Apparently, dishonesty is a family trait. As Casey Anthony's mother Cindy takes the stand, she is exhibiting several markers of an individual engaged in mendacity – the scientific term for lying.
Of course, we can all empathize with her situation. Her grandchild is gone. Her daughter is up against the death penalty. Her husband and son stand accused of child abuse and incest.
It’s enough to make anyone crack. Or, in Cindy’s case – possibly spin a yarn to (theoretically) save her daughter’s life. Though can we blame her? I’m not certain how I would handle this situation (though I am pretty sure it wouldn’t involve perjury); it’s not terribly hard to imagine how someone so traumatized could view deception as their only way out.
In Cindy’s case, the WHY of her deception will likely never be known.
Perhaps she is trying to save her daughter. Maybe she is covering for someone else. It could be she believes her daughter is guilty, and feels incredible shame and guilt across many levels.
Answering the question of Cindy’s actions, and those of Casey, George and Lee – is ultimately up to the jury. However, years in law enforcement have provided me with the skills necessary to detect deception – a set of skills that I am intent on transferring to YOU.
I have been asked to weigh in on the events of the Anthony trial for several news programs. After viewing hours of Cindy’s testimony – it became clear to me that her time on the stand was spent telling numerous untruths.
Here, I have highlighted several key “hotspots” in the testimony timeline – big clues that you may have picked up on. Despite the fact that work records prove that Cindy was at work during the time of many of the Internet searches in question, both her verbal and non-verbal deceptive hot spots are off the charts!
For example, Cindy never told the prosecutor at the time of the crime that she searched chloroform 84 times!!! Eighty-four times! She tells the jury that she's on medication now and her memory is better – strange, my memory stinks no matter how much ginko biloba I take.
Other words/murder-related searches on the computer:
- how to make chloroform
- chloroform habit
- neck breaking
- household weapons
- making weapons out of household products
During Her Testimony
HOT SPOT #1: Cindy was asked, "Is this something that you recall now that you've changed your medication?" Cindy responds with a stuttering, "I get bits and pieces of stuff that con, con, continues to come back to me in my memory."
Stuttering is often the brain’s way of attempting to block a lie. As your mind tries to prevent you from uttering a dishonest statement, the mouth keeps going – resulting in a stutter. Researchers presenting to the American Psychological Association in 2009 demonstrated this in their results: Stuttering in liars occurred 1444% MORE often than in those presenting truthful statements.
HOT SPOT #2: Regarding the stain in the trunk of Casey’s car, Cindy Anthony now says it was there when they bought the vehicle. However, pay close attention. When she makes this statement in court, her tone of voice goes down and the word "car" is almost inaudible.
Again, we see this often when an individual is being deceptive. It is indicative of someone holding something back – they are just barely able to get the words they know to be untrue to come out!
HOT SPOT #3: Cindy forgets the order of her lie. "I started looking up chloroform, I mean chlorophyll, then that prompted me to look up chloroform."
Liars will often mix up the details of their story. This is due in part to many people believing that detail equates believability. As the brain attempts to keep the details of story 1 (the truth) and story 2 (the lie) from getting mixed up – they often encounter a slippery slope with the details. A liar will often flub the timeline of events, causing a retraction and restatement. Such speech errors are more than 1733% likely to occur during a lie than a truth, according to the APA.
HOT SPOT #4: When Cindy is asked if she searched chloroform 84 times she says, "I don't know,” then flashes a smile. Does her smile (the universal expression for happiness) seem out of place to you? That’s because it is.
Smiling during moments of extreme stress or sadness is often referred to as "Duping Delight.” The liar is not happy because of the sad circumstances, but they ARE happy to have duped their audience with their brilliantly executed lie. They believe that they have gotten the upperhand.
Scott Peterson (found guilty of murdering his pregnant wife Lacey and unborn son Connor), Drew Peterson (a former police officer who is in jail for murdering his second wife; his fourth wife is still missing), Neil Entwistle (murdered his wife and 9-month-old daughter), and other murders often all flashed a grin when looking at or hearing evidence (especially the most damaging to their case) of the actual crime.
However, in Cindy Anthony’s case, she is not trying to convince the jurors that SHE is innocent – she is a mother fighting to keep her daughter off death row. It is highly likely that she giggles because she's embarrassed by the situation – from a social standpoint.
Clearly, this situation is packed with emotion, heightened by the close involvement of the players.
For Cindy Anthony, it seems, the time spent testifying is not doing her daughter any favors.