(4) Realize that skill is required in using this technique.
emotions and motivations most commonly associated with criminal acts are hate,
fear, love, and desire for gain. By careful inquiry into the suspect's thinking,
feeling, and experience, you may touch upon some basic weakness. Thereby you may
induce in him a genuine desire to talk. Try to think along the same lines as the
Make every effort to establish a common ground of understanding.
the suspect to construct a "face saving" rationalization of his motives for
committing the criminal act.
This will make talking about the crime easier for
d. Other Techniques. At times, the interrogation techniques used must be of a
more subtle nature. Use these techniques carefully so that your approach will not
be obvious to the suspect. Detailed planning and realism are the requirements for
their successful use.
Be careful not to endanger the success of any future
interrogative effort by telling the suspect just how much, or how little,
information there is against him.
Tell a story of a fictitious crime that varies
only in small details from the offense that the person is suspected of.
lapse of time, ask that the suspect write the details of the story he just heard.
If he is guilty, he may include details that are identical with the actual offense
and that were not mentioned in the fictitious crime.
When he is confronted with
this fact, the suspect may be influenced to make an admission or confession.
the other hand, he may be forced to lie in order to get himself out of a difficult
(2) The "Cold Shoulder." The suspect is invited to your office.
suspect accepts the invitation, he is then taken to the crime scene by you and
another MPI. While with the suspect, say nothing to him or to each other; simply
await his reactions.
This technique permits the suspect, if he is guilty, to
surmise that there is adequate evidence to provide his guilt. It may also prompt
him to make an admission or confession.
If witnesses are available, whose
identities are known to the suspect, they should be asked to walk past the crime
scene without saying or doing anything to suggest that they are aware of the
This procedure serves to intensify the suggestion that the
facts of his guilt are already established.
(3) Playing One Suspect Against Another. This technique can be used when more
than one suspect is involved in the commission of the crime.
One suspect is
"played" against the other by purposely encouraging the belief in one that his
companion is cooperating. Usually, the companion is the "weaker" of the suspects.
He is "cooperating" with the MPs to try to get special favors for himself. It may
also be suggested that he has talked about the crime and has laid the blame on his
pal. There are many variations to this technique, but in all, the suspects must be
kept apart and not allowed to communicate with each other. Variations may include
allowing the suspects to glimpse or observe each other from a distance, once in a
while. This should occur when one is doing something that the other may interpret
as cooperating with the MPs.
Another variation is confronting the "stronger"
suspect with known facts that have been allegedly furnished by the "weaker"
suspect. One suspect may be well treated, or even released, while the other may be