If you watched broadcast television last season, you might have picked up on a show starring Tim Roth called “Lie to Me.” The premise follows a company called The Lightman Group that assists in interrogations to determine if people are being deceptive (figuring out why when they are is another matter). It all sounds very convincing, but how real is it?
Besides being fun to watch, you can’t help not playing along after being introduced to micro-expressions and other “tells” that are reinforced by similarities to celebrity photos (a glance down for shame, a slight grin at mentioning someone’s hardship when you secretly think they deserve it, etc). Cleverly, the show has also introduced reasons why these tells could be wrong at times, such as an inability to express surprise after a Botox treatment.
Recently I was watching an interview with someone who claimed their girlfriend was abducted while listening to them on a phone, hearing her say, “Don’t take me” before the line when dead. My first thought, being a cynic and a writer, was “What a great alibi.”
As I watched the man answer questions, however, I could swear he grinned at the mention of her being taken (was he secretly glad she was gone?) As he he spoke of prayer and believing that the good Lord wouldn’t let her die, he kept glancing downward (shame?) Only when he started talking about preventing these kinds of things from happening in the future was their any conviction (the truth). And at the end of each line of questioning, he swallowed hard (dry throat? Just nervous?)
I’m not saying I know the man lied, but if he’d been on an episode of “Lie to Me,” I would guess he knows something about who took his girlfriend, isn’t sad that she’s gone, but as a man with religious conviction, is ashamed he’s using his faith to convince others of something he already knows may not be true. All of which begs the question: why?
Dang, I can’t wait until this show comes back on (and I hope they find the woman safe and beat those responsible about the head and shoulders).