Content Analysis of Burke Ramsey Interview with Dr. Phil
By Laurie Ayers
At first glance viewers could be troubled by Burke’s apparent smiling throughout the interview. Don’t be swayed by body language. It’s too subjective with too many variables and open to interpretation. It could be his baseline. There aren’t other interviews to compare it to. It could be nerves. It could be medication. We just don’t know.
The murder took place 20 years ago when he was a kid. He’s now an adult. Because he is not outwardly appearing to behave in a manner one may typically think is appropriate is not a reliable indicator of deception.
His demeanor is smiley throughout most of the interview. If this were a case of “Duper’s Delight” where he feels he is getting one over on Dr. Phil, the grin would not be present the entire time. It would sneak out only during some responses.
Lastly you may have seen photos of Burke as a kid. He has the same smile on his face in most all of those images as well. John (dad) also has what some would consider a smirk on his face during various interviews with him. Point being, don’t assume a certain look means something specific.
Below is my content statement analysis of the interview – using Burke’s own words. It’s quite detailed. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, I encourage you to pause long enough to read the spoiler at the bottom.
Dr. Phil: “People have speculated that you’ve been hiding out for the last 20 years, instead of just choosing not to speak. What do you say to that?”
Burke: “For the last 20 years, I wanted to grow up like a normal kid… which does not include going in front of TV cameras.”
This is a poorly worded question on Dr. Phil’s part.
“What do you say to that?” There’s not a definitive response to that. Whereas if he had asked – “Have you been hiding out?” and then he responded he just wanted to grow up like a normal kid, that would be deceptive language because Dr. Phil’s question would have required a yes or no answer.
Dr. Phil: “After you went to bed, did you hear anything out of the ordinary at all during night?”
Dr. Phil: “You don’t recall waking up, hearing anything in retrospect?”
Again, these are poorly worded questions.
“Did you hear anything out of the ordinary?” We don’t know what was ordinary in that household for Burke to hear. He could be answering no, to nothing out of the ordinary.
The second question is a compound question – Do you recall waking up [and Do you recall] hearing anything. We don’t know what Burke is answering no to. First he was asked if he heard anything out of the ordinary? Then he was asked if he recalls waking up and then lastly if he recalls hearing anything [at all].
Dr. Phil: “Do you remember waking up that morning?”
Burke: “Yup. The first thing I remember is my mom bursting into my room really frantic, saying ‘Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh’. Running around my room looking for JonBenet. At that point I was awake.”
Even though when he was just asked if he recalled waking up and hearing anything, he said No. Continue reading
Content Statement Analysis: Donald L. Cline
By Laurie Ayers
A fertility doctor accused of using his own sperm to inseminate patients is facing felony charges. You can read the story here. At this point he has been charged, but not convicted.
Below is my content statement analysis using Cline’s own words, as provided in the news story.
Listen to see if he is giving a true denial. If someone says anything other than “I didn’t do it”, they’re most likely denying, as in refusing to accept, the act. Yet, refusing to accept is not saying they didn’t do it.
In deception detection the shortest sentence is the best sentence. If a sentence is still grammatically correct after removing extra words, then it’s important to look closer at the extra words.
“I can emphatically say that at no time did I ever use my own sample for insemination,” Cline wrote in the letter.
He can emphatically say – Emphatically is a qualifying word. Qualifying words are often used to make the story sound believable. It’s an overreach. Emphatically means without a doubt. But in order for him to include that word, there was a doubt in his mind that he’d be believed.
Also he is saying/stating that he can say, so we know that his mouth is capable of saying. But that is not the same as saying “I didn’t do it.” He’s just telling us that he is able to speak/state. Continue reading
The struggle is real. If you’re afflicted too, you know. You get it. If you’re an outsider looking in, then all you see is a bitch face.
Close. But the term you’re looking for is Resting Bitch Face, or RBF for short.
Don’t assume you can read body language without a baseline of how one normally looks or behaves. You’re missing out on a lot of fun people by incorrectly reading them.
Let me give you an example. What do you see here?
Sad? Mad? Bored? Angry? Unapproachable?
I’m not at all upset. On the contrary I am smiling in this pic.
I made a conscious effort to make my “eyes smile” and my face jovial and uplifting. I thought of something funny.
I have Resting Bitch Face.
Now look again; I AM smiling.
- My eyebrows are not together or down (reliable muscles for anger).
- The tops of my lips are turned up, however slight they may be.
- And you also see the outer lines on each side of my lips facing downward that are simply part of my face.
If I try to smile with my teeth, it often looks like a Sheldon Cooper moment:
As for me, I probably look mean when you first meet me. But when you get to know me you see that I’m even meaner. 🙂
How about this? Is this better? I can try resting with this face so as not to be misjudged.
The next time you decide that you have someone figured out merely by how they look either in person or just a photo, first consider maybe they’re not all that bad and just have RBF.
p.s. The explanation for a few of my other pics you may find on this site that actually show a beautiful smile, it’s called an amazing professional photographer (Thanks Elise!) and far, far more takes than I care to admit to get a few good ones.