Interrogating the Interrogator: An Interview with Paul Bishop of 'Take the Money and Run'
Interrogating the Interrogator: An Interview with Paul Bishop of 'Take the Money and Run'
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Take the Money and Run, airing its third episode on ABC this week, features everyday people given the chance to face off against detectives for $100,000. The contestants have one hour to hide a money-filled briefcase and then detectives and interrogators have two days to find it. One of the interrogators responsible for stopping the hiders in their tracks is Paul Bishop, a police detective with 35 years of interrogation experience.

Bishop spoke to BuddyTV about the show, his interrogation techniques and all of the ways in which he would totally figure out our secrets.

First, we needed a little clarification of Take the Money and Run's rules. If you've watched the show and wondered, "Why don't the hiders just shut up in the interrogation room?" Paul Bishop has an answer for you. "The hiders do not have the right to remain silent. They have to talk to us," he explains. "They're expected to lie, obviously. But they can't not talk to us, and they can't talk gibberish."

Also, the detectives don't rely on search warrants when it comes to finding that hidden briefcase. If it's hidden inside a home or business, the owner has to let the detectives in. According to Bishop, "When the detectives go to a location... if that person says, 'No, you can't search here,' we know the briefcase isn't there."

Finally, those unappetizing plates of wieners and beans left in the contestants' prison cells are mandatory -- and part of the overall plan. Paul Bishop explains: "One of the rules of the show is the hiders have to eat three times a day. That's great! We're going to feed them five times a day, and it's always going to be beans and weenies and a glass of milk." The strategy ensures that no contestant knows the specific time of day -- a disorientation that helps the interrogators -- and that the unappetizing food goes uneaten. "What happens when you don't eat?" Bishop adds. "Your blood sugar drops, and all of the sudden, you're emotionally vulnerable."

After the interrogators have the hiders where they want them, how do they separate the lies from the hidden truth? There's more to it than you may think. Paul Bishop and his fellow interrogator Mary Hanlon Stone ask the hiders easy questions "to get a baseline of them for when they're telling the truth," and then they start looking for the lies. Bishop knows what to look for: "The biggest sign for me is the hesitation when they're answering the question. They begin looking around the room as if the answer is written on the ceiling or on the walls." The interrogator combines this with observations of the jugular vein ("When they lie, that starts to pulse heavily.") and body positioning.

Basically, everything that happens in the interrogation room is planned by the interrogators. "There's always an A-game and a B-game," Bishop says. "The A-game for interrogators is what's going on in the room when we're asking questions. The B-game is all the little things that we do over and over again that kind of set the suspects up psychologically."

Of course, as we saw in the second episode of Take the Money and Run, it is possible to beat the interrogators. Some hiders deflect the questions, while others have their lies perfected. Even Paul Bishop, the interrogator himself, would have a strategy to make it through questioning: "I would prepare myself with not only an A-lie, but a B-lie and a C-lie, so that when the interrogator breaks down my A-lie, I have something else I can give him, something else that I can tell him to send him on a wild-goose chase -- and then something else behind that."

It's just too easy for the interrogators to win if there's only one lie.

For Paul Bishop, interrogation truly is at the center of Take the Money and Run: "I think when most people are watching the show, I sometimes hear them say, 'Well, I know the perfect hiding place for the briefcase.' The hiding place is easy. It's not telling me where you hid it that's hard."

Could you beat the interrogators for $100,000? It may not be as easy as you think.

Take the Money and Run airs on ABC Mondays at 9pm.

(Image courtesy of ABC)


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