Steve Wilkos on Lie Detectors: “Hell No…I Would Never Take One!”

Steve Wilkos and Angela Lee

Steve Wilkos, who routinely uses lie detector tests on his eponymous television talk show, claimed in a 2016 Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread that “[t]he lie detector tests are like 99% accurate.”

But more recently, Wilkos admitted in an interview with New York radio station WWPR’s nationally syndicated program, The Breakfast Club, that he would never take a lie detector test and that he beat one when he was younger.

Wilkos made the admission on air on Friday, 29 March 2019, in response to a question from Breakfast Club co-host Angela Lee, who asked, “How credible are lie detectors, because people are always saying they know how to beat it?”

Steve Wilkos: “Hell no, I mean I would never take one!”

Wilkos’s reply, and the ensuing conversation between Wilkos, Lee and The Breakfast Club’s other co-hosts, Charlamagne tha God and DJ Envy, are transcribed below:

Wilkos: Well, put it this way. My son did a school project, science project, right? So he did it on lie detector tests and he came in with my guy Dan Ribacoff and he did the, you know, test and stuff and they asked, and it was a hundred percent, you know what I mean? So like, would I ever take one? Hell no, I mean I would never take one!

Lee: What are you hiding? What are you hiding Steve?

Wilkos: It’s not that I’m hiding anything, but like, if it came like, were, you know, would you let anything in your life that’s important to you fall into the hands of a lie detector test–

Charlamagne tha God: Not if it’s not accurate.

Wilkos: That’s what I’m saying, like… I’ll say this. I did beat a lie detector test when I was younger. I had to take a lie detector test, and I lied on that thing.

Lee: What were you lying about?

Wilkos (laughing): I really don’t want to get into that right now.

Lee: We have to know this.

Charlamagne tha God: You said you lied, Steve.

Lee: You’re a habitual liar, Steve. (laughter)

Wilkos: After I have bleeding on the brain, I just got discharged [from the hospital], I don’t know, I… Who knows what I said? But, yeah, so I took a lie detector test and I beat it, you know, and…

DJ Envy: How did you beat it? ‘Cause they tell you like if you breathe normally?

Wilkos: So, I’ll tell you this. I was a young guy, and I was working somewhere, and something went down. I was not involved, but I knew what happened, okay? I knew what happened. So the company came in, they brought in a lie detector. So I came into work and they’re like, “Oh, you’re taking a lie detector test.”

Well, immediately I like crumbled. I’m like “Oh my God!” you know? But like, so, they called in like three or four other people before me, and then when it came to me, I was already calmed down. So then when I got in there, the guy goes—I had my high school jacket on the thing—and he goes, “Oh, you go to Lane Tech?” I go “Yeah.” He goes, “Oh, I went there, too!” So right off the bat the guy’s putting me at ease, you know? And then I just went on. I lied, like basically I didn’t know—

Charlamagne tha God: You lied to that nice guy.

Wilkos: I lied, I lied because I didn’t want to be a rat.

Charlamagne tha God: No snitching!

Wilkos: Right. I didn’t want to be a rat, and I just didn’t—I really didn’t even want to be involved. And some of the dudes I would have to say about, they were scary guys, right?

Charlamagne tha God: Got you, got you.

Wilkos: I don’t want nothin’ to do with that.

Lee: Like the blue wall of silence thing?

Wilkos: Well, I wasn’t a cop. I was a high school… Cops don’t take lie detector tests. They—I never…

Lee: Really? They don’t have to do that?

Wilkos: I—no, I was on the job for twelve years. I never…

On 11 December 2019, nine months after Wilkos’s admission that he would never take a lie detector test, he accused Anca Pennington, a guest on his show, of having burned her infant daughter with cigarettes, because she had failed a lie detector “test” administered by the show’s polygraph operator, Daniel Ribacoff. In fact, no one had burned Pennington’s daughter: lesions that had appeared on the child’s leg turned out to be the result of a ringworm infection. The anguish of being falsely accused and publicly humiliated led to Pennington’s attempted suicide later the same day.

Viewers and potential guests of the Steve Wilkos Show should be aware that when it comes to lie detectors, Wilkos is unwilling to eat his own dogfood.

Steve Wilkos’ admission that he would never take a lie detector test may be viewed below:

Comments 27

  • Steve says his son did a science fair project and concluded that lie detectors are 100%. Then Steve says he lied and beat one before. Well that contradicts his son’s conclusion. Every polygrapher knows the machine can be beaten. Simple scenario: You take a lie detector (polygraph), you don’t confess, the polygrapher insists you are lying, you say you are telling the truth. There is no proof that you are lying other than some possibly rigged machine or computer software that some people believe in more than the Bible.

    I wish there was a high school seminar that teaches kids things like how to handle getting pulled over or questioned by police, how to ask for a lawyer, how to maintain a car and other household duties, and even how to beat a lie detector. No high school student should even be forced to take a lie detector as part of a job. Steve didn’t say how old he was when he took a lie detector in high school, but if he was under 18, is that even legal?!

    • When Steve Wilkos was in high school, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 had not yet been passed, and employers in the United States were free to require both employees and applicants to submit to lei detector “testing.”

    • Federal Poly Beater: Interesting comment you made about some people believing in so-called lie detectors more than the Bible. You are exactly right. Specifically, the so-called religion of Scientology makes extensive use of the e-meter, that works along the same method of polygraphs and voice stress analysis. That is, the unproven theory that stress detection is the same as lie detection. Scientology is hostile toward all the Abrahamic religions, probably since they see them as competition to Scientology’s on-going grift.
      Reportedly, Scientologists pay approximately $800 per hour for e-meter auditing.
      Any of us with any understanding of poly’s and VSAs know that these devices are a grifters best friend, and that is why anyone in the lie industry fights neutral academic studies tooth and nail to stop any potentially damaging revelations. Steve and Dr. Phil know that these devices have the reliability of a coin flip, but they bring in revenue since several of our fellow citizens have not yet been educated.

  • Like, you know, o.k., right? Steve tries to be, and thinks he is, “cool”, esp. with the black community.

  • This is hilarious Antipolygraph thank you for posting this. I believe I submitted a request to you a couple of weeks ago to have you cover this story so I appreciate you considering/fulfilling said request; however, to correct you, I believe Steve actually said “No! It’s not that I’m hiding anything…” in place of “it’s not that I’m lying or anything” and “After I’m bleeding on the brain, I just got discharged [from the hospital]” instead of “I just got this job.” I might be wrong but that is just how I heard this. Hope you make these corrections if you agree, and otherwise fantastic job.

  • Pardon me for saying it but Steve seems kinda borderline retarded. If mental impairment could be partly the reason that he is the way he is then do we really have a right to hold stuff against him?

  • Dulcie, I don’t think Steve is borderline retarded. If I had to guess, I would say he has at least normal intelligence or possible boasts a standard deviation above normal intelligence.
    Steve is paid to be an entertainer, and only an entertainer, but several of his audience believe the purpose of the show is to get at the truth. It is not, the purpose of the show is to sell advertising. I understand the importance of advertising. If shows did not have the ability to generate revenue, then all productions would be governmental and corporate propaganda or pay per view.
    Now, my issue with the Steve Wilkos show is that desperate and hurting people are further ground up to the delight of audience members. This is morally indefensible.
    Yes, Steve apparently knows the polygraph is BS, just like Dr. Phil,(I wish government officials could see past the BS, but that will be a different post on a different day) but since they believe ratings gimmicks are more important than people, they, and their producers, will both allow this bearing of false witnessing to continue.

    • I get what you are saying Anthony but face it, publicly incriminating himself in that way is pretty stupid and almost not normal. I am surprised that Steve was not brought in for questioning by police after this. He also even admitted on Reddit that he doesn’t care about his guests and that he thinks he might be gay…and yes, he once stated that he exploits his own guests for ratings. He once spelled “children” as “childern”. He has went on Cameo to call Dan Ribacoff “a really great guy” despite what he did to Anca and despite that Dan was even caught talking bad about Steve. He has acted genuinely shocked by some of the poly results on that show, especially in the Latoya Brown case… which leads me to wonder if Dan somewhat exploits Steve’s possible feeble-mindedness in this regard. Plus that it’s easy to look into those frenzied blue eyes of his and see that something about him is wildly off. He appears in interviews with bloodshot eyes as if he never heard about Visine. He goes on that stage of his telling the female guests right in front of his wife that they all look pretty, beautiful and attractive and if you watched this Breakfast Club interview carefully he even inadvertently implied that his wife is not emotionally supportive of him. Note his statement, “All these people keep asking me for help, but who is gonna help me man?” He admitted that he has no “go-to person” for help with his depression, despite his being married – which resulted in his near fatal dui accident…and of course, his married life is none of my business, but that is only yet another of his statements that struck me. He hurls chairs as if not caring he can one day hit somebody and get in big trouble that way. He reveals his butthurt in how much he deletes comments on his YouTube and blocks people on Facebook XD I can go on and on….and maybe you’re right, I could be misjudging his I.Q., but I simply can’t see how a man who is 2-3 years shy of 60 years old sees nothing wrong with this amount of horrid behavior. His narcissism is at a near infantile level.

      • I have heard scenarios as to what you are saying. Is there any documented, video,or audio, to the allegations. I can come on and say things and make accusations about anyone but I better have proof to back up my statements.

  • I don’t know if Steve is stupid or not but he is definitely crazy…bottom line is he can’t be trusted.

  • I dunno but he definitely seems pretty off…I was just on one of his cameo videos and he pronounced “ethnicities” as “ethenticities” so the poor guy probably did suffer a bit of brain damage from that crash.

  • Steve is an airhead.

  • Steve your show has been boring lately. The only shows you are doing is blood test and that’s boring.

  • I want to know how to get on this show For a large detector Test

  • Hi my man cheating on me and telling lies I need him to take a lie detector test so I can reveal the truth

  • Why hasn’t anyone exposed him, or taken this evidence to his show, or a similar show if this stuff is true? I mean people arw accusing him of this girl killing herself because of his statements she lied. Yet not one but of evidence has been submitted for the public to see. Confront him! I’m sure if these allegations were true that ot.would have made its way into main stream news media and it would have been all over. Some may say the admission statement is a lie. Steve will deny he stated it, so i hope there is lots of evidence to support allegations.

  • What a douche! I hope he publicly apologized to that mother, at the very least. His show and those like it are complete and utter trash!

  • If You Believe This Lie Detector Crap is Real YOUR AN IDIOT and im Telling The Truth

    The FBI and CIA gives the “Lie Detector Test” to its recruits To Monitor Stress Readings during an interview Not a Truth or Lie..

    So watch your Steve and Maury shows For entertainment not Truth or Lies…

  • It is known that several proprietors and users of so-called lie detectors know that it is impossible for a machine to tell if someone is lying. “Dr.” Charles Humble and his company admitted that their device, the CVSA, cannot tell if someone is lying. These “lie detectors” are nothing but interrogation devices used for “fishing expeditions.”

  • Rebacoff does really think he’s the best around because he’s not . There are 2 documented people who work for the FBI Amy’s he’s full of shit and he really puts on a convincing show but that’s an out right lie . Fact he was challenged buy the FBI and turned down the offer . He said the test he gives is same one FBI gives . They also know for sure he has paid guest to lie and get paid to do so. He’s had numerous run ins with police but he admitted they received money and other things that they wouldn’t talk about . One day I hope someone goes on his shows and tells the whole truth about the show . There’s a guy who works for the CIA and blasted the show but some how that disappeared.

  • Ribacoff is a racist and runs a crooked organization that obviously condones sexual assault and over billing by its employees, disqualifies applicants from law enforcement employment if the applicants happen to be black, plus contracts with Scientology.
    Dan is one of the worst of the worst in the shady world of the lie industry. That is really saying something.

  • Can I take a lie detector test without been own our show I need yr help

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