Questions to be answered by Statement Analysis:
1. Is Deborah Bradley truthful?
2. Is Jeremy Irwin truthful?
3. Does Philip Houston believe Deborah Bradley is truthful in her denial of involvement?
Here is part two of the analysis of the two answers given in the Baby Lisa case, by her parents, to which former CIA Philip Houston gave a shocking conclusion to when he credited Deborah Bradley with reliability in her answer.
Mr. Houston stated on Fox News that the mother of "missing" 11 month old Baby Lisa, was truthful when she said she was not involved in her daughter's disappearance.
Did Deborah Bradley actually say she had no involvement?
Touted by Fox News as the nations "Human Lie Detector", I take both answers, one from Bradley and one from Jeremy Irwin, (the father) regarding involvement, to see if Mr. Houston is correct. Fox News reported as if this one opinion will turn the case around. Let's see if it is true.
Please note that this case has been analyzed by me since 2011, and I have made the following conclusions:
1. Baby Lisa is dead
2. Baby Lisa died in the home that night
3. There was no kidnapping
4. Deborah Bradley was deceptive in her answers about what happened that night.
5. Jeremy Irwin was not involved in the disappearance/death of his daughter
6. Jeremy Irwin was later deceptive in his answers about what happened to his daughter, in protection of Deborah Bradley.
No one has been charged, and these are only my opinions based upon the language of both. Law Enforcement has not announced that Baby Lisa is dead, nor that the mother is responsible.
For more information about my analysis of this case, search on this blog under "Baby Lisa", as the mother has spoken extensively on television about the case. This posting is in response to a recent Fox News show which will air tonight, January 2, 2015 at 9PM EST, with the promotion showing Philip Houston asserting that Deborah Bradley was truthful in her denial of involvement.
Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwing were both asked about their possible involvement in the disappearance of Baby Lisa.
One allows for possible involvement while the other denies any possibility of involvement.
First, I look at the answer of Deborah Bradley, and then the answer of Jeremy Irwin.
I. Deborah Bradley's Response
"None. The only thing I did wrong...(pause) was drink that night, and um, possibly not be alert. (pause) Not hear. I'm sorry. "
This is a strong denial and had she left it at that, it would have appeared strong. Deceptive people, however, have a need to buttress their deceptive denial and persuade. It is this need to persuade that gives us the information before us.
Remember the case of the missing wife where the husband had gone "camping" in the middle of a snow storm, at midnight, with his two young sons?
Josh Powell was incredibly closed-mouthed and made it very difficult to get information from him. He rarely went before a camera, did not cooperate with police, and guilt surrounded him until Powell killed his sons and himself in a murder suicide. Susan Cox' remains were not found. Powell remains the rare exception to not talking.
We often count every word after the answer "no", and find weakness in the count, as the guilty subject feels the onus to "prove" innocence, where often the truly innocent (not just judicially innocent) feel that the onus is on others because, quite simply, they "didn't do it."
When asked, "What would you say if I told you that I thought you did it?" the one who did not do it will often say things like:
"You need a new job."
"I don't care what you say."
"I didn't do it; go bother someone else."
"You're lying. I know this because I didn't do it."
"I'd say you're an idiot."
As they speak, the produce the natural and easy reliable denial. They do not say,
"please be patient for the whole truth to come out" and other such things. There is no legal consequence for one to truthfully say, "I didn't do it."
Objection: Why don't we read more news stories that contain reliable denials?
Answer: Because media often drops a story when they hear someone say "I didn't do it" and sense the confidence in the answer. A news story is only interesting when the public gets "taunted" by the likes of:
Cindy Anthony: she was her best Public Relations professional. She antagonized the press with her responses.
How about the DA who said:
"Just because someone might have told some mistruths, doesn't make them a liar."
Cagey responses cause journalists to act like sharks smelling blood and they go after the story, therefore, you and I end up reading about it. Liars insult us and liars fascinate us and liars sell news.
When Justin DiPietro was asked about his response to his polygraph, he said he "smoked it", which grabbed our attention. (One was tempted to ask if he had a prescription for this)
When his sister was asked about her results she said, "The results were fine."
This caused the journalist to ask again, to which she, again, replied, "fine."
Seeing that she was unable to give a reliable answer, she was asked a third time.
Deceptive answers, often cleverly put, draw attention of journalists.
Deceptive people who are quiet, are difficult to read. Thankfully, most deceptive people, feeling the pressure to persuade, go beyond the single denial and yield to us more information.
2. "The only thing I did wrong"
a. Affirms that while her daughter is missing, she did something wrong.
b. Uses the word "only" which is used when comparing one thing to a plurality of actions, separating that "one" thing from the rest.
From this answer, I now know that not only did she do something wrong the night her daughter disappeared, but she did other things that she does not consider "wrong."
This is a very strong indicator that she did not intend the death of her daughter.
Houston was asked about the answer. Listen to what he says:
"I didn't see those deceptive indicators. She answered the question directly. We're not giving her credit for answering that question directly. We've giving her credit for not exhibiting those deceptive indicators. You didn't see any significant non verbals. What we also saw was that got our attention immediately that in the question she immediately went to the fact that she had been drunk that night. She was actually accepting some culpability of what happened."
In looking at his response to Megyn Kelly's challenge:
"I didn't see those deceptive indicators" is a strong statement. Note that he begins in the negative, saying what he did not see. This makes it important to him. Rather than say "She is telling the truth", he chose to begin in the negative.
Next, note: "Those", is distancing language, is appropriate as he is not owning them. He uses the pronoun "I" for himself, which begins strong.
But then, he switches to "we", weakening the strong assertion that he began with ("I") This could cause us to ask if he really believes what he is saying?
We do not have to wait long for the answer. He goes from "I" to "we" and then to "you", moving himself out of the connection on the opinion.
Next, he then says "you" didn't see any significant non-verbals, which is different from saying "I didn't see any significant non-verbals."
What caused him to distance himself from "I didn't see those deceptive indicators" to the second person "you didn't see any significant..."? This is to distance himself from his own assertion. Follow the pronouns.
"I" turns to "we" which turns to "you" indicating that Houston is not committed to his own assertion. If he is not committed to his own assertion, why is he making it?
Please note that I have updated this article with new information. (below).
Statement Analysis: He does not believe what he is saying.
The use of "we" may be that he is considering his prior work that was done with the assistance of others.
He made a critical mistake here. It is a "101" principle not to interpret one's language. This is a key to the training and a challenge to overcome for attendees: learning how to only listen to the words used, rather than what we think we heard. Deceptive people are counting on us to interpret rather than listen. It is how they get away with their lies.
He concluded that she was "drunk" but that is not what she said. In fact, in another later interview, she gave "cagey" (avoidance) responses about being drunk and was not able to bring herself to tell us she was drunk. This is what deceptive people do: they avoid the internal stress of a direct lie.
Many years ago, I had to transcribe an interview I had conducted with a child regarding child abuse allegations. I had specific training in how to interview a child. I recorded the interview and took careful notes.
I found that as I transcribed the interview, the transcription did not match my notes. In my notes, the child was "feeling well" instead of what he actually said. He used the word "good" and not the proper "well."
My notes corrected his usage.
This was a valuable lesson.
I once had a narcotics theft case in which I had a short telephone "interview" with the suspect who was intimidated by my reputation in detecting deception. She ended up confessing, but due to regulatory issues, she had to be re-interviewed by someone from a different district. I had called her to set up the interview, but she recognized my name and began to speak. When one speaks, I listen and take notes.
The formal interview was quite lengthy and the investigator concluded that she did not do it, and must have only admitted doing it due to her fear of my reputation. The investigator was exhausted and a consummate professional who believed in justice.
I asked him to take a coffee break and meet back with me to de-brief with his notes.
When we met, he reviewed his meticulously taken notes. He did an excellent job of the interview, and let the subject speak for hours.
As he reviewed his notes, his opinion of her innocence dissipated.
I had asked him to go through it carefully, looking for the reliable denial. Since his notes were carefully done, it took us about 15 minutes to learn:
Not once did she ever say "I didn't do it."
In fact, in his notes, we found her admission and reasoning for why she did what she did. She did give plenty of "unreliable denials" including the word "never" and the word "would", but not once did she issue the simple reliable denial. It was through the cloud of emotions, particularly caring and kindness, that the investigator had to look for answers.
We often listen with "honest ears", and we may genuinely like the person we are interviewing, which is why training is so important.
Perhaps after spending 25 years interviewing hardened terrorists, Mr. Houston was unprepared for a grieving mother. A grieving mother was precisely whom he was interviewing, not a mother attempting to locate her daughter.
Grieving: speaking of which, remember the time Bradley pushed away certain media? She wanted certain media to leave her alone because, as she said, "we are grieving", rather than "searching." Another example of 'brain leakage' by a guilty subject.
Bradley revealed to us that she did some things that night, with only one of them being "wrong." She is also inconsistent in her report of doing "one thing" wrong, then listing multiple things that one could view as wrong.
She did not say "I was not alert." She reduced commitment with "possibly."
She did not say "I was drunk."
Even in the interview that was specifically held to reveal her drinking, she was unable to anything but say "uh huh" about being drunk.
People avoid direct lying because it causes us internal stress. We lie by omission the most.
When Tania first saw the case, it was not a big story. Deborah Bradley, herself, made it a big story with her cagey answers and her distancing language. This is why Tania posted it for analysis.
Even untrained journalists "knew" there was a story, here. Had Bradley said, "I didn't cause Lisa's disappearance" early on, the story would have been dropped. Her refusal to state this, along with the rarity of using Lisa's name, made the story.
Her pronoun usage tells a story.
If you have a child, or a niece or nephew, picture you in this scenario and your loved one missing. My grandson, Ethan, is a few months older than Lisa was when she died. I picture myself speaking about Ethan.
(warning: gratuitous family photos ahead).
I can only picture myself using his name, or some of the silly special names I have for him. Without telling them the reason, I "interviewed" Christina (14) and Sean (12) about Ethan.
"How was he today?", I asked them, separately.
They each responded a bit differently. They both enjoyed their time with him, but...
Sean responded with delight, citing how much fun the little fella was, what he did, how he tried to speak, and so on. Ethan wrestled with Sean, on the floor.
Christina attempted to get Ethan to sit still so she could read to him, which he resisted.
They clearly enjoyed their time with him, which was evident in their wording, but Sean had more fun with Ethan than Christina did.
The language chosen is a lens of a camera which gives us a picture of the reality. It is not the reality, itself, but their perceived reality.
The difference in language represented the difference in reality. Because Ethan was more prone to wrestling than reading this day, Sean used Ethan's name more, showing closeness. When Ethan becomes tired, the pronouns will switch, as Christina will enjoy holding him, even allowing him fall sleep in her arms, which will produce his name more.
We all do it.
We all reflect our perception of "what happened" in our choice of words.
"I went Christmas shopping with Heather" shows the word "with" between "I" and "Heather", indicating distance. (We were in one of those candle shops where the senses are assaulted with scents of all kinds).
Yet, when we were at Barnes and Noble bookstore,
"Heather and I went Christmas shopping" which shows closeness.
At the candle shop, I waited outside, or at the perimeter, signaling her, "time's up!", but at
B&N, we stayed together, perusing books for Christmas gifts (Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations) for Christina and Sean. (Teens may resist Dickens, but will thank you, later, for having them read him!).
|I love shopping for candles!|
It must be something traumatic that causes the brain to avoid using a child's own name. This is similar to exercises we do in training. It is called the "Expected Versus the Unexpected" and only works when honest people are involved.
In the Logan Marr case, the foster mother had good reason to distance herself from Logan, having duct-taped her into her high-chair only to have the poor struggling child fall backwards. This trauma produced intense guilt and the brain, in order to protect itself, quickly distances itself from the personal connection with the child.
In her news conferences (plural), time and time again, Bradley avoided using her daughter's own name. This distancing language was extreme.
I was once in a seminar given by Dr. Larry Ricci, of Maine. Dr. Ricci is a child abuse specialist and is brilliant at explaining the cause and nature of injuries to children, while using the parent's explanation as his reference point.
In this seminar, the audience watched the police interview with a foster mother who duct-taped her child, killing her.
Then, we had an appearance from a mother who's son, Jake, was killed by Shaken Baby Syndrome. Her presentation was called, "Don't Shake Jake"
The comparison of the two mother's pronouns told the story:
1. Foster mother who killed Logan Marr used "she" and "her" most always.
2. Don't Shake Jake's mother used Jake, Jacob, and lots of terms of endearment.
It was night and day different.
Back to Baby Lisa...
I also noted in Deborah Bradley's short answer, the words "I'm sorry" appear. I train investigators to flag these words, no matter where nor how they appear, for possible leakage. The brain produced the words and I seek to learn why in an interview.
Note that in the interview, this was a perfect time for several things:
1. For Bradley to issue a reliable denial
2. For the interviewer to explore what she was sorry for.
3. For the interviewer to explore what else she did that night that she did not feel was wrong. This might have produced an admission. Bradley did not present here, nor in her other interviews, as sociopathic or as a cold blooded killer. She did present as selfish, enjoying the make over and media attention, and indicated that the baby interrupted her "adult" time. When I couple this with Jeremy Irwin's response to "Who would have done this?" when he said,
"Someone who cheated on her husband" I come to the place where I am comfortable believing that Bradley felt justified being with her next door neighbor, drinking, and leaving Lisa unattended for a while. These were the issues to explore with "the only thing I did wrong" in her statement. I think she could have been led to admit that she lost her temper with Lisa.
I think it now must have been very frustrating for local police who were involved in the case to see a national expert say Deborah Bradley wasn't lying. This was not a case where experts were divided on what happened, as is sometimes the case.
From experts right down through journalists and then to comments on news articles, I don't recall reading any defense of Bradley. This is what makes Houston's claim so news worthy and so interesting.
5. "not hear" has dropped pronoun. She did not say "I didn't hear that night" and "I was not alert" and "I was drunk", yet the CIA human lie detector interprets this as a signal of veracity.
The "hearing" became a sensitive issue for Bradley, as her children either heard her that night, or she feared they heard her, so she limited access to them.
Philip Houston on Jeremy Irwin:
Houston asks: "If police were to walk in here right now, and say to you, Jeremy, we have come across some evidence which clearly indicates you're involved in Lisa's disappearance. What would you say?"
Jeremy Irwin answers: "Well, it's not possible. (pause)
Where Bradley offers something as "possible", Irwin offers no possibility. He is like the truly innocent (not just judicially innocent: I repeat this because guilty people will often say "I am innocent" instead of saying "I didn't do it"), which leaves no possibility for anything to surface, from any source, that says otherwise. The onus is not upon him. He didn't do it. He then tells us why it is not possible:
(I mentioned earlier that Philip Houston was silent at this point. This was a good move. He put the onus upon Irwin to continue speaking. Either use silence (which puts the 'polite' onus upon the subject to speak) or say "I'm listening" which people have a difficult time resisting. This was a good move by Mr. Houston)
"Its not possible because I wasn't, so it would just be another one of their lies."
Remember the question is about involvement.
This is a very strong denial, and he uses:
1. the pronoun "I" to show it and unlike Deborah Bradley, there is no "possible" evidence of involvement.
2. "Wasn't" is past tense.
3. He then goes on to insult police. Please note that when a person who didn't do it is asked, "What would you say if I told you that I think you did it?" (or something similar), the person who didn't do it will often turn on the investigator and say things like,
"You're wrong. You need a new job" and so on.
He says "it would just be another one of their lies" referring to police.
This was the perfect time to ask, "what lies?" (which Mr. Houston may have; we do not know yet, as the video is cut).
The onus is upon law enforcement because he "wasn't" involved.
With just this question asked, Deborah Bradley would not pass a polygraph, but Jeremy Irwin would.
Deborah used "none" and then went on to give possible culpability, but Irwin, who was not home when Lisa met her demise, feels no such need to do so, and goes on to insult police. He is strong in his position because he didn't do it. Bradley hedges, references several things, but only connects herself to one of the things, which she defines, in her mind, as "wrong."
Her internal, subjective dictionary needs exploration. Perhaps Mr. Houston did, as we may see depending upon how much video is revealed on the program.
Jeremy Irwin was not involved in Lisa's demise and was able to say this without sensitivity indicators.
Deborah Bradley's answer reveals information to us that leads us to explore her involvement.
As to Philip Houston's conclusion that Bradley was truthful when she said "none" to being involved, he is mistaken.
Her response does indicate involvement to which her failed polygraph and statement analysis all agree.
I continue to assert, however, that Bradley did not intentionally cause Lisa's death. This is an opinion I hold. I think that in a moment of temper along with some stress triggers and alcohol conspired together against Lisa.
Deborah Bradley had good reason to keep law enforcement from searching the home exhaustively and when her team floated the "an old nail clipping or dirty diaper set off the cadaver dog", they strained credulity, yet not as much as did her story of the window.
In order to agree with Mr. Houston, that Bradley was not involved, we have to accept her story which means:
A stranger had to:
1. Target this particular home for a baby to kidnap. What are the odds?
2. Next, the kidnapper had to choose the only night in which the father would have to work overtime and not be home.
What are the odds of this happening?
3. Then, The kidnapper had to choose a night that not only would the father not be home, but it would be the night when they put her to sleep in a different room.
4. Then, the kidnapper had to choose the right home, on the right night when the father would not be home, and the right night when Baby Lisa would go to sleep in a different room, but then choose the right window to enter. What are the odds?
5. NEXT, the kidnapper not only had to choose the right home, on the right night, and pick the right window, but would have to get in the house without being heard by Bradley or her children.
What are the odds?
Not done yet...
NOW, the kidnapper would have to pick the right house, on the right night when the father would not be home, pick the perfect night where she is put to sleep, not in her room, but a different room, with an open widow, get in the house without being heard but...
leave the lights on!
What are the odds.
Yet, I am not done yet.
In order to agree with Mr. Houston and believe Deborah Bradley, the kidnapper or kidnappers had to choose the perfect home, on the one night in which the father would be called into work for overtime, and on the perfect night in which Lisa would not be in the usual spot, but a new spot, with the widow open and get in and out of the house without being heard and..
do so with the lights on.
But wait, there is more:
(last one, I promise)
The kidnapper has to choose the right house, on the right night, and choose the right bedroom on the right night, and get in and out without being heard, with the lights on and somehow,
get away with Baby Lisa without leaving behind a single shred of trace evidence.
I'm not a behavioral analysis expert but I do plunk down a dollar, about once every few months, and play the powerball lottery.
What are the odds of:
1. Statement Analysis of Deborah Bradley being wrong, repeatedly wrong and consistently wrong, on everything from what happened to the baby being dead;
2. The polygraph results being wrong.
3. The kidnapper choosing the perfect house, on the only night in which the father was called to work for overtime, on the night in which the mother decided to put the baby in a different room, with the window open, where the kidnapper can enter the home, turn on all the lights, not be heard, get in and out without leaving behind even trace DNA evidence, leave no ransom note or demand, and never be heard from again...
not to mention the deceptive assertion by Bradley about the cell phones...
What are the odds of all of this coming together, in perfect harmony, to clear Deborah Bradley?
I return to the simple denial that Deborah Bradley was unable to bring herself to say, from Day one of this case.
"I didn't do it."
Now, and only now, picture the frustration of the police who investigated this case, and came this close to justice, only to have a brash, publicity seeking attorney from New York show up, and shut the whole thing down. Communication came to a screeching halt.
Three years plus have passed and the same frustrated investigators now hear a nationally acknowledged expert tell them that Bradley is truthful.
It is a ratings bonanza but that is all it is. It is not truth, and it does not bring justice for Baby Lisa. It more than anything else seems like a publicity stunt where a Joe-Tacopina type is pulling some interesting strings behind the curtains.
In terms of statement analysis, this was not a difficult case. Deborah Bradley spoke often and she often showed deception. It did not need a microscope. Those without training said "it doesn't pass the straight face test", and those of common sense looked at the plausibility of the odds of a kidnapping and concluded the same. The statements made by the mother are useful in trainings to show deception.
Baby Lisa was not kidnapped. She met her demise that fateful night, and was unceremoniously dumped somewhere in which she would not be found. She will never be "discovered" alive and no one will ever collect the phony reward money promised.
Stranger abductions are rare. If Lisa was targeted for illegal adoption, for example, this would place the case in extreme rarity.
How could the abductor have known:
what house to choose for the right baby for illegal adoption? Once the home is chosen, how would the abductor know the night the father would be away, and how, on this very same night, the mother would chose to put her to sleep in a different room? Turning lights on? Being unseen? Being unheard? Getting in and out of a window without a drop of DNA anywhere? Then the kidnapper took her cell phones and pinged close to the house?
Defying all odds, it becomes non-sensible.
What does make sense is the Statement Analysis of the case.
What does make sense is the Behavioral Analysis of the case.
Everyone has an opinion or judgement about cases like these. When someone speaks on television, they invite viewers to formulate an opinion.
Do you believe Deborah Bradley?
Do you not believe Deborah Bradley?
Sometimes we find that those who believe the subject to be truthful will condemn those who do not as having "passed judgement", not realizing that:
Judgement is inescapable and that
they are judging the person they disagree with.
When someone speaks (or writes) the reason for their judgement, it allows for analysis and eventually for correction or confirmation.
I have given my opinion on this case, but here, specifically that the two answers from Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin are fundamentally different, and that Bradley is not truthful.
But I have stated my reason why I assert Bradley is not truthful. My reasoning is in writing and can be dissected, corrected, or affirmed. I do not throw stones at those who disagree, but only ask the same: if you believe Bradley's words, explain why you believe it. If it is just "my gut reaction", then even stating as much is helpful. There are times where I have felt, for unexplained reasons, why one was truthful while another was not.
Yet we deal in a scientific process where Statement Analysis applied evenly should produce the same results no matter where they are done, or by whom.
Body language analysis, on the other hand, is quite different, and as Dr. Ekman has recently come out to say that he will not declare someone truthful or deceptive unless he, himself, conducts the interview process, those who follow his micro expression teaching are left bereft of concrete answers.
Deborah Bradley is deceptive.
If she did not cause the death, she has lied and covered up the death and, from the beginning, knew that Lisa was dead and not missing. This is my conclusion.
I am not equivocating in my statement with, "perhaps" and "possibly" but am asserting it plainly.
If I am wrong, I can be both corrected, and then instructed on the 'wherefore and why' of my error.
It makes for interesting reading.
With the possibility that a 25 year CIA veteran making the bold assertion "turning the case on its ear" that Deborah Bradley is truthful, it will make for interesting news tonight....or, will it?
UPDATE: It has been pointed out that Bill Stanton works for Philip Houston. Stanton was part of the team of Bradley supporters working Public Relations as led by Joe Tacopina.
When this case was in the news, I did not find any statement analyst, profiler, or even criminal investigator make a case for Deborah Bradley being "truthful." I did not find any strong debates or any evidence that showed she was not involved, nor did I read any news articles where a commentator defended her.
When Fox News announced that a "detection expert with 25 years experience in the CIA now says..." they should have disclosed the connection to the case. I hope on tonight's program they do.
This explains why Houston is not embarrassed to go on television and make such an easy "mistake" in detecting deception.
Team Tacopina did their best to prevent justice for Baby Lisa. I understand why Houston had such change of pronouns in his statement, moving from the strong "I", to the use of "we" and finally to "you", while asserting that Deborah Bradley did not show indicators of deception.
He does not affirm what he asserts. Statement Analysis conclusion:
Houston, himself, doesn't show belief in what he is asserting.
He began by stating what he did not see, using the pronoun, "I", but weakened it by moving to the pronoun "we", sharing an opinion, but in the same statement, he then removed himself from the conclusion of the matter saying what "you" see.
Follow the pronouns.
Follow his pronouns.
It reminds me of when a defense attorney speaks publicly on behalf of his client, attempting to persuade, but giving himself away when he speaks.
Philip Houston does not appear to believe his own assertion.
My conclusion of the three questions posed at the beginning of this article:
1. Was Deborah Bradley truthful in denying involvement? No
2. Was Jeremy Irwin truthful about denying his involvement? Yes
3. Did Philip Houston believe Bradley was truthful in denying her involvement? No.