by Robert A. Waters
Gary Ridgway has made headlines again. Convicted of murdering 49 women, the so-called Green River Killer now claims eighty victims. However, had the polygraph been reliable, he could have been stopped early in his killing career. After finding the fourth victim, police gave Ridgway a “lie detector” test—he passed and was eliminated as a suspect. Years later, after DNA linked him to several of the murders, he confessed and led police to numerous gravesites.
Four-year-old Kali Ann Poulton might be alive today if the polygraph was accurate. New York State Police administered the test to Mark Christie after he became a suspect in the murder of Viola Manville, 74. Christie passed and was eliminated as a suspect. Years later, Christie kidnapped and killed Poulton, and also confessed to murdering Manville. Unfortunately, another man failed the lie detector test and was convicted of Manville’s murder. It’s crazy—the real killer passed while an innocent man failed.
Aldrich Ames, the notorious spy, passed two lie detector tests during the ten years he delivered secrets to Russian intelligence officers. Because of his betrayal, at least a dozen CIA and FBI intelligence agents were captured, tortured, and eliminated by the KGB. If only one polygraph had been accurate, many of those agents would still be alive.
The lie detector test is so inaccurate that it’s not allowed in most courtrooms. Dr. Drew Richardson, former Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI Laboratory, said: “Polygraph screening is completely without any theoretical foundation and has absolutely no validity…the diagnostic value of this type of testing is no more than that of astrology or tea-leaf reading.”
When Jessica Lunsford went missing, the first thing the FBI did was to put her father and grandfather on the machine. The tests were “inconclusive,” leading investigators to suspect them of murdering her. While Mark and Archie Lunsford were being grilled by investigators, the real kidnapper, John Evander Couey, was committing unspeakable acts on Jessica. When finally tracked down, he told investigators where to find the body. Mark and Archie were cleared, too late.
These are just a few erroneous results of polygraph exams.
Why would anyone consent to take such an unreliable “test”?