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Topic Summary - Displaying 8 post(s).
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Nov 26th, 2006 at 10:24am
  Mark & Quote
In this episode, Alan stands accused by his mother-in-law of molesting his three-year-old daughter. There is no physical evidence, no witness, and Alan's wife, Melissa, firmly believes in her husband's innocence. By the time the polygraph results are read, the audience has already been convinced that Alan's mother-in-law is unreasonable and has accused him without basis. What follows is a partial transcription, with some still frames from the episode.

Dr. Phil frames the issue

Dr. Phil: We're talking to a son-in-law who says his mother-in-law is making him out to be a pedophile. Is he a true monster, or either a victim of malicious or misguided accusations from his mother-in-law? Now, Alan has been accused of molesting his three-year-old daughter. He wanted to clear his name and yesterday he agreed to take a long and grueling polygraph exam and interview. Now, former FBI agent and polygraph examiner Jack Trimarco interrogated Alan for nearly three hours.

[Video Montage:]

Alan: I'm a little nervous. I'm excited to clear my name. I am not a pedophile.

Jack Trimarco and Alan shake hands

Jack Trimarco: I'm Jack.

Alan: Nice to meet you.

Jack Trimarco begins pre-test mind games

Jack Trimarco: Okay, have a seat here. Now as you sit here, I don't know what the truth is, but I will know in about two hours. There's not gonna be any surprises, there's not gonna be any tricks, but when we're done, if you touched your daughter for a sexual purpose, I'm gonna come to the truth. What I'd like to say to you, Alan, is if you can't pass this test, don't take it.

Jack Trimarco's 4-pen polygraph instrument has no sensor pad connected.

[voice-over with Jack's voice, as he attaches polygraph sensors]

When a person tells a lie, they sweat. Their blood pressure goes up, stays up, and then comes back down. It looks like a bump, but to a polygraph examiner, that's a sign of deception.

Jack Trimarco asks Alan if he is ready to begin

Jack Trimarco: Now is the time to take a deep breath, or to clear your throat, or to just wiggle in the chair, anything you can't do once the test starts. So you tell me when you're ready.

Alan: I'm ready.

Alan sits in a stuffed chair, his arm on the table, rather than a standard polygraph chair with arm rests

Jack Trimarco: The test is about to begin. Regarding if you ever touched your daughter for sexual purposes, do you intend to be completely truthful with me about that?

Alan: Yes.

Jack Trimarco administers the in-test phase of the polygraph examination

Jack Trimarco: Have you ever touched your daughter for sexual purposes?

Alan: No.

[Jack adds pressure to the blood pressure cuff and adjusts the cuff on Alan's arm]

Jack Trimarco: Have you ever touched your daughter for sexual purposes since she was born?

Alan: No.

Jack Trimarco: That will conclude the test. Remain still. Okay, you can move.

[End of video montage.]

Dr. Phil (opening manila envelope with polygraph results): Do you think that you passed this test?

Alan: It was a tough test, but ah, I trust that the ah, that you know the person who gave the test did a good job, he knew what he was doing, and I had nothing to hide.

Dr. Phil: Well, the operative question was, "Have you ever touched your daughter for sexual purposes?" Your answer was no. The result was [dramatic pause] ...non-deceptive. He's telling the truth when he says he has never touched his daughter. [Audience bursts into applause.]

Dr. Phil announces the result

The audience is well-pleased

Dr. Phil: Now Jack, thanks for being here.

Jack Trimarco: Thanks for having me, doctor.

Jack Trimarco flashes a smile

Dr. Phil: How confident are you in the outcome of this test? Because she [indicating Alan's mother-in-law] wants to know.

Jack Trimarco: Dr. Phil, whenever I do any polygraph test, but especially when it involves a child, I am not about to put a predator back into an environment where he might re-offend. And so, for Alan to have passed that polygraph test yesterday, he really passed it, and I sleep at night. [Applause]

Sound sleeper Jack Trimarco looking serious

Now, there was no evidence to begin with that Alan had molested his daughter, and Jack Trimarco presumably had been made aware of the case facts before conducting this examination.

So my question is, if Alan "really passed" (Jack Trimarco's emphasis), why did Dr. Phil characterize the polygraph examination as "long and grueling" (Dr. Phil's emphasis), while Alan himself described it as "tough." It seems clear that Jack Trimarco gave Alan a post-test interrogation. But it is standard polygraph procedure to do this only when the charts are scored as deception indicated.
Posted by: mepex
Posted on: Nov 26th, 2006 at 5:08am
  Mark & QuoteQuote
The first Jeremy Park episode is the one that first brought me to this website.  As an engineer, I'm interested in statistics and science.  It didn't surprise me that the polygraph is on shaky, or rather, non-existent scientific footing. 

It certainly seemed to me that in this episode in particular, the polygraph results were no more than a dramatic prop to support the conclusions that Dr. Phil (and the audience) have already reached. 

I respect Dr. Phil and his ability to get people to make changes in their lives, but i wish he'd leave off this Dateline type crime stuff.   It only plays into people's powerful need to believe that wrongdoers can be detected and punished at a high rate.  I wish the world were that simple.
Posted by: G Scalabr
Posted on: Nov 18th, 2006 at 9:11am
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Business must be good for Mr. Trimarco, considering his current price list.

A "test" is going for $1,700 and court time at $5,000 a day...
Posted by: Anthrax
Posted on: Nov 18th, 2006 at 12:43am
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Wow Maschke... it sucks that Trimarco accused you of all that.. Dr Phil is a moron... you should of heard him... "Jack Trimarco, expert in the science of polygraphy"... BS BS BS
Posted by: Meangino - Ex Member
Posted on: Nov 18th, 2006 at 12:40am
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Does anyone know if the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility would investigate this misuse of the FBI seal by a retired FBI employee?
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Nov 17th, 2006 at 7:28pm
  Mark & QuoteQuote
I agree that it is unseemly for Mr. Trimarco to use the FBI seal in marketing his polygraph services. On the legalities involved see, Is Polygrapher Jack Trimarco Misusing FBI Seal?
Posted by: Wallerstein
Posted on: Nov 17th, 2006 at 6:39pm
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Isn't it questionable ethics for him to have the FBI symbol plastered on his web site, given that he is no longer employed there?
Posted by: George W. Maschke
Posted on: Nov 17th, 2006 at 9:52am
  Mark & QuoteQuote
Today's (Friday, 17 November 2006) Dr. Phil show will feature yet another lie detector test. It appears, based on a picture in the preview series of snapshots on the show's website, that the polygrapher for this episode is Jack Trimarco, whom the Rocky Mountain News earlier reported would be appearing on the show. Trimarco is the retired FBI polygrapher who in 1995 falsely accused me of deception during an FBI pre-employment polygraph examination.