Deceptive but Truthful: Is it Possible?

A Tangled Web

Detective Wesley Clark
Connecticut State Police Department
Western District Major Crime Squad

The Question is Raised

This may sound like an oxymoron, however in light of the adjoining article, “Statement Analysis Put to the Test, a Case Study”, I felt this question should be addressed. With this statement – Deceptive but Truthful – I am raising the question; If a statement is found to have many indications of deception, does that mean that the event reported did not happen? The answer is NO!

There are many reasons for people to be deceptive, and the deceptive person in each investigation may have their own specific reason, however, I believe a basic motivation is simply to avoid the consequences of their actions. There are also many ways for people to be deceptive. They may straight out lie, stating something that just did not happen. They may tell half-truths, or make exaggerations, which bend the truth. They may also be completely truthful with everything they said, but they just didn’t say everything! In this instance they tell you the truth, but leave out incriminating information.

The statements where people provide half-truths, make exaggerations, or in some way distort the truth, are areas where we must proceed cautiously. Before making a determination that the event reported did not happen, we must seek to find out where they are lying and why. In the adjoining article on statement analysis, the statement provided by the victim had many indications of deception present. Taking that into consideration along with information that there was recently a rash of residential burglaries in the area where the victim reported this crime, and the prior criminal record of some of the players, it would be easy to make an assumption that the car jacking didn’t happen, and that these characters were up to something else in town. In fact, that was our first reaction. However, upon conducting a detailed analysis and follow-up interview with the victim, we were confident that the car jacking did happen, but not so confident that the victim was being 100% truthful.

Addressed within the companion article titled, “Statement Analysis put to the Test, a Case Study”, are the areas of deception observed within the victims statement (refer to other article for details). Upon conducting a thorough investigation and detailed interview with the victim, we were able to determine where the victim “lied” by leaving out information he believed to be unimportant (outside issue). We were also able to determine where there was tension or stress during the course of his day, and to determine the cause of that tension, to see if it had any direct connection to the reported crime. And we were able to determine, through a detailed examination and analysis, where the subject “lied” by leaving out significant information, in this particular case it was “who had the gun?”. Through the systematic analysis of the victims written statement, in conjunction with a thorough investigation, we were able to answer these questions and bring this case to a successful conclusion. This included the arrests of all three suspects (Georgio, Gerald and Donna), recovery of the stolen vehicle and recovery of the weapon.

The final outcome upon all three suspects pleading guilty was that Georgio admitted having the gun during this robbery, and Donna admitted lying about who had the gun because she was good friends with Georgio. Also the victim, Keith, was Georgio’s lover so he did not want to put the gun in his hand either. And then there is Gerald, who initially confessed to his involvement in the car-jacking but denied possessing the weapon, stood firm with his statements, and was found to be the most truthful of all!

In closing, the victim in this case was in fact the victim of a car jacking, however he provided a statement about it which contained several signals of deception. Therefore, the complete analysis of the victims statement, along with a detailed inquiry into this statement, was able to aid the investigation, assist the Prosecution and to reach the ultimate goal of uncovering and documenting the TRUTH.

Detective Wesley Clark

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” Exodus 20:16

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