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Interviews and Interrogations

NCJ Number
A Buckwalter
Date Published
258 pages
Chapters explain the techniques of interviewing and interrogation that can assist private investigators in their investigations, with attention to the art of communication, taking notes, using interpreters, guidelines for taking written statements, electronically recorded statements, and how to interrogate suspects and reluctant witnesses.
The discussions take into account that the private investigator must be more skillful, diplomatic, and persuasive in interviews and interrogations than the police tend to be, because the private investigator is not armed with law enforcement authority in investigative probes, thus requiring him/her to earn the cooperation of subjects. The first four chapters detail the fundamentals of interviewing: how to prepare for the interview, how to interview correctly, and how to conduct the investigative interview. Practical guidelines are provided for dealing with interviewing problems. The investigative interview is defined as a controlled conversation or an informal questioning designed to obtain facts from a knowledgeable person. The stages of the interview are portrayed as (1) approach and rapport, (2) interviewee's narrative of known information, (3) questions and answers exchanged to ensure complete and correct coverage, (4) checking and testing disclosed data to clarify and verify, (5) summary of facts revealed and interviewee's statment, and (6) closing with rapport and friendly departure. Other chapters deal with evaluating information obtained from interviews; techniques for taking written statements of fact, admissions, and confessions; electronically recorded statements; interrogation problems and suggestions for handling them; and techniques for interrogating suspects and reluctant witnesses. The appendix provides sample introductory and closing paragraphs for written and recorded statements, admissions, and confessions. Twenty-two bibliographic entries are listed, together with a subject index.