She Smiles And Nods
She stood in the small room alone shackled in chains from the top of her ankles to a metal black bar on the floor. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit she waited for the two young detectives to come in. She met them with a smile and a nod. The lady detective dressed in causal clothes gently unshackled the lady inmate’s ankles and then put one handcuff on her right wrist to the chain on the bar on the floor. She now had one hand free to sign.
The other detective was a young man in a tie and white starched shirt. She pointed to his empty coffee cup on the table and made the sign for EAT. The detective said, “You want coffee?” She smiled and nodded. He left to get her coffee.
On the table were piles of pictures of unshaven men, houses, and hot checks. The young detective returned with the coffee and said, “Sorry it is cold, someone turned the coffee machine off.” She smiled and nodded and took the coffee.
“Haven’t slept in 8 days,” she said using deaf monotone speech with miming, gesturing and signing to the two detectives. “You just had to talk to someone, I know,” one detective said. She stared down at the table. She was not looking at his lips.
The young detective then took out a copy of the Miranda Warning and said, “Remember everything we talked about yesterday, you understand it, right?” He points to the paper. She sips her coffee and smiles.
The next hour is a comedy of errors. The detectives become “talking heads.” They ask question after question and point to the pictures. Sometimes she picks up a pencil and writes notes back to them. The woman detective reads back her notes and says, “Oh, you mean you this…..” Sometimes she shakes her head, frowns and takes the paper back from the detective and writes more words.
After an hour of difficult questioning, the detectives thank her for being so cooperative. They had gotten her confession! She had smiled and nodded to all their questions and in their minds she had admitted to all the burglaries and writing of hot checks. Why they had all the evidence on videotape! She had even signed a waiver the previous day that she understood the Miranda Waiver.