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Interviewing and Interrogation: Bizarre Training Course

Interviewing and Interrogation: To Record or Not Record… Tip # 19 of 101 Tips

Interviewing and Interrogation

To Record or Not Record … Why Would You Not?

Since 1984 and the passage of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (P.A.C.E.) Great Britain’s law enforcement agencies have been recording their interviewing and interrogation sessions.  There were multiple reasons behind the move to record.  To assure that the rights of subject’s were being properly protected and more importantly, the biggest motivating factor was to more quickly identify and reduce the occurrence of false confessions.  

Since that time numerous local agencies in the US have decided on an  individual basis to record their interviewing and interrogation sessions.   There are now 20+ states that by statute recording some form of recording of at least specific major felony cases to all felony cases and many misdemeanor cases.

Initially there was resistance to the idea of recording those sessions by some law enforcement personnel and prosecutors.  Those agencies and states that have started the recording interviewing and interrogation of subjects have now overwhelming embraced the process and are giving rave reviews.  Earlier this year there has been news that more and more federal agencies may be following suit.

Listen in to Tip # 19 of 101 Tips for Interviewers and Interrogators and learn more about the process of interviewing and interrogation recording.

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Interviewing and Interrogation: Do You “Google” Your Subject? | Tip # 18 of 101 Tips

Interviewing and Interrogation Scene

Interviewing and Interrogation:

Have you ever thought about “Googling” your subject?

Extensive research has shown that lie signs are in fact quite rare during interviewing and interrogation.  The signs a subject may possibly generate are very faint “signals” and are very brief which makes them hard to spot.  We know that during the interviewing and interrogation of subjects, that even though the subject may be experiencing a high level of “detection anxiety”, they don’t exhibit a large volume of deception signals. 

This is especially true for the stereotypical body language cues that investigators have been taught to look for for decades. In fact, by focusing the majority of their attention on body language lie signs, observers fall victim to “confirmation bias” and can make very egregious errors in spotting deception.  I call it “The Big Foot Syndrome.”  If you “think” you’re going to see signs of Big Foot while you’re out in the woods, then EVERYTHING looks like a sign made by Big Foot! The best and most reliable cues come from verbal content.

Although verbal content is comparatively more reliable than body language cues, detection still requires more effort on the part of the observer / interviewer.

Two things can change the investigator’s success at spotting deception and getting more information during interviewing and interrogation.

  • Don’t focus so much on spotting where the subject is possibly being deceptive.  If you only focus on winning the “you’re lying” battle, the odds are stacked unfavorably against you.  Identify which “topics” seem to give the subject the greatest problems and focus your questions around those issues.
  • As you’re interviewing and interrogation efforts progress, focus your questions around the “topic” areas.  Your goal is to energize any lie symptoms that “may” be present. At the same time, your questions will generate larger amounts of information.

Watch video Tip # 18 “Interviewing and Interrogation | Do You “Google” Your Subject?” and see how you can identify and energize your subject’s hot spots.

 

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Lying: Lance Armstrong’s Attorneys Say “It’s Okay!”

If you write a book, you have a right to lie.  At least that’s what Lance Armstrong’s attorney’s say about his autobiographies. Lance Armstrong is being sued by his book publishers for $5 million dollars plus damages for the massive lies he wrote about in his books.

I find it very interesting that Armstrong’s attorney Jonathan Herman says “People don’t always have to tell the truth.”  I guess it doesn’t matter that he duped the publishers and millions of readers in his books “It’s Not About the Bike” and “Every Second Counts.”  The argument is that he didn’t fraudulently mislead anybody to buy his books through some form of false advertising campaign. The publisher’s attorney Kevin Roddy says “He cheated on bike races to sell books and he published books in order to cover up cheating. We think they are intertwined.”

I wonder if Armstrong’s attorney would be so cavalier about lying if it was a witness he was deposing?  Would he be so generous if a witness lied on the witness stand?  I guess as long as I feel “justified” in the situation I am authorized to lie.  That’s the same logic people use with they commit all types of crimes, fraud, deception, even sabotage and espionage!

In my mind, this is just another example of Armstrong’s grossly over blown ego and that he can do anything he wants and can find ways to justify his actions.  Lying, not matter the situation is ALWAYS done for selfish reasons.  Even the little white lies we tell in social situations.  What I worry about are the lies that are designed to “hide” a wrong, “hype” the image of oneself, or to “harm” another.

In my mind, chronic lying (hide, hype and harm) is a sign of a MAJOR character flaw on the part of the liar.  It would be my opinion that Armstrong has some major character flaw issues!

The Lie Guy YouTube ChannelThe Lie Guy YouTube: Deception: The Different Types of Lies

 

Don’t you find it amazing that liars are so good at rationalizing and justifying their behavior?  Isn’t amazing that some people go out of their way to enable these people to keep getting away with victimizing others?

 

I guess some people just prefer to be lied to because they hate hearing the truth as much as some people fear telling the truth.

Well … at least that’s my observation anyway.

Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”
TheLieGuy.com

The Interview Room
The3rdDegree.com
StanTheLieGuySpeaks.

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Interview and Interrogation Training: It’s Not One and Done.

One interview and interrogation training course is NOT a vaccination!  Just because you took one course on the topic doesn’t mean you don’t need or won’t benefit from any more follow-up training. More often that not investigators and especially their administrators maintain the philosophy that once you take a course on interview and interrogation, you don’t really need any more training on the topic for the rest of your career.

The last 10 – 12 years has seen an enormous amount new research and legal rulings on interview and interrogation.  To maintain a high level of proficiency and reduce personal legal liability, investigators should be constantly studying and researching interview and interrogation research as well as their particular field of expertise. A VERY large majority of the research has proven that many of our detection of deception techniques are absolutely wrong!  Unfortunately misdiagnosis of deception signs is one of the leading causes of false confessions.  Even more disturbing is how many people teaching interview and interrogation have been ignoring the empirical research and are responsible for continuing to perpetuate myths about deception and interrogation.

Questions the professional interviewer & interrogator should ask themselves –

  1. Am I dedicated to being the best in my field including my interview & interrogation skills?  Am I a “virtuoso” in my field or am I just average?
  2. Am I spending 30 – 60 minutes per day reading about interview and interrogation or about my area of specialization?
  3. Have I ever spent the equivalent of the cost of a gourmet cup of coffee on educating and improving myself and my knowledge base?
  4. How long ago did I take any training or refresher training on interview & interrogation?
  5. Have I really looked at the true “source” of my interview and interrogation training? Is what I am being taught supported by empirical evidence or is it just anecdotal.  As business expert Mark Sanborn wrote in his latest business book “Up, Down or Sideways,” despite popular belief “data is not the plural of anecdotal.”
  6. Am I learning for the future?  The more you learn, the more you know what you are going to need to learn to be able to adapt to what you will encounter in the future.

If nothing else, there is one more VERY good reason to read, research and study our interview and interrogation skills.  We dramatically improve our chances of success in the interview room and in the field.

Mark Sanborn wrote “The more you learn, the more you develop behavioral flexibility that provides you a distinct advantage over your competition.”

Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”
TheLieGuy.com
The Interview Room
The3rdDegree.com
StanTheLieGuySpeaks.

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