TRAITS OF A GOOD INTERVIEWER 1. INTELLIGENCE A. Always be mentally one step ahead of the subject being interviewed B.

Do not underestimate the intelligence of your subject. You want to know more about the crime than suspect does OR have them think you know more. 2. PATIENCE/UNDERSTANDING A. Never set a time limit on yourself either mentally or verbally (a time limit gives subject a goal to maintain his story until time is up and he can then leave) Be Patient. B. Never lose your temper. 3. OBJECTIVITY A. The investigator must always be open-minded to a suspect’s innocence/honesty. Let suspect’s actions or words prove otherwise. 4. EMPATHY (i.e. – I feel your pain – this WILL challenge your acting skills) A. Be able to understand and accept the behavior of others. B. You do not have to approve of that behavior. 5. RAPPORT A. Find one or two common points of reference – find the common ground. Communication stops when talking stops. Establishing rapport aids the suspect in thinking “this cop’s not too much different than me” – helps to breakdown barriers/walls. 6. ABILITY TO CHANGE A. Most sources recommend always starting your interview as a nice person. Most subjects especially male will often deflect initial aggressive behavior right back at you. It is easier to escalate than de-escalate. 7. SALESMANSHIP A. The interviewer must convince the subject that is in his/her best interest to confess. In most cases, the fear of punishment outweighs the guilt to confess i.e don’t threaten with prison terms (initially). Possibly the tact of “Hey - I know you’re a good person. Let’s get this behind you and get you back on track to being a productive person to society.” “Hey , there’s been 20 burglaries going on – I don’t think you did them all but if you don’t talk with me they’re going to pin all 20 on you.” Convince them you are looking out for their best interest. Sell yourself – ACT like you like the customer – Complement the customer. 8. PROFESSIONALISM A. It is essential that an investigator make a professional impression. B. This image equates with competency and integrity. Appearance, actions and environment. Be competent and self assured. Acting is important – even if you are the only investigator – they don’t know that – using terms like “we:” (department) or “us” (more than 1) –makes them think you have a lot more info than you do.

INTERVIEWS PURPOSE IS TO OBTAIN INFORMATION It is a formal conversation w/ persons thru which conversation is sought and recorded. Designed to get information through a casual atmosphere. INFORMAL ATMOSPHERE Can be done in a variety of settings; station, on the street, in home, etc. It is non – threatening. ( I understand what you are feeling. Best if I knew everything you know. Could you elaborate on that? That seems very interesting – tell me more.) NON-ACCUSATORY Even though the investigator may ask questions that have to do with the subject’s direct or indirect involvement in a crime, this does not make the interview accusatory. Remember – establish rapport – common ground to enhance the talking/conversation. VARIED ENVIRONMENTS – as stated above – can be done in a variety of places. PROXEMICS ARE KEPT AT THE “SOCIAL DISTANCE” Three (3) to twelve (12) feet from the interviewee. Keeping the subject comfortable is important. Getting into “their personal space” makes people uncomfortable. Interviews can be most successfully accomplished at the social distance. The idea is to put cooperative witness/victim at ease and make them comfortable. Relaxed setting is recommended. NOTE TAKING IS PERMISSABLE Do not take notes until after the suspect has answered the question. Be consistent – if taking notes, take them consistently. Do not take notes only for ‘direct questions’. While you are watching them, they are also watching you. Be aware of missing body language when writing. NO MIRANDA WARNINGS ARE REQUIRED UNLESS THERE IS CUSTODIAL INTERROGATION Offer refreshment, leave door open, show them the restroom locations –creates a non-custodial environment. INTERVIEWER TALKS 10% - INTERVIEWEE TALKS 90% AVERAGE TIME OF INTERVIEW IS APPROXIMATELY THIRTY (30) MINUTES. FURNITURE Chairs – suspect’s chair should not be a comfortable one. Should be shorter or not as high as the interviewer’s chair. This creates a dominant effect. Interviewer’s chair should be on wheels – enables you to ‘roll in’ or ‘roll out’ as you want to invade their space or give them more space – at your discretion. Leaving something on the table-i.e pen, etc will often provoke good non-verbal behavior as stress level of suspect increases (when they pick up the pen, play with it, etc. Suspect’s chair is on a wall so they cannot see the door and devoid of pictures/posters on wall. If they can see the door – psychologically they can focus on it and “If I just make it through that door- I’m free and clear’. Pictures will allow distractions -have them face a blank wall.

As you roll in to their intimate space and create a stressful environment. decrease the space to intimate. Keep in mind that proximity in some cultures may be offensive and you may unwittingly offend someone shutting down communication. DIRECT ALIGNMENT OF CHAIRS FACE TO FACE Frontally aligned but aligned at an angle so subject cannot reach out to handle objects if there is a desk present.INTERROGATIONS PURPOSE IS TO OBTAIN A CONFESSION It is a controlled dialogue directed toward a pre-conceived goal. Now we just need to decide where we go from here. This creates psychological pressure and effectively dominates the encounter. STRICTLY CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT No outside distractions. Start out at personal space. It requires strong self confidence to overcome this discomfort. Keep pressure on. It is often a common mistake to NOT move in on a subject during interrogation.INTERROGATEE TALKS 5 % UNLIMITED TIME NO SMOKING ALLOWED Smoking is a tension reliever. INTERROGATOR TALKS 95% . . MIRANDA WARNINGS ARE REQUIRED IF SUBJECT IS IN CUSTODY Read from a card – ensures wording is accurate. FORMAL ATMOSPHERE ACCUSATORY IN NATURE The investigator will confront the suspect with his/her guilt. American culture disdains the invasion of personal space and we feel uneasy invading someone’s space. you might elicit a response. Stay focused and do not allow subject to get distracted. If it is want you want – reward them by giving some space back to them to help them relax. Positive confrontation – i. “There is no doubt about your involvement in the robbery. Leaning forward to ask a question and then leaning back after a truthful answer rewards subject for his/her candor/honesty.e. As you increase their stress. NO WRITING OR NOTE TAKING BY INTERROGATOR Do not want to break your momentum. This is done via Positive Confrontation.” Positive confrontation is done while standing – this creates dominance. NO TABLES OR DESKS BETWEEN INVESTIGATOR AND SUBJECT No barriers for them to hide behind. Keep tension level high. PROXIMITY IS CLOSED TO THE PERSONAL TO INTIMATE DISTANCE Three (3) feet to touch.

Less than Ideal Location . loss of esteem by others.ensures behavior will be in response to questions not surrounding stimuli . incompetence of investigator. BASIC GUIDELINES . . degree and effect of spatial separation of individuals naturally maintained in social and interpersonal relationships and the manner in which this spatial separation relates to environmental and cultural factors. Intimate distance – touching to 18” Personal distance – 18” to 36” Social distance – 36” to 12 ft Public distance – 12 ft and more PROXEMICS Study of nature. innocent persons are apprehensive as well due to various reasons including: not being believed. .at the very least.CHAIRS IN PERSONAL PROXIMITY Moving in to intimate spaced increases pressure/stress. retribution.free from interruptions and distractions .subject may be intimidated in presence of others. PRIVACY Ideal Location: .Persons are not comfortable revealing sensitive or personal information to a person in authority.Aside from normal fears of the “guilty” person. . separate witnesses from each other.Guilty people also fear being detected.

Require a broad response and requires a narrative response. assumptive questions should only be used in situations where case facts. .CATEGORIES OF QUESTIONS Phrase the questions in such a manner that the optimum amount of information can be elicited. Examples: What did you see? How would you describe the suspect? What did you do last Friday? CLOSED QUESTIONS . .Establish rapport due to less pointed. . good for instances in need of “flash” info.Assume certain facts – interviewee must agree with basis of question in order to answer questions. Truthful persons are more forthcoming with details.invoke greater anxiety on interviewee ASSUMPTIVE QUESTIONS . .Truthful responses will be characterized by more lengthy answers and more complete answers.Short answers .Make it easier for interviewee to lie to you and easier for the guilty interviewee to get caught in a lie. witnesses or other evidence is available to verify the assumption.Evaluate the interviewee’s knowledge .they limit information given . OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS . However. Examples: Did you receive any injury in the accident? (assumes they were involved in an accident) What time did you leave your apartment Friday night ( assumes knowledge of leaving apt) How long were you gone from your apartment last night ( assumes a period of time absent from apt) .May inhibit the flow of information Caution: Assumptive questions are used the interviewer wants to display knowledge about the investigation. more open questions .time efficient –limited info in a short amount of time.

Covering eyes with hand while speaking.e. touching. 2. toes. Socially unusual or inappropriate behavior 3. socially unusual or inappropriate behavior. 3. belching. They supplement or enhance spoken words. E. gestures which do not assist verbal communication or contradicts the spoken word. 2. The stress will eventually “leak” out because it must be released. it frequently contradicts or emphasizes its message. B. Tense or restless body movements. touching/adjusting clothing or jewelry. Deceptive Non Verbal Behavior 1. The stress is unconsciously released through nervous activity. lint picking. stroking face. Clusters of generally truthful non verbal behavior –more than one or two. Adaptors are non verbal behavior that DOES NOT assist verbal communication. People can only control or suppress this outward behavior for a period of time . Uses illustrators – talking with your hands. Uses adaptors – very abbreviated form of illustrators i. 1. Gestures which assist verbal communication. Tense or restless body movements . Grooming gestures 2. Displacement activity is an outward manifestation of internal stress caused by telling lies. Truthful Non Verbal Behavior 1.NON VERBAL BEHAVIOR A. Shaking head yes or no with appropriate response is an example. crossing arms/legs. Illustrators appearing artificial or half completed are deceptive. Gestures should appear natural and occur at appropriate times. picking face/nose. tapping fingers. Displacement activity present – grooming gestures. Illustrators are non verbal behavior such as gestures. D. covering mouth while speaking. Clustering of deceptive non verbal behavior C. Displacement activity will be absent – displacement activity is signs of disinterest often used to throw investigators off track. biting fingernails. which assist verbal communication to be understood or emphasizes its message. rubbing side of nose. 3.

Tense and deceptive 2. Too much eye contact 2. Head up in avoidance mode 3.NON VERBAL BEHAVIOR ASSESSMENT A. B. Normal blinking 3. Appropriate smiling . Relaxed and confident 2. Blank stare or distant look. Frozen –they will attempt to conceal or hold in any outward manifestations. Appropriate eye contact – 40-50% is normal 2. Closed position –arms/legs crossed 4. Slight forward lean 6. Rapid blinking 4. Eyes Truthful 1. Posture Truthful 1. Edge of chair – sitting on edge of chair 6. closing eyes (adaptor) D. Feet pushed back under chair or pushed outward toward interviewer. Loss of eye contact 3. Appropriate “Mode” (Neurolinguistics) Deceptive 1. Mouth Truthful 1. Face to face alignment 3. Head Truthful 1. Evasive alignment – bladed -creates a barrier btwn you and them 3. Face pale C. Sitting upright 5. covering eyes w/ hand (an adaptor). Open position 4. squinting. Sincere smile with wrinkles around the eyes 2. Face flushed 4. Deceptive 1. Slightly tilted 2. Relatively constant posture with occasional natural re-positioning. Facing straight ahead Deceptive 1. Slouched 5. Head down in defeat 2. Change of “Mode” 5.

Dry mouth 6. Belching 12. Rubbing or touching the nose 5. Yawning 11. Elbows away from body 3. Inappropriate smiling 3. Excessive swallowing E. Arms folded defiantly 2. Throat Deceptive 1. Rubs or covers eyes and mouth with hand 6. Clicking sound 4. Pulling shirt collar away from neck F. Pointing away from themselves 3. Unfolded 2. Pulling on earlobes . Clearing Throat 7. Elbows pulled in close to the body 3. Goose bumps on arms G. Clenched fists 2. Hands perform illustrators 4. Arms and Shoulders Truthful 1. Hands Truthful 1. Hands touch own chest 3.Deceptive 1. Bites or licks lips 8. Bobbing “Adam’s Apple” 3. Tense and abbreviated hand movements 4. Palms open and upward 2. Hand thoughtfully up under the nose Deceptive 1. Sniffling 9. Phony or exaggerate smiling 2. Straight alignment of shoulders Deceptive 1. Touching throat – especially in females 4. Shoulders pulled back defiantly 5. Sighs before answering 5. Shoulders slumped forward in defeated position 4. Biting tongue 10. Pulsating carotid artery 2.

coins. People. by natural innate preference will process info in 1 of 3 modes: Visual.inappropriate complaints about cold. Displays grooming gestures 10. Steepling of fingers.7.repeatedly looking at watch .normally people will recall in their preferred mode . jewelry . Picks nose 11. pain or nervousness Listen carefully for talk about past problems with law Suspects will adamantly deny even unimportant questions Suspects will accuse you of prejudice Suspects will talk about past similar crimes They may state “I know I had every reason to do this” or “I know I am #1 suspect” or “I know it looks bad. Probably will not get a lot of cooperation from this subject.especially is change of mode is detected with a stressful moment of the interview Determining a Person’s Mode Listen to how a person communicates : An auditory person chooses language that describes sounds i. Kinesic or Auditory. Determining a Preference: Visual Mode preference people will recall events with upward eye movement Kinesic mode preference people will recall events with downward eye movement Auditory mode preference people will recall events with side to side movement Change in Mode . Strokes hair. Thumb and forefinger supporting the chin. I knew they were going to crash and the car was going way too fast and I was really frightened.e skidding car and bright flash A kinesic person will speak in terms of feelings i. NEUROLINGUISTICS Study of modes of sensory perception (preferred representational system).e screeching tires and loud crash A visual person will describe what they saw visually i. body or clothing 13.a change in mode indicates a high probability of deception . Miscellaneous Non Verbal . 12. Pulls at shirt 9. but…” May relate personal and physical problems experienced because of this investigation.playing with inanimate objects such as pens.e.this is a sign of superiority. Rubs neck 8. .

. . Current research indicates deception can be detected up to 90% accuracy rate using this method. .Kinesic people will look down to Right or Left Once predominant mode of a person has been determined. Breakdown of modes among the population include: Visual – 45% Auditory – 45% Kinesic – 10% . Once mode has been determined. that is. either visually. it is important to phrase questions to them appropriately. it is important to notice any change in mode.Modes may be determined by watching the person’s eyes.Auditory people will look straight across either Right or Left – once an auditory person hears their own voice it is not unusual for them to then look down.Visual people will look up and to the Right or Left when recalling. auditorily or kinesic type of questions.

4. Displays appropriate knowledge of the crime – I’m here because you want to speak to me about the stolen money vice I’m here about some missing money. Argues actual innocence 7. Tries to narrow the list of suspects –they will suggest realistic suspects and eliminate people they know didn’t do the crime. VERBAL HEDGES: Words or phrases that. expressions and words that we use and the way we answer certain questions. The time used up by the non responsive answer provides the subject with an opportunity to create a viably believable lie to present. B. This verbal behavior can be found in our voice and speech. The subject is purposefully “not answering” the question but attempting to create an illusion that his/her answer is in direct response to the question. the higher the probability that the forthcoming answer from the subject will be deceptive. Truthful subjects need not think about the truth. A. Appropriately strong language to describe the crime – ‘victim was murdered’ 5. Expresses real feelings 9. EMBELLISHERS: Words or phrases utilized by subject in an effort to make a deceptive answer or statement sound more believable. May admit having an opportunity to commit the crime 10. RESPONSE LATENCY: The period of time between the last word of the interviewer’s question and the first word of the subject’s response. appear to give one message.UNWITTING VERBAL BEHAVIOR What suspects say and how they say it often gives clues as to whether the statements are true or deceptive. only speak it. Watch for: Repeating question back to you Clearing throat before answering Asks “what are you implying”? That’s about all I know Laughs before answering “But” – negates anything previously said TRUTHFUL UNWITTING VERBAL BEHAVIOR The truthful subject will generally display these characteristics: 1. represent a totally different message. C. The longer the “response latency”. Wants the truth to be known 3. Talkative –nothing to hide. 2. Does NOT repeat your question before answering 11. on their surface. The more info I give to this officer the more it will show I am not hiding anything. 6. Recommends appropriately strong punishment for whoever did the crime 8. Appropriate response latency .

Non Verbal Behavior 2.Repeats your questions back to you (in a stall tactic) 11.helps to determine if you are on the right track or barking up the wrong tree . General Guidelines Evaluate subject’s normal behavior . ‘ah’. Recommends mild punishment 8. stutters. and suspect is 509. ‘umm’. ‘to the best of my knowledge’. Not talkative 2. Displays inappropriate lack of knowledge of the crime 4. ‘ I don’t think so’.an investigative tool to assist in determining truth or deception . ‘Not that I remember’. Denies any opportunity to commit the crime 10. ‘He pushed me down on the bed vice raped me’ 5.observe behavior during non threatening questions . are all phrases to hedge their answers just in case you find something contradictory to what they said. Wants truth to be hidden 3. etc 3. Behavior provoking questions – those questions which are designed to cause stress in subjects and thereby produce non verbal and verbal behavior than can readily be analyzed for truthfulness or deceptiveness. Tries to broaden the list of suspects in the investigation 6.this technique of recognizing deception is just a tool and cannot be offered as evidence of a person’s lack of candor in a court of law (neither can a polygraph). stammers or develops mental blocks (90% deception) May skip around in sentences or not finish their sentences Saying ‘No’ followed by crossing of arms or legs or presenting other barriers The ‘five second no’ . Argues LEGAL innocence – example – decription of perp is 600. Components of BAI 1. Subject may begin talking faster. Unwitting verbal behavior/verbal hedging – ‘uh’. Slurs. ‘I can’t recall’. Uses verbal hedges 14. Embellishes – ‘believe it or not’. hesitates. 7. etc Tension relief may be noted by a cracking in the voice or change of pitch. Remains detached and distant 9. BEHAVIORAL ANALYSIS INTERVIEW (BAI) . 190#. ‘as God is my witness’. 175#. ‘er’. Uses the word “story” to describe what happened 12.nnnooooooooo ‘Probably’. Uses weak language in describing the crime – “I’m here about the missing money”.DECEPTIVE UNWITTING VERBAL BEHAVIOR Deceptive subject will generally display these characteristics: 1. Long response latency 13.can be accomplished during background info gathering .

clusters of this behavior will “leak” to the surface under stress.barrier posture –important to note when the barrier posture is assumed – at what point in the question. Body language is nearly involuntary and at the very least not consciously controlled.those under influence of alcohol or drugs . Truthful Posture . .** Non Verbal Behavior – also known as body language .comfortable . juvenile). Reid Associates claim their technique is accurate in detecting deceptive behavior 80-85% of the time.. Sterile Setting Conduct BAI in privacy to ensure that “behavior” is in response to questions and not external stimuli. May be able to suppress it for a while.individuals with diminished social responsibility (homeless. They do not have a lot to lose.individuals without respected job/career .could normally be monitored and recorded by a polygraph instrument .upright .individuals with weak family ties and no standing in community .static . you determine this person is no longer an acceptable suspect. Clusters should be associated closely with the asking of relevant questions Behavior may be cloaked by certain types of individuals.outward physical manifestations of internal psychological processes . .dynamic Untruthful Posture . Psychologists say conversational eye contact is about 40%. but sooner or later it will show through.caused by emotional arousal .slouched . More than ½ of all communication is non verbal and is generally more accurate and truthful than verbal communication.non frontal .frontal .helps to ascertain is the subject is otherwise troubled Background info may reveal areas which would prohibit confession – i.persons of other cultures .rigid/frozen . Be alert for “clusters” of behavior.psychotics or persons devoid of conscience ** Be careful when interviewing because subject will also be watching you.fight or flight syndrome may surface –be aware of OFFICER SAFETY . Non Responsive Subjects .e.

concerned .“then after a while” .VERBAL BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS In response to open ended questions: Suspects will lie more easily and use phrases to cover passages of time such as: .try to bolster their answers i.consistent response Untruthful responses are often: .delayed reponse .“always do….spontaneous .mumble or unintelligible like trying to disguise something .guarded response – reluctant to offer info .unhelpful –will not help to narrow down list of suspects .nervous laughter or levity .“Sometimes I will…” Truthful responses are often: .unconcerned – try to be calm and nonchalant . .“a couple of days later” .“ I usually have…” .insincere – exhibiting other than their normal persona . “to be quite frank…” Juveniles have not established a sense of social responsibility or commitment and may not show any conflict or internal stress when lying due to not having “a lot to lose”..” .e “to be honest…”.helpful .sincere .“ sometime after that” When asked a direct question generalized responses include: .. Chemically dependent persons also can fall into this category.

. Relevant question directly confronts the subject about their guilt or innocence. Example – crime of stolen money Q -What do you think should happen to the offender? A – send him to jail Q -What do you think should happen to the offender? A. Projective questions allow the subject being interviewed to project their values to the issues being investigated. Irrelevant questions is generally used to establish the “norm”.) 3. Secondary – questions any involvement.probation. a. -people generally want to be included in the majority of the population and will often ‘project’ their views in a manner to include themselves in that majority. It must be something the majority of the population has done. FOUR TYPES OF BEHAVIOR PROVOKING QUESTIONS 1. A. To provide the interviewer with the opportunity to sample the subject’s behavior/mode under non stressful conditions. It must be similar in nature to the actual crime being investigated c. It must be broad in scope : “have you ever stolen anything?” “did you ever take a candy bar?” “ have you ever taken a pen from work?” b. 2. They have nothing to do with the crime or the issue at hand. Purpose a. These questions frequently take the shape of background questions.BEHAVIOR PROVOKING QUESTIONS In order to get the best results from this technique. however indirect in the crime (may establish conspiracy elements of the crime. Two types: a. second chance. Primary – questions direct involvement with the crime b. Projective question is one that is designed to ascertain the “mind-set” of the individual. it is essential for the investigator to ask questions that will produce stress and anxiety in a deceptive person. Control questions is designed to cause stress and anxiety in innocent person. It must be less severe than the crime in question 4. This allows the interviewer to establish a baseline upon which to compare the subject’s behavior as the interview progresses. This stress and anxiety will ultimately manifest itself through deceptive non-verbal and unwitting verbal behavior. To gather information b.

This area should. Usually occurs when the suspect leaves the scene. The incident – this part of the statement begins at the first mention of adverse behavior or events in the account. These variations can reveal deception on the part of the writer before any case information is revealed to the subject. 3. The conclusion or After-Math – This part of the statement deals with events immediately after adverse behavior or events have ended. (use sentences when counting) b. b. The subject will deal with winding up the Incident.within 4 questions (on average) the subject will know what you know about their case. A way to prevent this is to obtain a written statement of what they know and then you can evaluate the statement and base questions on that statement. encompass one-third (1/3) of the narrative. 2. The following categorizes several areas where variations from the norm would normally indicate deception on the part of the writer. The lead-up – This part of the statement deals with the events immediately preceding the Incident and should on average encompass approximately one-third (1/3) of the total narrative. Deceptive subjects often change terminology at a key moment in their statement. singular. DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION a. excessive pronoun usage indicates the subject is being deceptive. particularly during the critical stage of the incident is being deceptive. past tense. EXCESSIVE PRONOUN USAGE a. Normal language is first person. on average. c. . b. LACK OF PRONOUN USAGE (shows lack of commitment) The person who does not use pronouns. CHANGES IN LANGUAGE a. 4. on average. This kind of change indicates an attempt to internally rationalize their actions or detach them from the incident. excessive pronoun usage indicates the subject is mentally editing the statement. encompass the last one-third (1/3) of the narrative. 1. ** A statement devoid of emotion has a high probability of deception (HPD). A change in language reflects a change in reality. The end of the Incident comes when the adverse behavior or events have ended. Deceptive statement may have a very small or non-existent conclusion. *change of verb tense is very important –extremely significant. This area would then. In order to obtain a most pure version of the statement little or no guidance should be given to victim. Variations in the written word can be compared to the basic normal truthful way of communicating. ‘Write down what you think I should know’ is an example of minimum guidance. This is how they will relate the incident – a shift to present tense can indicate the person is now making up the story as he/she goes on vice relating a ‘past’ incident.WRITTEN STATEMENT ANALYSIS ** theory exists .

7. The interview sheet becomes a road map that keeps the investigator on track and allows him to concentrate on the suspect’s behavior symptoms and responses to the interview questions. Finally. By writing out key questions in advance. Shows a high probability of truthfulness (HPT). Despite that experience.do not provide all the details needed but provide the information needed for a report. ORDER OF MATERIAL People will mention. Non – truthful or deceptive uses mild or ambiguous language. This not only involves developing and analyzing investigative information. well-prepared and competent. Analysis of the answers is what will reveal the truth. The six interrogatories: Who/What/When/Where/Why/How . the organization of the interview sends a message to the suspect that the investigator is professional.5. USE OF PARENTHESIS Generally speaking. . I could not simply review background information on a case. the investigator has the opportunity to think about all of the questions that need to be asked during the interview and the sequence in which different topics should be covered. 6. Less important information or entities occur later in the statement. LANGUAGE SELECTION Truthful victims and truthful suspects will use strong language to describe the events that occurred and the actions of the perpetrator. in order of importance. To conduct a proper interview requires preparation. followed by sufficient space for taking written notes and documenting follow-up questions. There are a number of benefits to preparing an interview sheet. Listen to where certain people or events occur in someone’s statement. but also preparing an interview sheet that will have key questions written out in abbreviated form. No competent investigator enters a formal interview with a blank sheet of paper. Written Statement Analysis –“Identifying Lies in Disguise” – (out of print) Detection Apprehension – look this up Planning a Formal Interview Over the last 30 years I have conducted thousands of interviews on issues ranging from employee theft to homicide. then walk into a room and conduct an effective interview of the suspect. that which means most to them first. whatever the writer encloses in parenthesis will be truthful.

the suspect must be accurately advised of the purpose for the interview. Examples of initial questions include: "Could you please spell "What is your "What do most "What is your "How long have "Are you presently employed?” Addressing the Issue Under Investigation There are two categories of questions that address the issue under investigation. Many crimes are committed because normal procedures were not followed. let me just get some background information. the investigator would ask. the suspect will respond to the question and the investigator will write down the suspect’s response.Starting the Interview All interviews start with an introduction. To obtain a legal Miranda warning.” "Were you inside Jake’s liquor store last Friday night?” "Did you handle the deposit at any time yesterday afternoon?” Procedures (Establish normal procedures and identify if they were not followed. Behavior provoking questions are fairly standardized and have a logical sequence. In a non-custodial interview the investigator should start the interview by offering a professional greeting to the suspect then go on to obtain background information. I would like to thank you for coming in. the investigator would start by explaining that he has been assigned to the suspect’s case and that he would like to get the suspect’s side of the story. Second are investigative questions which relate to specific aspects of the crime.” Mrs. the right to an attorney etc.) "Tell "Tell me about the procedures you follow when me what procedures you follow when you put you fill an ATM. Do you remember that day? Tell me everything you did that afternoon. After listing the suspect’s Miranda rights.” Initial Questions The initial questions asked during an interview are designed to establish rapport.” "Tell me everything that happened last Saturday night when you babysat for your niece. e. but before he can ask any questions he needs to remind the suspect that he has the right to remain silent. obtain baseline behaviors from the subject and to acclimate the suspect to the interview.” your last first name call lived for me. It is the investigative questions that require thought and planning. The first are behavior provoking questions which are specifically designed to elicit different responses from suspects who are innocent or guilty of the offense. Before we get started.g. in particular that the investigator will ask a question. In a custodial interview. Johnson to bed. "Do you mind talking to me about this?” If the suspect expresses a willingness to answer questions. "Hello Greg.” "This shortage occurred on the 22nd of last month.” name?” you?” address?” there?” people current you . my name is Mr. the investigator would bring out the formal Miranda waiver and readvise the suspect of his rights and obtain the appropriate written waiver. Most formal interviews will address the following six investigative areas: Opportunity (See how close the suspect will place himself to the victim or crime scene) "Tell me everything you did last night between 6:00 and the time you went to bed.. Jayne.

if it is known that the suspect is currently on probation and is two months . Introduce non-threatening areas before more threatening areas. This will help organize the interview and also assist the suspect’s memory to focus on one similar area at a time. 2. power etc. For example.?) "What unexpected expenses have you recently had to pay?” "Are you behind on any monthly loan payments?” "In the last 2 months have you asked for any cash advances at work?” "In the last 2 months have you had an argument with (victim)?” Precipitators (A precipitator is an event or circumstance that contributes to the suspect’s decision to commit the crime when it was committed. where it was committed and the manner in which it was committed. Completely cover one topical area before moving to a new one.) "Do you have a key to her apartment?” "Do you know the code to turn off the alarm in the office?” "Do you own a blue van?” "Do you have any handguns?” "Have you purchased any ammonium nitrate in the last 6 months?” Propensity (Does the suspect have the psychological makeup to commit the crime?) "Have you ever borrowed any money from the company and replaced it later?” "Has anyone ever approached you asking if you could get some drugs for them?” "Have you ever thought about having sexual contact with one of your students?” "Have you ever been questioned before about starting fires?” "Have you experienced any sexual arousal around any of your students?” "When is the last time you’ve lost your temper?” Motive (How strong are the suspect’s needs for money. It is beneficial for the suspect to make admissions against self-interest at the beginning of the interview.) "Did you have anything to drink that evening?” "Have you received any notice of pending legal procedures?” "Has your step-daughter ever accidentally seen your bare penis?” "Did you have a knife or other sharp object with you when you saw her that afternoon?” "In the last month has your relationship with either of your parents changed?” The following guidelines are offered for asking investigative questions: 1. An innocent suspect is comfortable acknowledging access. esteem. revenge."Tell me what usually happens once you get "What normal procedures were not followed on (date of crime?)” home from work?” Access (Identify what special means or knowledge were required to commit the crime and ask the suspect about each of them. Skipping back and forth between different areas may cause the investigator to forget to ask important questions within an area and may cause the suspect to become confused and give inaccurate responses. Guilty suspects may lie about having access or be reluctant to acknowledge access. 3. In most investigations it is less threatening for the suspect to acknowledge having the opportunity to commit the crime than the motive or propensity to commit it.

check on something). There are six investigative areas that should be covered during a formal interview. wouldn’t you?” Even though an investigator is very familiar with all aspects of an investigation. I’ll be back shortly. These are suggested closing remarks: (1) The suspect will be interrogated: "Joe. "When is the last time you’ve had any marijuana?”. The key questions should be written out in abbreviated form providing an investigator with an interview sheet to guide him through the interview and to document the suspect’s responses to interview questions. but also the sequence in which the areas are covered. You’d be willing to come back in and talk to me later. On the other hand. Thank you for coming in. Never reveal inside information without first giving the suspect an opportunity to tell the truth. John E.g. "Other than that time. For example: Q: "Tell me about how your son hurt his arm. what other times have you been questioned by a police officer?” Concluding the Interview A formal interview will conclude in one of three ways. or when the suspect has already made an admission within the area e. it is important to plan out the interview of possible suspects. (2) The suspect’s behavior indicates truthfulness: "Joe. the investigator should give the suspect an opportunity to volunteer to truth. I’m going to step out of the room for a minute to (talk to my partner. but the investigator does not want to move into an interrogation: "Joe. the investigator would cover these areas before getting into the suspect’s opportunity or access to commit the crime. "How much money do you owe on credit cards?”. make a phone call. is there anything else about (issue) that you think I should know? This is my business card. Reid & Associates began developing interview and interrogation techniques in 1947.” When the investigator returns to the room he would confront the suspect and start the interrogation. "When you have arguments with your girlfriend. I guess he slipped and fell on his right arm. I want to thank you for coming in today. Ask follow-up questions to clarify ambiguous. a guilty suspect may lie about it. "Have you ever been questioned before by a police officer?” An innocent suspect will typically acknowledge the prior incident. 6.. that will be all for today.behind on rent. what do you fight about?”. If you think of anything.” FO: "Who witnessed FO: "What time did FO: "What did he strike FO: "When did you decide to go to the doctor?” this?” happen?” arm on?” this his 5. Preparation includes not only deciding what questions to ask within each area. What happened there?” Rather. For example. incomplete or contradictory information. Ask assumptive questions whenever addressing common behaviors.” A: "He was downstairs playing video games. Before you leave. The Reid Technique of Interviewing® and Interrogation is now the most . if it is known that a suspect has a prior arrest for drug possession it would be improper to ask.” (3) The suspect cannot be eliminated from suspicion. Try to introduce an area with a broad question that requires a narrative response. That’s what happened. 4. please give me a call. "I see that you were picked up two years ago for possession. I’m going to check out what you’ve told me and it may be necessary to clarify a few things with you.

John E. The content of our instructional material has continued to develop and change over the years. . Reid and Associates is the only organization that can teach the current version of our training program on The Reid Technique®.widely used approach to question subjects in the world.

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