Gale Mills combines training in psychology and law enforcement as one of the few female certified polygraph examiners in Mississippi. Conducting over 12,000 polygraphs, listen as this 30-year veteran professional truth finder educates and entertains in this discussion about sifting through lies and deception to uncover the honest truth.
The episode was recorded on January 28, 2022 at the offices of R+E by Blue Sky Media.
Craig: Before a witness takes the witness stand and Mississippi, they take an oath, and that oath goes something like this. Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you’re about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? And I think most people believe that if you’re walking into a courtroom or if you’re about to take a deposition, if you take an oath, if most people will tell the truth, but I have found in over 20 years of law practice, that is not the case. Now, in fairness, people can witness the same thing. And have a totally different account about what they saw, what they heard and that’s why we have testimony in open court but today we have Gale males who is a professional polygraph examiner, and more importantly, she is an expert on the truth. So, Welcome to the show.
Gale: Thank you. Nice to be here.
Craig: And I also have as my co-host today, my friend, Eva hunter.
Eva: Hi Craig. I’m happy to be here.
Craig: So, Gale, let’s just jump in. How does a person become a professional polygraph examiner of all the cool careers I can think of you’re probably way up there.
Gale: It has been a very interesting 27 years of administering polygraphs.
Craig: How’d you get started?
Gale: I have a master’s degree from the university of Mississippi and part of my degree is in criminal justice. And the other part is in psychology. And I did an internship for my psychology degree, and I also did an internship for my criminal justice degree. My criminal justice internship was done at the U S attorney’s office in Oxford and I met several state troopers and several Mississippi bureau of narcotics agents.
Craig: Now, Gale, you have a family full of law enforcement professionals, right?
Gale: Yes, sir. My brother was a police officer in Ponotoc. I had a great uncle that was a state trooper in north Mississippi, and I had a great grandfather that was a sheriff in Arkansas.
Craig: Well, how did all of this education combination of criminal justice and psychology lead to a career in a polygraph examination?
Gale: I was doing my internship at the north Mississippi regional center for the psychology part of my degree, and I liked the psychology part, but it was just a little more interesting, I think, to be in law enforcement. I applied several places before I graduated college and one of the places I applied was east Mississippi state hospital. I did get hired there. I came out of college and I worked there for six months. And after working there six months, I loved it. I don’t know, I’m kind of an adrenaline junkie. So I applied to the Mississippi bureau of narcotics and I got hired and at that time, the governor and the commissioner, which is not this way now, but at that time, the governor and the commissioner of public safety wanted everyone who. Okay. I’m going to NBN agent to also be a state trooper. So that’s how I went to the state trooper academy in Pearl and when I came out of there for about a year, I worked in the Meridian district on the road.
Craig: I have to imagine that there weren’t many women in law enforcement. When you were doing that.
Gale: Well back then, there were very few, I think it, MS Bureau narcotics, we had like four or five females. And that’s how we had for years. And back then, if you were a female, pretty much your role was to work as undercover. So for about the first four or five years, that’s all I did was undercover work.
Craig: What was it like?
Gale: Very, very interesting. First time I got shot, it was by an 82 year old woman that you told me that before we started the podcast today, I’ve got to hear that story myself and a confidential informant. We had bought crack in Jefferson Davis County and I had bought a hand-to-hand drugs, crack powder, cocaine, or marijuana from everyone in the family, except this one son and these people had like a large compound they had several houses and several mobile homes around the houses. It was kind of like a large compound. So, I had bought drugs from everybody in this entire family even the older gentleman who was 80 something years old, I hadn’t bought drugs from one son nor the grandmother. So the confident informant and I…
Craig: Wait, the grandmother was selling crack?
Gale: She sell whatever you want.
Craig: I don’t even know what to do with that.
Gale: Well, when I walked in, I asked for her son and she said, I know what you girls are looking for and I’m like you do? and she said how much I want? I said, well, how much you got? She said, well, how much you want? So, I said, we’ll take an eight ball. She said, okay, no problem. Well, about this time the son comes running in the house saying grandma, grandma 5 0, 5 0 she doesn’t come out of the back room was crack. She comes out of the back room with a shot gun and starts shooting and the way he knew it was because our surveillance team, which was her other agents that were down the road, you know, while we were in the house, they were listening on the bottom. It was very hot. It was in August, and they were listened to our conversation via the radio. Well, this guy was out working in a field somewhere and he heard his grandmother’s voice over the radio. So, he gets in his car and flies to the house. He’s the one telling her, you know, don’t mess with them so she comes out shooting.
Craig: How are you still sitting here today?
Gale: Well, I was a lot thinner back and a lot faster back then. So I looked at the informant and said, get to the car now. Of course the surveillance team is like oh my gosh, y’all would of got killed but we didn’t. But probably about a year later, we went back to arrest everyone. We arrested 30 something from that one compound. The most cash I had ever seen at that time beause this was when I had just started work. I found in a Chitlin bucket under the sink $350,000 in cash.
Craig: Wow. Well, it seems like polygraph work was probably a little safe.
Gale: It was. So, after I did my undercover work, then I became a top side agent. Top side agents is the one that supervises the case. Top side agent, meaning supervision in charge. So, after that in 1995, I was always very, very interested in interview and interrogation. That was really my thing. I loved getting somebody in a rain, maybe myself and one other agent or one other trooper and interrogating somebody. I loved it. So, I’m thinking what better way for interviewing interrogation. So, help your skills would be to be able to do a polygraph, because it’s amazing how I can sit here and talk to you but when I hook these components up to your person, it’s just like totally different. I better tell the truth or is that going to know if I don’t tell it? So, this is a great investigative tool. Is it a hundred percent accurate? No. Is it extremely accurate? Yes. To date, it is the most accurate form of detection of deception that we have. The polygraph has been tested by the federal government. It’s been tested by scientists. It’s been tested by everyone. So to date, they polygraph is the most accurate form of detection of deception that we have.
Craig: So, you would disagree because obviously I did a little research before you came into be a guest on our show today and I did some research and I see a lot about how it’s easy to beat a polygraph, how to beat a polygraph.
Gale: If you Google polygraph, you will come upon hundreds of sites, how to beat the polygraph. I’ll tell you the majority of those are people who didn’t make it in polygraph school or the majority of those are people who have failed the polygraph and they’re my mad and talking a negative about the polygraph. The federal government uses polygraph. The military uses polygraph. Treatment providers use polygraphs, lots of people use polygraphs. They’re extremely accurate if administered correctly.
Eva: We at LifeWorks offer Gale contact information as a resource for a couple who are trying to rebuild trust with one another
Craig: Talk about that a little bit more Eva, how you guys, you and Roan and the other professionals in your office work with Gale with the polygraph server.
Eva: So after we’d been working with a couple, for a while, whomever has been the betrayer in the relationship, they will do what’s called a formal full disclosure and at this point, the betrayer knows a lot about his acting out behaviors and he’s come to the place where he’s not hiding anymore and he’s ready to tell the truth, but see the partner there’s been so much deception for a long time that the partner has a very hard time trusting that he’s really going to tell the truth. So this is just a resource that we offer. Now, we do it all, try to do it all in one day, they will come in for two hours. We’ll do a formal full disclosure, and then the betrayer meets with Gale and the partner has already given Gale three or four questions to ask based on very general questions or if there’s anything still in the back of her mind that she just needs to know for sure and so the questions may be something like was everything that you disclosed today for disclosure and they need to be, yes, no questions.
Craig: Why is that Gale? Obviously, I’m a professional question asker and we sometimes try to ask yes or no question, which would be considered leading questions in a courtroom. Why is that important to do that in a polygraph testing?
Gale: Well, If I am testing to make sure you’re telling the truth, if he says, “I mean, I think that’s the last time I acted out”, how am I going to test that? I mean, I have to have a definitive yes or no and you’ll have some people that will come in because I’ve been online and they’re trying to beat the polygraph and they’ll say, “well to the best of my knowledge that’s the last time?” Or “I really can’t remember.” and then I do another question that says, are you being truthful when you say, “I don’t really know.” So, it all depends on when the person comes in. The pre-test is extremely important. You have a pre-test where you run the actual charts and then a post-test.
Craig: Let’s break that down for our listeners and for me, so what’s the pre-test? Tell us about it.
Gale: A pretest is when someone first comes in, I have a personal history form. I fill out where I ask them their name, age, date of birth, that kind of stuff, go over any kind of medications they might have been taken or are taken.
Craig: It seems like if I were getting connected to a polygraph. I might would want to take some medication ahead of time.
Gale: They try that too. They’ll try taking pain medication, anti-anxiety medication because they’ve been online and googled it and it said, you know, if you’ll take all kinds of pain medicine, you won’t respond. So, you know what that tells me, that tells me you took something trying to beat the polygraph. Why would you do that? I mean, if you’re going to come in and be honest and tell the truth, why would you take something to trying to beat the polygraph? You wouldn’t.
Craig: So, the first thing that you do is you are trying to get biographical information and ask information about whether they’ve ingested any kind of substance that would inhibit their ability to remember things clearly
Gale: Like I said, a lot of times they’ll start, “well, I think that was the last time I acted out. I mean, I really can’t remember.” and then that’s when I asked them, are you being truthful when you say, and then when they fail that question, then I’ll come back and say, okay, look here. Here’s your response. You’re not being honest. You remember exactly when the last time you had.
Craig: So, the pretest then is where you’re going to find out just the basic information to create a baseline for the polygraph examination?
Gale: and you’re also starting a rapport with the examinee because, you know, treatment tasks are much different from criminal test. Criminal test, because I’m doing it for an attorney or district attorney or a judge, and this is about a crime that’s being committed. That’s very different as opposed to what Eva does it lifeworks beause they are treating people. We’re not about to send them to prison. If they failed the polygraph, they’re not going to jail.
Eva: And we like to call it a fidelity polygraph, everybody wants to see them pass, him or her whomever it is and we’ve already set it up. We’ve had many conversations that if there are any secrets in the relationship, you’ll never have the marriage that God intended because the secrets are what are going to kill intimacy and so we’ve already set it up. They are generally, I would say 99.9% of the time, they are ready to tell the truth. They want to be fully known and the partner can handle the truth, its the deception that will take her out. So, we’ve had many conversations about that leading up to a full disclosure and a polygraph. I will say that Gale is excellent at her job. She makes the partner feels very comfortable and the one taking the polygraph.
Gale: We’re not testing for nervousness. We’re not trying to get you. We’re not putting you on the hot seat. We’re trying to help you. You help yourself by a common claim because as Eva said, most spouses, they can deal with whatever. They just want to know what the truth is.
Craig: Well, it sounds to me like when you’re in the process of the examination that you’re calling out the person who’s taking the test along the way. It’s like, “okay, are you really telling me the truth? Because what I’m seeing here is showing me that you might not be”
Gale: I’ll turn my computer around and I’ll show them what I’m talking about. I’ll show them, “Hey, here’s the question, you know? And here’s your response? What would you like to say about that?” Because you know, in my professional polygraph opinion. That’s a strong reaction. So, tell me, why are you reacting like that?
Craig: Well, Gale has her equipment here in the room and Eva has volunteered to allow Gale to set up the polygraph. So let’s hear a few words from our sponsors and then. We’ll be back and talk about the and how it works. And we’ll walk through the whole process.
Craig: We’re here with Gale Mills, who has 30 years of law enforcement experience and 27 years of conducting polygraph examinations. Gale has done over 12,000 polygraphs and right now she has connected my friend and cohost, Eva, to her polygraph machine. So, Gale talk us through, I’m seeing Eva with something on her arm and something on her fingers and something across her chest. What is it that she’s connected to?
Gale: The Polygraph looks at three different components. We look at breathing patterns, we look at sweat gland activity, and we look at blood volume in your arm, blood pressure.
Craig: Okay, I mean, it sounds simple, but a person who is not telling the truth, they’re going to breathe at a more rapid pace, correct?
Gale: Breathing patterns will change, I mean, sweat might not actually pop out on there but their glands begin to activate. I have seen people get up and when they pick their hand up, sweat runs off the table and they pass the polygraph and I have lots of people come in and tell me, well, I can’t take the polygraph because I sweat a lot or I can’t take the polygraph causes this and that. I will tell you upfront that’s not a good sign.
Craig: I’m sweating right now and I am just looking at the thing.
Eva: My hands are sweating.
Gale: I tell them every time just sweat the same on every question and you’ll be fine. If you just sweat on four of them, that’s not going to be good.
Craig: And she also has a blood pressure monitor.
Gale: She has a blood pressure cuff on her arm. It’s going to be the sign constant pressure through the entire test. It’s not like when you go to get your blood pressure and you know, they’ll pump it up and they’ll let it out and pump it back up. It’s going to be the same constant pressure to the entire chest.The test is going to take about two to three minutes. Pressure will be the.
Craig: And now I’m not seeing, you know, I’m thinking back to movies that I’ve seen, where I see something running paper and there’s a sensor that is putting ink on a page, but I don’t see that in the room right now
Gale: That’s the old analog instrument, which I love. That’s what I was trained on. I loved it myself. I ruined lots of clothes because I got ink all over. I got ink on everything, but I loved it because you could hear the little pen scrolling on the paper when somebody is not being honest, the GSR would jump. I’m talking about on that old analog instrument, it would jump to the top of the page and they could actually hear it go.
Craig: There’s an audible sound of it becomes more engaged.
Gale: I love that analog instrument, but you know, people love computers and it is good because you can send your charts to other people, you know, you can email them, you don’t get ink all over you.
Craig: Okay, so you said that there is a pre-examination questionnaire where you’re finding out biographical information, baseline type information. Let’s talk about the exam itself.
Gale: Like I said, we’ve got three components to your polygraph. Normally takes about an hour to an hour and a half sometimes longer. I mean I’ve been in polygraph room for 10 hours at a time, but that’s because we’re getting through. “Okay. Are you being honest now? I have you told me everything now? You know,” but normally it takes about an hour to hour and a half, but you’ve got the pretest, the test and the post test. The pretest, like you said, it’s where we’re getting information, filling out forms. The test part is where I actually run the charts. I always run at least three charts. I might run five charts because they might move. They might sneeze. They might cough. They might do something. Bby law and the state of Mississippi, you have to have at least two charts that you can read. So, I’m always going to run three in case I have to throw one out.
Craig: What does that mean, “You’re running a chart”.
Gale: I asked the full series a question.
Craig: Oh, in other words, you would ask a series of questions multiple times and typically how many questions are you going to ask a person?
Gale: I ask a total of 10 questions of which three or four of them,I will let the examinee or their spouse tell me what they want.
Craig: All right. And so, these are always, yes, no questions and why is that?
Gale: Because they’re really simple. I mean, like in a criminal taste is, did you shoot them? Did you stab that man? In fidelity tests, we always start at the time bar, like, since you’ve been married, since 2021, we’re going to start somewhere. Have you had sex with anyone other than your wife or have you had sex with anyone other than your husband?
Eva: I’m going to use the pronoun. He in this situation with our clients, he has already done a lot of his disclosure. He’s gotten towed it all in his disclosure, He’s at a point in his journey where he wants to get it all out. There are no secrets. He’s this isn’t a gotcha. This is really, truly just to rebuild trust. That’s all it is. It’s not criminal. In fact, it’s not even part of a client’s record that we use. This is just a tool to help rebuild trust.
Gale: Right and normally when I leave, I delete the charts so theres no record. It’s mainly to help the spouse, because I have so many women tell me, “I can accept anything if I just know what the truth is. I just want to know what the truth is then I can start working from today.”
Craig: Well and look for our listeners. I’ve been at divorce lawyer for over 20 years, and honestly, I’ve never had a polygraph involved in a divorce case. I don’t think the purpose of Eva, what you guys use it for in your practice is to, is to develop evidence it’s really about getting to the core of the truth.
Eva: And many times, the one who has taken the polygraph, what he’ll say is “that’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I want to commit to doing this every year for the next five years”, because he really wants to live a life of honesty of rigorous honesty.
Gale: I have some guys and they’re not even married anymore, and they still call them. I’ve got a guy from Colorado; I’ve got a guy from Nashville. They still come in at least once or twice a year, because at one point they were both very, very addicted to dating sites and pornography and now since they’re at a treatment and they still go to treatment, but they want to keep themselves in line. So, it’s like, I know if I got to take a polygraph, I’m going to stay in line because I don’t want my therapist to know that I’m now back into five hours a day, looking at porn.
Craig: Well, you’ve got her connected talk about the examination. How does it work?
Gale: Okay. So, what I would do now is I would apply pressure to the blood pressure cuff, which I’m fixing to do.
Craig: And for our listener, I can hear the cuff tightening around.
Eva: It’s not great but it’s not painful.
Craig: Eva, what’s going through your mind.
Eva: The apparatus on my fingers. They’re tight. I feel that I feel that more than anything, it’s not uncomfortable. It doesn’t hurt by any means.
Craig: It looks like it does. So, Gail, so what happens next?
Gale: So, I’ve tightened the cuff up. So now I’m fixing to hit start on the computer program. So, we are now getting tracings on the page, what her tracings look like. So, if you can see on the top, these are her breathing.
Craig: And so what she’s showing me is a computer screen, and you’ve seen these, you can Google a polygraph result and it looks like a chart that would be next to a person in a hospital bed. It’s just a, it’s a colored line.
Gale: EKG kind of. So, I’ve already hit start. I’ve got the computer, I let it run for about 30 seconds because everybody’s different. Your blood pressure will look different from Eva’s. Mine will look different from Eva’s. Sometimes your breathing patterns pretty much look alike, but the cardio normally does not look alike. But anyway, so we’ve got breathing patterns. We’ve got GSR and we got cardiac.
Craig: She’s sweating now.
Gale: Not really. So, I would ask the first question. The first question is, well, this test is about to begin. Please remain still. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Look straight ahead. Answer each question with yes or no. Did you see when I said that, how her cardio jumped up?
Craig: That sounded intense.
Eva: My feet were not on the floor and I thought Uh Oh.
Gale: See how the red went up, and this is not even about anything important. So, I got to go back down here and get the cardio back. Right. Cause she’s kind of spasm.
Craig: I do have a surprise for Eva. We have, we’ve never had a caller on our show before, but we’ve got Roan Hunter on the line, and he says he has a few questions. I’m joking of course. So what are we looking at?
Gale: So, the lines are going, we haven’t even started the test yet and she’s panicking.
Craig: I think everybody’s panicking.
Gale: Is your last name hunter?
Craig: Does she tell the truth?
Gale: Okay. We know her last name is Hunter. We know that. So the GSR is the easiest to read. So, you see how she just has a little hump right there. That means she’s not using countermeasures, so she is reacting. It’s not a line reaction.
Craig: And so, what you’re describing is on the chart, you’re just showing a small movement with slight change in baseline.
Gale: Our next question, is your first name Eva?
Gale: We know it is. Let’s ask her a control question. In all fairness, when you do a polygraph, I don’t ask anybody anything unless I’ve discussed it with them and we’ve had time to discuss the question. They went through all the different, okay, I’ve done this, I’ve done that, which she doesn’t know what the question is which is kind of unfair to her but in a polygraph, we discussed the questions before we ever get started.
Craig: So, you’re telling the person being examined, what the questions are before you ask them.
Craig: Oh, I see and what’s the purpose of that?
Gale: I’m not trying to make them nervous. I’m not trying to make them nervous. I mean, I can make her nervous if I want to. I could have her climbing, you know, I could make her really nervous, but that’s not what this is about. This is about treatment, but anyway, so her next question is before this year, do you ever lie to someone who trusted you?
Eva: No. Well, I’m not sure.
Craig: Well, this is the best day ever.
Gale: Let me show you what I’m talking about and describe what you’re talking about.
Craig: Describe what you’re talking about. All right. So, well, you know, we see movement on the chart.
Eva: Well, can you give me what would it be about, you know, I am a people pleaser, so maybe I was being nice.
Craig: Is my dress ugly? No its great.
Gale: See what I’m talking about, you say, if you stood at the back and you saw this is flat until it gets to there.
Craig: Yeah. We’ve got a small Mount Everest, Eva, that associated with your answers on the chart. Let’s give Eva break lets disconnect her from the machine. My goodness. All right, Gail we’ve graciously disconnected Eva from the machine and I want to tell you that it’s a little nerve wracking. I know that it’s intense for the recipient, but even being in the room seeing that, I can see how it would compel someone that the jig is up. It might be time to tell the truth.
Gale: Here comes to the post-test. The post-test is where I turn the computer around and if they’re, if they’re having a problem, Normally, like Eva said, normally by this point, they’re not having a problem because they want to stay married. They want to tell the truth. They want to be in treatment but if for some reason they’re not telling the truth, I’ll turn the computer around and I’ll say, “okay, Mr. Jones, you see this right here. You see this red line and I’ll read the question and I’ll say you see this big hump right here.” Yes, ma’am. “You’re not telling the truth.
Craig: And is that the point you’re like, Hey, do you want to talk?
Gale: Let’s talk, let’s discuss it and then we’ll clear this up. Let’s run another chart to where I’m sure after you tell me whatever omission you’re going to tell me, they went around another chart and see if it looks better.
Craig: For our listeners, we’ve done a pre-test that’s where establishing biographical type of information and then we’re doing the test and you’re going to ask about 10 yes or no questions, and you’re going to make a mark where each question is, and then the post-test is let’s turn the screen and let’s talk about it and if there’s a problem, then you’re going to circle back to that and let him explain it. Would you like to clear something up with regard to that particular question?
Gale: And normally that’s when the spouse comes in, I show her the charts also, and I say he had a slight problem here, and this is what he said and like Eva said, sometimes we get stuff that she had no idea what he was going to say,
Craig: And now obviously I can see how the polygraph is used in a fidelity type of setting, but it seems like this across different types of professions and reasons that you could use the polygraph talk about to our listeners, some of the other things that polygraphs are used for
Gale: In the criminal field, of course, I do lots of tests for district attorneys for law enforcement agencies. In my 30 years in law enforcement, I got to know a lot of different chiefs and sheriffs and judges. So, I do a lot still for law enforcement. I do an awful lot for defense attorneys
Craig: and clearly for someone to participate in a polygraph, it’s got to be voluntary. They can’t be forced to participate in the polygraph. Is that right?
Gale: Correct. I do a lot for state agencies also and there’ll be some state agencies that as a contingency of your employment, just mandatory, you take a polygraph.
Craig: What type of things in an employment setting would someone be looking for?
Gale: like at a treatment facility, let’s say maybe there’s patient abuse or at nursing home, maybe there’s patient abuse. It’s a pretty good bit of that.
Craig: And a criminal defense attorney, their client is saying I wasn’t even there on that afternoon and this is a way maybe to bolster their credibility in working with law enforcement.
Gale: Correct. I do a lot for defense attorney. Now that I’m out of law enforcement.
Craig: Sure. Well, that makes a lot of sense.
Gale: And I do a lot for celebrities. They are parents, I’ve done some weird ones, they are parents at my son’s fixing to get married and I want his fiancé polygraph because I want to know, is she marrying him for our money or is she married for another reason
Craig: Yeah, that’s a red flag. Wow.
Gale: Yeah, I know. I’m always thinking as I’m polygraph in her, I’d hate to be her because that kind of put a sour taste in my mouth, but I knew the rest of your life. I do a lot of that. I do polygraphs for parents that I want to know is my child doing drugs, just all types of polygraphs.
Craig: Well, Gale, I know in your 30 years of law enforcement experience in 27 years of doing polygraph, that you have to have some great stories. Could you tell our listeners?
Gale: I’ll tell you a scary one. Okay. Many years ago, I had just got out a polygraph school and it was probably like maybe 96, 97. There was an investigator from a Northern state call me and said y’all have a guy actually in your prison system that we feel like has killed someone from our state because, everything that he did, the modus operandi was looking at a sign for our person say, cause it was a prostitute that was picked up at a truck stop. She got thrown out on the interstate and so everything is leading to, we feel like it’s the guy y’all have. So, he asked me, would I be interested in polygraphing this person for them that’s in our prison system. And I said, be happy too. So, I got up early one morning because I live south of Brandon and I drove to Parchman and I’m going to polygraph this guy and I’ll tell you at that time, it was actually harder to get in then it probably was to break out. So, we finally got in and they wanted to interview the guy, which I didn’t really want them to tell you, but they wanted to interview him for just a few minutes before the polygraph got started
Craig: Them being the law enforcement from a different state.
Gale: Yes, sir. Investigators from another state, they were state police also so they interviewed the guy. And I would just tell you, I’ve been in some sticky situations, I’ve worked on the hell’s angels. I’ve worked on some pretty, not so nice people I’ve been shot with a shotgun. So, when they bring the guy in, the hair began to rise on the back of my neck and that’s only happened to me about three times in 30 years. One other time out on the interstate when I stopped the carload of people in the middle of the night, but thats another story, but I mean, he just looked the part. Okay, his hair was cut really, really short. It was red, his glasses were about three inches thick, and he looked like he didn’t take no shit off of anybody. So, but I’m looking back at him like I’m not taking none either buddy, but on the inside I’m like trembling.
Craig: Like what does the room look like that you’re in with this guy?
Gale: Well, they put us in this little block. It was a cinderblock room out on unit 23, which is death row unit and it had one window in it where there was an air conditioning unit. It was hot. Thank goodness the air conditioning was going and it had a steel door and the room was about big enough for about three or four people. We had two chairs and I had a little TV tray, you know, like you eat your TV dinners on, in front of the couch and this is back when I had my analog instrument, which I loved. So, I had a pen, you know, and back then I hit an enter on the computer. You had your pen, and you have to mark every time you ask the question where the question starts for the questions, right a you’d put a plus or a minus for his answer. So, you were writing the whole time. So, I talked to him about killing this girl. I asked him if he did it. He said, no, he didn’t do it. He hadn’t ever seen her before. He didn’t kill her. He doesn’t know why they thought he did it. And so, I wrote my questions, and I went over the questions with, and then of course, when it gets to, did you kill that girl? Did you murder that girl? No. No. So, the first chart has just started and I’m sure it was four or five seconds, but it felt like four or five minutes. All of a sudden in the middle of the chart, the power goes off.
Craig: Who else is in this room?
Gale: Nobody. Now he has shackles on his feet but they want to keep his hands shackled because they said, we can’t leave you in here with him, by yourself without shackles and I’m like, no, he’s got to, I’ve got to have his hands out. I got to have a hand on the little table right here where the finger plates are because I got to have his hand flat. They said, “No that’s against policy, you know, he’s on death row. You can’t.” I’m like, well then I can’t polygraph. So, of course we had to get approval from the higher up that, they could actually take the handcuffs off because he was so dangerous. So, for that, like I said, it was probably four or five seconds. It felt like four or five minutes. So all of a sudden I turned the pen around and I got this pen in my hand and it’s pitch black dark. And I’m thinking to myself, you send a choke the ___ out of me but I am going to stab him with his pen. Bout at that time, right before the lights come on, he says, what’d you think he was going to do with that pen? I said, I was going to stab the F out of you and your neck. He said, you know, I like you, he said, I’d probably let you live. He said that other one was a whiner. Okay, he confessed he did kill her. When I left, you know, I was trying to act out, the female law enforcement officer and it’s all me and it’s like, you know I’m trying to try to be tough but when I got down the road, when I left Parchman, I pulled over and I sat there for about 30 minutes and shook. So, that’s probably the scariest polygraph I’ve ever done.
Craig: The point that I want to bring up as we’re getting to our closing moment. As you were discussing that, a sociopath, like the person that you’re describing in the story from Parchman, I mean, they don’t have the same types of swings in blood pressure and breathing do they?
Gale: There’s a lot of people that say, and there’s a lot of polygraph examiners that say, you know, a true psychopath or a true sociopath, you can’t test them. I kind of differ from that and there are a lot of people that won’t test them, but. I’ll test them because we’re not asking them that it bothers you, that you killed them because we know it don’t. I mean, they basically don’t, you know, that it doesn’t bother him. We would just ask them, did you do it? So, you know, sometimes they don’t respond to anything, but I don’t see why we don’t just go ahead and test them anyway because we might get something and who knows. The polygraph is an excellent tool for law enforcement or for anybody in the treatment field, but it’s an excellent tool. It’s this one of the many tools in our tool bag when we’re trying to get to the truth. Is it accurate? Yes. It’s extremely accurate if administered properly and we ask the right questions. You can’t beat this machine. I mean, it’s just monitoring. If the machine is working properly, it’s monitored, blood pressure, sweat gland, activity, and you could be the examiner. I might not ask the correct questions, but far as beating that machine. I mean, you’re not going to beat the machine long as you’re breathing.
Craig: How accurate is the machine?
Gale: I feel like it’s 95% accurate but like I said, the greatest thing about this machine is the confession.
Craig: Well, I guess if a person is about to get attached to the polygraph machine, if there was ever a time to come clean, it would be then.
Gale: I found this in a lot of juvenile offenders, lots of times before I ever even put the components on their parts. They’re starting to admit well, before we get started and I just can’t tell you what happened.
Craig: Do you ever find yourself, as a witness and illegal proceeding?
Gale: Yes, sir. I’ll have been witnessed several times and normally it’s not so much about administering the polygraph. It’s about the confess.
Craig: Well, Gale, you were so much fun and this is so fascinating, Eva, some closing thoughts about Gale and the work that she does and how you guys use it in your practice.
Eva: I think Gale does an excellent job and she makes everyone feel very comfortable the way she administers the polygraph, letting them know, Hey, these are the questions that are going to be asked. If someone is showing a response, with me, number one, I did not know the questions and also if you had said that and done some investigative work now it’s going to help me get to know why I said no. I probably should have said,
Craig: and that would be the reason for the pre questioning because wait a second, you’re telling me there’s nobody that was wearing some ugly shoes and you didn’t say, oh, their shoes are gray.
Eva: We take it so black and white and until you’re coached or ask more questions, then you’re like, well the answer to that is yes.
Gale: Well normally if this had been real polygraph, I would explain the question to you and I would explain that question, like, okay Eva, I just got these new shoes and if I say, “how do you like my shoes?” And you thought I wouldn’t wear them to the barn, but you said, oh yeah, I’m good. You didn’t want to hurt my fingers. I’m not talking about that kind of lies. Everybody does those kinds of lies. Everybody lies. Anybody that comes in here and tells me, I’ve never told a lie about anything. Let me just tell you, they’re not going to pass that question because, because everybody lies.
Eva: and when that question was asked to me, my mind goes to, well, my trusted, the people that trust me, like my husband, my children, on the big things, I don’t hide money. I don’t hide where I am, what I’m doing. None of that. I’m thinking about big things.
Craig: And Gale in our closing thoughts, I mean, you are a professional truth finder, but how do you know when somebody is lying just in every, not everybody has a machine, a lawyer I’ve been asking people questions for, you know, two decades now and I have a pretty good sense when I think somebody is lying to me, you can kind of tell maybe the hesitation in their voice, or you can hear some of the breathing pattern changes as they’re speaking or see them fidgeting. What about you as a professional truth finder without the machine? How do you know when someone’s not telling the truth?
Gale: I try my very best to when someone comes in a polygraph suite, I try my very best, as I’m talking to them, I try not to come up with if this person is lying or telling the truth? I try my very best and lots of times, after talking with someone, as I’m hooking the components up to their person, I’m thinking they not going to pass this polygraph because I know they’re lying and they will pass and there will be times that and this is normally the criminal field, you know, you’ll have people coming in and they’re already a butthead, cause they don’t want to be taking a polygraph. And you know, they’ll just be a real. So. I think he isn’t going to pass and he’ll pass the polygraph. So. I’m thinking, okay, this guy totally surprised me because I thought he was just going to bomb the polygraph. So, no matter how nice they are or rude me, I try not to think they’re lying or do I think they’re telling truth? I try to depend on, you know, panel on the charts, strictly the charts. There are lots of times like you said, at 30 years, I don’t really need this instrument.
Craig: Gale, if someone needs to get in touch with you, give them some contact information.
Gale: My cell phone number for Mills Polygraph service is 6 0 1- 6 6 8 -0 2 9 2. Or I have my email, which is mills, Millspolygraph@yahoo.com.
Craig: Gale, you’re a lot of fun. Thanks for being with us fairly enjoyed it.