Making a Murderer: Lies of omission–Ryan Hillegas and Mike Halbach

Statement and Behaviour Analysis

Since previously reviewing the behaviours of Making a Murderer ‘characters’, I’ve added another string to my bow–I’ve studied statement analysis. As well as finding it interesting and complimentary to nonverbal behaviour analysis, my main drive for learning statement analysis was to cover all areas (verbal and nonverbal), on a murder case I’ve been working on here in Australia. I’ll be using both of these techniques in this review.

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Making a Murderer: Pamela Sturm, 'The Chosen One'

Pamela Sturm with her daughter Nikole, found Teresa Halbach’s vehicle on Steven Avery’s property. Sturm takes to the stand and gives her account of what happened. An initial once-over of Sturm’s nonverbal behavioural cues doesn’t bring to light any red flags that point towards deception, unlike many of the witnesses from the prosecution. However, since Sturm is often portrayed by the public as a liar, I decided to look closer and scrutinise her body language and expression to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I have indeed found a couple of red flags. 

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Making a Murderer: FBI's LeBeau and Special Prosecutor Gahn disapprove of the situation they find themselves in.

In this post, I want to highlight significant nonverbal cues, that raise red flags, or show misalignment between LeBeau's words and behaviours, during questioning in court, by Norm Gahn (Special Prosecutor, Milwaukee County Assistant Attorney). Gahn, himself, shows a few behaviours that raise red flags. 

Misalignment between words and behaviours are the cues that are the most reliable in deception detection. Because, we all have the ability to hide the truth with our words, but none of us have the ability to hide involuntary nonverbal behaviours, that signal how we actually feel. 

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Making a Murderer: Mike Halbach talks to the media; what is he hiding?

We've written about the one sided shoulder shrug before when we analysed Trump's nonverbal behaviour. In short it's meaning is that we don't have confidence in the words we speak. Get ready for many examples of a one sided shoulder shrug in this blog, because the Making a Murderer TV show was bursting with them! These were mainly from the side of the prosecution, in the case against Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. I'm pretty sure that by the time we've shared some of these examples, you'll be experienced enough to start to noticing this interesting nonverbal cue in others. 

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Making a Murderer: Deception Detection; Truths and Untruths

my alCOM.y will be using our Making a Murderer blog page, to draw attention to nonverbal behaviours (mainly body language), displayed by participants on the Making a Murderer TV show. Our primary goal is to educate on nonverbal communication and to pique people's interest in this fascinating area that so many people are unaware of, or pay little attention to. 

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