Monday, December 6, 2010

Tiffany Hartley: Nancy Grace Gender Bias?

By Peter Hyatt

Statement Analysis is best done with little information; so that the analysis is not influenced.

When analysts work on statements from investigators the statements are to be received with only the allegation; no evidence, no suspicions, no history, no thoughts of investigators, etc.

However, when a case is ongoing, it is to be expected that commentary will become part of the analysis, especially as time passes and more information comes to light. Reference points are noted as well as the development of "memory" by the subject.

so many have wondered why media has gone so softly

First person singular, past tense, establishes commitment to a text. But when a subject has repeated a story often enough, the subject can now work from "memory" in a fabrication. This is often seen by the self-affirming phrase,

"like I said" or "as I said before".

It does not mean the subject is speaking from truthful, experiential memory.

Below is the transcripts from the Nancy Grace show in plain text; quotes in italics, and Statement Analysis and commentary in bold type.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Just released a frantic 911 call from that bizarre shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Officials say gunmen approached on boats and opened fire on the couple. Tiffany managed to dodge the bullets. But David was hit in the back of the head.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: What`s your husband`s name?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. Ma`am, were you shot at?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Did you see anybody?
HARTLEY: There were three boats.

This is the initial indication that something is wrong. The question is: Did you (singular) see anybody? In Statement Analysis, when someone does not answer the question, it is flagged as a sensitive question. The expected response would include a singular pronoun, providing ownership, such as "I saw three boats".

Mark McClish has identified "3" as the "liar's number" in his research. There very well may have been 3 boats, but we simply make a notation about the number "3" and continue. This has been discussed previously in analysis; however, we must not miss that Tiffany did not answer the direct question, and when she did, she dropped the pronoun.
1. The question: Did you see anybody? is a sensitive question. "Anybody" refers to humans, not boats.
2. The missing pronoun means that Tiffany does not take ownership of her answer, which means that we cannot either.
3. That there were 3 boats is now in doubt. She did not say that she saw "anybody", nor did she say that she herself saw 3 boats. We, therefore, cannot say that there were 3 boats. We can only say what we are told. This is why it is vital to listen to what the subject says, and not interpret. She didn't say "I saw 3 boats". We do not say that she saw 3 boats. This is an indication of fabrication. This is only the initial 911 call. Tiffany has yet, to date, gone on various talk shows. We are working from this 911 call. Therefore: 

We conclude that identity in this story is a highly sensitive topic to Tiffany Hartley.


HARTLEY: Three boats. And they came back looking at me.

Note that initially we have repetition (reflective language) which is not to be considered reliable. "three boats". Next she said that something began: "and they came back looking at me".

"they", grammatically, would refer to "three boats". Note that boats cannot "look".

Note also that they were "looking at me". "Me" is the speaker, Tiffany. 3 boats were looking at Tiffany. Since boats do not look, this is flagged for deception, along with the missing pronoun and the liar's number and the avoidance of the answer. This means that we have 4 indicators of deception already, even as the call had just begun.

Next is a clip from Anderson Cooper show that was played on the Nancy Grace show:

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The Good Samaritan who helped Tiffany Hartley out on the water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was frantic, crying, sobbing. I mean, she looked very, very jittery.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The Mexican authorities questioning whether or not it happened the way the victim says it happened here.

HARTLEY: They know the pirates are out there. We knew that. We knew that they -- you know, there`s a possibility of them being there.

Tiffany Hartley responds to the challenge that Mexican officials question whether or not it happened the way she says it happened. Note her answer does not include an affirmation that it happened the way she said it did, rather, she avoids the question (in the form of a challenge) and changes the topic to what Mexican officials know about the area (pirates there) and that she and David knew that pirates were there. Note the order of her knowledge:

They knew.
We knew.
We knew (repetition means further sensitivity)

This shows that Tiffany Hartley first affirmed the knowledge of drug activity, but then quickly sought to remove herself from such knowledge. The repetition and self-weakening show that drug activity is sensitive to Tiffany Hartley. (See Pat Brown's input)

I believe in my heart that they went back and took him. And they`re hiding our jet ski. They`re hiding him. And we just pray that we get him back. And when you`re looking at the end of a barrel of a gun, and wondering if they`re just going to shoot you, too, and wonder if your families are just going to never know where you are.

GRACE: That was Tiffany Hartley this morning, just a few hours ago on the NBC "Today" show.

To Will Ripley, reporter with CNN affiliate KRGV, this couple were real adventurers. And to my understanding they set out on jet skis at the reservoir there on the Texas shore to look at a partially submerged, centuries-old church.

And now I understand authorities are questioning her story. I don`t -- I don`t agree. I watched her on the "Today" show, and I believe her.

Nancy Grace believes Tiffany Hartley because she saw Tiffany on the Today Show. Please see analysis of Tiffany Hartley's appearance on The Today Show

GRACE: You know, and it`s quite a lure. I mean I traveled, I don`t know how far, to try to go dive to see an underwater statue of Christ. So this is a big, big attraction for water lovers and adventure seekers.
And the story she tells is so scary. But I was watching her I really believe she`s telling the truth. And I resent authorities questioning her story. I know his body has not been found. I know there`s no sign of the jet ski.

That does not disturb me. Looking at her, I believe this woman. We`re going to replay that sound of her speaking earlier today

Notice that Nancy Grace emphasizes the visual of Tiffany Hartley as the basis for her belief. This is vital to understanding the case.

This is what Susan Murphy Milano has been saying: Had Tiffany Hartley been a man, the story would have been questioned and a full scale investigation would have been done.

Susan will be on The Peter Hyatt Show soon. Stay in touch for the announcement.

To Alexis Weed, tell me her story in a nutshell, Alexis. Don`t embellish. I want to hear what she said.

ALEXIS WEED, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Nancy, she said that her -- she and her husband David were traveling on their jet skis. It was ambushed by several boats with gunmen. She said that the gunmen opened fire on both of them, that one of the gunshots from these men struck her husband in the head.

She then went over to her husband, jumped off her jet ski, went to check him, flipped him over. He was -- had this gunshot in the back of the head. She decided she better flee because she had a gun pointed at her head, she said. She fled and then went to the shore and went back to the U.S. side.

It would stand to reason to question the story about the cruelty of Mexican Pirates who:

fired without warning
killed for no reason
did not demand money
pointed a gun directly at her...
have a reputation for cruelty that included beheading and delivering the remains...

Since they are known to kill men, women, and children:

Why was Tiffany Hartley spared

To a former prosecutor's mind: why wouldn't Nancy Grace even question this? Why would she have "resentment" towards anyone who did question the story? Nancy Grace, herself, uses the word "story". This suggests the ratings versus credibility argument that comes up from time to time on her show.

Casey Anthony was not afforded such a free pass. Certainly Nancy Grace has, at least in the past, asked some tough questions of some of her guests, including Crystal Sheffield.

Why does Tifffany Hartley get a pass from Grace?

GRACE: And this is what else I heard. I heard her say three boats of pirates, drug runners, approach her. That, first of all, she hears bullets. And they`re hitting in the water around her. She turns to see three boats approaching.
Her husband goes down. She goes back, risking her own life to save her husband. She pulls him up. She sees that he`s shot. She pointed right here. And tries to lift him. And the pirates come up to her.

They look down at her, pointed the gun right at her, and they`re talking, she doesn`t know what they`re saying, and they leave. She leaves in a hail of bullets. She said she felt God telling her, you`ve got to go now, you`ve got to go now, you`ve got to go now, and she did.

"a hail of bullets" but not a single hit on her or her jet ski. Yet, the former prosecutor does not raise a doubt.

Take a listen to Tiffany Hartley who survived an alleged pirate attack. Her husband shot in the head. Take a listen.


HARTLEY: When I looked back -- after I had seen some bullets hit the water next to me, I looked back to check on David, and I saw him fly over the jet ski. He had been hit.

Note: chronological order is always viewed in Statement Analysis. A person recalling from memory does so in order. If something is out of chronological order, it is flagged for deception.

1. I looked back First person singular, past tense. Reliable.

2. "after I had seen some bullets hit the water next to me"

3. He had been hit

4. He flew off the jet ski

she is out of chronological order.

I quickly turned around

The story now has editorializing rather than a simple account. She didn't just turn around, she did so "quickly"

and went to him and jumped off my jet ski.

"and went to him" is added by Tiffany. Where else might she have gone? This is unnecessary and makes her account sound more like a dramatized story. 

And I had to turn him over because he was face down in the water. And turned him over and he was shot in the head.

We note that whenever an account has "so, since, therefore, because" it is to be noted as sensitive since the subject is no longer simply telling us what happened, but "why" something happened. This indicates sensitivity as the subject feels the need to explain actions.

Note that "turn him over" is repeated, which is sensitive. Why it is sensitive, at this point, we do not know, but when a subject repeats a word like this, a skillful interviewer will hear the repetition and focus questions upon it.

And that`s when a boat came up, one of the boats came up to me, and had a gun pointed at me, trying to decide what to do with me. And then they left. And that`s when I tried saving David and getting him onto my jet ski.

Note that "a boat" came up, one of "the" boats (previously identified). This is unnecessary. We would not expect that "a" boat was not one of the 3 she mentioned. It is unlikely that there were 3 boats; only one. But here we have a strong indicator of deception:
"trying to decide what to do with me"

When a subject tells us what another was thinking, it is deception.

NOTE: trying to decide what to do" is found within her sentence and it is likely truthful. This is an indication that the subject(s) on the boat and Tiffany Hartley did communicate. This is why she is expressing the other subject(s) thoughts.

But I just -- I couldn`t get him up. And I just kept hearing God tell me, you have to go, you have to go. So I had to leave him. So I could get to safety.

As police will often say, when God is brought into a statement, it is a sure signal that deception is present. Here, she stated that she "just kept hearing" (note tense) "God" "tell her" that she had to go. Note that she does not say why God did not warn them not to go jet ski in a place where she knew drug cartel pirates were, nor does she say why God didn't tell her a few minutes earlier so that David could be spared. She has now claimed Divine intervention for herself; but not for her husband.

He would never, ever put me in a position of danger. And we hadn`t heard anything of -- anything going on over there. We had heard about the pirates, but we didn`t know -- you know, we just hadn`t heard anything recently.

When a subject tells us what didn't happen, what wasn't said, what wasn't seen, or what wasn't thought, it is called a 'negation' and it is an offering of critical information that is highly sensitive to the subject. Here Tiffany, although not challenged, anticipates that she has said that they "knew" this was a drug area, and that people would naturally ask why David would expose her to such danger. Note now the sensitivity above and why she went from "they knew", "we knew" to the reduced "possibility" of being in harm's way.

1. He would never, ever put me in a position of danger

The word "never" is not to be accepted as a substitute for the word "no" and is, in fact, a weak denial. According to Tiffany, David Hartley did, in deed, put her in a position of danger, just to get a snap shot of a church. Tiffany knows that her story, as told, accuses David of this, therefore, she addresses it in the form of the highly sensitive negation.

This statement may suggest that drug involvement was part of September 30th.


Pat Brown's theory is that they went to buy drugs, likely a wholesale purchase, in order to sell them on the street at a tremendous mark up. She believes that they were shot at on land, not on a jet ski, and that David, hit, told her to run. She ran, got on her jet ski and took off, leaving him behind to die. That Tiffany Hartley offers to us that David would "never ever" put her in harm's way tells us that David either put her in harm's way, or had done something in the past to make her feel frightened; in some kind of "danger". This may be an indication of drug involvement, or it may be an indication of domestic violence. (Recall that she spoke of his size; meaning that his large size next to her small size is in her mind as she told her story. This may be in her mind if she felt intimidated by him. Research into his background, especially close friends or ex girlfriends, could confirm or deny this possibility.)

Tiffany told us, via negation, that David put her in danger. (we also know this from her story: she reported that they even spoke of the possibility of being kidnapped before they went.

How many husbands do you know would go into an area of such immense danger as to show the need for kidnap preparedness, with their wives?

And we hadn`t heard anything of -- anything going on over there. We had heard about the pirates, but we didn`t know -- you know, we just hadn`t heard anything recently

First: we hadn't heard anything;
Next: "anything" is repeated; sensitivity
Then: hadn't heard anything "recently" qualifying her answer.

This is what deception looks like.

GRACE: Hearing that woman, there is no doubt in my mind that this is what went down. You were just seeing her speaking a few hours ago on the NBC "Today" show.

This speaks for itself.

Out to the lines, Latoya, South Carolina, hello, Latoya.
LATOYA, CALLER FROM SOUTH CAROLINA: Hey, Nancy. I just want to let you know, I love your show, I watch it every night.

GRACE: Thank you, dear.

LATOYA: My -- my question is, just to clear this all up, because I believe her, too. But has she taken a polygraph test?
GRACE: I don`t know. Let`s go to Lieutenant (INAUDIBLE) Garza with the Zapata County Sheriff`s Office.

Lieutenant, thank you for being with us. I doubt she`s in any frame of mind right now to take a polygraph.

This is a statement of prejudice. It would be of interest to ask Nancy Grace how many males who had just "lost" their wives or girlfriends, were not "in any frame of mind" to take a polygraph.

In a murder investigation, what frame of mind should exist to take a polygraph?

Nancy Grace: Was Marc Klass in any frame of mind to take a polygraph when his daughter went missing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, ma`am. One hasn`t been provided to her, or offered at this time.

"provided" to her is soft language.

GRACE: Well, I`ve got to tell you something, Lt. Garza, I really believe her. And the fact that the body has not been discovered yet, and that the jet ski has not been discovered, that doesn`t concern me at all.

Can`t you look at this lady and tell she`s telling the truth

No need for science. Just have Nancy Grace look at someone and we can bypass the polygraph, statement analysis and interviewing skills, and get an answer from Nancy. No need for hundreds of hours of interview training. No need for linguistics. No need for polygraphy training.

Just have Nancy Grace look at someone and we can know if they are telling the truth or not.

This is what Susan Murphy Milano has been saying:

The media would not treat Tiffany Hartley this way had she been a man and the victim a woman. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I was here actually when Miss Hartley came into the office. And we also had a witness out there corroborating Mrs. Hartley`s event of a boat chasing her into the U.S. side of the lake.
GRACE: Let me go to Dr. Leslie Austin, psychotherapist joining us out of New York.

Leslie -- Dr. Leslie, you can size somebody up in a heartbeat. What do you think?

A trained psychotherapist will know that what Nancy Grace claims is not only impossible, but irresponsible and the height of judgmentalism. Sociopaths, addicts, and so many others are able to fool professionals with impunity. Dr. Leslie is faced with a dilemma: does she speak truthfully and cause Nancy Grace to become angry, dismissive, and possibly insulting? (this could lead to no further invitations back to the show). Or, does she agree with Nancy, in the face of both science and common sense?
DR. LESLIE AUSTIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I find her totally credible. I absolutely believe her. I just wonder why they started shooting first rather than trying to capture them and rob them. But I find her completely credible.

Note the weakness in the assertion by the additional words she calls upon:

"totally" credible"absolutely" believe her
This weakness in assertion is seen with two additional words and then the weakness leaks out with the following statement in which she "wonders" why they would shoot first and not rob. This belies her agreement with Nancy Grace as she shows the incredulous nature of the story.

GRACE: Well, they`re drug runners. Why ask why? Why do they act like animals? I don`t know. Why do they kill people? I don`t know. Do I need an excuse? Maybe they only wanted the jet ski.

AUSTIN: No. But there was a history of people being robbed there. I mean it`s just something that I wondered about.

GRACE: So what are you --

AUSTIN: But she is absolutely credible.
GRACE: -- trying to say, because she`s not robbed, she`s lying?

AUSTIN: No, no, no. I find her completely credible. I just don`t understand the scenario yet. But she is totally believable. There is no way this woman is lying.

Nancy Grace attempts to humiliate those who disagree with her. Note the sacrifice of dignity by many who repeatedly go on her show for the publicity.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers, Ken Hodges, Raymond Giudice, Richard Herman.

Weigh in, Herman.

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, her story sounds ridiculous to me. Why would they aim a gun at her and not shoot her and not take her jet ski? Pirates just don`t come up to people and shoot them for fun of shooting people. I don`t know what went on here. It`s tragic. This man apparently is dead. But the story sounds absolutely ridiculous.

Note that the first description by Richard Herman is that her story sounds "ridiculous". This is how far apart two views are:

Herman says her "story" sounds "ridiculous" but Grace says "she" is credible.

The difference?

Richard Herman is addressing the story;
Nancy Grace is addressing the woman.

Refer to Susan Murphy Milano. What is ridiculous to one is "absolutely" credible to another because the other "looked" at Tiffany Hartely.

Is this because Hartley is a woman?

GRACE: No, no. Because I have prosecuted cases where victims were murdered, were gunned down just for the hell of it.

What about it, Giudice?

HERMAN: Why didn`t they shoot her?

GRACE: I don`t know.


GRACE: I don`t know. I don`t know why they didn`t shoot her. I only thank God in Heaven. They didn`t.

What about it, Raymond?

GIUDICE: My two concerns are. Every picture I see in him --

GRACE: Your concerns?

GIUDICE: He`s wearing a floatation device, a life jacket. Secondly, those jet skis are designed to float. There is no reason that that body and that jet ski in a lake, not out in the ocean, have not been found yet.

Ray Giudice is not focused upon Hartley, the woman, but upon the forensics of her story. This, along with Richard Herman's view, are in stark contrast to Nancy Grace's view of looking at the person of the story, rather than the story and its details.

GRACE: Ken Hodges, what do you make of it?
KEN HODGES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think the most compelling thing to support what you say is that an independent witness observed it and corroborated what she said. It needs to have a full investigation and hopefully it will reveal what you`ve said that she was a victim of a horrible crime.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. So you more or less know where he is?HARTLEY: Yes, but he`s -- he`s --


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. What`s your name?
HARTLEY: Tiffany Hartley.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Are you sure that your husband got shot?HARTLEY: Yes, in his head.

Note that the 911 Dispatcher appears to have questioned the veracity of the caller.


GRACE: We are taking your calls, out to Cheryl in Georgia, hi, Cheryl.

CHERYL, CALLER FROM GEORGIA: Hey, Nancy. How are you?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

CHERYL: I have a couple of questions. If I was going to go on a jet ski vacation I wouldn`t like go near borders of, you know, where they were, where it was dangerous. And also, if boats were coming towards them, why didn`t they shoot at her? Is there a life insurance policy on her husband?

GRACE: To Will Ripley, reporter with KRGV. Will, it`s my understanding from what she says it all happened so fast they just came up and started shooting, which that`s the way drug runners do. What about the rest of the questions?

Nancy Grace appears to know the MO of drug runners; how they shoot and operate.
RIPLEY: Well, one thing you need to remember about this couple is that they lived in Reynosa, Mexico for two and a half years before moving back to the Texas side of the border and they`ve only lived here in McAllen for the past five months.

So these are people who are familiar with Mexico and also Falcon Lake is not very clearly marked. I mean, because there is no, you know, physical basically boundary line you can cross into Mexico and if you happen to miss the buoy you may not even know you`re in Mexico.

And this lake is -- this reservoir is a drug runner`s paradise. We have smuggling going on so much because there`s really not enough law enforcement out there.

GRACE: Well, you know, Will Ripley, something you said is absolutely correct. The only way you can tell you`re going over the water border are there are some buoys and they are very far apart. You don`t know that you`re crossing the border.

Note that the question of the life insurance policy was not answered by the respondent, nor was it addressed by Nancy Grace.


  1. Nancy Grace also believes Ronald Cummings was telling the truth...

  2. This woman is severely blind and obviously inexperienced with the Truth. very bias yesssss!! if you cry, then she will believe you. Ratings ratings ratings, that is all t.v is about.


Thank you for your comment. It will be added shortly.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


The opinions and information expressed in the individual posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of each contributor of "Time's Up!" nor the opinion of the blog owner and administrator. The comments are the opinion and property of the individuals who leave them on the posts and do not express the opinion of the authors, contributors or the blog owner and administrator.