Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Holly Bobo: A Case for Statement Analysis

Missing Person: Holly Bobo, Tennessee (Photo ABC News)

Like most people, I have been following the missing person case of Holly Bobo, Memphis, Tennessee for the past couple of weeks.  The police have kept most information surrounding her disappearance as well as physical evidence recovered, from the media as a whole.  However, statements made by witnesses, including Holly's brother, may provide investigators with more clues to her disappearance.

Statement Analysis, also known as Investigative Discourse Analysis, is a method used by investigators to examine a statement made by a victim, witness, or suspect, by breaking it down to its simplest form, words.  The old saying, "The devil is in the details," is exactly why investigators pay very close attention to what is being said or not said. In a major investigation, investigators should request not only oral statements from witnesses, but written statements as well.  Written statements lock people down to what they said, which avoids all of the flip flopping which is now occurring in the media from both sides.  Taking written statements prevents that and projects a more professional investigation.

Every word that a speaker uses is a matter of choice based on their goal. The goal of a speaker is to either convey, convince, deceive, or tell the truth. People who tell the truth edit from their memories and liars edit their imagination.  The two primary ways we lie are by hiding or by making things up. In hiding, the speaker withholds information or omits it.  When we make things up, we take an additional and often tricky step.  By far, hiding facts is the preferred method, because the speaker isn't actually "lying."

Remember, the devil is in the details.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations at 1-800-TBI-FIND. There is a 75K Reward being offered at this moment.

Read Solving Missing Person Cases Using NamUs here

To learn more about criminal investigation, pick up a copy of the Criminal Investigative Function: A Guide for New Investigators. 

No comments:

Post a Comment