b. To be an effective special agent (SA), you must be able to use good
questioning techniques, be able to communicate well with people, and be an
accurate, impartial listener.
c. Before you can hope to develop interviewing and interrogating skills, and
before supervisors can help you with these skills, you must know the principles
You must have the basic understandings and attitudes before you can
develop your skills.
The following definitions will apply for Lessons 1 and 2.
a. An interview is the questioning of a person who is ready, willing, and
able to talk freely. This person will often give his account of the facts in his
own words and in his own way.
b. An interrogation is the questioning of a person who may be or
reluctant, unwilling, or for some reason, unable to freely disclose information.
c. An admission is a self-incriminating statement that falls short of an
acknowledgement of guilt.
d. A confession is an acknowledgement of guilt.
e. A statement is a written or oral account of facts obtained from anyone
during an investigation.
Uses of Interviews and Interrogations.
a. The questioning of criminal suspects, witnesses, victims, and informants
will be a major part of your investigative efforts.
In some cases, physical
evidence will not exist. The only approach to a solution of the crime will be your
interviews or interrogations. It is a fact that most of our serious crimes would
remain unsolved if it were not for the leads developed (and the proof of guilt
established) through interviews and interrogations.
A recent study of New York
County courts revealed that of 91 pending cases of homicide, 25 defendants would
not have been indicted had it not been for their confessions.
b. The purpose of interviews and interrogations is to gather the facts of the
crime. You must realize, however, that all this information is not fact. The art
of interview and interrogation is to verify the facts of the crime.
involve checking statements as you link the evidence to what occurred and link it
with the suspect or perpetrator. You must pursue all information available to YOU.
You must seek out and identify accomplices and additional witnesses to secure more
This, in turn, will help to eliminate suspects as well as recover the
fruits and the tools of the crime.