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    The Law of Citizen Contacts and Stop and Frisk

    Corrupt police officers, politicians, and government employees sometimes engage in corrupt activities, which generate large amounts of cash. The challenge for law enforcement authorities investigating this type of crime is to be able to prove the corrupt individual has a net worth that exceeds their legitimate explainable income. This can often be accomplished by a forensic audit of the target’s assets, ...
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    Illegal Arrest and It’s Effects on Confession

    On May 5th 2003 the United States Supreme Court issued a decision regarding how an illegal arrest will impact a subsequent confession. The facts in Kaupp revolved around the disappearance of a 14 year old girl. During the investigation, detectives leaned that this young girl had a sexual relationship with her 19 year old half brother. Detectives questioned the half-brother as ...
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    Creating A Temporary Interviewing Room

    In an ideal world, an interview or interrogation would always be conducted in a room specifically designed for that purpose. Most businesses, however, do not have a room set aside for interviewing job applicants or employees suspected of acts of wrong-doing. Consequently, interviews may be conducted in an open cubical, a business office, a conference room or even a storage facility. ...
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    Developing an Interview Strategy

    Some interviews are free-flowing and spontaneous. Often, these interviews are conducted in an uncontrolled environment such as a street corner, an employee’s office or over the telephone. Because the person being interviewed in these situations is generally telling the truth, the investigator does not have to carefully structure an interview strategy. However, when interviewing a person who is motivated to lie ...
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    Distinguishing Between Admissions and Confessions

    An admission represents a statement that tends toward proving guilt. On the other hand, a confession is a fully corroborated statement during which the suspect accepts personal responsibility for committing a crime. This distinction is important for legal and procedural reasons. For example, a theft suspect who agrees to reimburse the victim for the $1000 stolen has offered an admission, not ...
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    Do You Invite People to Lie to You?

    No one wants people to lie to them. Yet, I have encountered numerous parents, teachers and investigators who regularly invite deceptive answers from people they question. I am certain they do not do this intentionally. Rather, these individuals have little understanding of the psychology of deception. This web tip is written for individuals who are not dealing with rapists and murderers ...
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    Defensive Demeanor Profile

    All our individual behaviors are learned through the trial and error process from our life experiences. If a behavior is successful during a stress period, it’s likely it will be used again. If it fails, we adapt our behaviors to overcome the failed attempt to relieve stress. This unique cluster of stress response is what we call the “Defensive Demeanor Profile” ...
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    Interrogating a Suspect on the Issue of Identity Theft

    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 a suspect on this issue. Identity theft is an unusual offense because it is not only a crime, but also an MO to commit other crimes. The first consideration, therefore, ...
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    Interrogations of Children

    National statistics would readily support the claim that, in the last decade, children are increasingly involved in more serious crimes. It no longer shocks the average listener to learn that a 12-year-old shot and killed his teacher, two 13-year-old boys gang raped a girl after a school dance or a 14-year-old robbed a classmate of his lunch money at knife point. ...
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    Interviewing Elderly Subjects

    Interviewing techniques presented in textbooks or during seminars generally assume that the person being interviewed is an emotionally healthy and mature individual with a normal IQ. Twenty-five years ago, when the epidemic of unreported child sexual abuse attracted national attention, specific interviewing techniques were developed to address the special circumstances of eliciting information from a child. Contemporary investigators are now dealing ...
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    Investigating Possible Fabricated Claims

    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 and was followed on a daily basis by morning talk shows. The reason for this attention was probably because the media were able to build suspense by showing surveillance video of ...
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    Responding to A Suspect’s Request to See Evidence During an Interrogation

    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 testimonial evidence which points to a suspect’s probable involvement in the crime. The purpose for the interrogation is two fold: First, it is an attempt to learn the truth from the ...
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    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 WTC and Pentagon has greatly expanded the definition of a Asensitive position.@ In August of this year who would have imagined that crop dusters, truck drivers, water treatment employees or airline caterers would require employees of the ...
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    Screening New Employees: Part II

    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 probing questions during a preemployment interview is the fear of a subsequent law suit. This discussion will focus on legal aspects of preemployment screening and cost-effective strategies in making ...
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    Selecting The Proper Alternative Question

    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 is allowed to couple his admission with some moral justification. Consequently, we teach that an investigator should suggest possible moral justifications which allow the suspect to save-face when telling the truth. ...
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    The Significance of Identifying Precipitators during a Criminal Investigation

    The first step of any criminal investigation is factual analysis. This describes the process of collecting and analyzing information and evidence surrounding a crime. One of the goals of factual analysis is to develop a list of possible suspects based on opportunity, access, motive or propensity. In many investigations factual analysis and interrogation are enhanced by identifying precipitators that led up ...
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    The Significance of Listing in Behavior Symptom Analysis

    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 listing: I: "Why didn’t you tell your wife about these allegations of sexual abuse against you?" S: "Well, first, I wanted to wait to see what the actual allegations were. Second, ...
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    Try a Little P.A.S. in Your Interview

    The four step process of Practical Kinesic Interview & Interrogation® is orientation, narration, cross-examination and resolution. After the subject has presented their statement or alibi during the "narration" phase, the interviewer then takes the opportunity to address any incomplete answers or contradictions in the subject's statement as well as obvious conflict between the statement and forensic details. The "cross-examination" technique chosen ...
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    The Significance of Specific Denials During Interviews and Interrogations

    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 the punishment question: "What do you think should happen to the person who started the fire inside your home?" The suspect’s response was, "A person who starts a house on fire ...
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    Modus Operandi Vs. Offender Signature

    Many aspects of forensic psychology (behavior analysis) are used to identify suspect(s) of violent crime in modern police investigations. The two most basic aspects of measurable and identifiable criminal behavior in the field of forensic behavioral analysis are modus operandi (MO) and offender signature. In order to perform effective investigations of violent or serial crime, investigators should have a rudimentary understanding ...
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