Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Drug Traffickers: "At All" Examined

Drug Mule 

                "...and I, I, I have not heard from them at all."

So went the statement where the woman claimed that her two drug contacts did not contact her for a scheduled transport.

In this short lesson, we examine the difference between:

"I have not heard from them" and "I, I, I have not heard from them at all" in her language.  

By halting on the pronoun "I" we recognize that there is an increase in anxiety for the non-stuttering subject.  

But what about the two additional words, "at all" in her statement? Lets remove anxiety and look at the reversal of the "Law of Economy" of words to see if more information is available for us.  

We hear this phrase, "at all" regularly.  Recently, I noted how often it came up in casual conversation as I listened to adults interacting with children.  In relationship language, it is even more seen especially when one person is accused of some form of romantic disloyalty and uses it in a denial.  The context is going to be very important.  

"I have not heard from them" is shorter which means it not only took less effort, and it indicates  sensitivity but it is a verbalized perception of a different reality from "I he not heard from them at all."  

Question:  is the subject who added "at all" lying?

In studying deception detection we carefully arrange our expectations according to the context. 


"I haven't heard from her at all" said the husband to the wife about another woman where suspicion was evident.  

Why didn't he just say "I haven't heard from her"?

"At all" is all inclusive rather than the singular "haven't" (or "have not.").  

Why the need for emphasis?

Why the need to be all inclusive?

In Analysis:  We get answers by asking questions.  

Here is the key:

All Inclusive.

Examine the phrase "all inclusive" and you quickly realize that the word "all" is what we call a "dependent word."  This means that the word only works when it is in consideration of at least one other thing. 

If you have one student in a class room and you gave the student a lap top, you would not say, "I gave all the students laptops" even though, technically, it is true.  Every student in the class did receive a lap top.  

Dependent words are flagged both in context and within examination so that we can learn what else the subject might have been thinking. 

Romance Gone Wrong:  Relationship Language  

"We only kissed" is an example in relationship language.  

"Only" does not work in meaning unless the subject is thinking about something other than kissing.  The listener needs to explore what else is on the subject's mind other than kissing.  Perhaps the subject will take it even higher:  

"We just kissed" is similar:  it compares kissing to something else, but with a new dynamic:  "just" is a dependent word of comparison.  "We just kissed" means the subject is comparing kissing to something more than kissing.  It other words, he talks about "kissing" but he is thinking about something else as he does.  

In the drug case, "I have not heard from them at all" indicates a denial which is sensitive.  In classification we would not say it is an "Unreliable Denial" but we would say it is "not reliable."  

"Not reliable" indicates that more information is needed. 

 It may or may not be true. 

Why did she say "I, I, I have not heard from them at all"?

What caused her to call in the need for reinforcement of her denial?

In this case, she was not lying.  She was not contacted by the two drug traffickers.  Anxiety aside, we have an important question to ask: 

What was she thinking about when she used the words "at all"?

Here she had indeed expected contact from them.  She was telling the truth,  but she revealed to us an expectation of the means of contact. 

The means of contact was plural, not singular.  She did not expect them to show up at her door or meet someplace.  She expected the contact to come in one of three ways, exposing how they had contacted her previously.  

Sometimes they called her from unidentified numbers but sometimes they text'd her and once they had even emailed her.  It developed over time as the relationship between them grew.  As they went from suspicious to confident, so the boldness increased to traceable email.  With confidence, they let their guard down.  

She checked all three sources of contact and blurted out, "I, I, I have not heard from them at all!" while clutching her phone. 

It was a multitude of means of contact that caused this unnecessary additional wording to enter her statement.

She did not pause and ask herself silently, "Which should I use?  Should I tell this officer that I have not heard from them, or should I say I have not heard from them at all?  Hmm.  Which sounds better?"

No, she processed the information in less than a millisecond of time in the brain to reflect the reality of having checked her phone's 3 means of expected communication.  

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christina said...

my first thought was the same: at all means from all possible means of communication (email, text, imessage, call,)
i cant wait for your analysis on the statement of the las vegas shooter's brother...have you seen the video?!

Anonymous said...

I was trying to find a way to message, I've been watching your blog for an analysis of the LV shooters brother, he's such an odd bird. From what I can tell, he's getting off on the excitement but is trying not to show it/coming out weird. Between him and the father I'm thinking the shooter comes from a line of sociopaths. Will you be assessing him? I've been coming to your site for your take on most major issues since a young boy, Carnel Chamberlain, was killed in my home town I greatly respect your opinion.

Anonymous said...


@ anon 2:14
Please remember the LV shooter, 64, was born around '53 and the brother said his father was on the run when he was born, appx '69-'77. (you can do the math if tht isnot correct)
Regardless, even if he was born in '69, there's an age gap of 16 years.
That much age difference would make them estranged from each other regardless of the father's criminal record.

He, basically, wouldn't know him well at all.

Trudy said...

OT Anon @ 7:01. He wouldn't need to "know him well at all". (Interesting use of 'at all' considering the OP, btw.). Psychopathy can be inherited through DNA.

Anonymous said...

If anything if you want to psychoanalyze the shooter, I feel he "recreated" how he felt when the FBI cane to take his father to jail when he was 7 yrs old & then when his father escaped from jail and was on FBI's "Most Wanted", the shooter, as a child, had to feel like his father was being "hunted" & he himself, vicariously, as a child, may have felt that he too was being "hunted". The atrocious shooting made manifest how the shooter felt as a child--that the FBI was "hunting" his father and I bet he felt they were also "hunting" him bc that was his Dad.
He probably felt the FBI was trying to track his Dad down, corner him & shoot.

Anonymous said...

@anon 10:41
Interesting concept. Great for a movie script if you can find an egotistical FBI profiler help you fill in the blanks, you might get farther than a boring docudrama.

They flap their gums on TV, but in reality, they don't know why he did it. Probably never will.

Just (note just as comparison to something else) remember, he worked for the Postal Service, IRS, and another govt agency which employs the pseudo-scientists behavior profiles for hiring practices.

And, his father escaped from Texas........cuz they've got big, big guns and the Texas rangers.

Anonymous said...


We hear this phrase, "at all" regularly. Recently, I noted how often it came up in casual conversation as I listened to adults interacting with children. In relationship language, it is even more seen especially when one person is accused of some form of romantic disloyalty and uses it in a denial. The context is going to be very important. ""


Anonymous said...

@11:36, Good points. Strange that he passed the "behavior profiles", but the older I get, the more I see with my own 2 eyes that evil people often appear very sane and function very smoothly (ie. not an hour of sleep lost due to any emotional turmoil). Evil people are also very sneaky, hence why I don't even believe that most people in prison are truly "evil"...people who "get caught" are not all that "sneaky", and I know that evil people are very sneaky. I have known people who have done such evil shit that if it were me, I would have committed suicide due to a tormented conscience, whereas these people do not lose an hour of sleep, do no miss a meal due to mental turmoil, their shoes are always freshly shined, they never miss a car payment. Get what I'm saying?
The shooter? It's hard to think that his father's arrest for bank robberies and then being on America's Most Wanted didn't effect him. Motivation? My guess is he was working on behalf of ISIS...I don't know why or how he could have been cleared. The guy seems intelligent and is not your typical 20 yr old jihadist. For all they know he may have used a library computer to look at ISIS websites. He traveled across seas...he could have used a computer at an internet cafe. The attack has ISIS written all over it.
HOw does someone do that kind of shit? Just stand there shooting thousands of bullets at random people? Mind-boggling for sure, but who knows maybe the guy had all kinds of inner hatred and just didn't give 2 shits about his own life seeing as how he was 64 yrs old, no kids, and just spent his time internet gambling. I always think it's stranger how these 20 year old suicide bombers aren't afraid to die seeing as how they have their whole life ahead of them and usually at that age, people picture great things will happen, they will meet the love of their life, etc. At age 64, this dude probably just had been wanting to blow since he was a kid, and at age 64, just couldn't give 2 shits about his life. I mean, by that age, some people probably feel like they've seen it all.

Hey Jude said...

What to make of this video?

"Seriously, thousands of people are dead - everybody's bloody."
"You're kidding!"
"No joke - just drive.."


Cab driver: "I'm a girl by the way, so..."

Passenger with 'broken leg' does not ask for hospital - wants to go to Luxor hotel.

Hey Jude said...

Cab driver: "You're not - you're serious?"
Girl: "Honey, we would not be lying..."