Liar, Liar: Sound Effect, Episode 86

Apr 22, 2017

This week on Sound Effect, we tell stories of the lies we hear and the lies we tell. 

Old Time Con Woman

One woman became one of the most infamous liars in the Northwest in the early 1900s. Maude Wagnon, who went under the alias Maude Johnson, swindled railroad companies out of an estimated thousands of dollars.

Student Scam

This past spring, hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly over a million, were stolen from Chinese international students going to school at the University of Washington.

About 90 students fell for a scam that promised 5 percent off their tuition bill for summer classes if they used a third party, an alleged fellow student who went by the pseudonym “FY”  to make the payment. 21-year-old Justin Su, a mechanical engineering student on a budget and looking to save money, took the bait.

The Real Lie Detector

Terry Ball has been administering polygraph tests for more than 30 years. He deals with people accused of murder, theft, child abuse, adultery. He says for confidentiality reasons, he can’t talk about a lot of the cases he works on, but there are a few that have gotten news coverage. One of them happened about 15 years ago in Oregon.

Lie To Me

There are lots occasions when bending the truth is something we want to happen. This is what more than 60,000 people do, every summer in the Nevada desert. We are talking about Burning Man, the iconic week-long festival with art and music and lots of partying. It’s an event that attracts the likes of hippies, Hollywood celebrities and tech billionaires. Burning man is sometimes described as one, giant, utopian lie.

I Was Only Parked There For A Minute

We wanted to talk to a member of a group who hears lies all the time: Tow truck drivers. That’s what Sound Effect Executive Producer Erin Hennessey suggested. She sent reporter Simone Alicea to a towing company in Bellevue to talk to someone who’s heard it all. But it turns out, Erin wasn’t being totally forthcoming about the role she had cast for these drivers. She and Simone sat down to compare notes about their impound experiences.

Sound Effect is your weekly tour of ideas, inspired by the place we live. The show is hosted by knkx's Jennifer Wing.