When looking for credibility in a statement there are keywords that serve as red flags in deception.
The word “started” is one such red flag deceptive word.
When someone says something was “started”, it means the act was interrupted or never completed.
For example, instead of saying, “He started encroaching on my space. He started putting his hand up my skirt. I started telling my story about a year and a half ago. I started telling my friends.” a truthful statement would be,
“He encroached on my space. He put his hand up my skirt. I told my story about a year and a half ago. I told my friends.”
The word “started” means the act was interrupted. If the act was interrupted or never completed, listen for the rest of the statement that tells why it was interrupted.
In the case of a reported assault, if someone is saying another started to do something, it’s reasonable to then hear the alleged victim say something like “I told him to stop.” Or “I pushed him off.” or “I was so scared all I could do was…”
If there is nothing describing the interruption it’s likely an untruthful statement. You cannot believe she did these things because she has not told us that she did them. There is a good chance she is making up the story.
You vs. I.
Using the word “you” instead of “I” is another red flag deceptive word. Continue reading
No matter how clearly you communicate, someone will always twist your words.
Some only read headlines or skim the written word.
As a statement analyst, it’s my business to analyze written and verbal statements for credibility and deception. It’s imperative that I have what was said verbatim. If it’s paraphrased or if one word is off, it can make a world of difference.
Most don’t have the benefit to have ears and eyes trained to listen for exact words being said.
Miscommunication and misinterpretations are at an all-time high.
That’s Not What I Said
I recently made a brief blog post on the subject of choosing your responses – e.g. you don’t have to choose to be offended by words.
That post went viral – over 61,000 visits in less than 24 hours. It was shared over 9,000 times. The support was astounding. However, I am also certain that part of the reason it went viral is because so many grossly twisted my words.
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