From the chapter The Key:
For most people telling a simple lie in a straightforward way is difficult. We know the answer so when we consciously give an incorrect one there’s an internal disconnect, a mental jolt. Bad liars don’t want to let on that they’re ‘jolting’ while they’re lying, hence the diarrhea.
The next question Alvear asks Avery is: “What sort of questions are police asking you?”
Avery: [glances away, blinks three times] “Jus when she was out here…what time…around…mmm…[shrugs]…zabout it.”[Nods reassuringly]
I doubt whether the police said to Avery: “Around what time was Teresa here?”
They would have wanted to know EXACTLY what time Teresa was there. When she arrived and when she left. Notice how vague Steven is in answering Alvear’s question again. He basically tells one thing, that they want to know when she was there. Didn’t they want to know where he was? Where the car was? When he called her? Did he see anything suspicious? How often had Teresa come out there?
Notice the contradictory body language again. Shrugging and nodding. The message is: I don’t know – yes that’s true, I don’t know.
Alvear asks Avery if the police asked him to take a polygraph. It’s an interesting question, because if we think he’s lying, what does Alvear think? What do the police think?
Again, Avery’s response to this pointed question is like his first answer. The simple answer is a straightforward yes or no. But notice how Avery answers it.
Alvear: “Hmm. Did they ask you to take a polygraph or anything like that?”
Avery: “No…[shakes his head] no. Well tonight…cops come, they ask me if I…remember anything…[scowls, shrugs]…I told them no. Oh…then they asked me if they can come in the house and check the house over. [Shrugs] I said I ain’t got no problem with that, come on in. [Small, quick nod] So they checked the house all over…[shrugs] ..uh, everything was fine and then they left.”
It sounds perfectly harmless, doesn’t it? I ain’t got no problem…everything was fine. Really? It’s strange that Avery says he doesn’t remember anything. Does he mean he didn’t notice anything strange, or that he simply doesn’t remember anything? This guy’s really talking like a guilty sucker! Surely if he was innocent he’d remember a great deal and try to be helpful. Surely if he was innocent he’d be both annoyed at being under suspicion and considerate towards the Halbach’s. He could say: “We’ve actually been searching the property ourselves. We’re joining the search.” But of course if he knows Teresa’s dead, he knows searching for her is pointless.
Another problem with Avery’s answer is…
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