Steve Wilkos Show Guest Who Passed Polygraph Later Confessed to Murdering 15-Month-Old

Jesse Wayne Perkins

Christine Kalio, writing for entertainment website TheThings, reports on the case of Jesse Wayne Perkins of Clemmens, North Carolina in an article titled, “‘Steve Wilkos’ Criticized After Man Faces Death Penalty After Passing Lie Detector.” Excerpt:

Steve Wilkos episode originally aired in 2018 has caused fans to question the accuracy of the show’s lie detector tests.

Jesse Wayne Perkins appeared on Season 12, Episode 43 of the hit tabloid talk show. The episode was titled: “A 15-Month-Old Died: What Do You Have to Hide?”

After forming a relationship with a woman named Amanda for five months, Perkins took on the responsibilty of looking after her 15 month old daughter Carolina Rose Dodd.

Tragically on Aug. 22, 2018 Carolina’s mother later found the girl unresponsive and face down. The infant was later confirmed dead, according to WITN.

On 14 November 2018, Perkins appeared on The Steve Wilkos Show where he initially refused to take a lie detector test. He was seen storming off stage and past lie detector expert Daniel Ribacoff’s office. Wilkos pursues him as Perkins demands not to be filmed as he smokes a cigarette outside. After being persuaded to come inside, he still refused to take the lie detector test to prove his innocence.

He yawns and fails to communicate with Steve – who later describes him as a “snake.”

It’s only after Perkins’ girlfriend threatens to break up with him that he agrees to take the test.

He is asked: “Did you witness anyone causing Amanda’s 15 month old daughter’s death?” and “Did you intentionally cause Amanda’s 15 month old daughter’s death?”

He passed both questions – much to the shock of the audience.

Jesse Wayne Perkins
(Forsyth County Detention Center photograph)

On 20 May 2021, Michael Hewlett reported for the Winston-Salem Journal in an article titled, “Prosecutor: 15-Month-Old Girl Smothered to Death When She Wouldn’t Stop Crying After Being Burned by a Cigarette.” Excerpt:

A Clemmons man smothered his girlfriend’s 15-month-old daughter to death with a pillow because she would not stop crying after she was burned by the man’s cigarette, a Forsyth County prosecutor said in court Thursday.

Dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, Jesse Wayne Perkins, stood in front of Judge David Hall of Forsyth Superior Court on Thursday morning and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the August 2018 death of the toddler, Carolina Rose Dodd.

The plea saved Perkins from a possible sentence of death if the case had gone to trial and a jury had convicted him of first-degree murder. Forsyth County prosecutors had declared last year that they would pursue the death penalty. The only other sentence for a first-degree murder conviction is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

That’s exactly what Hall sentenced Perkins to after his guilty plea to murder and several unrelated charges, including attempted possession of controlled substances while incarcerated at the Forsyth County Jail awaiting trial. The other charges were consolidated into the murder charge.

Perkins, his girlfriend, Amanda Vanzant, and her daughter, Carolina, lived together in the apartment. Perkins is not the child’s biological father.

Both Vanzant and Perkins initially denied involvement in the child’s death. But Perkins later told investigators that he was caring for Carolina while Vanzant was at work. When Vanzant came home, Carolina was in her Pack-n-Play and Perkins told Vanzant that Carolina was asleep.

Vanzant took a nap. When she woke up, she went to check on Carolina and found the toddler cold and unresponsive.

Perkins told investigators that he was watching movies and smoking a cigarette. Carolina walked into the cigarette and got a burn on her chest and started crying.

Perkins said he tried to calm the toddler but she wouldn’t be quiet. That’s when he said he snapped and grabbed a pillow and smothered her. According to an autopsy report, he placed Carolina facedown in the Pack-n-Play at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 22, 2018. Perkins said Vanzant was in no way involved in her daughter’s death.

Steve Wilkos announcing that the lie detector shows that “Jesse told the truth.”

Both Jesse Wayne Perkins and Amanda Vanzant passed polygraph “tests” administered for the show. The episode title, “A 15-Month-Old Died: What Do You Have to Hide?” is ironic because clearly, the Steve Wilkos Show itself now has something to hide. Not long after Christine Kalio’s critical reporting for TheThings was published on 19 August 2021, the Steve Wilkos Show deleted its video of the episode from YouTube.

Nonetheless, has found a 10-minute portion of the episode on YouTube and is mirroring it here for public discussion purposes in the event that YouTube receives a takedown notice:

Comments 30

  • I’m happy to see this story get some light… Hoping more victims come forward after this. Thank you for sharing this.

  • As I have said for years & I will say it agsin, WAKE UP IDIOTS! That demonic machine tells nothing. All too often when it’s use is employed guilty people walk free and innocent people are believed to have done something they have not done. In the history of my career I’ve been subject to at least 20 of these. I told the truth on all of them and was told that I was not being truthful. Here’s your bombshell, on the very last one that I took (and will not ever take anothet again) I LIED my ass off! 19 out of 20 questions I answered with a complete lie. Oh,you got it sisters and brothers, I was found as being truthful on all 20 questions. Let that sink in. The public largely believes in the use of this demonic machine. It’s not accurate to call it a lie detector. It does not detect lies. This machine is not allowed in court, its results are not allowed in court and it is the equivalent of taking a dull butter knife and a pair of pliers into the operating room to perform a heart surgery.

    • You’re the one that is an idiot! Why has yo dumbass been subject to 20 lie detector tests??? You sound like those idiotic clowns on Steve that say it’s not a lie! You could see the lie in the face!

      • Some jobs require you to do it for whatever reason. Doesnt change the fact that they have been proven unreliable, and they are not allowed in court bc of it.

        The way you type seriously makes you sound like you dropped out of high school.

        • That’s because people miss use them! Doesn’t mean Steve does!! It means others do. and dude was believable. Watch the episode he is 100% believable he’s crying and everything. I would’ve thought he was innocent honestly. But then you watch him closer once you know he’s guilty and you see little things that pop out. With his behavior. You could see how he’d be able to snap and hurt the child. But he somehow he beat that lie detector test. And everybody wants to blame Dan and Steve!!! How about blame the dude that somehow managed to figure out a way to get past a lie detector test!! And lie detector test are reliable when done by the right person! I have seen them used many times in court. But believe what you wanna believe ?????

          • He was crying and reacted like that out of tears of joy like thank you God he couldn’t. Believe he passed. That’s why they are not admissible in court because they are not always accurate. He was over wellemed with the results I seen a man break down from guilt and relief all in one in that episode. I believe that’s why he came forward and pled guilty and told the truth in court or maybe he made the story up because he was scared at trile he would be found guilty because they can’t use the test in court the jury wouldn’t even know about it. Mayb he admitted to it because of that and took the plea deal to excape death. We will never know.

          • Just because you though he was innocent doesn’t mean others fell for it.

        • You remember high school? I don’t.

    • I’m not sure if this is the REAL Sammy the Bull.

  • What is scary is that innocent people can have their freedom taken, guilty people can walk free after “passing” a polygraph, or prospective employees of government organizations can be permanently blackballed based on a pseudoscience that is no more accurate than a coin flip.
    Dan is a morally challenged individual that apparently condones his employees raping surveillance targets, and has no issue double billing clients. This latest screwup of Dan could have allowed Taylor to kill additional children like the polygrapher that cleared serial killer Gary Ridgeway which resulted in him killing several additional women after he was initially developed as a suspect in the Green River murders.

  • At the end of the clip, when Perkins wipes away his tears, he wipes off some makeup too, and you can see the tats on his face.

    Also, after Wilcos asks Perkins why he didn’t want to take the poly, some of Perkins’ words are bleeped out. I believe Perkins is referring to his “lawyer” or “attorney” on the bleeped out portions.

    Why were his tats covered? Why were his references to his attorney bleeped out? Strange.

    • I now think Perkins is saying “My mom told me not to do anything until the investigation was over.” The question remains: Why would the show bleep out “my mom”?

  • […] examination administered by Dan Ribacoff, having denied killing a 15-month child. Perkins later confessed to the killing and is currently serving a life sentence. The Steve Wilkos Show responded by removing video of […]

  • […] May 2021, Jesse Wayne Perkins, who passed a lie detector test on the Steve Wilkos Show, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a 15-month-old girl. The Steve Wilkos Show deleted video of that episode from its […]

  • Of course Dan screwed up since he had fake cred.

    • Anybody who operates a polygraph test is “screwing up” bc the machine itself is fake. Its basically a scientology e-meter.

  • […] examination administered by Dan Ribacoff, having denied killing a 15-month child. Perkins later confessed to the killing and is currently serving a life sentence. The Steve Wilkos Show responded by removing video of […]

  • I truly wish there was an accurate polygraph/VSA device, but there is not at this time, and there probably never will be such a machine. As a career officer of the court, I know the jury/bench system is no where close to being perfect, and innocent people are incarcerated, and guilty people often walk. Sometimes, innocent folks will take the probation plea bargain option to avoid the coin toss of a trial. Again, I wish we had a better way to determine truth from deception, but the pagan witchcraft machine, whether in polygraph, VSA or E-Meter form is not the answer.

    In the Drexel case, the suspect was polygraphed by an FBI agent since a jail house informant pointed a finger at another inmate to try to score a benefit for himself. Quick recap, the polygraph, the FBI agent, and another FBI agent were all wrong. Three for three in a bad way.

    Granted, the whole Ribacoff family are a bunch of clowns as well as Steve Wilkos who is a dancing monkey for the suits at NBCUniversal. I don’t know if Dan Ribacoff gave the polygraph to Jesse Perkins, but whoever gave the exam was totally owned by Perkins. On a side note, criminals tend to be better actors than cops, correctional officers and probation/parole officers. I have to admit that judges often believed criminals over me, and when they later found out they were fooled, the judges made themselves scarce. Nobody can out act a psychopath or sociopath. I just reported facts in a clear and concise manner. I never turned on the water works or the lip tremble.

    But, as I said several times before, there is no such thing as a competent polygrapher or VSA examiner just like there is no such thing as a accurate medium or astrologer.

  • People can be TAUGHT to pass a polygraph test! Sociopaths can pass easily. People who are mentally disturbed and actually BELIEVE what they say, can pass a polygraph!

  • This is not the only polygraph test that Dan got wrong. I can’t remember the name of the lady or the name of the show, but she was being accused of abusing her kids. She swore up and down that she hadn’t but the test came back saying she was not telling the truth. On her flight home, at one of the airports, she went into a stall and attempted suicide. Someone found her, called 911 and long story short, she was able to prove that she had not ever abused her children. Can you imagine if she had died? She should sue the Steve Wilkos show and Dan. I’m not sure if she did but she should. She could have lost her children and her life due to failing a test she should have passed.

  • Here is the article on the lady that “failed” her polygraph test and then attempted suicide. It’s very sad and the Steve Wilkos Show, after finding out the child was never abused, STILL aired the show, get this……. because it was Neilson’s Rating February Sweeps. How pathetic.

  • I truly believe it is the way the questions are asked and the words used. He asked if he witnessed anyone cause the 15-month old child’s death and if he intentionally caused the 15-month old’s death. I think personally that may be why he passed, I have questioned the validity of those test results for some time but, I truly believe that if the asked direct, specific questions they would’ve had a different result.

  • Caj Monet – the polygraph is a pseudo-scientific device. Therefore, maybe if Ribacoff may have asked direct, specific questions, there may have been a different result, but then again there may not have been a different result. Like the polygraph, the Ribacoff family also has severe credibility issues.

  • I think this is very easily explained. Did he witness someone else kill the baby? He answered no and that’s the truth. No one else killed that baby. Did he INTENTIONALLY kill the baby? He answered no and that could be the truth. He could’ve just planned on smothering her until unconsciousness, not death, but then smothered her too long. I don’t know why the word “intentionally” was added. I think that is to explain for all of this.

  • Caroline Gallegos, the only way to explain the inaccurate polygraph test given on the Steve Wilkos show is that the polygraph and related VSA have coin flip reliability. Over analyzing word choice has no bearing on the failure of the above polygraph test.

  • I was recently on the Steve show and I failed my polygraph and I was telling the truth these things can’t even be used in court anymore you physically can’t tell if someone is lying some people live with daily tactics that they test for which is why most people fail and most people pass some people can keep there composure while other struggle with things especially myself sometimes I asked my self a lot of questions my heart rate spikes up and most of all this show should be taken down . Needles to say only a good amount of people probably failed when they shouldn’t have people have passed when they should have failed and THANK GOD they make you open an investigation for anything people are accused for

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