10 Ways Cops Know You’re Lying

In fiction, the murderer is always an evil genius, a professional hit man, or a taunting serial killer.  But in my experience as a police detective, most criminals are hapless goofs whose crimes are wholly unplanned, the result of impulse or passion.  They are caught because they make dumb mistakes, they’re poor liars, or they’re a little “off” (and off their meds).  Here are ten ways cops can tell when you’re lying:

1) When a patdown has produced a pocket-sized pistol in your cargo pocket, and you say, “I swear I didn’t know that was in there!  These ain’t even my pants, Officer!”

2) When you’re stopped while driving a car reported stolen and it has a popped steering column, requiring a screwdriver for an ignition key, and you say, “I didn’t know it was stolen; I just borrowed it from my homeboy to run to the store real quick.”

3) When it’s after midnight on a steamy summer Alabama evening, you’re dressed all in black including hoodie and gloves, you’re perspiring heavily, you’re miles from your home address but just a block from a house where the audible alarm is still squealing, your clothes are glistening with tiny specks of broken glass, and you insist you’re just “out for a walk.”10 Ways Cops Know You’re Lying

4) When we ask you your date of birth and you hesitate.

5) When you’re stopped for driving down the street on a $3000 John Deere riding lawnmower and you explain you run a lawn service, and you just finished a job cutting the grass.  And it’s 0200 hours.  In mid-January.

6) When you’re observed parked behind an abandoned building with a known prostitute whose head pops up from your lap as your car is spotlighted, and you explain that you’re a freelance evangelist whose ministry is to save young girls from the sex trade.  And your zipper’s down.

7) When we come to your house on a domestic and the place is trashed, the furniture broken, the kids are screaming, and we ask you how your girlfriend got the swollen-shut eye, fat lip, finger marks on her neck, and the torn shirt, and you say, “The bitch did it to herself, I swear, just to put me in jail!”

8) When you’re being questioned and we’re not buying your story, and you say, “All right, I’ll be honest with you…”

9) When we hook you up with wires and alligator clips on your fingers to what you believe to be a portable lie detector (but is really a noise meter for determining if a band or a boom box is too loud) and as you speak, we look knowingly at the needle bouncing into the red zone and you get all panicky.   

10) When you have three pages of priors and you’ve done hard time and you’ve pissed dirty a couple times for your PO and haven’t reported in two months, and your lips are moving.

Mark Johnson is a retired police detective who served with the Mobile Police Department. Johnson’s new true-crime memoir, Apprehensions & Convictions: Adventures of a 50-Year-Old Rookie Cop, is available now.)
Publisher’s link: https://quilldriverbooks.com/products-page-2/featured-titles/apprehensions-and-convictions/