt the finding. 

When the subject was asked about interfering or influencing the investigation he made this statement.  Please note that the last 3 sentences came as an interruption to the journalist.  As such, his denial is listed as continuous: 

" I promise that there is no interference in any investigation conducted by either the federal investigators nor the regulatory board investigators, not just in this case but in any case. That's it. No more. I promise."

What can you tell from the subject's words.

Please put your findings in the comments section, explaining each point made.  

For training in deception detection, visit Hyatt Analysis Services 


Rachel said...

Is it reliable? NO
A reliable denial starts with the personal pronoun I, did or did not, and the accusation. In these sentences it does not follow that rule.
It would be nice to have more of a statement from him, but what has been given in this statement I would conclude deception is indicated.

He starts with the pronoun I, which is good.
"promises that there is no interference in any investigation conducted by either the federal investigators nor the regulatory board investigators, not just in this case but in any case."

He doesn’t say he didn’t interfere in the investigation so we cannot say it for him. Deception Indicated.

He says there is no interference in ANY investigation.. How would he know? There shouldn’t be personal knowledge of other investigations. He is trying to be part of the crowd mentality, by saying no interference in any investigation, so there certainly can’t be any in his case.

I feel he is ingratiating himself to the investigators by saying "not just in this case by in any case." The investigators are good investigators, they don’t have any interference in any investigation in any case, not just his case. It makes me wonder though if this is an embedded confession that he has interfered in more than "just" his case?

Rachel said...

"Promise" - how can he promise? He either did or didnt, the word promise here has more meaning for him.

"Thats it. No more. I promise." Thats it - He doesnt want to say anything more. "No more. I promise." Is he trying to promise that he wont interfere again? Or is he promising to not say anything more?

Hannah Shaw said...

Is it reliable?
No, he starts strong with the use of ‘I’ but then distances himself by saying ‘there is no interference’, rather than ‘I have not interfered or I did not interfere’.

Then he says ‘in any investigation’ rather than ‘in this investigation’, which is more distant and vague. Also how would he know?

The repeated, and slightly childish, use of ‘I promise’ I think shows a need to persuade his audience that he’s telling the truth. The use of ‘That’s it’, is interesting. I wonder if we believe him here and he is stating his intention to stop interfering in investigations.

sonjay said...

He notably did not say "I did not interfere with..." or "I did not influence...." So, this is not a reliable denial.

The "I promise that there is no interference..." sounds a lot like previous examples when someone has said "I want to tell you" or "I want you to know." He's not stating flatly that there is no interference; he's only "promising" that there is none.

"That's it. No more." is telling us there IS more, but he doesn't want to talk about the "more."

Also we would want to consider his personal dictionary. Perhaps he had contact with the investigators. Perhaps he influenced the investigators. But he may not consider "contact" or "influence" to be "interference."

LuciaD said...

He begins his denial with the pronoun I, which shows his presence in the statement. Usually a good sign in a denial. But immediately he weakens it, with promise, and then by using the present tense "is" rather than the past tense "was" or "has been". He does not state that there has been no interference, and we cannot say it for him.

The next point of sensitivity is him adding "not JUST in this case, but in any case." Just is a comparative word, meaning that he is also thinking of some other case. This is unexpected, in a denial about allegations in one specific case. Possible interference by the subject in other investigations should be questioned. And as others have noted, nobody could know there "is" no interference in "any" case.

"That's it", is the subject asking the audience to accept his words without question. "No more." made me wonder if that was possible leakage? That his words say there is (presently) no interference, no more, i.e. but there was and I won't do it again?

Then in closing the subject repeats (increasing sensitivity) "I promise." which seems weak and a need to persuade, rather than to be strong in the psychological wall of truth. I conclude this is an unreliable denial. And deception is indicated. It is the kind of wording used by a subject attempting to avoid a direct lie.

happyuk said...
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Bottle Cap said...

OT: Donna Brazile statements on whether she was at the hospital where DNC staffer Seth Rich died in the early morning of July 20, 2016:

“This is painful not just to the memory of a great young public servant, but Seth’s parents and his colleagues and friends… There is simply no truth to the claims in the article,” she wrote, adding in another email: “The claim is false, misleading and worse—profiting [off] an innocent death.”

Tweet 1:
You should be ashamed of yourself. In addition to your deceitful lies about Mr Seth Rich, you have once again published a bogus claim. It’s time you focus on protecting our democracy and publish falsehoods.

Tweet 2:
It's not even true. So, don't bother asking yourself why this or that. Seth was a good, hardworking public servant. Stop the hate.

— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) August 20, 2018

Hm, why doesn't she simply say, 'I wasn't at the hospital'?

happyuk said...

"I promise" is unnecessary given who he is and what he is, and weakens the statement. As a CEO is it automatically given that he will behave in the manner expected.

"there is" - present tense, he talking about right here and now, not what may have happened previously, so he is omitting a subtle yet crucial piece of information.

"That's it. No more." - serves no other purpose than to close down the conversation. He makes it obvious he does not wish to continue the conversation. A more satisfactory response would have been to invite more questions. "That's it" is commonly used in conjunction with "No more" or "I've had enough" or some other finalising statement. It indicates that there IS more to be said.

"I promise" is repeated TWICE in a relatively short statement, meaning that the need to appear honest is sensitive to him.

General P. Malaise said...

" I promise that there is no interference in any investigation conducted by either the federal investigators nor the regulatory board investigators, not just in this case but in any case. That's it. No more. I promise."

1) The sentence begins with the pronoun “I” indicating linguistic commitment, a positive sign we should find reliable information even if the subject is deceptive.

2) “I promise …” the word “promise” immediately after he pronoun “I” weakens the sentence and possible veracity of what will follow as it doesn’t employ the “wall of truth” principal (where the statement can stand on its own). It requires the listener to believe the subject without the subject giving a reliable denial which has three necessary components first; the pronoun “I”. second; the past tense (“I did not … or didn’t”) and third the accusation.

3) “I promise that there is no interference in any investigation conducted by either the federal investigators nor the regulatory board investigators, not just in this case but in any case.” Using the present tense minimises and makes it an ongoing event. The subject refuses to or is unwilling to state he did not interfere.

4) The subject leaves himself out of the claim by lack of pronoun as to who has not interfered. This is passivity and is used to hide identity and or responsibility.

5) The subject uses the word “any” to describe a specific case(s), he isn’t asked about any case he is asked about a specific case(s). This is to hide in the universe (crowd) of “any” from giving a reliable denial. The subject goes further to use “any” a second time making the improbable claim to not be involved in “any”, universal claim. This is in a sentence where the subject used the word “just” comparing this case to another one in his mind. The subject also minimises or refutes the first part of the sentence “…not just this case but any case.” This is the same as saying every case. The subject drags into his sentence the universal “all” or “every case” with the use of the word “any”.

6) “That’s it.” The subject has a need to shut down any discussion with the words, “That’s it.” Still the subject shows how sensitive the topic is to him by adding “NO more.” In effect repeating his need to end the discussion. Things repeated show high sensitivity.

7) “I promise.” Here the subject repeats like bookends with the same two words that started his statement. This shows high sensitivity and the subject tries (like bullying) to re-enforce the recipients need to “trust him” because he “promised” and not because he gave a reliable denial.


This is not a reliable denial. It lacks the requisite 3 components.

The subject uses present tense meaning it is an ongoing event and his unreliable denial makes him deceptive. Because it is in the present tense and unreliable the subject shows guilty knowledge.

The subject uses passivity by omission of pronoun as to who is not interfering.

The subject uses passive voice not naming the case or the investigators or denying his involvement. (the passivity may be appropriate if the specific cases or investigators were named earlier in the discussion).

New England Water Blog said...

Is Asia being truthful?

'I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article dated 20 August 2018, as circulated also in national and international news.

'I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.

'I was linked to him during several years by friendship only, which ended when, subsequent to my exposure in the Weinstein case, Bennett - who was then undergoing severe economic problems and who had previously taken legal actions against his own family requesting millions in damages - unexpectedly made an exorbitant request of money from me. Bennett knew my boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, was of great perceived wealth and had his own reputation as a beloved public figure to protect.

'Antony [sic] insisted the matter be handled privately and this was also what Bennett wanted. Anthony was afraid of the possible negativity that such person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us. We decided to deal compassionately with Bennett’s demand for help and give it to him. Anthony personally undertook to help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions into our life.

'This is, therefore, the umpteeth development of a sequence of events that brings me great sadness and that constitutes a long-standing persecution. I have therefore no other choice but to oppose such false allegation and will assume in the short term and all necessary initiatives for my protection before all competent venues.'

George G. George said...
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George G. George said...
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George G. George said...
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George G. George said...

"I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett."

I believe this statement is true because it wasn't a relationship. It was sexual assault.

"I was linked to him during several years by friendship only..."

"Friendship only"
She calls him.her son on social media but now it's friendship only.

I don't see a reliable denial. She doesn't say she didn't sexually assault him.

George G. George said...

I'm sorry, my comments duplicate.

George G. George said...

I'm sorry, my comments duplicate.

Rachel said...

I like your analysis General. You explain things well.

Mimsie said...

I'm looking forward to your analysis of Mollie Tibbetts' boyfriend Dalton Jack's comments about her disappearance. "Initially it was shock and then, you know,it gets harder day by day because she's still not here and you miss her, you miss her more than anything in the world". YOU miss her? Not "I miss her"? Thanks, Peter.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Arrest made.

Sheila said...

Peter, an illegal immigrant killed Mollie :(

George G. George said...

"Hiding in plain sight" Did LE already know who it was and waited for enough evidence? Did they get the suspect's DNA from Molly's body?

Thank you for the update, Peter.

George G. George said...

"Hiding in plain sight" Did LE already know who it was and waited for enough evidence? Did they get the suspect's DNA from Molly's body?

Thank you for the update, Peter.

Nic said...

" I promise that there is no interference in any investigation conducted by either the federal investigators nor the regulatory board investigators, not just in this case but in any case. That's it. No more. I promise."

Not only did he not issue a reliable denial, he did not respond to the allegation. He is speaking on behalf of the federal investigators and the regular board investigators, not himself.

His promise is weak by its repetition and the fact that he cannot know 100% that anyone, aside from himself, is not interfering in that case, or "any" case.


There is a double negation in his statement:
no investigation + nor
Two negatives make a positive.

Nic said...
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Nic said...

My apologies, I did not italicize my analysis above:

"I promise that there is no interference in any investigation conducted by either the federal investigators nor the regulatory board investigators, not just in this case but in any case. That's it. No more. I promise."

Nic said...

I say the statement is not reliable because he did not answer the allegation. I would ask him to respond directly to the accusation and then decide on the veracity of his direct response.

Anonymous said...

Molly Tibbets..



LuciaD said...

Oh :(. And an illegal to boot. At least her family knows now.

Sheila said...

I would love to hear Peter's thoughts on the Watts case...it would be fascinating to hear his analysis of Watts' interview. I am extremely eager to learn from this case!

LuciaD said...

On topic, I would like to hear Peters analysis of this statement!

Anonymous said...

He reminds me of George Bush, "Read my lips..."

Statement Analysis Blog said...

The George Bush comparison is accurate. It is the same "promise" given.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

I may post a conclusion in the M Tibbets case later today.

It might be useful to explain why I said the parents did not have guilty knowledge but indicated the creeping acceptance of her death.

Why dad praised LE while she was not found: this is contextually vital.


Unknown said...

So now what should happen is the Tibbets suing the United States government and Border Patrol/ICE for failure to properly control the borders and protect the citizens. This might be the best way to go if everyone victim of illegal aliens did the same thing. We cannot allow these opinion based debates to continue. Let's talk about money. Then and only then will we be able to get somewhere.

Anonymous said...


frommindtomatter said...

“I promise” - Promises can and are often broken.

“is no interference” - Speaks of the present moment, does not cover past or future. Yesterday there might have been, and tomorrow who knows.

“either” - he gives us two options (two investigatory bodies) and tells us that at this moment they are not interfering. The problem is that means there could any number of other bodies who are interfering. The ones we don’t know about:)

“not just in this case but in any case” – He feels a need to let us know about other cases where this has NOT happened. He probably doesn’t realise these words are making us think of what those other cases might be. He uses the NEGATIVE to reassure us of his sincerity. He is obviously a skilled communicator.

“No more” - means something has stopped. So something was happening and now it will happen no more. I promise.

“I Promise” - second use of the words means a need to convince. Probably because he feels people don’t believe him. We question why he thinks people don’t believe him. Possibly he has been caught lying before. Possibly on each occasion his lips moved.

My conclusion:
I can see a big career ahead of him in politics. We need more people like this who can talk without an autocue; it makes people feel more reassured. Failing that he could probably get a job as used car salesman but I wouldn’t recommend working on commission, probably better if he was an hourly rate so he wouldn’t starve to death.

It`s not reliable.

Is there deception? He could be deceiving himself. In order to deceive others you need to fool them so on that based on that criteria it probably isn’t being deceptive. (just joking).


danielle said...

It is deception.

There is no descripti, present tende, it is not occurring now. He did interfere. In both cases in the past and he is essentially promising not to do it again. Hence I promise.

Anonymous said...

you realize that he's using an Obama quote, right? tricky, but effective.