What is a polygraph (FAQ)
Find a polygraph examiner
Polygraph Associations
Polygraph schools
Equipment & Software
Polygraph Insurance
Polygraph Chatroom
Home

Return to the Story Index

How Not To Beat The Polygraph - Submitted by Thomas G. Ivey, M.A. - Perkin, IL See Thomas' listing on polygraphplace.com to inquire about his services

This past summer Mrs. X hired me to test her husband regarding possible infidelity. Both were in their 50's and had previous marriages, so when she observed him standing by his car at a local store, talking to another woman, he got her attention. She called him on his cell phone to see when he was coming home, he lied to her and told her he was several miles from the location where she had just seen him. After several days of "debate" he said that this was just someone he met at a local supermarket, but that nothing was going on. He denied ever having sex with the woman and said he would take a polygraph. Being a considerate wife, she wanted to give him the benefit of doubt and took him up on his offer to verify the veracity of his statements. Mr. X seemed very cooperative, but told me a different story then he had told his wife. Of course, he started by telling me that he was nervous, but honest,and he didn't want his marriage of 5 years to end in divorce.

We completed the pre-test phase and a subsequent calibration test which indicated he couldn't sit still. Mr. X was counseled about movement and referred to his fear of losing his wife, etc. I use an AXCITON with a motion sensor pad, and after showing him what I was seeing, he agreed to remain still. During the second chart, I saw the right foot moving, but only caught the tail-end of the movement, again verifying the tracing from the motion pad. After repeated warnings to remain still, I stopped telling him. On the third chart I noted the toes of the left foot slowly curling underneath on relevant questions and curling sharply back on comparison questions. As is our standard, I ran my fourth chart and again noted the left foot moving. After the test I discussed this with Mr. X and he denied deliberately moving or having any problems with the questions. Since I don't like violence in my office, I never give the couple the results of a domestic issue test until they are home (Many of my clients travel 50 - 100+ miles to take the test and knowing that the other half was deceptive can make for one heck of a long journey home - for both of them.)

Mrs. X called me later and while discussing the issues I stated that due to his deliberate and intentional movement the test was No Opinion. Mr. X was listening on another line and immediately denied any intentional movement. We terminated the conversation and about 20 minutes later Mrs. X called me back, without the Mr. listening in. She was curious about the movement and she said that Mr. X, a machinist, took off his shoe after they arrived home and the sock on his right foot was very bloody. She said that he told her he got a chip in his shoe while at work and he had an inch long cut on the ball of his foot. Well, he just happened to get a metal chip in each of his shoes. Having a good sense of humor, I started laughing. Mrs. X asked me why I was laughing, as she began to laugh also (contagion), and I explained about the tack in the shoe theory. She said that he also had a linear scratch and indentation on his left foot, but no blood. She then told me that she was going to get to the bottom of the problem.

At 09:00 the next morning, I received a telephone call from Mrs. X. She told me her husband had something to say. Mr. X apologized for wasting my time and his money and admitted that he had put a metal chip in each of his shoes because he was told by co-workers that this was the way to beat the exam. Since Mr. X had been curling his toes differently to relevant and comparison questions, I figured that he had done a little more then talk to his co-workers. I thought the story was over, but a few days latter, Mrs. X called and requested another examination - after failing to talk her out of it, her husband was scheduled. My son conducted the retest and Mr. X was deceptive, but with subtle movement during each chart that was detected by the motion pad. Mrs. X verified that he had nothing in his shoes because she made him put his shoes and socks on in front of her - and then didn't let him out of her sight until he went into the polygraph lab.

During the post-test, Mr. X no longer denied the affair, but said that he was "being as honest as he could." In 20 years of administering polygraphs, this is the first time that I have ever had someone admit to putting the proverbial tack in his shoe. Mr. X went on his way, a little wiser, a lot more painfully, and definitely poorer.

Thomas G. Ivey, M.A.
Ivey Investigative Services, L.L.C.
"When you need to know the truth....."
359 Margaret Street
Pekin, IL 61554-3268
Illinois Agency License #117-000910 Illinois Private Detective License #115-001259
Illinois Polygraph License # 094-000459 Indiana Polygraph License #0260
Bus: 309-353-2070 Fax: 309-353-2868
web: www.polygraphillinois.com
e:mail: iis@grics.net

How Not To Beat The Polygraph - Submitted by Thomas G. Ivey, M.A. - Perkin, IL See Thomas' listing on polygraphplace.com to inquire about his services

Return to the Story Index


Polygraph Examiners can email us their stories unedited to support@polygraphplace.com. Please remember that these are being read by lay persons so try to avoid technical terminology in the story.