Body Language Is Behind the Larimer’s Sherrif’s Decision Not To Charge Family . Is It A Case of Misread Body Language?

Six-year-old Falcon Heene peeks out from behind the leg of his father, Richard, during a news conference outside the family's home in Fort Collins, Colo., after Falcon Heene was found hiding in a box in a space above the garage on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009. Falcon Heene at first had been reported to be aboard a flying-saucer-shaped balloon fashioned by his father and then carried by high winds on to the plains of eastern Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Even though there is still speculation by many that the whole Balloon Boy incident was a hoax, the Sherriff decided that no charges would be filed and that the family would not be required to cover the cost of the extensive search efforts. Even though the boy said on CNN “he hid because it was for the show: and even though father Richard Heen was overly defensive and appeared to cry crocodile tears on the air, the Sherrif’s Department apparently believes him.sherrif
Alderden says the investigators on scene believed the incident was legitimate and not a hoax even after interviewing Falcon separately from his family. “After the boy came out they did a forensic interview with the boy just between the investigators and them and they again thought that it was a legitimate thing from his perspective,” he explained.
He did however admit the child’s statements to members of the media have cast some suspicion on the investigation.
Personally, as a body language expert myself, I would like to see how the investigators came to the conclusion that the body language showed no signals of deception or that the emotions of the parent’s were consistent and genuine, with consistency being the operative word here,
One also has to look at motive to understand the whole picture. It is a fact that this father was pitching a television show around to the various media outlets. In order to gain some interest . perhaps his wife may have concocted some high drama with the boy to get them in more visibility in the public eye.
The little boy could have been brainwashed by the father that no matter what he is asked to say that he was really hiding not for a show. Was there a child psychologist on hand as well to read the little boy’s signals and to see if he was telling the truth? There is no dount that this little boy fears his “yelling” over the top highly emotional and overly dramatic father.
Maybe it is too much work for the small Sherrif’s department and they want to put this and all the paperwork they would have to do so they proclaimed that the family was innocent. But then they didn’t want to come off looking ridiculous so they covered themselves by stating “Clearly with the statements that were made last night we hope to re-interview the family and explore that possibility to try and get to the bottom of this and resolve it one way or another,” .

During a Friday morning briefing with the sheriff’s office, Deputy Brian Thomas reiterated that the media interviews had sparked a lot of skepticism, according to NBC News. Thomas says the sheriff’s office is conducting an investigation and will be looking into the physical and emotional state of the family as seen on the media. The sheriff’s office says it feels it would be more conducive to conduct the interviews with the family on Saturday.
I listened carefully to the 911 calls and did hear some emotion in the mothers voice but then again who knows if she wasn’t in on the ruse. She immediately gave the phone to the husband and he was on and off as far as emotion goes. AS soon as he was explaining the mechanics of the flying saucer he built, there was no emotion in his voice at all. When a call came in and the wife was on the phone I should add, you can hear the father’s voice in the background saying “Who the hell is calling me?” in a clear tone.

So I am not completely buying the “body language” theory made by a law enforcement officer who is not
Formally trained in this area and has no psychology background. I did not like what I saw on television when the father was interviewed and I did not like how the boy reacted after he spilled the beans . To me that spoke volumes. Everyone can see what I am speaking about.
If the Sherriff analyzed those tapes and understood a the motivation and the psychology behind these actions of the father, he may indeed have come to a different conclusion..
I don’t care if they feel the father acted distraught. They need to look at his “Wife Swap” appearance where he was over the top and highly emotional. To me he acted very “ drama queeny” with the operative word here being “acts”.
After seeing the interviews with the family today my “body language” read is completely different than the sheriff. Having said that I wasn’t in the home and I didn’t do an investigation with the family, but something tells me I am right in my assessment. When one reads body language one of the key factors is “consistency” and Richard Heen has been less than consistent with regard to his body language displays.


4 thoughts on “Body Language Is Behind the Larimer’s Sherrif’s Decision Not To Charge Family . Is It A Case of Misread Body Language?

  1. At least three things give the impression it was staged:

    1. The boy’s statement to Wolf Blitzer that “it was for the show.”
    2. If I’m not mistaken, on the Today Show (or during another interview) the following morning, the father said, “we didn’t expect it to get this big.”
    3. The whole event/take-off was videotaped . . . for a reason.

    The communication slips are the primary “tells,” in my opinion.


  2. Shouldn’t you put an addendum on these posts stating that the Sheriff did in fact think they were guilty, but the officials were gathering evidence so everything he [the Sheriff] was stating to the media was false thus trying to lull the Heenes into a false sense of security?

    It just seems unfair that although you were correct in [in a sense] you were simply listening to the lies the Sheriff told to mislead the Heenes. Or didn’t he have any body language that illustrated his deception too?


  3. I wrote the blog as we discovered the information that the Sheriff said his deputies believed the Heene’s body language on OCt. 17,2009. He went on and on in detail to explain how qualified his deputies were to determine the Heene;s body language., Personally, I don’t think the Sherrif was trying to convince the Heene’s that he believed them so they would cooperate. I think he really did believe them. That is why I felt compelled to write him an email explaining the body language “tells” I saw that indicated the Heene’s were lying. I think he had so much public pressure and that as other evidence became known, he was embarrassed. So he backpeddled to save face by saying he said he didn’t believe them all along. That was wrong to do. It mislead the public just as the Heene’s mislead the public. I don;t like that. He could have said nothing and he could have told the Heene;s privately that he believed them. But to enroll the public in yet another dishonest communication was wrong in my opinion. I thought the Sheriff was unophisticalted in the area of body language and that is why I offered my help .It is ashame that he deceived the public. There is no excuse for that. Thank you so much for your comments.


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