Ryan Hillegas’ Duper’s Delight – That Smirk That Says So Much…
This YouTube video aptly describes something called duper’s delight. It’s an involuntary expression of mirth a person makes, call it a sly grin, a shit-eating-grin and so on, when they’ve duped someone.
The smile that you see playing across Ryan Hillegas’ lips while he is being questioned in court looks like classic Duper’s Delight. Now that the whole world is talking about Making a Murderer, it is my supposition that he is really smiling now. I intentionally left on closed captions and the progress bar in the picture itself so readers could go right to these excerpts to see for themselves.
As mentioned, Duper’s Delight is considered a slip, something over which conscious effort has no sovereignty. But Ryan was putting a lot of effort into trying to convince us that his memory was a bit foggy, and that it was only with great mental effort that he could recall anything. The two examples clearly show these overly exaggerated expressions.
Remember how many times we see Ryan look off into space pretending that he can’t remember the details of, say, what time of day it was when he last saw his girl friend of five years who had just gone missing? If you watch the series through a few times, you’ll notice that no one else acted like this. If someone didn’t know something, they said it immediately. If they did, I can’t recall anyone else looking off into space, having difficulty recalling information. Consider too, that Ryan was much younger than most of the other witnesses; that what he was being asked to recall shouldn’t have been that difficult; and he considered by some to be very intelligent.
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Here is another duper, showing obvious delight during an interview taken soon after she had shot her own children. It’s rather chilling.