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Lying: Lance Armstrong’s Attorneys Say “It’s Okay!”

If you write a book, you have a right to lie.  At least that’s what Lance Armstrong’s attorney’s say about his autobiographies. Lance Armstrong is being sued by his book publishers for $5 million dollars plus damages for the massive lies he wrote about in his books.

I find it very interesting that Armstrong’s attorney Jonathan Herman says “People don’t always have to tell the truth.”  I guess it doesn’t matter that he duped the publishers and millions of readers in his books “It’s Not About the Bike” and “Every Second Counts.”  The argument is that he didn’t fraudulently mislead anybody to buy his books through some form of false advertising campaign. The publisher’s attorney Kevin Roddy says “He cheated on bike races to sell books and he published books in order to cover up cheating. We think they are intertwined.”

I wonder if Armstrong’s attorney would be so cavalier about lying if it was a witness he was deposing?  Would he be so generous if a witness lied on the witness stand?  I guess as long as I feel “justified” in the situation I am authorized to lie.  That’s the same logic people use with they commit all types of crimes, fraud, deception, even sabotage and espionage!

In my mind, this is just another example of Armstrong’s grossly over blown ego and that he can do anything he wants and can find ways to justify his actions.  Lying, not matter the situation is ALWAYS done for selfish reasons.  Even the little white lies we tell in social situations.  What I worry about are the lies that are designed to “hide” a wrong, “hype” the image of oneself, or to “harm” another.

In my mind, chronic lying (hide, hype and harm) is a sign of a MAJOR character flaw on the part of the liar.  It would be my opinion that Armstrong has some major character flaw issues!

The Lie Guy YouTube ChannelThe Lie Guy YouTube: Deception: The Different Types of Lies


Don’t you find it amazing that liars are so good at rationalizing and justifying their behavior?  Isn’t amazing that some people go out of their way to enable these people to keep getting away with victimizing others?


I guess some people just prefer to be lied to because they hate hearing the truth as much as some people fear telling the truth.

Well … at least that’s my observation anyway.

Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”

The Interview Room

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Interview and Interrogation Training: It’s Not One and Done.

One interview and interrogation training course is NOT a vaccination!  Just because you took one course on the topic doesn’t mean you don’t need or won’t benefit from any more follow-up training. More often that not investigators and especially their administrators maintain the philosophy that once you take a course on interview and interrogation, you don’t really need any more training on the topic for the rest of your career.

The last 10 – 12 years has seen an enormous amount new research and legal rulings on interview and interrogation.  To maintain a high level of proficiency and reduce personal legal liability, investigators should be constantly studying and researching interview and interrogation research as well as their particular field of expertise. A VERY large majority of the research has proven that many of our detection of deception techniques are absolutely wrong!  Unfortunately misdiagnosis of deception signs is one of the leading causes of false confessions.  Even more disturbing is how many people teaching interview and interrogation have been ignoring the empirical research and are responsible for continuing to perpetuate myths about deception and interrogation.

Questions the professional interviewer & interrogator should ask themselves –

  1. Am I dedicated to being the best in my field including my interview & interrogation skills?  Am I a “virtuoso” in my field or am I just average?
  2. Am I spending 30 – 60 minutes per day reading about interview and interrogation or about my area of specialization?
  3. Have I ever spent the equivalent of the cost of a gourmet cup of coffee on educating and improving myself and my knowledge base?
  4. How long ago did I take any training or refresher training on interview & interrogation?
  5. Have I really looked at the true “source” of my interview and interrogation training? Is what I am being taught supported by empirical evidence or is it just anecdotal.  As business expert Mark Sanborn wrote in his latest business book “Up, Down or Sideways,” despite popular belief “data is not the plural of anecdotal.”
  6. Am I learning for the future?  The more you learn, the more you know what you are going to need to learn to be able to adapt to what you will encounter in the future.

If nothing else, there is one more VERY good reason to read, research and study our interview and interrogation skills.  We dramatically improve our chances of success in the interview room and in the field.

Mark Sanborn wrote “The more you learn, the more you develop behavioral flexibility that provides you a distinct advantage over your competition.”

Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”
The Interview Room

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Interrogation: What Do Biden and Bad Interrogators Have In Common?

Really! What does V.P. Joe Biden and a bad interrogator have in common?  Think about the question and Biden’s performance in the recent Vice Presidential debate. Now think about how a poorly trained, bad interrogator carries out an interrogation. The parallels are obvious.

My question is not meant to be a political statement on V.P. Biden or the current presidential campaign.  If however, you look at the analysis of Biden’s behavior and demeanor during the debate by some communication experts and social scientists there are several very strong parallels.

First, Biden was criticized for the fact he would not even listen to any responses by Ryan before he began his rebuttal. The poor interrogator approaches the interview with the preconception that they already have all the facts they need and have already reached a conclusion about the subject’s innocence or guilt regarding the issue at hand. In the past, I have referred to this as the “preconception assassin syndrome.”  See Duke LaCrosse rape case and the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

Second, Biden was criticized for trying to force his conclusions on Ryan. The interrogator intends to enforce their conclusions on the subject they are interviewing.  They will not accept any other explanations.  The interrogator will accept no rebuttals and makes sure that the subject understands that it is futile to do so. God forbid that he or she should spend a little more time listening to their subject because they might learn something or hear some facts that disagree with their preconceived conclusions!

Third, Biden was criticized for being rude, dismissive, and condescending toward Ryan. The interrogator behaving the same way has little or no respect for the subject and will gain little or no rapport or cooperation or compromise with the subject.  The interrogator intends to prove that they are superior to the subject. The subject is an underling and beneath the station of their interrogator and therefore should know their place or certainly they will be put in their place by the interrogator. “Just who do you think you are?” “How dare you question me or challenge me?”  In the end this is an affirmation in the mind of the  interrogator that they are the superior individual in the conversation. Of course this works real well when you are trying to develop “rapport” with a subject and apply ethical influence or persuasion tactics that encourage cooperation and compliance.

Finally, for many viewers, Biden left the audience with a poor impression of who he is and what he stands.  In short, his message was lost because of what many observers called extreme, over the top, erattic behavior.  This type of interrogator will wind up being blindsided when the true facts of the case are revealed, or when a case is lost, a conviction is overturned, or when an innocent person is the victim of injustice, or the victim of the crime is not protected.  Of course the interrogator’s response is invariably the system failed, the judge or jury just doesn’t understand, there was nothing wrong with “my” work, etc.  One of my favorite statements is “I don’t interrogate innocent people.” Another is “that’s the way I or we have always done it.”

Can you say “coerced confession?”  Repeat after me “contaminated witness statements.”

It’s time we weeded out these type of interviewers and keep them out of our interview rooms and away from our witnesses.  It is also time we took a critical look at how we are training our interrogators because the accusatory tactics and mythological deception cues we teach during interview and interrogation training are the real genesis of these types of interrogators.

Regarding V.P. Biden… draw your own conclusions and vote accordingly!

Of course, this is just MY opinion!

Stan B. Walters,
“The Lie Guy®”
The Interview Room
Stan B. Walters Speaks


False Confessions: The “Get a Confession” Philosophy

When 25% of all the wrongful convictions overturned using DNA are the direct result of false confessions, then it’s time to look at police interview and interrogation training and techniques.

For more than 30 years, cases of wrongful conviction have been under the scrutiny of legal and criminal justice professionals and scholars.  One of the main contributing factors has consistently been identified as false confessions.  So why do we keep teaching the same flawed techniques?

One trend that I have seen for more than 30 years has been the persistent philosophy of investigators / interrogators that the sole objective of any interview or interrogation is to get a confession. Well, if that’s your only objective in an interrogation, rarely will you be disappointed!

Here’s the problem –

  1. Having an objective of “getting the confession” perpetuates a mindset on the part of the interviewer than there can be no other conclusions as to who is responsible for committing the crime.
  2. “Getting the confession” philosophy almost invariably leads to an accusatory style of interrogation which returns far less information that may be needed to progress a case criminally.
  3. “Getting the confession” philosophy and the inevitable accusatory style interrogation always winds up contaminating the subject’s behavior and responses because the interrogator exposes the subject to proprietary case information.
  4. Finally, “getting the confession” philosophy leads to the meme exposed by many interrogators and I might add their interrogation trainers that “they wouldn’t confess if they weren’t guilty!  In other words, it’s the suspect’s fault for falsely confessing.  I have actually heard this statement made by officers and interrogation trainers when asked about the problem of false confessions.

It is time to acknowledge that the perpetuation and persistence of false confession cases leads right back to our training academies.  “That’s they way we have always done it” doesn’t cut it as an excuse anymore!

Just my opinion because I am tired of seeing and hearing the crap taught in our academies. Those trainers and academies have to held accountable for ignoring the overwhelming evidence of failing to properly train interview and interrogation techniques and therefore result in such injustices.

Stan B. Walters,
“The Lie Guy®”
The Interview Room
Stan B. Walters Speaks

Detection of Deception: Sandusky’s Jaw-Dropping Interview

His private parts may have touched her son. Wished it never happened.  Need forgiveness. Shouldn’t have showered with those kids. “Am I sexually attracted to young boys? “ He enjoys kids and loves to be around them. "I have done some of those things." What amazing statements by a man under suspicion of “inappropriate behavior” with boys who are minors!

Bob Costas’ interview last night of Jerry Sandusky was absolutely stunning.  Bob did a great job no doubt but to me, Sandusky’s responses telegraph the thoughts and behaviors of a man who knows his actions where wrong and is having trouble explaining and justifying what he is alleged to have done.

(See the video here on YouTube)

Some of my quick observations that would set off alarm bells if I were conducting a criminal interview of Jerry Sundusky:

1.    Did not touch their leg with sexual intent. Uh huh.  Why were you touching their leg while they were all nude in the shower?

2.    Told the mother of one boy he wished it hadn’t happened and needed forgiveness.  He told her he wishes he was dead. So what have you done that you feel need to be forgiven?  Why do you feel you need to die?

3.    Tells us he enjoys kids and loves being around them.  Strangely they are all young boys and always in and around showers.  I see a possible repetitive pattern of sexual fantasy going on here.

4.    Describes his actions with the boys in the showers as “just horsing around.”  Really?  How’s that for rationalizing your behavior?

5.    Another witness reported Sandusky performing oral sex on a child in the showers.  Another shower scene with Sandusky.

6.    Another witness reported Sandusky was in the shower with a young boy and he heard rhythmic “slapping sounds” that the witness called a rape. Sandusky said the boy had turned off the showers, he was sliding acoss the floor and Sandusky says he was snapping a towel.  That must have been painful for somebody in the showers.

7.    Costas asked Sandusky if he was a pedophile to which Sandusky quickly responded “No.”  But when asked if he was sexually attracted to young boys, Sandusky immediately stalls before answering which is a sign of cognitive load and that the question has created some significant stress on the part of the subject.  It means that Costas’ question was spot on. Once Sandusky starts to answer, we hear cognitive dissonance in that Sandusky’s thoughts are literally racing and he is in deep trouble trying to respond in a way that minimizes or explains away his actions.

Already there are hints of more boys who are victims.  I’m afraid the list could get VERY long.  We are ALSO going to hear of more potential victims of Sundusky's behaviors that never made it to the showers.

Authorities need to find ALL these victims and conduct extensive forensics interviews of each by trained forensic child interviewers.  Then these victims will need extensive attention and counseling.  These victims have been suffering for a long time thinking they were bad and that they were the only ones.

This case will go way beyond the confines of Penn State.  I predict that if they are disclosed, there will be many incidents not related to his time on the Penn State campus and therefore lots of other people who did not report Sandusky for his actions.

Not doubt Sandusky is to blame for his own actions but I don’t think that the administration at Penn State are the only ones who didn’t report what they knew.

PS Kudos to Bob Costas for a great interview, especially on the fly.

At least that's my opinion.

Stan B. Walters, CSP
"The Lie Guy®"