Eavesdropping Forensics: The Man With A Beard … For Deception


As someone who likes to call himself a writer, I like to do writing exercises. One of my favorite exercises that I learned while getting my useless English Degree was to watch strangers.

That may need some explaining. You are supposed to actually go out in public and observe how normal people act and converse. This way your characters can act and talk normally. It was one of my favorite things to do because I liked to come up with the most outlandish scenarios I could, like Sherlock Holmes mixed with Don Quixote. So, with all of that said, I am going to make this a regular series. Here goes nothing:

*PSA: The following is completely fiction and is in no way is real. Any relation to real people and events are completely coincidental*

So, I decided to go in a different direction with this post. I decided to use stock photos because they are easy to find, I won’t accidentally make up stories about people who may read what I wrote and make some monumental life change that I would feel responsible for, and most importantly, I can’t be sued (probably).

While looking for a picture for this post I noticed the same two actors in three photos. So I decided that it is story time!

The Clues:

  1. Attire: Business Casual. She did take her jacket off and put it back on. He removed his jacket by the last scene.
  2. Mood: mostly friendly, smiles.
  3. Location: A restaurant, possibly a cafe.
  4. Body Language: Mostly formal. They do seem to be leaning in to one another in the second frame, possibly where the conversation picks up.
  5. Appearance: 
    1. She has nice hair and seems fit. She has great skin and is tan so she is active outdoors. She takes care of herself and her appearance. She likes to put up a confident front to hide the myriad of insecurities running through her mind that have been accumulated from her troubled marriage.
    2. He is dressed to impress. He has nice wavy hair but a ridiculously large beard. This must be to hide the scars on his face from his time as a mercenary in Morocco. The beard might even be fake. He also has glasses that he does not use until the last frame, a very suspicious activity.

Let’s piece it together:

First, there are two people having a conversation with the aid of technology. I shall call her Beauregard Saint Jaime, or BSJ for short. His name is obviously Esteban, no last name given. Based on the business casual attire I have to assume this is some kind of job interview. I thought at first that BSJ was the one interviewing for a job, but I have to say that Esteban’s posture and casual tea drinking in that last frame tell me that he was the one that got the job. He is not very “business” professional I might add. This may play in later.

I am confident that this is an interview. I can tell by BSJ’s demeanor that this is not a romantic date. People generally do not bring laptops and tablets to dates. They are also far too well dressed for them to be students, although Esteban’s absolutely insane beard did make me question that assumption. Students generally have terrible fashion sense and ideas on what is appropriate for their appearance.

So, Esteban is being interviewed by BSJ for a job. But why does he have the laptop? This is what got me thinking. He must be some kind of freelancer and is trying to get hired for a project. He would just email or print out a resume, so there is some kind of information that could not be printed. Possibly a powerpoint presentation that could contain very sensitive information. National Security maybe? It is obvious that neither of them are wearing a wire or listening device so I would have to say that this sensitive information is private.

This new revelation made me think that Esteban was a private investigator hired by BSJ to track down her husband (remember troubled marriage from earlier). But something did not gel with that assumption. The most glaring clue was that Esteban is not smoking a cigarette, or drinking whiskey, or rolling up his sleeves. Definitely not a private dick.

So what then? The answer is pretty obvious if you follow the logic. BSJ is hiring Esteban to kill her husband for the large life insurance policy. BSJ is stuck in a loveless marriage to a record producer that can’t keep it in his pants. She has hired the nubile assassin Esteban who brought his powerpoint presentation on how to commit the perfect murder and get away with it. BSJ is impressed with his thoughtfulness and tech savvy. She takes off her jacket as she gets more comfortable with Esteban and the plan that is starting to come together. Esteban was well prepared. In the final frame BSJ puts on her coat, getting ready to leave. Esteban missed the social cue, takes off his jacket, and orders an ice tea to celebrate. He even puts on glasses to show that he is a master of disguise. He has a new client and finally a reason for … murder!

CASE CLOSED

Anyway, thank you for reading and if you like this post I plan on posting these on every Thursday, so keep a look out. Please feel free to check out my new website design and some of my other posts. Likes and shares are always appreciated.

~Chris Joy

Categories: Eavesdropping Forensics, Fiction, HumorTags: , , , , ,

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