Crime Signals: How to Spot a Criminal Before You Become a Victim

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9780312362195: Crime Signals: How to Spot a Criminal Before You Become a Victim

Crime Signals helps you stop crime before it starts. David Givens, one of the nation's foremost experts in nonverbal communication, offers a fascinating and instructive look at crime, and into the tell-tale signs that give away all offenders―if you're trained to see them.

From the signals of a swindler to the warning signs that experts use to help thwart terrorism and violent crime, this book breaks down a criminal's body language into clear recognizable symbols:

· What does it mean if an assailant's face turns suddenly pale?

· Is a pat on the arm from a salesman a sign of sincerity, or an indication that you're about to get scammed?

· Does a liar make fewer hand gestures while they're lying―or more?

· If an aggressor shrugs his shoulders, should you be afraid?

This is the first book to offer a comprehensive guide to the body language of criminals. With amazing stories and instructive steps, it will change the way you view the world.

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About the Author:

David Givens, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Nonverbal Studies. He has been contracted by the Department of Defense, where he decoded the body language of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, in addition to having given countless seminars on nonverbal communication to law enforcement agencies, lawyers, judges, and members of U.S. intelligence. He lives in Spokane, Washington.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

As Sherlock Holmes wisely taught, a crime seldom happens in a vacuum. Crimes rarely go unannounced, without prior notice, clues, or warnings. Before and after the swindle, stabbing, jewel theft, sexual assault, or mysterious death by poisoning there are clearly readable signs. Seeing an armed robber shake a pistol in your face is an obvious and tangible sign of danger. The most commonly experienced danger signs, however, are intangible feelings and suppositions that something is wrong.
The highly publicized murder of Kristin Lardner, twenty-one, is a case in point. Her homicidal boyfriend, Michael Cartier, twenty-two, telegraphed a medley of tangible and intangible warning signs before he killed Kristin on a Boston sidewalk with his .38. Had Kristin heeded Michael’s danger signs, she might be alive today.
“I had a very bad feeling about him when I met him,” Kristin Lardner’s friend Lisa recalled (Lardner 1995, 155). But blinded by love, Kristin herself felt good about Michael, and described the tall, black-haired, blue-eyed nightclub bouncer as “cute.” That he wore a large tattoo of a castle drawn prominently on his neck did not seem to matter. As we will see, tattoos worn on the face, forehead, or neck—called “radical tattoos” or “job stoppers” in the tattooing business—can often raise serious crime issues. Tattoos worn on or about the face can scream, “I’m in your face!”
For Michael Cartier, the neck tattoo forewarned of antisocial personality disorder or APD. When they first met, in February 1992, Michael was friendly, charming, and sweet. He took Kristin to dinner and escorted her to clubs. For Valentine’s Day, he gave her a rose and a teddy bear. Michael swept the promising young art student off her feet with devoted affection until early in March 1992, when he screamed in anger, punched Kristin’s bedroom wall, and then savagely punched Kristin in the head (Lardner 1995, 161). Barely a month had passed before the tattoo’s tragic promise of cruelty came true.
In April 1992, Michael’s anger shifted into chronic mode. On April 15, he argued with Kristin and shoved her down on a sidewalk near the Boston University campus. When she got up, he tossed stones at her and struck her in the calf with a hurled steel rod. Michael threw her on the sidewalk again, cursed her, then threw Kristin into the street and brutally kicked her legs and head. Around two o’clock the next morning, April 16, concerned motorists stopped to help Kristin home.
If these were incredibly tangible danger signs, there were others Michael tried to hide. He had a three-page criminal record and had spent time in jail. In 1989 at a Massachusetts café, he injected his own blood from a syringe into a ketchup bottle as his skinhead friends watched and laughed (Lardner 1995, 102). In 1990, he beat his previous girlfriend, Rose Ryan, and savagely attacked her with a pair of scissors.
Like Kristin’s, Rose Ryan’s romance with Michael ended after lasting barely a month. Rose and Michael were out walking in the Boston Common when, without warning, he playfully threw her into a city trash can. Playful or not, his behavior clearly showed that “something was wrong.” They argued afterward, and then, as she explained, “Something stung the side of my head. It came unexpectedly, like a bird’s dropping. He had punched me. Bare knuckles, backed by his full weight” (Ryan 1993).
I call Michael Cartier’s nonverbal warning signs “crime signals.” Had Kristin Lardner only known the history and breadth of her boyfriend’s crime signals, she might have moved from Boston to a safer place far away. But, trusting her fate to police protection, she sought a restraining order instead. Then on May 30, 1992—after Kristin left her boyfriend, after she received her court-mandated restraining order, after weeks of relentless stalking by her predatory ex-boyfriend—Michael Cartier approached Kristin from behind and shot her in the back of the head with his pistol. After she’d fallen, mortally wounded, to the sidewalk, he shot her twice more. An hour later, Michael Cartier was found dead in his own apartment after killing himself with the same .38. Copyright © 2008 by David Givens. All rights reserved.

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