Caught by Language (Atrapados por la lengua)

Words that gave murderers away.

In just a paragraph or a five-minute talk we leave behind inevitable traces which are studied by forensic linguists, a scientific discipline which has helped track down terrorists such as Unabomber, as well as many murderers with accents or wannabe scammers. Just like the tiniest piece of skin on a victim’s nail can give away a murderer, the structure of a sentence, a specific vocabulary or a peculiar accent can be the downfall of a criminal, the proof needed to validate an accusation.

Sheila Queralt, one of the most renowned forensic linguists in Spain, talks about her experience in this field, from her beginnings, to how she became a reference in this area of criminology.

She also presents a whole series of well-known cases in which the meticulous work of a linguistics expert was key in solving them.

Among them, we could highlight: the Unabomber case, a terrorist known for sending letter bombs to universities and airlines; the puzzling death of Helena Jubany in Catolonia; the famous murder of Diana Quer; the kidnapping and murder of Anabel Segura in the 90s, or the Yorkshire Ripper. Furthermore, Queralt talks about some of the cases she has personally worked on, many of them related to lawsuit threats or identity theft cases.


RELEVANT INFORMATION: Caught by Language is an incredible starting point for a procedural TV show based on real-life events in which each episode revolves around a case, like CSI or Criminal Minds.

Queralt’s book has many QR codes which lead to articles, documents, court rulings, and other resources and images related to the featured cases, which would help in gathering information and developing the project.

Sheila Queralt is a certified expert at the Official College of Doctors and Graduates in Philosophy, Literature, and Sciences as a judicial expert in forensic linguistics and intellectual and industrial property criminology. Thanks to her career she has been nominated to the Top 100 in the category of independent professionals and leaders in 2020, and she was a candidate for the Princess of Girona Award in the Scientific Research category.


What the critics have said:

“Sheila Queralt is the founder of a successful laboratory that specializes in analyzing language for judicial, police, and private processes.” El País

“Forensic linguistics is increasingly helping to solve cases, as Sheila Queralt explains in the book Caught by Language.La Vanguardia.

“Sheila Queralt recounts in her book Caught by Language: 50 Cases Solved by Forensic Linguistics how language analysis influenced cases such as that of Diana Quer, Unabomber, or even a lawsuit involving Donald Trump.” El Independiente

“The verbal detective Sheila Queralt details fifty real cases that have been solved thanks to forensic linguistics, an exceptionally interesting discipline that is not very well-known in Spain.” El Español


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV Series, Miniseries, Film, TV Movie.


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