Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Adam Lanza: Some Initial Thoughts

We've been here before, different setting, different victims.  

A young man isolated at a crossroads of his life where he should be moving into adulthood.

I think what is important here are the differences.

Some things I find interesting:
  • No note or "manifesto" in fact he spent a large amount of energy and time destroying hard drives.What did he want to hide from "us" when the dust settled.
  • Why kill the mother.  Usually when someone kills the mother, it is because they blame the mother for their current situation or past injustices.  This is obviously not the case, because he moved onto the school for more victims.
  • Why kill the kids?  School shootings are usually directed against peers who the gunman felt deserved it.
  • How several of the shots where take at close range to be sure the victim was dead.
  • Visit to the school on a different date before the killing spree.
What doesn't add up:
  • Suicide.  It would make sense that this was a mission that he knew would end in his death either from his own hands or from the police.  Why would he stop killing when he heard the sirens, wouldn't he want to inflict more pain?  
  • Why his mother, then the children.
  • Visit to the school on a different date before the killing spree.
  • How much attention the police have spoken about evidence from the hard drive.  It is obvious Adam Lanza was hiding something.
Now I normally have some statements to analyze, or footage from old home movies, or from people involved.  I do not have any of these in this case.  

What I have is a theory based on the actions of the shooter and statesmen analysis from the police statements that I have heard.

It is likely his mother was not the source of his violent rage.  He could have killed her and then killed himself. Why target innocent children and why visit the school earlier in the week. It could be he made a name for himself, become notoriously famous, but why not leave some sort of note or message to prove to the world how evil he is? It is a small community, we have heard it over and over, but did you know that 4 of the children lived within a one mile radius of the killer.  It is close knit, but it is a community  where none of the roads are perfectly straight even Main Street moves different angles- it is spread out. One child was his neighbor.  Remember where you heard this first:  It is plausible some sort of altercation or relationship existed between the shooter and one of the children killed.  It is possible if this would have become public it would have lasting effect on his and his mother's life.  It is possible Adam Lanza felt this was the only way out.

What was Adam Lanza hiding?  Investigators find this out, you find the motive and have a clear idea why...


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Paul Ekman: the Science of Compassion


Friday, December 7, 2012

Deception Can be Perfected

EVANSTON, Ill. --- With a little practice, one could learn to tell a lie that may be indistinguishable from the truth.

New Northwestern University research shows that lying is more malleable than previously thought, and with a certain amount of training and instruction, the art of deception can be perfected.
People generally take longer and make more mistakes when telling lies than telling the truth, because they are holding two conflicting answers in mind and suppressing the honest response, previous research has shown. Consequently, researchers in the present study investigated whether lying can be trained to be more automatic and less task demanding.

This research could have implications for law enforcement and the administering of lie detector tests to better handle deceptions in more realistic scenarios.

Researchers found that instruction alone significantly reduced reaction times associated with participants' deceptive responses.

They used a control group -- an instruction group in which participants were told to speed up their lies and make fewer errors, but were not given time to prepare their lies -- and a training group, which received training in how to speed up their deceptive responses and were given time to prepare their lies. In the training group that practiced their lies, the differences between deceptive and truthful responses were completely eliminated.

"We found that lying is more malleable and can be changed upon intentional practice," said Xiaoqing Hu, lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate in the department of psychology at Northwestern.

Hu said they were surprised that even in the instruction group, members who were not given time to prepare their lies and told only to try to speed up their responses and make fewer errors were able to significantly reduce their deceptive response reaction time.

"This was really unexpected because it suggests that people can be really flexible, and after they know what is expected from them, they want to avoid being detected," Hu said, noting the findings could help in crime fighting.

"In real life, there's usually a time delay between the crime and interrogation," said Hu. "Most people would have time to prepare and practice their lies prior to the interrogation." However, previous research in deception usually gave participants very little time to prepare their lies.

Lie detector tests most often rely on physiological responses. Therefore, Hu said further research warrants looking at whether additional training could result in physiological changes in addition to inducing behavior changes as observed in their study.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Post photographer defends taking photo of subway victim: ‘No way I could’ve rescued’ him

This is a highly stressful interview, and the photographer is nervous  see his adam's apple bounce as the interview begins.

Several times he shows the micro expression of sadness when saying the name of the victim.  This tells me the photographer is not a sociopath who was thinking clearly of capturing the images of his personal gain.

He speaks freely throughout the interview, only one time does he have to stop to think what to say.

He does look from one interviewer to the other whenever he is saying anything where he is attempting to defend is actions- he is making sure he is being well received.

Matt says he is going to ask a direct question (good move in interviews) but goes on and on in asking the question, we'd have more to judge if it would have bee a simpler question like, could you have done anything to save him.

He does attempt on several occasions to shift blame to those closer to the man.  If the person who pushed the man on the tracks was walking towards him, he'd likely be scared and would not do ANYTHING to incite the dangerous person.

I believe him.  If he was lying about attempting to signal the conductor, or doing more to help the man, you'd expect to see hot spots.  What we see is natural and expected from a body language and facial expression standpoint.  The only thing we have to go on is the words he chooses, and if he could have helped the man he would be likely show mocked frustrated and anger by the questions.