The value of polygraphs

Discussion in 'JonBenet Ramsey' started by Sophie, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Sophie

    Sophie New Member

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  3. KariKae

    KariKae Active Member

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    Polygraphs help the innocent too. Did the Salt Lake City Police stop focusing on the Smarts after they agreed to a polygraph early in the investigation?

    And what exactly happend with Patsy's polygraph? Didn't she take several before finally passing one?
     
  4. Sophie

    Sophie New Member

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  5. KariKae

    KariKae Active Member

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    So, if I am reading correctly, the Ramseys did not take a polygraph because...

    First, they weren't asked to.

    Second, once asked, they were personally insulted to be asked to take one.

    Finally, agreed to a polygraph, but only wanted it to be administered by the best polygrapher they could find. But before the passed polygraphs, there were some polygraphs with inconclusive results.

    Do I have this correct?
     
  6. Sophie

    Sophie New Member

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    Just about, Karikae, but the Ramseys were also looking for one who didn't do drugs tests or insist on the tests being done in one sitting rather than the best. I believe Patsy also positively flunked one test (ie. it showed distortion) as well as showing inconclusive results in other tests. You need to read the 1997 interviews (again on ACR) to understand the polygraph debate in the early days.


    There is also a lot of controversy about Gelb, but having moaned about experts being defamed and having their careers ruined by the likes of Sue Bennett, I won't elaborate on that point.

    They also refused to have the FBI administer a polygraph although the FBI would have been neutral parties since this case wasn't within their jurisdiction. John showed huge ambivalence about the FBI: he wanted them to have jurisdiction over all crimes against children except that against JBR. As ST put it, John had eventually narrowed down the people who could investigate the crime to the border patrol.
     
  7. KariKae

    KariKae Active Member

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    Thank you. I have always heard there are ways to beat a polygraph. One of the articles did note large amounts of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds in both Ramsey parents.

    So some speculate this is how the Ramseys were able to finally as a test?
     
  8. DeeDee249

    DeeDee249 New Member

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    I think they were asked to take a polygraph, and refused. By that time, their lawyers were refusing to allow them. Patsy did a lot of grandstanding about being willing to "take ten of 'em" if it'll help (her words), despite JR's inane comment about being "insulted" to be asked. That is standard procedure in cases where kids are missing or found dead, especially in the home. In virtually every other case where a child was missing or dead, the INNOCENT parents readily agreed to take polygraphs. (which, as far as I know, they all passed).
    If you were innocent would you be willing to do anything to help police find your child's killer? Even take a polygraph? I would. I bet you would, too. Would you be "insulted"? I bet not.
     
  9. SuperDave

    SuperDave Well-Known Member

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    You're right, it IS appalling. Let's take a look at what he said:

    In Colorado, authorities aimed all their resources at John and Patsy Ramsey in the slaying of their daughter, JonBenet, after they insisted on taking independent polygraph tests administered by real experts, not by cops who wield them like rubber hoses.

    It's just another in a long line of "all cops are fascist bulldogs" pieces. He may not realize it, but he's parroting JR's rationale for not taking an FBI-conducted test: that the FBI were part of the "law-enforcement conspiracy" and that they would rig the test so that the Rs would fail and interrogate them mercilessly afterward.

    Yep!

    Pretty much.

    :clap:
     
  10. SuperDave

    SuperDave Well-Known Member

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    KariKae, I wrote an entire chapter devoted to the polygraph circus. Let's take a look at some excerpts:

    I personally don't believe in polygraphs. Even if I knew I was innocent I wouldn't take one. There's plenty of literature that will support me. There's a reason why polygraphs aren't admissible in court: they're not sufficiently reliable.

    SNIP

    In 2000, Chief Mark Beckner made them an offer: take a polygraph. If you pass, we'll clear you as suspects. If you fail, we can't use it anyway. The Ramseys said no, claiming the police were out to trap them. Beckner offered to have the test conducted by a veteran of the FBI. That was also unacceptable to them. They claimed that the FBI was part of the conspiracy against them (sure they were!). The police wouldn't budge. So, the Ramseys bought their own test.
    The first person they contacted was Gene Parker. He was interested, but said that he would have to insist on a drug test because the issue was so serious. He said he would pay, out of his own pocket, for a team of doctors and nurses to perform urine tests right on the premises. Lin Wood said he'd get back to Parker. Three hours later, he did. He told Parker they wouldn't need him. They found someone else who didn't require drug tests. Trouble is, Wood had already said on Larry King Live that they would submit to drug tests


    SNIP

    We may never know for sure, but according to Ed Gelb, the polygrapher the Ramseys finally settled on, when you buy a polygraph test you specify the results you want. And if getting those results isn't possible, make sure the truth is protected from reaching the public. No attorney worth his retainer will have his client(s) take a polygraph without knowing how they're going to do; he doesn't want to be accused of malpractice.

    SNIP

    Patsy Ramsey once referred to lie detectors as "voodoo science." I guess she must have always believed that because she and her husband hired two of the best damn witch-doctors in the business.

    SNIP

    And at the end of the day, it took Patsy three attempts to get a reading close enough where Gelb could say she passed. Anybody can pass a test if they take it enough times. Like Chris Rock says, "Passed it. Got a 65!" Any halfway intelligent suspect can beat it when they have three years-plus practice time. Oddly enough, the only member of the news media to smell a rat in the first few days was Katie Couric. Couric is usually such an [expletive deleted] for the Ramseys, it's embarrassing to watch her interviews with them and especially their lawyer Lin Wood. If anyone [expletive deleted] that hard, my head would collapse. So it was somewhat shocking when she asked them how legitimate the lie detector tests could be since they were paid for by the Ramseys. Patsy Ramsey got a little [expletive deleted] about that. That seems to happen a lot when she doesn't get things her way. Makes you wonder even more about that night, doesn't it?
    In short, too little, too late.
     
  11. cynic

    cynic Active Member

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    Transcript from the Peter Boyle show

    PB: This man's name came up in a couple of news articles and news stories when John and Patsy Ramsey first announced to the entire world that they had passed the polygraph test. Please say "Good Morning" to Gene Parker. Mr. Parker has himself a former Police Chief . He also has been well involved in the polygraph business. Mr. Parker, Good Morning.

    GP: Why Good Morning, from Meeker, Colorado.

    PB: Thanks for coming on the show. There seems to be a number of things. I spoke with Mr. Parker yesterday in a private conversation. There's been an awful lot of talk about your involvement or on-involvement in this case. So let me bring up a couple of the questions that seem to be out there quite a bit. Did you ever do any work for John Ramsey or for his company prior to this?

    GP: No, I never did.

    PB: OK. Had you ever met the Ramseys?

    GP: No, I never had.

    PB: Who approached you to do this exam initially?

    GP: Back on 11 December,'97 I was requested by a national newspaper to confirm the authenticity of a Diane Hollis, who is a former executive secretary of John Ramsey, as to her statement as to, ahh, what had occurred in, ahh, conversation in the Ramsey office.

    PB: For the folks in our audience, what did Ms. Hollis say had occurred in terms of a conversation?

    GP: She stated that, ahh, there was conversation going on with, umm, some remorse as to, ahh, what had taken place at the murder scene.

    PB: Could you go further, elaborate further from that, Gene, if you would?

    GP: Ohhhh, let me see. I'm looking at a deposition that I wrote at the time and, uhhh, regarding, uhh, the accuracy of the examination. But, the gist of it was that, uhhh, "Were you told that John Ramsey was molesting JonBenet? That Patsy saw it, swung at John but hit JonBenet instead?" And there was a 88% probability that Miss Hollis was truthful with her "Yes" response utilizing an instrument of the United States Government polygraph for that purpose.

    PB: That's why this is significant. That, there's another very significant part of this as well. Again, if you would, Gene, the best of your knowledge who was Miss Hollis and what was her job working for John Ramsey?

    GH: She was an executive secretary.

    PB: And how did she come across this information?

    GH: That, at this point, with due respect to your very fine radio station, I would be unable to provide for you, other than the fact that records show that Miss Hollis was an executive secretary for John Ramsey.

    PB: And you tested Miss Hollis?

    GH: Yes.

    PB: And when Miss Hollis told you what you've just told us that she said, she tested out which way, true or false?

    GH: Way to the absolute probability of truthfulness. That same, the same question was formulated three different ways and to each of those three different ways, uhhh, she, uhhh, the results of the examination shows that she was, the probability of truthfulness was very accurate, in the high 90's. The examination took approximately three hours and the actual exam itself about, uhh, 5 minutes times 3 times that was given to her.

    PB: Now what's important about this is the Ramseys now tell us that they have total faith and trust in all polygraphs. And yet here comes this. And I don't know how much of this has ever gotten attention before so I wonder what their reaction will be, and I'm not asking for a comment from you. If we could then move on. Were you ever requested or did anyone ever come to you about doing the Ramsey polygraph on John and Patsy?

    GH: Yes.

    PB: Yep.

    GH Some short period of time ago I received a telephone call from some people that identified themselves as attorneys for John Ramsey.

    PB: Did they mention names or could you mention their names?

    GH: Yes, they mentioned names but I'm not at liberty to give those out, with due respect.

    PB: All right. Fair enough.

    GH: At which time I said "yes" since I had done the first one that...

    PB: By the way Gene, did they know you had done the Hollis exam?

    GH: Yes. Yes. In so much that I utilized an instrument perfected by the United States government and I had done the first Hollis polygraph which kind of started the whole thing that, "Yes, I would be more than happy to examine John and Patsy." And I quoted my fee. At which time I stated that because of the high profile of the case that it would require that a urine examination be done with a medical doctor and a registered nurse, for obvious reasons, presence. Uhhhm, the attorney said, who stated that he was an attorney, I had reason to believe that he was, stated, "Fine, they would get back to me." Some three hours later I received a telephone call from that same telephone number on my Caller-ID that I originally had got stating that they had declined my offer, they had found someone that would not require a urine examination, thank you very much.

    PB: But that, that other person would be the legendary now Mr. T, the guy in NJ, who finds, after testing Patsy a number of times, he can't get an accurate read which I am told, and I certainly don't have any expertise, that when you keep getting inconclusive results, you've got a liar.

    GP: Yes and no. Uhhh, there are---the human mind is a very strange thing, a very complex thing in so much as that a lot of things can cause an inconclusive.

    PB: But how many inconclusives can you keep getting?

    GP: With this instrument I rarely get one.

    PB: Hang on, Gene. Let me bring you back and get a wrap-up.

    Break

    PB: ...He had an opportunity to do a lie, ahh, polygraph, I say lie detectors and I've been told time again and again and again Don't say that, but polygraph examination on a woman who also plays out in this as well, her name is Hollis, and ahh, Miss Hollis, Diane Hollis was the former executive secretary to John Ramsey. And he did a polygraph on her. You were, I believe it was, if I know anything about this, this took place in Arvada? Or would you rather not say?

    GP: In that area.

    PB: Fair enough. And what she told you is that she was told, and again this is a former executive secretary, she was told by someone in the organization, or someone, I shouldn't even set it up that way but

    GP: I think maybe I can help you. She had a conversation several times with a personal secretary of John Ramsey.

    PB: And she also was the executive secretary.

    GP: Right, the executive had discussion with the personal secretary of John Ramsey which stated incidents of remorse and of some discussion as to what really took place.

    PB: And what she was told, the fact that you say that 88% probability that this woman is telling the truth.

    GP: That's correct. I'm looking at my notes here to the second relevant question, uhhhm, "Did you give, did you have the discussion with the personal secretary which lasted over an hour and a half period of time regarding what took place with JonBenet Ramsey?" and there was a 97% probability she was truthful, that she gained the information from the personal secretary.

    PB: Wow! And then they, when initially they came to you to do some polygraphing and then you wanted them to take a UA and they would not do it. Why would that be important or significant, Gene, to the uninitiated?

    GP: This was again the follow-up, where the media and, uhhh, events of the time had brought it to the head that it has now that I received a phone call to take in, OK, a polygraph examines John and Patsy. And because of the high profile of the case, because of their great monetary abilities and ability of certain drugs that are available that could affect the human body system that is examined by polygraph why I insisted that there be a registered nurse and a MD there to take a urine examination prior to the examination. So there would be no doubt in anyone's mind that anything might have caused reaction to change to whatever from what it really is. At which time, some three hours later, the law office called back and stated "Thanks but no thanks."

    PB: So if you wanted to do a UA on whether or not they were doing...

    GP: Whether they had used a drug. Which could, which very well could cause for an inconclusive, let alone could even take and show a truthful being deceptive.

    PB: What's interesting about this is, even if, because clearly if they were, if they could pass a UA, they'd have come to you. And I'm guessing that.

    GP: Sure.

    PB: But they couldn't pass the UA so they go to another guy who doesn't require a UA and they still, Patsy still comes out on two occasions inconclusive, apparently--Carol McKinley from Fox News in an interview with the Ramseys, they did tell her they're both taking Prozac and if you watch Patsy Ramsey on TV you know there's more than just Prozac going on there. I don't know if you know that but you can certainly believe it.

    GP: Yes, my Masters being in Psychology I have studied the effects of drugs probably as reasons that I polygraph for the Department of Defense. And I have found that there are certain drugs, let alone in that financial-ability category of the Ramseys to take certain drugs that could very easily cause it, which was the reason why I required a medical doctor and an RN which is I think only about the fifth or sixth time in my 20 some odd years of polygraphing that I've needed it.

    PB: Gene, if they'd 've given you a hot UA

    GP: Umhmm.

    PB: That, that kills the whole thing?

    GP: That's correct.
     
  12. Sophie

    Sophie New Member

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    Wow, thanks for that Cynic: I hadn't seen that before.

    Certainly, having seen Patsy on LKL etc, you'd have to assume she was taking
    more than an SSRI...

    IDI will claim that her drug-taking is proof that she was innocent since she wouldn't have gone on TV while drugged in case the drugs loosened her lips. This imo is bollox. Firstly, after all the posturing they'd done, they simply had no choice other than to go on TV or risk looking even worse and, secondly, today's anti-depressants etc aren't the blunt instruments they were decades ago - they don't work like alcohol and they aren't a truth serum.
     
  13. Sophie

    Sophie New Member

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  14. Sophie

    Sophie New Member

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    What a bit of prose, Dave! *Applause*
     
  15. SuperDave

    SuperDave Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't bet against it.

    Some of them have claimed that.

    Quite.
     
  16. SuperDave

    SuperDave Well-Known Member

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    My point exactly.

    I can't figure it either.

    That about says it all.
     
  17. PaulR

    PaulR Verified Software and Computer Tech

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    Penn and Teller did an excellent skewing of the polygraph.

    Liars have passed the polygraph before (Aldrich Ames being a famous example.) The cops would be foolish to rule the Ramsey's out just because they passed, and I think they were bluffing.
     
  18. DeeDee249

    DeeDee249 New Member

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    Believe me, the police didn't rule them out because of the polygraphs. First of all, the police never got to administer any polygraphs to them because they refused to cooperate. The polygraph that the Rs passed was administered by private people they hired themselves. And it tool several of them before they were given one they were able to pass.
     
  19. Tadpole12

    Tadpole12 Well-Known Member

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    Hi PaulR.

    Penn & Teller fan, would love to see that Polygraph trick.
     
  20. PaulR

    PaulR Verified Software and Computer Tech

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    They did it on their show Bull****. You can find part of it on YouTube, not sure if it's out on DVD yet.

    Language sensitive viewers should avoid it :crazy:
     
  21. PaulR

    PaulR Verified Software and Computer Tech

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    My point is that the police would, contrary to their statements, not ruled out the Ramseys if they passed the polygraph. If they "passed", the police could say that they must have "fooled" the polygraph, prepared for it, etc. and pointed to the well-known criminals who managed to beat the test.

    The police were under no obligation to hold their word. They clearly thought RDI.
     

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