b. Special Agent Preparation.
Prior to any meeting or contact with the
subject, you must prepare yourself.
You must become familiar with all the known
facts of the incident under investigation. You should interview the desk sergeant,
military policeman (MP), or anyone else who may have some knowledge of the initial
complaint. Any oral, written, or recorded statements made by the subject, victim,
witness, or complainant must be read and considered.
Visit the scene of the
alleged incident. Become familiar with the surroundings, even if there will be no
crime scene processing.
Learn what has been discussed in front of the suspect.
Become familiar with the backgrounds of the persons involved, especially the
suspect. Personal background information should include:
(1) Age, date of birth, place of birth, race, and nationality.
(2) Military rank or civilian status; and social security number.
(3) Present and former occupations.
(4) Educational level attained.
(5) Habits, hobbies, and associates.
(6) Relationship toward family, church, country, and job.
(7) Record of trials or police arrests.
(8) Criminal investigation depository check.
Be familiar with the case, the relationship of the subject
with the case, and
background information of the persons involved.
create a definite
advantage in your favor.
You should determine questions
and techniques for
engaging the person in conversation.
This will not be easy.
You must maintain
control and ask probing questions. Lying by the suspect must
be detected. Cover
all aspects to make sure you do not "run out of gas."
Decide on the information you seek to develop during the questioning. If possible,
you should prepare a list of specific questions to be asked; avoid questions
certain to get "yes" or "no" answers. Prepare questions like: "What did you see?"
rather than "Did you see the accident?" Questioning must be conducted on the basis
of accurate information.
Lack of information will not impress the subject, but
will make him more confident in his lying.
A suspect who is told that his
fingerprints were found at the scene of a crime, when at the time he was wearing
gloves, will keep his resolve to lie.
c. Legal Preparation.
Knowing the laws that apply to the offense is
necessary for a successful interview or interrogation.
Knowledge of these laws
will help you to recognize an incriminating statement, and to assist in evaluating
any statement made.
You must be acquainted with those portions of the Manual
for Courts-Martial that set requirements and tests for the admissibility
You must know the specific acts which constitute the elements
of proof of the alleged crime.
You should know and avoid the actions
and conditions of improper questioning.
Seek to protect the rights of