The accuracy of your efforts to classify a suspect depends upon your ability and
It depends also upon the availability and accuracy of information
developed about the suspect or the case. An incorrect classification may result in
an unsuccessful interrogation.
This could happen if the approach based on the
original classification is not skillfully and quickly changed before the suspect
becomes aware of the error. Suspects are divided into the following groups:
(1) Suspects whose guilt is reasonably certain.
This category may be further
(a) Suspects more readily influenced by sympathy or understanding (first
offenders or "heat of passion" offenders).
(b) Suspects more readily influenced by logic (habitual criminals or those
who feel no concern for their offense).
(2) Suspects whose guilt is doubtful or uncertain.
b. An interrogator's success will depend upon his ability to quickly and
accurately classify the subject. It will depend also on his ability to select the
interrogation technique for the occasion. Should he appeal to the subject's logic?
Should he be sympathetic? Should he appeal to the person's pride, or should he
shift the blame to someone else? Should he be tough? What terminology should he
use? These are but a few of the questions an interrogator will have to ask himself
while sizing up the subject and deciding on the techniques to use.
6. COMMENCING THE INTERROGATION.
Identify yourself before starting the interrogation.
Present your credentials
so there will be no doubt in the subject's mind as to your authority. After the
introduction, tell the subject the nature of the accusation and inform him that an
investigation is being conducted. Take care in making this statement so that none
of the exact details of the crime are disclosed prematurely.
Before asking any
incriminating questions, advise the suspect or accused of his legal rights as set
forth in Part D.
7. CONDUCTING THE INTERROGATION.
The interrogation technique is influenced by the subject's background and the
available facts and evidence. Consider these factors. Then classify the subject
and make the necessary preparation and plans.
Proceed with the interrogation.
Decide on the technique or combinations and changes of approaches that seem best.
Although there are many questioning techniques, there are only two basic
subterfuges can be used effectively with each approach.
If the approach first
selected and used fails, another should be used in an effort to end the
An obvious changeover from one approach to another
should be avoided; it may be detected by an alert subject. This, in turn, may tend
to strengthen his resolve to