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    Arranging a Non-Custodial Interview

    During our training seminars we advocate that if the option is available it is preferable to conduct a non-custodial interview rather than a custodial interview. To persuade a guilty subject to voluntarily agree to present himself at the investigator's location for an interview requires that the interview be introduced in the proper manner. A past case clearly illustrates an improper approach: ...
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    The Psychopath As An Interrogation Subject

    One of if not the most challenging interviews or interrogations to conduct are that of the psychopath. Estimated by some experts to comprise about 7% of the world’s population, psychopaths make up approximately 55% of the U.S. prison population and are credited with committing roughly 80% of the violent crimes. The interview or interrogation of the psychopaths confirms that a standard ...
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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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    Going Directly from an Interview into an Interrogation

    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 nature and is designed to elicit the truth from someone whom the investigator believes has lied. Furthermore, the two procedures are generally separated in time. At the completion of ...
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    Miranda, Article 31 and Constitutional Advisements

    During training seminars frequently the issue comes up as to the best time to advise a suspect of his constitutional rights. There are both legal and psychological considerations in answering this question. Legally, Miranda rights must be administered prior to questioning a suspect who is in custody. Therefore, the investigator must have probable cause to arrest a suspect, and actually ...
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    Mirroring and its Value During Interviews and Interrogations

    **What is Mirroring?** Recently I was talking to one of my sons about a possible location to spend our spring vacation. My left hand was in my pocket and I was illustrating with my right hand. My left foot was slightly extended. As my son listened to my ideas and discussed possible activities, his right hand went into his pocket, he ...
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    Behavior Provoking Questions: The Punishment Question

    The Behavior Analysis Interview is a structured interview, developed by John E. Reid and Associates, designed to elicit behavior symptoms indicative of truthfulness or deception. The core of the interview consists of asking a series of behavior provoking questions. These questions tend to elicit different responses from a suspect who is innocent of a crime than from a suspect who is ...
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    The Role of Defense Mechanisms in Detecting Deception

    The act of committing a crime is always associated with an emotional state. Most criminals experience some level of shame, guilt or loss of self-esteem. Others primarily experience a fear of being caught. A very few (the psychopath) will experience excitement and thrill. Because shame, anxiety and fear are all undesirable emotional states, the mind will attempt to reduce these negative ...
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    Contaminating a Subject’s Behavior

    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 such as poor eye contact, stammering or foot bouncing are the product of underlying emotions associated with the fear of having the lie detected. These observation are called "symptoms" because none ...
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    Paralinguistic Communication

    The paralinguistic channel of communication is defined as speech characteristics falling outside of the spoken word. Just as a subject's nonverbal behavior can completely alter the meaning of words within a verbal response, paralinguistic behaviors can modify the meaning behind words. Consider the following conversation: Joe: "Hey Mike, I've got to pick my kid up from baseball practice in a half ...
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    The Use of an Interpreter During an Interview

    A question that is frequently asked during our seminars concerns the proper use of an interpreter during an interview. This is particularly true when we train military personnel who regularly utilize translators in their effort to develop intelligence from a variety of sources. Our staff has successfully used interpreters both during interviews and interrogations. However, because interrogation is a more complex ...
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    Maintaining Objectivity During an Interview

    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 evidence to validate a subject’s information such as surveillance video, documents or forensic evidence. Oftentimes, however, such evidence does not exist and the investigator must rely on interviewing techniques and behavior ...
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    Juvenile Sexual Offenders: Continuous Research Needed

    Historically, sexual crimes differ from other incidents that law enforcement encounters in its investigatory efforts. Most incidents center on revenge, greed, fear, and hate. With these, although one doesn’t agree with actions, humankind tends to accept or understand the criminal intent somewhat, albeit emotional or planned factors. For years, the study of sexual crimes primarily examined adult behavior in an attempt ...
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    The Importance of Corroboration Within a Confession

    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 police. In some cases, the false confession was admitted as evidence. In other cases, the false confession was used as leverage to urge the suspect to accept a plea bargain, resulting ...
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    Question Formulation Guidelines: Part I

    Asking questions is one of the first language skills a child develops. However, almost all of our question asking skills are developed under the assumption that the person answering our question will tell the truth. Consider questions that might be asked around a family's dinner table: "Ryan, do you need a ride home from the dance or are you getting a ...
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    Verifying an Employment History During a Preemployment Interview

    It is well established that the best predictor of a job applicant's future behavior is that person's recent past behavior. This is particularly true with respect to their employment history. Has the applicant demonstrated good reliability with past employers? Do the applicant's past job duties and responsibilities qualify as the type of experience needed for the present position? Has the applicant ...
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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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    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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    The Use of Evidence During an Interrogation Part I

    **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 its own strengths and weaknesses. Circumstantial evidence involves such things as the suspect’s opportunity to commit a crime (alibi), his access to commit a crime (special means or knowledge) ...
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    False Confession Cases – The Issues

    In the past several years a number of false confession cases have received extensive publicity. In several of these cases the convicted individual has been exonerated by DNA testing and the actual perpetrator, in turn, has been identified. In these cases it is important to examine in detail exactly what happened; what went wrong; what are the lessons to be learned, ...
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