I watch really trashy tv stations. September 27, 2012 6:58 PM   Subscribe

AskMe gets a pretty weird nod in an investigative show on truTV called Forensic Files.

The show focuses on real crimes that were solved using forensic evidence. In the episode "Constructive Criticism (The Darrell North Murder)," Darrell North, a construction manager, is found dead at his worksite with 50 stab wounds all over his body. To make a long story short, the person who was eventually convicted of his murder was one of his own sub-contractors, Curtis Pope. It is believed that Pope was an incompetent worker and under financial duress, and possibly North had fired him shortly before he was killed.

Anyway, what is interesting is that during the investigation, Pope had been given a polygraph test, and he passed. However, later in the investigation, and due to other forensic leads, they obtained a warrant to search Pope's computer, and what they found is that he had looked online to find out how to beat a polygraph test. It's around here that a chunk of this AskMe question, posted by anonymous is flashed on the screen, along with some other graphics. Here's a pic. Creepy!

Not to worry, though - we're just b-roll: A quick look at the dates shows that the Curtis Pope was caught (after skipping bail) in 2003, and the polygraph question on AskMe was asked about four years later. Still, interesting to think who might be asking certain questions...
posted by phaedon to MetaFilter-Related at 6:58 PM (49 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

Huh, I was sure this was going to be about scarabic.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:12 PM on September 27, 2012 [25 favorites]


Forensic Files was something TiVo started recording for me (it comes on like at 4am or something) and I became hooked with Peter Thomas' narration. I've seen this episode a few times but missed the mefi part (needed a green or blue background). But they do use a lot of stuff they find all over for their b-roll. Any time they need to show a car dealership they'll show this footage of a dealer in Austin I used to drive by even though it might be a story in California or North Carolina.

That absolute worst (and by that I mean best) episode was about a guy that killed his wife and when they looked on his computer before he did it he downloaded the Guns 'n Roses song "I used to love her". To hear Peter Thomas say the lyric "...but I had to kill her." was awesome.
posted by birdherder at 7:28 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


and what they found is that he had looked online to find out how to beat a polygraph test

Aaaand now I've looked at that same question about beating a polygraph. Wuh-oh.

OH NOES and now I've confirmed it in a comment! I am goin' to the slammer for sure.
posted by Elsa at 7:39 PM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow. Producer Paul Dowling is very responsive on Twitter if someone wants to ask him to join & tell the backstory.

I've been watching since it was called "Medical Detectives" and I loved Peter Thomas's voice so much I inquired (back before I heard him do voiceovers for the RNC in 2008) how much it would cost for his services. It was something like $5000 an hour, back around the year 2000.

The show is great, but it has a serious effect and I am still sad for the victim depicted in the first one I saw back around the late 90's, Rose Larner. Poor thing.

Aaaand now I've looked at that same question about beating a polygraph. Wuh-oh.

If you want to have a suspicious search history, try this askme.
posted by cashman at 7:44 PM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you want to have a suspicious search history, try this askme.

... ENTRAPMENT!
posted by Elsa at 7:56 PM on September 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Forensic Files is one of the better true crimes shows. Really, there are a surprising number of true crimes shows, and if you watch enough, you'll see the same cases in different series. It's been long enough that I can't rattle off the other programs and rate them, but you can find a lot streaming on Netflix.

I wonder if police or whatnot would look through my Netflix viewing list. "Sesame Street, Forensic Files, Sesame Street, Sesame Street, Wicked Attraction, Wallace and Gromit, Pontypool ... suspicious stuff here"
posted by filthy light thief at 8:04 PM on September 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


One day I explained the plot of Kafka's The Trial. Her response: "Wow. Have you ever watched Forensics Files?"
posted by dirigibleman at 8:07 PM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


In order to beat a polygraph test first cut it up and then tie the parts of differently sized balloons....
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


In order to beat a polygraph, simply hope to be part of the randomly selected group the polygraph says aren't lying. It's easy, really.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:56 PM on September 27, 2012 [4 favorites]



Forensic Files is one of the better true crimes shows. Really, there are a surprising number of true crimes shows, and if you watch enough, you'll see the same cases in different series.


Yep, I've seen the same cases on 48 Hours, Deadly Women, etc...
posted by sweetkid at 8:57 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


The best way to beat a polygraph is to live in a jurisdiction that admits to the machine's utter worthlessness.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:00 PM on September 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


I watch really trashy tv stations.

Oh- do not be ashamed! I posted about watching Investigation Discovery on Facebook and a bunch of people told me in person that they wanted to comment on my post about how much they love ID but were embarrassed, and I was like "no! it's ok to watch! Don't be ashamed!" and they VISIBLY RELAXED.

Come on, it's got to be better than that Honey Boo boo crap
posted by sweetkid at 9:10 PM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sure, media and television may copy from Reddit news threads during the aftermath of a tragedy, but everyone knows that Metafilter is where you turn to for solid advice on how to commit crime and get away with it!

Be smart from the very beginning, or we'll be reading about you on Reddit one day...
posted by ceribus peribus at 9:15 PM on September 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


That is quite the operating system they've got running there.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:43 PM on September 27, 2012


Viewer-Friendly Interface
posted by dunkadunc at 9:45 PM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll go with the Costanza method of beating the lie detector: "It's not a lie if you really believe it."
posted by veedubya at 10:56 PM on September 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you want to have a suspicious search history, try this askme.
I now have a suspicious search history.
posted by unliteral at 10:57 PM on September 27, 2012


Forensics Files has long been one of my guilty, oops, I mean innocent, pleasures.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:17 PM on September 27, 2012


I can't wait for Forensic Wars, the show where oddball investigators attempt to outbid each other for crime scenes.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:21 AM on September 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


And the Forensic Wars spin-off that deals with the on-site aftermath, Say Yes to the Mess.
posted by likeso at 1:25 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Still, interesting to think who might be asking certain questions...

It seems pretty obvious that someone asking how to beat a polygraph has a non-zero probability of having to beat one in the near future. And I'm perfectly OK with them knowing that information, because the more often the polygraph gets beat, the sooner it'll be dumped as a pseudoscience it is.
posted by DU at 4:19 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I too enjoy watching true crimes shows. Well, 'enjoy' might be too simple a word. Have a love/hate relationship with? It's complicated? Human drama with a touch of fear, that's great. Criminals getting caught, also good. Sensationalist bullshit, that's an affront to the victims and their loved ones. But the very topics of these shows make it hard to avoid sensationalism. I once spent my free time for a whole week reading the publicly-available parts of court transcripts for a serial-killer case & its appeals because the true crime show I saw on it just seemed too bullshitty to be real. The actual facts were far more complex and relevant to social justice issues of the time. And yet I tuned in to the show again the next week for a fresh dose, just in case it was one of the good episodes.
posted by harriet vane at 4:29 AM on September 28, 2012


I can't wait for Forensic Wars

Sorry, it was cancelled in favor of The Bachelor's Deadliest Forensic Catch, the dating show where several of the possible "matches" are chosen for murderous tendencies. The Bachelor and his "bevvy of beauties" must find true love while uncovering the killer that lurks in their midst!

Also, the whole thing takes place on a deep sea fishing boat.

During a storm.

And a fashion make-over.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:31 AM on September 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


So it's true - Pope is guilty.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:48 AM on September 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


"All posts are © their original authors." I think I read that somewhere.

Though in this case, the producers of the show would likely be able to successfully assert Fair Use.
posted by radwolf76 at 5:32 AM on September 28, 2012


Thanks for posting phaedon - so cool / interesting / disturbing!
posted by insectosaurus at 5:53 AM on September 28, 2012


If you use certain search terms, that AskMe comes up in the first page of results in a google search. It's currently #18 for [how to pass polygraph], but it doesn't rank highly for other phrasings. It seems entirely plausible to me that the graphics designers simply stumbled on one of those phrasings when googling, and picked the text because it was more conversational and organic than all those spammy WikiHow-type results that come higher in the results.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:44 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


In order to beat a polygraph, simply hope to be part of the randomly selected group the polygraph says aren't lying. It's easy, really.

It's not even as good as that, polygraph tests are highly non-random because they are not like a scientific test where the person running it goes in with no bias and makes a determination based on the results. Polygraphs are more or less a scare tool for interrogations and that is how they are designed to work. The scene in The Wire where they fake having a polygraph machine by just using a photocopier is accurate in terms of how they are actually used, it's a way for the interrogator to bluff that they have proof of wrongdoing so that they can get the person to offer a confession in exchange for leniency. There have been studies that show if you send in a group of innocent people to take a polygraph test and point out one to the examiner as the main suspect, that person has a much larger chance of the of their test being assessed as failed or inconclusive.
posted by burnmp3s at 6:51 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would personally get behind any reality program that was accurately named "The Bachelor's Deadliest [X]" -- just for "fingers crossed" factor.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:14 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good eye, phaedon! I'm guessing it's the "MeFi" in there that tipped you off... I didn't notice it at all on first viewing of your screencap.
posted by snorkmaiden at 8:26 AM on September 28, 2012


Also, remember back in the day when pointing out MetaFilter shout outs on Mythbusters multiple times was the only time cable reality programs came up on the Grey? Now we're talking Project Runway and Forensic Files back-to-back ... here's hoping Honey Boo Boo's family doesn't troll the site and mention us in an interview for a trifecta.

(That was originally intended as a joke, but I seriously hope they don't read what some people have written about them here.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:27 AM on September 28, 2012


Good eye, phaedon! I'm guessing it's the "MeFi" in there that tipped you off...

Totally, I thought I saw the word MeFi and rewinded - it's actually kind of embarassing how quickly this flashed on the screen. I clearly have no life. I also enjoy any show that starts with the words "World's Dumbest" or "Most Shocking." Heh.
posted by phaedon at 8:52 AM on September 28, 2012


Another Forensic Files fan here. They have covered several high profile cases from my jurisdiction and they've been spot on in terms of accuracy.

There are bound to be some less than wonderful MeFites -- I'm pretty sure no one screens us for our personal morality -- but I'm kinda pleased in a weird way that even really bad people view the hivemind as a knowledgable resource.
posted by bearwife at 11:03 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think I kind of partially watched Forensic Files when I had cable, but I just cued up an episode right now to listen to Peter Thomas and had an auditory HEY IT'S THAT GUY experience. Luckily, Wikipedia confirmed he's also done v/o for Nova and a whole lot of political ads, so that makes perfect sense.

Also, this old hit.

What a great voice.
posted by maudlin at 12:02 PM on September 28, 2012


I’ll be home late sugar boots. Abed hurt Troy’s feelings by being a robot. Need to stay with my boy to make sure Britta doesn’t put him on the weed. Please record Forensic Files :-)
Shirley “Big Cheddar” Bennett - Commander, Blanketsburg Army

posted by sevenyearlurk at 12:32 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anonymous AskMe users are still worried about lying to get jobs to this very day.
posted by mbrubeck at 1:23 PM on September 28, 2012


I really want an green AskMe shirt with the logo and tagline, "Be smart from the very beginning."
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 1:49 PM on September 28, 2012 [17 favorites]


I really want an green AskMe shirt with the logo and tagline, "Be smart from the very beginning."

OH GOD YES MAKE THIS HAPPEN PLEASE.
posted by maudlin at 1:52 PM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


As far as I'm concerned, the polygraph needs to exist, but only to bring about the supreme weirdness of Joe Harper's segments on Sábado Gigante.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:02 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


So it's true - Pope is guilty.

Kinda
posted by rhizome at 3:11 PM on September 28, 2012


Nobody can say "muurrder" like Peter Thomas. My sister and I always aim for the Peter Thomas intonation when we speak of muurrder.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:16 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Bachelor and his "bevvy of beauties" must find true love while uncovering the killer that lurks in their midst!

Also, the whole thing takes place on a deep sea fishing boat.

During a storm.

And a fashion make-over.


If this isn't already the plot of a Korean drama, it will be soon.
posted by maryr at 10:46 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I briefly dated a voice over guy a few summers ago. Apparently there are a handful of guys who do the lions share of voice over work and once you've established yourself as one of these it's sweet, easy money. The good gigs to get are the network series where you would be needed for the entire duration of the series for consistencies sake.

He had this makeshift recording closet in his (multi-million dollar) apartment, and he would wait around in the evenings to get the call from the network/agency that would be his script for the 30 second promo that would air in the next day or two. He would go into his closet for a few minutes, say his words, and come out and say something like "I just made $10,000." or "There's another eight grand in the bank."

I dated him very briefly, what with him being arrogant as fuck, but I recognized his voice in practically EVERYTHING for months afterwards.
posted by newpotato at 7:23 AM on September 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


I knew a guy who landed a deal with Subway for a V/O campaign that, all-told, would have netted him over a million dollars.

The night before his first session, he was out too late celebrating, and his voice was in too rough shape to do what he needed to do the next morning. He was released, and somebody else got the gig and the money.

Whoops.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:55 PM on September 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Forensic Files is superior to a lot of other true crime shows, partly because they focus on the forensics, not on trying to stir up strong emotions in the viewer. Most other true crime programs pad out at least a third of the time with re-enactments or post-ad-break repetition. FF doesn't need re-enactments because the forensic detective work is dramatic enough, and they stick to the half-hour timeslot. The result is a much tighter, more impressive show.
posted by andraste at 11:53 PM on September 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


So it's true - Pope is guilty.

You'll never take me alive, copper!
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:04 PM on September 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


It seems pretty obvious that someone asking how to beat a polygraph has a non-zero probability of having to beat one in the near future.

I mean, the Patriot Act certainly thinks so, but that's not necessarily fair. Humans are curious monkeys.
posted by corb at 7:10 AM on October 1, 2012


One day I explained to my aunt the plot of Kafka's The Trial.

(Yes, I just noticed this now)
posted by dirigibleman at 3:51 PM on October 1, 2012



Nobody can say "muurrder" like Peter Thomas.


Don't know if you get Scottish crime shows where you are but Taggart defines how the word "murder" is pronounced
posted by trialex at 10:03 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


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