Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Statement Analysis: Troy Lyons, Maine Corrections Officer

Troy Lyons said he was assaulted while on duty October 29th, 2012, working as a corrections officer.  Police said it did not happen, and he self injured and has lied.  He was offered a polygraph and refused. 
Statement Analysis gets to the truth.  Did the assault really happen?
Statement Analysis is in bold type with emphasis added to the italics.  

The Expected:

In Statement Analysis, we deal with the "unexpected."  We first set up what we expect to hear; we put ourselves in the shoes of the subject.  We expect him to tell the truth.  If we do not hear the simple and expected, we are 'surprised' and analyze the words.  
This is how deception is detected.  
What we listen for is the officer tell us that it happened, using the pronoun, "I", a past tense verb, and address the issue specifically.  Because his account has been called a story:  We look for him to then say, "I told the truth." 
These simple words are avoided by the deceitful and are used, easily and often, by the truthful.  
Q.  Why should we believe you?
A.  Because I told the truth. 
This is the expected.  He should simply say what happened, without story telling, vague language, or passivity. 
Passive language is used to conceal identity or responsibility. 
"I heard a gun shot and saw my husband lying in a pool of blood on the floor."
This is a truthful statement but it omits that she fired the gun. 
"There was a struggle and the gun went off..."  Guns do not go off, people pull triggers. 
He should not tell us what did not happen, what was not thought, and so forth. 
The Form  

We will also test his statement on its form.  
A truthful statement will dedicate the most number of lines (or words) to what happened.  The percentage is:  
25% of the words or lines used will describe what happened leading up to the assault
50% of the words will be dedicated to the actual assault. It is the most important part of the account and anything close to 50% should be considered reliable. 
25% of the words will be about what happened afterwards, such as calling 911, or getting help.  
Truthful people dedicate the most words (or lines) to the actual event, since that is the most important part of the account. 
Deceptive people overwhelmingly (85% or more) dedicate more words (or lines) to the introduction.  This appears to be a 'delay' or an 'avoidance' in getting to the event, which, if deceptive, causes internal stress. 
Let us see if the words of Troy Lyons show truth or deception.  

Here is his account:  
It was the night of Hurricane Sandy, and there were high winds,” Lyons said Monday. “I was outside making a cellphone call to my girlfriend, saying goodnight to her as I do every night, and I saw a shadow on the side of the fence. I walked around, through a bunch of obstructions, but didn’t see anything. Then I looked up and got hit, and went down, and I remember hearing a car squealing off.

An assault is very personal, and will have sensory detail to it.  Note:
1.  "It was the night..." uses "it was", which is passive language and more used in story telling.
2.  Note the additional language:  "making a cellphone call"; we sometimes see the use of additional, or needless language, in an attempt to persuade
3.  "saying goodnight" is also needless. He may not have introduced her because she may not want her name in the press.  
4.  "as I  do every night" is the same as "normal", which is a signal that this was not the norm, but rather story telling. 
5.  "but didn't see anything":  also makes for good story telling but it is not what honest people report.  In an assault, victims tell us what happened and what they saw. 
6. "and got it" is passive language.  Passivity is used to conceal identity or responsibility.  
“I was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” the corrections officer said. I don’t know if someone was trying to throw some contraband over the fence, or what. I spooked somebody, and then they clocked me. I had lacerations to my face and injuries to my shoulder and the muscles in my chest, and my knee keeps popping out.”
He does not connect himself to the assault:  Instead, he uses story telling language. He should tell us what he knows, and not what he does not know.  
Asked what possible motive Lyons would have for injuring himself, Smith said Lyons had used up all his sick leave and vacation days.
That’s bull,” Lyons said Monday. “I’ve worked there 12 years, and I was just promoted to sergeant in April. When this happened I had 24 hours of vacation time, eight hours of sick leave and two days of comp time.”
If "that" is bull, it indicates there is a "this" that is the actual reason.  This is a good  place to say "I told the truth" but he avoids it.  
Police offered him a polygraph so that he could assert this as truthful.  
The refusal to polygraph gave police the confidence to go public.  
Remember the recent article:  This and That?
When someone says that they did not do "that", it indicates that there is a "this" to the account. 
Johnny came home from school and his mother said, "The teacher called and said you ran up to Sally, pulled her hair, and knocked her to the ground!"
Johnny said, "I didn't do that."  The key word is "that." 
Mother: "What did you do, then, Johnny?"
Johnny said, "I didn't run up to her, I was right next to her."  He had pulled her hair and knocked her to the ground but could say "I didn't do that" indicting that there was a "this" that he did do.  
I live in Lubec, and, from what people have heard and read, my name is mud,” Lyons said Monday. “People come up to me and call me a liar. It’s been a very emotional strain. My injuries are healed, and nothing restricts me from going back to work, but they don’t want me back.”
This is the perfect place for him to say he is not a liar and "I told the truth" but he does not.  
Testing a Statement By its Form 
There is another aspect of Statement Analysis that can be applied to his statement:

Testing a statement on its form. 
A truthful statement will be:
1.  25% introduction
2.  50% event
3.  25% post event
Most deceptive statements, on their form, will be heavily weighted in the introduction.  

He uses 59 words in his introduction
He uses  5 words for the assault
He uses 8 words to describe what happened after the assault. 

Total words used  72 

Introduction:   82%
Event:                  7%
Post Event:        11%  
On its form:   Deception Indicated. 

Analysis Conclusion:

Police are correct.  Troy Lyons is deceptive about what happened
on the night he reported being assaulted.  

The deception is indicated by both the language and the form of the statement. 


Skeptical said...

I've always wanted to start a story with, "It was a dark and stormy night...". Troy Lyons beat me to it.

Anonymous said...

Ha. That's funny Skeptical! Remember in the movie (can't think of the name of it), how the old lady started a paragraph for her son's writer friend when he had a writer's block, using those same words? Great movie!

Back to the article, I haven't read all of it but I do know that I would run to have a polygraph in a New York minute. The only thing is; LE could use their own, but I would take an atty with me and insist that he review the questions first. Also, I would want the atty to investigate the background of the one administering the polygraph to make sure he/she is ethical in every way and has had no complaints made against them.

I know that you can't trust just anybody and everybody; people DO get framed, and I would never allow myself to get caught up in any legal situation where I was being manipulated or led into a trap by someone who knows the legal ramifications and I don't.

I have an atty review every legal circumstance and contract I am involved in, including even a traffic ticket; but I would ignore legal advice in something so vital as a polygraph? Ain't no way!


Anonymous said...

Anon @ 7:17; there are already baby bunting sleeping bags on the market and they are WAY less expensive than these. Also have arms and hand covers attached and yours don't.

Babies get wet overnight and have to be changed. Imagine how much it would cost at your prices to furnish enough changes for an infant or toddler, when the one you offer is not even as practical.

Oh well, did I see that your post has been removed? REB

Anonymous said...


Two students shot during burglary.

This case seems awfully hinky to me.

'I want him dead,' the complaint quoted Smith as telling an investigator.

C5H11ONO said...

From my Peter Hyatt Statement Analysis notes:
The presence of the word pager, phone, telephone, cell phone in a story is an indication of deception. It usually means the person is tied to the crime scene.

I believe he got "clocked" alright. I believe that there was "contraband" involved too. I think he was trying to take away someone's contraband and got beat up. The beating must have warranted him to have to explain that he was attacked. Since the ones that were involved in the actual "contrabanding" can't come out and speak up and say, "Hey! He was trying to steal our dope and we beat him!" he can come out and say that he was assaulted without the true witnesses speaking up. He brought up the word contraband into his short tale and there is a reason.

cuckoohead said...

There are a kazillion other places to unload, distribute or deliver 'contraband'. I don't care how crazed the 'contrabanders' are nobody picks the back of the county jail to commit a criminal exchange when a dark, quiet, dirt country road, leading to nowhere will work just as nicely, with a great deal of more certainty of not being interrupted or found out. But Troy Lyons needed the 'assault' to occur on the job so he could milk the system for damages.

Mr. Lyon knows that lie detector will prove what his fellow officers have learned over the years...Mr Lyon's has no one elses back except his own and uses the system to enrich himself. I hope the state is able to file charges against this parasite.

cuckoohead said...

PS. I forgot the rest of this saga. Performing some nefarious, criminal act behide the county jail with a raging HURRICANE blowing winds and torrential rain during this, um, exchange of goods.

Lyons kissed the blarney stone once too often...

Anonymous said...

Cuckoohead, you made some excellent points, even laughable; however, I just wanted to mention that many members of LE (and others) have committed criminal offenses right outside the police precinct! Even inside.

This could have been the perfect set up for him, being on duty at the time, had he not gotten injured with no witnesses; then he goes to plan B so he can get some disability. Idiot.

Katprint said...

+1 to Skeptical

In law school (and subsequently among criminal defense attorneys) it is a running joke about how many of cases in the criminal law textbooks start out along the lines of "It was a dark and stormy night, and the defendant had been drinking."

Troy Lyons tells us that he DOESN'T KNOW "if someone was trying to throw some contraband over the fence." I wonder if maybe Troy Lyons was drinking or smoking some "contraband" (word introduced into the statement by Troy himself) on the job - for medicinal purposes or to keep warm, lol - while he was outside talking to his girlfriend. Maybe he really did hurt himself falling down while drunk or intoxicated.

Perhaps the story was initially intended to explain why the contraband or its container were discovered nearby i.e. to persuade the listener that it was thrown there by an attacker rather than having been brought there by Troy himself. This would also explain his inclusion of the irrelevant "high winds" which could be blamed for the contraband blowing into or away from the relevant area. If contraband were found near Troy then it must have been blown there by the high winds (as opposed to Troy attempting to discard it to avoid being caught in possession of it.) If no contraband is found, thus contradicting the only stated motive for the attack, then it must have been blown away by the high winds.

Troy's statement "I saw a shadow on the side of the fence" is a first person, past tense, definitive statement. He goes on to say that he "didn't see anything" else while he was walking around after seeing the shadow. I bet he really DID see a shadow on the side of the fence - his own shadow.

Katprint said...

Gack, can't edit my post to clarify.

The importance of my post about Troy including what he "DOESN'T KNOW" in his statement is not to contradict prior posts about the foolishness of pitching contraband over the fence near the jail or to defend Troy's hedging. I meant to point out that his including information about what he "DOESN'T KNOW" is an indicator of deception / intent to persuade rather than simply describing what actually happened.

Tania Cadogan said...

My next story starts with

"It was the epitome of cakey yumminess"

Tania Cadogan said...

I don't know abous US street vernacular,in the UK clocked can have several meanings.

1) I clocked he was looking at me - clocked meaning to see, i saw, etc.

2) clocked him in the face - clocked meaning to hit or strike.
To begin at the beginning, "clock" has been slang for the human face since the mid-nineteenth century, based on its supposed resemblance to the face of a clock. "Clock" as a verb has also been slang for "to punch in the face or strike violently" since the early 20th century, again based on the clock-face metaphor.

3) I clocked out - signed out from work, I dates back to when people had to punch their cards to show when they arrived at work and when they left.

4) I was clocked at 45mph - This comes from when LEused stopwatches to time the speed of a vehicle between 2 marked points. They work use the time taken over distance travelled to work out the speed of the vehicle.

No wonder english is one of the hardest languages to learn :)

Tania Cadogan said...

breaking news in the UK

Police have acknowledged for the first time that the late politician Sir Cyril Smith sexually and physically abused young boys in the 1960s.

Smith, who was elected to Parliament in 1972, was dogged by rumours of abuse throughout his career but charges were never brought.

But both Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have now said that if Smith had been accused today he would be charged and prosecuted.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said: "We are now in a position to say that on three separate occasions, files were passed to first the Director of Public Prosecutions and then the CPS containing details of abuse committed by Smith, but on each occasion no prosecution was pursued.

"Having now reviewed those decisions, we believe that if the same evidence was presented to the CPS today there would have been a very realistic prospect that Smith would have been charged with a number of indecent assaults, and that the case would have been brought to trial.

"Clearly that is a bold statement to make but it is absolutely important for those victims who were abused by Smith that we publicly acknowledge the suffering they endured."

An investigation was carried out by Lancashire Police in the late 1960s into Smith's actions at the Cambridge House Hostel, a privately-run care home in Rochdale.

The investigating officer presented details of allegations made by eight youths to the DPP and concluded Smith had indecently assaulted young boys, but the DPP recommended no prosecution be pursued.

All the boys were either living at Cambridge House or were dependent on Smith for either employment, financial support or guardianship.

The allegations were set out in 80 pages of evidence that was supplied to the then DPP Sir Norman Skelhorn with a covering note dated 11 March 1970.

The only documentation of the decision making is a one page letter to the Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary. It is dated 19 March, 1970, and reads: "I have considered your file and I observe that eight young men, whose ages range from nineteen to twenty-four years, allege that between 1961 and 1966 Smith subjected them to various forms of indecency and I also observe that Smith denies their allegations.

"Any charges of indecent assault founded on these allegations, as well as being somewhat stale, would be, in my view, completely without corroboration. Further, the characters of some of these young men would be likely to render their evidence suspect."

Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor for CPS North West, said: "The decision made in 1970 would not be made by the CPS today.

"Any victims considering coming forward should not be dissuaded by the decisions of the past."

Smith, who died in 2010, served as the Liberal and later Liberal Democrat MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992.

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: "All accusations against Cyril Smith should have been investigated thoroughly with the authorities taking whatever action they thought necessary.

"Any new allegations being made should also be investigated by the police."


Jen said...

I think it's very possible that 'contraband' (as introduced by the 'victim' in his statement) is a pivotal part of this event. It's possible that this guard was part of a contraband smuggling operation at the jail and that would be the reason it's no coincidence that these injuries occurred where no cameras are active and the guard went to investigate alone. He may well have been assaulted by whoever was delivering the 'contraband' and of course he can't tell the truth about that so he claims he didn't see the attacker and doesn't know why he was 'clocked'.

Prisoners can get most anything they want in jail from fast food to cell phones & drugs for the right $, and in most cases theres a 'dirty' guard that makes that possible. I used to work as a technician for a laboratory that processed all of the local prisons outgoing labs and there once was a huge lockdown and full scale investigation into how Mcdonalds cheeseburgers were getting into the jail! I carried a cooler for the samples, and from that point forward, every time I came in I had to open it and allow it to be searched for elicit McContraband, lol!

Mainah said...

When this happened I had 24 hours of vacation time, eight hours of sick leave and two days of comp time.”

^ Wow! I think I found something truthful he stated. I noticed now he uses "this" and not "that" when referring to "it" aka: the attck (that never was...)

Mainah said...

After 12 years employ you ought to have accumulated more than 3 vacation days earned, 1 day of sick time. He don't like working is my guess. He'd rather be chillin' with his girlfriend maybe.

I picked up on "I was at the wrong place..." Might this be an embedded clue? Maybe he was not at his post, but in the "wrong place"? Perhaps he left with his girlfriend, or sat in a car and fought with her...? The "...hearing a car squealing off." Maybe his girlfriend's car after a fight?

Mainah said...

Skeptical, actually Angela Harry beat Troy Lyons to it...(Ayla Reynolds case).

Statement Analysis Blog said...

interesting that the phone tied him to the "scene of the crime."

good pick up, C5H!

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