The Disappearance of David Hartley
by Peter Hyatt
Analysis Question: Has the subject truthfully reported what happened to her husband, David Hartley?
This would mean that she told the truth, and the complete truth in reported what happened, and did not withhold information.
This would mean that she told the truth, and the complete truth in reported what happened, and did not withhold information.
Background: On September 30, 2010, Tiffany Hartley made a 911 call. She began the call with, “hello” and told the 911 operator that her husband had been shot while on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake, in Texas.
Shortly after, she contacted the Denver Post and gave her story to them. She reported that she and her husband, David Hartley, were moving from Texas back to Colorado, and went out for a last visit to Falcon Lake, where David wanted to take pictures of a church which, on the Mexican side, was under water.
It was on the lake, she said, that Mexican pirates opened fire on her and her husband, while they were on jet skis, knocking him into the air. While they continued to fire upon her, she drove her jet ski to her injured husband, who lay floating face down, hit by gun fire to the head, and was forced, she said, to leave him to die, in order to save her own life.
After contacting the Denver Post, she began to show up on various news programs, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, On the Record with Greta Van Sustren, and upon each network news program, where, each morning and evening, the hosts declared her to be a hero, who courageously drove directly into oncoming bullets in an attempt to save her dying husband.
Gov. Perry from Texas declared her a hero and renewed his call for the border to be secured. Hartley’s family called upon President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to make our border with Mexico a priority.
Gov. Perry stated that anyone who questioned Tiffany Hartley’s account needed to be “ashamed” of himself. Sheriff Ziggy Gonzalez, the chief law enforcement official from Falcon Lake Texas declared that Tiffany Hartley was 100% truthful, and that he saw “no need” for her to be polygraphed after Mexican officials expressed doubt over her story. As more challenges arose in media, the sheriff refused to polygraph her. This raised the question of whether or not he would polygraph a man who came ashore claiming his wife had been shot by Mexican pirates.
Then, one of the investigators into David Hartley’s disappearance was found be-headed in Mexico. This came just after the investigator told media that two brothers were wanted in Hartley’s disappearance, as well as other drug related murders.
The news programs announced that this was evidence that Tiffany Hartley’s story was credible and that she was a young, courageous victim. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, and CNN all declared her story to be credible and that the unfortunate death of the investigator was “proof” that Tiffany told the truth.
Mexican prosecutors, however, stated that the investigator had acted on his own, and that the brothers he named as suspects, were not suspects in David Hartley’s disappearance, but were wanted in other drug related killings, suggesting that the investigator used the Hartley disappearance as an attempt to put pressure on US law enforcement to help bring in the two brothers.
The following are interviews Tiffany Hartley gave shortly after reporting her husband had been shot and killed by Mexican pirates. Your analysis follows.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tiffany, what happened?
This is the best open ended question. It allows the subject to answer any way she wants, in particular, it allows the subject to start the event at her own starting point. In this type of open ended question, the first sentence is always important as it can show priority. Expected is the immediate, "My husband, David, was shot and killed..."
TIFFANY HARTLEY: David and I were on the Mexico side taking pictures. And we were heading back. Just had some boats come after us and started chasing us and started shooting at us. I had several bullets going over me and hitting behind me. And I looked back and David was hit.
Instead of starting with her husband being shot, her first sentence is concerned with her location: geography.
1. This sets priority.
It is critical to the subject that she establishes that she was on the "Mexico side" (not the "Mexican side") which means that it is up to Mexican officials to investigate, not US officials. She would later go on to say that she did not want to return to Mexico because she feared arrest. The priority is her location: she was not on the U.S. side, where they would have jurisdiction to investigate.
2. The word, "And" indicates that there is a continual thought connecting her first sentence to her second, but the information is missing. Between the word "pictures" and "And", there is missing information.
3. Note "we were heading back" sounds like story telling, rather than reporting.
4. "Just" is a word which reduces or minimizes an event via the means of comparison. "The car costs just..." means that the price of the car is attractive when compared to something else. Why would the 'murder' of her husband cause her to use the word "just" as if to minimize it?
5. "Just had some boats" has no pronoun. She did not say "we had some boats...." or even "we just had some boats...", but without the pronoun, she distances herself from the event. In only these few words, we have two issues associated with "just" that cause us to seek to learn if this is deceptive.
6. "some boats": Note that her story had already been reported and that pirates in boats chased them and shot him was already announced. "Some" boats sound like just any boats out there, rather than something up close and very personal.
7. "Just had some boats come" uses the present tense verb, "come", reducing reliability. Already in her answer, we can indicate deception. It was a past event and it should have been reported as such.
8. Chronological order: When someone recalls from memory, Mark Mcclish describes it this way: It should be like a parade of events passing before their eyes, moving in chronological order. Here she says:
"Just had some boats come after us" which puts the boats in motion in the present tense, but then she says,
"started chasing us..." which she reported already;
9. Activities Begun: Take careful note when someone reports activities that are begun, but without completion:
"started chasing us" instead of "chased us" and
"started shooting at us" instead of "shot at us"
The past tense verbs show commitment to memory and the lack indicates that she is not committed to her account, which resembles story telling rather than a truthful account, in the past tense, from experiential memory.
This is why she refused to take a polygraph.
10. "several bullets"
Instead of saying she was fired on and missed "I had several bullets going over me and hitting behind me" uses additional language, which is unnecessary and sounds dramatic. This is supposed to be a report of her husband being murdered and she has not gotten to it yet. Someone on a jet ski, being chased by boats, would not likely think of the number of bullets ("several") and their locations.
11. And I looked back and David was hit
She has yet to say her husband was murdered.
"And" indicates missing information.
"I looked back" shows concern over her positioning.
12. Passivity "David was hit" is unexpected. Her husband was reported murdered. Passivity in language indicates, often, a concealing of responsibility. Since her husband was murdered, we should now wonder if the passive "David was hit" indicates that she knows who shot him, yet, he was only "hit" still; and not shot.
She was asked about the "Mexican pirates" as they were in a known drug area. She later said that David knew it was a known drug area, but took her anyway. She said that David even talked to her about the possibility of being kidnapped! This part of her story did not likely sit well with David's family as she portrayed him as someone so incredibly selfish that he was willing to put his wife in harm's way just to get pictures.
Well, after we had taken the pictures at the church, we were on our way out when we saw a boat outside of this little brush area that was underwater.
Her husband was murdered, but it was just "a" boat. In spite of being prepared for possible kidnapping and violence, he got his pictures.
Always take note when one claims to have seen, or thought, or heard, for another. It is usually an indication that there is a 'need to share' in affirming an activity: it is weak. The subject does not want to say "I saw", so she reaches for the weaker, "we saw", as if to make it sound like there is another eye witness, not just her own testimony. This is indicated as weak.
When we were coming out, we saw them. They just waved at us, like we were -- you know, friendly, very friendly wave. We were on our way -- so we just continued, took a few more pictures, continued out. And we were, I don`t know, maybe halfway to the U.S. I can`t really give you a great idea of where exactly.
Here the subject feels the need to share everything; every thought, opinion, vision, etc. She even stayed with the plural regarding taking pictures.
"Friendly" is sensitive, as seen through repetition. Note the broken sentence:
"They just waved at us like we were..." and stops herself. What was she going to say? Was she going to say "like we were friends?" This would support Pat Brown's assertion that David and Tiffany went deliberately to purchase drugs and it went bad.
"So we just continued" tells us "why" they did something, yet it does not have anything within the text that would indicate a need to explain why. This is a point of sensitivity as she has a need to explain, rather than report what happened.
Note "you know" increases sensitivity as she considers the interviewer's presence at this point.
Note her last sentence in terms of how many sensitivity indicators are there regarding location:
I can't "really" give you a "great" idea of where "exactly": Deception indicated. She knows the exact location and could not bring herself to say "I don't know where we were." Three qualifiers in one sentence.
VAN SUSTEREN: Were you riding side by side at the time you were flag or was he behind you? What happened?
Since the subject was committed to talking about the locations of each of them, the Interviewer goes with her. She had to "look back" to see that he was hit. Pat Brown had said that if this was really on land, and not on water, the story works where she ran and looked back.
TIFFANY HARTLEY: He was between me and the boats. So he was keeping himself between me and the three boats that were shooting.
Another sensitivity indicator: "so" explains why she did something.
Please note that it was not someone who shot her husband, but three boats were shooting. If we take the passive reference above, "David was hit" which passivity is used to conceal responsibility; along with the sensitive "friendly, very friendly", and now that "three boats" are shooting, it is likely that she knows who shot her husband and is deceptively attempting to portray the shooter as someone unknown, even assigning responsibility to boats shooting.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did they say anything to you these people? Did they ever get close enough to say anything to you?
Compound question: did they say anything? did they get close enough?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: No, they didn't.
We cannot be certain which one she is answering.
VAN SUSTEREN: Had you seen them before the encounter?
This is a "yes or no" question for the subject herself. It is the easiest of which to lie.
TIFFANY HARTLEY: No. We haven't seen any boats from the time that we had launched to the time that we were at the church.
Deception indicated. She answered the question, "no" but then betrayed her answer by not answering the question:
"we haven't seen any boats":
1. "we" and not "I". The question is directed to her. She can only conclusively answer for herself. She cannot say that she knows all that David did not see. David is dead.
2. "haven't" is present tense
3. "any boats" not any of the shooters or people involved. This tripped her up later as well.
Instead of saying "I did not see any of them" she is deceptive.
VAN SUSTEREN: So, as you are fleeing, bullets are flying, you look at your husband, is that right?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: Yes, I saw two shots hit next to me. And I looked back at my husband, that's when I saw, that he was flying over the jet ski.
Note that while on a jet ski, at a high speed, being chased with bullets flying behind her, she "saw" "two" shots; even able to know the number.
"And" indicates missing information here.
Note that he is not David, but "my husband" here. What caused the change?
Note that he "was flying" and not "he flew".
She was able to see all of this, looking backwards, while operating a jet ski at high speed. She does not use plain language, and cannot use past tense language, establishing commitment because she is not speaking from memory.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did you do next?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: I turned around to go help him, see if I could get him back on my jet ski and get out of there.
Here, instead of telling what she did, she has the need to tell not only what she did, but the reason why she did it. The question is plain and open: What did you do next? When someone tells us why they did something, they are telling us more than what we asked for. This is sensitive information.
Why would a wife of a shot man need to tell us why she turned around? Why would she feel the need to tell us she went to help him after he was hit?
This did not proceed from memory.
VAN SUSTEREN: When you were doing that, when you were attempting to help your husband, where were those other boats?
Since they were "chasing" her and "shooting" at her, and they were going at high speed. Now when she stops, it would be that the "three" speeding boats would catch her. But this would not work for her heroine of the story, so their positioning changes in mid story:
TIFFANY HARTLEY: Two were in front of me quite a ways away. One actually came up to my boat, my jet ski, and they pointed the gun at me. They were talking amongst each other and pointed it back at me. Then they decided to leave. ...
Deception indicated. Here she cannot keep her story straight and is caught.
Note the change of language:
One came up to my boat. The "boat" is changed to "jet ski". This should cause the investigators to learn if she and David had approached drug dealers in a boat or were taken to dealers via a boat and something went wrong.
Note that pronouns are never wrong. When pronouns are "wrong" it is deception indicated:
"They" (more than one; not singular) pointed "the gun", (singular) at "me."
Were more than one pirate all holding the same gun? Note that "the" gun rather than "a" gun. Oops. First comes the introduction with the word "a" gun; and then comes the article, "the" after recognition.
The two types of speech exempt from Personal Internal Subjective Dictionary are:
Pronouns and Articles.
They never lie.
They are never wrong.
Deception is indicated.
"They were talking amongst each other" indicates that they were close enough for her to hear them, even though above she was not close enough to talk to them. This is simply the error that liars make in being unable to keep track of their lies. Talking amongst each other is casual listening of casual conversations, yet she heard them. This is another indication that she is withholding the identity of the shooter.
"and pointed it back at me" Who? They pointed it? Did they still have a single gun and now pointed it back "again"? She has utterly lost track of her story because it did not happen.
"Then they decided to leave" indicates that she knows that while they were "talking among themselves" she knew what they were thinking: she could tell they made a decision. How could she know?
Instead of reporting what happened, such as "they left", the extra words give us additional information: she was privy to their conversations.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you say anything to them?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: And meet up with the other two boats.
She even knew their plans.
Is it possible that David Hartley's family could listen to this and not know she was lying? It may be that they now know the truth and let the story go due to the drug purchasing.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you say anything to them?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: Yes, I told them please don't shoot, don't shoot.
And the ruthless, decapitating killers, who fired many shots, scoring a direct head shot on David, while in motion on a boat, in choppy waters, also just missed all of the shots on her, but then found it in their hearts to not shoot her. Could Greta Van Sustren buy this?
VAN SUSTEREN: At that point your husband was there. Was he within reach of you?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: I had a hold of him and I had a hold of my ski. We were both in the water, at that time
It was a "jet ski" and then it was a "boat" and now it is a "ski": a change of language should reflect a change in reality. If it doesn't, deception is indicated.
VAN SUSTEREN: So how did you get away? If you got in other boat, and you are hanging on to your husband, hanging on to the jet ski, what happened?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: After I told them please don't shoot, they left and went with the other two boats. I got on my boat and I was trying to pull him up on my ski. And I couldn't get him up. I felt like God was telling me I had to go otherwise I wasn't going to make it out. I had to go past them. So I got on my ski and I had to leave David behind.
There are many signals of deception in this answer:
1. They "left"; with "left" being highly sensitive with missing information
2. They not only left, but they "went with the other boats" would indicate knowledge. Did she watch the one boat pull away, and go to meet the other boats, and then on to another location? All this while holding her 200lb+ husband with one hand, while on her "boat", "ski" "jet ski" with the other hand, after being composed enough to "tell" them not to shoot, please not to shoot?
3. Note she got on her "boat"; change of language.
4. Note next she tried to pull him on her "ski"; change of language.
5. "And" has missing information (lots of it)
6. Note inclusion of what she felt: that is, her emotions are in the "logical" or "perfect" place in the story; something that does not happen in reality (in reality, it takes time to process emotions, which is why, in truthful statements, emotions are found after the event, but in story telling, the emotions are in the "high point" of the story, grabbing the listener's interest)
7. Note inclusion of divinity in her story: this shows the need for Divine witness, a weakness
8. "Otherwise" is the same as "so, since, therefore, because" as it is "because" if she did not leave, she would die: the center hero of the story.
9. Not only did she have to survive, and she had God talking to her...all after she survived the hail of gunfire that got her husband in the head; now she had to drive right back into the killing boats: "I had to go past them"
10. "So" indicates need to explain her actions, indicating sensitivity. Now that she is leaving him, he is "David"making "leaving" highly sensitive to the subject.
Overwhelmingly deceptive story.
Later, she gave the description that sounded exactly like the movie, "Titanic" where Rose leaves Leo.
"I felt like God was telling me..."
Always note Divinity used to justify actions.
VAN SUSTEREN: You actually drove towards those boats?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: Yes. I had to drive towards boats, go past them to get to safety.
VAN SUSTEREN: How close did you get to them when you drove past them?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: I honestly have no idea. I didn't look at them. I just drove and went as fast as my jet ski could go.
"honestly" have "no idea" is not credible.
note that she reports what she didn't do.
Note "just" as comparison and reduction.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did you think the motive was?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: Who knows? We have no idea. Most likely they just wanted money, which we don't carry on our -- with us. And it could have turned to both of us dying or me getting kidnapped, I don't know. We have no idea what the motive was.
1. Note when someone asks a question in a response, it is very sensitive. She asks "who knows?" when she is supposed to be in "past tense mode" which would cause me to ask:
To whom is this question directed?
I cannot help but wonder if she was asking this question to herself? Who knows the truth? What do they know? What can they figure out?
But then notice "we" have no idea. David is dead. Who is "we"? Since the pronouns never lie, we can safely assume that she knows exactly why he was shot. Why would she even say "we" since she was, allegedly, the only survivor of the Americans who can tell why?
2. "We" (whoever that is) has no idea. Next, she gives us her idea: they just wanted money. This means she was not truthful when she said "we have no idea."
3. Note about money: "which we don;t carry on our, with us." is a broken sentence = missing information and it is in the present tense.
It is likely that when they went to buy drugs, they were robbed. She did not say "we did not carry money on us" committing herself to the statement, but went to the present tense to avoid lying.
4. She could have been kidnapped, she said, she does not know. After giving us ideas on motive (money) she reaffirms that "we" have "no idea" indicating that she is lying, again.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nikki, there has been a suggestion by the investigator in Mexico and the D.A. that they don't buy this story is your thought about this?
NIKKI HARTLEY, SISTER OF MISSING JET SKIER: We don't believe it for a minute. We believe everything that we have heard from Tiffany. We've never doubted that and we stand behind her 120 percent more than we can say there was never a question or thought that ever crossed our mind and it never will.
Note the sensitivity of "120 %", and "never doubted", "never a question" and "never a thought" which is in the plural: speaking for the family, she knows they have never even had a thought of doubt:
This shows that there are those in the family who saw through this easily discernible lie.
TIFFANY HARTLEY: Today I have met with the Mexican consulate.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did they ask you, Tiffany?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: Same thing everyone else is asking me, just the story, what happened. And they are sending my story (and) document to Mexico City and also to whoever it needs to go to so they can do what needs to be done.
Note that it goes from "just" "the story", separate from "what happened" but then there is a change: it is now "my story" being sent. Rather than what happened, or even the truth, it is her "story" with possessive pronoun.
note that "so" indicates sensitivity about what they are going to do with her story.
Tiffany Hartley refused to take a polygraph. Tiffany Hartley has steadfastly refused to take a polygraph.
VAN SUSTEREN: Tiffany, have they indicated that they have fully exhausted the search of the area? Are they actively looking for your husband?
TIFFANY HARTLEY: I don't know if they are actively looking right now. But with that documentation they can at least start doing what they need to do and connecting with the federal police and whoever they need to. I believe that they are going do what it takes as of right now.
This next section affirms the deception and is difficult for most to understand how an interviewer can miss the lie:
When Hartley appeared on the Anderson Cooper show, she was asked, “what happened?”
HARTLEY: There were three boats that were chasing us and then one boat came up to me and I saw two people in that boat. But there was a third or a fourth person in that boat. I just didn't see them.
Anderson Cooper did not ask how she was able to identify those she did not see. Here she has knowledge of how many were on the boat, while offering that she did not see one or two of them. This shows that she has more knowledge of what happened than she is willing to let on.
On another show, Tiffany Hartley was asked: What happened? It was difficult, especially in the first few appearances, to keep the story straight. As someone repeats a lie often enough, they will eventually use self-references such as "like I said" and "as I said before" indicating that they are not working from memory of what happened, but memory of what they said previously.
TIFFANY HARTLEY, WIDOWED:
But we saw three boats coming towards us, and as soon as they started coming towards us, we just kind of started leaving. We passed them, and then they started chasing us. And once they started chasing us, they started shooting, and I had seen two shots next to me on my left. And that`s when I looked back to check on David, and that`s when I saw that he had been thrown off and into the water facedown.
Here, they "kind of" "started" leaving. The "leaving" is sensitive.
Here, they "passed" them and then they started chasing. After the chasing came the shooting.
Please note that even again, she does not say "they chased us" and "they shot at us" but uses the description of activities begun, but not completed.
Note "I had seen" rather than "I saw"
Next, note that she has 4 qualifiers to the sentence: "I went back to him" It is rare to see more than one, but here she has 4 qualifiers attempting to persuade:
And I, of course, no questions asked, not even thinking, just went right back to him to make sure and check and see, check on him to make sure he was OK. When I flipped him over, he was shot in the head.
1. "of course
2. "no questions asked"
3. "not even thinking"
4. "right" back to him
This is like the person who says "I am very very very very happy" causing one to ask, in that non-Shakespearean, Shakespearan way "me thinks thou does protest too much" and ask:
Who are you trying to convince, you or me, that you are happy?
It is childish, cartoon like lying.
"to make sure" tells us why: attempt to persuade us that she cares for him.
Note that he was shot "when" she turned him over.
She cannot keep track of her lies.
And a boat came up to me and tried -- you know, I don’t know.
She stopped herself from telling us what the boat came up to her to do. Not a person, but a "boat"
They didn’t say anything to me,
Here she reports what was not said.
so I don’t know what they were trying to think
"So" indicates sensitivity but notice that she does not know, not what they were thinking, but what they were "trying" to think. This indicates that she was a part of a conversation, particularly, with the shooter.
or what they were doing, but they left. They just left me there.
There are two lefts here, making this highly sensitive. When there are too many lefts, we see a murder (see analysis on OJ Simpson in light of too many lefts). This means missing stories and they are sensitive. I cannot help but wonder if the murder was pre arranged.
Thankfully, they didn’t shoot at me. They had a gun pointed at me.
Not "shoot me" but "shoot at me"
Note "they" pointed "a" gun: are we to believe that two or more pirates held a single gun? This is the language that Tiffany Hartley chose.
And I tried getting David up on that -- on my Jet Ski, and then the three boats started heading back to me, and I just had to go. I just didn`t have enough time to get him up. And I just couldn`t do it, because he`s so much bigger than I am. That`s when I -- once I started...
"just didn't have enough time".
HARTLEY: Once I started heading back -- once I started heading back towards the U.S. side, they had shot a few more times at me.
Did she lose track of when they did not shoot at her and when they did? Did she stop counting the bullets flying by her?
Here is another comical lie, similar to Casey Anthony having "dead squirrels" climbing into her car:
I was on the side of my Jet Ski, between them and my Jet Ski. I was on the other side, so once I started to get going, I just went as fast as I could and didn`t look back until I couldn`t see them anymore.
Care to even attempt to explain this one?
She reports what she did not do: she did not look back
but only "until"
Until she could not see them "anymore"
Tiffany Hartley lied about what happened to her husband and rightfully feared prosecution in Mexico. She refused, repeatedly, to take a polygraph, and eventually, with increasing questions from media, abruptly stopped her public appearances and her 15 minutes of fame dried up.
David Hartley's family is left with accounts like these, knowing that she lied.
Does not David Hartley's family have a right to know what really happened?