Friday, August 17, 2012
Former FBI Steve Moore on Amanda Knox
Analysis of a Defense of Amanda Knox
by Peter Hyatt
I was asked by a commentator to do an analysis of the handwritten statement of Amanda Knox. At the time of the request, I had heard of the case, but wasn't familiar with the details.
Statement Analysis is best done cold.
When investigators ask other investigators to analyze a statement, the request is made insomuch as the statement is sent, along with the accusation, but without evidence, opinion, analysis, background checks, etc. Only the allegation is given, and the analysis is done. This is so that the analyst is not influenced by anything but the statement.
Statement Analysis is also useful, even when much information is known, especially for teaching purposes.
For example, read Mark McClish's analysis of Casey Anthony in which he concludes that the mother knows what happened to the child and is withholding the information from investigators. Today, this sounds benign because we know that the alleged kidnapper never existed. But back then, Mark went on only the statement.
Of course, doing the same statement knowing all that we know is useful in showing where sensitivity indicators popped up, which we know in retrospect, were lies. For the purpose of instruction, revisiting analysis of adjudicated cases, for instance, is useful.
Casey Anthony will be studied for a long time. Her lying is rare, but the principles we employ remain the same and pick up the deception in her statement.
When I began analysis of Amanda Knox's written statement, I stopped partially through due to the references (and details) to water (sexual connotation) and googled the case to familiarize myself with it. I returned and finished the analysis, but was surprised by the responses.
Since then, I have seen passionate debates online regarding guilt or innocence of Amanda Knox.
One commentator asked that I look at Steve Moore's defense of Amanda Knox. Given his credentials, I was initially excited about what he would say in her defense. Since then, I have learned that
he has made numerous appearances on the major networks on the Amanda Knox case, claiming that he once he thought her guilty, but now believes that she is innocent, and is actively engaged in seeking to help Knox.
In fact, it appears that Mr. Moore may have suffered personally due to his passionate stance on this case, as news reports say that he may have been terminated from his employment due to his involvement in defending Knox.
My own analysis of the case is strictly the wording of Amanda Knox.
It can be found here:
In the analysis, Amanda Knox tests deceptive, repeatedly and consistently.
Mr. Moore's plea follows in italics, with Statement Analysis in bold type. Any additional bold type is mine, added for instructional emphasis. His resume is impressive and he writes with passion. We employ the same principles of analysis in an article as we do in a statement, with the exception of measurement of form (content percentage and subjective time; lines per hour) since it is not incident based. We may view the number of lines dedicated to a particular topic, but this is not the same as the measurement of form used to uncover deception. (see analysis on Time and Form). It is helpful to read "Statement Analysis 101" if you are not familiar with the principles, as well as the analysis of Amanda Knox' s handwritten statement.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Investigation of Violent Crimes is My Life; Not a Hobby
by, Steve Moore
My name is Steve Moore; I retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2008 after 25 years as a Special Agent and Supervisory Special Agent. My entire investigative experience was in the investigation and prosecution of violent crime, from murder to mass-murder and terrorism. In my last such assignment, I was the Supervisor of the Al Qaeda Investigations squad, following which I ran the FBI’s Los Angeles-based “Extra-Territorial Squad”, which was tasked with responding to any acts of terrorism against the United States in Asia and Pakistan. I have investigated murders throughout the United States and the world.
His first 10 lines are used to introduce himself, by his first and last name, with repeated mention of the FBI, indicating that this is a sensitive topic for him.
He also introduces "supervisor" in this introduction. In Statement Analysis, we look at the amount of words (or lines) assigned to various topics which can help us determine not only deception (see article on "Form") but for priority. Note that his "entire" experience was in investigations of violent crimes, excluding all other work.
I do not know Amanda Knox. I have never met or spoken with anybody in the Knox or Mellas families. In my 25 years in the FBI, I had come to believe that if you were arrested, you were probably guilty. I never had a person I took to trial who wasn’t convicted.
I was especially tired of guilty persons claiming their innocence.
"I do not know Amanda Knox" is a strong statement. Our measurement for reliability and commitment is First Person singular, past tense and we note not only any deviation from this formula of commitment, but we note any additions. Here, by itself, it is strong. But then he adds to it the additional information: "I have never met or (sic) spoke with anybody in the Knox or Mellas families". We would then ask, "have you emailed them? Have you had contact with them through another party?" since we note that he felt the need to add distance to the statement. This is the first mention of Amanda Knox. In analysis, it is important to note all names mentioned, and in the order they are mentioned, and how they are addressed.Also note that he mentions "FBI" again, which repetition shows sensitivity. He then states that after 25 years experience, he holds to a prejudice that if someone is arrested, he is guilty. This presupposed guilt is noted, as he reveals how his own mind worked, even after 25 years experience and should be noted.
I had heard snippets about the Knox case from the news, and believed that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were certainly guilty.
Note the confirmation of his closed mindedness in the word "certainly". He concluded this because they had been arrested and it was a "certainty" for him. This leads to the question on how 25 years experience failed to make him open minded. We note this along with the repetition of experience as sensitive to the subject. Note that, within the prejudiced mind of guilt he heard "snippets" about the Knox case from the news. This would not be a study of a case file; but reduces the information he listened to to "snippets".
But then I began to hear statements from the press that contradicted known facts.
Note that when someone "began" something, they should conclude it and may indicate a withholding of information; otherwise what was began was not completed and continues.
Note also that he began to "hear statements" that came from the press that "contradicted known facts". We note the change in language, from "snippets" from the "news" to "statements" from the "press".
When a change of language appears, it represents a change in reality. "I pulled out my gun, and fired my weapon, and then re holstered my gun." Here, the gun became a "weapon" when fired; but returned to being a "gun" when holstered. A change in language represents a change in reality. "My car started to sputter so I pulled over. I left the vehcile on the side of the road and walked."
Insurance investigators are often well trained (and in some regions, paid more than law enforcement) and recognize that the car was a "car" while being driven, but became a "vehicle" when it would no longer go. Therefore, the change of language is justified by the change in reality.
Statement Analysis principle: When there is a change in language, but not apparent change in reality, we may be looking at deception.
Note also that the "statements" from the "press" are no longer "snippets" from the "news" and, he reports, are contradicting "known facts".We have another change in language. This leads us to conclude:either there is a new source of information justifying the change of language, or there is possible deception here, and the information is coming from the same source; media.
In an interview, we would want to ask about "snippets", "news", "statements" and we would want to ask what "known" facts, are, versus, "unknown" facts. We would also need to know the source of the "known" facts. Without justification in reality, a change in language is flagged for possible deception.
Is the information coming from media outlets, which indicates deception, or does the subject have access to the case files in Italy, of which he can then compare the "known facts" to "statements and snippets" that came from media? Where did the "known facts" come from? Were they from the press? Note that he does not disclose where the "known" facts came from and he now causes us to ask about the difference between "facts" and "known facts"; ie, what this means to the subject himself.
Wanting to resolve the conflicts, I looked into the case out of curiosity.
Note the inclusion of the word "conflicts". Are these the "statements" from the press that "contradicted" the "known facts"? Note also that none are identified here. We would seek, in an interview, clarification on what is "known facts" versus unknown facts; and how they came into knowledge (ie, from the media?) This may indicate personal knowledge of the case, that is, reading the case files from Italy.
The more I looked, the more I was troubled by what I found. So I looked deeper, and I ended up examining every bit of information I could find (and there’s a lot of it).
Note that he "looked" and was "troubled" by what he found. He does not say where he "found" these things that troubled him.Note now we have new language introduced:He does not tell us where he looked (news, press) but he was able to examine "every bit of information" he was able to find.
An exaggeration is not necessarily deceptive within itself, as it is used to make a point. If we have, however, repeated (sensitive) exaggeration, we will then wish to revisit it for deception. It also raises the question of need. Why would repeated exaggeration be needed?
The subject does not tell us where he found "every bit" of information, leading us to more questions. This is why Statement Analysis is helpful in getting beyond attempts to persuade, and to seek truth. It is difficult for anyone to say that they examined "every" bit of information and not be questioned as to where it came from, but in this case, the files reside in another country, and not in the United States. Perhaps he had access to the case file if shared through his federal agency, but he does not say so.
The more I investigated, the more I realized that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito could not have had anything to do with the murder of Meredith Kercher. Moreover, one reason that they were falsely convicted was that every rule of good investigation was violated.
We have a change in language, from "looked" and "examined" to "investigated". This is no longer someone viewing snippets from the news. We have a change in language and it must be justified by a change in reality. What has changed that he has gone from "looking" even deeper, to "examine" and now to "investigate"?
He does not identify the source of information that he now investigated, but tells us that this investigation of unknown information caused him to "realize" that the two accused had "nothing to do" with it. In order for this not to be viewed as deceptive, the information that he went from looking at, then to examining, and on to investigating would have to be made known.
If it is from the press, is it "snippets" or "statements" or information that "every bit" he could locate contradicted "known" facts; leading us to ask:"known" by whom? If the subject is unable to identify what it is that the source of information that he called "known facts" we are likely looking at deception: only that he read the news and changed his mind; not that he was privy to case files in Italy.
In Statement analysis, repetition indicates sensitivity. One repeated theme has been "FBI" in this statement.
Another is the word "every", which is all inclusive. Each time "every" is used, it should be noted. The word "every" is repeated, indicating sensitivity. Since "every" excludes none, it is something that may only rarely be used in association with an investigation, since "everything" cannot ever be known. Note here that "every rule of good investigation" is mentioned.
What are these rules?
Was "every" rule violated?
This is the language of persuasion, not of report. Note also the additional word "good". This means that to the subject, there are investigations and there are "good" investigations, within his personal internal dictionary. What rules are referenced?This sensitivity again suggests deception regarding the case files, perhaps (or source of information) via exaggeration.
I spent years of my life working on cases in the federal courts, from simple murder to mass shootings to weapons of mass destruction.
Note the repetition of his life experience again. Note also "federal" is repeated. The amount of repetition associated here with his work is highly sensitive to the subject. His work record, therefore, would likely need examination. He stated that he worked on cases, but did not say if he did so successfully. Since the subject has not said so, neither can we. We can say that his work is a highly sensitive topic to him, and that he has not overcome presuppositional judgementalism even though he worked at it for 25 years. Thus, he is failing to build the reader's confidence but is weakening it.
His view point of his work and career and that of his superiors is a highly sensitive and personal issue for him and should be examined.
In the U.S., the totality of the evidence and the hunches of the investigators in this matter would not have been sufficient to get a search warrant, much less take somebody to trial. The case is completely flawed in every way.
In Statement Analysis, the shortest sentence is best. Every additional word which can be removed from the sentence is called an "unnecessary" word, making it, in Statement Analysis, doubly important as it shows sensitivity.
For example, if I said, "I am happily married" it would be a straight forward statement. If I said I was "very happily" married the additional word "very" would indicate sensitivity. We do not know what causes the sensitivity; perhaps the subject didn't expect to be happy, or was previously unhappy. But if the subject said, "I am very, very happily married" and even on to "I am very, very very happily married" we might, along with Shakespeare, ask, "who are you trying to convince; you or me?" as the sensitivity is magnified by repetition.
Here, the subject uses additional words which cause us to flag the sensitivity:
1. The "totality" can only be known if the subject has access to all the case file information.
2. "hunches" of the investigators is to know what is in their minds; meaning he is either being deceptive, or has interviewed every Italian investigator and has known their thoughts or "hunches".
The case is not only flawed but with the sensitive addition of "in every way" and in its entirety. The repeated exaggeration is used to persuade; not report, and indicates deception. He cannot conclude that it is in "totality" anything, flawed or otherwise.
Note that this is the language commonly found in deceptive statements. "Every" rule has been broken, and the case is flawed in "every" way. He also claims access to the "totality" of the evidence; something which causes the reader to question the truthfulness of such a bold claim.
The argument he presents needs exaggeration and deception to be made. Note that the deception that is judged by common sense (not having access to "every" thing about the case, is evidenced by the high level of sensitivity in the language). The physical evidence against Amanda and Raffaele is wrong, Note that evidence is neither wrong nor right; it is what it is and is neutral.
What one concludes from evidence may be wrong or right, but in Statement analysis we do not interpret his meaning for us; rather we look at the words he uses. This type of exaggerated and fabricated arguments may be why his career is something of high sensitivity; along with being unable to overcome presuppositional thinking that all arrested are guilty. It does not show an open-mindedness. This is something that may have become problematic within his career.
contrived, misinterpreted, and (to put it kindly) misstated. The other “evidence” is made up of (embarrassingly naïve) hunches and bias. The “DNA” evidence is particularly inaccurate.
The alleged motive and modus operandi of Knox/Sollecito is so tortured (and constantly-changing) that it defies belief.
Thus far, Mr. Moore has used a great deal of his statement about his background and his work, and then upon debasing the evidence, but has not informed us what evidence he refers to, nor how he was able to obtain the evidence, nor what manner of examination he employed.
Note that in order to draw such opinions, he would have had access to all the above, including DNA evidence. He states to have studied the information, but does not identify the information investigated.
Note also the use of exaggerated language is used consistently throughout his statement, including coming to a contrary opinion "defying belief" which may also be related to the sensitivity in his career. If this is his method of presenting an argument, it is likely that co workers may have held a very different opinion of the subject than he appears to in this article.
“FACTS DETERMINE CONCLUSIONS”—The universal truism of investigation. The instant that one’s conclusions determine or change the facts, you have corrupted the judicial system. I have been a young investigator, and I have supervised eager but inexperienced young investigators.
Note that he was a "young investigator" but that he has supervised "eager but inexperienced young investigators", excluding himself from being "eager" and "inexperienced" when he was young.
Note also the repetition sensitivity attached to "supervisor". Young or inexperienced investigators have a tendency to believe their own hunches. This is dangerous, because uneducated hunches are usually wrong. Hunches are not bad, they just need to be allowed to die a natural death when evidence proves them wrong. Note that the subject had 25 years experience but did not overcome presuppositional prejudice.
This appears to be a statement of his own projection. How he thinks, he projects upon Italian investigators.
Our words reveal us; they reveal our personalities and what we think of ourselves and others.
The sign of an investigation run amok is when an initial hunch is nurtured and kept on life support long after evidence should have killed it. Likely the belief that any arrested person is guilty should have died during his rookie year in law enforcement, as most mature away from such concrete thinking and move on to a mature abstract thinking. This likely reveals how he conducted his own investigations.
This case is just such a situation. In the Knox case, the investigator openly states:“We knew she was guilty of murder without physical evidence.” -- Edgardo Giobbi, Investigator.
We do not know the full text of the statement, but it appears to match his own belief about those arrested being guilty. Perhaps it is that the investigators, before test results came in, concluded that they had the killers based upon their own words.
At some point, the subject was either trained or offered training in Statement Analysis, meaning that he would have an understanding of the words chosen by Amanda Knox in her original interview, or even in her subsequent media interviews.
He would also know that a prisoner who gives a false confession due to coercion will test out "deceptive" because their statement of confession is, de facto, deceptive, as it was false and it was coerced by the interrogators.
Then, when physical evidence came in that did not support their story, they simply changed their story. And their suspects. And their murder weapons. And the motives. (If there was ever a ‘smoking gun’ in this case; that statement was it.)
The subject tells us that the physical evidence "came in" but does not tell us where it came into, nor how he was able to obtain it. If he did not obtain the evidence as he attempts to persuade above, he is being deceptive to his readers, thus the need for hyperbole and exaggeration.
I will only say of the interrogation,
Note: future tense verbnote also "only" meaning exclusion of other things to say. Future tense violates the principle of First Person Singular Past Tense as establishing commitment. He does not establish commitment so neither can we.
that if any FBI Agents I supervised had conducted that interrogation in the U.S., I would have had them indicted.
Note again the repetition of "FBI" and "supervision" (supervise)as the sensitivity continues. This calls attention back to his work record and would cause us to want to interview those he supervised.
I am not surprised that Amanda made incriminating and conflicting statements in such a horrible situation. I am more surprised that under that duress, she didn’t make more incriminating (but ultimately false) statements.
Note that he is not surprised that she incriminated herself, but he is surprised that she did not do so more so.
Note that Statement Analysis done of false confessions shows deception.
Note that he acknowledges that she made incriminating statements; would her statements, which showed deception, be considered unreliable when they were made to a journalist last summer?
Those statements also incriminated her and showed guilt (see analysis)
Hypothetically, any trained investigator operating for many hours without rules, in a foreign language, slapping and threatening a naïve, frightened girl just out of her teens and in a foreign country, (denying her food, sleep and the right to an attorney and Consular advice) can get her to say just about anything. If this was the medical profession, one might deem such activities “intentional malpractice”.
Note that this is reduced to "hypothetically" and it is not something he asserts with commitment. The lack of commitment shows attempt at persuasion, rather than report. Report is the honest recall of past tense facts, such as gaining all the evidence and case files from Italy, reading it, examing it, and reporting back upon it. This type of work does not need persuasion nor exaggeration. It would not show such high and repeated sensitivity.
Note that the subject does not tell us that he obtained evidence.
Note that the subject does not tell us that he obtained the case files. Note that the subject does not tell us that he spoke to the investigators and uncovered all their hunches (every one of them). His statement is reported as if he did, but since he does not tell us he did, we cannot say that he did. This is where the sensitivity of deception comes in: allowing his readers to believe that he obtained every bit of evidence from the case, including interviews, files, DNA, physical evidence, etc, as well as being able to interview and access the thoughts and hunches of all the investigators involved, and now is able to accurately report these things to his readers. The language employed shows deception, but the possibility of the subject having obtained all of this information regarding the case itself suggests deception. It is deceptively written.
The investigators in this matter appeared to have decided upon a conclusion, and repeatedly changed their story so that the evidence would suit their conclusions.
Note the inclusion of the word "appeared", which makes this statement honest. He claims that it "appears" to be a certain way to him, which is different than claiming to have examined all the evidence and to have known all the thoughts of those involved.
After the evidence came back that Rudy Guede sexually assaulted Meredith, did it not occur to the investigators that they had a simple rape/murder? The simplest answer is usually the correct answer. Crimes are only this complicated in James Bond movies.
The complexity of crimes is why hard work, education, and lots of training is needed. Note the reduction and minimization of hard work and training found within his theory.
Note "the evidence" came back, but he does not identify where it came back from, nor if he examined the evidence.
Amanda would not even have been a suspect in any US investigation.
Note again the use of exaggeration with "any" US investigation; a point that can not be proven nor disproven. When a subject needs to rely upon exaggeration, it is the subject that is causing the reader to question veractity.
also note: the use of the name, Amanda. Recall the sensitivity in the opening part of his statement that was noted. Since he "never" met anyone in the family, it is unusual for him to simply use her first name. I would question the family to learn if anyone has communicated with him via letters or exchanged emails but in person.
A sex murder occurs and your prime suspect is the female roommate?
He poses this as a question.
Note "your" is 2nd person, distancing language.
Experienced, or simply competent investigators would have known that statistically, 90% of murders are committed by men.
Note that he classifies investigators as "experienced" or "simply competent". We have another word that has repeated sensitivity: experience.
When women commit murder, only 16% use a knife, and close examination might show that the vast majority of those are gang-related. Any conclusion that involves a woman stabbing another woman is statistically so rare, that it should be looked at with great suspicion.
Note that in his statistics "only" 16% use a knife. This indicates that 84% use something else. Note that he writes that it should be looked at with "great suspicion" but does not claim that investigators did not look at it with "great suspicion".
There is also a thing called “leakage”. Leakage is the tendency of homicidal or mentally ill people to ‘leak’ behavior that would indicate their true nature.
If one is to believe that Amanda Knox was the drug-crazed, homicidal Svengali that she was made out to be, there is absolutely NO way that such sociopathic behavior would not be leaked in some significant way prior to this crime.
In her interview analyzed, note what is leaked out by Amanda Knox. The association of her wording is found with sexual activity; generally sexual crime (LSI).
Note that not only does she reference water but note how often it is repeated as well as the details given (see analysis). Even if she is only 16% likely according to Mr. Moore's statistic, it is not proof of innocence.
No, instead we see a girl on the Dean’s list working several jobs to attend a university program in Italy. A girl who had not even had a scrape with law enforcement.
Note that Amanda Knox is described as a "girl" and not a "woman".
A good auto mechanic who lacks scruples, can take a car out of a junk yard, bolt on a couple of new fenders, drop in new carpets and slap on tires and a $100 coat of paint. Once he cleans up the interior and rolls back the odometer, he could sell it as a near new car to 99% of the population. It appears new, the mileage says it’s new, and only a trained mechanic would know the difference.
He dedicates 6 lines to auto mechanics. Note the inclusion of "99% of the population". This leaves only 1 % population remaining to know better. This, coupled with the high level of sensitivity about his background and experience may show leakage of his thought process here: how he views his opinion and how he views the opinions of those he disagrees with.
But bring in a trained mechanic, and he might notice that the brake pedal, for instance, is worn almost to the metal. That’s a sure sign of 100,000 miles of use or more. The hint of blue smoke out of the exhaust would be a dead give-away of a worn-out motor. He would warn you that all is not as pretty and new as it seems.
Another 5 lines dedicated to auto and not to specific evidence. He has not presented:evidence, nor where he obtained the evidence, nor how he spoke to the investigators, but claims to know their thoughts; hunches. We have the repeated employment of exaggerations, meaning that repeated exaggerations themselves indicate sensitivity. The sensitivity suggests that the subject is deceptively representing himself as an investigator who accessed the evidence, the files, and knows the thoughts of the investigators, and was able to get information outside of media, because he found media to be contradictory to "known" facts.
The sensitivity of his statement, however, is mostly associted with his career and work.
He appears deceptive about his relationship with the case files and investigators in Italy, and that his reason for declaring Amanda Knox as innocent is associated with his own work and career performance, which would need careful examination including interviews with his superiors and the people he claimed to have supervised.
Note his thinking as presented in his writing: he is 25 years FBI; therefore, Amanda Knox is wrongfully convicted.
For an article written about Amanda Knox, he dedicates much time to his career, repeating that he was FBI, supervisor, and that he, himself, is the basis for his audience to believe his claim about Amanda Knox.
Note carefully his own words: Take my word for this.
This is something that is likely problematic.
When someone tells others to take their word for something, in particular, if the subject is in a position of authority, it would likely be problematic in career and personal life, leaking an insecurity shown in a desire to control what others think.
It is likely difficult to be supervised by someone that holds to this mentality, and the subtle ridicule is something more used in bullying rather than the factual presentation of ideas or the free exchange in debate.
Rather than being able to think for oneself, the "take my word for it" mentality can cause interpersonal problems in marriage, work place, friendships, and in business.
In investigations, complexity demands an input of conflicting ideas.
Investigation of violent crimes is my life; not a hobby.
He refers back to himself again as his reference point of his premise: that Amanda Knox is innocent. It also presupposes that for others, investigations of violent crimes is reduced to status of "hobby". This is a subtle insult upon readers who may not share his view.
Note that "hobby" may be seen as an insult to those who do not make "violent crimes" their "life" or profession.
This type of subtle insult is found throughout, including at Italian investigators:
The case the Italian prosecutors are trying to sell you is not the beautiful thing it appears to some to be. It’s a junker all cleaned-up and waiting to be purchased by naïve people. And the jury in Perugia bought it.
Note the unusual word "beautiful" in describing the case presented by Italian prosecutors. This would prompt more questioning of how he views the case, and why "beauty" is attached to a murder investigation.
He then insults them by calling their work "junk" and insults the public (hobbyists?) as "naive". Well thought out arguments do not need deception, exaggeration, nor insult and ridicule. He refers to their investigation work as "junk". It would be interesting to hear what Italian investigators think of his presented argument in defense of Amanda Knox.