Ever wonder if someone being interrogated is actually telling the truth? On Criminal Confessions, airing Sunday at 7/6c on Oxygen, we get to see some of the world's best interrogation experts pick up on these signs of lying and get guilty criminals to confess to their atrocious wrongdoings.
One of those experts is Sergeant Brian Harris, who is featured as an expert on Criminal Confessions. Sergeant Harris, who has been in law enforcement for 28 years, trained hundreds of law enforcement officers nationally and internationally in Interviewing and Interrogations, Homicide Investigation, and a variety of other courses. He developed the Houston Police department’s Interview and Interrogation training, Advanced Interviewing, The Basic Investigator’s School and developed the Houston Police Recruiter’s Interview school.
So we reached out to Sgt. Harris to ask what signs and signals of guilt that he looks for when interrogating someone.
1. Hair Gestures - Sgt. Harris notes that people who play with their hair use it as a distraction. "Hair stall. Any kind of hair gesture in order to delay response."
2. Groin Grabbing - Did you know that sex offenders have specific gestures that interrogators look for as well? Sgt. Harris points this out saying, "sex offenders will rest their hands in the [groin area] as they start to tell their story."
3. The Cleaner - When watching tapes on Criminal Confessions, have you ever noticed someone start to fidget with the table or papers? Sgt. Harris calls this type of person "The Cleaner." These people are "obsessed with wiping the table or brushing lint or cleaning shoes." He notes that these behaviors help people escape from the interview and the situation in which they find themselves.
4. Shoulder Shrugging - We all have seen kids and teenagers shrug their shoulders when asked questions in an attempt to be passive in a conversation. But for potential criminals, it means something very different. Sgt. Harris notes that giving a shoulder shrug during a narrative response could indicate a lie. Specifically, Harris says "Part of the response is truthful but the shoulder shrugging indicates that the body is in conflict with the words being spoken."
5. The Surrender - One of the best ways to assume someone is finally giving up on their story is when they give up and put their hands in their face. Sgt. Harris calls this a "Surrender" and notes that "without a neck the head would fall off."
Be sure to look out for these signals when interrogating someone in the future. And don't miss Criminal Confessions, Sunday at 7/6c on Oxygen.