Forensic Statement Analysis (FSA)

New England State Police Information Network (NESPIN)
Franklin, Massachusetts

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Course Description:

Forensic Statement Analysis (FSA) is a scientific, investigative tool used to analyze written and/or oral statements taken from a person of "interest", whether a suspect, victim, complainant, or a witnesses since the ultimate goal is to identify the truth. FSA eliminates or minimized biases and prejudices and systematically determines the use and omissions of specific words, phrases, content, grammar and other identifiers to determine a truthful, balanced statement. A person's own words will ultimately and unwittingly betray them as they provide indicators of deception through hidden clues of: "omissions", "improper changes in language", "lack of commitment" as well as identifying close and distant relationships to other person's, objects and events.

These and many other indicators are made obvious and readily identifiable to the trained investigator. In advanced applications, statements can also be converted into numbers whereby they are subjected to a mathematical formula. Attendees perform verbal analysis on videotaped oral interviews to practice and demonstrate the effectiveness of FSA. To further reinforce their proficiencies and understanding of these concepts attendees are assigned individual homework studies to be reviewed on the following class day.

Course Objectives:

  • Describe the process by which FSA identifies information from an individual's internal dictionary and the advantages it offers to an interviewer over the traditional oral interview.

  • Analyze oral and/or written statements utilizing FSA and five colored highlighters and supporting their findings in a detailed written analysis or oral presentation to identify clues of truth and deception.

  • Locate and present from a current or past publication (newspaper, magazine, court report, etc.) an example of minimization used by a person of interest.

  • List ten (10) "themes" or "nobler motives" of various crimes.

  • List at five (5) methods of "bonding" with the suspect (yes, pacing, positive reinforcement, smile, never using "but", make them feel important, begin in a friendly way, never say your wrong", themes, congratulate, encourage, etc…)

  • Identify the three (3) major motives (Treasure, Pleasure, Power).

  • Discuss the definition of a "lie" and how it relates to "Lies of Omission".

  • Demonstrate through a series of questions their ability to "obtain the pure version" by asking open-ended, non leading questions.

  • Provide an example (real or fictional) of a "change in language", "lies of omission", improper tense changes.

  • List and describe at least six EVR's and their significance in answering bipolar questions.

  • Discuss and recognize the difference between a "denial" and an "objection".

  • Explain and demonstrate the purpose and criteria of "three strike rule" and their ability to use it as a tool.

  • Perform the memory technique exercise by performing a class exercise.

  • Demonstrate their ability to recognize the correct responses to "control" questions and to choose the suspect based on that evaluation. (VIEW Quest.)

  • Demonstrate their ability to prepare and utilize the "quid pro quo" theory in a classroom setting in front of an audience.

  • List and describe the 3 E's of success (earn the right, excited to meet challenge and eager to empathize).

  • List at least 3 advantages of a paper statement.

  • List and explain the three questions of the verbal lie detector.

  • Explain the idea and difficulties associated with lying (spider web).

  • Compare and describe the advantages and disadvantages of a verbal vs. written statement.

  • Describe the purpose and difficulties of dealing with emotions in a statement.

  • Discuss the 4 sentences and how structure affects the meaning.

  • List the three questions to ask of each word in a statement (why say it, why say it here and why say it this way).

  • Describe the purpose of improper tense changes (First person, singular, past tense).

  • List at least 3 Do's and don'ts of FSA.

  • Explain the "reflection of reality" and it's association to identifying a personal relationship to another person (mannerisms, courtesy, social intro).

  • Demonstrate their efficiency to balance a statement for the truth.