recall details. At the same time, a lying victim may be thrown off-guard. He will be more likely to tell
discrepancies and contradictions. Note the interviewee's emotional state. A later interview may be
needed to verify the information given.
d. When the interviewee is ready, willing, and able to discuss the incident, you can forgo using
questions and use an indirect approach. The indirect approach is simply having him tell his version of
the story in his own words. You should ask questions at the end of the story only to clarify information
or to fill in gaps.
e. If a victim or witness is not ready to talk, or is unwilling, use the direct approach. This
involves specific questions that are to the point and aimed at getting facts. This is where preparation
will be useful.
f. In either approach, always use questions that avoid "yes" or "no" responses. Never use
leading questions that suggest an expected answer. Do not interrupt him while he is talking. You must
g. It is most important to phrase questions to get agree flow of information. For example,
instead of asking, "Was your house burglarized?", you might say, "Tell me about the burglary to your
home." In a leading question, you might say, "Tell me about the man driving the car" when, in fact, the
interviewee never said whether the person driving was male or female.
h. When you are reading a statement by a witness or victim, you will likely hear a story that is
different from what others have said. A willing witness or victim may not be trying to lie. There may
be some "unintentional deception" on his or her part. Be aware that this does occur often. It happens for
a number of reasons. Discrepancy between what a witness' says and the known facts is recognizable.
This must be cleared up. Differences must he accounted for so that the credibility of the witness in court
is not affected. If there are only a few discrepancies, allow the witness to finish the story before
challenging him with the discrepancy. If the witness seems to be continually lying, chances are the
deception is intentional. In this case, you would probably want to challenge him as the discrepancies
come up in the story.
i. There are two types of unintentional deceptions: observation and reporting. Deception due to
observation includes anything that affects someone's ability to perceive or recall a truth. This could be
due to the distance or angle at which they are a witness, the weather, light, or other distractions in the
environment. It may be the lapse of time since the observation was made. Likewise, a person's life
experience or training may either increase or detract from an observation.
j. Unintentional deception in reporting may be due to many factors. These include inability to
express himself, or fear of police or police methods. He may have incorrect assumptions as to what
details are important.