Statement Analysis begins with the presupposition that the subject is telling the truth. This is not a moral nor ethical position, but a scientific one. To conclude one is deceptive, we must be talked out of our presupposition.
In fact, when a child goes missing, there is no need to say parents "should" act a certain way; as it is instinctive. The parent calls out for the child, as priority, and seeks the child's return by addressing the kidnapper. Being innocent, they plainly state the kidnapping, personalize it because it is personal, and beg, plead or bargain with the kidnapper. The parents' natural protective capacities and natural denial do not allow for any other scenario.
In the case of the McCanns, as loving parents, they showed no linguistic concern for Madeleine's plight, especially note worthy ten years ago. There was no pleading that she should have her favorite blanket, teddy bear, or pleading to feed her. As loving parents, there was no need to. The language indicates that they knew and accepted her death.
Fiona Bruce : Kate and Gerry, first of all, thank you very much for doing this interview. This is a very difficult time of year and it's the 10-year anniversary, obviously an anniversary you hoped you would never see.Kate MC : Yeah, I mean I never thought we'd still be in this situation, so far along the line. It's a huge amount of time. In some ways it feels like it was only a few weeks ago, in other times it has felt really long. But it's a hard marker of time.
FB : And you've referred to it on your website as "stolen time"? KMC : Oh yeah, I mean it's time we should have had with Madeleine. We should have been a family of five for all that time. And yeah, it just feels stolen.Please note that kidnapping is child stealing. For her, it only "feels", with the dependent word "just", which is a word used in comparison. This is not the language of a biological parent whose child was stolen from her. She is a mother. The language should represent a ripping of her child from her, not from "we" and not from "you." There is nothing more "up close and personal" than a mother and child relationship violently torn.
FB : And you can never have imagined, 10 years ago, that you would still be in this situation?We see in the language a distancing that will appear "cold" or even "sociopathic" in nature: utterly unconcerned. Is this the case? Is it the language of disassociation? Or, is the indifference due to a different reason? As in other analysis, we let the parents' own words guide us to a conclusion.
Gerald MC : I think the situation is that we tried everything in our power to not have a long protracted missing person case like this.
The parents had guilty knowledge of her death and have processed it. Thus, the concern is only for themselves. Madeleine is beyond concern.
It's devastating and we really threw ourselves into trying to do everything we could to help find her.This, too, is not expected. Consider: "We did everything to find her" is active. Did this include negotiating via media with the kidnapper? This is the first thing a parent does in a kidnapping : they call out for the child. Those who refuse to call out to the child (pleading with the kidnapper) have a reason why they will not do this. Note the lack of commitment in the language. It shows itself as a disconnect with the idea of kidnapping :
It looks like that hasn't worked yet.
But you know we are still looking forward, I think that's the most important thing - we still hope.
Or, is something else within their language?
FB : And how are you doing as a family? The pair of you? GMC : I think we're doing a new normality, really, particularly over probably the last - and it seems like a long time saying it - but over the last five years. Since the Metropolitan Police actually started their investigation, it has taken a huge pressure off us, individually and as a family.We wait for the natural and expected parental response: what Madeleine's life has been and is currently like. If they believed their daughter was alive, as biological parents, this would be the expected. The weight of language upon themselves is reasonable once you factor in that the child died ten years ago. If you state what the McCanns have refused to state, that she was kidnapped, the language here, ten years later, does not fit.
FB : Because before that you were trying to fight the case yourselves, trying to encourage the police to look for Madeleine, get the Portuguese police involved?What is "fight the case"? What parents of missing children do is what you expect parents of missing children to do:
1. They call out to their child.
3. They immediately succumb to parental instinct and address:
b. are you feeding her?
c. she needs this rx, she likes to sleep with a teddy bear, be read a story, etc.
GMC : Yeah I think the key thing was - and I suppose the injustice of it - was that after the initial Portuguese investigation closed, essentially, no-one, no-one else was actually doing anything pro-actively to try and find Madeleine.
"I suppose" is to give an opinion when one is aware that this position may not be accurate or called for.
If your daughter is kidnapped and police stop looking, it is injustice.
And I think every parent could understand that what you want and what we have aspired to is to have all the reasonable lines of enquiry followed to a logical conclusion as far as you can do that, and that was incredibly frustrating.
FB : You talked at the time about what a blow that was?Here is where we expect the biological parent to talk about what their kidnapped child was going through and how betrayed the child is at this point:
GMC : It was terrible, it was horrible, and you know as much as we tried and were fortunate to have had so many donations into Madeleine's fund and to use that money to try and investigate, your hands are tied, you don't have the powers that law enforcement have.
a. It was "terrible" and "terrible" (repetition). For whom?
b. he introduces money into the interview.
c. he does not say money to be used to get Madeleine back from kidnappers but to "try and investigate."
FB : So how much of a difference has it made. So for the last five years, the police have actively been investigating?
KMC : Huge!
GMC : Absolutely huge, I mean I can't emphasise enough just what a massive burden that has lifted from us, and those around us, and also knowing that the lines of investigation have been prosecuted.
I know the Assistant Commissioner, Mr Rowley, spoke during the week, but you know a lot of those lines have been taken to a conclusion and that's almost as important as finding who's actually responsible but knowing that those lines have been shut down. FB : And the police have talked about one significant lead they are still pursuing, can you tell me anything about that? GMC : The investigation is in the hands of the Metropolitan Police, who clearly have on-going inquires and from our perspective that's the important thing.
KMC : They've managed to pull so much together and sift through so much information, so now we do seem to be on just several lines of enquiry rather than tens/hundreds.FB : And there are four officers working on it full-time. You know there have been criticisms that the police shouldn't be spending so much money, still, so many years on, on this case, what would you say to that?
GMC : I think some of that criticism is really quite unfair actually, because I know it's a single missing child, but there are millions of British tourists that go to the Algarve, year-on-year, and essentially you've got a British subject who was the subject of a crime and there were other crimes that came to light following Madeleine's abduction, that involved British tourists so I think prosecuting it to a reasonable end is what you would expect.
Depersonalization and Weakness
In the former, he is telling the truth, he did not shoot the guy, but he is also telling us something very important: he "knows" something. In the above example, he knows. He did not shoot the guy but he knows who did. (an association via knowledge). In this case, his partner did the shooting.
2. "A case." He further depersonalizes this by calling it "a" case. It is not Madeleine's case, as a biological parent would make this very personal, but only "a" case, making it one of others.
"Following Madeleine's abduction" is passive voice. This is not to assert that she was abducted but refers to the British "case." Deceptive people will enter passive voice (going beyond a single passivity point, into an overall theme, which includes the depersonalization and distancing language in context) while truthful people will say: "She was kidnapped. Please return her. Please treat her well. Madeleine needs her parents. Madeleine has to have..." This was absent from the initial interview and it reflects upon the Portuguese police understanding of both their words and their behaviors indicating no such need and no such urgency.
The parental instincts have been stifled. This means that either they are sociopaths who cared nothing for Madeleine, or... they have come face to face with the stark reality that Madeleine is beyond their ability to help, and they must focus upon their own family preservation.
If they are charged and convicted, they will go to prison, lose their careers and lose the other children. They chose to dig their heels in and their language has betrayed them for ten years running.
Only McCann supporters dare say what the McCanns, themselves, cannot say.
FB :But of course it doesn't happen, sadly there are so many children that go missing and the resources are not deployed on their cases?
What is "sad", is that this has never been the language of the McCanns, but it is the language of the interviewer who has assumed a submissive posture. This is a very poorly done interview and highlights why journalists who are trained obtain information.
GMC : Others within law enforcement have made it very clear, this type of stranger abduction is exceptionally rare actually and we need to put it into perspective and it's partly why Madeleine's case is attracting so much attention, thrown in with many other ingredients, but this type of abduction is exceptionally rare.
It is true that a stranger abduction is rare. Note that he adds "thrown in with many other ingredients" may refer to the British public's discernment of ten years of deception. They have shown linguistic interest in being disbelieved (parents focused on recovery of kidnapped child do not care what people think; they are concerned with their child. Please keep in mind that Madeleine's Fund has entered their language before any concern for what Madeleine went through when kidnapped or what Madeleine is experiencing now is talked about.
FB : One of the police officers in Portugal has been a thorn in your side for many years, he was thrown off the investigation but then he wrote a book, presented a documentary, presenting of you of what happened to Madeleine which implicates you, and you fought it through the courts. At the moment you've lost and he's won, is this the end for you now, are you going to continue to fight him?
GMC : I think the short answer is we have to because the last judgment I think is terrible.
So we will be appealing. We haven't launched that yet, but it will be going to the European courts.On se demande pourquoi "courtS", il n'y a qu'une cour européenne et sa tâche est de s'assurer que la convention pour la sauvegarde des droits de l'homme et des libertés individuelles est respectée par les 47 pays signataires du Conseil de l'Europe.
8 years since:
I think it's also important to say that when we lodged the action was eight years ago and the circumstances were very different where we felt there was real damage being done to the search for Madeleine at that time, particularly in Portugal.
FB : Because he was effectively suggesting that you were involved?
GMC : I think, you know, what people really need to realise though is, you know,Before he gets to the message, please note:
a. The weak assertion of "I think"
This is not to deny involvement.This is not to say "Madeleine is not dead". It is to not say that there is not evidence that Madeleine is dead : It is to say, with heavy introduction and quality, that two others have made this statement. It means that it has not been yet proven, not that it does not exist and the prosecutor has said there's no evidence that we were involved in any crime. Here he states, not that "we were not involved in Madeleine's disappearance" and it is not to say "there's no evidence that we were involved..." but to say that the prosecutor said it. If it is a lie, it is his lie, not their lie.
Next, note the avoidance of "involvement" with "any crime" The distancing from a direct lie is vast. And really that's - saying anything opposite isn't justice, it's not justice for Madeleine. This is the language of death. This the language of one who knows the child is dead and goes to justice. This is not the language of recovery. This enters the language of those who have accepted the death and move towards justice.
KMC : I mean I find it all incomprehensible to be honest, it has been very upsetting, and it has caused a lot of frustration and anger which is a real negative emotion, and I think we just need to channel that and I just have to hope that in the long run that justice will prevail, and all will be wel
Note that "justice" is also in her language.
GMC : And I think it's also important for us personally, but for the rest of the family as well.What about for Madeleine? Please note that the McCanns have now addressed concern for Madeleine; something that has been absent in their language. The context that produced linguistic concern for Madeleine is consistent with death.
FB : For your children?The impact remains self, including family. Analysis of a brother-in-law's statement to follow.
GMC : Yeah and our wider family, both parents, brothers and sisters etc, so - you know - we've got to challenge it, and we will do.
FB : The other thing that struck me when I was looking through various internet search engines before I did this interview was quite how much cruel, distressing, horribly tasteless commentary there is out there about you, about Madeleine. People giving their opinions about what they think happened, even though they don't know you. They were nowhere near, they can't possibly know. It's so hurtful for you, that that is out there - and for your children - how do you deal with that?At this point, I would ask the interviewer specific questions. What has been "cruel, distressing, horribly tasteless" about Madeleine? Has anyone written cruel things about Madeleine? If so, I have not read them, nor heard about them. This is to attack those who do not believe the McCanns. It is consistent with McCann supporters who attack those who disagree while refusing to challenge analysis or reason. In spite of this, parents of missing children (truly missing children) sometimes address this by claiming gladness that their child's name is still out there.
KMC : I think the whole social media has got huge pros, but huge cons. On the downside, and all that's been written... I guess we protect ourselves really. We don't go there to be honest. We are aware of things that get said because people alert us to them. I guess our worry is for our children.a. deception indicated about reading the contrary views.
b. no concern for Madeleine expressed
FB : Of course, because they are now 12, they are at an age where social media becomes increasingly important?Madeleine would be 13, but this has not entered the language of the interviewer, who is aligned with the McCanns and uses the same defense of calling those who disagree immoral.
GMC : I don't want to dwell on the negative aspects too long, but I think in this era of "fake news" it is extremely topical and I think people just need to think twice before what they write and the effects it has. Certainly I know ourselves with our own experience, both in the mainstream media and also on the internet, we just say I am not going to believe that until I see evidence of it.He is not going to believe until he sees evidence of it. Please note the use of the word "evidence" in his language. Now, see where else in his statement he has used the word "evidence." "Evidence" is on his mind. He does not say he was not involved in Madeleine's disappearance; he says that several sources say there is no evidence. He does not say that it is not true about Madeleine being dead; he says several say there is no evidence to prove it.
This is an example of 'leakage' where something is so important and so difficult to get away from, that it re-enters the language.
I'm sure it is a very small minority of people who spend their time doing it, but it has totally inhibited what we do.They "honestly" don't go there, and only "hear" about it, but the impact is described as "totally inhibited what we do".
This is why the UK public is so outraged. McCann holds them in contempt. We continue to wait to hear about Madeleine; linguistic concern for the victim.
Personally, we don't use social media, although we have used it in Madeleine's campaign. But for our twins who are growing up in an era where mobile technology is used all the time, we don't want them not to be able to use it in the same way that their peers do.Consider "excellent advice" received early on. This would have led me to ask about why they did not take to the microphone, immediately, and plead with the kidnapper, and why they would not follow police advice (which is not necessary to innocent) to do the same. Police do not need to encourage parents of kidnapped children to plead with the kidnapper, but they do help frame the language to personalize the situation creating a "relationship" between themselves and the kidnapper, while appealing to very specific details for Madeleine's care.
FB : How do you protect them?
GMC : We had some excellent advice early on.
Parents who refused to do this have a reason to refuse.
See analysis on Baby Ayla and Isabel Celis. In both cases, the parents (father of Ayla) refused to speak to media as they did not feel "ready." In Justin DiPietro's case, he said he was not "emotionally capable", as a man and biological father, of calling out to his child and plead to the kidnaper for her return.
The Celis parents had to be pushed by police into it.
In both cases, deception indicated was not a challenging conclusion to reach.
We have been as open with them as we can. We have told them about things and that people are writing things that are simply just untrue and they need to be aware of that. They're not really at the age where they are on the internet and other sites, but they're coming to that stage. They're in closed groups with their friends etc and that's important.
KMC : I think we've tried to educate them a little bit as well because obviously it's not just us that has fallen victim to the downside of social media.What is the interviewer referring to? That the UK public does not believe Madeleine was kidnapped?
FB : Does it shock you? Because it has shocked me, certainly a little, the things that people say.
Note the weak assertion. For a mother still trying to get her daughter back, there should be no allowance for anything. This is how her embedded confession was discerned in the Richard Hall interview.
KMC : I think it has been shocking... that aspect of human nature that I hadn't really encountered before. Because I think it's so far from how you would behave or people that you know would behave."I think" is a weak assertion. Consider this when you follow her pronouns. She does not say "...I think it's so far from how I would behave..." This is distancing language from the original weakness of "I think", which is also introduced with the weak, "I think."
This is an example of a false defense.
It's been striking and quite hard really to get your head round. Because why would somebody write that? Why would somebody add to someone's upset - why would someone in a position of ignorance do something like that?
GMC : I think we've seen the worst and the best of human nature. And our personal experience, rather than on the internet, has been overwhelmingly seeing the better side of human nature. And I think we need to remember that actually. We've had fantastic support over the last 10 years. And because there's a lot of media attention now around the 10th anniversary, we are starting to see that again as well.Here we see the need to portray in glowing terms as a hedge of protection, the family. No family is perfect and this may have been prompted not only by motive but also by the early video tapes where they were on vacation and stressed.
KMC : I think that's true. I think because things like social media, or Amaral or whatever, because it's so awful and upsetting, it does kind of sometimes stand out more, it becomes more of a talking point. Whereas actually the main thing that we have experienced is the goodness of people and the support that we have had over 10 years, which hasn't wavered in all that time.
FB : How different is your life now? When you have a child, you consciously or subconsciously imagine your future and the future of that child. How different is your life now to that what you must have imagined all those years ago?
GMC : I think before Madeleine was taken, we felt we had managed to achieve our little perfect nuclear family of five.
The need to portray perfection is often an indication of the contrary.
And we had that for a short period and I suppose, almost the same way as if your child becomes ill or seriously ill, or has died, like many other families have suffered... then your vision is altered and you have to adapt. And I think that's a theme that speaking to other people who have gone through terribly traumatic processes with children and other loved ones, that is something that gradually happens, and you adapt and you have a new normality. And unfortunately for us a new normality is a family-of-four.
This is the language of acceptance in the death grieving process. It is expected after 10 years of knowledge of her death. The lack of uncertainty has been evident in their language from the beginning.
But we have adapted and that's important. The last five years in particular has allowed us to really properly devote time to looking after the twins and ourselves and of course carrying on with our work. At some point you've got to realise that time is not frozen and I think both of us realise that we owed it to the twins to make sure that their life is as fulfilling as they deserve, and we have certainly tried our best to achieve that.
FB : On the face of it, you appear to have stayed so strong as a family unit. I just wonder how you have managed to do that? It's so easy to blame each other when a cataclysm befalls a family. That's such as easy trap to fall intoExpected: Innocent parents blame themselves and each other. They cannot help it. They articulate "what if I..." strategies forever. One father of a missing and later found murdered daughter told me he even went as far as "if I had not moved many years ago for a new job, she would..." It was heartbreaking but it was expected. He, as a doctor also, knew the absurdity or illogic of such, but he was honest about his murdered daughter.
KMC : I don't think there has ever been any blame, fortunately. What people do say is that you don't realise how strong you are until you have no option. And I think that's very true. Obviously massive events like this cause a lot of reaction, a lot of trauma and upset. But ultimately you have to keep going - and especially when you have got other children involved. Some of that is subconscious I think - your mind and body just take over to a certain extent. But if you can't change something immediately, you have to go with it and do the best that you can. And I think that's what we have tried to do. As Gerry said, one of our goals - obviously ultimately finding Madeleine - was to ensure that Sean and Amelie have a very normal, happy and fulfilling life and we'll do everything that we can to ensure that.This is an accurate observation. Innocent parents blame each other and it often ends in divorce. However, consider the "co-combatent" status of self preservation when united by deception. Consider why they use the word "fight."
FB : On the face of it, you appear to have stayed so strong as a family unit. I just wonder how you have managed to do that? It's so easy to blame each other when a cataclysm befalls a family. That's such as easy trap to fall into.
KMC : I don't think there has ever been any blame, fortunately. What people do say is that you don't realise how strong you are until you have no option. And I think that's very true. Obviously massive events like this cause a lot of reaction, a lot of trauma and upset. But ultimately you have to keep going - and especially when you have got other children involved. Some of that is subconscious I think - your mind and body just take over to a certain extent. But if you can't change something immediately, you have to go with it and do the best that you can. And I think that's what we have tried to do. As Gerry said, one of our goals - obviously ultimately finding Madeleine - was to ensure that Sean and Amelie have a very normal, happy and fulfilling life and we'll do everything that we can to ensure that.When one uses the word "obviously", the subject wants us to accept what is said without question. However, in Statement Analysis, we do not accept anything; it must be said. "Finding Madeleine" is not "obvious" since the first interviews.
Also please note that this sentence is unnecessary unless...they feel it is unnecessary. That it is qualified by "ultimately" shows the increase in sensitivity:
1. the use of obvious
2. the unnecessary usage
3. the qualification
This is because from the beginning they did not want Madeleine found as it would have led to charges.
GMC : I mean she's always still part of our life, there's photographs all round the house, this time of year, then we can't even have conversations that doesn't involve it, kids know we're doing the interview today, the anniversary is coming up, so she is still part of it.This is the language of nostalgia and acceptance; consistent for ten years, of her death.
Here the biological mother speaks of her connection to Madeleine. Expected is first person language.
KMC : I think every kind of event that we do, whether it be a birthday or a family occasion or even an achievement or something that is kind of when you really feel her absence. It's slightly different to how it was in the early days, when everything we were doing was to find Madeleine, whereas now we are having to get on and live a life as well, but its not like any day she's not there, if you know what I mean.
The McCanns continue to uphold a deceptive narrative. This interview, even after ten years, affirms the analysis of the interviews over the years. They do not believe their own words.
This is seen in the distancing language.
Priority also emerges: the priority is not finding Madeleine, but self preservation. The interest in their life is the foundation and maintaining their public relations stance.
The McCanns have guilty knowledge of the death of their daughter, Madeleine, from ten years ago.
The lack of words ascribed to what Madeleine would be going through, as a teenager living with kidnappers, is consistent from the beginning. This was never a concern of theirs; not now and not ten years ago.
This is in the language of parents who are beyond helping, protecting and providing for a child. It is the language of death.
The McCanns are not sociopaths. They loved Madeleine and are guilty of gross neglect. Whereas some parents give their children cough syrup to get them to sleep (not advised, but it happens) they may, in other regards, not be abusive.
That they are not sociopaths, therefore, the lack of any linguistic concern is due to acceptance of her death. Their powerful parental capacities for protection and concern, for example, are muted within their language. This mimics sociopathic language but only if you accept the premise that Madeleine was alive.
The McCanns do not believe Madeleine is alive, and they are consistent in their language of processing and in the negation of parental instinct.
The analysis indicates the death was likely unintentional as a result of acute negligence due to selfishness and overconfidence in sedating Madeleine. The language indicates that this sedation went wrong whereas other uses were fine, and that Kate McCann gives an embedded confession on this negligence and upon their hiding of Madeleine's remains.
Ten years has, however, impacted them as expected when one maintains deception.
They show the difference between passivity ("the car would not start") and passive voice: an element in speech going beyond a single reference, but including depersonalization and distancing language while referring to something (kidnapping) they could not assert directly.
Passivity (and the larger passive voice) is used to conceal responsibility and/or identity. Deceptive people will use the language of passive voice including others' assertions, to avoid a direct assertion that they know is a lie.
The McCanns give us a good teaching example of this.
Let's say I was negligent and cannot find missing money at the bank, so I allow the idea that the bank was robbed to be floated. I know the bank was not robbed, but I also know I am responsible for the missing money. Instead of saying, "my bank was robbed", which I know is a lie and will cause internal stress (as I can be seen as a liar if proven otherwise) I refer to the "when the bank was robbed" and "police are investigating the bank robbery."
It is a signal of both deception and intelligence, as intellect and experience in deception are evident.
This has an impact on the UK public.
Their contempt for the public at large has increased with the success of avoiding prosecution. This is why he uses the inflammatory "it looks like" she has not been successfully found. This enters the language due to the weakness of inconsistency and finding Madeleine would have personal consequences for them that could include prison and a very hostile public.
We can expect this to continue unless evidence emerges from Portugal of which acceptance on the part of British authorities (political leaders) is contingent.
If you listen to their words believing that Madeleine was kidnapped and alive, you see a consistent incongruence of language, as if the McCanns are sociopathic with no concern for their child.
This is not so.
If you listen to their words believing that Madeleine was a victim of neglect where she was sedated, awoke, had an accident (unintended death) and the parents panicked and concealed the remains, the language makes sense.
In fact, with this premise, go through interview after interview and the "awkward" (incongruence) of language disappears.
This is a basic technique of deception detection.
Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones both used the "no evidence" diversion in their defenses rather than deny. See analysis and videos of both as they make excellent teaching samples.