Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Use of Divine Witness in a Statement

How does the use of a Divine witness impact language?

"I swear to God that..." indicates the subject has a need to call upon a Divine witness to his words. It may be that the subject is telling the truth in this point, but is not elsewhere. Habitually dishonest people will feel a need for affirmation of their words.  It belies the lack of confidence one may have in his own words.

What of prayer during an assault? It is a signal of emotion.  It is not that the person prayed that we analyze: it is the entrance into the language.  

This was from an assault investigation: 

"...and as he grabbed me I just prayed 'Lord help me' and ..."

An interview in an assault case produced this sentence.  As the Interviewer listened, he was convinced of the pain he was hearing in the woman's voice. He asked me to listen to the audio and provide feedback into whether or not she was truthful. 

I had said that the pain is real, and the assault is real, but she's lying about when this took place and by whom. 

...and as he grabbed me I just prayed 'Lord help me' and..."

In the interview she produced sensory description which is something that can signal that it was experienced but exactly when it was experienced...years ago, or today, as the crime is being alleged, is not answered. 

Perseveration can be indicated in adults with developmental disabilities as well as trauma victims. 

This is where one repeats detail from an earlier assault, yet states it in the present, with a new subject accused. 

It is challenging to discern. 

Then there are those who are outright falsely accusing someone of an assault and when they deceive, it is impossible to do so from a vacuum, therefore they choose wording from somewhere:

a movie, book, story, or...

from an actual event from the past. 

In this interview, I believed that not only was she lying about what happened now within a criminal investigation, but she was truthfully reporting what happened to her years ago.  

The inclusion of her emotion tells us that this account has been processed by her, which takes time. This assault was reported to have just taken place. 

Discourse Analysis: listening to an interview. 

If one can picture a system of (+) and (-) as an interview 'goes by' audibly, this can help.  

It is sometimes difficult to follow the formula for reliability at first, but with practice that is specifically done with audio and then transcripts, the twain do eventually meet.  

As the audible goes by, each signal of reliability is given a mark on the notebook that shows a (+) and each signal of sensitivity is given a (-) and when there is a near balance of the two, such as

5 (+)


It is something that must be further explored because there is enough signals that memory is at play, but there are also enough signals that deception is at play, too. 

People often want easy answers, but human nature is complex.  

Sometimes people reliably report an assault, but will indicate selfish, illicit or exploitative motives. 

The motive does not negate the reliable reporting. 

Another may report reliably some facets of an assault, while being deceptive in others. 

For example, one who was reliably assaulted may also reveal the use of illegal drugs during the event. This can undermine credibility, yet we seek to separate the allegation from possible attendant crimes. 

...and as he grabbed me I just prayed 'Lord help me' and..."

The word "as" speaks to time and the reaction to being suddenly grabbed is hormonal---fight or flight survival.  

"just" compares praying to something (or everything) else in the mind. It takes time to think of alternatives to compare prayer to.  

When initially recounted, the commitment is strong:

"He grabbed me and I screamed..."

This is to report what happened. There is no equivocation and there is strong psychological presence in the pronouns.  

When this has been processed via re-telling often, the emotions are added as the subject has had time to speak of it, allowing for deeper thought. Each time the account is recalled, the subject ponders further (which often produces, "why?" in assaults, which may lead to distress). 

I believed the subject experienced an assault, and that her pain was real, but the assault was not current, and not from the man she has accused. 

This is where someone is lying but using experiential memory to do so.  It is something to specifically train for. 

I said that I believed this particular allegation would lead to a failed polygraph in spite of the strong sensory description and the affect of the subject during the entire interview.  

I watched the video of the interview.  

In listening to the subject, I too heard the pain coming from her and the accurate description of an assault, but I did not hear her connect the assault with the accused. 

I also noted "Divinity" in her statement.  

"Divinity" within the interview, in various wording, when used to affirm one's words,  is a red flag for deception and beneath it is a desire to persuade someone. It may also be a form of ingratiation where the subject hopes the interviewer will pity the subject, with emotion clouding judgement. 

"I am a God fearing..." in a criminal investigation is to say 'we wouldn't do such a thing because of our belief...' rather than "I did not..." 

It is similar to one accused of pedophilia who says "I am a happily married man..." rather than to deny the accusation. 

The signal in the statement above shows that this event had been long processed in the brain and the fear of it something that was reflected in the voice. 

She failed her polygraph.  

It is not so much that a person uses some form of Divinity in a statement but the context of the statement, audible or written that is key.  

An assault victim in counseling will have emotions within the statement as exploration of thought and reaction has taken place. This is a form of contamination that must be considered. Repeat interviews can cause it as well. 

This was a police investigation of a crime that was alleged to have just taken place.  

If you wish to study deception detection, please visit Hyatt Analysis Services. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Murder of Amber Gaddis: Colin Ector

Daniel Gaddis
by Colin Ector 

Amber Gaddis was found killed in Jacksonville on the morning of Saturday 20th June. Her husband Daniel called 911 to report he had been kidnapped and robbed by three men in a dark vehicle, but was later let go near his home.
Daniel says he believes the same men went to his house and tried to rob Amber. Her body was found at neighbor’s house where she had purportedly tried to seek help after the attack. Other neighbors reported hearing three gun-shots early Saturday.

Daniel Gaddis gave a short interview to First Coast News.  His language is concerning.

“She was perfect man, she was a great person just with a big heart, she loved everyone and cared about everyone,” 
“I loved Amber with all my heart man. She was like the air in my lungs,”

First of all, it is noted that the subject (Daniel) refers to his deceased wife as a gender neutral person rather than a woman.  This could be an indication that he does not see her as a woman anymore or is no longer attracted to her.

Where was Amber shot?  Was she shot through the lungs?  If Daniel has guilty knowledge in the death of his wife could this have produced this language?  We do not know this yet.  This is a question to be answered.

Daniel Gaddis says he left his house willingly with acquaintances then was dropped off at an apartment complex where he was robbed.
He believes those men went back to his home and tried to rob his wife.

“She opened the door because it was someone she knew, and then they tried to rob her again and steal electronics and I wasn’t there,” 

This is an important sentence.  The subject has the need to tell us why his wife opened the door.  This is the highest level of sensitivity. 
He also has the unnecessary need to tell us he wasn’t there.

This sentence alone is unexpected and concerning coming from the husband of a woman who has just been shot and killed.

“When I came back all I noticed was my flat screen TV was in the road.

When a subject tells us what they noticed it is often an indication that they were consciously looking for something.  Here, it is “all” the subject noticed and he takes possession of it. It is his flat screen TV.  

Why is it the only thing he noticed and was likely looking for?
Why does he have the need to take possession of it? Why is not “the TV”.
Why does he have the need to tell us it is a “flat screen”?  This should not be important at this time, but it is important to him.
Did the subject and Amber have an argument about his flat screen TV?  We do not know but his language leads us to the question.

 I came back to the house and I couldn’t find my wife. I went inside and couldn’t find my wife. I told police I can’t find my wife. I think she was kidnapped,” Gaddis told First Coast News.

Her name is more expected here rather than “my wife”.  Is she more possession than person?

Does he have a need to persuade us that he didn’t know where she was?  He has said it three times in succession.

Police and Daniel Gaddis searched the area and found Amber Gaddis dead at a neighbor’s home.
Daniel Gaddis is now focused on consoling their children and is hoping that police find the men who did this.

“I wasn’t kidnapped, it was planned. It was like a setup. They planned it out, came to the house. Their intention was to rob us,” Gaddis said.

The subject is pushing a conclusion to the media.

“Now I’m just waiting on justice and I’m just waiting on justice to happen”

He is not telling us he wants the men found and charged.  

There is not enough language to make a solid conclusion yet, but Daniels language to this point, is unexpected and should be carefully investigated. 

Substance abuse may have played a role in this case. 

If you wish to study deception detection, please visit Hyatt Analysis Services 

Monday, July 6, 2020

The Power of Words by Steve Johnson, Instructor

The Power of Words 
by Steve Johnson
July 4th, 2020

There is a power in words which goes unrecognized by most.  Words inspire, motivate, and strengthen us.  They can also inflame, deceive, and weaken us.  The power of any word begins in our brain, as a thought or perception. That perception is then manifested through spoken or written words. 

Our Great Country was founded on the power of words, the thoughts of our founding fathers manifested through the Declaration of Independence.  The world knew each of them were committed to those mighty words, because they had linguistic evidence of that commitment – their signatures.  The evidence of that commitment inspired others to stand with them, or die if necessary, in pursuit of a righteous cause.  The righteous cause which motivated them, was that of freedom, religious freedom and independence from tyranny.  Their cause was so inspirational, that men chose to fight, and even die for it.  
This morning as I read the inspiring words contained in the Declaration of Independence and heard the inspiring story behind our National Anthem (link above), I thought of the fight that continues in our great country today.  There are millions of good people in this country that support and rely on the brave men and women keeping the peace domestically.  Yet, the voice of the few who would disband police departments seems to be loud.  There are approximately 800,000 police officers in the United States, that respond to and investigate millions of crimes each day.  They do not seek attention for the combined millions of good deeds they do each day.  They are solid, good people, doing the right thing for the right reasons.  It is sad when the egregious acts of a minuscule few, taint the good deeds of many.  With the eyes of many focused upon us, we must operate at a higher level. There is no room for mediocrity.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them
From the perspective of one that studies words as they relate to human nature, I find the first paragraph of The Declaration of Independence fascinating.  They included a reference to the laws of nature…God’s law.  This is the fundamental principle of our work…human nature.  The divine nature in which we, as human beings, were created to function is what gives us an advantage in our work of getting to the truth.  It is what helps us clear the innocent, as well as to remove those that are a detriment to society.   The unjust and cruel deeds of a tyrant motivated our founding fathers to act.  It was a classic battle between right and wrong.  On an arguably smaller scale, criminal investigators continue that fight today and it is a fight that will continue for many years to come.
Fortunately, we have the advantage of understanding the power associated with words.  The more we understand human nature and how the brain was programmed to function, (which has been the same for thousands of years), the more we will understand the significance of any particular word choice.   
Did you know our words have a vibrational energy associated with them?  If you want to be on your A-Game at work as well as in your personal life, you will use this to your advantage. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, When a decision is made, the universe conspires to make it happen
What he is referring to is the vibrational energy inherent in everything around us.  Did you know the cells in our body are made up of millions of vibrating molecules? With that in mind, it’s not difficult to understand that our bodies and environment around us react to the vibrational energy associated with the words we speak.  Words with a high vibrational energy, create additional energy, success and momentum.  Conversely, words with low vibrational energy, beget more low energy and a momentum deficit.  

As I stated above, our words have the power to strengthen or weaken us.  Whether you realize it or not, as an investigator you use this to your advantage all the time.  Deceptive words are among those with a low vibrational energy.  The drop in vibrational energy weakens the speaker.  The Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA) measures and graphs the weakened vibration energy in our voice, or the Frequency Modulation of the micro muscle tremors in our voice box.  The graph is very similar to that of an EKG measuring the strength of our heart muscle.  The stronger the heartbeat, the sharper the spike on the graph.
A similar graph appears on the CVSA chart.  When the muscles in the voice box are strong, we see a sharp spike in the graph.  When the muscles are weakened from a deceptive answer, the graph reflects a flattened or weakened pattern. 
The scientific evidence above is nothing short of amazing!  Words are powerful. Good or bad, they create a physiological change in all of us.  You have the advantage if you understand this in depth and know how to use it.  What I have touched upon in this article is only the beginning.  Whatever you do, keep practicing the principles you have learned in order to win the good fight.  If you desire more in-depth training, Peter Hyatt and I teach a one-of-a-kind to professional investigators and therapists.  We also have a talented team of investigators and analysts that meet each month online.  

There is a book I highly recommend for everyone.  It will be especially significant to those that already understand the power of words.  It is called The Liberty of Our Language Revealed.  Once you read it, you will probably want copies for your family and friends.

Keep up the good work!

Steve Johnson is a retired police detective with over 30 years investigative experience, and the owner of Truth2Lies Analysis Group. He is a certified Statement Analyst and Certified Forensic Handwriting Analyst.  Instagram: Truth2LiesAnalysis