(1) Ask the suspect if he knows why he is a suspect, or why he has been
brought to the MPI office.
This puts the suspect on the defensive and may give
rise to a remark or physical sign that also may not have been obvious.
(2) Ask him to tell all he knows about the offense.
Here the suspect may
offer information that would not otherwise come out in a question and answer
(3) Ask him why some of the evidence points to him. Normally, a guilty person
will try to explain away the evidence or offer an explanation of the evidence. The
innocent person will profess no knowledge of the facts.
(4) Question the suspect about nonexisting evidence.
As in paragraph (3)
above, the guilty suspect will try to explain it away.
(5) Ask if he ever thought of doing anything like "this" before.
person will usually answer yes, and then try to explain away his thoughts.
innocent person will deny any such thought.
c. Psychological Technique.
It is sometimes useful to focus the thoughts and
emotions of the suspect on the moral aspects of the crime.
This may be done to
make him realize that a wrong has been done. Take great care to ensure that the
suspect does not become so emotional as to render any statement made by him
inadmissible in court.
(1) Begin by discussing the moral seriousness of the offense.
appeal to his civic-mindedness or to duties of citizenship.
You could emphasize
the effects of his acts on his wife, children, or close relatives.
beginning, proceed to such matters as the sorrows and suffering of the victim and
the victim's relatives and friends.
(2) The suspect may tend to become emotional when discussing his mother or
father; his childhood and childhood associations; his early moral and religious
training. He may react this way when speaking of persons whom he has held in very
high esteem such as school teachers, religious instructors, athletic coaches,
neighbors, and friends.
This tendency is particularly true when a suspect is
guilty of a crime that he feels violates the moral values of these people. Often,
the emotional appeal of some person or personal relationship increases in intensity
with the passage of time and with the distance separating the suspect from his
former environment. By stressing the contrast between his present and former way
of life, you may intensify the suspect's emotional response.
This may occur
especially if he has deserted his family or has forsaken the way of life prescribed
in his early moral and religious training.
(3) The psychological technique is often successful with a young person. This
is also true of a first offender who, like the young person, has not had time to
become a hardened criminal. Neither of these has had time to develop the thought
pattern typical of a hardened criminal.