Encouraging Cooperation Before the Lie
What exceptional criminal interviewers and psychotherapist are sharing with us.
A favorite quote among the four exceptional investigators and interviewers is “rapport is core to getting more.”
Rapport building is more than just “chatting them up”. Everything we do from the moment of initial contact has a purpose that will come into play later in the interview process. We are setting the valuable groundwork so we can use an arsenal of tools later in the interview. The interview is all about the interviewee, whether they are a victim, witness or suspect! The interviewer should be speaking 20% or less of the time.
Getting the interviewee to talk about their family, friends, work, hobbies, religion, etc. should be an important part of the initial interview process, it’s designed to fulfill specific objectives:
condition the person to answer your questions even when the topic becomes threatening;
provide you with important intelligence information about the person’s activities, capabilities, and potential accomplices;
identify possible motive for the offense;
establish baseline behavior to significantly help detect deception; and,
demonstrate that you care about what is important to the interviewee – empathy not sympathy.
A training audio of a suspect with an extensive criminal history is provided to demonstrate information revealed during the initial rapport building process that was later used to obtain a confession. A member of a street gang, Alfonso is suspected of participating in violent home invasions. The interview instructor in the video is retired Special Agent Mary Daugherty, ATF, and is one of the four interviewers capable of detecting all forms of deception almost 100% of the time. But her real expertise is managing the interview process.
Listen to a portion of the audiotape as Agent Daugherty conducts a custodial interview with a suspect.