When someone asks me a question where the answer is both “yes” and self-incriminating I nearly always answer with a grin and a “well, that would be wrong.” For example:
Q - “Eric, were you looking at that chicken with lust in your heart?”
A – “That would be wrong.”
This goes back to the Reid Techniques of Interviewing and Interrogation (oh I kid you not, dear readers, I actually have my learn on in this matter) where anything but a firm denial is likely just covering a guilty conscience. Answers to direct questions that are not direct denials are usually fertile grounds to plant the seeds of confession. Other examples of this are (and listen to people around you or to people on the news, you’ll hear these):
Do I look like the kind of guy who screws chickens?
Now why would I screw a chicken?
You are out of your mind! A chicken? I’ve never heard of such a thing.
Notice that none of these answers to the chicken-lover question are denials. Given a little time (and I mean a little amount of time…
And if that sounds sinister, it's not. Innocent people will not confess. Here is the innocent person’s type of response.
What? no, No, NO!
For all you chicken-lovers out there, a simple “no” is one indicator of innocence but if you are guilty, you are probably going to confess within the four hour time limit. No Christina Aqualingua or pinning notes to your lapels required. And you can start the clock with every new interview. People really do want to confess.Again, listen for those non-denial denials. You'll hear them. And because I hear them, I think I subconsciously started adding a wry smile to my voice when I give one of those answers. Now I consciously do it because it makes me smile. Who am I fooling anyway?
But about the chickens, that was just for example. Really. To "love" a chicken, now that would be wrong.