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.
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.
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
Post Event: 11%
On its form: Deception Indicated.
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.