Information is often needed that will give a clearer understanding
of the motives and actions of persons involved in an incident.
In getting such
information, the investigator may interview persons who are acquainted with the
victim, suspect, witness, or informer.
The interview is normally done in the
office, home, or place of business of such a person.
Rarely does this interview
turn into an interrogation.
PART F - DISTRACTING PERSONS.
You may meet persons who have no real connection with a crime or have no knowledge
of it; they may, however, give "information" to you.
They may claim to be
witnesses or victims, or even perpetrators. Despite the lack of any real basis for
their statements, these persons should not be dismissed lightly. Listen to their
Weigh what they say regarding the known facts.
Then take the proper
action. These people can be classified as follows:
Persons in this class are not
Some emotionally disturbed people, however, may
They may claim to be victims or accomplices of suspects
Make every effort to handle them in a
neither the investigation nor the reputation of the Armed Forces suffers.
b. Grudge-Bearing and Lying Witnesses.
Sometimes a person with no real
knowledge of an incident may give information about, or claim to be a witness to,
an incident. They may do so because of prior problems with an accused or suspect,
or to settle an old score. A thorough knowledge of the known facts and details of
the incident will often help you to see inconsistencies in the story of such a
person. The testimony of such witnesses may closely parallel the accounts of the
incident that have appeared in the press or that have circulated otherwise. Where
the real motives of such a witness are not clear, all possible background
information should be developed.
Such knowledge will reveal the lies and the
reasons for his statements.
c. False Accusers. A false accuser may make a charge that later investigation
will reveal as groundless. Sometimes such a charge will persist until a trial is
conducted. A false charge is, at times, an exaggerated version of an actual less
It can also be made when no offense has been committed.
charges occur often in sex cases and are not uncommon in other crimes.
charge may represent the sincere thinking of the victim, however wrong. 'Or it may
rest on the victim's reaction to previous ill will, suspicion, or jealousy. All of
your investigative skills are required in the first interview with an accuser to
separate truthful accusations from lies.
Certain human factors affect the MPIs success in getting people to talk. They also
influence the accuracy or truthfulness of the information.
Evaluate each person
and the evidence he gives; understand the person's motivations, fears,