Investigator Tips

Current Investigator Tip

Interrogation of Hamas-Inspired Terrorists

Dec 19, 2023

During his Congressional testimony on December 5, 2023, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated “Given the steady drumbeat of calls for attacks by foreign terrorist organizations since October 7, we’re working around the...

Previous Tips

The Significance of Listing in Behavior Symptom Analysis

Jan 01, 2004

Listing, as a behavior symptom, describes a series of events or information included within a subject's response. In the following dialogue both of the subject's responses illustrate an example of...

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...

Maintaining Objectivity During an Interview

Nov 01, 2003

An interview is designed not only to collect and gather information but to assess the credibility of the person offering that information. In some instances the investigator will have clear...

Laughter and the Detection of Deception

Oct 01, 2003

Recently my wife and I attended her high school reunion. While such reunions are marketed as a great time and an opportunity to get re-acquainted, in truth they are very anxiety...

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...

Contaminating a Subject's Behavior

Jul 01, 2003

When inferring deception from a suspect's behavior, investigators must remember that a subject's outward behaviors during questioning are not direct signs of lying. Rather, when a person lies behavior symptoms...

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 closing my...

Neurolinguistic Evaluation

May 01, 2003

Neurolinguistic Evaluation


The outer cortex of the human brain is divided into left and right hemispheres. When performing different activities, one hemisphere dominates over the other. In 80%...

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 these individuals confessed to...

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...

Background Investigations Conducted Over the Telephone: Part II

Feb 01, 2003

Phrasing Interview Questions

In the January web tip suggestions were offered for initiating a telephone interview. At the outset of a telephone interview, the investigator's goals are to (1) elicit a...

Background Investigations Conducted Over the Telephone:Part I

Jan 01, 2003

Starting the Interview

Recently I was interviewed by telephone concerning the suitability of an acquaintance applying for a job involving national security. The interviewer started out saying...

Handling The Angry Suspect

Dec 01, 2002

Every investigator has encountered a subject who exhibits symptoms of anger. Of all possible emotions, anger presents the greatest impairment of an investigator's ability to detect deception and persuade a suspect...

The Importance of the Transition Statement in an Interrogation

Nov 01, 2002

The purpose for conducting an interrogation is to legally persuade a suspect to tell the truth about his believed involvement in a crime. Very little persuasion, of course, is required...

The Significance of a Suspect who Accepts Personal Responsibility for an Investigation

Oct 01, 2002

During our seminars we teach that suspects who make admissions against self-interest during an interview are often innocent of the crime. An exception to this rule is the suspect whose admission, in...

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...

Conducting An Exit Interview

Jun 01, 2002

When an employee gives his two week notice to leave a company, the typical response centers around how to find a replacement for that person. What is often overlooked is that the...