Thursday, May 12, 2016

Professionals and Proper Analysis

It has an amazing impact when an analyst posts something only to have it prove true shortly afterwards.  It makes people say, "I want to learn that trick!"  

Yet, the science of analyzing statements for deception takes years of study to obtain accuracy that is seemingly presented for the public. 

Not so fast.  

In a press conference, Chris Christie spoke for more than 40 minutes about "Bridge - gate" scandal, before finally uttering, 'I didn't know' which was not a reliable denial.  I had the opportunity to address this with Gov. Christie, in a rather humorous moment, two summers ago in Maine.  "I didn't know" is not a magical wand of words to 'wave away' the need to preface a reliable denial with hundreds of words.  Simplistic analysis and simplistic conclusions work sometimes; 

sometimes they don't.  

When Barak Obama was to announce a vice president candidate, Joe Biden was asked if he was going to be on the ticket. 

Biden answered the question by not answering the question which was said to 'prove' Biden was lying and that he knew he had been touted for the ticket.  

Now, in this case, it proved correct and given the dating, it may have a powerful impact upon the reader for accuracy. It certainly seems impressive.  

However, it is not true, but an educated guess; a guess that worked out but just as readily, could have missed.  But because it worked out, the same principle that brought its conclusion will backfire in other application.  

The question, "Will you be Barak Obama's running mate?" in analysis is "sensitive"; in that, Biden did not want to deny it, nor confirm it.  The lack of an answer showed that he was in the running or that he may have already been chosen, but we cannot say that.  Can you imagine coming to this conclusion each time a question is not answered?

"Did you murder your daughter?"

"I will not dignify that with an answer" is an avoidance of the question and may be because:
a.  he did murder his daughter
b.  he is so insulted that he is refusing to answer. 

To leap to, "he did it!" is a guess that for the anonymous is a lot of fun, but not for the professional. 

San Bernadino:  An expert analyst said that the statement made showed guilt of involvement by someone close to the Islamic killer.

"I can't believe he did this!" said the ally of the San Bernadino Islamic massacre shortly after the bombing.  He went on to being arrested. 

I read that "statement analysis showed his guilt in this statement."

Not so fast.  

I have noted that some have said, "the word "this" in his statement shows that he was involved, since "this" is close and "that" is distant. 

This is the type of over simplification that inevitably brings doubt to the work of Statement Analysts.  Can you imagine indicating guilt using the word "this" on its own?  

It sounds so impressive when it works out but it is but a single indication that should be part of an overall analysis that takes hard work, discipline, and dedication to reach.  

In this particular case, the analyst was correct; but it is far too much of a leap for accurate application elsewhere.  

Here is why:

The word "this" indicates closeness.  He did not say, "I can't believe he did that!", which in using the word "that", would have shown distancing language.  

We do not know, in context, what the closeness or distance is related to. 

The closeness could be chronological:  it just happened whereas years from now, the same sentence would include "that" due to the passage of time. 

It could be geographical:  the cousin is in San Bernadino. 

From time to time I raise the concerns of the over simplification in analysis.  With the cousin arrested, it may sound impressive to "know" on a single sentence, but it will not hold up with consistency over time and it will betray the analyst, eventually, and the error may bring strong doubt to the analyst, himself, and to the field. 

Baby Lisa Case 

Deborah Bradley was the mother of "Baby Lisa" who went missing in another fraudulent kidnap claim.  Analysis of her words showed:

 Baby Lisa was dead and Bradley was lying. 

$700 per hour Joe Tacopina from NY entered in to the fray for the publicity and according to him, met with the FBI and 'shut down' the investigation.  The analysis is on this blog, easy to access. This was not a 'who done it' case.  The analysis is "101" and useful for studying the language of guilt, including distancing from her daughter.  

When the case was dropped due to the influence of a high powered attorney, the publicity also faded.  When publicity was desired, we were given a "shocking revelation" from "America's single greatest lie detector" who would not 'cast doubt' about Bradley lying about Lisa's death.  

They brought forth the expert from the CIA with a powerful resume to a show on Fox News.  

The following is statement analysis of not only Deborah Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, but of the man who claimed that Deborah Bradley was truthful in her denial of involvement in the disappearance of Baby Lisa.

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.   Houston worked for the CIA and has "interviewed thousands", including terrorists.  One would be very hard pressed to find a more impressive resume.  

 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?  

Did she issue a reliable denial?

I ask this because over the years of following the case, she never has and if she does not, it is not reliable; but parroted.  Anyone remember the coached, "I did not kill my daughter, Jonbenet" press conference, fresh with attorneys at the helm?  After a public broadcast, John Ramsey learned how to actually use both, a reliable denial and a complete social introduction.  

Please note that this case has been analyzed by me since 2011, and I have made the following conclusions from the language of Deborah Bradley and then from Irwin: 

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. 

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"

1.  "None"  

This is her  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. 

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."

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. 

Deborah Bradley:

2. "The only thing I did wrong" 

a.  Affirms that while her daughter is missing, she did something wrong.

b.  Dependent Words.  Dependent words are those which require another thought in order to be understood.  

Uses the word "only" which is used when comparing one thing to a plurality of actions, separating that "one" thing from the rest.  This tells us she did other thing, too, but she does not consider those things she did as "wrong." 

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."  We might consider those things "wrong", but she does not.  

This is a 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."

First, he tells us what he did not see, in the negative.  This began with the pronoun "I" and distancing language of "those."  This is fascinating.  What deceptive indictors didn't he see?  Remember, with "those", he is referring to specifics.  Specific deceptive indicators that he did not see.  Which specific ones?

Yet, better than anything else:  follow his pronouns.  

"I" turns to "we" which turns to "you" in his answer.  

Statement Analysis 101.  

He began with "I", telling us what he, himself, did not see.  This, alone, raises red flags, but it is not enough to conclude deception; only that something is heightened in importance at this point. 

But then, he switches to "we", weakening the strong assertion that he began with ("I")  This is to now include a 'crowd', which separates the first sentence that was stronger and more personal.  Psychologically, he does not want to be alone.  This weakening follows a trail that is not yet complete.  

Why did he need to move himself in with at least one other?

We do not have to wait long for the answer.  He goes from "I" to "we" and then to the universal second person "you", removing himself out of the connection on the opinion. 

He began with himself, using "I", then he joined himself to at least one other, with "we" which is a weakening, but then he removed himself, entirely, from the statement with the use of "you." 

He did not see...
We did not give her credit...
You did not see.

Note that all three, in progression, are in the negative, which each step further weakening the commitment until finally, there is no commitment by Houston, himself.  

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."

 This is to distance himself from his own assertion. 

Follow the pronouns is taught to beginners and veterans of analysis alike.  They are intuitive, instinctive and 100% reliable.  

"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? 

Statement Analysis Conclusion: 

Philip Houston does not believe his own words.  

In other words, as part of a team, he is willing to take his resume and business and go on Fox News touted as America's greatest lie detector and be deceptive about Deborah Bradley.  

By the way, "culpability"?  If nothing "wrong" happened, what did happen has a relationship to her culpability; not "responsibility."  Interesting choice of words.  

 He concluded that she was "drunk" but that is not what she, Deborah Bradley said. News said it for her, but she did not bring herself to say such.  

 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.  While telling us, the public, that we needed to be out there searching for the child, she wanted certain questioning media to leave her alone because, as she said, "we are grieving", rather than "we are searching."  

When experts tout cases, discerning members of the audience are listening. 

There is always a temptation to "hollywood" actual detection of deception.  It plays well for audiences, but not for investigators.  

Back to Baby Lisa... In 2011, Bradley was continually interviewed and did not, at any time, issue a reliable denial, but continued to use words of deception.  That she would suddenly, 4 years later, after lots of contact with professionals, appear to be innocent, was the point of the Fox News story. 

Still, she had not learned the lessons to even attempt to sound credible.  

I also noted in Deborah Bradley's short answer, the words "I'm sorry" appear. Investigators  are trained to flag these words, no matter where nor how they appear, for possible leakage.  The brain produced the words and they seek to learn why in the interview. 

Recall when Jeremy Irwin, Lisa's father, was asked, "Who would have done this?" (the kidnapping).  Recall what he said?

"Someone who cheated on her husband

What does infidelity have to do with this case, that it would be on the mind of the father?

Deborah Bradley felt justified being with her next door neighbor, drinking, and leaving Lisa unattended for a while.  She called this her "time" at Lisa's expense.  I don't think Jeremy liked her being next door with the gentleman with the beer. 

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. 

It must have been very frustrating for local police investigators 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.

This happens in other cases, too, where police investigators work hard to present a case, only to have a prosecutor fear to take it to trial, citing double jeopardy. 

Cases are left to rot in perpetuity with police being blamed.  It is frustrating.  In some cold cases, attorney generals will demand that even television news stories avoid their cases in a self protecting insulation.  

Then there was her phrase,  "not hear" having the dropped pronoun.  She did not say "I didn't hear that night" and "I was not alert" and "I was drunk", yet the expert 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 for interviewing.   

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.  Prior analysis showed that he did not harm his daughter.  He was not present when Lisa met her death.  

"Its not possible because I wasn't, so it would just be another one of their lies."

This accuses police of lying.  

Remember the question is about involvement. 

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?" 

The onus is upon law enforcement because he "wasn't" involved. 

It is interesting that Houston was a part of this show, was not truthful in his own assertion, and allows Jeremy Irwin to claim police lied, while offering his training to police. 

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  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.

6.  The kidnapper would also have to target this house, this night that the father was working, this window, and this night where Bradley would be drinking and...

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:

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 in and out of the house, and get away with Baby Lisa without leaving behind a single shred of trace DNA evidence.

On top of this, to believe Houston, we would also have to suspend all the principles of Statement Analysis, when listening to:

Deborah Bradley and Houston's own words. 

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."

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 made for interesting television drama, but not for those who wish to discern truth from deception. 

Drama Trumps Science 
 Bill Stanton worked for Philip Houston when this was broadcast by Fox News.  Stanton was part of the team of Bradley supporters working Public Relations as led by Joe Tacopina.

Human nature is complex, and this complexity is viewed through the lens of language.  Human language, therefore, is complex. 

The overly simplified "sound bites" catch the attention, but to consistently produce high results, real work must be done.  It does not always translate to drama, and dedicated professionals pour over statements. 

We have a solid course on Statement Analysis that can be completed at home. 

Successful completion of this course permits access into ongoing guided training, as well as our Advanced Analysis course, which includes linguistic profiling and analytical interviewing.  

A two year certification is equivalent to a 6 year course because it is its only course, and there are no semester breaks.  It is intense, in depth, and supported; which means that analysts check each others' work as a habit of consistency. 

No investigator turns in work to his department that is incorrect.  

It is as natural as breathing as these dedicated professionals work together to 'get to the truth', not as a race, but as a course for justice.   Flamboyance is for television. 

"Do No Harm."

One of our most important beliefs is that we should do no harm in falsely accusing someone of deception, which means our work must be plainly understood. 

If our conclusion cannot be explained to a 12 year old, we better go back to our analysis.  

By the time we are done with a statement, we must know if it is:

a.  A statement of veracity
b.  A statement of deception with most of it reliable
c.  Contaminated and should be set aside; not analyzed.

The conclusion must present itself. 

This is because we "solve" cases; but the solved case is not adjudicated.  It must now be proven, and the analysis was the principle tool in solving it, but we must have a report that convinces a state attorney to go forward in prosecution.  

We must present our findings in an easy to understand format. 

Hyatt Analysis Services


lynda said...

Peter, I have, upon telling the truth, gone on to "persuading" language. Not all the time but I have done it. What does it mean in regards to SA that someone could actually be telling the truth but also uses persuading language? I'm assuming that would be MY problem. Why do I feel the need to persuade? Because I have a history of not telling the truth? No.Because I appear untrustworthy? No. Because I am in direct conflict with someone else's story of events? No. I don't care about what the other person says because they're lying. Is it an insecurity that is mine alone?
Has this ever happened in you're work? That someone uses persuading language and they truly are innocent?

John Mc Gowan said...


DeOrr's grandmother: I have nothing to hide

IDAHO FALLS -- The grandmother of an Idaho toddler who has been missing for nearly a year says she is cooperating with authorities as they work to find the boy.

Trina Bates Clegg told KIFI she and her family have faced scrutiny in the wake of the child's disappearance, but insisted she had nothing to hide.
DeOrr Kunz Jr., then two years old, was reported missing July 10, 2015 during a family camping trip near Leadore. The case has sparked interest across the nation, but investigators have found no trace of the missing toddler.

Lemhi County Lynn Bowerman has named the child's parents as suspects in the disappearance, telling KTVB they have been untruthful with investigators and repeatedly changed their story. Neither Jessica Mitchell nor Deorr Kunz Sr. has been charged with a crime.

Clegg said she took a polygraph about the case at the request of investigators.

"I was told that [the results] were inconclusive due to lack of sleep, because I did that polygraph the night of the fundraiser, very exhausted," she said. "But I have volunteered to do another one."
She said she was committed to helping investigators find out what happened to little DeOrr Jr., and reiterated that she had nothing to do with his disappearance.

"There is nothing that I will not cooperate with in this investigation," Clegg said. "They can come and talk to me anytime, anyplace and I'm just not worried about anything that I could be caught up in at all."…/deorrs-grandmother-i-have-n…/186839146

Anonymous said...

Peter- (OT)

I have a question for you. How do you analyze the word "with" when a wife says to a husband (who is out of town on business travel), "I miss you. I just want you here with me." in the context of the wife going to bed alone?

I noticed I said that to my husband last night. I know I missed him and I wanted him to be there beside me. However, if you were to only see the text messages back and forth, how would that be interpreted?


Bobcat said...

Thank you for more background information to round out the reading lens I will use for your upcoming Blackburn conclusion.

Nic said...

While telling us, the public, that we needed to be out there searching for the child, she wanted certain questioning media to leave her alone because, as she said, "we are grieving", rather than "we are searching."

Wow. I totally missed that.

When I read your analysis, Peter, I am constantly reminded to slow down and understand what I am reading.

Nic said...

I remember the video of Bradley at the store purchasing baby wipes (?) and a box of wine.

A (nice) bottle of wine is a treat/something shared.

I classify a box (mass consumption, questionable quality as box format is limited to sorts and lesser expensive kinds) as personal use.

John Mc Gowan said...

Former CIA Philip Houston's web site.

Statement Analysis Blog said...


you're going to be discovering just how useful it really is over the upcoming months.

You'll be glad! It is a good reminder...go slow, listen carefully, and re-read later!

KC: The distancing language is that they are geographically apart ---she misses him. To miss him, there must be distance. This is appropriate distancing language.

I wish Heather was with me right now. She is away for work for 3 days (2 nights) and it is an emotional distance due to a geographical distance.

RE: Blackburn analysis --almost done. I am doing Missy Bevers too, plus another filming this weekend on another case, so I have been backed up for quite a while.

I may even try to cover the London Mayor's threat against us.

TooManyWaWa's said...

Peter Hyatt said:

'I may even try to cover the London Mayor's threat against us.'

As I am British and reside in the UK, I would love to see your opinion on our newly elected London Mayor!....
There has been a lot of discussion on radio stations about him and mixed opinions... Some who feel its the worst thing to have happened and will eventually be a threat to us and others who feel its a positive thing as it shows the world how tolerant we are in the UK...
The main reason for his success in being elected seems to be that he came from an average background, son of a bus driver, lived in council (social) housing and worked his way up through hard work and seems very 'English' in his ways and lifestyle... Time will tell !! ....

TooManyWaWa's said...

My comment at 2.49PM May 12:

I meant to comment that the controversy over the new London Mayor is, of course, the fact that he is our first Muslim Mayor...

Anonymous said...

Carlie Trent - statements from Mom and Grandma...

"He doesn't work anywhere or anything – he just helps take care of Allen,"

Mary Evelyn says she last saw Simpson when he drove her to the doctor's office the morning he allegedly kidnapped Carlie. "He acted just like he always acted ... [and] there wasn't anything unusual," she says.

"He was their second daddy – she loved Gary," Mary Evelyn says. "I kind of wondered if he might have took [Carlie] because ... he was just missing that."

However, as time has passed, Mary Evelyn says she has begun to think hard about Simpson's motives. "The devil can make people do things if they listen to him," she says. "I just hope and pray that nothing [of a sexual nature] has happened."

Shannon Trent, Carlie's mother, told PEOPLE she "always had a bad feeling" about Simpson. Shannon said she has not had custody of Carlie or her 7-year-old sister for about two years, saying, "I just recently got my life straight and I just wish I could at least see my girls again." "I've always had a gut feeling," she said. "I've always had a bad feeling about Gary [and] I should have stuck with my gut."

Still, Shannon said Simpson, who has been part of the family for 34 years, "was a very trusted family member." "If we had known anything like this, we would have never let our kids around him," she added.


Nat said...

I'm thankful you're looking into Missy Bevers. I can't decide on the husbands statements.

Nic said...

Many times after I've clicked on "publish" I see something I've missed. I don't know if it's because it's in a different font or if it's because the spacing is different. I agree, taking time and revisiting my analysis after giving the eyes and brain a rest is something I should make it a point of doing.

Anonymous said...

Carlie Trent was found safe. I'm assuming there will be many statements for analysis in the coming days. The uncle is in custody.

Tania Cadogan said...

Anonymous TooManyWaWa's said...

Peter Hyatt said:

'I may even try to cover the London Mayor's threat against us.'

As I am British and reside in the UK, I would love to see your opinion on our newly elected London Mayor!....
There has been a lot of discussion on radio stations about him and mixed opinions... Some who feel its the worst thing to have happened and will eventually be a threat to us and others who feel its a positive thing as it shows the world how tolerant we are in the UK...
The main reason for his success in being elected seems to be that he came from an average background, son of a bus driver, lived in council (social) housing and worked his way up through hard work and seems very 'English' in his ways and lifestyle... Time will tell !! ..

I am a Brit as well.
He won because he wasn't a tory, he wasn't Zac Goldsmith and due to the PC brigade doing their bit to make london appear all inclusive.

I expect the next few years will get very interesting as vested interests start shouting for their rewards.

TooManyWaWa's said...

Yes Tania, I agree with that reason too, people not wanting another Tory-boy!! ... Strange and unpredictable times over here!...

I know you're a fellow Brit and enjoy your blog too by the way :-))

Anonymous said...

Tania Cadogan said...

Thanks honey :)

lynda said...

I'm so happy Carlie was found! In Idaho Falls where Deorr Jr. is from? How weird is that? We had a new amber alert in my neck of the woods today. It seems there is way to many little ones in danger.


Deorr Kunz Jr.

Tricia BAtes Clegg, Jessica's mom, did an interview with the news. LE has closed the campground where Deorr disappeared from and are doing searches.

Anonymous said...

Carlie was found in the same Tennessee county where she lives, not Idaho Falls.

lynda said...

Anon @ 10:34

My apologies, you are correct. I was looking at two things at once!

Paul Flanagan said...

I read Houston's book Spy The Lie, and at the time, loved it. I actually read it twice. Now, not so much.

I still consider much of the information useful, but to a limited extent. I'm glad for the knowledge, I just know that it's not absolute. He supplies a "system" which is very compelling and easy to attach oneself to. He covers many familiar topics from his angle: Not issuing a denial, never instead of no, conveying versus convincing, difficulty in lying outright, etc. I appreciated the reinforcement of this.
He also presented things that I never had a name for, such as, a "mind virus". ex. When your boss says that he wants to discuss something with you in his office in 5 minutes. Your mind races about all the possibilities, usually negative. This could be used in a way as, "Is there any reason that we may find your fingerprints on the (stolen) laptop? Or ending an interview, "Is there anything else?"

Interestingly, I remember when this Fox segment aired, deception expert Eyes For Lies, had similar observations as you have.

It really upsets me that I enjoyed his book, and even bought his second book (which btw I think is basically the Reid Technique, but I'm not sure). My guess is he was paid by the family. And the thing is, he mentions frequently through out his book the dangers of bias and to always be on the lookout and be self aware.

So is Houston being dishonest or is it a case of self deception?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked at Sidney Moorers fb lately? Way too much for me to post, but he (or Tammy writing for him) says a LOT!
What gag order? He isn't bothered by that at all.
He or she is shifting blame all around the investigation, blurring the Real issue that Heather Elvis is missing and Sidney was the last known contact.

Much of the rant has to do with a truck that drove by their house, caught on video tape. Just being frank here, if my daughter disappeared and you were the last known person she talked to, and you were an older married man, I would be stalking you, too! I would drive by day and night,hoping to glimpse something that would lead me to my daughter! I think any normal person would do that.

Fm25 said...

I've learned so much from this blog. I find myself analyzing conversations with my family which is a lot easier because I know them so well. I have a12 year old daughter so these tools will be coming in handy.
I've also been looking back at a case I'd been following in Ny, Candace Cartagena accused of murdering her 8 year old daughter Bianca. I worked with Candace for a few years and she was very dramatic, one of those people that crazy things always happen to. I thought she made some stuff up, but i didn't suspect she was a pathological liar which I now believe to be the case. She always talked about her daughter and I was shocked to hear of her death and more so to learn Candace may have been involved. She waived right to jury trial and did not testify. She was found guilty. Before sentencing she gave a statement. These are only snippets because I can't find transcript.
- “[I'm] not going to admit to a crime I did not mit.”
- “I love Bianca. And Bianca knows the truth. God knows the truth. And I know the truth. And I am at peace with that.”
This was what was considered her "denial". Looking back I see that she didn't make a denial at all. I finally feel confident that she was guilty. I just didn't know her at all, she was a master manipulator.

Lis said...

I am getting from this lesson that we should first look for legitimate reasons for sensitive statements. For instance, the distancing comments, there can be a legitimate reason for distance. And also that we should look for a pattern revealed throughout the statement rather than one word or phrase that we see as a smoking gun. This takes me back to what you've said before, Peter, about beginning in a position of trusting that the person is telling the truth and about confronting our own bias as we analyze.

Lynda, you brought to mind a friend of mine who uses a lot of persuasive language, to the point that it seems sensitive. She lived for years with a husband who was accusatory and she had to justify everything she said, so I wonder if that is why? It's kind of perplexing.

John mcgowan said...


DeOrr's grandmother: I have nothing to hide

John, you come up with the most interesting statements. Grandma is not looking too honest at this point.

Fm5, once you've known someone like that and seen through them, you spot it a lot easier the next time!

Trigger said...

An announcement in the media, about three weeks ago stated that the Bardstown Chief of police had resigned. I remember seeing Brooks Houck in town soon after the announcement. He seemed happy, confident, and secure. I had to wonder if the "resignation" had anything to do with his happiness.

Brooks had his and Crystal's son with him. They sat down at a table next to me. We had a short dialogue of polite exchanges about his beautiful boy.

I was amazed by Brooks' physically fit body and his appealing good looks.

Then I thought about Crystal's children without a mother, coupled with her parents' desire to find her. I feel sad and angry that justice is slow in this case.

"Justice for Crystal"

mom2many said...

Lis, Good point! I am learning that sensitivity does not equal guilt, it should trigger the analyst to investigate the 'why' of the sensitivity. It prompts further questioning and focuses attention to the period of time surrounding the sensitive language, and the personality of the individual making the statement.

Unknown said...

Hi Peter,

I watched a gripping episode of Dr. Phil this morning about a woman accused of "digitally kidnapping" the twin girls of April and Nathan. She has hundreds of photos of the aforementioned couple's kids posted on Facebook and hung throughout her home.

I feel it would be a great tool for analysis as I believe the woman to be a pathological liar.

Fm25 said...

I should add, it's not just these statements that convinced me of guilt. All the evidence pointed to her. I just had a hard time believing that she was capable of murdering her child and wanted to believe she was innocent.

rjb said...

Lis --

I use a lot of persuasive language and provide a reason for almost everything I do, no matter how minor. I am sure that I do this because I was raised in a household where my every act was scrutinised, criticised, and judged. I hear myself doing it and frequently think things like, "Why am I justifying my need to take a shower to my six year old?" However, this is a deeply ingrained habit and something that just comes out as part of my free editing process.

Unknown said...

I know I'm usually an advocate for body language, microexpressions, etc. But Statement Analysis is consistently correct. The idea is to strip the "humanity" from the person issuing the statement. No emotions, no body language reading, and no microexpressions, just words. Microexpressions are only helpful in guiding an interrogator and shouldnot be used as a he/she is lying, but only to gauge someone's reaction to a certain line of questioning. Not very accurate. Statement analysis gets to the root by focusing on the words used.

I continually am very impressed by the science and I treat what I learn with reverence.

Paul Flanagan said...

I aim to learn more about statement analysis, but I have some concerns.

One of them, is the Ferguson case. It's a hot topic, I know, but I'm not biased. I just want the truth. Whether the police officer lied or the observers/other people involved lied.

Peter presents a very detailed analysis which I have faith in. I don't know if it answers all the questions though.

This officer's behavior is off. Are you telling me he didn't curse at the guys walking in the road but politely asked them to get off the street? He's very scary. He killed a person and all he could say to the rioting public is "peace"?

I don't doubt the analysis, but I think there's something missing that it doesn't address. And no, I don't know what that is.

Maybe he, Wilson, started the confrontation/incited it, and then from that point on was truthful.

To talk about he saw the bullet enter his head and go blank... Wilson is neutral as heck.

Buckley said...

Maybe he, Wilson, started the confrontation/incited it, and then from that point on was truthful.

Follow the verb tense.

Buckley said...

Actually, let me put it this way: Peter's line by line analysis of the Wilson interview is great. It points out where and why Wilson is honest and where the sensitivities are. Then in the "analysis conclusion" at the end, he ignores some of the very things he flagged as sensitive to conclude:
" Indicators of deception: 0 "

rjb said...

The comments on the most recent Amanda Blackburn/Ideology post show just how easily SA can be misused by amateurs. Things have gotten seriously bananas over there.

Buckley said...

Agreed. Once it seems the main issue is how awful and contemptible a person is, analysis has gone off the rails.

mom2many said...

Thank you, Peter, for sharing the basic principles of Statement Analysis. I have an ongoing series of lying/deception from one of my children and was able to nail him today, in a clear and pointless lie, to use as a teaching moment. I hope we will be able to successfully deal with his behavior.

The scenario was that his little sister was looking for bread to make a sandwich. His brother knew there were two slices left after he made French toast. I asked my son if his sister should continue looking for the bread. He answered, "I don't know." I pointed out that there were only two answers. If he didn't eat the bread, he would have said yes, because he knew it would be somewhere. Since he did not, he was lying. He then reluctantly admitted she should stop looking. Being able to get him to admit his lie enabled me to direct attention to how his lie affects others, in this case wasting multiple people's time looking for what no longer existed. It also destroys my ability to trust him, which in turn inhibits his freedom.

This son displays some asperger's type tendencies, particularly lack of social skills, reduced empathy with others, and some compulsiveness. I need very concrete examples to teach him, so discussing abstractly without being able to point out an absolute lie, doesn't work as well.