after you are prepared and are thoroughly ready. Every minute that elapses between
the crime and the apprehension and interrogation of the suspect affords him a
chance to compose himself, to fabricate alibis, and to communicate with
the interrogation is normally time consuming, and cannot be rushed,
be no time limit.
Do not schedule any other activities that may
or cut it short.
The interrogation, however, should never be
a length of time that would constitute duress.
b. Place of Interrogation.
A suspect, surprised and apprehended in the act
of committing a crime, is sometimes interrogated on the spot while he is under
considerable emotional strain.
Properly handled, this may often produce an
admission or confession that will help to establish the guilt of the suspect and
Normally, however, it is conducted at your office.
provide recording facilities and secretarial assistance.
Witnesses are also
available to guard against possible charges of abuse, duress, or coercion, and to
witness statements, admissions, and confessions.
At your office or an
interrogation facility, you can arrange for privacy, control the environment, and
make fairly certain that it will not be interrupted.
Classification of Suspects.
a. The classification of suspects into two general groups will help you in
the approach most likely to succeed.
Your efforts to classify a suspect will
depend upon your own ability and experience, and also upon the information
developed about the suspect or the case.
A wrong classification may result in a
This would happen if the approach, based on the original
classification, is not skillfully and quickly changed before the suspect becomes
aware of your error. Suspects are divided into the following groups.
(1) Suspects whose guilt is
This category may be
further divided into:
(a) Those influenced by sympathy or understanding (first offenders or
"heat of passion" offenders).
(b) Those influenced by logic (habitual criminals or those who feel no
concern for their offense).
(2) Those whose guilt is doubtful or uncertain.
b. Your success will depend upon a quick and accurate appraisal of the
subject, and the technique appropriate for the occasion. Should you appeal to his
logic? Should you be sympathetic?
Should you appeal to the person's pride, or
shift the blame to someone else? Should you be tough? What terminology should you
These are but a few of the questions you will have to ask yourself while
sizing up the subject and deciding on the technique to use. (See Chapter 5, FM 19-
20 for additional information on the interrogation.)