The Keene Sentinel: After 21 Years in the FBI, Seale Is a Living Lie Detector
Pictured above: Colton Seale, Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at New England College, teaches interpersonal communication to law enforcement.
Excerpt taken from The Keene Sentinel; July 8, 2023; by Christopher Cartwright, Sentinel Staff. Read the full story.
When retired FBI agent Colton Seale enters The Sentinel’s offices, he mentions he didn’t mind driving to Keene because he needed to pick up a new iPhone. It’s a seemingly insignificant comment, but an hour into the conversation—covering his time investigating kidnappings in Alaska, questioning suspected terrorists in Pakistan and researching interrogation methods in the U.S.—he tells the story.
“Today, I had to go to the iPhone store… I thought that process would take like an hour, like every other time, and it took like 15 minutes,” Seale said. He then went to Walmart to buy a phone charger, and, upon leaving, found someone with a head injury in the parking lot.
Is the story true? How can one tell if he’s lying? These are the questions Seale specialized in during his 21-year career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he found himself interviewing witnesses, suspects and informants. The notions of truth, lies and effective communication have tied his career together and opened the door for his post-FBI path.
Seale, 57, was born in Colorado and moved to Peterborough after retiring from the FBI in 2020. He graduated from the University of California Davis and went to the University of Chicago for a public policy master’s. He was pursuing a PhD in sociology at UChicago when he got a consulting position with Science Applications International Corp., a technology company.
“Most people in the Bureau or whatever…kind of grow up dreaming of doing that [job], and it literally never crossed my mind,” Seale said. “People kept telling me, ‘You’d be a great FBI agent.’ And I’m like, ‘I have a ponytail and earrings. What about me is a great FBI agent?’”