In wide-ranging cases, including such high-profile examples as Lee Anthony Evans who murdered five teenagers in New Jersey, the “Green River Killer” Gary Leon Ridgeway (who, after slaying several women, was cleared by a polygraph and went on to take the lives of dozens more victims), alleged “Anthrax Killer” Bruce Ivins, former-Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling and many more, polygraphs have proven unreliable. Guilty parties can pass the test and be cleared of suspicion and innocent parties found deceptive.
A review of polygraph research studies conducted in 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences found there is “no direct scientific evidence assessing the value of the polygraph as a deterrent, as a way to elicit admissions and confessions, or as a means of supporting public confidence.” In 2005 the British Psychological Society warned against using polygraphs as a means of detection after finding that examiners classified up to 47% of innocent people as guilty and up to 17% of guilty parties as innocent.
Just last month, in Canada, Charles Momy, President of the 57,000-member Canadian Police Association, questioned the recent decision of Quebec City’s municipal police to use the polygraph as a pre-employment screening device. “You could be eliminating very good candidates because the polygraph is not foolproof,” says Momy, who stresses that the best recruiting results are achieved by conducting thorough interview and background investigation of applicants. “You can obtain probably a lot more information from recruits that way than going the polygraph route. And I say that even as a former polygraph examiner.”
Momy’s concerns echo those of many outside and inside the law enforcement community. “The same polygraph that gave (Enron’s) Skilling an NDI (No Deception Indicated) is used every day to weed out otherwise qualified law enforcement applicants who have passed their background investigation. In my opinion we in law enforcement are losing large numbers of qualified applicants for no reason whatsoever, and it is hurting our profession.”
“CVSA and polygraphs can both be used effectively to solicit confessions during an interrogation if the subject believes that any lie they tell will be detected. If the subject believes that a deck of Tarot cards in the hands of a Gypsy fortune-teller will be able to tell if any lies are told, the Tarot cards will be equally effective at soliciting a confession,” adds the concerned officer.
In Saanich, BC, Canada where the local police force is charged with investigating the brutal 2008 murder of realtor Lindsay Buziak they do not have a polygraph machine to use on recruits. Instead, they rely upon a device known as the “Computer Voice Stress Analyzer”. The CVSA is the center-piece of a serious, and long-running, scam in the modern era of law enforcement and public policy.
“The main proponent for the VSA industry” is how Charles Humble, Ph.D., associated with something called the National Institute for Truth Verification, describes himself. The NITV is headquartered at Fortune Circle, West Palm Beach, Florida and there are distributorships springing up across North America, routinely staffed by retired police officers who profit from selling the pseudo-scientific CVSA units and giving training sessions in their usage.
In this video – it normally takes years to earn a PhD, “the main proponent for the VSA industry”, Dr. Charles Humble, gets his in six hours
“If you think the CVSA is going to tell you whether witnesses or suspects are telling the truth, you’re gravely mistaken,” observes Richard Leo, Ph.D, J.D. , one of the world’s leading authorities on interrogation. A renowned criminologist and Associate Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco, Leo says if a law enforcement agency buys a CVSA, “You’re wasting your money and you’re wasting public money. You might as well be flipping coins or reading tea leaves or reading an Ouija board.”
The evidentiary support for Leo’s position is overwhelming.
To be continued…