As someone who is engaged in doing vocal forensics for legal cases, I am always amazed at how much we can learn about a person based on the sound and tone of their voice, not to mention their speech patterns and its content.
When a person lies, the voice can give a lot away. Vocal tells are not always consistent in lying. Sometimes the pitch of a person’s voice may rise as it did last week, when Casey Anthony gave her lame apology in front of the courtroom.
Other times, the voice may sound lower because the vocal cords tend to close off and emit what is known as a “vocal fry” or a “glottal fry” which sounds like a creaking tone.
Since respiration is affected when someone lies, it is often difficult for liars to adequately coordinate their respiration with their phonation. The fry is also nature’s way of wanting to close off the vocal cords so the person won’t engage in lying. There is a lot of strain on the vocal muscles when the voice closes off, so you often hear Casey clear her throat. That is another tell to let you know what is taking place.
CASEY’S VOCAL FRYS ON HER INTERROGATION TAPES
If you go back and listen to Casey Anthony’s interrogation audiotapes, with Detective Uri Melich, you will hear Casey’s lower pitch and a lot of vocal frying and creaking tones. This was very evident when Detective Melich talks to Casey Anthony about when Caylee went missing, how she met Zenaida Gonzalez,what happened the day Caylee disappeared, who she talked to about Caylee missing, how she tried to find Zenaida. and why she did not alert them earlier.
All of that frying clearly means she is lying!
OTHER SPEECH PATTERN TELLS ON THE INTERROGATION TAPES
In listening to these interrogation tapes you will hear that Casey gives WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION, and provides convoluted stories like she did about Zanida’s mother and how Zenaida changed her number so much. That is a HUGE tell that someone lies.
TOO MUCH PAUSE TIME TO ANSWER QUESTION Like when Melich asked her about Zanaida’s mother or asked her about the phone numbers of various people. The extended pause time was used for Casey to no doubt concoct her false stories.
MONOTONE and lack of inflection pattern in the voice is often a key to deception as is rapid fire answers to questions.
VOCAL TELLS IN THE COURTROOM
When someone uses upward inflection at the end of sentences, it sounds as though they are asking a question as opposed to making a statement. This upward inflection that Casey used in the courtroom last week, was in stark contrast to the downward frying inflection she used when she was interrogated.
What this means was that Casey was not being sincere and definite in her apology. Instead, it was tentative, phony, and insincere . It was tentative because Casey is no doubt, not used to asking for forgiveness or admitting fault for anything.
This is a young lady who has gotten away with everything her entire life. She was enabled as he family always seemed to look the other way and have their heads buried in the sand when it came to Casey. It sounded like she was asking a question with her upward inflection. Her raised eyebrows that went along with her tentative upward inflection reflected that what she was doing and saying in terms of apologizing it was new and foreign information that her body was processing.
THE RAISED PITCH LEVEL IN THE COURT
In the case of Casey Anthony, her higher pitched of her voice indicated a lot of tension in her vocal apparatus. When people are not being truthful or are insincere or nervous, we may oftentimes hear a sudden rise in pitch as we did with Casey. She knew deep down she didn’t believe those words one bit.
VOCAL FRYING IN THE COURT
There were many vocal frys and cracking of the voice as Casey spoke, indicating deception and insincerity. This was especially evident when she said how she wished she would have been a better friend to Amy.
If and when Casey does take the stand during her murder trial, it will be very interesting to read her vocal and speech tells. No doubt we will her more of the same patterns of deception that she exhibited when she a interrogated and when she was insincerely apologizing. www.drlillianglass.com