Saturday, September 2, 2017
"Immediately" in Statements
The word "immediate" ("immediately") indicates the element of time passing in a statement.
When we ask someone to tell us "what happened", the subject cannot tell us everything. This is impossible for him, and if he tried, he would speak endless. He must, by necessity, edit his account. When he is asked to tell us "what happened" and is writing his answer out in a written statement (best practice for seeking truth), he will, in this editing process only include what is most important to him.
What he gives us is not reality; but his perception of reality as expressed in words (the "verbalized perception of realty").
The information he gives is vital.
The order in which he gives us the information speaks to priority and priorities.
When the subject has a need ("sensitivity") to withhold information (often due to guilt, fear of being caught, internal stress), the processing of memory into words experiences a disruption of sorts. He needs to, in the flow of information, jump or skip over time. By doing so, he signals to the trained investigator/analyst, that this "area" or "time" in the statement will be revisited in the interview or interrogation. This "sensitivity indicator" is flagged for exploration.
We also note any "unnecessary" information that may appear in this statement of "what happened."
When information is given that appears to be unrelated (hence, "unnecessary"), the analyst recognizes that it is only unnecessary to us, the reader, but it is important, for whatever reason, to the subject and it is the work of the analyst to discover why the unnecessary information found its way into the editing process.
We deem this "unnecessary" information to be very important.
Unnecessary words are those which can be removed from the sentence with the sentence still being a grammatically complete sentence. If the word can be removed from the sentence, while allowing for the sentence to still be complete (with the basic information in tact), this additional word is to be considered very important to us.
The word "immediately" addresses time. It is a "sensitive" word, and the context will help us understand its usage.
In an assault case in which the victim, non-verbal large adult male, was brutally beaten after both illegal restraints and torture, the subject (accused) explained what happened. Although the bruising and injuries were everywhere, and the victim was not expected to live, the accused claimed that the victim fell while walking backwards and hit his head. He offered no explanations as to ligature marks on the victim's wrists and ankles. He said:
"...and so then I immediately called 911."
What is first to be noted: there was no accusation made or implied, that any delay had taken place.
The suspect now has indicated sensitivity within the element of time.
"...and" is a continuation of his account, tying what he had just describe to what he is about to describe:
"...and so" is to now explain the reason for his action (calling 911). With an unconscious victim on the ground, there was no question of
"Why did you call 911?"
This means the suspect anticipated being asked "Why did you call 911?" when the question as to "Why?" is an unnecessary question.
Recall in this lesson:
1. Unnecessary information is very important
2. Unnecessary words are very important
now add a third and fourth layer of sensitivity and importance:
3. He answers a question that is not posed;
4. He answers a question that is not necessary to ask.
In context, neither I nor the officer would have asked this question under general circumstances.
Now look again at the sentence, not as reality, but in his verbalized perception:
"...and so then I immediately called 911" with the word "then" added in.
This word also addresses the element of time and you see in the sentence structure, there is "disruption" due to the passing of time in the sentence itself. He could have said,
"he fell backwards and was unconscious. I called 911 and they told me to..."
Instead, as he looks back in memory, he chooses additional and unnecessary language, slowing down the pace in the sentence for a very good reason.
If you were taking care of someone who fell and was unconscious, would you have a reason to tell police that you "immediately" called 911?
Would anyone have thought you delayed calling?
Absent any accusation or insinuation, it is not likely. Although there may be other reasons for using this word, including feeling guilty over not being fast enough, in this subject's sentence, we have a very strong indication that he is deceptive.
He did not call 911 immediately.
"...and so then I immediately called 911"
He had assaulted the victim brutally, and had not anticipated the need to call 911, hoping to have a now subdued victim to not disturb him any longer.
This was consistent with tying him down to his bed posts (wrists and ankles) as well as some kicks and punches to the victim's groin area.
The victim was chronically abused.
In other cases, the word "immediate" may be used appropriately (contextual strength) or may be in response to an accusation. In this case, it was the additional wording, along with "immediate" in context, that gave away the guilty information of the deceptive assailant who had a need to portray himself as "helpful."
For training in Detecting Deception, we offer the "Complete Statement Analysis Course" to be completed in your home. It comes with 12 months of e support and one free invitation to a session of live team analysis instruction.
Visit Hyatt Analysis for detail.
We offer training in seminars, including Advanced Analysis, psycho-linguisitc profiling and Analytical Interviewing to Law Enforcement and private corporations. This too includes the necessary 12 months of e support as investigators, analysts and other professionals learn how to appropriately and accurately apply their new skills.