Searching for Microexpressions

Dateline NBC’s Josh Mankiewicz sat down with the man convicted of the 2004 double murder of Tom and Jackie Hawks. His interview with Skylar Deleon is below. While Deleon has admitted to committing the murders, he seems impassive (destitute of emotions) and quite conniving, showing a series of emotions and microexpressions.

What do you see in his interview below? Do you see any microexpressions?

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3 responses to “Searching for Microexpressions”

  1. BorjaMerino says:

    Second 0:33 and 0:37 Disgust. (the second one more subtel)
    Really interesting the shoulder motion at second 2:37 when he apologizes.

  2. Markus says:

    In short, i get a lot of disgust and anger from Skylar Delon and an overall contemptuous attitude from Josh Mankiewicz towards Skylar.

    (A little more detailed attempt from me.)
    0:32-33: Disgust?
    0:50-51: Disgust?

    1:57-58: Anger? (when Josh confronts Skylar about calling the murder “it” or “the thing”. It looks like there is a very slight tension in the lower eyelid. Could that be controled anger?)

    2:11-13: Sneer, anger/disgust?

    2:14-15: Another sneer?

    2:23-24: Anger? (Josh says “it happened, you did it” and Skylar inhales. My interpretation of that was that he does that to calm him self and control his anger?

    2:44-46: Supressed smile? (I really wonder about your opinion on this part. Josh says “they are dead because you killed them”. And it looks like Skylar is about to break out in a smile but managed to hold it back before answer “yea”.)

    3:09-11: Anger?(slight tension in lower eyelid) almost right after it looks like a disgust expression?

    Then around 3:30 he shows enjoyment when his lawyer interrupts Josh. Around 3:52 it looks like Skylar first shows a disgust expression followed by a smile.

    That was my attempt. Looking forward to hear your feedback.

  3. Daniel Richardson says:

    Before i tell you what i have spotted you have to remember this is an interview and unreliable in the way that Skyler will be very defensive and on his guard which makes microexpressions and body language a lot harder to spot, see, decifer and/ or he may try to show emotions he wants Josh to see.

    but like microexpressions, some will leak through his undoubtedly rehurst story.

    From the very start of the interview Skyler isnt very confident, he walks in with his hands in his pockets and his shoulders are almost up to his ears.

    Skylers answer to “what he wants people to know about him” is a generic “appology” as a defensive mechanism due to his lack of remorse and knowledge of societies expectations on being sorry for doing the wrong thing.

    The Q: “what were they like, the Hawks” although Skyler was nodding when he was saying they were good people, is deceptive and likely untrue because his eye were slowly closing and opening which is a sign of not wanting to hear what was being said and also slight anger, towards Josh (for asking) or the Hawks (for real or percived, dislike or ill treatment of Skyler ).
    I also noticed Skyler look slightly down and away to the left (remembering a memory) a slight bottom lip raiser (at 1:22), it is unclear wether Skyler is uncaring or that he wished it happened differently (maybe so he didnt get caught)

    at 1:27 when Skyler was saying he wasnt lookin at them as good or bad people he shifted his eyes to the right (common in thinking of/up something. not a memory. which it should of been since he would of thought of it at the time of the murder as he said he did, not after the fact) meaning he lied about that but…
    at 1:39 he again looked slightly down and away to the left when talking about “when he gets something stuck in his head” without being able to delve deeper into the matter i would have to say this part was true.

    When Skyler metions “IT” or “THE THING” he is using distancing language to avoid consequices (the death penalty). as a whole he makes few. truthful gestures of fear in reguards to knowing he will be put to death not that he is sorry for the murders.

    at 2:20 he is in denial meaning he does not want to take responsebillty for his actions. and also very insecure only because Josh is pressuring him and he doesnt have time to think of a politically correct answer which also causes more emotions to leak out like disghust.

    It then goes on to Josh trying to get Skyler to say he killed the Hawks. Skyler does try to keep up the “apology” but in the end realizes he isnt sounding believeable (as does his lawyer, by interjecting) and Skyler slowly open up and stops concealing most of his emotions.

    Summery: Skyler is a follower (to his wife) and can only empathise with her feeling or emotions towards the Hawks. In their relationship he is the submissive type (the unintelligent of the two) and did not comprehend the consequinces of their actions. and Skyler was a victim (of sorts) to the real murderer (hi wife) although not physically. Those personallities are more dangerous then Skylers and need harsher penalties in the justice system.

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