Ghost sells for $65,000

Have you heard of the Indiana woman who put her father’s ghost up for auction on eBay because supposedly her son was convinced Grandpa was haunting the house? She hoped by selling his ghost (and the cane of her father), that her son would be convinced he left the house — and he would no longer be afraid. This is a true story.

It intrigued me so I went to investigate it for myself. I found a video interview of the woman and her husband on I wanted to see what they had to say firsthand. I wanted to know if this woman was honest. The story could be plausible, in a clever effort to rid a child of fear. However, it could be a ploy for money.

After watching the video, I do not trust this woman. More than likely, this is a person who is out for financial gain. Regardless, I am going to view this with a clean slate and see what I find…

Review of the Video – Ghostly Sale:
NBC’s Ann Curry interviews Mary and her husband, Mickey Anderson. Below I recount spots in the video that make me question the people and their motives.

  • Watch when Mickey Anderson is asked by Ann Curry whose idea it was to put the ghost up for auction. Listen to how Mickey responds. He stutters by saying “um, and “ah” a lot. He also says “she” when he means “he”. His answer doesn’t roll off his tongue. He clearly struggles in his reply. When a story is genuine, you don’t struggle. It flows naturally. I don’t believe he is being honest here.
  • Watch his wife’s response as he talks to Ann Curry about whose idea it was to list the auction. She is sitting there carefully listening to her husband’s every word. She makes stressed faces as he talks. Why? Is she fearful he might not say the right things? Did she coach him on exactly what to say — and she fears he may not say it exactly as he is supposed to? She nods her head in confirmation at other times concurring with what he is saying. Then when he finishes, she cracks a smile and looks relieved. Why? I think the answer is obvious: perhaps the answers were practiced?

    (Let Mary’s expressions guide you. They will guide you more appropriately than will her words… )

  • When Ann Curry asks Mary if she is scratching-her-head (figure of speech) because the auction (at that point) was sitting at FIVE THOUSAND (odd) dollars, listen to Mary’s response. Ann Curry is in shock. Why doesn’t Mary respond that she, too, is shocked (at the price)? Wouldn’t you be if a non-material item on eBay was selling for thousands?

    Wouldn’t any normal person be shocked?

    I speculate a person who is lying wouldn’t be shocked. They’d suppress their feelings because they wouldn’t want to let out a hint of excitement about their true motivation — which would more than likely be monetary gain. An honest person would exude shock, like everyone else.

  • Mary says,”I figured who is going to want this? I figured we could get a penny out of it.”

    She says she could get a penny? Isn’t that a weird response? Who would think about a penny? Again, Mary is downplaying this – downplaying her interest in monetary gains.

    I suspect people would have one or two motives in this situation: to help their son (in a weird albeit abnormal funky mystic-kind-of-way) — or to get their hands on money like the money made by the crazy woman who sold a grill cheese sandwich just a few weeks before!! Which motive is Mary thinking about?

  • Watch when Ann Curry says, “What are you going to do with the money?”

    Mary blows air through her teeth and lips. That’s a true, trustworthy expression of frustration. It truly indicates how she is really feeling. Her reply, “If it…It really depends on what it (the amount) goes up to now….We told him he is supposed to get all the money…but if it goes up from there… we are giving to charity, too.” Mary fears Curry is honing in on her desires to take money — and she is sick of it! She doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.

  • Mary goes on to say that she has had tons of e-mail telling her what she should do with the money. Look closely, you see an expression of anger (a microexpression, I suspect)! She is mad about that. She doesn’t want anyone to tell her what to do with her money but she tries to hide it. Where are her thoughts about her son & charity? Does she not have any? Her emotions are not consistent with what she is saying.
  • Ann Curry goes on to ask…”Have you thought about ‘what if’ this doesn’t work? What if you sell the ghost and Collin still thinks the ghost is in the house? What are you going to do then?”

    Look at how cocky Mary is when she replies so confidently, “I don’t think that is going to be a problem (pause) because… I’ve been reading e-mails to him…” The pause between the word because and I’ve is interesting. She is thinking as she speaks.

    A mother whose son is honestly afraid of ghosts knows that situations like this aren’t that easily rectified. Mary’s confidence doesn’t add up to normal behavior.

  • Watch Mary’s husband as she talks about how excited her son is about giving the ghost away. Why is her husband so somber? If his son was excited, wouldn’t he be genuinely enthused as well? Would he be joyous? He’s not. Why? Does he know things are less than honest, perhaps?

Another inconsistency from Mary in other news stories is that she says her son says Grandpa was “mean” yet she swears he was the nicest man you’d ever meet in her actual auction description. This shows Mary is inconsistent. Inconsistency points to less than honest behavior.

When people don’t tell the truth, they just don’t respond normally.

In the end, what is even more odd to me is why the son, Collin, isn’t part of the interview. Why didn’t they have him on with them? People might say that is because they want to protect the identity of their child — but clearly that is not the case because they offered a photo of Collin in the video above. Were they afraid to have Collin speak? Children are usually brutally honest. Is Mary afraid of this?

In the end, I personally don’t trust what this couple is saying.

Rainbow of Color

I just took this a few minutes ago…

Eyes-for-Lies Child

Since I had my epiphany back in October, I have been re-examining my life. Little bits and pieces are now making a lot more sense. I am understanding so much more about myself,like why I am a great negotiator. Suddenly I understand how come I have been able to settle large legal battles without ever going to court, and without having to hire my own attorney. These are the perks!!

In reflecting back to my childhood, I got a really good laugh. My favorite card game? It was Lie. I loved that game and if you were a childhood friend of mine, I can guarantee you played it with me, over and over again.

I didn’t even remember how to play the game upon reflection so I looked it up on the web. I guess it is officially called “Lie Detector”. I never knew that. Here are the instructions if you have interest. I wish I knew who taught me this game.

In any case, my best friend in fourth grade moved away to Pennsylvania, and being that we were good friends, we kept in touch. Low and behold, somehow or another, I got an invitation to fly out to visit them over the summer. The year was 1977. Star Wars was just opening in theaters. I was 9 years old.

One evening during the visit, I managed to convince my hosts, very religious baptists who lived a very strict life by the book, that the perfect game that evening would be Lie. I can only imagine their horror! Back then, of course, I was clueless. Thankfully, they knew I wasn’t a religiously-raised child, and still accepted me, corruption and all.

We sat down at their modern danish-style wood dining room table which was long and large to accommodate their family of five. I explained the game to the my friend’s Dad who was joining us. Her mom was off doing chores. Three of the four walls of the dining room were solid glass, and displayed a stunning wooded view beyond. We were totally secluded. It was pure heaven to me! I loved to travel (even alone at age 9), loved the outdoors and nature, loved my friend and I was going to play Lie. It couldn’t get any better!

Once the game started, nightfall arrived. Since this game came really easy to me and these kids were horrible liars, I actually got a little bored, and it was during this boredum that I realized that the glass walls made for great mirrors.

I could actually see everyone’s hand of cards reflecting in the glass, so when their turn came and they lied, I could call them on their bluff 100% of the time. In the game, when it is your turn, you play your cards face down, and declare what they are as you place them on the deck. You have to go in a sequence. If you don’t have the correct cards, you can lie, or you can draw and pass. If you are caught in lie, you pick up the cards below. The first one to play all his cards is the winner.

Now with my discovery, I didn’t have to read faces anymore!!! I could use the mirror and be absolutely “perfect” at detecting lies. I knew then I was good but now I could be flawless! I was so excited!!!

I sat there, and at first, randomly applying my magic because I didn’t want it to be obvious. Then as the game went on, I applied my magic 100% of the time. My target and hardest to read of course was my friend’s dad. When I started nailing him, 100% of the time, he got wide-eyed. I remember him staring over at me in disbelief. I’m sure he was thinking “What the heck is up with this little nine-year-old kid?” At first, he didn’t know what to think. You could just see pure disbelief. He’d smile and then his smile would drain away from his face. His wheels were spinning.

I had really stumped them all — i n a b i g w a y. So bad, that my friend who wasn’t in on the joke stormed off to bed quitting out of frustration. She was sick of picking up all the cards (who wouldn’t be?). This wasn’t the first time I had won, but it was the first time I was doing it so swiftly.

My friends father was totally baffled. I still remember his face as he stood up after the game ended, and I declared victory again in giddy joy. He started seriously questioning me. He just couldn’t figure me out. He was a well-recognized engineer at a well-known fortune 500 company, and this 9-year-old child totally stumped him (grin, grin).

I remember being all giddy and laughing like a fool. Then as he stared me down in total disbelief, I got serious and tried to claim magical powers, but no one at the table was buying it yet they couldn’t come up with a logical explanation for how I had been so accurate.

I’ll never forget the look on my friend’s dad’s face as long as I live.

I majorly disrupted this evening affair. Mystery was in the air.

With incredible pressure from my girlfriends father (hard puzzled looks, and refusing to accept my magical responses), I finally broke down and confess to my sins. I didn’t want to, but the intrigue was so intense, I felt I had no other option. It was clear answers were required.

If only you could have seen the shock on their faces! Remember, these were strict Christians, whose children were raised with a paddle, and weren’t allowed to talk back. They lived in fear of the paddle, and here I come with my silly game!

I knew no such boundaries as a child. I was allowed to talk back within reason and express myself because my mom believed it taught me to think for myself. Oh boy, did it! How embarrassed she would have been if she were there that night!

I still wonder what the parents must have thought about me at the time. I wasn’t a good influence as I taught their children how to cheat playing an innocent card game called “Lie”.

I can only imagine they were happy to send me back home in a few days — thankful I wasn’t going to influence their soon-approaching adolescent children! They must have felt complete horror though they did laugh at my clever antics! Thankfully. They were good people!

It’s one of my favorite memories from childhood. This family really welcomed me with open arms when I was frequently rejected as an odd child. I will always have a soft-spot in my heart for them.

Was it a hate crime?

I am sure the face and story of Matthew Shepard are seared into the brains of most people. Young beautiful gay guy beaten, tied up and left for dead in Wyoming. The year was 1998. Matthew Shepard was a college student with a big bright future. That’s the story most of us know…

However last night, I decided to watch a video tape recording of ABC’s 20/20 from November 26th which had the first ever interview with the two convicted murderers: Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson.

Since I am fascinated with lies, I was really interested to watch these two guys. However, they proved much harder to read than the average guy. They are polished. Plus other sources in the story added to the mix and confusion as they weren’t trustworthy either.

Certainly these two young killers had years of practice at lying and deception as they were heavily involved in drugs scene, most specifically with meth. McKinney, the instigator of the killings, says he was strung out on meth for an entire week without sleep prior to the murder. He says he just wanted money and more drugs — so when Shepard, drunk in a bar, asked for a ride home from him as they sat and talked that night — McKinney says he saw an opportunity to rob Shepard. Henderson said he quickly realized the plan of action.

I believe them here. I believe the motivation for the crime initially was money for drugs.

McKinney continues to say the killing wasn’t motivated by Shepard’s sexual orientation. It was when he answered Elizabeth Vargas that I saw a expression (I suspect what experts would call a microexpression –an expression that flashes on someone’s face for an instant — which most people aren’t privy too). He squinted his eyes with a deep sincere anger for a flit of an instant. It made his statement completely convincing. By this expression, you knew he was really pissed off by the fact people thought this was a hate crime when it was really just a case of drugs, money, robbery and murder. However, he didn’t want people to see this emotion. He was trying to hide it.

As for Henderson, when Vargas asked if he had an prejudice against gays, he flat out lied. He paused, looked around and didn’t have a good answer. He truly had problems with gay people but apparently he didn’t beat Shepard. He just never stopped McKinney and helped save Shepard.

McKinney goes on to say that on the ride to Shepard’s home, he had planned to pull a gun on Shepard to rob him but Shepard put his hand on his knee — and that send him into a rage. He said he then just beat Shepard with a gun and continued to beat Shepard. He said it was a rage that once was started couldn’t be stopped.

Meth is known to cause violent outburst for the most benign circumstance. I believe McKinney here. I have no doubts.

Several people spoke on 20/20 about McKinney. They said he was known to have sex in a threesome: two men and a woman. The mother of his child says today she believes he is bi-sexual because before all of this, he asked her to be part of a threesome with two guys. Another man, a limo driver named Copp, also spoke about stories he had supposedly heard about McKinney having sex in a threesome. When asked how he knew, Copp then switched his story and said he knew because he was one of the guys. Copp was lying. You could see it by the phony machismo face he made. It wasn’t sincere at all.

The facts of this case are overwhelming. I don’t believe McKinney hated gays. I believe him when he says this killing wasn’t motivated by hate. Nor does anyone ever offer anything to the contrary — that McKinney did talk about hating gays — yet a simple gesture for sex is what started a violent outburst from McKinney and caused him to kill Shepard.


Another odd fact: McKinney says he didn’t know Shepard prior to the killing — yet multiple people spoke out on 20/20 stating that they did in fact see them together. However, none of the people speaking up were convincing. I don’t believe they were lying but due to the fact they were all drug users, I don’t trust their perception which leaves a gray area for me.

Was McKinney bisexual and keeping it a secret?

Did he know Shepard beforehand — and perhaps had some secret encounters with him? Is that why when Shepard put his hand on McKinney’s knee that night, McKinney flipped? Did McKinney flip because he knew Henderson hated gays and would never let him live it down??

It’s all so intertwined and twisted! I do firmly believe:

  • McKinney didn’t hate gays.
  • Henderson did.
  • McKinney intended to rob Shepard, Henderson just followed along.
  • McKinney didn’t plan on killing Shepard but did in a rage.
  • McKinney was bi-sexual.

I wonder:

  • if McKinney knew Shepard beforehand. I suspect yes, he is lying but I am uncertain. McKinney is hard to read here.
  • if McKinney had secret sexual encounters with Shepard before (pure speculation).

Playing Poker

One of my readers, Mayim, asked me, “Have you thought of playing poker professionally?”

Actually, no I haven’t. I don’t like to gamble. More than that, seeing lies is only half it. To be good at poker, I am going to guess you have to equally good if not even better at bluffing! On that front, I have no idea of my skills level.

Interesting question though 🙂