This new 427 page reference text offers detailed information applying the Reid Technique to unique and specific issues encountered during the course of an investigation.


Since 1998 the authors have written articles called "web tips" which were posted on the website of John E. Reid and Associates. These web tips covered topics ranging from behavior symptom analysis and interviewing techniques to interrogation procedures and updates on legal decisions. In total, more than 130 web tips have been posted. The spontaneity of the Internet allowed the authors to address contemporary issues and maintain updated information on detection of deception research and case law.

The topics of many of these web tips were selected as a result of questions asked by participants attending our three or four day training seminars on the Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation. Consequently, they address issues investigators frequently encounter when conducting interviews or interrogations. This field guide was developed to organize and index information from these articles in a manner that allows investigators to efficiently find answers to common questions relating to interviewing and interrogation practices and issues.

Additionally, this field guide serves as a resource to refresh and reinforce our readers with some of the fundamental information learned during our seminars, while at the same time expanding on that material with some advanced concepts. The information within these articles represents our most current views on interviewing and interrogation, as well as addressing the most recent court decisions and expert opinions relating to The Reid Technique.

In preparing this Field Guide, we have assumed that the reader has some familiarity with the Reid Technique, either by having attended one of our training programs or by reading our text book, Criminal Interrogation and Confessions, 5th edition, 2013. If the reader has not done either, some of the material may not be understood in the proper context.

Available January 2014

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1. Overview of The Reid Technique
Historical Development
Factual Analysis
Behavior Symptom Analysis
Reid Nine Steps of Interrogation

CHAPTER 2. Factual Analysis
Evaluating One-on-One Allegations .
Evaluating the Truthfulness of a Reported Sexual Assault .
Evaluating the Suspect Who Accepts Responsibility for the Crime
Don't Overlook The Person Who Reported The Crime
The Significance of Identifying Precipitators During a Criminal Investigation
Evaluating Inconsistencies Within An Account
Assessing Attitudes: The Victim Mentality
Catching a Suspect in a Lie Not Always a Symptom of Guilt
Willingness to Repay Stolen Funds Not Always an Indication of Guilt

CHAPTER 3. Interview Room Setting and Environment
Designing an interview / interrogation room
Creating a temporary interview room
Having a third person in the interview room
Electronic Recording of Interviews and Interrogations

CHAPTER 4. Basic Interviewing Procedures .
Eliciting A Subject's Willingness to Submit to a Voluntary Interview
Interviewing vs. Interrogation
Developing an Interview Strategy
Establishing Rapport With A Suspect
Conducting a Custodial Behavior Analysis Interview
Maintaining Objectivity During an Interview
Question Formulation Guidelines
The Importance of Pursuing Communication with Others During an Interview
Do You Invite People to Lie to You?
Are You a Good Listener?
Considerations for an Investigator's Attire

CHAPTER 5. Behavior Symptom Analysis
The Role of a Subject's Attitudes in the Detection of Deception
Using Baseline Behaviors to Establish "Truthful" Responses
The Importance of Context Within Behavior Symptom Analysis
The Influence of the Investigator's Demeanor on a Subject's Behavior
Behavior Symptom Analysis During Roadside Interviews
Innocent Suspect's Responses During Interrogation
Evaluating a Subject's Posture During an Interview
The Role of Eye Contact During Interpersonal Communication
Neurolinguistic Evaluation
Evaluating Hand Behavior During an Interview
Incongruous Behaviors
Paralinguistic Communication
Laughter and the Detection of Deception
Interpreting Verbal Phrases
Evaluating Omission Within a Suspect's Statement
Evaluating Admissions Against Self-Interest
Word Games Deceptive Suspect's Play
Quoting Statements in an Open Account: Truthful or Deceptive?
The Significance of Listing in Behavior Symptom Analysis
The Significance of Specific Denials During Interviews and Interrogations

CHAPTER 6. Psychological Aspects of Detection of Deception
If a Lie is Repeated Often Enough, Can a Person Come to Believe the Lie is True?
Good vs. Bad Liars
Investigating Attention-Motivated Fabricated Crimes
The Esteem-Motivated Offender
The Role of Defense Mechanisms in the Detection of Deception
The Role Of Consequences in Detecting Deception
The Role of Motivation in Detection of Deception Research
The Psychopathic Suspect

CHAPTER 7. Specialized Interviewing Techniques
Investigating Issues of Intent
Investigating Possible Fabricated Claims
Selecting The Proper Issue in a Child Physical Abuse Investigation .
The Use of an Interpreter During an Interview
Interviewing Witnesses
Taking a Statement from a Victim or Complainant
Conducting an Exit Interview
Issues to Consider Regarding Possible Suicidal Suspects
Interviewing the Elderly Suspect
Handling The Angry Suspect
Eliciting and Evaluating an Alibi
The Bait Question in the Age of Computer Technology
Going Directly from an Interview into an Interrogation
Considerations With Respect to the Use of Evidence During an Investigation

CHAPTER 8. The Reid Nine Steps of Interrogation
Interrogating a Suspect on the Issue of Identity Theft
Interrogations of Children
The Importance of the Transition Statement During an Interrogation
The Use of Third Person Themes
The Use of Rationalization During an Interrogation Theme
The Use of Evidence During an Interrogation
The Use of Visual Aids During an Interview or Interrogation
Responding to a Suspect's Request to See Evidence During an Interrogation
The Use of Trickery and Deceit During Interrogation
Selling The Suspect on the Benefits of Confessing
Selecting The Proper Alternative Question
The Use of the Restitution Question During an Interrogation
Distinguishing Between Admissions and Confessions
The Importance of Corroboration Within a Confession
Proper Techniques for Witnessing a Confession
Documenting Field Confessions
Electronically Recorded Confessions

CHAPTER 9. Legal Aspects of Interviewing and Interrogation
What Exactly is the Reid Technique of Interrogation
Miranda, Article 31 and Constitutional Advisements
Civil Liabilities Associated With False Confessions
Guarding Against Claims of False Imprisonment
Interogation Procedures: Promises of Leniency
The Danger of Threatening Inevitable Consequences
Legal Considerations When Asking an Alternative Question
Lying to a Suspect : How Far Can the Investigator Go?

CHAPTER 10. False Confession Issues
False Confession Cases: The Issues .
Motives for False Confessions
The Importance of Accurate Corroboration Within a Confession
Research Review: The Lie, The Bluff and False Confessions
The Use of the Accident Scenario During an Interrogation
The Feasibility of an Analytic Assessment to Identify False Confessions

CHAPTER 11. Best Practices of The Reid Technique
A Quick Guide to Best Practices for the Reid Nine Steps of Interrogation
Interview Before Interrogation
Common Errors in Evaluating a Suspect's Truthfulness Through Behavior Symptom Analysis
Use Caution Before Expressing an Urgency for a Suspect to Confess
The Importance of a Written Statement

CHAPTER 12. Miscellaneous Topics
The Polygraph Technique Part I: Theory .
The Polygraph Technique Part II: Value During an Investigation
The Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA)
Screening New Employees
The Importance of the Employment Application
Verifying an Employment History During A Pre-employment Interview
Background Investigations Conducted Over the Telephone
Testifying on a Suspect's Behavior Symptoms

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