It was a shrewd move on her part, knowingly antagonizing the public, searing into the public mind Ms. Sims' own name and face, for a large amount of publicity that would have cost a fortune.
Was it genuine?
After the trial, CNN host, Joy Behar asked her if she would let Casey Anthony babysit her own children, seeing you "believe she is innocent" of the death of her daughter, Caylee.
Sims' answer allows us to highlight several principles in Statement Analysis.
2. Avoidance (deflection)
3. The Stuttering "I"
Q. Would you let Casey babysit your kids? You say she's innocent."
A. (pause) "My kids are older."
This is to avoid the question. This pause shows sensitivity as it highlights the need to think. Since she was seen hugging and holding Casey Anthony, and she has stated that she believed Casey was innocent, what would cause the pause to think?
Avoidance. When one avoids the question, the question itself is said to be "sensitive" to the subject. Diverting the attention away from the question is a form of avoidance that seeks to move the conversation away.
Statement Analysis notes the need to change the topic, or avoid answering the question. In Analytical Interviewing, we allow the subject to "run the mouth" off in a tangent, while many instruct Interviewers to "control" the interview. This is a critical mistake. By letting the subject run off the topic, the subject must choose words from the very brain that knows the truth. In the tangent to the patient ear, information may come.
We do bring the subject back to the question, no matter how far, or how long the subject has gone in another direction. We do this in a stoic manner, not ruffled, nor upset. This often unnerves the subject as he (or she, in this case) see our resolve for information. I have listened to subjects take a question, avoid it, go off in a tangent and do so, rambling for more than 30 minutes.
I listen without a word.
Then, I repeat the original question. If the tangent runs again, I take careful note of the words chosen.
Then, I ask the original question again, in an even voice, void of emotion.
It is not easy, but when critical information is needed, the Interviewer must believe that the subject is going to reveal the information and he is not going to "outlast" the interviewer. I often keep a small snack in my briefcase, prepared if blood sugar levels drop and fatigue set in.
I like to send the signal to the subject:
"You have the information. I do not. You are going to tell me everything I need to know. I will not lose."
I do this by the means of body language and voice inflection. Irritability is the enemy of information, and the friend of guilty subjects.
This cannot be done on television. Joy Behar is not patient, nor can she be, but she did exhibit a good "bs meter" and did not mind repeating herself.
The subject revealed a pause, and a divergent.
Two indicators of sensitivity thus far.
After further pause:
“I, I, I liked Casey Anthony. I came to trust her. And that’s a… that’s a really…”
Pronouns are instinctive. The pronoun "I" is the single easiest word in the English language; something that each of us has used, literally, millions of times. It is fair to say:
We don't get it wrong.
Thus, our Statement Analysis "Stuttering I Scale":
Since we are so good at pronouns, particularly, the pronoun "I", we take careful view of when a non-stuttering person stutters on the pronoun "I" and we find:
When there is:
two (2) "I's" in a statement, the subject is experiencing an increase in stress at the question.
three (3) "I's" in a statement and the subject is experiencing anxiety at the question.
four (4) or five (5) "I's in a statement and the subject is close to a nervous breakdown.
six (6) or seven (7) and the subject is likely going to be hospitalized.
Eight (8) or more?
This is extremely rare and will likely only be found in a homicide in which the subject had a close personal relationship with the victim. The emotions would be intense in this homicide.
Dorothy Sims stuttered, as a non-stutter over this question.
We have sensitivity indicators regarding the question:
1. Pause: A need to think. This is especially noted in a person of higher intelligence like Sims.
2. Avoidance: Sims does not want to answer the question.
3. Anxiety: Sims, a non-stutter, stumbles on the pronoun "I", the very word that she has used millions of times, regarding the question, "Would you let Casey Anthony babysit your kids?" particularly in context of having not only declared her innocent (was she referring to judicial innocence only?) and having shown a personal, 'touchy-feely' relationship with one who not only killed her own daughter, but one who was able to ride around with her daughter's dead body in the car, go out partying, and hold up a lie, even while walking down a hallway with seasoned detectives:
in other words:
Dorothy Sims publicly embraced someone who's character is acutely sociopathic, cold, and murderous. It is not surprising to see this cause her stress when questioned.
This may have been in her mind as she was asked the question. It is one thing to hug and hold her, it is another thing to consider Casey Anthony alone with her beloved children. I imagine that this question provoked in Sims, not only the hypocrisy of her actions, but perhaps her memory went back to the time in life when her children were young, vulnerable, and babysat. For parents, mothers especially, trusting our little ones to a babysitter is not easily done. Sims could not bring herself to say she would let Casey Anthony babysit her own children, in spite of her public claims.
Even for publicity seekers, there is a price to pay.
Next up: Terms of Endearment and Devotion when found in statements.