FBI deception detection, interview and interrogation master Stan Walters visits Fraud Busting. He talks about the easiest way to avoid fraud, how to recover the most information out of your interviews (either at home or at work) and understand what is truth and what’s a lie. He also reveals the difference between narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths and how today’s politicians communication styles have thrown the political world into turmoil.
Here’s the transcript:
Traci Brown: Stan, thank you so much for coming to Fraud Busting. I’m really honored that you took the time to come on.
Stan Walters: Oh, I’ve enjoyed working with you. Glad you got to be in class with me. It must have been about a year ago.
Traci Brown: It’s been more than that. It’s been like probably two years.
Stan Walters: It was a blast.
Traci Brown: Yea, maybe more. You were the lie guy. Just so everybody knows, Stan is one of the people who has helped me perfect and really dial in my lie detection body language skills because that’s mostly what I do with my time is tell people how to spot a liar, lies, fraud, and identity theft hidden in plain sight. I tell people this story about your class because I’ve been to several of them and yours was just, I think the longest and definitely the best one that I went to. A couple things always happen in these classes. I walk in and everyone looks at me because I don’t have a gun, and I’m not wearing cargo pants. I always end up with a separate introduction from everybody else. The first one I went to, which was actually with Stan Slowik, who I think you know, the Reid Technique guy, this is true and it’s embarrassing. They handed us a class list and it had everyone’s name on it and their job, and there were five guys in there and their title was polygrapher, right, and I’m sitting next to the only other woman in the class, because there were probably 30 or 35 people in there, two women, I was one of them. I kind of nudged her and I said, “These guys have five wives and they’re putting it on the class list? What is the deal?” She goes, “No, it’s calligrapher. It’s the polygraph guys. You’re thinking polygamists.”
Stan Walters: That’s great.
Traci Brown: So anyway, I definitely, I did kind of hang out on the fringes of law enforcement in picking up these skills and putting them in business. Tell everyone, like what do you do? Because you’re the lie guy, but what does that really mean?
Stan Walters: Well, let’s see for 30, almost 40 years now, I’ve been involved in training law enforcement in one of those critical skills that we’re going to share today and that I think our potential fraud victims, they can be investigators, and they can be interrogators, and how they can use that skill to help protect themselves. When I trained in interview interrogation, the majority of the cases ever solved are through the initial interview of not only suspects, but a lot about victims and witnesses. I teach them first of all how to harvest information from people. Sometimes they have information that they don’t know is important. One of the cases, we were talking about sharing cases when we started, I was working a homicide in Alabama. A woman had survived an attempt on her life by the killer. A long complex story, the guy wound up killing seven women over a bunch of states. By a miracle, he had her in her house, they were going to tow his car and he got up and left to argue with the wrecker driver, and she locked the door. When he tried to get back in, he was banging on the door, and the neighbors called the cops. I was asking about particular intimate activity that was involved. She had been engaged to this guy, so I asked her a very intimate question what was happening in the bedroom which was key to his behavior. She told us, this had been like three years earlier, and she told us what was going on. The homicide guy next to me was stunned. He said, “We’ve talked to you several times. You never told us that when you tell us.” And she said, “I didn’t know it was important because you didn’t ask me.”
Traci Brown: Oh!
Stan Walters: This is what I want your viewers to think of. I didn’t know I was going to get defrauded. Maybe if we started asking more questions and not be afraid to ask. If we can find that information, we can make better decisions about do I invest in this IPO? Do I really need to give this guy my credit card? Is this really a legitimate bank account or bank loan application? Just a thought. That kind of got me started. One of the things, we have to think like bad guys, and I’m going to get you into this advanced class.
Traci Brown: I can’t wait to go! I want to go!
Stan Walters: This is the one. Traci didn’t tell ya’ll, but I’ve been in 38 persons.
Traci Brown: Not – visiting, right, – not incarcerated. (Laughing).
Stan Walters: I got the idea, who better to talk to talk to about criminal activity like fraud than somebody who’s done it. I learned this from an old sergeant, an economic crime sergeant, and he did counterfeit checks, the same things that you and I have worked on for years. He caught this guy and he was defrauding banks and so forth, and we sat down with him and asked him: How do you do it? How do you pick out those people? I want you folks listening, I want you to think about this. The guy said, I can walk into a bank, and I can tell which teller is not paying attention, who’s distracted, who’s got their mind somewhere else, and that’s the person that I pick to go to because they’re not engaged and not aware of their surroundings. That’s the one. And then when they start to act like, I don’t want to do this, or we can’t give you an account, he said, I start threatening lawyer, or lawsuit, or I get upset and immediately they cave because they want to be customer service professionals that they give up too much and they let their guard down.
Traci Brown: Oh, wow. It’s the same person who’s not engaged that’s going to cave really quick.
Stan Walters: Yea, because they’re overwhelmed with so much information and the pattern that these guys use and it’s typical of all deceptive people, not only in identity theft and fraud, but just in lying to us in general, the way they manipulate people. I’ve been training law enforcement investigators how to get information from victims and witnesses. This might even move the case forward, but also how to understand how did that subject, the bad guy, get to that point? What was part of his plan and his behavior? If we go and interview and look back and talk to those people and debrief them, we’ll understand where our risk points are. The prison visits event is an advanced class and just before you came on, I got an email from the 5th Group Special Forces at Ft. Bragg. I’ve worked with them before. They want to do the whole four block series, number 1, 2, 3, and 4, we go to prison.
Traci Brown: Yea.
Stan Walters: We’ll go to prison. They’ll get to sit down. They’re going to sit and interview inmates. They know nothing about it. They don’t know who they are, their background, and I want to see, can they find the right topics and ask the right questions about where is the bad guy vulnerable, and learn, how do you talk to a burglar? Well, how do you pick the houses? Now we can create prevention measures. How do you manage identity theft? Well, this is what I do to people. If we learn that, then we can protect ourselves.
Traci Brown: Oh, wow. Okay. Let’s circle back to the bank teller who’s not engaged.
Stan Walters: Right.
Traci Brown: Because I think, because I’ve never thought about doing that when I walked into the bank. But I’m going to the bank today, if they’ll let me in, because we’re just opening up here in Colorado and in other parts of the country are more open. What’s the sign? How are we going . . . Like I have some ideas on what a disengaged person looks like, right, because they look bored, like they don’t have a sparkle in their eye of any sort, but what’s your tip on that?
Stan Walters: You can see if they’re distracted by magazines, if they’re distracted by their work, they’re not looking up. I was a director of security at a bank, in fact, for years and I taught counterfeiting and fraud and so forth. I always told our tellers, for example, you’ve got a big line, and we want to be very customer-service oriented and if you’ve got two or three people, take a second, look back, and say, “Sorry folks, we’re a little busy, but I promise I will get to you as quickly as I can.” That does great things to confirm to the customer, I have seen you. Bad guys don’t want to be seen.
Traci Brown: Okay. Alright.
Stan Walters: So if I continue this open customer service, making eye contact, “Hey, hi, how are you doing? How are you doing today?” And so forth, like in Walmart, and it unloads. If you get within a certain distance of their service personnel, they greet you. Well that’s a great customer service thing, but it’s also very good to tell people, I’m aware of you’re here and what you’re doing.
Traci Brown: Ahhh. Okay. So it’s simple things.
Stan Walters: Just little simple. It didn’t cost you anything. The simplest safety and security measures are procedural, without spending a dime, just a way to think. Just reminded me, I had an advanced class at Fairfax, Virginia and had a true kleptomaniac.
Traci Brown: Oh, okay.
Stan Walters: A person who really gets the arousal from stealing stuff from stores. She said there are days that you just don’t feel it. It just doesn’t give you that thrill that you want. You don’t have it. Then other days that you really get off on it, and it’s because when you almost get caught.
Traci Brown: Ahh!
Stan Walters: You have the clothes. You come out of the dressing room and the clerk comes over and says, “Ma’am, we can only take three or four items in” or whatever, and to confront them and know that you conned them, and turn around and walk out of the store, whether you confronted them, they walk out without the merchandise, those are the great days. Knowing that behavior, we can prevent behavior.
Traci Brown: Okay.
Stan Walters: When you spend time, you learn how they do it, how they get there, so now you’re making the customer aware, making the public aware, this is how somebody is going to come after my identity, this is how they will use me, so we deal with protection and crime prevention and risk management, like teaching those sets of skills.
Traci Brown: Customer service, basic customer service will run a lot of fraud. Okay.
Stan Walters: Oh yea. If you wait for your customer.
Traci Brown: Absolutely. Let’s go back to the basics of what you teach in your classes. Because you have a technique that’s just a little bit different, like a narrative based interview technique which is the same as interrogation. Tell us a little bit about that, how it works, why it’s different, how people can use it. Because really what we want to do is get to some kind of confession or avert some kind of behavior that is omnipresent. Talk about that for a little bit.
Stan Walters: There are two primary types. All interviewing falls into two primary forms. There is a narrative or information-based goal and then there is accusatory guilt to something. The guilt assumptive, a lot of times confirmation bias comes into play. That could be everything. It could be gender. It could be appearance. It could be you and a boyfriend or girlfriend has had a problem and you immediately assume, we reverse engineer, if that’s the right word. We decided, well, he’s got to be guilty of something, let me find it.
Traci Brown: Yep.
Stan Walters: We convince ourselves we have the guy that committed the crime. I had an agency, talking about confirmation bias, that’s when you accuse a person and if the answer doesn’t give you what you want, you reject it because it doesn’t fit your theory, so we need to flip the theory the other way. Ask for as much information as possible and start to include what’s missing. The lieutenant from the unit called and said, “I have a problem with my guys with confirmation bias.” He said, “I don’t know how to explain it to them.” I said, “Watch the movie Midway.” Lieutenant Commander Layton was in charge of intelligence in Hawaii before the attack on Pearly Harbor. He had warned the Navy and warned Washington DC of what he thought Japan was going to do, that they were gearing up, and they rejected it. Admiral Hall was disappointed. He’s the new chief. He’s in the Navy and he’s out there in Pearl Harbor. Layton comes in to offer his resignation, and Hall just said, “Why are going to do this?” he said, “Because I was in charge of the greatest intelligence failure in military history.” He said, “Did you tell anybody what you thought?” “Yes, I told Washington.” “What did Washington say?” “Washington had made up its own mind before they saw the intelligence. It didn’t match what they thought they knew. They rejected it. That’s when they made their mistake.” We have to avoid that bias, so in a narrative-based interview I try to garner as much information as possible. I don’t say, who, why, where, how, when, and why. Tell, show, describe, or explain. First of all, it opens up the dialogue between you and I. Tell me what happened. For example, if I were to say, who were you with last night? You might say, “With my husband. We ate a spaghetti dinner.”
Traci Brown: Yea, yea.
Stan Walters: Yea. Let’s say I asked you, “Tell me about the person you were with last night” or “Tell me about who you were with.” “Well, it’s my husband. We’re all crazy about this COVID stuff. He was off and so he cooked. We would have liked to go out.” Now we get a difference in the story, difference in the length. Lincoln’s Gettysburg address was 272 words long.
Traci Brown: That’s it, 272.
Stan Walters: That was it. The average length of questions of who, what, where, how, when and why, or yes and no questions, the most commonly asked questions in interviews, studies show that those two questions only gather, combined, 15 words an answer.
Traci Brown: And you want to expand that, right, because the whole idea is information recovery. Go over again, what are the best questions to ask?
Stan Walters: Tell, show, describe, explain.
Traci Brown: Oooh, I love that.
Stan Walters: For example, let’s say I get a robocall, one of the 15 I get during the day. Every once in a while, just for the grins and giggles, I’ll answer one. Of course, they’ve got the car warranty thing. My area code is 859 on my cell even though I live in Florida. They’re spoofing.
Traci Brown: Right.
Stan Walters: We want to sell you a warranty. I say, “Really? Tell me about your company. Where is the headquarters?” “Well, we have the warranty.” “That’s interesting. Tell your company name. Where is the headquarters?” “Oh, we’re in Los Angeles.” “Okay. I’d like to look at your website. Give me your website. I want to see how your reviews are going. Give me your website address.” “How old is your car?” “But I want to look at your website because I love to see how other people. . .” Part of manipulation is never answering your questions so you can’t make an informed decision.
Traci Brown: Right.
Stan Walters: Tell, show, describe, explain.
Traci Brown: Oooh, I love that. Let’s talk, because I think that leads us to something pretty interesting, and me and you have had a lot of discussions on this because people ask us on Facebook about false memories. We’re heading into an election cycle, and I know we discussed this on Brett Kavanaugh and his accusers of sexual abuse, let’s say, and we have it again with Joe Biden. Here we have these women that are . . . when I look at it and when you look at it, it’s pretty evident they are congruent with sexual abuse for sure, sexual inappropriateness for sure happened, but there’s also, because I remember you emailed me some info from the FBI on false memories. Let’s talk about that a little bit and get a little bit deeper there. Now that we know what questions to ask, how to get people to talk and uncover a lot more information, information recovery, where’s the line there between false memories and what’s real and interrogations? Let’s talk about that.
Stan Walters: The most important interview that investigators have is going to be the victims and witnesses. That’s the greatest source of information. I’m trying to think of a case example. If I were to say, say we had a robbery of the Dew Drop Inn. Some idiots robbed the place. He robs the bar and he leaves. The first patrol officer comes. “Tell me what happened.” “I was robbed. He had a gun. It was a big gun. About this big.” That’s called weapon focus. So the patrol officer gets frustrated. “Come on, you’ve got to tell me what happened.” “I did.” “What did he look like?” And they keep asking the same questions. So instead of saying tell me what happened. Some of the things that are the worst is getting a description of someone. He’s anywhere from 5’10” to 6’4”, weighed 180 to 325 pounds, it’s all over the map. People are very, very bad at ages and weights. If the officer is saying, “Was he wearing a dark shirt with a label on it?” and so your brain retrofits that. That’s contamination. Her name will come to me in a minute. She was one of the really good – Loftus, Elizabeth Loftus, really good about memories about victims. Little subtle things like that continue to contaminate the memory. For example, instead ask, “What parts of his skin did you see?” Right now if somebody said, “You were at home with Traci. What parts of her skin did you see?” Maybe I would say, “I could see her arms because she had short sleeves and she had a cowl neck shirt on with a blue stone that matched the boot.” Instead of saying, “Was she wearing a blue shirt?”
Traci Brown: Right.
Stan Walters: My mind goes back to fit that.
Traci Brown: Right, yea. Those leading questions. I think we both worked on cases where the police just sits there and contaminates the victim or the witness. From my perspective, it’s infuriating because I’m never usually in . . . I’m looking at the tape after the fact, right.
Stan Walters: Same here.
Traci Brown: How do we get around that? How does that create memories? What can we do?
Stan Walters: Over time, the memory element begin to fade. There are multiple types of memory. We have what’s called flashbulb memory, procedure memory, and so forth. Like a flash goes off and you temporarily got that little circle in the front of your eyes, over time that fades and the main pieces stay but then to keep things making sense, we kind of fill in what makes sense. Here’s a picture. That’s me and my cousin, Timmy. Yea, that’s when we were at the lake. It was a family reunion. We try to make something that explains and makes sense of the picture. We fill in the stories. The longer the time, the more cloudy those memories become. There are some spikes.
Traci Brown: Right, significant emotional events will spike memories where it is pretty accurate.
Stan Walters: For example, think of that spike and a momentous decision, in a job interview, hiring an employee, for example. “I led the program to rewrite the policy on electronic data storage.” “Wow, that’s cool. Tell me what moment did that happen? Tell me about when you realized you had a problem with that.” Because that’s a main decision. If they’re going, “Well, uh . . .”, they probably have just picked up somebody else’s example and just padded their resume.
Traci Brown: Oh, wow, for job interviews, yea, because you know 40% of people lie in a material way on a job interview.
Stan Walters: Absolutely.
Traci Brown: Or on their resume somehow. I think that’s good. Say that question again so people can get it and write it down because that was awesome.
Stan Walters: For example, if you were to say to me, I’m a Christian. My dad was a Baptist minister. “Tell me about your conversion experience.” That’s something very important in my life, right. I remember being eight years old and my dad was a pastor. We talked about it a lot, and he wanted to make sure that it was just not following kids and that I really understood the process before we went through that. Ask someone, an example, with your husband, “Think of the time, the moment you decided to get married and when you felt committed this was going to happen.” You will know that moment in your head.
Traci Brown: Oh, I’m going to ask him that. (Laughing). Poor guy.
Stan Walters: Or, when I made the decision to quit a job, or I made a decision to start a project. “Tell me about that moment when you made that decision. Where did that genesis come from? When did it start, that you made this plan?” When we look at a sequence with bad guys, they can tell us that moment and I can see it in an interview. “What were you doing before that? How did you get to this point? What was happening right before that?” My victim could tell me that and then my suspect when I’m debriefing them. I can pick out in the reverse order the distorted thinking, planning, preparation, and then the arising event. Here’s a good one to think of. You remember when you were on the stage at NSA and it was the Shark Tank?
Traci Brown: I do and it’s funny when you said, peak moments, that’s what I thought about. Now, for people who don’t know me, I was asked, or I got a chance to pitch to some of the sharks from the TV show, Shark Tank, at the National Speakers’ Association on the main stage. Presenting on the main stage is a career moment for any speaker, and there are 2,000 people out there.
Stan Walters: The best of the best.
Traci Brown: Yea, the best of the best. Not only the best of the best, but the people who you need for referrals, people you have to see again, and I’m on a new script with sharks that had been chummed in the water in front of everyone! So yes, I remember that, and I was – I don’t know if I told you this – I was backstage shaking beforehand.
Stan Walters: Yea, we talked right before that and I tried to calm you down. You were, “What do I ask? What do I ask?” I said, “You’re the expert at you. Just be you.”
Traci Brown: I was a mess, but you know what, after that was the biggest high ever, and it’s made every speech since then just easy as pie because nothing has been that high of a stake, nothing.
Stan Walters: Ask the employee, “Tell me about those moments in your job career.” You can’t ask about marriage and things like that obviously in the hiring process, but, “Tell me, what was the thought in your mind when you came up with that?” They should be able to tell you about that key moment in their career path, if you decided to leave one job and take another, or what are you looking for from here? My youngest daughter does a lot with nonprofit groups. She worked for one nonprofit group. She moved from Kentucky down to Florida. It was right before we did. She was interviewing for a job, executive assistant. The soon-to-be boss asked her, “Allison, why this job?” It was an even fight between her and another lady, very qualified, Allison said, “I’ve always preferred to work with someone who was trying to make a difference in the world, and I’d like to do that here.” That’s the phrase today that she remembers, and her boss remembers.
Traci Brown: Oh, wow, so that was kind of a peak interview moment. Okay.
Stan Walters: When we got our new CEO, Mary Lue Peck . . .
Traci Brown: Right, because you’re on the board of NSA, the National Speakers’ Association. You are making it happen. It’s been a tough year.
Stan Walters: Yep, yep.
Traci Brown: And I thank you for your service because I know what it’s like.
Stan Walters: That was one of the things I asked, because I want to hear it from Mary Lue Peck. I asked her, I said, “You’ve had opportunities with other people. You could have before. Why us?”
Traci Brown: Uh-huh. What did she say?
Stan Walters: That was that similar moment. You could see the entire board, we already knew, just in her bearing and watching her presentation that she was top drawer, but she went personal for those few moments and told us about her background and who she is and why she wanted to be here. That’s when I leaned over and talked to Casey Carpenter. I whispered, “This is our new CEO” before we voted.
Traci Brown: Did she know who you were before she went into the interview?
Stan Walters: No. She had no idea. Think of that moment. Ask more from the other person that you’re getting. I tell my interviewers, if you’re asking, tell me, show me, or describe, explain, then unless it’s a comment, if the answer is longer for the person than your question, then you’re doing a good interview. But if you’re getting short answers, then you’re too narrow.
Traci Brown: Oh, that’s super interesting. Let’s talk about that a little bit. Because we know what the interviewer needs to do a little bit. What are some tells that people aren’t being straight with you? I mean, there is a lot with body language. I talk about that. How can people look at the whole person, listen to what they say, see what they do, and go, wait a minute, that’s someone whose pants are on fire. Do you have a favorite tell to look for? How do you approach this?
Stan Walters: Body language is very, very heavily weighted with emotion. I see that if I have the wrong emotion or if a person’s very emotional, and not cognitive, not thinking, emotion keeps you and I from getting that conversation. It’s kind of locked in. If they’re angry or for example, very depressed, we have to heal that first before we start exchanging information. Then I go, tell me about what happened. I want to help you. I know this is a traumatic event. Start from the beginning and tell me what happened. I listen to the sequence. One of the four areas in an event is what’s call VAST: Visual, auditory, spatial, and temporal. For example, yesterday we got a 110-pound German Shepherd.
Traci Brown: Yesterday.
Stan Walters: A rescue. Yesterday. He didn’t like to be outside. He’s 110 pounds. It’s Florida and 90% humidity. He suffered. My wife has been taking care of our great grandbaby. If mama’s not been there with him, he will not stay outside, or rarely. I took him out yesterday morning out the backyard about nine o’clock. You’ve got to sit there and wait for him until he decides he does his business, and then he follows you back in the house. I came back in the house. While watching him, I came back in the house. It so happens that swing where is sit is right on the other side of this wall outside. When you come around this way to our kitchen sliding glass door where the lanai is by the pool. He saw my movements. He came back in. He comes through there and he sat by the sliding glass door. He’s sitting right there. I said, “Come on in.” He laid down. I thought, something unusual. I was turning the fans on the lanai and I left him. He stayed there for 30 minutes, so now my description, notice I have the visual representations of his weight, his description, of the door, of the swing, of the heat, auditory, and I said, “Come on in”, and he didn’t come in. I was talking spatial because like setting chess pieces on a chessboard.
Traci Brown: Yea, I can feel it and see.
Stan Walters: You can see my story. That’s when you’ve got a genuine story. For example, with Jussie Smollett, he jumps those blocks. He misses big parts of that. He rehearsed the scene, but it was not the way the scene occurred in my opinion.
Traci Brown: Oh, right. Yea. And Jussie, because he was found, just as a refresher, he was the one who faked an attack on himself for some racial purpose, probably to get attention for his career.
Stan Walters: But I’ve seen it with a security guard that faked he was assaulted by an employee. I’ve seen faked robberies that way.
Traci Brown: Oh, really?
Stan Walters: Faked assaults on campus that way. Now they’ll stage something, and they think they’ve got it all memorized. It’s called reality monitoring. We monitor all those elements. Those key pieces, go back to tell me about the moment when you decided to change the policy, so that would be a similar moment. That information is all embedded in there.
Traci Brown: Well, right, but see lies also, and I think you said this in your class, it’s pretty common, but lies aren’t connected to timing or emotions or any of that sensory type stuff. It all has to be filled in, and if you can’t fill it in, that’s when you know . . .
Stan Walters: The story falls apart.
Traci Brown: You’ve got someone who’s trying to snow you right there.
Stan Walters: But we can use that same thing to do a better job interviewing the victims. We help them with that. Describe the smells. Describe the sounds. What did his voice sound like? Let’s go back to the pretend robbery at the bar. How would you describe his hair? Does his haircut or style remind you of someone else? Who would it remind you of? And you help pull those elements together.
Traci Brown: Okay.
Stan Walters: That’s the way we work with victims. Now when I ask the bad guys about it, for example, a traffic stop. Let’s do it the other way. Traffic stop. I get pulled over, or somebody gets pulled over. “How are you doing today, sir?” “Fine.” “Where are you headed?” “To town.” “Where are you going?” “To see my buddy.” “What’s your buddy’s name?” “Mike.” “What’s Mike’s last name?” “I don’t know. I just met him.” “Where does he live?” “In town.” “What street?” “I don’t know.” “How are you going to get there?” “I can find it.”
Traci Brown: They just can’t give the specifics.
Stan Walters: Yea. But now if you were to stop me on Lewes Ferry, “Mr. Walters, how are you doing today?” “Fine.” “Where are you headed?” “Into town.” “What for?” “Going to the grocery.” “What are you going to the grocery for?” “We’re having a cookout and my kids are coming over, and I’ve got to buy some ice and I’m supposed to get the pork and beans because my wife forgot it. I’m going over to Kroger.” “You were going too fast. Please be careful. I’ll only give you a warning this time.” We have found even in operations, we can always do it after the fact. But what I’ve been teaching immigration and some of our immigration guys and CIS guys and ICE is look for intent. I asked Stan, “Where is he going. What’s he going to do?” Some of the smugglers and terrorist operators will join groups. They’ll memorize the itinerary where they’re going, but they won’t have the spatial temporal experience of actually following the tour. They’ll leave the group, their smuggling operation, and rejoin the true group to come back across the States.
Traci Brown: Oh, interesting. Now, wait. Where are these tours?
Stan Walters: There is always actually a tour in Jerusalem where guys have joined the tour and they disappeared. Then my wife and I went on a vacation with Trafalgar Tours and there were some people that came over. They went in a group. They disappeared, but until the last day in Rome when we got a flight to catch back, then they showed up again. It was a paid tour, but they were nowhere to be seen. They were hiding in plain sight as you explained with liars. They were hiding right in plain sight, right in the middle of the tour group. Good customs officers and immigration officers at the airport, border patrol, will catch those things. The lying that we talked about is extremely mentally heavy activity.
Traci Brown: Right. Cognitive overload. That’s why so many things fall off the plate, body language, and even tone and pacing and they’ll use different words because your is taking up so much space trying to remember the story and create it.
Stan Walters: I was headed to a class in Columbus, Ohio. I was driving up I-75. I think it was at exit 127. It was after the 4th of July weekend. Somebody left the gate open and all the idiots were out driving up I-75. It was a NASCAR Race. I had regretted removing the 50-caliber machine gun from the front of my truck because I wanted to cut some cars and trucks in half. I thought, you know, I’ve got plenty of time. I will pull over here. I will get me a Dr. Pepper and Reese’s cup.
Traci Brown: I love Dr. Pepper.
Stan Walters: Oh my God, Dr. Pepper and a jar of peanut butter, I could make it across the Sierra Desert.
Traci Brown: (Laughing).
Stan Walters: I was going to sit and relax a bit and just chill out. There’s no sense in stroking out on this.
Traci Brown: Okay.
Stan Walters: Everybody’s had this. Somebody comes up to you at the grocery parking lot. “Can I talk to you a few minutes?” You go, “Here we go.” This guy comes over and he motions for me to roll down my truck window at the rest stop. I look in this mirror and I look in that mirror to see what’s around me.
Traci Brown: Right.
Stan Walters: I’m right about this far. Traci, he starts like this, he goes, “This may sound funny, but this it’s the truth.” Those were the first words out of his mouth.
Traci Brown: This time it’s the truth! Those are the two things. This might not sound right, and this time it’s the truth. (Laughing).
Stan Walters: Oh my God. He took a deep breath, and he goes, “Me and my wife were coming up from Knoxville, ran out of gas. We’re trying to find some gas . . . we talked to state police . . . my wife left her wallet, my wallet’s in her purse . . . He was going as fast as he can because it’s a memorized story.
Traci Brown: Oh, yea.
Stan Walters: So my brain said, wait a minute. Knoxville is at exit 70. Okay. I’m at 127. That’s 290 miles and they’re just now deciding they need gas. Wait a minute? When he left the restaurant, what’s the last thing you do before leaving a restaurant? You pay for your food, but he said he and his wife, she left her purse, and his wallet is in her purse, they left it at the restaurant. I’m thinking, that’s the first thing your wife’s going to miss. All that’s going through my head.
Traci Brown: Right.
Stan Walters: When he’s doing all this kind of stuff. But now while he’s doing this, I noticed he’s moving out of my line of sight to my center post where I’d have to turn and see him. He wants money. He wants me to roll my window down and get out my wallet. What’s he going to do?
Traci Brown: Grab the whole thing.
Stan Walters: He’s going to rob me.
Traci Brown: Yea.
Stan Walters: I said, “I’m sorry sir, I don’t have any cash. All I have is this thing from Smith & Wesson. I showed him my pistol.
Traci Brown: (Laughing).
Stan Walters: Zoom! All the way across the parking lot. But when you break down, he’s learning from his attempts to steal. Somebody mentioned, well, have you talked to the church? They will give you money, so he added that part to his story. Then he said, well, the state police have got a safety patrol, they’ll come and help you. He added that part, they couldn’t come around. Well, if you’re with your wife, does she have her wallet? He kept modifying his story because he kept getting caught.
Traci Brown: Taking out all the excuses, but not . . .
Stan Walters: He tried to take it away in the first place.
Traci Brown: Oh man. So he ran. Was there anybody else with him?
Stan Walters: I didn’t see anybody. No, he was crossing the truck lot. I said, Smith & Wesson took care of that one.
Traci Brown: I guess so. All while you’re drinking your Dr. Pepper. Okay. Most interesting case you’ve worked on?
Stan Walters: I think the one that really set me a path on training, like you and I do, and we try to create an engaging, educational, and motivating setup for students. I thought if I’m going to talk to these guys, you have to be in their shoes, the police offices and homicide law enforcement. They had an opportunity to sit down in and interview with the American Hospital Security Association and interview the serial killer, Donald Harvey. He had already been caught.
Traci Brown: We talked about him in class, and it just made my gut turn. My gut turns pretty easy, I think much more so than the average law enforcement professional. Anyway, so keep going, keep going.
Stan Walters: It was an opportunity to sit with him and pick his brain. He was willing to talk. The idea was to use that information from him to train other hospital personnel and hospital security personnel how to look for doctors, nurses, aids, or people who are harming patients.
Traci Brown: Right. Because that’s what he did. He was an orderly in Kentucky, right.
Stan Walters: Yep.
Traci Brown: And he ended up poisoning people. Maybe you can describe it a little more, because it was gross.
Stan Walters: He abused human beings sometimes four, five, and six times before finally taking their lives. We know from that behavior he would take them almost to death, revive them, take them to death, and revive them. He only picked on people who couldn’t talk or who were invalids with strokes or who had Alzheimer’s or dementia. He also was doing that outside the hospital. He had a pattern. He kept doing it on and on and on. But I wanted to be in that room with someone very evil. I wanted to understand his thinking and to help me to understand the thinking of the bad guys. Now to use that in training, here are things that we look for. You have to think like the bad guy. If you were going to do it. I took 80 hours years ago at the University of Louisville Crime Prevention Institute. An example I use, think of your house right now, if you were locked out, away on a trip, there is one place you know that you would go, the easiest for you to break into your own house without doing too much damage. Bad guys know that same spot.
Traci Brown: Okay. Interesting. Alright. I’m trying to think. My husband has this placed locked down tight, so I don’t know if I can.
Stan Walters: He could do it.
Traci Brown: I’d probably be sleeping in the backyard.
Stan Walters: We have a big garage door. We walk Dakota, the German shepherd. Our block is exactly a half mile around. Stupid side note: To keep from going nuts and to keep from gaining weight, I started walking. Since February, I check this on my Apple watch, since mid-February, I have walked over 300 miles.
Traci Brown: Wow Stan! That’s a lot!
Stan Walters: About three miles a day, 21 miles a week. Figure that 15, 16, 18 weeks. Anyway, when we go out, I told Hilda to be sure to put the garage door down before you leave. She says, “Why?” “Because there are plenty of places for somebody if you leave the door open to walk in and be sitting in there in the garage out of your viewpoint.” Dakota’s a chicken. Bless his heart. He’s been abused. He is not a guard dog. He is just a big couch cushion. He’s going to run. He’s not going to attack. You have to think, if you’re the bad guy, what would you do? That would be an opening. You have to think like that individual. How would I use a credit card? For example, we had a big credit card fraud ring that we busted.
Traci Brown: Okay.
Stan Walters: And the bad guy, they were getting the credit cards from people’s cars at a car wash. They would run the cards up and they’d know the bank procedure. You may not see your credit card statement until 30 days later at maximum.
Traci Brown: Yea. You’ve got a little time unless you have alerts set or unless the fraud department picks up some unusual activity. If you’re a crook, you have to hope the system breaks down just a little bit. Okay, keep going.
Stan Walters: They would run the cards up, take two or three days. They’d run the dirt off of them. Then he’d go to a bar. He said, I go to Goodwill. I buy a really cheap wallet, a super cheap wallet, put the stolen credit card, one or two in there, and put about $300 or $400 cash. I’d go have two or three beers. I’d make sure I leave or drop the wallet on the floor.
Traci Brown: Oh.
Stan Walters: And leave. Some poor schmuck comes in, finds a wallet. The first thing he’ll go do is spend the cash, which maybe puts another day between you and the connection. Then he’s going to start using the credit card. Who gets burned for the credit card and all the charges?
Traci Brown: Oh, the other guy. Oh, man. That’s a new one. I hadn’t heard of that one.
Stan Walters: Yep. It’s the common places like that where they’re filtering down, letting somebody else take the hit because they didn’t think about protecting the card. If you’ve got credit cards, absolutely put the alerts on them, the life alert, the other card protection programs that let you know this is out of your pattern. Sometimes it’s a nuisance. I have on my credit cards, I have a notice, because you and I have traveled a bunch, we’ve got American Express. Mine records every single time a transaction is made. I get a notice.
Traci Brown: Ooh, that’s good.
Stan Walters: Whether it’s online or whether I go to a gas station or I just went to the grocery store to cook dinner for my wife tonight. As soon as I do my credit card run, I get a notice from my card. You’ve got a transaction at Publix Food Market for x number of dollars. It’s easy on your apps. It’s a good way to tell if the card’s being used. I do one on Amazon. I get a ping, it says you just bought off of Amazon.
Traci Brown: I like that. Yea, yea. Because you know who I’m talking to and we’re partnering up a little bit is ID Shield. They will help put all that money back if the credit card company gets you on some technicality, but then if your credit gets hurts, you what they’ll do is, there the ones that will handle that all for you and put you credit back in place. Man, for $25 to $25 a month, man, that’s an invaluable assurance right there. Yea, the more we can set all those alerts that are just irritating . . .
Stan Walters: Remember Johnson, you know Johnson Hill?
Traci Brown: I know Sileo, yea.
Stan Walters: John was a victim of that. Nearly wiped him out. Almost had to, if I remember right, he lost like half a million dollars.
Traci Brown: It was a lot, and I think it was ID theft. It was someone he knew that worked for him, stole his identity, bought a house, and he had to. . . he was going to go to jail for that. Somehow, he got out of the country where they couldn’t get him and had to work on fixing all that before he could come home.
Stan Walters: If we were thinking about lying, the areas that you talk about in body language, how we can use body language for persuasive purposes, but for good purposes, if that’s your competence and so forth, at the lower end of that scale, there’s a light side and a dark side. The light side is influence and persuasion.
Traci Brown: Right.
Stan Walters: The dark side is manipulation.
Traci Brown: Manipulation. Social engineering.
Stan Walters: And coercion. One of the things that I have to work against with officers in the accusatory interview, they tend to be manipulative, and not quite coercive, but it can drift into coercion. The manipulation, you withhold information, you lie – the bad guys – they don’t answer questions or give you information. The advantage is always to one-sided persuasion. Both parties have input. Both parties share influence is the tool that you use in persuasion. Influence is present. Persuasion is a vehicle that gets you to the endgame, the rhetoric. With manipulation, think about, and for example a robocall, all the ways to manipulate you. They deny you information. They use scarcity, which you and I use as a sales technique.
Traci Brown: Oh yea, we use it in sales. They use it in Ponzi schemes too. This is for a few people.
Stan Walters: Authority figure, IRS. We just had a notice yesterday that came in here in Tampa, TECO, the Tampa Electric Company, that somebody is calling saying they are Tampa Electric, your bill is late, if you don’t give me your credit card right now we’re going to shut your power off.
Traci Brown: Right.
Stan Walters: Just a plain old IRS scheme.
Traci Brown: Um-hum.
Stan Walters: Time limit, scarcity, authority figure, and you can identify them. The same things happen when I’ve work in banking in extortion cases. You don’t know who the caller is. The caller said they had our teller’s mom. If she didn’t give the next guy that came in the money, her mom would be dead, and you have to do it in 10 minutes. That happened when there was no way that I or the FBI could get to that branch in that 10 minutes because she had no way of identifying that.
Traci Brown: Right.
Stan Walters: Now, if they got just enough information off the internet, they could convince you of that type of stuff. If they knew your child’s name is Susan, so be careful about what you are posting on Facebook and your other social media because that’s engineered back from that.
Traci Brown: Oh yea, because they pick you out. They target you. Hey, do you have a good zip code? You can see what the house is worth on Zillow and they know who to pick and target. You bet.
Stan Walters: Have you run across, he’s an NSA member, Morgan Wright?
Traci Brown: I don’t know him. Who is he?
Stan Walters: Morgan Wright. Morgan has done work with the NSA, the other NSA, the CIA, the FBI, and the Secret Service. He is a computer security service expert. He’s on all the managed networks a lot and talks about how to protect your cyber self. There was one case he described. I saw him present. He’s a phenomenal guy. It was a ton of information to squeeze into 90 minutes.
Traci Brown: Yea, yea.
Stan Walters: I think it was Bulgaria and someone sent a phishing attack. They had gotten enough information from five or six employees in the Bulgarian Power Company and so they could spoof an email and say, “Hey, Traci, Darn it. I forgot my password to get into the control panel for tower C. Can I use your password?” They knew that you knew me because they saw us on Facebook as friends, knew that we both worked for the Bulgarian Power Company. They had hacked six people with enough information that they shut down 80% of the country of Bulgaria’s power grid.
Traci Brown: Just because they could, or did . . .
Stan Walters: [Inaudible] engineering.
Traci Brown: Was it where they have a ransom attack or was it just . . .
Stan Walters: It was just because they saw that they could do it.
Traci Brown: Yea. A lot of these hackers, that’s how they are. They just want to see if they can do it. While that’s not a great intent, it’s better than hijacking money out of people and things like that. Yea, it’s crazy. Okay. Last thing we’re going to cover because I know we talked about this when we were together. Donald Trump. Okay. There is a lot to say about him. People go, oh, he’s a psychopath. He’s a sociopath. I don’t want to talk about policies. I want to talk about the way he presents whatever he has to present on that day. Let’s talk about, just real quick, the scale between narcissist all the way up to psychopath. What are the differences? Where does he fit? Let’s just put the final say on this. Like him or not, there’s definitely some challenges there. I think he exhibits them more than the average politician because I think a lot of people in politics are there for certain reasons other than altruistic ones. What do you think?
Stan Walters: In his personality and some of his background kind of gives me a hint. He’s a brawler. You can say this in different ways. He highballs a figure. He might highball how big he is. He might say he’s really, really bad, or they’re really, really bad. They’re really, really bad. Then he has leverage to have the power position and negotiation on the business side. I think one of the things that really frustrates him, because he’s from two different worlds. He is in a world where he’s clashing. In the business world, you and I know how crooked, sometimes you have to make decisions or to get a contract done or to get a building done, and the government moves so slow.
Traci Brown: Oh, the government is so slow.
Stan Walters: To get anything done. He’s using that heavy hand with his very dominant, dominant personality to push through what he wants done to make things move. He hates inertia, which creates all these ripples, and people don’t respond well to that heavy handiness. We all feel like we’re being bullied. We’re being intimidated. We’re being pushed. A true narcissist would not be as functional. The true narcissistic personality disorder fancies themselves as achieving all these great things without ever having put in the labor to get there. They want all the best of things, the top drawer, they want the top restaurant, and everything else, just because I am.
Traci Brown: Okay, okay.
Stan Walters: They never put in the roadwork to get to that. Sociopaths and psychopaths, the one big disconnect that they both share, technically they are both thrown into one group called antisocial, but they’re actually two separate groups. One can disappear in society. Nature versus nurture, there is always a big argument when that fine line is. Both of them lack empathy. They can’t identify with the victims. The psychopaths, the clinically identified ones, the victim is nothing to them. The victim is responsible. An excellent book that I read, and it’s a long one, about 500 pages. Dr. Robert Hare is our current expert on psychopaths and sociopaths, out of Canada, Dr. Robert Hare. The new guy on the horizon – ooh, the name, I just went braindead – it’s called The Psychopath Whisperer. His name will come to me at about three o’clock in the morning. I’ll sit straight up in bed and remember it. Kent Kiehl, PhD. He sat down and did an interview. The classification of psychopaths is really clinically hard. It’s called the PCL Psychopath Checklist. He ran a psychopath checklist on a bunch of inmates in Canada and he worked in Boston and then he is working down in Arizona and New Mexico now. He did an interesting thing. He did an MRI. They scan your mind. There is a functional MRI that watches the brain. He was mapping the brain. If I were to say to you, honor, you have images to think of honor or integrity. Or if I say garage, or if I say microphone, your brain has different registration markers in it. He used markers that were emotion based, like love, childbirth, fatherhood, marriage, honor, character, garage, car, Buick, street, sign, etc. and watched the brain’s reaction. The psychopath’s brain could not distinguish between emotion and inanimate objects. It was the same thing. Their reaction to anything love was exactly the same reaction when they said they saw the picture of a garage.
Traci Brown: Oh, interesting. Okay.
Stan Walters: They have no emotional connection. They tend to victimize endlessly everybody around them. Down the center of the brain, way deep, he used these MRIs and stuff, it’s called a P2. It’s the part of the brain that likes new things. It’s the part of the brain that’s curious and it needs to be fed. He found in psychopaths and sociopaths, that’s not working so that need is not satisfied. The reason they’re so abusive and so violent and so aggressive is because they’re looking for that stimulus that this thing does not respond to. Going back to what we’re seeing with Trump, very, very sensory dominant, fast talking. Not a great speechmaker in terms of his language skills. George Bush wasn’t either, but Bill Clinton was great. Obama was great. Reagan was great. Tony Robbins is good. He has limited verbal skills. He makes up on the other side for his aggressive behavior. His abruptness and brusqueness shuts people off. To me, he can watch his Twitter stuff. He could be better with his language. He could be better with his people skills. He’s almost like Patton in some ways, you know, get it done, get it done, get it done, get it done, get it done. He’s just thrown the whole political arena in a turmoil because of his constant driving, driving, driving where the Senate and Congress or somebody else wants things to take time, let’s percolate on it.
Traci Brown: Right. Would you say he’s on the scale? Not on the scale? What’s your . . . ?
Stan Walters: Clinically . . . from the laymen’s point of view and having done a lot of study on it, I don’t . . . all of us will test some on the psychopath and sociopath scale. If I’m right, there are 32 markers. Everybody scores some. There is a threshold of – again, I’d have to go back and look – I think it’s 20 or 24 where you really get into the horrific side. He may have more markers than the rest of us, but from my understanding, go back and looking at the analysis he does not chart there, but again, you’re talking about a layman.
Traci Brown: Right, right. Yea. I just thought it was real interesting coming up. I think he definitely has tendencies of a narcissist, but I think it’s also real interesting what you said, that a true narcissist won’t have done the work and just wants all the credit, can’t focus. I think that’s super interesting. Whatever side you’re on, I think it’s important to have a little bit of science behind your opinions, right, so that you know what’s commonly out there and not. Anyway, I just think it’s super interesting.
Stan Walters: He’s really thrown the political world into turmoil, but then you go back and look, for example, at Harry Truman versus Franklin Roosevelt.
Traci Brown: Okay.
Stan Walters: Franklin Roosevelt was very much a populist. He was very popular with the people, and he had a way of reaching and connecting with people, very warm, the fireside chats, and so forth. Where Truman was an extremely analytical person. He didn’t have great verbal skills, great communication skills, but he was very heavy mental thinker. He seemed like he was disconnected sometimes when he would talk. We may be seeing some of that within a personality set from that extreme.
Traci Brown: Yea.
Stan Walters: Ben Carson versus Tony Robbins, for example. Ben Carson is a brilliant, brilliant surgeon. But he could tell a joke and I think we’d miss it.
Traci Brown: (Laughing).
Stan Walters: It’s just that is his communication set. It’s interesting when we talked about body language, when my dad was a pastor, we had what we called the deaf church, hearing and speech impaired church that met in our church. It was an old, old gothic church. Once every month the deaf church would sit in our service and their pastor would sign language my dad’s sermon.
Traci Brown: Okay.
Stan Walters: I was just a kid. I was used to being around it. It’s interesting. Think about when you’re yelling. Your voice is big. When people who sign are angry, their gestures and signs tend to be further and tend to be larger. When it’s something personal, the signs are closer, and the zone tends to be smaller. It’s like when you lose your eyesight and your hearing gets better. When you lose your speech skills, your verbal skills get better. People who have low verbal skills tend to have lot of language to make up for it. Then there’s a set of average in the middle. Then you have way over here the people with fantastic verbal skills, again like Clinton, like Reagan, like Tony Robbins, watching and listening, it’s art in motion with their words and their body at the same time because they’ve mastered both skillsets, both arenas.
Traci Brown: Oh, wow. Oh, okay, okay. It just gives us a little more to look for. One of the great things about the riots and the virus is that we haven’t seen a lot of political commentary on TV. I think that is fantastic, while I don’t want these other disasters to have happened.
Stan Walters: To get to, they have to duke their way out.
Traci Brown: Through everything we’ve talked about, I think we have more tools in our personal lives and to make better decisions for everything around us. Stan, any last parting tips for people out there? And how can people get a hold of you, maybe get some of your . . . because you have a new online class. Maybe jump into one of your classes. Tell us all about that.
Stan Walters: You can find me at TheLieGuy.com. The media gave me that title.
Traci Brown: Oh, I love that.
Stan Walters: When AOL first started, I didn’t know what a screen name was. I had an arson investigator in class, he said, well you get online, and you can send me an email. What’s an email? He was FireGuy@aol. I got on AOL and I’m thinking, screen fname, what’s a screenname? So I put LieGuy. As soon as I got picked up for an interview, somebody said, “Oh, you’re the LieGuy” and I thought, that’s a trademark.
Traci Brown: There you go. I love it.
Stan Walters: TheLieGuy.com is where you can reach me. There is contact information there. If you’ve got questions, there’s a contact page. Help yourself and give me a call. If you’d like to just look at some of the things that I teach, Academy.TheLieGuy.com. I have some online training courses, anywhere from an hour up to three-hour blocks. Oh, tell you what, how about a free ebook?
Traci Brown: Oh, that’d be awesome! How do people get the free ebook?
Stan Walters: A 60-page ebook. It’s an overview of my course. Go to the website, TheLieGuy.com. If it’s your first trip, wait for about three seconds and a popup will come up that you can sign up and get it. Or, on that front page, go to Store, and you’ll see it in the store. It’s listed for price zero. Practical Kinesic Interview and Interrogation: A Basic Guide.
Traci Brown: Oh, cool.
Stan Walters: It goes through speech cues, body language cues, a free 60-page ebook that they’re welcome to enjoy. I’ve got a huge video channel with some of my media stuff and everything on it. YouTube.com/TheLieGuy.
Traci Brown: The lie guy, of course! Yes.
Stan Walters: There are about 145 videos up there, but some of them are very short, like three to four minutes long, so just a little tidbit if you like to pick up on an idea. They cover a few cases and a few of the media stories I’ve worked on.
Traci Brown: Your information is so valuable, so relevant, something everybody needs. Even whet I watch your videos, I’m like, oh my gosh, this guy’s just the master.
Stan Walters: Thank you.
Traci Brown: Thank you for coming on! Thank you so much.
Stan Walters: Thanks for inviting me. It was a blast.
Traci Brown: Yea, yea. We’ll have you back. We’ll have you back when it’s time.
Stan Walters: I’ll take you to prison one day.
Traci Brown: Oh!
Stan Walters: Then we’ll have some real stories to tell!
Traci Brown: (Laughing). Perfect! That’ll be good!