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Hiding The Elephant (How The Psychological Techniques Of Magicians Can Be Used To Manipulate Witnesses At Trial), Sydney A. Beckman Aug 2014

Hiding The Elephant (How The Psychological Techniques Of Magicians Can Be Used To Manipulate Witnesses At Trial), Sydney A. Beckman

Sydney A. Beckman

In 1917 Harry Houdini performed a single, yet incredible, illusion; “[u]nder the bright spotlights of New York’s Theatre Hippodrome, he made a live elephant disappear.” In 1983 David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty Disappear in front of both a live and a national television audience. To be sure, neither the elephant nor Lady Liberty actually disappeared. But from the perspective of the audience they did, indeed, disappear. So which is correct? Did they, or didn’t they?

Trial Lawyers and Magicians share many of the same talents and skills. Misdirection, misinformation, selective-attention, ambiguity, verbal manipulation, body language ...