Saturday, February 20, 2010

..."Know A Good Lawyer"?

These little gems are from a book called "Disorder in the American Courts", and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place..

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, "isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?"
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's twenty, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK?
What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And, Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
And the best for last:
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Street Slang: NYC Born

Ever heard street slang and wondered how it came about or where it came from?...

The term "Jones" or "jonesin" (jone-sin, jones-ing) was originally used by drug addicts and junkies when referring to their habit; "I got a 3 bag a day Jones"...or the desire for drugs; "I'm jonesin' for some ______". The term is said to have been created after Jones St. in the West Village of NYC...
then there is Great Jones St and Great Jones Alley which runs behind Great Jones St. It's rumored that Great Jones Alley was a big hang out for the drug culture in Greenwich Village... hence the term, "Jonesin'".

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Interviews: "Make 'Em Do It Backwards"!

Theories abound about how best to tell if a suspect is lying to you, short of hooking him up to a polygraph or CVSA, and even's only a tool. We hear about kenesics, the use of body language and movement, different cues to look for, and on and on. Well, here's one more for your consideration: Make 'em tell it backwards. That's right. One more wrench in your toolchest should be having your subject recount all the facts for you as always, then....have them do it backwards in a timeline. One of the best ways to obtain cues to possible deception may be simply to have the subject tell his or her story backwards. You will find it's much more difficult for a person who is fabricating a story, alibi or incident to do so while telling it in a reverse or backwards timeline. In doing so you will start to see a pattern within the context of the interview:
Extreme Brevity: You will get very condensed versions.
Sparse Details: When lying, subjects will tend to offer few details generally speaking.
Justifications: When details are offered in the fabrications, they will tend to be in the form of justifications or rationalizations.
Non-verbal giveaways: During deception, the subjects may more often press their lips together firmly and look away like they were trying to think, to concentrate hard. Also their hand gestures may be different. When being truthful, they may tend to gesture away from their body, the opposite -- toward their chest -- when making up stories. And, when lying, grooming gestures may be more evident. These cues are all based on you obtaining a baseline of truth prior to your interview. You will notice, that Kenesics do play a part in this style of interview. Talk to your subject, get their baseline, then give it a try.

Monday, February 01, 2010


The retired NYPD Lieutenant that thousands of cops know, yet never knew, recently passed away.

Jesse Oldshein was the inspiration for the paper target that thousands of New York (and other) cops shot at for years. How many of us ever knew his name? How many ever knew he was a real person?

Jesse Oldshein retired as a Lieutenant, and has been living in Florida. He died recently, at the age of 92.

It was less than 2 years ago that he was unmasked as “The Thug” – the male holding a gun in a shooting pose that we shot at as a target at Firearms training for years.
When this target was replaced in 2008, with a faceless Mr Clean look-alike, it was revealed that Jesse Oldshein was the model for the target.

When he showed up for firearms training one day in the early 1960’s, Oldshein was asked to pose for a picture. “Pose in a boxing stance”, he said he was told. “Next thing I know, my face is on a target.”

Jesse Oldshein served as a Lieutenant in the 79 Precinct before he retired.

Not only was he the face that everyone knew, even if we didn’t know him, but he was truly a “cops cop”.

In a thank-you letter sent to Jesse OIdshein from Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, he summed it up best when he wrote “Yours is the face that launched a thousand careers.”

We say “Farewell- and God Bless” to this NYPD legend.