Who We Are
Our mission is to provide the most progressive evidence based educational learning environment for polygraph and credibility assessment illuminated by the contributions of Cleve Backster in creating structure for the polygraph profession.
- At the Backster School of Lie Detection we ensure each student is capable and confident in their ability to conduct a valid polygraph examination.
- We prepare each student to be able to effectively conduct a legal and ethical interview and properly collect and document admissions.
- We nurture student motivation to seek and incorporate continuing education into their profession as a polygraph examiner.
Background and Experience
The Backster School of Lie Detection was founded in 1959 by world renowned polygraph examiner and researcher, Cleve Backster. Cleve’s contributions to polygraph were immense and his legacy lives on today. In 2017, Limestone Technologies acquired the Backster School of Lie Detection to continue the work of Cleve Backster in polygraph education. Our combined staff of instructors have over one hundred years of polygraph experience and have conducted thousands of polygraph examinations. We have an established instructional team uniquely serving in a Curriculum Provider Board capacity that meets yearly to discuss and refine the most sophisticated instructional methods for course delivery to our students. We are experienced in conducting polygraph courses at our home offices in Kingston, Ontario, and San Antonio, Texas, as well as international locations around the world.
Our professional courses meet or exceed the standards of the American Polygraph Association (APA), the American Association of Police Polygraphists (AAPP), and the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM).
The Backster School of Lie Detection maintains multiple primary instructors on staff that can teach a basic polygraph examiner course, or any of our polygraph or forensic interviewing courses. All our instructors have significant practical experience, formal education, and professional teaching skills to help students understand the array of academic material required for course understanding.
Instructional Staff Members
Patrick O’Burke, School Director. Mr. O’Burke is the School Director and a primary school instructor for the Backster School of Lie Detection. He has previously served as the School Director for the Polygraph Institute as well as instructing in numerous polygraph schools over the last twenty-five years. Mr. O’Burke lectures on forensic interviewing, police intelligence collection management, and police performance assessment.
Mr. O’Burke has been licensed as a polygraph examiner since 1983 and has conducted more than eight thousand polygraph exams. He has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience and is honorably retired from the Texas Department of Public Safety as a Commander in the Criminal Law Enforcement Division.
Mr. O’Burke obtained a master’s degree in Criminal Justice-Criminology, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Lamar University in Beaumont Texas. He holds a Master Peace Officer Certificate and an Instructor Certificate from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Mr. O’Burke is a member of the American Polygraph Association, the American Association of Police Polygraphists, and numerous regional polygraph associations. Mr. O’Burke served more than five years on the Board of the American Polygraph Association as a President, Vice President, and Board Chairman.
Chip Morgan, Senior Instructor Mr. Morgan assists in the direction of the school and is a Senior School Instructor. He is also the owner of Morgan Forensic Services in Idaho. He retired from the Boise Police Department with more than 30 years of police experience. Mr. Morgan holds a bachelor’s degree in International Security Relations. He has served as President as well as various board positions for the National Polygraph Association. He is a member of NPA, the American Association of Police Polygraphists, and the American Polygraph Association. Mr. Morgan is certified as a Forensic Law Enforcement Polygraph Examiner and a Certified Clinical Polygraph Examiner in sex offender testing methodology. He has testified as a qualified expert in state and federal court systems. Mr. Morgan is a published author and recognized expert in the art of interview and interrogation. His published text, Focused Interviewing, is a course text at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia and the Boise, Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training Center.
Milton O. “Skip” Webb, Senior Instructor Mr. Webb comes to the Backster School of Lie Detection with over 45 years of professional experience in polygraph and criminal investigations. Mr. Webb holds a BA in criminal justice from Shaw University and a Master of Arts degree from Webster University. He is a graduate of the FBI Advanced Polygraph Studies Course, and the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute Supervisor’s course. Skip has been a guest instructor many agencies including; the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, the Central Intelligence Agency, the DOD Polygraph Institute, and the National Reconnaissance Office. He has instructed for numerous regional polygraph association seminars and APA seminars. Mr. Webb is a three term past President of the American Polygraph Association, a past president of the Maryland Polygraph Association and a member of the North Carolina Polygraph Association. He has published articles in both the A.P.A. and A.A.P.P. Journals and authored two Army Regulations and the CID Polygraph Policy and Procedures Manual.
Melissa Graham, PhD., Subject Matter Expert Psychology Instructor Dr. Graham is employed by the San Antonio Police Department and holds a doctorate degree in psychology. Dr. Graham has unique experience in providing psychology training and mental health care training for police officers and their families. Dr. Graham also provides critical incident services in crisis response and as a member of the San Antonio Police Department Hostage Negotiation Team. Dr. Graham is a coordinator for Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and provides psychological services to various community action groups and for the SAPD Peer Support program.
Andrew Longuski, Subject Matter Expert Physiology Instructor Mr. Longuski has been employed by the Michigan State Police for more than 20 years and has extensive experience as a polygraph examiner and detective. He holds both a Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University. Mr. Longuski taught physiology in an educational environment and previously held a Michigan State teaching certificate. He has also lectured extensively in interview and interrogation for law enforcement and prosecutors in Michigan.
Michael Landin, PhD., Subject Matter Expert Physiology Instructor Dr. Michael Landin earned his doctorate in Physical Therapy and is currently a licensed clinician. Dr. Landin has experience in both functional and structural anatomy and physiology. His anatomy experience includes extensive hours dissecting human cadavers in a university setting for laboratory training and academic testing purposes. He has spent over 10,000 hours under Orthopedic Fellowship programs in clinical practice treating neurological, orthopedic and musculoskeletal pain disorders. Additionally, he is trained and worked under Dr. Robert Guerrero, the current Dean of Acupuncture for the University of Incarnate Word.
Victoria Churchman, Subject Matter Expert Physiology Instructor Victoria Churchman is a laboratory instructor and college teacher in Colorado. She instructs in the survey of human anatomy and physiology and in introduction to microbiology. Ms. Churchman holds both a Master’s and Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Sul Ross University.
Kenneth W. Dollinger, Attorney-Subject Matter Expert Legal Instructor Mr. Dollinger is an elected judge in Jefferson County Texas. He is a licensed attorney in the State of Texas and has significant experience as a judge, attorney, peace officer, as well as a polygraph examiner. Mr. Dollinger is a graduate of Lamar University, South Texas School of Law in Houston and the University of Houston-Downtown Polygraph program. He has conducted thousands of polygraphs in criminal matters, and sex offender supervision programs.
Derrick Fowler, Attorney-Subject Matter Expert Legal Instructor Mr. Fowler is a supervisor for the Beaumont Police Department with more than twenty (25) years of experience in law enforcement. He is a licensed attorney in the State of Texas and graduated from South Texas School of Law. Mr. Fowler is also an instructor at Lamar University in the Criminal Justice Program.
Tyler Buttle, Mechanics of Instrumentation Instructor Mr. Buttle assists in the teaching of software and instrumentation at the Backster School of Lie Detection. He has a diploma in Computer Software Engineering combined with 16 years of experience in software and instrumentation development and design. With his experience building computerized polygraph software and instrumentation systems from the ground up, Tyler has guest lectured for numerous APA accredited schools internationally. Tyler is the go to expert for students to learn the mechanics of polygraph instrumentation, particularly the Limestone product, the instrument of choice at the Backster School of Lie Detection.
The Backster School of Lie Detection relies on a Faculty Curriculum Advisory Board for evaluating instructional material and methods used by our staff. Guest instructors are occasionally utilized on an ad hoc basis as well. All classroom instructors meet minimum APA school accreditation requirements.