Acting on his lawyer’s advice, John Mason, whose fiancee Jennifer Carol Wilbanks went missing on Tuesday, 26 April, agreed to submit to a police-administered polygraph examination on the condition that it 1) take place in a “neutral” location and 2) be videotaped. While Duluth police reportedly can agree to the first condition, Police Chief Randy Belcher would not consent to videotaping, claiming that no agency “that’s worth anything” would videotape a polygraph examination.
However, there is no compelling reason why polygraph examinations should not be videorecorded. The U.S. Department of Energy routinely videotapes polygraph examinations, and major polygraph manufacturers such as Stoelting and Lafayette are producing computerized polygraph instruments that work with inexpensive, off-the-shelf webcams. Videorecording is an unobtrusive safeguard that ensures there will be an objective record of what was actually said and done during a polygraph interrogation. Why would a law enforcement agency acting in good faith refuse such a reasonable request?
For recent news coverage of the Wilbanks investigation, see:
- Missing Woman’s Fiancé Takes Polygraph Test
- Wedding Turns to Prayer Vigil for Bride
- Vigil for Missing Woman to Replace Wedding
Update 25 March 2021: No harm had befallen Jennifer Carol Wilbanks. She ran away to avoid her wedding.