Analyzing Criminal Interrogation: Effective Techniques and Behavioral Cues - A Free Essay Example

Published: 2024-01-24
Analyzing Criminal Interrogation: Effective Techniques and Behavioral Cues - A Free Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Strategy Behavior
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1675 words
14 min read

The detective employed the Reid Technique, which deprives the suspect of the chance to deny or explain (Haney & Roller, 2012). In the interview, Brian gets agitated with the fact that the detective is insinuating that he committed the crime DeVry (9.51). He asks the detective why he has to answer all the questions and even suggests that if the questions continue then he needs a lawyer. This technique seems to work as the detective accuses Brian through the questions to make him speak honestly. In an interview with Ryan, the detective insists on asking why their workers should open the restaurant door especially when they are new. These questions accuse the suspect, in this case, Ryan, of making him feel uncomfortable, and thus decides to shelve all the responsibilities to Brian. From the interview, one can see that when Ryan is asked questions, the name Brian pops up. This is the work of accusatory interviews making the suspect either shelve the blame on others to look guilty or decide to tell the truth. The detective also used assumptive questions and cognitive interviews.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

The interview was effective. From the list of questions, the detective was well prepared before the main day. The questions were effective enough to reveal that Ryan and Bryan were not honest about Sarah's rape and death. It may be a coincidence that they arrived together at work, but it is not a coincidence that Brian had to stop for gas, shave, and buy a new T-shirt, and wipes on the day Sarah was raped and murdered. The interview was focused on the rape and murder of Sara Brown, making it effective and appropriate in response to the prepared questions and the situational priority of events. The detective was logistically prepared for the interview, making it very effective in bringing out the doubt in the suspect's response. The detective expected the suspects to deny, he knew the time he had to use, and he knew the number of suspects to interview. This interview logistics helped him know exactly what the findings of the interview would be so that he could proceed to the next step or action.

The detective could have used another interviewing style that is more effective. He could have used the deception technique. Detectives can employ this technique to outsmart suspects and get them to confess crimes. A detective can draw answers to use in deception from the suspects' answers. For instance, Ryan seems to involve Brian in everything, ranging from opening restaurant doors and attending meetings, while Brian says that he does not know Sara, but only in meetings. He also thought she was a grumpy person, from the way she treated people on Friday that he saw her. From these statements, a detective can get the knowledge that neither Brian nor Ryan liked Sarah, insinuating that they had a motive. If only the detective could deceive Brian that someone saw him arguing with Sara, and at the same time deceive Ryan that Brian said that he came in earlier and opened the doors, then the detective would get a clear picture of what is going on instead of the blame game and lies.

Rapport building considers the social and emotional stability of suspects or witnesses as many of them at the time may be experiencing anxiety and are apprehensive about how the interview will go and which types of questions they may be asked (Haney & Roller, 2012). In this case, the detective asks simple and non-threatening questions while questioning Ryan. These questions make the suspect feel like he is safe and there is nothing to fear. He explains himself well from the time he got to the restaurant and what he was doing until he found Sarah's body and afterward called the police. He was at ease and peace whether he was lying or not.

The detective also builds rapport by asking straightforward questions. He asks to explain why Brian bought wipes and a new t-shirt on this day. He also asks him why he got a new shirt on the very day of Sarah's rape and murder. These questions make Brian feel like he has nothing to worry about and answers them to the best of his thinking or formulation. The detective developed a rapport by establishing a good interview setting. There were no physical barriers like excessive space or many tables that could minimize or affect body language.

The detective took the correct route in his interview strategy. He was well-dressed for the interview. From the interview video, one can see that the detective is in an official suit. Dressing code is very important while interviewing as it determines the seriousness of the work and the corporate culture. The suspects understood that the detective was serious with questioning right from his attires and therefore gave serious answers. While interviewing, the detective was a good listener. This is a good way of understanding what the suspect or witness is saying. While interviewing Brian, the detective listened carefully and even paraphrased some of Bryan's answers. For example, in DeVry (8.22-8.23), Brian says he needs a new shirt, but the detective repeats, "You say you needed a new shirt…" This strategy involves listening and it is very effective as it enables the detective to analyze the truth, especially if the suspect changes the statement. It is more of a verification of the statement and can only surface if the detective is a good listener, which is among the qualities of a good detective.

Verbal cues, whether of deceit or truthfulness can be obtained through observing the conduct of the suspects. Some people may start fidgeting and avert their gazes while being interviewed. Another strategy to establish the verbal cues is through speech analysis, where there is tonal variation. The last strategy can be done through the physiological measure (WU et al., 2013). In the case, DeVry (0.51) when the detective questions Ryan if he knew Sara, says he just met her, and then he spreads his hands on the table.

The repetition of words from Ryan shows a stutter and there is something he is hiding. To be exact, Ryan says, " eeh, I just met her, we did not have a relationship before'. If you just met a person, that means you have never seen her or had a relationship before and there is no need for you to repeat that, unless, you want someone to buy your story. So Ryan is hiding something. Ryan when asked about where he heard the rumors, in DeVry (2.50) he pauses before he answers. He says, "mmmm, some of the staff….." This an indication that he is lying and trying to justify what he is saying. DeVry (3.07) Ryan answers confidently and even maintains eye contact when he was asked about what he thought of Sarah. He said she was hard working and from the tonal confidence, he is telling the truth.

Brian has more deception in his verbal cues than Ryan. The most notable one is raising his voice when asked if he killed Sarah in DeVry (10.32). He tells the detective to get a new job if he thought he killed Sarah and even went to the length of demanding a lawyer if the kind of questioning continues. This is a clear indication that Bryan might be lying. Maybe he didn't kill Sarah, but maybe he knows who did it. Brian keeps repeating himself using the word "I mean". This is not because it is his nature, but because he is trying to convince the detective that he is telling the truth. This kind of stutter detects lies in his confession. While explaining how he got up to the time he went for gas, Brian is telling the truth. He even maintains eye contact, without a stutter in his voice. One can tell that he doesn't use his "I mean" word.

The purpose of interviews or interrogation in the criminal setting is to determine the truth which includes inculpatory guilt confessions or exculpatory crime involvement denial (Peak & Madensen, 2017). In Sarah's rape and murder case, guilt confession is evident, and therefore, additional steps must be taken for truth verification before a court appearance. The entry means and exit means in the restaurant must be examined to determine whether Bryan and Ryan had earlier access before coming back together. The detective can decide to hold back evidence after the crime scene visit. The detective in this case should ask for Bryans Alibis to verify if indeed he went to the gas station and the t-shirt shop. They should be brought to the station and interviewed. Ryan's time must be checked across the work he claims to have done in the restaurant before seeing Sarah's body, to verify if he was engaged with work, or with raping and killing Sarah.


In conclusion, an interview technique determines the quality of truth a suspect can give during an interrogation. If the interview is not well planned or organized, an investigator is likely to get poor results that will require a lot more investigation. In Sarah's case, the investigator sequenced his interview questions within a specific time frame. It should be noted that if an interview takes longer than expected, its quality is bound to be diluted. Behavioral observation is important in determining the truth or deception from the suspects or witnesses. As earlier mentioned, fidgeting, eye contact and tonal variations are some of the behaviors that an interrogator must watch to see through the suspect.


DeVry. (n.d.). DeVry video [Video]. CDIAT.

Haney, C., & Roller, A. (2012). Investigative Interview Techniques. Duff & Phelps | Valuation, Corporate Finance, Investigations, Disputes, Cybersecurity, and Regulatory Services.

Peak, K. J., & Madensen, T. D. (2017). Introduction to criminal justice: Practice and process. SAGE Publications.

WU, S., JIN, S., CAI, W., & LI, S. (2013). Detecting deception by verbal content cues. Advances in Psychological Science, 20(3), 457-466.

Cite this page

Analyzing Criminal Interrogation: Effective Techniques and Behavioral Cues - A Free Essay Example. (2024, Jan 24). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism