How Facts Lie

Ever since the earliest of times the process of law has realized what a lie a single fact can be. Therefore  one is compelled to swear on the witness stand to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”  Factoids are deadly. Context is everything. Truth lies in the sum, in the body context.

Following a factoid, that single, detached fact, is what investigators reluctantly admit becomes “tunnel vision.” It affects everybody. One has to discipline themselves in order to avoid that. A single clue can be important, but only the body of the subject at hand, whatever case it may be, can determine the clue that is truly worthwhile.

Gerd Gigerenzer, of the Max Plank Institute, perhaps said it best about that quotient of intelligence known as intuition. He said that it was the ability to instinctively determine what is unimportant to the equation and therewith to ignore it.

But instinct only comes with experience. Otherwise it is based on false impressions, stereotypes, and plain ignorance.

Often popular discussions of True Crime topics, and almost universally those dreaded and bloated “daddy did it” books, are the haunt of people who follow a single factoid to useless fruition or, more often, carry it with them along a never ending path.

Always seek all data, but know to analyze it within the context of the subject. It leads you to more data and more clues. And this will eventually lead you to the solution. It doesn’t matter if you are seeking a serial killer’s identity, Bigfoot, little aliens, or whatever. No fact in any investigation can be allowed to stand alone unless the context isolates it.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.


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