Investigative Psychology – What Does It Mean And How Can It Help Law Enforcement Investigations? Evaluating The IP System And Detective Part XVIII “The Interrogation”

By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

In interrogating an alleged sexual offenders, they are generally not skilled in the manner in which they remember the incident. Ferdin and Georg Frobenius stated, “Men must be drawn out, not probed.” The IP Detective must draw the alleged sexual offender out and if this does not open the door, the IP Detective must not grow frustrated, but persistent in order to obtain the confession.

The IP Detective needs to be patient. Some offenders answer only ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and these answers definitely require the IP Detective to take these bare answers and attempt to use alternative approaches. The IP Detective needs to be creative and innovative when dealing with an offender who tries to play possum during the interrogation.

Egocentric and narcissistic individuals try to out smart the IP Detective and in the process forget what they said to the IP Detective. Maybe, just maybe these two types of personalilty types, become so confident they mess-up and provide incriminating information to the IP Detective.

Moving from no and yes answers to providing helpful information to the IP Detective places the offender in a guilty situation. Nobody said it was going to be easy for either the offender or the IP Detective. It is a mental chess game situation and whomever maneuvers in the proper direction will most likely be the successful one.

In order to conduct a proper interrogation the IP Detective must have conducted a competent and intelligent child victim interview. This simply means that the IP Detective needed to obtain factual basis for the probable cause to apprehend the alleged child sexual abuse victim. After the apprehension the IP Detective must strive in getting the alleged sexual offender into the interrogation room and begin the interrogation process.

The types of questioning the IP Detective asks of the alleged sexual offender needs to be specific, but explorative in nature. The IP Detective must realize that where the child victim was touched can make a difference whether the alleged sexual offender committed a low felony or the highest felony.

The child victim may describe a touch which may lead to a misinterpretation and false perceptions, due to illusions of pressure, stabs, or other contact with the skin. Determining if the touch to the private parts was intentional and/or accidental will be ferreted out by the IP Detective by asking the child victim their interpretation of how and where the alleged sexual offender touched her.

There are many questions which will need to be asked to understand if a crime was committed or not. The IP Detective needs to explore with the child victim that there are areas which are pressed on the less sensitive parts of the body, the back, the thigh, etc., they are always felt as one, although they are quite far apart.

When interrogating the alleged sexual offender asking leading questions about the position(s) of the child victim’s body in bed, may cause the voluntarily image that a leg has a position quite different from where it actually was. This is where you have interviewed the child victim, you clearly understand what the child victim is alleging the alleged sexual offender did to their body and you confront the offender with the specific details. This will throw-off the offender’s denial and the area he alleges he touched when the child victim was in bed.

If you can get the alleged sexual offender to state that he and the child victim were in the bed together, then the IP Detective should, with patience, get the offender to confess. Little by little the IP Detective needs to be convinced that this is all they needed to receive the confession.

There are many methods and techniques which can be utilized to get the alleged sexual offender to tell the IP Detective the truth. Depending on the gender of the alleged sexual offender may make a difference in the journey to obtaining the truth and ultimately a confession.

An apparently insignificant feminine quality which is connected with her intelligence is her notorious, ``never quite ready.'' The IP Detective meets this when he/she is looking for an explanation of the failure of some probably extraordinarily intelligent plan of crime. Or when a crime occurs which might have been prevented by a step at the right minute, women are always ten minutes behind the time.  

The need for the alleged female sexual offender to make things right during the interrogation is something which they have great difficulty in doing, until such time, the female offender has corrected the gap in time.

In working within the criminal justice system, the IP Detective will deal with the fact frequently that men pass much more easily from honesty to dishonesty, and vice versa, that they more easily change their habits, begin new plans, etc. Generalizations, of course, can not be made; each case has to be studied on its merits.

Yet, even when questions of fact arise, e. g., in searching houses, it is well to remember the distinction. Old letters, real corpora delicti, are much more likely to be found in the woman's box than in the man's. The latter has destroyed the thing long ago, but the former may ``out of piety'' have preserved for years even the poison she once used to commit the sexual act with.

Tomorrow, I will move to another area of the IP System. As you have seen the journey for the IP Detective is complex, but doable for those who work within the Investigative Psychological System. I will uncover the value of the IP System for you to understand, like I have done over the past couple weeks.

Forensic Child Sexual Abuse Investigations Part 1
 By: Lawrence W. Daly                                            
 Webinar Time- September 22, 2011 1:00 pm -2:00pm
 Registration Fee - $99.00   


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