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    Selecting the Proper Issue in a Child Physical Abuse Investigation

    The nature of most crimes involve a central criminal behavior such as stealing money, starting a fire, selling drugs or having sexual contact with another person. Under these circumstances, the focus of the interview will specifically address the criminal behavior, e.g., "Did you steal that $2000?", "Did you start the warehouse fire?" However, when investigating physical abuse to a child, the ...
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    Quoting Statements in an Open Account: Truthful or Deceptive?

    During most interviews the investigator should develop an open, or narrative account from the subject. It is called an open account because the investigator’s question encourages the subject to relate everything relative to the area of inquiry and once the subject starts talking, the investigator does not interrupt the account. Examples of questions that elicit an open account include, “Mary tell ...
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    Issues to Consider Regarding Possible Suicidal Suspects

    It was about 4:00 in the afternoon when one of our regular clients called and requested an "emergency" polygraph examination for a 19-year-old female employee they suspected was stealing jewelry from a kiosk in their store. In pursuing the urgent nature for the polygraph examination, it was learned that the suspected employee had been unsuccessfully "mildly" interrogated over the last two ...
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    Over Prepared Interviews: Interrogator Paralysis

    Law Enforcement Interview & Interrogation articles and training There is nothing unusual at all about any investigative interviewer preparing extensively for an upcoming interview. There is really no situation that I can think of that I had too much information on hand when I went into the [interrogation] room. The danger may be however that we can become too obsessed with ...
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    Types of Polygraph Used in Sex Offender Testing

    The polygraph community, in conjunction with therapists and probation/parole officers, has identified the following types of tests to deal with areas of concern: 1) Instant Offense Disclosure - Specific issue dealing with denial. Sex offenders frequently deny or minimize their behavior both about the index offense and past behaviors. According to Trepper & Barrett (1989) there are four types of denial ...
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    Importance of Privacy During an Interview

    We have all had the experience where a person tells us something in private that he never would have told us in a public setting. It is well accepted that it is easier to talk about sensitive matters with only a single person present. Yet, how many times are victims interviewed in the presence of a family member, or a witness ...
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    Building Rapport During an Interview

    Interviews in the popular television show Dragnet were often preceded with the admonition, "Just the facts ma'am." The emotional detachment displayed by Sgt. Friday, however, is generally not conducive to eliciting meaningful information from a subject. People are more comfortable telling the truth to someone whom they trust and can relate to. This is precisely why an investigator should spend the ...
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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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    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 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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    2005 Use Caution When Expressing The Urgency For A Suspect To Confess

    It is human nature to put off unpleasant decisions. Being in my 50's, I know that I need to eventually get long-term care insurance. Even though I fully intend to do this, I can come up with all sorts of reasons why I do not have to do it today. Many guilty suspects experience the same thought process during an interrogation. ...
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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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    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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