REID TECHNIQUE INTERROGATION
THE REID TECHNIQUE INVOLVES A NINESTEP INTERROGATION PROCESS THAT LEADS TO THE GUILTY PARTY CRUMBLING AND CONFESSING TO THE CRIME
Reid teaches that there’s no such thing as a false confession, suggesting that if its method is correctly followed the chances of one occurring are zero. If they do crop up it’s because the investigators did not follow procedure correctly.
The technique comes in two parts: factual analysis and behaviour analysis. Each element functions individually but feeds into eliminating false suspects and whittling down to those suspected of committing crimes.
The factual analysis interview is intended to breed confidence in methodology, with investigators strategising through questioning. The behavioural analysis part of the Reid technique develops two themes: non- accusatory and accusatory. Non- accusatory consists of standard investigative questions, which help determine truthfulness, behavioural information and creates a dialogue. The accusatory interview ups the ante in nine defined steps and is in fact a monologue, putting the anaconda squeeze on a suspect – one designed to get a confession of guilt. 1
Positive Confrontation It begins when an investigator leaves the room momentarily and returns holding a case file. The detective looks at the suspect and tells them they know they are guilty of the crime. 2
Theme Development The detective constructs a narrative ( known as a theme), which presents moral justification for the crime: “Your wife was playing hide the salami with the neighbour, it was an affront to you as a man.” 3
Handling Denials A suspect – innocent or guilty – will rarely sit there and take the accusation lying down, so the detective must develop the theme and shut down the suspect when they attempt to interrupt.
4 Overcoming Objections
The suspect attempts to assert control over the interview by protesting and objecting to the detective’s theme. “I’d never kill my wife, I loved her. I don’t even own a gun.” Objections fall into several categories: moral, emotional and factual.
5 Getting their Attention
From this point onwards, detectives are dealing only with guilty suspects. They continue to develop the theme and by now the withdrawn suspect starts to listen. The detective deliberately invades the personal space of the suspect. 6
Handling their Mood The detective has the undivided attention of the suspect and continues to develop the theme ( the man killed his wife and her lover because she was having an affair). The suspect is subdued and resigned to the truth coming out. 7
Alternative Questions The detective poses a question. “Did you plan on killing your wife and her lover, or was it a spur of the moment action?” The alternative question is followed by a supporting statement, such as “It was in the heat of the moment, right?” 8
Details, Details After the alternative question and supporting statement, the detective follows up with a statement of reinforcement. The detective will then take the suspect through a series of questions related directly to the crime. “Where did you get the gun?”; “How did you gain entry to your neighbour’s house?” 9
Converting the Confession The detective has gleaned a verbal account of the murders and gathered supporting evidence. A witness should be brought into the room and details gone over again. Statements appear in four formats: the suspect’s, the investigator’s statement, statement taken by stenographer and recorded statement.