Expert Q&A With

Mark McClish was a federal law enforcement officer for 26 years. He started his law enforcement career in 1983 with the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division. During the two years he was with the Secret Service he was assigned to the White House. His main duties were protecting the White House complex. He would also on occasion provide protection for President Reagan when the President traveled.

In 1990, Mark was promoted to the position of Inspector/Instructor at the U.S. Marshals Service Training Academy located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, GA. He taught at the Training Academy for nine years serving as the lead instructor on interviewing techniques. He used this time to study deceptive statements and conduct research on deception. Based on his findings, he created the Statement Analysis techniques for detecting deception in a verbal and written statement.

Mark retired from the Marshals Service in 2009 and started Advanced Interviewing Concepts. His company provides interviewing skills training and assists investigators in analyzing statements. Mark currently gives presentations and seminars on Statement Analysis throughout the U.S. He has spoken at numerous conferences and has trained a variety of law enforcement agencies and military organizations. He is the author of the books I Know You Are Lying and Don't Be Deceived. He also developed the Statement Analyzer which is software that will analyze a statement for deception.


What was your inspiration for your new book, Don't Be Deceived?


Without the aid of a machine, there are only three ways you can tell if someone is lying: by analyzing their language, by observing their non-verbal gestures, and by examining their handwriting. I wanted to bring all three of these techniques together in one book. Readers will now have several options in determining if a person is lying or telling the truth.


Are there more verbal, written or visual clues to deception?


Handwriting analysis provides us with the least amount of clues in detecting deception. Handwriting is better suited in determining a person's personality traits. However, there are a few handwriting characteristics that can show us if a person is being deceptive. When it comes to verbal or visual clues, it depends on the person. Some people are able to control their nonverbal gestures. However, people's words will betray them. It is almost impossible to give a deceptive statement without revealing somewhere in the language that it is a lie. There are several ways you can phrase a statement. People will always word their statement based on all their knowledge. Therefore, their statement may contain information they did not intend to share.


Which aspects of Statement Analysis are the most reliable for detecting deceit?


Believe what people tell you. That principle alone will help you to see exactly what a person is saying and not saying. People do not want to lie. Therefore, they will usually give a truthful statement. However, they may withhold information that they do not want to share or they may use certain words that will qualify their statement. By not interpreting, but simply considering what the person has said, you will be able to obtain a lot more information from a statement.


What is a ‘text bridge’?


A text bridge is a word or phrase that allows a person to transition from one thought to another. In doing so, the person has withheld information and skipped over something in his story. I refer to text bridges as "words that span time." The word "then" is sometimes used to omit information. The word "then" can mean "immediately" which is how it is often used. However, it also can mean "soon thereafter" which indicates the person skipped over something in their story. In the statement, "I woke up and then I got dressed" the person most likely did not immediately get dressed upon waking up. He may have ate breakfast and took a shower before getting dressed. Other transitional words and phrases that indicate a person has withheld information include "after," "afterwards," "later on" and "a short time later."


How accurate is Statement Analysis in police interviews?


The Statement Analysis techniques are very accurate for two reasons. First, they are based on the English language which includes word definitions and the rules of grammar. When President Bill Clinton said, "I was bound to be truthful and I tried to be" he was clearly telling us that he was not truthful. The word "tried" means he attempted but failed to be truthful. When a person says, "He points a gun at me and tells me to get in the car" we recognize the person used present tense language. This violates the rules of grammar which require a person to use past tense language. The present tense language is an indication the person is making up the story about being kidnapped.

The second reason the techniques are accurate is because we do not interpret what a person is saying. We are pointing out what the person has said or in some cases not said.


Are baselines needed in Statement Analysis?


Ninety-nine percent of the Statement Analysis techniques do not require that we establish a baseline. This is because people mean exactly what they say. If a person stutters while giving a statement, we would have to see if he normally stutters in order to determine if this is a deceptive indicator. However, the majority of the techniques do not require us to establish any norms.


What are your plans for the rest of 2012?


I will continue to conduct Statement Analysis seminars and speak about the techniques at various conferences. I am also working on creating a DVD Training Program for those individuals who are not able to attend one of my seminars.


Learn More


Click Here to visit Mark McClish's website.

The definitive book on detecting deception:

Don't Be Deceived offers numerous opportunities for an interviewer - be it a parent, a spouse, a boss or a law enforcement official - to detect deception. Without the aid of a machine, there are only three ways you can tell if someone is lying. All three of these methods are brought together in this one book.

The first method in determining if someone is lying involves analyzing how a person phrases his statement. It is difficult to be a good liar because the truth will slip out. This book will show you how to use the Statement Analysis® techniques to determine exactly what a person is saying and in some cases not saying. By examining word choices, verb tenses, pronouns and other linguistic cues, you will be able to determine a speaker's honesty.

The second method for detecting deception involves observing a person's non-verbal gestures. When a person knowingly tells a lie it creates a degree of stress which usually surfaces in the form of a body movement. Most often, these stress related movements involve the hands, the eyes, and the legs. Don't Be Deceived discusses the non-verbal signals can help you to determine if a person is being deceptive.

The third method that can be used to detect deception is handwriting analysis. Handwriting is brain writing. While your conscious mind decides what to write your subconscious mind determines how you will write. There are numerous characteristics such as how letters are formed, how much pressure is used, and how lines of writing are sloped which can give us insight as to whether a person is being truthful or dishonest.

See following link for full details.

Don't Be Deceived: The Definitive Book on Detecting Deception

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