Lying and Its Detection: A Study of Deception and Deception Tests

Lying and Its Detection: A Study of Deception and Deception Tests

Lying and Its Detection: A Study of Deception and Deception Tests

Lying and Its Detection: A Study of Deception and Deception Tests


August Vollmer

Professor of Criminology, University of Chicago Chief of Police, Berkeley, California

In this book the vast literature relating to deception is critically analyzed, and excerpts from the best works on the subject are arranged in an orderly manner. The various types of deceptions are defined and classified. Deceivers are placed in their pigeonholes so that each type is readily recognizable. A detailed description is given of the physical and mental manifestations of deception in normal and abnormal persons. Ancient and modern methods employed by law-enforcement officials to determine guilt or innocence are shown to be inefficient; and finally, a comprehensive outline of scientific efforts to develop a deception technique is given, including the author's researches in California and Illinois.

Hans Gross has said that a large part of the criminal investigator's work is nothing more than a battle against the lie. Few, indeed, there are who realize just how true this is. The officer must be suspicious not only of the defendant or suspect but also of the complainant and the witnesses.

In the various complaints filed with law-enforcement officials, we not infrequently find murders reported by the murderer. In these cases the complainants seek to throw suspicion upon others. It is also common practice for complainants to report that they have been held up and relieved of large sums of money. In this way they are able to account for moneys expended unwisely, or for moneys that they themselves propose to divert to their own uses. Every police officer will testify to the fact that in the investigation of burglaries they are required to proceed with caution as the report is often made either to cover up financial weakness or to collect insurance upon property. In Chicago for many years there was a large gang who made a business of insuring their buildings and then destroying them. Millions of dollars were lost by the insurance companies as a result of depredations by this gang.

In fact, the motives for all forms of false criminal reports are so numerous that it would be impossible to chronicle them all. Suffice it . . .

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