“Getting at the Truth of It”

Los Angeles Times staff writer Anna Gorman reports for the Ventura County edition about retired FBI polygrapher Jack Trimarco. Excerpt:

Jack Trimarco makes a living off spotting lies. Lies that make hearts race and blood pressure rise. Lies that reveal the crimes of kidnappers, child molesters and murderers.

The Ventura County polygraph expert also makes his living off of cleverly leading people into making self-incriminating statements–even before the actual polygraph begins.

A retired FBI agent, Trimarco spends his days asking questions, watching the lines of the lie detector machine rise and fall. In an unrelenting search for the truth, he cajoles suspects to confess and convinces witnesses to divulge key information.

“You have to go in there with a gladiator mentality,” said Trimarco, 53, who lives in Camarillo. “It’s a competition, and you have to win.”

Mr. Trimarco is also the “inspector general” of the Department of Energy (DOE) polygraph program. Compare his “gladiator mentality” quip above to the following assertion Trimarco made in a taxpayer-funded DOE polygraph videotape:

JACK TRIMARCO: Polygraph does not have to be a stressful situation.

DIANE ANDERSON: So it’s really not an interrogation? Because I think that that would make most people pretty nervous.

JACK TRIMARCO: It’s not an interrogation at all….

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