resist your efforts. Best results are obtained when the approach is intelligently
adapted to the peculiarities of each specific case.
Best results occur when the
approach is done in a skillful, inconspicuous way.
Also, using patient,
persistence, and self-control gives good results.
The approaches and techniques
generally used are the following:
a. Direct Approach.
The direct approach is normally used to interrogate a
suspect whose guilt is reasonably certain. In using this approach, assume an air
of confidence with regard to the guilt of the suspect. With this same air, stress
the evidence or testimony that points to his guilt. Try from the beginning to get
an admission or confession from the suspect.
(1) Suspects are more readily influenced by sympathy and understanding.
person who is a first offender, or a person who has committed an offense in the
heat of passion, anger, or jealousy is normally responsive to a sympathetic and
understanding attitude. Treat the suspect as a normal human being who, under the
stress of circumstance or extreme provocation, has committed an act that is alien
to his true nature. Strive in every way to gain the suspect's confidence and to
minimize the moral implications.
Do not hint regarding penalties for the crime.
When dealing with such a person, confidently stress the evidence against him.
Signs of nervous tension should also be pointed out to the suspect as evidence of
The suspect should be repeatedly urged to tell the truth; the use of
words with sinister meanings or connotations should be avoided; for example, say
"take" rather than "steal," or "fib" rather than "lie." Questions should be
designed to develop a complete and detailed account of the crime from the moment it
was first conceived by the suspect until it was committed.
When preparing to
interrogate a suspect readily influenced by sympathy and understanding, choose a
technique stressing one or more of the following:
(a) Confidence in his guilt. From the very beginning, give the appearance
that the suspect is guilty.
Indicate that the proof of his guilt is already or
soon will be established, and it is futile for him to resist.
(b) Overwhelming evidence against him. Point out to the suspect some piece
of evidence that establishes his guilt. Do not reveal to the suspect all that is
known about the case or about him.
Impress the suspect that you are on firm
ground, and have the evidence to prove his guilt.
(c) Help him rationalize the crime.
Point out to the suspect that other
persons in the same situation would have acted in the same way.
Assure him that
his actions are not really as "strange" as they appear, and that others are
committing the same act.
(d) Shift blame.
Place the blame for the commission of the crime on
someone else such as the victim, accomplice, or anyone else. Make the suspect feel
that he just "went along" and that actually the other person is to blame for the