Saturday, May 30, 2009

Something that bothers me about a comment made by the uncle of Nevaeh Buchanan

Even though he is only on camera for less than ten seconds what he says strikes me as odd. Ten seconds is not enough time to get a true read on someone so I would want to hear more before reaching any conclusions.

He says, "Our family thanks everybody from the bottom of their hearts for all their help and everything, and hopefully there's a good outcome with this tonight," said Michael Buchanan, Nevaeh's uncle.

My concern here is what would be a good outcome, when you are searching woods and fields? As a family member a good outcome is finding her alive and doing well, not finding a body. This is an unusual statement. I also do not like the "emotion" he is showing, it does appear somewhat conspired. I also do not like the distancing himself from the family by the use of "their" especially when he used "our" in the very beginning of the sentence. Being on television can produce a certain amount of nervousness that could explain these inconsistencies, but he doesn't appear nervous.

I've been looking for more information about the Uncle, and find it odd that he is criticizing the mother in the media. This is something he may feel, but it is something you only say privately; you do not hit someone when they are down when they are going through the toughest of situations; it also draws attention to the sexual offenders. This is all very interesting.

Once again, there is not enough time or information to fully come to any conclusions.◦

How to Detect Lying with Graphology


Things You’ll Need:

  • Blank sheet of white paper; Ink pen; Curiosity about people and an interest in handwriting and what it can reveal.

What your handwriting reveals

  • Step 1:
    Overly Slow HandwritingHand the person that you’re interviewing a blank piece of paper and an ink pen and ask him to write a paragraph or two about himself. Ask him to sign it (using his signature) when he’s completed the task. Leave the room while he’s doing this.
  • Step 2:
    Large Gaps in WritingAfterwards, study what the person has written. If he has overly slow handwriting this can indicate that he’s either intellectually inferior or is trying to hide something. An adult with reasonable intelligence does not write slowly most of the time. When slow handwriting is evident (the opposite of swift, hurried handwriting which is detectable) it can infer calculated behavior or that the person is trying to conceal something. A person who is writing from the heart, spontaneously, does not have to carefully ponder each word that she writes down.
  • Step 3:
    Cover StrokeCheck for big gaps between words. If the person wrote: “I am thirty years old” he’s probably lying about his age. Look at segmented letters. If a person prints, and the letters don’t touch, this indicates stealth and deception.
  • Step 4:
    Felon's ClawStudy to see if there are ‘cover strokes’ (i.e., the tail of the last letter in a word swoops up and over a portion of the word). This could indicate the person is feeling defensive and has something to hide.
  • Step 5:
    Look for the ‘felon’s claw’, which is considered one of the most delectable traits in graphology. This shape is seen when a person makes a straight down-stroke and then immediately goes into a claw shape (comparable in shape to an upside down U but sharper). This handwriting characteristic is associated with bitterness, bad instincts and guilt. The higher the claw, the worse the situation is, and the more conscious the writer is of her guilt and criminality.
  • Step 6:
    Study the person’s signature. If the person’s signature is significantly different from the text that she's written this reveals that what you see is NOT what you get. This person is probably pretentious and arrogant but not necessarily a crook. She may not behave in public as she does in private, indicating duplicity.

Tips & Warnings

  • Learning graphology insights can give you the edge if you’re in a position where you must hire people or, for instance, if you’re an attorney and trying to pick a jury. Subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, clues and cues can be picked up from a person’s handwriting.
  • Handwriting is as unique as a fingerprint. Our handwriting reveals our true selves.


FBI Agent Explains How To Spot Liars on KOCO News

Introductory Video to the field.

KOCO 5, Oklahoma City

Think you can spot a liar? Experts have devised three categories of behaviors that often give a liar away.

Some of them are voluntary behaviors (body/non-verbal language or nervous tics), and others are involuntary (autonomic nervous system).

First, here are the autonomic nervous system indicators that a person might not be telling the truth:

Breathing pattern changes
Dry mouth
Clicking sound
Swallowing often
Wetting lips
Dilated pupils
Throat clearing
White flecks at corners of mouth
Bobbing Adam's Apple
Pulsating carotid arteries
Change in tone of voice

Then there are body language hints that a liar might be in your midst:

Not paying attention
Crossed arms
Looking away
Runner's stance
Elbows in close
Hands tightly folded in lap
Unnatural laugh
Leaning back in chair
Hands behind head
Crossed legs
Sitting to the side

Finally, experts say there are nervous movements to keep an eye on when trying to spot a liar:

Rubbing or scratching
Pulling or picking
Tapping fingers or feet
Playing with objects
Looking at watch
Chewing gum◦

Interview & Interrogation Skills from Detectives

Part One:



Friday, May 29, 2009

The way you hold your drink reveals key personality traits.

The way you hold your drink reveals key personality traits, claim psychologists - United Kingdom

The way people hold their drink reveals their personality, a new study claims.

He analysed drinkers' body language and then advised on their openness to being approached. He has categorised them as the 'Flirt', 'Gossip', 'Fun-Lover', ...

The way you hold your drink reveals key personality traits, claim psychologists

Arnold Schwarzenegger on Legalizing Marijuana

Looks like he really doesn't want to discuss the issue...


Touching of the Mouth and Ears while Listening?

I was watching a couple of back to back episodes of "The First 48 hours" (on A&E) and it is a good show to watch regularly if you are interested in this web site- there is at least 10 minutes of real life interrogation videos in each show.

What was different about the episodes last night was the camera wasn't mounted on the wall near the ceiling, but instead they had a camera in the room so the suspect and the interviewer could been seen just as good.

A couple of times I wanted to scream at the interviewer because they were making some big mistakes with their body language.

When I teach television reporters to interview I tell them you have to "show" the right reaction to get the best results. Sometimes you must present yourself in the most non judgmental way; in fact you have to build trust by becoming a chameleon so you are on their "wave length." You have to be in that mode 90-95% of the time when doing the interview, and save the other 5-10% when you really need it to get your information.

When we are listening and we are hearing something we do not like, subconsciously we might touch or even cover our ears. I can spot this from across a crowded restaurant, and when I see some printed materials on the table I know someone is being sold some insurance or is trying to get someone to switch banks/brokers/etc. Remember this, it is a big clue when evaluating your listeners.

When we cover our mouths while listening, it is saying we do not want to talk now. This is something that is being taught and is becoming widely known and used.

Bask to the shows last night. One investigator was getting a cold blooded confession. The investigator was tugging on their ear at the beginning of every sentence, moving forward in their seat (because they were excited because of such a clear cut home run of a confession) and was to quick to cover their mouth after asking the question. It was a melody and mix of lack of control by the investigator that was sending the wrong message. It became an unnatural conversation. It was like getting a good hand in poker and letting everybody know by starting to dance with your feet under the table. It was complicated by the tone of their questions, it was judgemental giving the impression that they were going to pounce with an old fashion parental scolding. They didn't ask themselves why am I getting things so good. The confessor actually smiled as the detective left the room. Mission Accomplished.

What should have happened is this: never tug at your ear when interviewing someone for television or because they are a suspect in a crime. Do not lean forward or back in a chair unless it is to make some sort of point. Cover your mouth only when you need to - when you need to send a clear signal I'm going to let you talk now, don't do it when they are babbling like a brook. It was done so fast you could be sending the signal to NOT talk- it can be interrupted like a signal you might get from a parent when you start to ask Aunt Jenny why she has hair on her upper lip- catch those words and put them back in your mouth. If someone is giving you information so freely that could send them to prison for the rest of their life, or even the death penalty, you have to ask yourself why. Why are they making my job as a detective so easy? I've already got to what I need to convict, perhaps I should should change the pace and tone of the conversation so we can get back to our normal roles as detective and criminal to see what is lurking below the surface.

There were two people involved in killing two people and almost killing another. Two of the victims were women who were tied up and duct taped was placed over their mouth and eyes, they were shot execution style. Thankfully one lived. The other one that was killed was involved in the drug trade and a contract was put out on his life. The confessor said he shot the drug dealer in his driveway, while his friend shot the girls in the house. He was probably being untruthful about some if not all of the story. He was distancing himself from the killings that were senseless and could carry the stiffest of penalties with any jury. What type of situation are you in when your best "play" is to confess to shooting a guy three times in the driveway?!?!

The detective got the confession without any techniques, simply something like this was said at the beginning of the interview, 'So you know two people were killed up there... and one lived, tell me what you know about it?'

I don't know the end result. I do know people are going to prison given the confessions and evidence, and sometimes that is enough... but I just feel uneasy unless I have the complete and real truth.

The First 48 Hours web site

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

“My children wanted me. They needed me. And now I can’t help them” SUSAN SMITH

Before Smith was a suspect in her children’s deaths, she told reporters, “My children wanted me. They needed me. And now I can’t help them.”

Notice the tense.

Remember in your past when someone close to you died, and every so often you'd mix the tense. It is normal, we all do it. When we do it, we use the present tense, as if they are still alive.

When someone is dealing with such a high anxiety situation, they hold up all hope and do not make mistakes in tense. Using past tense assumes that they are no longer living, and subconsciously they could be telling us something. Especially hours and days after it has happened- after weeks or months a logical person may slowly come to the conclusion that they are no longer living, but I have heard mothers use the present tense years after their child has been missing. Everybody is different and needs to be evaluated in context of the situation, personality, and educational level.

In an another abduction case currently unsolved, this mistake was made in a television interview. There were other things that clearly caused suspicion, but the parent was leading the camera crew through their home for the first time since the abduction, and while on the tour the child's bedroom door was opened, you wouldn't expect a tense mistake (~this was his/her room); because after all it still IS their room?!?! RIGHT?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Analysis of Last Week's Lying Game

Let's take a closer look at the Liar's Game from last week. If you haven't seen it go ahead and view it by clicking here.

When I teach Television Editors and Reporters about what I do, I'm always telling them they do not need to catch every micro expression or gesture because you can always review the tape. Then I teach them how to review the tapes. One of the things I tell them to play it once at a normal speed, then once at a fast speed, then once slow speed. Why? Fast speed can show you tendency gestures, when they gesture less, and their normal gestures that becomes part of the baseline. Slower speeds can show you the leakage gestures and expressions.

What I would suggest for you to do now, is to place a piece of scotch tape right below the video timeline below, with a pen mark the starting and ending points of each statement. Watch it fast a couple of times.

Does anything stand out? It should. During the lie there is a decrease in gestures. The difference is barely noticeable when played at a normal speed, but when playing it faster it becomes obvious. Here are a couple of articles from The Journal of Nonverbal Behavior about this:

The impact of deception and suspicion on different hand movements. Caso,
Letizia; Maricchiolo, Fridanna; Bonaiuto, Marino; Vrij, Aldert; Mann, Samantha;
Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, Vol 30(1), Mar 2006. pp. 1-19. [Journal Article]

Individual differences in hand movements during deception. Vrij, Aldert;
Akehurst, Lucy; Morris, Paul; Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, Vol 21(2), Sum
1997. pp. 87-102. [Journal Article]

When you marked the timeline something else should have stood out. There is one particular statement that takes longer than the others. When people lie they tend to "explain" it more in an attempt to make it more believable. There are too many articles on this to cite just a couple- search online. I've created programs that "count" emotional words, and determine learning styles, etc. but here is the thing with computers, people are usually better and quicker than computers in this area- but more on that in another post.

Did you have trouble spotting the lie? Why this one was hard to read? Well, because it was based on a half truth.

What I want to do is put together a group of 50 really good 'The Lying Games' or statements and develop a web based application, like METT, where the barely noticeable becomes obvious because you have been trained through repetition. It is important to notice more/less gestures, and blinking, and the like. Too much I want to do, very little time.◦

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Human Animal- the Language of the Body

Desmond Morris takes a look at how the man communicated before language. This is a great way to understand the beginnings of the field. It also examines what is our natural behavior.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Body Language Novels - Lastest in the Series to be Released Soon

These novels star California Bureau of Investigation agent Kathryn Dance, the California Bureau of Investigation's foremost kinesics -- body language-expert.

These books are written by suspense/mystery writer Jeffery Deaver who has a great track record with bestsellers.

Catch up on the first one in the Agent Dance series so you'll be ready for the latest.

This title will be released on June 9, 2009.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eye Direction Clues

This is one of the many tools that along with other clues can be helpful. As with anything it is important to establish a baseline, some people can be reversed; while other do not show this at all. This is highly debated in academia, and there are studies on both sides of the validity of it. From personal experience I can tell you there are people that it most definitely works with, and others where I do not use eye movement as an indicator.

The funny thing is I do not look for it, but when I'm talking with someone where it works, it is like my subconscious mind tells me watch the direction of their eyes.

Also, it doesn't have to be their eyes, I have seen their head move in the direction matching clue areas.

An interview from Sunday Morning and for Kate Winslet she is spot on with directional clues.



One thing, there is also some debate as to what each area means. This is what I found:


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Before there was "Lie to Me" there was "Angela's Eye's"

There was a show on one of the cable networks that ran for 13 episodes.

Angela's eyes follows a FBI agent who had a gift for knowing when people were lying by reading their body language.

It can still be seen online at -and also on a Japanese website.

The easiest way to watch it is to go to this site for links to the 13 episodes.

Angela's Eyes on blinkx

Now it is different than "Lie to Me" but you might be able to stop the craving for "Lie to Me" it is a little snack to the steak you get with "Lie to Me."


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prediction: Next Season 'Lie to Me' Science Behind the Show Spotlight

Blinking during and after lying.

As cognitive processing occurs there is a decrease in eye blinks, directly followed by an increase in blinking after the lie is told. Truth tellers do not change blink rate...

For more about the science of deception:
Blinking during and after lying. Leal, Sharon; Vrij, Aldert; Journal of Nonverbal
Behavior, Vol 32(4), Dec 2008. pp. 187-194. [Journal Article]◦

Online Tool Artnatomy

This is a great tool to hone your skills in the areas of facial recognition, emotions and movement of facial muscles.

Visit online at, Artnatomy

Monday, May 18, 2009

Liars Game

This is one of the better ones. I was able to figure it out by slowing it down, click on more to see what I saw.

Find out which on was the lie.

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has been under fire lately for her role in the Bush administration's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques."


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lie to Me, Second Season!!!

FOX has renewed LIE TO ME - one of the season's top new series among Adults 18-49 - for a second season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company. In addition, Shawn Ryan, creator and executive producer of "The Shield," joins the series as an executive producer and show-runner.
"LIE TO ME came out strong, built a solid audience throughout its run and promises to be one of our big assets next season and beyond," said Reilly. "We're incredibly excited to have Shawn on board to infuse LIE TO ME with even more creative energy next season."
From Imagine Television, LIE TO ME is the compelling drama series inspired by the scientific discoveries of Dr. Paul Ekman, a real-life specialist who can read clues embedded in the human face, body and voice to expose the truth and lies in criminal investigations. Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) heads a team of experts at The Lightman Group who assist federal law enforcement, government agencies and local police with their most difficult cases.
In the explosive season finale episode airing Wednesday, May 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), a terrorist bombing outside of Washington, DC causes FBI Agent Ben Reynolds (guest star Mekhi Phifer) to call on The Lightman Group to help identify those responsible and prevent more attacks. The case takes a personal turn for one member of the team and begs the question of whether honesty is indeed the best policy. Zoe (guest star Jennifer Beals) helps her ex-husband Lightman with the investigation, and both are concerned about their daughter's safety.◦

Friday, May 1, 2009

Science behind 'Lie to Me' - Nonverbal deception abilities and adolescents' social competence: Adolescents

You may remember a particular episode where they stated that the higher a teenager is in social status, the better they are at lying.

For more about the science of deception:
Nonverbal deception abilities and adolescents' social competence: Adolescents
with higher social skills are better liars. Feldman, Robert S.; Tomasian, Jason
C.; Coats, Erik J.; Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, Vol 23(3), Fal 1999. pp. 237-
249. [Journal Article]◦