Cognitive Interviewing & Investigative Statement Analysis

How important are good interviewing skills? Well if you figure that most cases are initiated by a complaint from a victim or witness, the information obtained from interviews actually sets the foundation for the investigation. If you don't get accurate and reliable information from the beginning of your case, you will waste time, money and resources. Also, as your case progresses and you follow up with additional witnesses, informants, and potential suspects, information from those interviews directs your investigation. If you get misdirected, again you will waste time, money and resources and even head down the path towards a miscarriage of justice by focusing on the wrong person while the real perpetrator stays free.

To improve your ability to gather information and assess the information for veracity make sure you have the right training behind you which included Cognitive Interviewing & Investigative Statement Analysis. Combining these learnable skills will improve your ability to gather accurate and reliable information from people and to assess the information for truthfulness and deception, and will provide you information to focus and guide your interviews. This course is being held at the Graylyn International Conference Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. October 27th-29th, 2014. For more information on the course or registration information click HERE.       

The Lie Boat! - 2015

The Lie Boat! training cruise on lies, lie detection and getting the truth within interviews and interrogations was a great success and we will be bringing it back next year! We are in the planning stages of the cruise and training, and at this point it looks like more of a tropical destination is in store! I am working on a unique opportunity for training and networking as well tied into this event, so stay tuned! If you want to keep up to date on the developments you can join the mailing list below. I hope to see you on The Lie Boat in 2015!

The Lie Boat!

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The Lie Boat - 2014!

This coming Thursday, August 28th, marks the first annual Lie Boat training cruise! I am so excited about this training and I’m looking forward to all the educational sessions, networking, eating, drinking and FUN! We have a final agenda for the training, which I am very happy with, knowing that everyone will be walking away with lots of new information, ideas and contacts worldwide! Here is the final version of the training schedule:

  • Session 1: “Investigative Interviewing; Foundations & Key Principles” Presented by Ray Bull, one of the foremost researchers in the field of investigative interviewing for over 4 decades. He was also instrumental in revamping the interviewing process throughout the United Kingdom.
  • Session 2: “Human Memory; Extracting Truthful Recall of Information” Presented by Wesley Clark, president of LIES, LLC Linguistic Interrogation Expert Services, with over 22 years of law enforcement and criminal investigations experience with the Connecticut State Police as a Major Crime Detective and Sergeant.
  • Session 3: “Obtaining Information through Cognitive Interviewing/MCI” Presented by James Kline, a 20 veteran of the Connecticut State Police, Major Crime Detective and Sergeant,  and current officer with the Orange, CT Police department.
  • Session 4: “Micro Expressions and Emotions within Interviews” Presented by Maggie Pazian, a managing partner with People-Intell, an educational arm of Paul Ekman International. She has studied facial and micro-expressions, and is one of the few trained “facial-coders” in the field.   
  • Session 5: “Persuasive Interviewing; Tactics & Strategies” Presented by Stan Walters, also known as “The Lie Guy”, is owner of Truth & Deception, Inc, and is one of the foremost trainers in the United States relating to ethical interviewing and interrogation practices for law enforcement, government and corporations.
  • Session 6: “Language & Lying within Statements & Interviews” Presented by Wesley Clark (above) who will be discussing how the language choices we make can provide insight into the thought process of the interviewee, giving the interviewer a psychological and tactical advantage.  
  • Session 7: “Investigative Statement Analysis Workshop – Written Statements” Presented by both Wesley Clark and James Kline, who have worked for years together applying principles of investigative statement analysis to some of Connecticut’s most tragic cases.
  • Session 8: “Investigative Statement Analysis Workshop – Verbal and 911” Presented by both Wesley Clark and James Kline, who have worked for years together applying principles of investigative statement analysis to some of Connecticut’s most tragic cases.
  • Session 9: “Using Probability to Detect Deception” Presented by James Kline (above), he was worked on the research of forced choice, or fixed choice testing, which is a method of detecting deception based on probability.
  • Session 10: “False Confessions; Causes and Prevention” Presented by Stan Walters (above) who has conducted research and has testified in court relating to false confessions.
  • Session 11: “Directing & Supervising the Interview Process” Presented by Ray Bull (above), who will be discussing the PEACE model and the tiered approach to training and supervision within the process of investigative interviewing.
  • Session 12: “Panel Discussion and Q&A” The instructors will be asked questions, moderated by Stan Walters, and the floor will be opened to the students of The Lie Boat to ask questions as well.
  • Special Session: "Interviewing through Traumatic Events" Presented by Dan Jewiss, who has 20 years of service with the Connecticut National Guard with experience in counter-drug operatioins. He is a 16 year veteran of the Connecticut State Police and will be discussing issues experienced when interviewing victims, witnesses, suspects and first responders of critical events such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting as well as other cases he has been involved in.

If you are interested in attending The Lie Boat in 2015, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or click and join The Lie Boat list to stay updated! Destination is unknown at this time, but the learning and FUN is guaranteed! 

Verifying Lies in Language

Obtaining information from people is crucial to an effective investigation. Once we obtain a statement or information from an individual, we must make the effort to verify the facts they provided. This is an important step, especially when someone confesses to a crime to ensure that the confession is true and reliable, but also with victims and witnesses, because they too can lie or simply be wrong. There is some interesting new research by Galit Nahari, Aldert Vrij and Ronald Fisher that indicates letting the individual know that you will be verifying their information they provide, before they provide a statement, can improve your ability to distinguish between a truthful account and a fabricated account. One of the reasons is that truthful people will try to provide verifiable details in their account whereas deceptive people may provide details, but often they are not verifiable by investigators. By telling the individual up front, this seemed to encourage truth-tellers to provide even more verifiable details whereas it had the opposite effect with deceptive individuals, thus creating an even a wider disparity within the language between truthful and deceptive people. Personally, I think there may be additional psychological benefits between truthful and deceptive people with this approach as well. Truthful people will perceive this as the investigator being professional and very thorough, which should reduce the anxiety of that truthful individual and increase trust, which will have a calming effect on them. This will have the opposite effect on a deceptive person since the last thing they want is someone who is very thorough scouring over their statement, and thus will likely increase their anxiety and cognitive load as well.

If you are a member of The Interview and Interrogation Group, click the following link and download the research article (The Verifiability Approach to Detecting Deception) for review and further discussion!


Our primary purpose is to enhance the investigator's ability to develop rapport, facilitate communication, extract more accurate information, detect deception and obtain the TRUTH from every investigative inquiry.


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