Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"I Don't Remember" in An Open Statement

by Peter Hyatt

"I don't remember" in a court case is, according to Lie To me's author, Dr. Paul Ekman,   the number one lie told under oath.

However, in an open statement, it is something else:

In the free editing process, the subject is speaking freely, choosing his own words outside the influence of the interviewer.  In this open statement, the words "I don't remember" are a signal that information is being suppressed by the subject.

Q.  Why?

A.   Because in an open statement, the subject can only tell us what he remembers.  When he uses "I don't remember" or "I forgot", he is concealing information from us.  The interview process means:

taking note of where, in the story, this entered, and asking appropriate questions, focusing upon that time period of suppressed information.

If he says, in the open statement, that he was drunk and does not know something, he again is saying "I don't remember" while he should only be telling us what he does remember, therefore, it is a signal that he is surpressing information.

"I don't remember" or "I don't recall" is appropriately used when a specific question is asked.  There are lots of things we do not remember, including what we had for lunch a week ago last Tuesday.

It is when the subject is speaking freely and brings up the issue on his own.  This is what one does not remember, stating openly.

How can we know what we do not remember?

Let's go back to our lunch issue.

In the open statement, the subject should tell us what he remembers.  What if someone is freely speaking about his day last week and says that he does not remember what he had for lunch, even though he was not asked?

You might be able to picture this.

You might be able to say "I did such and such, but I don't remember what I did for lunch...and then..."

In the interview, I would pounce on the lunch period because the subject brought it up, indicating that it was on his mind, but then, in an open statement, declared not remembering.

I did not ask, "What did you have for lunch?" therefore, why is it important to the subject?

It is important and my interview will find out the reason why...I would focus my interview, not so much on lunch, but upon the time frame that the subject is referencing, to learn what information is 'leaking' from his brain.


REK said...

Holly Bobo found


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

OT: Here is a 6 1/2 min 911 call when an intruder breaks into a woman's home. She ends up shooting him while on the phone with 911. No greeting. Short direct sentences except when she's confused and shaken after he attacked her and she shot him. You can hear the urgency in her voice when she's pleading for officers to get there.


Unknown said...

Although I'm glad she has been found, I feel so terrible for Holly Bobo's family.

The last few months, as people have come forward to reveal the alleged details of her abduction and torture, I imagine her family still held out some hope that it was all bluster and boasting by criminals with an agenda.

Holly is gone, and her family must mourn her. Sadly, they are also now faced with the knowledge that a GROUP of people apparently knew of her fate, yet did and said nothing, until it benefited them.

I'm saddened for Holly's family, and for the entire community.

Sus said...

I'm glad they found Holly Bobo and though it took awhile, seem to have her murder solved with five arrests. I am sad to think of what Holly went through. I hope her family can find some level of peace.

Lara Martinez said...


I have a question about the use of water in a statement... the boyfriend of a missing woman stated that he last saw her at her house when she was "bathing our son in the kitchen sink and it was dirty" and this sparked an argument and he left. Her infant was later found dead in the bathtub upstairs and the house was destroyed by a fire.

Since it was the action that took place (bathing), does it still have the same treatment in analysis that we use when water is mentioned?

Thanks! *this is the Joey Lynn Offutt case


seanacyblue said...

OT, Peter I have a question. In doing statement analysis, if English is the second language and some languages don't have past or future tense, do the same principals of Statement Analysis apply?

Buckley said...

Strange case. I wish we had statements of the boyfriend Alexis. A couple of sources say she's the one who left after the argument about bathing in the sink.

Sus said...

Shut up!!! Fool

Sus said...


Sus said...

That's a good boy!

Anonymous said...

ALL languages have past/future tense.No wonder people such as sus,hate stupid bastards such as you.No wonder wild dingos chomp up gypsies.Get an education you dumb pathetic rat faced putrid fart hole.Ffs this an"Educated""blog"NOT a place for you...your fangs,or your Islamic bile.

Anonymous said...

Peter looks sexy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Unknown said...

Are there any statements from the players in this case? I believe I watched a Dateline/48hrs, or maybe an ID show about this case?

Very strange disappearance, and it seems like they suggested that maybe she was responsible for the baby's death, due to post-partum? I'm just going off my memory, so if I'm thinking of the wrong case I apologize!