Investigator Tips

Current Investigator Tip

Clarifying Misrepresentations About Interrogation Techniques (updated May 2023)

May 19, 2023

Over the years social psychologists, defenses attorneys, and some academicians have
offered a number of criticisms of current law enforcement interrogation practices, and, in
particular, the Reid Technique. Some of...

Previous Tips

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Evaluating the Truthfulness of a Reported Sexual Assault

Apr 01, 2002

Wisconsin recently introduced legislation that would prohibit a sexual assault victim from being asked to take a polygraph examination. Many states have already passed such a law. Clearly doubting the veracity of...

The Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA)

Mar 01, 2002

Throughout history man has tried to identify a single, unique physiological responses that would only be present when a person lied. In the 1970's a phenomenon known as a vocal micro tremor...

The Role of Motivation in the Interpretation of a Subject's Behavior

Feb 01, 2002

In psychology, a person's motivation generally relates to the strength of their desire to accomplish a specific goal, which is also referred to as their drive. On the other hand, the concept...

Don't Overlook The Person Who Reported The Crime

Jan 01, 2002

A guideline we teach during our seminars is that the first person interviewed during an investigation should be the individual who reported the crime. The primary reason for this is because that...

Screening New Employees: Part II

Dec 01, 2001

The importance of a face to face interview with a job applicant to evaluate their recent past behavior was emphasized in the last web tip. One reason employers are reluctant to ask...

Screening New Employees: Part I

Nov 01, 2001

Screening New Employees: Part I

In light of the tragic events of September 11th, there is a heightened awareness to properly screen new employees. The terrorist=s attack on the...

Evaluating Omissions within a Suspect's Statement

Oct 01, 2001

An earlier web tip discussed the evaluation of inconsistencies within a suspect's statements. Inconsistencies represent factual changes in an account whereas omissions represent expected information not included within a response...