Crime Signals: How to Spot a Criminal Before You Become a Victim / Edition 1

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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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An exceptional text for reading criminal behavior. Incorporating the latest research in nonverbal behavior, psychology, neurology, physiology, and the social sciences, David Givens simplifies the complex and marries it up with actual cases from today’s headlines. This book is not just for law enforcement officers, it is for anyone who is concerned about their own safety and the safety of their loved ones. This is a must read.” –Joe Navarro, FBI Special Agent (ret.), author of What Every Body is Saying.

“An essential tool for warding off crime, filled with fascinating real-life stories of crime and survival.” —Tuscon Citizen

“CRIME SIGNALS offers a comprehensive interpretation of nonverbal body language. By giving the reader an anthropological, biological, social, and psychological, perspective of body language, David Givens offers readers insight into the behaviors of criminal personalities. If we are alert to the signals of criminal intent, we can better protect ourselves and the ones we love.” –Leigh Baker, author of Protecting Your Children from Sexual Predators.

“CRIME SIGNALS gives the reader valuable insights into human behavior and, most importantly, cues to criminal behavior that can help you from becoming a victim.” –Chief Alan Lanning, La Mesa Police Department

“This savvy, street-smart field guide to the many ways the hands, eyes, jaws, shoulders, and sweat glands of criminals betray what they’re about to do and what they have done is a must-read. Find out why you should worry, for example, if you see men entering an airport in single file, or if you see people standing like statues within a convenience store.” –Connie Fletcher, author of Crime Scene: Inside the World of the Real CSIs

“Sorting the truth from lies and trying to understanding the criminal mind is a frustrating and elusive goal, but in CRIME SIGNALS David Givens takes us one step closer with a useful and fascinating overview of the movement, voice, and body language of those who do us harm.” –Gary M. Lavergne, author of Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312362195
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,474,674
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet 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.

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Read an Excerpt

Crime Signals

How to Spot a Criminal Before You Become a Victim

By Givens, David St. Martin's Press
Copyright © 2008
Givens, David
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312362614

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 raiseserious 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.


Excerpted from Crime Signals by Givens, David Copyright © 2008 by Givens, David. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface: A Preliminary Musing xi

Introduction: Crime Signals Before And After The Crime 1

1 The Look Of A Lie 10

2 The Meaning In Hands, Shoulders, Lips, And Eyes 26

3 Marks Of The Swindler 43

4 A Silent Cry: The Killer's Warning Signs 57

5 Prelude To An Assault 73

6 The Predatory Look 93

7 Terror Interrupted 120

8 Reading The Gang Signs 139

9 Corrupt Business Designs 158

10 The Symbols Of An Addiction 175

11 To Catch A Thief 188

Conclusion 206

Bibliography 211

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