Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fake Lie Detector

WAPT-TV [Jackson, Mississippi]
25 April 2008

Man Who Took Lampshade 'Lie Detector' Seeks Settlement
Huey Granger Suing Two Former Pearl Police Officers Over 2002 Incident

JACKSON, Miss. - A mentally disabled man who was given a fake lie detector test is still waiting for a settlement after six years. Pearl police admitted that officers put a lampshade on Huey Granger's head in June 2002. Granger had filed a police report claiming that his daughter was attacked by her boyfriend in their Pearl home. While at the police station, officers Keith Peterson and Jeff Thames gave him a "fake lie detector test." [...]
[On fake lie-detector tests, see Jan Brunvand, Baby Train, 139-45; Brunvand, Too Good To Be True, 303-5; Gillian Bennett & Paul Smith, Urban Legends, 7-8.]

Peter V. MacDonald, From the Cop Shop: Hilarious Tales from Our Men and Women of the Badge. Toronto: Stoddart, 1996, p. 179.

Police officers often have to be resourceful, and in the story that follows Constable Chisholm reveals just how resourceful he can be when he really puts his mind to it:

In 1988 in Inuvik, I was investigating a rash of minor house breaks and had a few suspects to check out. There were three fellows I heard were responsible. I drove around town and saw one of them walking down the street. I motioned for him to have a seat in the police car. He had a few drinks under his belt, and he wasn’t the brightest chap I’ve ever met.

I questioned him for ten minutes and he wouldn’t confess. I then asked him if he knew what a lie detector was, and he said no. On the seat beside me I had a screening device for motorists suspected of driving while impaired. It registers one of three different verdicts—“Pass”, “Warning,” or “Fail.”

I told my suspect I was going to have him blow into the machine and it would tell us whether he was guilty or not. I said if he blew “Pass” it meant he knew nothing about the break-ins; if he blew “Warning” it indicated he wasn’t guilty but knew who was; and if he blew “Fail” it meant he was one of the guys who broke into the houses.

To my delight, he blew “Fail.” I looked at him and said, “Well?” He said, “You got me!” and confessed to a bunch of break-ins.

I tried it again on others, but no one else would bite.

[“Constable Duncan Chisholm of the RCMP…[is] a quick-witted six-footer from Quebec, presently stationed at Deer Lake, Newfoundland. In seventeen memory-packed years as a Mountie he’s also served in the Newfoundland communities of Labrador City, St. John’s, Holyrood, and Bonavista, as well as in Fort McPherson and Inuvik in the Northwest Territories.” (p. 176)]