Lesson 3 - ANALYZING THE STATEMENT
1. Mark or circle all of the pronouns
a. Pronouns are one of the components in the statement that are not subjected to the writer's personal language. They are the same to everyone. When the person says "I," that means the person is referring to him- or herself alone. When the writer says "we," that means someone was with the writer.
The most common personal subject, object, and possessive pronouns are I, me, my, you, your, yours, he, him, his, she, her, hers, we, us, our, they, them, their(s). Pronouns give us responsibility and possession.
b. Pronouns produce as much as 90 percent of the admissions and confessions within a statement. That means if we pay attention only to the pronouns in a statement, we will be effective in locating deception.
c. A change in language, as in "I -- oh, we--" or “I, he said” is an indication that there might be deception in the statement. Exercise: Think of an incident that happened to you when you were a child. Do you remember if you were alone or if someone was with you? If someone was with you, you probably remember exactly who it was. If you can remember that distant incident with accuracy, a writer should be able to do the same without wondering if he or she was alone or with someone else.
“I was sitting at light on North and Park Ave. I was on Park Ave. I went to make a left on North Ave. to go west. I thought I saw someone I knew on the corner, Aum... I stopped and pulled over and when they got in the car I realized it wasn't who I thought it was, and... O.K. after that they got in and I realized it wasn't who I thought it was I said to them you’re not who I thought you were, I thought you were a friend of mine, they said don't worry about it and pulled out a gun after pulling the gun out they just told me to drive forward then asked me for some money before he told me give him my money, when we got up to the Linden Lounge he told me to pull over and then he searched my jacket and my pockets, because I told him I didn't have any money and Aum... he opened up my purse I had a small black purse in the car with me and he searched my purse. Aum... he went through my purse and the only thing he saw in there was my checkbook. So he got my checkbook Aum... I, he realized I didn't have any money he told me to drive off again and he told me to turn right, on Eutaw Aum. . . we went straight on Eutaw until we got to Hendlers Ln. we made a left on Hendlers Ln. from Eutaw Aum. . . we went straight through there to Madison and across Madison Aum. . . when we went across Madison and we got to the middle of the alley that's when he made me get out and then he took off with the car. That was it then I walked back over to Eutaw and I went inside a building and called the police.”
Note: We should also look for instances where the pronoun changes take place when referring to the suspect. At first, he was intentionally not telling us the sex of the robbery suspect, he said "I saw someone I thought I knew, They got in they said this, they told me that before mentioning the sex of the person. “He said for me to give him my money, and then they told me to stand there and count to a hundred…” The change from a calm form of communication such as said asked vs a forceful communication, Told, Demanded, Ordered" going from the mild/soft communication to a stronger more forceful form of communication can be normal, what is odd is to go from Told/Demanded to Said/Asked, it is also unexpected for it to flip flop back and forth. So be aware of the Communication, as well as the pronouns.
d. A statement missing the pronoun "I" or the pronoun “I” missing in a certain block of a statement indicates tension and might show deception. (Note a lower case i is the same as a missing I)
“Monday evening I was painting within the gallery. Mark Smith arrived and was hollering and screaming at the front of the gallery. I proceeded to lock the door and he continued screaming just swearing so there’s no need for specifics. Kicking the front door demanding to be let in. This was approximately 2340. Then Mark went to the back of the building and I, I threw up an extra curtain on the window so he couldn’t look in. He then ripped off the back porch light. I believe he left at that point. I didn’t make any contact with him. I waited about 40 minutes and then left for home just before leaving I made a phone call to Ted Hoyle. ( Missing “I” ) Let him know what happened ( Missing “I” ) let him know the above then went home. The morning after I checked my messages and decided to call in.”
e. It is also problematic if the "I" is used too many times in a statement. For example, "I got up, I took a shower, I got dressed, I went to work." In this case, the sentences are choppy and that means that the writer is very much alert; this choppiness is usually associated with tension and often proves to be an indicator of deception.
Note: Repeated pronouns are also a sign of tension. For example, if a writer says, “I, I... I got up and I went to work” or “He... he said he would hurt me,” the more the pronoun is repeated, the more tension is present in the statement. In a case of a threat the excessive use of "He" might be justified, but it is worth looking into.
“Monday evening I was painting within the gallery. Mark Smith arrived and was hollering and screaming at the front of the gallery. I proceeded to lock the door and he continued screaming just swearing so there’s no need for specifics. Kicking the front door demanding to be let in. This was approximately 2340. Then Mark went to the back of the building and I, I threw up an extra curtain on the window so he couldn’t look in. He then ripped off the back porch light. I believe he left at that point. I didn’t make any contact with him. I waited about 40 minutes and then left for home just before leaving I made a phone call to Ted Hoyle. Let him know what happened let him know the above then went home. The morning after I checked my messages and decided to call in.”
The statement should flow smoothly.
f. Let's say that I want to report that my wife and I went somewhere. If I didn't mention my wife before in the statement, I have to do so when it becomes important to mention her. The first time a person is mentioned, it is equivalent to a social introduction, e.g., "Please meet my wife Patty." After the first time a person is introduced (like a social introduction), the use of pronouns is called for. We use pronouns because they shorten the sentences and make communication easier by giving us a way to refer to a person or thing without having to use a proper name over and over.
There are four ways to say the same sentence:
1. We went…
2. My kids and I went…
3. I went… with my kids…
4. I went… with the kids…
If the pronoun comes before the person is identified, that is equal to being impolite and might indicate a bad relationship.
The shortest way to give a sentence is the best way. Anything different is meaningful.
2. Mark or Underline all of the people in the statement.
a. Every time someone is mentioned in the statement, we want to underline them or highlight them with a green highlighter.
b. In this category, we include people who make telephone calls to the writer, people who sent letters to the writer, and pets mentioned by the writer.
Note: We should consider pagers/pages as phone calls, and emails as letters
Looking back at the Lexington Market abduction statement from Lesson 1; this is Kalia's statement, she was with Meko at the time of the abduction
Me and Meko went to Lexington Mkt. When I was approached by a guy. At first, we were making conversation Meko got a page. Went to use the payphone while she was using the payphone. The tall dark-skinned guy told me I wasn’t going home that I was coming with him. We argued he said he would hurt me so when she ( Meko ) came back from the payphone I told her we’re going to have to go with them the tall one tried to have sex with me but didn’t. then Meko started crying and the light-skinned guy said man why Don’t you just let them go I’m not trying to catch a rape charge. So he finally gave in & did and dropped us out off somewhere in Lexington Market.
Notice the use of the Page and the Payphone; it would be important to find out who it was that was paging Meko, as it might have something to do with the reason for making the report. In this case, Meko was 13 years old, and it was her mother trying to get in touch with her to find out why she wasn't home. The abduction was made up to cover her absence.
c. With only slight reservations, we can say that the order in which people enter the statement reflects their priority in the writer's life.
Note: I mention this as a rule, but caution that it reflects priority in the writer’s life more as it relates to the incident being recalled. As I have said elsewhere in this course; while I believe there is definitely some validity in checking out everyone mentioned in a statement, and their order of appearance can be meaningful; for the analyst, I believe the way a person is introduced is a stronger and more useful tool.
The order of appearance can reflect the order of importance.
d. A statement is not a chronological report. The statement is not the actual reality. The statement is only what the writer has decided is important enough to be mentioned. This is very important to remember as it means that all of the elements in the statement were put there by the writer for a reason. Therefore, if an element is in the statement, it is part of the statement and should be investigated.
For example, a writer who reported being shot at was asked to write down what happened, and wrote the following:
I was outside talking to my cousin Shawn and then I started walking down Edmondson and I saw my cousin Jade hit some lady and was walking up Fremont she was walking down towards a police car and told them what happened I guess cause I was going into Romano’s and then later on that night I was walking down Fremont and someone started shooting so I ran up Fremont towards the alley I thought someone was chasing me but when I looked back I didn't see anyone.
Looking at his statement, it is safe to say that the main issue started about 50 words into the statement; in fact, it’s almost as if the first 50 words are about an entirely different incident. However, they are in the statement, so they are part of the incident.
I was outside talking to my cousin Shawn and then I started walking down Edmondson and I saw my cousin Jade hit some lady and was walking down Fremont she was walking down towards a police car and told them what happen I guess cause I was going into Romano’s
and then, later on, that night I was walking up Fremont and someone started shooting so I ran up Fremont towards the alley I thought someone was chasing me but when I looked back I didn't see anyone.
3. Mark or Underline all the changes in connections A connection is a phrase which connects different parts in the statement.
Here is an example:
"Sunday afternoon I woke at 8 o'clock, I went into the kitchen, then I drank a glass of milk. After leaving the kitchen…"
Unnecessary connections usually replace information that was intentionally taken out of the statement. It would be a good idea to back this writer up to before he went into the kitchen; then walk him slowly through his activities while he was in the kitchen. The “unnecessary connection” AFTER let’s us know something happened in the kitchen; finding out what it was, will start filling in the pieces to the puzzle.
4. Mark or underline all of the changes in tense.
Read each line to determine if it is being said in past or present tense. If it is written in present or future tense, mark it as meaningful. Present tense could be a sign of construction, meaning the statement is being made up on the spot. Both present and future tense violate the rule of First Person / Past Tense.
5. Mark or underline all of the objective times mentioned in the statement.
Underline any time that is mentioned in the statement and write it in the margin.
The objective times which are mentioned in the statement are the second component (after pronouns) that are not subjected to the writer's personal language. When the writer says "1 o'clock," it was also 1 o'clock for the listener or reader. Therefore, the objective times are the only connection from the subjective reality (that is, the events told from the writer's personal point of view) to the objective reality. The objective times enable us to check the subjective time the writer used to describe the different links.
6. Mark or underline all the changes in usage of subjective language concerning a specific term.
For example, the writer used, “My car” several time then changes “The car” or a writer that uses, “The Deposits” then switches to “The Money”
7. Compare the writer's language, taking into consideration inner-completeness within the statement.
A statement is a mathematical equation with unlimited unknown variables. The writer should maintain consistency in his language. A is equal to A; A is different from B. There are no synonyms in a statement.
For example: in a statement, “A television” is not the same as “a TV.” If the writer changes from saying, “I bought a new television… I carried the television to my car… I set the television up in my living room…” to saying he “grabbed something to eat and set down to watch TV,” we should note that “the television” was “a television” when he bought it, carried it, and set it up. Could it be that it changed to “a TV” when he watched it because he was not alone and he is now using his guests’ language? In the above example, you also have a missing “I” which could come to replace a “WE.”
8. Look for what is out of sequence in the statement.
9. Analyze the version using these basic questions:
a. If the writer is truthful, why did he say X?
b. If the writer is truthful, why did he say X this way?
c. If the writer is truthful, why did he say X this way at this specific location in the statement?
d. If the writer is truthful, why did he use such an amount of subjective time to describe this specific link?
10. Don't rush to give answers to the basic questions before having ALL the questions.
11. If you don't understand a sentence, skip it in your initial evaluation.
12. If you cannot give answers to basic questions, then ask for more information.
The analysis is not done item-by-item, going over the entire page for one item (for example, the pronouns) and then going back over the page for another item (for example, connections).
Note: The writer wrote the statement sentence by sentence. When the writer gave the first sentence, he didn't know what would be in the fifth sentence. The analysis should simulate the writer’s composition process.
That said, I believe there is no right or wrong way to go over a statement as long as you remember to go over the entire statement. There are those that would recommend not reading the statement first, as they say, you may get too wrapped up in the story to later look at it subjectively. I personally feel it is a good idea to read the statement first to get an idea of what the writer was trying to say before I analyze it to reveal what he actually said.
13. The four most important points in the statement are the following:
c. Change in language.
d. Objective vs. subjective time.
Case #1 - Street Robbery
"Pennsylvania & North Ave. I was walking southbound on Pennsylvania Ave. I just left two girl friends. I wanted to catch the bus to the hospital I pulled out twenty dollars to give the girls. I started walking the bus route I believe I was at Cumberland St. someone came behind me put something in my back, they took $100.00 out of my right pocket they said run. But I couldn’t run but so fast for my hemorrhoid problem. I was afraid I walked down the street. It was approximately 1:30 am and I walked to the hospital with a friend Sharon. "
Case #1 - Observations
From what we've already learned, it's obvious this writer is avoiding telling us the sexual identity of the robber(s). He never said a guy or a man, none of that. Instead, the writer always said someone or they. Next, the order of introduction is the order of importance. When a writer tells you about what happened, they will usually tell you everything about that incident. Therefore, everything in his statement is a part of the incident. Knowing that, we should look at the first person, or in this case, the first people in the statement: "Two girl friends." Right off the bat, there are two problems. He's telling us about TWO girl FRIENDS who have nothing to do with the robbery, and he's telling us about a robbery, but he's purposely not telling us if a male or female robbed him. Also, early in his statement, he said, "I pulled out twenty dollars to give the girls." Looking at the writer's verbs, we note that "to give" is not the same as "gave.” It means he didn't give the twenty dollars to them, because if he had, he would have said something like, "I gave the girls twenty dollars." Saying, "I pulled out twenty dollars to give the girls," tells you that something happened before he gave it to them. He also said, "I believe I was at Cumberland St." This is very non-committal, and you'll remember that lack of commitment equals a lack of reality. This statement is coming from a person who grew up in the neighborhood and he only thinks it was Cumberland Street. If he won't commit to where the crime took place, why should we believe a crime did take place? Also, he said, "Someone came behind me put something in my back, they took $100.00 out of my right pocket and they said run." Again, he is talking about one person, yet he says "they took $100.00" and "they said run." As I have already said, he is deliberately trying to hide the sexual identity of the suspect or suspects in this case. Moreover, why bother with the out-of-sequence statement about his hemorrhoids? Simple: the hemorrhoids are what kept him from catching the suspects.
My analysis of his statement led me to believe that the writer was on Pennsylvania Ave. talking to some girls. He wanted to impress them by giving them some money. However, when he took out his money, THE GIRLS grabbed all of it and ran. He couldn't catch them because of his hemorrhoid problem so they got away. His pride wouldn't let him tell anybody that two girls ripped him off, so, he made up the more macho robbery story to cover his missing money and explain to his daughter why he couldn't get her anything for her birthday.
He couldn't commit to a location of the robbery for fear that the police might find out that it couldn’t have happened there. Now, with his deliberate vagueness in place, if the officer said, "I was on that corner," the writer could say, "I said, I thought it was there, but it might have been a block or two over or down."
Case # 2 - Drive-by shooting
"The baby was crying so I had to take her for a ride, to quiet her down, hoping she would go to sleep. I drove around the neighborhood for awhile but it wasn't working, she just kept crying. So I decided to take her onto the expressway hoping a longer ride would do the trick. As I turned onto the expressway I saw a carload of teenagers driving erratically. They almost crashed into the left side of my car. So, I blew my horn at them. They got angry and pulled alongside me shouting obscenities. I tried to ignore them but they wouldn't go away. Then one of them pulled out a gun and shot at my car the bullet went through my open back window and hit the baby. I don't think she had time to feel it, I think it killed her instantly"
Case #2 - Observations
Based on the statement, it's obvious that the father wasn't as close to his daughter as he'd try to have us believe. He never gave her a proper introduction. By that, I mean he didn't say, "My daughter was crying." He said, "The baby was crying." He also said, "I had to take her for a ride." Bear in mind, this is different from, "I took her for a ride." Saying you had to do anything means you did not want to do it; you had to. He also said, "So, I decided." "Decided" means he gave it some thought; that is, he had other options but this was the one he decided upon and chose. When talking about the teenagers driving he said, "They almost crashed into the left side of my car." This is interesting, as in the entire statement he never uses the possessive pronoun "my" in regards to his daughter, yet four times in the statement, he said "my." The first time he said, "They almost crashed into the left side of my car." Second, he said, "I blew my horn." The third time, he said, "one of them pulled out a gun and shot at my car," and the last time he said, "the bullet went through my open back window." Sadly, he ended that sentence with "and hit the baby." Yeah, his daughter is still only "the baby. He went on to try to soften her murder by saying, "I don't think she had time to feel it, I think it killed her instantly."
The father later admitted to killing his daughter. He said her crying was more than he could take. He was a drug addict, high on drugs and he didn't know how to handle his baby. He could have taken her to a family member who would have taken care of her. He decided against it and shot and killed her instead. He tried to make up a story for police, but the relationship he had with his car was better then the relationship he had with daughter and it stood out.
Case #3 - Theft from auto
10:50 approximately left Roseville office via rout 40 came into Pleasant St. last parking spot empty on the right side of the street next to Maryland National Bank and Quill Parking. Parked the Jeep put all my mail, journals, magazines and papers on top the seat (passenger side seat covered the telephone with papers in the console, put the club on locked the Jeep checked the doors, went to my office at 321 N Calvert St. next door. Came out to go to bank at 12:10 noon. Saw police cars surrounding the Jeep the sirens, flashing lights on "I" ran to the Jeep. The officers told me that my Jeep had been broken into he (the officer) had opened the door "I" peeped in everything was scattered all over. Jacket was missing checked for telephone it was missing, made report to the officer. There was a work crew across the street curiously looking at me but say they saw nothing. Had cashed two checks, my wife cashed the third check. Brought the cash home she did not get the time to go to the bank but I volunteered to take the money to the bank.
Case #3 - Observations
The word "I" was used three times in the statement, two times when the officers were there. Those are events that we know happened. The word "I" was also used once when the writer volunteered to do something. (We know this is true because his wife confirmed it.) Regarding the other information about parking and securing the vehicle, however, the speaker leaves himself out. He doesn't say, "I left Roseville, I came to Pleasant St., I parked the Jeep..."
Incidentally, it would have been far closer to the norm if the speaker had said, "I parked my Jeep." Instead, he disowns it by not using a possessive pronoun. The fact is, if you read the statement, you'll see he doesn't use the "I" or any possessive pronouns except for when the police are there. Lack of the "I" equals a lack of commitment and a lack of total belief. The writer who wrote this was a doctor and he was very articulate. Nevertheless, he couldn't bring himself to include himself in a lie. He was trying to report $20,000.00 cash as being stolen from his Jeep for insurance purposes. It didn't work. He was confronted and elected to recant his story, withdrawing his police report. He was later arrested.
Case #4 - Threatening letters
The FBI had a case involving a woman at a federal building who was receiving threatening letters. When the FBI approached us to read and analyze the letters, we wanted to tell them that Statement Analysis isn't some magic technique that will give them the name and address of their suspect. However, curiosity wouldn't let us. We figured we could read the letters, get the inside scoop, and then tell them we couldn't help them. That way, we'd know more about a story that was getting a great deal of attention within the police department.
Anyway, the letters were brought to us, we read them, and then we started to re-type the letters. (By the way, to say "re-type the letters" might indicate the letters were typewritten in the first place.) While typing, we noticed some interesting word choices used by the author of the letters. Moreover, we were instantly able to call the FBI... and give them the name and address of their suspect.
Our method was based on Statement Analysis, although the refined techniques used in Statement Analysis were something Mr. Sapir himself had not yet discovered. I won't bother going into the whole letter -- just two lines from two letters that basically pointed the suspect out.
The first letter said:
"You know I am out there,"
and the last letter said:
"This is the letter we have all been waiting for."
Case #4 - Observations
In the first letter, the author says, "You know I am out there." The only way someone can say, "You know I am out there" is if they are in "here" when they wrote the statement. If the author were not already in the building when the letter was written, the letter should have said, "You know I am out here." Think about it: if I'm in a building and you're in the courtyard of that building when I ask, "Where are you?" you'd say something like, "I'm out here" or "I'm over here." Then, if I said, "Oh, you're out there?" you'd have to answer, "Yes, I'm out…." You could not logically answer, "Yes, I'm out there." Try it once. The letter said, "You know I am out there." This tells us the letter was written from within the office and made to look as if it came from outside.
The last letter reinforces this theory. The author wrote, "This is the letter we have all been waiting for." About this, I have two questions. First, have you ever written a letter to someone? Second, have you ever waited for that same letter? Chances are you have written tons of letters and you've never waited for a single letter that you've written. That may be a little harder to follow than the difference between "there" vs. "here," but it's really quite simple. If you were receiving letters for some attention and the next thing you knew, the police department, your boss, the FBI, and the fire department were all involved, and all the letters were being read and analyzed by everybody, you wouldn't be able to wait until you could write that last letter. These letters were being written by their recipient. She expected a little attention at work and she got a lot.
Bonus Information - just something to think about
We don't normally discuss “action changes” but in some ways, they can be strongly related to “language changes”. A change in action, can signal missing/hidden information, or a change in reality.
I officer Jassman was at “The Wall” when a man came up and i ask him could i help him he said no he is looking for someone i told him he would have to go around front to see the people at the front desk he said don’t tell me where the fuck to go i go where the fuck i want to go don’t tell me where to go so i went back in the booth. He came over toward me and i ask him again where he was going. He bitch where is the mother fucking money I told he there was no money. He went in his pocket so I (“told” scratched out written over with “pointed”) pointed to the desk he grab the money and ran
For now, we'll ignore the lower case “i” and look at something a little different, But let's not forget, a lower case 'i" is equal to a missing "I" So while we are ignoring the lower case "i" it is only for now, we will cover them.
The writer said/wrote,
"i told him he would have to go around front to see the people at the front desk"
he said, "don’t’ tell me where the fuck to go i go where the fuck i want to go don’t tell me where to go"
"i ask him again where he was going."
He ( missing “said” ) "bitch where is the mother fucking money"
"I told he there was no money."
He went in his pocket ( no words... dead silence? )
I pointed to the desk
he grab the money and ran ( chirp chirp? Again no words? silence )
The picture he paints is of a loud obnoxious guy robbing him, do you think the action/language change is justified, as the suspect grows angrier reaching for a weapon, do you think he would become Marcel Marceau; or do you think he would tell the victim what he was going to do with the implied weapon, i.e. “Bitch, I’ll blow your F@#$ing head off.” or “Bitch, I’ll cut your F@#$ing throat” I’m not so sure I can buy the suspect suddenly turning into a mime. It seems to me that if he went off on a tangent about being told where to go; he would have really gone off trying to get the writer to turn over the money.
This coupled with the basics of the lower case “i” and I think there is a strong chance that this statement is deceptive The investigator got back to me that week to confirm, the writer admitted, she needed money for a dental appointment for her son, so she faked the robbery by having a friend rob her. Sometimes it helps to befriend them offering to help lesson their troubles, and of course if they help we really do try to get them a reduced sentence.
That's it for lesson 3. As always if you have questions email or P.M. them to us