Four years ago this week, then-43-year-old Shawn Morgan confessed he had suffocated Breeann Rodriguez with a white plastic bag, according to an Associated Press report. Had it not been for his confession, Edgar Rodriguez and Claudia Ramos might have had to face charges for the murder of their three-year-old daughter. Why? Because both reportedly failed polygraph tests administered by investigators trying to crack the case.
The little girl’s body was found in a remote area a few miles from the from the family home in the Southeast Missouri town of Senath, population 1,500.
The decision to conduct polygraph tests came after investigators decided they needed fast answers about the girl’s disappearance. That’s when, according to the father who spoke about the matter with CNN’s Nancy Grace Aug. 11, 2011, Breeann’s parents were asked to take polygraph tests and, after the tests were completed, were told they had failed.
Who, exactly, decided to turn to the polygraph? Dunklin County (Mo.) Sheriff Bob Holder told me the county prosecutor would be able to answer that question. I decided not to call him, however, because I’m not interested in the answer to that question as much as I am in the tests and the consequences little Breeann’s parents could have faced as a result of failing them.
Is there an alternative to the polygraph? Yes, and details about it — including a plethora of success stories and reasons why more local and state law enforcement agencies across the United States use it instead of the polygraph — are highlighted throughout the pages of my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo.
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