Investigator Tips

Current Investigator Tip

Benefits of Complimenting a Suspect During the Interrogation

Jan 15, 2023

There are many elements that lead to a successful interrogation. One such element is the level of rapport and trust the investigator can develop with the suspect. One way to develop rapport...

Previous Tips

Motives For False Confessions

Jul 01, 2009

To date, the innocence project has freed in excess of 200 individuals from prison based on DNA evidence.* These innocent defendants were found guilty of serious felonies such as murder and...

Behavior Symptom Analysis During Roadside Interviews

May 01, 2009

Many serious crimes have been solved as a result of a traffic stop or chance encounter with a police officer:* A vehicle is stopped for running a red light and it...

The Psychopathic Suspect

Mar 01, 2009

The Psychopathic Suspect

March-April, 2009

Imagine what it would be like to make everyday decisions without caring how your choices affected others and to live...

Evaluating Exaggeration Within a Response

Jan 01, 2009

During a recent congressional hearing a CEO of one of the big three auto makers was asked, "Isn't it true that you have been trying to sell your company for several...

Selling a Suspect on the Benefits of Confessing

Nov 01, 2008

As a general guideline, an investigator should not address consequences during an interrogation. In fact, the investigator goes to great length to avoid discussing any possible consequences the suspect faces if...

Planning A Formal Interview

Sep 01, 2008

Planning A Formal Interview

Over the last 30 years I have conducted thousands of interviews on issues ranging from employee theft to homicide. Despite...

The Use of Visual Aids During an Interview or Interrogation

Jul 01, 2008

Investigators rely extensively on their verbal communication skills to elicit information during an interview and to persuade a suspect to tell the truth during an interrogation. It is often beneficial to reinforce...

Evaluating One-On-One Allegations

May 01, 2008

One-on-one allegations are very common in criminal investigations. The accuser may be an alleged victim. The accused, of course, denies involvement and offers an explanation for the false allegation. In other situations...

Are you a good listener?

Mar 01, 2008


An investigator's ability to solve cases relies extensively on his/her ability to develop rapport, ask the right questions, identify deceptive responses and...

Conducting A Custodial Behavior Analysis Interview

Jan 01, 2008

Investigators who attend our training seminars learn the value of conducting a Behavior Analysis Interview (BAI) as a reliable means of eliminating innocent suspects and identifying the guilty suspect during the...

Interrogation Procedures: Promises of Leniency

Nov 01, 2007

Interrogation Procedures: Promises of Leniency

For a confession to be admissible as evidence it must not only be trustworthy, but also voluntary. The test...

Proper Techniques for Witnessing A Confession

Sep 01, 2007

No investigator wants to have his testimony questioned because it is his word against the defendant's. It is precisely for this reason that the investigator needs to have a witness verify...

The Role of a Subject's Attitudes in the Detection of Deception

Jul 01, 2007

Early in John Reid's career, he had a secretary named Mildred. In addition to typing and filing reports, Mildred scheduled appointments and greeted subjects as they entered the...

Catching A Suspect In A Lie: Not Always A Symptom Of Guilt

May 01, 2007

A skilled investigator learns to withhold certain inside information from a suspect during an interview in the hope that he can catch the suspect in a lie. For example, the suspect may...

Electronically Recorded Confessions

Mar 01, 2007

The topic of electronically recording interviews and interrogations comes up frequently during our seminars. Clearly, there is a national trend in which through state court decisions or legislative efforts police officers...

The Use of Rationalization During an Interrogation Theme

Jan 01, 2007

Two conditions must be satisfied before a person decides to commit a crime. The first is that the individual must believe that he or she will not...

Guarding Against Claims of False Imprisonment

Nov 01, 2006

The concept of "false imprisonment" is usually associated with a criminal act relating to abduction or kidnapping. However, this web tip relates to false imprisonment as a civil suit. The definition varies...

Quoting Statements in an Open Account: Truthful or Deceptive?

Sep 01, 2006

Quoting Statements in an Open Account: Truthful or Deceptive?

September- October


During most interviews the investigator should develop an open, or narrative account from the subject. It is called an open...

The Role of Motivation in Detection of Deception Research

Jul 01, 2006

Early reports on the accuracy of the polygraph technique were largely anecdotal. For example, if ten suspects were administered a polygraph examination on a particular crime and one of them failed and...

Eliciting A Subject's Willingness to Submit to a Voluntary Interview

May 01, 2006

In most instances, subjects will agree to answer an investigator's questions if the conversation occurs at the subject's home, place of business or over the phone. From an investigative perspective, however, it...