Archive for Sunday, April 24, 2011

‘The Lie Guy’ teaches interview techniques beyond good cop, bad cop

April 24, 2011


Stan Walters, national expert on interview techniques, has been training Lawrence police and officers from other agencies how to interview suspects.

Stan Walters, national expert on interview techniques, has been training Lawrence police and officers from other agencies how to interview suspects.

Stan Walters sits down with a reporter to talk about how he trains law enforcement officers on how they interview suspects and witnesses.

His first statement: “First off, have you ever lied to your mother?”

He’s joking. (I think.)

Walters, who is from Kentucky, is a nationally known expert in interrogation theory and techniques.

His biography lists him as an expert in “human deception behavior.” He’s trained to tell when people are lying. His website is

Walters was at the Lawrence Police Department last week helping train 22 police officers and private security personnel as part of a five-day class. Five Lawrence officers participated in the training.

The common image of a police interview might be a good-cop, bad-cop routine from a movie.

But during a 20-minute conversation, Walters talks more about kinder, gentler ways of communicating as a way to solicit critical information not only from suspects but also from witnesses and victims as well.

“It’s reaching out and meeting the need of the subject and the suspect, as opposed to John Wayne-ing them to death and dominating them,” said Walters, who has appeared several times on national television, including CBS’ “48 Hours.”

Walters said teaching officers more in-depth, narrative-based interview techniques, including how to study and interpret body language, is crucial for solving cases and making sure statements are admissible and would withstand challenges in court.

One challenge for officers when interviewing witnesses or victims could be either to get them to calm down if something tragic just happened or to try to get them to talk about details that might not seem germane at the time.

“They may not know they have important details that are critical to the case,” Walters said. “How do I get that type of information from the person that I can use as an investigator to develop leads?”

There are several myths that some officers tend to rely on when trying to tell if someone’s lying — like if the person doesn’t make eye contact or if he fidgets too much, he’s lying. But Walters said those aren’t necessarily good indicators and it’s best to try to let the subject talk for an extended period of time to get details.

One study found that officers interrupted an interview subject every seven seconds, which can hamper that, Walters said.

Lawrence patrol officer Hayden Fowler said he hoped to be able to take many things from Walters’ class back with him as he conducts interviews on the streets — particularly listening skills.

“We’re type-A personalities,” Fowler said. “We like to hear ourselves talk, and sometimes we’ve just got to shut up and listen.”


jonas_opines 6 years, 11 months ago

I'd wager, at some point, everybody's lied to their mother at least once.

tomatogrower 6 years, 11 months ago

Your statements just weren't meant to be factual, right?

Sigmund 6 years, 11 months ago

His website has been HaXoRed, which kind of cuts against his professionalism:

"Hacked By EaglesHacker‏ Maroc mail: !!..Do NoT Play With Me AGa!N"

Probably a misconfigured LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySql, PhP) installation using a exploitation of default passwords, or a service like rpc, PureFTPd, or Apache.

Keith 6 years, 11 months ago

"helping train 22 police officers and private security personnel as part of a five-day class. Two Lawrence officers participated in the training."

2 out of 22 were Lawrence PD, were the rest all private security?

Sigmund 6 years, 11 months ago

Oh my his site is running MySQL 5.0.91 which is quite old! Most likely this was where the security breach was....

End of Product Lifecycle. Active development for MySQL Database Server version 5.0 has ended. Oracle offers various support offerings which may be of interest. For details and more information, see the MySQL section of the Lifetime Support Policy for Oracle Technology Products ( Please consider upgrading to a recent version.

begin60 6 years, 11 months ago

KU is apparently so dishonest and highhanded they do not bother interviewing witnesses: they just invent them and fabricate evidence. Don't bother protesting this unprofessional way of retaliating and screwing workers and students either or you could be framed as a criminal by the local conflict-of-interest, southern- justice Orwellian law enforcement center.

"GEORGE GUTHRIE, veteran photographer: People do awful things to each other. But it's worse in places where everybody is kept in the dark. Information is light. Information, in itself, about anything, is light."

Tom Stoppard, Night and Day.

somebodynew 6 years, 11 months ago

Well, with the rant about KU it sounded just like somebody else who has been on here.

jonas_opines 6 years, 11 months ago

Yes, relatively sure they're the same person, but this one is, as far as I can tell, the original of that posters various usernames.

WHY 6 years, 11 months ago

Police have lots of great tricks for getting the "truth" out of subjects. That is why the first and last words a suspect or "witness" should say if they are forced to talk is "I want my lawyer."

jhawkinsf 6 years, 11 months ago

Because suspects and their lawyers are much more likely to speak the truth, right?

WHY 6 years, 11 months ago

No, because lawyers tell suspects to shut up before they ruin their lives for no good reason. The truth is relative, but prison is absolute.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 11 months ago

There is a disconnect between your expectation that the truth will ruin one's life for no good reason. The truth may ruin your life for good reason, i.e., you did a crime and have now been caught. If it's not a good reason, then you're innocent and the truth will help you.

WHY 6 years, 11 months ago

Every day innocent convicted criminals are released because the truth did not set them free.

Food_for_Thought 6 years, 11 months ago

Truth is relative?

So if someone broke into your house, stabbed you, and then stole items from your house, it would ruin his life for no good reason to go to prison, right? I mean did he really commit burglary, theft, and aggravated battery? I mean, the truth is only relative, right? You're not guilty unless they catch you and can prove it with evidence, right?

Your name is quite suiting, because that's what you'll be crying if you're ever the victim of a serious crime and the suspect gets off because he was lucky/smart enough to not leave enough evidence to link him to the crime and he does what his attorney tells him and shuts up before his life is ruined for no good reason...

jhawkinsf 6 years, 11 months ago

I guess he means truth is relative like the sun comes up in the east except when it comes up in the west or south.

WHY 6 years, 11 months ago

As best we can tell all truth is relative. That is not to say there are not answers. The shape of an object is relative to where you stand and how fast you are going. Morals are not so much relative as imaginary. The law is the most relative of all.

I have been the victim of crime and the suspect was lucky. I have also had friends who committed no crime at all, but talked to the police to "explain the situation" who ended up serving time. Let the lawyer do the talking and truth or no truth, your rights will be protected. I'd rather a dozen get off, than one good guy get put away.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 11 months ago

If truth is relative, then maybe you weren't the victim of a crime at all. Maybe you aren't even you, maybe you're someone else, or no one. No, wait, I think therefore I am. Hence you are you, up is really up, you were the victim of a crime and the truth really is the truth.

WHY 6 years, 11 months ago

Cogito ergo sum is utter nonsense. I was the victim of a crime from my perspective. The other party to the incident did not feel the same way. Relativity in action. Who I am is of little importance, and will not last long in this universe.

Food_for_Thought 6 years, 11 months ago

Really? Committed no crime? Says who? Your friends? I guess the police must have fabricated evidence against them, and the prosecution twisted the facts to land a false case on your friends. The government is out to get you! Don your foil hats, everyone! Don't let the government steal your thoughts like they have your rights and freedoms!

WHY 6 years, 11 months ago

Really. One friend was attacked by a family member causing some damage to a car, but when he would not tell the police who it was they said they would charge him with obstruction. Dumb kid got scared and admitted that he did it. He never did, but the police wanted to close the case. I know the facts are soft because I don't want to out the kid. It has nothing to do with foil hats. Police push to get answers and often they force the wrong guy to say the wrong thing.

Sigmund 6 years, 11 months ago

By the way if you want to see a variety of interview techniques I STRONGLY suggest watching "The First 48" on A&E, which is much, much better than "48 Hours" on CBS. Watch 10 or 20 shows and you will quickly understand one basic truth. If you have something to hide do NOT talk with the interviewers. I would guess of those who start talking that 70% confess and 30% implicate themselves. It is astonishing but if you are guilty you are very unlikely to lie your way out of it.

"The First 48" takes viewers behind the scenes of real-life investigations as it follows homicide detectives in the critical first 48 hours of murder investigations, giving viewers unprecedented access to crime scenes, interrogations and forensic processing. Real Murders. Real Detectives. Real Suspects. Real Interrogations.

Sigmund 6 years, 11 months ago

By the way, Didn't Judge Malone order the LPD to begin video taping all interviews? Didn't the LPD refuse to video tape their interview of suspects? Anyone know if the LPD eventually began complying with the courts order?

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 11 months ago

Don't talk to police:

It's in your best interest to spend 50 minutes and watch.

Bruce Liddel 6 years, 11 months ago

I'm sorry, but even if you are totally innocent, you stand a dangerously high chance of being locked up for many years.

People who claim to know everything often do not. People who claim to know more about other people's motives and beliefs often do not. People who think police can do no wrong are wrong themselves. It might be true that 95% of police are pretty good people, but 5% can really mess things up for those unfortunate enough to have a run-in with them.

Nothing I say here will change anyone's mind. Nobody likes to be proven wrong. All I will say is that the justice system needs to improve, and that the court's erosion of basic civil liberties (in the name of national security or being tough on crime) does not help matters any.

Tom McCune 6 years, 11 months ago

Remember, everything I tell you is a lie.

Sam Brockert 6 years, 11 months ago

I have never lied...I just believe in false truths.

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