In this investigation, 514 university students judged whether children were telling the truth about highly emotional events. Eight children (half female, half 8–9 and the remainder 12–14 years old) had been injured seriously enough to require emergency room treatment and were interviewed a few days later. Each was yoked to three other children matched in age and gender who fabricated accounts under one of three conditions: lies that were unprepared, prepared (24 hours to prepare), and coached by parents. Participants were at chance when judging true accounts as well as unprepared and prepared lies. However, 74% of the coached lies were judged as true. Participants' confidence in their judgments, age, experience with children, and relevant coursework/training did not improve judgments. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.