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Monthly Archives: August 2007

Sen. Larry Craig – Interrogation & Confession

The interrogation of Senator Larry Craig was in my opinion a professional
and appropriately conducted interrogation.  He was not coerced,
forced or trapped into his statements>  Also in my opinion he
exhibits several verbal cues consistent with someone who is
withholding information.

FOX News – The Big Story asked me to do an analysis of Craig’s
interrogation by Minneapolis Airport PD Sgt. Dave Karsnia.  Here
are some of my observations:

First: Karsnia conducted a "narrative based interview."  Twice
near the beginning of Craig’s interrogation, Karsnia asks Craig to
tell his side of the story.  We know this type of interrogation is far
more productive and in fact tends to allow the subject to produce
my self-initiated deception cues.  In this case, Craig generates
plenty of them in my opinion.

During the first narrative, Craig uses what we call a "time bridge" in his statement.  Listen to the very beginning and Craig talks about having to wait a couple of minutes for a stall in his "usual" bathroom.  YHou know, the one he always uses at that airport.  (Is that like a regular table at your favorite restaurant?). After entering his stall, he starts drops his pants, spreads his legs so they won’t hit the floor, sits down and the next he knows are card appears under the sall that says "police."  It’s not until after Karsnia asks more questions does Craig acknowledged his foot may have touched Karsnia’s foot.

Second: Craig responds at least a half dozen times with "I don’t
know" or "I don’t recall."  Need I say more.

Third:  Craig made some "very" interesting statements that to me
are very telling.  Check these out. (I’ll try to get the exact quote)
When Karsnia pointed out that Craig had put his hand under the
partition ,palm up Craig responded
"I don’t believe I did that."

When Karsnia asks if he has been successful in these bathrooms
before, Craig responds:
"I don’t seek activity in bathrooms."
(Remember, sometimes you’ve got to look for what’s missing.  He
doesn’t seek activities in "bathrooms.")

Fourth: Craig states "I absolutely did not do these things"
Note the denial flag expression.  Lugovoy, the former KGB
bodyguard says the same thing about the polonium poisoning of
Letvenenko.  Lugovoy is now being sought by British MI 5 for this

Finally: Near the end of his interview, Craig states:
"I’m a respectable person. I don’t do these kinds of things."  Now
have many of us have heard that one in an interrogation.

Now these last two cues cause me concern.  If I were investigating
this case, I would be looking for more incidents by Craig.  It’s just
my opinion, but I predict in the future we are going to find out that
Craig has had many more "encounters" not unlike this one and
they all won’t be in bathrooms.

Listen for yourself and pick out Craig’s cues of behavior.

Prior to my appearance on FOX News – The Big Story, I was in the
Green Room, watching Neil Cavuto.  Neil had Ben Stein as his
guest.  Stein stated that Craig was "bludgeoned" by the cop and
the interrogation and was a subject of "thuggery" by Sgt. Karsnia.
Well, in my "professional opinion" Ben Stein doesn’t know the hell
he is talking about.

This was NOT an accusatory interview.  Craig was not tricked,
forced or coerced by the Sgt. Karsnia.  Now if legal scholars want
to argue about the arrest and the incident itself and the legal
nitpicking that lawyers do – fine knock yourself out but I’m saying
Craig confessed voluntarily to Karsnia.

Stan B. Walters "The Lie Guy®"

Michael Vick’s “Confession”

What an amazing confession by Michael Vick!! 
Michael said his actions were "immature."  Michael, how about we call it "inhumane."
Notice how Michael minimizes everything.

I was wondering how do you supply the money for the betting but didn’t place any bets and didn’t take any winnings?  Oh, maybe the money was placed back into your dog fighting kennel.  If you do any Practical Kinesic Interview & Interrogation® analysis we always know to look at the words.  Especially the words that are missing.

Nice that he found Jesus during this time.  Maybe some more bargaining?  We’ve certainly not heard that claim before.  It light of his conversion, I wonder why his "confession" is so light on accepting guilt and responsibility for his actions.

Michael Vick’s statement- read it for yourself and see what you think.

Stan B. Walters "The Lie Guy®"

Victim Interview Gone Seriously Wrong

This has got to be among the most horrific examples of an interview gone wrong I have ever seen. This case is from White Bear Lake, MN. The interview is of a 13 year girl who has claimed she has been raped. The interviewer thinks she is lying. It would appear he has failed to accurately diagnose her verbal and nonverbal cues. In the mean time notice the devastating affect an accusatory interview can have.

Read the background on the case and then watch the interview.

Evasion versus Deception

A common belief held by many investigative interviewers and
most people in general is that when a person is being deceptive
that their statements are literally saturated with deceit. Results of
numerous studies of deception behavior does not support this
conclusion.  In reality, people engage in evasion far more often
than they do pure deception.

My colleague Dr. Martha Davis and I studied the video taped
interrogations from 36 felony cases investigated by the New York
Police Department.  Our study focused on identifying the verbal
and nonverbal cues to deception by subjects in situations where
there was significant jeopardy for the subject if their evasion and
deception attempts failed.  One of the general observations we
made that was very consistent with the results of previously
published studies of deception was that people are far more
evasive than deceptive.

Sustaining pure deception can be a difficult process for most
people.  This is not to say that lying is "hard" but one’s ability to
first create a deception and then sustain it under scrutiny is what is
difficult.  Let’s face it.  The "deception" liar must remember the
truth that they are attempting to hide and their first deception
presentation.  Next when their previous lie is challenged they must
create a new lie that dovetails with the first deception and most
often it must be created on the fly.  At the same time they must
leave the new lie open ended enough in case they are required to
lie some more.  This a daunting task for anyone.

The most common technique the majority people including
suspects use to avoid the truth is to practice evasion. Simple
evasion does not require a great deal of creative thinking on the
part of your deceitful suspect.  Evasion also does not require that
one have a particularly acute memory just tell as much of the truth
as possible.  Also consider the observations and reactions of the
person who is the target of the lie because the lie teller is doing
that very same thing.  Pure deception is more likely to raise the
suspicions of the lie target that evasion.

The conclusion we can make is that subjects are far more likely to
be evasive than deceptive.  The conclusion of our research drew
an interesting parallel observation.  Investigative interviewers are
more likely to diagnose the stress behaviors of evasion as
markers of deception.  Deception behaviors generated by a
subject are in fact rare.

Stan B. Walters "The Lie Guy®"