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Criminal Investigation

NCJ Number
W W Bennett; K M Hess
Date Published
496 pages
This introductory textbook on criminal investigation presents fundamental information that will serve as a foundation for more specialized future course work.
The goals and basic functions of criminal investigation and the characteristics of an effective investigator are set forth. The book notes that investigative techniques are central to the successful resolution of crimes and that all police personnel have investigative responsibility. Prospective investigators are given information on photographing the crime scene, taking notes and writing reports, sketching, searching, obtaining and processing physical evidence, obtaining information through interviews and interrogation, identifying and arresting suspects, and conducting raids, undercover surveillance, and other assignments. Guidelines for investigating specific crimes show investigators how to classify and define these crimes, deal with the special problems each crime presents, prove the elements of the offense, and collect evidence, especially from victims, witnesses, and suspects. Investigations of robbery, assault, sex offenses, homicide, burglary, larceny/theft, fraud, white-collar crimes, motor vehicle theft, arson, organized crime, and drug-related crime are all treated individually. Finally, the investigator's role in the judicial process is highlighted in a discussion of court case preparation and presentation. Figures, sample forms, study questions, a glossary, and an index are provided.