Body language, tone and words all work together to reveal truth or lies. Deception detection comes at their intersection. So while you’re getting good at reading body language, it’s important to listen differently as well.
I was doing some research for an upcoming virtual training with a group of health care auditors. It’s long enough that we can really dig deep. So we’re getting into deceptive language patterns. Here’s some of them I got a refresher on:
“I have no clue” Don’t ever accept this. Everyone has an opinion
“Never” truthful people will just say no.
“Just” minimizes things
Repetition: truthful people say words just once
Taking out contractions: more formal trying to be more convincing
Leaving a pronoun out: Love you vs I love you has a totally different level of commitment to the truth of the statement
Want to see this in action? Here’s a quick clip I use in my keynotes from the Jon Benet Ramsey murder case https://vimeo.com/613886021/c22e8da6bd Does this say for sure that they’re guilty? NO. But it is a huge indicator that something is very wrong.
This Month’s Contest
I ran across the transcript of OJ Simpson’s police interview from 1994. Remember the slow speed chase in his White Bronco? And his girlfriend was killed too.
Here’s a couple of excerpts from the transcript. Can you find any deceptive language patterns here? The first 3 people to get it right get a copy of my book, How to Detect Lies, Fraud and Identity Theft.
When you want to know more about deceptive language patterns, be sure to listen to my latest podcast with former Secret Service Agent Mark McClish. He’s the country’s foremost expert on statement analysis. https://open.spotify.com/episode/6klsYvzMt9bmXGZDkCxsdP?si=jUhbXJtmSza8otSK5UXWxA&dl_branch=1
In the News
Also- People have asked me lots about the Gabby Petito case. Here’s the short story. She was found dead in the woods while on a cross country road trip with her boyfriend. He has since disappeared into the Florida everglades with only a backpack and as of this writing nobody has seen him.
Here are my thoughts:
My professional opinion He is very compliant in the police body cam video from a recent traffic stop in Moab. That’s his baseline behavior when dealing with police during a stressful situation. Now he won’t speak to them, or anyone at all about her death. That’s a big shift in baseline which to me indicates a big problem. I would like to see the video of him speaking to police once they find him. You can see the full body cam video here. https://youtu.be/fCGsW41aQEw
My personal (non professional yet consistent) observation is that I have never met anyone who has tattoos on their fingers (like he seems to on his right hand) who doesn’t have anger issues. So he’s giving clues to his traits away and it doesn’t stack up well for him. Is there science behind this? Nope. This is my unofficial observation. All I do is profile people for a living. What do I know.
And one more thing: I just saw that former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes does not want to wear a mask in her fraud trial. Wouldn’t it seem that she WOULD want to wear a mask on the stand? Easier to hide, right? She’s shown narcissistic, even psychopathic behaviors. These folks pride themselves in being extraordinarily persuasive. And that’s lots harder to do with a mask on. She’s likely also wanting to lean on her beauty both for credibility and connection with the jury. Keep your eyes on the news to see how this one pans out.