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Body Language of a Guilty Suspect: Interrogation

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by

Ivona Matic

on 13 May 2011

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Transcript of Body Language of a Guilty Suspect: Interrogation

Body Language
of a Guilty Suspect The guilty subject normally
has a general fear of an
investigation. This fear intensifies once the suspect has been called in for an interview or interrogation. During the interrogation, the suspect's anxiety will be mostly directed towards the questions that present the greatest threat to revieling his/her deception. The average person may easily misinterpret certain signals. For example, while many perceive a smile as a sign of happiness, pleasure, or satisfaction; a smile can also be a sign of cynisism and disbelief. Intrusion of the suspect's personal space can heighten their level of fear as the threat draws closer and closer. This intrusion will be answered with body language. The suspect will tap their finger and/or toes, twitch, swing their leg, & rock their body. If this intrusion continues, the suspect will close their eyes, withdraw their chin into their chest, and/or hunch their shoulders. These signals can be interpreted as a way of the suspect telling the detective that they are in their space and that they need to get out. This is brought on by the suspect's fear. Eye signals are also a very important part of an interrogation. While many assume that the eyeball itself reveals the most, it is actually the muscles surrounding the eye that do so. The stare is the most common eye signal during an interrogation. When a stare is coming from the suspect, it portrays a sense of disbelief, defiance, or anger. When the stare is coming from the interrogator, it usually displays impatience and intimidation. A guilty person who is faced with the threat of possible exposure will experience uncontrollable changes in the body such as an increase in blood pressure and respiration, a release of adrenaline, and contraction of the bowels. Nervous suspects will lick their lips and sweat once physiological threats are presented. They will also use phrases such as "It sure is hot in here" or "I must have eaten something bad this morning." The suspect will also begin comments with "To be perfectly honest" and end comments with something like "And that's God's truth." While an innocent suspect, on the other hand, will feel offended by the fact that they are being accused and will use statements such as "You must be crazy" and "I don't have to tolerate this." A person who is accused of the suspected crime will try to reduce their tension by:
licking their lips
swallowing
scratching, pinching
looking away
covering their mouth
tapping toes
pulling hair, ear lobes or nose
chewing and inspecting their nails
adjusting clothing
bouncing legs A deceptive suspect will:
be unwilling to talk
hesitate before answering a question
rationalize the offense
be guarded
pretend to be unconcerned
refuse to cooperate An honest person, on the other hand, will:
be composed
be helpful
be composed
be quick to answer questions
recognize the extent of the offense for what it really is
give consistant answers Body language alone can help solve a crime. The suspect signals the truth without even realizing it.
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