Investigator Tips

Interrogation

Responding to a Suspect’s Request to See Evidence During an Interrogation

Nov 01, 2005

It is rare to conduct an interrogation under circumstances where the investigator has absolute proof of the suspect's guilt. At the outset of most interrogations there is merely circumstantial or...

The Significance of Specific Denials During Interviews and Interrogations

Oct 01, 2005

Recently, I reviewed a videotaped interview of an 17-year-old suspect who was being questioned about starting a fire that burned down his parent's home. During the interview the investigator asked...

Electronic Recording of Interviews and Interrogations

Jun 01, 2005

It has long been recognized that a confession is the strongest piece of evidence a prosecutor can produce against a defendant in a court of law. Consequently, any competent defense attorney will...

Use Caution When Expressing the Urgency for a Suspect to Confess

May 01, 2005

It is human nature to put off unpleasant decisions. Being in my 50's, I know that I need to eventually get long-term care insurance. Even though I fully intend to...

A Review of Legal Issues Concerning Trickery and Deceit During an Interrogation

Feb 01, 2005

A number of recent cases involving an investigator's use of trickery and deceit during an interrogation have caused problems in the subsequent trial. In some of these cases the confession was...

Selecting the Proper Alternative Question

Sep 01, 2004

The Reid Technique of interrogation relies on two important underlying psychological principles. The first is that it is much easier for a person to tell the truth if that person...

The Importance of Accurate Corroboration within a Confession

Aug 01, 2004

The Importance of Accurate Corroboration within a Confession

Of all possible evidence presented against a defendant at trial, a confession is afforded the most weight. Because of this, we have...

Lying to a Suspect: How Far Can an Investigator Go?

Jun 01, 2004

During the course of an investigation an investigator often must rely on duplicity and pretense in an effort to develop evidence against the guilty suspect. Common examples include...

Investigating Possible Fabricated Claims

May 01, 2004

A recent case involving a University of Wisconsin student who falsely claimed that she was abducted highlights some important characteristics of these investigations. This particular case quickly achieved national attention...

Willingness to Repay Stolen Funds Not Always An Indication of Guilt

Feb 01, 2004

During our basic interviewing and interrogation course, the point is made that during an interrogation a suspect's willingness to reimburse a victim for stolen money...

Interrogating a Suspect on the Issue of Identity Theft

Dec 01, 2003

The Federal Trade Commission estimated that in 2002 identity theft cost businesses and consumers 53 billion dollars. Because of the prevalence of identity theft, many investigators find themselves having to interrogate...

The Use of Evidence During an Interrogation: Part II

Sep 01, 2003

In the earlier web tip a fundamental principle of interrogation was presented: A guilty suspect may be persuaded to tell the truth if he is convinced that the investigator is...

The Use of Evidence During an Interrogation: Part I

Aug 01, 2003

Types of Evidence

Evidence represents information used to help establish a fact. It may be inculpatory (supporting guilt) or exculpatory (supporting innocence). There are four broad categories of criminal evidence, each with...

The Role Of Consequences in Detecting Deception

Jun 01, 2003

The motivation behind every lie is the avoid the consequences of telling the truth. When my wife came home with bags of merchandise from a K-Mart store that was...

The Importance of Corroboration Within a Confession

Apr 01, 2003



Within the last year numerous inmates have been released from prison and had their convictions overturned as the result of post-trial exculpatory evidence. Many of...

The Use of the Restitution Question During an Interrogation

Mar 01, 2003

During training in the Reid Nine Steps of Interrogation, we teach that when a suspect appears to be ready to confess the investigator should ask an alternative question. As an example the...

The Role of Anxiety During Interrogation

Sep 01, 2002

The Role of Anxiety During Interrogation
A psychological model has been developed that describes the relationship between perceived consequences and anxiety during an interrogation.(1) The model states that the interrogator's goal...

The Importance of a Written Statement

Aug 01, 2002

An employee has been interviewed and interrogated concerning the issue of falsifying time card entries. At the conclusion of the interrogation the investigator brings in a witness who is told that the...

Going Directly from an Interview Into an Interrogation

Jul 01, 2002

In the Reid Technique a clear distinction is made between interviewing and interrogation. The interview is non-accusatory, question and answer process that is designed to elicit information. An interrogation is accusatory in...

Considerations With Respect to the Use of Evidence During an Interrogation

May 01, 2002

Considerations with Respect to the Use of Evidence During an Investigation

The Reid Technique represents a structured investigative approach to solve cases involving little or no evidence. The first step...