Special interest Article;
Anthony J. Iantosca, BCFE
A change in language
There are many deceptive markers that I look for when analyzing a statement
both oral or written to determine if the statement and the words the person is
using is truthful or is he/she being deceptive. One deceptive marker is called a
"change in language" or their "internal dictionary."
When a person is reliving a true memory of an event their internal
dictionary will remain consistent. If the person is talking about their "car"
they will continue to call it my car. If the person starts calling it "my car"
to the "auto" to the "vehicle" when referring to an incident he/she was involved
in this would be an indication of deception unless there is a justification for
that change in language. This would indicate the story is being constructed from
"logic" and not a true "auto biographical memory" of the event. Remember all
truth comes from memory.
A while back I received a statement from a close friend of mine that was
being circulated within the Asian community. I have worked within the Asian
community for many years and still do. The community was in an uproar and many
people were very concerned for their safety and that of their family and
friends. I analyzed the statement for content and told my friend that the story
was made up and not to worry.
This person was looking for her fifteen minutes of fame and wanted a little
attention for herself.
This is not her full statement only the part that deals with a "change in
The woman's statement started "with when I got off the train at my stop I
realized that "two men" in black hooded sweatshirts were following me, she went
on to say that before she knew it these "two guys" were on top of her, she
stated that these "perpetrators" took all her money, then these "low life's"
asked her for her T-pass and phone, she was stabbed "three" times in the leg,
the stab wounds were not that bad but they rushed her to Mass General Hospital
in Boston. There is a Hospital in her own community yet they transported her all
the way back to Boston. She stated she was stabbed with a "three inch" paring
knife. She stated that after stabbing her the "perps" ran back to the T-station.
She called Police they came down and took her statement. The Police searched
the area for the knife but never found it. "Three" days later she went back to
the area and found the "three inch" paring knife. She ended her statement with I
am telling everyone so that these "scum bags" will realize that you don't mess
Her statement starts of with "two men" she changes to "two guys" she
changes again and calls them "perpetrators," "low life's," "perps," "scum
bags," there is no justifiable reason for the "change in language" if she
started out calling them "men" she should have continued calling them "men" or
changed to "they" or "the men." Which would have been a justifiable change.
There were other deceptive markers within her statement. Such as using a word
the indicates closeness. The words "this and these" indicate closeness. The
words "that and those" indicate
distance. Why use a word that would indicate closeness to her attackers.
Last but not least, she stated that the two men wore black hooded sweatshirts,
she never mentioned their color, height, weight, or any other identifying
features that would help law enforcement identify and capture her alleged