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From the collection of the 

o Prejinger 



V Uibrary 

San Francisco, California 

Criminal Investigation 
and Interrogation 


Edited by 

Coroner, Cuyahoga County, Ohio 


Director of The Laiv-Medicine Center 



Copyright ©1962 




I • J < 



Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine 
Western Reserve University, Cleveland 6, Ohio 


Detective, Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland, Ohio 

Professor of Speech 
Western Reserve University, Cleveland 6, Ohio 


Rancho Del Paisano, Temecula, California 


Commander, Criminal Investigation Department 
London Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard 
London, England 


Assistant Professor of Psychology, School of Medicine 
Western Reserve University, Cleveland 6, Ohio 


former Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investi- 
gation and Special Agent of the National Board of Fire 
Underwriters, owner of the Columbus Research Bureau, 
Inc. , and President of the Better Business Bureau of 
Central Ohio, Inc. , Columbus, Ohio 


65- 55617 



Detective Captain, Commanding the Homicide Unit 
Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland, Ohio 


Executive Secretary, Academy of Medicine 
Cleveland 6, Ohio 

formerly Associate Professor of Speech, 
Western Reserve University 

10900 Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland 6, Ohio 

Detective Sergeant 
Cleveland Police Department 
Cleveland, Ohio 

Director of Training 

Chicago Police Department, Chicago, Illinois 
formerly Clinical Instructor in Criminology 
The Law- Medicine Center, Cleveland 6, Ohio 



The cooperation of many individuals produced this 
volume. Grateful acknowledgment is given to each. The 
Law- Medicine Center owes special gratitude, however, to 
the following: 

Erie Stanley Gardner, and his devoted secre- 
tarial staff as well as an employee who con- 
sented to become "Jerry the Creeper" and an 
executive of a neighboring cattle ranch. Without 
the cooperation of these individuals the practical 
problem in law enforcement investigation would 
not have been produced. 

George H. Hatherill, Commander, Criminal 
Investigation Department, New Scotland Yard, 
London, England. 

Frank W. Story, Chief, and the Cleveland 
Police Department. 

Samuel R. Gerber, M. D. , LL. B. 
Oliver Schroeder, Jr. , LL. B. 
The Editors 

June, 1962 


This volume presents edited lectures and cases on 
criminal investigation and interrogation for the general 
practioner in law enforcement. Those individuals who have 
had limited opportunities to develop and to train investiga- 
tive and interrogative techniques should benefit greatly. 
More experienced criminal investigators will also find 
values in this book for it offers rare opportunities to com- 
pare their investigative methods with methods suggested by 
our distinguished authors. 

This publication, which is the first volume in a series to 
be known as the "Science in Law Enforcement Series", has 
several purposes: 

To present with simplicity and clarity elemen- 
tary investigative and interrogative procedures; 

To mesh the knowledge on science in law en- 
forcement as understood by the University 
academician and as understood by the police 
practioner by utilizing both instructive lectures 
and actual cases; 

To serve as an educational tool for the law 
enforcement officer at all levels and in all 
agencies, but especially the general police 
practitioner in small and medium sized police 

The opportunity to present inthe same volume such world 
famous criminal investigators as Commander George H. 
Hatherill, the head of "Scotland Yard" and Erie Stanley 
Gardner, the king of detective story authors, is unique and 
fortunate. Both are old and respected friends who have 
been of great aid to our police education program at The 
Law- Medicine Center. 



The material in this book will not grow old. It is basic. 
The book should not be merely read. It should be studied 
and studied continually. In this way, maximum usefulness 
can be obtained. New situations which the police officer 
experiences will open new vistas of knowledge contained in 
this volume. 

One final thought - for nearly a decade the police educa- 
tion program at The Law -Medicine Center has attracted 
several thousands of law-enforcement officers. Their en- 
thusiasm and eagerness to learn have overwhelmed us. 
May this book be as a fresh spring of knowledge to a thirsty 
and dedicated profession. 

Oliver Schroeder, Jr. 




Chapter Page 





by George H. HatheriU 


by George H. HatheriU 


by Robert A. Lang, Ph. D. 



by Harold C. Lockwood 


by George H. HatheriU 


by George H. HatheriU 


by George H. HatheriU 


CONTENTS (Continued) 

Chapter Page 


by Edward L. Hughes 

TIONS 142 

by David E. Kerr 


SCENE 158 

by David E. Kerr 


by George H. Hatherill 


by George H. Hatherill 



by George H. Hatherill 


by David E. Kerr 

CONTENTS (Continued) 

Chapter Page 


by The Staff of The Law- Medicine 

TION 271 

by Milton J. Horowitz, Ph. D. 


by Warren A. Guthrie, Ph. D. 


by Bernard J. Conley 


by Alfred K. Bochner, M. D. 


by Dezso Levendula, M. D. 


by George H. Hatherill 


by George W. O'Connor 


by George H. Hatherill 


CONTENTS (Continued) 

Chapter Page 


by David E. Kerr 


by The Staff of The Law- Medicine 




by Erie Stanley Gardner 

INDEX 445 


Chapter 1 

The Police Officer and His 
Scientific Aids * 

George H. Hatherill 


1. 1 Introduction 

1.2 Three principles of investigation 

1. 3 Duty of first officer at scene of crime 

1.4 --Sightseers and reporters 

1.5 --Fingerprints 

1.6 --Firearms and objects 

1. 7 --Notation of changing conditions 

1. 8 --Removal of injured persons 

1.9 --Moving the corpse; hangings 

1. 10 --Checklist for first officer at scene 

1. 11 Arrival of officer in charge of investigation 

1. 12 --Photographs 

1. 13 --Pathological examination 

1. 14 --Blood stains 

1. 15 --Examination of scene 

1.16 --Scotland Yard "Murder Bag'' 

1. 17 --Preservation of clues; samples 

1. 18 --Fingerprint expert 

1. 19 --Objects connected with the crime 

1.20 --Cigarette butts 

1.21 --Bloodstains 

1.22 --Dust and hair 

1.23 Conclusion 

§1.1 Introduction 

At the outset of this lecture I would like to em- 
phasize that I shall be presenting these subjects from the 
English point of view. Incidentally, I say "English" be- 
cause, again, in Great Britain the Scottish Police have quite 
a different procedure. There may be times when I shall 
refer to what we do or do not do in England. These particu- 

*The material in this chapter originally appeared in "International Lectures on Police Science" 
and is used here with permission. 




lar practices may be entirely different from those in the 
United States. 

I have worked in many countries on the continent 
of Europe. I know intimately their ways of working and 
systems. They do many things which the English would not 
do and, in fact, would not be allowed to do in England. 
Nevertheless, every country develops its police organiza- 
tions and systems of working according to its national 
circumstances, problems and, of course, above every- 
thing, the characteristics of the people. For instance, in 
the United States there are many problems that just do not 
exist in Great Britain. To mention only one, I have the 
impression that there are a large number of crimes of 
violence in which firearms are used. I think the same 
trouble applies in all the big countries in Europe, but for- 
tunately for us in Great Britain, crimes in which firearms 
are used are very rare. As a consequence, our police are 
not armed. However, I would be the last, knowing what 
does happen in these other countries, to suggest that the 
police of those countries should not be armed. In fact, any 
move in that particular direction by the police authorities 
of those countries would be utter stupidity. 

Another problem in the United States which is 
very serious and acute so far as officers engaged in the en- 
forcement of law are concerned, is the narcotic problem. 
That, too, needs the employment of special sections in the 
various police forces to combat it. So far as we are con- 
cerned, we have one officer at New Scotland Yard engaged 
on this problem for the whole of London, and even then it 
is not a full-time job for him. 

§1.2 Three principles of investigation 

There are three principles which should be men- 
tioned. First, I always emphasize at our Detective Training 
establishment that scientific aid to a criminal investigation 
must always be viewed in its proper perspective. All the 
spade work is done by the investigating officer, whose re- 
sponsibility it is to decide what scientific assistance is 
likely to be forthcoming, and to indicate to the scientific 
expert exactly what he has in mind. The scientist will never 
solve a crime, but often he can provide an additional link, 


or strengthen one which already exists in the chain of evi- 
dence. In short, the scientist is the "handmaiden" of the 

Next, it is often said that to bring a case to a 
successful conclusion, one must have a certain amount of 
luck. Looking back over the years, I am inclined to agree 
with this. But 1 do want to emphasize that the element of 
"luck" in a case, can be assessed at about two percent, but 
to get that two percent, one has to put in ninety-eight per- 
cent of hard, solid work. To quote our famous Statesman 
- work involving often "blood, toil, sweat and tears" - and 
if one doesn' t put in that ninety-eight percent, the little bit 
of luck will not be forthcoming. 

Finally, and this is the most important of these 
three principles, when an investigating officer is called to 
the scene of a serious crime, murder for instance, much 
depends upon what has been done before his arrival. In our 
country, in 999 cases out of 1000, the first officer on the 
scene of a crime is the police constable on the beat, or the 
uniformed officer who has been patrolling in a car and is sent 
to the scene of a crime, directed there by wireless as the 
result of a call to Scotland Yard. He is not a trained in- 
vestigating officer, so much depends upon what he does and 
does not do when he arrives at the scene of a crime. Blun- 
ders on his part can jeopardize a successful investigation. 
Furthermore, he may be followed by a junior detective 
officer who, through lack of experience, is likely to do 
something foolish, or alternatively, omit to do something 
which is necessary. 

§1.3 Duty of first officer at scene of crime 

We must bear in mind that the scene of the crime 
can be teeming with information and important clues from 
which, in most cases, the success of the investigation will 
depend. Because of what can be learned from this informa- 
tion, it is most important to train all police officers that it 
is the duty of the first officer arriving at the scene of a 
crime to act so that nothing is lost through negligence, 
thoughtlessness, or stupidity. If clues are destroyed they 
can never be brought back again; the task of determining 
what actually occurred then is made impossible. 


Therefore, the duty of the first officer at the vital 
spot is to act on his own initiative, to size up the area of 
the scene of the crime and to isolate it in such a way that 
no valuable clue is lost. When doing this, it is far better 
that he should make his boundary too wide than too narrow. 
No hard and fast rules can be laid down, but if he is trained 
concerning his general responsibilities, he will, when called 
upon to act, know what his duties are. As a result, the 
task of the investigating officer becomes easier. 

§1. 4 --Sightseers and reporters 

One big problem that will always be present is 
that in most cases there is a large number of other people 
- sightseers, the usual morbid sensation hunters, press 
reporters - all milling around and destroying evidence on 
the vital spots by handling, moving and altering the details 
of the crime. Often in a few minutes the whole physical 
set-up has been so completely changed that it bears no 
resemblance to the scene as it was left by the criminal after 
committing the crime. 

We in England do not allow press reporters to 
the scene of a crime until we have done completely all that 
is necessary. 

One case, in particular, is recalled where a 
prostitute had been found murdered in a flat over a shop. 
The daily help discovered the murder, ran downstairs 
screaming and a crowd of people went up there. A young 
police constable was called and when the investigating 
officer arrived he found the flat jammed with people. At 
the other end of the entrance passage was the bathroom and 
under the bath was a door mat. One could have imagined 
that in the struggle between the dead woman and her mur- 
derer, this mat was kicked along the passage into the bath- 
room. However, when we questioned the daily help she 
remembered quite distinctly that the mat was at the front 
door when she first went in. It had been kicked into the 
bathroom by the hordes of people who had gone in and out 
of the flat after the discovery of the crime. The young 
police constable had not asserted his authority and cleared 
the place on his arrival. I leave it to your imagination to 
guess what else had been disturbed in that flat. 


Therefore, it must be strongly emphasized to 
officers that when they first arrive at the scene of the crime 
they must take steps to get all persons not connected with it 
out of the way. 

§1.5- -Fingerprints 

Not an unusual event in murder cases out in the 
country is for the fingerprint expert to find fingerprints all 
over a house where a person has been murdered. When he 
has checked these marks with the fingerprints of all those 
who have been in the place after the discovery of the crime, 
he has often found that most, if not all, the fingerprints are 
those of police officers who have been on the scene. 

In one case which occurred in the country, the 
fingerprint expert found on the scene of a crime fingerprints 
belonging to twenty-three different police officers who had 
been in the place ! One police officer had left his beautiful 
prints on a brass knob of a bed in which a woman was found 
murdered. Underneath his prints was a strange print which 
could not be identified owing to its having been partially 
destroyed by the officer. We were never able to determine 
whether that print was left by the murderer. Strong advice 
to police officers on keeping their hands off things is most 

§1.6- -Firearms and objects 

In another case a man was found shot. Every- 
thing pointed to its having been a suicide, but the gun was 
found on the mantelpiece in the room. As death had been 
instantaneous (it looked as though the man had placed the 
muzzle against the side of his head for he had really and 
truly scattered his brains all over the place) it was obvious 
he could not have put the gun where it was found. It was 
first thought to be a case of murder. Subsequent inquiry 
revealed that one of the police officers early on the scene 
had picked up the gun from the floor near the body and 
placed it on the mantelpiece ! 

Many officers, when they find a weapon on the 
scene and have it removed for some imperative reason, 
have the general idea that it must only be handled in a cer- 


tain way so as not to destroy any fingerprints. Many think 
that putting a pencil in the muzzle of a gun and raising it 
that way, is the best. This is a mistake for, as the scien- 
tist will tell you, it destroys the evidence within the barrel. 
This is often of vital importance. If the weapon must be 
removed, then the way to do it is to grip the fluted or milled 
surface of the butt where no fingerprint can be found, or to 
grasp it by the ring, if there be one. If bullets or cases are 
found on the scene, their relative positions must be marked. 
In any case where a weapon has been removed, the officer 
should be able to say exactly how he handled the weapon and 
why and what he did with it. 

In another case, where a man was found strangled 
in his bed, the officer in charge of the investigation found a 
large number of used "Vesta" matches in the grate. "Vesta" 
matches are a special type of match manufactured in London 
and quite different from the ordinary match. He also found 
a number of cigarette ends. Search of the house established 
that the dead man had no matches of this type. It was first 
thought that the dead man had had his murderer in the room 
with him for some time before he was killed, talking to him, 
and that the murderer had been smoking and using this par- 
ticular make of match. Later the investigating officer, 
when interviewing the officer who first went to the scene, 
noticed him light a cigarette with a "Vesta" match. A few 
questions put to him brought out the fact that while he was 
sitting in the room waiting for other officers to arrive, he 
smoked, throwing the matches he used and cigarette ends 
into the grate. 

§1.7 --Notation of changing conditions 

It is important to emphasize to the officer first 
at the scene of a crime and awaiting the arrival of the in- 
vestigating officer, that he should make a note of various 
matters that can change with the passage of time - such as 
the state of weather, the temperature of the room, light 
and smell. He should note the state of the body and any 
other obvious clues that he may see. But it must be strong- 
ly made clear to him that he is not to interfere with them 
in any way. It is for others to puzzle over the meaning of 
these various things. One thing which should be especially 


stressed is that it is not for him to form any theories as to 
whether it is a suicide or murder. He must suspect the 
worst and take the fullest possible precautions. 

Among some of the things he should note must be: 

(1) His time of arrival. 

(2) The doors: open or shut, locked or not, and 
which side of the doors the keys, if any, are on. 

(3) The windows: open or shut, whether the catches 
are in position or have they been tampered with; 
any broken panes. 

(4) The electric light switches: on or off, and what 
lights are on. This particular point is often of 
the utmost importance where a person may have 
been lying dead for some time. The investigating 
officer has to decide whether the crime was com- 
mitted by day or night. It is so common for 
people to go into rooms, switching on the lights if 
it is a little dark and then not turning them off. 
When the investigating officer arrives he cannot 
establish whether or not the light had been left on 
by the criminal. 

(5) Blinds and curtains: drawn or not. 

(6) Smell: any smell of cigars, cigarettes, gas, gun- 
powder, fire, explosive, perfume, petrol or acid 
and, to be quite comprehensive, any smell that 
he can identify. 

(7) Weather: raining, frost, snow, ice, fog, or mist. 

As already stated, the officer must be careful not 
to move anything and, in addition, must prevent anybody 
else from doing so. It has happened that a family decided 
to start tidying up, such as righting overturned chairs or 
straightening out rugs. I know of one case where the family 
even started mopping up the blood! 


§1.8-- Removal of injured persons 

In the event that the officer comes on the scene 
and finds a person badly injured, his first duty is to render 
assistance, to call medical aid, and eventually to have that 
person removed to hospital. In that case he should try, 
even in the stress of the moment, to make a mental note of 
the position of this person and the general attitude of his 
limbs. Soon after the person is removed, he should mark 
the position where he was found. In these cases it is better, 
if possible, to remain on the premises and not accompany 
the injured person removed for treatment. In such cases, 
he can perhaps find some responsible person to accompany 
the injured man or woman. If the injured man is in good 
hands for the moment, the duty of the policeman is to re- 
main at the scene of the crime and to protect it. 

One thing which can be mentioned in connection 
with an injured person who is being removed is that the of- 
ficer should make a quick examination of his fingernails to 
see if they contain any hair or skin, for example, which 
may be cleaned away later. The clothes, too, should be 
quickly examined for any such clues. 

§1.9- -Moving the corpse; hangings 

Where the person is dead, and that state should 
be apparent to any police officer, then the body must not be 
touched or moved in any way. If that person has been dead 
some time, there are the livid stains caused by death, 
which is most important information to the doctor who will 
conduct the post-mortem. When the body is moved it may 
cause the blood to flow. It sometimes flows after death 
and this may mislead the doctor. 

With regard to persons found hanging, an officer 
called to deal with this must, so far as we are concerned, 
take the person down and see if it is possible to preserve 
life by artificial respiration. It is important, however, 
when cutting the rope, not to cut the knot. If a knot cannot 
be slipped off the neck the noose should be cut. It some- 
times happens that the knot may give some guidance to the 
investigator, for men in different trades or occupations 
make typical knots according to their occupation. Hangings 
may be suicides or they may be murders. It is not for the 


first policeman on the spot to theorize on that. His primary 
duty is to try to save the victim by cutting him down and 
applying artificial respiration. After that he should search 
for clues, that is, to note where the fixed end of the rope is 
and how it is so fixed. Ropes passed over branches or 
beams may provide excellent clues by examination of the 
outer fibers of the rope at the branch or the point of fric- 
tion. They may even indicate something about the hoisting 
up of the victim. There have been cases where apparent 
suicides have turned out to be murders through following up 
such clues as these. 

§1.10- -Checklist for first officer at scene 

A list of "do's and don'ts"for the first policeman 
upon the scene of a serious crime is as follows: 

(1) Take careful stock of the situation; act method- 
ically and with caution; be prompt to prevent the 
escape of an offender. 

(2) Secure aid for an injured person and remember 
the necessity of accounting for their condition and 

(3) Isolate the place under guard. It may be neces- 
sary to take rough and ready measures to do this, 
for example, by roping off, locking doors, putting 
planks or furniture across to prevent the pas- 
sage of idle spectators. Isolate too much rather 
than too little. In cases of crime committed in 
the open, get help to divert traffic where neces- 

(4) Procure witnesses, obtain names and addresses 
and, where possible, separate them, thus pre- 
venting their recollection of events being colored 

by what others may say. 

(5) Make a note of everything seen or heard. 

(6) Prevent trespassing by unauthorized persons and 
thus obviate interference with any fingerprints, 
footmarks, property or other clues which may 
be present. 


(7) Communicate at the earliest possible moment 
with headquarters. 

(8) In murder cases, call doctor and insure he does 
not move the body except as necessary to estab- 
lish death. 

(9) No furniture or other property in the room or 
other place in which it is assumed an offense has 
been committed should be moved, or in any way 
interfered with, except to save life, until the 
officer responsible for the investigation has 
arrived. An exception to this rule concerns 
possible clues which may fade because of the 
atmosphere, for example, fingerprints in wax or 
other fatty substance. In such event, remove to 
a safe place and be able to account for the posi- 
tion and condition of the article. 

(10) Prevent handling of articles or trampling or 
breaking at the scene which may destroy possible 
clues. Do everything possible to preserve clues. 
This may tax one' s ingenuity, for example, in 
bad atmospheric conditions or in cases of fire. 

(11) Make a note of any statement made by a victim 
and have the same witnessed by a third party. 

(12) If death is by hanging, remember the importance 
of preserving the knot. 

(13) Be accurate and methodical. Do not allow the 
success of the inquiry to be jeopardized by losing 
one's head at the outset. The police officer's 
job is to preserve . Be a watchdog rather than a 
blood-hound . Carelessness in this respect may 
well result in the best clues being destroyed in 
the course of a vain search to find new clues. 

(14) Avoid long discussions with the press, spectators 
or witnesses. 

(15) Give the fullest possible account of all material 
matters including measurements, times, state of 
atmosphere and such to the investigating officer 
as soon as he reaches the scene. 


(16) Finally, leave all theorizing to those who take 
charge of the case. 

§1.11 Arrival of officer in charge of investigation 

Then we come to the second stage - the arrival 
of the officer who takes charge of the investigation. 

Fiction generally depicts an investigator arriving 
at the scene of a crime, taking a look around, hearing a 
recital of the facts and then brilliantly giving the identity of 
the criminal in a flash. In real life the officer in charge of 
the inquiry begins his work with system, accuracy and 
caution. It may often mean long hours of work before he 
arrives at any proper result. It can be a long, laborious 
and tedious business. For one thing, he must not jump to 
any conclusions - as they should come at the end of the in- 
vestigation, not at the beginning. His first job, of course, 
is to hear from the officer on the spot, what he has done, 
whom he may have kept as possible witnesses, with names 
and addresses, and what that officer may have discovered. 
If the clues have been preserved, as already suggested, his 
task will be enormously lightened. 

In our police force we feel that the officer in 
charge of the investigation visiting the scene of a crime 
should be accompanied by only one other officer. Together 
they will make their examination, the junior officer noting 
everything that the senior officer wants noted. We feel that 
too many officers on the scene are likely to get into each 
other's way and perhaps unwittingly destroy clues. To 
quote an old proverb - "Too many cooks spoil the broth. " 

§1.12-- Photographs 

The first thing that should be done is to have 
photographs taken so that there is a permanent record of 
the scene of a crime as first found. The photographs should 
be taken from all angles. They should include two or three 
showing the scene in a general way, particularly in relation 
to its surroundings. Thus a house in which a murder has 
been committed will generally be photographed from the 
outside to show the roadway, garden, outside doors and 
outhouses. Later, a person seeing the photograph will be 


able to see how the felon gained entry or made his exit. It 
is important to note that the scale of the photographs should 
be accurately given as well as the conditions under which 
the photographs are taken, whether by flashlight or daylight. 
In the English courts, in cases of serious crime, 
the photographer himself is always called to prove the 
photographs. He may be asked how the photographs were 
taken. His testimony on this point becomes part of the evi- 

§1. 13 --Pathological examination 

After the photographing has been done, it is 
well to have the pathologist then examine the body. Such a 
man will do his part without destroying possible clues. It 
is important for him to know whether the body has been 
moved or not. If it has been moved, how and how long ago. 
He will give the police officer a rough estimate perhaps of 
how long before death had occurred, and an opinion as to 
the cause of death. Later, when the post-mortem is made, 
of course, he will be able to give more accurate details. 
For instance, where death has occurred through a sharp 
instrument being used, such as a knife, he should be able 
to give some idea of the tj^e of weapon, such as the length 
and width of a blade, whether it has a double -cutting edge, 
and so on. Where death has occurred through the use of a 
firearm, he will be able to give, to some degree, the dis- 
tance at which the firearm was fired. Of course, he will 
look for any bullets that may be in the body. 

The police officer in charge of a case in England 
is always present at the post-mortem examination of a 
body, in order to preserve continuity of the inquiry and to 
take possession of bullets found in the body, or other ma- 
terial exhibits. 

It is also important that before the body is taken 
away to the mortuary, a careful note should be made of the 
state of the clothing, as this in subsequent inquiries can 
also be important. 

§1. 14- -Blood stains 

If there are blood splashes about, it is well to 
point this out to the pathologist. Blood stains on objects at 


the scene of a crime are very important clues. They may 
often be of decisive significance. The form and position of 
blood stains often give valuable information regarding the 
course of events. Drops of blood falling vertically onto a 
hard surface will assume various forms according to the 
height of fall. Splashes of blood which fall in an oblique 
direction against a surface assume a drawn-out form which 
varies, according to the speed of the splash, from the shape 
of a pear to that of an exclamation mark. Sometimes a 
small drop is set free and thrown a considerably longer 
distance forming the dot under the exclamation mark. The 
dot or the pointed end of the splash shows the direction of 
travel. By studying the appearance of such drops or 
splashes, it is sometimes possible to determine where an 
assault occurred, the position of the injured part of the body 
during the assault, where the criminal was at that moment, 
whether the victim attempted to evade the criminal, and the 
number of blows given. One also has to consider the possi- 
bility that they might have been produced by swinging a 
blood-covered weapon or from the movement of an injured 
limb, for example, to avoid another blow. Then there is 
the spray formed by a blow from which the blood spreads 
out in all directions. A pathologist of some experience can 
give much information to the investigating officer on this. 

§1. 15 --Examination of scene 

After the pathologist has played his part, then 
comes the examination of the scene. This can be quite 
lengthy. As I have already mentioned, it is important that 
the police officers themselves should make no false clues. 
So, at the beginning one should arrange, if the officers are 
going to smoke, to have a receptacle for the cigarette ends, 
used matches, paper, etc. in order to avoid any confusion 
with the real clues. When measuring anything, do not as- 
sess distances. Exact measurements must be taken. There 
is no place in police work for "about a yard away from the 
door. " In the notes that are made the investigating officer 
should record whether doors or windows are closed, blinds 
drawn, position and attitude of body, state of clothes, any 
smell, condition of weather, and so on. Many a thorough 
search will yield correct results. When one considers what 




there may be - footmarks, fingerprints, tool marks, fire- 
arms, weapons, apart from clues on the body - one cannot 
emphasize the thoroughness with which this examination 
must be made. 

§1. 16 --Scotland Yard ''Murder Bag" 

We, in Scotland Yard, when going to a scene of a 
murder, take with us what is known as a "Murder Bag. " It 
contains the following: 

fingerprint outfit 

metal footprint former 

24 in. boxwood rule 

60 ft. measuring tape 

2 metric rules 



magnifying glass 

pencil torch with reflector 


glass-stopped glass bottles 

screw -topped glass bottles 

needle holder 

standard thermometer 

small cardboard boxes 


rubber apron 


soap box 


clinical thermometer 






test tubes 

glass boxes 

rubber bands 


pocket books 

labels, tie -on and sticky 


white linen bandages 

cotton wool 




statement paper 

ordinary tape 

adhesive and transparent 

transparent paper bags 
two transparent paper 

bags, (gusset type) 
2 dozen sheets white paper 




The bag measures 24 in. x 16 in. x 9 in. and when open 
appears as shown below: 

§1. 17 --Preservation of clues; samples 

When the investigation is complete, the officer 
will want to take away clues in the form of samples. The 
greatest possible care must be exercised in seeing that 
such clues do not lose their value while being transported. 
Clues should not be handled for the hand may be dirty and 
give off sweat (which is slightly acid), hence the use of the 
tweezers. It must be remembered that clues should not get 
"mixed up" nor placed in unsuitable containers which may 
destroy them. We have a set of rules printed in these 
"Murder Bags, " as follows: 


(a) Do not allow the exhibits to become contaminated. 

(b) Label all exhibits when they are found. 

(c) Do not forget to enter on the label the name of the 
officer who discovered the object and its exact 

(d) Do not place hair, fibres, or other minute parti- 
cles in envelopes or containers without first 
placing them in the white paper provided. 

(e) Do not place objects in unsuitable containers. 

(f) Do not use dirty containers. 

(g) Do not allow fragile fragments to become disinte- 
grated by being placed loose in containers. 

(h) Bullets and small articles for similar tests 
should be first wrapped in cotton wool and then 
placed in cardboard boxes provided. 

(i) Indelible pencil must not be used for entering any 

(j) Do not use ink when labelling liquids. 

(k) Do not put fibrous or cloth articles in receptacles 
containing cotton wool. 

(1) Do not put corrosive liquids in metal or cork- 
stopped containers. Use the glass -stopped con- 
tainers provided for this purpose and do not forget 
to seal the stopper with rubber surgical tape. 

§1. 18-- Fingerprint expert 

While the investigating officer is examining the 
scene of a crime he should have the fingerprint expert at 
work there. Fingerprints, which are found at the scene, of 
aperson who later becomes suspect, can be strong evidence. 
I do not think it is necessary to touch upon the fingerprint ex- 
pert' s work, how he photographs fingerprints found at the 
scene of a crime, or what he does with objects on which 
fingerprints are found. That is a subject of a full lecture 
in itself. 


§1. 19 --Objects connected with the crime 

With certain things at the scene of a crime the 
investigating officer can make up his mind whether a scien- 
tific examination of these objects or matters can help him 
in his investigation. For instance, there was the murder 
case which I investigated, where a motor lorry had been 
standing stationary on an earth road and oil had leaked from 
its back axle onto the ground. In that case I had dug up a 
considerablequantity of the earth and had it sent to a labora- 
tory where they determined the grade and quality of the oil. 
This proved to be important evidence at the subsequent trial. 

In cases where a person is suspected of having 
been poisoned by someone having access to the house, a 
thorough search must be made of places and receptacles 
where the poison may have been kept. Any suspicious 
papers used as containers, dust in drawers, tins and so on 
should be packed separately and forwarded to the laboratory. 

It is hardly necessary to mention that plaster 
casts should be taken of any strange footprints at the scene 
of a crime. An examination should always be made of fire- 
places and stoves to see if any papers have been burned. 
If such be found, these should be removed with great care 
so that the burned or charred paper is not broken. If there 
should be a wad of papers folded together, it is better not 
to attempt to separate the different layers of paper. The 
remains should be kept and sent to the experts in their 
original state. Charred and burnt papers are best sent in a 
cardboard box, separated with wadding, great care being 
taken, of course, not to violently shake them in transit. 

§1.20-- Cigarette butts 

Cigarette ends found on the scene of a crime are 
often informative. The experts can sometimes determine 
whether the tobacco is Virginia or Oriental. An examina- 
tion of the paper may result in some information being 
obtained as to the brand and makers. Of course, if lipstick 
is found on the cigarette end, that should be noted. The 
laboratory may be able to give identification of the lipstick. 
Also there is the possibility of determining blood grouping 
from the saliva. 


While talking about cigarette ends, it is of signif- 
icance to note how a cigar or cigarette end has been put 
out, such as pressed against an ash-tray, nipped off, gone 
out by itself, or left to burn completely to ash. You may 
later have a suspect who is a cigarette smoker. While 
questioning him give him a cigarette and see what he does 
with it when he has smoked it. I remember a case where 
we found cigarette ends which had been put out by being 
nipped. Later when I was questioning a suspect I gave him 
a cigarette, I saw him squeeze the end out between the fore- 
finger and thumb when it had burnt out. 

§1.21-- Blood stains 

I have mentioned blood. It is most important that 
blood found on the scene of a crime should be sent to the 
laboratory for grouping. If the object cannot be taken to 
the laboratory, the blood stain can be scraped off with a 
razor blade, clean knife or similar tool onto a piece of 
filter paper or white blotting paper. The material removed 
should be then placed in a clean sample tube. 

Blood stains on the ground are simply preserved 
by taking up the blood-soaked earth with a trowel or knife 
and placing in a glass jar. When doing this be careful that 
there are no worms or insects in the earth as they eat 
blood. When removing blood-stained earth, it is important 
to note the depth to which the blood has penetrated the soil. 
So far as blood stains on grass are concerned, I have tied 
some string round the tufts of grass and then cutimderneath 
it with a knife, placing the tuft in a carton or glass jar. 
With blood stains on plants, I have pulled them up by the 
roots and kept the plants fresh by wrapping damp moss 
round the roots. In the case of blood on twigs and leaves 
of shrubs and trees, I have cut off the twigs or leaves and 
placed them in cartons or glass jars. If the blood is still 
wet it should be noted and the objects should not be placed 
in a tightly closed container as the blood would putrefy. 
Any blood stains which have not coagulated can be taken up 
with a dropping tube (such as an eye -drop tube) and packed 
in a sample tube. 

So far as blood-stained garments or draperies 
are concerned, the article itself should be forwarded to the 


laboratory complete. If, of course, it is a large piece of 
furniture, for example, blood on the upholstery of a sofa, 
one has no option but to cut out the blood stained area of 
upholstery. However, I have had on one occasion a bed 
with the mattress and bed clothing taken complete to the 

§1.22 --Dust and hair 

With weapons that have been used in violent as- 
saults, it is important always to remember that these 
should be handled and packed very carefully, as adhering to 
the weapon may be hairs from the victim. With regard to 
clothes, it is most important, if sending them to the lab- 
oratory, to pack them separately, otherwise things such as 
dust or hair on one garment, if packed loosely with other 
garments, can be transferred to those garments. 

If, when examining the scene of a crime it hap- 
pens to be a place where there are dust characteristics of 
that place about, it is well to take a few samples. Later 
you may find a suspect. A laboratory examination of his 
clothes and of the soles and heels of his boots or shoes may 
bring up particles of that dust. The same, of course, would 
apply to broken glass, fragments of paint, splinters of wood, 
which may have become attached to a suspect when breaking 
into premises. 

It is most important to make a note of the ma- 
terial of the clothes a murdered person was wearing. We 
had a case recently in London where a man killed two 
women. Recommitted suicide in Germany but on his clothes 
were found red woolen fibres from a jumper of one of the 
women, blue woolen fibres from the dressing gown of the 
second woman, apart from blood and other things. 

§1.23 Conclusion 

In conclusion, I cannot emphasize too strongly 
the making of notes as the examination of a scene of a crime 
proceeds, a very detailed list of all articles seized, all 
matter sent on to the pathologist or laboratory, and what is 
done with it. 


The officer in charge should have a second officer 
make notes of all the investigating officer's comments upon 
the data he collects, for a report must be made of all that 
is known of the crime. It must be so accurate that it will 
stand minute investigation at any given time later. In short, 
it should be as full and informative as possible. 

Finally, it should be remembered that the scien- 
tists can only assist you in investigating a crime - they 
cannot solve it for you. But when enlisting their help it is 
most important that you should, wherever it is possible, 
give them the right material for them to examine. In addi- 
tion, it is also important to tell them what you have in mind 
when sending things to them for examination. Make a point 
of going over the whole case with them. I tell them what 
theories I had and what I thought might bear relation to any 
material I sent to them for examination with the events in 
the actual crime. I keep them informed as to developments. 
If you indicate to them in what direction you are travelling, 
they will often be able to tell you from their results if you 
are taking the right direction. 

When commencing an investigation in the old 
days, I always had in mind that with success a man would 
be charged with the crime and would appear before a jury 
made up of twelve ordinary citizens, picked from the gen- 
eral population. Therefore, it is necessary as far as 
possible to keep the evidence to straightforward facts which 
they can understand. I did not unnecessarily call in scien- 
tific experts to prove matters which were evident and clear. 
I also had in mind that, apart from the fingerprint expert, 
whenever a scientific expert was called to give evidence on 
some particular subject, it was likely the defence would 
call two or more other scientists to contradict what the 
expert for the prosecution had said. If one has too many 
scientific experts in the witness box all contradicting each 
other, the result is quite obvious - the jurors are listening 
to things about which they have no deep knowledge. They 
are likely to say, "Well, if all these scientific people can- 
not agree among themselves as to the facts, how can it be 
expected that we can understand them?" The result will be 
to reject the evidence tendered by the prosecution and, 
possibly, acquit a guilty person. 

Chapter 2 

Surveillance * 

George H. Hatherill 


2. 1 Introduction 

2. 2 Observation and description of a suspect 

2.3 --Peculiarities or mannerisms 

2.4 --Colors 

2.5 --Motor vehicles 

2.6 --Developing powers of observation 

2. 7 --Characteristics of a profession or trade 

2. 8 Keeping observation 

2.9 Undercover officers 

2. 10 Women officers 

2.11 Use of motor vehicles 

2. 12 Disguises and clothing of officers 

2. 13 General instructions in surveillance 

§2.1 Introduction 

This paper really covers two subjects - observa- 
tion on suspected persons and on the premises they use. It 
needs no emphasis that this is a most important aspect of 
police work. 

I do not propose to deal with criminals definitely 
wanted for an offence, to be arrested on the spot; but rather, 
the suspect whose identity is not yet established; whose 
activities the police are interested in in order to link him 
with other persons already in custody or wanted; or to con- 
nect him with certain premises; or to wait for him to collect 
stolen property; or to lead us to suspect premises; or to 
meet other thieves or to supply a missing link in a chain 
of evidence. 

"Anything worthwhile doing is worth doing well" 
has special application to observation duty. Anyone can 
follow an innocent and unsuspecting person. That is just 

*The material in this chapter originally appeared in "International Lectures on Police Science" 
and is used here with permission. 



child' s play. But the suspect with a guilty mind who, if he 
has any reasonable intelligence at all, can anticipate that 
he may be followed, is a different proposition. Only the 
right officer, with a lively intelligence, anticipation and 
imagination, will do a successful job of keeping him under 

§2.2 Observation and description of a suspect 

Before enlarging upon this particular matter, a 
few words should be said about observation coupled with 
description. It is really astonishing to find how many police 
officers have not developed these latent faculties. There is 
no question that many investigations have been handicapped 
by a poor, incorrect and incomplete description of a suspect. 
Incomplete descriptions are worse than useless because 
they are often so misleading. Again, that type of police 
officer will fail to get from a witness a "word perfect" 
picture of a suspect. One should remember what is really 
meant by "observation" and "description. " "Observation" 
can be described as really seeing what one is looking at; 
"description" is the ability to tell what one has seen. In 
the average person these faculties are undeveloped but they 
can, without too much training, be developed to a great 
extent. It is remarkable when talking to two different peo- 
ple who have seen the same incident, how different is the 
account each may give of what he saw, although I should 
perhaps say that this does not apply so much to women 
when describing other women. 

Accurate observation requires a certain amount 
of system. If an observer looks at a person first at his 
head, then at his feet, then at the middle, for example, he 
will miss many important details. He should have a start- 
ing point and travel methodically mentally from head to 
foot. If describing a room, for instance, he should start at 
the door, work round the walls until he arrives back at the 
door, then at the floor and ceiling. After this preliminary 
examination, he can approach and examine in detail things 
or points of special interest. When making up a description 
of what he has seen he should follow that sequence. It will 
be so easy to remember. Then, having seen all, he should 
not trust his memory but get it down in the form of notes. 


An accurate description of a person is of the 
utmost importance, as is the ability to make use of a de- 
scription when one is given. When obtaining a description 
of anybody from someone else, a police officer should be 
patient and thorough in his questioning of that person so as 
to get such a good mental picture that he would recognize 
the person in question. 

§2. 3 -- Peculiarities or mannerisms 

When getting this picture, of course, it is im- 
portant to obtain any peculiarities or mannerisms. Too 
much stress cannot be laid on the necessity for noting some 
feature or characteristic which is peculiar to the person 
being described. It is no good just getting a description of 
features. Apart from the fullest description of these par- 
ticular points, and the age and height, one should try to get 
the weight, build, eyes, hair (not only the color but whether 
wavy or curly, thick or thin, baldness front or temples, and 
so on); the complexion, including color, pimples or blotches, 
scars; the head, the shape of forehead, eyebrows and nose, 
mustache, lips, teeth, ears, chin, face, neck, shoulders, 
posture, walk, dress and peculiarities. 

§2. 4- -Colors 

Another thing when obtaining or giving descrip- 
tions is the weakness in men upon colors. I will confess, 
quite frankly, that so far as colors are concerned, I group 
them into the plain white, black, green, red, blue and yel- 
low. I say to my wife when she has bought, for instance, 
a new jumper, "That's a very nice red jumper you have." 
She replies that it's either maroon, cerise, scarlet, crim- 
son, or so on. If I talk about a green garment she has 
purchased, I am told that it' s turquoise, lime, or jade. 
We may think this is rather humorous, but if you put out a 
description of a woman, for instance, and say that she is 
dressed in a red jumper, to a woman it will mean "red" 
and not one of the other colors I have mentioned. I re- 
member investigating a crime of kidnapping a child by a 
woman. Several women who had seen the woman take the 
child away said she was dressed in a leopard skin coat. 


I took the precaution of taking these witnesses down to a 
furrier's. They were shown a leopard skin coat. They 
said it was not that pattern. When shown an ocelot skin 
coat, they immediately recognized that coat as similar to 
the one worn by the woman. When issuing the description 
of the wanted woman to the press and emphasizing the diff- 
erence between a leopard skin and ocelot skin, I made all 
the women of London "ocelot minded." The wanted woman 
was seen by a woman and was picked up. 

§2. 5 --Motor vehicles 

You will remember how in the HILL case I de- 
scribed the boys remembering so minutely the details of 
the lorry. That, of course, is nothing exceptional so far 
as boys are concerned. Another thing I found about them 
during the war was the 100 percent accuracy with which 
they could identify a plane, whether British or German, 
and what type it was. 

It is, of course, most important for a police 
officer to be able to describe motor vehicles of all types, 
not only the make, whether it is a saloon or not, its color, 
if possible the upholstery, wheels and not forgetting any 
mascot on the radiator. It is not necessary to emphasize 
how important such a description of a car can be in cer- 
tain cases. 

§2. 6 --Developing powers of observation 

I am not exaggerating when I say one can develop 
one' s powers of observation to such an extent that one can 
recognize a person walking in the dark when he appears only 
as a form by his very walk or gait. Again, of course, there 
is the sound of his footsteps. 

All these qualities should be developed in a police 
officer as without them he is useless for the purpose of ob- 
servation. If he is lacking in these particular qualities he 
will also be lacking in other qualities. It is no good choosing 
him for an observation and hoping for a successful result. 
It is remarkable that with a little training how extraordi- 
narily keen the powers of observation and mental pictures 
formed from a good description can be developed. We do 


have cases of young, keen and ambitious police officers in 
my Force who pick up wanted men solely on the description 
circulated; men they have never seen before. Again, for a 
senior officer with a large Force under him, it is important 
to memorize the faces of all the men under him, connect 
these faces with a name, which is more difficult, requiring 
constant practice, and then again, apply the same to the 
hundreds of people he meets in the course of his career. 

Another example of the result of developing these 
faculties is seen by the officers outside who notice some- 
thing about a person that is not quite right and in accordance 
with what they are doing. A simple example of this is a 
man on a cycle without cycle clips. We have had many 
cycle thieves arrested by police officers noticing this. We 
have had police officers on beats notice that padlocks to 
premises have been changed. One can quote all sorts of 
examples like this, such as picking up pickpockets by their 
behaviour in bus queues, or housebreakers loitering in 
suburban districts. 

In short, the thing we emphasize to young police 
officers is that things are not always what they seem. 
Alternatively, it is difficult for a man not to see what he 
thinks he ought to see, or what he wants to see. Young 
men are told to look at people with whom they come into 
contact and try to learn the identity of that man's profession 
or trade. It sharpens the faculties of observation and 
teaches one where to look and what to look for. A man's 
hands, his fingernails, his coat sleeves, boots, his trous- 
ers' knees, and such - all these can be guides. 

§2. 7 --Characteristics of a profession or trade 

Then, of course, often there are visible signs on 
clothes. If a man is a motor engineer and in his working 
clothes, one will see oil stains on his clothing. His finger- 
nails and cuticle will be ingrained with oily dirt. Even his 
boots or shoes may not have a shine because of the oily 
impregnation. Generally, he has an intelligent look as his 
work requires a considerable amount of knowledge and skill. 
A gas engineer can have red lead on his clothes, his finger- 
nails and cuticle. An engineer machinist has that peculiar 
smell of lubricant about him which a keen nose can detect. 


An agricultural laborer has hands with the growth of hard 
skin, grown by nature to protect the flesh against the con- 
tinual wet earth or the hot dry earth. The cuticle is over- 
grown, the nails are flat and coarse. Men handling heavy 
sacks often have hooked fingers and one often remarks that 
the shoulders and arms are well developed. Bus and lorry 
drivers tend to run to stoutness, due to long hours of sitting. 
Miners often have the blue marks on their faces from mi- 
nute particles of coal. Then there is the office worker with 
his soft, white hands. Those who are in charge in the "soft" 
and supervising jobs can often be identified from the nico- 
tine stains on their fingers, not to mention a certain type of 
office boss who puts on weight by never taking exercises 
and by entertaining prospective customers at lunches. 

§2.8 Keeping observation 

Now as to keeping observation. If we are satis- 
fied we have an officer with all these various qualities, the 
next thing that is so necessary is a thorough briefing of the 
officer or officers to be employed. If he is worth using on 
a job he is entitled to know all about the case, what is likely 
to happen, what is wanted and all the snags he is likely to 
run up against. If it is a sensational crime, such as a 
murder, he will naturally be keyed up and on his toes. But 
if it is not more than an ordinary case and he is not properly 
briefed, he is likely to treat the job as a routine job, his 
interest flags, he loses caution and, as a result the suspect 
may become aware that he is under observation, so the job 
is spoiled. Success or failure of an observation may well 
depend not on the officer actually undertaking the work, but 
on the preliminary steps taken by the senior officer. I al- 
ways emphasize the necessity of a thorough briefing. 

The job of keeping observation requires 100 per- 
cent concentration all the time. It can be highly exciting 
or monotonously dull. Therefore, careful selection of the 
officer must be made. One should take into account the 
mentality, attitude, tenacity, build, ability, alertness, suit- 
ability to the neighborhood. All these features play their 
part. This applies not only to men but to women. When 
considering the type of officer, man or woman, one must of 
course consider into what sort of locality and with what sort 


of people he is going to mix. Here, of course, one instinc- 
tively thinks of nature and how she has colored animals, 
fish and birds to blend into the background of their sur- 
roundings, particularly the hunting species. The tiger, for 
instance, with its striped coat in the jungle; the pike with 
its coloring for concealment amongst reeds. After all, the 
officer on an observation is as much a hunter as are these 
animals. If an officer is being sent into a working-class 
locality, it is hardly necessary to say that a man is required 
who can talk the language of the locals and who will dress 
like them. If we are sending a man into first class hotels, 
we must have the type who is thoroughly at home in such 

It is easy to select the right types of men and 
women for these various jobs when one has a large Force. 
In my Force with its 1, 500 members, when selecting men 
from the Uniform Branch for training as detectives, we keep 
in mind all these things. Our Criminal Investigation De- 
partment is composed of well educated men who dress well; 
men of all possible professions and trades; men of the rough- 
and-ready type; many London-born, so that we always have 
plenty of the right material to draw upon. The same ap- 
plies to our women officers. 

I have sent women detectives into the particularly 
rough areas of the East End of London, where they have 
mixed undetected with the local people in their pubs and, 
again, others into Mayfair clubs. Their success has been 
100 percent. 

§2.9 Undercover officers 

We have what we call the "Ghost Squad, " formed 
of a small number of selected officers. They are of the 
Flying Squad and they mix with criminals. Their job is to 
get information of crimes committed or the planning of 
crimes and to locate stolen property and receivers. They 
keep entirely away from police stations and police head- 
quarters. They never arrest anyone; never give evidence; 
never interview suspects or witnesses. They gather infor- 
mation and remain in the background. Thus they are free 
to make contacts and associations. One of these men is 
regarded by his "friends" or criminals with good police 


records as entirely one of themselves. We have even put 
a man into the Army - the right type of man, of course, who 
would stand up to Army training. Arrangements were made 
for him to enlist and to be posted to a certain regiment 
where we wanted him to watch the activities of certain men 
in that regiment for particular reasons. Other successful 
observations were carried out by officers working as wait- 
ers, roadsweepers, apple sellers with barrows, peddler, 
and even as a fiddler in the street (he located a man wanted 
for murder). One case that was very successful was where 
the officer took on the job of milkman. On one occasion, a 
detective officer made a most successful observation on a 
place frequented by criminals where it was difficult for 
anybody to get near, by dressing himself up as a policeman! 
He realized that if any stranger were seen in the neighbor- 
hood he at once aroused suspicion, but they took no notice 
of a uniformed policeman patrolling the beat. So this officer 
was fitted with the uniform of a police constable. He did a 
very effective observation for three days, patrolling the 
local beat, being completely ignored by the suspects, and 
seeing all he wished to see. 

§2. 10 Women officers 

I have mentioned women officers. We have forty- 
eight women officers with ranks from Detective Constables 
up to Inspectors, and one holding the rank of Detective 
Superintendent. These women are given exactly the same 
training as their male colleagues. They are most valuable 
in the field of observation and, as can be understood, so 
often they can get into places where a male officer would at 
once be detected or arouse suspicion. Often, they work 
with male officers, posing as man and wife or courting 
couples, when keeping observation on certain premises 
ordinarily difficult to cover. They are particularly suc- 
cessful as courting couples in certain deserted places, such 
as factory areas, where a solitary male officer or two, 
hanging about for no particular apparent purpose would be 
easily identified. 

We had a case last winter where we knew mem- 
bers of a gang of criminals, engaged in breaking into manu- 
facturing jewelers, post offices and so on, were living in 


caravans on what is known as a caravan site. Because of 
the shortage of houses in London many people live in cara- 
vans on open ground. Two women officers took up residence 
in a caravan on this particular site and were left completely 
alone. Prearranged methods were made for them to contact 
the officer in charge of the case. There they lived for 
nearly three months throughout the grim winter we had last 
year. They even got their own water from a communal 
pump. Thus they watched all the time the activities of their 
criminal neighbors, their visitors, their times of leaving 
and returning during the night. As a result of their patience 
and endurance, we finally were able to arrest all this gang 
at the right moment, clear up some twenty to thirty cases 
of heavy breakings in London and the surrounding counties, 
and recover an enormous amount of stolen property. 

We also use women officers as decoys for catch- 
ing active robbers like handbag snatchers in parks and open 
places around London. This is quite a dangerous job as, of 
course, the person they are out to attract is an attacker of 
women. It is very necessary that they are closely covered 
by male officers. We have used them, too, in cases where 
some sex maniac has been attacking girls and young women 
in such places. There was even one case where, to uncover 
an abortionist, a woman police officer got in touch with this 
man and arranged to attend his place for the purpose of 
having an abortion performed on her. This, of course, had 
to be carefully timed in order that the officers could step 
in before anything was done to her. Incidentally, they were 
almost too late ! 

Once again careful selection is made of the right 
women in such cases. They have to be of the right type who 
can merge their personalities into that of their surround- 
ings. In addition, one has to bear in mind, of course, that 
they will be equally good when they go into the witness box. 

§2.11 Use of motor vehicles 

Another thing which plays a great part in the 
observation of criminals and their activities is the intelli- 
gent use of motor vehicles. We have a Flying Squad, which 
is occupied particularly with the well experienced criminals 
who specialize in breakings, hold-ups, etc. The Flying 


Squad is equipped with all types of motor vehicles - fast 
luxurious saloon cars, nondescript vans, taxi-cabs, small 
run-abouts. Whatever the vehicle may seem to look like, it 
has, of course, under the bonnet a first-class engine. 
These cars are capable of great speeds. For certain types 
of observation work they do not hesitate to borrow com- 
mercial vehicles, such as railway vans or postal vans. It 
should be mentioned, of course, that the drivers of these 
vehicles are first-class in every way. Every vehicle is 
equipped with two-way wireless. 

We have had our taxi-cabs hanging about near a 
place where police have been keeping observation, hailed 
by the criminals and directed to take them somewhere else, 
thereby being able to link up other premises with the gang. 

To coordinate and control a number of officers 
engaged in watching premises, converging on suspects or 
vehicles, we use "walkie-talkie" apparatus. The way this 
is used is left to the officer in charge of the operation. 

§2. 12 Disguises and clothing of officers 

So far as disguises are concerned, we do not 
think much of elaborate make-up. If one sorts out the right 
type of officer who will blend into his surroundings and feel 
quite at home, this sort of dramatic business is not re- 
quired. Make-up we regard as needing ability as an actor, 
and the officer may come "unstuck, " as we say. If dis- 
guises are used, we do make sure the officer can thoroughly 
fit the part and is able to maintain the pose he has adopted. 

The secret, of course, for officers on this work 
is to have inconspicuous dress. They must not wear some- 
thing which may subconsciously stick in the memory of the 
man being watched. For instance, we would not allow a 
man to go out with a colored waistcoat or a striking fancy 
tie which may cause a suspect to think 'Where have I seen 
a man wearing that before?" Sober, quiet clothing is more 
likely to pass unnoticed. Men do carry small articles, such 
as a cap, scarf, spectacles, sun-glasses, to effect a slight 
difference in appearance as they go along, in those cases 
where the suspect may have to be followed on foot or by 
public transport for long distances. One thing which must 
not be overlooked in this type of case is that the officer has 


plenty of loose change in case of emergency and, particu- 
larly so far as we in London are concerned, plenty of coins 
in order that he can make telephone calls if the opportunity 
arises. He must not be caught short without change. 

§2. 13 General instructions in surveillance 

Other general instructions we give areas follows: 

Two or more officers following a suspect must 
separate and never walk together. They should make ar- 
rangements between themselves for changing over and, 
particularly, if one officer feels he has been identified, to 
indicate that to the other and to drop out at once. 

It is not a bad idea for officers selected to keep 
observation in certain districts which may be strange to 
them, if possible to go over the ground beforehand to famil- 
iarize themselves with the situations of the nearby telephone 
boxes, bus stops, taxi stands, public houses, public con- 
veniences and similar places, paying attention to how many 
entrances these latter places have. Again, forethought must 
be given to the method of travel which the suspect is likely 
to use. Whether he will go on foot, use public transport or 
a car. Arrangements must be made accordingly. 

In certain instances where the observation may 
be stationary, it may be possible to arrange to keep the 
observation from some other building in the vicinity, but 
care must be exercised in this direction. One would cer- 
tainly not approach any people likely to be friendly towards 
the persons upon which the observation is going to be kept. 
Also, one does not wish to contact people who are likely to 
chatter. In such cases it is always advisable to make light 
of the importance of the case. 

It is most important that the officers on observa- 
tion should make notes of all they see and what happens, not 
forgetting, of course, the times. I have already stressed 
the necessity of officers making accurate descriptions so 
that other officers who may be required to take over cannot 
fail to pick up the suspects from these descriptions. 

On protracted observations there is always the 
risk of the observer's identity becoming known to the 
suspect or even raising suspicion that he is being watched. 
That can always be seen from his behavior. In such cases 


the observation is suspended immediately and, if possible, 
resumed later by other officers, with a change of method. 
Finally, no hard-and-fast rules can be laid down. 
Each observation is always different from the last. Suc- 
cess depends entirely upon the zeal, initiative and intelli- 
gence of the officers engaged on these very difficult duties. 
Last but not least, the proper supervision, encouragement 
and interest shown by the senior officer who has arranged 
the observation. 

Chapter 3 

Observation and Description 

Robert A. Lang, Ph. D. 


3. 1 Introduction 

3. 2 Demonstration on faulty observation 

3. 3 First reporter - general description of scene 

3. 4 --Questioning of first reporter 

3. 5 Second reporter - general description of scene 

3.6 --Questioning of second reporter 

3. 7 Third reporter - general description of scene 

3. 8 --Questioning of third reporter 

3. 9 Summary of three reports 

3. 10 Objectives in observation 

3. 11 Obstacles to accurate observation - prejudice 
3. 12 --Physical limitations 

3. 13 --Point of view 

3. 14 --Past experience patterns 

3. 15 Effects of distracting influences 
3. 16 --Figure 2 

3.17 --Figures 

3.18 --Figure 4 

3. 19 Inadequate knowledge of the field 
3. 20 Lack of mental or emotional poise 
3.21 Ambiguous terms in descriptions 

§3. 1 Introduction 

It is a very simple fact that one observes the sort 
of thing that one expects to observe. You see what you 
expect to see and this is one of the shortcomings to obser- 
vation. If we print, "Once in a Lifetime," few will notice the 
duplication of the word "a" on cursory readings. We all are 
subject to faulty observation, no matter how careful we may 
be, partly because of pattern thinking or force of habit or 
seeing what we expect to see. 



§3.2 Demonstration on faulty observation 

This fault is best illustrated by a demonstration 
to indicate the number of different obstacles to accurate 
observation. I conduct this little experiment with audiences 
by asking for three volunteers. You may make the experi- 
ment yourself and compare your observations with others. 

On the following page you will find a picture. 
Look at it for a period of thirty seconds and then cover it. 
In lecture experiments each gentleman is asked to observe 
the picture for a period of thirty seconds and then each 
gives a straightforward report of what he has seen and he 
may take as much time as he wants. Following that, the 
audience, who have not seen the picture are free to ask 
whatever questions they want and then the first reporter 
sits down and the second comes in and does the same thing, 
observes and reports. The third reporter does the same. 

Read the straight reports of the answers to ques- 
tions from each of these three reporters. Be particularly 
aware of the mental image that you get of this picture and 
how that mental image changes from time to time during 
individual reports and how it contrasts among the three 
different reports. 

These are the reports given by three police offi- 
cers who viewed the picture and reported to classmates: 

§3.3 First reporter - general description of scene 

First Reporter: It was a picture of a conveyance 
such as a streetcar or a bus. There were six subjects on 
the conveyance; five seated and one standing. The person 
standing was known commonly as a cool colored person, 
real sharply dressed, nattily dressed, hanging to a strap. 
He is engaged in a conversation with another person who is 
seated, who appeared to be arguing rather loudly with the 
colored subject. The person who was seated, in the pro- 
cess of arguing, had a razor in his left hand. There was 
one subject reading a paper and an elderly woman seated 
beside him. 

Another woman was seated holding a small infant 
in her arms. Another subject was a priest or a rabbi and 
there was also an elderly gentleman seated who was asleep. 


On the walls above the windows of the conveyance 
there were, I believe, six of the common advertising post- 
ers you normally see in that type of conveyance. There was 
an advertisement for Camels and also, I believe, one for 
Lucky Strikes and a political advertisement announcing the 
fact that a Mr. McDermott was running for office. 

On the outside there was a street marker. The 
first word was either Van or a portion of the word. The 
first three letters being Van. I believe the last word was 
either Brocken or Bracken. That' s about it. 

§3. 4- -Questioning of first reporter 

The questions asked and answers received were 
as follows: 

QUESTION: Who was holding the razor? The 
party seated or the one standing who was arguing with him? 

ANSWER: The colored man sitting down arguing 
with the man hanging on the strap. 

QUESTION: Was that a bus or a streetcar? 

ANSWER: It was one or the other. 

QUESTION: Was there an operator of the vehicle? 

ANSWER: None in View. 

QUESTION: How did you know he was arguing 
with him? 

ANSWER: From the expression, the open mouth; 
and drawing a conclusion because he had a razor in his left 

QUESTION: Was the vehicle moving or stopped? 

ANSWER: No way of knowing. 

QUESTION: Did you say that a person was seated 
arguing with the colored fellow? 

ANSWER: That' s what I said. 








: Man or woman? 

A man. 

: Colored? 


: White? 


: Was it in his left hand, the razor? 



QUESTION: How many men and how many women 
were on there? 

ANSWER: I believe there were two women and 
four men. 

QUESTION: What did you mean when you said 
this colored fellow was dressed sharply? 

ANSWER: I believe I used the phraseology sharp, 
natty, in part; he gave me the conception of a hepcat. In 
other words, he was dressed in what appeared to be a loud 
bright-colored sport jacket and the trousers were pegged at 
the cuff and he had a cap. 

QUESTION: How could you see the cuffs on his 
pants ? 

ANSWER: You could see his entire attire. 

QUESTION: There were no sides on the street- 
car; you could see the whole man? 

ANSWER: The appearance you received was as 
though you were sitting on the opposite side of the convey- 
ance in the interior. 

QUESTION: Would you judge the time of day and 
possibly the time of season? 

ANSWER: No, I didn't consider it. 

QUESTION: By their clothing? 

ANSWER: I would judge, and it would be purely 
a guess, early spring or late fall, during the more comfort- 
able climate— time of year. 

QUESTION: What was the dress of the other four 
people in the car? What was the dress of the woman reading 
the paper and the woman holding the baby? 

ANSWER: I really can' t say. 

QUESTION: Was the colored man clean shaven 
or did he have a mustache ? 

ANSWER: I don' t know. 

QUESTION: What were the two cigarettes adver- 
tised on the conveyance? 

ANSWER: I believe they were Camels and 

QUESTION: Was anybody wearing glasses? 

ANSWER: I don' t know. 

QUESTION: Did the colored boy have one of those 
zoot suit chains hanging off the belt line? 

ANSWER: I believe he did, I don't know for sure. 


QUESTION: What led you to believe that one of 
the men was either a rabbi or a priest? 

ANSWER: The clothing he was wearing and he 
was carrying a religious -type box or symbol in his lap. 

QUESTION: What about the guy asleep, could 
you see his face? Was he asleep or dead? 

ANSWER: He could have been dead but there 
was no knife sticking out of him nor any blood running. 

QUESTION: Give us a physical description of the 
fellow standing up other than the fact that he was Negro. 
Approximate height. 

ANSWER: Not having much of anything to judge 
by I couldn't very well give a height estimation. In other 
words, there was nothing to judge by proportion. I would 
have to go along with the idea that he was fairly moderate 
and average in size. 

QUESTION: Age? How old was he? 

ANSWER: I have never been able to reach a point 
where I could judge a colored person' s age. 

QUESTION: Was this colored fellow standing 
up— did he seem like he was arguing with the fellow sitting 

ANSWER: He was at least listening very intently. 
His mouth was closed but there was no way of knowing 
whether he was talking. 

QUESTION: Did you see any type of weapon on 

ANSWER: No, sir. 

QUESTION: Was he standing sideways in rela- 
tion to you? 

ANSWER: Partially, with his back— with a par- 
tial side view. 

QUESTION: Was the razor held in a threatening 
manner or down in the lap— where was the razor? 

ANSWER: He was holding it down, in a downward 
motion, the person was seated and it was more or less lay- 
ing across the leg forward. 

QUESTION: How did you view the entire scene? 
From the front of the bus, rear, or side? 

ANSWER: Side. In other words you're facing 
the people who are on the bus or conveyance. 


QUESTION: Was this in black or white or was 
it colored? 

ANSWER: It was in color. 

QUESTION: In your profession, had you walked 
in this bus and seen a scene of that particular type, or saw 
a scene of that particular type, would you have made an 
arrest there? 

ANSWER: I wouldn't have made an arrest without 
investigating. There was nothing going on. I mean, after 
all, this is a still life picture and you are just assuming 
there is an argument. 

QUESTION: That was a straight razor he was 

ANSWER: Yes, sir. 

QUESTION: Could he have been a salesman sell- 
ing razors and trying to interest this colored person in the 

ANSWER: It is possible. 

§3. 5 Second reporter - general description of scene 

The second reporter then viewed the picture for 
a period of thirty seconds and at the end of that time he gave 
this direct report to the group on what he saw and after the 
direct report then they asked questions. (This reporter 
took written notes). 

Second Reporter: This streetcar was heading 
down Van Franklin Boulevard with eight people; two of them 
hanging on to the overhead strap and the other six sitting. 
One lady was holding a baby and one fellow was asleep. 
There was a Jewish cleric. 

The colored fellow and a white man who was 
hanging on the strap are in quite an argument. The white 
man is holding a razor. The other one man seems to be 
enjoying it. The baby was sleeping. 

§3. 6 --Questioning of second reporter 

These were the questions and answers which 

QUESTION: Was the clergyman bearded? 

ANSWER: Right. 

QUESTION: Which subject was holding the razor? 


ANSWER: The white subject. 

QUESTION: Which hand? 

ANSWER: In his left hand. 

QUESTION: Was he standing or sitting? 

ANSWER: Standing. 

QUESTION: Why did you assume they were 
arguing ? 

ANSWER: With a razor in his hand? The reason 
for the argument I don' t know. I couldn't detect that, but 
with the razor in his hand he looks like he might be and that 
is the only reason that I can give. 

QUESTION: Isn't that strictly a colored person's 
weapon, not a white man' s? 

ANSWER: Correct. 

QUESTION: Was the razor open or closed? 

ANSWER: Opened. 

QUESTION: Did the man sitting down need a 
shave ? 

ANSWER: Well, there is— of course, the one man 
needs a shave, the fellow with the hat, the little synagogue 

QUESTION: How was the colored boy dressed? 

ANSWER: Neat. Had on a sport coat, I believe, 
light pants and a dark coat and a hat. 

QUESTION: Could the white man be trying to sell 
the fellow a razor? 

ANSWER: I doubt that very much. I believe they 
both had their mouths open at the same time, more or less. 

QUESTION: Was this a trolley car or a bus? 

ANSWER: It is a trolley car. 

QUESTION: How do you know? 

ANSWER: Well, by the straps. I think the buses 
all have railings, possibly. 

QUESTION: Any advertising in them? 

ANSWER: Right, there was a Lucky Strike and 
something else, can't remember what it was. I remember 
the Lucky Strike because I smoke them. 

QUESTION: You say there were six seated and 
two standing? 


QUESTION: Did you see the driver of the bus? 



QUESTION: Were there any police officers on 
the scene? 

ANSWER: None that I noticed. 

QUESTION: Anyone asleep on this vehicle? 

ANSWER: Right, I believe there were two people 
—I would say two people were sleeping and possibly there 
were more. 

QUESTION: Anybody reading a newspaper? 

ANSWER: Yes, I think the man on the left side 
of the picture. I believe the one man was reading a news- 

QUESTION: Anything to show the location of the 

ANSWER: Right. Van Franklin Boulevard. 

QUESTION: What was your position in regards to 
the vehicle and the other passengers with you in the bus? 

ANSWER: I would be to the driver' s side. 

QUESTION: In the vehicle? 

ANSWER: Right, that is on his side of the bus. 

QUESTION: The six people that were sitting, do 
you know whether they were men or women? 

ANSWER: I believe there were two women and I 
believe six men. 

QUESTION: How many were seated on the right, 
and how many on the left of the vehicle? 

ANSWER: Well, they were all on the one side. 

QUESTION: On your right? 

ANSWER: Correct. 

QUESTION: Any of the other passengers seem to 
be paying any attention to the man with the razor? 


QUESTION: Then doesn't it seem obvious that 
there was not an argument because if there was an argument 
they would be watching them ? 

ANSWER: If you ever rode buses in certain dis- 
tricts you' 11 see people trying to keep their noses out of it, 
however they are listening. 

QUESTION: Could you get an idea of the time of 

ANSWER: No, I did not. 

QUESTION: You say they were listening? 


ANSWER: I said they were not paying attention 
but possibly they were listening. They were not showing 
their attitude. 

QUESTION: If they were listening don't you 
think they would be looking too? 

ANSWER: No, I don' t think so. 

QUESTION: Especially if it was a heated argu- 

ANSWER: That' s a good one, I' 11 grant that. 

QUESTION: Then the expressions on their faces 
appeared to you like they were listening to it? 

ANSWER: No, they did not. The expressions 
didn't appear that way. 

QUESTION: As if they were minding their own 

ANSWER: It seemed that way. 

QUESTION: You can see the signs through the 
window, the Van Franklin sign? 


QUESTION: Was the car then downtown or out in 
the suburbs? 

ANSWER: It would be in the suburbs. 

QUESTION: Was the door open or closed? 

ANSWER: I saw no door. I don' t remember if 
there was a door there. 

QUESTION: In regards to the colored man, which 
side was the white man standing on? 

ANSWER: To the colored man's left; to my right. 
They were both facing me. He would be to the colored 
man' s left. 

QUESTION: The white man had the knife in what 

ANSWER: I believe it was his left hand. 

QUESTION: The rest of the people in the bus, 
were they in front of the two arguing or were they in back? 

ANSWER: I believe there were three and three. 
I think there were three on each side. 

QUESTION: If you were sitting on that bus what 
would you have done if you observed this scene? 

ANSWER: Well, as the gentleman states now, I 
am just a little confused whether they were arguing or not. 
As he says, since there wasn' t that much interest in it; 


possibly, he was selling the razor. 

QUESTION: You said the car was in the suburb. 
Is that because you couldn't see any store windows? 

ANSWER: F 11 say that because it was a boule- 

QUESTION: Because it was a name of a boule- 



ANSWER: However, there are some with names 
like that in town, but I assumed it was because of the boule- 
vard sign. 

§3.7 Third reporter - general description of scene 

The third reporter then observed the picture for 
a period of thirty seconds and told the group what he saw: 

Third Reporter: Well, apparently there were 
six people on this street car. And the first person to the 
left— to my left— was an old man about sixty years old reading 
a newspaper. To his left sat a colored man with a green 
coat with black stripes and a red cap with black stripes; he 
was hanging from a strap with his left hand. To his right, 
a man about thirty- five was looking at him and arguing with 
the colored man. 

Frankly, that' s as far as I got. I wish I had a 
couple years of public speaking, because the audience 
worries me. 

§3. 8 --Questioning of third reporter 

QUESTION: Did anyone have a weapon? 

ANSWER: Didn't see a weapon. 

QUESTION: How do you know they were arguing? 

ANSWER: By the expression on the man' s face 
that was arguing with the colored man. 

QUESTION: Could he have been selling him a 

ANSWER: I didn' t see any. 

QUESTION: Didn't see a razor? 


QUESTION: No hatchet, no knife? 

ANSWER: No. As I said, that was a short thirty 


QUESTION: Was there a baby in the picture? 

ANSWER: I didn' t see a baby. 

QUESTION: Anybody reading the paper or any- 
thing ? 

ANSWER: Yes, the first man to the left; he was 
reading a newspaper. 

QUESTION: Was there anybody from the clergy 
on that vehicle? 

ANSWER: I didn' t see a clergyman. 

QUESTION: You said there were six people there. 
You only described three, what were the other three doing? 

ANSWER: I didn' t get that far. I said it was a 
short thirty seconds. 

QUESTION: How old was the colored man? 

ANSWER: The colored man was probably thirty- 

QUESTION: Were there any women on the bus? 

ANSWER: I think there was one woman on the 
bus. She was one of the three I didn't observe. 

QUESTION: Did you say it was a bus or street- 

ANSWER: A streetcar. 

QUESTION: Why do you say it was a streetcar? 

ANSWER: Well, you normally don' t have straps 
in a bus. 

QUESTION: Was there a driver on , the bus or 

ANSWER: The picture didn' t show. 

QUESTION: Do you know the location of the bus? 


QUESTION: Could you tell the time of day? 

ANSWER: Time of day? Couldn't tell you but it 
was the daytime. 

QUESTION: Could you tell the time of year by 
the clothing worn? 

ANSWER: Probably fall. Everybody seemed to 
have a coat on. 

QUESTION: What color was the coat the colored 
boy was wearing? 

ANSWER: He was wearing a green coat, three 
quarter length coat with black stripes and a yellow cap. The 
stripes were vertical as well as horizontal lines. 


QUESTION: A yellow cap? 

ANSWER: No, it was a red cap. 

QUESTION: Was it checked or striped? 

ANSWER: It was checked. 

QUESTION: How do you know it was a razor? 

ANSWER: I didn't. I didn't see it. 

QUESTION: What color pants did the colored boy 
standing have on? 

ANSWER: I didn't observe that. 

QUESTION: Were the other people in the bus ob- 
serving the argument, as you called it, between the white 
man and the colored man? Were the other people watch- 
ing it? 


QUESTION: Were there any children on the bus? 

ANSWER: I didn' t see that. 

QUESTION: What was outstanding about this old 
man sixty years old reading the paper that you observed 
him so much? 

ANSWER: Nothing, except that he was reading 
the newspaper. 

QUESTION: Were they all seated on one side of 
the bus or part on both sides? 

ANSWER: The old man with the newspaper was 
to the left of the colored man standing and the rest were to 
his right. 

QUESTION: There was one seated on the left 
and the other five to the right— four to the right and one 
standing ? 

ANSWER: That' s right. 

§3.9 Summary of three reports 

The first reporter was a Chief in a small com- 
munity, the second a State Policeman with a background in 
identification, photography, fingerprints and all that, and 
the third was a Highway Patrolman. 

Do you have a nice confused picture now of this 
picture? Refer to it again to see how accurate these re- 
porters were. 

To summarize the reports, this was a busy 
streetcar. It started out on Van Bracken Avenue with six 


people— with five persons seated and one standing. Then, 
moved along and it turned onto Van Franklin Boulevard and 
by that time two more people had got on the streetcar or 
bus because there were eight on by this time and then a 
little while later it must have gone farther down the street 
and you don' t know if it was still on Van Franklin, it may 
have been, but two people have gotten off the bus and then 
there were only six people on. Then it moved from fairly 
pleasant weather, apparently, although we are not sure, 
into the fall period during the time of this trip. 

§3. 10 Objectives in observation 

Some of the observations that have been made 
and the responses to those observations give us illustra- 
tions or examples to support virtually every one of the 
items that we are talking about under observation; the ob- 
stacles to observation, the reasons why observations are 
sometimes not as accurate as they might be. 

I first call your attention to the change of the 
mental image of this picture as the reports were given, or 
as the audience listened to the reports. Then, contrast 
them with the actual picture as you see it, and how much 
more information, of course, you get from looking at the 
picture than you got simply from the reports. 

There are a number of objectives in observation. 
One of them is to learn something about the conditions 
necessary for accurate observation. You probably already 
know a great deal about conditions necessary for accurate 
observation and are also aware of some of the obstacles to 
accurate observation. We also need to learn to differentiate 
inferences and observed facts, and all of us can do this, but 
most of us don' t do it most of the time. We had some 
interesting examples of that during these reports. 

We should also study some of the principles of 
accurate reporting of observations, and we are going to 
touch on that. 

By observation we mean not only gathering of 
data by recognizing and noting actual facts, occurrences, 
and observations through the use of our physical senses, 
but also the process of drawing accurate inferences or con- 
clusions from the observed and factual information. 


§3.11 Obstacles to accurate observation - prejudice 

Well, let's look at some of the obstacles to ac- 
curate observation, which are actually non-observation, 
mal-observation, or inaccurate observation. The first 
one— prejudice, the frame of mind which causes an observer 
to "see" only what he expects to see. I think we got our 
first good example of the operation of prejudice after the 
first direct report when I asked you who was holding the 
razor and got a very clear answer. Now, I had several 
answers but on the part of at least some of you there was 
the definite statement that the colored man sitting down was 
holding the razor. What happened? Well, the reporter had 
said the man sitting down was holding the razor. The first 
reporter had also said there was a colored man and preju- 
dice puts the razor, the straight razor, in the hand of the 
man that you would expect to be holding a straight razor. 

Prejudice in this case is a belief that causes you 
to draw an erroneous impression on the basis of your past 
experience. You say the colored man is likely to be hold- 
ing the razor. Therefore, you transfer it to the hand of 
the colored man and you put him sitting down because the 
man sitting down was holding a razor. It was not the case 
in this instance and the observation was inaccurate. I might 
mention that on another occasion we had a police lieutenant 
who was making one of the observations, doing one of the 
reports at that time. He looked at the picture, made his 
straight report and had the razor in the hand of the white 
man, who, incidentally seems to be jumping up and down 
during this course of reports. He had the razor in the 
hands of the white man quite accurately. Then, the lieuten- 
ant went and sat down. We called for the next witness and 
while the next witness was coming in I asked the lieutenant 
something about who was holding the razor and the lieuten- 
ant said, "This colored fellow that was holding the razor" 
—in other words, in the space of about ten minutes' time 
in his own mind he had transferred the razor from the hand 
of the white to the hand of the colored man. Obviously, in 
this case it was an operation of prejudice, or seeing what 
one expected to see, possibly on the basis of past experi- 
ence, but it was an inaccurate observation. 


§3. 12 --Physical limitations 

Let' s move to physical limitations. Supposing 
you had an individual who was color-blind reporting this 
scene. You would have gotten, of course, quite obviously, 
a considerably different kind of report. 

We are subject to physical limitations: You are 
familiar with the phenomenon which causes a kind of switch- 
ing in the observation of license numbers, for example, at 
certain times of the day. Colors of automobiles present a 
similar problem: a dark maroon car at dusk appears to be, 
and may be reported by reliable witnesses to be a number 
of different colors, black, gray, green, almost anything. 
People are likely to mistake the color of the car partly 
due to physical limitations in observing an automobile in 
poor light. 

There are certain common errors which occur 
in the observation of license numbers which are caused by 
physical limitation. My eyesight not being as good as it 
should be, were I to take off my glasses I wouldn' t even be 
certain that I were looking in the right direction; I have 
eyes like that. I don' t know how yours are, probably vary- 
ing degrees of excellence. When I put them back on, there 
is a world of difference. 

By observation, common errors in license num- 
bers vary frequently according to the Cleveland Police 
Department. For instance, A is mistaken for H. That is, 
seeing an H and reporting it as A; reporting AB instead of 
AD; E for H or sometimes 8. There is no point, of course, 
of printing them all, but it is an excellent indication of the 
possibility of inaccurate observation because of physical 
limitation, to at least some extent. 

§3. 13--Point of view 

"Point of view" deprives the observer of the op- 
portunity to observe accurately. Quite obviously when I 
held the picture up for the audience in my class to see, 
those in the back rows, particularly, couldn't see. It is 
an obvious kind of thing but it also illustrates that when the 
point of view varies so also does the accuracy of what you 
perceive. Point of view makes a big difference. 


You all know, if you play horseshoes, the point 
of view you have standing at one stake. You throw a shoe 
and it looks like a point. Then you walk down to the stake 
and it is nowhere near a point. It's the same way when you 
watch an umpire and you say, "The bum is blind, " although 
our point of view generally is not as advantageous as that of 
the umpire. Nevertheless, the point of view makes it ex- 
tremely difficult, of course, to tell exactly what occurs. 

§3. 14- -Past experience patterns 

Probably the greatest obstacle to accurate obser- 
vation, however, is habit in the pattern of past experience. 
Past experience is what transferred to some extent, the 
razor to the hand of the colored fellow. It is also the direct 
cause of every single reporter noticing that Lucky Strike 
cigarettes were advertised on the car card and V 11 be sur- 
prised if r m not calling this to your attention for the first 
time. It says "Camels Candy" and "Smoke Lucky Strangers." 

Now, let me give you a quotation. The second 
reporter, in answer to a question, "What did the car cards 
advertise; what kind of cigarettes were advertised?" The 
answer was, "Lucky Strike Cigarettes, I remember that 
particularly because I smoke them. " There is a pattern of 
past experience. What do you do, you look at the white 
pack with a red dot and you see "Lucky" something you say, 
"Smoke Lucky Strikes" and you quit. From your pattern of 
past experience it is obvious it is Lucky Strike and you quit 
because this is what you expect to see. 

The first reporter also said "Camel Cigarettes." 
Everybody knows that brand, but this is about as far-fetched 
for Camels as anything you ever saw. The picture has 
"ABC" which at one time was the slogan for Chesterfield; 
"Always Buy Chesterfields" and "They Satisfy" is picked 
up along with "Luckies. " This is really a confusing little 
deal, for that very purpose, of course. Camels Candy, of 
course, is what is being advertised in this particular case. 

The pattern of past experience determines also 
how this vehicle was described. The first report, as I re- 
call, had a picture of a public conveyance, possibly a bus 
or a streetcar or something of that sort. The second one 
began by saying "This streetcar" and then there was a 


question, "How do you know it was a streetcar?" And, "It 
was a streetcar because streetcars have straps, whereas 
buses have railings along them to grasp." Of course, there 
is very clearly a pattern of past experience. He is saying 
"In all of the streetcars I remember having been in, there 
were straps but there were no straps in any of the buses 
that I remember having been in. Then the conclusion be- 
cause this one has straps that it is therefore a streetcar; 
although I suppose it is quite possible to put straps on a 
bus, still the pattern of past experience or habit shows in 
that particular case. 

§3. 15 Effects of distracting influences 

We also must consider the effects of distracting 
influences. Now, incidentally, I might mention one partic- 
ular distracting influence that we succeeded in using quite 
efficiently this morning. On the second and third reports 
I told the reporters they could make notes if they wanted. 
I did not make that suggestion to the first reporter. The 
second reporter was going to make notes but got so ab- 
sorbed in the picture he didn' t have time and he made the 
notes after observing the picture. The third reporter made 
notes while he was observing the picture and because of the 
distracting influence of having to look down and write and 
observe what he was writing, didn' t get an opportunity to 
observe the picture, and consequently, you got the report 
of "That' s as far as I went. " 

How else does distracting influence work and 
does pattern thinking work to change one' s observation? 
Pattern says it is "Lucky Strike Cigarettes. " Pattern also 
can be confusing. 

§3. 16--Figure 2 

Look at Figure 2, which is the famous Schroeder 
staircase. Take a look at that staircase. As you look at it, 
are you looking at it from the top down or from the bottom 
up? Or perhaps it is a sideview. But are you above or 
below the level of the steps? You do not even have to shade 
it to make it go any way. Just stare at it for a little while 
and it will change back and forth all by itself. What are the 




Fig. 2 

Sides of the staircase ? Those 
are the things that are at the 
end of the stairs and they are 
alternately closer to you and 
farther away. Take the one 
in the lower left corner, and 
as you look at this and assume 
you are looking kind of above 
the level of the stairs, that 
seem to be a little wall at the 
end of the stairs, almost as 
though you had sliced off the 
stairs and this were a little 

wall that was left, and it is closer to you. 

Now, if you imagine it farther away and you put 
yourself under, below the level of the steps, you are looking 
at that wall from the inside as though it were kind of a set 
of movable porch stairs and you were sort of below the level 
underneath them and looking at that wall on the far side of 
the steps and you are underneath the steps. 

§3. 17 --Figure 3 

Next take a look at Figure 3, in which the lines 
"A" and "B", at least in the original, are exactly the same 
length, but the distracting pattern of the horizontal lines in 
the parallelogram makes it appear as though "B" is much 
shorter than "A". 

Fig. 3 
§3. 18 --Figure 4 

In Figure 4, you have two arrows, the straight 
lines of which are both the same length but the distracting 


Fig. 4 

influence of the wing marks or the arrowhead marks make 
them appear to be different lengths. Many other illustra- 
tions of these optical illusions are well known. 

§3. 19 Inadequate knowledge of the field 

Inadequate knowledge of the field, another prob- 
lem of observation was given by one reporter when he said 
"I never did have an ability to judge the age of a colored 
person accurately. " Inability to make fine discriminations 
might also enter into that particular observation; confusing 
observed facts. An inference was illustrated very nicely 
in your question, "Was there an argument going on or 
wasn't there?" And almost everybody reported an argu- 
ment, drawing an inference, of course, from the expression 
on the face of the man in the picture. The inference was 
that there was an argument. The fact is, we do not know. 
An inference was drawn. The important thing there is to 
differentiate very clearly and accurately between a reported 
and observed fact and an inference that is drawn. 

§3.20 Lack of mental or emotional poise 

Lack of mental or emotional poise was illustrated 
by the third report when the reporter himself said, "I wish 
now I had had a couple years of public speaking. " This 
lack of speaking poise made his reporting a little more 
difficult than it would have been otherwise, because of the 
lack of emotional poise. 

You will recall, I am sure, the story of the ex- 
periment conducted at Harvard, when the psychology pro- 
fessor was lecturing his class and the doors opened up and 
in came a group of people who stabbed the psychology pro- 
fessor and he fell to the floor. The group left and thereupon 
the psychology professor got up and said, "What did you 
observe?" The students were all excited about this unusual 


occurrence and they described varying numbers of people 
between three and seven who entered the room and stabbed 
the professor with everything from a butcher knife to a 
machete. Actually, the weapon was a yellow banana. Lack 
of emotional poise had made their observation very difficult. 

§3.21 Ambiguous terms in descriptions 

Do you remember the case reported in the Cleve- 
land newspapers a couple of years ago when a girl walked 
into a bank, held it up, walked out with some money and the 
teller could not give an accurate description of her face? 
The only thing he could say with accuracy was that she was 
wearing a very low-cut gown. In reporting observations 
we have some difficulties such as faulty grammar, ambigu- 
ous terms, lack of exact words to describe exactly what 
happened. For instance, consider the phrases "zoot suit" 
and "hepcat" all of which are terms by which the reporters 
tried to describe the colored fellow's dress, the meanings 
of the words again varying with each individual according to 
what he thinks the word means. Remember that, because 
people use words to mean different things, depending on 
their own past experience. So don't assume that when you 
hear a word like "streetcar, " for example, it means to the 
man who is using it what it means to you. 

Words incorporate emotional attitudes. That is 
obvious, and I don' t think we need belabor it. These illus- 
trations may give you some food for thought and perhaps 
make you awfully uncertain that you have really observed 
the things that you thought you observed. 
































































Chapter 4 

Investigation of the Burglary 
and Robbery Scene 

Harold C. Lockwood 


Preliminary examination of the scene 

Methods of safecracking 

--The "rip job" 


--Explosives and burning 

Types of breaking and entering 

Lock-picking sets and case 

--Bent coat hanger 

Set of burglary tools 

--Grappling hook used in roof jobs 

--Vise grips 

--Lock pullers 

Damage to door lock 

Dummy locking cylinder 

Rip job 

--Breaking the combination dial 

Drill and saber saw attachment 

Burning operation 

Breaking a strong box; a case study 

Use of automobiles 

Use of trucks 

Fishing envelopes from vault 


--Relocking device 

--Walk- in vault 

--Double door safe 

--Round door safe 

--Tear gas arrangement 

Entry to buildings by body force 

Releasing the setscrew 




4. 32 Damage from peel or rip job 

4. 33 Entry by house burglars 

4. 34 Entry for roof jobs 

§4. 1 Introduction 

Any discussion on burglaries, or for that matter, 
any crime discussion, this author believes, should be quali- 
fied by personal experiences. It is my belief that a merging 
of the continuing series of one's own individual experiences, 
together with the thoughts and suggestions of others who 
qualify as experts, would certainly give us a much better 
over -all picture of the scene. By so doing, one will be 
more able to anticipate the trend of any particular type of 

§4.2 Preliminary examination of the scene 

A fast and efficient examination of the scene of a 
crime should be made at once after the police arrive, in 
order to determine if the intruder left any outstanding evi- 
dence which would immediately point to his identity, and 
eventually lead to his apprehension. It is necessary to pro- 
tect any physical evidence. That evidence which was 
marked, photographed and sketched will be checked later. 
Before precautions are lifted completely, an experienced 
man will have to go over the scene. 

Interrogation of the complainant and witnesses 
will have to be made. A more extensive investigation will 
have to be made later in order to check on the investigative 
leads found at the time of the original investigation. It 
should be remembered that this is the one time during the 
entire investigation when the scene of the crime is exactly 
as the intruder left it. In the future one will never find the 
crime scene identical to how it was, when first found. 
Changes to it occur because of police officers and others 
walking on or about the scene. After the evidence is once 
picked up, it can never be restored. 

The basic system of examining a room clockwise 
has a distinct advantage. By this method, one starts with 


a particular point in the room and from there proceeds all 
around, checking the floor and all of the ceiling. 

It is important to make a thorough check since 
many investigations have been marred by the fact that few 
officers realize that often the entry onto the premises was 
made through the roof. 

§4. 3 Methods of safecracking 

Experience has shown us that the ingenious crim- 
inal is more of a rarity than is generally believed. Actually, 
criminals show a marked narrowness of thought. For 
example, a burglar who has experienced some success in 
opening safes will not be likely to change his tactics. Nev- 
ertheless, criminals today are likely to stray from one 
criminal operation into others, since they are more inclined 
to be criminals of opportunity rather than professional 

The professional safe man or the "yegg" used to 
be recognized by his methods. It was actually against his 
own peculiar code to go into another type of crime, other 
than safecracking. Today, this fact exists only in motion 
pictures and fiction, where the detective is able to walk into 
a room and tell from the method of attack on the safe exactly 
who the party was who had committed the offense. 

In many crimes that we have investigated, the 
tools used have been left on the job. The modern-day 
burglar and robber prefers to purchase tools as they are 
needed. They purchase them in out-of-the-way spots, or 
through confederates, so that after they are used, there 
will be no handicap if they discard them. 

§4. 4- -The "rip job" 

There are various types of attacks on safes and 
vaults. The basic and most common type is called the "rip 
job. " Here, the face of the metal on the safe is warped 
enough so that a tool can be inserted by the criminal. The 
material is then ripped away from the shell exposing the 
insides of the door where the locking bolts and the security 
measures are. The criminal is able to tear the lock and 
securities away so that the door will come open. 


§4. 5- -Drifting 

The second most common method is that used on 
most of the old-time safes and vaults which are still in 
existence today. Here the criminal "drifts" a safe door 
open through the use of a drift pipe or by punching it out. 
"Drifting" is a term which means knocking off the combina- 
tion dial to a safe and exposing the spindle. A pin is then 
inserted against the spindle and force is applied with a 
sledge hammer. The pin is driven back into the inside of 
the safe or vault so that the locking mechanism is dislodged 
in such a manner whereby the locking bolts can be with- 
drawn and the door opened. 

Most safe and vault manufacturers today have 
attempted to offset this type of an attack on a safe by 
moving the locking mechanism from directly behind the 
combination. In the newer safes, the locking mechanism 
is placed off to one side, below or above the combination, 
so that by "drifting" the shaft back after the combination is 
broken off, nothing is affected except a few locking gears. 
The door cannot be opened in that manner. 

§4.6- - Explosives and burning 

Other methods are: the use of nitroglycerine 
or some other explosive, and burning. The ultimate aim 
of all these types, of course, is to dislodge the locking 

§4. 7 Types of breaking and entering 

The most common crime is breaking and enter- 
ing, either during the night or day. Of this group, "house- 
breaking and larceny" is committed most often. In Ohio, 
this is merely breaking and entering during the daytime. 
Burglary is the breaking and entering in the nighttime, with 
the intent to commit larceny. 

§4. 8 Lock-picking sets and case 

The first illustration (Fig. 5) is a lock-picking 
set. One of the significant parts of this type of a lock-pick- 
ing set is the case. The case can be the most important 




Fig. 5 

thing in the world to the criminal who is interested in break- 
ing through a lock by this means. It is important for the 
reason that the criminal is anxious to be as unobtrusive as 
possible and to move with all due haste. With this case he 
is able to view the tools individually as they are all exposed. 
The case itself has leaves that fold back in and it is all 
very compact in a small zipper case. 

Fig. 6 

The above illustration shows a complete lock-pick- 
ing set all spread out. This is as complete a set as has ever 
been found on any criminal. There were many unexplained 
entries into private homes particularly until a certain party 
was caught and these instruments were found on his person. 
It was discovered that this person had been an apprentice 
to a leading locksmith in order to learn this trade. 





1 i 1 I I I I ! I-H 1 1 1 I 1 1 1 1.| 1 1 I I 1 

I Msi ' I leM Mil 

6|c I eisiaisV^ls i siei sizi tis i ei?. [eiz i i\z . o\z \ en i six i /.;x i Si 1 1 sit t f i • c t • ; 

Fig. 7 

§4.9-- Bent coat hanger 

A bent coat hanger with a notched end has been 
used by certain individuals to open locked doors. This 
writer has yet to see it operate, but others have assured 
me that it can be effective. It could be applied to a type of 
lock where the skeleton key would be inserted. It is a very 
simple piece, however it has the basic indentation which is 
common to most locksmithing tools. (Fig. 7). 

§4. 10 Set of burglary tools 

The case illustrated in Figure 8 contained all the 
necessary tools of the trade, including crowbars, chisels, 
punches, flashlight, different types of bars, screwdrivers, 
etc. The sledge hammer is most interesting because it 
shows what can be done with legal tools. A tool that has a 
legal use in everyday life will often be converted by a 
burglar to his own specific use. Such person has certain 
ideas of what he needs. In order to fit his requirements 
therefore, he makes certain alterations in each one of 
the tools. 

The sledge hammer found in this particular case 
was altered three ways. First, the handle was shortened 
for the obvious reason of fitting it into the briefcase. By 
the use of a straight arm in conjunction with the short handle 
one can get as much leverage as is necessary to punch out 
a safe, or drive a wedge into a plate on the front door in 
order to rip open a safe. Secondly, friction tape was put 
on the handle in order to avoid slippage. The third change 




Fig. 8 

was to put tape and padding on the nose of the hammer in 
order to nullify, as much as possible, the noise involved 
when the sledge is banged against a pin. 

§4. 11- -Grappling hook used in roof jobs 

About three years ago there were a number of 
unexplained "roof jobs. " The police had an idea that a port- 
able ladder or some type of a rope affair was being used. 
They were partly right. At the time investigations were 
made, small perforations in the roofing paper were found 
and some of the uprights were discovered torn loose on the 
roof. The police finally found the apparatus they were 
looking for in a burglar' s closet. (Fig. 9). 

A twenty foot length of rope had been attached 
to a grappling hook which had been used by the Coast Guard 
to rescue drowning persons. This illustrates what the com- 
mon criminal is doing with ordinary tools that are used 
daily. In this instance, he had wrapped it with friction tape 
in order to reduce the noise when it was thrown on the roof. 
After he threw it onto the roof, he would pull himself up. 


Fig. 9 

Later he would either throw it back to a friend on the ground 
and lower himself unaided, or, if it was quite a drop, he 
would use the rope as a means of descending. As a third 
convenience, if there was an alarm inside the place, the 
criminal would by-pass it by using the apparatus to drop 
into the building and with the aid of an accomplice, pull the 
stolen property back up on the roof. 

§4. 12 --Vise grips 

During one wave of burglaries the type of entry 
into the places of business was made through the front door. 
The police would get a call to investigate a burglary, but 
upon arrival would only find the door open. An examination 
of the door revealed that the tumblers had been removed 
from the locking cylinder, on what is commonly called a 
Yale lock. Apparently the job had never taken any great 
amount of time. Seldom were the tumblers to be found on 
the premises. I presume that the parties kept their tools 
and were therefore fearful of any markings which the tool 
might leave on the tumbler. 

We had some idea of what to look for. Eventually, 
we discovered that the tools used were vise grips, the type 
commonly used by automobile mechanics. The burglar 
was able to convert the tool to his own use. By a simple 




Fig. 10 

expedient he applied them in a particular manner to the 
outside of the locking cylinder and he was able to open the 

Once applying the vise grip it was necessary to 
tighten down on it. After it was securely attached to the 
lip of the locking cylinder, which always extends a little 
from the door, it was necessary to force a downward snap 
of the tool. This would break the inside setscrew which is 
the only thing that keeps the locking cylinder in place. Once 
that is broken with the use of this tool you can remove the 
tool and unscrew the locking tumblers by hand. After the 
tumbler is removed, a cavity remains. By inserting a 
finger one can withdraw the locking bolt which is inserted 
from the locking mechanism into the door frame. By with- 
drawing it the door opens. (Fig. 10). 

§4. 13-- Lock pullers 

Safecrackers began to encounter improved 
locking cylinders. For example the unscrewing mechanism 
was made with very fine threads on the tumbler which made 
it more difficult for it to be unscrewed. So certain crimi- 
nals developed a tool which would speed up the unscrewing 
process. This tool was known as "lock pullers. " Actually, 
it was blacksmiths' tongs, which were altered somewhat in 




Fig. 11 

that the hinge was shifted backwards and a new hinge was 
put in. By doing this, the tongs could be opened a trifle 
farther in order to get a better and wider bite on the lock- 
ing cylinder. There was one further alteration; each one of 
the teeth had to be honed to razor -like sharpness. 

Figure 11 shows the method of attack used on a 
locking cylinder by the means of "lock pullers." It was 
necessary to have the jaws sharpened down in order to 
penetrate between the retaining stripping, which is right up 
against the door, and the locking cylinder itself. The posi- 
tion taken, when using lock pullers, is perpendicular to the 
door. This differs from the position one would assume, 
parallel to the door, when using vise grips. In order to 
break into the door and to remove the locking cylinder by 
using lock pullers, a rocking operation is effective (as 
distinguished from the quick snapping operation when vise 
grips are used). The former would be done by rocking the 
lock up and down and back and forth. Instead of breaking 
the setscrews inside of the mechanism one would break the 
whole frame. If you rock it up and down about two or three 
times it breaks the retaining metal frame on the inside 
whereby the cylinder comes loose and can be withdrawn 
with one movement. Once it is withdrawn, then you are 
able to reach into the cavity and withdraw the locking bolt. 


Fig. 12 

§4. 14 Damage to door lock 

Figure 12 will give the reader an idea of the dif- 
ferent degree of damage to a door lock caused by the use of 
various tools. Here one can see the bottom of the locking 
cylinder and the cavity where the locking cylinder ordinarily 
would be. There is a small piece of metal missing. It was 
broken off at the time that the lock pullers were applied. 
This released the fine threads so that the locking cylinder 
could be pulled out of position. 

§4. 15 Duniiiiy locking cylinder 

There are a number of persons whom we call 
"cute burglars, " who, once they break into a place are 
afraid of being apprehended inside of it. It would naturally 
be to their disadvantage to have the police or anybody see 
anything wrong with the door, particularly an open cavity 
where the locking cylinder of the door should be. These 
individuals put a dummy in the opening. Once the locking 
bolt has been removed and the criminals are inside the 
place, by removing the back plate of the locking cylinder 
it is possible to place one's finger in there and put the 


Fig. 13 

locking bolt back in place. Thus, the door is actually 
securely locked; it is locked from the inside. When they 
leave, they'll do the same thing and thereby relock the door. 
The loss therefore may not be discovered until the following 
morning until the owner comes in, puts a key in that lock 
and nothing happens. (Fig. 13). 

§4.16 Rip job 

In order to attempt a "rip job" it is necessary to 
get a bite on the safe. The metal plate on the front of the 
safe has to be pulled away from its hanger. Ordinarily the 
plate is welded or riveted on. One way to detach it is to 
give several sharp blows, not on the corner, but about two 
or three inches away from the corner of the safe, with a 
sledge. This must be done on the side opposite the hinges. 
Since there is nothing holding the plate in back, by hitting 
it there the plate will bulge out. Then putting a wedge, 
chisel or wrecking bar behind the bulged part one is able to 
pull the metal plate away from its moorings. 

§4. 17-- Breaking the combination dial 

Sometimes the criminal is unable to warp the 
metal in order to get a bite. In this event, he may decide 
to break off the combination dial. This will reveal the 
broken shaft immediately behind. He can then put a punch 
directly against that shaft and by several sharp raps from 
a sledge hammer he is able to drive the locking mechanism 
into the interior of the safe or down inside the door. This 




method will work on the older model safes and vaults only. 
On the newer models, instead of putting all the mechanisms 
directly in back of the combination, they have been placed 
elsewhere. If a similar procedure was followed on the 
newer models, the locking mechanism which engages the 
door itself, would not be disturbed. The only thing that 
connects this type of shaft with the locking mechanism is a 
few gears, so that by knocking the shaft out nothing happens 
except that the gears are dislodged. The remainder of the 
locking mechanism stays in place. 

The criminal who is able to rip out the metal in 
back of the plate on the door, will then be able to rip out 
all the mechanism. When the safe filler is taken out the 
locking bolt can be seen. One is now able to dislodge the 
bolt so that the door will come open. (Fig. 14). 

Fig. 14 




§4. 18 Drill and saber saw attachment 

There is another type of tool that has been used 
by some criminals. It is a saber saw attachment which can 
be worked in conjunction with a drill. In Figure 15, the drill 
itself is detachable and the saber saw can be inserted in its 
place. There is also a saber saw which will operate under 
its own power. This type of tool has one weakness, its 
blades wear out quite fast. Since it would be necessary to 
change blades often whereby one -half dozen or a dozen 
blades might be needed for one small cut, this means is not 
used too often. 

Fig. 15 

At a postoffice in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the 
smaller portion of the door of a large walk-in vault, ap- 
proximately twelve by fourteen inches, was cut through. 
The method of entering this door was by drilling. There 
were about 57 holes drilled intermittently, three -eighths, 
one-half, three-eighths, one-half, all the way along. It ap- 
peared as though the criminals alternated the size of the 
holes because of the heat involved. They had also been 
trying to cool the drill as they worked, since there was evi- 
dence of the use of water. Eventually they were able to 
make entrance into the door of the vault itself. It is evident 
from Figure 16 that it was only necessary to drill on the two 
sides because the other two sides were merely riveted. 
There were only three or four rivets on each side. Once 
the two different sections had been drilled through, the 
criminals were able to pull it away from the moorings on 
the rivets. 




Fig. 16 

The same type of entrance was gained into a three- 
inch thick, round door safe in Painesville, Ohio. The 
drilling was done on the side of the safe by two different 
sized drills. It was also necessary here to use a consider- 
able amount of water in order to prevent the drill points 
from burning. 

Fig. 17 


§4. 19 Buriiin*"; operation 

A burning operation can be successful on round 
door safes. There are types where the door is mounted on 
the top of the safe or vault and others with angle doors. It 
is secured with a locking mechanism. The one shown in Fig- 
ure 18 is very cheap. On the more elaborate models of this 
type there is a combination, a relocking device and various 
other protective measures. By withdrawing the locking bolts 
and then burning the hinge off, one is able to swing the door 
back on the top of the safe and gain entrance. Ordinarily, a 
door like the one illustrated, is on the inside protection box 
or cased around the inside of a safe. After one gets through 
the large double doors he will find this inner compartment. 
In order to get into the inner compartment he must burn his 
way through. The burning operation is necessary in order 
to shear off the locking bolt and thereby swing back the 
door and enter into the compartment itself. 

Fig. 18 

§4.20 Breaking a strong box; a case study 

In a Woolworth store in Garfield Heights, Ohio, 
several fellows spent an entire weekend working on a safe. 
They had to go through an outside plate, then the filler, and 
then the inside plate in order to get at the strong box, which, 
ordinarily, is hardened metal and is able to withstand con- 




siderable pressure. The type of box shown in Figures 19 and 
20 had a round door. The burglars figured that they would 
take it elsewhere and work on it, but after they got the plates 
peeled away they found that the strong box was bolted from 
the inside of the box down through the floor of the safe by 

Fig. 19 

4t '* ••-•5^' a",^ 

Fig. 20 


four individual bolts. At this point, a strange thing hap- 
pened. There was a deficiency in the manufacturing of the 
safe and the criminals were able to utilize it to their own 
benefit. As they applied pressure in order to separate the 
strong box from the shell, the bolts were withdrawn into 
the metal box itself. A plug actually held the bolts and when 
the pressure was applied this plug withdrew and the bolt 
remained in the outside shell on the floor. 

Being in a dime store they had all the equipment 
they needed. They had access to scissors, tweezers, screw- 
drivers and pins. They put the strong box up on two rows 
of boxes, bridged it, and reached up inside the bolt hole 
with the tweezers, pulling the money bag down through the 
hole. Then a little bit of the bag was snipped off and some 
of the money fell out. By pulling the money bag down and 
by using the same method, all the money was taken out 
except some fifty- cent pieces. Some of the money, of 
course, remained inside but by shaking the money bags 
around they got nearly all of the silver. 

§4.21 Use of automobiles 

Most criminal operations today involve automo- 
biles in one respect or another. In burglaries and robber- 
ies, cars are used, either for their speed or for carrying 
stolen property. Ordinarily, a sedan is not acceptable for 
this latter operation because the door post in the middle 
precludes the possibility of putting anything in the car that 
is too wide. For getaway cars in robberies this factor 
would not be of too much importance, but in burglaries, a 
coach is better. 

Very seldom is a spare tire found in any burglar's 
car for the obvious reason that it takes up too much room. 
This writer has yet to examine a hoodlum' s car and find 
anything in the trunk. 

A car that has been used in a burglary will, upon 
examination, show certain signs. Because of the weight of 
a safe, etc., the rocker panel will be bent. (Fig. 21). After 
all, a car is not designed for any weight such as that. In 
many instances the back seats of cars have been knocked 
out, or a coverplate is placed in there. The reason for this 
is to create more room so that the whole stolen box could 




Fig. 21 

be placed inside. The trunk door could then be closed and 
if the springs were reinforced, the additional weight would 
not be easily discernible. 

The above steps are often taken in the more in- 
volved burglary operation. The common burglar, if he 
does anything, will merely take the spare tire out of his 
car. But anybody who has planned ahead will have access 
to all the necessary equipment, including an automobile 
with reinforced springs and sufficient room in the back to 
carry certain essential tools. 

§4.22 Use of trucks 

Safes are sometimes discarded in the street. It 
is our theory that a number of jobs in Cleveland are per- 
formed in either a closed truck or a dump truck with high 
sideboards. After a safe is stolen, it is possible that a 
truck is driven to some remote spot and there the safe is 
opened. This writer has no way to prove or disprove this 
theory, yet I am convinced that somewhere along the line 
someone has used trucks to transport these boxes. 




§4. 23 Fishing envelopes from vault 

Figure 22 is actually a photograph of the vault of 
the POC Brewery. There were no markings on the round 
door for it had not been opened or tampered with. In fact, 
there was no damage to the rear door either. Yet, money 
was missing from it. POC's truck drivers, when returning 
from their routes with their bags of receipts, would open 
the small rear door of the vault with a key and put their 
receipt envelopes into the slot. The envelopes would slide 
down into the main body of the vault. There was no means 
of actually cutting this door off and getting into the safe to 
get the receipts. However, there were several mysterious 
disappearances from that vault and nobody could explain it. 
Somehow some of the envelopes were opened and a little 
money taken out. Then the envelopes were returned to the 
safe. It looked as though the drivers themselves were at 
fault. The drivers were called in. There would be spot 
checks. This met with no success. Finally the entire re- 
ceipt envelopes started to disappear. 

Upon investigation, it was discovered that a very 
ingenious burglar tool had been developed in order to attack 
this type of a vault. Figure 23 shows the type of tool that was 
used. It was a clothes hanger and was used by a main- 

Fig. 22 


Fig. 23 

tenance man who had access to the vault while the door was 
open. He was able to use this tool to fish down into the safe 
and hook some of the envelopes. By this method, he was 
able to get away with a considerable amount of money until 
he became greedy and started taking entire receipts of the 
drivers and destroying the envelopes. 

This is an excellent example of how anything can 
be utilized as a burglar tool. This hanger was as effective 
a burglar tool as a full and complete set of tools, because 
it accomplished the criminal' s purpose. 

§4.24 Vaults 

There is a distinction between a safe and a vault 
which most people are unaware of. A safe is only a fire- 
proof box while a vault is, in theory, a burglar -proof box. 

Certain companies have gone to great lengths to 
take precautions to prevent entrances into vaults by bur- 
glars. There are many types of vaults. There are walk-in 
vaults, bank vaults that you walk into, or the small burglar - 
proof boxes. Burglar -proof does not necessarily mean 
completely burglar -proof, but merely as completely bur- 
glar-proof as the manufacturer can make it. If they go to 
great pains to make it burglar -proof then it is to be con- 
sidered a vault. This writer often finds himself getting 
mixed up in his terminology. Most boxes that are sold 
today are of the safe variety. In other words, they are 
fireproof rather than burglar -proof. 


§4. 25--Relocking device 

One of the deterrents to burglars found on a vault 
is a relocking device. This device is designed to prevent 
anyone from entering through the door of the vault. This 
device is built so that the door will be locked more securely 
once an attack is made upon it. The attack may be one with 
force, violence, or with heat. What happens in each situa- 
tion is almost an identical reaction. The relocking bolt 
cannot be activated by the combination or locking mechan- 
ism in the door. A relocking device is merely another bolt 
which goes into the frame of the vault in a different location. 
It becomes activated only if, for example, the combination 
is knocked off the vault. This in turn will release a spring 
which automatically shoots the bolt into place. Nothing will 
dislodge the bolt except a qualified service man from the 
manufacturer of that vault. His method of dislodging it is 
by drilling. He has to know where to drill and he has to 
know exactly how far to drill. In so drilling, he will be 
able to sever the relocking shaft and bolt so that the door 
will come open. 

One who tampers with the relocking device with 
heat will be faced with a similar result. Once the tempera- 
ture reaches a certain point, a fuse will melt and the re- 
locking bolt will snap into place. Nothing then can be done 
from the outside, with the exception of drilling or burning, 
which will actually open the vault. 

§4.26--Walk-in vault 

Figure 24 is a walk -in vault upon which different 
methods of attacks were attempted. The combination dial 
was knocked off and driven through, but entrance into the 
vault was not gained. The locking bolt handle was forced. 
In addition, the ripping or peeling method was attempted. 
The hinges were worked on. This latter attempt, inciden- 
tally, was foolish, because of the locking bolts which run 
into the door frame. An attempt was also made on the side 
of the vault. The thief might have thought it was made of 
brick, whereas in fact, it was actually tempered metal. 
The frame was peeled away in an attempt to get a bite on 
the door or frame at that point. This was also unsuccessful. 

A. 21 



Fig. 24 

§4. 27--Double door safe 

A double door safe is often attacked at its hinges, 
because it is felt that once the hinges are withdrawn, this 
will allow both doors to fall forward. The hinges were at- 
tacked on the safe in Figure 25 with very little success. Had 
the burglars been able to remove both hinges they still would 
have found that there were bolts leading into the frame on 
both sides, as well as into each door. 

"1 'pr*^ 

Fig. 25 





Fig. 26 

§4.28--Round door safe 

Figure 26 is an illustration of the simpler form 
of round door safe. It is the same thickness as the double 
door, round door safe. The latter type is divided in the 
middle. The former one, although of the same thickness, 
is one single unit. The thickness" is for fire protection. 
As for burglar -proofing, the burning done on this safe dis - 
plays a particularly interesting type of "entering into a round 
door safe ihat has been successful. 

What happened was that a three -eighths or half- 
inch hole was drilled through the door of the safe. It was 
drilled all the way down to the bolt. Had they drilled through 
the bolt it still would not have been enough to shear the bolt 
off because there would have been enough of the bolt re- 
maining on either side to prevent opening. The criminals 
drilled in at an angle in order to taper the hole. Once they 
had drilled down to the bolt, a second, smaller hole was 
drilled as far back on the locking bolt as possible. Thus 
there were two holes; one drilled into the door and one 
drilled into the bolt. Once the smaller hole was drilled 




into the bolt, a pin was driven into it so that the pin would 
serve as a handle. One then pulled the handle, which was 
actually a driftpin, back, and it withdrew the locking bolts 
and the door came open. 

Fig. 27 

Figure 27 is the same type of door that was en- 
tered into in the postoffice burglary, discussed above. This 
specific job was done by kids, however. The oldest one was 
nineteen and the youngest was eleven years. The boys were 
able to cut out a piece of metal at the bottom of the vault 
door and the youngest was small enough to insert his body 
between this door and the inside door. The opening was 
only about four or five inches. He was able to get in through 
that opening, climb up, stand erect, and open one of the 
double doors on the inside. He was then able to get into the 
vault proper. It does not seem possible that he could do it, 
but he did. 




§4. 29 --Tear gas arrangement 

By blind luck, they had by-passed a tear gas ar- 
rangement of the type which most postoffices use. Figure 
28 is a photograph of the door that the youngster went 
through. There are numbers on the figure. Number one 
was the alarm contacts. They went up and down with the 
wires leading to the contacts which was number two. Num- 
ber three shows the locking bolts which were staggered and 
are on both sides of the door. Number four was a locking 
mechanism which activates the locking bolt. The locking 
arm activates all the locking bolts. This mechanism was 
right directly behind the combination. Number five was the 
tear gas mechanism. Down in the corner was the piece 
which activates the tear gas mechanism. The boy was 
able to climb in under it and to climb into the door without 
actually setting that alarm off. I imagine that he missed 
it by only an inch and one -half. 

Fig. 28 




§4. 30 Entry to buildings by body force 

There have been many types of entry into build- 
ings by body force alone. Figure 29 illustrates where body 
force was put to a door whereby it actually forced the lock- 
ing bolt out of the frame of the door. The burglar had 
forced right through the frame of the door and naturally, 
there was no restraining device at all. He was able to get 
inside. This was just a matter of a weak door. 

Fig. 29 


Releasing the set screw 

There is the type of burglary which begins when 
the criminal, or one of his confederates, comes to a store 
and, while unobserved, takes a small screwdriver and 
works on a little setscrew on the outside door. By loosen- 
ing that setscrew he can return later and turn the locking 
tumbler out of place. By releasing the setscrew seen in 
Figure 30, there is nothing to hold the locking tumbler in 
place. They can withdraw the locking tumbler and unscrew 
the locking tumbler and then withdraw the locking bolt and 
the door will open. Before they leave, they will tighten the 
setscrew. Thus there is no visible means of entry. 


bi;r<;ijvry and robbery srENE 


1 , 

Fig. 30 

§4. 32 Damage from peel or rip job 

Figure 31 shows the type of damage from a peel 
or rip job. All the safe filler has been pulled out and there 
are only remnants of the locking bolts left. It was a messy 
job and they went to a great deal of trouble. Most rip or 
peel jobs will not display this much damage, because ordi- 
narily the burglars will only pull back the metal as far as is 
necessary to withdraw the locking bolts. There is no reason 
to take off the entire front plate. 

§4. 33 Entry by house burglars 

House burglars are ordinarily sneak burglars. 
If they can't sneak in through an open door, they will sneak 
in through an unlocked window or they will break a window. 
In Figure 32 only a small break was necessary in order to 
reach in and unlock the window. Experts can break out the 
smallest portions of glass and the rest of the window will be 
undamaged. When there is this type of entry, one should 
look for fingerprints and other physical marks. It is doubt- 
ful whether one would be able to catch a fellow like this on 
his first job. Only through a concentration of manpower 
could a man or prowler like this be caught. 



Fig. 31 

Fig. 32 




§4. 34 Entry for roof jobs 

For roof jobs, there can be any number of differ- 
ent methods of entry. The easiest way is to tear out the 
roofing paper and the wood underneath. Another type of 
roof entry is through a ventilator. (Fig. 33). Many times, 
when this method is used, the police find no evidence of the 
actual means of entry into the building. They find the doors 
all secured and they will begin to think somebody had an- 
other key to gain entry. What really happened was that the 
burglar came in through the ventilator, dropped down on a 
false ceiling, removed the grill and with a rope went into 
the building, took some property, climbed back up the rope, 
replaced the grill and left. Unless the police are attentive 
enough to go up on the roof and look around, they may have 
no idea of what actually had happened. 

Fig. 33 

Chapter 5 

Investigation of Burglary in England 

George H. Hatherill 


5. 1 Examination of the scene 

5. 2 Footprints and tire marks 

5. 3 Methods of entry 

5. 4 --Prying open a window or door 

5.5 --Breaking glass 

5.6 --Entry from above 

5.7 --Through small aperture 

5.8 --Cutting instruments 
5. 9 --Forcing the lock 

5. 10 --Through common wall 

5. 11 Fingerprints, footprints and markings 

5. 12 Things carried from premises 
5. 13 Things left on premises 

5. 14 Safecracking 

5. 15 --Safe ballast 

5. 16 --Use of high explosive 

5. 17 --Control sample of ballast 
5. 18 --Neighborhood interviews 

5. 19 --Description of stolen property and suspect 

5. 20 The suspect 

5, 21 --Finger and glove prints 

5. 22 --Examination of body and clothing 

5. 23 --Blood or other chemical changes 

5. 24 --Safe ballast dust 

5. 25 --Face powder and carpet fibres 

5. 26 --Coke dust and asbestos fibres 

5. 27 --Lead granules, glass particles and cat hair 

5. 28 --Blood grouping 

5.29 --Footprint, buttons, and thread 

5.30 --Burglary tools 



§5. 1 Examination of the scene 

In investigating a case of burglary, it is essential 
that the investigating officer should look for and carefully 
examine all traces which the thief or thieves may have left 
behind, and he should remember that no detail must ever 
be considered too insignificant or unworthy of the trouble 
of examination. 

At the approach to the scene, footprints may 
furnish information as to the number and sex of persons 
involved. At the point of entry, the method used may indi- 
cate the type of perpetrator; attempts to get in to the prem- 
ises from a number of places would indicate that the intruder 
was of an amateur rather than a professional origin. It can 
perhaps at times be seen whether the thief is familiar with 
the locus of the crime, which will indicate that he had taken 
his bearings earlier and, possibly, with the help of some- 
body inside the premises. The type of entry may sometimes 
indicate the profession of the thief. For example, it can 
be recognized that he is a good carpenter, a good engineer, 
a good locksmith, etc. Such things are sometimes useful in 
locating the suspect. 

Many thieves are inclined, when working, to adopt 
a set series of actions which on each occasion can be class- 
ified indicating the nature of origin. Employment here of 
the Records Method Index may be of use. 

In cases where the premises have been entered, 
the investigating officer will, in the immediate absence of 
a possible suspect, naturally confine his attentions to the 
examination of the scene. It has been found that the most 
practical method is to start at the line of approach to the 
possible point of entry, through the premises and out via 
the point of departure. His examination will primarily in- 
clude a search for possible contact traces left by the thief. 

§5.2 Footprints and tire marks 

Different types of breaking will involve variation 
in technique. If it is a house standing on its own ground, 
then it is possible that before arriving at the point of entry, 
the thief had to traverse either on foot, or by means of 
some conveyance, over soft ground. This will naturally 


bring to mind the possibility of impressions made by tires 
of vehicles or the footwear of the miscreant. If such im- 
pressions reveal characteristics which may have evidential 
value at a later stage, they should be preserved from the 
weather by the inversion of suitable metal or wooden con- 
tainers. The use of the local garbage can lid must not be 
despised. Impressions such as these occurring in soft 
soil, which may vary from sand to heavy clay, normally 
have three dimensions, length, breadth and depth. To 
record such impressions, resort may be made to methods 
of casting, or if casting material is not available, then the 
camera will be used to suitably record them. 

§5.3 Methods of entry 

Entry to the premises may have been effected in 
a number of ways. When the thief is brought in contact with 
property the most important thing to be borne in mind is 
the transfer of possible impressions from the ridges of the 
fingers (the evidential value of these being paramount). 
The following are suggested methods of entry. They include 
possibilities of contact traces and the type of control sam- 
ple which should be removed from the scene. 

§5. 4- -Prying open a window or door 

The insertion into a window or door of some type 
of blunt instrument such as screwdrivers, jimmies and 
chisels. Where insertion into the woodwork by such an 
instrument is occasioned there will obviously be indenta- 
tions in the wooden surface caused by the pressure of the 
instrument. Such indentations may bear characteristic 
shape, capable of being compared at a later stage with the 
instrument, should it become available. The best type of 
sample to preserve in these cases is, without doubt, the 
wooden surface itself. Depending upon the seriousness of 
the offence, it is suggested that a small portion of the fix- 
ture can be removed. This can easily be repaired by the 
insertion of a fresh piece of wood. If the wooden surface 
is painted then the paint itself must be considered. It is to 
be expected that some of the paint will have been trans- 
ferred, by pressure, onto the blade of the instrument. 


A control sample of the paint should be obtained from as 
near the point of contact of the instrument as possible. (If 
a piece of wood is removed bearing the indentation of the 
instrument, paint would also be present on this sample, but 
if not, in taking the control sample of paint it must not be 
scraped away but must be cut away in such a manner that 
the whole layer structure of the paint is removed). 

Where it is impossible to remove the wood at the 
point of contact, resort must be made to casting methods. 
A negative cast of the tool impression is taken with some 
suitable plastic substance. For coarse impressions in wood 
a good plasticine is the most suitable medium, its only dis- 
advantage being that it is never hard and care in handling is 
necessary after the cast is made. 

§5. 5- -Breaking glass 

Where a glass of a window or a door has been 
broken, it is imperative that the investigating officer takes 
at least three small samples of glass from as near the point 
of break as possible. If the hole in the window is a small 
one, before utilizing powder for the development of possible 
finger impressions, scrutiny of the glass edges for adhering 
fibres should be made. These will possibly have been 
transferred from the sleeve of the breaker' s coat. If frag- 
ments of glass are on the ground immediately beneath the 
broken window, one or two of these should be taken (it is 
possible that the breaker may have fragments of glass em- 
bedded in the soles of his footwear). Where glass is broken 
it is quite common for the intruder to cut himself on the 
sharp edges of the glass. If glass is bloodstained this blood- 
staining should be included in the samples taken. 

§5.6- -Entry from above 

Where a climber is at work the route he traverses 
to gain actual entrance must be examined. If he should 
scale the downspout on the outside of the premises, that 
pipe may bear scratches from his footwear, may bear fibres 
from his garments and may bear latent finger impressions 
or finger impressions put down or picked out of dirt. If he 
should traverse across a flat roof to reach a possible sky- 


light, there may be foot impressions on the surface of the 
roof. If the roof is made of lead and the lead has upon its 
surface a deposit of white carbonate, it may be worth while 
taking a sample of this powder for comparison at a later 
stage with any material adhering to the suspect's garments. 
If the breaker should gain access by means of climbing a 
rope of any kind, such rope is of importance because his 
clothing is bound to be covered with fibres from such an 

§5.7-- Through small aperture 

Where entry to the premises has been effected 
by a thief forcing his passage through a small aperture such 
as a skylight or fanlight, the possible presence of fibres 
adhering to the surroundings of such an aperture is ex- 
tremely likely. Sometimes under these conditions buttons 
and loose articles attached to garments become torn away 
and may be found in the vicinity. 

§5. 8--Cutting instruments 

Where cutting instruments are used to effect 
entry, the severing of the hasp of a padlock with a pair of 
bolt cutters or similar instrument, will leave behind char- 
acteristic striations on the cut edges which, at a later 
stage, may be compared with controls from instruments 
forthcoming. This type of comparison has an extremely 
high evidential value, providing the instrument can be put 
into the personal or constructive possession of the suspect. 
This technique also applies where telephone or bell wires, 
or even burglar alarm systems were fitted, severance of 
the wires having been effected by the thief. 

§5. 9-- Forcing the lock 

Many doors are often fitted with a snap type of 
Yale lock. Thieves have found it possible, in the absence 
of any other mortice or double lock, to gain entrance by 
sliding a stiff piece of plastic material in between the door 
and its jamb, forcing the tongue of the lock back against its 
spring. Occasions arise where, when this method is used. 


left behind in the lock or on the floor immediately beneath, 
there are small fragments of material which can be con- 
nected back to whatever plastic was used. This may be 
found in the possession of the suspect, and, on occasions, 
the piece left at the scene can be mechanically fitted back 
to its original source. 

§5. 10- -Through common wall 

The following type of entry is generally effected 
by more than one person. It is where warehouses or banks 
are situated adjacent to property. This property can be 
used by the intruders as a hideout over a period of time. 
They gain access to the place by punching through the brick- 
work of the wall, or even by utilizing explosives. In this 
case, a sample of any brick rubble or mortar found at the 
scene must be preserved for future comparison. Again the 
aperture through the brickwork may be small and adhering 
to its periphery may be fibres removed from the intruder's 

§5. 11 Fingerprints, footprints and markings 

Once inside the premises the possibility of finger- 
prints must be foremost in mind. If an intruder has climbed 
over tables, desks, etc., he may have left behind impres- 
sions of his shoes. These impressions will not be in three 
dimensions and rather than attempt casting methods, it is 
better that they be photographically recorded. 

Where instruments are used to break down in- 
ternal doors or the drawers of furniture or desks, again 
the mark made by the instrument may have some value at a 
later stage. 

§5. 12 Things carried from premises 

Inside the premises conditions of the exchange 
principle may slightly alter. In this case it is possible that 
the intruder has taken away on his person, something which 
is common to the premises. Examples of this are manifest, 
but the following may be of help: where he has ransacked a 
room, the floor of which is covered with a multi-colored 


carpet (possibilities of fibres from the carpet being on his 
shoes); where he has ransacked a dressing table or ward- 
robe and in doing so has possibly spilled some powder or 
liquid (possibility of such powder or liquid being on his 
clothes to be borne in mind); where he has, while on the 
premises, partaken of something to eat or drink, (in the 
case of a person eating on the premises it may be that he 
has left his teeth impressions on plastic material such as 
cheese, chocolate, butter, apples, etc.). 

§5. 13 Things left on premises 

Where there is left behind at the scene, some 
item which was the property of the intruder, including such 
things as ropes, handkerchiefs, socks, coats, instruments 
and hats, all must be taken possession of and searched for 
any identifying matter. The possibility of fingerprints is 
foremost in mind as well as laundry marks which may have 
been made by some invisible process later to be rendered 
visible by the use of ultra-violet rays. Headwear will na- 
turally have some hairs inside. These can possibly be 
compared with controls taken from the suspect at a later 
stage. Remember, in these cases, never put the hat on the 
suspect's head to see whether it fits. 

§5. 14 Safecracking 

The detailed construction of safes varies, but 
normally the general principles of structure remain con- 
stant. A safe is designed to be opened only by means of a 
key or some suitable coding. In the absence of this, access 
to its interior is denied. False keys can be obtained. This 
is a matter of separate discussion but in the absence of a 
false key, to effect entry means to resort to some type of 
force. A safe is normally designed with an outer metal 
skin, which in some cases may be laminated in different 
types of metal to assist in the dissipation of heat process, 
or it may be in one single sheet of rolled steel. Between 
the outer skin and the inner metal lining, there is normally 
a fireproof insulating medium designed to protect the con- 
tents of the safe against external conflagration. The com- 
position of this medium varies, but in many cases it is 


unique in structure. A typical English safe ballast might 
consist of any of the following substances :- 

§5. 15- -Safe ballast 

Sawdust combined with a crystal which will re- 
lease its water of crystallization upon being heated. Such 
crystals are potassium and sodium alum, washing soda. 

In addition this mixture might be loaded with some 
metallic substance such as swarf from engineering shops. 

Apart, it might be considered that all the sub- 
stances are common. Found in association, one with the 
other, they constitute only one thing and that is safe ballast. 
Other safe ballast may consist of native chalk which can be 
identified, one of brick dust, concrete and rubble, asbestos, 
and one other substance which quite commonly comes under 
the heading of Kieselguhr. This is a substance which is 
obtained from the bed of rivers and the sea. It can be 
identified and consists of fossilized remains of vegetable 

Whenever force is used to gain access to the 
interior of a safe some of this fireproofing material will be 
distributed in the vicinity of the break. 

§5. 16 --Use of high explosive 

Methods of breaking open a safe include the utili- 
zation of the oxy-acetylene cutting apparatus and the electric 
arc cutter. Both are, however, falling into the background. 
The breaker is relying more and more upon the use of high 
explosive. A typical method of entry would be to insert 
into the keyhole of the safe an amount of explosive material, 
to put in the explosive a low or high voltage detonator, to 
pack this round with some plastic medium such as putty or 
plasticine, and to place in front of the safe a number of 
heavy baffles. These would not normally be brought to the 
premises unless they were sacks. Local material would be 
utilized. I have known such things as sides of bacon or beef 
to be stacked up to accept the blast effects of the explosives. 
From the detonator a pair of wires would be run to some 
safe distance away where they would be energized by means 
of a low voltage battery or by connecting to a suitable main 


supply. In some cases the detonator used would take a low 
burning type of fuse. This, on being ignited, would burn 
fairly rapidly. 

§5. 17 --Control sample of ballast 

The effects of the explosion would be to blow 
open the door of the safe, or on some occasions to remove 
it entirely. It is common for the thief to run back into the 
premises before the effect of the explosion has subsided, 
whereby his hair and clothing become contaminated with 
the effects of the blast. It may be brick dust, rubble, or 
safe ballast. 

At all scenes of safecracking it is standard tech- 
nique to take a control sample of the ballast which packed 
the safe, the paint with which the outside of the safe was 
coated, and the paint from inside the safe. 

§5. 18 --Neighborhood interviews 

The investigator must not overlook the fact that 
there may be persons on the premises or living in the 
vicinity who may be able to assist. 

In a number of cases, before being attacked, 
premises are kept under observation by the thieves to learn 
the movements of the occupiers or to ascertain the method 
by which the premises are secured. Therefore, all occu- 
pants must be interviewed and any information of unusual 
calls either personal or by telephone should be carefully 
noted and followed. 

In addition, house to house calls at premises in 
the vicinity may reveal that a stranger has been noticed 
loitering in the locality. By these means it is sometimes 
possible to obtain a useful description of the thief or his 
accomplice. Should the witness be in a position to identify 
the man, then arrangements are made for the witness to 
view the photograph albums at the criminal record office of 
the new Scotland Yard. 

§5. 19- -Description of stolen property and snspect 

A detailed description of the stolen property must 
be obtained, particular attention being paid to any descrip- 


tive marks which will aid positive identification of the 
property at some later stage. 

If, from his investigation at the scene, the iden- 
tity of the culprit is established, no time is wasted in effect- 
ing his arrest. Should this not be immediately possible then 
he is circulated "Wanted" in police publications throughout 
the country. 

§5.20 The suspect 

When dealing with the suspect, from the point of 
view of scientifically associating with him the crime he has 
committed, it is well to be armed with the information as 
to his method of approach, his behavior and departure from 
the scene. This will enable the investigating officer to as- 
sess what clothing or other control samples he may desire. 

§5.21-- Finger and glove prints 

Finger impressions left at the scene, if belonging 
to the suspect, have of necessity come direct from the 
person's fingertips. It is from there that the control sam- 
ples for comparison must be taken. If he has been wearing 
gloves, the possibility of glove impressions being left at the 
scene must not be necessarily dismissed lightly. Gloves 
are, on occasion, capable of leaving sufficient character- 
istics to enable them to be specifically identified. This is 
especially so where the gloves have been wet and have left 
an impression behind at the scene, or where the gloves 
have picked up or put an impression down in dust. Leather 
gloves are especially valuable in this respect. Peculiarities 
and sequence of the markings in the leather are confined to 
each glove. 

§5. 22 --Examination of body and clothing 

If one is dealing with safe ballast, the hair, the 
pocket comb, the trousers, the jacket and shoes or what- 
ever outer garments he may have been wearing, these are 
the most likely articles for examination. Glass comes into 
a similar category, but here more emphasis would be upon 
the jacket, coat or the shoes. As far as instruments are 


concerned, in addition to his person, the suspect' s resi- 
dence must come in for scrutiny. It may be found when the 
suspect is interrogated that his profession or calling has 
peculiarities which contaminate his clothing. In light of 
this information a further search of the scene might bring 
forth new evidence. For instance, examples are: 

A miller will have flour on him. 
A carpenter - wood dust and shavings. 
An engineer - metal filings and swarf. 
A leather worker - leather chippings. 
A furrier - animal hairs. 

§5. 23 --Blood or other chemical changes 

Where blood has been spilled at the scene, an 
examination of the suspect for injury is important and on 
occasions his blood should be obtained for the possibility 
of grouping. Taking this to its logical conclusion, the fol- 
lowing example may indicate the type of exchange that takes 

A man walking across a grass field would nat- 
urally get his trousers contaminated with grass seed and 
vegetation. If he continues to walk across earth his shoes 
will be contaminated with soil. If he climbs a drain pipe 
and walks across a lead roof his shoes will again be con- 
taminated with the decomposition products of the lead 
(white lead carbonate). 

On occasions, the subject of the larceny can 
leave traces on the suspect. Lead, copper and other metals 
are examples in this respect. Where vehicles have been 
used to convey stolen property, the same principle of exam- 
ination applies. On many occasions, with practicing crim- 
inals, an examination of their vehicle not only reveals 
contact traces which can be connected with the particular 
crime being examined, but also with previous crimes. 
Several case histories are cited below to illustrate this point. 

§5.24--Safe ballast dust 

A case of safecracking occurred where entry was 
effected by blasting off the door with explosives. The fire- 
proofing medium lining the door was distributed throughout 


the office. The thieves stole a quantity of jewelry and 
money. At a later stage of the inquiry, the investigating 
officer detained two suspects. Their clothing was sub- 
mitted for scientific examination. Using the vacuum method 
of dust extraction, a quantity of debris was individually re- 
moved from each garment. In the material removed from 
the trousers of one of the men there was found a quantity of 
metal filings together with wood dust. In the wood dust 
there could be identified fragments of ebony. Similar ma- 
terial was found on both the jacket and trousers of the other 
man. The first man was employed in a machine shop and 
stated that the wood dust and metal filings in his trousers 
had been derived from that source. The wood dust had been 
placed on the floor to absorb any oil or grease which might 
be scattered about. Samples of the metal swarf and wood 
dust from the machine shop were submitted for scientific 
examination. Comparison of the material found in the 
suspect's trousers showed that both the physical and chemi- 
cal structure differed. The wood dust removed from the 
floor of the machine shop was identified as having come 
from pine and oak. There was no trace of ebony in this 
sample. The safe ballast distributed at the scene consisted 
of ebony dust and metal filings, similar in every way to that 
removed from the garments of the two men. This evidence, 
when presented to the court, was material in obtaining a 

§5. 25 --Face powder and carpet fibres 

A man climbed a stack pipe and entered the 
premises through a partially open bedroom window. He 
ransacked the dressing table in this room and stole a quan- 
tity of jewelry. In doing this he opened a box of face 
powder, spilling some of the contents on the table and on the 
floor. Later, a man was detained who emphatically denied 
this offense. None of the stolen property was recovered. 
Examination of his shoes, however, showed traces in the 
welt and on the uppers of a cream- colored powder. The 
soles of the shoes were made of rubber and adhering to 
them were a number of green, red and black woolen fibres. 
The powder was identified as face powder similar to that 
spilled at the scene. The fibres from the soles of the shoes 


compared favorably with fibres taken from the Indian carpet 
on the floor of the bedroom. 

§5.26--Coke dust and asbestos fibres 

A case of flat-breaking occurred and stolen from 
the bedroom was a valuable pearl necklace. This necklace 
was normally housed in a felt-lined jewel case. Examina- 
tion of the scene showed no evidence of entry by the normal 
methods of breaking. This suggested the use of a false key, 
or somebody having legitimate access to the premises. No 
foreign fingerprints were detected and there appeared to be 
no contact made, except that in the jewel case there were 
found one or two fragments of dust identified as coke dust, 
and a small maroon-colored fibre. It was established that 
at the time of the theft a certain night watchman was on 
duty and as part of his function he supplied each flat with its 
own hod of coke, which he obtained from the boiler room 
below. This night watchman was supplied with a uniform. 
The cuffs of the sleeves of the jacket were made of maroon- 
colored asbestos to protect his garments from burning 
when firing the boiler. The fibre found in the jewel case 
was identified as an asbestos fibre, similar in color and 
composition to the fibre from the man' s cuffs. This in- 
formation was passed on to the suspect who eventually 
admitted that he had stolen the necklace after he had de- 
posited a container of coke in the flat. The coke granules 
found in the jewel case also were associated with the coke 
in the boiler room. 

§5. 27 --Lead granules, glass particles and cat hair 

Entrance to a house had been effected by remov- 
ing a pane of glass in a rear ground floor window. This 
was a leaded light casement window and the lead surround- 
ing the pane of glass had been cut through. A quantity of 
jewelry was stolen and the house ransacked. Later a 
suspect was interrogated regarding this offense but he de- 
nied any knowledge of it. His raincoat, trousers, gloves 
and shoes were taken from him and submitted to the labora- 
tory with the following control samples: a sample of the 
lead from the window pane, the pane of glass removed from 


the window, and sweepings taken from the carpet in the 
bedroom. Inside the premises a piece of lead was found on 
the carpet. Examination of the gloves and shoes showed a 
number of particles of glass with characteristics similar to 
the glass removed from the frame. The surface of the 
gloves gave positive chemical reactions for the presence of 
lead. The knees of the trousers had a number of black and 
white cat hairs adhering to them. These were similar to 
the cat hairs in the sample taken from the carpet. In the 
cuffs of the trousers were several fragments of greyish- 
colored granular material which gave reactions for the 
presence of lead. This material was identical with the 
fixing cement used for the leaded window. 

§5. 28 --Blood grouping 

A provision merchant' s shop was entered by 
breaking the glass in the door and releasing the catch of the 
lock. At the place of entry, there was a smear of blood on 
the glass. The shop floor was covered with a layer of wood 
dust. Property was stolen. At a later stage, men were 
stopped in the early morning and interrogated. They denied 
the offense. Their outside garments were taken from them 
and these, together with samples of wood dust from the 
floor of the shop and the broken glass, were forwarded for 
examination. One of the men had a cut on his hand. It was 
established that on the shoes of both suspects was wood 
dust similar to that from the floor of the shop. On the 
jacket of one man there was a fine splinter of glass similar 
to the glass from the window. The blood on the glass was 
grouped and found to be of the same group as the blood of 
the suspect who had the cut hand. 

§5. 29 --Footprint, buttons, and thread 

A detached house was entered by climbing a low 
roof to the first floor rear window, breaking the window and 
releasing the catch. Exit was by means of releasing the 
Yale lock of the door at the side of the premises. Found at 
the scene, just inside the premises, was a small button with 
threads attached. The following day another detached house 


was broken into by smashing the ground floor window and 
releasing the catch. The exit was by means of the side 
door. Found at the scene was an impression of a crepe 
soled shoe on top of a radiogram. Two suspects were later 
detained and their outer garments, together with their 
shoes, taken to the laboratory for examination. It was 
established that the foot impression on the radiogram was 
made by a shoe belonging to one of the suspects. A button 
was missing from one of the jackets and it was possible to 
say that the thread of the button found at the scene was simi- 
lar to the thread of the remaining buttons on the jacket. The 
button itself had been manufactured by the same machine 
which manufactured the remaining buttons on the jacket. In 
the cuffs of one of the pairs of trousers was found a number 
of pieces of glass, some of which compared favorably with 
glass broken at the two scenes of the crime described. 
There were, however, some isolated fragments of glass 
which could not be connected with either of these crimes. 
Sometime previously a similar breaking had occurred at 
other premises nearby and the same method was employed. 
The glass from these premises was similar in every way 
to the remaining samples from the trousers of the suspect. 

§5. 30- -Burglary tools 

A lock-up shop was entered by severing the hasp 
of the padlock with a pair of cutters. A safe inside the 
premises was opened by drilling around the lock and ham- 
mering the loosened piece of metal out. At a later stage, 
a suspect' s residence was visited and a large quantity of 
tools were found, among which was a sledge hammer, a 
number of drills, (some of them broken) and a pair of bolt 
cutters. Comparison of the cutting edges of the bolt cutters 
with the padlock hasp from the scene established that these 
particular cutters had severed the padlock. The sledge 
hammer had adhering to its head traces of green and alumi- 
num paint, similar to the paint from the safe. The twist 
drills showed evidence of having been used and some of 
these were similar in diameter to the holes in the safe. 
Small fragments of paint were removed from these drills. 
These fragments of paint showed similar characteristics to 
the paint with which the safe was coated. 

Chapter 6 

Modern Methods of Burglars and 
Shopbreakers in England * 

George H. Hatherill 


6. 1 Terminology distinguished 

6. 2 Private protection of property 

6. 3 Police forces and modern construction 

6. 4 Country houses 

6. 5 --Valuables on display 

6. 6 --Duchess of Windsor jewelry theft 

6. 7 --Careful planning and observation 

6. 8 Dwelling houses 

6. 9 --Temporarily unoccupied premises 

6. 10 --Summer vacations 

6.11 Flats 

6.12 --Burglar -proof locks 
6. 13 --Lock pickers 

6. 14 --Entry through artifice 

6. 15 --Telescopic walking stick 

6. 16 Warehouses, factories, shops and banks 

6. 17 --Methods of entry 

6. 18 --Oxyacetylene apparatus 

6. 19 --Operation of oxy-arc cutting 

6. 20 --Modern methods of crime 

6.21 --Use of explosives 

6. 22 --Night attacks on shops 

6. 23 Police protection and investigation 

§6.1 Terminology distinguished 

It is quite common for people to talk about a per- 
son who has broken into a house as a "burglar. " Actually, 
in English law burglary is applicable to only one particular 
form of felonious breaking - the forcible entry of a dwelling 
house between the hours of 9 p. m. and 6 a. m. with the 

♦The material in this chapter originally appeared in "International Lectures on Police Science" 
and is used here with permission. 



intention at the time of breaking and entering to commit 
some felony therein, or, alternatively, breaking out of such 
building after having entered with intent to commit a felony 
inside, or having committed a felony inside. 

Breaking into or breaking out of a house at any 
other time of the twenty-four hours is ' housebreaking' . A 
man who commits it is a housebreaker. Those who break 
into shops, offices, warehouses, garages and so on, at any 
time of the day or night, are known as shopbreakers, office - 
breakers, warehousebreakers, and so on. 

The person who enters any house through an open 
door or open window, without breaking in, and who leaves 
by the same way, commits 'larceny dwelling' if the value 
of the goods he has stolen is five pounds or over. Under that 
sum he commits 'larceny simple'. We have these various 
designations as the various classes of offenses carry differ- 
ent maximum penalties. All these various forms of breaking 
into or entering buildings and stealing will be discussed in 
the ensuing article. 

§6.2 Private protection of properly 

Breaking into premises to steal property has in 
recent years become more and more a problem to the police 
forces throughout England. The prevention and detection of 
this type of offense exercises more thought and demands 
more time and organization of the police service than any 
other single type of offense. 

Before discussing the present day situation, how- 
ever, it is necessary to examine the past and to trace the 
trend of events leading up to the present day increase in 
this type of criminal activity. 

In the olden days the saying "An Englishman' s 
home is his castle" was literally true. Buildings were more 
strongly constructed. This was particularly so in connec- 
tion with dwelling-houses of people of any substance. The 
old residential houses of those days were, in fact, fortresses 
with solid stone or granite walls, often some feet thick. 
Windows were small and sometimes mere slits, shuttered 
or easily blocked up at night. Doors were massive oaken 
structures, iron studded, braced with wrought iron and 
secured with heavy bolts and bars. When the occupier 


retired for the night after locking and bolting his doors and 
windows, he did so with a feeling of security. It was prac- 
tically impossible to break in without considerable noise, 
damage and delay. 

People in those days did not travel so far nor so 
frequently. There were no railways or cars. Only the rich 
would travel away from their homes by coach or on horse- 
back on well defined roads. They always left their servants 
in occupation. Then, too, only the nobility, merchants and 
middle class had anything valuable worth stealing. 

The parish beadle or constable was not regarded 
as a protector of property. The general public regarded 
the protection of their homes and property as a personal 
matter to be undertaken by themselves. 

§6.3 Police forces and modern construction 

After 1829, however, when police forces were 
organized in England, the ordinary citizen gradually became 
more careless in the protection of his property. Gradually 
the responsibility shifted over on to the shoulders of the 
police until, in modern times, people do seem to rely more 
and more on the police to protect their property. Most 
householders these days are covered by adequate insurance. 
In some cases when they have been the victims of a 'bur- 
glary', they really do not care whether they assist the police 
to recover their property since they know they will be re- 
compensed either in cash or kind. 

Compared with the old houses which were fort- 
resses in themselves, the modern house, factory, flat, 
bungalow, shop and warehouse, with their extensive expanse 
of glass for light, flimsy doors, transom windows and 
ventilators are much more vulnerable to the visit of a break- 
er or prowling thief. In fact, today no building seems safe. 
With monotonous regularity we have reports that dwelling- 
houses have been entered and often by way of open windows, 
by unlocked doors, by putting an arm through an open win- 
dow and releasing the catch. Night after night patrolling 
constables find insecure business premises by the dozen. 
All this tends to support the contention that much of present 
day crime of this nature is brought about by carelessness. 
The breaker just looks for places which are easy to enter 


and to get out of quickly. Our statistics show about one- 
thirdof the reported entries to buildings are effected through 
open defenses, windows, doors and so on. 

Another factor in modern times which makes this 
class of offence more difficult to combat is the rapid move- 
ment of criminals by using motor vehicles. 

All these circumstances illustrate why breaking 
offenses have increased to such an extent. It is a never- 
ceasing struggle. The difficulties of investigation increase 

For the purpose of this article, it is wise to 
divide our 'breakings' into three classes: 

(1) country houses and old family residences; 

(2) dwelling-houses and flats; 

(3) warehouses, factories, shops, banks and busi- 
ness houses. 

§6.4 Country houses 

Country houses are quite a problem in them- 
selves. The usual preventive measures one can apply to 
other types of buildings are much more difficult to apply to 
country houses. 

Most of these country houses which are known as 
the "Stately Homes of England" are spread throughout the 
country. They were built 200, 300 and even 400 or more 
years ago, in the middle of vast estates and far away from 
the towns. These estates are well wooded and protected 
from public view by high walls, trees and hedges. With 
many the distance between the main entrance to the estate 
and the residence itself is often a mile or more. With one 
I know it is almost five miles from the "front gate" to the 
"front door. " 

In the years before the First World War, these 
residences were fully occupied by the old wealthy noble 
families. They were fully staffed and the estates were well 
cared for. These families have been extremely hard hit 
since the First World War by high death duties and mount- 
ing taxation. As a result, in many cases it is almost im- 
possible for them to find the money for the bare maintenance 


of their grounds and buildings. They certainly cannot em- 
ploy the huge staffs as in former days. 

Some of these country houses have as many as 
forty or more bedrooms and literally miles of corridors. 
Many of these old families live in a few rooms in one wing 
of the building; the rest is left unoccupied. They even find 
it difficult to obtain a small staff of half a dozen servants 
as, apart from the high wages asked by them, the serv- 
ants do not like being isolated in these estates, miles 
from the nearest little town with its cinemas and general 

Most of these old country houses are really 
wonderful examples of good style and architecture. They 
contain beautiful furniture and art treasures. Quite a num- 
ber of the owners have thrown open their houses to the 
public for visits at a small charge, using the money re- 
ceived to eke out the overhead expenses. 

§6. 5- -Valuables on display 

As I have said, these old places often have very 
valuable collections of paintings, antique furniture, jewelry 
and collections of family treasures. One can always find 
out about these valuables from reference books, or make a 
visit on the days when the houses are open to the public and 
wander around seeing all these rare treasures. Bearing in 
mind what I have said about their isolated positions and lack 
of staff, one can understand how vulnerable such places are 
to a raid by criminals. It is so easy for a thief, or a gang, 
having decided to raid one of these places, to get all the 
necessary information regarding the layout of the estate and 
buildings, the people resident in them and their habits. 
They can plan the operation knowing exactly what to take 
and where it will be found. With motor transport, these 
criminals travel from towns a hundred or more miles away, 
make their raid swiftly without alarming anybody, and 
escape before discovery of the raid. Sometimes, bearing 
in mind the difficulty of obtaining servants, these criminals 
will put in a young woman accomplice to apply for employ- 
ment as a maid. Through her they get the complete inside 
information as to the movements and habits of the family. 


Some of the raids that have taken place on these 
country houses have resulted in the stealing of valuable 
collections worth many tens of thousands of pounds. There 
is no question that before making a raid the thieves know 
exactly which are the best markets for the disposal of their 
loot. Often these markets are abroad. 

Three recent cases were: 

1. In October 1953, at the home of Sir Harry 
Goldsmid near Sevenoaks in Kent, property to the 
value of 20, 000 pounds was stolen. 

2. In November 1954, at Williamstrip Park, Ciren- 
cester, the home of the Earl St. Alswyn, property 
valued at 11, 000 pounds was taken. 

3. In November 1954, at the home of the Duke and 
Duchess of Sutherland at Guildford, Surrey, 
53, 000 pounds worth of property was stolen. 

§6. 6 --Duchess of Windsor jewelry theft 

The case that had world-wide publicity was the 
theft of the jewels of the Duchess of Windsor when she and 
the Duke of Windsor were staying at "Ednam Lodge, " the 
residence of the Earl of Dudley, in October 1946. This 
place is a forty-room country mansion standing in its own 
extensive grounds in Berkshire, about twenty-seven miles 
from London. 

The Duchess of Windsor' s jewelry was left in a 
jewel case in a locked suitcase in a first-floor front bed- 
room. It was last seen at 5 p.m. on the day of the theft 
when the whole staff went to a downstairs room in the serv- 
ants' quarters for their evening meal. At 7 p.m. the 
secretary of the Duchess returned to the bedroom and saw 
the suitcase had been moved, forced open and the jewel 
case missing. 

Investigation by the police proved that the thief 
had scaled a sixteen foot drainpipe at the rear of "Ednam 
Lodge" to a flat lead-covered roof. He had entered the 
premises through an open bedroom window on the first 
floor. He opened the door of this bedroom, crossed the 
corridor to the bedroom opposite occupied by the Duke and 


Duchess, the door of which had been left unlocked. The 
thief left the premises by the way of entry. 

On the grounds, about 200 yards away from the 
Lodge, the jewel case was found, with a considerable amount 
of jewelry removed. It is curious to note that quite a large 
amount was left in the box. The actual value of the jewelry 
stolen was 20, 000 pounds, while that left in the jewel box 
was worth about 5, 000 pounds. Despite an extensive world- 
wide investigation, none of this stolen jewelry has been 
found. Although we feel we know who the thief was, we can- 
not get enough evidence to prove any charge we might make. 

§6.7-- Careful planning and observation 

The following points of interest will show how the 
thief must have had detailed information. It shows the plan- 
ning, care, thoroughness and speed with which he worked: 

(1) The Duke and Duchess arrived in England from 
abroad only five days before the theft. 

(2) There was a uniform police constable patrolling 
the house and grounds at the time of the theft. 

(3) The detective officer attached to the Duke of 
Windsor was absent from the house, being with 
the Duke in London. 

(4) The gong calling all the servants to their evening 
meal could be heard from outside the house. 

(5) All the staff, including the senior staff, such as 
the secretary, head butler, etc., took their meals 
at the same time and in the same room at the 
rear of the house. 

(6) All windows on the first floor had been secured 
except that of the secretary' s room (the room 
entered) which, being very small and well heated, 
required ventilation. It was customary to leave 
that window open. 

(7) No other rooms were entered by the thief. 

(8) Although there were eighteen members of the 


staff at the lodge, not one heard anything unusual 
or saw the thief. 

(9) Our fingerprint experts did not find any finger- 
prints, only smudges showing that gloves had 
been used. 

(10) The drainpipe scaled led to a flat lead-covered 
roof 30 feet by 12 feet. Once there, the thief, 
lying flat, could remain unnoticed from the 
ground, or from the first floor windows once the 
curtains were drawn. It was established the 
curtains were drawn on that day at 5:15 p.m. 

(11) Nothing else was touched in the Duchess' s room, 
although on the dressing table there were gold 
mounted and valuable toilet articles. 

(12) Although the staff were interrogated, there was 
not the slightest suspicion that any one of them 
was implicated in any way. 

The neatness and speed with which this raid was 
carried out does point to some long time spent in careful 
planning, observation and, I feel, in acquiring some infor- 
mation regarding the layout of the house. Although a reward 
of 2, 000 pounds was offered, which was later increased to 
4,000, no information was ever forthcoming about any piece 
of the jewelry turning up anywhere. 

Many large jewel robberies both in town and the 
country follow upon publicity given in the press of the move- 
ments and activities of wealthy people - functions and 
parties they are attending, with descriptions of the jewels 
the women are wearing. 

§6.8 Dwelling houses 

Coming now to dwelling-houses. I have already 
said one-third of the entries into dwelling-houses are due 
to carelessness on the part of the occupiers. Windows and 
doors are left open, and even keys to the front door are left 
under the mat for some member of the family to pick up 
and enter. 

The outer suburbs of London have streets of 
houses, most of them in their own little plot of land. Not 


many people can afford to employ a servant full-time. What 
most housewives do these days is to employ a charwoman 
in the morning to do the heavy and rough work. Housewives 
must do their shopping. If one goes to the local shopping 
area one sees hundreds of women, perhaps with babies in 
prams or their small children, doing their shopping. Every 
woman there means an unoccupied house somewhere in the 
vicinity. The older children are at school and the husband 
at work. One can imagine therefore the opportunities open 
to daring thieves. 

§6.9-- Temporarily unoccupied premises 

As I have said, these houses are not firmly 
secured. A thief will walk up to the front door and ring the 
bell. If it is not answered, he will quickly go around the 
side of the house to the back and, if there is no window or 
door open, quickly force a window and go in. Invariably, 
the first thing he will do is to wedge the front door so that 
should the occupier return home unexpectedly he will be 
unable to open the front door. The thief can thus be warned 
in time to make a swift getaway from the back through the 
way he entered. This is known in criminal language as 
"drumming the joint. " 

These afternoon thieves work very fast. They 
will ransack a bedroom by simply turning out all the draw- 
ers onto the bed and picking out the jewelry. They take any 
fur coat they may see. Often they are not in the house for 
longer than five to ten minutes. Sometimes, in some places 
they will make a haul of anything up to 2,000 to 3,000 pounds. 

We do know that some thieves keep observation 
in the street in the evening. When they see a family leave 
the house together, they will follow them and see them go 
into a local cinema or other place of entertainment. It is 
not necessary to enlarge upon what happens then. They 
know they have plenty of time to go back to the house and 
ransack it at their leisure. 

§6. 10- -Summer vacations 

Another problem is families who go away on va- 
cations in the summer. We are always concerned with 


peddlers and hawkers going round the suburbs in the sum- 
mer. They visit houses and where they do not get any reply 
they will make two or three more calls at that house on suc- 
cessive days. When they still do not get an answer, they 
conclude the family is away on vacation. These peddlers 
and hawkers make lists of unoccupied houses of this nature 
which they sell to thieves specializing in this type of house- 
breaking. We have even had cases where a family has 
returned from vacation and found some of the furniture re- 
moved. In some cases quite a considerable quantity of 
carpets and suites of furniture is removed. When the police 
have made inquiries they have learned that a furniture 
removal van had drawn up, the thieves quite openly entered 
the house and removed part of the household property. 
During the past few years we have conducted an intensive 
propaganda campaign asking the public always to report to 
the police when they leave their houses to go on vacation. 
We ask neighbors to get in touch with the police immedi- 
ately if they see anything unusual happening round their 
neighbors' houses when they know the occupants are away. 
This has had successful results. 

§6.11 Flats 

Another type of dwelling which gives us a lot of 
anxiety are the huge blocks of modern flats. Once again, a 
thief can enter and, if not stopped by the porter, he can 
roam around the building ringing door bells. He always 
has an excuse if they are answered, but if he gets no reply 
he makes an entry. 

Our greatest troubles here are ineffectual locks 
which are put on doors of flats. The "Yale" type of spring 
lock, for instance, is very easily opened by a thief pushing 
a strip of stout celluloid or mica against the tongue of the 
lock and with pressure the tongue slips back. The door 
simply opens - a silent method of entry. In these cases 
there are absolutely no signs of entry. When the thief 
leaves he simply pulls the door shut and it automatically 
locks. Thieves arrested committing this type of offense 
conceal the strip of mica in the broad end of their ties, 
their shoes or socks, and even suspended from collar studs, 
so when they are searched it is thoroughly done. 




§6. 12 --Burglar -proof locks 

Another type of lock which came on the market a 
few years ago was heralded with great fanfare as being 
"burglar proof . " It was found, however, that this was very 
easily dealt with by thieves. They have a tool working on 
the principle of a cork screw, to which they attach a key, 
push it into the lock, slightly turn it until it engages in the 
lock and then, by twisting the handle, draw the whole core 
of the lock out, just as one draws the cork out of a bottle. 
Having drawn out the core or barrel of the lock, all they 
have to do then is just to pull the tongue back, as shown in 
Figure 34. 

Fig. 34 

§6. 13- -Lock pickers 

Then we have the gentleman equipped with all the 
various pick locks. He is an experienced picker of locks 
and I am presenting a photograph (Fig. 35) of the equipment 
found on a man arrested a few months ago in London. All 
the stuff in this photograph below he carried in one small 
bag. With this outfit he could open any ordinary door lock. 
The book in the photograph is a technical book on modern 
locks. He kept himself up-to-date concerning every new 
type of lock brought out. 





Fig. 35 

§6. 14- -Entry through artifice 

One other troublesome type of thief we have had 
over the last few years is the man who gains entry into a 
house or flat by what we call "artifice. " He dresses himself 
up as a gas, electricity or telephone inspector, tells the 
housewife he has come to make some examination of the 
equipment in the house as there appears to be some fault 
somewhere in the street which he is trying to trace. She, 
being busy with her housework, unsuspectingly allows him, 
for instance, to go into her bedroom. When she is there he 
quickly picks up anything of value lying about. One man 
recently caught had visited scores of houses in London in 




this way. He had got away with property of a total value of 
thousands of pounds. Once again, we are combating this by 
widespread publicity in the press and on the radio. 

§6. 15 --Telescopic walking stick 

Another ingenious thief went about with a walking 
stick which was, in effect, a series of strong metal tubes 
which telescoped within each other and which he could take 
out, fasten by pins and make an admirable scaling hook 
for climbing up to windows left open on the first floor of 
a house. The photographs in Figure 36 graphically display 
this unusual walking stick. 

Cf\ Aries WliUcr Brown 


§6. 16 Warehouses, factories, shops and banks 

Coming now to the raids upon warehouses, fac- 
tories, shops, banks and business houses, I am not going 
to discuss the petty thief who breaks in and just steals what- 
ever he can find. I refer only to the organized gangs that 
attack those buildings where they intend to make a haul of 
thousands of pounds in furs, cloth, jewelry, precious stones 
and, in the case of banks and business houses, large sums 
of money from the strong rooms or safes. 

These gangs work along lines similar to those of 
criminal gangs specializing in this particular work in the 
United States, except it is rare they carry firearms. They 
examine thoroughly the terrain perhaps for weeks before. 
They generally obtain detailed information regarding the 
particular property they intend to steal, where it is kept 
and what they have to tackle to get at it. It seems they do 
obtain some information regarding any secret burglar 
alarms on the premises. We have had entries into ware- 
houses, for example, where they have been very careful 
not to disturb the automatic alarm installed. Where there 
has been a nightwatchman, they have known just when and 
where to tackle him. They do not hesitate to knock him 
out and tie him up. 

Most of these big raids are made during the week- 
ends. Where employees leave the premises at 1 p.m. on a 
Saturday, these gangs have the whole place to themselves 
until Monday morning. Where walls have to be pierced and 
safes attacked, we have found they have worked through the 
Saturday evening and night, and possibly have got to their 
objective sometime during the Sunday. Therefore, the long 
weekend is vital to them. 

§6. 17 --Methods of entry 

All sorts of methods are employed by these people 
first to gain admission. One very favorite trick is for one 
member of the gang to go into the premises on a Saturday 
morning and secrete himself somewhere, perhaps in the 
lavatory or some cupboard, until the whole staff has left. 
Then, when everything is clear, he admits the rest of the 
gang with their equipment. In other cases, as in a recent 


case in London, they secreted themselves in the premises 
next to a bank that they attacked. In this case they broke 
through the side walls of the building into the basement 
and then attacked the vault and strong room. Their haul 
was over 20, 000 pounds in currency. This method of entry 
is often carried out in attacking warehouses. They are 
equipped with the latest oxyacetylene apparatus for cutting 
through metal. 

§6. 18 --Oxyacetylene apparatus 

A recent gang we finally captured had a more ad- 
vanced process. In July 1954, a determined attempt was 
made to cut open a strong-room door at factory premises in 
Whitstable, Kent. The door withstood the onslaught although 
a different story might have been told but for a slip on the 
part of the thieves. The safe which contained many thou- 
sands of pounds worth of property was of a very well known 
make. The door was lined with copper sheeting. This 
sheeting, coupled with an excess of oxygen, caused a blow- 
back with the power setting fire to a camouflage sheet used 
by the thieves. This caused them to abandon the attempt on 
the strong room. The method used was one of the first of 
its kind ever to have been attempted and as such aroused a 
great deal of interest to the police and safe manufacturers. 
Unfortunately, it may have given fresh ideas to would-be 
thieves. This method was to use equipment appropriate to 
the oxy-arc process employed for the cutting of metals, a 
comparatively new means and one that is both speedy and 
effective. The equipment used in this instance was recov- 
ered by us and is shown in Figures 37 and 38. 

It consisted of one welding transformer, com- 
plete with primary cables and fittings, a secondary earth 
lead and secondary lead to the oxy-arc gun. This gun was 
the usual pattern and common in use in legitimate business. 
To it was attached various accessories and spares: one 
oxygen cylinder with regulator and a supply of oxy-arc 
electrodes of the standard types commonly used for piercing 
and cutting. In addition, there were the usual welders' 
accessories - helmet, apron, gloves, etc. , and portable 
collapsible welding booth. The latter was a self-made 
affair which when erected could be used as a tent. In fact, 




Fig. 37 

in this particular instance, one of the men eventually ar- 
rested and convicted of this offense was seen making this 
collapsible booth with aluminum strips. He facetiously re- 
marked that he was making it to use as a beach tent when in 
the south of France. When collapsed this booth folded into 
a small bundle easily put into the boot of a motor car. When 
in use as a welder's booth, the thieves covered it with black 
plastic sheeting which is highly inflammable. Thereby they 
made their first mistake. Asbestos, the usual covering for 
such a purpose, is not inflammable and a blow -back would 
not have affected it. 




Fig. 38 

§6. 19- -Operation of oxy-arc cutting 

It is well at this stage to reveal the operation of 
oxy-arc cutting. The process is that of striking an electric 
arc on the object to be cut and subsequently opening the 
oxygen valve on the gun which allows a stream of high pres- 
sure oxygen to pass down the whole electrode into the arc 
zone. The oxidation which takes place at the high tem- 
perature produced by the arc causes very rapid burning. 
The transformer is used for the purpose of providing power 
to the arc; the oxygen cylinder, the appropriate quantity of 
pressure of oxygen. The process is substantially more 
rapid than oxy gas cutting and has additional advantages 
with respect to piercing capacity and ability to cut through 
laminated materials. Cutting of steel billets up to eight or 
nine inches thick is a common application. The oxygen 
process is not considered a satisfactory method of ordinary 


safes which are constructed with various thicknesses of 
steel plate separated by ballast because of the dissipation 
of heat within the safe walls. The oxy-arc process concen- 
trates the heat in the arc and in consequence piercing and 
cutting is relatively easy in laminated structures. 

This process normally demands substantial elec- 
tric power supply. Most commercial transformers cover 
a wide range of outputs for different applications. The 
transformer used by the thieves in this instance was de- 
signed to reduce power demand to a minimum, but the power 
demand would still be on the upper limit of a normal 15 amp 
circuit. An expert' s view was that to use this transformer 
it would be necessary to replace or strengthen the fuses in 
the circuit employed. In fact, that is what did happen at 
Whitstable. An interesting feature of this transformer was 
revealed by investigation. It is a small compact job and 
was made to the thieves' own specifications so that it could 
easily be taken around in the boot of the motor car. 

The attacked safe in this instance was examined 
by an expert who formed the view that the thieves used too 
much oxygen on the job and so caused the blow-back which 
set fire to the plastic sheeting. That was their second 
mistake. Apart from these small but important items, a 
very determined effort was made. By the equipment used 
it is obvious that planning was done by a clever and in- 
genious rogue. 

When the attempt on the strong-room door was 
first discovered, the local investigating officer came to the 
conclusion that this was the work of an expert gang. It was 
not until two weeks later that we arrested the persons con- 
cerned in London. In a careful search of garages and cars 
used by the culprits, we found all the equipment necessary 
for the oxy-arc process, already mentioned in this account, 
plus scientific evidence connecting some of the equipment 
with the case of attempted safe blowing referred to. One 
important feature was the presence of burnt plastic on the 
equipment, in the body of the two cars used and on a garage 
floor. A missing aluminum nut from the welding booth was 
found near the strong-room door at Whitstable. Burnt plastic 
material was still adhering to the metal booth when found. 

One other revealing and interesting feature of 
this case remains to be told. It is the use by the thieves of 


a surgical instrument which is really designed for the exa- 
mination of the genito-urinary tract. One such instrument 
was found, together with two metal drills, in the cubby hole 
of the motor car used by the thieves. This instrument is 
equally effective for the examination of the inside of safe 
locks. The presence of two twist drills in the box with the 
instrument supported the contention that the instrument was 
used for the latter purpose. 

§6. 20--Modern methods of crime 

This case revealed the most modern methods to 
come to our notice and shows to what ends the up-to-date 
safe breaker will go in his efforts to overcome the equally 
up-to-date methods used by safe makers. 

The gang using this equipment was led by a man 
of high intelligence and brains. They had had remarkable 
success for some months. Among other things, they had 
managed to contact a member of a big London insurance 
company and through him obtained a book from Lloyd' s 
giving assessors' reports on buildings, flats and houses 
which the insurance company was asked to cover by the 
owners. These reports, of course, detailed very fully the 
building to be insured, any weaknesses in its structure and 
security, what staff was likely to be on the premises out- 
side of working hours, what valuable property was stored 
there, and where. In other words, these were first-hand 
intelligence reports for this gang. In addition, when work- 
ing on the job, they had one man inside the building with a 
'walkie-talkie' and one or two men outside at strategic 
points with the same apparatus for the outside people to 
keep observation and report any undue inquisitiveness by 
the police. 

One other outstanding feat they carried out was 
to enter a suburban house where a postmistress lived, in 
the middle of the night, and obtain from her the keys to a 
big postoffice in the city. While two men remained with her 
sitting on her bed to keep her quiet, other members went 
to the post office, entered with the keys, and cleared the 
stock - stamps, cash, and other valuable securities - 
amounting to some tens of thousands of pounds. After this 
they returned to the house, picked up the two men left there. 


and disappeared. When we caught this gang we recovered 
some thousands of pounds worth of stamps in their posses- 
sion, together with proceeds of other large robberies they 
had carried out. 

§6.21-- Use of explosives 

Many gangs operating on this class of crime use 
explosives in blowing safes and strong rooms. We have had 
in recent years an increase in this method. There is a 
strong control in England on the possession and storage of 
explosives. To obtain gelignite and fuses, criminals have 
to do so by breaking into places where they are stored. 
Thus, when we have a case reported of stealing explosives 
and the thieves and explosives are not traced, we know in 
due course we shall have cases of safe -blowing. 

§6.22-- Night attacks on shops 

Another form of quick action with good hauls are 
attacks on shops at night. Big furriers' and jewelers' shops 
often have their front windows and doors protected by heavy 
steel grids. In the early morning hours a gang will drive 
up to one of these establishments in a powerful car to which 
they attach a cable with a strong steel hook to the grid. By 
driving the car away at top speed they tear the whole front 
of the shop down. Members of the gang standing by imme- 
diately enter through the broken shop window, grab all they 
can in the way of furs, for example, and at once make their 
getaway in the car. It is remarkable in these cases how 
these criminals take only the very expensive fur coats worth 
thousands of pounds, and leave only those worth hundreds. 
This again indicates they have studied the lay-out well be- 
forehand and carefully planned the affair. Jewelers' shops 
are attacked in this manner. This method may seem to be 
a cumbersome and noisy operation but, in fact, it is carried 
out within a matter of three or four minutes. 

Another method in this class of attack is to place 
against a door a heavy beam of wood as a battering ram at 
which the car is driven. The door is literally smashed down. 
In all these operations the cars used have been stolen, being 
abandoned as soon as possible after their getaway. 


§6.23 Police protection and investigation 

It is hardly necessary to say all these criminal 
activities I have spoken about are given close and constant 
attention by the police in England. The various forces have 
specialized sections of C.I. D. to deal with them. In London 
we have our Flying Squad, with picked men, equipped with 
fast cars, who fight this class of crime committed in 
London. We also have at Scotland Yard a newly formed 
section composed of C.I. D. officers from the police forces 
outside London, together with officers of our force. This 
section or squad concentrates upon London criminals who 
operate in the country away from London. These police 
organizations are having increasing success in dealing with 
this type of crime. 

The scientific laboratory also plays its part: 
examination of hairs, fibres, textiles, jimmy marks found 
at the scenes, and the use of scientific apparatus play an 
important part in supplying the important links in these 
investigations. The scientists give to the police that little 
extra evidence enabling them to take the persons they know 
are responsible for the crime before the courts and prove 
their guilt to a jury. 

Chapter 7 

Robbery at Hatton Garden 
Safe Deposit 

George H. Hatherill 


7. 1 Hours of business 

7. 2 Security and control of safe deposit 

7. 3 --Three custodians and their duties 

7. 4 Larcenies from the safe deposit 

7. 5 --Police inquiries; time of loss 

7. 6 — Surveillance of custodians 

7.7 --Underworld inquiries 

7.8 --Conference of senior officers 
7. 9 --Results of police search 

7.10 --Key blanks in jewelers' homes 

7.11 Safe deposit installation 
7. 12 Preferring of charges 

7. 13 Result of trial 

7. 14 Conclusion 

§7. 1 Hours of business 

Hatton Garden Safe Deposit occupies basement 
premises at 88/90, Hatton Garden, and is controlled by a 
limited company. The safe deposit is open for the use of 
renters from 9 a. m. to 6 p. m. Monday to Friday, and from 
9 a.m. until 12 noon on Saturdays. It is, of course, closed 
on Sundays. 

§7.2 Security and control of safe deposit 

It is virtually impossible to gain access to the 
safe deposit after closing time without the knowledge of the 
managing director of the company and at least two of his 
employees. The main door leading to the grill is controlled 
by two combinations which operate independently of one 
another and both have to be used to open the door. One 



combination is known by the managing director and the man- 
ager of the safe deposit and the other by the safe deposit 
custodians (to whom reference will be made later). 

Once the main heavy steel door is opened, a metal 
grill is then opened by two independent keys and access is 
obtained to the safe deposit which contains the safe boxes 
of the customers. This safe deposit has 900 boxes of vary- 
ing types and sizes. 

§7. 3 --Three custodians and their duties 

There are three custodians employed in the safe 
deposit, each of whom has a guardian key, and their duties 
are as follows: 

One of the custodians, when the safe deposit is 
opened, stands at the door of the metal grill and admits the 
renter of the safe. The latter signs his name in a book 
showing time of arrival and subsequent time of leaving. 

The other custodians stand within the safe deposit 
awaiting the renter. Before the individual can undo his box, 
it is necessary for the custodian to turn the guardian key. 
Then the renter can turn his key in a separate lock and have 
access to the box. It should be explained that every safe 
deposit box is operated by two locks (1) the guardian lock, 
and (2) the individual lock, each of which is different to the 
individual renter. 

When an individual rents his box he is given two 
keys in a sealed envelope. It should be impossible to gain 
legitimate access to the safe deposit box by any person 
except the renter. Inside each safe deposit box is a black 
metal deed box in which the renter places his goods. Once 
the guardian key has been turned, the renter can open his 
box and can, if necessary, take the contents to a cubicle 
for examination of any property. 

It should be explained here that the custodians at 
this safe deposit each deal with very valuable property, in- 
cluding large sums of money, diamonds and valuable jewelry. 
They have worked there for a number of years and know 
their customers by face and name. 

The busiest time at the safe deposit is during the 
week. On Saturday morning it is extremely quiet. Most of 
the individuals using this safe deposit are of Jewish faith. 


§7.4 Larcenies from the safe deposit 

Early in 1956, individual renters discovered, 
upon opening their boxes, that valuable pieces of jewelry, 
diamonds and cash in varying amounts were missing from 
their boxes. It seemed virtually impossible for a larceny 
to have taken place and a great number of them put their 
losses down to carelessness on their own behalf or, strange 
though it may seem, believed that they had misplaced 
their goods. 

The thieves operating this robbery, if they had 
not been greedy, could undoubtedly have continued in this 
strain for many many months. These early larcenies varied 
in amounts between 500 and 2, 000 pounds and were not in 
the main reported to police. Some of the individuals com- 
plained to the managing director, who pooh-poohed the idea 
that any larcenies could take place at the safe deposit with 
the security arrangements in hand. 

However, in October, 1956, a very reputable dia- 
mond merchant found, on examination of the contents of his 
safe box, that 6, 000 pounds worth of diamonds had been 
stolen. It was reported to police, and officers from New 
Scotland Yard were put on the inquiry owing to the serious- 
ness and apparent impregnability of this safe deposit. Within 
a week it was established that in the past nine months at least 
twenty-four larcenies had occurred, totalling 30, 000 pounds, 
and that a number of others had obviously taken place but that 
these losers, for reasons which were obvious, did not want 
to tell police. (Income tax, purchase tax offenses, stolen 
property and smuggling). 

§7. 5- -Police inquiries; time of loss 

Inquiries showed that the safe deposit was phys- 
ically impregnable unless dynamited. Further inquiries 
showed that the bulk of the people who had lost goods had 
lost them between Friday evening and Monday morning. It 
will be remembered that the safe deposit was closed on 
Sunday and the evidence pointed to these larcenies taking 
place on a Saturday morning during the time the safe deposit 
was open. 

Further inquiries showed that even with a false 
key or keys it would be impossible for an individual to open 


another person' s box without collusion on behalf of one of 
the custodians. 

An examination of the book kept by the proprietors 
to register the entry of renters showed that the custodians 
on a Saturday morning had not been enforcing this rule and 
no record was available to show who had, in fact, entered 
and left the safe deposit on Saturdays. 

§7. 6- -Surveillance of custodians 

The inquiries were widened, the custodians were 
followed and it was found that one of them, a man of good 
character who was married, with ten children, was spending 
5 pounds a night on drink and each morning arrived from a 
poor quarter in the East End to the center of the diamond 
trade - Hatton Garden - by cab. 

This custodian was given strict surveillance by a 
number of officers and it was shown that he was, during the 
evening, constantly in the company of two well-known jewel- 
ers. Both had been suspected for years of receiving stolen 
property, but had no criminal convictions. 

§7.7-- Underworld inquiries 

Contacts were made by the Yard officers with 
underworld informants and it was ascertained from them 
that these two jewelers had been disposing of diamonds 
over the past nine months on a large scale and had been 
heard in gossip to talk about false keys. 

§7. 8 --Conference of senior officers 

A conference of senior officers was held and it 
was decided that immediate and simultaneous action would 
have to be taken to search the residences of the custodians, 
the two jewelers, their employees and known associates. 
The cooperation of the Flying Squad was obtained and ten 
search warrants were executed in various parts of London 


§7. 9 --Results of police search 

At the home of one custodian (the gentleman who 
came to work by taxi), in a blazer in the bedroom, were 
found a number of diamond papers, in one of which were 
eight small diamonds. This man had no knowledge of the 
diamond trade and could give no legitimate reason for his 
possession of the diamond papers and the diamonds. 

He was taken to Scotland Yard where he denied 
possession of the goods but eventually said he had forgotten 
and became very distressed. 

§7. 10- -Key blanks in jewelers' homes 

In the meantime other officers searching one of 
the jeweler' s premises found in a box three key blanks of 
a type similar to those issued to renters. Also found were 
some pearls and zircons for which the only explanation he 
could give was that he had bought them for a small amount, 
from a man he didn't know, in a cafe. There was no record 
in his books of the purchase of these goods. All the other 
property at this address was checked and no action could be 
taken. The pearls, zircons, safe deposit and blank keys 
were seized by police. These key blanks had not been cut 
and the jeweler could give no explanation for his possession 
of them. 

Other officers searching the private address of 
the second jeweler found hidden, under a carpet, similar 
key blanks. This man first of all blamed the housekeeper 
for them being there and subsequently gave the explanation 
that they were padlock key blanks. 

All three individuals made various noncommittal 
statements to police, none of which amounted to an admission. 

Subsequent inquiries at the safe deposit showed 
that one of the jewelers had a legitimate safe box there but 
in a false name, thus giving him access to the safe deposit. 
The other jeweler had a safe box at this deposit in his 
proper name. 

Despite exhaustive inquiries by police the zircons 
and pearls could not be definitely identified by any renter 
as his property. The individual who had lost the 6,000 pounds 
worth of diamonds gave evidence that those found at the 


custodian' s address were similar to his in every way. It 
should be explained that the diamond papers found at this 
address bore no marks of identification in any way. 

§7. 11 Safe deposit installation 

Messrs. Chubb and Sons, Lock and Safe Com- 
pany, installed this Hatton Garden Safe Deposit. The 
technical manager was shown the blank keys found at the 
two jewelers' addresses and said that, with an impression 
of the lock, it would be possible to cut these keys for use 
on individual renters' boxes. These keys are the flat type 
and operate a seven lever lock - after the guardian has 
opened his box. From an informant it was learned that 
with collusion on the part of the custodian, these two jewel- 
ers had undoubtedly obtained, by some means unknown to 
police, impressions of the keys of those renters who had 
suffered larcenies. 

§7. 12 Preferring of charges 

The three individuals were charged with stealing 
parcels of diamonds, the property of the individual who 
identified the eight diamonds found at the custodian' s ad- 
dress. In addition, the custodian was charged with receiving 
these eight 'Melee' diamonds, the property of this partic- 
ular renter. One jeweler was also charged with receiving 
three parcels containing pearls and colored zircons, the 
property of some person or persons unknown, knowing them 
to have been stolen. 

This case was strongly contested and after twelve 
hearings at Clerkenwell magistrates' court, they eventually 
went to trial five months later in March, 1957, at the cen- 
tral criminal court. 

On the opinion of counsel ten persons were called 
to give evidence of larcenies from their safe deposit boxes 
over a period of nine months, and a further count of con- 
spiracy to steal was preferred in the indictment. 

§7. 13 Result of trial 

After a strongly contested case, all three were 
sentenced to two and one -half years imprisonment for the 


offense of conspiring to steal precious and semi-precious 
stones and cash for a period between March 1, 1956, and 
November 16, 1956. The other charges were not dealt with 
owing to the inability to identify the precious stones. 

§7. 14 Conclusion 

There is no doubt that the arrest and just convic- 
tion of these three men, for a period at least, shook the 
confidence of the diamond trade in the apparent impregna- 
bility of the safe deposit and the number of renters was, for 
a period of four or five months, reduced to half. 

This confidence has now been restored and, after 
conviction, it was appreciated by the renters that the lar- 
cenies could only take place with the collusion of a dishonest 

This series of robberies from a safe deposit was 
unique in the United Kingdom for many years and it should 
be pointed out that the thieves, in the main, were taking 
unidentifiable property - bank notes and diamonds. Only 
greed -the 6, 000 pound larceny - resulted in the police being 
informed. If they had been content to milk the safe deposit 
boxes as they did in the early stages, the losers would 
not have contacted police and the men would not have been 

Chapter 8 
Investigating Incendiary Fires 

Edward L. Hughes 


8. 1 National Board of Fire Underwriters 

8. 2 Common law arson 

8. 3 Model Arson Law 

8. 4 Crimes relating to arson 

8. 5 Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt 

8. 6 Elements of arson; time and place 

8.7 --Interviewing party discovering fire 

8. 8 --Description of the building 

8. 9 Incendiary origin 

8. 10 --Circumstantial evidence 

8. 11 --Confession 

8. 12 --Proof by direct evidence 

8. 13 Motive 

8. 14 --Valued policy law 

8.15 Proof of guilt 

8. 16 Kindred crimes --sabotage 

8. 17 --Mail fraud 

8. 18 --Murder in perpetration of arson 
8. 19 Juvenile fires --the inquisitive type 

8.20 --Sexually-intrigued type 

8.21 --Destructive and ornery type 

8.22 Spite and revenge arsonists 
8. 23 Fraud arsonists 

8. 24 Economic connection to arson 

8.25 As cover-up for crimes --murder 

8. 26 --Embezzlement 

8.27 --Burglaries 

8.28 Pyromaniacs 

8.29 --Robert Segee 

8.30 --Female arsonist 

8.31 --Relation to sexual maladjustment 
8. 32 Subpoena power of fire marshal 



8. 33 Arson detection by firemen 
8. 34 Arson prevention 

§8.1 National Board of Fire Underwriters 

The National Board of Fire Underwriters and its 
Committee on Incendiary and Arson, of which this writer is a 
member, assists the public authorities, when requested, in 
the investigation of fires and kindred crimes. There is a 
committee of about 140 special agents throughout the coun- 
try, and about three-fourths of them are former FBI agents. 

The National Board is an organization of about 
200 capital stock fire insurance companies. However, re- 
quests for investigations are received from public authori- 
ties. We assist whenever we are requested, regardless of 
whether insurance is involved in the loss or not, or if there 
is insurance, whether it might be stock insurance or mutual 
insurance. In other words, we do not care. Our primary 
purpose, of course, is prosecution. Second to that is the 
monetary loss to the insurance companies. 

§8.2 Common law arson 

A short study of common law arson should be 
made in order to appreciate the laws as we know them today. 
"Common law" is a name given by the law of England and it 
means that it is not a written law; it is a law that has been 
established by custom and by experience. In the past, there 
were no statutes or code books to which you could make 
reference for decisions. If an act was a crime, it would 
have been established as one by custom. 

Some 400 years ago arson was recognized as a 
crime. At that time it was considered a crime only against 
another' s habitation. In other words, a person then living 
in his own dwelling could set fire to it and not commit a 
crime. If he set fire to the home of another person, how- 
ever, then he had committed arson. Ownership, as we know 
it today, had nothing to do with the crime itself. A tenant, 
as long as he lived in the dwelling, could set fire to it and 
go scot free. On the other hand, the actual owner of the 
dwelling could not set fire to it if it were occupied by a 


tenant. The dwelling set on fire then, had to be occupied by 
someone other than the incendiarist. This was before the 
birth of insurance companies and prior to the crime known 
as "burning to defraud. " 

§8.3 Model Arson Law 

Today, in a few states, the common law version 
still prevails. There have been certain legislative enact- 
ments to include buildings other than dwellings. In these 
few states the buildings must still be those of another. Ohio 
has enacted the Model Arson Law which provides that arson 
may be committed regardless of the ownership or occupan- 
cy of the building burned. The Model Arson Law is now in 
effect in forty-two states, and provides, in part, as follows: 

1. A man or a woman may commit arson by 
burning a building which is either his property or another's. 

2. Included are not only those who burn, but, in 
addition, those who cause to be burned or aid, counsel, or 
procure the burning of certain buildings. This enables the 
state to prosecute, as principals, these defendants who 
might otherwise be regarded as accessories before the fact. 

3. This law provides that the preparation of the 
building for a fire with intent to burn shall constitute an 
attempt to commit arson. 

§8.4 Crimes relating to arson 

There are several crimes related to arson set 
forth in the laws of Ohio. Those crimes mainly dealt with 
in Ohio are: first-degree arson, which is the burning of a 
dwelling, whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant, or 
any kitchen, shop, barn, stable, or other out-house that is 
a parcel thereto. It has to be done willfully and maliciously. 
Upon conviction thereof, the sentence is two to twenty years. 
Upon conviction under this section, persons cannot be placed 
on probation. There is no provision for probation for those 
convicted of first-degree arson. 

Second and third-degree arson deals with the 
burning of buildings other than dwellings, including any 
structure not included in the previous section, and these 
burnings result in a penalty of one to ten years. 


The burning of other property having a value of 
twenty-five dollars or more, which has a penalty of one to 
three years. 

For an attempt to burn, the penalty is one to two 

For burning to defraud the insurer, the penalty is 
one to five years. 

In Ohio there is no statute of limitations for the 
crime of arson. 

§8. 5 Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt 

In arson, as in any other case, the judge charges 
the jury. In a typical charge in an arson case, there are 
thirteen times when the judge instructs the jury that they 
must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 
Some judges wonder at times how a jury can possibly come 
in with a guilty verdict after the judge has told the jury 
thirteen times, "You must not convict this man unless he 
is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. " 

§8.6 Elements of arson; time and place 

There are four elements necessary to prove a 
person guilty of arson. The first element of the violation 
is that the fire occurred at a specific time on a certain date, 
and within the jurisdiction of the court. 

We are not concerned too much with the first 
element, because in larger cities, all of that is usually 
recorded electrically or mechanically by the fire depart- 
ment. Smaller cities also keep fairly complete records. 
Therefore, one usually can obtain the first element by con- 
tacting the fire chief or the fireman who was in charge. 

§8. 7 --Interviewing party discovering fire 

In country towns, when investigating fires, one 
has to rely on the person who discovered the fire. Let me 
point out the importance of the location and the interviewing 
of the person who discovered the fire. You must exhaust 
him, because from him you will obtain a considerable 
amount of information. For example, ask him about the 


appearance of the building, what it looked like when he first 
saw it, where he saw the fire coming from, whether he just 
saw smoke, the color of the smoke, when he arrived at the 
scene, what he did there, etc. (One should always keep in 
mind that a lot of our incendiarists are people who discover 
the fire. ) 

There was a case where we were called upon to 
investigate a fire that occurred above a theatre in an apart- 
ment house. If the fire really had a good start, it probably 
would have burned out the whole block. Three or four minor 
fires had been set in the past under a stairway back in a 
corner and the same woman discovered the fire every time. 
She was going through menopause and it affected her men- 
tally as well as physically. She wanted some attention so 
she started setting fires and then discovered and report- 
ed them. 

In securing the facts for the first element, you 
must know and be able to report to the person who owns the 
building. It is necessary to establish ownership and wheth- 
er the building was occupied or unoccupied. 

§ 8 . 8 - - Description of the building 

The description of the building, of course, is 
very important. The prosecutor must be informed of the 
age of the building, the number of rooms and the type of 
construction. In presenting these facts to a jury, they can 
appreciate that if it was close to another dwelling the arson 
is more serious. It must be kept in mind that in order to 
prosecute under the first-degree arson law, there must be 
more than a mere scorching or smoking or discoloration of 
a building or the wood therein. There has to be an actual 
burning and an actual destruction of the wood fibre. If you 
just have discoloration, then one would prosecute under an 
attempt to burn. 

§8.9 Incendiary origin 

The second element to establish is incendiary 
origin. This is the most difficult element to establish be- 
cause it is a rule of law that all fires are accidental until 
they are proven otherwise. Therefore, all accidental causes 


such as lightning, electricity, gas and the like must be 
eliminated. It must be proved that a structure was burned 
by criminal design and by persons criminally responsible. 
In other words, the corpus delicti, or the body of the crime, 
must be proved. Incendiary origin can be proved by direct 
or circumstantial evidence. 

§8. 10- -Circumstantial evidence 

We often have to deal with circumstantial evidence 
which is not really poor evidence. Circumstantial evidence 
is as good, if not better, than direct evidence. By using 
direct evidence one witness can testify and perjure himself 
and convict an innocent person, whereas in circumstantial 
evidence you have to rely on a considerable number of wit- 
nesses to testify to one little thing they might know, or what 
they saw. 

§8. 11- -Confession 

If you are lucky enough to get a confession in an 
arson case, it must be corroborated, because in the pre- 
sentation of an arson case, like so many other crimes, you 
have to establish the incendiary origin and it cannot be done 
by a confession alone. 

§8. 12 --Proof by direct evidence 

The incendiary origin can be proved by direct 
evidence. Examples are the saturation of a room or a 
building with kerosene or gasoline, or the presence of con- 
tainers for kerosene, or gas in a place where they usually 
are not found. There might be multiple fires— a fire down 
in the basement, and a fire up on the third floor —which have 
no connection with one another. They could not have com- 

What direct evidence is helpful in establishing 
the incendiary requirement? The unusual or the unnatural, 
such as disarranged furniture, as to hamper the firemen, 
or the actual removal of the furniture before the fire, or a 
hole knocked in a wall to create a draft, or even the family 
Bible missing, all are necessary information. 


One who considers setting his house on fire, 
should let the insurance policy burn up with it, because that 
is the one thing arson investigators are touchy about! Many 
people try to beat us by carrying their insurance policies 
around in the glove compartment of their cars for example. 

We actually look for the family Bible, the mar- 
riage license and the like, because it is an indication that if 
a person was going to have a fire, he might want to save a 
birth certificate, wedding certificate, and particularly, the 
insurance policy. 

It is wise to avoid using expert testimony to es- 
tablish incendiary origin. The reason is that expert testi- 
mony can be challenged by the defense without limitation. 

§8. 13 Motive 

The third element is motive. The law does not 
say that you must establish motive. Nevertheless, it is 
extremely important that motive be established. It should 
be shown why this person set this fire. Usually, the motive 
is revenge or a desire to defraud the insurer. One might 
look for what we call "over -insurance. " Unfortunately, 
today, insurance agents are sometimes writing losses which 
they should not write. It is a competitive field for them. 
This writer knows of a specific loss in Pike County, during 
the time when the boom was existing because of the atomic 
energy plant, in which a person had $27, 000 invested in a 
building, yet a policy for $103, 000 was written on that 
particular building and contents. It burned to the ground. 

§8. 14 --Valued policy law 

A person may have adequate insurance, and be- 
cause of a desire to sell out, or because his wares have 
become obsolete, or the like, he is willing to settle for 
exactly what he is insured for. In that regard, it might be 
pointed out that in the state of Ohio, there is a valued policy 
law. Without a valued policy law, if you obtain $10, 000 in 
insurance on your house, and that house burns for a total 
loss, the adjustor may try to settle for maybe $7, 500 or 
$8, 000. Under the valued policy law, if you have insured 
your house for $20, 000 or $30, 000 or $50, 000, and it is a 


totalloss, they have to pay you the face amount of the policy. 
This applies to house dwellings and structures only. It does 
not mean contents because here depreciation is involved. 
In the event there is a fire loss in which fraud is involved, 
it is always important to call in the adjustor to establish 
values. This can show the motive of the man or woman 
who is hoping to make some money on the fire. 

§8. 15 Proof of guilt 

The fourth element is proof of guilt. Here it 
must be shown that the accused could have had the oppor- 
tunity (but he did not take advantage of it) to aid in setting a 
fire that destroyed a structure; that the accused only aided 
or abetted the real incendiarist. 

What we have previously mentioned under incen- 
diary origin can be used in this particular section, to the 
extent that you might have confessions or the testimony of 
an accomplice. Again, you must corroborate it before you 
can use such testimony alone. 

There may be a false statement by the person 
upon the first interview. This can often be broken down by 
showing the accused that he had the opportunity to set the 
fire. It should be remembered, however, that the oppor- 
tunity factor can also be used against you by the defense. 

The fact that a person set previous fires can be 
used against him. It is circumstantial, but, nevertheless, 
good evidence. 

§8.16 Kindred crimes - - sabotage 

There are several kindred crimes to arson. The 
first is sabotage as arson is one of the favorite tools of a 
saboteur. Sabotage occurs quickly and usually destroys the 
evidence. This is demoralizing for it is hard to prove. 

There is a wartime sabotage law and a peacetime 
sabotage law. The jurisdiction for the investigation lies 
with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

§8. 17 --Mail fraud 

There may be mail fraud, a violation of the fed- 
eral law, whereby in setting a place on fire in order to 


collect the insurance, the mails are used to submit proof of 
loss to the adjustor or to the interested insurance company. 

§8. 18 --Murder in perpetration of arson 

Death sometimes occurs in the perpetration of 
arson. Arson is one of the four crimes— along with robbery, 
burglary, and rape where, if death results, the party may 
be charged with first-degree murder. Another crime which 
a person may be charged with is obtaining money under 
false pretenses. A false claim is sometimes filed after 
arson has occurred. 

§8.19 Juvenile fires- -the inquisitive type 

From studies which have been made, it appears 
that the juveniles cause the most fires. We can classify 
juveniles into three different types: There is the inquisitive 
type, perhaps like all of us were when we were children. 

Fire fascinates children and they like to play with 
it to see what happens. They probably first realized that it 
was nothing to play with upon being burned. For example, 
a five-year old was in the habit of getting up in the morning 
before his parents, going downstairs into the basement, 
taking anything that was wood, putting it underneath the hot 
water tank and applying it to the open flame to see what 
would happen. He had done this in the past; he was the 
inquisitive type. However, on one particular morning, we 
do not know what exactly happened, but his body was later 
found with four other members of his family, all of whom 
had perished in the fire. This illustrates the danger of an 
inquisitive type of juvenile arsonist. 

§8. 20- -Sexually-intrigued type 

Secondly, there is the sexually-intrigued juvenile. 
This is a dangerous person, because he is heading straight 
for pyromania. Some people do not realize that actual 
pyromania is very closely connected with sexual maladjust- 
ment. For example, an eleven-year old boy intrigued a 
nine -year old boy into a vacant house and wanted him to take 
his pants down and then masturbate. The nine -year old 


became scared and ran out of the house. The eleven-year 
old became angry, went upstairs and set fire to one of the 
closets. In such cases, something needs to be done for this 
child. If they can be located and treated before they reach 
the age of puberty, there is a good chance that they can be 
cured. One method is through the use of hormones under 
a doctor' s care. 

§ 8 . 2 1 - - Destructive and ornery type 

The third juvenile type is the child who is de- 
structive and ornery. This type on Halloween, will set fire 
to bridges, corn stalks, hay mounds, or to schools. Often 
a boy who knows that he is going to get a poor grade, will 
set fire to his school in order to destroy the records. 

There was one boy who became angry at a lumber 
company because it needed more space adjacent to the land 
the boy played on. The land was owned by the company so 
it built a fence around it. The boy, in anger, set fire to 
the lumber company. In talking to him afterwards, he re- 
lated how he had started three or four grass fires because 
he felt that this was a good way to reduce the weeds in the 
field so that he could play ball. This is an example of the 
destructive juvenile type. 

§8.22 Spite and revenge arsonists 

Spite and revenge fire -setters are another cate- 
gory of arsonists. For example, someone who is living with 
another man' s wife gets jilted. He becomes angry and de- 
cides to get even by setting fire to the place. 

Another example was of the fellow who became 
angry at his next-door neighbor. Their homes were very 
close to one another, so he set fire to his own house, know- 
ing that it would communicate to the neighbor' s house. It 
did, and burned both of them completely down to the ground. 

There was a terrible fire in a dwelling house one 
night. A man who lived there and his aged father just barely 
escaped injury. In checking the cause of this fire, we found 
that a woman named Eiser, who, thirty-one years prior to 
that time, had blamed this man, her brother-in-law, for 
the death of her sister. She felt that her sister had been 


murdered, whereas the newspaper accounts and several de- 
tectives who worked on the case at the time, said that the 
sister was a dope addict and had fallen from a second-story 
window of a house and had died two days later in a hospital. 
But Mrs. Eiser always blamed her brother-in-law, and she 
had waited for revenge for thirty-one years. 

There was the case of a Negro who was livmg m 
common-law relationship with a woman. They had two ille- 
gitimate children. The woman's sister also lived there with 
two or three illegitimate children. She got tired of Redman, 
the Negro, left him and started in with someone else. After 
four or five nights, Redman went back, broke into the base- 
ment, and set a fire which took the lives of eight people. 
When he confessed, we tried to find out why he did this act of 
arson. He said he just wanted to scare them. In the perpe- 
tration of arson, if a death results, a person can be charged 
withfirstdegree murder. There were eight counts of murder 
in the indictment brought against Redman. However, in the 
trial, the jury found him guilty of manslaughter. 

Revenge has been used by those other than the 
lower classes of individuals. There was a county engineer 
who was disturbed with the county school system because 
colored children had to go to what he considered an inferior 
school. He felt that if the school burned down, they would 
have to build a better school. So he set fire to it. 

§8.23 Fraud arsonists 

There is one fellow who started eighteen fires in 
the last twenty years. Those eighteen fires occurred in 
Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky. He came to Ohio and 
has been here for about ten years. He owns several pieces 
of property. We are waiting for him to start a fire. But 
he has not started one yet. ..In fraud-fire investigations, 
invariably one finds that the arsonist has started other fires 
sometimes in his past. 

§8.24 Economic connection to arson 

The reader may have heard it said that arson is 
a good barometer of economic conditions. This is very 
true. When conditions become poor you are going to have 
more fraud fires. Shrewd businessmen who have had fires 


in the past are very accustomed to adjusters and their 
methods of operation. One night a large warehouse burned 
down. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the owners 
had had previous fires. We obtained the records of this 
particular company and hired a certified public accountant 
to check the records. When he had finished, he said, 
"Look, it is just not here; they can't make any money. The 
only way they can make money on this fire is if they end up 
by not rebuilding and instead have a parking lot. " 

§8.25 As cover - up for crimes - - murder 

Arson is a favorite cover-up for murder, and 
other crimes. Arson is a very favorite tool because it 
destroys the evidence. One case in particular comes to 
mind. A fellow shot an old man in the back. The victim 
was an old recluse who was thought to have had a lot of 
money. After shooting the old man, he dragged him into 
the house, wrapped his body in a spread, poured kerosene 
over it, set him on fire and left. He made his mistake by 
closing the door as he left. This was an old house, well- 
built and air-tight. There are three elements needed to 
encourage fire; something that burns, a point of ignition, 
and oxygen. If one of those elements is taken away, the 
fire will go out. 

The old man was burned very badly. But he fell 
into a partial basement, and the fire went out. An autopsy 
was performed. Eighty-seven gun shot pellets were found 
in the old man' s torso. It took some investigation on the 
part of the sheriff and the state arson bureau to come up 
with the suspect. After he was confronted with the facts, 
he admitted that he had been there and had shot the old man. 

There was the case of the boy who shot his father 
and strangled his foster mother. He placed their bodies in 
an automobile, drove into the country, went off the road, 
poured gasoline all over the car and set it on fire. In so 
doing, he burned himself slightly. He received a great 
amount of sympathy and was in a hospital for a couple 
of days. 

Because a deputy sheriff could not accept the 
boy' s story of how he went off the road, the deputy began 
to re -check the scene. The boy' s story was that his mother 


had had a case of indigestion or a heart attack and they 
were rushing her to a hospital. He was driving and he lost 

The bodies were exhumed. A noted pathologist 
worked on the case and arrived at the fact that in spite of 
the burning, the woman had been choked. Then, of course, 
he discovered gunshot pellets in the man. 

§8. 26 --Embezzlement 

Arson is also used on occasion to cover the crime 
of embezzlement. A farm implement branch store was 
being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service. The 
owner kept insisting that the branch manager produce the 
records, for the owner had nothing to hide from the federal 
government. The manager of that particular branch ap- 
parently did have something to hide for a fire resulted. 
Naturally all that was destroyed were the records. 

§8. 27 --Burglaries 

In a small Ohio town some boys were using arson 
to further their crime spree of burglaries. They did not 
just commit a burglary and then set fire to the building. 
Instead, they went to one end of town and set two or three 
fires. While the townsfolk were occupied, these boys com- 
mitted burglaries at the other end of town. 

§8. 28 Pyromaniacs 

A mentally unbalanced person, such as a pyro- 
maniac, is a special case. Pyromaniac is a term that is 
frequently misused. A pyromaniac sets a fire without any 
rhyme or reason. He is a monomaniac whose obsession 
centers around fires, such as the kleptomaniac's obsession 
centers around the fact that he has to steal something. 

§8. 29 --Robert Segee 

One of the most noted pyromaniacs in the state 
of Ohio was Robert Segee. Segee set some barn fires and 
fled to St. Louis. He was brought back to Ohio. He ad- 
mitted committing three murders and it was also felt that 
he had committed some others, but this could never be 


proved. We also thought he was connected with the infamous 
Hartford Circus fire that occurred in 1949. Segee learned 
his fire -setting early. He was another boy who was sexual- 
ly maladjusted. We thought that he might have murdered 
Mona Mc Bride since he admitted to a relationship with the 
carnival queen. He also told how his father had caught him 
masturbating when he was a small child and burned his 
fingers as a punishment. Fire just centered around Segee. 
He dreamed of it. We had him sit down and draw pictures. 
He drew pictures of fire. 

§8. 30- -Female arsonist 

In pyromania, it seems that the males are more 
predominant than the females. In one case, a female was 
involved. She was a nun. There were a series of small 
fires at a Catholic rest home. It just had to be this one 
Sister. Finally she was interviewed and she confessed. 

§8. 31 --Relation to sexual maladjustment 

A fellow came to Columbus, Ohio, with three 
very beautiful teenage girls who were selling magazine sub- 
scriptions for him. He checked into a low -class hotel. 
Several fires occurred there the first and second night. 
The next night a surveillance was made and this fellow was 
caught going into the women' s rest room, where he was 
masturbating into a waste basket filled with paper which he 
had set on fire. 

In talking to the three girls that worked for him, 
they said he had never made any improper advances towards 
any of them. He satisfied himself in this abnormal way. 

§8. 32 Subpoena power of fire marshal 

When there are a series of fires, it is wise to 
look for a pyromaniac. Usually they will remain in the 
crowd enjoying themselves by watching the fire. 

There was a woolen mill at Dresden, Ohio, which 
had been definitely set on fire. Somebody had poured gaso- 
line down the steps and out the back door. When the owners 
were subpoenaed to a fire marshal' s hearing, as provided 


by law, their attorney would not permit them to take an 
oath nor would he permit them to say anything. They were 
found guilty of contempt by a common pleas court. It was 
appealed to an appellate court and then to the Supreme Court 
of Ohio. It was upheld by a unanimous decision. It was 
then reappealed to the United States Supreme Court which 
held five to four that the fire marshal did have the power 
to subpoena. 

§8. 33 Arson detection by firemen 

We must rely on firemen for arson detection, be- 
cause they are usually the second or third party to arrive 
at a fire. They can tell you how they gained entrance to it, 
whether the place was boarded up, where the fire was com- 
ing from, the color of the smoke, how rapidly the building 
burned, and any unusual circumstances. Policemen can 
usually do the same thing. 

§8. 34 Arson prevention 

An Alabama resident talking at Purdue Arson 
School several years ago discussed arson prevention. He 
gave the following example which will serve as an appropri- 
ate conclusion. In a small town, a fellow came in and set 
up a business. He had had a fire record in the past for 
several fraud fires. On the second day he was open for 
business, the fire department came there with sirens blar- 
ing. The police also arrived. The firemen laid the hoses 
right into the building. The fellow was quite astounded. 
He looked around, saw the fire chief, and said, "What is 
the reason you are here? We have not had any fire. " 

The chief said, "That' s right. It took us only 
two minutes to get here, and though you have had no fire 
yet, when you do, we will be all set for you. " 

This Alabamian said, "That is what we call arson 
prevention down in Birmingham, Alabama. " 

Chapter 9 

Responsibility and Procedures of the 
Police in Homicide Investigations 

David E. Kerr 


9. 1 Introduction 

9. 2 Limitation on scientific investigation 

9, 3 Divided authority for homicide investigation 

9. 4 Cooperation between coroner and homicide unit 

9. 5 General rules of investigation procedure 

9. 6 --Securing the scene 

9. 7 --Photographs and search for prints 

9. 8 --Small investigating group 

9.9 --System of searching 

9. 10 --Examination of the body 

9. 11 --Written account of investigation 

9. 12 --Removal of the body 

9. 13 --Determining location of killing 

9. 14 --Examination of body and clothing at morgue 

9.15 Preservation of the evidence 

9. 16 Identification of the evidence 

9. 17 Photographs 

9. 18 --Reproducing the scene unchanged 

9. 19 --Achieving the proper perspective 

9. 20 Role of scientific criminologist 

9.21 Some recent investigations 

9. 22 Cleveland homicide unit 

9. 23 Tailor murder case 

9. 24 --Determining cause of death 

9. 25 --Search of the premises 

9. 26 --Neighborhood check 

9.27 --Shoe print 

9. 28 --Tracing the car 

9. 29 --Examination of suspect' s clothing 

9. 30 Dump murder case 

9. 31 --Search of victim' s address 



9. 32 --Analysis of blood and hair 
9.33 Conclusion 

§9. 1 Introduction 

The modern murder mystery has popularized the 
exploits of the laboratory worker in crime detection. With 
only such small items as a hair from the criminal' s head, 
a splinter of glass from his spectacles or an imprint of his 
tire in the mud, the man in the white coat will come up with 
the guilty man' s age, his favorite TV program and whether 
he likes his breakfast eggs boiled or fried. Actually, scien- 
tific criminologists do as well or better than their popular- 
ized counterparts. They can tell by a determination of the 
carbon monoxide in the blood whether a victim was dead 
before the fire or whether he perished in the flames. By 
the use of the spectroscope, small particles of dirt scraped 
from under the victim' s fingernails can reveal countless 
bits of information, all valuable to a homicide investigation. 
Experts with their special training can recognize clues 
which would have no meaning to the average person. 

§9.2 Limitation on scientific investigation 

But, there are crucial details which these tests 
and instruments cannot reveal. For example who and where 
is the guilty party? It is one thing to know that the mur- 
derer' s blood type is "A", but it is something else to find 
him. This is the function of the trained police investigator. 
Crime fiction writers may not find them glamorous or 
spectacular, but with a different set of tricks they are just 
as clever in getting results as the white -coated scientists. 
It might be noted that laboratory experts are only as good 
as the evidence they have to work with, and the responsi- 
bility for obtaining this evidence primarily rests on the 
shoulders of the police. 

§9.3 Divided authority for homicide investigation 

The investigation for and the preservation of 
physical evidence at the scene of a homicide requires a 
great amount of time-consuming care and attention to detail. 


In some states there is divided responsibility for the in- 
vestigation of a homicide. Where the investigation pertains 
directly to the body of the deceased, the medical examiner, 
or coroner, has the responsibility, while police investiga- 
tors are responsible only for the examination of the sur- 
rounding environment. There can be no absolute line of 
demarcation between these two responsibilities, since 
important medical evidence may be found several yards or 
even several miles from the actual physical location of the 
body. Cooperation between these two investigative classi- 
fications must therefore be of the closest possible type, 
and a fundamental understanding by each of the problems 
of the other is the only means by which an investigation 
may be brought to a successful conclusion, either resulting 
in an arrest for a criminal death or proof of death by na- 
tural cause. 

§9.4 Cooperation between coroner and homicide unit 

In Ohio this system of divided responsibility pre- 
vails. A coroner or his representative is present at every 
homicide investigation. In this manner the closest possible 
cooperation is maintained between the coroner' s office and 
the police department investigators. In Cleveland, members 
of the homicide unit actually function as ex-officio deputy 
coroners. On the basis of their prior experience and train- 
ing, these detectives are able not only to recognize valuable 
physical evidence found in the vicinity, but also to note 
certain medical clues and call these to the attention of the 
coroner. In an actual investigation, if a member of the 
homicide unit feels that any medico-legal evidence might 
be damaged, altered or destroyed during the removal of a 
body from the scene, he immediately calls the coroner, 
who comes directly to the scene and makes an on-the-spot 
medical examination. 

§9.5 General rules of investigation procedure 

There is no fault more common, nor one more 
disastrous than a careless and thoughtless searching for 
evidence by either the police or medical authorities. Should 
the body be disturbed before an examination has been made, 


certain valuable evidence relating to the cause and manner 
of death, together with the possible solution of the crime, 
may be destroyed. It is therefore essential that in any 
well-conducted investigation a definite line of procedure be 
followed. General rules for procedure should be set up in 
advance and should be memorized and practiced religiously 
until they have become second nature to the investigator. 
Inasmuch as no two crimes are identical in every detail, 
these general rules for procedure must be pliable enough 
so that they can be modified as the occasion demands. 

§9.6- -Securing the scene 

There are certain fundamental police practices 
which must be followed by those arriving first on the scene. 
Of foremost importance is that the scene be secured . This 
means that uniformed officers must be stationed at reason- 
able and convenient distances so that they can adequately 
protect the scene of the crime while keeping all points under 
observation. The reason for this procedure is to keep all 
unauthorized persons, such as newspaper reporters and 
photographers, curiosity seekers and the like away from 
the scene. These officers and any others not directly con- 
cerned with the investigation should talk with potential 
witnesses, and after obtaining their names and addresses 
should ask them to remain for further questioning. 

§9.7-- Photographs and search for prints 

Before any actual invasion of the scene of the 
crime is made, photographs should be obtained from the 
outer perimeter, and a search made for fingerprints, foot- 
prints, tire tracks and other clues. This should be done 
under the direction of the investigating officers so that no 
item of physical evidence will be destroyed in the process 
of obtaining another. As the investigators and photographer 
move from the outer perimeter of the scene toward the 
body of the deceased, it is good practice for the fingerprint 
experts and ballistics experts to make their examinations 
of the area which has just been photographed. Others may 
follow, always being careful not to precede the photographer 
or fingerprint expert. 


§9. 8 --Small investigating group 

The actual investigating group should be numeri- 
cally as small as conditions allow. It has been found in 
Cleveland that after the scene has been secured and photo- 
graphed, two homicide men form the best and most efficient 
team. These men, with their co-ordinated training and 
experience from countless other homicide investigations, 
go about their work with a minimum amount of confusion, 
methodically examining all possible clues on or about the 
body, retaining or discarding them, until every inch of the 
crime scene has been covered. 

§9. 9 --System of searching 

Generally, a good police practice involves a sys- 
tem of searching wherein the investigators proceed from 
left to right, converging on the body in spiral fashion. Be- 
fore proceeding from one examination point to another, the 
area above and below should not be overlooked, since fre- 
quently important evidence may be found on the ceiling or 
in overhanging branches high above the scene. When the 
area surrounding the body has been adequately photo- 
graphed, fingerprinted, and examined, attention should then 
be directed to the body of the deceased. Closeup photo- 
graphs should be taken which will illustrate in detail the 
exact position of the body when discovered, as well as the 
style and condition of the clothing- -powder burns, stains, 
wounds and other marks. These closeup photographs should 
also show the location of any extraneous bits of evidence 
which are lying on or about the body, the exact importance 
of which may not be known until later. 

§9. 10- -Examination of the body 

An examination of the body should then follow, 
with special emphasis on a search for fragile traces of 
evidence which might easily be damaged or lost before a 
more exhaustive examination can be made of them by the 
proper medical authorities. Such items as dust, small 
thread, strands of hair and scrapings from under the finger- 
nails of the deceased would fall into this classification. 


These substances should be preserved in small cardboard 
containers or bottles which should be kept available in every 

§9. 11 --Written account of investigation 

A written running account of the entire investiga- 
tion should be made by one of the officers. Special note 
should be made of the exact location of the body in relation 
to certain stationary objects in the vicinity, as well as the 
exact location of bits of evidence and their relative position 
to the body. Such a description is necessary since as soon 
as possible after completion of the investigation a sketch 
will have to be made of the crime scene, showing all refer- 
ence items in their relative positions and drawn exactly to 
scale. A chart such as this is an integral part of any proper 
homicide investigation, and together with photographs will 
later be presented in court to clarify positions and distances 
in the minds of the judge and jury. 

§9. 12 --Removal of the body 

After all of these procedures have been complet- 
ed, the body may then be touched. But before it is actually 
removed from the scene, it must be turned over and an 
examination made of the underside. Photographs should be 
taken of this view, and after examining any clues found 
there, the body should then be removed to the mortuary. 
It is also good policy to obtain a sample of the grass or 
other material from under the body and preserve this for 
later examination. 

§9. 13- -Determining location of killing 

The place where the body is found is not neces- 
sarily the scene where the crime took place; the person 
may have been murdered several yards or several miles 
away. It is particularly important in cases of this type to 
locate all physical evidence, such as tire tracks, cigarette 
butts and the like, because it is from evidence of this nature 
that the exact location of the killing may be discovered. 


§9. 14--Exaiiiinatioii of body and clothing at morgue 

After the scene has been thoroughly examined 
and photographed, the body is removed to the morgue where 
a more complete medico-legal examination is made by the 
coroner, whose findings reveal additional evidence valuable 
in the solution of the crime. The police investigation must 
also be continued at the morgue, and it is there that a more 
complete check can be made of clothing labels and other 
identifying features on or about the person of the victim 
such as tattoos and scars. 

Personal papers, weapons and other contents 
of the victim's pockets are also examined for clues, not 
only to assist in the identification of the body, but also 
for a possible indication as to the party responsible for 
his death. 

§9. 15 Preservation of the evidence 

All evidence is of importance to both the coroner 
and the police. It is the coroner's responsibility to pre- 
serve evidence in its original state because it may assist 
in the determination of the manner of death, which in turn 
may determine whether the death was criminal, accidental 
or resulted from natural causes. The findings of the med- 
ical examination are important to the police, for it will then 
be determined whether or not the investigation will be con- 
tinued. Should the coroner advise that the death was a 
homicide, physical evidence obtained at the scene is of 
further importance to the police for two reasons; first, it 
may help locate and apprehend the guilty party, and second, 
after he is apprehended, the evidence may be used for 
presentation in court at the time of his trial. It can, there- 
fore, be seen why it is of great importance not to overlook 
any evidence at the scene, and it is equally important to 
see that this evidence is preserved in its natural state, ex- 
cluding foreign material which might be likely to change or 
alter the results obtained. It is for this reason that all of 
the Cleveland homicide unit officers have available for each 
investigation several cardboard boxes, small bottles, clean 
envelopes and other necessary containers. 


§9. 16 Identification of the evidence 

Of further importance concerning the collection 
and preservation of evidence is that once it has been pack- 
aged, it should be sealed and tagged. Tagging of such evi- 
dence serves several purposes, the most important being 
to maintain the legal chain of evidence, to notify the cor- 
oner what the item is and to show its connection with the 

§9. 17 Photographs 

Possibly the most valuable evidence is the series 
of photographs taken at the scene of the crime. It is this 
series of photographs which will have to be depended upon 
to depict graphically the nature of the scene of the crime, 
the relative position of the body and other pertinent evi- 
dence. Without these photographs it would be impossible 
to form the same picture in the individual minds of twelve 
jurors. Therefore, a complete set of photographs are in- 
sisted upon at each homicide investigation. 

§9. 18 --Reproducing the scene unchanged 

It should be remembered that since photographs 
can only be taken once, the services of a capable photo- 
grapher are of the greatest importance. The investigator 
should stay with the photographer, directing the composition 
of each exposure. They should keep in mind that care must 
be taken not to disturb any physical evidence. An object 
must never be picked up prior to its being photographed, 
because it can never be returned to exactly the same loca- 
tion or position, and its value as a positive clue will there- 
fore be reduced substantially. 

§9. 19 --Achieving the proper perspective 

There are certain definite rules which have been 
developed concerning the use of photographs as good evi- 
dence. The importance of photographing the scene exactly 
as it was discovered, with nothing disturbed or moved has 
been noted previously. Nothing should ever be added to or 
subtracted from a photograph. It is also important that 


photographs should not be distorted by unusual perspectives; 
they should be as nearly as possible true representations of 
the scene as a normal individual would see it with the naked 
eye. Retouching the negatives completely negates the ad- 
missibility of a photograph in our courts of law, and of 
course should not be attempted. Photographs of the scene 
should betaken under conditions as nearly identical to those 
that existed at the time the crime occurred or when the 
body was discovered; it can be understood that if the crime 
occurred in the middle of July and photographs were taken 
six months later in the winter, the representation of an 
outdoor scene would be entirely changed. Similarly, the 
time of day should also be considered, and an effort made 
to take the photographs at about the same time the crime 

§9. 20 Role of scientific criminologist 

All of the painstaking effort made during every 
investigation is made with one or two purposes in mind— to 
ascertain the true facts and circumstances and to apprehend 
and convict the party responsible. Without the assistance 
received from the scientific criminologists, it would be 
impossible in many instances to convict the party guilty of 
a crime. Scientists give the police leads and check their 
findings, and the cooperation of both groups produces re- 
sults. There is probably only one instance where an arrest 
can be made and sustained on scientific evidence alone. 
This evidence is a properly identified latent fingerprint. 
Otherwise the police cannot do the job alone; neither can 
the scientists. Along with the microscope and the x-ray, 
much leg work is needed— leg work with brains behind it. 
As has been said many times before, it is fine to know how 
to make rabbit stew, but first you have to have a rabbit. 
The job of the police is to catch the rabbit. 

§9.21 Some recent investigations 

The above description of the procedures to be 
followed in the investigation of a homicide represents an 
ideal, a goal to strive for. Obviously, such an ideal cannot 
always be accomplished. Using the Cleveland police depart- 


ment homicide unit as an example of what can be accom- 
plished by any department with some effort, cooperation 
and intelligent use of the available scientific aids and expert 
advice from people active in the medico-legal field, I will 
attempt to present some instructive information by detailing 
how this unit operated in connection with the coroner and 
his staff in the solution of two homicides which did not 
present circumstances conducive to an ideal investigation 
and which at first appeared hopeless. 

§9.22 Qeveland homicide unit 

The Cleveland homicide unit consists of one cap- 
tain, in command; one sergeant; and nineteen detectives. 
All are trained in the investigation of homicides. The homi- 
cide unit is one of the six units of the detective bureau in 
the Cleveland police department. This bureau is under the 
supervision of a detective inspector, who in turn is re- 
sponsible to the chief of police. The unit' s personnel is 
divided into teams working around the clock on eight -hour 
shifts, subject to change if the occasion demands. 

In 1952, the unit investigated 105 homicides, 
solved 104 homicides, and investigated 657 crimes of vio- 
lence. The unit does not investigate traffic deaths, as this 
is done by a separate unit in the traffic division. 

In 1953, the unit investigated 95 homicides, 
solved 94 homicides, and investigated 756 crimes of vio- 
lence. In addition to the investigation of the crimes of 
homicide and violence, the unit also conducts investigations 
into all sudden and unexpected deaths and deaths in which a 
physician was not in attendance. This is done in connection 
with the county coroner. 

From 1947 to January 1, 1954, 629 homicides 
were committed, 21 remaining unsolved. 

§9.23 Tailor murder case 

The following chronicle will illustrate procedures 
used in the homicide unit: I received a telephone call from 
the radio dispatching room informing me that a man who 
appeared to be dead had been found in the rear of his tailor 
shop. I immediately alerted two homicide teams. As we 


were driving to the scene, we noticed that a light rain was 
falling. When we arrived at the tailor shop, the police were 
already there and the place had been secured so that no out- 
siders might interfere with the investigation or destroy or 
damage any evidence which might have been available. 

There were numerous police inside conducting 
their own phase of police work. Very often they are the 
first officers to arrive. They should confine themselves 
mostly to seeing that not a thing on the premises— in this 
case the tailor shop— is touched. Too often a uniformed 
officer is apt to forget this important rule. Unnecessary 
personnel were cleared out in order to facilitate an intel- 
ligent investigation. At this point, those responsible for 
the investigation might make a fatal mistake, i.e., come 
to the conclusion, "What's the use, all of the evidence must 
be destroyed by now. " It is a common saying that there is 
always some evidence present in some form, and finding it 
reflects the ability of the investigator. 

As we walked by a partition, we observed a body 
lying on the floor with an old overcoat thrown over the upper 
portion of the body. Directly to our right, we noticed a 
flat-iron near the left leg of a stove as well as many other 
misplaced articles. A large roll of wrapping paper with 
spots on it was observed; these spots were red and had the 
appearance of blood. 

§9. 24 --Determining cause of death 

The coat was removed from the body and we found 
a male with a large amount of blood around his face, mouth 
and head, a definite indication that there had been a violent 
struggle prior to his death. Frequently, false conclusions 
are reached by inexperienced investigators and medical men 
who do not have the proper training in the investigative and 
medico-legal field. In this particular case, snap judgment 
was made by the police and newspapers that the tailor had 
died from a beating with the flat-iron. However, determin- 
ing the cause of death is the responsibility of the coroner 
and no one else, and we learned within a short time via a 
telephone conversation with the coroner's office that there 
was a bullet hole in the body. From the location of the 
bullet hole on the victim' s clothing it could be deduced that 


the bullet was very close or near to the heart. Further 
examination indicated the gun was fired from a close range. 
The coroner also informed us that there was no evidence of 
blood on the flat-iron, that from his examination of the 
wounds on the head, he was positive the iron was not used, 
and that he was of the opinion that the wounds were caused 
by the butt of a gun or some similar object. 

§9. 25- -Search of the premises 

An immediate search of the premises was made 
and a hat was found, the only garment or object in the tailor 
shop that had any indication of being wet. It had a few spat- 
tered rain drops on it, justifying the conclusion that whoever 
had committed the homicide had been in the rain only a very 
short time. This gave us our first clue. We were extreme- 
ly disappointed that the owner failed to leave his name and 
address in the hat, as has happened in many other cases, 
for examination failed to reveal any marks whatsoever, not 
even the size. 

§9.26-- Neighborhood check 

Men were assigned to check the immediate vicini- 
ty of the crime for information regarding the recent appear- 
ance of suspicious persons or the possible identity of any 
witnesses to this crime. They were also to check all autos 
in the locality, since there was the possibility that the guilty 
party or parties could have had trouble with his car in 
escaping and had thus left it at the scene. This routine 
investigation was made, and an automobile was found with a 
warm radiator. Furthermore, it was parked at the entrance 
to a garage and in a no -parking area. This led to the con- 
clusion that it was quite possible that the individual respon- 
sible for this crime could have used this car. Homicide 
men were immediately assigned to ascertain the ownership 
of the car as another possible lead in the case. 

§9.27--Shoe print 

On further search, a short distance from the car, 
we noticed a newly erected fence which had recently been 
painted. We observed that two of the pickets on the extreme 


left had recently been pushed apart. Examination of these 
pickets showed a large smudge of some tar -like or greasy 
substance on the edges. These marks appeared to have just 
been made. On the other side of the fence, we observed a 
shoe print in the soft earth, containing freshly broken twigs. 
There was no doubt it was made a very short time before. 
Closer examination revealed a unique type of marking on 
the sides of the sole and heel. There were a number of fine 
grooves on the sides of both the sole and heel, giving the 
appearance of an extremely thick sole and heel. There is 
no doubt that this print was a valuable piece of evidence, if 
the individual who jumped from the fence was the party 
wanted in the homicide, since a positive identification of the 
shoe could be made. A cast of the prints was made, and 
samples of dirt with the greasy material on the fence pickets 
were taken for scientific study. 

§9. 28 --Tracing the car 

The men assigned to trace the car found it to be 
listed to a young lady. Upon questioning her, we learned 
that her boyfriend had borrowed the car the night before and 
that he was employed in a railroad roundhouse. At this 
point, we knew he was a good suspect since the shoe print 
found near the crime could be made by the type of shoe 
worn by a person employed in a roundhouse. His address 
was obtained and a short time later investigators drove to 
his house. He answered the door. It was now five hours 
after the homicide was committed. 

He was nonchalant and had a cold can of beer in 
his hand. There were four or five recently made scratch 
marks on his face. When we asked him how he happened to 
obtain the cuts on his face, he replied that he had recently 
shaved with a bad razor. It is unusual for a man to shave 
the lower part of his forehead, the lobes of his ears, the 
skin between his eyes and the sides of his nose, but we let 
him believe that we accepted his explanation and started a 
search of his home. 

One of the homicide men went into the bedroom 
and found a shoe under the bed. More searching disclosed 
the other shoe. We asked him who owned the shoes, and 
he stated that they belonged to his brother. "Well, " we 


stated, "just for fun, let' s try them on. " He tried them on 
and they fit exceptionally well. It was easy to see who owned 
the shoes. We later learned he had no brother. 

§9. 29- -Examination of suspect's clothing 

We then made a very thorough examination of 
this suspect, and in pulling up his pants legs found some 
red blotches on one of his socks which appeared to be blood. 
The socks were submitted to the coroner' s office for 
examination. Further examination of the suspect revealed 
a number of recent bruises and contusions on his legs 
and hands. 

He was taken to central station and in the office 
of the homicide unit was allowed to tell his story regarding 
his activities for the past twenty-four hours. It was packed 
with lies. After he told his story, he was confronted with 
facts which we had obtained in our investigation and other 
scientific evidence furnished by the coroner. The hat found 
in the tailor shop fit him. He had possession of the car 
which was parked at a sufficient distance to enable him to 
get the hat spotted with rain. The size of the sole was just 
right to spread fence pickets. Grease on the sole of his 
shoe was similar to the grease on the picket fence. Dirt 
found between the sole and heel was the same type as that 
found by the shoe print in the soft earth. Marks on the side 
of the sole and heel matched the print in the vicinity of the 
crime. The blood on the socks was the same type as that 
of the victim. He was unable to explain the bruises on his 
knees and legs and the scratches on his hand. The marks 
on his face, ears, nose and forehead were not razor cuts, 
but were scratches. He made a confession, stating that he 
had planned to rob the tailor, but the victim put up a ter- 
rific fight, attempting to save sixty -three dollars. 

He pleaded guilty and was granted mercy by a 
three -judge court. He was sentenced to life in prison. 

§9. 30 Dump murder case 

In some investigations important evidence may 
be found miles away. Here is an illustrative case. A mem- 
ber of the homicide unit responded to a call that a dead body 


had been found in a dump on the east side of the city. The 
victim was a female, and the coroner informed us that death 
was due to a fractured skull caused by a blow with a blunt 
instrument. Examination of her clothing failed to reveal 
her identity. A check with the missing persons unit gave 
us the first clue, and her home, eight miles away from the 
dump, was located; the missing-person report had been 
made by a friend. 

§9. 31 --Search of victim's address 

A routine investigation of her address revealed 
that she lived with relatives. When these relatives were 
questioned, they stated that it was not unusual for the de- 
ceased to stay away for a week or so and that was the reason 
they had made no missing-person report. Furthermore, 
they could not advance any reason for the murder. A 
thorough search was made of the home, and in the garage a 
car was found that had all the evidence necessary to break 
the case. Examination showed that the car had been given 
a quick washing, and whoever washed it had failed to use a 
cloth over the entire surface. A closer examination was 
made of the unwashed surfaces and numerous dark brown 
spots were visible, as was a large brown blotch with 
some string-like material in it. Further examination 
with a glass gave the impression that it could be a piece 
of human hair. 

§9. 32 --Analysis of blood and hair 

The coroner was called, since it is important 
that one should call for an expert in evidence of this type. 
He collected all the samples needed. The unit was later 
notified by the coroner that the brown spots and blotches 
were blood of the same type as that of the victim. Further- 
more, a large piece of human hair was found in the blotch 
which proved to be identical with the hair of the deceased. 
This led to further questioning of the owner of the car, a 
relative of the deceased. A confession was obtained which 
also implicated another relative in the crime. The motive 
was collection of insurance money. 


§9. 33 Conclusion 

These two cases are not exceptional cases; the 
investigations involved were routine in the homicide unit. 
Such results can be obtained by any department if the per- 
sonnel will put to use the training they receive and remem- 
ber that there is no magic formula for cracking murder 
cases, except hard work, lots of foot -work, attention to 
detail, full use of scientific aids, a wide knowledge of 
human nature and plenty of patience. 

Chapter 10 

Investigation of the Homicide Scene 

David E. Kerr 


10. 1 Ten fallacies of homicide investigation 

10. 2 Science and practical investigation; a case study 

10. 3 --Study of body at morgue 

10. 4 --Examination and tracing of clothing 

10. 5 --Post card from murderer 

10. 6 --Search of hotel room 

10. 7 --Fingerprint identification of victim 

10.8 --Positive identification by relatives 

10.9 --Search for the suspect 

10. 10 --Arrest of suspect 

10. 11 --Handwriting comparisons 
10. 12 --Conviction of murderer 
10. 13 Turnpike murders 

10. 14 --Ballistics tests 

10.15 --Location of stolen property 

10. 16 --Identification and location of the suspect 

10. 17 Hearsay evidence and protecting the scene; 

a case study 

10. 18 Protecting the crime scene; another case study 
10. 19 --Identification of dead bodies 

10. 20 Jumping to conclusions 

10. 21 TuUey murder case 

10. 22 --Search of the area 

10.23 --Neighborhood interviews 

10.24 --Danger of improper police reports 

10.25 --Suspect confesses 

10. 26 Advising accused of his constitutional rights 

10. 27 Confession obtained by force and coercion 

10. 28 Connection of confessing party to crime 

10. 29 Photography in criminal investigation 

10. 30 --Sam Sheppard case 

10.31 --Bloodstains 



§10. 1 Ten fallacies of homicide investigation 

There are ten popular fallacies which have de- 
veloped regarding homicide investigations. You might have 
heard about them or read about them. They are certainly 
not original, and they are not mine. 

They are these: 

1. MURDER WILL OUT. It is surprising how 
many people accept this fallacy as true. Actually, we have 
thousands and thousands of unsolved murders. There is no 
doubt in my mind that people can be murdered and buried 
every single day of the year without the police having any 
knowledge of these crimes. 

2. PHOTOGRAPHS NEVER LIE. We should all 
know that this statement is not true. With our modern 
photographic equipment, with different types of lenses, the 
wide angle lens, the telephoto lens, a photographer can de- 
pict anything he wants to with his camera. 

RESPECT TO A MURDER. It is surprising how many 
seemingly intelligent people are willing to submit to this 
fallacy. For example, during a murder investigation in 
Cleveland, a high ranking police official, on the advice of a 
fortune teller, actually sent a lieutenant and two detectives 
into the country to seek the identity of the murderer from 
the first farmer they encountered plowing a field with a 
shepherd dog running behind him. 

AND THEN STAYS DOWN. This seems to be positively 
believed by most people. It is absolutely untrue. It depends 
upon the physical resistance of the person who is drowning 
and also the temperature of the water. 

THE SCENE OF THE CRIME. Such an event almost never 
happens. It would be a waste of time to detail officers to re- 
main at the scene of the crime with such a prospect in view. 

am sure scientists will agree, such a burial will have a 
tendency to preserve rather than destroy the body. 


VICTIM'S FACE. This is actually untrue except in cases 
of electrocution after which a particular expression does 
remain on the face. 

Many murderers accept this statement as true and as a 
result give themselves up to the police. There is, however, 
absolutely no truth in it. 

dead nothing grows, although the body does shrink, giving 
a false impression that there is some growth to the nails 
and hair. 

CAUSES INSTANT DEATH. Another absolute fallacy. If 
you read any true stories of the old sheriffs and marshals 
in the West, you will find cases where they were shot two 
and three times in the heart and still went back to their 
saddle bag, got a revolver or a shotgun or pistol and killed 
their assailant before they themselves dropped dead. 

§10.2 Science and practical investigation; a case study 

I want to stress the fact that science alone does 
not solve a crime. Lately, many investigators have placed 
emphasis on the scientific rather than the practical aspects 
of investigation. Both, of course, are important. But do 
not forget that science itself does not solve the crime; it 
merely assists in the solution. 

I would like to point out how both science and 
practical investigation worked together to solve a crime 
which occurred recently in Cleveland, Ohio. 

On the evening of October 9, 1955, a body was 
found by a mushroom picker in Brookside Park, on the far 
west side of the city of Cleveland. The body was covered 
with leaves, dressed only in a brassiere and a pair of pan- 
ties. A note was found underneath the body. 

The note was taken to the lab where it was dried 
and studied under ultra-violet light. We could distinguish 
the words "Helen Carlin"and what looked like "Catch boys." 


About six or seven inches from the note a pencil 
was found pushed into the dirt. It was evident that whoever 
put this body there wanted the police to believe that this 
particular deceased person had printed the note, died, and 
then covered herself up with leaves or covered herself up 
with leaves and then died. 

§10. 3--Study of body at morgue 

We studied the body at the morgue after the leaves 
had been removed. In addition to the medical examination 
made at the morgue, a practical examination of the body 
should be made by the police officer. For example, by 
examining the fingernails, the wrists, and the heels much 
valuable information concerning the type of person involved 
can be obtained. In this particular case the soles of the 
feet were dirty and also the fingernails and wrists and 
hands— all of which suggested a person from the lowest 
class of society. 

§10. 4 --Exam illation and tracing of clothing 

Visual identification of the particular body was 
impossible because the maggots and bugs had destroyed the 
facial characteristics. Nevertheless, a study of these 
maggots and bugs by the scientists at the coroner' s office 
was valuable in determining the time of death. 

In this particular case, however, identification 
of the body was made as a result of practical investigation. 
We took the brassiere to a department store and from in- 
formation obtained there were able to trace it to where it 
was manufactured, its type and price, and where the main 
outlets for its distribution were located. It was a very 
cheap brassiere manufactured in Hamden, Kentucky. It 
was distributed through bargain type stores: Kresge's, 
Woolworth' s and stores of that type. The main retail out- 
lets for this particular garment were Cleveland, Buffalo, 
Detroit and Altoona, Pennsylvania. 

We studied the stockings and garters. Although 
the body was found among leaves, twigs, and bushes, there 
were actually no tears in the stockings. There were only a 
few holes in the stockings occasioned by wear. The prac- 
tical investigator must, therefore, come to the conclusion 


that the deceased was not forced or dragged to this particu- 
lar spot. If she were, of course, there would have been 
numerous tears vertically along the stockings. In addition, 
the stockings were sixty gauge, the cheapest type that can 
be bought. The panties were well worn and were full of 
holes, of a very cheap grade of material. The only identi- 
fication on these panties was the size marking. 

Practical investigation, therefore, indicated that 
this person was from the lowest strata of society and that 
it would be a waste of time tracing out a lot of missing 
person reports not falling within this category. 

If enough personnel are available it is always a 
good idea to make a thorough search of the area wherein 
the body was found, I have been in charge of many searches 
and although we seldom discover anything of real value the 
possibility is always present. 

The absence of scratches on this body as well as 
the absence of tears on the garments indicated that the de- 
ceased must have gone to this particular location willingly 
and was killed after she had reached this location. Whoever 
killed her had apparently removed the outer garments so 
that she could not be identified. It was also evident that the 
guilty party must have printed the note himself and had left 
the pencil nearby in order to mislead the investigators. 

Although the body had been dead for more than a 
week, fingerprints were taken through a special process de- 
veloped by the coroner' s office. These prints were sent to 
the office of the unknown dead in Washington but there was 
no record of them on file. It seemed like this was the last 
chance of making a positive identification. 

§10. 5- -Post card from murderer 

However, it so happened that about a week or so 
after the body was found, someone sent me a post card from 
Windsor, Ontario. The writer was attempting to mislead 
the investigation but what he was actually doing was writing 
his way into the penitentiary for life. 

We had given this murder a great deal of publici- 
ty, yet when we checked with the Windsor police we found 
that none of the publicity had reached the Windsor papers. 
We reasoned that as the writer of the post card could not 


have learned of the murder from the Windsor papers, his 
knowledge of it might stem from the fact that he was himself 
the murderer. Besides he would have no reason in the world 
to mail us these post cards if he were not the murderer. 

§10. 6--Search of hotel room 

During the publicity a clerk at the Statler Hotel in 
Cleveland phoned us and mentioned the fact that a man about 
sixty- five years of age had previously registered at the 
hotel with a young girl. As the coroner had already in- 
formed us that the deceased was a person somewhere be- 
tween seventeen and nineteen years of age we immediately 
went to the hotel and confiscated the registration card for a 
later handwriting comparison, as well as a suitcase which 
the couple had left there. 

The suitcase contained both men' s and women' s 
clothing as well as a newspaper from Altoona, Pennsylvania 
and a coat with an Altoona label. It will be recalled that 
there was a retail outlet for the deceased' s brassiere in 
Altoona. The suitcase also contained a claim check from a 
pressing shop located opposite the Fort Pitt Hotel in Pitts- 
burgh. We also found a piece of a Mail Pouch chewing 
tobacco bag and an application for donating blood to the 
Red Cross. On the reverse side of the application was 
some valuable information: "Received from Louis Statler 
$40 on July the 6th, balance $6." The bag also contained 
a note: "My darling Ed, I will be back shortly. Your loving 
wife, Pam. " 

In the meantime a dental chart was obtained from 
the coroner. It showed that the victim had very bad teeth, 
many of them missing, and the rest in need of dental work. 

§10. 7 --Fingerprint identification of victim 

We telephoned the Altoona police department, 
giving them a description of Mr. and Mrs. Riche, the name 
used on the registration card, as well as information con- 
cerning the contents of the suitcase, the condition of the 
victim's teeth, the type of chewing tobacco used by the man 
and the use of the name "Pam" by the girl. 

The Altoona police informed us that the dead 
person was one Gloria Ann Ferry, seventeen years of age, 


who had jumped her bond as she was coming to trial on a 
case of delinquency. They also sent us her fingerprints 
from their files. A comparison of the prints positively 
identified the victim. 

It should here be noted that the FBI is not at fault 
for failing to identify these prints for the simple reason that 
the FBI had no record of them. In many states, including 
Ohio and Pennsylvania, the police are not permitted to 
fingerprint an individual under the age of eighteen. Yet 
this rule is violated in every state. In this particular case 
the Altoona police had taken the girl' s fingerprints for their 
own information and had never forwarded them to the FBI. 
It might be best if there were a federal law requiring every- 
one to be fingerprinted after reaching a certain age. 

The Altoona police informed us that Gloria Ann 
Ferry had left Altoona for Pittsburgh accompanied by Louis 
Statler, a man sixty-eight years of age. He had a record 
for statutory rape and for contributing to the delinquency of 
a minor. He was also involved in the particular case in 
which Gloria Ann Ferry was being tried at the time she 
jumped her bond. 

§10. 8- -Positive identification by relatives 

Before going to court it is best to have an identi- 
fication of the victim other than that made by fingerprints. 
It is always best to have an individual from the family or 
close to the family testify that the person in question had 
left home on such and such a date or that they had seen the 
person in question on such and such a date and that the per- 
son was alive. For this reason we brought the victim's 
mother and two sisters to Cleveland. 

The mother and the two sisters positively identi- 
fied the dress, belt and shoes which were found in the suit- 
case at the Statler Hotel as those belonging to the victim. 
In this particular case a very unusual identification was 
also made. Both the sisters and the mother positively 
identified some knots tied in the brassiere as the type of 
knots that Gloria had used in order to shorten her brassiere. 
It was a very unusual identification and it was very valuable 
when we went to court. 


§10. 9 --Search for the suspect 

We obtained the fingerprints of Statler and, of 
course, sent out a national alarm for him and obtained an 
FBI fugitive warrant. The FBI really does an excellent job 
in fugitive work. There are four or five categories of crime 
which come under the jurisdiction of the FBI and under 
which the FBI will do a first rate job after a flight warrant 
has been obtained. They have men all over the United 
States, almost all over the world, and they can greatly 
assist the police officer in apprehending and arresting a 
fugitive if the particular crime involved falls within the 
category under which they operate. 

During the course of the investigation one of 
Gloria Ferry' s sisters received a letter from Riverside, 
California, addressed to her in Altoona, Pennsylvania. 
Some comments concerning Riverside, California, are 
necessary at this point. There are more people who re- 
mail letters located in the vicinity of Riverside, California, 
than in any other place in the United States. Their ads 
appear frequently in the cheaper magazines and the love- 
lorn magazines. 

The letter to the sister was from Statler, the 
man we wanted for first degree murder. It said, "I regret 
to inform you that I am happily married to a widow twenty- 
seven years old, has her own home. " The letter went on 
to explain how he, Statler, knew nothing about Gloria; he 
had left her in Pittsburgh. This, we knew, was absolutely 
untrue for he had been identified through photographs as 
having been with her at the Statler Hotel in Cleveland. 

By contacting the police department in Riverside, 
California, we learned that the letter had been sent from 
Chicago to be remailed in Riverside. At the same time one 
of the newspapers in Altoona, Pennsylvania, also received 
a letter, this one from Gary, Indiana, just outside Chicago. 
This particular letter purported to be a confession to the 
murder implicating someone other than Statler. 

§10. 10- -Arrest of suspect 

Statler was finally arrested in Chicago by the FBI 
through a lead given by an insurance company. Statler held 
a group insurance policy and when he became desperate for 


funds, he wrote to his insurance company' s headquarters 
in New York city. Because we had previously contacted the 
insurance company, they immediately notified us as well as 
the FBI, and Statlerwas picked up by a detail at the General 
Delivery office in Chicago. He was returned to Cleveland. 
Statler denied that he knew Gloria Ann Ferry and 
even denied that he was in fact Statler. After he was finger- 
printed, however, he admitted that he was Statler, but he 
still insisted that he did not know what had happened to 
Gloria Ann Ferry. He stuck to his original story that she 
had disappeared in Pittsburgh. 

§10. ll--Handwriting coniparisoiis 

It turned out that Statler had also mailed a post 
card to his adopted son from Windsor, Ontario, at the same 
time he had mailed one of the cards to me. He admitted 
that it was his handwriting on the card to his son. This 
was a very important admission as far as our case was con- 
cerned, for it truly linked him to the murder. Our hand- 
writing expert compared the postcards. Even the ordinary 
individual could see the similarity between the "A" and the 
"S" and so on. 

Statler afforded us other comparisons right from 
the county jail. He wrote a letter to Governor Lausche 
which he signed with someone else' s name and in which he 
stated that Statler was not guilty. There were twenty-three 
positive identifications of Statler' s writing made from this 
letter to Governor Lausche. He wrote another phony con- 
fession to a Mrs. Stone. There were over twenty- five 
writing characteristics in this letter similar to those in 
writings he had previously made. This case, I believe, is 
one of the very few cases in which handwriting and printing 
played a paramount role in the conviction for a homicide. 

§10. 12 --Conviction of murderer 

Statler was found guilty by three judges, and be- 
cause of his age, he was sent to the penitentiary for life. 
The judges told me that had he been younger, they would 
have sent him to the electric chair. 

It can be seen from the investigation of this case 


that although a great deal can be done scientifically in the 
investigation of a criminal case, the scientific analysis is 
dependent upon the work of the practical investigator. If 
the investigator does not obtain the information, the scien- 
tist can do nothing. When the scientist and the practical 
investigator work together results can be obtained. 

§10.13 Turnpike murders 

There are even some cases which might have 
been solved more quickly if the police had not gone over- 
board scientifically. You might recall the case referred to 
as the "Turnpike Murders. " 

On July 23, 1953, Lester Woodward, a truck 
driver, pulled his tractor and trailer to the side of the 
Pennsylvania Turnpike in order to get a short rest. The 
following morning he was found dead in his tractor— shot 
through the head. Investigation disclosed that he was killed 
while sleeping, robbed of personal property, none of which 
could be identified. 

On July 28, 1953, Harry Pitts, another truck 
driver, parked his tractor and trailer in the same approxi- 
mate vicinity in order to obtain some needed rest. The 
following morning he was found dead in his cab. Investiga- 
tion disclosed that he also was shot through the head and 
killed while sleeping and robbed of his personal property, 
none of which could be identified. 

On July 31, 1953, John Sheppard, also a truck 
driver, was shot and seriously wounded during a robbery 
while parked in his tractor on Route 30 near Lisbon, Ohio. 
Investigation disclosed that this robbery was committed in 
the same manner as the robberies and murders on the 
turnpike. During the robbery, personal property was taken, 
one article being a man' s yellow gold Elgin pocket watch, 
works and case numbers unknown and thought not possible 
to obtain. 

§10. 14 --Ballistics tests 

Science immediately went into action exploring 
every scientific clue in order to obtain new information and 
if possible to link all three crimes together. The pellets 


which caused the death of the two truck drivers who were 
killed and robbed while sleeping on the turnpike and the 
pellet used in the shooting of the truck driver who was shot 
and robbed while parked in his cab near Lisbon, Ohio, were 
examined and compared on what is known as a comparison 
microscope. After examination it was positively determined 
that all pellets were identical and positively fired from the 
same firearm. The lines made on the bullet at the time it 
was fired by what is known as the lands and grooves in the 
gun barrel of the firearm were identical. These lines are 
similar to fingerprints and no two sets coming from differ- 
ent firearms have ever been found to be the same. 

Search of the scene of each of the three crimes 
was also made. In each investigation an empty cartridge 
case of some foreign make was found. These cartridge 
cases were likewise compared under the microscope. The 
breech markings caused by the firing of the shells on all 
three cartridges were found to be identical. There was no 
longer any doubt that the weapon used was a . 32 caliber 
automatic pistol of some foreign make. This was, however, 
as far as science could go in the solution of these crimes. 

§10. 15--L<K'ation of stolen property 

"^ It must now be recalled that the last shooting oc- 
curred on July 31, the last murder on July 28, and, of 
course, the first murder on July 23. On October 7, 1953, 
we received a routine circular in Cleveland notifying us to 
be on the lookout for the truck driver's stolen property. 
There was considerable delay in this notification, from the 
end of July to October 7. Nevertheless, the circular was 
handled in a routine manner when we received it. As in all 
large police departments we maintain a pawn division. A 
card for the stolen property was made out and put in our 
pawn files. No sooner had this card been filed when we 
were notified by our pawn record men that the particular 
watch in question had been pawned at David' s Loan Shop on 
August 4, 1953. In other words it had been pawned some 
eleven days after the occurrence of the first murder on 
July 23. By law the pawn broker is compelled to have the 
person pawning an article sign his name on the reverse 
side of the pawn card. In addition the broker is compelled 


to write a short description of the person offering the article 
for pawn. From this card we learned that the name of the 
party in question was John Wable; that he was twenty -four 
years old, six feet tall, 155 pounds; that on his clothing he 
wore a badge from the Parker Appliance Company; that he 
had no scars or other particular markings. 

§10. 16 --Identification and location ot the suspect 

We immediately went to the address which had 
been supplied and talked to the landlady. She confirmed the 
description given by the pawn broker as that belonging to a 
former tenant. He had only been with her a few days, but 
during that time he had asked her if she would mind hiding 
a pistol for him. She had willingly hidden the pistol and had 
just as willingly turned it over to us. It was a Walters 
pistol, a foreign make, and it was a . 32 caliber automatic. 
It really looked like we had something. 

The watch was obtained from the pawn shop and 
forwarded to the Pennsylvania Criminal Identification Bu- 
reau to be shown to the wounded truck driver, Sheppard. 
He positively identified the watch as his. 

In the meantime we learned that John Wable had 
been arrested in East Cleveland on August 8, a very short 
time after he had committed the two murders and the shoot- 
ing in Lisbon, Ohio. He had been sent to Pennsylvania and 
there placed in the county jail on a charge that was original- 
ly automobile stealing and which was later reduced to con- 
version. During the time he was in jail, he told one of his 
inmates that he had killed two men on the turnpike and had 
shot another man in Lisbon, Ohio. Although this story was 
repeated to the officials in charge of the jail, it was not 
believed. Later Wable was released. 

A photograph of Wable was finally obtained and 
Sheppard, the wounded truck driver, identified it as the 
man who had shot and robbed him. An intensive search 
was then commenced. Newspaper publicity was given to 
the search. The fugitive was eventually nabbed and arrested 
in New Mexico. He was returned to Greensburg, Pennsyl- 
vania, where he was prosecuted for the homicide. He was 
found guilty of murder and sentenced to the electric chair 
and has since been electrocuted. 


§10. 17 Hearsay evidence and protecting the scene; 
a case study 

I would like now to point out two important rules 
to be followed in a homicide investigation. First, the crime 
scene should always be protected. And second, never ac- 
cept hearsay evidence. Do not accept as fact something 
repeated to you over the telephone. Always go to the scene 
of the crime and have a look for yourself. 

I would like to give an example, one which I feel 
free to criticize because I was the one who made the mis- 
takes. In this particular case we received a call from a 
downtown hotel that a baby believed to be a fetus had been 
found in one of the rooms. I told them that we would send 
a wagon for the fetus and instructed them to pack all of the 
clothing and effects found in the room and to send such 
materials along with the fetus in the wagon. 

I informed the coroner that I was sending out a 
fetus as per our usual procedure. About a half hour later 
I received a telephone call from a very nervous coroner. 
He said, "Dave, there certainly is something wrong. This 
is a full -term baby, about three months old. " 

We went to the hotel and questioned the maid. 
She informed us that all of the clothing and effects which 
she had found in the room had been packed in a large box. 
Among these materials we found a card bearing the name 
Helen Andrews, Ward 4, male and white. The coroner 
told me that the baby was a male and was white. It looked 
like a fairly easy task to solve this particular case. 

We assigned men and called every hospital in the 
city of Cleveland. However, we could find no information 
concerning any Helen Andrews. There was no information 
concerning Helen Andrews to be found in any of the hos- 
pitals in the entire county. We did, however, find a Helen 
Andrews listed in the telephone directory and called her. 
She denied ever having been in the hotel or having any 
knowledge of this baby. This Helen Andrews had never 
been pregnant. She was never married and she was definite- 
ly not connected with this dead baby. 

Nevertheless, she later phoned me and said, 
"Captain, if I can tell you something, will you absolutely 
promise you will not reveal it to the newspapers or anybody 


else and cause me any embarrassment, possible loss of my 
job and possible embarrassment of my employer?" 

I said, "As long as you are not involved in this 
particular investigation, I definitely will promise you that." 

She informed me that she was a political em- 
ployee for one of our county or city operations; that she 
had been in the Hotel HoUenden with a group of other girls 
writing out campaign cards; and that actually she had been 
writing out campaign cards for Ward 4, Precinct M and W. 

Thereafter we questioned the maid in greater 
detail and learned that she had been cleaning the room in 
which these girls had worked and was carrying a box from 
that room containing the card with the name Helen Andrews 
in it when she was ordered to pack up the effects found in 
the room with the dead baby. As she had the box in her 
hands and as it appeared to be a good container in which to 
pack up these effects, she consequently so used it. 

This little incident made us look awfully silly. 
This could have been avoided had we gone directly to the 
crime scene and protected it and had we refused to accept 
hearsay evidence. 

§10. 18 Protecting the crime scene; another case study 

Another example of the necessity of protecting 
the crime scene can be illustrated by another case. The 
naked body of a murdered woman was found. By the time 
we arrived on the scene there were hundreds of people 
milling around, picking over the crime scene, removing 
very valuable information. A pop bottle which had been 
pushed into the dead woman' s vagina had been pulled out by 
one of the bystanders so that all of the fingerprints were 
ruined. These curiosity seekers had actually stolen the 
stockings from the body. The deceased had been strangled 
and again some curiosity seeker had gone to the trouble of 
untying the scarf from around the neck, apparently thinking 
that the person might breathe. 

After we finally had the scene protected we found 
another bottle which at first looked like the solution to the 
whole case. It was from a drug store, there was a pre- 
scription number as well as instructions for the taking of 
this particular medication. 


As the name of the doctor involved can be located 
from the prescription number we went immediately to the 
drugstore. It was Sunday, however, and this drugstore 
was closed. It took some time to locate the druggist who 
happened to be on a picnic with his family on the far east 
side of the city of Cleveland. We convinced him to return 
to his store and procure for us the doctor' s name. 

It turned out that this doctor was also on a picnic 
at Vermillion, Ohio, a town located about thirty miles west 
of Cleveland. We sent a team of detectives after the doctor. 
The doctor reluctantly returned to Cleveland and gave us 
the name and address of the individual we were looking for. 
It was now about 2:00 a. m. 

When we went to the address given to us by the 
doctor, one of the detectives recognized the man answering 
the door as a person he had seen at the crime scene. The 
man readily admitted having been present at the scene of 
the crime. 

He was asked, "Do you recognize this bottle?" 

"Oh, " he said, "sure. That' s my bottle. I was 
supposed to go to the doctor Saturday night and that' s a 
sample of my urine. I didn't go. I thought it would be a 
good place to just throw the bottle away. " 

So you can see that it is very important to pro- 
tect the crime scene. 

§10. 19 --Identification of dead bodies 

I would like now to mention something about 
scanty identification of dead bodies. We discovered the 
dead body of a woman in a park. There was no identification 
on the body although there was a large scar on the chin 
which we thought might aid us in identification. We checked 
the missing person files and eventually were put in contact 
with a man whose wife was missing. This man had been 
married for some seven years and he came in and positively 
identified the body as that of his wife. Later we questioned 
him about the scar on the chin. He told us that his wife had 
no scar on her chin. We then called in the mother of the 
missing wife and after viewing the body she said, "Why that 
old fool. That is not my daughter at all. " So if you jump 


to conclusions on the identification of dead bodies, you can 
very easily be mistaken. 

In this particular case it was a combination of 
scientific and practical police work that finally solved the 
identification and eventually resulted in a conviction. An 
autopsy was made and black coffee was discovered in the 
victim's stomach. By checking the various restaurants in 
the vicinity with regard to a person who might have been 
drinking black coffee at two o'clock in the morning, we were 
able to learn the identity of the victim. We learned where 
she lived and also that she was in the company of a man 
named Van Daly on the night in question. He was a very 
large man, six feet eight inches tall and he wore a size 
fifteen shoe. This crime had taken place in a park where 
the earth was very soft and without doubt those large shoes 
and the weight of this individual would have left definite in- 
dications and something to work on had the crime scene 
been protected. Because of this failure to protect the crime 
scene, other evidence had to be used to secure a conviction. 

§10.20 Jumping to conclusions 

I would like to point out another dangerous mis- 
take that investigators make: they jump to conclusions too 
readily. A lot of us are guilty of this weakness; I know lam. 

For example, a body was found in the ash pit of a 
coal-fired furnace. We examined the body and although 
there we're numerous burns on it, we came to the conclusion 
it was a death due to natural causes. After the body was 
washed at the morgue, however, it was discovered that 
death was caused by a bullet. We then made an investigation 
and discovered that there had been trouble between the 
fireman and the watchman at this factory, and that the 
watchman had shot the fireman with a . 22 caliber rifle 
during an argument. 

I might cite another example wherein a doctor, 
who incidentally wanted to run for coroner, jumped to a 
mistaken conclusion. He had been treating a patient for 
high blood pressure. The patient died. He was called to 
the home where he viewed the body in a dimly lit bedroom. 
He pronounced the patient dead and signed, as the cause of 
death on the death certificate, hypertension or high blood 


pressure. The body was then sent over to the morgue under 
this classification of death due to natural causes. After the 
body was washed a bullet wound was discovered. The pa- 
tient had committed suicide. 

§10.21 TuUey murder case 

I would like now to discuss in more detail the in- 
vestigation of a sensational murder case. In 1948 Shelia 
Ann Tulley, an eight-year-old child, was sent on an errand 
by her parents to a nearby store. Near midnight the Endi- 
cotts, a couple who lived approximately a block and a half 
from the Tulleys, were returning from a party. They dis- 
covered the body of Shelia Ann Tulley on their front porch. 
They could see that her boots and knees had been dragged 
through mud and that there were indications of wounds about 
the head. The Endicotts did exactly the right thing: they 
touched absolutely nothing and immediately called the police. 
As a result this particular crime scene was protected. 

We examined the body. There were stab wounds 
in the babushka, apparently penetrating into the head. There 
were indications that this child had been living at the time 
she had struggled onto the porch. The lights in the house 
had been lit; apparently she had been pounding on the window 
seeking help. Fingerprints on the window were positively 
identified as hers. The girl must have escaped her assail- 
ant and then fled to the porch. She had also been beaten; 
there were marks on her forehead and blood on her nose 
and her face. There were several head wounds: one right 
behind the ear, a wound by the lobe of the ear, and another 
wound a little bit lower. 

An autopsy was performed to ascertain the exact 
depth of these wounds. In Cuyahoga county we have a com- 
plete autopsy performed on every body involved in a homi- 
cide or suspected homicide that occurs in the county. An 
autopsy procures much valuable information for the investi- 
gating officer. 

Her hands were examined. One of the nails was 
pulled from her little finger. On her feet were numerous 
contusions and bruises. We were not especially concerned 
over such markings on the feet or legs of children, for chil- 
dren eight or nine years old commonly carry such markings. 


§10. 22 --Search of the area 

The police took over the investigation. A closer 
search was made of the entire area. Everything was raked. 
There was blood found on the porch. Because it was a windy 
night the trail of blood could be traced down the side of the 
Endicotts' house, which was right on the side of an alley. 
We even found blood traces on a telephone pole. We found 
indications of a struggle near a garage. 

I might caution you here with regard to the re- 
moval of such evidence. Investigating officers should carry 
with them clean cardboard containers and envelopes to 
transport evidence when it is found. Evidence such as blood 
on a pole should be removed with a knife or a saw or a 
chisel; the entire portion of the wood containing the stain 
should be removed and the whole portion should be submit- 
ted to the lab so that the blood can be properly removed and 
studied. We usually saw out the portion of the material we 
want first and then talk to the owner of the property later 
on. If there is any trouble we send the owner to the city law 
department. I presume damages are paid to compensate 
the owner for the loss to his property. 

In the TuUey case we were unable to find the 
murder weapon. We called upon the city sewer depart- 
ment for help, and every sewer in the vicinity was cleaned 
and sifted in the hope of locating the murder weapon or 
other evidence. The streets in the vicinity were also 
cleaned and all of the dirt was sifted. Also an aerial photo- 
graph was taken, a device which is very often quite helpful. 
The photograph in this particular case did not turn out too 
well, but it did give us a frame of reference with regard 
to the location of various homes where we might start our 

In the meantime the coroner had discovered the 
cause of death. There were seven wounds in the child' s 
head and one of them about an inch and a half deep and an 
inch wide had actually caused the death. The wound had 
been made by an instrument blunt on one side and apparently 
sharper on the other. The indications were that it was 
some type of knife, perhaps a hunting knife or a paring 
knife. The blood samples showed definitely that the blood 
of Shelia Ann TuUey was exactly the same as the blood 


found on the sidewalk, on the side of the garage, and on the 
pole opposite the opening between the two garages. 

§10.23-- Neighborhood interviews 

We then obtained a map of the vicinity of the 
crime and through the help of most of the police departments 
on the east side, we interviewed most of the people in the 
vicinity hoping to obtain some useful information. Once 
more we can see that although science came up with plenty 
of information, it did not come up with a solution to the 
crime. Practical information, the kind obtained by police 
officers, was yet needed before the crime could be solved. 

During a period of a little over a week, we inter- 
viewed 1800 persons, 61 of whom were arrested for ques- 
tioning. The peculiar thing was that five of these 61 con- 
fessed to the murder. This often happens in a crime of this 
sort. We wasted a lot of valuable time convincing these 
five persons as well as ourselves that they were not guilty. 

During the course of the investigation the news- 
papers and a union offered a reward for the conviction of 
the killer. As the investigation proceeded it appeared that 
the newspapers were really seeking my scalp rather than 
the conviction of the criminal. 

When the break finally came it was the result of 
practical police work and nothing but practical police work. 

One of our officers made the following report: 

"On information received, went to 1508 Lakeview 
Road to investigate one Harold Beach, Jr. , age 23, white, 
who is supposed to be missing from his home since January 
4, 1948, but failed to find anyone at home at this address. 
Request that afternoon men check at this address later in 
the day. " 

§10. 24- -Danger of improper police reports 

Not only in homicide investigations but in all 
police investigations, I think that the weakest point today 
is improper reporting. Detectives and policemen have a 
habit of carrying things around in their heads. They are 
either not capable of making reports or they are lazy or 
they simply don' t want to. In some of the larger police 


departments there are cliques of detectives and cliques of 
investigators; that is, the men who are working on days will 
only talk to Tom and Harry at four o' clock, and Tom and 
Harry, in turn, will only talk to Bill and Joe at twelve. In 
the Cleveland police department this is not permitted. The 
men who are working days make their report. The officer 
in charge of all of the units then studies the report and de- 
termines who shall follow up on the next day. We take into 
consideration nationality, religion, etc., before making an 
assignment. No cliques are allowed in the homicide unit or 
in the detective bureau of the Cleveland police department. 

§10. 25 --Suspect confesses 

The afternoon men were sent to the address men- 
tioned in the above, quoted report. They interviewed the 
father of Harold Beach, who informed them that his son was 
on a visit to his mother in Baltimore. We also learned that 
the boy had a criminal record, having been incarcerated in 
the New York State Reform School in Napanoch, Ulster 
County, New York. The Cleveland police department has a 
book which lists and classifies all of the prisons and re- 
formatories in the country. From this book we learned 
that this particular reform school concerned itself with 
sex offenders. 

We immediately called this reform school and 
learned that Harold Beach had been incarcerated for a 
felonious assault on an eight-year-old boy. We then called 
the police department in Baltimore, Maryland; Harold 
Beach was arrested in Baltimore just as he was leaving his 
mother's home, bag packed, on his way to Florida. You 
can once again witness the importance of practical police 

When Beach returned he made a full confession. 
He related that on the night of the murder he had left his 
home to go to the Ambassador Theater which was located 
near the TuUeyhome. But instead he met Shelia Ann TuUey 
coming down the street. He asked her if she wanted to 
make a quarter and she said she did. He then led her down 
the street in between the two garages and wanted her to 
commit an act of perversion on him. She refused to do it 
and tried to escape, but he caught her. Her face was against 


his stomach. He took out his knife and then stabbed her in 
the head and in the back. Finally, he let her go and he ran 
in one direction and she in the other. 

Beach ran to his home, packed his bag and left 
for Baltimore. 

Beach also informed us that he had hung the coat 
he had been wearing that night in the stairway leading to 
the cellar of his home and that he had washed off the knife 
he used and had placed it in the kitchen knife drawer. We 
were able to obtain both the coat and the knife. Blood was 
later found on the knife by the scientists. 

When we asked Harold Beach how old he was he 
replied, "Well I am 22 years old, but if I live and don' t go 
to the electric chair before March, I will be 23. " He ap- 
peared nonchalant about the whole thing. 

§10.26 Advising accused of his constitutional rights 

I know very well that you do not have to notify 
anyone about his constitutional rights, but if you do it car- 
ries a greater weight with the court and also with the jury. 
It actually impresses the jury if you notify an accused of 
his constitutional rights before taking his confession. We 
have a form for notifying suspects of their constitutional 
rights and also for taking a statement from them as to the 
facts which led to their arrest. We let them make a state- 
ment first and then we ask them questions. When we return 
to them a copy of the transcribed confession we deliberately 
make a mistake and cause the accused to cross out the 
mistake and enter a correction in his own hand. In this 
particular case we deliberately made a mistake on the 
name of Beach' s mother, calling her Evelyn rather than 
Ethel. Beach entered the correction in his own handwriting. 

We have the following question at the end of the 
statement: "Have you read the above statement and is it 
true?" This is signed by the accused. Then it is witnessed 
by the two detectives who have taken the statement and by 
the stenographer who has recorded it. 

§10.27 Confession obtained by force and coercion 

There is another danger. When a case comes to 
court the accused will often contend that the confession was 


obtained from him by physical force and coercion. We have 
a system for avoiding this danger in the Cleveland police 
department. Immediately after we obtain a confession, the 
individual confessing is sent to be examined by the jail 
physician. The physician examines the individual and even 
asks him if he has been harmed or abused in any way by the 
police officers. All of this information is entered on the 
physician' s report. 

§10.28 Connection of confessing party to crime 

Some of you might still have the idea in your head 
that the minute you get a confession the case is solved. 
Nothing could be further from the truth. The person con- 
fessing must be connected with the crime by evidence other 
than that of his confession. In this case we were able to 
show that the knife purchased by Beach and later hidden in 
his kitchen drawer fit perfectly into the wound in the brain 
tissue of Shelia Ann TuUey. Investigation also revealed that 
threads from Shelia Ann Tulley' s babushka adhered to the 
inside pocket of Beach' s coat as well as blood traces which 
were the blood type of the child and not that of Harold Beach. 

Harold Beach went to trial before a three-judge 
court. He was found guilty of murder in the first degree 
and was later electrocuted. He was completely nonchalant 
about the whole affair right to the end. 

§10.29 Photography in criminal investigation 

I would like to mention briefly the importance of 
photography in criminal investigation. 

In all of our investigations we immediately take 
photographs. It is a very important function, because even 
after taking a confession you might need your photographs. 

In one case I remember a mother confessed to 
killing her child by beating him over the head with a spatula 
or pancake turner. The coroner later informed me that it 
would have been impossible for death to have been caused 
by the spatula because the spatula was flat and the death 
wound was concave and depressed. We then re-examined 
the photographs. We noticed that the stove in the kitchen 
had recently been moved, for there was a crack in the pipe. 


We talked with the mother once again. She told us that she 
had swung at the boy and had hit him with that spatula and 
that in running away he had banged his head into the stove 
thus knocking it from its moorings. The skull fracture had 
been caused by the stove and not by the spatula. The mother 
was found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder partly 
because of the photograph. 

In another case there was controversy over what 
instrument actually caused the death of the victim. The 
prosecution contended that the instrument in question was 
a certain bottle. The defendant's lawyer claimed that the 
bottle was empty and as such could not possibly have caused 
the damage claimed. One of our photographs was blown up 
and it was discovered that the bottle was a full one. 

§10. 30 --Sam Sheppard case 

I would like to discuss one final case. I am sure 
you have all heard a lot of talk and have read about the Dr. 
Sam Sheppard case. I am not going to delve into much of a 
discussion of the case. The case was built up beyond its 
importance by the press. Still there were a couple of as- 
pects of the case which concerned practical police methods 
which I would like to discuss with you. 

If you remember the story, you will remember 
that Dr. Sheppard claimed to have been sleeping on a couch 
downstairs while the murder took place. He was supposed 
to have gone upstairs where he got into a hassle with some 
phantom, some bushy-haired stranger he had never seen 
before. Our photographs showed the amount of damage that 
was done to Mrs. Sheppard. Furthermore, there was a 
considerable amount of blood around her body indicating 
that she lived for a considerable period of time after the 
assault. Of course, as you know, the minute an individual's 
heart stops pumping, why, of course, the blood stops flow- 
ing unless there is some unusual gravity aspect involved. 

In this particular case she was beaten brutally 
around the head and she lived for a considerable period of 
time after the beating. 

Our photographs showed the couch where Dr. Sam 
claimed to have been sleeping. As a practical matter the 
coroner, Dr. Gerber, and myself made a little experiment 


with this couch. We found that we could get from the couch 
to the upstairs room in some seven seconds. In view of the 
fact that there were some thirty-five wounds on the victim' s 
head and in view of the fact that she lived for a considerable 
period of time after the beating, does it not seem probable 
that she would have cried out several times and that her 
cries would have brought her husband up the stairs to her 
bed before her death? Doctor Sheppard' s story that all 
was over by the time he arrived upstairs is very difficult 
to believe. 

Our photographs also indicated that no real 
robbery occurred but that rather a robbery was merely 
simulated. For example, the doctor' s bag was neatly 
turned over and its contents had not been rummaged through 
as is customary in a burglary. Likewise, several drawers 
of a desk were pulled out but again they had not been ran- 
sacked as is customary in a burglary. 

Dr. Sam also claimed that he ran down the stair- 
way in the back of the house facing the lake. He supposedly 
ran over to a stairway which went down to their beach. He 
was supposed to be doing this in total darkness, chasing 
the alleged attacker. The distance covered here would have 
been about two hundred feet if he had run down all of the 
stairs. Yet he had no marks on his feet indicating such a 
trip or that he stumbled or fell at all. He also allegedly 
ran down the beach a hundred feet or so. Ultimately he 
returned, missing his tee shirt. He could give no descrip- 
tion of the individual he had been chasing. He claimed that 
he had run down all of these stairs in the dark without fall- 
ing, without stumbling, without injuring himself at all. 

§10. 31 --Blood stains 

We had photographs to show the amount of blood 
that was left by the body of Mrs. Sheppard and how it pene- 
trated the bed. It is logical to believe that whoever com- 
mitted the crime would have been extensively coveredwith 
blood. Our photographs showed that blood was splashed as 
far away as the door of the next bedroom. We felt con- 
vinced that blood must have spurted up against the assailant 
so that his shirt and body would be covered with blood. 


The scientific examiners discovered blood stains 
going down the stairs which must have dripped from the body 
of the assailant. We placed white papers on these stains to 
indicate their positions for the photographers, so that the 
photographs would show the path taken by the murderer. 

Of particular interest, I thought, was a certain 
light fixture which hung very low. The ordinary man could 
not walk under this fixture without bumping his head. Dr. 
Sam could not walk underneath the light either. Now when 
the murder occurred, there were no lights on and the house 
was dark. Yet we are supposed to believe that the assail- 
ant, dripping blood and fleeing from his crime, knew enough 
to walk around this light so as to avoid bumping his head. 

Other photographs that we made indicated that the 
so-called burglary was perpetrated after Mrs.Sheppard had 
been beaten. Blood spots were discovered where the draw- 
ers were pulled out of the desk and also where the doctor' s 
medical case was taken from him. So, whoever committed 
this kind of burglary also was dripping blood. 

But Dr. Sam indicated that the assailant ran out 
on the beach. If this is true, then how did the blood get by 
the desk and by the medical bag unless Dr. Sam put it there? 

Furthermore, during the investigation the doctor 
brought an expert to Cleveland from San Francisco. This 
expert, a Dr. Kirk, had a theory about the case. He con- 
tended that whoever committed the murder was left-4ianded; 
that Doctor Sam could not have committed the murder be- 
cause he never did use his left hand, in fact he could not 
have used his left hand if he had wanted to. 

We were, however, able to dig up some old photo- 
graphs of Dr. Sam taken at a country club. In one of these, 
we discovered Dr. Sam eating with his left hand. 

So you can draw your own conclusions about the 
guilt or innocence of Dr. Sam Sheppard. 

Chapter 1 1 

A Murder Investigation by the 
Criminal Investigation Department 
of Scotland Yard* 

George H. Hatherill 


11. 1 Introduction 

11. 2 Scene of the crime 

11.3 Clues found at the scene 

11.4 Post-mortem examination 
11. 5 Interview of victims' parents 

11.6 Search of the area 

11.7 Description of vehicle and driver 

11.8 Tracing the vehicle and laundry mark 

11.9 Mapping route of vehicle and location of clues 
11. 10 Tracing the laundry mark 

11.11 Location of the vehicle 

11. 12 Search of suspect' s clothing 

11. 13 Comparison of mileage records 

11. 14 Statement given by suspect 
11. 15 Fingerprint comparison 

11. 16 Analysis of blood stains 

11. 17 Arrest of suspect 

11. 18 Interview of officers 

11. 19 Circumstantial evidence at trial 

11.20 Trial and execution 

§11. 1 Introduction 

This case concerns a murder investigation which 
this writer conducted in November 1941. 

It should be mentioned that almost every day 
during that November there was very heavy rain. Sunrise 
was about 9 a. m. and sunset about 4:30 p. m. Reference is 
made to the weather conditions as they had certain effects 
in the course of this investigation. 

*The material in this chapter originally appeared in "International Lectures on Police Science" 
and is used here with permission. 



On Wednesday, November 19, 1941, in a little vil- 
lage called Penn, County of Buckinghamshire, two little girls, 
Doreen Hearne, aged eight years, and Kathleen Trendle, 
aged six years, came out of school at 3:30 in the afternoon 
with the rest of the schoolchildren. The school was about 
half a mile from their homes in the village. They went the 
usual way down the road, with other children, to the cross- 
roads near their homes. There they saw an Army lorry 
parked. These two girls asked the driver, a soldier, for a 
ride. He was heard to tell them to get into the lorry with 
him. The lorry drove off through the village and was not 
seen again. When the children did not come home, the 
parents made inquiries and, learning from other children 
that they had gone for a ride with the soldier, they became 
alarmed and informed the police. 

Inquiries were made to trace them, but without 
success. On the next day, the children still being missing, 
searches were organized by police, assisted by local in- 
habitants, Boy Scouts, and others. It was not until three 
days later, on Saturday afternoon, November 22, that their 
bodies were found in Rough Wood some four miles from the 
village. Both girls had been stabbed several times through 
the throat, and had obviously been there since the evening 
of the day they disappeared. The local police asked for the 
assistance of Scotland Yard and I was deputized to take up 
the case. I was informed at 10 o'clock at night on November 
22nd that I was to go to Buckinghamshire to deal with this 
case. Everything else was left entirely to me. 

I telephoned the local police and told them I was 
coming down to assist in the investigation. I asked them 
what they could tell me, which was not much except that the 
bodies had been found as already described, and removed 
to the local mortuary. I gave instructions that nothing was 
to be touched on the scene of the crime, and they were to 
await my arrival. I then made arrangements for a junior 
officer to join me at my home at 7 o'clock the next morning, 
and also for Sir Bernard Spilsbury, a pathologist, to be 
brought by car to my house at the same time. The three of 
us left together by car. We arrived at Chesham, the local 
police headquarters, at 8 a.m., November 23. 

On arrival at Chesham police station we met the 
local inspector of police, who told us how these children 




had left school, had been seen by other children to ask the 
driver of the Army lorry to give them a ride, and had gone 
off in the lorry. Further, that in the course of inquiries 
which had been made during the three days' search, they 
had learned from various persons that a military lorry had 
been seen travelling along local country roads with two 
little girls sitting in front with the driver. 

§11.2 Scene of the crime 

We were taken then to the wood where the bodies 
were found. This was some six miles away. When we got 
there we found the local police had very carefully carried 
out my instructions not to disturb anything. We went along 
a wide path through the wood. Eighty-one feet from the 
south edge of this path the body of Doreen, the elder girl, 
had been found. Sixty-six and one -half feet from the other 
side of the path the body of the younger girl had been found. 
When discovered both girls had their clothing pulled up 
over their heads, but their underclothing had not been in- 
terfered with. The left shoe of Doreen was off and lying 
near her feet. Her overcoat was also bundled up on the 
ground near her stomach. The left shoe and stocking were 
missing from the younger girl. There were no blood stains 
on the spots where the bodies of the girls had been found. 
As I have already said, both bodies had been moved to the 
local mortuary. Before removal they appeared as these 
photographs indicate, with Doreen Hearne shown in Figure 
39 and Kathleen Trendle shown in Figure 40. 

Fig. 39 




Fig, 40 

§11.3 Clues found at the scene 

I made a search of the vicinity and found a khaki 
handkerchief twenty- five feet away from the spot where the 
body of Kathleen had been found. This bore a laundry mark 
"R. A. 1019. " A hair ribbon, on the north edge of the path, 
was later identified as Doreen's. A fawn sock was also found 
hanging on the branch of a fir tree, about four feet from the 
ground and fifty- six feet away from where Kathleen' s body 
was found (Fig. 41). The sock was later identified as 
Kathleen' s sock. We also found a red leather gas mask 
container which belonged to Kathleen, thirty-one feet away 
from Doreen' s body, and four feet beyond that we found the 
left shoe of Kathleen. 

Fig. 41 




As I said at the beginning, there had been heavy, 
continuous rain during the three weeks previous to this time. 
As a result, the earth along the wide path through the wood 
was fairly soft. One could see deep tire impressions of a 
motor vehicle having been driven along the path. One could 
see it had travelled to a certain spot, turned around, crush- 
ing the growth on both sides of the path, returned a short 
distance along the path, and came to a stop at a point rough- 
ly half way between the two bodies. These impressions were 
more pronounced here and also at that spot there was quite 
a large area of the earth stained with oil. It was obvious, 
of course, that this was where the vehicle had stopped while 
the murderer was disposing of the bodies, and had stood 
there for some minutes. It appeared also that the vehicle 
had a bad oil leak from some part. I formed the conclusion 
that this leakage of oil had come either from the back axle 
or from one of the back wheels of the vehicle. 

A little east of this spot I found a blood -stained 
patch eight feet from the point in the path. Four feet further 
on a second blood-stained patch was observed and, finally, 
two feet further on, a blood-stained leaf was seen. 

Although a very careful search of the whole vi- 
cinity was made, nothing else of significance was found. 
Photographs had already been taken of the bodies as they 
had been found. I placed markers on the spots where these 
various objects and incidents were discovered and arranged 
for further photographs to be taken. Figure 42 is a view of 
the spots where Kathleen Trendle's red gas mask container 
and left shoe were found. Doreen Hearne' s body was found 
thirty-one feet to the left of these articles. 

Fig. 42 


At the same time I also arranged for plaster casts 
to be made of the tire impressions and had a good solid 
chunk - about one foot deep - taken up of the oil-stained 
earth. This was later sent to the laboratory in London for 
examination and analysis. 

§11.4 Post-mortem examinations 

Having taken possession of all the articles, we 
then went on to the mortuary and were present at the post- 
mortem examinations conducted by Sir Bernard Spilsbury. 
The elder girl, Doreen, had three wounds in the neck, in- 
cluding a large one in which the weapon was probably twisted 
round. She also had six small puncture wounds in the chest, 
three of which had penetrated to the lung and a fourth which 
had caused a fracture of the third left rib. 

Her garments were soaked with blood and rain 
and infested with insects. Her knickers showed no signs 
of disturbance. There was nothing to suggest any sexual 

The other girl, Kathleen, had eleven stab wounds 
in the throat, each about five-eighths inch wide. One of these 
had penetrated to the spinal column. One small puncture 
wound was located just above the collar bone. Her gar- 
ments, too, were in a similar condition to those of the other 
girl and, again, her knickers had not been disturbed, nor 
were there any signs of sexual interference. 

Sir Bernard Spilsbury told me that in his opinion 
both children had been partially strangled before being 
stabbed; that they had died slowly. The cause of death was 
"hemorrhage from the stab wounds. " The elder girl had 
lost anything up to six pints of blood, and the younger girl 
up to four pints. The stomach contents of Doreen contained 
some partly digested food, mainly starchy, resembling 
potato, with a little green vegetable and a little meat and 
fat. Similar food was present in the upper part of the small 
intestine. The stomach of Kathleen was full of partly 
digested food, consisting largely of starchy food, resem- 
bling potato, which was present in large masses, with a 
little fat and meat. 

Sir Bernard Spilsbury expressed the opinion that 
the same weapon had been used in each case. This weapon 


had a blunt point and a rather blunt cutting edge. Measure- 
ments of the wounds indicated that the blade of this knife 
was five -eighths inch wide and not double-edged. Blood was 
taken from each body and sent to the laboratory for grouping, 
together with samples of hair from the head of each child. 

§11. 5 Interview of victims' parents 

I next saw the parents of the two dead girls. Mrs. 
Hearne told me that her daughter Doreen had left home at 
12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19, for school. For 
her mid-day meal that day she had had beef-meat pie, pota- 
toes and cabbage, and apple pie and custard. She described 
her clothes, which agreed with the clothing we found on her. 
But she mentioned, too, that the girl was carrying her gas 
mask in a black tin container. 

Mrs. Trendle, the mother of Kathleen, said her 
daughter had left for school on Wednesday, the 19th, just 
before 1:00 p.m. For her meal she had just minced beef and 
mashed potatoes. She, too, described her clothing and said 
she was carrying her gas mask in a red leather container. 

In view of Sir Bernard's description of the stom- 
ach contents and from what we learned from the mothers, 
it was established beyond all question that the girls had 
been killed on the afternoon that they were taken away. 

§11.6 Search of the area 

It will be remembered that no blood was found 
where the bodies were discovered. Further, that the result 
of the post-mortem examination showed that both girls had 
lost a large quantity of blood. As, therefore, the girls had 
been killed elsewhere, I made arrangements for organized 
searches to take place through the wood, and other small 
woods and open spaces in the vicinity to see if we could 
find any spot which was heavily blood stained where the 
girls may have been butchered. At the same time, in view 
of Mrs. Hearne' s statement that her daughter was carrying 
a black tin gas mask container, search parties were in- 
structed to try to find this. 

The people on this search were warned specially 
that if they found this case, bearing in mind that it was of 
tin with a black finish, it was not to be touched as it might 


have fingerprints on it. Its discovery was to be reported 
to a certain officer who would handle it in the proper way 
by taking it to the local police station and by sending for 
Superintendent Cherrill, the fingerprint expert of Scotland 
Yard, who would examine it. 

The people taking part in these searches had to 
be gathered together and briefed. Since it was already the 
afternoon they did not commence until the following day. I 
can say here that so far as finding any blood stains in the 
area was concerned, that was without success. I will refer 
to the discovery of the black tin gas mask container later. 

§11.7 Description of vehicle and driver 

The next thing that was done was to interview the 
children who saw the two girls ask the driver for a ride. 
This took up the rest of the day. Among a large number of 
children we interviewed there were three schoolgirls, all 
aged eleven, who saw Kathleen and Doreen speaking to the 
driver at the cross-roads; a boy, aged twelve, who cycled 
past the lorry while it was standing at the cross-roads; and 
a boy, aged ten, who walked past the lorry while at the 
same spot. It was very interesting to note that from all the 
girls we got a very good description of the driver of the 
lorry, but they could not describe the lorry very well. The 
boys, while not being able to say what the driver looked 
like, beyond that he was a soldier, gave us a most detailed 
description of the lorry. 

From the girls we learned that the driver was 
about twenty -six years of age, medium colored hair, reddish 
complexion, wearing silver -rimmed glasses and a service 
cap. From the boys we learned the lorry was a 15 cwt. 
Fordson camouflaged like a wireless truck, but without any 
aerial, with a canvas hood lower than the top of the driver's 
cabin (this statement about the hood was interesting as 
hoods are always built higher than the driver' s cabin and it 
suggested an improvised hood, which was indeed found to be 
so when the lorry was finally traced). It had steel doors to 
the driver's cabin, but no protecting weather shield or win- 
dows. On the nearside front mudguard were the figures 
"43" in white on a red and blue square, and on the offside 
front mudguard were the letters "J. P. " joined together in 


blue on a red circle. The boy, aged twelve, added that in 
the radiator mesh towards the top right-hand corner was an 
artificial poppy (this was one of those poppies sold on 
Armistice Day every year in Great Britain in aid of the 
permanently disabled men of the Great War). He also men- 
tioned there was a figure "5" on the offside front lamp. 

§11.8 Tracing the vehicle and laundry mark 

Late that evening we had inquiries made of the 
War Office to ascertain what artillery unit had the markings 
on their vehicles as described by the boys. I should men- 
tion that having been in the Army myself during the First 
World War, I knew that the colors red and blue were allotted 
to artillery regiments. We were informed by the War Office 
that the markings on the lorry described were allotted to 
the 86th Field Regiment of Royal Artillery and that this 
particular artillery unit had been in the west country up to 
November 16, when it moved off to the east coast to take up 
position in case of a German invasion. It had travelled in 
stages and from November 18 to November 21 it had stayed 
at Hazelmere, a few miles from Rough Wood. Then it 
moved off on its final run to Suffolk about 140 miles away, 
where, as already stated, it was deployed for battle sta- 
tions. The Headquarters of the Regiment was stationed at 
Yoxford, a small town about five miles from the coast. 

I also sent out to all police forces in London and 
the Home Counties a request that inquiries be made at all 
laundries in their areas to establish to whom was allotted 
the laundry mark "R.A. 1019", which was on the handker- 
chief found at the scene of the crime. This, of course, 
could not be commenced until the following day, Monday. 

Incidentally too, I had found out two other points: 
that steel-rimmed spectacles were an official service issue 
to men in the Forces, and that the width of the blade of an 
Army official issue knife was five -eighths inch wide. By 
this time it was nearly midnight and that concluded our ac- 
tivities for the day. 

§11.9 Mapping route of vehicle and location of clues 

The next morning, Monday, we concentrated upon 
making inquiries throughout the roads and lanes between 


Penn and Rough Wood. We found quite a number of people 
who had seen this lorry travelling along the previous 
Wednesday with the two little girls seated up in front with 
the driver. As a result of these inquiries, we were finally 
able to establish the continuous route taken by this lorry 
from the cross-roads to within a mile of the wood. As the 
point where the lorry was last seen by someone was on the 
main road leading to Rough Wood, I felt we had the com- 
plete journey. 

The map (Fig. 43) shows the cross - roads at 
Tylers Green where the girls were picked up, and arrows 
showing the route the lorry took leading to Rough Wood 
where the girls were found. At points along this route are 
names in frames with arrows leading to the route indicating 
spots where witnesses saw the lorry go by. The "Queen' s 
Head" Public House was the last point where the girls were 
seen alive on the lorry. 

I then made a journey in the police car from the 
cross-roads down along the route we had established, to the 
middle of the wood where the oil-stained earth had been 
found. From there we travelled by the most direct route 
to the camp at Hazlemere where the artillery unit had been 
staying, and then took the most direct route from there 
back to the cross-roads. The speedometer reading on the 
car was ten miles from the cross-roads to the wood; 2 miles 
from the wood to the camp; and two miles from the camp 
back to the cross-roads, making a total of fourteen miles. 
As will be seen from the map, the route the lorry had taken 
with the little girls from the cross-roads to Rough Wood 
had been anything but direct. The checking of the mileage 
of this run later proved most important. It developed into 
the little two percent luck in the investigation, which I re- 
ferred to yesterday. 

These activities took up the whole of Monday and 
that night. Reviewing everything, I felt there was nothing 
more to be done in Buckinghamshire and decided to go to 
Yoxford the next morning. Before my departure, however, 
I made arrangements for the local surveyor to prepare this 
plan of the countryside, showing the school from which the 
children had come, the cross-roads, the various lanes be- 
tween Penn and Rough Wood, marking by arrows where we 
knew the lorry had travelled. Rough Wood itself, and the 






















Fig. 43 



route back to the camp at Hazlemere. 

In addition, a second map (Fig. 44) of Rough Wood 
was ordered, showing exactly where the various objects 
were found and distances in relation to each other. 

Rex V Harold Hill 

rp-.-'- -!■!,' 

! >\ tl,hl, l.i.i. i^ hL 

Pi «m nHowiMc PoBTioN Of Rough Wood 

Woopg-ow. AnEBSHAn. buCKls 

,, ni'i'l? 

-'"' V i^ '"'' 

Fig. 44 


§11. 10 Tracing the laundry mark 

The searches for the blood-stained earth and the 
black tin gas mask container had not resulted in anything 
that day. Late that evening, however, I was informed that 
inquiries at laundries had resulted in establishing that the 
mark "R. A. 1019" was that of the Royal Standard Laundry 
of Chiswick, London. It was allotted to a man named Harold 
Hill, who was in the Army. 

§11. 11 Location of the vehicle 

I left for Yoxford early on Tuesday morning, ar- 
riving there just after midday. I saw the colonel of the 
regiment. After telling him of the details of the murder 
and what our inquiries had established, I told him I was 
looking for a lorry which I believed belonged to his regiment 
and which I thought had a bad leakage of oil from either one 
of its wheels, the engine, or the back axle. The four bat- 
teries of his regiment were in positions spread over some 
miles on the coast. He sent for his four battery command- 
ers. Again I told them of the lorry that I was looking for 
and emphasized it had a bad oil leak somewhere. One of 
the battery commanders told me he had a lorry in his 
battery which was giving trouble as it had a bad oil leak 
from the rear axle near the nearside wheel. When it had 
been running for some time the oil got hot and leaked out 
badly. A large pool of oil would accumulate where the wheel 
had been standing. He told me this lorry was always driven 
by a driver named Hill, who answered the description I had, 
except that he was wearing tortoise-shell glasses. The 
lorry at that time was in a barn in a village some five miles 
away. We went to this barn where the lorry was parked 
and, on looking underneath, saw that it had been leaking 
badly. There was a large pool of oil on the ground under- 
neath the back nearside wheel. 

The lorry itself, of course, was photographed 
from different angles (Figs. 45 and 46). 

We then went over the lorry and searched it. 
Pulling out a large tarpaulin which was used for covering 
the radiator in cold weather, we found large reddish-black 
stains on it. Making an elementary test on one of these I 
was satisfied that it was blood. I walked round this lorry 




and was, I confess, a little astonished. The description of 
the lorry given me by the boy aged twelve was complete in 
every detail. On the mudguards were the signs "43" and 
"J. P. " as described to me (Fig. 45). It had an improvised 
hood and no wireless aerial. In the radiator of the lorry 
there was a large imitation poppy, precisely in the position 
he had described. I also examined the inside of the lorry. 
At the time no bloodstains were visible. I had a look at the 
tires and they corresponded exactly with the plaster casts 
I had with me of the tire impressions found in the wood. 

Fig. 45 

§11. 12 Search of suspect's clothing 

I next asked to see Hill. When he was brought to 
me I told him I was investigating a case of murder and 
wanted to examine all his belongings. I examined the uni- 
form he was wearing, but could not find anything suspicious 
on that. However, the spare uniform he had in his kit-bag, 
on being pulled out, I found to be very damp. Hill said he 




Fig. 46 

had been out in the rain in it. On examining it more closely 
I found the inside linings of the trousers and tunic and the 
pockets were very damp. I concluded that they had been 
immersed in water and not merely made wet by rain. Look- 
ing over the uniform more carefully, I found some spots of 
what I thought was blood down the back of the tunic, in front, 
on the sleeves, and on the trousers. The spots on the tunic 
were just what I would have expected to find had a man slung 
one of these children over his shoulder to carry her from 
the lorry for some distance into the wood. The rest of the 
clothing in his kit-bag was quite dry. I could find no knife, 
nor could I find any steel-rimmed spectacles. He was 
wearing tortoise-shell spectacles. Several articles, such 
as handkerchiefs and shirts, bore the laundry mark , R. A . 
1019. " I also examined all the shirts he had in the kit-bag 
but found nothing suspicious on them. 


§11. 13 Comparison of mileage records 

I then had the little two percent luck I mentioned 

All drivers of vehicles in the British Armed 
Forces have to keep a logbook in which they must enter the 
speedometer reading of their vehicle at the beginning of the 
day, its reading at the end of the day and, in the columns 
provided for the purpose, the journeys made that day, to- 
gether with the mileage, so accounting for the total mileage. 

It had happened quite by accident that this Battery 
Commander had had an inspection of the Log Books of his 
Battery while at Hazlemere Camp on November 20. Hill' s 
log book for November 19 - the day of these murders - 
showed his speedometer reading at the beginning of the day 
as 4, 420 miles and at the end of the day as 4, 429 miles. 
His speedometer reading at the time of the check-up showed 
4, 472 miles. Hill had made an authorized journey of 9 
miles on November 19, which he had entered up, and two 
authorized journeys on the morning of November 20 totalling 
twenty miles, making a total of twenty- nine miles for the 
two days, but he could not account for the remaining four- 
teen miles he had incurred. If you remember, I had made 
a journey in the police car and found the distance covered 
by the lorry from the camp to the crossroads, then to the 
wood, and back to camp was just about fourteen miles. 

§11. 14 Statement given by suspect 

I took Hill to the local police station and asked 
him to give me a full account of what he did on November 19. 
In answer to my questions, I wrote down what he said in the 
form of a statement. 

In this statement, after giving particulars of 
himself and when he joined this regiment, he said that on 
November 19 about 11:10 a.m. he drove an N. C. O. from 
the camp where they were near High Wycombe to the village 
where the N. CO. visited various places and returned to 
the camp about 12:45 p.m. He went about nine miles, which 
he entered in his log book. After that he had dinner and at 
2 p.m. he went on parade. His statement then reads as 


"I was detailed for regimental fatigue with Driver 
Maxey, Driver Brown and Gunner Battye. We were working 
under a Sergeant of the T.Es. clearing up the camp. We 
were so engaged until about 3:05 or 3:10 p.m., when we 
were dismissed by the Sergeant. He told us to clear off and 
keep out of the way. I went to the lavatory where I was 
about ten minutes and then I went on maintenance work on 
my truck. Where I used to park my truck at Hazlemere 
was a very muddy spot and I moved it about twenty yards 
on to a grassy piece. I checked up the oil in the back axle 
and gear box. This necessitates getting under the lorry and 
takes some time. It takes about five minutes to get the two 
nuts off the gear box and the back axle and it takes about 
five minutes to get the grease gun out of the tool box, empty 
it of grease and fill it with oil, and pump it into the back 
axle. The grease gun holds only about a quarter of a pint 
and has to be refilled and the process repeated until the 
axle box is filled. The process is just the same for the 
gear box. I was working on this for about twenty-five min- 
utes to half an hour and then I intended to check my tire 
pressures. I got the pump out of the toolbox, but then I saw 
men going in to tea and I decided to pack up and have tea. 
I left my tools out. I cannot say what time it was then, but 
I should think it was somewhere between a quarter to five 
and five o'clock. I did not speak to anyone I knew and lean- 
not say if anyone who knows me saw me. I did see Gunner 
Phillips coming out of the mess room as I was going to the 
cook house. I obtained my tea and food, which was saus- 
ages and mash. I don't remember who served me. I used 
my own mug and plate, and knife and fork which I keep in 
the truck. I took my food and sat down at the table in the 
mess room at which was sitting several men whom I did not 
know. They had no Divisional signs on their uniforms, and 
I cannot say to which unit they belonged. They did not speak 
to me and I did not speak to them. I had my back to the 
rest of the mess room and I could not say what men of my 
unit were there. I was at the very top table and did not see 
any men I knew at the tables I passed on my way to the top 
table. I wasn't looking. I knew the men of my troop had 
gone on bath parade which was held on that day at 4:30 p.m. 
They went to High Wycombe. I did not go as I had a cold 
coming on and I didn' t want to take any chances with the 


ride coming back. The cold did develop and I am just getting 
over it now. About ten or quarter past five I finished tea 
and then went and put my tools away and then went to my hut 
but on the way met Driver Case. He told me some trucks 
wanted filling with petrol sol decided to takedown the truck 
of Driver Howard who was on leave. We used to go to some 
petrol pumps in Penn for our petrol daily at 4:30 p. m. in- 
cluding Sundays, but excepting Wednesdays when it was 6 
p. m. owing to bath parade. An issuing clerk from the unit 
was always at the pump when petrol was being issued and 
the driver drawing petrol always signed for the quantity he 
drew. It is impossible to draw petrol without signing for it. 
I drove Driver Howard's truck to the pumps which I reached 
at about ten to six. When I got to the pump and took off the 
tank cap I put in the petrol dipper and found the tank was 
full. Gunner Lipman who was issuing the petrol and Driver 
Case were both present when I opened the tank and found it 
full and they made some humorous remarks about it. It was 
then about ten to seven as I had been waiting in the queue of 
lorries and trucks formed up for petrol .... I returned to 
camp with Howard' s truck and parked it ... . After getting 
to my hut I packed most of my kit and washed and shaved 
and then sat round the fire talking with Driver Case and one 
or two others. Finally I went to bed at about twenty past 
nine .... I have got more kit than I ought to have as I have 
won a lot. I don' t know how many handkerchiefs or shirts 
I have got, probably about three or four shirts and about a 
dozen handkerchiefs. I never do any washing. I send all 
my things to the Battery Laundry. I have a laundry mark 
allotted to me which is ' R. A. 1009' or ' 1090' . I have been 
shown my towel and find my laundry mark is 'R. A. 1019' . 
There is a clasp knife in my kit which is regimental issue 
and consists of a blade, a tin opener and a spike and it was 
in good working order when I last saw it about four months 
ago, when I lost it .... I have been shown a khaki hand- 
kerchief which bears my laundry mark 'R. A. 1019' . I have 
been told by Chief Inspector Hatherill that this handkerchief 
was found near one of the bodies of the murdered girls. I 
cannot explain how it left my possession. It must have been 
returned in someone else's laundry. I have also been shown 
the radiator muffler which Chief Inspector Hatherill states 
he found in my truck. I have been shown some stains on it. 


I cannot account for these stains. I do not admit the radia- 
tor muffler is mine. " 

At this point I told him to take off his tunic and 
found he was wearing a shirt from which the sleeves had 
been torn from the elbow. In answer to my question about 
this, he went on to say: 

"The shirt I am wearing I have been wearing for 
a fortnight. I tore the sleeves off last September as they 
came back from the laundry torn and I thought they would 
do for the summer .... I know the near side back wheel of 
my truck has a slight leak, but not much. It was sent to the 
workshop approximately a month ago for it to be attended 
to ... . My clasp knife is the usual issue .... I lost it 
some months ago and since have never had occasion to want 
one. I have never washed my uniform or any of the canvas 
equipment of my truck. About two months ago two hand- 
kerchiefs and one sock was missing from my laundry. I 
made a complaint about it to Gunner Bird of the Q Stores. " 

In the course of this statement it will be seen that 
I asked him what was his laundry mark and he told me it 
was "R. A. 1009" or "1090". He was very evasive here. 
It was only when his towel, which he had at the station, 
was shown him that he admitted his laundry mark was 
"R. A. 1019". When shown his handkerchief, told it was 
found near the bodies, and asked what explanation he could 
give about that, he was quite a minute or so before he an- 
swered. He was also shown the radiator cover which I 
told him I had taken out of his truck. I asked him to examine 
a stain on it and tell me what he thought it looked like. After 
some moments of silence, he said, "It looks like blood." 
I asked him if he could explain how the stains came to be 
there. He stared at the cover for quite a minute or so and 
then suddenly said, "I don't admit that it is mine. " 

After Hill had read and signed his statement, we 
took possession of all the clothes he was wearing, including 
the shirt with the cut-off sleeves, and handed him back to 
the military. 

We then interviewed officers and men of Hill' s 
battery on various points, and obtained statements from 
them. From one officer we obtained a statement concerning 
the speedometer reading on the morning of November 20 and 
the entries in the log book. Another gave details of the 


trouble that had been experienced with Hill' s lorry so far 
as the bad leak of oil from the back wheel was concerned. 
Also we learned that Hill, on joining the regiment, had been 
issued with steel-rimmed spectacles which he had worn 
continuously up to a few days previously. These steel -rim- 
med spectacles could not be found either in Hill' s kit or on 
his person. 

On Wednesday afternoon, November 26, I decided 
to return to London, taking with me his lorry with the blood- 
stained tarpaulin, and the whole of Hill' s kit and clothing. 

§11. 15 Fingerprint comparison 

On arrival in London I learned that the black tin 
gas mask container had been found in Rough Wood the day 
after my departure for Suffolk and dealt with as I had asked. 
Superintendent Cherrill had examined it. He found that all 
fingerprint impressions had been washed clean away by 
rain during the time it had been lying in the wood, with the 
exception of one small fragment of a fingerprint where it 
had been resting on a piece of shrubbery, and possibly pro- 
tected by being underneath. This Mr. Cherrill had been 
able to photograph by a new method he had just perfected. 
Hill had been previously convicted twice for indecent as- 
saults on girls. His fingerprints were recorded at Scotland 
Yard. On comparison of the impression found on the con- 
tainer with Hill's fingerprints, it was found that that impres- 
sion was identical with his left middle fingerprint, as the 
comparative photographs reveal. (Fig. 47). 



Fig. 47 


§11. 16 Analysis of blood stains 

The search for the blood-stained ground had prov- 
ed negative. 

The blood-stained clothing and tarpaulin were 
sent to the laboratory for examination. Samples of oil were 
taken from the lorry and sent to the chemist who had re- 
ceived the oil-stained earth. A minute examination of the 
body of the lorry was made. This resulted in some blood 
spots being found which later proved to be human blood. 

The manager of the laundry to which the blood- 
stained handkerchief had been sent was seen. A statement 
was taken from him to the effect that the laundry mark 
''R. A. 1019'' was allotted to Hill. 

The following day I received the results of the 
laboratory examinations. The blood on the tarpaulin was 
human blood and of the same group as the girls' . Hairs 
which were also found on this tarpaulin were similar to the 
hairs of the girls which had been sent to the laboratory. 
The spots on the back, front and sleeves of the tunic and 
trousers which I had taken from Hill' s kit bag were human 
blood, but the laboratory was unable to group them. The 
same applied to the blood spots found in the lorry; they were 
human blood spots but it was not possible to group them. 

I was also informed by the laboratory that the 
grade and quality of the oil extracted from the oil -soaked 
earth was similar to the sample I had taken from Hill' s 

§11.17 Arrest of suspect 

I then felt I had sufficient evidence on which to 
arrest and charge Hill. I returned to Yoxford on Saturday, 
November 29, and arrested Hill. When I saw him, I cau- 
tioned him and told him that human blood stains had been 
found on the denim blouse and battle dress trousers, which 
I had taken from his kit bag, on his lorry, and the tarpaulin 
we had taken from that lorry. I asked him if he could give 
an account of them. I also asked him when he last wore 
the steel-rimmed spectacles which he had been issued. 
He said he could not account for the blood stains and said, 
too, that he had lost his steel-rimmed spectacles some 
time previously. 


I then told him that he was going to be charged 
with the murder of these girls, took him back to Che sham, 
Buckinghamshire, the following day, November 30, where 
he was charged. He appeared before the local court on 
December 1. After brief evidence of arrest, he was re- 
manded in custody for two weeks. 

§11.18 Interview of officers 

After this I then returned to Yoxford and inter- 
viewed a large number of noncommissioned officers and 
men on various matters. 

I had a statement taken from the captain, who 
had had the check-up made of the log books and speedo- 
meter readings. 

I saw the regimental medical officer and took a 
statement from him that never had Hill, whom he knew, 
reported sick to him at any time or had any injury which 
had caused hemorrhage of any description. 

I saw the quartermaster sergeant and his staff 
who stated that Hill had never reported the loss of any hand- 
kerchiefs at any time. 

I then saw all the men of the battery to which Hill 
was attached. All of them made statements that Hill was 
wearing steel-rimmed spectacles continuously up to the 
morning of November 20, when he suddenly started wearing 
tortoise-shell spectacles. They never saw him wearing 
steel-rimmed spectacles again after that date. 

Two men, whom I saw, slept on either side of 
Hiir s bed. They were quite definite that Hill was wearing 
a shirt with sleeves when he went to bed up to and including 
the night of November 18. One went so far as to say it was 
when they were getting up on the morning of November 20 
that he noticed Hill had cut the sleeves of his shirt off. It 
was very obvious why. Since the sleeves of his tunic were 
blood-stained, no doubt his shirt sleeves were also stained 
with blood. 

I found two men who had borrowed Hill' s clasp 
knife. One had borrowed it from Hill just before Hill went 
on leave at the end of October, and on several occasions 
afterwards, as he had lost his. The other man had bor- 
rowed it about November 15. It will be remembered Hill 


said he had lost it about four months previously. 

I checked up on the records of meals served to 
the battery and found that on November 19 tea consisted of 
bread, margarine, jam, tea, and battered meat roll. No 
sausages and mash were served for some days either before 
or after that date. I saw all the men of the battery who 
went in to tea that day and not one of them could remember 
having seen Hill there. One did remember that a little af- 
ter 5:30 p.m. he saw Hill coming from the direction of his 
lorry which he had parked under a tree and not in the place 
where he usually parked it. The same man asked Hill on 
November 20 why he was suddenly wearing to rtoise- shell - 
rimmed spectacles. Hill said he wanted to make a change. 

We had an extraordinary statement from one 
man, who said that on the evening of November 20, Hill was 
talking to him about the newspapers reporting the two girls 
missing and Hill made the remark: "There must be a bloody 
murderer in this hut. " At that time no one, except the 
murderer, knew what had happened to the girls. Their 
bodies were not found until two days later. 

After obtaining all these statements, many of 
them corroborating each other, I then prepared a report for 
the director of public prosecutions, together with all the 
statements, photographs, plans, etc. , obtained. 

On Hiir s remand, the various witnesses were 
called; the scientific evidence of the various matters re- 
lating to the blood, the oil, finger prints and so on, was 
given; he was committed for trial. The trial took place at 
the end of January. 

§11. 19 Circumstantial evidence at trial 

The evidence obtained built up a complete picture 
of a circumstantial nature, in which we had the following 
undisputed facts: 

(1) The description of the lorry in which the girls 
travelled, given by various individuals, agreed 
in detail to that of Hiir s lorry, even to the poppy 
in the radiator mentioned by the boy. Page. 

(2) We knew that the vehicle concerned had a bad oil 
leak. Hiir s lorry had this leak. 


(3) The tire impressions in the Wood agreed with 
those of the tires on Hill' s lorry. 

(4) The oil that had soaked in the path was of a simi- 
lar grade to that used in Hill' s lorry. 

(5) Hiir s lorry had human blood stains in it. 

(6) The tarpaulin in Hill' s lorry had human blood 
stains of a similar group to that of the murdered 
girls' blood. 

(7) Hiir s handkerchief was found near the bodies. 

(8) Hiir s finger print was found on the elder girl' s 
gas mask container. 

(9) Hiir s denim blouse and battle dress trousers 
were blood stained. 

(10) The fourteen miles were recorded on Hill's speed- 
ometer on November 20, for which he could not 
give a satisfactory account, and which agreed with 
the journey I had made. 

(11) Hill stated that he was with his truck from 4:15 
p. m. onwards, whereas we were unable to find 
anyone who saw him, as he stated, from 3 p. m. 
until 5:30 p. m., the vital period in which the girls 
were picked up and slaughtered. 

(12) Statements given by the various witnesses who 
saw the girls in the truck with the driver wearing 
steel-rimmed spectacles. He wore steel-rimmed 
spectacles until the morning after the girls were 
murdered and then started wearing horn-rimmed 
spectacles. It was obvious why he had changed, 
in the hope he would not be identified. 

(13) He lied about his short shirt sleeves. These had 
obviously become stained with blood when killing 
the girls, and he had cut them off. 

(14) He lied about not having seen his clasp knife for 
four months. We had two witnesses who had bor- 
rowed it at various times in the month previous 


to the murders. One definitely stated Hill carried 
his clasp knife in his pocket. 

(15) His knife was neither in his kit nor on his person 
when we searched him. He had obviously thrown 
it away as it was blood stained. 

(16) The fact that the measurement of the wounds in 
the girls' throats agreed with the measurement 
of the blade of an Army clasp knife was most 

(17) He stated that he went to the mess hut for tea on 
the afternoon of the 19th. He told what he had 
for that meal. No one saw him there and the 
meal actually served was quite different from 
what he said he had. 

(18) His statement to us that he had lost his handker- 
chief and reported to the quartermaster' s stores 
was denied by the man concerned. 

(19) He remarked to another person the day after the 
girls were missing and before they were actual- 
ly found that "there was a bloody murderer in 
the hut." 

§11.20 Trial and execution 

The trial lasted four days, during which his de- 
fending counsel first sought to prove Hill's statement to me 
was a true account of what he had done that day of the mur- 
ders. Later he pleaded that Hill suffered from schizo- 
phrenia, and that if he had committed the murders he did 
not know what he was doing at the time. 

Hill did not at any time admit to the killings. 

However, the jury found him "guilty" and he was 
sentenced to death. He appealed but the appeal was dis- 
missed. The home secretary saw no grounds on which to 
reprieve him. Hill was executed in April, 1942. 

Chapter 12 

The Potters Bar Golf Course 
Murder Investigation 

George H. Hatherill 

This article in substance first appeared in The Medico- 
Legal Journal, Vol. 24, part IV, in 1956 with R. L. Jackson, 
C.B.E., Assistant Commissioner, Criminal Investigation 
Department, New Scotland Yard, London, as author. Grate- 
ful acknowledgment is given to the Journal and Commis- 
sioner Jackson for permission to utilize this excellent 


12. 1 Setting of the crime 

12. 2 Discovery of the body 

12. 3 Pathological examination of the body 

12. 4 Unusual difficulties of case 

12. 5 Motive 

12. 6 Palm print files 

12. 7 Records of sexual offenders 

12.8 House-to-house canvass 

12. 9 Palm prints of residents 

12, 10 Identical palm prints found 

12. 11 Questioning the suspect 

12. 12 Statement made by suspect 
12. 13 Conclusion 

§12. 1 Setting of the crime 

In the early hours of April 30, 1955, the body of 
a woman was discovered on the seventeenth tee of the 
Potters Bar Golf Course. This golf course was about fifteen 
miles from the center of London and within the area of 
the M. P. D. 

The golf course is bounded in the west by a rail- 
way, to the north and northeast there are farm lands, to the 



south and southeast is the small town of Potters Bar. Be- 
yond the railway is Cranbourne Road which ends in a cul- 
de-sac from which a tunnel passes under the railway on to 
the golf course. The path runs along south of the railway, 
turns east and passes the seventeenth tee. 

At the time in question at a house just off Cran- 
bourne Road were living a man and wife. They were a 
quiet couple and knew few people in the district. The wife 
was a woman of forty-six, described as reserved and in- 
clined to be frightened of being out in the dark. On the 
evening of April 29 at about 8:30 p. m. she, as usual, took 
her Corgi dog for its evening walk. Her husband stayed 
behind watching the television. It was her habit to walk 
along the road up to the end of the cul-de-sac through the 
tunnel under the railway and along the path to the golf 
course. At 9:30 p. m. she had not returned and her husband 
became anxious and went to look for her. He could not find 
her but found the dog which had returned home. He con- 
tinued to look for her and, becoming really anxious he 
informed the police shortly before 11 p.m. 

§12.2 Discovery of the body 

A search was organized which lasted from 11 
p.m. to 1:30 a.m. without success. It was resumed a few 
hours later and at 5:30 in the morning, her body was found 
by a uniformed constable, lying on the seventeenth tee of 
the golf course. It was examined a few minutes later by a 
local doctor and within a few minutes the first of the officers 
of my department arrived at the scene. These were Super- 
intendent Crawford, Detective Inspector Hawkins, Super- 
intendents Law and Salter. The body was lying on its back 
with legs spread apart, the clothes were pulled up, the pants 
had been pulled off and thrown aside, the inner side of the 
thighs were stained with blood, and between the legs were 
certain areas of trodden grass as if someone had knelt 
there. The head and face were covered with the red coat 
she had been wearing. When the coat was removed it was 
seen that she had serious head injuries. The head and face 
were covered with blood, the false teeth had been knocked 
out, and around the neck was part of a nylon stocking. The 
rest of the stocking was discovered near the body. Under 


the pants beside the body the police found what was clearly 
the weapon used by the murderer. This was in fact the tee 
marker for the seventeenth tee of the golf course. It was 
made of iron and weighed about three and one-half pounds. 
It was painted green, much of it was covered with blood, 
and adhering to the surface were hairs which were later 
examined in the laboratory and proved to be identical with 
the hairs of the dead woman. Also found in the laboratory 
on pieces of the skull were traces of green paint. On the 
metal at the top was discovered something else, something 
on which the whole investigation of this case came to be 
based, the impression of a small part of the palm of some- 
one' s hand. Eventually it proved to be part of the palm of 
the right hand. 

§12.3 Pathological exaiiiination of the body 

At 9:38 that morning Dr. Camps carried out an 
examination on the scene and later in the day made a post- 
mortem examination of the body. The skull had been frac- 
tured and the brain lacerated in four places with a heavy, 
sharp- edged object. There was evidence of strangulation 
consistent with the use of the nylon stocking. On the face 
there were bruises consistent with blows from a fist. The 
cause of death was given as shock and hemorrhage due to 
the injuries, accentuated by strangulation. There was no 
medical evidence that sexual interference had actually taken 
place although the denuding of parts of the body and its ap- 
pearance seemed to point to a sexual motive for the crime. 

§12.4 Unusual difficulties of case 

This type of murder almost always presents dif- 
ficulty to the investigator for two reasons. Such murders 
are seldom committed by those individuals who police offi- 
cers know to be professional criminals - that is, persons 
who live by crime and indeed regard it as the only sensible 
way to live and whose acquaintances are of the same type. 

The result of this is that we are deprived of two 
fruitful avenues of inquiry, namely the files of the criminal 
record office and the valuable information so frequently 
obtained from that useful if unattractive character, the 


police informant. In the majority of such cases the persons 
responsible are on the surface ordinary people, doing an 
ordinary job - such as for instance that of a junior clerk in 
a local government office. 

§12.5 Motive 

Furthermore, the motive in such cases, while 
usually obvious enough, is of little or no help. 

I know that proof of motive is by no means proof 
of guilt, but evidence of such a motive as financial gain is 
useful in that it points at the particular person who stands 
to gain from the crime. 

§12.6 Palm print files 

But in these cases the motive only points to a 
particular type of mind, the workings of which are concealed 
even from those most closely associated with its possessor. 
I need hardly say that none of this does away with the possi- 
bility that such a crime may have been committed by some- 
one in the files, and in this case, while Detective Inspector 
Hawkins and the officers with him began local inquiries, 
certain routine searches were being made at Scotland Yard 
in the fingerprint branch. The impression on the tee marker 
was compared with our collection of palm prints - we have 
6, 000 of them - without success. 

§12.7 Records of sexual offenders 

At the same time, the files in the criminal record 
office were being examined and on May 16 as a result of 
this examination letters were sent to the chief constables 
of Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, Dorset, 
Suffolk and Surrey, asking that certain men with records 
for sexual violence should be interviewed as to their move- 
ments on April 29, and palm prints were taken. This was 
done and the only result was that they were all eliminated 
from the investigation. That was only a beginning. 

There were men known to have escaped from 
mental institutions. There were others without criminal 
records who had been in Potters Bar that evening and had 
since left. The letters grew in number until inquiries had 


been set on foot in thirty -one counties, and twelve cities 
and boroughs in the United Kingdom; by the civic guard in 
Dublin, the provost marshal's department in Germany, and 
by the police in California, Canada, Australia, Eritrea and 
the Gold Coast. All without result other than the elimina- 
tion of the persons referred to in the letters. 

§12.8 House-to-house canvass 

It is obvious that in a case of this kind house-to- 
house inquiries had to be made on a very large scale, and 
it was necessary to augment Mr. Hawkins' team with a 
number of extra C.I. D. officers from Scotland Yard and 
other stations. The augmented team amounted to some 
thirty officers, which was none too many, for before they 
had completed their inquiries they had to visit rather more 
than 7, 000 houses, taking particulars of more than 7, 500 
men. Almost at the beginning of the inquiries the police 
found two people who were actually on the golf course near 
the scene of the murder at the time it was being committed. 
A young man and his fiancee were walking over the course 
and heard a noise which she described as "muffled screams" 
and he thought were dogs yapping. He also dimly saw human 
figures moving in the distance. There can be no doubt that 
what these two people heard and saw was the murder being 
committed. But such an idea never crossed their minds. 
Whatever it was they decided was no affair of theirs and 
they went on their way. 

On May 4 in the course of house-to-house in- 
quiries police officers visited the home of a Mr. and Mrs. 
Queripel and their two sons, Robert and Michael. Mrs. 
Queripel saw the officers and told them that on the night of 
April 29 her son Robert had been at the pictures and her 
son Michael at a local garage with a friend. Whether in 
fact on May 4 Mrs. Queripel believed that to be true you 
may judge for yourselves when you have heard all the facts. 

§12.9 Palm prints of residents 

In addition to all the houses they had to visit, of- 
ficers visited all the local factories and took palm prints of 
all employees. The object was to cover the possibility that 


the murderer worked in Potters Bar and lived elsewhere. 
Earlier we had established that the path was used only by 
local people and there was strong indication that the mur- 
derer lived in the neighborhood or knew the neighborhood 
very well. Two thousand palm prints were taken and were 
examined by twelve officers of the fingerprint branch who 
had been taken off all other work. You can easily under- 
stand the difficulties of coordinating that fragmentary print 
with the other palm prints. The work was so tiring that in 
the end they were split up into groups of three and worked 
during alternate weeks. By the middle of June it became 
clear that the search for the owner of that print would have 
to be on a wider scale, and I gave authority for the palm 
prints of the whole male population of Potters Bar to be ob- 
tained if the men were willing. People are sensible and 
when the reasons for this were pointed out and that it was 
hoped everybody would cooperate, they consented. 

§12.10 Identical palm prints found 

On July 3 police officers again called at the home 
of Michael Queripel. He was at first unwilling to have his 
palm prints taken but eventually agreed. His prints were 
sent to Scotland Yard but it was not until August 19, by which 
time 8, 889 prints had been taken and 4, 604 examined, that 
these prints were reached and found to be identical with 
those on the tee marker. The discovery caused a certain 
amount of excitement in the fingerprint branch, who had 
been working on it for three and one-half months. 

About 11:30 that morning the chief of the finger- 
print branch came into my office with a photograph of the 
palm print on the tee marker and the palm print taken from 
Michael Queripel. We went over the similarities together 
and when I was quite satisfied both prints were in fact iden- 
tical I telephoned to Superintendent Crawford, informed him 
accordingly and instructed him to go to see this young man. 

§12. 11 Questioning the suspect 

He was employed as a clerk at the local council 
offices. Superintendent Crawford saw him, told him who 
he was and then asked if he knew why police wished to see 


him. He replied, "Yes, I know what it is all about"; after 
a pause, "I found her, she was dead. " Mr. Crawford said, 
"Your palm print was found on the tee plate. If you found 
her, why didn't you tell the police." There was a long pause 
and then Queripel said, "I hit her, then I tried to strangle 
her. " Mr. Crawford then said to him, "Say no more now." 
They went to Barnet police station and Mr. Craw- 
ford asked if he wished to say anything more and told him 
that if he did it would be written down. Queripel answered, 
"Yes, I think so," and at Mr. Crawford's suggestion he 
wrote down his own statement of what had occurred. Let 
me read that statement: 

§12.12 Statement made by suspect 

"I have been cautioned that I need not say any- 
thing unless I wish to do so but that whatever I do say will 
be taken down in writing and may be given in evidence. 
M. Queripel. 

"I had a migraine attack when I got home from 
work. I always go for a walk when I get them and I walked 
up and down the line path for a bit. I then walked under the 
tunnel on to the golf course. I wandered around and I went 
into the pillbox under the pipe. I saw her walking towards 
me with her dog. She walked along the path and I waited 
until she was out of sight behind the trees. I walked over 
to the green and waited behind the trees. She came back. 
I walked through the hedge and ran up behind her and tried 
to knock her out. She turned just as I was going to hit her. 
She struggled until I managed to hit her on the jaw. Then I 
tried to strangle her. I thought she was dead and dragged 
her over to the hedge where I tried to interfere with her. 
She was still alive and I had to hit her with the tee -iron to 
kill her. I hit her several times until we were both cov- 
ered with blood. Then I ran across the railway line and 
home through the wood to the Hatfield By- Pass and through 
Bridgfoot Lane. 

"I remember that while we were struggling she 
screamed and talked to her dog which ran away. She told 
me not to be silly as I would only get into trouble. She said, 
'You silly boy, you'll only get into trouble.' It was then 
I hit her, she fell against a flag post and hurt her back. 


I put my hands round her throat and tried to strangle her. 
ThenI dragged her over to the hedge where I undressed her. 
Her coat and blouse were torn in the struggle. I ripped off 
most of her underclothes. She started to come round and I 
pulled off one of her stockings and tied it round her neck. 
It broke straight away and then I hit her with a piece of wood 
which I found under the hedge. The wood broke as well and 
sol hit her with the tee -iron. 1 had to hit her several times 
before I was sure she was dead. I was growing more and 
more frightened, but I had to make sure she was dead be- 
fore I ran away. 

"I remember she was wearing a red coat and red 
shoes. I put the coat over her face as she was bringing 
up blood. 

"I wiped my hands on her coat, blouse and pants. 
I threw the pants to one side. 

"After I left the golf course I washed most of the 
blood off my clothes in the stream at the end of Bridgfoot 

"I then went home and my parents were in bed. 
Hold them the next morning that I had cut my arm round the 
garage. I told my mother, a few days later, that I had found 
her and just picked her up to see if she was still alive, to 
explain the blood on my clothes. My mother told this to my 
father some days later, when we burnt my clothes. 

"I had cut my arm with a razor blade after I got 
home and I showed the cut to my parents to explain the blood 
on my clothes because they asked me how it came to be 
there. I have re-read this statement and do not wish to add 
to it or make any further alteration. " 

§12. 13 Conclusion 

That was the only explanation which Queripel ever 
gave for the remarkably brutal murder which he committed. 
You will notice that Queripel said he had told his mother a 
few days after the murder that he found the woman and 
picked her up to see if she was alive, to explain the 
blood on his clothes. He said that the murder was not dis- 
cussed. "Mike said nothing about it, " she said but she 
agreed that she had burnt the clothes because there was 
blood on them. There is little doubt that she and her hus- 


band had at least suspicions but it is not surprising that the 
parents of a boy not quite eighteen did not go out of their 
way to mention those suspicions to the police. 

On October 12, 1955, Michael Queripel pleaded 
guilty to the murder, and Mr. Justice Hallett ordered that 
he be detained until Her Majesty' s pleasure be known. 

Chapter 13 

The Investigation of the Murder of 

June Anne Devaney 

Aged 3 Years 11 Months 

George H. Hatherill 


13. 1 Area and jurisdiction of the murder 

13.2 --Queen's Park Hospital 
13. 3 Background of the crime 
13. 4 Discovery of the body 

13. 5 Tracing the route of entry and escape 

13.6 Clue samples and photographs 

13. 7 Footprints on ward floor 

13.8 --Photographing the footprints 

13. 9 Finger and palm prints on Winchester bottle 

13. 10 --Conclusions 

13. 11 Screening of hospital staff and inmates 

13. 12 Examination at the mortuary 

13. 13 Local inquiries by police 

13. 14 Conclusions reached by investigating officer 

13. 15 Fingerprinting residents of area 

13. 16 Fingerprinting visitors to area 

13. 17 --World-wide inquiries 

13. 18 Special class fingerprinting 

13. 19 Recheck for persons not fingerprinted 

13.20 --Further fingerprint checking 

13.21 Fingerprints of suspect 
13. 22 Arrest of suspect 

13. 23 Confession by suspect 

13. 24 Examination of the accused's suit for bloodstains 

13.25 Result of tests at the Forensic Laboratory 

13. 26 Conclusions reached by police 

13. 27 Police court proceedings 

13. 28 Destruction of fingerprint cards 

13.29 Conclusions 



§13.1 Area and jurisdiction of the murder 

Blackburn is an industrial town with 110, 000 in- 
habitants and is the center of the cotton weaving industry in 
Lancashire. There are 35, 000 houses, most of which are 
working class type of buildings in close -set compact rows. 
The town itself lies in a hollow, and in the southeast on 
elevated ground is Queen' s Park Hospital overlooking the 
town below. 

§13. 2 --Queen's Park Hospital 

The Queen' s Park Hospital consists of a number 
of buildings with a total frontage of about a quarter of a 
mile, standing in grounds covering seventy acres. A high 
stone wall forms the perimeter of the grounds, except in 
the northwest corner where there is an abandoned quarry. 
At this point, due to erosion, the wall has collapsed and a 
temporary measure of protection has been afforded by the 
erection of an ornamental fence. 

To the average normal person the hospital's only 
apparent entrance is by the porter's lodge where all per- 
sons passing through the gates are checked in and out and 
the names and addresses and business of the visitors are 

At the time of the murder the hospital was under 
the control of the local public assistance committee, and 
was catering to mental patients, aged and infirm persons, 
maternity cases, general operative cases and children. 
Each class occupied separate wards specially set aside for 
the purpose. 

In addition, there is also a casual ward where 
vagrants or tramps are accommodated for the night and 
averages about ten persons nightly. The population of 
the hospital, including the staff, is in the vicinity of 
1200 persons. 

The ward concerned in the murder was a Small 
Babies Ward situated at the extreme end of the hospital 
farthest from the lodge entrance. It contained twelve 
cots and on this particular night, May 14, 1948, June 
Anne Devaney was the eldest of six patients occupying 
the ward. 


§13.3 Background of the crime 

This child was the daughter of a laborer and had 
been admitted a fortnight previously suffering from pneu- 
monia. She was the only child in the ward old enough to 
talk and very well developed for her age. This girl had a 
lovely head of longblondish hair and when in bed could have 
been mistaken for a child of seven or eight. She had re- 
covered from her illness and was due to be discharged on 
the morning of May 15, 1948. 

On that morning at 12:20 a.m., the night nurse 
in charge saw June asleep in her cot, then went to an ad- 
jacent ward to prepare children' s breakfasts. About twenty 
minutes later she heard a child's voice and went to the ward 
but found nothing amiss and returned to the kitchen. 

At 1:20 a. m., she went into this ward and noticed 
a porch door open but did not treat it with any suspicion as 
the door had a faulty catch and often opened of its own ac- 
cord in a strong wind. She then noticed that June was miss- 
ing from her cot. The drop side of the cot was still in a 
raised position and the child appeared to have been lifted 
cleanly out. (The cot was specially designed to prevent 
children from getting out and the top rail was about four 
feet from the ground level). By June's cot was a "Win- 
chester" bottle containing sterile water which the nurse had 
previously seen on a trolley at the end of the ward— some 
six yards away— only an hour previously. This nurse noticed 
footprints on the polished floor near June' s cot and thought 
they had been made by someone with bare feet. This ward 
floor is very highly polished. 

§13.4 Discovery of the body 

The nurse raised the alarm and the staff of the 
hospital, after searching the grounds without success, noti- 
fied the police at 1:55 a.m. , when a systematic search of 
the grounds was carried out. At 3:17 a.m., June's body 
was found lying near the boundary wall some 283 feet from 
her ward. The chief constable, the detective superintendent 
and police surgeon were notified and arrived at the scene 
at 4 a. m. 

The child was found lying face downwards in the 
grass; her nightdress was partially lifted and was dirty as 


though she had been rolled about on the ground. Blood and 
fluid were exuding from the child' s nose and vagina and it 
was obvious that she had been brutally raped. Her left 
buttock had been severely bitten and she had been battered 
to death by being swung against the stone wall by her ankles. 

§13.5 Tracing the route of entry and escape 

The hospital was sealed off and the assistance of 
new Scotland Yard and Lancashire constabulary invoked. A 
bloodhound was brought to the hospital and after being given 
the scent from the child' s bed and the footmarks on the 
ward floor it cast about and eventually followed the trail 
leading directly to the child' s body and no further. 

A widespread search by the police officers showed 
a trail where the boundary wall joined the ornamental fence. 
There was a small gap in the fence, and by climbing through 
this gap it was possible to reach a small ledge skirting the 
edge of the quarry (some sixty feet deep) and by careful 
maneuvering, making a way by a lower road back to the town. 

§13.6 Clue samples and photographs 

A biologist attached to the Forensic Laboratory 
arrived, and in conjunction with Scotland Yard officers a 
thorough search was made of the scene of the crime, which 
included the taking of numerous samples, i.e., hair from 
bloodstained grass at the scene of the murder; bloodstained 
grass; hair and fibres from the wall near which the body 
was found; hairs adhering to a bloodstained stone in the 
wall; a portion of stone bearing bloodstains; hair from an- 
other bloodstained area of the wall; a grass leaf bearing 
stains; fibres from the window of the room adjoining the 
ward; fibres taken from the footmarks in the ward. After 
photographs had been taken and the police surgeon had made 
a cursory examination of the child' s body, she was re- 
moved to the police mortuary. 

§13.7 Footprints on ward floor 

Fingerprint experts examined the ward in which 
the child had been lying, and examination of the polished 
floor of the ward showed that someone had entered through 


the porch door, walking in stocking feet across the ward to 
where the "Winchester" bottle had been picked up from the 
trolley. The footmarks then returned along the side of the 
wall and there were indications that someone had visited 
each of the three cots in turn, ending at that occupied by 
June, where the bottle had been placed on the floor. The 
footmarks were found to be ten and one fourth inches long. 
These prints were only fragmentary, the pressure of the 
feet having made micro -shallow indentations in the thin 
layer of polish, but by getting down to within a few inches 
of the floor they could be seen by specular reflection. 
Several kinds of powder were applied to the floor for the 
purpose of making the prints more easily seen, but as none 
had any effect, the prints were circled with white chalk so 
they could be located from a standing position. 

The toes of the prints near the cot were at right 
angles to the cot and actually under its edge. 

§13.8-- Photographing the footprints 

Eight of the most complete and distinct right and 
left footprints were photographed and labelled by specular 
reflection (orthochromatic and processed plates were used 
in a half -plate camera. Lighting was by one 500 watt lamp). 

Knowing that to photograph them the camera 
would have to be tilted at an unusual angle, it was appreci- 
ated that considerable amount of distortion would show on 
the negative. A fifteen inch ruler was placed along each 
print so that it was included in the negative and when the 
negative was later placed in the enlarger, it was possible, 
by using the ruler as a standard, to make the necessary 
adjustments and reproduce the footprints in actual size and 
true perspective. A very close examination of the foot- 
marks showed that they had been made by stocking feet and 
one footprint showed the texture of the woven fabric of the 
sock quite clearly. An examination of wax scraped off the 
floor, of one of these prints, after photographing, revealed 
certain fibres embedded in it. These fibres were not visi- 
ble to the naked eye. 

It was obvious that the person who had walked in 
stocking feet across the ward had picked up the "Winchester" 
bottle from the trolley. 


§13.9 Finger and palm prints on Winchester bottle 

A careful examination of this bottle showed at 
least twenty finger and palm impressions. It was noticed 
that some of the impressions had been made quite recently 
and that others were old. The fresh impressions were seen 
to be much larger than the old ones. After the latent im- 
pressions on the bottle had been developed, it was put into 
a place of safety and the examination of the whole interior 
of the ward was commenced in a very thorough manner. In 
particular, anything that could bear latent fingerprints was 
seized and taken for examination. After fifteen hours search 
and examination of the ward in the area, the following points 
were established: 

(a) that no member of the hospital staff had been in 
the ward in their stocking feet; 

(b) that the bottle was normally kept on the trolley at 
the north end of the ward and not on the floor be- 
side June' s cot; 

(c) that none of the staff had carried the bottle from 
the trolley and placed it on the floor. 

The fingerprint experts then took finger and palm 
impressions of all people who had legitimate access to this 
bottle. This elimination process was widened to include 
any person who, for any reason, would go to this ward. 

Eventually it was established, with the exception 
of ten finger and palm impressions on the bottle, that all 
the other fingerprints found outside and inside the wall 
were eliminated as having been made by persons with legi- 
timate access to the premises. It is of interest that the 
only impressions on the bottle which were not identified 
were the freshly made marks to which reference has al- 
ready been made. 

The impressions on the bottle consisted of a left 
thumb print, left fore, middle and ring fingerprints and a 
left palm print. There were also impressions which ap- 
peared to have been made by the right middle and ring 
fingers. The remaining three were fragmentary finger and 
palm impressions. Of these impressions, three had been 
made by a simultaneous grip - these were the left fore, 


middle and ring fingerprints. A left thumb print appeared 
on another part of the bottle and it was reasonable to assume 
from the size and texture that it was the impression of a 
digit of the same hand which had made the three simultane- 
ous impressions. 

A simplified scheme was brought into bear for 
the purpose of identification, which required the taking of 
the left forefinger impression and the left thumb impression 
of each person to be interviewed. 

§13. 10- -Conclusions 

There appeared no doubt that the footprints and 
the finger impressions, to which reference has been made, 
on the "Winchester" bottle were those of the murderer. 
(The elimination prints at the hospital alone were over 
2, 000. Those persons having legitimate access were 

§13. 11 Screening of hospital staff and inmates 

A special squad of officers commenced from the 
outset to make inquiries into the movements of the staff and 
inmates at the time of the murder. 

§13.12 Examination at the mortuary 

Post-mortem examination of the child' s body 
revealed that death was due to shock caused by a fractured 
skull and extensive injuries to the vagina and internal 
organs. It was also found that the bite on the child' s but- 
tock had been made before death as had a bruise on each of 
the child' s groins. The internal injuries were consistent 
with rape. 

Certain specimens were taken from the child' s 
body by the forensic scientist and they are listed below, the 
significance being as to their great use after the murderer 
had been arrested. This list also includes the fibres which 
the scientist had already taken and to which reference has 
been made. These specimens were, of course, obtained in 
conjunction with the senior police officer on the inquiry: 


(a) Fibres from the window of the room adjoining 
the ward. 

(b) Blood and hairs from the boundary wall of the 

(c) Fibres found on the child' s body. 

(d) A single pubic hair found in the area of the child's 

(e) Samples of the child' s head hair. 

(f) Sample of blood taken from the child' s heart. 

(g) Child' s nightdress, 
(h) Vaginal swab. 

(i) A rectal swab. 

(j) Fibres taken from the footmarks in the ward. 

These above were the clues, along with the finger- 
prints on the "Winchester" bottle and the fibres found in 
the ward. 

§13. 13 Local inquiries by police 

On May 18 police ascertained that a taxi driver, 
shortly before midnight on the 14th of May, picked up a man 
in the town's center on the road which leads to the hospital, 
and let this man out in Queen's Road near the quarry previ- 
ously referred to. Upon leaving the taxi the man had run 
across the quarry and was last seen going in the direction 
of the hospital. The taxi driver was unable to give a very 
full description of the man but expressed the opinion that 
he spoke with a local accent. It should be realized that a 
strong Lancashire dialect exists in this locality. 

§13. 14 Conclusions reached by investigating officer 

(1) The fingerprints on the "Winchester" bottle were 
undoubtedly those of the murderer and all males 
in the hospital and all persons having legitimate 
access to the ward had been fingerprinted and 


(2) The wanted man was a resident, with local know- 
ledge of the hospital and its environments, par- 
ticularly in view of the taxi driver' s statement, 
as only a person with such knowledge could nego- 
tiate the edge of the quarry in the darkness. 

(3) The man was reasonably tall. A small person 
could not have taken the child cleanly out of the 
cot without dropping the cot' s side, nor would 
such a person be likely to have feet ten and one 
fourth inches long. 

(4) The person' s clothing would be bloodstained. 

Having arrived at all these conclusions, it was 
then decided as to how the best use could be made of the 
murderer's fingerprints for the purpose of identification. 

§13. 15 Fingerprinting residents of area 

It was decided to obtain the fingerprints of all 
male persons of sixteen years or over, who were known to 
have been in Blackburn on the 14th and 15th of May, 1948. 
The mayor of the town was approached and through the 
medium of the press, an appeal was made to the public and 
the mayor volunteered to be the first person to have his 
fingerprints taken. The public were assured that when 
these prints had served their purpose, they would be 
publicly destroyed. 

Public feeling with regard to this murder was 
very high and it was found that, with a very few exceptions, 
the public were most willing to cooperate. 

A special squad of twenty local officers were 
taken off all duty with the object of obtaining the left thumb 
and forefinger impressions of all males. To ensure that 
the fingerprint check would be systematic, it was carried 
out to a pre-arranged plan. Lists known as electoral reg- 
isters were used to ensure that every one of the 35, 000 
houses in Blackburn was visited. These registers are pre- 
pared each year on June 30 and are records of all persons 
over the age of twenty- one years entitled to vote. Blackburn 
is divided into fourteen such voting divisions, which are 
further subdivided into three, four or five sections accord- 


ing to the size of the area. The sub-sections are then set 
in alphabetical street or road order for further convenience. 

§13. 16 Fingerprinting visitors to area 

Armed with supplies of fingerprints and ink pads, 
the twenty officers were sent out daily to cover predeter- 
mined districts. While these visits were being made, 
inquiries were made on foot for information of persons not 
normally resident in the town but who were in Blackburn on 
the night in question. Each night such information, together 
with the completed fingerprint cards, were handed to the 
officer in charge of the squad. 

§13. 17 --World-wide inquiries 

The information respecting people who had been 
in Blackburn on the night in question resulted in inquiries 
being made of police in Australia, Singapore, India, Egypt, 
South Africa, Canada, the United States, almost every 
country in Europe and to all parts of the United Kingdom. 
In all these places persons were located and fir^erprinted 
for elimination from the inquiries. 

As the fingerprint cards poured in, a card index 
system was evolved which was kept by four women police 
under the control of a male inspector, and these cards were 
sent from Blackburn to the fingerprint headquarters in 
Lancashire and after comparison were sent back to Black- 
burn stamped "Cancelled. " 

§13. 18 Special class fingerprinting 

In view of the peculiar nature of the crime and 
its implications, the following classes of persons were also 
seen and fingerprinted: 

(1) About 4, 000 persons discharged from mental 
institutions in the north of England, many of low 
mentality, some of whom had been convicted and 
involved in indecency offenses. 

(2) About 3, 000 male persons of uncertain national- 
ity, German prisoners of war and Polish Army 


personnel, residing in camps situated within a 
radius of twenty miles from Blackburn. This 
work was suggested by the biting of the child , not 
normal in Great Britain but frequently committed 
on the Continent in crimes of indecency. 

(3) Persons suffering from epilepsy or schizophrenia 
who could possibly have committed such a crime 
during temporary black-out. 

(4) Persons suffering from venereal disease as it is 
a mistaken but accepted notion amongst certain 
individuals that sufferers of this disease who have 
sexual intercourse with a virgin or young child 
will effect a cure. 

(5) Persons known to be suspected of committing 
sexual offenses contrary to nature (i.e., homo- 
sexuals and the like). 

(6) All persons committing or attempting to commit 

(7) Tramps and other persons forming the moving 
population of the area on some previous occasion 
and familiar with the hospital. 

(8) All persons missing from home in the United 
Kingdom at the relevant period. 

§13. 19 Recheck for persons not fingerprinted 

After this lapse in time and the murderer had 
still not been found, it was felt that despite all inquiries, 
there were fingerprints still to be obtained from a substan- 
tial number of persons in Blackburn who must have been 
missed in the check of local records. To make thoroughly 
certain the local registration officer was approached. In 
Blackburn new ration documents were issued to the public 
between June 30 and July 18, 1948, and before they were 
handed over, a reference leaf from the documents used 
during the previous year had to be completed and returned. 
Unless this was done, the new document was not issued. 
The reference leaf gives the name, address, date of birth 


and national registration number and these were filed in 
strict alphabetical order at the registration office. 

§13.20-- Further fingerprint checking 

On July 18, fingerprinting was suspended for two 
weeks and the fingerprinting squad worked at the registra- 
tion office. A system was evolved whereby the lists of 
fingerprints obtained were compared with the ration docu- 
ments handed out to the population of Blackburn. From this 
a list of people who were still to be seen was prepared. 

House to house fingerprinting was resumed on 
August 9, the officers being furnished with lists giving 
particulars of specified persons whose finger impressions 
were needed to complete the complete fingerprint check for 
the whole town. 

§13.21 Fingerprints of suspect 

On August 11, 1948, one of the fingerprint squad 
obtained the fingerprints of Peter Griffiths, an ex-guards- 
man aged twenty-two, at his home, 31 Birley Street, Black- 
burn. His card, with others, was sent for checking to the 
fingerprint headquarters the same day. On August 12, after 
thorough examination, it was certain that the impressions on 
the bottle were identical with those of Griffiths. 

Griffiths' name did not appear in the electoral 
register as he had not qualified for inclusion as a voter 
when the lists were last prepared. 

§13.22 Arrest of suspect 

On Friday night, August 13, Griffiths was ar- 
rested by the Scotland Yard officers near his home (almost 
thirteen weeks after the murder). When told that he was 
going to be arrested for the murder of June Anne Devaney 
and told anything he said would be taken down in writing 
and might be given in evidence, he replied, "What' s it to 
do with me, I have never been near the place. " On the way 
to the police station he turned to the officer in charge of 
the case and said, "Is it my fingerprints why you came to 
me?" He was again cautioned and the officer said, "Yes. " 


When Griffiths arrived at the police station with the officers 
he suddenly said, "Well if they are my fingerprints on the 
bottle I will tell you all about it. " 

§13.23 Confession by suspect 

Shortly after this, at the police headquarters, he 
made a lengthy statement admitting his guilt. That same 
night he was charged with the murder of June Anne Devaney. 
After he had been charged he was told that he was not 
obliged to have his fingerprints taken unless he wished, as 
they might be used in evidence, and Griffiths said, "All- 
right, you can take them. " These fingerprints, palm prints 
and prints in his stocking feet, after comparison, resulted 
in ten of the twenty fingerprints found on the "Winchester" 
bottle being identified as those of Griffiths. 

Later the same day certain clothing was removed 
from the home of Griffiths and the suit which he had worn 
on the night of the murder was recovered from a pawnbrok- 
er' s office. These were sent by police to the Forensic 
Science Laboratory. 

§13.24 Examination of the accused's suit for bloodstains 

The suit was examined, human bloodstains were 
found in sufficient quantity for grouping purposes on the 
lining inside the trousers at the bottom of the fly. This 
blood was classified as Group A, the same group as the 
sample taken from the child' s heart. 

Further traces of blood were found on the lining 
of both trouser side pockets and on the whole of the bottom 
of the trousers' fly. Bloodstains were also found in the 
following positions on the jacket: 

(1) On the lining at the bottom of each sleeve. 

(2) On each lapel. 

(3) On the right front above the top button and inside 
the right edge in the same region. 

(4) On the top button and near the right shoulder. 

(5) Inside the right bottom front. 


§13.25 Result of tests at Forensic Laboratory 

(1) Fibres removed from the window were identified 
with those of the accused' s suit. 

(2) Fibres taken from the child' s body were found to 
be woollen fibres ranging in color between blue 
and violet, agreeing exactly with those of the suit. 

(3) Hair from the genitals was identified as being 
from a mature person. As the accused refused 
to give a sample of his pubic hair, a comparison 
could not be made. 

(4) Nightdress. On this was found a number of wool 
fibres agreeing with those of the accused' s suit. 

(5) Fibres taken from the footprints in the ward were 
found to be blue and red wool fibres, matching 
with those in a sock removed from the accused' s 
home. The sock was blue/grey in color with a 
band of red around the foot. 

§13.26 Conclusions reached by police 

Griffiths was 5' 10-1/2" high, a local man with a 
good knowledge of the hospital grounds - in fact he had been 
a patient in the very block of buildings from which he took 
the murdered child. His clothing was bloodstained; in ad- 
dition he was afterwards identified by the taxi driver as the 
man he said was near the quarry, and that of the evidence 
of the fingerprints on the bottle and Griffiths' signed state- 
ment also confirmed that he had taken the same route to 
leave the grounds after committing the murder. 

§13.27 Police court proceedings 

Griffiths appeared at Blackburn Borough Magis- 
trates' Court and was eventually committed to take his trial 
at Lancaster Assizes on October 15, 1948. On that date he 
pleaded ' Not Guilty' and the whole of the evidence for the 
Crown was presented. The defense attempted to show that 
Griffiths was a schizophrenia case and was insane when he 
committed the crime. This evidence was rebutted by the 
medical officer from Liverpool prison who had had Griffiths 


under continual observation since his admission to the 
prison on August 14, and he had reached the conclusion that 
he was sane when he committed the crime. 

After an absence of only twenty-three minutes, 
the jury returned a verdict of guilty and Griffiths was sen- 
tenced to death. He was hanged at Liverpool prison at 9 a.m. 
on Friday, November 19, 1948. 

§13.28 Destruction of fingerprint cards 

On Wednesday, November 3, in the presence of 
the mayor of Blackburn, journalists and press photogra- 
phers, all the 46, 500 fingerprint cards of the eliminated 
people were pulped at a local paper mill. 

§13.29 Conclusions 

(1) The importance of police officers ensuring that 
all material found at the scene of the crime is not 
interfered with in any way. In this case irre- 
sponsible handling of the "Winchester" bottle 
would have made the clues useless. 

(2) The necessity for the immediate calling in of ex- 
perts to deal with the material found on the spot. 

(3) In cases of serious crime where the feeling of 
the public is aroused, one should take advantage 
of the situation and seek their cooperation. It 
is realized that much useless information would 
be submitted but amongst it all there may be 
something absolutely vital, in this particular 
instance the statement of the taxi driver. 

(4) The value of perfect cooperation between police 
forces. In this case the cooperation of forces on 
a world-wide basis was sought and freely given. 

The solution of the Blackburn murder was a vic- 
tory for all law enforcement. It was based on a thorough 
knowledge of police work and the utilization of scientific 
techniques - in fact a victory achieved through a combination 
of ingenuity and tenacity. The decision to fingerprint all 
male citizens in a heavily populated area established finger- 
printing in this case as the soundest medium of identification. 

Chapter 14 

A Photographic Study of a 
Homicide Case 

David E. Kerr 


14. 1 Introduction 

14. 2 Scene of the crime 

14. 3 Location and condition of body 

14. 4 Cause of death 

14. 5 The killer' s hat 

14. 6 The killer' s automobile 

14. 7 Spread pickets in fence and footprints 

14. 8 Unusual sole and heel markings 

14. 9 Tracing the car 

14. 10 Interviewing the suspect 

14. 11 Search of suspect' s home 

14. 12 Examination of suspect' s clothing and body 

14. 13 Circumstantial evidence 

14. 14 Confession, trial and sentence 

14.15 Conclusion 

§14. 1 Introduction 

The following photographs of an actual homicide 
case demonstrate how the Cleveland Police Department 
Homicide Unit operates. They also demonstrate what can be 
accomplished by any other law enforcement department — 
with some effort, cooperation and intelligent use of the avail- 
able scientific aids and expert advice from people active in 
the medical-legal field. 

I received a telephone call from our radio dis- 
patching room (as seen in Fig. 48) informing me that a man 
who appeared to be dead was found in the rear of his tailor 
shop. I immediately alerted two homicide teams, and we 





Fig. 48 

responded to this location. As we were driving to the scene, 
we noticed that a light rain was falling. 

§14.2 Scene of the crime 

Figure 49 is the tailor shop and the location of the 
crime. One will note that the police are already there and 
the place has been secured so that no outsiders might inter- 
fere with the investigation or destroy or damage any evi- 
dence which might be available to aid in the solution of this 
particular case. 

Numerous police are inside conducting their own 
investigation. Uniformed police have a very important part 
in every investigation, but they should function in their own 
phase of police work. 

Very often they are the first officers to arrive. 
They should confine themselves primarily to seeing that not 
a thing on the premises is touched. Too often, a uniformed 
officer is apt to forget this important rule. 




usEd Clown 

rs 5? PMOl 

Fig. 49 

§14.3 Location and condition of body 

As we walked by the partition, we observed a body 
lying on the floor. An old overcoat was thrown over the up- 
per portion of the body. Figures 50, 51 and 52 show the 
scene which confronted us. 

Fig. 50 




Fig. 51 

Fig. 52 




Directly to our right, we noticed a flat iron by the 
leg of the stove near the left leg of the victim. Many other 
misplaced articles were observed. Especially, we noted a 
large roll of wrapping paper with spots on it. (Fig. 53. ) 
These spots were red and had the appearance of blood. 

Fig. 53 

The coat was removed to reveal a male with a 
large amount of blood around his face, mouth and head. 
(Fig. 54). There was a definite indication that there had 
been a violent struggle prior to his death. 

§14.4 Cause of death 

In this particular case, a snap judgment was made 
not only by the police, but by others. Newspapers carried 
headlines — "Tailor dies from beating with flat iron. " 

This was a good example of an honest mistake. 
Only careful criminal investigation will determine the real 
cause of death. 




The direct cause of death was communicated to 
us within a short time via a telephone conversation with the 
coroner' s office. Figure 55 shows a bullet hole, and from 
its location on the victim's clothing it appears very close or 
near to the heart. Further examination indicated that the 

Fig. 54 

Fig. 55 




gun was fired from a close range. 

Coroner Samuel R. Gerber also informed us that 
there was no evidence of blood on the flat iron. From his 
examination of the wounds on the head, he was positive the 
flat iron was not used. He was of the opinion that the wounds 
were caused by a butt of a gun or similar object. 

§14.5 The killer's hat 

Immediate search of the premises was made and 
the hat, seen in Figure 56, was found. It was the only gar - 
ment or object in the tailor shop that had any indication of 
being wet. 

It had a few spattering drops of rain on it. These 
justified our conclusion that whoever committed this homi- 
cide was out in the rain a very short time. Here was our 
first clue. Truthfully, we were extremely disappointed that 
the owner failed to leave his name and address in the hat. 
This good fortune has happened in many other cases, how- 
ever, examination of this hat failed to reveal any marks 
whatsoever — not even the size. 

Fig. 56 




§14.6 The killer's automobile 

Men were assigned to check the immediate vi- 
cinity (Fig. 57) for information of suspicious persons re- 
cently seen or the possible identity of any witnesses to this 
crime. Also, all autos in the locality were checked. There 
was the possibility that the guilty party or parties could 
have had trouble with their car in their escape, whereby it 
would have been left at the scene. This routine investiga- 
tion was made and the automobile you see here in Figure 58 




was found to have a warm radiator. Furthermore, it was 
parked at the entrance to a garage and in a no-parking area. 
This led us to a further suspicion. It was very 
possible that the individual responsible for this crime could 
have used this car. Homicide men were immediately assign- 
ed to ascertain the ownership of the car. 

§14.7 Spread pickets in fence and footprints 

On further search in the vicinity and a short dis- 
tance from the car, we noticed a newly erected fence which 
had recently been painted. We observed that two of the pick- 
ets on the extreme left end had been recently pushed apart. 
Examination of the pickets, seen in Figure 59, showed a large 
smudge of some tar -like or greasy substance on the edges. 
These marks appeared to be fresh. On the other side of the 
fence, a shoe print — in soft earth — containing freshly 

Fig. 59 




broken twigs was found. (Figs. 60 and 61). There was no 
doubt it was made a very short time before. 

Closer examination revealed a unique type of 
marking on the sides of the sole and heel. 

Fig. 60 

Fig. 61 




§14.8 Unusual sole and heel markings 

A number of fine grooves on the sides of both the 
sole and heel were noted giving the appearance of an ex- 
tremely thick sole and heel. 

This print was a most valuable piece of evidence. 
If the individual who jumped from the fence was the party 
wanted in the homicide, a positive identification of the shoe 
could be made. 

A cast of the print was processed. Samples of 
dirt with the greasy material on the fence pickets were taken 
for scientific study. The positive cast of the side of the 
print found in the soft earth was most important. (Fig. 62). 

Fig. 62 

§14.9 Tracing the car 

The men who had been assigned to trace the car 
found it to be listed to a young lady. On questioning her, 
they learned that her boyfriend had borrowed the car the 
night before. Furthermore, he was employed in a railroad 
roundhouse. At this point, we knew he was a good suspect, 
for the shoe print found near the crime would be from the 
type of shoe worn by a person employed in a roundhouse. 
His address was obtained from the girlfriend. 

§14. 10 Interviewing the suspect 

Shortly thereafter we arrived at his residence. 




He was very nonchalant and at the time of arrival had a cold 
can of beer in his hand. Figure 63 shows four or five very 
recent scratch marks were on his face. 

We asked him 
how he happened to ob- 
tain the cuts onhisface. 
He replied that he had 
recently shaved with a 
very bad razor. 

§14.11 Search of sus- 
pect's home 

Common know- 
ledge reveals that it is 
very unusual for a man 
to shave the lower part 
of his forehead, the 
lobes of his ears, be- 
tween his eyes and along 
the sides of his nose. 
We let him believe that we accepted his explanation, and 
started a search of his home. One of the detectives went 
into the bedroom where he found one shoe under the bed. 
Further searching resulted in the other shoe being found. 
(Fig. 64). We asked the suspect who owned the shoes. He 



Fig. 64 




stated that they belonged to his brother. "Well, " we said, 
"just for fun, let' s try them on. " He tried them on and as 
seen in Figure 65 they fit exceptionally well. It was easy to 
see who owned the shoes. We later learned he had no 

Fig. 65 

§14. 12 Examination of suspect's clothing and body 

We then made a very thorough examination of this 
suspect. By pulling up his pants legs, we found some red 
blotches which appeared to be blood on one of his socks. 
(Fig. 66). The socks were taken off and submitted to the 
coroner' s office for examination. Further examination of 

Fig. 66 




the suspect revealed a number of recent bruises and con- 
tusions on his legs and scratches of his hands. 

§14.13 Circumstantial evidence 

He was taken to Central Station. In the office of 
the Homicide Unit, he was allowed to tell his own story of 
his activities for the previous twenty- four hours. 

It was packed with lies. 

After he told his story he was confronted with the 
following facts which we had obtained in our investigation 
and other scientific evidence furnished by our scientific unit 
and the coroner' s office: 

(1) The hat found in the tailor shop fit him. 

(2) The car which he had been using was parked a 
sufficient distance from the crime scene to enable 
him to get the hat spotted with rain. 

(3) The size of the sole of his shoe was just right to 
spread the fence pickets. 

(4) The grease on the sole of his shoe was similiar to 
the grease on the picket fence. 

(5) The dirt found between the sole and the heel was 
the same type as that found by the shoe print in 
the soft earth. 

(6) The marks on the side of the sole and heel of his 
shoe matched the positive cast made of the re- 
cent shoe print found in the vicinity of the crime. 
(Fig. 67). 

Fig. 67 


(7) The stains on his socks were human blood of the 
same type as the victim' s blood. 

(8) Numerous unexplained bruises were on his knees 
and legs while scratches were on his hands. 

(9) The marks on his face, ears, nose and forehead 
were not razor cuts but scratches. 

§14. 14 Confession, trial and sentence 

The suspect made a confession, stating that he 
only planned to rob the tailor. The victim, however, put up 
a terrific fight in attempting to save $63. 00, so it was 
necessary to kill him in order to escape. 

He plead guilty and was granted mercy by three 
judges. He was sentenced to life in prison. 

§14.15 Conclusion 

These photographs represent a routine investi- 
gation of a homicide. 

This can be done by any department — if the 
personnel will put to use the training they receive and re- 
member that there is no magic formula for cracking murder 
cases — except hard labor, considerable footwork, attention 
to detail, full use of scientific aids, a wide knowledge of 
human nature and an abundance of patience. 

Chapter 15 

Psychology of Interrogation 

The Staff of the Law-Medicine Center 


15. 1 Introduction 

15. 2 Aim of the interrogator 

15. 3 Fishing for information 

15. 4 Search for the motive 

15. 5 Establishing basis for further interviews 

15. 6 Creating the talking behavior 

15.7 Forces against talking 

15. 8 --Silence as a lever 

15.9 --Guilt feeling 

15. 10 --Childhood experiences 

15. 11 --Fear of police authority 

15. 12 --Fear of reprisal 

15. 13 --Hatred of police officers 

15. 14 --Desire to protect another person 

15. 15 --Fear of testifying in court 

15. 16 --Strangeness of the situation 

15. 17 --Lack of memory 

15. 18 Forces encouraging talking 

15. 19 --Desire to appear in court 

15. 20 --Fear of consequences of withholding information 

15.21 --Desire for preferential treatment 

15. 22 --Desire to please other people 

15. 23 --Relief from guilt feeling 

15.24 --Desire for revenge or punishment 

15. 25 Forces acting on interrogator 

15.26 --Desire to succeed 

15.27 --Interest in speedy results 

15.28 --Pressure from public or superiors 

15.29 --Pressure to solve case 

15. 30 --Tendency toward aggression 

15. 31 Relieving pressure on the interrogator 




15. 32 Promoting the flow of talk 

15. 33 --Danger in eliminating irrelevant talk 

15. 34 --Be a good listener 

15. 35 --Avoid criticism and sarcastic remarks 

15. 36 --Make witness feel important 

15.37 --Privacy in interviews 

15.38 --Handling inconsistencies 
15. 39 — Open-ended questions 

15. 40 --Framing the question properly 

15. 41 --Fresh material from subject 

15. 42 --Pretend lack of knowledge 

15.43 --Building up memory 

15. 44 Actions of interviewee 

15. 45 --Stiffening in the chair and thirst 

15. 46 --Perspiration and tremors 

15,47 --Tears 

15. 48 High pressure interrogation methods 

15. 49 --Confrontation with the evidence 

15. 50 --Threats and favors 

15. 51 --Physical threats and violence 

§15.1 Introduction 

There are similarities between the work of the 
psychological therapist and interviewer and that of the 
police interrogator in terms of the underlying forces each 
must deal with even though the problems faced by each are 
substantially different. 

The psychologist runs into his most serious prob- 
lem in this way: people come to him wanting some assist- 
ance but at the same time they are afraid to reveal informa- 
tion which it is absolutely necessary for the psychologist 
to know in order to give assistance. The psychologist' s 
problem is how to overcome these forces which prevent the 
person who is being interviewed from speaking freely. 

§15.2 Aim of the interrogator 

To start off, look at interrogation from the stand- 
point of what you are trying to do. The minute this question 


is raised it is obvious that there is no one aim for any parti- 
cular interrogation conducted. 

In many instances the aim of the interrogator is 
to get direct information about the crime or the criminal: 
to get certain kinds of facts which will enable him to build 
a case showing that a certain person did something or that 
some other person did something. Often, questioning about 
material that is not immediately pertinent to the crime itself 
will be involved. You may be interested in collecting a long 
chain of facts about events preceding the crime or events 
following the crime. There may be a great deal of addi- 
tional work involved in running down certain leads, in 
investigating certain circumstances, such as the status of 
a man' s employment as well as his financial situation, 
whether or not he has made any big loans lately or has 
purchased any big items of household equipment, and so on. 
So it is usually necessary to do a lot of background detec- 
tive work in order to conduct a successful interrogation, 
and this work frequently involves talking to people who are 
not directly involved in the crime itself. 

§15.3 Fishing for information 

A good many times we interrogate people not be- 
cause we know what we want, but in order to stimulate our- 
selves and get new ideas. If you are going to be at all crea- 
tive in seeking information about where to look for facts or 
what kind of facts to look for you have to be receptive to 
new ideas. New leads are the result of listening to many 
different people with different kinds of ideas. Many times 
when we are interviewing, we are searching around to see 
what we may possibly find. 

§15.4 Search for the motive 

There is another kind of interviewing which is 
quite different from the two already mentioned, which are 
factually oriented. It concerns a search for the motive be- 
hind a particular crime: why did somebody do something or 
what could have been the reason behind his planning to do it? 
In many instances such an approach is important not only 
for revealing the identity of a suspect, but also because it 
aids in locating other people who might possibly be involved. 


§15.5 Establishing basis for further interviews 

There is another consideration which is not com- 
monly thought of as a purpose of an interview. Sometimes 
we want to conduct an interview not to find out anything that 
we do not already know, but rather to establish a basis for 
further interviewing. A man may be brought in. We know 
a good bit of what he will probably tell us in the first inter- 
view. But this initial interrogation can be looked at as 
having the purpose of establishing some kind of relationship 
with this man, so that later on another kind of interrogation 
can be held with him. 

We should not overlook the importance of estab- 
lishing some kind of relationship initially even if no new 
facts are developed. This would hold true, of course, of 
witnesses just as well as it does of suspects, or people who 
are relatives or who know something about the suspect* s 
habits. Many times these people are loathe to discuss mat- 
ters with us; they do not know exactly what we have in mind, 
and they are afraid we are trying to pin something on them. 
In these kinds of cases the value of making an initial contact 
is obvious ~ to make it a rather easy, comfortable sort of 
thing, so they discover during this time that a police officer 
is not as bad a person as they thought he was. Then when 
you go back another time you have more of an open door, 
and the chances of pushing a little bit further to get some 
kinds of data you want are much better. 

§15.6 Creating the talking behavior 

Now if we look at what is actually happening in an 
interview, we see two people talking to one another. But 
talking, like any other form of behavior, must derive from 
some kind of inside forces: motives or needs or desires. 
Everything we do goes back ultimately to something that an 
individual either wants or fears. It is easily understood that 
when we come down for breakfast in the morning we are 
hungry, since the hunger we wish to satisfy leads to that 
behavior of going down and eating. When we go to work, we 
go to work because we want the admiration of other people, 
we want money, we want the things that money will buy, and 
so on. And all of these motives are the things that produce 
in us a certain kind of behavior. 


Now the behavior that we want to produce in an 
interview is talking behavior, and we might very well con- 
sider the problem to be how to get people to talk about things 
that they do not want to talk about. 

Let us picture a witness or suspect who is being 
interrogated. We can begin to diagram the forces acting on 
this person for and against talking. Some of these forces 
are going to push him in the direction of saying more and 
more. There will be other kinds of forces, however, which 
will push him in the direction of not saying anything at all 
or of distorting what he has to say. We look at some of the 
pressures that are on the witness himself. 

§15.7 Forces against talking 

One thing we have to remember is that any kind 
of talk is always opposed by our forecast, our prediction as 
to its consequences. Let me give you a very simple illus- 
tration of this. Suppose I ask for questions from a group. 
I've done this for many classroom groups and discover that 
I get a vast silence. Now I know that there are people who 
have questions there, they have something, some comment, 
some point that is not clear that they would like to ask; but 
they do not ask. Now what is the force in the negative direc- 
tion against talking when they actually have something that 
they want to ask? Inside, they are forecasting certain kinds 
of outcomes if they do talk. They think, "People will laugh 
at me. My question will look ridiculous," and so on. It is 
their anticipation of the unfortunate results that are going 
to come that produces silence. 

§15. 8- -Silence as a lever 

Silence can sometimes be used as a lever. If we 
allow silence to exist for a while, people want to talk in 
order to break it up. But in the case of witnesses and sus- 
pects, the fear as to the consequences of their talking may 
be very great, and the end result is they will be quiet about 
areas which actually could not harm them, but which de- 
prive you of very valuable information. It deprives you of 
the information, for example, that the silent person himself 
is innocent. This information would enable you to conduct 


your investigation much more quickly if you knew that he 
was not really implicated at all. 

§15.9--Guilt feeling 

Many innocent people have backgrounds of things 
they have done that have never been discovered. I assume 
that that is true of practically every person in this room. 
Sometimes they are actual criminal acts, sometimes they 
are not,but are just things of which a lot of people in society 
disapprove. So people carry around with them a substantial 
amount of guilt feeling. 

A psychologist gets to know this quickly, and I 
suppose that police do, too. 

This kind of thing has happened: I remember I 
was in the Navy and went to the Officers' Club to swim one 
afternoon. A pretty girl in a bathing suit was sitting over 
on one side of the pool and I went over to talk with her and 
we were having a very pleasant chat. I found out that she 
was an officer in the Women's Marine Corps and finally she 
asked me what I did. And I told her, "F m a psychologist 
and I work at the psychiatric unit. " Now our pleasant con- 
versation stopped at that point because she began to giggle 
and say, "Well, I suppose you' re going to make a case out 
of me. " 

Now what was actually happening here? She had 
certain feelings about things inside herself and she thought 
quite incorrectly that I could somehow or other penetrate 
right through--you know, with that piercing eye --and realize 
all the shady, terrible things about her. It never dawned 
on her that I might not think they were as terrible as she 
did, because we pass judgment on ourselves, and it is this 
self-judgment that determines the amount of fear. 

So when people are faced with a policeman, they 
have exactly the same kind of reaction, except that they have 
to "clam up" pretty well because they don' t know what to 
expect and they are in the presence of someone who has 
power over them. 

§15. 10--Cliildhood experiences 

I think it is interesting to illustrate this with 
things that happen in our childhood. If we go back to child- 


hood we remember that a child faced with Daddy and 
Mamma is small and has very little power compared with 
the parental power. Consequently, they quake in their boots 
and they feel that there is a piercing eye looking through 
them which is going to find out all sorts of things they have 
done. You see, with children this is pretty much true be- 
cause Mom and Dad know a great many things that go on that 
children don't know they know, and for some reason or other 
when a child lies to his parents, he gets caught in it rather 
quickly in most instances. 

§15. 11- -Fear of police authority 

When people are interviewed--! do not care 
whether they are guilty or innocent- -by a police officer, 
there is a replay of this same old pattern of being faced with 
your powerful father or mother who is holdir^ a whip be- 
hind him, you see, an indication of what he or she can do. 
All those old feelings that he can see through me, andlhave 
got to be very careful, come back up. It is this fear that 
serves as a very important source of decreasing a person's 
willingness to talk about things which, so far as the police 
are concerned, are of no interest but which, if they could 
be revealed, would get a lot of deadwood out of the way. One 
of these fears is that perhaps the police believe him to be a 
criminal or believe that he aided a criminal, or something 
of that kind. 

§15. 12 --Fear of reprisal 

Another one is that if he talks someone else will 
"get" him. Most police have run across this fear in crim- 
inals who have connections with the underworld and even 
occasionally with persons who have rather standard connec- 
tions in one way or another. Recently, we had an experience 
with a man whose crime was actually known. He had certain 
information which we wanted about some other things- -re- 
vealing it could not have gotten him into much worse trouble 
than he was in already, because he had a fairly long prison 
record. But he wouldn' t talk to us. One reason why he 
wouldn' t talk he quite frankly told us. He said, "When I go 
to jail, I am going to the pen. When I go, if people know I 


talked, they'll get me in there." We said, "Go on, they 
won't get you in the pen. " He said, "You don't know what 
it' s like in there," and then proceeded to lay out the details 
of how this would be done. And it can be done, believe me. 
This fear of reprisal is a very powerful motive in the case 
of people who have underworld connections. 

§15. 13 --Hatred of police officers 

Another factor which prevents some people from 
talking is hatred of police officers in general. Police pub- 
lic relations as a whole have been terrible. The policeman 
has been presented to the general public not as the defender 
of law and a person of justice, but as somebody who is out 
to get you. The end result of this has been that many people, 
from the time they are children, dislike police officers and 
feel that they are essentially sadistic, cruel individuals who 
are going to take every chance they can to stick them in jail. 
We know that some people have this attitude about police- 
men. They shake in their boots when they see even a traffic 
officer passing in a patrol car. 

A hatred of police stemming from early days 
(maybe when the police chased a gang of kids out of the 
street or a number of things of that kind) can come back 
home to roost when this person, who is innocent but who has 
information that could help the police, decides that since 
the police have nothing on him he does not have to talk; it 
isn't his problem if the police fail to get their job done. 
This is a minor consideration and it does not happen in every 
case. But it is something that you can do something about 
in an interview. If that force can be reduced in some in- 
stances, it will help out. 

§15. 14- -Desire to protect another person 

Another obvious thing that causes a fear of talking 
is the desire to protect another person. A good many times 
a wife or a mother or someone else who has a special in- 
terest in another person really believes that the suspect is 
not guilty and continues to withhold helpful information. 
Such an individual usually rationalizes such an act by pre- 
tending that the requested information is not really of any 


importance, it is not specifically connected with the crime, 

§15. 15 --Fear of testifying in court 

There is another force that is sometimes present 
in the case of innocent people who are witnesses, and that is 
fear of being called to testify in court. They fear lawyers 
who, they believe, can twist around anything they say and 
make them look terrible. Therefore some people will not 
talk because they are afraid they will get mixed up in a law 
suit. They do not know how to handle this thing and they 
want to be left alone. 

There are some rather simple things, too, that 
go along with this being afraid to talk. These are even less 
important than the other things mentioned, but taken as a 
whole they add up. 

§15. 16 --Strangeness of the situation 

For example, the very strangeness or newness of 
the situation bothers many people. A good many of the 
people you meet in interrogation have never been questioned 
by a police officer before and they do not know what it is 
about; they are confused, and the very strangeness of the 
situation makes them cautious. 

§15. 17--Lack of memory 

We also must admit that although lack of memory 
is not an emotional force that it is present. In many in- 
stances there is a genuine failure to remember certain kinds 
of details. If you are pressed and pressed and pressed for 
a certain source of detail, youmay try very hard to remem- 
ber it and still not be able to recall it. Then if you are ac- 
cused of being insincere you lose all your desire to tell 
anything at all. We have to recognize that there are condi- 
tions which make for good memory and poor memory. As 
an example, remember that in an examination where students 
are trying to get good grades, if they are very anxious and 
jittery, they may forget a good many things which they have 
studied and known an hour before. The same kind of thing 


can happen to a witness. He may know certain things, but 
the conditions of the interview may be such as to upset him 
enough to get jittery, and then he can' t do this delicate 
thing that we call remembering. 

§15. 18 Forces encouraging talking 

This all makes police interrogation sound pretty 
difficult, because there are these forces which prevent 
people from talking or cause them to withhold information. 
Things are not quite as bad as that. There are many other 
forces which make people want to talk and want to comply 
with what the examiner is asking them. 

§15. 19 --Desire to appear in court 

There are at least a few people who are willing 
to talk because of the desire to appear in court. That is, 
to some people it is a big thing. For the first time in their 
drab little lives they find themselves confronted with a sit- 
uation where they are kind of a key person. Such people 
frequently can distort things, in that they'll talk, but they'll 
say things that will make them look more important and give 
them more prestige. 

Even though this distortion can take place, we 
should remember that the desire to be important, to appear 
important, is a powerful motive working in favor of the po- 
lice officer in a lot of instances. The concrete application 
of this is that if you handle a person in such a way as to help 
him feel that you know he is important, he will most likely 
talk more. Remember that many people who are interviewed 
by a police officer either in their homes or standing on the 
streetcorner immediately become centers for attention and 
speculation by others. This enables such an individual to 
hold forth about how important a part in some dramatic 
event he has played. This is one of the forces motivating 
people toward the goal of revelation. 

§15.20--Fear of consequences of withholding information 

Another important motive in favor of talking about 
things is one of the fear of the consequences of withholding 


information. It is easy enough to think that if a person keeps 
quiet he will be safe, but people know that this is actually not 
true. One of the things we found out when we were little was 
that even though we didn' t tell Dad and Mom something, 
somehow or other by a few inquiries they could find out what 
actually happened. Then we found out that the punishment 
was worse than if we had admitted it first. Consequently, 
people who are not talking have to face the problem of how 
far they can go and still avoid the consequences of not talk- 
ing. If it is known that these persons are in possession of 
certain information, the pressure is very great. So they 
want to avoid this kind of thing, too. It works in favor of 
the police officer. 

§15. 21 --Desire for preferential treatment 

Anotherkindof force that exists in a few instances 
is the desire or the hope to obtain preferential treatment or 
some kind of partiality or favoritism. A person may think 
that by giving a lot of information he may get some special 
treatment. For example, the person who is a witness at an 
automobile accident may be willing to give you testimony, 
because he thinks if he does a policeman this "favor" he 
may be able to get a parking ticket fixed sometime or some- 
thing of that sort. This is all just in his own head, yet, 
nevertheless, it is one of the forces making for cooperation. 
On a somewhat more intense level, there is the idea of 
bargaining with the police to tell what he knows, in order 
to get off with a lighter sentence, and so on. While the 
truth is that this is a force in favor of talking, some police 
officers abuse this and make promises that they can' t pos- 
sibly carry out. Then they are in difficulty because if word 
gets around that this particular police department will tell 
you anything in order to get you to talk, you really are up 
against it, because even when you' re sincere, people won' t 
believe it. It is a very tricky proposition to hint or imply 
that you can give people preferential treatment of a kind 
which is not permissible in your department simply in order 
to get them to talk. 

§15. 22 --Desire to please other people 

Another consideration which appears minor and 


yet is present in a good many instances, particularly with 
witnesses, is the desire to please other people, to agree 
with their requests. The notion that the polite thing to do is 
to go along when somebody wants information, provided they 
get nice treatment themselves, is quite common. 

§15. 23--Relief from guilt feeling 

Another powerful motive that exists in certain 
kinds of guilty suspects is the fact that talking, telling the 
story, provides a relief from a feeling of guilt. This does 
not apply to all guilty people, but it applies to certain people 
who have been brought up in a situation where they have a 
fairly strong conscience, and where they are not habitual 
criminals. Something has been done for the first time, and 
they feel so very, very guilty about it. They feel that once 
it is out in the open they will get relief from internal rack- 
ing and torturing; this feeling can be a powerful force in 
favor of final confession or in favor of talking about what 
one has done. Police officers can frequently utilize this 
quite effectively, since no matter of promising any kind of 
outside preference is involved here. It is simply that after 
talking for some time with somebody who is probably guilty, 
if you can say something to the effect that you know the way 
he feels inside and you know that this is not fun for either of 
you, then a suggestion to get it all over and out in the open 
is a good one. If the person has been handled properly prior 
to this time so that there aren't strong feelings of resent- 
ment this frequently can be a very effective way of releasing 
a flood of information. 

§15. 24--Desire for revenge or punishment 

Yet, another motive which sometimes is helpful 
in getting people to talk is the opposite of the protection 
motive. That is the desire to get revenge on somebody else 
or to punish them. This is a double-edged sword, too, be- 
cause if there is strong desire for revenge on the part of 
some person who is a witness, he can distort things so that 
it looks like it was worse than it really was in order to get 
somebody else implicated who really should not be impli- 


cated. This kind of thing happens with neighborhood quarrels 
a good deal. 

It can happen on another level, too, so that it is 
effective on people who feel let down by their friends or 
families. In one case V m thinking of a man who refused to 
talk because he said he knew that certain people who were 
interested in him were going to get his bail and get him out. 
But the days dragged by and they did not come by with the 
money and get him out. I talked with him a good deal about 
his home background and so on. He felt everybody had 
walked out on him all his life, that he had been abandoned 
over and over again. At this point it was very easy to point 
out that the same kind of thing that happened before, when 
his wife walked out on him, and when a friend of his walked 
out on him leaving him holding the bag, was here happening 
all over again. The desire to punish somebody else to get 
revenge is probably more critical with those people who 
have criminal connections than it is with people who are 
ordinary citizens who have gotten into some kind of trouble 
or other for the first time. 

§15.25 Forces acting on interrogator 

So far we have been discussing the forces leading 
to revealing information and working against it, and how 
these forces act upon the person who is being interrogated. 
We also should look at the forces that are acting on the in- 
terrogator as well. His job is essentially to deal with these 
various desires and motives and emotions in such a way as 
to create a situation that will lead to more and more revela- 
tion. His job is to strengthen the motives to talk on the one 
hand and on the other hand to decrease as much as possible 
all desires to withhold. 

If the interrogator could do it perfectly, there 
would be no problem. However, the fact of the matter is 
that there are many things that can' t be done. You can' t 
promise people complete immunity if they will talk; you 
can' t promise people that you' 11 give them $10, 000 if they 
will talk; and so on and so on and so on. The interrogator 
has a framework within which he must work and that means 
that every little force of resistance he can decrease is 
likely to be crucial in getting a little bit more and a little 
bit more information. But police officer interrogators 


sometimes cannot do this because of forces acting upon 
themselves which may prevent them from doing an effective 

§15. 26--Desire to succeed 

The first thing that a police officer wants to do is 
to be successful; he wants to avoid failure. There is a 
strong force acting upon him to get this thing answered, to 
find out the facts and move on with them. He expects reward 
and so on. This may lead him to be over-eager and to push 
too hard. Pushing people is not the way to get them to talk. 
You get people to talk by giving them what they need. 

If the interrogator really is a little bit frightened 
of failure, if he's really working hard for a promotion or if 
he is afraid this case may turn out badly, then he is likely 
to fail in his own approach and be somewhat awkward. 

§15. 27 --Interest in speedy results 

Another thing, he wants speedy results. He' s 
interested in getting things done quickly, not simply to finish 
his work, but because speed is one element of a good job. 

§15. 28 --Pressure from public or superiors 

In addition to that, there may be pressure from 
superiors or the public acting on him to show results. The 
papers are full of this kind of thing, criticism of the police 
department. Or people in the neighborhood might be calling 
and asking why something isn't done. And this kind of pres- 
sure stemming from the public and also from administrative 
offices in the police department can make the interviewer, 
the interrogator, jittery himself. When this kind of thing 
happens, when the interrogator is not comfortable and in 
command of himself, he cannot do a good job. But he often 
must operate under these conditions. 

§15. 29 --Pressure to solve case 

Another terrific pressure on the interrogator is 
the fact that he has the goal of solving the case. In between 


him and the goal stands a whole block of people who are 
witnesses and suspects. That is, eventually the person 
with information who is not giving it serves as a frustrator 
for the interrogator, and stands between him and the final 
desired goal of a solution. 

§15. 30- -Tendency toward aggression 

What do we do about things that frustrate us? 
Well, psychologists knew a long time ago that one of the 
most common results of frustration is aggression- -that 
what we do when something is blocking our way is to take 
the hammer and start hammering. Sometimes this works 
very well in interviewing, but with most people it does not, 
because this kind of aggression is really due to the frustra- 
tion of the interrogator and is not likely to be employed very 
effectively. Further, it is likely to arouse counter- motives 
of hostility and hatred in the witness or in the suspect. The 
more frustrated the police officer becomes, the more likely 
he is to resort to threats, to shouting at witnesses at the 
very time he should be asking himself what the most effec- 
tive approach should be. Essentially, he has lost control 
of the situation when he does this. Ashe feels himself losing 
control of the situation he seeks to regain it by what? --by 
more shouting, by more threats, to show who' s boss. The 
trouble is, you do not get information out of people by show- 
ing them who is boss. That frequently makes them more 
frightened. The result is that at the very time when the 
police officer ought to choose his interrogation method with 
the skill that a surgeon chooses the instrument that he wants 
during an operation, he is so frustrated that he becomes the 
most inefficient interviewer that he can become. 

§15.31 Relieving pressure on the interrogator 

It is the matter of morale, of understanding the 
pressures on the interrogator, of trying to hold back and of 
not putting too much pressure on people who are not doing 
well. Someone should sit down with the interrogator and try 
to find out what he is doing and how he feels about it and 
whether anything can be done to help him, instead of pres- 
suring the interrogator by saying he must get something 


done or everyone' s job is in danger or we' 11 look like fools 
in front of the public. This kind of thing only makes people 
more jittery. And you cannot do good surgery when you're 
jittery; and the kind of job that an interrogator has to do — 
and it' s most difficult- -is just as difficult as the job a sur- 
geon has to do. 

§15.32 Promoting the flow of talk 

Now what can you do, then, thinking of these two 
sets of forces playing on the witness and the sets of forces 
playing on the interrogator --what can you do to promote the 
flow of talk? 

At this point I would like to lay down what I think 
is a general principle that will apply in most cases. That 
is, the more that you can get a person to talk, just talk, the 
more likely you are to get information. Certainly you are 
not going to find out anything when they are quiet. So re- 
verse this, and say that by and large, the more you can get 
people to talk, the more likely you are to find out what you 
want to know. 

Why is this? Well, it's because in a large volume 
of talk, you may find one or two small things, if you' re 
listening all the time, that will give you certain ideas that 
you didn't have before. If you get a small volume of talk, 
you may miss these clues. 

§15. 33 --Danger in eliminating irrelevant talk 

There are a lot of interrogators who want to keep 
witnesses on the beam who want to eliminate this irrelevant 
talk. "Don' t tell me what happened to your Uncle Fudd last 
Thursday night; that has nothir^ to do with the problem of 
what happened to this poor girl on Saturday night," and so 
on. I don't think this attitude is justifiable. We know as 
psychologists that there are reasons why people talk about 
every single thing that they do and we know that the chain of 
processes in the normal mind is such that there are connec- 
tions between each thought and every other thought that 
follows. These associations have some kind of significance, 
and people who are going off on what looks like irrelevant 


tracks are actually leading up to something which may be 
crucially important. 

§15. 34 --Be a good listener 

Not only that, but the mere fact that you are lis- 
tening to such a person talk is a way of helping him feel 
more able to talk about difficult things. If you can listen to 
him talk about things that you don' t consider important, he 
will get the idea that you want him to talk and are willing to 
listen. Therefore, it makes it a little bit easier for him to 
continue. Psychologists frequently sit for as loi^ as forty- 
five minutes without saying a single word, just letting people 
go. Silence is an all; never say a word and it' s amazing 
how people will keep going and keep going and keep goir^ 
when you keep your mouth shut. One of the most difficult 
things that an interviewer has to learn is that the problem 
is how to give the other person a chance to talk. 

How can you do this? This approach is low-pres- 
sure interrogation. I do not guarantee that it will work 
under all circumstances. As a matter of fact there are 
some circumstances where I know it will not work. You 
have to know the kind of a person that you' re dealing with, 
and judge where you are in the interview. This requires 
training and sensitivity. You increase people' s desire to 
talk by careful, considerate listenir^. Encourage them with 
remarks such as, "Yes, and then what?" "And after that?" 
and so on. Just little things like this show that you are lis- 
tening all the time and encourage another person to talk. 

You can hardly resist it. You can try this out on 
almost anybody. On a train or bus engage in conversation 
with a person. Get him to tell you about his day, about his 
occupation, even if you' re not interested, act interested: 
"Well, how did you get in there? . . . Um Hm . , . Well then 
what happened?" and you'll find that this fellow is pouring 
himself out to you. It' s a very simple thing to give the other 
person a chance to talk, and to say by your manner that you 
are interested. Most conversation consists of two people 
fighting for a chance to get the floor. It is a brand new ex- 
perience for a lot of people to discover a place where they 
can talk without being interrupted. 

A lot of people don' t think quickly; they think 
slowly. They need time and they shouldn' t be pressed and 


pushed and harried, while they are working these things out. 
There are other people who think fast and talk fast. You 
have to adjust yourself to the kind of speed or the gait that 
each person has. 

§15. 35 --Avoid criticism aud sarcastic remarks 

Another thing that is very important by which you 
can produce predictable results either way, is to refrain 
from criticism and sarcastic remarks. We know that a 
person, who in another half hour will be talking rather 
frankly with you, ii you lead up to it gently, can be cut off 
dead and get to hate the whole situation and do everything 
he can to hold back information if he gets sarcastic, critical 
remarks made to him. You don' t feel like talking to a per- 
son who does that sort of thing to you. Consequently, if 
there is a place for sarcasm, it is certainly not in the early 
phases of the interview. If there is a place for critical re- 
marks, it is not in the early stages of the interview. 

§15. 36 --Make witness feel important 

Another thing we can do is to help the witness 
attain his desire to be important. Act as if this person is 
important in the situation. Not by telling, "Now, your' re 
very important to us, "which may cause trouble, but with 
courteous treatment, seeing to it that he has a drink of 
water, seeing to it that he has a comfortable place to sit and 
all that sort of thing. This considerate treatment makes 
him feel he is important. It communicates it to him without 
so many words. 

There are also some rather specific kinds of 
things, technical arrangements which can be made that are 

§15. 37 --Privacy in interviews 

First of all, we cannot emphasize too much the 
importance of privacy in interviews. Obviously, if you are 
trying to interrogate somebody with a lot of other people 
around, you are building up many, many forces against talk- 
ing. In addition to the consequences of revealing himself to 


you, he also has to face the consequences of revealing him- 
self to other people, too. You should not be interrupted; 
the business of phone calls, of opening mail and all that sort 
of thing doesn't do anything to establish the kind of relation- 
ship that you have to have for satisfactory interviewing. 
Satisfactory interviewing requires that your fullest attention 
be devoted to everything that person is saying and doing be- 
cause you don't know at what moment some particular state- 
ment will turn up that will be valuable. 

§15. 38 --Handling inconsistencies 

If you get a volume of talk you will probably find 
certain inconsistencies in the story. You can let some 
people confuse themselves by their own words because the 
more they talk the harder it is for them to remember every- 
thing they said. The result is that if you can remember all 
that went on, particularly with reference to the crime, you 
can detect inconsistencies and curious faults in the story. 
But do not pounce on these immediately. For example, if 
a man says one time that he was staying at a place at 8:00 
on Saturday night and then later he says he went around 
there about 9:00, don't pounce on it that minute. This is 
filed away in a mental filing cabinet. There are two dif- 
ferent stories here but he has forgotten that he said 8:00 or 
9:00. But when you come around to it again, you say, "Now, 
let' s see, what time did you go over there?" "Oh, I think 
it was about 8:30" he may answer. Now you have three 
different times to work with, and now is the time to confront 
him with the fact, but not at the very minute that it occurs. 
Give the person a chance to continue because there may be 
an explanation for it. Or more inconsistencies may develop 
in his story. 

§15.39-- Open - ended questions 

Another valuable approach which many inter- 
viewers fail to recognize is a very simple technique called 
the open-ended question. They consistently ask questions 
that are answerable by yes or no, and this is the poorest 
kind of interviewing. The best interviewing question in the 


world is"Hm?" It is not saying a thing about what you want; 
it simply expresses interest in hearing more. 

§15. 40-- Framing the question properly 

The more questions you ask of a clear-cut nature, 
the more the witness is going to be able to infer the sort of 
story he thinks you want. You tip your hand much too soon 
by questions that you ask that are clearly framing: "Did 
you ever know a girl who was about five feet three, blond, 
shapely?" This suggests that you are hunting for somebody 
in connection with a girl of that sort. This is quite different 
from asking him to tell you something about the girl you 
saw. If you are waiting to hear this kind of a girl mentioned, 
do not ask specifically this particular kind of question. 
There is plenty of time for specific questions later on. In 
the early phases, keep your material fresh. It is like walk- 
ir^ in on the scene of a crime. You don' t walk in and start 
shoving everything around to see what' s under the body. 
You wait, and you take photographs; you look, you make dia- 
grams and very gently note what goes on before you disturb 
a thing. Don't disturb your witnesses and your suspects by 
throwing in a lot of the things that you' re interested in. Get 
their stories first so that you can hear them in their own 
words. The way they talk is frequently very important. 

These are open-ended questions: "What things?" 
"Could you tell me more about this?" "I don't quite under- 
stand. " "How did you feel then?" "Uh huh, go ahead. " All 
these things simply say in a polite way "I'm interested, keep 
talkii^. " 

§15. 41-- Fresh material from subject 

If a person knows that you want something but 
does not know quite what it is, he isn't going to be able to 
delete from all the things that he has to say those things he 
might wish to withhold. It is much harder to withhold things 
that will cause trouble if what it is that will cause trouble is 
unknown. If police officers start in giving too many ideas 
about exactly what it is they are after in the early phases, 
then they do tip their hands. Too many direct questions 
make the witness assume you will ask anything you want to 
know. But you don' t know all the things that you need to 


know. If you did, you wouldn't be having the interview. 
You can't possibly ask all the questions that will cover all 
the material you' 11 want to know. There must be some 
fresh material. If you give the person that you' re talking 
to the idea that he' s not supposed to say anything until you 
ask a question, that' s exactly what he' 11 do. The end re- 
sult is that simple points which he might mention if per- 
mitted to talk spontaneously won't be mentioned if you shoot 
a stream of questions at him. 

§15. 42 --Pretend lack of knowledge 

We find this happens in psychological work all the 
time. In talkir^ to a patient, we ask him some questions 
about what happened and then ask him to go ahead and give 
his story. He may say the worst thing that has been bother- 
ing him for the last three or four months is recurrent head- 
aches. And we'll ask him if he has said anything about that 
to his doctor. Often he will say he didn't because the doctor 
didn' t ask him. Over and over again we find that people are 
waiting to be asked. You can prevent this happening if early 
in an interview you put the responsibility of the interview 
onto the person who is talking. Urge him to tell you his 
story. Make him feel that you don't know all the things that 
you want to ask, but that you want to hear what he has to 
tell. This is quite likely to be effective with reasonably co- 
operative witnesses who are a little bit frightened and cannot 
remember anything for a few minutes. You may also turn 
up leads that you wouldn' t otherwise turn up. 

§15.43 — Building up memory 

Another reason for the full story is that memory 
which is rather poor or sketchy to begin with gets built up 
as the story continues. You know how if you start talking 
about an incident that happened five or ten years ago, and 
people begin talking about it together, more things come 
back to you as you talk. This is precisely the principle that 
we are talking about now- -that by having additional associa- 
tions built up, new things do come back and the witness is 
likely to give more details than he could in a bang-bang- 
bang type of interview. 


§15.44 Actions of interviewee 

Another of the things to do in interviewing that is 
important is to notice what the interviewee is doing. A good 
many times we miss various important facts because we do 
not pay attention to the way the witness is looking, or the 
tone of voice that he is using, or that he is fidgeting in his 

With this method of trying to get a full, rich story 
with relatively few specific questions, it is extremely im- 
portant to notice where people block, that is, at what point 
they stop talking, and how the stopping takes place. If after 
talking along for a while, all of a sudden you notice the face 
turn pale or turn red and they stop talking, you know you 
have hit something which is pretty emotional. It could be 
private emotion, or it could be public emotion in connection 
with a crime. But something in the area connected with the 
flow of talk at that point has caused emotion. 

§15. 45 --Stiffening in the chair and thirst 

Furthermore, you actually, notice people stiffen 
in their chairs, as a certain question is asked or a certain 
topic is reached. You may notice increased licking of the 
lips because if a fear or embarrassment arises the saliva 
tends to decrease in the mouth. They may ask for a drink of 
water. Sometimes, in the case of people who are very much 
upset--and upset doesn't mean that they're guilty--they will 
have to ask to go to the toilet. 

§15. 46-- Perspiration and tremors 

They may pull their collar away from the neck, a 
gesture, often seen in public speakersthat are not very com- 
fortable. Perspiration has resulted in the collar' s binding, 
which is a sign of anxiety or mild fear. 

Tremors of the hands, of course, are pretty ob- 
vious in a lot of cases except that tremors that are pretty 
steady all the time may not always be due to anxiety. Dis- 
ease of a physical nature may cause continuous tremors. 


§15. 47- -Tears 

There are cases of tears coming to the eyes; this 
happens often to people when they are beginning to feel very 
guilty or upset or sad about what they did. Notice a shine 
on the eyeball that is a little brighter than it was before or 
even the bottom edge of the eye brimming with tears. An 
emotional approach, such as asking how the witness' wife 
and children are going to feel, or what's going to happen un- 
less he tells the whole story will often start tear secretion. 

§15.48 High pressure interrogation methods 

At this point we should say a word about high 
pressure interrogation methods. Probably there may be 
occasions when a lot of pressure must be put on a person. 
Such a method is probably useful, if ever, only with people 
who are hardened criminals, or who have connections of 
that kind- -pretty hard characters. Even then, however, it 
is wise to say that high pressure methods- -shouting, making 
a lot of threats and so on- -should be utilized only after other 
methods have failed. High pressure methods are likely to 
close off all approaches, and, therefore, should be delayed 
in their application. 

§15. 49 --Confrontation with the evidence 

One of these methods is to confront the examinee 
with evidence. This is a fairly bold blow and should not be 
presented too quickly. A very effective thing is to bring on 
piece by piece certain information about what so and so has 
told them, that you know for a fact that there was a green 
sedan over in front of that bar at such and such a time; that 
you have two witnesses who are willing to swear that a man 
came out of that bar and got into that car at 9:30. Then you 
bring out further information. Finally, you bring out the 
pistol, lay it on the table and say, "Did you ever see that 
before?" And so on. This steady accumulation of pressure 
may very well get results when other kinds of things will 
not get results at all. 


§15. 50- -Threats and favors 

Threats may sometimes get results: "You tell 
or you' re going to stay right here in this room until you 
do, " may sometimes be effective. But consider what else 
threats do. This is the choice you always have to make. 
Threats show to the person who is being questioned how 
desperate the examiner is. It gives away completely the 
fact that you have nothing else to rely on except threats. 
For this reason we may sometimes discover that a man who 
was softening a bit at the very moment when a threat is put 
on will begin to stiffen and you have lost your case at that 
point. Therefore, it is very dangerous to employ threats. 

Furthermore, it is better not to make any threats 
unless you are prepared to back them up. Once the word 
gets around that you talk tough but do nothing, then that 
approach is gone for good. 

It works both ways with regard to favors and 
threats. A police officer who has a reputation for being 
hardboiled but honest is going to get a lot of results where 
others, who think they are using fancy psychological tech- 
niques and beir^ insincere about it will eventually fail. They 
may get by with it for a while, but eventually the word will 
get around and that will end their success entirely. 

§15. 51 --Physical threats and violence 

The problem of physical threats and physical vio- 
lence probably ought not to be mentioned, but we should not 
ignore it. By and large any police officer who has had to 
resort to some kind of physical violence in order to get his 
statement, in order to get his information, is showing that 
he does not have the kind of staff around him, the kind of 
detective work around him and so on, that he ought to have. 

I know that in some cases all these techniques 
fail, yet there is no justification for out and out physical 
punishment in order to get information. Remember that 
most of the people have not been tried, and people in this 
country are presumed to be innocent until they can be proved 
guilty. We have no ethical judgment for using force. It is, 
of course, an admission of lack of skill, of lack of good 
police methods in other respects. 

Chapter 16 

More Psychology of Interrogation 

Milton J. Horowitz, Ph. D. 


16. 1 Introduction 

16. 2 Interviewing and interrogation distinguished 

16. 3 Short- and long-range goals 

16. 4 Preliminary contact with examinee 

16. 5 Facts of the case 

16. 6 Knowledge of examinee' s background 

16. 7 Kind of person being interviewed 

16. 8 Gathering data about examinee 

16. 9 Sizir^ up the subject 

16. 10 Subconcious observation 

16. 11 Problems in observation - interpretation 

16. 12 --An example 

16. 13 — Distorting what we see 

16. 14 --Making erroneous deductions 

16. 15 Observing a feeling through behavior 

16. 16 --Look for dominant feeling 

16. 17 --False interpretation of feelings 

16. 18 Preparation for interviews or interrogations 

16. 19 The examiner - forces affecting 

16.20 --Anger affecting judgment 

16. 21 Incompatibility of examiner and examinee 
16. 22 Use of a more compatible examiner 

16. 23 Favorable qualities of the examiner 

§16.1 Introduction 

While the practicing psychologist is not an expert 
on the subject of interrogation as police officers know it in 
daily practice, his experience in the matter of interviewing 
and interrogation comes from the standpoint of a person 
who has been working with patients in a psychiatry and psy- 
chology clinic. 



§16.2 Interviewing and interrogation distinguished 

Interrogation is a two-way proposition. An apt 
subtitle to this chapter would be "The Psychological Forces 
Acting on Examiner and Examinee in the Process of Interro- 
gation. " Definitions of the subjects of interviewing and 
interrogation are necessary as a beginning point. 

Interviewing concerns the questioning of a person 
who is believed to possess knowledge of interest to the in- 
vestigator. The person may give an account of the incident 
or event under question, or he may offer information con- 
cerning another person. 

Interrogation, on the other hand, concerns the 
questioning of a person suspected of having committed an 
offense or a person who is reluctant to make a full dis- 
closure of information in his possession. Obviously, there 
is a difference in both forms of questioning. 

Interrogation is but one example of interviewing, 
requiring specific skills and knowledge of those people who 
are perhaps reluctant to disclose information and also re- 
quiring skills on the part of the examiner in knowing how to 
go about getting such information. In practice, however, 
there is no fine line of distinction between interviewing and 
interrogation. To interrogate somebody obviously means to 
interview him. On the other hand, to interview a person, 
you do not necessarily interrogate him, because an inter- 
view can be conducted under different auspices. You may 
be interested in getting some information; you may be inter- 
ested in establishing friendship for the purpose of getting 
more information later. 

§16.3 Short and long-range goals 

Whatever the technique, whether working in inter- 
viewing or interrogation, you must begin by asking yourself 
this question: What are my objectives? What am I striving 
for? In considering your purposes or objectives, you will 
ask further: What are my long-range goals, and what are 
my more immediate goals? Actually this is done in every 
walk of life. For instance, a man may be interested in win- 
ning the hand of a woman. Now that may be his long-range 
goal. To achieve that long-range goal, he has more imme- 


diate goals he must gain. Similarly, when a big-league 
general manager attempts to build up a ball club, he may 
have a long-range objective of winning the pennant in five 
years, but the immediate objective may be that of getting 
his ball players a little experience. This distinction be- 
tween objectives is necessary as you decide on your ob- 
jective at a given time. 

§16.4 Preliminary contact with examinee 

In interviewing or interrogation, the same thing 
is true. For instance, you may have a preliminary or "get- 
acquainted" contact with the person involved. This contact 
may have no purpose other than that of trying to get on good 
footing with him, to get to know him well, even though you 
keep in mind the idea of getting some information from him 
at a later time. In practice, you may often find it difficult 
to distinguish between these objectives because you may 
want an objective accomplished immediately; you may have 
no time to delay getting certain information. If that is the 
case, obviously you have but one choice. The long-range 
goal then becomes the immediate pressing one. In general, 
then, the investigator should be clear about his purposes 
and have asked himself, "What am I aiming for?" 

§16.5 Facts of the case 

The next thing the investigator needs to think 
about is, "What are the facts in the case? What do I know 
about the situation in order that I might be better prepared 
to go into it to find information about it?" Getting the facts 
is the next step. It is the next step regardless of what our 
line of activity is, even the business executive who has es- 
tablished certain objectives and who then seeks to lay plans 
in accordance with those objectives must take this first step. 
You must get the facts that will help you establish your 
objectives a little better. There is no doubt of the great 
advantage in being well prepared before an interview or 

§16.6 Knowledge of examinee's background 

Think of the psychological advantage you have 


over your subject when you are able to demonstrate to him 
that you have learned a lot about him even before you have 
met him. This is particularly true with youngsters, adoles- 
cents. If you learn something about them, for instance, 
what grade they were in, who their buddies were, what kind 
of work they were interested in, what hobbies they had, the 
names of the members of their family, where they lived, 
what school they attended, you would be much better off 
than if you were to come in cold and say, "What is your 
name? Where do you come from? What school do you go 
to? How far did you get in school?" Obviously, you can 
only prepare data from knowledge that you have. If you do 
not have it, you have to get it. But if you have a choice in 
the matter it is best to be prepared before you start. 

§16.7 Kind of person being interviewed 

Another point to think about before starting an 
interview is to decide in your mind the kind of person you 
are about to deal with. Are you dealing with a claimant, an 
informant, a suspect, a witness? What kind of person are 
you working with? The more particular knowledge you ob- 
viously have about somebody, the better off you will be. 

§16.8 Gathering data about examinee 

Let' s assume, then, that you have gathered a 
certain amount of preliminary information. You have set 
objectives for yourself and you know, roughly, what kind of 
person you are going to deal with, that is, whether this is 
a witness, an informant, a prospective informant, and so 
forth. Next, you will want to be clear about the circum- 
stances surrounding the case, for example, was it an ac- 
cident? How many people were involved? These kinds of 
questions are prolDably familiar to you as a result of your 
everyday work. However, there are other data about a 
person that you should know before starting to talk with 
him. For instance, it is important to know how far a man 
has gone in school. This allows you to know at what level 
to pitch an interview. You will know whether the words that 
you are using are too hard for him to understand. You might 
also want to know something about his social and religious 


background in order to learn whether he has certain ideas or 
superstitions or beliefs as a result of which may make talk- 
ing about a subject particularly touchy or troublesome. You 
will want to know something about his family surroundings 
and the circumstances of his life. You will want to know 
what kind of pressures he may have been subject to, what 
kind of things give him pleasure, as well as what kind of 
things frustrate him. You will certainly want to know some- 
thing about his occupation as well as other facts around his 
immediate life. 

§16.9 Sizing up the subject 

Let' s assume that such information is available 
to you before you have met the person with whom you will 
be speaking. Your next job is that of sizir^ him up. We all 
do this without really being aware of it. Sometimes you 
size up a speaker; usually a speaker sizes up an audience. 
You size up a television entertainer; you size up friends and 
others. There is a lot about physical appearance that im- 
mediately strikes you, and you begin to form impressions 
before you are aware of the process of forming these im- 
pressions. Try to imagine at what a disadvantage we would 
be if we had to interview someone without being able to look 
at him. What would happen if you were to interview some- 
one over the telephone or behind a partition where you did 
not have clues based on physical appearance and gestures? 
Think of how you would make judgments about what a given 
thing would mean to the other person. For instance, you 
see clues in a person' s face and in his hands, in his body, 
his posture, in how he is responding to what you are say- 
ing at a given time. How would you react if you did not have 
these clues? Think of the advantages and the disadvantages, 
if you please, of these different methods of learning about 

When you begin to size up somebody, you begin 
with the physical appearance, gestures, bodily posture, 
dress, grooming, and so forth. I would submit that as you 
are doing this to the other person, he is doing it to you. As 
much as you need to be conscious of the other person, you 
need to be conscious of what you are doing. This may give 


him one impression or another concerning you. It will be 
discussed more fully later. 

The process of observation is such that we are 
not able at once to use every observation that we make about 
another person. The time may not be ripe for us to use a 
given piece of information, so we tuck it away to use at a 
later time. 

§16. 10 Subconscious observation 

The second thing about the process of observation 
is that we are not fully conscious of all the things that we 
are taking in about another person at a given time. How 
often, for instance, have you noticed that out of the clear 
blue sky, when thinking about another thing entirely, you 
will suddenly recall an item from a previous day' s conver- 
sation or something that a person had shown you a day or so 
before, or even years before? In other words, the observa- 
tions that we make consciously and unconsciously are stored 
only to be recalled at a later time. When you are inter- 
viewing, you do this too. You are aware of certain things 
which are immediately interesting to you, which are in line 
with what you are trying to do. There are other things that 
are going on which allow you to observe certain things, but 
you are not reacting to them. I think if you can try to be- 
come more conscious of those things that you may not be 
aware of in the interview at first, you would have a much 
broader body of knowledge to work from in the interview 

§16.11 Problems in observation - interpretation 

Certain signs of anxiety, discomfort, irritation, 
as revealed by the physical appearance of the person are 
discussed in other chapters. Here, let us emphasize the 
problems in observation. 

One of the basic problems is the difference be- 
tween making observation and deciding what the observation 
means. One of the fundamental objectives, no doubt, is to 
discover the motives of the person as he is speaking to you. 
Is he trying to withhold information? Is he trying to give 
you a story? Is he trying to avoid further involvement with 


you? Use whatever clues you can, naturally, to help you in 
this cause. 

§16.12--Aii example 

Let us take as an example the following: There 
is a person at the scene of an accident who has observed 
the accident, and at that time indicates to you that he is 
interested in cooperating by talking to you further. You 
have asked him to come to see you, but when he comes he 
says nothing; he suddenly becomes untalkative and you begin 
to worry about this because you feel that he has crucial in- 
formation. What goes on in your mind then as you are con- 
fronted with this situation? The possibilities are many. 
You may assume, for example, that he has changed his 
mind; that he is afraid to speak to you; perhaps something 
has happened from the time you saw him that has led him to 
change his mind; maybe he is the type of person who does 
not warm up easily to other people; perhaps he is a busy 
person who does not want to give up his time without being 
reimbursed for it; or he has many responsibilities that 
occupy his time. Furthermore, he may be frightened 
about the consequences of giving the information; or he is 
simply frightened from talking with a police officer. We 
all know there are people who naturally fear talking with 
police officers. They have nothing against the officer him- 
self, but have been conditioned to the idea in their early 
childhood that police officers punish people. They are 
afraid of police officers and therefore do not talk to them 
unless they absolutely have to. Maybe this man also feels 
that if he were to give information he would be punishing 
someone, or that the information would lead to difficulties 
for another person. 

These are but a few of the ideas that may go 
through your mind in such an instance. Each of these pos- 
sibilities represents an attempt on your part to ascribe a 
certain kind of motivation to the fact that the man is not 
talking to you. In other words, you are trying to find out 
what is going on in his mind leading to his reluctance to 
talk. The fact that he does not talk to you could be regarded 
as a symptom, the term a doctor would use for this. You 
are trying to find the underlying cause of the symptom just 


as much as the doctor tries to find the cause in order to re- 
move the symptom. 

§16. 13 --Distorting what we see 

Another problem in observation is the matter of 
distorting what we see. It is very easy for us to misper- 
ceive, not to see exactly what is there, to mishear and to 
forget. Observations are not foolproof and certainly our 
memory for observations is not foolproof. The chapter 
on the semantics of interrogation explains the problems that 
come up in trying to understand people when they use lan- 
guage. As you know, one word can mean one thing to one 
person and mean something quite different to another person. 
Similarly, when you describe an event to one person, your 
description of it as you see it in your mind best reflects 
what you saw, but from the time that you have described it 
until the time that it is received in the mind of the other 
person a very different picture can emerge. How often is it 
that a husband and wife, for example, have both watched 
television and end up with a very different view as to what 
was seen? They both perceive what was said in a different 
way, so that it is very difficult to see eye-to-eye in dis- 
cussing it because the basic data seemed very different to 
each. This is part of human nature. We trick ourselves 
all the time in hearing, seeing, recalling and describing 
things, and in the process of working in interviews or in- 
terrogation, you have to be quite aware of how easy it is for 
people to mislead themselves. 

§16. 14- -Making erroneous deductions 

Another major way in which you can mislead 
yourself is in making deductions about what you see. It is 
easy enough to mistake what you see, but the mistake may 
be magnified many times as you attempt to make a deduc- 
tion from what you saw. If two people do not agree on what is 
seen, these same two people are likely to disagree ten times 
more as to what it means. In other words, if two people do 
not see the facts as the same, what the facts mean may be 
distorted even more. 

What should you look for, then, in talking with 
someone? You look at the physical appearance; you listen 


to the words; you look at his gestures; you listen to what a 
person is trying to communicate in the way of feeling be- 
cause behind the words are feelings. Sometimes we are 
misled in thinking that people mean what they say or say 
what they mean. One of the surest clues to what a person 
is trying to tell you, one where you make the fewest mis- 
takes, is not to listen so much to what he says but to listen, 
first, to the feeling that is associated with what he says. 
Second, do not be misled by what he says, but pay more 
attention to what he does. 

§16. 15 Observing a feeling through behavior 

What about this matter of feeling? You know 
somebody can say, in answer to your question, "Oh, sure. 
I love my father, " but in the gesture, in the tensing, in the 
fist clenching process is a feeling that obviously is not in 
harmony with the expression of love. Be particularly aware 
of feeling states that are out of keeping with what the person 
says. If a person says that he is not guilty you may feel 
strongly that he is guilty because he is biting his nails, 
smoking a great deal, pacing the floor. He may reveal a 
feeling of nervousness, apprehension, or anxiety, which is 
out of keeping with the fact that he tells you he had nothing 
to do with the crime. In order to observe a feeling, look at 
what a person does. His feeling about something is usually 
revealed by his behavior. 

For instance, if a man comes home from work 
late because he had stopped off at a tavern and his wife had 
to wait supper for him, she may be angry. As the husband 
steps into the room, she may bawl him out, tell him she 
feels that it was terrible he was late. But notice what she 
does. She may be telling him this, but meanwhile she is 
going about the business of getting the supper ready, setting 
the table and finding the most comfortable chair for him. 
In other words, her feeling of anger is offset by the fact that 
she is really pleased to see him, for she is trying to make 
him comfortable. Now, this can work the other way, too. 

For example, she can greet him warmly, listen 
while he tells what a rough day he's had, commiserate with 
him, but while she says, "Yes, darling. Sit down, I will 
get your supper ready," she brings the plate to the table and 


drops it, or she burns the meat; or as she pours the drink, 
misses the glass. Now, the feeling in her behavior here is 
quite different from the feeling of saying, "Darling, supper 
is ready. " In police work, too, you must look at the feelings 
shown by the suspect. They may be very different from the 
words he uses. Talk is cheap as the old saying goes; actions 
speak louder than words. 

§16. 16--Look for dominant feeline 

As you talk to people, you look for a dominant 
feeling. You will find that people usually have certain feel- 
ings which are characteristic. Each person has a certain 
sensitive spot, a weak spot, if you will, that is likely to be 
revealed under certain pressures. Whether they frighten 
easily or are quick to anger are feelings that are likely to 
show up under pressure, especially since pressure speeds 
up the reactions that we are likely to show. These reactions 
may not show up in every-day life if things run smoothly. 
If things do not run smoothly, the tendency to react in cer- 
tain ways is exaggerated and you can see more clearly at 
that time what a person is likely to do. 

§16. 17 --False interpretation of feelings 

You can, however, run into trouble in making 
false interpretations about a person' s feelings. Clinical 
psychologists find this all the time in their work. If, for 
instance, a patient is sitting in a chair all tensed up, fist 
clenched, looking mad, saying nothing, and the psychologist 
says to him, "You look angry, " he will jump up out of his 
chair and say fiercely, "I am not angry, " banging the chair, 
denying that he is angry. He proves the point by his show- 
ing it, but denies it in his own mind, and tries to deny it 
verbally. If you say that he is angry toward the questioner, 
you may be entirely wrong. If you say he is angry toward 
something or someone, you may be right. Great care is 
needed in drawing these interpretations because you may be 
mistaken about the object of his anger. As an example, a 
woman recently came to see me as a patient. I was ten 
minutes late. She was very, very angry. Ordinarily if a 
patient goes to see his doctor and the doctor is ten minutes 


late, it is accepted. To be castigated by someone for being 
ten minutes late immediately suggested to me that she was 
not really angry toward me, but that she was angry about 
something else. It turned out that she was angry toward the 
doctor who referred her, and she took it out on the next 

When you interpret to a person how he may be 
feeling toward you, he may think you are reading his mind, 
especially if your interpretation is correct. If you are 
wrong, his anger may become intensified, both because you 
are reading his mind and are doing so incorrectly. Some- 
times a per son can feel a sense of relief when an 
interpretation is correct - for the interviewer has shown he 
understands the other person. 

§16. 18 Preparation for interviews or interrogations 

Something needs to be said regarding the fact that 
the more the interrogator knows about a person and the 
kinds of people who commit certain crimes or offenses, the 
better he will be prepared to handle particular interviews 
or interrogations. For instance, one theory discussed more 
fully elsewhere is that there is a basic difference between 
what is called an emotional offender and a non- emotional 
offender. The emotional offenders have troubled con- 
sciences, whereas those who commit non-emotional crimes 
feel no moral guilt. Thus, if the suspect has feelings of 
remorse or anguish, a sympathetic approach could be very 
effective. Those people who show no remorse, guilt, or 
anguish may only be partly responsive to a sympathetic ap- 
proach. It is necessary in these instances to try to get these 
people to feel some guilt first before you can sympathize with 
them. In other words, you have to make them feel guilty 
first, whereas a lot of people feel guilty inside without any 
help. Now, the people who do not feel any guilt have no 
pressure from within themselves to feel it. A lot of people 
who commit certain crimes just do not feel bad about it and 
admit they would do it again if they had the opportunity. 

The point here is that in preparation for inter- 
views or interrogations, it is best to keep in mind that there 
are different kinds of offenders, those who commit crimes 
in the heat of emotional excitement and those who commit 
crimes after cool reflection and planning. 


§16. 19 The examiner - forces affecting 

A lot more could be said about the kinds of sub- 
jects, differences among subjects, and the probable ap- 
proaches to them, but let us turn now and look at the other 
side of the coin. Let us look at the investigator, the ex- 
aminer. The examiner is the other side of our equation. 
Sometimes we look at an investigation as a one-sided pro- 
position, as if it only pertains to the examinee. 

A police officer has as many forces acting upon 
him at a given time in the interrogation process as does the 
examinee. An interrogator may want to improve his effi- 
ciency rating or otherwise demonstrate his value to his 
department or office; he may be trying for a promotion; he 
may be infuriated by a particular offense or a particular 
person. Examiners may be in competition with one another 
and each may want to receive credit for a job well done. 
These are all perfectly natural and understandable motives. 
There are probably more subtle forces acting on examiners 
in interrogation than on examinees. There are as many 
differences among examiners as there are differences 
among witnesses and suspects. This is not in reference 
only to differences in their background and training, but 
there are psychological differences among examiners which 
should be discussed. 

§16. 20--Anger affecting judgment 

Some examiners feel, from time to time, that at 
no point will they allow an examinee to outsmart them. 
Such an examiner may use every trick in the book to keep 
the subject from misleading him. He may find himself 
getting angry and as a result of his intense anger his judg- 
ment may get poorer and poorer. An examiner may not be 
aware of the fact that his judgment is weakening. In the 
heat of passion, excitement, or anger, it is hard to use our 
intelligence effectively. Our minds are set on accomplishing 
the goal that we have set, so we do not realize that what we 
are saying or doing may be foolish. 

Under the influence of alcohol and the heat of ex- 
citement, people do things which they otherwise would not do. 
The same thing happens in rage, anger. The loss of inhibition 


felt after drinking alcohol, may also be felt in the process 
of enragement. A common expression is, "I am so mad I 
could kill him." Now, you may say, "Don't you realize the 
consequences of what would happen if you did it?" He will 
say, "I don't care. I just don't care what the consequences 
are. I am so mad I want to kill him. " A person does not 
think clearly when emotion gets stirred up. Interrogators 
are susceptible to emotion because they are human. 

§16.21 Incompatibility of examiner and examinee 

It is common for a police officer to meet an ex- 
aminee with whom he cannot get results. They do not hit it 
off right. Why is it that people do not get along? 

It would take us too far afield to consider this 
question in detail. We know that when we went to school 
there were certain teachers who got us to work better than 
other teachers. There are employers for whom we do better 
jobs. Certain combinations of people work out well, others 
do not. This principle extends to husbands and wives as 
much as it does to employers and employees and interro- 
gators and examinees. 

You cannot easily tell why an examinee may not 
want to cooperate. But you do know that you are not getting 
cooperation. It may have nothing to do with you personally 
or the way you conduct the interrogation. In fact, the reason 
may be ridiculous or valid, if you had the time to go into it. 
You may remind them of someone else; an uncle whom they 
disliked. Or, unconsciously they may take a dislike to the 
way you dress or speak. The examinee may himself be en- 
tirely unaware of why he is not cooperating. Therefore, you 
cannot know why they regard you the way they do, when they 
do not know themselves. 

§16.22 Use of a more compatible examiner 

Psychologists have learned that it is perfectly 
normal for certain people to work effectively with one kind 
of person whereas they may be ineffective with others. This 
is one of the reasons for specialization. We may like to 
interview younger people rather than older persons. Some 
of us get results with the seriously disturbed, whereas 


others do not. This principle may be applied to police work, 
too. If you are not getting results with a particular exam- 
inee and can turn him over to another interrogator, do so. 
He may succeed. And you do not have to feel badly about it. 
Therewill be times when he may choose to return the favor. 

Each of us has his prejudices and weak spots. 
We may not be able to relate easily to persons who are very 
different from us. Persons of other races, religions, social 
backgrounds may trouble us. It is necessary to try to see 
the things going on within you that may be keeping you from 
doing the best possible job. This is important because the 
person who is being questioned is constantly sizing you up 
and is as interested in finding out your weak spots as you 
are his. Just think what would happen if the tables were 
turned, if you were the reluctant witness. Think of the many 
techniques you would use to prevent getting yourself in- 
volved. Think of how you would be looking for the weak- 
nesses in the other person to help your cause. I think you 
should be aware of your weak points and try to improve 
them. This does not mean that you must get very angry or 
very hard with the examinee but it does mean that you must 
become aware of your feelings and what you are doing your- 

It would be advisable to have a second examiner 
present when you are having trouble with an examinee. It 
may be a very simple thing you are missing; for instance, 
you may not notice that while you are smoking during the 
interrogation, the suspect keeps looking at you in a funny 
way as if the smoking itself is in some way distasteful to 
him and is causing him to not want to talk. As simple an 
observation as that could be brought to your attention if 
another person were there. 

§16.23 Favorable qualities of the examiner 

I have mentioned that there are certain character- 
istics of the investigator which may help him in his work. 
I have already touched on the importance of the power of 
observation and alertness to the subject, having a body of 
knowledge about the subject, and of the different kinds of 
subjects and the kinds of offenses they commit, the different 


kinds of offenses likely to be committed and the charac- 
teristic reactions of people in relation to these offenses. 
There are other qualities of a good interrogator 
that come to mind. A man must be terribly patient. This 
is sometimes called perseverance or tolerance in working 
with another person. A man should be able to exercise self- 
control: something a person says or does can get you terri- 
bly angry, but if you show it and allow yourself to be swayed 
by it at the time your cause may be endangered. An ex- 
aminer should not give a subject any cause for doubting his 
integrity. If you try by certain deceptive means to get 
something from another person and he senses that you are 
stepping out of you bounds to do this, you may lose his 
cooperation. It is also necessary for an interrogator to be 
flexible; he should be able to alter his approach whenever 
he feels it is necessary even if it means a loss in pride or 
some feeling of loss of self-esteem for him to have to shift 
gears suddenly in an interview. Let us say you have been 
very tough with a man and you have gotten no results, per- 
haps you need to be sympathetic, easy-going; maybe that 
will produce the results. Sometimes you may want to use a 
patient, quiet, listening attitude, but then suddenly you may 
want to shift gears and become very active. This requires 
a certain flexibility, and in becoming active, you may want 
to stop playing a certain role. And it certainly does not hurt 
to be a little bit of an actor in this work. Sometimes you 
should practice it. It is worthwhile to consider practicing 
the kind of a role you feel will lead you to the results that 
you want. Very important in playing a role is that the feel- 
ing that goes with the role should be appropriate. If you 
just use the words without getting the feeling across, your 
cause is lost. As much as you are judging the differences 
in the words and the feelings of a subject, so he is judging 
the differences in what you are saying and feeling toward 

Chapter 17 

The Semantics of Interrogation 

Warren A. Guthrie, Ph. D. 


17. 1 Introduction 

17.2 Difficulties in communicating accurately 
17. 3 Multiple meanings of words 

17. 4 --An example; the word "fast" 

17. 5 --Misinterpretation of words 

17.6 --Reference to time 

17. 7 Static quality of words 

17.8 - -A person' s name 

17. 9 Incompleteness of word pictures 

17. 10 Failure to separate statements of fact and judgments 

17. 11 Interrogation defined 

17. 12 Interrogation to gain facts or information 

17. 13 --Use language producing the same mental image 

17. 14 --Avoid leading questions 

17. 15 --Explanation of observed phenomena 

17. 16 --Avoid drawing inferences 

17. 17 Testing statements through interrogation 

17. 18 --Use of the leading question 

17. 19 --Use of converted or obverted question 

17.20 --Questions requesting detail or amplification 

17. 21 --Testing knowledge of fact and inference 

17.22 — Inference from sounds heard and things observed 

17. 23 Skill in listening - I-can-hear level 

17.24 --I-can-repeat-back level 

17.25 --The top listening level 

§17. 1 Introduction 

One of the basic needs we have in most kinds of 
activity in which we are involved is the ability to communi- 
cate, perhaps to do it more effectively than we ordinarily do. 

Let' s assume (and this is not purely an assump- 



tion)thatI am completely untrained in science (which I am). 
Let' s assume that despite the fact that I am on a college 
faculty I have never yet learned what a triangle is. I have 
never seen one and have no idea what it is, it is a com- 
pletely unknown object to me. Get a picture in your mind 
of what a triangle is and now try to translate that picture 
into my head by means of language. One explanation would 
be to make a V and turn it upside down and draw a line 
underneath it. You assume I know what a V is. Three 
straight lines, their ends connected, forming an enclosure, 
might explain it. Notice how difficult explaining that actually 
is; yet it is a very simple object. To try to put into lan- 
guage something that exists in reality is not easy, especially 
if you' re dealing with somebody who either deliberately or 
unconsciously misunderstands. 

Now suppose we draw a sketch of an apple, and 
then I say, "Do you like apples?" "Yes, Sir. " "Do you like 
to eat them?" "Yes, Sir." "All right come up and take a 
bite out of this one. " You see what happens here. It is the 
same principle--we have a real object--an apple--to which 
one reacts in the past because he has eaten it. We have a 
symbol of this particular object which is pictured; we have 
a word which represents it, and he reacts now to the word 
as though we were dealing with the reality- -until suddenly 
I bring him up short and say "O. K. , go ahead and take a 
bite." Then, for the first time, we recognize that the word 
is one thing--the reality is another. These two things are 
simply not the same and can' t be made so. 

§17.2 Difficulties in conimunicating accurately 

This is our eternal problem in communication 
because we're trying to take a real world in which things 
happen, in which people exist and in which they behave or 
misbehave, as the case may be, and offer an explanation in 
terms of language. The only way by which we can communi- 
cate those things which people do or even determine what 
has been done is by a language world which is a different 
kind of thing. The real world and the word world are two 
different sorts of worlds, but we have to deal with both of 
them constantly: existing simultaneously are a world in 
which we talk about things- -in which we describe them, in 


which we try by language to create them--and a world in 
which things actually happen and exist and become a part of 
our life around us. 

The problem of the interrogator constantly, and I 
use that term now not in the specialized form of police in- 
terrogators, is the problem of trying to get word-world 
pictures which will be accurate enough so that you can re- 
construct to a reasonable degree, at least, a real-world 
event. The difficulty is one which is almost insurmountable 
because no word-world picture can ever duplicate the real 
event and no matter how much we talk about a picture of an 
apple, we would never get something into which we are will- 
ing to sink our teeth. The word-world picture of necessity 
must be different from the real world. Words are of vital 
importance to our society and we learn to react to them as 
though they are real. We adjust to a word as a pedestrian 
must adjust to a speeding car; we use words as a rider uses 
a car to move from place to place. It' s a word-world we 
live in but it's a real world, too, and therein lies the peren- 
nial and eternal problem of the communicator to get these 
two worlds so they are reasonably in juxtaposition. 

§17.3 Multiple meanings of words 

There are three kinds of things that can happen 
to us in the word-world that will get us into trouble. First 
of all, we' re in trouble when we assume that any word we 
use hasa single meaning--that the picture I have in my head 
when I use the word is the same picture that another has in 
his head when he uses the word. For example, I could ask, 
"What kind of an apple is this?" and the answer is "Deli- 
cious. " Now notice the problem you run into right away 
when you say "Delicious. " Are you referring to the taste 
of this thing or are you referring to the brand name, be- 
cause we have a brand of apple which is known as a "Deli- 
cious" apple. I guess you' ve also eaten apples which were 
not Delicious at all, except you say they' re delicious be- 
cause although they're Jonathans they are delicious and you 
see how confusing this thing can get because the term 
"delicious" has not a single meaning--it has a multitude of 
meanings; it can be either brand name or can be a descrip- 
tive term --whichever you want to make it. This is true 


with virtually all of the language we use. Words do not have 
any meaning in themselves; they have meaning as somebody 
uses them--as he has a picture in his head; and they have 
meaning as someone else hears them as he has a picture in 
his head, but this is not necessarily the same thing. 

§17.4--An example; the word "fast" 

The word I prefer to play with on that count, to 
illustrate it, because I think it' s easy to remember, is a 
simple little four -letter word "fast". What does this word 
mean? Well, it' s a simple enough word; it' s one we use 
constantly. Yet, look at the variety of meanings that it' s 
required to carry, depending on the picture in your head. 
If I talk of a fast race horse, what do I have? I have a race 
horse on which you can safely invest a couple of dollars. 
And notice my use of the term "investment" because what's 
an investment? Look it up in the dictionary; it's a financial 
expenditure with the hope of financial gain. Don' t let any- 
one ever tell you he ever bet on a horse; what you do is 
invest in one, because everybody has the hope, at least, of a 
financial gain. So a fast race horse is a horse on which you 
can safely invest a couple of dollars. That is, unless that 
race horse has been tied fast, in which case now he' s no 
longer fast because he' s fast. That is, if he weren' t tied 
fast he' d be fast but since he' s fast he' s not fast. Same 
word, yet we can change the meaning of it 100%. Our fast 
race horse runs very rapidly. 

The bright red skirt, I trust is a fast color -- 
meaning it doesn' t run at all. Same word but a completely 
different concept. We use that same word fast in reference 
to a religious observance and when you "fast" you abstain 
from something--to fast, to abstain. It's the same word 
you use in reference to a young lady (at least in the genera- 
tion in which I grew up) and she is one who abstains from 
virtually nothing, but you haven' t changed the word at all. 
So, what' s the meaning of the word "fast"? Well, it has 
meaning only as I have a picture in my mind when I use it 
and as you have a picture in your mind when you hear it, and 
as long as we' re both thinking of the same thing we under- 
stand each other. That' s not because the word has any 
meaning; it' s because we have a concept which gets into 


juxtaposition with another, one with the other, and when I 
say the word you create a picture in your head which is 
somewhat similar to the one that I have. Yet, we can never 
assume that words have a single meaning; the minute that 
we do we are in potential language-communications diffi- 
culty, whether we're involved in interrogation or in speaking. 

§17. 5 --Misinterpretation of words 

I am involved in the television broadcasting of 
news, and a classic illustration of this happened to me. I 
tried to describe an event that had taken place off Cape 
Henry in Virginia; I was trying to use a minimum of words 
to get it done, to get through a whole program. The facts 
in the case were that two ships had collided; there had been 
a fire as a result; on board the navy tanker there were a 
number of people who had been burned to death and it was 
also discovered that a number of others had been trapped 
between decks on that same navy tanker. As I told the story 
I used roughly this language: I said: "There are seven men 
known dead on board the navy tanker and there is an excel- 
lent chance that a number of others have been trapped be- 
tween decks. " What I meant by the word "excellent", as I 
used it, was there is a very high "probability" that they 
have been trapped between decks. But an amazing number 
of people who heard that program made the assumption that 
what this meant was that I was taking a kind of sadistic joy 
from the fact that these poor men were trapped between 
decks. They were not at all reluctant to let me know this. 
What was the important thing? What I meant? Not a bit of 
it! It was what people thought I meant, because my job was 
to communicate an idea as accurately as possible and I had 
used a word which was capable of a great deal of misinter- 
pretation, and in fact the popular conception of it was the one 
which most people had who heard it- -not the one I had in 
mind when I used it. The same thing can be true with any 
kind of word description of anything. 

§17. 6 --Reference to time 

The most casual observation that comes to mind, 
of course, is the one that has a reference to time, because 


we are constantly using words to describe time and yet we 
use words with a completely different concept of meaning. 
I used to try the stunt of asking people to estimate how long 
it would be when a minute had passed and I would simply 
stop and ask them to raise their hand when a minute went 
by. In most cases when you ask people to do this, within 
30 seconds half the hands in the room are up and long be- 
fore a minute has passed they are all up because we are not 
used to evaluating a minute as a solid fragment of time. 
We say "I' 11 do it in just a minute, " meaning when its con- 
venient if you' re going to do it for somebody else; meaning 
you want it done right away if someone else is going to do 
it for you. Or, that term "right away, " what does it mean? 
Well it means one thing when you are asked to do a job and 
quite a different thing when you want someone else to do it 
because there is no meaning in the word- -the meaning is 
the picture in our heads. 

§17.7 Static quality of words 

Never assume then that words have a single 
meaning when you' re dealing with interrogation. Always 
remember, too, that words have a static quality while they 
deal with a dynamic world- -that words are static while the 
world with which they deal is dynamic. We are in trouble 
when we assume that words have a dynamic meaning in this 
frame of reference. They do not. They are static in their 
nature- -the world is dynamic. Let me illustrate. If our 
apple picture were a real apple rather than a representation, 
we could set it on the edge of a table and we could talk about 
it and all the time that we talked about it that apple would 
be undergoing a process of change. If we came back three 
weeks later and took a look at said apple we would discover 
that that process of change had been completed- -it would be 
a dried up or a rotten apple depending upon circumstances 
about which I know nothing. But the apple would have 
changed. Its label, however, would not and thus any word 
description is a static kind of description of a thing which 
is dynamic. 

§17. 8-- A person's name 

This becomes even clearer when you think of it 


in terms of your own identification --you carry the same 
word label, each one of you, through most of your lives, 
probably all of your lives. Most men have only one, women 
have a right to change theirs at least once and many of them 
abuse that privilege, but most of us carry the same word 
label all of our lives. But not one of you would maintain 
that you are the same person you were ten years ago; you 
are not the man you were then, you are a different person 
entirely. In fact, some doctors told me that over a life- 
time you change every cell in your body a multitude of dif- 
ferent times, so that you are not the same person you were 
yesterday but you carry the same word picture. Thus, any 
static description of a thing belies the dynamic quality which 
is in it, and this is another one of our difficulties with lan- 
guage; it is static while the things with which we deal, the 
things about which we talk, are dynamic and in the constant 
process of change. 

§17.9 Incompleteness of word pictures 

The third problem is this: no word picture, no 
matter what you do with it, can ever be a complete picture. 
We are in trouble when we assume that we can get a dupli- 
cation of reality by words; when we assume that word 
pictures can be made complete. What an object is in the 
real world is not going to be changed by what you call it. 
You can call a pen a thermometer if you want to but no mat- 
ter where you put it, itis not going to take your temperature. 
You can call it a knife but it is not going to provide you any 
protection. You can call it a flash light but it will not help 
you find a keyhole. It actually is a fountain pen and, of 
course, when you call it a pen it might mean any of a dozen 
things at one time. What is a pen? Well, a pen is what you 
keep kids in — a playpen. Or it is what you keep adults in 
who have broken the law --penitentiary. Or it is what you 
keep pigs in. Or it is what you write with- -because what 
is a pen? A pen is what you are thinking of when you say it. 
But the thing I really want to illustrate is this: if we started 
to talk about this and tried to construct a complete word- 
world picture of it, we could continue to talk about a pen for 
weeks. We could discuss the metallurgy; the trim which is on 
it; we could discuss the chemistry of the plastic; we could 


talk about the ink; we could discuss the design which is 
here; we could talk about a pen until the end of time and 
when we got all through we would not have anything which 
was capable of making a mark on a sheet of paper because 
only the pen in the real-world possesses that complete 
entity. No word-world description of it can ever duplicate 
the action which can be taken by the object itself. Thus, no 
word-world picture of anything is complete and we make a 
fatal assumption, as far as trying to get facts in a case is 
concerned, if we ever assume that the word-world picture 
somebody gives us can be a complete story of what hap- 
pened. It cannot. 

The other illustration I would like to use concern- 
ing this point is the New York Times ostentatious slogan, 
"All the news that' s fit to print." On a Sunday afternoon the 
New York Times is so heavy you need your youngster's 
wagon to get it home. But reference to many of us has never 
appeared in the pages of the New York Times . "All the 
news that's fit to print" --does that mean, then, that every- 
thing we have done is unfit to print? Not necessarily; it 
means that, literally, in a complex world of the kind we 
have, even the Times can not possibly print everything. 
There can not be a complete story told in words. All I have 
said up to now is this: in the word-world we are in trouble 
when we assume (1) that words have a single meaning, (2) 
that they are dynamic in their meaning, and (3) that word 
pictures are complete. 

§ 17. 10 Failure to separate statements of fact and judgments 

Also, we are in trouble when we fail to separate 
statements of fact from statements of inference which are 
statements of judgment. And the word pictures that we are 
constantly creating as we talk with other people can be of 
either kind- -we can be trying to describe facts or we can 
draw inferences from facts. And we frequently mix these 
two things up so rapidly that it is difficult to tell which is 
which. To watch the progress from statement of fact to 
statement of inference to statement of judgment, take this 
very simple statement. It is a hypothetical sort of situation 
but I use it often because it illustrates my point. Let's say 
the housewife who has new young neighbors next door gets 


Up at two or three in the morning when they happen to arrive 
home. She looks out of the window and she sees them come 
up the walk and go into their house. She tells her husband the 
next morning: "That young couple across the street came 
in at 2:00. " This is statement of fact. "They were out on 
a toot r 11 betcha. " (An inference). "I knew they were no 
good when they moved in. " (A judgment). You see how 
there has been a movement from fact to inference to judg- 
ment. We must evaluate each of those statements in a 
different light if we are going to evaluate with any accuracy 
the kind of word picture which we' re getting from someone 
else. We could probably believe the statement of fact as 
being reasonably certain; we have no basis on which to be- 
lieve the inference or the judgment. So that the problem is 
always to try to separate fact from inference from judgment 
as we are evaluating the contributions of other people. 

Dealing with language is tricky and trying to learn 
things by language from other people is perhaps the trickiest 
thing of all; that is the constant problem of the interrogator. 

§17. 11 Interrogation defined 

Let's apply this as best we can to the province of 
interrogation itself. And here let me define my terms be- 
cause as I use the term "interrogation, "which has no meaning 
in itself either, since I probably am using it in a different 
kind of concept than you are. The function of interrogation 
is a dual one. You may use interrogation as a means by 
which you are attempting to secure information. You are 
attempting to gain facts to determine what went on, to re- 
construct pictures of what occurred. Or, you may use 
interrogation as a means of testing information, and this I 
think is probably the way in which you more usually use it. 
You think of the interrogation of a suspect as one in which 
you are really trying to break the character down and to get 
from him information he does not plan to give or one in 
which you destroy the story which he has already created. 
I am using it in both senses. We interrogate in an effort to 
get information and we interrogate in an effort to test infor- 
mation; there are two different techniques involved. We will 
take them up in turn. 


§17. 12 Interrogation to gain facts or information 

Interrogation occurs when you are attempting to 
find out from someone else by means of a word picture what 
actually happened in a real world situation which you did not 
have the opportunity to observe. Whenever we do this we 
interrogate. First, let's deal with interrogation as you are 
concerned with the effort to gain facts or to gain informa- 
tion - -not with the testing of facts but with the gaining of 
information insofar as possible. The following principles, 
based on this whole area of general semantics, would seem 
to apply. 

§17. 13 --Use language producing the same mental image 

First, the language used by the interrogator must 
call up approximately the same mental image in the mind of 
both the questioner and of the respondent. Notice the heavy 
responsibility this puts on the interrogator, because he has 
the job of being sure that his language is understood by his 
listener. Again, most of my illustrations will not come out 
of the area of legal procedure because that is not where my 
experience lies. I like the story that is told, for example, 
of the individual who was in Finland during the war; was 
seeking to find the British foreign office and got himself in 
the general area of London where the foreign office was lo- 
cated and then asked a London bobby where the office was. 
He happened to be right in the area and the bobby just pointed 
down the street and he said "Right down that street." Where- 
upon the American, having started on and then suddenly 
realizing he did not really know where it was yet, said: "But 
wait a minute, which side are they on?" And the London 
bobby replied: "They say they are on our side." Now notice 
that this is a deliberate misinterpretation of language, 
probably, but the misinterpretation has plausibility because 
'Which side are they on?" may mean which side are they 
on physically or it may mean which side are they on, you 
see, in terms of the combat involved. You have a very real 
possibility that what one person is saying and what you are 
reacting to are two different things, because "in a minute" 
as r ve suggested before, can mean a multitude of different 
things. "Awfully fast" depends on who says it and under what 


circumstances. "It was a long period of time between those 
sounds"--what is a long period of time? There is always 
the danger that the mental image which is created in the 
mind of the respondent is different than the mental image 
which is in the mind of the interrogator. The job of the 
interrogator is to be sure that this doesn' t happen. 

§17. 14 --Avoid leading questions 

A second principle is this: leading questions have 
to be avoided because they tend constantly to confuse the 
mental image which is already formed by a witness. A 
"leading" question is a question which presumes a reply and 
I am sure you are familiar with that particular kind. When 
I say, 'Who was that lady I saw you with last night?" to use 
the old cliche, that at least assumes that you were with a 
lady last night and if you answer, "That was no lady, that 
was my wife, " you have still established the fact you were 
with someone; it was a leading question in that sense. And 
when we are simply trying to gain information the leading 
question is almost always the one that will lead us into the 
possibility of error, particularly if you have an emotionally 
disturbed witness who is inclined to be trying to help or try- 
ing to hinder, as the case may be. It is not a leading ques- 
tion if you ask if a witness noticed anything unusual or if he 
can describe any events during the preceding evening. It is 
a leading question when you ask, "Did you hear anything that 
sounded like a shot?" "As a matter of fact, I did, " she 
says. "Did you see anyone leave the place last night?" 
Again, we are not quite leading when we say, "Did you see 
anyone leave this place, or come in?" We are saying "Can 
you report what happened?" But, "Was it a man or woman 
who left?" is a leading question; it presumes that somebody 
left. It is not necessary to ask leading questions. Although 
you have to ask questions which will elicit information, you 
do not have to provide part of that information in the ques- 
tion. The following goes far afield from your particular 
area, but it makes the same point. I do not know how many 
of you have heard these recent ads that have dealt with the 
product Oleo, but they keep referring to it as "better than 
the high-priced spread. " They never mention butter. Why 
not? Because in the mentioning of butter (now we are deal- 


ing with advertising psychology but the same principle is 
there), the minute you mention butter you introduce that idea 
into the minds of your listeners and you do not want them to 
bethinking about butter --you want them to think about Oleo. 
There is one that goes on now that refers to rayon cord 
tires and talks about the tires on your car. You want your 
tires to be safe, you do not want them to be made of the 
material from which women' s stockings are made. They 
never mention nylon, because the minute they would mention 
nylon you would begin thinking of that as a possibility and 
its just like a leading question, it introduces the idea that 
you do not want to introduce. Any time you ask a leading 
question, in which you suggest the answer which the witness 
might give, you are in danger of implanting that answer and 
convincing everyone that the answer is true even though it 
is not. The leading question is likely to give you that parti- 
cular kind of response; you avoid it if you are simply trying 
to get information. 

§17. 15 --Explanation of observed phenomena 

The third consideration concerns questions which 
ask for an explanation of observed phenomena to help test 
the accuracy or truthfulness of the witness' account. There 
is a difference between asking a leading question and asking 
for an explanation of what an individual has reported. For 
example, when you say "the car was going awfully fast, " 
what do you mean by "awfully" fast? The explanation tries 
to clarify this picture. If you say that there was a "long 
period of time between, " on what basis do you make that 
judgment of a "long" period? You are trying again to clarify 
the particular picture that is involved. In a class one day 
we were performing the experiment in argumentation where 
we asked students to estimate the period of time in which a 
minute had passed. One of the students came up within the 
second of that minute- -up came his hand right on the nose-- 
59 1/2 or 59 3/4 seconds indicating the minute had passed. 
My first tendency was to infer that he had been sneaking a 
look at his wristwatch because his reaction was too pat to 
be good. But rather than accuse him of that, I asked, "Why 
are you so much more accurate than the rest of the group? 
How do you estimate the time?" It turned out he was a navi- 


gator during the war; had done this business of 60 second 
turns so many times that he had a habit pattern established 
for 60 seconds. The explanation then added to the validity 
of his statement and it was an explanation, not a leading 
question which secured it. 

§17. 16 --Avoid drawing inferences 

A fourth consideration is that the questioner must 
avoid constructing a verbalization to explain facts until the 
facts are known and understood. That is a rather complex 
way of saying that if you are seeking to gain facts or infor- 
mation as an interrogator you are as interested in your 
ability to listen as you are in your ability to interrogate. 
This is one of the most difficult things in the world, I think, 
for the interrogator to learn. You get about 3 facts; you 
begin to draw an inference yourself from the information 
that you have secured, and you say: "Oh, I see, what you 
mean is this, " and again the suspect is likely to nod his 
head and say "Yes" whether that is what he really meant or 
not because that is the easiest way to get you off his back. 
You should avoid drawing any kind of inferences; you should 
avoid making any verbalization during the process of inter- 
rogation if you are trying to get facts. But what do you do? 
You should take the summary which you have arrived at 
back to the individual who is questioned and let him examine 
it after the interview. But you do not do that in the process 
of interrogation because very frequently you then find him 
leaving out material as unnecessary, because you have 
drawn an inference long before the story was complete. So 
the verbalization to explain facts is one which you do not 
draw--you leave that to the so-called witness. These are 
the principles to follow if you are simply trying to gain data. 

§17. 17 Testing statements through interrogation 

It is quite different if you are trying to test state- 
ments. The interrogator has both jobs on his hands, of 
course. The only thing that I would suggest very strongly is 
that we never mix these two things- -that you do them one at 
a time. There is a difference between gaining information 
and attempting to test the information which has been gained. 


When you are trying to test statements, then the use of the 
leading question is extremely effective because the leading 
question is one of the best ways by which you can tell 
whether an individual has given you an accurate picture or 
whether he is trying to fabricate a picture. And it can be 
used again and again. 

§17. 18 --Use of the leading question 

The stories which I would like to use to illustrate 
this came out of the legal career of Abraham Lincoln. They 
are almost too pat to believe but you will find them, at least, 
in the various Lincoln biographies. One story you may re- 
call was where a young man was unjustly accused of having 
committed a murder and it occurred in a clearing. There 
were a couple of thugs involved with this innocent young 
man. He was accused of the murder and one of the two 
roughnecks in the neighborhood was the witness against him. 
Lincoln was the attorney representing the young man. The 
question of identification, of course, was the prize question. 
This all took place on the stand. The fellow identified this 
young man as the person who had fired the shot or had done 
the stabbing or whatever the particular violence had been, 
and Lincoln's questioning ran something like this. He said, 
"Well, can you identify him positively?" And the witness 
said "Yes." Said Mr. Lincoln, "Then it must have been a 
reasonably bright night if you were able to identify him, 
even though it was close to midnight, " and the witness said, 
"Yes, there was a good deal of light in the sky." "I suppose, 
then that the moon must have been near the full, " and the 
witness said "Yes, it was certainly at least at three-quar- 
ters; there was enough moonlight that you could identify 
him." Whereupon Mr. Lincoln reached into his pocket, pul- 
led out the Farmers' Almanac and showed that that day had 
been the dark of the moon. The individual answering leading 
questions which seemed to corroborate what he had been 
saying had ended up proving himself a liar. Thiswill some- 
times happen. The leading question now serves its purpose. 

The other story that is told about Lincoln re- 
garded another case of identification where a hat left at the 
scene of the crime was the vital thing which linked the defen- 
dant with the particular crime. Mr. Lincoln looked at the 


hat, which was a very common type, and he said: "How can 
you be so positive this is the defendant' s hat?" Andthewit- 
ness explained that he had seen it many times and was 
thoroughly familiar with it and that he was positive that it 
was the defendant' s hat. Lincoln, as he was handling the 
hat, just fiddling with it, turned the band inside out and 
said, "I suppose, then, you are aware of the initials which 
are on the band?" And the man said "Yes, you'll find those 
are also his initials. " He then unfolded it and there were 
no initials on the band. This was a leading question which 
had led the witness, in an effort to corroborate what he had 
said, to volunteer data which was not true. Thus the lead- 
ing question can prove the witness presumably to be a liar. 
Any attempt to get the witness to answer, you see, once you 
have established the picture as completely as possible, tests 
the credibility of that particular witness. And failure to 
test his credibility can also mean failure to carry a case in 
court. I do not know much about law but when a witness who 
has given you a good story but whose honesty and veracity 
and willingness to stick to the facts has never been tested 
is confronted by a lawyer who then leads him into areas 
where he knows nothing, but where he is trying to volunteer 
information, you have a case that goes right out the window 
at that particular point. The use of leading questions here 
is extremely effective. 

§17. 19 --Use of converted or obverted question 

So, also, is the use of another kind of question 
the terms of which are probably unfamiliar --the use of so- 
called converted or obverted question. Let me define those 
two terms and then you'll see what I mean. Conversion 
means that you interchange subject and predicate. In other 
words, a statement which is made like this: "All commu- 
nists vote for Henry Wallace" cannot be converted into the 
statement "All those who vote for Henry Wallace are 
communists. " Do you get the distinction? All I have done 
is change subject and predicate yet have changed the mean- 
ing of that proposition very definitely. To say that all 
communists vote for Wallace might have been true in an 
election in which the communist party was officially for him; 
but to allege that all who voted for Wallace were communists 


is manifestly untrue. When you convert a question, then, 
in just this fashion, you test the ability of the witness (1) to 
react to a change of language, and (2) to answer accurately. 
And you check also his reliability, then, as far as further 
interrogation is concerned. If he is relatively stupid, con- 
fused or if he is lying he may very well accept the converted 
questions and respond to them. The second device is an 
obverted question. You cannot substitute an affirmative 
proposition with its negative equivalent. An obversion is the 
process of taking an affirmative statement and putting it into 
negative fashion, whereupon it also may become invalid. For 
example, this sort of statement, which I use again out of the 
argumentation area; "All of those who favor Kruschev are 
communists" cannot be obverted to the statement that "All 
who oppose Kruschev are non-communists. " This simply 
does not follow. The first statement may be true, but the 
second, that all those who oppose him are not communists, 
is not true because we are discovering inside Russia right 
now that there are a number who oppose him who are un- 
doubtedly good communists. And when you phrase a ques- 
tion which has been phrased affirmatively into this obver- 
ted or negative fashion you are again testing the accuracy 
of the response of your witness. To illustrate: because you 
were on the scene and were able to watch a particular car 
drive by, does not mean that you were unable to observe 
what went on across the street. This does not necessarily 
follow. You may have been able to observe both events; 
because you watch one does not mean you are incapable of 
watching the other. And the witness who is giving you an 
accurate picture (or the witness who is a very skillful liar, 
you never know which) is the one who will be aware of the 
change of the language and you must test his statements to 
a degree by just that change. 

§17. 20- -Questions requesting detail or amplification 

The third thing is this: questions which request 
detail or amplification are extremely useful in terms of 
testing statements which have been made. In the addition 
of detail you get the kind of thing which will either be con- 
sistent or inconsistent and will give you a basis on which to 
judge the general accuracy of the statements of the witness. 


The place where that was done in court, and was the most 
fascinating of all examples to me, was during the famed 
Sacco-Vanzetti case several years ago. It was the payroll 
robbery in which two anarchists by the names of Sacco and 
Vanzetti were accused of the robbery and may or may not 
have been guilty. In any case they were finally executed. 
The identification of them as having left the scene of the 
payroll robbery in an open car was made by a witness by 
the name of Mary Splain. Among others, Mary Splain' s 
testimony was almost a classic case in point. If you read 
the record now it looks as though this girl proved herself 
to be an absolute and unmitigated liar. You can hardly see 
any other possibility. According to her own testimony she 
saw these two men drive by in the open car while she was 
sitting in a second floor window. So she had a view of them, 
at most 10 or 20 seconds. Even in those days, I suppose, 
it was 25 miles an hour at which they sped away. She saw 
them for that brief period of time. On the witness stand, 
under the questioning of an attorney, she not only positively 
identified them but she swore to such things as the length of 
their fingernails, as to details of the physical structure of 
face, which are certainly capable of being observed by 
someone who has a half hour with somebody and makes a 
careful study, but could not have been observed by her in 
the kind of casual circumstances which were involved. The 
only conclusion you could draw was that she had been coached 
by somebody to provide a complete description of these two 
characters and to make the identification complete. The 
very fact that she was able to give that kind of detail pre- 
sented further presumptive evidence that she was not giv- 
ing an honest story. When you ask for details, when you 
ask for minute observation, if the individual is willing to 
volunteer it, and your leading questions are the ones in which 
you are constantly asking for this, you get a witness who is 
likely to be highly unreliable and one whose story had better 
be checked a half dozen times. 

§17. 21 --Testing knowledge of fact and inference 

And, of course, the fourth thing you attempt to do 
is to test the witness' knowledge of this fact and inference 
difference that we were talking about earlier. Test his 


knowledge of fact and inference. Again the circumstances 
can be duplicated in many different situations. We had a 
case with pilots in the war who used to use a little phos- 
phate manufacturing plant on a kind of deserted island out in 
the Mid-Pacific as a target point for the training of all new 
crews that went out. They were mostly people who had not 
been in combat before and it was their first strike. This lit- 
tle island was completely undefended. I do not know why the 
Japanese kept it running, but they had a phosphate mill there 
and occasionally ships would come in and they did have a few 
anti-aircraft guns at one point. But every carrier that went 
out would bomb this place on the way out, just as a matter 
of getting a shake -down raze. Yet a report from our pilots 
always indicated that they had encountered anti-aircraft 
fire. The reason they gave us the report, of course, was 
because of the flashes that they had seen. These flashes 
came ever closer to the planes as they got in and bombed 
and pulled back out. They were supposed to go in at low 
level and the gun camera films would be fascinating when 
you developed them because the pilots would always pull out 
at about 1000 feet. What was this anti-aircraft fire? The 
anti-aircraft fire was the incendiary bombs which had been 
dropped by a previous plane. But as the pilot went down and 
he saw these lights he began to infer, automatically: "This 
must be anti-aircraft fire, " and the inference brought it 
ever closer to him as he swung away from that particular 
scene. It was a dramatic way for him to learn a lesson as 
to both accurate information and faulty inference. 

§17. 22 --Inference from sounds heard and things observed 

In an accident in which my wife was involved at a 
four -way intersection a lady presumably saw the accident. 
(It was a street where there were no stop lights and no stop 
signs. My wife drove into it and hit a car --or let' s put it 
more objectively: two cars met in the intersection, each 
was slightly damaged and the question was "Who hit whom? 
Under what circumstances? Who entered the intersection 
first, etc. ?" The witness who was sitting in a window, on 
the corner, was willing to testify that it was the other driver 
who had the right of way and that my wife was at fault and 
had entered the intersection last and therefore was in the 


wrong. The accident occurred at a point where the witness 
could see it; however, after questioning and checking fact 
and inference new considerations arose. Why was this wit- 
ness watching? Because she heard the crash. Now this is 
a factual statement --she heard the crash. Could she then 
have seen who entered first? Obviously not. She can infer 
by what she saw later on which car was probably at fault 
but she cannot state that as a fact. The inference that my 
wife was at fault was an inference- -not a report. The 
statement of fact is simply that when she heard the crash 
she looked out and saw the two cars had struck and the 
difference between fact and inference in her mind was 
thoroughly confused. The same thing, of course, is in- 
clined to be true with many witnesses. The problem of 
the interrogator is to be sure that he separates in his in- 
terrogation the reports which are factual from those which 
are inferential in their nature. 

Actually, if there is a real conclusion to be drawn 
from this, I would like to draw it. Remember that your 
word-world and real-world are different; therefore, all 
statements about anything are statements which are subject 
to gross error. And, remember that interrogations serves 
a dual function- -the function of securing data and the function 
of testing data. The advice that I give truly gratuitously is 
that it is better, it seems to me, to separate these two 
functions. The one is the deliberate use of language to 
attempt to lead an individual to make statements so that they 
can be tested. The other is an effort to use language to 
secure from an individual a maximum amount of information 
for evaluation, and I don' t think the two should be mixed. 

§17.23 Skill in listening - I -can -hear level 

There is another summation on this point which I 
think is of vital importance. We are so frequently concerned 
about our skill in communication in terms of our own skill 
with language that we forget what might be the most critical 
aspect of the total communications picture and that is our 
skill in listening. Because the real secret to the total pic- 
ture is an accurate listening pattern on the part of the 
interrogator. It is relatively easy for him to talk; it is re- 
latively easy for him to ask questions; it is relatively easy 


for him to draw snap conclusions from information which he 
has received. It is relatively difficult for him to do an accu- 
rate and thorough job of listening. I would like to illustrate 
this by making a very simple point concerning the different 
levels of listening by asking you to notice how often you 
operate at a pretty low level, regardless of the communi- 
cations pattern in which you are involved. If I were going to 
try to characterize the levels of listening it would run like 
this: The lowest level of all (and this I do not think you need 
to worry about in this area) is the simple level that says "I 
can hear. " This is hardly listening at all. As an interro- 
gator, I am sure you are never guilty of simply operating 
at that level. As a casual communicator, we all are. It 
always amuses me when you go into somebody' s office, you 
have an appointment with him, and the phone rings and the 
person on the other end is obviously a bore and at the end of 
a minute of conversation the man puts his hand over the mouth 
piece and says to you "go ahead, I can hear. " What he 
means is that he is paying no attention to either one of you 
but you can keep on talking if you want to. This is foolish. 
This, I don' t think we need to worry about; I would suspect 
any interrogator is above the level of "I can hear. " 

§17. 24--I- can -repeat- back level 

The second level, though, which is simply "I can 
repeat back" is the one in which I am afraid we assume 
listening in itself is complete. As long as you get it all 
down accurately you have, of necessity, listened. "I can 
repeat it back. " In fact, that is the kind of thing we settle 
for in college classes to an amazing degree. If the student 
sits there all semester and at the end of the semester can 
write down in a blue book approximately what you have said 
during the semester without appreciable change you give him 
an 'A." He can repeat it back, therefore, he has passed the 
course. Certainly, we operate under this one, all too often. 
The real interrogator will not stop with "I can repeat back." 

§17. 25 --The top listening level 

The real interrogator will carry the thing on to 
the top level which says "I have participated, I have tested, 


I have been involved, I have not just ' heard' but I have 
actually interrogated this particular person." It means that 
the active side occurs when you are not just getting it down 
but when, having gotten it down, you are providing a real 
test, a real probing, a real insight into the thing. This one 
operates at every level, because if you are really partici- 
pating, you not only repeat back what the individual has said 
but you have discovered what he means by these terms which 
are capable of misinterpretation. You are not just writing 
down the material, you are providing a constant effort in 
that writing down to be sure that the word-world picture is 
as nearly accurate and as nearly real as you can get it. 
While it can never be a duplication you have striven to be 
as accurate as you can. Just getting it down is not enough- - 
it is a matter of being sure that what you get down conforms 
to the picture which is in the other person' s head. You can 
never be sure, I hasten to add, because none of us, I 
suspect, ever quite understands another; no language pic- 
ture can be other than the pale semblance of reality, rather 
than reality itself. 

Chapter 18 

Instrumental Detection of Deception 

Bernard J. Conley 


18. 1 Introduction 

18. 2 History of lie detection 

18. 3 Scientific beginnings of lie detection 

18. 4 Keeler' s first polygraph 

18. 5 Sale of polygraph to police departments 

18. 6 Job of the lie detector examiner 

18. 7 Elimination of suspects 

18. 8 Information leading to evidence 

18. 9 Various lie detectors 

18. 10 Measuring muscular movements in the legs 

18. 11 Standard machines - average blood pressure cup 

18. 12 --Chest tube measuring respiration 

18. 13 --Psychogalvanometer; Faraday reaction 

18. 14 Limited questioning 

18. 15 Procedure in lie detection 

18. 16 --Pre-interview to obtain a confession 

18. 17 --Reed' s system 

18. 18 --Developing your own system 

18. 19 --Importance of pre-investigation 

18. 20 --Control vested in lie detector examiner 

18.21 --Time element in scheduling examinations 

18. 22 The pre-interview 

18. 23 --The approach; history of the examinee 

18. 24 --Concluding the pre-interview 

18. 25 The interview - phrasing the question 

18. 26 --Suspect reads the questions 

18. 27 --Studying the interviewee before the second test 

18.28 --Control questions 

18. 29 Reaching an opinion 

18. 30 --Peak attention test or additional chart 

18. 31 National polygraph organizations 

18. 32 Use of polygraph in courtroom 

18. 33 Use on police department members 

18. 34 Per cent of error 



§18. 1 Introduction 

Interrogation is the most essential work that a 
policeman does, and one of the most disregarded in the 
education or the training of a policeman. 

Most policemen go through their entire career in 
the department without ever having had to use their gun. 
Still we stress fire-arms training almost to a maximum in 
the departmental training courses. Another man may go 
through twenty-five years in a department without ever go- 
ing to the Grand Jury; many have never been a witness in a 
major crime case. Yet when they do, they are prepared 
and do a good job. Behavior on the witness stand cannot be 
over -stressed, but often interrogation is neglected. 

From the day a man puts his badge on until the 
day he takes it off, he is involved in interrogation work cer- 
tain hours of each day. 

One of the great aids to the interrogator can be 
the lie detector. We will discuss the development of the 
polygraph as well as explain its use, and try to evaluate it 
as an investigative device. 

The polygraph is like anything else in this parti- 
cular line of work. You must read the books and work with 
the instrument. You must study the men who are in the 
field, and then you must get off by yourself and figure out 
your own pattern or approach. Every time you meet a per- 
son on the street and he starts giving you a line you practice 
lie detection. 

§18.2 History of lie detection 

When two cave men met, the only way they could 
solve their problems was to get into a tussle and see which 
one could lick the other; and, of course, the one that won 
the fight was taken as the one who was telling the truth. That 
was carried down through history for quite a while as trial 
by ordeal. We had trial by joust. It was always the man 
who could win who was supposed to be telling the truth. That 
had a little religious basis because they always figured God 
was on the side of the man who won, and that God would not 
be on the side of the man who was not telling the truth. 

Then we went through the period when we had the 
rack and the wheel, and various other tortures. Supposedly, 


these things existed to aid in the search for the truth. 
Sometimes men went too far. They did not get the truth, 
but they got a distortion of fact because the person told them 
what they wanted to know. That is one of the things you have 
to worry about in this business: you might have people tell 
you things you want to know, or things that give them a lift 
whether true or not. 

Various methods were used in different countries. 
Perhaps you have heard the story of the rice in China. The 
suspect took a mouthful of rice and told his story. At the 
end of the story he spit the rice out. If it was wet, he was 
telling the truth. If it was dry he was lying, because the 
mouth dries up when you' re telling a lie. The Chinese used 
that system. 

The Indians (from India) used a system involving 
the white jackass, an animal sacred to them. They would 
put a person into a room and tell him to repeat his story 
while they held the tail of a white jackass. They told him 
if the jackass brayed he was lying; but if the jackass was 
quiet he would be judged as telling the truth. They did not 
tell the suspect that they put soot on the tail of the jackass. 
If the man were lying, he wasn' t going to take any chances 
on the jackass braying, so he would not touch the tail. If 
he was telling the truth, he would grab the tail. When he 
came out of the room, they would look at his hand. If he 
had the soot on his hand, he was telling the truth; if he had 
a clean hand, he was lying. 

§18.3 Scientific beginnings of lie detection 

The scientific age in lie detection began back in 
1895 with Cesare Ambrosia who was a student of police 
work in Italy. He started out on the blood pressure pulse. 
He was a doctor and an honorary member of the police de- 
partment. He started out with the regular blood pressure 
cup, but he could not keep it on. He did not get a continuing 
chart and it was just a reading that he accumulated. 

In 1915, William Marston also worked with the 
blood pressure cups. In 1914, a Victoria Venusie of Italy 
started to work with respiration. That was the first tech- 
nique employing respiration, and it was the first until about 
1920when something similar to what we are using today was 


discovered. I was a policeman before we had lie detector 
machines even though I began later than 1920. I was for- 
tunate to be assigned to the detective bureau after I was in 
the Department a short time. It was a very small bureau 
at that time, and most of the men in the bureau were elderly 
men who had been on the force for quite some time. To 
study with those men was a particular honor and a great 
opportunity. They taught me interrogation, and they had 
certain methods of lie detection. Each detective would have 
his own. Each one would sit you down and start an inter- 
view and an interrogation with the prisoner. These detec- 
tives had learned all their psychology on the street, and 
they knew their business. They were all good policemen. 
One of them would tell you when he started interrogating a 
prisoner, to watch the muscles on the side of the suspect' s 
neck; and concentrate on that. You will be able to tell when 
he is lying. 

Another one would tell you to watch the suspect' s 
eyes. 'When he gets a little flick in his eyes over here, he 
is lying. Watch his ears. If his ears start to wiggle, he is 
lying." They all had their own method, and all of them were 
true and all of them are the methods we are using today only 
we are picking them up scientifically. Never before the 
polygraph did we have an opportunity to have them recorded 
for us. 

§18.4 Keeler's first polygraph 

In 1921, John Larson and Leonard Keeler were 
studying psychology. Later Larson became an M. D. They 
started to work on the possibility of recording lies. Larson 
was credited with developing the first machine. It was quite 
an apparatus. It would cover a sizeable table top. The re- 
cording was done on a smoked piece of metal dial. No per- 
manent records or anything else were made. It was a very 
primitive machine, but it was a beginning. 

In 1926, Leonard Keeler and Larson had a split- 
up. Keeler went to the University of Chicago. There he 
developed the machine which we now call the Keeler Poly- 

The argument between Larson and Keeler is of 
historical interest. Larson felt that the lie detector should 


be kept strictly for the medical profession or for graduates 
of psychology courses. He felt that nobody lower than a 
Doctor of Philosophy should be able to run a lie detector or 
polygraph test and be qualified to testify. So Larson set up 
his machine on the basis that only Doctors of Medicine or 
Philosophy would be running the lie detector test. 

Keeler then went to Northwestern University and 
became associated with the Northwestern Police School. 
He became acquainted with the police department and he 
quickly changed his viewpoint of policemen. He decided his 
lie detector was something that should be put in every police 
station. He realized the operator should be trained and the 
examiner should be trained, but it should be available to the 
police for their investigative work. The first machine that 
Keeler built was for the Chicago Police Department and it 
is still in operation there. They do not run it too often since 
they are trying to keep it for historical purposes. 

§18.5 Sale of polygraph to police departments 

Keeler then started to sell the lie detector to 
other police departments. 

There are some things in lie detection today that 
you can blame on Keeler; but he did them to sell the prin- 
ciple of the lie detector to the police departments. Keeler 
was a marvelous psychologist and salesman. In order to 
sell the lie detector, he had to get confessions. He would 
walk into a police department and he would ask if they had 
any prisoners who were believed guilty but who would not 
confess. Sometimes he would wait until the police had 
talked to somebody for two days or more. And then he 
would say 'Well, how about letting me talk to him. " In fif- 
teen or twenty minutes he would walk out with a confession, 
leaving all the sweating detectives behind, and he would not 
even have taken his necktie off. That is the way he sold the 
lie detector to police departments. He went around and he 
peddled the lie detector as a confession getter. That ap- 
proach has left its mark on the lie detector and lie detector 
examiners because today a confession is generally expected 
to be produced. You not only run the lie detector and deter- 
mine whether the man is lying or not, but you are expected 


to get a confession. And that is not the part of the lie detec- 
tor examiner. 

§18.6 Job of the lie detector examiner 

The job of the lie detector examiner is to run the 
test; determine whether the man is lying or not; and so in- 
form the investigating officers. The lie detector itself has 
done a marvelous job for the police department. It has a 
very definite place in police work. We would have a lot more 
complaints on our books than we have were it not for the lie 
detector. It has done a very effective job in the police de- 

§18.7 Elimination of suspects 

The real job of the lie detector is elimination of 
suspects in the search for evidence. In the case where we 
have say thirty suspects, we can eliminate perhaps twenty- 
seven of them on the first run. That will leave three to be 
investigated or three to be rerun on the lie detector. We 
have saved a lot of man hours of work for the department. 
That is the main job of the lie detector. 

§18.8 Information leading to evidence 

If we can pick up information during the course of 
our interview, if we can ask questions on the lie detector 
that lead us to evidence, it is another great aid. For in- 
stance, perhaps we can learn the hiding place of the gun or 
the knife or some other object. We can concentrate our in- 
vestigation on a couple of men or a couple of suspects and 
eliminate all the others. 

There is no mystery to the lie detector. All it 
does is record the symptoms of lying that every policeman 

§18.9 Various lie detectors 

There are various lie detectors on the market. 
Keeler's lie detector sets the standard. Stilding's is almost 
an identical machine. The Higley is a very sensitive piece 
of apparatus. There are only about six of them in the 


country. They were developed by Dr. Higley in Columbus 
at the Foster Child Guidance Center. He has a particularly 
sensitive psychogalvanometer. His whole machine is set up 
to the extrasensory and to work at very low pressures. Most 
of his work is done with children between the ages of two 
and seven. He will put a lie detector or polygraph on a child 
that age and keep it on for three or four hours at a time. 
However, his machine is not in production. Each one is 
individually made and they are quite expensive. There is 
also Reed' s machine in Chicago which is not in production 
either. It is a specialized machine. He will make you one 
if you want it. It is identical to the Keeler and Stilding Poly- 
graph except that it has a separate attachment. It has two 
more needles to register muscular movement: muscular 
movement of the thigh, by having a board come up under the 
thighs for pressures; and two movable arms under the 
arms for any movement of the arms. Muscular movement 
is very important, but in this business we cannot have 
everything put on the chart for us. We must use our eyes, 
too. With the three recordings that we have on the poly- 
graph, we can detect muscular movement if we observe 
closely. Making it too easy for examiners may cause them 
to slip up on a lot of other things. You can determine mus- 
cular movement from the blood pressure if you are observ- 
ing your subject all of the time, and you should never take 
your eyes off the subject. You will be able to determine 
what part of the body he is moving and whether it is volun- 
tary or whether he is trying to deceive you. 

§18.10 Measuring muscular movements in the legs 

Father Summers from Fordham University de- 
veloped a machine using electrodes for muscular movement 
on the caps of the legs; it almost looked as if you were 
hooked up in the electric chair on that one. He used these 
electrodes to determine the movement of the leg muscles. 
That is the most deceptive movement that can be made in 
lie detection, moving the toes in the shoes and such move- 
ment will give a very bad recording unless the examiner 
knows it. A person with a good heavy pair of shoes can 
move his toes in his shoes and it is the least noticeable and 
the most distracting of any of the possible movements that 


he can make. It is the only movement, by the way, allowed 
to the guards at Buckingham Palace. As long as they stand 
at attention, the only thing that they can move is the toes in 
their shoes. It is supposed to be a complete relaxing move- 
ment. They can stand there as straight as a ramrod and as 
long as they can just move their toes in their shoes every 
once in a while, it is relaxing to them. But it is very diffi- 
cult to notice and difficult to pick up on a lie detector unless 
you have seen it. Any of you working on lie detectors get a 
subject in and purposely have him move his toes, so that you 
can pick it up on the lie detector and you won' t have any 
trouble with muscular movement. 

§18.11 Standard machines - average blood pressure cup 

The lie detector as we have it in the Keeler, the 
Stilding, the Higley, and the Reed consists of three pieces 
of apparatus. It consists first of all of the average blood 
pressure cup, the same that every doctor uses to measure 
your blood pressure. It goes on the arm. It can go on either 
the right or the left arm. 

An interesting side-light is that a published ar- 
ticle on lie detection stated that if you cannot get a blood 
pressure reading from the arm, you can use the blood pres- 
sure from some place else, even around the throat. We 
thought, maybe it could be done, so we tried using it on the 
throat of a trainee. He could not even talk. He was gasping 
for breath as soon as it was on. But those things are pub- 
lished. In this case, I know the polygraph examiner quoted 
and it must have been an off-handed remark in his talk and 
probably misquoted. You can be sure that if you ever get on 
the stand, somebody will dig that quotation up. 

§18. 12 --Chest tube measuring respiration 

The second piece of apparatus goes around the 
chest and measures the respiration. It is merely a tube 
containing a certain amount of air that is pulled back and 
forth as the person breathes. It goes on to a tamper in the 
machine that pushes the needle and gives us our recording. 


§18. 13 — Psychogalvanometer ; Faraday reaction 

The third piece of apparatus is the psycho- 
galvanometer which has any number of ways to be attached 
to the person. The cup which we are using now is a cup with 
two electrodes touching the surface of the skin. Formerly, 
on theKeeler and also on the Stilding, we had a clamp which 
went across the hand with an electrode underneath and over. 
They have finger guards that go on the fingers, and an elec- 
trode that will pick up the current. 

Originally we thought we were measuring the 
conductivity of the skin when we started in on this business, 
and we explained it very easily to ourselves that if you tell 
a lie you get sweaty palms. As soon as you get sweaty 
palms you get more salt in the surface of your skin and you 
are going to get better conductivity in the skin than you had 
before. Then we got a recording on the machine. Years 
ago we found out that that was not what we were getting. But 
we did not know what we were getting. We were getting the 
result that we wanted by sending a small current through 
that skin and picking up resistance of the skin. Dr. Higley 
in Columbus has shown that what we are getting is called 
The Faraday reaction. It is a static electrical discharge 
across the nerve endings, which is increased on the emotion 
of the lie. He uses his without any stimulus at all; he has 
no current going through his psychogalvanometer; all the 
current going through is generated by the body itself. It 
sounds like the logical answer but we will leave that up to 
the researchers in the field, and let them find out. Per- 
sonally, I am very well satisfied with Dr. Higley' s ex- 
planation. As long as we get the result we want and are able 
to interpret it, that is the reason to have the machine. 

§18. 14 Limited questioning 

We hook up our subject with these three pieces of 
apparatus and we are limited to a very few questions. We 
are limited to questions that can be answered with just a 
yes or no, or so we inform our subject. We have told our 
subject that with all the questions he will be able to answer 
yes or no and we are interested only in those answers, not 
a lot of talk. If he talks more he is going to throw off the 


recording. But if he does not answer at all, you are going 
to do just as well with your test, or practically as well, as 
if he did answer yes or no. If a person were to just sit in 
the chair, listen to your questions and not answer them, you 
will get almost an identical reaction to that which you would 
get if he did answer, because he is lying mentally anyhow. 
If you ask him a question: "Did you do this? "or 'Did you do 
that?" and he doesn't answer at all, he has still mentally 
answered the question and you will get the recording that 
you want. Sometimes you can tell the fellow: "Why don't 
you sit in that chair. You won' t have to bother to answer, " 
and they will do that. Your test will be worthwhile. 

§18.15 Procedure in lie detection 

The procedure in lie detection, the handling of the 
subject, is very much disputed. Having worked with Keeler 
and having watched Reed work and having read his books, 
as well as others on the subject, I find that none of them fit 
me personally. You must read and observe everything 
available and adapt it to your own use. 

§18. 16--Pre-interview to obtain a confession 

Keeler developed the idea of getting a confession. 
Keeler was the original instructor. He started the Keeler 
Institute in Chicago, which is still run as a major training 
center for lie detector examiners. Keeler started off with 
a pre -interview. You always use a pleasant room, away 
from any of the aspects of a police station. You usually try 
to get one as sound proof as possible, but you bring your 
subject in and introduce yourself to him. Under pre-inter- 
view he meant that you asked the suspect if he had ever 
heard of a lie detector. He would point out the machine. 
Keeler would tell him that with that machine he could find out 
anything that he wanted to know by asking certain questions. 
His approach was like this: "Now you are supposed to have 
done such and such a crime. I am going to put you under 
the lie detector and I am going to ask you some questions 
and when I get through I am going to know whether you did 
it or not. So why don' t you tell me about it before we go 
on?" If the fellow did not confess at that period, then he 


proceeded to tell him how viciously the lie detector could 
operate, how it could lay his soul bare in the front room, 
for everybody' s view. In my opinion that is using the lie 
detector as a third degree method. I used it for a while, 
since that is the way I was trained. I used that method very 
successfully, at least successfully enough to have stayed in 
the business. But I did not like it, and I did not think that 
the lie detector had to be used for that purpose. 

I studied the lie detector at the time that I was 
doing that. I convinced myself that the lie detector would 
go along with my chart. And my chart would go along with 
the final results that I would get. I sold myself on the lie 
detector, or the polygraph. I sold myself so much on the 
lie detector that I do not think I have to sell the public any- 
more. The public today is acquainted with the lie detector; 
they know what the lie detector will do; and you do not have 
to tell them. And as soon as you start overselling your 
machine, the first idea that pops up in your prisoner's mind 
is "Well, this fellow is trying to sell me on something. He 
must not be so convinced of it himself. " So I cut off the 

§18. 17--Reed's system 

Reed, in his book on lie detection and interro- 
gation, explains his system. He has a very effective sys- 
tem. Reed is perhaps the most prosperous and prominent 
man in the private field. He' s a former Chicago detective 
sergeant. He got his original training with the Chicago Po- 
lice Department. He has branch offices in several cities 
throughout the country. He handles perhaps more private 
work in lie detection than any other man in the country. His 
system works, but it woxild not work for me; because 
you have to adopt your system to yourself. Reed goes over 
and interrogates his person in his pre-interview, and he ex- 
plains to him what questions he is going to ask, why he is 
going to ask them, and what he' s going to do here; but he 
does not explain the machine. He is not selling the machine, 
but he is selling the type of interview that he is going to 
have with the man. He also puts a fear in the man, that the 
man is not going to be able to answer the questions that he 
is going to ask him. I do not go along with that. I say it is 


very successful for him as a lie detector operator, but it 
would not work for me. 

§18. 18 --Developing your own system 

When I break in a man in the police department as 
a lie detector operator he must adapt his own system from 
all of these. Nobody can teach you how to interview. The 
man who taught me went in, guffawed, and beat around the 
bush and said "You know you did it." Just beat him verbally. 
Another man working with my instructor at that time did a 
very nice job on it. He quoted the Bible. He could turn the 
Bible around backwards and forwards to prove any point that 
he wanted. And he would get in there and work with the 
Bible. Both of them were getting confessions and I tried 
both systems and failed with both. So I had to develop my 
own system. 

§18. 19 --Importance of pre-investigation 

Before you get your subject in the lie detection 
room there is a lot of preparation necessary. In lie detec- 
tion work a good pre-investigation is essential. The more 
you know about the case, the more small details that you 
know, the more you know about your subject and all the 
other suspects, where they are tied in and where they are 
tied out, the better the job you can do on the lie detector. So 
the first thing you must insist upon is a good outside investi- 
gation. The understanding has always been in our depart- 
ment that the lie detector man, the man who is going to run 
the test, has the last word to say on whether there is going 
to be a test run or not. The investigating officers of the 
case have to come back personally and make arrangements 
with the man who is going to run the examination for a lie 
detector test. The reason for that is we want to discuss the 
case with the investigating officers. We do not want to work 
from reports. 

Reports are not detailed enough. You have the 
facts in a report, but you do not have the detail, and the de- 
tails are the parts that are needed in polygraph work. You 
must get to the very minute details. You have got to know 
if a man cut his hand going through the window. You have 


got to know if it is the right hand or the left hand. If he 
broke a window, you want to know how he broke it. If he 
jimmied a lock, you want to know what he jimmied it with. 
You have need of knowing the fine points. You can not rush 
a man on the lie detectors. The operator should never be 
rushed into conducting a test, because he will get no results. 

§18. 20- -Control vested in lie detector examiner 

If the detectives come to you with a case and you 
read your reports over to them and talk to them and you feel 
there should be more investigation it is the privilege of the 
lie detector man to tell them to go out and investigate the 
case further. One of the biggest arguments against having 
a lie detector in a department is that it makes lazy detec- 
tives. So insist on good investigation, and insist on keeping 
control of the lie detector in your own hands. You are 
operating it. You are taking a lot of responsibility. 

§18. 21 --Time element in scheduling examinations 

Another thing that we do in Cleveland that is un- 
usual is that we run our lie detection schedule like a den- 
tist' s office. If the officers have a man in jail and feel 
they have held him long enough and must release him, they 
often want a lie detector right away. We simply say: "Well, 
the best appointment I can give you is nine o'clock Tuesday." 
This may be Saturday. We advise them to turn the suspect 
loose and tell him to come back on Tuesday morning. We 
have had very much success with that. It works two ways. 
It saves us time and we get just as good a result on the lie 
detector. If we have him come in a few days after being 
questioned first, he comes in off the street. He is in a nor- 
mal condition. We do not have to spend any time putting 
him back to a norm as we would after intensive interro- 
gation. If he is guilty he will show it just as much on Tues- 
day as he would have on Saturday afternoon. This is true 
of our witnesses, our suspects, and our complainants. For 
instance, you can not very well jail a complainant. But if 
you start with your report and it sounds a little suspicious 
to you, just ask him when he can take a lie detector test. 
We do not ask him if he is going to take a test. About half 


of the complainants, especially in driver -salesman rob- 
beries, do not even come in to take a lie detector test. They 
just call up and say: "Well, just forget that report. I found 
the money. I found my billfold and just drop that report. " 
One store detective who handled innumerable shop-lifters 
as standard practice, would call me up from the store. He 
would say: "When can I get an appointment for the lie detec- 
tor. I have a suspected shop-lifter. " I never asked him 
what the person' s name was; what happened or anything 
else. I would always say: "Bring her right in. " He never 
brought a person in. He just used that telephone, got the 
appointment and before he had hung up the receiver, he had 
a confession out of his suspect. 

§18.22 The pre-interview 

After I have had my investigation, after I have 
agreed to take in a subject, and after I get the subject in the 
room, I conduct a pre-interview. We have a very pleasant 
room, with a very comfortable chair. I do not seat the sus- 
pect, as Reed advocates, hooked up to the lie detector, be- 
cause I am trying to find out who the person is, what the 
person is, and what makes him tick. If he is strapped up 
on the lie detector, you are not going to find out much 
about the person, the individual himself, because all the 
time he is there, he is pre-occupied with the apparatus. He 
is not relaxing. He is not going to let you hinder his de- 
fense. So I have him sit down and I introduce myself. Be- 
fore I start my interview with him, before I go into his 
history, I excuse myself from the room and go into the 
observation room and study the individual for a few minutes 
to take a look at him. When that man comes into the inter- 
view room and he shakes your hand and he says: "lam Mr. 
So-and-So. I was told to come down here at such-and-such 
a time," he has all his defenses built up. He is trying to sell 
you. He is trying to convince you that he is the most innocent 
man in the world. There is no other reason why he would 
walk into this room, except that he was innocent; that he is 
doing it all of his own free will. They all feel that they are 
doing it of their own free will. He is in there and he has all 
his defenses built up for you. So you sit him down and talk 
to him for a couple of minutes, excuse yourself and go into 


the observation room and watch him. And while you are out 
of that room, he has dropped all his defenses. Then you get 
some idea of how to handle him when you go in. I usually 
start off with something like: "Oh, you have got yourself 
in a jam. " Anything to give him a lead-off. Some will take 
it, and if he takes the lead-off then, you stay with that and 
follow it through on his conversation. 

§18.23--The approach; history of the examinee 

If he doesn't take the lead you start into your ap- 
proach. My approach is a history of the man. We make a 
complete history starting from the day of birth. For our 
history we have a sheet and we make notations on it as we 
go along. So we go through a complete history of the man, 
from when and where he was born to the day he walked into 
the office. And anytime he wants to take the lead, you let 
him take it. I start off with: "Where were you born? "Your 
date of birth?" "Your mother's and father's names; are 
they living; how long have they been dead?" I have a routine 
and I never vary it. "How long have they been dead? Your 
mother remarried? How long has she been remarried? How 
old were you when she remarried? How many brothers and 
sisters do you have? How far did you go to school? What 
schools did you attend? What did you take while you were in 
school? Did you have any military service? "That is a very 
important question. It will give you their I. Q. It will give 
you a lot of leads on a man. "Where were you in the ser- 
vice? What did you do while you were in service? Honor- 
able discharge or not? Ever been in prison?" You conduct 
it very informally, so that you give the person no chance to 
lie. The questions that you ask are so obvious that he has 
no reason to lie. There are several reasons for doing this. 
You find out what makes the man tick. You get a chance to 
look at him, to figure out what his I. Q. is. You want him 
to use every word that you are going to use. Reed tells his 
subject the questions he is going to ask him, to make sure 
that he understands every word. I do not do this. I do not 
want the subject to know. I prefer that the subject does not 
know the questions on my first run. So on my pre-inter- 
view, I use every word, or, what I prefer to do, is to let 


the subject use his own words and I will pick them up and 
make notations on them. 

For instance, in sex crimes, you would never 
possibly think of the words that they do, and you must be 
able to use those words because they do not understand the 
words that you use. So that is one of the important things 
in the pre -interview as far as I am concerned. 

§18. 24- -Concluding the pre-interview 

At the same time, I am making notations on 
health, physical condition, mental condition, as it is called 
for on the sheet. I am formulating the questions that I will 
ask. I always give them a chance to talk as much as they 
possibly can to get into their field. Just before I am going 
to line up this interview, as distinguished from an interro- 
gation, when their anxiety is at the lowest ebb, I say to the 
suspect "Now, Joe, did you steal this money?" And you 
would be surprised how many times they will come back and 
say: "Yes." And, of course, you have completed your case. 
If you ask; "Well, why didn't you tell the detective? Why 
did you go to all this bother of having me tie up the room?" 
You know what the answer is. "They never gave me a 
chance. They never asked me whether I did. " It is sur- 
prising the number of cases in which we get that "Yes. " 
Just stop and think, in some of the interviews and interro- 
gations that you have had, did you ever come out and di- 
rectly ask the fellow whether he stole it? Did you ever ask 
him directly whether he did it? And many times, if you stop 
and think about it, you never did. 

§18.25 The interview . phrasing the question 

You can say you are going out to draw up the 
questions that you are going to ask him. There are some 
advocates of having standard questions or questions phrased 
in a standard manner. I don't believe in it. I believe one 
of the most important parts in lie detection is the phrasing 
of your question. The phrasing of your question is to include 
only the crime which you have under investigation and to in- 
clude only the individual that you are talking to. So you have 
to use his words; You have to set the questioning up so that it 
pertains to that crime and only that crime. You go out and 


draw up your questions, usually from eighteen to twenty 
questions. From the eighteen to twenty questions, at the 
most, six or sevenwill be material questions. The rest will 
be control questions setting the norm. I always try to use 
guilt-complex questions, because it is surprising in our busi- 
ness how the guilt-complex does enter into the case. Al- 
though the person may not be guilty of the particular case 
that you have under investigation, he is usually guilty of 
something else so similar to it that you must be able to dis - 
sociate that trend. So I use those questions and run them 
at least twice. 

§18. 26 --Suspect reads the questions 

The first test is run without the subject knowing 
the questions that we are going to ask. The reason I prefer 
not to have him know is that we have trouble getting him to 
take the test. I will say "Well, what is the difference. I 
will let you read the question. " There are a lot of people 
who are worried that you are going to ask them about some- 
thing else. Let them read the questions if you have to, but, 
of course, then you lose your element of surprise in your 
first test. 

§18. 27 --Studying the interviewee before the second test 

Before the second test, leave the room. I give 
him a chance to quiet down while I go into the observation 
room and study him. It is very important that you study 
your subject at all times and get his reactions. Let him sit 
for five minutes between tests. He will regain his com- 

What do you look for when you study the suspect? 
What do you look for when you meet a man on the street? 
What influences your opinion when you meet two men on the 
street at the same time and one you like and one you dislike? 
Why? What influences you? You do not know. I could not 
tell you exactly what to look for in the observation room. 

I am trying to convey the mysterious lead from 
the mind to the body. I think you are looking for changes in 
facial expression, tremor, wetting of the lips, anything that 
will express itself as an emotion. After all, you are just 
expressing the thing that an instrument is testing. You are 


testing emotions. This is something that is very important, 
of course. An emotion is not an emotion unless it is ex- 
pressed physically. You cannot be joyful, you cannot cry, 
you cannot rejoice, you cannot be sad, you cannot be angry, 
unless you express it physically. Fear, genuine fear, is 
expressed physically. Embarrassment is expressed physi- 
cally. You are looking for the physical characteristics of 
the emotions in a suspect' s behavior. 

It is even more than that. I am not looking for 
deception at this time. I am looking for the personality of 
the man. If the man, while I am in the room, is being as 
nice as pie, he is selling himself to me. Then when I step 
out of the room, he turns around completely and shows dis- 
trust, or hate. I am looking for the difference in the reaction 
of that man when I am there and his behavior when I am not 
there, when he thinks I am not observing him. 

§18. 28 --Control questions 

I run two tests. I study my chart on the first test 
beforehand and go back and run my second test Immediately 
after the second test, I run my control. Now some operators 
run their control first and try to impress the person with 
the fact that they can pull their number or pick their card. 
That, to me is also a third-degree method. It is also risky 
because you might slip up and you might make a mistake 
and then you are completely out of luck. Sol always run my 
control third, I never use a card trick which often is highly 
recommended, because I think that as soon as you pull out 
a deck of cards, particularly with gamblers, shysters, etc., 
it means tricks to them. They figure it is a trick. So I use 
the simplest test of all, the number test. And I use it on 
everybody. Persons of low mentality can understand it and 
react to it. The smarter ones think you are insulting them 
by using such a simple test and you get a beautiful reaction. 

In the number test, the suspect writes on a paper 
any one of the numbers 2, 3, 4, or 5. He keeps the piece of 
paper under his hand. While he is sitting there, you ask him 
if the number on the paper is 1. Is it 2? Is it 3? etc. He 
is told to answer "No" to all of them. You ask the same 
number several times. I run my numbers from one to six; 
then I split them up and then I ask from six to to one again. 


And at the end of that test you can pick his number, and you 
can call them if they are trying to fool you. You can see 
anything on the sheet. 

§18.29 Reaching an opinion 

Now you have your three tests, your charts, and 
your control. From that you must arrive at your opinion. 
You study the charts honestly. If I am convinced that the 
subject, from those charts, is not the subject that I want I 
immediately go in and inform him of that and release him. 
If he is the subject that I want, I go in and inform him of 
that and then I do not release him. 

Even with the two charts you may still not be 
satisfied. You may have to call a test inconclusive, which 
we do not like to do. 

The questions can be the source of the difficulty. 
I never ask the amount of money stolen in my ordinary test, 
for example. It is seldom that you get the correct amount 
reported. For instance, if a cafe is burglarized, they may 
report $300 taken. Often you can almost figure that there 
was $150 or even less but that insurance is involved. So if 
you were to ask the suspect if he got $300 out of the cash 
register, he rationalizes and says, "No. " Since he only got 
$150, the answer "No" is the truth. So ordinarily in my 
test, I do not use an amount. Reference to the missing 
money, the money from the register, or something rather 
than a specific amount prevents this mistake. 

§18.30--Peak attention test or additional chart 

If I am in doubt, I then may run a peak attention 
test; or another chart in which I would set up a series of 
questions. "Did you break into the cash register with a 
knife? Did you break into the cash register with a fork? 
Did you break into it with an axe?" or whatever way it was 
to finally arrive at a conclusion. Your peak attention test 
comes in very handy on that point and it comes in very handy 
in finding out a location. If you know that a person has stolen 
some money and hidden it, by asking peak attention test 
questions you can practically pin point where the money is 


hidden. These would be examples of the few occasions when 
a peak attention test is good. 

§18.31 National polygraph organizations 

How long does it take to become a good examiner? 
How long after schooling before an examiner is qualified? 

An examiner is qualified to use the polygraph the 
day he finishes school. If he is the only man in your depart- 
ment and there is no department with which he can consult 
then he must start operating right away. The more he oper- 
ates the better man he's going to be. There are two national 
organizations in lie detection work and the one is the Ameri- 
can Academy for Scientific Interrogation which is practi- 
cally an outlet of the Keeler School in Chicago. You may 
belong to the Academy, although you did not go to the Keeler 
School. Most of the police operators and examiners belong, 
and it gives a pretty good cross-section of the country. The 
meeting of the National Academy for Scientific Interrogation 
is held annually. Then there is the Academy of Polygraph 
Examiners which is an organization that is an outgrowth of 
Larson's theory that it should be kept within a small group. 
Keeler and Reed are in that outfit now. They have the re- 
quirement that you must have at least one degree to belong 
to their organization. Therefore, it is a very small organ- 
ization. You have to submit a paper every year, whether 
you attend the national meeting or not. They do not have 
any permanent memberships. As soon as you do not sub- 
mit an annual paper you are out. In Ohio we have just organ- 
ized an Ohio Police Polygraph Examiners group which is 
limited to police examiners. We've had several meetings 
and they have really been interesting meetings. We have 
cut out all formality. We sit down and get into discussion. 
You learn a great deal in a meeting like that. It helps es- 
pecially in the case where a person goes to examiner' s 
school, the department buys a lie detector, and he is strict- 
ly on his own. In a metropolitan area there are usually 
several operators aroundwhen a new man goes into a depart- 
ment,^ others are available to go over his charts with him. 
It is very difficult to get started unless somebody goes over 
your charts with you. In our Lab we have four examiners, 
and many times we all get together and study the same sub- 
ject charts to make decisions. 


§18.32 Use of polygraph in courtroom 

The question of whether the polygraph can be used 
in a courtroom is often asked. The answer, of course, is 
"No. " Examiners, generally, do not want it in courtrooms 
because we want to keep the psychological value of it and we 
do not want to go into court any more than we have to. I 
have had it in every court jurisdiction in this section and I 
have every confidence in the machine. That is why I have 
cut out my pre -interview. I' ve been running a polygraph 
almost twenty years and I am not afraid to have my charts 
go to court. I wouldn' t advise any man who was running it 
for six months to go into court or to take a case into court, 
but you should have confidence enough in it that even if you 
don' t get a confession, to back it up and tell the detectives 
that the person is guilty or the person is not guilty. 

§18.33 Use on police department members 

Another aspect of having the lie detector and one 
of the objections to it is that it will be used on the members 
of the department. This argument was brought up to me. 
I have run a lot of policemen in the department, and we have 
them for four afternoon sessions while they are in the 
academy. While I am explaining the lie detector I tell them, 
"We do use it in the department and we use it on the mem- 
bers of the department". I explain to them that in police 
work you run into many situations where you are going to be 
accused of things and you have no defense to it. The only 
defense that you have is the lie detector. If you are not 
guilty, by all means take the test. But I warn them not to 
if they are guilty because I will not hold back the results. 
If you are going to have a lie detector in your department, 
you are going to have to use it on the men. You can not put 
it on civilians if you do not use it on your own men. They 
will want to lie, particularly in the cases involving civilians 
and your own men. And as long as everyone understands 
that they have the right to refuse to take the test, as long as 
they understand that they will be treated fairly, there should 
be no antagonism. If the police officer is wrong we should 
have no more objection to saying so than if it were anyone 


§18.34 Per cent of error 

Per cent of error in the use of the polygraph is 
another much-discussed factor. It is an intangible thing, 
although operators will say, "My percentage is so and so. " 
They are just making a good guess. A doctor who was a 
suspect in a case came in for a test. I started putting the 
apparatus on him and he said to me, "Well, what is your 
percentage on this machine?" I said, "Doctor, there is only 
one way to answer that. What is your percentage of diag- 
nosis?" Perhaps that illustrates my point. 

Now, it is sometimes felt that anyone who is guilty 
and voluntarily takes a polygraph test must be a psychopath 
or something like that. This is not true because the guilty 
person often believes he can "beat" the test. A criminal is 
most often an egotist. He is often an extrovert too. So he 
believes he can beat you. When you get a man that has been 
in an institution like the Ohio State Penitentiary and you 
start questioning him and find out he has been there, then 
watch out for every trick in the book because he knows it. 
They are usually easy to trip up on questioning, however. 

In spite of the objections mentioned, the poly- 
graph in the hands of a competent examiner is an asset to 
a police department. 

Chapter 19 

Truth Serum 

Alfred K. Bochner, M. D. 


19. 1 Use of barbiturates 

19. 2 Undesirable reactions 

19. 3 Impairment of brain function 

19. 4 Mental illness; inability to speak 

19. 5 Threatened use to encourage talking 

19. 6 Measures analogous to truth serum 

19. 7 Spurious confessions 

19. 8 Release of aggressive and vindictive feelings 

19. 9 Withholding information despite truth serum 

19. 10 Competency of the examiner 

19. 11 Individual reaction to truth serum 

19. 12 Ethical considerations 

§19. 1 Use of barbiturates 

"Truth serums" are generally quick-acting bar- 
biturates of the type used to produce sleep to the level of 
surgical anesthesia; they are also used in certain psychia- 
tric treatments. 

The type of barbiturate that is used in obtaining a 
greater amount of truth from the subject is comparable to 
the one used for producing a good nights' sleep except that 
the former acts more quickly and finishes acting more 
quickly. The typical barbiturate, phenobarbital, taken in 
an average dose will put an average person to sleep in about 
an hour and keep him quite drowsy for about eight hours. 
The type of barbiturate used as a "truth serum" is not given 
by mouth, but in a solution injected into the blood stream 
through a vein; it starts acting usually within two or three 
minutes and finishes acting within ten to twenty minutes 
after stopping the infusion. During that time, the subject 
can be reduced to the level of complete unconsciousness so 



that a short surgical operation can be performed on him. 
Or he can be kept at a level that is almost unconscious, but 
at which his normal ability to judge and censor what he says 
is removed. In such a state many things that people nor- 
mally would be too discreet to tell may be told; questions 
that ordinarily they would not like to answer they are often 
compelled to answer. 

§19.2 Undesirable reactions 

In medical work these substances are used with 
much caution, one reason being that patients can die from 
their effects. One has to be prepared to administer such 
measures as artificial respiration. Also, some patients 
become violently excited and are difficult to manage; gen- 
erally such excitement is of short duration. 

§19.3 Impairment of brain function 

When these drugs are administered, there is a 
definite impairment of brain function just as in such other 
diseases of the brain as brain tumor, arterial sclerosis and 
head injury, although with the drug the impairment is of a 
temporary nature. But it is important to realize that what- 
ever facts are produced under the influence of such drugs 
are being produced by an organically impaired bram. There- 
fore such facts by themselves can have little standing in 
terms of incriminating an individual. But they may provide 
clues to other evidence which is in itself objective and which 
is not contingent on the disability of the statements made by 
the person while under the influence of one of these drugs. 

§19.4 Mental illness; inability to speak 

There are certain instances, of course, where the 
person who is suspected of a crime is in a state of not being 
able to communicate; there may even be a question concern- 
ing the person' s sanity as well as what he was doing at the 
time of the crime. It may be part of the routine medical 
examination of such a person that a quick-acting barbiturate 
be used to attempt to determine the nature of the mental ill- 
ness, particularly in people who simply will not speak, as 

331 TRUTH SERUM §19.6 

well as where there might be a question as to whether the 
mental illness is being faked or is some type of psychosis 
or major hysteria. Very often in general and psychiatric 
hospitals, such persons are routinely investigated with one 
of these truth-revealing drugs as part of the medical diag- 
nosis. Such people often produce much verbal material, 
having formerly been mute, and some of it is very coherent. 
It is obtained under circumstances that make it part of the 
medical record, and the doctor who obtains it is bound by 
ethical and legal considerations not to reveal it. 

§19.5 Threatened use to encourage talking 

There is another use made of these barbiturates 
which is contingent not on their actual use but on the threat 
of their use, namely where the subject is not showing any 
cooperation, is mute or evasive, or perhaps is deliberately 
trying to feign insanity. The very statement in such a per- 
son's presence that if the person will not speak, it might be 
a good idea to give him a drug which will make him speak in 
order to determine what is the matter with him can, itself, 
act as a kind of a diplomatic promotion of speech. 

§19.6 Measures analogous to truth serum 

There are measures analogous to the use of "truth 
serums" that do not involve drugs or the dangers of using 
such drugs. These measures are procedures that demor- 
alize the subject. For example, during World War II high- 
ranking German officers who were of the classic Prussian 
officer type, very much dependent on discipline, order, good 
grooming and punctiliousness for their morale, were in- 
terrogated while prisoners. It was so arranged that such 
officers could not stay clean and orderly, could not shine 
their boots, perhaps could not even find their boots, could 
not observe schedules and could not observe good grooming. 
Sometimes such a regime demoralized them to a point 
where their normal reticence, amounting at times to mute- 
ness, was abandoned. Such things as lack of sleep, extreme 
fatigue and exhausting questioning produced similar effects. 

Simpler drugs than the barbiturates also produce 
similar effects. Alcohol is the best known. Opiates are 


also well known, although they are less commonly avail- 

§19.7 Spurious confessions 

It is important to realize that in some people the 
facts obtained by the use of "truth serums" are only spur- 
iously incriminating. There are forces of conscience that 
differ in intensity in different people, but in some people 
are very strong. And it is a peculiar quality of some of 
these drugs that they produce an outpouring of guilt on the 
part of the subject. Hence, on direct interrogation these 
people with strong consciences cater to their own feelings of 
guilt by confessing to almost anything one accuses them of. 
The same is true particularly of some depressed psychotic 
patients. However, if one takes the attitude that material 
derived in this way is in itself very much open to question, 
but may provide clues to the construction of objective evi- 
dence, then one will avoid wrongful accusation of the subject. 

§19.8 Release of aggressive and vindictive feelings 

Another point to be stressed is that aggressive 
and vindictive feelings are also apt to be released by these 
drugs. People under their influence often will accuse others. 
It is important to realize that such an accusation may repre- 
sent their fantasies or wishes rather than reality. These 
drugs have been used in the treatment of battle fatigue of 
air force personnel, many of whom became nervous, unable 
to sleep, depressed, unable to work and pent up- -really 
very sick people. These people were often given barbit- 
urates intravenously on three or four occasions. The sub- 
ject was then urged to speak whatever was on his mind, 
which in a tense, nervous, battle -fatigued individual was a 
great deal. A lot of material involving feelings of guilt and 
accusation of others often resulted. After this material 
had poured out and the drug had worn off, the doctors would 
go over the material with the fully conscious subject in an 
attempt to get from him what these pent-up feelings meant 
to him. First, was he aware of them? Now that he has re- 
vealed them, do they mean anything to him? That proce- 
dure came to be known as narco-synthesis. 

333 TRUTH SERUM §19. 11 

§19.9 Withholding information despite truth serum 

Some people are able to withhold information 
despite the administration of a "truth serum. " It is not un- 
usual for material to come out with the third or fourth 
narcosis which the subject was able to bottle up very 
successfully the first and second times. One learns to gauge 
the tension of the individual. Some people need four times 
as much of the drug as others to produce the loss of ability 
to censor what they are going to say. 

§19. 10 Competency of the examiner 

The effectiveness of the administration of such a 
drug is also related to the competency of the examiner. If 
the subject is with someone in whom he has confidence and 
whom he does not suspect of antagonism, then he will reveal 
much truth early. This is one of the advantages a doctor 
who treats in his own treatment room or office has when the 
patient is suspicious and antagonistic and the examiner has 
to go quite deep in order to break down the patient' s ability 
to censor what he will say. 

§19. 11 Individual reaction to truth serum 

Of course, there is much individual variation. 
Some people babble very freely, after drinking a little al- 
cohol, much more than they realize. But when they drink 
five times as much they become very guarded. In the first 
stage they are still unconscious of their intoxication, but 
when they really feel the organic signs of difficulty in co- 
ordination, sight and speech, then they often become ex- 
tremely guarded. Similarily, in the use of intr a venou s 
barbiturates, such as "truth serums, " it is necessary with 
certain people, in order to break down their ability to censor, 
to put them into an anesthesia very quickly. This procedure 
is medically a little more dangerous, but if you have all re- 
suscitating measures on hand, it is a risk one can afford to 
take. The patient is "put down" very quickly and brought 
out very quickly, more or less catching him off guard on 
the rebound. The less guarded, less inhibited individuals 
will often talk very freely as soon as they begin falling 
under the influence of the drug. 


§19.12 Ethical considerations 

Where some serious crime is unsolved and where 
material of this type can lead to the finding of other evidence 
which is objective, then a doctor has to use his own con- 
science as to whether it should be presented to the people 
involved in the execution of law and justice or not. Such 
decisions, fortunately, rarely have to be made. They are 
in general beyond the accustomed area of judgment of a 
physician, but it is a good idea for law-enforcement people 
to know that in certain instances such evidence does exist. 

Chapter 20 

The Possible Role of Hypnosis in 
Criminal Investigation 

Dezso Levendula. M.D. 


20. 1 Introduction 

20. 2 Cause and definition of hypnosis 

20. 3 Induction techniques 

20. 4 Trance induction and sleep compared 

20. 5 Regressive theory of hypnotiz ability 

20. 6 Trance without verbal manipulation 

20. 7 Limitations on hypnosis 

20. 8 Recall of past events 

20. 9 --Experiment concerning recall 

20. 10 Obeying suggestions against subject' s interest 

20. 11 --Anti- social conduct 

20. 12 Testimony of hypnotized subject against self 

20. 13 --Personal injury plaintiff 

20. 14 Semiconsciousness during hypnotism 

20. 15 Use at pre-trial examination 

20. 16 --Who should function as hypnotist 

20. 17 Compulsion to confess 

20. 18 Conclusion 

§20. 1 Introduction 

The purpose of this discourse is not necessarily 
to teach the investigator how to hypnotize, but rather to in- 
form him realistically about this interesting facet of human 

The popular and, also, the scientific literature 
dealing with hypnosis frequently raises the question, "Why 
is hypnosis not utilized in crime detection?" This inquiry 
presupposes that hypnosis is of value in interrogation. If 
we accept this assumption then the question immediately 



arises, "To what extent and when is the use of hypnosis le- 
gally permissible in interrogation?" As I am not an expert 
in law, therefore, I have to disqualify myself to enter into 
an argument regarding this issue. Perhaps if we try to 
gain a clear understanding of what hypnosis is, we may con- 
sider these hypothetical questions more intelligently. 

§20.2 Cause and definition of hypnosis 

If one accepts the statement that hypnosis as a 
phenomenon is a normal attribute of the human mind, then 
one can also assume that hypnosis existed since the time 
man had developed a brain. Theories attempting to explain 
the cause of hypnosis are in abundance. The fundamental 
problem for all scientific inquiry is the problem of causa- 
tion. Explanatory definitions usually unmask themselves as 
the descriptions of manifested phenomena. This statement 
shall not be construed as derogatory because if final ex- 
planation consists in tracing back causal relationships to the 
origin of action then the "why" of the inquiry can never end. 
Perhaps for this reason we shall be satisfied to give only a 
descriptive definition of hypnosis: "The hypnotic state is an 
altered state of mental functioning during which the subject 
accepts, more or less uncritically, a suggestion which does 
not need to be logically motivated. During the hypnotic state 
the testing of reality is suspended to a varying degree, 
therefore, hallucinated perceptions may be accepted as real." 

One should make an attempt to differentiate be- 
tween the trance induction and the achieved trance state, 
although, it is true that a sharp dividing line does not always 
exist between these two conditions. 

§20. 3 Induction techniques 

It would take volumes to describe all the induction 
techniques, but basically they all have the following common 

First: Fixation or concentration of attention. The 
hypnotist may motivate the subject to pay undivided attention 
to an external object, such as a light or a spot or the eyes of 
the operator. The hypnotist may choose to instruct the sub- 


ject to close his eyes and to pay attention to certain ima- 
geries, as requested by the hypnotist. 

Second: The limitation of the sensory intake which 
is the result of the fixation of attention is also conducive to 
get into a trance state. 

Third: The restriction of the motor activity is 
characteristic of most induction techniques. 

Fourth: Repetition or monotony is an essential 
feature of induction. Repetitive innocuous stimuli are very 
reassuring because they reduce the alerting alarming 

§20. 4 Trance induction and sleep compared 

One cannot fail to notice that the trance induction 
to a certain extent resembles the process of going to sleep. 
In both instances, namely in trance induction and in going to 
sleep, the disturbing external alerting stimuli are reduced 
to a minimum. A comfortable position is preferred in order 
to diminish the alerting sensations coming from the joints 
and muscles. The limitation of the sensory input to one 
channel of awareness leads to the abdication of the self- 
alerting defense mechanism which in turn diminishes the 
sharp boundary which exists between the "I" of the person 
and the "otherness, " that is the world around the person. 
In normal physiological sleep the person withdraws from 
the environment and communicates only with himself. In 
the hypnotic trance, due to the blurring of the ego boundary, 
the hypnotized may perceive the hypotist as part of his own 
ego. Allegedly this is the reason why a suggestion given by 
the operator is accepted as if it would have been originating 
in the subject' s own mind. 

§20. 5 Regressive the<)ry of hypnotizability 

The regressive theory as the basis of hypnotiz- 
ability was first offered by Ferenczy who stated in 1909 that 
hypnosis recapitulates the dependent child-parent relation- 
ship and the hypnotized accepts the word of the operator, 
either because he perceives him as the father whose orders 
could not be questioned, or as the mother who lulled the 
child into security. Freud carried this idea further and con- 
sidered hypnosis as an archaic mode of behavior reaching 


back on the social evolutionary tree to the times when the 
tribal chief ruled the primal horde with unquestioned 

Inasmuch as every psychological phenomenon has 
its physiological counterpart, one can speculate that when a 
regressive behavior occurs, parts of the brain are called 
into functions which are capable to produce such a regressed 
behavior. It is therefore assumed that under hypnosis the 
usual cortical preponderance gives way to the more accen- 
tuated functioning of the lower brain centers. This is ex- 
pressed with the statement that under hypnosis the subcon- 
scious comes more to the foreground then in the normal 
waking state. 

It is believed that the hypnotized is not as much 
restrained in his utterings as the awake person because the 
critical ego function, that is the cortical function, is marked- 
ly diminished and, therefore, suppression and repression 
are lessened. 

The concept of regression is not as remote as one 
would think because when going to sleep we naturally re- 
gress to an earlier mode of behavior. We abdicate our alert 
watchfulness against danger just as we did as children when 
we trusted that our parents would watch over us. The dream 
language, also, is a reversion to an earlier mode of pic- 
torial-prelogical way of thinking as contrasted with the 
verbal-logical thinking of the older child and adult. 

Although it would be tempting to conclude that 
hypnosis is a form of sleep, this is not the case. Rather, 
one can theorize that the hypnotic state is similar to sleep. 
Wolberg, a foremost authority, expresses this well when he 
states that "hypnosis is like a hammock which is strung be- 
tween the waking and sleeping state." And Kubie calls the 
hypnotic state "controlled sleep." Electroencephalographic 
evidences show that the hypnotized does not sleep in the 
physiological sense, because the tracing is different from 
that of the sleeping state and rather corresponds to the wak- 
ing state. From a medical -legal standpoint this bears 

§20. 6 Trance without verbal manipulation 

If it is valid that the restriction of the sensory in- 


put leads to the hypnotic state, then creating such a condi- 
tion should lead to a trance without any verbal manipulation. 
This possibility was conclusively proven by Margolis and 
Kubie. These authors applied a throat microphone to the 
neck of the subject and after amplifying the breath sound 
they conducted it back sterophonically into the subject' s 
ears. Without verbal suggestion in about ten minutes a so- 
called hypnoidal trance occurred which is a transitory state 
between wakefulness and sleeping. I have repeated this ex- 
periment and I have found it to be valid. Also, I have found 
that after inducing the hypnoidal trance without talking, as 
described above, I am able to deepen the trance, communi- 
cating with the subject through a microphone. This experi- 
ment shows without a doubt that hypnosis can be induced 
without verbal suggestion and that the subject does not need 
to consent and express a willingness to be hypnotized. 
Should the person turn out to be a good subject, capable of 
amnesia following the trance, he may never know that he 
was hypnotized. It is conceivable that a polygraph operator 
who obtained the permission of a subject for the examination 
may attach the throat microphone rationalizing that this is 
part of the procedure. He may not need to use any verbal 
suggestion to induce hypnosis. His only task would be to 
motivate the person with some explanation to listen to his 
own breath sounds. I do hope that I will not be accused of 
developing ways of hypnotizing a suspect in an illegal and 
unaware fashion. I merely state in the interest of science 
that such a procedure is possible. 

§20. 7 Limitations on hypnosis 

Hypnosis is a most complex phenomenon; 
although, one can state that nearly all normal people are 
hypnotizable one has to add hastily that not by everybody and 
not every time. Also, it is important to emphasize that hyp- 
nosis is a qualitative and quantitative phenomenon. Some 
people are not hypnotizable at all and some only to a light 
degree and others to a very deep degree. In the light trance 
the person can resist successfully suggestions which are 
either against his interest or do not agree with his moral 
standard. It is stated that the deeper the trance, the more 
uncritical is the acceptance of the suggestion. But even this 


maxim is not always true. The two most important ear- 
marks of the trance state are suggestibility and suspension 
of reality testing. One should become sharply aware of the 
fact that these attributes are neither fixed nor always pro- 
ducible and reproducible. 

§20. 8 Recall of past events 

In connection with our specific topic, namely, the 
possible role of hypnosis in criminal investigation, one must 
raise the question, "Does hypnosis increase the recall of 
past events?" The answer is "Yes," but again one should 
add that this occurs to a varying degree. What never exis- 
ted in the memory cannot be recalled and it is only natural 
to assume that what was observed more intently and with 
more interest will be easily recalled. One also knows that 
repetition increases a learning, therefore, under hypnosis, 
just as without hypnosis, memories which are based on more 
extensive learning are easily recalled. If one assumes that 
Freud was right and emotionally painful events are re- 
pressed then one can understand that the recall of such 
occurrences is not as easily produced as that of neutral or 
emotionally not disturbing events. On the other hand some 
events are easier remembered just because they had a 
greater emotional implication for the person. All these so- 
called rules and exceptions show that hypnosis is not an iso- 
lated phenomenon of human behavior, but perhaps a cross 
road which may lead to the understanding and investigation 
of many other behavioral phenomena. 

§20. 9 --Experiment concerning recall 

The following shall illustrate that hypnosis is an 
aid in increasing the recall in certain individuals. A con- 
trolled experiment was set up by Samuel R. Gerber, M. D. , 
Coroner of Cuyahoga County, in which this author parti- 
cipated. While giving a lecture to an audience consisting of 
police officers the two secretaries who took notes got into a 
pre-arranged mock fight. One used a theatrical ice pick 
with which she allegedly stabbed her partner. The audience 
did not know and was not prepared that such a "fight" would 
take place. First a verbal report was obtained from some 


of the men witnessing the incident. Then the same men 
were hypnotized, not individually but as a group, and they 
were asked to write a report again after they had been 
aroused from the trance. A post-hypnotic suggestion was 
given that their recall pertaining to the incident would be 
sharper and more profound. No attempt was made to de- 
termine the degree and depth of hypnosis. The experiment 
showed that some of the participants were able to describe 
the incident more vividly and in fuller detail after hypnosis. 
Characteristically when this incident was men- 
tioned in the lay press it was cited again and again as an 
evidence that hypnosis increases "tremendously" the recall. 
Finally as a result of these articles various sources ex- 
pressed the feeling that in the future hypnosis will play a 
very great role in witness questioning. All these exaggerated 
conclusions just because of one short experiment. 

§20. 10 Obeying suggestions against subject's interest 

It is truly with tongue in cheek that I embark now 
on a perilous journey in writing about the question: "Will 
the hypnotized obey a suggestion against his best interest?" 
This question includes such topics as 'Will the deeply hyp- 
notized commit an anti-social act?" Milton H. Erickson, 
who is one of the foremost authorities on hypnosis, stated 
that he could not produce experimentally induced anti-social 
behavior. On the other hand, JohnG. Watkins, also a promi- 
nent expert, demonstrated just as conclusively that he could 
induce the good hypnotic subject to attack a superior officer 
and he was able to motivate the subject under hypnosis to 
divulge military secrets. Estabrooks, who is probably the 
foremost expert on hypnosis in warfare, writes with empha- 
sis that hypnosis is a dangerous modality which can be used 
and abused for espionage purposes. In Denmark, Reiter fully 
believed that one can use hypnosis to induce a person to 
commit crime. Milton V. Kline, one of the keenest re- 
search workers in the field of hypnosis, stated in a recent 
paper that he motivated a somnambulistic patient to commit 
an anti- social act to which the subject strongly objected in 
the waking state. Kline, naturally, does not describe the 
act which was "not only anti-social, but punishable by law. " 


§20. ll--Anti-sociaI conduct 

This writer has neither the courage nor the 
personality characteristic to dare to engage in experi- 
ments proving that hypnosis can be used anti-socially. I did 
ascertain at least that a somnambulistic subject can be in- 
fluenced to accept situations which are not for his best 
interest. Let me illustrate. A young person who has come 
for psychotherapy for the last six months, and is one of the 
best hypnotic subjects I have ever worked with, came on time 
for his hourly appointment. I was one-half hour late, but I 
offered to spend a whole hour with him. Paul stated that he 
was sorry, but he could not spend more than one-half hour 
with me because his father would pick him up on time and 
would be waiting for him in front of the building. When he 
returned for the next visit I asked him, while hypnotized, 
"How much time did we spend together on your last visit?" 
He answered, "Only thirty minutes because you were de- 
layed in taking me. " I told him that he participated in an 
interesting experience and really spent an hour with me, 
and naturally I would charge him for the whole hour. He 
accepted my statement without any objection and was billed 
for the full hour. Because Paul had told his father that he 
spent only one-half hour with me the amount of the bill was 
questioned by him. Paul hastened to explain to his father 
that he did not realize that I experimented with him and his 
sense of time must have been distorted. He assured his 
father that he did spend a whole hour with me and the bill 
was justifiable. I did get paid for the full hour. In order 
to satisfy my sense of decency, a few weeks after the ori- 
ginal incident I kept Paul one-half hour longer without 
charging him for it. 

This writer heard an internationally known psy- 
chiatrist-hypnotist recount that a stage hypnotist suggested 
to a somnambulistic subject that she was at home and ready 
to retire for the night, therefore, she might undress. When 
the lady stripped down to her panties and brassiere and was 
standing in front of the audience the hypnotist suddenly 
awakened her. This cruel joke subsequently resulted in a 
severe emotional breakdown to the subject. This incident 
illustrates well that if an experienced hypnotist construes 
and falsifies the situation under hypnosis as morally accept- 


able then the person can, while hypnotized, do things which 
he would not do in the normal waking state. 

§20. 12 Testimony of hypnotized subjeet against self 

From the forensic standpoint it would be most 
important to ascertain if the hypnotized would testify against 
himself. Although many such instances are mentioned in 
literature I have no personal experience to prove or dis- 
prove this statement. An experimental situation developed 
in a laboratory certainly does not prove or disprove the 
validity of such an important assumption. Still it is of some 
importance to mention that while working with a group of 
polygraph operators we set up an experiment where one 
"stole" a handkerchief from another. The "thief" was ques - 
tionedwith the help of the polygraph, but he did not disclose 
any emotional reaction to the interrogation. The whole group 
was examined and they were all considered as suspects. " 
After the polygraph examination proved to be fruitless the 
"suspect" admitted under hypnosis on direct forceful ques- 
tioning that he "stole" the handkerchief. When he was asked 
after arousal why did he admit the theft under hypnosis, he 
simply stated that he had the urge to do so after he was 
asked under hypnosis. 

§20. 13-- Personal injury plaintiff 

There is another instance in which the attorney 
for the defense asked me to hypnotize a patient who suffered 
a severe head injury while on the job and which resulted in 
a retrograde amnesia. The person was unable to recall if 
he fell accidentally or if he was criminally attacked. There 
were no witnesses available. Nevertheless the person 
claimed damages and intended to sue the company. It was 
important to ascertain how the injury occurred. The poly- 
graph examination disclosed that he was lying about certain 
facts. Under hypnosis he admitted that he was drinking quite 
heavily on the job, although this was expressly forbidden, 
and he may have fallen as a result of it. In spite of hypnosis 
he could not recall if he did fall or was attacked by someone. 
The amnesia was organic as a result of the brain concussion 
and brain injury. It was not a hysterical state of mind. The 


attorney representing him decided that the disclosure ob- 
tained under hypnosis should be considered as privileged 
communication and neither the polygraph operator nor I 
submitted a written report about the patient' s damaging 

§20. 14 Seniiconciousness during hypnotism 

Many popular articles manage to convey the mis- 
conception that the hypnotized is a powerless puppet in the 
hands of the operator. Nothing is further from the truth. 
Even the deeply hypnotized person is not unconscious. He 
may or may not develop amnesia for the hypnotic event. As 
a rule the subject will remember what occurred during the 
trance and will be able to recall and recount the experience. 
Amnesia is the exception and not the rule. It also bears 
emphasis that some hypnotized persons can lie, perhaps 
even better then the non-hypnotized. This is comparable 
with similar experiences when the so-called truth serum is 

Although I cited some isolated instances which 
show that the hypnotized may participate in an action which 
is against his interest, I believe it is not right to state that 
every hypnotized person, every time, will do so. The im- 
portant question, namely, if the hypnotized can be forced to 
testify against himself, is still debatable. Only when the 
hypnotized actually committed the crime and his testimony 
would lead to his conviction, would it be a convincing evi- 
dence to prove that hypnosis can be used to extract a confes- 
sion, even if it is self incriminatory. 

§20. 15 Us<' at prt'-trial examination 

Due to this writer' s meager legal knowledge he 
can only speculate if hypnosis would be permissible at all 
in pre-trial examination. Harold Miller in his book, 
"Interrogation" states that the privilege against self-incrim- 
ination pertains only to judicial examination and not to a 
confession made to a police officer. The latter is an extra- 
judicial confession which has taken place outside the court- 
room. Miller states that pre-trial confessions are not 
required to issue from the spontaneous decision of the sus- 


pect. The term "voluntary confession" does not mean that 
it has to be obtained without questioning. Probing and urging 
and certain semantic manipulations are permissible. For 
example voluntary submission to the polygraph examination 
does not mean that the suspect actually was willing to con- 
fess. On the contrary, he may have been hoping that he 
could "beat" the polygraph. Similarly it is feasible that the 
suspect, even though he knows he is guilty, may permit the 
induction of hypnosis thinking that he can trick the hypnotist. 
Good investigative techniques cannot be cast aside 
when polygraph examination is permitted. For the same 
reason the use of hypnosis shall not be substituted for proper 
interrogative techniques. 

§20. 16 --Who should function as hypnotist 

The question arises as to who should function as 
a hypnotist, if hypnosis should be permitted during the pre- 
trial examination of the willing or unwilling witness. Per- 
haps a physician must be entrustedwith this procedure, just 
as in the case of the truth- serum application. I am not 
quite convinced that this is correct. The injection of sodium 
amytalisa medical procedure. On the other hand the induc- 
tion of hypnosis is quite easy to learn by any intelligent 
person. It is entirely conceivable that the scientifically 
trained investigator could learn the technique well. He could 
orient himself about the dangers and limitations of hypnosis 
and because he would not use hypnosis for any reason other 
than questioning, in all probability he would not meet unusual 
complications. Theoretically it is claimed that the malicious 
investigator could motivate the suspect to confess to a crime 
which he actually did not commit. Fortunately we know that 
a confession alone is not considered sufficient evidence to 
convict a person. Therefore, fears in these respects are 
quite exaggerated. 

§20. 17 Compulsion to confess 

One wonders why a suspected criminal confesses 
at all. After committing the crime certainly it is not in his 
best interest to confess to it. Theodore Reik writes in his 
book "Compulsion to Confess" that the criminal confesses 


because his super-ego, that is the built-in judge, urges him 
to expiate the sin. One could theorize that the hypnotized 
person may confess to a crime easier, because by giving up 
some of his ego control his defenses are weakened and he 
considers the hypnotist' s ideas as his own. One can ques- 
tion if this pertains to experimental situations only, or if it 
would be equally applicable when the accused' s life may 
depend upon admitting the guilt. I am in no position to de- 
cide this most important issue and according to my know- 
ledge of the literature I do not know of anyone who could 
speak with final authority on this subject. 

§20. 18 Conclusion 

In conclusion it can be said that hypnosis is with- 
in the realm of the normal spectrum of human behavior and 
it can be elicited easily in most people. It was found that 
out-going intelligent people are the best subjects. Hypno- 
tizability does not denote a weak will. On the contrary a 
certain amount of will power is necessary in order to con- 
centrate on the offered directions. From a legal standpoint 
it is worthwhile to emphasize that one does not necessarily 
have to consent to be hypnotized and that a person can be 
hypnotized unaware. The popular idea that the hypnotized 
person is a slave of the hypnotist is untrue. Although il- 
logical suggestions may be acted upon by the hypnotized it 
is established that many persons, even in the deepest hyp- 
nosis, will not accept a suggestion if its fulfillment is 
against their best interest. But it is fair to add that under 
certain circumstances a person will execute a suggestion 
even though it may be anti-social and against the law. By 
the same token it is quite feasible that some individuals 
under hypnosis may be willing to confess to a crime. 

The whole question of the possibility of utilizing 
hypnosis in criminal investigation is surrounded by so many 
ifs' and buts' and speculations that only its application in 
actual circumstances could decide this most important 
issue. Until such research is possible one must wait and 
wonder if future scientific investigative work will give us 
the desired answer. 

Chapter 21 

Police Interrogation and the Rights of 
the Accused in England 

George H. Hatherill 


21. 1 English law of confessions 

21. 2 Question for trial judge 

21, 3 Promise or threat as ground for exclusion 

21,4 Judges Rules for admissibility 

21. 5 --Judicial approval of Rules 

21. 6 --Basis for admission of confessions 

21.7 --Rule No. 1; preliminary questioning 

21.8 --Rule No. 2; warning the suspect before 

charging him 

21.9 --Rule No. 3; warning when taken into custody 

21. 10 --"In custody" and "prisoners" explained 

21.11 --Rule No. 4; voluntary statements 

21. 12 --Rule No. 5; form of caution when charged 

21. 13 --Rule No. 6; statements made before caution 

21.14 — Rule No. 7; cross-examination of prisoner 

making voluntary statement 

21. 15 — Rule No. 8; reading statements to others 


21. 16 — Rule No. 9; written and signed statements 

§21. 1 English law of confessions 

The late Sir Edward Marshall Hall, when accept- 
ing a brief to defend, is reputed to have said "Never mind 
about the details -- what did the bloody fool say to the po- 
lice?" It is more often what "the fool" has said which tells 
so heavily against him at his trial. Because of this the ad- 
missibility of any statement or confession made by a person 
against whom legal proceedings have been commenced is 
invariably contested and frequently bitterly attacked. 

By the law of England, a voluntary and unsus- 
pected confession is sufficient to warrant conviction -where- 



ever there is independent proof that by someone a criminal 
act has been committed. It is not necessary in law that a 
confession be corroborated. The law holds that, if a man 
makes a free and voluntary confessionwhich is direct, posi- 
tive and properly proved, a jury may, if it thinks fit, convict 
him of any crime upon it. 

However, it has long been established as a posi- 
tive rule of English law that no statement by an accused 
person is admissible in evidence against him unless it is 
shown by the prosecution to have been free and voluntary 
in the sense that it has not been obtained from the accused 
either by fear of prejudice or hope of advantage exercised 
or held out to him by a person in authority. 

A person in authority is someone engaged in the 
arrest, detention, examination or prosecution of the accused, 
or someone acting in the presence and without the dissent 
of such person, and perhaps even by someone erroneously 
believed by the accused to be in authority. Briefly, it may 
be said to be someone in a position to press for punishment 
or plead for leniency. 

It lies upon the prosecution to establish and not 
upon the accused to negative that the confession is voluntary. 

§21.2 Question for trial judge 

The question of admissibility of a confession is, 
in the first instance, one for the judge at the trial. It is 
decided upon evidence and argument in the absence of the 
jury. The question of weight to be attached to the confes- 
sion is, however, one for the jury. The defending counsel 
has the right to cross-examine the police (witness) again in 
the presence of the jury and on the circumstances in which 
the confession has been obtained. Furthermore, the judge 
should tell the jury that if they are not satisfied that it was 
made voluntarily, they should give it no weight at all and 
should disregard it. 

When a witness has to give evidence of a con- 
fession there must first of all be evidence of the circum- 
stances under which it was taken, and of its voluntary 
nature. This may be given without waiting for the confes- 
sion to be challenged and it usually is. 


§21.3 Promise or threat as ground for exclusion 

A promise or threat used as a ground to exclude 
a confession must relate to the charge, must reasonably 
imply that the prisoner' s position in relation to the charge 
will be better or worse, according as he does or does not 
confess. For example, a threat or promise relating to the 
spiritual welfare of the prisoner will have no such effect. 

§21.4 Judges Rules for admissibility 

The Judges Rules were formulated for the pur- 
pose of explaining to police officers engaged in the investi- 
gation of crime the conditions under which the courts would 
be likely to admit into evidence statements made by persons 
suspected of or charged with crime. The police must bear 
in mind that they were drawn up to insure that any statement 
tendered in evidence should be a purely voluntary one and 
therefore admissible in evidence. The first four Rules were 
formulated in 1912. Prior to this there was no authoritative 
guidance as to the procedure which should be adopted by 
police to insure that statements made by an accused person 
would be admissible into evidence. There was constant dis- 
pute and inconsistent methods were employed throughout the 
country until the Home Office asked the Judges of the King's 
Bench Division to draw up Rules to govern the procedure. 
The Judges at first refused, saying the Rules would be a 
handicap to the police, but eventually the first four Rules 
were produced. Other Rules have been added from time to 
time. All were formulated by 1918. 

§21. 5- -Judicial approval of Rules 

No doubt on account of the complexity of the sub- 
ject the Judges Rules have not been adopted as part of the 
law of England — they have no statutory backing. The Court 
of Criminal Appeal has remarked that these Rules have not 
the force of law, but are administrative directions which 
should be observed by the police for the fair administration 
of justice. Statements obtained from persons contrary to 
their spirit may be rejected at the trial. More recently the 
Court of Criminal Appeal said: "It is too often assumed that 


non observation of the Judges Rules renders the evidence 
brought forth inadmissible. " In another case the court said, 
"Non observation of the Judges Rules is objectionable, and 
the sooner the police (of Bristol) study them and learn to 
abide by them, the better. " These conflicting statements 
emphasize that the Rules are not mandatory laws but dis- 
cretionary guides. 

§21. 6 --Basis for admission of confessions 

Before one can comprehend the Judges Rules it is 
first necessary to consider briefly the law relating to the 
admissibility of confessions. A voluntary confession of 
guilt, if it be full, consistent and probable, is justly re- 
garded as evidence of high value and a most satisfactory 
nature. "Self love," the mainspring of human conduct, will 
usually prevent a rational being from making admissions 
prejudicial to his interest and safety, unless when caused 
by the promptings of truth and conscience. The presump- 
tion of law is that no person will make a statement against 
his interests and safety unless it be true. 

§21. 7 --Rule No. 1; preliminary questioning 

When a police officer is endeavoring to discover 
the author of a crime, there is no objection to his 
putting questions in respect thereof to any person 
or persons, whether suspected or not, from whom 
he thinks that useful information can be obtained. 

This Rule calls for little comment. It does some- 
times help to persuade the reluctant witness who adopts the 
attitude -- "Why should I make a statement? Why should I 
be drawn into a criminal prosecution?" --to remind him that 
Her Majesty' s Judges have categorically stated that the 
police may take statements from persons whether suspect 
or not, if it is thought they may assist investigation into 
crime. It is, of course, no more than a bluff, but often suc- 
ceeds in convincing those persons whose outlook is such that 
they are inclined to regard questioning as "not nice," or 
who for some other reason do not wish to assist the police 
to prosecute in a criminal case. 


Rule No. 1 also tells the police that they may 
question persons suspected of crime. In this respect the 
English police have no more authority than other police. 
The questions and answers made to the police can be ad- 
mitted in evidence against the suspect should he eventually 
be charged with the crime about which he was interrogated, 
subject to the proviso, of course, that his answers were not 
extorted from him. As will be seen, however, when sus- 
picion is supplanted by prima facie guilt, the freedom of 
questioning is ended and strict rules apply. 

§21. 8--Rule No. 2; warning the suspect before charging him 

Whenever a police officer has made up his mind 
to charge a person with a crime, he should first 
caution such person before asking any question 
or further question, as the case may be. 

The word "charge" in this Rule means when an 
officer has made up his mind to arrest and formally charge, 
with the object of bringing the offender before a court of 
law, or when he has made up his mind to commence proceed- 
ings against the individual by way of warrant or summons 
(not by direct arrest). A police officer can only make up 
his mind to "charge" when it can be proved: 

(a) that a crime has been committed by someone: 

(b) a prima facie case against the individual now 
exists, sufficient to justify bringing him be- 
fore a court of law on that charge. 

Rule No. 2 does not permit an officer to question 
ad lib, a person charged or about to be charged, providing 
he has cautioned that person; rather in such cases he may 
only question sufficiently to remove ambiguity in what has 
already been said, and even then only after caution. 

It will be seen from Rule No. 7, quoted below, 
which was added some years after Rules 1 to 4, that if a 
person is arrested in circumstances outlined in Rule No. 2, 
no question may be put to him except for the purpose of re- 
moving ambiguity in what has already been said in relation 
to that charge. 


§21. 9 --Rule No. 3; warning when taken into custody 

Persons in custody should not be questioned with- 
out the usual caution being first administered. 

It is the phrase "persons in custody" in this Rule 
which may give rise to some misunderstanding. A Home 
Office Circular of June 24, 1930, points out that His Ma- 
jesty' s Judges advised on this point as follows: 

"Prima facie the expression' per sons in cus- 
tody' in Rule No. 3 applies to persons arrested, 
before they are confined in a police station or 
prison, but the Rule also applies to persons in the 
custody of a gaoler. The terms ' persons in cus- 
tody' and ' prisoners' are therefore synonymous 
for the purpose of this Rule. " 

§21. 10- -"In custody" and "prisoners" explained 

The terms "in custody" and "prisoners" require 
explanation. If a literal translation is made of Rule 2, Rule 
3 and Rule?, it may appear that a person in custody can only 
be questioned after being cautioned and then only to clear up 
ambiguity in what he has actually said in a voluntary state- 
ment. This is not so. This view, when related to practical 
experience, reveals a ludicrous situation. Supposing a 
police officer, late at night, walking down a quiet country 
lane, hears a scream and the sound of blows. Seconds later 
he sees a man running towards him. What should the police 
officer do? He should arrest the man on reasonable sus- 
picion that a felony has been committed. Is the man in cus- 
tody? Is he a prisoner? Literally, he is. Is there anything 
ambiguous in what the man has said? He has not said a word. 
Is the police officer barred by the Judges Rules from asking 
questions? The man in custody may be an innocent pedes- 
trian who, seeing a woman violently assaulted, was running 
for medical aid and for the police. Should the police officer 
arrest and detain the man, observing strict silence vis-a-vis 
"a person in custody" and then make the necessary inquiries? 
The answer is, obviously, "No!" 

Clearly a person may be "in custody" before a 
police officer has made up his mind to charge him and even 
before he has evidence upon which to charge him. A per- 

353 RIGHTS OF ACCUSED §21. 11 

son whose liberty is thus restrained while necessary in- 
quiries are made, although clearly a person in custody, may 
be questioned by the police after being cautioned. 

Once a person is in custody for a particular 
crime — when sufficient evidence establishes a prima facie 
case or a formal charge has been made — then no more 
questions may be put to him except for the purpose of re- 
moving ambiguity in what he has already said. He must not 
be questioned on the subject of the crime for which he is in 

The Home Office Circular of 1930 sheds some 
light on the point. "In any case before the formal charge is 
made, the usual caution is or should be ' You are not obliged 
to say anything and anything you say may be given in evi- 
dence.' In the Secretary of State's opinion this form of 
caution may be properly used at any time during the investi- 
gation of a crime at which it is necessary or right to ad- 
minister a caution. For example, when a person is being 
interrogated by a police officer under Rule 1 whether at a 
police station or elsewhere, and a point is reached when the 
officer would not allow that person to depart until further 
inquiry has been made and any suspicion that may have been 
aroused has been cleared up, it is in the opinion of the 
Secretary of State desirable that such a caution should be 
administered before further questions are asked. " 

A person in custody for one crime may be ques- 
tioned by police about other crimes he may have committed 
provided he is cautioned. 

§21. ll--Riile No. 4; voluntary statements 

If a prisoner wishes to volunteer any statement, 
the usual caution should be administered. The 
caution should end with the words --". ... be 
given in evidence. " 

Rule No. 4 requires little explanation except to 
say that the " usual caution" is that already mentioned— 
"You are not obliged to say anything, but anything you say 
may be given in evidence. " 

Further, remember that no questions may be put 
to the prisoner about the voluntary statement, except for the 


purpose of removing ambiguity in what he has actually said, 
e. g. "I have hidden or thrown away the property." He may 
properly be asked, "Where have you hidden or thrown it?" 
Or if he has mentioned an hour without saying if it were 
morning or evening, he may be questioned sufficiently to 
clear up the point. Questions as well as answers should be 
included in the statement and given in evidence. 

§21. 12--Rule No. 5; form of caution when charged 

The caution to be administered to a prisoner when 
he is formally charged, should therefore be in the 
following words: "Do you wish to say anything in 
answer to the charge? You are not obliged to do 
so, but whatever you say will be taken down in 
writing and may be given in evidence. " 

It was the practice of some police forces before 
1912 to finish the caution with the words --".... and may 
be given in evidence against you. " The judges advised 
against the use of this phrase and said care should be taken 
to avoid any suggestion that his answers can only be used in 
evidence against him, as this may prevent an innocent per- 
son making a statement which might assist to clear him of 
the charge. 

The prisoner is only once formally cautioned in 
the words of Rule 5 and that is when he is formally charged 
before the station officer at a police station prior to his 
appearance at court. 

§21. 13 --Rule No. 6; statements made before caution 

A statement made by a prisoner before there is 
time to caution him is not rendered inadmissible 
in evidence merely by reason of no caution having 
been administered but in such a case he should be 
cautioned as soon as possible. 

The danger here is found in practice not to be an 
unscrupulous police officer allowing a person to commit 
himself on the excuse that the statement was uttered before 
there was time to caution, but of the over conscientious po- 
lice officer administering the caution too soon. By opening 

355 RIGHTS OF ACCUSED §21. 14 

his own mouth he may close that of the suspect who, whether 
guilty or innocent, believes after the caution has been given 
that he is going to be charged and therefore may say no more 
until he has taken legal advice. Thus, not only may we lose 
valuable clues of guilt, but sometimes an innocent person 
may suffer the reproach and embarrassment on his trial of 
not having put forward his defense at the earliest possible 

An example is the innocent bystander who, late at 
night on a lonely road, sees a woman violently assaulted and 
runs away from the scene of the crime to summon police 
and medical aid. For private reasons he does not disclose 
his identity to the police who, discovering it later, and the 
crime being unsolved, will want to question him. When 
asked to give an explanation of his movements he may say, 
for example, that he had been visiting his club and was walk- 
ing home. Inquiries may reveal that he had not visited his 
club that night. When further questioned he may say — "All 
right, I' 11 tell you the truth." He has not at this stage dis- 
closed evidence of guilt and if "cautioned" may decide to say 
no more, fearing he is going to be charged — which, as a 
result of his silence, together with the general circum- 
stances, he may be. The truth might be, however, that he 
was a married man and was having an affair with a girl 
friend whom he had just left to walk home. He may have 
felt embarrassment at having to disclose this to a police 
officer in the first instance. When realizing the serious- 
ness of the situation he was about to make a full disclosure 
to the police but was nagged into silence by the administer- 
ing of the caution. 

The time to caution a suspect is immediately after 
he has disclosed some evidence of guilt — and not before. 

§21. 14 --Rule No. 7; cross-examination of prisoner making 

voluntary statement 

A prisoner making a voluntary statement must not 
be cross-examined, and no questions should be 
put to him about it except for the purpose of re- 
moving ambiguity in what he has actually said. 
For instance, if he has mentioned an hour without 
saying whether it was morning or evening, or 


has given a day of the week and day of the month 
which do not agree, or has not made it clear to 
what individual or what place he intended to refer 
in some part of his statement, he may be ques- 
tioned sufficiently to clear up the point. 

This Rule was discussed with Rule No. 2 above. 

§21. 15- -Rule No. 8; reading statements to others charged 

When two or more persons are charged with the 
same offense and statements are taken separately 
from the persons charged, the police should not 
read these statements to the other person charged, 
but each of the persons should be furnished by the 
police with a copy of such statements and nothing 
should be said or done by the police to invite a 
reply. If the person charged desires to make 
a statement in reply, the usual caution should be 

This Rule is not difficult to understand. It was 
introduced to prevent the practice by which police would give 
evidence before a court to the following effect: 

"We have arrested the prisoner 'X' who admits 
his guilt and says that you (' Y') were with him and assisted 
him to commit the crime." The man ' Y' was then asked to 
make a statement. Even though 'Y' made a statement deny- 
ing his complicity in the crime, it was a way to get before 
the jury the statement of 'X' implicating ' Y.' 

Rule No. 8 also applies to persons whom the po- 
lice have arrested and not yet charged, but who are impli- 
cated by a statement of a prisoner already charged. 

§21. 16 --Rule No. 9; written and signed statements 

Any statement made in accordance with the above 
Rules should, whenever possible, be taken down 
in writing and signed by the person making it after 
it has been read to him and he has been invited to 
make any corrections he may wish. 


These Judges Rules have not proved to be a handi- 
cap to police interrogation. They represent intelligent 
guides for police officers to follow. When they do so a 
maximum of protection is given a subject and full oppor- 
tunity to obtain truth for the criminal trial is permitted. 


Chapter 22 

Interviewing and Interrogation 

George W. O'Connor 

22. 1 Interview and interrogation distinguished 

22.2 Interview -- neutral or familiar grounds 

22. 3 Interrogation -- neutral or unfamiliar grounds 

22. 4 Anxiety as a factor 

22. 5 History of interrogation -- torture 

22.6 --Brainwashing 

22. 7 --Promise of leniency 

22. 8 --Proof by opinion evidence 

22.9 --Trial by ordeal 

22. 10 --Listening to suspect's cell 

22. 11 --Pressure of confinement 

22. 12 --Hearing the confession 

22. 13 --Interviewing women and violent persons 

22. 14 --Rules from the Spanish Inquisition 

22. 15 Interrogation traps -- filling in details 

22. 16 — Sweet and sour technique 

22. 17 — Use of the hypothetical situation 

22. 18 --The cold shoulder 

22. 19 --Overheard conversations 
22. 20 --The false lineup 

22. 21 --Telling a story backwards 

§22. 1 Interview and interrogation distinguished 

The differences between an interview and an in- 
terrogation have been discussed in other sections, pointing 
up the fact that many individuals tend to think of them as 
being the same, which basically they are. They are the 
same in terms of their purpose, that of getting information. 
In terms of the manner in which they are conducted and 
techniques used, there is a great difference between inter- 
viewing and interrogation. 



An interview is a conversation between the police- 
man and a witness or victim which is controlled somewhat 
by the police officer. An interrogation is also a conver- 
sation, but one which is very tightly controlled by the police 
officer, between himself and a suspect. The manner in 
which these conversations are conducted will depend pri- 
marily upon the type of individual involved. 

§22. 2 Interview - neutral or familiar grounds 

Of particular importance in terms of the differ- 
ence between the two, is the place where the interview or 
interrogation is conducted. The police can talk to the indivi- 
dual who was standing on the street corner where a traffic 
accident occurred and perhaps get more information there 
than by talking to him at the police station or in a police 
car. On the other hand if the individual is a suspect do not 
talk to him in a neutral spot, particularly in his own home. 
The police, on the other hand, should talk to the witness 
where he will be comfortable, where he will be in fairly 
familiar surroundings, where nervousness, anxiety or emo- 
tion will be at a minimum and where such emotions can be 
kept to a minimum. 

If an individual has seen a traffic accident happen 
in front of his own home, I would suggest going inside the 
individual' s home to discuss it with him. While it is un- 
familiar to you, it is very familiar to him. He will not be 
concerned about other things around him. He can devote 
his full and complete attention to the questions that you ask. 
He doesn' t have to worry about what is going on in the next 
room or what noise he hears down the hall. He can settle 
back to tell you the story. 

§22. 3 Interrogation -- neutral or unfamiliar grounds 

On the other hand, the suspect should be a least 
on neutral grounds - at best, on grounds which are un- 
familiar to him. In other words, if you go into a suspect' s 
home to talk to him, he can do any number of things to keep 
you off balance and to avoid your questions. At the point 
when you are getting to the crux of the subject or when you 
have asked a critical question he can say, "Excuse me, I 


have to let the dog out," or, "I have to turn the stove off, " 
or I have to do this or that. Any number of things within 
a man's own home can need immediate attention if he wants 
a distraction. The same thing occurs when you talk to people 
on everyday matters. Even at the police station, an indivi- 
dual may suddenly remember that he has to tie his shoe 
laces when you ask him a critical question; or he sees a 
pencil laying on your desk and moves it over a little bit; he 
wants to straighten your desk for you. There are little 
things that he can think of which he must do. Why? Be- 
cause they throw the attention away from the question which 
was asked or the subject at hand. Thus, control of the loca- 
tion can save a lot of difficulties. 

§22. 4 Anxiety as a factor 

Again, the factor of an unfamiliar place makes the 
individual more anxious. Generally speaking, this is desir- 
able with a suspect. However, the officer wants to be in a 
position where he can turn that anxiety on and off, build it 
up or tone it down. The anxiety factor can be analogized to 
a see -saw. On this see -saw the board is the individual' s 
mental processes or his mental level. If you put I. Q. or 
intelligence on one end and emotion on the other, it will 
balance, very much the same as a see-saw. If emotion goes 
up, intelligence goes down. There is a fairly direct relation- 
ship between the two. 

Consider a quarrel between a husband and wife. 
The more intense it gets the more ridiculous it becomes; 
the remarks become emotional, not intelligent. Some stupid 
statements are said. Why? As emotion goes up, intelli- 
gence goes down. 

Psychologists tell us that memory is a direct 
function of intelligence. Generally speaking, the more in- 
telligent an individual is, the better his memory or the better 
his capabilities for remembering. This is another reason 
why you do not want the witness to be too highly upset or 
emotional, because you thereby keep his memory factor on 
a very poor level. With a suspect, however, the more upset 
he gets, the more likely he may be to forget that he wants 
to keep certain information secret. 


§22. 5 History of interrogation - torture 

Some points on the historical background of in- 
terrogation are interesting to consider. While the recent 
great developments that have been made in science are 
discussed often, many people think that many of the inter- 
viewing and interrogation techniques that police use today 
are of recent origin. Truly, the contributions of psychiatry 
and psychology to interviewing and interrogating techniques 
have been great. But, back in 1484, during the times of the 
German Inquisitions, the following are some of the rules set 
forth in a manual for interrogators for the judges of the 
Inquisition: (1) Witches could not confront witnesses as it 
was felt that they would hex them. If a witch was capable 
of hexing somebody, the accuser then would be hexed if he 
had to go directly in front of the witch to make the accusa- 
tion. Stemming from this old practice is the police lineup. 
But the difference is that the accuser must face the indivi- 
dual today. (2) The witch was to be accused directly. This 
is not a new technique as it is done today. In fact, it is one 
of the standard parts of an interrogative process to make a 
direct accusation in hope that the suspect will not deny it. 
(3) The witch was questioned continually to see if she 
changed her story. That again is still done. (4) The witch 
was tortured until a confession was obtained and then she 
was brought into court so that she would repeat the confess- 
ion in court. There is a similarity here, too. Failure of 
the witch to confess in open court resulted in another torture 
session. Five sessions of torture were allowed after which 
the person was to be freed if she would not confess in court. 
However, she could be rearrested and the whole procedure 
started again for another five sessions of torture. 

§22.6-- Brainwashing 

This is a very handy device, used in Russia within 
recent years; according to the stories about Cardinal Minds- 
zenty and others. Change the word "torture" and analyze it 
in a little different light and it becomes the technique of 
working on the individual until you get a confession. You go 
into court and if he refuses to make a confession in court, 
he is taken back. This is one of the worse parts of the so- 


called brainwashing techniques. If the individual doesn't 
want to confess now, they have his whole lifetime to keep 
working on it. When a man stops to consider that he still 
has a good many more years to live, and he does not want 
to go through this rigor for that long, he feels he might as 
well confess in order to get out of one prison and into 
another one. 

§22. 7 --Promise of leniency 

Another technique used on the witches was for one 
judge to promise leniency and then when the witch confessed, 
another judge would be brought in to sentence her. They 
really could not make promises, so the one who made it con- 
veniently left the bench after the confession was in, and a 
second judge did the sentencing. 

The witch was to be placed under guard and then 
other people would come in and promise her leniency and 
immunity. This can be done today, but it has to be handled 
very carefully. Anyone who is at all connected with the po- 
lice department or with the courts, or the administration of 
criminal justice is in no position to make any promises, be- 
cause if they do, it can invalidate a confession. However, 
the individual' s clergyman, spouse, relative or friend can 
make all sorts of promises, provided that they are not at 
all connected with the police department and the person is 
not operating under the police department' s instruction. 

§22. 8 --Proof by opinion evidence 

Proof of witchcraft was established by general 
opinion of laymen which involved direct testimony, plus the 
confession that was obtained through some means. Today 
a conviction may come from circumstantial evidence, or 
testimony, or both plus a confession; not just by the direct 
testimony and the confession. It must be supported with 
other things. 

§22.9--Trial by ordeal 

If threats and promises failed, torture was used. 
The person accused was made to undergo an ordeal. Today 


the ordeal may be construed as the polygraph test. This 
is not too great an ordeal when compared with the ancient 
ordeals such as throwing a man in water and if he did not 
come up, he was guilty because he drowned. To some 
people, however, a lie detector is a real ordeal. In one 
case a woman was brought in for a lie detector test. She 
was very nervous. The operator managed to calm her 
down to the point where he was ready to put on the blood 
pressure cup and the respiration band around the chest, 
when she became nervous again. The coroner explained he 
could not give the test if she kept moving around and was so 
nervous. She said, "You are not going to hook me up to this 
machine until I see a priest." This was truly an ordeal for 
this woman. She was convinced that if she lied she was go- 
ing to be executed right on the spot; that the machine was an 
automatic electric chair and turned on a terrific amount of 
current when a lie was told. 

§22. 10- -Listening to suspect's cell 

Someone was posted to listen outside the door of 
the witch's cell. Some places still use that technique. Some 
have modified it; some have improved on it substantially. 
They don' t have to sit outside the door of the cell, but they 
can sit in some other part of the building and listen to any 
conversation by means of modern electronic science. Plac- 
ing someone in the cell with the witch to draw a confession 
from her was also done. This technique has not been for- 
gotten. Somebody else is often put into the cell with the 
individual, perhaps a police officer, or some other trusted 

§22. 11- -Pressure of confinement 

With many people being in a cell by themselves 
wears very hard, and they want to talk to somebody. They 
do not want to talk to the police but they do want to tell 
somebody about their troubles. Did you ever notice that 
when you have something on your mind and you are not going 
to mention it to anybody, the first person you meet and the 
first thing you say is invariably directly related to what you 
do not want to tell anyone. Tremendous pressure builds up 


in an individual, and especially on a person who has been 
locked up in a cell for a period of time. When someone joins 
them, they have a tremendous urge to talk to that person. 

§22. 12 --Hearing the confession 

The last rule on the German Inquisition was that 
if the witch started to confess, under no circumstances 
should the judge put off hearing the confession. This, too, 
was an effective rule, because if somebody wants to confess, 
it will not wait. Even the delay of getting a stenographer 
can be bad. It would be better to sit in a room alone with 
somebody and listen to the complete confession because you 
can testify to this. If he refuses to tell the same story in 
front of a stenographer, you still have heard it. You can 
still testify to it; you still have a lot of information. That 
is better than going out to get a stenographer and have the 
prisoner say then that he does not want to say anything in 
front of her. Some interview departments have a set rule 
that only one person will interview at a time. This is in 
most cases a very valuable rule if you can enforce it. 

§22. 13 --Interviewing women and violent persons 

Women should be interviewed alone, but in a place 
where other people can see you. Never close the door. If 
you have a glass room where everybody can look in that is 
ideal. If you have a room that has no glass, and other people 
can not look in, then you should leave the door open. It is 
the same thing with psychotics. If you have someone who 
may get violent, do not be in a room all by yourself with the 
door locked. Sit by the door. If you have any suspicion at all 
that the suspect is a little strange, put yourself in a posi- 
tion where you can exit quickly. 

§22. 14- -Rules from the Spanish Inquisition 

There was another set of rules in the sixteenth 
century set up for the Spanish Inquisition which is worth 
mentioning briefly. 

1. Do not kill or wound a suspect. (They had be- 
come very civilized then, and were aware of the rights of the 


individual. Before this they could use physical violence. ) 

2. Do not be too precise in your questioning. 
This is what is sometimes referred to as High Level Ab- 
stractions or the use of words that are incomprehensible to 
the suspect. He must interpret them. 

Ask if he knows who is accusing him. Today it is 
always a good device, especially with juveniles, to begin by 
saying, "Tell me why you are here. " 

3. Do not suggest answers. 

4. Do not let crying bother you. What do you do 
when a woman cries? Let her cry. Do not try any critical 
questions during that time. 

5. Do not get upset. 

6. Allow the person to make up excuses. Try to 
create the impression that you are completely understanding. 
Tell him that you could understand why he did it or why 
someone would do it. Build him up. Make him feel that he 
is a real fine individual. When you criticize the victim you 
thereby build up the suspect. 

7. Pretend that you already know the facts of the 
case even though you may not. Do not betray ignorance and 
do not give him the details of the case. This is important. 
There is a good example of giving details of the case. In a 
recent homicide, a husband took it upon himself to put his 
wife out of her misery. She was not really miserable, but 
he thought she was. He was arrested immediately and 
brought to the police station. They talked to him for a 
period of time. He had taken a . 22 caliber pistol and shot 
her behind the ear on the left side. A . 22 makes a very 
small hole. He threw the gun away. 

Before the autopsy was performed, he was ques- 
tioned. The police had found in his home an ice pick wrap- 
ped up in a sock in his dresser. They brought this in and 
apparently suggested to him that this was the weapon, be- 
cause that little hole looked very much like an ice pick hole. 
He confessed to killing her with the ice pick. But he did not 
kill her with an ice pick; he had shot her. The police be- 
came very, very embarrassed over the whole thing because 
the answer as to what weapon was used was suggested to 


him. The whole investigation stopped there. They had the 
confession; they had the ice pick; they had the body. They 
were ready to go to court. The autopsy turned up the bul- 
let in the head. But during that period of time before the 
autopsy and after the confession, everybody was sure that it 
was an ice pick wound. 

8. The Inquisitors used the "sweet and sour" 
technique which is probably also familiar. 

9. Feed him and win his confidence. This is a 
rule that you will find you must follow in handling a suspect 
in an interrogation. You have to allow him to do everything 
that you yourself will do. You have to treat him as though 
he were also an individual, a human being with certain feel- 
ings and rights. When you are going to eat, let him eat. If 
you are going to go to the bathroom, let him also go to the 
bathroom. The courts will not tolerate keeping a man 
locked up for hours without anything to eat, without allowing 
him the use of the restroom, when the questioners have gone 
home, taken a shower and cleaned up, had dinner and come 

As far as smoking is concerned, you can control 
his smoking. There is no vital bodily function that is met 
or satisfied by smoking. 

Relay confession or interrogation teams are 
frowned upon. Two or three men will question a suspect for 
eight hours, and then go home and sleep. Meanwhile, three 
more will continue the questioning. The police are re- 
freshed, well fed and rested, but the suspect is not. Fatigue 
is a terrific pressure factor on an individual. When it is 
used over a period of twenty-four to thirty-six hours, it will 
invalidate almost any confession. An individual so fatigued 
will do just about anything to be able to go to sleep. Today, 
this technique is in disrepute. The courts have been 
against it for years. However, most departments operate 
on an informal rule that they are allowed approximately 
forty- eight to seventy-two hours in which to complete their 
investigation. This is a long time for a person to stay 
awake. The lawyers, courts and public decry these ap- 
proaches, and so do most modern American police 


§22. 15 Interrogation traps -- filling in details 

"Interrogation traps" are techniques which have 
been used and reused to the point that their usefulness is 
nearly gone. The first one is the false incident technique. 
For example, if you have a suspect who tells a story which 
is his alibi, accept it. Give him every opportunity to fill in 
with specific details on his alibi. 

Sometime ago a college student was suspected of 
having kidnapped, raped and murdered a junior high school 
girl. She had disappeared mysteriously and was found six 
or eight weeks later in a shallow grave. The student claim- 
ed that he had taken a trip at that time to the state capitol 
and from there to a camp in the mountains. He claimed 
that he drove to the state capitol in order to file some pa- 
pers with the State Land Office. The State Land Office was 
in a specific building, so the police asked him where the 
State Land Office was located. The suspect had never been 
to the State Land Office, but he gave an elaborate description 
of where it was, who worked there, etc. , when led on by 
the suggestions of the police. The suspect went along with 
the officers to the extent of drawing the floor plan of the 
building to show where the office was in relation to the other 
offices, where the restrooms were, etc. He thought the 
police were believing him, but they checked his story. He 
was tried, convicted and executed. 

§22. 16--Sweet and sour technique 

The sweet and sour technique needs little elabora- 
tion. That is where one interrogator is the kindly father 
figure, who merely wants to see that the suspect gets fair 
treatment. He tells him he will be out as soon as he can 
clear up a few discrepancies. The other officer is a real 
villain type who keeps questioning the suspect harshly. 

§22. 17 --Use of the hypothetical situation 

The third technique is the use of the hypothetical 
situation. This is where the officer says, "Look, I am sure 
at this point you did not do this. I have a pretty good idea 
that you were not connected with it, but I am a semi- student 


of psychology and like to figure out how people think and how 
they would react in similar situations. How do you think you 
would have done it? Let us assume for a moment that you 
did commit this crime. How do you think you would have 
gone about it?" 

It' s surprising how often the individual who has 
already committed the crime will say, "Well, I did not do 
it, but if I were going to do it, I would do it this way." He 
often fills in some very specific details on how the actual 
crime was committed. 

§22. 18--The cold shoulder 

The fourth technique is called the "cold shoulder. " 
This is used to build anxiety, and unnerve the suspect. He 
is brought out of his cell and placed outside the office. Let 
him sit for fifteen, twenty, or thirty minutes, or as long as 
you feel it will take for him to get upset. Even if he comes 
in off the streets and you want to build anxiety, let him sit 
outside the office. Periodically look at him, shake your head 
and go back to what you are doing. Some interrogators let 
the suspect sit a whole morning. Some interrogators will 
put them off even if they indicate they want to talk. This is 
against the rule that if a man wants to confess the interro- 
gator should let him. 

§22. 19 --Overheard conversations 

The overheard conversations is another technique 
whereby you allow the suspect to overhear a conversation 
which gives him the idea or the impression that you have 
more information than he thought you did. He can overhear, 
for example, that he was identified by an accomplice, if 
there were two or more people involved. This technique be- 
comes very complex. You need to have a set-up, either with 
glass partitions, or offices where you can see from one into 
the other. The interrogator must be sure the one suspect 
cannot hear what is going on. Bring one suspect in and tell 
him to sit and wait for awhile. With the other suspect, you 
can say, "Our records are incomplete on you, we would like 
a handwriting sample. Just write down a few sentences. 


Copy a paragraph out of this book or write down anything 
that comes into your head." 

You do not care what he writes as long as he 
writes when the other suspect is watching him. When he 
has written a while ask him to sign his name. After he 
signs his name ask him to swear to the fact it is his sig- 
nature. Most suspects do not protest to this. As this sus- 
pect is ready to leave say, "Is that the fellow we picked up 
with you?" He will usually look at the other suspect and 
nod or turn and acknowledge that it is. Then take him out 
so he does not meet his cohort. 

When the second suspect is brought in, tell him 
he probably saw everything and knows the first man gave 
a statement, swore to it, and pointed him out as his accom- 
plice. This is a very involved procedure, which will work 
occasionally if one suspect is nervous. Pick the weaker 
suspect to watch and use the stronger as the stooge. 

Along the same line, if you have two suspects who 
can be kept in jail for a day or two without being charged, 
take the stronger one out of the cell four or five times a day 
for half an hour at a time. Be sure the second suspect sees 
his partner being taken out of the cell. About the fourth or 
fifth time you bring him back, thank him for his help and 
cooperation. Then immediately take the second man out of 
the cell for the first time and ask him if he would care to 
give his side of it. Indicate that you really do not need it, 
that the prosecutor is happy enough with one side, but it is 
only fair to the suspect that he should tell his story, too. 

§22. 20- -The false lineup 

The next technique is the false lineup. A lineup 
is a standard procedure. A suspect is picked up for steal- 
ing automobiles, for instance. Have some stranger point 
him out from the middle of the lineup as a robber or mur- 
derer. The suspect may say, "I am not going to take a bum 
rap for robbery. All I did was steal some guy' s car. " You 
usually have to use a more serious offense as the one for 
which he is falsely identified. 

§22. 21--Telling a story backwards 

The last technique is telling a story backwards. 
When you get a story you doubt, have the suspect begin with 
the present and give it in this sequence; he usually will get 
very confused. 

Chapter 23 

Practical Problems in Interrogation 

Scotland Yard* 

George H. Hatherill 


23. 1 Introduction 

23. 2 Judges Rules on admissibility of statements of 


23. 3 --Discussion of the Judges Rules 

23. 4 --Questioning after decision to charge suspect 

23. 5 Court test of interrogation methods 

23. 6 Importance of keeping calm 

23. 7 Adapting to particular subject 

23. 8 Determining the suspect' s mental processes 

23. 9 Setting for the interrogation 

23.10 --Sex offenders 

23. 11 --Two officers present 

23. 12 --Presence of attorneys and shorthand experts 

23. 13 Pre-interrogation investigation 

23. 14 Object of interrogation 

23. 15 Old offender 

23.16 Alibis 

23. 17 Appraisal of character 

23. 18 Questions that pre-judge the suspect 

23. 19 Use language of suspect 

23. 20 Examination of body and clothing 

23.21 Reasons for confessions 

23. 22 Proof substantiating the confession 

23. 23 Protecting the statement' s validity 

23. 24 Corroboration of statements 

23.25 Conclusion 

§23. 1 Introduction 

The interrogation of suspects and accused persons 
is a phase of police work of which more has been written 

♦The material in this chapter originally appeared in "International Lectures on Police Science" 
and is used here with permission. 



and will be written than any other activity. I cannot help 
remarking, however, that many of those who have written 
so much on this matter have never had the experience of a 
police officer. They often just write from the theoretical line, 
which does not square up with the hard facts of experience. 

The taskof interrogating suspects or accused per- 
sons is probably the most difficult that an investigating officer 
is likely to be called upon to perform. In this particular 
work the greatest attributes of a successful investigation are 

Many police officers are extremely efficient in the 
many various branches of police work, but some fall down 
when it comes to interrogation, often because they are lack- 
ing in the art and knowledge of psychology, particularly 
criminal psychology. Again, too, it is experience which is 
the most valuable asset in this particular sphere. However, 
before saying more about police methods of interrogation, 
it should be made clear that so far as the police in England 
and Wales are concerned, we may not interrogate anybody 
who has been arrested and is to be charged or has been 

Between 1912 and 1918 judges in the criminal 
courts formulated a number of rules for the guidance of the 
police in dealing with suspected or accused persons. Since 
1918 there have been one or two cases which led to ques- 
tions being raised in Parliament concerning the way police 
interrogated people. A Royal Commission, appointed to 
look into this matter, added certain notes on what are called 
"Judges Rules." Although these Rules are not law, they 
must be complied with by our police. One can say, in effect, 
that they were formulated for the purpose of guiding police 
officers engaged in the investigation of crime and explaining 
the conditions in which English courts would be likely to ad- 
mit in evidence statements made by persons suspected of or 
charged with crime. 

§23. 2 Judges Rules on admissibility of statements 
of accused 

I will just list these Rules and you will understand 
why, in the rest of this article, there will be no mention of 


questioning accused persons: 

(1) When a police officer is endeavouring to discover 
the author of a crime, there is no objection to his 
putting questions in respect thereof to any person 
or persons, whether suspected or not, from whom 
he thinks that useful information can be obtained. 

(2) Whenever a police officer has made up his mind 
to charge a person with a crime, he should first 
caution such person before asking any questions, 
or any further questions as the case may be. 

(3) Persons in custody should not be questioned with- 
out the usual caution being first administered. 

(4) If the prisoner wishes to volunteer any statement, 
the usual caution should be administered. 

(NOTE: When it is essential for a caution to 
be administered by the officer arresting, and 
before the investigation of the charge at the Sta- 
tion, the caution should be in the following words: 
"You are not obliged to say anything but anything 
you say may be given in evidence. ") 

(5) The caution to be administered to a prisoner when 
he is FORMALLY charged should be in the follow- 
ing words: "Do you wish to say anything in answer 
to the charge ? You are not obliged to say anything 
unless you wish to do so, but whatever you say 
will be taken down in writing and may be given in 
evidence. " 

Care should be taken to avoid any suggestion that 
his answers can only be used in evidence against 
him, as this may prevent an innocent person mak- 
ing a statement which might assist to clear him of 
the charge. 

(6) A statement made by a prisoner before there is 
time to caution him is not rendered inadmissible 
in evidence merely by reason of no caution having 
been given, but in such a case he sould be cau- 
tioned as soon as possible. 


(7) A prisoner making a voluntary statement must not 
be cross-examined, and no question should be put 
to him about it except for the purpose of removing 
ambiguity in what he has actually said. For in- 
stance, if he has mentioned an hour without saying 
whether it was morning or evening, or has given 
a day of the week and day of the month which do 
not agree, or has not made it clear to what indi- 
vidual or what place he intended to refer in some 
part of his statement, he may be questioned suf- 
ficiently to clear up the point. 

(8) When two or more persons are charged with the 
same offence and statements are taken separately 
from the persons charged, the police should not 
read the statements to the other persons charged, 
but each of such persons should be furnished by 
the police with a copy of such statements and noth- 
ing should be said or done by the police to invite 
a reply. If the person charged desires to make 
a statement in reply, the usual caution should be 

(9) Any statement made in accordance with the above 
rules should, whenever possible, be taken down 
in writing and signed by the person making it after 
it has been read to him and he has been invited to 
make any corrections he may wish. 

§23. 3 --Discussion of the Judges Rules 

The first Rule, of course, does not present any 
difficulties. It allows the police to question anybody, whether 
suspected or not. 

It is the second Rule which brings a police officer 
in England to afuUstop in certain circumstances. The mo- 
ment a police officer makes up his mind to charge a person 
he must administer the caution. It does not mean when such 
person is formally charged, but the moment the police offi- 
cer decides to arrest. 

The third Rule does not mean that a person who 
has been arrested and cautioned can be questioned. After 
being cautioned, if he should make a statement which needs 


clarification, the officer may question him. Moreover, it 
may be necessary to question that person about some other 
crime for which he may be suspected. He can then be cau- 
tioned and questioned about the other crime or crimes in the 
ordinary manner as set out in Rule one. 

The remaining Rules are quite straightforward 
and self-explanatory. So far as the seventh Rule is concern- 
ed, if any questions are asked during the making of a volun- 
tary statement, it is the practice to insert in the statement 
any questions the police officer may have asked and the 
prisoner' s reply. 

I should say that these Rules, properly understood 
and applied, are not a handicap to an experienced officer 
and at times they can be of considerable assistance. 

§23. 4- -Questioning after decision to charge suspect 

The most important point in the whole set is the 
phrase "Whenever a police officer has made up his mind to 
charge a person ....". I always emphasize to officers 
when talking about these Rules that no other person can de- 
termine when an officer has made up his mind. That he alone 
knows. If his conduct and subsequent actions indicate that 
when questioning a suspect his mind was not made up that 
such individual had committed a crime, no one can later 
challenge any questioning of that person, nor will it be inad- 
missible in court. 

Again, too, I have questioned many, many people 
afterwards charged with crime and have obtained quite a lot 
of valuable material in the statement. Before I reached the 
point where I felt there would be no further doubt in any- 
body' s mind, then I, too, have made up my mind to charge 
that person and have inserted the caution in the middle of 
the statement before letting him carry on with the rest of 
his story. 

Often voluntary statements made by a person ac- 
cused of murder are challenged by defending counsel in our 
courts. I should mention that these voluntary statements 
begin by having a caution written at the head. It begins: 

"I have been told that I need not say anything un- 
less I wish, etc, etc. " 
The prisoner is then asked to sign the written caution before 


the statement is written down. I have always made it a 
practice when an accused has either read, or had his state- 
ment read over to him, and he has been asked to sign it, 
to give him a different pen to sign with. Should defending 
counsel ever suggest that the caution had been inserted with- 
out making it known to the prisoner and he had been asked to 
sign both that and the statement together, I would blandly 
point out the difference in the writing, and thus rebut the 

Having explained this, it will be understood why 
my talk is going to be confined to the questioning of suspects 
as distinct from prisoners. But before leaving this particu- 
lar aspect of our procedure I would like to say that I often 
wonder whether it is due to these Rules on questioning an 
arrested person, that we get better detective work from our 
officers compared to that of the continental officer. Our 
men have to dig and dig to get the evidence to prosecute. 
They cannot rely on a person making a confession. 

The only other matter I would like to mention is 
that we never use lie detectors. Nor may we take from any 
person a sample of his blood, urine, head, body or pubic 
hairs unless with his consent. To do otherwise would lay 
the police officer concerned open to a charge of assult, and 
action for damages. 

§23. 5 Court test of interrogation methods 

Now to return to this matter of interrogation. No 
police officer sets out with the object of prosecuting or per- 
secuting innocent people. But the first thing an officer must 
bear in mind is, however efficient he may be in all phases 
of police work, the time will come when having built up a 
strong case of which he is the officer in charge, he will 
stand alone in the witness box and may be attacked on his 
method of interrogation. If he will always keep in mind 
when interrogating a person that he is above all seeking the 
truth, having got it by proper methods, both his conduct 
and the statement he has obtained will stand any test. 

If any officer is ever asked, "Why did you inter- 
rogate this man?" his reply should always be, "I was 
searching for the truth of the matter under investigation," 
NOT "To see if he had committed an offence. " 


§23. 6 Importance of keeping calm 

The policeofficer himself must always keep calm, 
cool and detached. He must have patience and be prepared 
to take time over the interview. He should never lose his 
temper if a suspect gives an answer to a question which he 
knows is untrue. If he allows passion to overcome his judg- 
ment, or his temper to get the better of him, he loses con- 
trol of an interrogation. He might just as well abandon it. 
Not only is he likely to be unsuccessful, but he will find his 
reputation will precede him in whatever direction his enquir- 
ies may take him. One danger is a desire at all costs to be 
successful. This is likely to cause him to err in his treat- 
ment of the accused or suspected person. 

Bullying, threatening or over-bearing tactics do 
not, as a rule, pay dividends. Much more success is likely 
to be derived from the friendly or dispassionate approach 
to let a suspect feel that the officer is only doing his job. 
Careful and scrupulous questioning may produce from him 
the fact or facts of the crime, unknown to you or anyone 
else, which are later proved to be true. 

The most successful interrogators are those with 
the gift of psychological instinct of being able to feel and 
sense whether the suspect, whatever type of character he 
may be, is telling the truth or not. 

§23. 7 Adapting to particular subject 

He should have that other instinct which will tell 
him whether the person he is questioning should be played 
up to, "ruffled" or appealed to, or one who should be firmly 
dealt with. No two persons respond in exactly the same way 
to the same treatment. One will react to kindness and 
courtesy, another will need the judicious exercise of author- 
ity, and still others can be won over by an appeal to their 
sense of the fitness of things. Each must be treated as one 
finds him. 

Tact, too, plays a great part. A tactless investi- 
gator may intimidate a person, who could be worked up to 
talking, to "freeze up," instead. He will excite and upset 
an already excited person until nothing coherent can be ob- 
tained from him. He is likely to give encouragement when 


he should be firm, or confuse a person who should be guided 
or helped. The art of distinguishing the right moment or 
the right person to "squash" or "encourage" will only come 
with long and continued practice. It is something a police 
officer either has, or has not. If he has not got it, then he 
might as well give up all idea of becoming an investigator. 

Just as a good doctor develops a bedside manner 
to suit his patients, so must a good investigator, with a 
sound knowledge of man and human nature, develop a man- 
ner to suit the particular type of person he is questioning. 

The success of an investigating officer is govern- 
ed by, first, the skill he develops in gaining the confidence 
of the many and varied types of individuals he will be called 
upon to interview during his career and, second, the ability 
to ask the right questions to ensure truthful answers. Such 
skill and ability are acquired only with experience. 

Experience will tell an officer the type of ques- 
tions to put, how to put them, and how to develop them as 
he goes along. One thing will lead to another until he is 
able to bring out all he requires to enable him to make a 
complete and true picture. 

§23.8 Determining the suspect's mental processes 

A suspect, while being interviewed, is a challenge 
to the mind of the investigator who, though he may not rea- 
lize it, views the crime against a background of normal be- 
havior. The investigator notes abnormalities and weighs 
them against the subject' s mental processes as these are 
gradually unfolded during an interview. In other words, the 
interrogation should determine whether the subject's 
thoughts are compatible with those which, according to the 
motive, must have been in the mind of the author of the 
crime. When the motive is unknown, if the investigator can 
get close enough to a suspect' s mind, he may be able to 
discern its reaction to a set of known circumstances and con- 
clude from it, with reasonable certainty, what that motive 
is. Some people are more adept than others at sensing" 
what goes on in another' s mind. Ability of this sort varies 
greatly among individuals. 

Having thus armed himself, the investigator 
frames his questions so as to reap the most from the 


suspect' s mood. Methodically he exploits the mental pro- 
cesses which must have activated the criminal before, during 
and after the offence, with the result that the latter believes 
his guilt has been exposed. If he doesn't realize that the in- 
vestigator's deductions alone are valueless as evidence, he 
may disclose some details of the crime in an attempt to 
justify its commission. 

No hard-and-fast rules can be laid down on this 
subject. But the surest and simplest way to become skillful 
as an interrogator is through self-study. Certain strong 
individual traits of character should be recognized and over- 
come. Ask yourself, "How many of my interviews have 
failed because I wondered what the suspect or witness 
thought of me?" or, "Have I ever tried to impress someone 
during an interview or allowed my mind to wander into un- 
certainty?" or, "Howmany times has sarcasm or listless- 
ness in my voice ruined an interview?" The answers may 
cost you a certain amount of self-esteem. 

§23. 9 Setting for the interrogation 

The next questions are by whom, when, where and 
in what circumstances a suspect should be interrogated. It 
should be the officer in charge of the case, and it is entirely 
a matter for him to decide and for his judgment. The cri- 
terion may be said to be when it is most convenient and ad- 
vantageous to the officer and, if possible, where and when 
the subject is at a disadvantage. 

So far as the place is concerned, I feel the most 
suitable place is in a police building. Counsel for the de- 
fence often raises the point when an interrogation has taken 
place within a police building, that the man has been arrested 
and taken there. My answer to this is that a police station 
is not only the place where prisoners are detained, but it is 
also for the conduct of police business in general. I see no 
reason why, if a man is taken to a police station to be inter- 
rogated, it should be said that he is under detention. 

So far as the room is concerned, it should be 
strictly an official -looking place. Arrangements should be 
made to avoid being interrupted while the interrogation is 
going on. If there is a telephone in the room it is advisable 
to make arrangements that no calls should be put through, 


otherwise it inevitably happens that when the officer is at the 
point of getting something from the suspect, the telephone 
will ring and give the person being interrogated a few mo- 
ments to reflect. Thus the opportunity is lost. Don' t allow 
other officers to walk in and out while an interrogation is 
going on. 

§23. 10- -Sex offenders 

It will be seen that I emphasize the problem of pri- 
vacy and this particularly applies when interviewing sex 
offenders. Sex affects statements a great deal. A man will 
naturally record a masculine matter better than a woman, 
and likewise a woman on matters of feminine interest. But 
do beware of excitable women when dealing with cases in- 
volving sexual matters. So far as we are concerned, when 
a woman is suspected of committing an offence and interro- 
gation is necessary, the investigating officer should never 
interrogate her by himself. He should always be accompa- 
nied by a colleague, or a woman officer, and thus obviate 
any subsequent suggestion that he behaved in anything but a 
proper manner during the interview. A woman with crimi- 
nal instincts is always to be regarded as dangerous. It lies 
within her ability to make the most outrageous allegations 
against an interrogating officer. If he was in fact alone 
with the woman for a lengthy time (however correct his con- 
duct might have been) he can merely deny the allegation, 
thus matching his word against hers— and "mud can stick." 

It is quite a different matter when a lady has to 
be interviewed regarding an offence to her detriment. In 
such cases it is unnecessary for two officers to be present. 

A suspect should be placed in a position which is 
calculated to give him a sense of inferiority vis-a-vis your- 
self. This is a psychological point and very important. If 
you can place him in a chair which is lower than yours so 
that you look down upon him, it is to the officer's advantage. 
Another important point, so far as the subject' s position is 
concerned, is to have the light fully upon him. I don't mean 
a glaring blaze of electric light, but ensure that he is in 
such a position that his face can be seen quite clearly. If 
the officer is in shadow, so much the better. 


Do not have laying about on the desk anything that 
an accused may pick up and use as a weapon. Rulers and 
heavy marble ink-pots are out of place on a police officer's 
desk during an investigation. 

§23. 11-- Two officers present 

Another thing which we practise is that an inter- 
rogation is conducted with only two officers present — the 
officer in charge of the case and a second officer to write 
down what a suspect says. The interrogation should be re- 
duced to writing in the form of a statement which, when 
finished, the suspect should be allowed to read over and 
invited to sign. 

When interrogating a suspect, I have always given 
strict instructions to the officer with me, never to interrupt 
or ask questions but to leave the conduct of the interview to 
me. At the same time I tell him that as the onlooker he 
should notice things and be able to elaborate upon questions 
I have asked. He should bring these up when I have finished. 

§23. 12-- Presence of attorneys and shorthand experts 

Some suspects decline to see police officers other 
than in the presence of their solicitors. This should not 
interfere with the course of justice; the interview must take 

Most solicitors are prefectly decent individuals, 
and it is helpful to remember that every one of them has 
sworn on oath before the Supreme Court of Judicature that 
he "undertakes in every case to uncover the truth. " Some, 
however, can be obstructive and will not assist the police in 
any way. In such cases the officer should: 

1. Have a colleague with him. 

2. Prepare a list of the principal questions with 
spaces for the answers; however it is impossible 
to make a full list. 

3. Watch for the concealed shorthand typist taking a 
note of the conversation. 


4. Speak quietly. Someone may be listening on the 
other side of the door. 

Cases under 3 have been known. A great play is 
subsequently made in court of the officer ' s ability to remem- 
ber accurately the accused' s reply, but to be a little hazy 
on the actual words of the question. The concealed shorthand 
writer is called as a witness. Some of the "interview" ques- 
tions do not sound at all well when repeated in the cold and 
impartial atmosphere of a court. There is no significance 
in this other than an attempt to shake the credibility of the 
police witness and to draw a red herring over the facts in 

§23. 13 Pre-interrogation investigation 

Now to the interrogation. As I have said, in a 
serious case where one feels one has an important suspect 
it should be the officer in charge of the case. He knows all 
the circumstances of the case, has a clear picture in his 
head of the place concerned, and has his notes upon the di- 
rection in which the enquiry is going. Before beginning the 
examination of any suspect, the officer must, if possible, 
have the fullest information about that person' s antecedent 
history, particularly if he has any criminal record, what 
his criminal activities have been, his methods, and so on. 
He should give some study to this. Forewarned is fore- 
armed. The more pre-knowledge the investigator has before 
he commences an interrogation of a suspect, the more 
likely— if that person is the offender— is he to be successful 
in his interrogation. Sometimes, of course, prior prepara- 
tion is not always possible, in which case he will have to 
sum up the suspect at first sight. He ought to be able to 
tell whether he is a tough or a weakling; an argumentative 
type of person or a 'no' man who will deny everything; 
whether he is impulsive or indifferent; an intellect or an 
ignoramus; an indolent or an alert man. To have this gift 
of mental divination is only achieved after long years of 
study and experience. 

The interrogator will, in all probability, have to 
deal with one of the following types of cases: 


(a) where there are plenty of clues and proofs to show 
the guilt of the prisoner, 

(b) where there are several clues, and 

(c) where the clues are insufficient. 

The interrogation will vary according to which of these three 
types is under consideration. 

§ 23. 14 Object of interrogation 

Know what you are going after. Know all the 
angles to the problem. Work them out before you start to 
interview people. You may want to write out your questions; 
by all means do so. But do not let the other fellow put you 
out by interrupting your questions. Do not arrange those 
questions so as to enable him to get the hang of them before 
they are put. If you do he will beat you to it. 

The appraisement of a suspect is very important 
in establishing whether or not you have got the right man. 
For example, an initial period of silence at the beginning 
by the officer, is often accepted by a guilty man without pro- 
test, whereas an innocent party will be provoked into showing 
some resentment. But, of course, it must not be overlooked 
that in some cases this latter reaction will be adopted to 
hood-wink the officer. 

Do bear in mind that just as there are no two 
crimes alike, there are no two criminals who can be treated 
in just the same manner. The simple reason is that there is 
no single cause for crime and there are no two criminals 
who have been caused to act by identical mental mechanism. 

§23.15 Old offender 

If you have an old offender- resistance. First 
offence —little resistance but mistrust. The guilty person- 
replies are slow and uttered after the necessary delay for 
reflection, often hesitates, comes back to his first answers 
and often corrects them; sometimes gives exaggerated vio- 
lent denials. An innocent person has mistrust but no resist- 
ance. He hastens to give spontaneously all the information 
asked. He supplies an excess of details, even concerning 


points which have no connection with the act committed, for 
he fears he is not explicit enough in his statements. This 
is so often characteristic in the innocent. When the investi- 
gator comes to the circumstances of the act, the innocent 
person protests and becomes indignant; the effect of resist- 
ance appears. 

Old offenders, having had experience of interro- 
gations and having prepared statements in view of an 
eventual arrest, are more at ease. They quickly take ad- 
vantage of the first stages of the interrogation in order to 
measure the technical and tactical capabilities of the inter- 
rogator. People with weak characters seem more anxious 
and adopt a passive attitude, letting things take their course. 

§23. 16 Alibis 

The guilty man has often prepared an alibi and 
often will have friends with whom he has arranged this alibi. 
There is even at times the man who goes out to draw atten- 
tion to himself immediately after the crime, by creating 
incidents to which he will refer knowing full well the other 
person concerned will confirm what he says. 

When you have a suspect who starts off by assert- 
ing a very sound alibi, such an assertion will at once be sus- 
pect. In 99 cases out of a 100 if any person is asked to give 
a detailed account of what he or she had done two or three 
days previously, he is very hazy and speculates a lot. When 
you have someone giving detailed movements for a day that 
should not be different in his ordinary life to any other day, 
test his memory for his movements two or three days before 
the day of the crime. Unless there is something outstanding 
that happens on a particular day no person has any keen, de- 
tailed recollection of hour to hour movements in the days as 
they go by. But if associated with a crime, there is an ex- 
planation for remembering what one did, or professes to 
have done, on that day. 

Be on your guard when a person shows a tendency 
to repeat questions or his answers to you, or speaks in an 
almost inaudible tone, or acts as if the interview has been 
carried on too long. Watch for any unnatural emphasis of 
statement, or any attitude of defence or offence, or any at- 
tempt at false humor or laughter. When you meet somebody 


who unnecessarily stresses a minute accuracy of certain 
details, frequently expresses a desire to help you do your 
job, repeatedly assures you that he is telling you the truth, 
to swear it on oath, or is ready to swear on his mother' s 
head to tell the truth, you can be practically certain you 
are dealing with a double-crosser or a liar because those 
things do not ring true. Then there is the seemingly good- 
natured fellow who laughs at the fact that he is suspected 
and refuses to take offence. Many of these characteristics 
often go together. It has been my experience that when you 
meet them you are invariably on the right track. 

§23.17 Appraisal of character 

An accurate appraisal of character if it is per- 
formed quickly is a difficult and elusive art, but close ob- 
servation of actual behaviour, including posture, voice, 
eyes, facial expressions, will help one to form an opinion 
of a person' s character during an interview. Remember , 
however, that it is only an opinion. 

Watch the eyes, the character and movement of the 
mouth and the movements of the eyebrows. But there is 
little use in judging facial expressions unless you regard 
those expressions as an indication of something that is hap- 
pening, has happened, or is about to happen within the mind 
of the person whom you are observing. 

Think of a person' s face as a study of character 
in action. Facial expressions of sorrow and pain you will 
immediately understand, but when a person tries to hide his 
real feelings and thoughts you, as the interviewer, must be 
on the alert. First, if a person is telling a lie he or she 
will try to look as if he is telling the truth, which means 
that a state of mind will be experienced by a person who is 
trying to make his face show something different. It is by 
this attempt to control his features that the liar gives him- 
self away. His mind knows one thing and registers it and, 
at the same time, he tries to make his face convey some- 
thing different. That sets up a conflict which one should 
see portrayed in a person' s face. 

Learn to distinguish between fear and interest 
because you will often meet people who are afraid of you, 
and what you may be able to do. 


Always remember that your suspect does not know 
how much, or how little, you know. Therefore, do not put 
all your cards on the table at once. 

Be very patient. Take your time over an inter- 
view and, as I have said, do not lose your temper if the sus- 
pect gives an answer which you know to be untrue. Let him 
tell his own story. The more he says the more likely he is 
to trip himself up, if he is not speaking the truth. Let him 
make a detailed statement of his alleged movements, if he 
will. It will be easier to follow in the subsequent check-up. 

If the suspect is not speaking the truth then there 
is a very good reason for it and, most probably, it is to 
cover himself against the matter under enquiry. 

§23. 18 Questions that pre-judge the suspect 

Questions which in themselves pre-judge the 
prisoner should never be used. For instance, it is wrong to 
say, "Did you murder so and so?" "Did you embezzle?" 
"Did you steal?" Speak rather in acasual, detached manner, 
saying, "You hit the man, didn't you, and he fell down?" 
Many a suspect, even an old lag, who has refused to tell 
the truth at first will succumb occasionally to calm, patient 
and reasoned argument by an officer who understands the 
accused' s mentality and the limits of his intelligence, and 
who makes him feel at home by talking sympathetically of 
his parents, his wife and children. I have found, too, that 
a casual manner has often put a suspect off his guard. He 
under -rates you and is lulled into a state of false security. 

Do not argue with him; do not contradict him. 
Sometimes a person will give you a straightforward narra- 
tive account of his actions or an occurrence. It then re- 
mains for you to put questions to fill in the gaps. You may 
not, of course, always realize that there are gaps and some- 
times those gaps are left deliberately. When necessary, 
the officer should look for the motive behind the suspect' s 
reticence or mistakes, whether these are apparently inten- 
tional or not. 

The interrogation of a suspect is often only the 
beginning of enquiries to be made to fasten his guilt. There 
is nothing magical in the way the police solve crime. It is 
simply the result of applied common sense, perseverance. 


and exhaustive enquiries. Do not despair if the initial inter- 
rogation of a suspect does not result, there and then, in the 
clearing up of the crime. Satisfactory proof of his guilt or 
innocence may still be within your grasp. Check up, there- 
fore, on everything he has said that might well be untrue. 

If he says he has travelled on a certain bus or 
walked over a particular route, he would most probably have 
met someone he knew, if he is a local man, so up to a point 
his story is capable of being checked. 

A few facts about remembering — TIME , Up to 
two minutes it is generally over-estimated. Most people 
reckon from five to ten minutes accurately. After ten min- 
utes they under -estimate the duration of time. But there 
are exceptions to this, particularly if a person is waiting 
for someone who is late, or has to wait a long time in one 

The suspect should be closely questioned about any 
articles that may have been taken into possession by the 
police and particularly about their origin. It may enable 
them to stand in new and unsuspected directions. But there 
are times when you should not press the suspect too hard 
about an object or document that has been taken, lest you 
should put him wise as to the importance of the article in 
the eyes of the police. 

§23. 19 Use language of suspect 

Remember, in taking statements from accused 
persons or suspects, to use the language of the person in- 
terrogated. A common error into which investigators are 
apt to fall is to convert a statement made by a suspect into 
the language of the investigating officer. This, particularly 
when dealing with an illiterate type of person, naturally does 
not "ring true" when a statement, couched in good English, 
with words and phraseology such as the suspect has probably 
never heard, let alone used, is read out as having been 
made by that suspect. 

The interrogator should adopt the language used 
by the suspect himself. In dealing with an uneducated per- 
son, use simple words and sentences. Where, for instance 
in a sex case, the subject uses slang and common-place 


words and gives evidence of his knowledge in crude language , 
the interrogator should resort to similar expressions. 

A sympathetic approach is the most effective tech- 
nique for eliciting an incriminating statement, or confession, 
from an offender whose offence is producing in him a feeling 
of remorse. Typical subjects are persons who have commit- 
ted crimes in the heat of passion, anger, or revenge; first 
offenders in many other types of cases; and accidental 

It is important that the maximum number of facts 
which could have been known to the prisoner alone be includ- 
ed, in case, later on, the latter should go back on his state- 
ment or declare that the material parts of the statement 
were suggested to him by the police. In any case, get as 
many details as possible. It helps to distinguish the truth 
of facts from lies. 

It is a good plan to attach to the statement a small 
sketch or diagram. It is all the more convincing if drawn 
by the accused or agreed by him and the accused himself 
marks the positions of articles and person at the time of the 
crime and after it. Sketches and diagrams are not suffi- 
ciently used in my opinion, for even if they are quite rudi- 
mentary they may prove very useful indeed. 

§23.20 Exaiiiiiiatioii of body and clothing 

Physical marks on a suspect or marks on his 
clothing which may have some connection with the crime 
must not be overlooked. At the end of the interrogation, 
if thought necessary, invite him to undergo medical exami- 
nation, giving blood samples and fingernail scrapings in 
cases such as murder or rape. 

§23.21 Reasons for confessions 

Somepeopel confess from a sense of pride in their 
act, or from vanity to show the police they are real 'toughs' , 
or to make an impression upon their associates. The talk- 
ative person is the easiest to induce to confess. All that is 
necessary in such cases is to be patient and let them go on 
talking. They will eventually admit their guilt. Then there 
is the occasional offender who, having committed a crime, 


is assailed by a feeling of guilt which increases with the 
passing of the days. That type often welcomes a rest with a 
feeling of relief. When confronted with the interrogator he 
bursts into tears and confesses. 

There are, of course, persons of the weak-willed 
type who purposely choose to make a confession for reasons 
of their own. In such a case it is good to find out the rea- 
sons for the admission. 

The most usual means of obtaining a confession 
from a guilty person is to let him trap himself in a net of 
lies. Generally, the person who is guilty will build up an 
edifice which, as the interrogation proceeds, becomes more 
and more shaky. Nothing is more difficult than to lie consis- 
tently, even for those who have worked out a scheme in ad- 
vance. The guilty suspect must improvise as he goes along, 
for he soon feels that his questioner knows far more than he 
suspected. To modify or think out another scheme on the 
spur of the moment, especially on a shifting foundation, is 
not a thing that many are capable of doing. All that need be 
done is to note explanations and when they have been made, 
show the prisoner the discrepancies, comparing them with 
either others made by himself, those made by witnesses, 
or facts established by clues. 

§23. 22 Proof sul>staiitiating the confession 

Confession is not an end in itself. It only means 
something when the investigator has thoroughly checked and 
re-checked the evidence. All statements and a confession 
should leave nothing in doubt. They should find their proper 
place in the complete story of what happened before, during 
and after the crime. In other words, the confession should 
be supplemented by proof that it is in conformity with reality. 
This reality can be composed of the following: 










(1) The time preceding the act (preparation) 

(2) The time occupied by the act (performance) 

(3) The time immediately following it (post- 
performance behaviour). 

If a suspect describes where he had left a body or 
hidden stolen property or a weapon, it is of evidential value 
that he takes the officer to where it is. 

§23. 23 Protecting the statement's validity 

Where an officer has two or more suspects, con- 
cerned together, he is "sitting pretty", as we say. What 
we do is to decide which of them is the weakest character, 
and work on him. If he breaks down and confesses, in- 
criminating the others, then we serve upon them copies of 
the statement made. Often if the weak one has been en- 
couraged to put all the responsibility and blame on the 
others, they - moved by his treachery and perhaps lies- 
come out with their accounts. 

Experience has indicated that a large percentage 
of confessed criminals subsequently deny their guilt, alleging 
either that no confession was ever made, that it was made 
under duress, or that it was obtained by other unlawful 
means. It is of the utmost importance, therefore, that the 
confession be reduced to writing and signed at the earliest 
possible moment. Do not leave it until the following day. 
In the preparation of a written confession, no attempt should 
be made to improve the language used by the subject himself. 
As I have already said, it should represent his confession 
as he makes it. Unless it does, a judge or jury may be re- 
luctant to believe that a defendant whose education may have 
ended in a country elementary school, spoke the language 
of the college graduate. 

Avoid leading questions. It is a good practice to 
purposely make a mistake or two on each page. Later, when 
the suspect is reading the document, corrections have to be 
made. These should be in his own handwriting, accompanied 


by his initials or signature in the margin alongside the cor- 
rection. When confronted at his trial with a confession 
bearing corrections of this nature, it will be rather dif- 
ficult for him to deny that he read the document before sign- 
ing it. 

At the end of the statement we make a practice of 
recording: "I have read this statement and it is true" written 
in his own handwriting, and then his signature. 

Keep notes regarding the conditions and circum- 
stances under which a statement is made, and the times of 
the interrogation. 

§23. 24 Corroboration of statements 

A suspect' s statement should always be checked 
at once to make sure it is correct both in principle and de- 
tail to determine the truth or otherwise. This particularly 
applies to confessions. They are worth little or nothing 
without corroboration. Independent evidence of a true con- 
fession helps to make it a valid and admissible document. 
Confessions are often retracted and usually attacked by de- 
fending advocates, but if there is corroboration from the 
mouths of independent witnesses it may not matter very much 
if it is rejected by a court. It often pays to let a suspect 
tell his own story. In any case, if he is lying it may be as 
well not to disillusion him. This may strengthen your hand 
at a later stage or at his subsequent trial. Get as full a 
statement as possible. Do not limit it to what seems evi- 
dentially relevant. 

The investigating officer who considers his job is 
done when he obtains a confession is seriously lacking in the 
knowledge of the requirements of his profession. Care must 
be exercised in the manner in which he obtains a statement 
or confession, otherwise the circumstances of the taking of 
the confession may be of such a nature that not only has his 
effort been wasted, but he has done irreparable damage as 

False confessions are often made incases of noto- 
riety and are sometimes very difficult to break down. In 
these cases if the person confessing is interrogated by the 
of ficer who has an intimate knowledge of the facts, he is able 
to break down the confession with ease. 


§23.25 Conclusion 

Interrogation is a subject on which one can never 
say he has reached the limit in experience. It is a fascinat- 
ing subject — handling human mental processes. It is im- 
possible to lay down any code of rules which will cover all 
the circumstances likely to arise, or which could apply to 
all the various types of persons one is likely to meet. 

Volumes must have been written on the subject, 
and no doubt, countless more will be written. But whatever 
one may read, for the police officer it will be experience, 
time, practice, listening to other officers' experiences, to- 
gether with his own make-up, that will bring him to success, 
or otherwise, in this branch of his work. 

Interrogation is a cultivated art. It cannot be 
taught, neither can it be learned from books. 

Chapter 24 

Practical Police Interrogation 

by ^ 

David E. Kerr 


24. 1 Introduction 

24. 2 The citizen' s point of view 

24. 3 Importance of prompt interrogation 

24. 4 — Accept damaging statements 

24. 5 The third degree 

24. 6 — Faults of the third degree 

24. 7 Knowledge of case and suspect 

24. 8 Selection of place of interrogation 

24. 9 Presence of witnesses 

24. 10 Stenographic record of proceedings 

24. 11 The lie detector 

24. 12 Listen and do not lead suspect 

24. 13 Do not jump to conclusions 

24. 14 Maintain the proper attitude 

24. 15 — Avoid anger and the defensive 

24. 16 Avoid false promises 

§24. 1 Introduction 

Interviews and interrogations are far more im- 
portant in criminal investigations than most of us realize. 
Practically with every contact a policeman makes he will 
get into the field of interviewing or interrogation. 

We cannot minimize the value of a careful search 
for, recognition of, and proper handling and court presenta- 
tion of scientific evidence. There is probably only one situ- 
ation in all this scientific field wherein an arrest could be 
made and sustained solely on scientific evidence. This one 
instance would be that of a properly identified latent finger- 

Normally arrests and successful prosecutions are 
made through interviews and interrogations. Through these 
interviews we acquire a suspect, and through other 



interviews and pretexts, we locate him. An admission must 
be obtained from the suspect to bolster fragmentary evidence. 
This is done through skilled interrogation. 

We take his carefully prepared story apart. 

We break down his alibi. 

We trap him into a position from which he sees no 
way out. 

He talks. 

Our penitentiaries are filled with men who are 
receiving post-graduate courses in crime. They are con- 
stantly trying to perfect new ways to "beat the law. " They 
are coached not to talk. They are cautioned about finger- 
prints and footprints and the new marvels of the criminal 
laboratories. Still they make blunders. 

§24. 2 The citizen's point of view 

Questioning anyone involves the matter of an ap- 
propriate approach. It is well for us to keep the citizen' s 
point of view in mind. 

The reformers think we have too little power. 

The general mass of people think we have too 

The industrialists are inclined to think we side 
with labor. 

Labor thinks we are the mailed fist of capitalism. 

Unless we can remember the citizen' s point of 
view, we cannot hope to be any more than routine askers of 
questions, without much hope of making headway in interro- 

When questioning people, it is well to remember 
that everyone has something on his conscience. It is unwise 
to jump to conclusions just because a suspect is nervous. 
If he is guilty, often he may try harder to convince you of 
his innocence. 

The suspect' s story may be too pat. He may be 
trying to find out how much you know. He may be too cagey. 


He is apt to demand the right to telephone. He will probably 
want to consult an attorney. 

If a suspect is innocent, you will generally find 
that his story is natural. He makes mistakes which are nat- 
ural mistakes. As soon as he knows something of the case, 
he relaxes. He may become impatient. Usually he will not 
take a demanding attitude. Facts of the case will not im- 
press him, nor cause him to change his story. 

§24. 3 Importance of prompt interrogation 

It is extremely important to good interrogation to 
be able to determine successfully when the interrogation 
should be started, or when it may be delayed. 

The following illustration regarding prompt inter- 
rogation, commonly referred to as "hot cases, " will serve 
to indicate that no particular skill in interrogation is requir- 
ed when a criminal' s defenses are down: 

A radio police car gets a report that some shots 
were fired and a woman had screamed at a certain address. 
The car is there in a matter of seconds. A man is observed 
running away from the scene. He is picked up and taken 
along. He babbles: "I didn't do it. " 

At the house, a murdered woman is found. There 
is no one else in the house. There is blood on the suspect's 
hands and clothing. 

Sharp questions are shot at the suspect in the vi- 
cinity of the murdered woman. 

"Where is the gun?" 

"Show us how you did it. " 

The man is "hot. " He talks. He has no ready- 
made story. His defenses are down so that interrogation is 
no problem here. 

Suppose the officers who take him into custody 
fail to take any statements. They wait for pictures to be 
taken of the body and go about preparing diagrams of the 
scene and so on. An hour or so later, at the station, the 
interrogation is started. By that time the man has "cooled" 
somewhat and now his defenses are up. 


He may have a story now. For example: He heard 
the shots and saw a dark thin man run out of the house. Out 
of curiosity he went in and saw the victim on the floor. He 
tried to move her into a more comfortable position, and 
that' s how he got the blood on his hands and clothing. 

His story can be broken, but it will take a much 
longer time. The officers have failed to take advantage of 
him at the time he was "hot. " 

Of course, this is a weak story, but I know from 
actual experience just how much trouble these weak stories 
can cause, and how much effort and time it takes to break 
them down. 

§24. 4--Accept damaging statements 

In "hot cases, " damaging statements should be 
accepted at once. This does not mean written statements 
necessarily, but an alertness on the part of the arresting 
officers to accept and encourage verbal admissions. 

Investigators are quick to recognize the advan- 
tages and easy successes obtained in "hot cases," and there 
is often a tendency for them to rely exclusively on such 
methods. When confronted by a "cold suspect," who has had 
hours, or days, to build his alibi, many investigators at- 
tempt to use "hot" methods. They attempt to get the suspect 
on the run. They try to bully him and immediately rush him 
into a trap. 

Generally, this method does not work. The sus- 
pect's defenses are up and his story is ready. He is prepar- 
ed to resist. 

§24. 5 The third degree 

The investigator cannot understand why a techni- 
que is not working. So there is a tendency toward violence 
— toward third degree. What is third degree? This author 
was once told that third degree is a trick phrase coined by 
defense attorneys, of something that never happened in a 
first-class police department, for the sole purpose of mis- 
leading and confusing the jury, and resulting in the guilty 
party being set free. 


Actually, third degree is nothing more than tor- 
ture. If it is physical torture, it may consist of beatings; 
of long grillings by relays of interrogators under blinding 
lights; of locking the prisoner in a cell without food or water 
for long periods; or placing him in a cell where mosquitoes 
feed on him. The suspect, when taken into court, may have 
"fallen down the jail stairs, or tried to escape, " as an ex- 
planation for his battered condition. 

Mental torture includes placing the body of the 
victim outside the suspect's cell and refusing to let the sus- 
pect' s sick wife know where he is until he talks. There are 
no limits to the variations. 

§24. 6-- Faults of the third degree 

The third degree is not only vicious, but useless, 
and it should never be used. First, it does not produce the 
truth. Under sufficient torture, a man will tell you anything 
you want him to tell you. If a case is built on this "con- 
fession" you may find in court that the man could not possibly 
have committed the crime. Second, evidence so obtained is 
not admissible in court, and defense attorneys are quick to 
develop the facts surrounding the securing of the statement. 
Lastly, public confidence is shattered if knowledge of such 
methods is publicized. 

One final handicap might be mentioned before leav- 
ing the subject of third degree and that is the position which 
it places the investigators in. Third degree cannot be used 
on influential citizens. Often such citizens become suspected 
in important crimes. If the investigator has built his entire 
technique on bullying known criminals, he is likely to be at 
a total loss when attempting to handle a well-educated, 
clever and unscrupulous citizen who cannot be subjected to 

§24. 7 Knowledge of case and suspect 

Before an interrogator can start on a "cold" sus- 
pect, in order to achieve any certainty of success he must 
have all the knowledge he can get about two things (1) the 
suspect and (2) the case. Information about the suspect may 
be obtained through police files, from other officers, pawn 


tickets, letters, notebooks, and a search of the suspect* s 
person. This information should be studied before any 
attempt is made at interrogating the suspect. 

The second must is knowledge of the case itself. 
There is generally only one person in the world who has 
full knowledge of the crime, and that is the one who com- 
mitted it. If the interrogator bases his questions upon 
faulty information, or attempts to bluff and gets caught, he 
is almost certain to fail. 

§24.8 Selection of place of interrogation 

Of great importance to insure successful interro- 
gation is the selection of the place where the questioning is 
to be conducted. An officer, interrogating on his home 
grounds, has everything in his favor. First of all, it gives 
him confidence since he is on familiar ground. He can plan 
the seating, lighting and other considerations to his own ad- 
vantage. Secondly, it puts the suspect at a decided disad- 
vantage. Regardless of whether he was brought to the 
station, or came in response to an "invitation," the suspect 
has already yielded. The investigator has technically taken 

The ideal interrogation room should have a door 
and four bare walls. There should be no windows and no 
ornaments on the walls to distract the suspect' s attention. 

It should be a sound-proof room so that exterior 
noises will not furnish distractions, and the walls should be 
acoustically treated, with a microphone installed in order 
that sound recordings can be made, or so that a stenographer 
can take notes from an adjacent room. The light source 
should be arranged to light the subject fully and not the offi- 

The subject should have a plain chair, placed out 
in the open so that the nervous movements of his hands and 
feet can be observed. He should not have a desk or table to 
hide behind. The subject should be seated with his back to 
the door, so that if it is necessary for people to enter or 
leave the room, they will distract him as little as possible. 


§24. 9 Presence of witnesses 

Seats should be available behind the suspect, if it 
is necessary to have witnesses present. Many times, in 
interesting cases, brother investigators, commanding offi- 
cers, or even commissioners or coroners, may want to sit 
in on an interrogation. Though there are exceptions, as a 
general rule this practice should be discouraged from top 
to bottom in the organization. 

To be sure, there is the vain and cocky suspect 
who likes to brag before a large audience. So with fellows 
like him, it is a definite advantage to have witnesses. Gen- 
erally, however, if we put ourselves in the suspect' s place, 
and if we were guilty of some crime, the smaller and more 
confidential our audience, the more likelihood there would 
be of our talking. 

Some police officers are under the impression 
that there must be witnesses to the entire interrogation. 
This is not the case. Generally, the interrogation can be 
conducted in complete privacy, the written admission typed 
up, and witnesses can then be called in to hear the admis- 
sion read to the suspect. 

§24. 10 Stenographic record of proceedings 

In cases where a stenographic record is to be 
made, arrangements as to procedure should be made in ad- 
vance. When the stenographer quietly enters the room, 
takes a seat and goes to work, the suspect is inclined to be- 
lieve that this is a routine procedure in the department . 
However, if the stenographer comes in, and immediately 
starts asking questions, such as — "What is the heading?" 
"How many copies shall I make?" "Where shall I sit?" — 
Then the suspect knows it is not a routine procedure and he 
may refuse to talk. 

If there is reason to believe the suspect will balk 
at the sight of a stenographer, then arrangements should be 
made in advance so that by the use of microphones, the 
stenographic record can be taken elsewhere. 


§24. 11 The lie detector 

The lie detector has been used by the Cleveland 
Police Department for twelve years, and by some depart- 
ments even longer. An important point to remember about 
this machine is that it may indicate the suspect is lying, but 
unless the operator can carry on from there and obtain an 
admission, nothing has been gained. 

During this writer' s twenty-two years in the de- 
tective bureau, it has been my experience that when an in- 
terrogator has any investigative ability at all, he can operate 
just as well, or better, without the lie detector. 

The interrogator must also be admonished that the 
use of the lie detector tends to weaken interrogation effi- 
ciency. The interrogator is too likely to make a half-hearted 
attempt at interrogation and then rely upon the machine to do 
the job. The efficiency of the machine, however, is entirely 
dependent on the skill of the operator, for at best, it solves 
no cases by itself. If it did, there would be no further need 
for judges or juries to pass upon a man' s guilt as the ma- 
chine would do all that. 

I do not mean to imply that these machines have 
no value. They are often useful aids in investigations. They 
offer many interesting possibilities. Improvements will 
probably continue to be made, both in the machines, and in 
the technique of operating them. In short, they do have a 
definite value under certain conditions, but they have not yet 
reached the point where the investigator can go completely 
overboard in their use. 

§24. 12 Listen and do not lead suspect 

Let me list some important points in successful 
interrogation: First, let the suspect talk. Second, do not 
tell him the story. How often alleged interrogators proceed 
to tell the suspect most of the known facts in the case, and 
insist upon doing most of the talking, through what they con- 
sider "clever" questions. Generally, when these officers 
are through, the suspect knows more about them and what 
they know, than the officers know about the suspect. Third, 
discount personal feelings. The fact that the suspect is a 
type you do not like does not make him guilty. Fourth, stick 
to the facts of the case. 


§24. 13 Do not jump to conclusions 

There are several other factors to a successful 
interrogation: Be fair with the suspect. Keep an open mind. 
Do not jump to conclusions. Circumstantial evidence may 
be strong and the suspect's story weak. However, be care- 
ful and make sure. If you have built your entire case on 
faulty conclusions, you will not only lose the case in court, 
but will be forced to start again from scratch, on cold leads, 
looking for the real criminal. 

§24. 14 Maintain the proper attitude 

It is important to recognize the suspect' s inter- 
est. The officer, of course, is interested in the interroga- 
tion, but how much more interested is the suspect? He 
faces loss of liberty, and his whole reputation and whole 
future are at stake. It is an extremely momentous affair to 
the suspect in most cases. 

The officer' s attitude should recognize the seri- 
ousness of the occasion. It may be well to tell the suspect, 
"This is serious business. You are in a tough spot. " 

Generally, wise-cracking and smart remarks by 
the officer defeat the chances for success. Such remarks 
tend to strengthen the suspect and give him an opportunity 
for similar remarks and a similar attitude. 

A criminal is generally inclined (despite anything 
he may say to the contrary) to respect the law enforcement 
agencies. Although portions of the suspect' s story may in- 
vite a coarse attitude by the police officer, profanity and 
lewd stories should be avoided. However, there may be oc- 
casions when it is necessary for the officer to get down on 
the same level as the suspect. 

When personalities clash and there is definite dis- 
like, the interrogation often gets into one of those "You did 
— I did not — you did — I did not — " contests, with the 
stronger pair of lungs winning at least a temporary victory. 
The officer should first explain his position and put the sus- 
pect in a fairly reasonable frame of mind. By refraining 
from demanding, threatening, bullying or insulting, the of- 
ficer can retain this advantage. A sneering, superior atti- 
tude should definitely be avoided. Many times I have heard 


someone say, "It isn' t what he said that made me mad, but 
how he said it. " 

The interrogator should be a realistic actor. It 
does not demean an officer to play a part. If he regards the 
interrogation as a game, as a battle of wits, with no person- 
alities, then it cannot hurt his pride to assume a humble 
attitude. He can enjoy flattering the suspect and watching 
the flattery work. He can play dumb and watch the suspect 
lower his guard because he believes the officer is stupid. 

When an interrogation is successfully finished, it 
is good police work to wind up the interview without any sign 
of victory, and with no attempt to ridicule or embarrass the 
subject. An officer who has achieved this attitude is well on 
the road to becoming a first-rate interrogator. 

§24. 15- -Avoid anger and the defensive 

The officer should avoid getting on the defensive. 
He is immediately placed on the defensive when he unsuc- 
cessfully tries to bluff, manifests a lack of knowledge about 
the case, or exhibits inattention before the suspect. The 
same thing happens when the suspect realizes that he has 
made a slip and the officer has failed to recognize it. There- 
fore, the officer should get the full meaning of what the sus- 
pect says. To do this, you must know all the facts in the 
case. Otherwise, you will not recognize slips when they are 

It is necessary to control your temper for the 
angry man is easily defeated. Anger also leads into the 
third degree. The suspect recognizes he has the best of it 
when you become angry. Deliberate anger, however, as a 
part of strategy, is something else. It is often successfully 
used, particularly when two officers play respective parts of 
the hard-boiled and the sympathetic officer. 

§24. 16 Avoid false promises 

An officer should not promise anything he cannot 
deliver, but he should deliver everything he promises. Le- 
gitimate trickery is necessary in police business, but fram- 
ing of prisoners, double-crossing, or false promises are not 
legitimate police business. 


The purpose of good interrogation is to save time, 
but this means throughout the case, and not just during the 
interrogation. The few extra minutes required to handle an 
interrogation intelligently will usually be repaid many times. 

Chapter 25 

Interrogation of Witnesses 

The Staff of the Law-Medicine Center 


25. 1 Difficulty of hiding the truth 

25.2 Pressures against talking 

25. 3 Pressures encouraging talking 

25. 4 Pressures on the interviewer 

25.5 Importance of apparently irrelevant material 

25. 6 Resentment in the witness 

25.7 Voluntary fringe information 

25. 8 Criticism, sarcasm and punishing acts 

25. 9 Avoid highly specific questions 

25. 10 Advantage of open-end questions 

25. 11 Aiding the witness' memory 

25. 12 Removal of distractions 

25. 13 Importance of comfortable atmosphere 

25. 14 Noting sensitive areas of discussion 

25. 15 Fidgeting and licking the lips 

25. 16 Shift in topics 

25. 17 Cross-checking 

25. 18 Time for specific inquiries 

§25. 1 Difficulty of hiding the truth 

In many instances police must collect data from 
people who are not themselves accused of a crime. These 
people are witnesses who can give information of one kind 
or another that may lead to picking up data or clues that will 
be of value. There is a certain approach which may be used 
to meet the problem of the normal witness' tendency or in- 
clination to censor what he knows. Such an approach has 
some effectiveness, at least under mild conditions where 
the witness does not have extremely severe repressions. 

The psychological principle involved in this ap- 
proach is that it gets harder and harder to lie, harder and 
harder to hold back the truth the more an individual produces 



verbal memory material. Hence, the objective of the inter- 
rogator should be to promote a free flow of information from 
the witness, since if large masses of material are obtained, 
the chances are that it will be somewhat easier to pick out 
distortions in the story. 

In almost any interview exchange between two 
people certain forces are likely to be operating. Consider- 
ing now the situation where an examiner is interviewing the 
witness for the purpose of finding out something about the 
relationship between people who are involved in a crime, it 
is first necessary to focus on the pressures which are exerted 
on the witness when a police officer, prosecuting attorney 
or a lawyer begins interrogating him. 

§25.2 Pressures against talking 

First it is important to realize that such an inter- 
view presents a strange situation for most people. While it 
is true that there are people who are persistently involved 
in crimes in one way or another, most people will find that 
it is a very unusual experience to have a policeman descend- 
ing on them. Consequently the witness is a little unsure as 
to just what it is that is wanted. The situation is strange 
and in a strange situation people tend to be guarded. 

There is also a certain amount of fear of the 
examiner usually present. This fear stems from many 
sources. In the first place, if the examiner happens to be in 
uniform, almost certainly there will be a conditioned fear 
response evoked by the mere presence of this uniform. We 
have not reached that Utopian state where we have learned 
that policemen really are our guardians and protectors, and 
work to help us. Many people still carry over from child- 
hood certain views about policemen being people who are 
going to jump on them, put them in jail and take advantage 
of them. Also, there is hardly anyone who, when confronted 
by a policeman, does not remember something illegal that 
he has done at one time or another. Hence, the mere pres- 
ence of the badge of authority presented by a uniform may 
serve to diminish somewhat the confidence of the witness. 

Another fear borne by the witness is the possi- 
bility that in serving as a witness he will in some way 


become personally involved. And no one cares to reveal 
information to his own detriment. 

§25. 3 Pressures encouraging talking 

Despite the presence of these pressures which 
produce an unwillingness to talk, there are certain other 
pressures which will produce a willingness or desire to talk 
on the part of the witness. One of these is to try to get out 
of the situation as soon as possible — to say something and 
have it over with. Also, there is a certain amount of curi- 
osity or interest as to what this case may bring about, or 
what this questioning is all about which causes an eager re- 
sponse. Another stimulus to talk is the desire to tell friends 
and relatives that one has been questioned in a very impor- 
tant case and that they have provided valuable information. 
This, of course, in extreme cases can lead to a kind of over- 
reaction where people are likely to fictionize details some- 
what for the sake of dramatizing their own role. 

§25. 4 Pressures on the interviewer 

The interviewer is also subject to certain pres- 
sures. In the first place, he enters into the interview want- 
ing to avoid failure. He has some idea of what a successful 
outcome means and each witness represents a kind of block 
in the road. In addition to this normal pressure it is quite 
probable that in many cases the interviewer wants speedy 
results. He is not willing to wait too long since information 
is more valuable if he can obtain it and utilize it quickly. 

The result of this is that there are pressures ex- 
erted upon the examiner which often make him feel somewhat 
aggressive toward the witness. The witness has become a 
creature who can either help or stand in the way of a suc- 
cessful prosecution of the total investigation. This may lead 
the examiner, without his realizing it, to show some tendency 
to let the other person know just "who is really the boss" in 
this situation. Many people, when they are blocked or frus- 
trated, want to throw their weight around. In an interview 
situation this is a fatal mistake, just as it is in psycho- 
therapeutic work. 


§25.5 Importance of apparently irrelevant material 

The net effect of these pressures is to build up a 
situation where the examiner is pushing for information and 
the witness is pulling away. The witness seems to respond 
only when he is gaining control, only when he is able to build 
up a grand and glorious picture of what really happened. 
This may cause the examiner to become impatient and want 
to brush aside a lot of so-called irrelevant material. Psy- 
chiatrists and psychologists have learned that what they first 
thought to be irrelevant material was by no means irrele- 
vant. All material that is produced by an individual in an 
interview situation is produced for some purpose. There is 
a reason behind it, even though what this reason is cannot 
always be discussed. This reason is probably related to 
the personality, attitudes, motives, ambitions and desires 
of the witness. It may be, for example, that he is talking 
about something which is irrelevant in order to impress the 
interviewer with his brilliance, with his genius, with the 
fact that he is a person of high intelligence. The interview- 
er' s awareness of such a reason may be useful in that it 
may suggest what kind of approach can best be utilized with 
this particular witness to promote a free flow of informa - 

§25. 6 Resentment in the witness 

Another effect that this aggressiveness on the part 
of the examiner might have is that it could build up resent- 
ment, even in cooperative witnesses. If an examiner who 
wants to show who is boss starts throwing his weight around, 
even so-called "good citizens" are likely to feel put upon and 
are likely to withhold information which they think is rela- 
tively unimportant simply because they want to be rid of the 
examiner as quickly as possible. 

§25. 7 Voluntary fringe information 

There is a certain area of fringe information which 
the examiner may fail to reveal because he does not ask for 
it and because the witness may not volunteer it since he 
evaluates it as relatively unimportant. There may be many 


clues in this fringe information. Consequently, the examiner 
should try to produce in the witness a flow of speech which 
will, if possible, bring out this fringe detail. A certain a- 
mount of so-called irrelevant material is also likely to re- 
sult. There should be more talk in most cases, rather than 
less. The more information of all kinds which is obtained 
from a witness, the greater are the chances of discovering 
inconsistencies, gaps, distortions and fringe facts in his 
story. One of the simplest ways to promote a free flow of 
talk is merely to listen to the witness carefully and con- 
siderately. Careful, considerate listening is rather rare in 
our highly verbal culture, where everybody wants to get in 
on the act, and it has been found in a half-century of work in 
psychology and psychiatry that careful, considerate listen- 
ing actually produces a response in people that makes them 
feel rewarded for talking. 

§25.8 Criticism, sarcasm and punishing acts 

Conversely, an examiner should refrain from 
criticism, sarcasm and other kinds of punishing acts during 
the interview. Even such a simple thing as correcting the 
way in which a witness pronounces a word or correcting his 
grammar may make him not want to cooperate, at least in 
the fringe area of evidence. If somebody says something 
that is obviously false, many people have a tendency to reply 
immediately in a sarcastic manner. This tendency should 
be curbed by an examiner; he should listen to what is said 
and wait until later to strike. If the witness has given much 
verbal material in which to become entangled, then when the 
time for confrontation with evidence comes, he will have a 
much more difficult time escaping from his prior story. 

The examiner ought also to act in such a way that 
the witness understands that he is important, that he is per- 
forming a duty assisting in the administration of justice, and 
that he is not just somebody who was dragged in to talk and 
then to be gotten rid of as fast as possible. These people are 
potentially important, not only for what they can do in any 
given case, but also because they carry away an impression 
of the police department and the way in which an investiga- 
tion is carried on. They can be extremely important in 


building good public relations which can help in the investi- 
gation of other cases. 

§25. 9 Avoid highly specific questions 

Furthermore, the examiner should avoid directing 
a stream of highly specific questions toward the witness. He 
should learn how to utilize what is known as the open-end 
question, suchas, "Canyoutellme more about that?" 'What 
happened then?" "How did you feel about that?" The beauty 
of this type of question is that it does not disturb the wit- 
ness' chain of thought. The story should come out freely, 
without the examiner' s trying to direct it in one way or an- 
other. There will be plenty of time for him to attack or 
question it later. 

Another reason for not shooting a stream of ques- 
tions at a witness is that the examiner is likely to give clues 
as to what he thinks constitutes significant and insignificant 
material. If the examiner continually nods "very interest- 
ing" after certain answers and ignores others he is showing 
the witness exactly what kinds of things he is interested in, 
andthewitnessmay omit some relevant material in an effort 
to avoid what he fears the examiner will think insignificant. 
Probably the best kind of countenance to keep is one which 
is generally accepting and smiling, thereby informing the wit- 
ness that the examiner is interested in everything he has to 
say. Some of the things that the witness reveals will stand 
out like neon signs in the middle of a black night; others will 
not have any meaning at the time. But all of these revela- 
tions are packed away and mixed together for later usage. 

§25. 10 Advantage of open-end questions 

There is another reason why shooting a stream of 
questions is a poor policy, at least in the early phases of 
interrogation and interviewing. If the examiner has a list of 
questions he wants to ask, he builds up an expectation in the 
witness that if he wants to know anything, he will ask about 
it, and if he does not ask, no information is expected. If, 
on the other hand, relatively few questions are asked and 
these are generally open-end questions, the witness will tend 
to think to himself in the following manner: "Well, he wants 


me to go ahead, take the lead and tell everything I think is 
significant." Consequently, the casual, open-end procedure 
is generally best for promoting a free flow of information, 
and at the same time the examiner gains an opportunity to 
think over and assimilate the material which he is hearing. 

§25. 11 Aidiiijj; the witness' memory 

There are several ways of aiding the witness' 
memory. One is to have him return occasionally to the 
story and retell it. There are many sincere, cooperative 
people who may leave substantial gaps when recalling their 
story; they may be able to fill in these gaps upon retelling 
the story. Memory functions better when there is a richer 
context to support it. 

Memory is more likely to be poor or distorted 
when a person is under an emotional stress. Factors of any 
kind which unduly upset the functioning of the organism are 
likely to have such effects that the memory of the individual 
may not be as trustworthy as if he is kept in fairly calm cir- 

§25. 12 Removal of distractions 

An important problem is how to build up an exter- 
nal situation which is conducive to a free flow of information. 
In general, a permissive atmosphere is best fostered by 
privacy. Whenever possible a witness should be interviewed 
by himself, so that the distracting effects of other people 
and what they may think of what he says are removed. A 
witness should not be interviewed while the examiner is fid- 
dling with letters on his desk and reading over old reports. 
Telephones should be cut off during the interview. There 
should be provisions made for no interruptions so that the 
interview can progress until it is finished. Plenty of time 
should be allowed, since the ordinary person who is asked to 
remember things of importance is going to be a little anx- 
ious, and it takes people anywhere from fifteen minutes to a 
half-hour to settle down and become accustomed and familiar 
with the situation. Important material is not likely to be 
extracted early in an interview. It is more likely to come 
out toward the end, after there has been a familiarization 


with the situation, and understanding of what is wanted, and 
a proper attitude fostered. 

§25. 13 Importance of comfortable atmosphere 

In general, comfortable surroundings create the 
best atmosphere for an interview. There should be reason- 
ably comfortable chairs and an air of informality, if this is 
possible. This is quite the opposite of what some others 
recommend; they favor surroundings which are bare and 
very austere. Which theory is better is difficult to deter- 
mine, but the theory of informality has at least as much 
validity as the other, in the absence of more experimental 
evidence. Regardless of what conditions are used the ex- 
aminer should conduct the interview in a casual, friendly, 
and interested manner. 

§25. 14 Notiiiw sensitive areas of discussion 

The interviewer has a further problem in the in- 
terpretation of the data received in the interview. This 
interpretation of data is of course crucial. It is helpful to 
the examiner if he notes what the sensitive areas of discus- 
sion are. It is not always known why these are sensitive, 
but it is known that there are certain indicators which show 
when a person is running into a little blockage. These in- 
dicators are similar in principle to the lie detector. The 
lie detector is not a lie detector at all; it is a detector of 
what might be called autonomic nervous system reactions 
in the body. It detects changes in blood pressure, sweating, 
galvanic skin response, breathing, etc. Many of these 
changes can be observed without specific apparatus. Some 
of these changes are: sudden silences following certain state- 
ments, suggesting that the witness has gone through some 
kind of thinking and has come across something which he is 
not sure he ought to share with the examiner; a blocking or 
evidence of confusion on the part of the witness, suggesting 
that the examiner has reached an area that may have some 
critical importance. When the conversation gets to this 
stage it is best to look at the sequence of topics that have 
gone just before. What was it the witness said just before 
the time he was blocked? For example, if a witness is asked 


what he wants, he may say he wants an automobile, a fine 
home, a good job, a wonderful wife, and then he becomes 
blocked. Why the block is there cannot be discovered with- 
out further investigation. It might be found that his girl 
friend has just thrown him over and his chances of getting a 
wonderful wife have been lessened. There is some kind of 
emotional disturbance happening at that moment which pro- 
duces the blocking. 

§25. 15 Fidgeting and licking the lips 

Another sign of a sensitive area of discussion is 
suddenly increased fidgeting of the witness in his chair. 
The examiner should try to notice, if he can, the point at 
which the fidgeting takes place. Licking at the lips is an- 
other indication of tenseness or emotional embarrassment. 
The old Chinese rice story is illustrative. It has elements 
of the lie detection technique in it, and is fundamentally 
based on a sound theory. People who were suspected of a 
crime were given a handful of dry rice to put in their mouth 
and eat. It it came out moist, they were not guilty; if it 
came out dry, they were guilty because fear tends to dry up 
salivary secretion. This shows itself in frequent licking of 
the lips. This does not mean that everybody who licks his 
lips is guilty. It may be that a witness who is completely 
innocent is fearful from being near a police officer, or from 
being interrogated. 

§25. 16 Shift in topics 

Sudden, unexpected stammering in speech is an- 
other sign of a sensitive area of discussion. Another one is 
a sudden shift in the flow of the topic. Usually a person' s 
talk will progress from one topic to another in some orderly 
sequence. However, a topic may suddenly come up that does 
not seem to fit. Here again there is probably some kind of 
an emotional disturbance that has taken place. These are 
things that suggest the interviewer is hitting sensitive areas 
in the conversation. He should be registering all these things 
without reacting to them openly; wondering about them and 
trying to fit them into the various bits of information he has 
about the case. 


§25. 17 Cross-checking 

The crucial point is cross-checking. The exam- 
iner here has a very serious problem, and it takes some 
skill to meet it. He has to retain a very substantial amount 
of information. He must remember what the witness said 
when the interview began about a certain topic, what was 
said a half-hour later, what was said still another half-hour 
later, then ask himself how these things fit together. Hence, 
it may be necessary to take some notes even if the interview 
is being recorded. Such notes may help in correlating dif- 
ferent parts of the conversation. 

As noted previously, the examiner should not point 
out obvious inconsistencies or peculiarities in the witness' 
story immediately. But there is a time when he should come 
back to these things, and that time is along toward the end of 
the interview, in order to get certain items "straightened 
out." It may be necessary to jot down these items from time 
to time. 

§25. 18 Time for specific inquiries 

In general, specific inquiries should be saved until 
the end of the interview. If the examiner asks all his ques- 
tions before giving the witness a chance to talk on his own, 
he is likely to find that he has the answers to all the ques- 
tions, but that there were many he did not think to ask. He 
could have obtained the answers to these questions if he had 
only been a little bit more patient and let the witness tell all 
he knew, even though much irrelevant material might be in- 

Chapter 26 

The Strange Death of Selma Arvel 

A Problem in Investigation 
for Law Enforcement Officers 


Erie Stanley Gardner 

Copyright© 1954 by Erie Stanley Gardner 


26. 1 Instructions 

26. 2 The story of the strange death of Selma Arvel 

26. 3 --George prepares to depart 

26. 4 --Selma hires a detective 

26. 5 --Helen Baird, the other woman 

26.6 --The detective reports 

26.7 --The death scene 

26.8 --George's story 

26. 9 --Interview of next door neighbor 

26. 10 --Jerry the Creeper 

26. 11 The problem 

26. 12 Steps toward solution 
26. 13 Solution 

26. 14 Conclusion 

§ 26. 1 Instructions 

This problem has three parts: 

1. The story of the strange death of Selma Arvel with 
photographs. Study this material first. Deter- 
mine what steps you would take to collect addi- 
tional facts. Then proceed to the next part. 

2. The steps toward solution. Compare your plan for 
acquiring additional facts with those outlined here. 
Then write your solution of this case. 

3. The solution. Consider your solution with the au- 
thor's solution. Criticize your methods, identify 



your weaknesses, plan to strengthen your inves- 
tigative capacities. 

§26.2 The story of the strange death of Selma Arvel 

The strange death of Selma Arvel is intended to 
furnish the reader with an example of the responsibilities of 
the trained investigator. The reader should refer to the 
pictures included in this story for a more lucid understand- 
ing of the facts. 

George Arvel is an oil lease speculator, a man 
with a chain lightning mind, a magnetic personality, and a 
way with women. He is living in Riverside, California. 
During the past fifteen years, Riverside has enjoyed a steady 
growth. As a result rented houses are scarce. A constantly 
expanding business district continually encroaches upon the 
older houses. 

George Arvel and his wife were finally able to 
rent one of those older houses on the borderline of the new 
business district. It was not the house that George wanted 
but it was all that was available on short notice and George 
did everything on short notice. George Arvel' s business 
kept him on the road traveling to the oil fields of Oklahoma, 
Texas, Wyoming. Selma remained at home. Lately she 
fancied she could detect a certain cooling on the part of her 
husband. As a result she became both jealous and suspi- 
cious. Let' s drop in on the Arvels for a moment: 

§26. 3 --George prepares to depart 


S: What have you got there? 

G: A ticket to Oklahoma. 

S: On the train? 

G: Uh-huh. 

S: Why don' t you go by plane anymore? 

G: On account of my sinuses. The change in eleva- 
tion makes my ears hurt. 


S: It's not your sinuses. It's your Eustachian tubes. 

G: All right, honey, whatever it is. 

S: What train are you taking? 

G: The 2:20. 

S: When you used to travel by plane I wasn' t alone 
so much. 

G: Of course travel by train means more time on 
the road, but it' s a lot more comfortable. I can 
rest on the train. 

S: Is that the only reason? 

G: I told you the reason -- my ears. 

S: You and your ears. You and your excuses. You 
never want to be around me anymore. You' re 
always getting on a train -- Oklahoma, Wyoming, 
Texas. And how about that postcard from Texas 
in a girl' s handwriting. You never did tell me. 
You said she was a stenographer who wanted to 
get a job out there. But how do I know 

Selma didn't like Miss Murphy, George' s secre- 
tary, an attractive blonde who looked well in a tight sweater 
and knew it. Selma, packing George's bag while he was dic- 
tating some last minute correspondence, strained her ears 


G: --cash together with the usual arrangements. 
Paragraph. I'll be in Muskogee shortly after you 
receive this letter and give you a ring. Very 
truly yours. I won' t have an opportunity to sign 
that. Miss Murphy. If you will just sign my name 
to it and mail it. Be sure it goes out in the mail 

M: r 11 take it to the post office myself, Mr. Arvel. 

G: Thank you, you' re a good girl. It' s a pleasure 
to work with you. 


M: It' s a pleasure to do things for you, Mr. Arvel. 

G: You' re not only very competent, Miss Murphy, 
but you — 

S: George, do you want to take these shirts with the 
French cuffs? 

G: It doesn' t make any difference, Selma. Only 
enough white shirts to wear on the train. After I 
get out on the oil fields I' 11 be wearing sport 
shirts. It' s going to be hot out there. 

S: George, what in the world did you do with all your 
socks? I can' t find — 

G: Go buy more socks. I' m trying to get off a letter 
on a ten-thousand-dollar oil deal and you interrupt 
me to ask me about five dollars worth of socks. 

S: Well you didn' t sound so terrible busy to me. 
Never mind, I' 11 just pack your stuff and I hope I 
get it right. So don't blame me if — 

G: Now, Miss Murphy, if you' 11 take a telegram, 
please. I want to send it tonight as a night letter. 

§ 26. 4- -Selma hires a detective 

Selma, worried, jealous, and suspicious, decided 
to take steps to find out exactly what George did on these 
business trips of his, and so we now hear her on the tele- 


S: Hello, AUstar Detective Agency? This is Mrs. 
George Arvel. A-R-V-E-L. No, never mind the 
address. I'll give that to you later. I've only 
got a minute to talk. I want you to furnish a 
woman operator ~ a good-looking woman who 
knows her way around. My husband' s leaving on 
the 2:20 train for Oklahoma. If you have this wo- 
man at the depot all ready to go I' 11 slip her an 
envelope containing enough money for her ex- 
penses and instructions as to just what she is to 


do. Just Mrs. George Arvel. Yes, the 2:20. I'm 
thirty, five feet six, and wearing a maroon dress 
with a short white coat, no hat. I hear my husband 
coming now. Goodbye. 

And so at the depot shortly before the 2:20 arrived, Selma 
had met the detective and handed her an envelope containing 
written instructions and expense money. George, unmindful 
of what was happening, was anxiously awaiting the train. 
Selma' s suspicions were well-founded. While on a trip, 
George had met Helen Baird, a young divorcee. A casual 
acquaintance had ripened into an intimacy and almost before 
George knew it he was leading a double life. By telling his 
wife that airplane travel made him uncomfortable, George 
was able to take the train at Riverside, disembark a few min- 
utes later at San Bernadino, then take a train to Oceanside 
via Los Angeles. In Oceanside Helen Baird had a cute beach 
cottage, and to the neighbors, George Arvel was known as 
George Baird, Helen's husband, a traveling executive. Be- 
cause George was supposed to be traveling on a train to the 
eastern oil fields, he could spend a day or two with Helen at 
the beach and then Helen would drive him to San Diego. 
From there he would catch a night plane to his destination, 
from which he would call Selma. Let' s listen in on a typi- 
cal conversation: 


O: Hello. 

S: Yes! 

O: I have a direct call for anyone from George Arvel 
from Muskogee, Oklahoma. Will you accept the 

S: Yes, yes. 

G: Hello, Selma. How' s everything? 

S: All right; why didn' t you call me yesterday? 

G: Didn't get in, honey. Train travel takes time and 
then I was pretty busy after I arrived, trying to 
sign up a lease. How are you feeling? 


S: Lonesome. 

G: Why don' t you take the station wagon and take a 
trip, honey? Go up and see your brother in Oak- 

S: I don't want to see my brother. I want to see you. 

G: r ve explained, honey. You have to work fast in 
this oil business. You have to get out with the 
boys and buy a few drinks. A woman's just a dead 

S: You didn' t used to think I was a dead weight. 

G: In those days (cough) --- You weren' t then. 

S: What' s that? 

G: I said times have changed, honey. 

S: What' s changed? 

G: Business. The conditions under which we have to 
work. Well here's the party on the oil lease deal. 
Hi Jim! How are you? Well, good-bye, honey. 
I' 11 be calling you. 

S: Where are you staying, George? Where are 
you --- 

O: Your party' s hung up, madam. 

§26. 5 --Helen Baird, the other woman 

Selma, as George's wife, was tortured by jealousy 
and filled with suspicion. Helen Baird, who had been mar- 
ried to a wealthy manufacturer for two profitable years, was 
utterly carefree. When Helen's marriage broke up she had 
received a cash settlement and monthly alimony which would 
terminate in the event of her remarriage. Therefore, she 
wasn' tin any hurry to marry again. She had taken her mar- 
ried name of Baird, moved into her beach house where she 
slept mornings and spent the afternoons loafing on the sun- 
deck in an abbreviated bathing suit. She had no worries, no 
cares, and no inhibitions. At one time on the sundeck, 
George had sought to clarify their relationship: 





G: Aren't you going to ask me about Selma, Helen? 

H: Why should I? 

G: Well, aren' t you interested? 

H: No. 

G: Aren' t you jealous? 

H: r m never jealous. 

G: Probably because you' re so sure of yourself. 
Don' t you love me? 

H: Uh-huh. 

G: Don' t you want me to get a divorce? 

H: Oh, not particularly. 

G: Don' t you want to get married? 

H: I think we' re doing all right now. 

G: All my other women want me to marry them. 
Seemed every woman I ever had an affair with 
(mmmmm) not of course that we want to call this 
an affair. 

H: Now why not, George? What other name would 
describe it? 

G: I think it's on a higher plane; a more lasting, per- 
manent relationship. 

H: Oh, let' s not bother about the future, George. 
Let' s concentrate on the present, huh? 

And so the relationship had drifted along, with George so ac- 
customed to a possessive woman that Helen Baird' s inde- 
pendence came as a welcome change. So today, after his 
usual surreptitious changing of trains, George Arvel, having 
no idea that he was being shadowed by a detective, had taken 
a taxicabto his love-nest, latch-keyed the door, and now we 
hear him calling: 



G: Oh, Helen. I'm here. Helen, where are you? 
Oh, I guess she's down on the sundeck taking 
another sunbath. 

§26. 6-- The detective reports 

Half an hour later, Selma Arvel' s phone rang in 


D: Hello, Mrs. Arvel? 

S: Yes. 

D: This is Miss Smith from the AUstar Detective 

S: Oh, where are you? 

D: r m in Oceanside. 

S: What are you doing there? 

D: I followed your husband here. He' s at 1159 
Euclid Road. 

S: Are you sure? 

D: Yes, he' s in there and the taxi driver tells me 
it' s the house belonging to a Mr. George Baird. 

S: Oh, what' s that address again? 

D: 1159 Euclid. He' s moved in there, bag and bag- 

S: Well, you better not continue to shadow him any- 
more. And don' t say a word about it to anyone. 
You better leave the neighborhood right away. 
My husband may have noticed you and — 

D: No, I don't think he noticed me. I 

S: Well, thanks a lot, Miss Smith. I can handle it 
from now on. Goodbye. 


§26. 7- -The death scene 

So there we have the facts leading up to the 
strange death of Selma Arvel. Oceanside police received a 
call at 10:15 Thursday night. They went to 1159 Euclid where 
they found a frightened George Arvel and the body of Selma 
Arvel. To the police, George shamefacedly confessed his 
double life. He said that on this Thursday when he had enter- 
ed the house and called for Helen there had been no answer. 
Then he had found a note which had been left on the table. 
He gave this note to the police. It read: 

3:30 P.M., Wednesday 

George dear: 

If you see this note it will mean I've missed one of your 
visits. I hope that doesn' t happen but V ve decided to visit 
my sister for a few days. My car is being overhauled so I'll 
take the train to San Diego and pick up the plane there. I' 11 
call this number Friday noon, Saturday noon, and Sunday 
noon. If you should be there I' 11 catch a plane and come 
home fast. 

Love and kisses, 

§26. 8- -George's story 

George said that he did not know where Helen' s 
sister lived. He would therefore have no way of notifying 
Helen what had happened until she telephoned at noon tomor- 
row, Friday. George told the officers that he had been sit- 
ting' reading when suddenly he had heard his name called in 
his wife' s unmistakable voice. Then knuckles beat on the 
door. George had hurried to the door. His wife had rushed 
past him, into the house, saying "Get a doctor, I've been 
stabbed." Then she collapsed on the living room floor. 
George had called Dr. Keetly. The doctor' s wife said Dr. 
Keetly was out on an emergency call but she would try to 
reach him. George hung up the phone and did what he could 
to stop the bleeding with bath towels. His wife had told him 
of hiring a detective to shadow him. She had, she said, been 
watching the house, waiting for the lights to go out, when a 
tall, fleshy man had jerked the car door open, said "This is 


a stick-up, sister. You're going with me. If you make any 
noise, I'll kill you." This man had started the car, settling 
himself behind the steering wheel as if preparing for a long 
drive. The emotional shock had caused Selma to become 
hysterical. She started to scream. The man had by this 
time driven the car from the vacant lot where it had been 
parked to a point almost even with the beach cottage. He 
had let go of the steering wheel with one hand, tried to stifle 
Selma' s screams, and then suddenly angered, had stabbed 
her in the chest, grabbed her purse, jumped out of the car 
and fled into the darkness. Selma had let the car roll a few 
feet necessary to bring it to the curb in front of the house, 
had stopped it, slid across the seat and dashed to the house, 
calling out her husband's name. George admitted that after 
Selma had told him this she had told him that she was going 
to get a divorce. Those were almost the last words she had 
said. George had helped his wife to her feet. She had man- 
aged to walk into the bedroom where she suddenly collapsed. 
He had put a pillow under his wife' s head, had tried to stop 
the bleeding with towels, and then Selma had died. 

George told the police his first thought had been 
to avoid a scandal. He telephoned Mrs. Keetly that he had 
secured another physician so there would be no need for 
Dr. Keetly to call. Then George had sat for half an hour 
wracking his brains, trying to think of some way by which 
he could move the body back to Riverside and avoid exposing 
his double life. At length he decided he would have to make 
a clean breast of it and so had called the police. The police 
found Selma Arvel'sBuick station wagon parked at the curb. 
The blood stains showed where she had been stabbed while 
seated on the right hand side after being shoved away from 
the steering wheel by her assailant. The blood trail led to 
the living room of the house where a pool showed where 
Selma had collapsed. From this pool, drops led to the bed- 
room where the body was found. 

§26. 9- -Interview of next door neighbor 

At first police were inclined to view George' s 
story with considerable skepticism, but when they inter- 
viewed the next door neighbor they learned: 





P: Mrs. Cutterson. You're the next door neighbor 
to the Bairds, V d like to know if you heard any 

N: Yes, I heard a scream, but I couldn' t tell just 
where it came from. It was either inside the house 
or out in the passageway, and the woman was call- 
ing out "George, George. " Frankly, V m not a 
bit surprised. Only two days ago I told Mrs. Baird 
about having seen a man following her when she 
went uptown. I've seen him watching the house 
before but I thought he was a private detective. 
First, I wasn' t going to say anything about it. 

P: Can you describe the man? 

N: He was a big, heavy man, about six feet tall. 

P: And about how old? 

N: Oh, about fifty. Something like that. 

P: How was he built? 

N: Oh, he was heavy and he had a pretty big stomach 
and shoulders. Pretty big man. 

P: You didn' t tell Mrs. Baird at first? 

N: Oh no! She makes it plain she doesn't want to be 
neighborly and I don' t see her over two or three 
times a week. She keeps to herself, and that 
suits me all right. 

P: And you thought this man was a detective? 

N: Oh, yes! 

P: Why? 

N: Oh well. There were people coming to the house 
at night. You know, her husband is away so much. 
I thought -- Oh, well! I don't want to say any- 

The neighbor went on to state that once or twice 
when Mr. Baird had returned home unexpectedly she had 


seen a shadowy figure slipping out of the house by the beach 
entrance. However, what interested the police more than 
anything was the description of this big man who had appar- 
ently been keeping the house under surveillance off and on 
for the last three or four days. Only that evening the police 
had received a hot tip that a notorious character known as 
Jerry the Creeper was planning a job in Oceanside. Jerry 
had a long criminal record. He made a specialty of study- 
ing houses where for one reason or another, young, attrac- 
tive women were living alone. Jerry' s methods never 
varied. He would case a place for days. When he felt the 
time was right he would short-circuit the electricity, plunge 
the entire house into darkness, tie and gag the woman, and 
loot the place at leisure. So carefully did Jerry pick his 
town that the police had never been able to convict him of 
any of the more serious crimes they knew he had perpetrat- 

§26. 10- -Jerry the Creeper 

So the police started looking for Jerry the Creep- 
er. He was picked up about two o' clock in the morning. On 
Jerry police found a knife which they felt certain was the one 
with which Selma Arvel had been stabbed. They also found 
Selma Arvel' s purse, together with her driving license, her 
gasoline credit card, and $175 in cash. Jerry the Creeper 
admitted that he had been casing the beach house. He said 
that Helen Baird, with her monthly alimony and itinerant 
husband, had seemed like a soft touch. Then Helen' s hus- 
band had returned and Jerry the Creeper had decided to post- 
pone operations for a few days. But while walking past the 
house around ten o'clock that evening, he had seen light glint- 
ing from some metallic object in the gutter. Upon examin- 
ation this had proved to be the knife. Nearby was a coin 
purse. Jerry had appropriated both. Not until after his ar- 
rest did he realize there was blood on the knife. Police 
inquiries disclosed that Helen Baird had a sister Gertrude 
living in Denver, Colorado. Upon being queried, Denver 
police reported that on Wednesday night Gertrude had gone 
to the airport to meet her sister Helen who was arriving on 
the plane from San Diego. On the way from the airport to 
Gertrude's apartment, Gertrude' s car had been involved in 


a traffic accident. Helen had sustained minor injuries. 
Since the attending physician feared a concussion, he had 
ordered that Helen be kept quiet for a few days. Records 
of the Denver police confirmed that this traffic accident had 
occurred Wednesday night. Jerry the Creeper was charged 
with first-degree murder. 

§26. 11 The problem 

You are assigned as special investigator to deter- 
mine whether Jerry the Creeper was correctly charged with 
first-degree murder. You know that George Arvel will state 
that Selma Arvel said that she knew her wounds were fatal 
and that, if she had lived, she would have gotten a divorce. 
This makes Selma' s statement to George a dying declaration, 
admissible in evidence. What steps would you take? 

Selma Arvel 



Arvel Residence at Riverside, California 

Close-up of Arvel Residence 


Miss Murphy 

George Arvel interrupted by Selma while 
dictating to Miss Murphy 


Selma Arvel telephoning detective agency 

Operative receiving note from Selma at station 




George phoning Selma 

Helen Baird' s house at 1159 Euclid Rd. , 
Oceanside, California 



Helen Baird reclining 

Helen Baird and George Arvel. 






SW»UlM9fcisWMfe.iX''gg»'v.J!t.''t"'««'-' "^ 

Helen Baird and George Arvel. 
Going downstairs to beach. 

George Arvel and Helen Baird. 











J%r,^. cto^- 

Diagram of beach house. 

Body of Selma Arvel. 







J ^ v^. 9 J^ 

Cjh^ ^ ^/axj >u^ t«^ -t.^-x A-V-. 



Note from Helen. 

Front seat of car. 



Bloodstains on car seat. 

Station wagon and blood trail. 




Blood trail from clot, on sidewalk. 


Blood trail through kitchen door (exterior). 



Blood trail through kitchen door (interior). 

Blood trail through kitchen door (interior). 



Blood smear in living room. 

Blood smear in living room. 



Close-up of Jerry the Creeper. 

Jerry the Creeper. 





Instructions: After close study of the written materials and 
photographs, outline in detail how you would proceed with 
your investigation. After you have carefully planned the 
investigation read the following section on steps toward so- 

§26. 12 Steps toward solution 

1. Study the blood spots 

a. Unbroken, regular path from car at curb, 
through the kitchen door, into the living room. 

b. No pool of blood along this path; blood spots 
evenly spaced. 

c. Drops of blood are round generally. 

d. Get blood type of blood spots, which is type 

e. Secondary blood spatters at kitchen door indi- 
cate direction which person was walking was 
from living room through kitchen, outside to 

f. Blood drop trail from living room to bedroom 
has many more drops. 


2. Study neighborhood of Arvel's residence; key shop 
next door. 

a. Owner of key shop tells you Selma Arvel had 
key made from block of paraffin. You ask for 
duplicate. It fits the kitchen door of Helen 
Baird' s house. 

3. Check Denver police again on auto accident of 
Helen Baird' s sister, Gertrude, on Wednesday 
night in Denver. 

a. Name of passenger supposedly Helen Baird 
is not on record. 

b. Get name of driver of other car. Send picture 
of Helen Baird to determine if she was in Ger- 
trude Baird' s car. He replies that she was 
not the person. 

4. Check long-distance calls from Gertrude Baird' s 
apartment to Helen Baird' s Oceanside house. 

a. Gertrude talked person-to-person with Helen 
on Thursday. 

5. Get samples of Helen's handwriting and send these 
with letter found at scene to handwriting expert. 

a. Letter was Helen' s writing, but the writing 
is stiff and cramped. 

6. AskDenver doctor attending Helen Baird concern- 
ing the nature of Helen' s injuries. 

a. Possible concussion; long, deep cut along 
right shoulder down back along right shoulder 

7. Contact Denver police again to determine if Ger- 
trude Baird or her woman passenger sustained 
any cuts from broken glass. 

a. No cuts were sustained; no glass in the car 
was broken. 


8. Study the car parked at curb outside the Ocean - 
side home of Helen Baird. 

a. Driver' s seat in closest position to wheel. 

b. Jerry the Creeper, a large man, could not 
have sat behind the wheel in this position as 
Selma Arvel supposedly told George Arvel. 

9. Check the knife for latent fingerprints. 

a. Find Jerry the Creeper' s prints. 

b. Find one fingerprint of George Arvel. 

10. Type of blood on George Arvel' s clothes. 

a. Most blood was type "O". 

b. A few spots were type "AB" which was 
Selma' s type. 

11. You interrogate George Arvel. 

a. At first he replies glibly. 

b. He soon becomes embarrassed; starts shift- 
ing his position in the chair and begins mop- 
ping his forehead. 

Instructions: After carrying out your investigation, write 
your solution to this problem. When this is written, read 
the following section. 

§26. 13 Solution 

Selma Arvel had found a key which she couldn' t 
account for on George' s key ring. She had made a surrep- 
titious imprint of that key in paraffin. She had taken it to 
the locksmith the day George left, supposedly for Oklahoma. 
When she had received the report of the detective she had 
hired to shadow her husband, she hurriedly drove to Ocean- 
side, waited in the vacant lot until she saw the bedroom 
lights turned on in the house. She had then parked her car 


directly in front of the house, unlocked the side door with 
her newly made key, crossed the kitchen and opened the door 
to the living room. George was taking a bath. Helen, attir- 
ed in a filmy negligee, was standing in front of the fireplace 
putting cleansing cream on her face. There had been words. 
Selma had told the whole story of her hiring a detective, of 
having had a key made, and then in a jealous rage had whip- 
ped out a knife. Helen had screamed for George and ducked. 
Those were the screams the neighbor had heard. Selma had 
struck with the knife, making a long gash in Helen' s shoul- 
der, then she had jumped on Helen, trying to stab her again. 
George, running out of the bedroom and seeing the girls 
locked in a struggle, had grabbed Selma, not knowing Selma 
had a knife in her hand. As he had grabbed Selma and thrown 
her against the wall, the knife in Selma' s hand had plunged 
into Selma' s breast, killing her almost instantly. 

Bear in mind that George Arvel w a s a quick- 
thinking sharp-shooter in the oil business. His fertile brain 
had quickly worked out a means by which the stage could be 
set so the police would not suspect either Helen or him of 
complicity in the death of Selma. Helen had previously told 
him about the warning the neighbor had given her about the 
big man who had been snooping around the place. Helen had 
also told him that earlier in the day her sister Gertrude 
hadtelephonedfromDenver because she had been in an auto- 
mobile accident the night before while driving away from the 
airport with a girl friend. 

Selma had died almost instantly, and the blood 
trail leading from the living room to the bedroom had been 
where the wounded Helen had fled. The blood-stained towels 
had, for the most part, been stained with Helen' s blood. 
When he had been unable to stop Helen' s bleeding, George 
Arvel, leaving his wife' sdead body on the floor where it had 
fallen had first tried to call Dr. Keetly. Then he had 
changed his mind and countermanded the call as he thought 
of a scheme to cover up what had happened. He had thrown 
a robe on Helen and escorted her from the bedroom to 
Selma's car. That was when the blood drops had been made 
on the cement and on the car seat. George had thrown the 
knife and Selma's purse in the gutter, then had driven Helen 
to a doctor where she received emergency treatment. Then, 
at George' s suggestion, Helen had written a note dating it 


the day before. He had then driven Helen to the bus depot 
and she had taken a bus to Los Angeles, where she took a 
midnight plane for Denver. She had bought the ticket, of 
course, under an assumed name. Then George had return- 
ed to the Oceanside house, moved Selma' s body to the bed- 
room, and called the police. 

§26. 14 Conclusion 

And so, by being true to your conscientious con- 
victions, by remembering that the duty of an investigator 
is to uncover and interpret all of the facts, you have solved 
a puzzling case and have moreover spared the district at- 
torney further adverse criticism. Particularly is this true 
since it later appeared that the attorney for Jerry the Creep- 
er had done considerable research work, knew something 
about legal medicine and was familiar with enough of the 
facts to have turned the trial of his client into a veritable 
debacle for the district attorney. The district attorney 
would, of course, have been crucified by the fallacious rea- 
soning of the fast -talking deputy who had thought he had a 
dead open-and-shut case and who presumed to try and im- 
prove on the evidence. 

All of this indicates the importance of impartial 
investigative work in every case and the necessity of having 
a familiarity with some of the more fundamental facts of 
legal medicine. 


References are to section numbers 



Confessions, of ( See Confessions ) 

AGGRESSION, 15.30, 25.5, 25.6 

ALARMS (See Burglary Investigation) 

ALCOHOL ( See Truth Serum ) 

ALIBIS ( See Interrogation ) 


Confessions, in, 21.8, 21.10, 21.11, 23.3 
Descriptions, in, 3.21 
Observation terminology, in, 3.21 


TION, 18.31 

AMNESIA, 20. 12 to 20. 14 

ANGER ( See Interrogation; Interview ) 

ANTI-SOCIAL ACT, 20. 10, 20. 11 

ANXIETY ( See Interrogation ) 

APARTMENTS ( See Burglary Investigation, at Flats ) 

ARGUMENTS, 23. 18 


445 INDEX Blood 

ARSON ( See Incendiary Fire Investigation ) 
Defined, 8.2, 8.4 

ARTIFICE, 6. 14 


ATTITUDE, 24. 14 

ATTORNEY, 23. 12 

AUTOMOBILE ( See Dump Murder Case ) 

AUTOPSY, 10.21 


BALLISTICS ( See Murder Investigation; Turnpike Murders ) 

BARBITURATES ( See Truth Serum ) 



BLOCKING, 25. 14 

BLOOD, 1.9, 10.30 

BLOOD GROUPING ( See Burglary Investigation; Hearne- 
Trendle Murder Case; Murder Investigatioli ] 
Cigarette butts, from saliva on, 1.20 


BLOOD PRESSURE ( See Lie Detection ) 


BLOOD STAINS ( See Burglary Investigation; Murder Inves- 

Book INDEX 446 



BREAKING AND ENTERING ( See also Burglary Investiga- 

Body force, entry by, 4. 30 
Defined, 4. 7 

Housebreaking and larceny, 4. 7 
Setscrew, release of, 4. 31 
Technique, variation in, 5. 2 

BUILDING ( See Incendiary Fire Investigation ) 


Arson, of, 8. 5, 8. 15 
Voluntariness of confession, 21. 1 

BURGLARY INVESTIGATION ( See Breaking and Entering; 
Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Robbery; Incendiary Fire 
Investigation; Roof Jobs; Safes; Sam Sheppard Murder 
Case; Vaults ) 

Alarms, avoidance of, 6. 16 

Arson as cover for burglary, 8. 27 

Artifice, entry through, 6. 14 

Asbestos clothing fibers on suspect, 5. 26 

Blood grouping of suspect, 5. 23, 5. 28 

Bloodstains, broken glass, on, 5.5, 5.28 

Burning, by, 4. 6, 4. 19 

Buttons and threads at scene, 5. 29 

Carpet fibers on suspect' s shoes, 5. 12, 5. 25 

Cat hair left at scene, 5. 27 

Classes of breakings, 

Country houses, 6. 4 to 6. 7 
Dwelling houses, 6. 8 to 6. 10 
Flats, 6. 11 to 6. 15 

Warehouses, factories, shops and banks, 6. 16 to 
Clothing fibers, 

Asbestos, from suspect, 5. 26 

447 INDEX Burglary 

Clothing fibers (Continued) 

Broken glass, on, 5. 5 

Common wall entry, on, 5. 10 

Downspout, on, 5. 6 

Skylight, on, 5,7 
Clothing left at scene, 5. 13 
Coke dust left at scene, 5. 26 
Combination dial, breaking off, 4. 17 
Common wall, entry through, 5. 10 
Complainant, interrogation of, 4. 2 
Construction of dwellings, modern, 6. 3 
Country houses, 6. 4-6. 7 
Cutting instruments, comparison of cut edges, 5. 8, 

Definition of burglary, 4. 7, 6.1 
Description of suspect, 5. 18, 5. 19 
Door locks, damage to, 4. 14 
Drifting, 4. 5 
Drill, use in, 4. 18 

Duchess of Windsor jewel theft, 6. 6, 6. 7 
Dummy locking cylinder, 4. 15 
Dwelling houses, 6. 8 to 6. 10 
Electric arc cutter, use in, 5. 16 
Entry, methods of, 5. 1, 5. 3 to 5. 10 
Envelopes fished from vault, 4. 23 
Examination of room, clockwise, 4. 2 
Explosives, 4, 6, 5. 10, 5. 16, 6. 2 
Face powder, traces on suspect, 5. 12, 5, 25 
False keys, 5. 14, 5. 26 

Fingerprints, 5.3,5.5,5.6,5.11, 5.13, 5.21 
Flats, 6. 11, 6. 12 

Footprints, 5. 1, 5. 2, 5. 6, 5. 11, 5. 26 
Forcing the lock, pry material fragments, 5. 9 

Blood stains on, 5. 5 

Fibers from burglar's clothing on, 5. 5 

Samples of, 5. 5 

Suspect' s clothing, on, 5. 22, 5. 27 

Glove impressions at scene, 5.21 
Grappling hook used in roof jobs, 4. 11 
Hair, 5.13, 5.27 

Burglary index 448 

House burglars, entry by, 4. 33 
Laundry marks, 5. 13 

Lead granules on suspect' s clothing, 5. 27 
Lock picking tools, 4. 8, 4. 9, 6. 13 
Lock pullers, use to gain entry, 4. 13 
Locks, forcing of, 

Burglar proof locks, 6. 12 

Yale locks, 6.11 
Motor vehicles, 

Oxy-arc cutting equipment found in, 6. 19 
Tearing grids from shop windows, 6. 22 
Traces of subject of larceny on, 5. 23 
Use in, 4.21, 4.22 

Neighborhood interviews, 5. 18 

Oxy-acetylene cutting apparatus, use in, 5. 16, 6. 18, 


Entry tool, transfer to, 5. 4 

Inside safe, sample from, 5. 17 

Outside safe, sample from, 5. 17 
Photographs, footprints on furniture, 5. 11 
Physical evidence, protection of, 4. 2 
Police forces, effect of organization of, 6, 3, 6. 23 
Preliminary examination of scene, 4. 2, 5. 1 
Private protection of property, 6. 2 
Pry marks upon entry, preservation, 5.4, 5. 11 
Residence of suspect, search of, 5.22, 5.27 
Rip job, 4.4, 4.16, 4.17, 4.32 
Roof jobs, entry for, 4. 11, 4. 34 
Rope, use to gain entry, 5. 6 
Saber saw attachment to drill, 4. 18 
Safe ballast, 5.15, 5.17, 5.22, 5.24 

Clothing of burglar, on, 5.17, 5.22, 5.24 
Safecracking, individual methods, 4. 3 
Scientific aids to solution of, 6. 23 
Shops, 6.22 

Skylight, entry through, 5. 7 
Stolen property, description of, 5. 19 
Strong box breaking case, 4. 20 
Subject of larceny, traces on suspect, 5. 23 

449 INDEX Cigarette 

Teeth impressions in food, 5. 12 
Tire marks, preservation of, 5. 2 
Tools, 4.3, 4.10, 5.30 

Trade or profession of suspect, characteristics of, 5. 22 
Vise grips, use to gain entry, 4. 12 
Walkie-talkie, use on job, 6. 20 
Walking stick, telescopic, entry by, 6. 15 
Warehouses, factories, shops, and banks 

Alarms, avoiding, 6. 16 

Explosives, use in, 6.21 

Methods of entry, 6. 17 

Observation of premises, 6. 16 

Oxy-acetylene apparatus, use in, 6, 18, 6. 19 

Time of burglary, 6. 17 

Witnesses, interrogation of, 4. 2 

BURNING ( See Incendiary Fire Investigation ) 

CARD TRICKS, 18. 28 

CARPET FIBERS ( See Burglary Investigation ) 

CAT HAIR, 5. 27 

CAUSE OF DEATH ( See Murder Investigation ) 


CHARACTER, 23. 17 

CHARGING SUSPECT, 21.8, 21.10, 23.4 
Warning before, 23. 2, 23. 3 

CHARTS ( See Lie Detection ) 



CIGARETTE BUTTS (See Murder Investigation) 

Circumstantial index 450 

CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE, 8.10, 11.19, 14.13 


WITH, 9.22 


CLOTHING ( See Burglary Investigation; Interrogation;Mur- 
der Investigation; Observation; Surveillance ) 

CLOTHING FIBERS ( See Burglary Investigation ) 

COKE DUST, 5. 26 



COLORS ( See Description ) 






CONFESSIONS ( See Hypnosis; Incendiary Fire Investigation ; 
Lie Detection; Murder Investigation; Statements ) 

Admissibility ( See also Judges Rules for admissibility , 
herein ) 
Evidentiary value, 21.6 
Question for trial judge, 21.2 
Statements made before warning, 21. 13, 23. 2 
Cell of suspect, listening to, 22. 10 
Compulsion to confess, 20. 17 
Confinement, pressure of, 22. 11 

451 INDEX Confessions 

CONFESSIONS (Continued) 

Constitutional rights of accused, 10. 26 

Conviction based on, English law concerning, 21.1, 

23.2 to 23.4 
Corroboration of, 21.1, 23.4, 23.22, 23.24 
Defined, 20. 15 

Denial of, subsequent, 23.23, 23.24 
English law concerning admissibility, 21. 1 et seq, 

23.2 to 23.4 
Exclusion of, promise or threat as ground, 21. 3 
Force and coercion, 10. 27 

Hearing, effect of postponement on, 22. 12, 22. 18 
Irrelevant facts. 

Inclusion, necessity of, 23. 24 
Necessity of inclusion, 23. 24 
Judges Rules for admissibility, 

Ambiguities, removal of, 21.8, 21. 10, 21. 11, 23. 3 
Charging suspect, criteria for, 21.8, 21. 10, 23. 4 
Cross-examination of prisoner making voluntary 

statement, 21. 14, 23.2 
Form of warning when charging, 21. 12, 23. 2 
Formulation of, 21. 4, 23. 1 
"In custody" explained, 21. 10 
Judicial approval of, 21. 5 
Other crimes, questions concerning, 21. 10 
Person in custody defined, 21.9 
Preliminary questioning, 21.7, 21.10, 23.2,23.3 
"Prisoners" explained, 21. 10 
Purpose, 21.4, 23. 1 

Reading statements to others charged, 2 1.15, 23. 2 
Statements made before warning, admissibility, 

21. 13, 23.2 
Statements used to clear suspect, 21. 12, 21. 13, 

Statements, written and signed, 21.16, 23.2 
Voluntary statements, 21.11, 23.2, 23.4 
Warning suspect before charging him, 21.8, 21.10, 

23.2, 23.3 
Warning when taking into custody, 21.9 
Opinion evidence, conviction from, 22. 8 
Person in authority defined, 21. 1 

Confessions index 452 

CONFESSIONS (Continued) 

Reasons for making, 23. 21 

Relay teams to obtain, use, 22. 14 

Statement, written, 10. 26 

Stenographer, 22. 12 

Third degree, 24. 6 

Torture, use to obtain, 22.5, 22.9 

Trial, 21.2 

Truth serum ( See Truth Serum ) 

Voluntary, defined, 20. 15 

Burden of proof to establish, 21.1 

Constitutional rights warning, 21.11, 23.4 

Evidence of, 21.2 

Signature of written warning before, 23. 4 


Hypnosis, concerning, 20. 15 

Warning, entitled to, 10.26, 21.11, 23.4 



Confession, based on, 21. 1, 23. 2 to 23. 4 

CORONER ( See Murder Investigation ) 

CORPSE ( See Murder Investigation ) 


CORROBORATION ( See Confessions; Hearne-Trendle Mur- 
der Case, at Statements; Statements ) 


CRITICISM, 15.35, 25.8 

453 INDEX Definitions 


CRYING, 22.14 


CUSTODIANS ( See Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Robbery ) 




Common law, 8. 2 

First-degree, 8.4, 8.8 

Second and third-degree, 8. 4 
Breaking and entering, 4. 7 
Burglary, 4. 7, 6. 1 
Common law, 8. 2 
Confessions, voluntary, 20. 15 
Converted question, 17. 19 
Description, 2.2 
Drifting, 4. 5 
Housebreaking, 6. 1 
Housebreaking and larceny, 4. 7 
Hypnosis, 20. 2 
In custody, 21. 10 
Interrogation, 16.2, 17.11, 22.11 
Interview, 22. 1 
Interviewing, 16. 2 
Leading questions, 17. 14, 17. 18 
Narco-synthesis, 19. 8 
Observation, 2. 2, 3. 1 
Obverted question, 17. 19 
Person in authority, 21. 1 
Persons in custody, 21. 9 
Prejudice, 3. 11 
Prisoners, 21. 10 
Pyromania, 8. 28 
Rip job, 4. 4 
Safe, 4.24 

Definitions index 454 

DEFINITIONS (Continued) 
Shopbreakers, 6. 1 
Third degree, 24. 5 
Vault, 4.24 


DESCRIPTION ( See Hearne-Trendle Murder Case; Surveil- 
lance ) 

Ambiguous terms used in, 3. 21 

Building in arson, 8. 8 

Burglar, from residents of area, 5. 18, 5. 19 


Difficulties in describing, 2. 4 
Defined, 2.2 

Motor vehicles used by, criminals, 2. 5 
Peculiarities or mannerisms, 2. 3 
Physical characteristics, 2.3 
Stolen property in burglary, 5. 18 


Witness to confession, as, 10. 26 

DIAMONDS, 7.9, 7.10, 7.12 




DISTRACTIONS ( See Interrogation; Interview ) 

DOOR LOCKS, 4. 14 




DRILLS, 4. 18 

455 INDEX Evidence 




Address of victim, search of, 9. 31 

Automobile of suspect, 9. 31, 9. 32 

Blood stains, suspect' s auto, found on, 9.31 

Cause of death, 9. 30 

Cleveland Homicide Unit, 9. 30 to 9. 32 

Clothing of victim, examination of, 9. 30 

Confession by suspect, 9. 32 


Cause of death determined by, 9. 30 

Hair and blood stains, examination by, 9. 32 

Corpse, 9. 30 

Hair, on suspect' s auto, 9. 31, 9. 32 

Interview of relatives, 9.31 

Motive, 9. 32 

Neighborhood check, 9. 30, 9. 31 

DUST ( See Murder Investigation ) 

DWELLING HOUSES ( See Burglary Investigation ) 




Arson, as cover up for, 8.26 



ENGLISH LAW, 21. 1 et seq. , 23. 2 to 23. 4 


EVIDENCE (See Confessions, at Admissibility) 

Examination index 456 

EXAMINATION ( See Lie Detection ) 

EXAMINEE ( See Interview, at Interviewee; Lie Detection ) 

EXAMINER 25. 2 ( See Lie Detection; Truth Serum ) 



EXPERTS ( See Murder Investigation ) 

EXPLOSIVES ( See Burglary Investigation ) 


FACE POWDER, 5.12, 5.25 


FACTS ( See Interrogation; Interview ) 

Inferences, differentiation from, 3. 10, 3. 20, 17. 10, 



Burglary, in, 5. 14, 5. 26 

Hatton Garden safe deposit, use at, 7.5, 7.10, 7.11 





Arson, preservation in, 8. 12 


FAVORS, 15.50 

457 INDEX Footprints 

FEAR ( See Interrogation, Interview ) 


Gloria Ann Ferry murder, 10.7, 10.9 
Jurisdiction over flight warrant, 10. 9 
Sabotage, jurisdiction over, 8. 16 


FERENCZY, 20. 5 

FIBERS ( See June Anne Devaney Murder Case) 

FINGERNAILS ( See Gloria Ann Ferry Murder Case; Mur- 
der Investigation; Sheila Ann Tulley Murder Case ) 

FINGERPRINTS ( See Burglary Investigation; Murder Inves- 
tigation; Potters" Bar, etc. , at Palm prints} 
Person under 18, prohibition, 10. 7 

FIREARMS ( See Murder Investigation; Tailor Murder Case ) 
Distance fired, 1. 13 
Use in crimes, generally, 1. 1 

FIRE INVESTIGATION ( See Incendiary Fire Investigation ) 


FIRST AID, 1.9, 1. 10 


FIRST OFFICER AT SCENE; DUTIES, 1. 3 to 1. 10, 14. 2 

FLATTERY, 24. 14 

FOOTPRINTS ( See Burglary Investigation; June Anne De- 
vaney Murder Case; Murder Investigation; Tailor Mur- 
der Case l 

Sex of criminal, as clue to, 5. 1 

Force index 458 

FORCE AND COERCION ( See Confessions ) 
FRAUD, 8.23, 8.24 

FREUD, 20. 5 


GLASS ( See Burglary Investigation, at Blood stains, Cloth- 
ing fibers, Fingerprints, Glass; Murder Investigation) 

GLASSES ( See Hearne-Trendle Murder Case ) 

Clothing, 10.4, 10.8 

Arrest of suspect through insurance company, 10. 10 
Confession, 10. 9 
Coroner, 10.3, 10.6 
Corpse, 10.2, 10.3 
Dental chart of victim, 10. 6 
FBI, role in, 10. 7, 10. 9 
Fingernails, 10. 3, 10. 4, 10. 7, 10. 9, 10. 10 
Flight warrant for suspect, 10. 9 
Handwriting comparisons, 10. 11 
Hotel, 10.6 

Identification of body, 10. 4, 10. 8 
Identification of suspect with victim, 10. 7 
Letter from suspect to victim' s sister, 10. 9 
Letters by suspect from jail, 10. 11 
Note beside body, 10. 2 
Post card from murderer, 10. 5, 10. 11 
Riverside, California, letter remailed from, 10. 9 
Search of area, 10. 4 
Trial and conviction of accused, 10. 12 




459 INDEX Hatton 

GUILT-COMPLEX, 18.25, 25.2 ( See Interrogation ) 

HAIR ( See Burglary Investigation; Dump Murder Case ; 
Hearne-Trendle Murder Case; June Anne Devaney Mur- 
der Case; Murder Investigation; Potters Bar Golf Course 
Murder Case 

Injured person, examination for clues, 1. 8 

HANDKERCHIEF ( See Hearne-Trendle Murder Case ) 

HANDWRITING ( See Gloria Ann Ferry Murder Case ) 


HANGINGS ( See Murder Investigation ) 


Found at scene, 9. 25, 14. 5 
Hair on, 5. 13 

Collusion of custodians, 7. 14 
Custodian, 7.3, 7.6 et seq. 
Diamonds, 7.9 

Identification by owner, 7. 10, 7. 12 

Sale by jewelers, 7. 7 

Subject of larceny, as, 7. 4 
False keys, 7. 5, 7. 10, 7. 11 
Guardian key, 7. 3 
Hours of business, 7. 1 
Indictments, 7. 12 
Installation of safe deposit, 7. 11 
Jewelers, 7.7, 7.8, 7.10, 7.12 
Larcenies from deposit boxes, 7. 4 et seq. 
Record of renters entering, 7. 3, 7. 4 
Renters' keys, 7.3, 7. 11 
Security and control of, 7. 2, 7. 3 
Surveillance of custodians, 7.6 
Time of losses, 7. 5 
Trial of custodian and jewelers, 7. 12, 7. 13 

Hatton INDEX 460 

HATTON GARDEN, ETC. (Continued) 
Underworld inquiries, 7. 7 
Unidentifiable property taken, 7. 14 


Confession, on, 22. 12, 22. 18 

Arrest of suspect, 11. 17 
Background, 11. 1 
Blood grouping, 11. 4, 11. 16 
Bloodstains, 11.2, 11.3, 11.11, 11.16, 11.17 
Cause of death, 11.4 
Circumstantial evidence, 11. 19 
Clothing of suspect, 11. 12 et seq. 

Blood stains on, 11. 12, 11. 16, 11. 17 
Clothing of victims, at scene, 11.2, 11.3 
Clues found at scene, 11. 2 

Discovery of, 11. 1 

Hair samples from, 11.4 

Photographs of, 11.2, 11.3 

Removal to mortuary, 11. 1 

Stab wounds on, 11.4 

Stomach, contents of, 11.4, 11.5 

Driver of lorry, 11. 7 

Motor lorry, 11.7, 11. 11 
Fingerprints, 11. 15 

Gas mask container, 11. 6, 11. 10, 11. 15 
Glasses of suspect, 11.8, 11.11, 11.12, 11.17 
Hair on tarpaulin of lorry, 11. 16 
Handkerchief, 11.3, 11.14 
Interviews, 11.5, 11.7, 11.9, 11.14, 11.18 
Laundry mark, 11.3, 11.8 et seq. 
Local police, cooperation with, 11.1 
Motor lorry. 

Blood stains on tarpaulin, 11. 11, 11. 16, 11. 17 

Description by school children, 11. 7, 11. 11 

Location of, 11. 11 

461 INDEX Housebreaking 

Motor lorry (Continued) 

Mileage records, comparison, 11. 13, 11. 14 

Photographs of, 11. 11 

Route of, on day of crime, 11.9 

Tracing through War Office, 11.8 
Oil spots, 11.3, 11. 16 
Photographs, 11.2, 11.3, 11.11, 11.15 

Bodies of victims, of, 11.3 
Post-mortem examinations, 11. 4, 11. 6 
Scene of crime, 11. 2 

Search of the area for gas mask container, 11.6 

Corroboration of, 11. 18 

Laundry manager, by, 11. 16 

Medical officer, of, 11. 18 

Speedometer readings, concerning, 11. 18 

Suspect, of, 11. 14 

Suspect' s battery mates, of, 11. 18 
Time of death, determination of, 11. 5 
Tire prints, 11. 3, 11. 11 
Trial of suspect, 11.19, 11.20 
Weapon causing death, 11.4,11.8, 11.12, 11.14, 11.18 

HEARSAY EVIDENCE ( See Murder Investigation ) 

HIGHLEY POLYGRAPH, 18. 9, 18. 11 

HOMICIDE ( See Murder Investigation ) 

HOT CASE, 24.3, 24.4 



HOUSEBREAKING ( See Breaking and Entering ) 
Defined, 6. 1 


Hypnosis index 462 

HYPNOSIS ( See Lie Detection ) 

Amnesia from, 20. 12 to 20. 14 

Cause of, 20. 2 

Confessions, 20. 15, 20. 17 

Constitutional rights of suspect, 20. 15 

Cortical function, reduction of, 20. 5 

Definitions, 20.2 

Electroencephalographic evidences of, 20. 6 

Ferenczy, 20. 5 

Freud, 20. 5 

Interrogation, role in, 20. 1 

Kubie, 20. 5, 20. 6 

Limitations on, 20. 7 

Microphone, trance induction through, 20. 6 

Personal injury cases, use in, 20. 13 

Polygraph, use in connection with, 20. 6, 20. 12 

Recall of past events, 20. 8, 20. 9 

Regressive theory of, 20. 5 

Self-incrimination during, 20. 12, 20. 14 

Semi -conciousness during, 20. 14 

Sleep compared, 20. 4, 20. 5 

Suggestibility, 20.7 

Suggestions against subject' s interest, 20. 11, 20. 12 

Suspension of reality testing, 20. 7 

Trance induction, 20. 3 et seq 

Unauthorized hypnosis, 20. 18 


Clothing, through, 10. 4 
Relatives, by, 10. 8 



Accidental causes, 8. 9 

Arson ( See Kindred crimes to arson, herein) 
Attempt to burn, penalty, 8. 4 

463 INDEX Incendiary 

Arson (Continued) 

Burglary, as cover for, 8.27 

Burning of other property, 8. 4 

Burning to defraud insurer, penalty, 8. 4 

Common law, defined, 8.2 

Crimes relating to, 8. 4 et seq. 

Economic conditions, relation to, 8.24 

Embezzlement, as cover for, 8.26 

First-degree, 8.4, 8.8 

Fraud, for, 8.23, 8.24 

Guilt beyond reasonable doubt, proof of, 8. 5 

Incendiary origin, 8. 9 

Model arson law, 8. 3 

Motive, 8. 13 

Murder in perpetration of, 8. 18, 8.22 

Prevention of, 8. 34 

Proof of guilt, 8. 5, 8. 15 

Second and third-degree, 8. 4 

Spite or revenge, for, 8. 22 

Statute of limitations, none, 8. 4 

Time and place, 8. 6 

Description of, 8. 8 

Occupied or unoccupied, 8. 7 

Ownership of, 8. 7 

As cover up for, 8.27 

Burning, by, 4. 6, 4. 19 
Burning to defraud insurer. 

Economic conditions, relation to, 8. 24 

Incendiary origin, 8. 12 

Over-insurance as clue, 8. 13 
Circumstantial evidence, of incendiary origin, 8. 10 
Common law arson defined, 8. 2 

Accomplice, of, 8. 15 

Arsonist, of, 8. 11 
Economic conditions, relation to, 8.24 
Embezzlement, as cover for, 8. 26 
False pretenses, obtaining money from arson, 8. 18 
Family Bible, preservation of, 8. 12 

Incendiary index 464 

Firemen, by, 8. 33 
Fraud arsonist, 8.23, 8.24 

Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, proof of, 8. 5, 8. 15 
Incendiary origin of fire, 

Circumstantial evidence, proof by, 8. 10 

Confession, proof by, 8.11 

Direct evidence, proof by, 8. 10, 8. 12 

Expert testimony, proof by, 8. 12 

Witnesses, proof by, 8. 10 
Insurance policy, preservation of, 8. 12 
Interviewing party discovering fire, 8. 7 
Juvenile fires, 

Destructive and ornery type, 8.21 

Inquisitive type, 8. 19 

Sexually -intrigued type, 8. 20 
Kindred crimes to arson. 

False pretenses, obtaining money under, 8. 18 

Mail fraud, 8.17 

Sabotage, 8. 16 
Marriage license, preservation of, 8. 12 
Motive for arson, 8. 13 

As cover for, 8. 25 

In perpetration of, 8. 18, 8. 22 
National Board of Firewriters, by, 8. 1 
Over-insurance as clue to arson, 8. 13 
Policemen, by, 8. 33 
Purdue Arson School, 8. 34 
Pyromania, 8.20, 8. 28 to 8. 31 
Revenge arson, 8. 22 
Spite arsonists, 8. 22 
State arson bureau, by, 8.25 
Subpoena power of fire marshal, 8. 32 
Valued policy law, 8. 14 


INDICTMENTS ( See June Anne Devaney Murder Case ) 
Hatton Garden safe deposit robbery, 7. 12 

465 INDEX Interrogation 

INFERENCES ( See Interrogation) 

Facts, differentiation from, 3.10, 3.20, 17.10, 17.16 

INFORMATION ( See Interrogation; Interview ) 



Burning to defraud, 8. 4 


Arson, preservation in, 8. 12 


INTERROGATION ( See Hypnosis; Interview; Lie Detection ) 
Aggression, interrogator, tendency toward, 15. 30 
Aim of, 15.2 

Breaking down, 24. 3 

Guilty man, of, 23. 16 

Control during, 24. 15 

Interrogator, effect on, 16.20 

Loss of control through, 23. 6 

Cold shoulder technique, 22. 18 

Control by interrogator, 22. 4 

Intelligence, relation to, 22. 4 
Attorneys, presence at, 23. 12 
Blood samples following, 23.20 
Brainwashing, 22. 6 
Burglary complainant, 4. 2 
Character, appraisal of, 23. 17 
Childhood experiences, effect, 15. 10 
Citizen' s point of view, 24. 2 
Clothing, examination following, 23.20 
Communication problems, 

Accuracy, 17. 2 

Facts, separation from interferences, 17. 10, 17. 16 

Interrogation index 466 


Communication problems (Continued) 

Incompleteness of word pictures, 17. 9 

Inferences, separation from facts, 17. 10, 17. 16 

Mental image, producing same, 17. 13 

Misinterpretation of words, 17. 5 

Multiple -meaning of words, 17. 3, 17. 4 

Names of persons, 17. 8 

Static quality of words, 17. 7, 17. 8 

Time, reference to, 17.6 
Complainant in burglary, 4. 2 
Conclusion of, 24. 14 

Fallacy of jumping to, 24. 13 
Court test of methods, 23. 5 
Criticism, avoidance of, 15. 35 
Damaging statements, acceptance of, 24. 4 
Defined, 16.2, 17.11, 22.1 

Home of suspect, in, 22. 3 

Officers entering and leaving, 23. 9 

Officers, interruptions by, 23. 11 

Police station, at, 22.3 

Telephone calls, 23.9 
Emotional offender, 16. 18 
Experience, role in, 23. 1 

Inferences, separation from, 17. 10, 17. 16 

Testing knowledge of, 17. 21 
Facts of case. 

Determination by interrogator, 16. 5 

Following, 24. 12 

Goal, as, 17. 12 

Knowledge of, importance, 24.7 

Pretense of full knowledge of, 22. 14 

Use in questions, 23. 19 
False incident technique, 22. 15 
Favors, promise of, effect, 15. 50 
Fear, effect, 15.6, 15. 11 

Behavior, observation through, 16. 15 

Dominant, search for, 16. 16 

False interpretations of, 16. 17 

467 INDEX Interrogation 


First, as basis for future, 15. 5 

Flattery, 24. 14 


Long-range, 16. 3, 16. 4 

Short-range, 16. 3, 16. 4 
Guilt feeling, effect on, 15.9, 15.23 
High pressure methods. 

Confrontation with evidence, 15. 49 

Favors, promise of, 15. 50 

Physical threats and violence, 15. 51 

Threats, 15. 50 

Utility of, 15.48 
History of, 

Direct accusation of suspect, 22. 5 

Leniency, promise of, 22. 7 

Listening outside suspect' s cell, 22. 10 

Opinion evidence, proof by, 22. 8 

Ordeal, trial by, 22.9 

Spanish Inquisition, rules from, 22. 14 

Sweet and sour technique, 22. 14 

Torture of suspect, 22. 5 
Hot cases, in, 24. 3, 24. 4 
Hypnosis, role in, 20. 1, 20. 15 
Incompatibility of suspect and interrogator, 16. 21 
Inconsistencies, handling of, 15. 38 

Avoidance of drawing, 17. 16 

Facts, separation from, 17. 10, 17. 16 

Observed things, from, 17. 22 

Sounds heard, from, 17.22 

Testing knowledge of, 17.21 

Fishing for, 15. 3 

Investigation of, 15.2 

Irrelevant, necessity of securing, 15.2,15.33 

Securing of, by, 15.2 

To gain, 17. 12 

Actor, realistic, as, 24. 14 

Aggression, tendency toward, 15. 30 

Aim of, 15.2 

Interrogation index 468 

Interrogator (Continued) 

Anger by, control, 24. 15 

Anger, effect on, 16. 20 

Attitude, serious, 24. 14 

Calm, keeping, 23. 6 

Clever questions, avoiding, 24. 12 

Criticism by, effect, 15. 35 

Defensive, avoidance of, 24. 15 

Explanation of position to subject, 24. 14 

Facts of case determined by, 16. 5 

False promises by, 24. 15 

Favorable qualities of, 16.23 

Flattery by, 24. 14 

Flexibility, 16.23 

Forces acting on, 15. 25 to 15. 31, 16.19 to 16. 22 

Inattention by, 24. 15 

Incompatibility with subject, 16. 21 

Inconsistencies, handling of, 15. 38 

Knowledge, pretense of lack of, 15. 42 

Language of subject, use of, 23. 19 

Listening by, 15. 34, 17.23 to 17.25 (See also 

Listening, herein) 
Open mind, keeping, 24. 13 
Over-bearing tactics, avoidance, 23. 6 
Patience of, 16.23, 23. 18 
Personal feelings of, discounting, 24. 12 
Profanity and lewdness by, 24. 14 
Public, pressure from, 15.28 
Questions ( See Questions, herein) 
Relieving pressure on, 15. 31 
Sarcastic remarks by, effect, 15. 35 
Second one, use of, 16. 22 
Self-control, 16.23 
Self-study to improve, 23. 8 
Sneering, superior attidude, effect, 24. 14 
Solution, pressure for, 15.29 
Speedy results, interest in, 15.27, 15.29 
Success, desire for, 15. 26, 15. 29 
Superiors, pressure from, 15. 28 
Tact of, 23. 7 
Two officers as, 23. 11, 23. 12 

469 INDEX Interrogation 

Interrogator (Continued) 

Upset, avoiding, 22. 14 

Wise-cracking by, effect, 24. 14 
Interviewing distinguished, 16. 2 ( See also Interview ) 
Lie detector ( See Lie Detection ) 
Listening, 17.23 to 17.25 
Low pressure methods, 15. 34 

Building up, 15. 43 

Lack of, 15. 17 
Mistakes by subject, natural, 24. 2 
Motive, search for, 15. 4 
New leads, search for, 15. 3 
Object of, knowledge of, 23. 14 
Observation (See Feelings, herein) 

Deductions from, erroneous, 16. 14 

Distorting of, 16. 13 

Feeling, through behavior, 16. 15 

Inferences, from, 17. 22 

Interpretation, 16. 11, 16. 12 

Phenomena, explanation of, 17. 15 

Sizing up interviewee, 16. 9 

Subconscious, 16. 10 
Open-ended question, 15. 39 
Phenomena, explanation of, 17. 15 
Physical characteristics. 

Eye movements, 23. 17 

Facial expressions, 23. 17 

Mouth movements, 23. 17 
Physical examination following, 23.20 
Physical reactions to, 15. 45 to 15. 47 
Physical violence, threats of, 15.51 
Police officers. 

Fear of, 15. 11 

Hatred of, 15. 13 
Polygraph, effect on, 24. 11 

Without, 24. 11 
Practical experience, role in, 23. 25 
Pre-interview, substitute in absence of, 23. 13 
Pre -investigation, importance of, 23. 13 
Preparation for, 16. 18 

Interrogation index 470 


Privacy, conducted in, 15. 37, 24. 9 


False, 24. 15 
Leniency, of, 22. 7 

Promptness, importance of, 24. 3 

Psychological therapist, comparison with, 15. 1 

Purpose of, 24. 16 


Amplification, requesting, 17. 20 
Articles seized by police, 23. 18 
Careful and scrupulous, 23.6 
Converted, use of, 17. 19 
Detail, requesting, 17. 20 
Direct, danger in using, 15. 41 
Facts of case, inclusion in, 23. 19 
Framing properly, 15. 40, 23. 8 
Fresh material from subject, 15. 41 
Gaps in answers, filling in, 23. 18 
Leading, 17. 14, 17. 18 
List of, advance preparation, 23. 12 
Obverted, 17. 19 
Open-ended, 15. 39 
Precise, danger of, 22. 14 
Pre -judging suspect, danger, 23. 18 
Repetition by subject, 23. 16 

Reprisal, fear of, effect, 15. 12 

Revenge or punishment motive, 15. 24 

Sarcastic remarks, avoidance of, 15. 35 

Semantics of, 17. 1 to 17. 25 

Setting ( See Distractions, herein ) 

Chair for subject, location, 24. 8 

Lighting on suspect' s face, 23. 10 

Microphone in wall, 24. 8 

Neutral or unfamiliar grounds, 22. 3 

Official looking room, 23. 9 

People entering room, 24. 8 

Police building, 23. 9 

Seating of suspect, 23. 10 

Selection, 24.8 

Sound-proof room, 24. 8 

Two officers present, when, 23. 10, 23. 11 

471 INDEX Interrogation 


Setting (Continued) 

Windowless room, 24. 8 

Sex offenders, 23. 10 

Shorthand experts, presence at, 23. 12 

Silence, lever, as, 15. 8 


Reduced to writing, 23. 11 
Testing through, 17. 17 


Conduct of, 24. 10 

Microphones, use by, 24. 10 

Record of proceedings kept by, 24. 10 

Subject ( See Observation, herein ) 
Actions of, 15. 44 to 15. 47 
Adapting to, 23. 7 
Appraisal of, 23. 14 
Arguments with, 23. 18 
Background, knowledge of, 16. 6 
Checking answers of, 23. 18 
Classification by interrogator, 16. 7 
Crying by, 22. 14 

Data concerning, gathering of, 16. 8 
Emphasis of statement by, 23. 16 
Establishing relationship with, 15. 5 
Excuses by, permitting, 22. 14 
Fairness to, 24. 13 
Feeding of, 22. 14 
First offender, reaction, 23. 15 
Gaps in answers, 23. 18 
Humor of, false, 23. 16 
Innocent person, reaction, 23. 15 
Interest of, recognizing, 24. 14 
Knowledge of background, 24. 7 
Lowering self to level of, 24. 14 
Mental processes, determining, 23. 8 
Mistakes, natural, by, 24. 2 
Nervousness, 24. 2 

Old offenders, resistance from, 23. 15 
Personal feelings of, discounting, 24. 12 
Perspiration by, 15. 46 
Preliminary contact with, 16. 4 

Interrogation index 472 

Subject (Continued) 

Relationship with, establishing, 15. 5 

Repetition of questions or answers, 23. 16 

Sizing up, 16. 9 

Sleep of, time allowed for, 22. 14 

Slips by, recognizing, 24. 15 

Smoking by, control of, 22. 14 

Stiffening in chair, 15. 45 

Subconscious observation of, 16. 10 

Talking by, encouragement of, 24. 12 

Tears, 15. 47 

Thirst, 15.45 

Time judgements by, 23. 18 

Tremors, 15. 46 
Sweet and sour technique, 22. 14, 22. 16 
Sympathetic approach, 23. 19 
Talking behavior. 

Childhood experiences, effect, 15. 10 

Court appearance, desire for, 15. 19 

Creating, 15. 6 

Fear, role in, 16.6, 15. 11 

Forces acting against, 15. 7 to 15. 17 

Forces acting on interrrogator 15.25 to 15.31 
( See Interrogator, herein ) 

Forces encouraging, 15. 18 to 15. 24 

Guilt feeling, effect, 15.9, 15.23 

Hatred of police, effect, 15. 13 

Importance of witness, feeling of, 15. 36 

Irrelevant talk, danger in eliminating, 15.2, 15.33 

Knowledge, pretending lack of, 15.42 

Listening, role in, 15. 34 

Memory, lack of, 15. 17 

Motives, 15. 6 

Please other people, desire to, 15.22 

Police authority, fear of, 15. 11 

Preferential treatment, desire for, 15.21 

Privacy, effect, 15. 37 

Promoting flow of talk, 15. 32 to 15. 37 

Protecting another person, 15. 14 

Punishment, desire for, 15.24 

Relief from guilt feeling, 15. 23 

473 INDEX Interview 


Talking behavior (Continued) 

Reprisal, fear of, 15. 12 

Revenge, desire for, 15.24 

Silence as lever, 15. 8 

Strangeness of situation, effect, 15. 16 

Testifying, fear of, 15. 15 

Withholding of information, fear of, 15.20 
Teams, relay, use of, 22. 14 
Third degree. 

Anger as prelude to, 24. 15 

Defined, 24. 5 

Faults, 24.6 

Influential citizens, use on, 24. 6 

Mental torture as, 24. 5 
Threats, ability to carry out, 15. 50 
Time of, record, 23. 23 
Training in, neglect of, 18. 1 

Cold shoulder technique, 22. 18 

False incident technique, 22. 15 

False lineup technique, 22.20 

Hypothetical situation, 22. 17 

Overheard conversation technique, 22. 19 

Sweet and sour technique, 22. 14, 22. 16 

Telling a story backwards, 22. 21 

Limitations on number of, 24. 9 

Relationship with, establishing, 15. 5 

Seats for, 24. 9 
Women, sex offenses concerning, 23. 10 
Words (See Communication problems, herein) 

INTERROGATOR ( See Interrogation, at Interrogator ) 

INTERVIEW ( See Interrogation; Lie Detection ) 
Anger, interviewer, effect on, 16. 20 
Defined, 16.2, 22.1 

Interruptions avoided, 25. 12 

Interview index 474 

INTERVIEW (Continued) 

Distractions (Continued) 

Removal of, 25. 12 

Telephones cut off, 25. 12 
Emotional offenders, 16. 18 
Examinee ( See Interviewee, herein ) 
Facts of case, determination by interviewer, 16. 5 
Fear of interviewer, 25. 2 

Behavior, observation through, 16. 15 

Dominant, search for, 16. 16 

False interpretations of, 16. 17 

Fringe information, 25. 5 to 25. 8 

Goals, 16.3, 16.4 
Incompatibility of interviewer and interviewee, 16. 21 
Informality of, 25. 13 

Polygraph, obtained through, 18. 8 

Witness, free flow from, 25.1,25.7,25.10 
Interpretation of data, 25. 14 

Interrogation distinguished, 16.2 ( See Interrogation ) 
Interviewee ( See Observation, herein ) 

Background, knowledge of, 16.6 

Classification by interviewer, 16. 7 

Data concerning, gathering of, 16. 8 

Preliminary contact with, 16. 4 

Sizing up, 16. 9 

Subconscious observation of, 16. 10 

Aggressiveness of, effect, 25. 5, 25. 6 

Anger, effect on, 16. 20 

Criticism by, 25.8 

Cross-checking by, 25. 17 

Facts of case determined by, 16. 5 

Failure, avoidance of, 25. 4 

Favorable qualities of, 16. 23 

Fear of, 25.2 

Forces affecting, 16. 19 to 16. 22 

Frustration by witness, effect, 25. 4 

Incompatibility with interviewee, 16. 21 

Interest in everything, appearance of, 25. 9 

Irrelevant material, handling of, 25. 5 to 25. 7 

475 INDEX Interview 

INTERVIEW (Continued) 

Interviewer (Continued) 
Listening by, 25. 7 
Notes taken by, 25. 17 
Punishing acts by, 25.8 
Sarcasm by, 25. 8 
Second one, use of, 16. 22 
Specific inquiries by, 25. 18 
Speedy results, desire for, 25. 4 
Memory, 25. 11 
Observation ( See Feelings, herein ) 

Deductions from, erroneous, 16. 14 
Distorting, 16. 13 
Feeling, through behavior, 16. 15 
Interpretation, 16. 11, 16. 12 
Sizing up interviewee, 16. 9 
Subconscious, 16. 10 
Preparation for, 16. 18 

Open-end, use of, 25.9, 25.10 
Stream of, avoiding, 25. 9, 25. 10 

Comfortable atmosphere and surroundings, 25. 13 
Neutral or familiar grounds, 22. 2 
Permissive atmosphere, 25. 12 
Privacy, 25. 12 
Talking behavior. 

Pressures against, 25.2 
Pressures favoring, 25. 3 
Time allowed for, 25. 12 
Truth, difficulty of hiding, 25.1 
Violent persons, setting for, 22. 13 

Blocking or confusion in discussion, 25. 14 

Censorship tendency by, 25. 1 

Connecting by examiner, 25. 8 

Curiosity concerning case, 25. 3 

Ending interview swiftly, 25.3 

Examiner, fear of, 25. 2 

Fidgeting in chair by, 25. 15 

Flow of information from free, 25. 1, 25.7, 25.10 

Fringe information from, 25. 5 to 25. 8 

Interview index 476 

INTERVIEW (Continued) 

Witness (Continued) 

Guilt, feeling of, 25. 2 
Important, making to feel, 25.8 
Inconsistencies in story, 25. 17 
Involvement, personal, fear of, 25.2 
Irrelevant material given by, 25. 5 to 25. 7 
Licking lips by, 25. 15 
Memory of, aiding, 25. 11 
Open-end questions to, 25. 9, 25. 10 
Pride in giving information, 25. 3 
Public relations through, 25. 8 
Resentment by, 25.6 
Sensitive areas of discussion by, 25. 14 
Specific questions to, 25. 18 
Stammering in speech by, 25. 16 
Strange situation for, effect, 25.2 
Topic, shift in flow by, 25. 16 
Uniform, fear of, 25.2 
Withholding information by, 25. 6 
Women, of, setting for, 22. 13 

INVESTIGATION ( See Burglary Investigation; Murder Inves- 
tigation ) 


Interrogation, during, 15. 2, 15. 33 
Interview, during, 25. 5 to 25. 7 


Hatton Garden Safe Deposit robbery, in, 7. 7 to 7. 12 

JUDGES' RULES, 21. 4 to 21. 16, 23.2 ( See Confessions ; 
Statements ) 

Area and jurisdiction, 13. 1 
Arrest of suspect, 13. 22 
Bloodstains, 13.6,13.14,13.24, 13.26 
Clothing, 13.14, 13.23, 13.24 

477 INDEX Language 


Conclusions from, 13. 29 

Confession by suspect, 13. 23, 13. 26 

Corpse, 13. 3 et seq, 13. 12 

Description of suspect from clues at scene, 13. 14 


Comparison with suspect' s clothing, 13. 25 
Footprints, comparison with, 13.25 
Footprints in wax, from, 13. 8, 13. 12 
Victim' s body, samples found on, 13. 12 
Wall, from, samples, 13. 6 
Windows, from, samples, 13. 6 

Finger and palm prints, 13. 9 et seq 

Footprints, 13.3, 13.6 et seq, 13.23, 13.25 

Hair, 13.6, 13.12, 13.25 

Indictment of suspect, 13.27 

Interviews, 13.11, 13.13, 13.26 

Photographs, 13.6, 13.8 

Post-mortem examination, 13. 12 

Resident, deduction of suspect as, 13. 14 

Route of entry and escape, 13. 5, 13. 13, 13. 26 

Scene of crime, 13. 2, 13. 3 

Sexual molestation, motive, as, 13. 4 

Statement of suspect, 13. 23, 13. 26 

Trial and conviction of suspect, 13.27 

Winchester bottle, 13.3, 13.9, 13.23 


Federal Bureau of Investigation, 10. 9 

JURY, 10.26 

JUVENILE FIRES ( See Incendiary Fire Investigation ) 



KUBIE, 20.5, 20.6 

LANGUAGE, 23. 19 

Larcenies index 478 



LAUNDRY MARKS, 5. 13 ( See Hearne-Trendle Murder Case ) 

LEADING QUESTIONS, 17.14, 17.18, 23.23 



LIE DETECTION ( See Hypnosis; Interrogation; Interview ; 
Truth Serum ) 

Academy of Polygraph Examiners, 18. 31 
American Academy for Scientific Interrogation, 18. 31 
Bible, quotations from, 18. 18 
Blood pressure, 

Arm, reading from, 18. 11 

Average cup, 18. 11 

Cup, early use of, 18. 3 

Muscle movements determined from, 18. 9 

Throat, reading from, 18. 11 

Additional, 18.30 

Court, use in, 18. 32 

Role in examination, 18.28, 18.29 

Polygraph expected, to obtain, 18. 5 

Pre-interview to obtain, 18. 16 

Threat of examination used to obtain, 18. 21 
Defense to charge, as, 18. 33 
Error, percent of, 18. 34 

Card tricks, use with, 18. 28 

Charts, use in, 18.28, 18.29 

Conclusions from, reaching, 18. 29 

Confessions obtained upon threat of, 18. 21 

History of examinee, taking, 18.23 

Number test as control, 18. 28 

479 INDEX Lie 

LIE DETECTION (Continued) 

Examination (Continued) 

Peak attention test, 18. 30 

Phrasing the question, 18. 25 

Scheduling, 18.21 

Time for, 18. 19 to 18.21 

Ex-convict as, 18. 34 

Questions read by, 18. 26 

Control of examination by, 18. 19 to 18. 21 

Court, appearance in, 18. 32 

Qualification as, 18. 31 

Role in, 18.6 
History of, 

Chinese rice test, 18. 2 

Indian jackass test, 18. 2 

Joust, trial by, 18. 2 

Ordeal, trial by, 18. 2 

Rock and wheel, 18. 2 

Scientific beginnings, 18. 3 
Hypnosis, use in connection with, 20. 6, 20. 12 
Interrogation, effect on, 24. 11 

Blood pressure cup, average, 18. 11 

Polygraph developed by, first, 18. 4 

Pre-interview to obtain confession, 18. 16 

Psychogalvinometer on, 18. 13 

Standard set by, 18. 9 
Muscle movements, 

Legs, in, 18. 10 

Measurement of, 18. 9, 18. 10 

Neck, in, 18. 3 

Toes, in, 18. 10 
National Polygraph organizations, 18. 31 

Emotional changes in examinee, 18. 27 

Examinee before second test, 18. 27 

Muscle movements, of, 18. 9 

Personality of examinee, search for, 18.27 

Pre-interview, suspect during, 18. 22 
Ohio Police Polygraph Examiner' s, 18. 31 

Lie INDEX 480 

LIE DETECTION (Continued) 
Physical clues, 

Ears, wiggling, 18. 3 

Examination, during, 18.27 

Eyes, flick in, 18. 3 

Neck muscles, 18. 3 

Attempt to beat, 18. 34 

Average blood pressure cup, 18. 11 

Confessions obtained by, 18. 5 

Courtroom, use in, 18. 32 

Elimination of suspects by, 18. 7 

England, never used in, 23. 4 

Highley, the, 18.9, 18. 11 

Hypnosis, use with, 20. 6, 20. 12 

Information leading to evidence from, 18. 8 

Interrogation without, 24. 11 

Keeler, developed by, 18. 4 

Larson, developed by, 18. 4 

Limitations in interrogation, 24. 11 

Nervous system reactions measured by, 25. 14 

Objections to, 18. 34 

Policemen, use on, 18. 33 

Reed's, 18.9, 18.1 

Sale to police departments, 18. 5 

Stilding's, 18.9, 18.11, 18.13 

Study and training in, 18. 1 

Trial by ordeal, as, 22.9 
Pre -interview. 

Concluding, 18.24 

Confession, to obtain, 18. 16 

History of examinee, taking, 18.23 

Observation of suspect during, 18. 22 

Omission of, 18. 16 

Questioning during, 18. 23 

Setting for, 18.22 
Pre -investigation. 

Details, importance of, 18. 19 

Importance of, 18. 19 

Outside investigation, 18. 19 

Reports, fallacy of using, 18. 19 
Procedure in, 18. 15 et seq 

481 INDEX Lock 

LIE DETECTION (Continued) 

Attaching to suspect, 18. 13 

Faraday reaction, measuring, 18. 13 

Highley' s polygraph, on, 18.13, 18.9 
Psychological value of, 18. 32 

Control, 18.25, 18.28, 18.29 

Guilt-complex, 18.25 

Limited, 18. 14 

Phrasing of, 18.25 

Pre -interview, in, 18.23 

Reading by examinee, 18. 26 
Refusal to take test, 18. 33 

Chest tube measuring, 18. 12 

Early measurement of, 18. 3 

Bible, quoting of, 18. 18 

Developing your own, 18. 18 

Keeler' s, 18. 16 

Reed's, 18. 17, 18.23 

Verbal beating, 18. 18 
Training in, practical, 18. 3 

LIGHTING, 23. 10 



Interrogation, during, 15.34, 17.23 to 17.25 
Interview, during, 25. 7 



LOCK PICKING ( See Burglary Investigation ) 


Locks INDEX 482 


Burglar proof, 6. 12 

Pry material from forcing of, 5.9 

MAIL FRAUD, 8. 17 



Arson, preservation in, 8. 12 



MEDICAL EXAMINER ( See Murder Investigation) 

MEMORY ( See Interrogation; Interview ) 

MENTAL ILLNESS ( See Truth Serum ) 


Determining, 23. 8 

Interrogation, problems in, 17. 13 

Observation, changes in, 3. 10 

MICROPHONE, 20.6, 24.8 

MILEAGE RECORDS, 11.13, 11.14 



MORGUE (See Murder Investigation) 

MOTIVE ( See Dump Murder Case; Interrogation; Potters Bar 
Golf Course Murder Case l 
Arson, for, 8. 13 
Talking behavior, for, 15. 6 

"^83 INDEX Murder 

MOTOR VEHICLES ( See Burglary Investigation; Dump Mur- 
der Case; Hearne-Trendle Murder Case, at Motor lorr y; 
Murder Investigation; Tailor Murder Case, at Automo- 
bile of suspect; Tire Prints ) 

Burglary, use in, 4.21, 4.22 

Communication between, 2. 11 

Description of, 2.5, 11.7, 11.11 

License numbers, faulty observation of, 3. 12 

Police, use by, 6.23 

Scotland Yard, use by, 2. 11 

Surveillance, use in, 2.11 

MURDER BAG, 1. 16, 1. 17 

MURDER INVESTIGATION ( See Inc endiary Fire Investiga- 
tion) ^— 

Arson, in perpetration of, 8.18, 8.22 


Bullets taken from body, 1. 13 
Cartridge cases, comparison, 10. 14 
Expert, examination of scene by, 9.7 
Pellets from victims, comparison, 10. 14 

Blood groupings. 

Limitations in solving crime, 9. 2 
Scene, stains found at, 1.21 

Blood stains. 

Clothing or draperies, on, 1.21 
Form and position as clues, 1. 14 
Ground, on, preservation, 1.21 
Grouping at laboratory, 1.21 
Photographs, 10. 30, 10. 31 
Plants, on, preservation, 1.21 
Preservation of, 10. 22 
Removal from object at scene, 1.21 
Suspect, on, 10. 30, 10. 31 
Upholstery, on, preservation, 1.21 
Wet, removal in dropping tube, 1.21 

Book matches at scene, 1. 6 

Cause of death, 

Determination by coroner, 1. 13, 9. 15 

Murder index 484 

Cause of death (Continued) 

Jumping to conclusions, danger, 10. 20 

Photographs, use to prove, 10. 29 
Checklist for first officer at scene, 1. 10 
Cigarette butts. 

How extinguished, as clue, 1. 20 

Lipstick smears on paper, 1. 20 

Place of crime determined from, 9. 13 

Receptacle for, 1. 15 

Saliva on, blood grouping from, 1. 20 

Tobacco, type of, 1.20 
Cleveland Homicide Unit (See Cleveland Homicide Unit,9.22) 

Blood stains on, preservation, 1.21 

Dust or hair on, preservation, 1. 22, 9. 10 

Examination for clues, 9. 10, 9. 14 

Hat left at scene, 9. 25, 9. 29 

Identity of victim through, 10. 4 

Morgue, examination at, 9. 14 

Victim, state of, 1. 13 

Constitutional rights of accused, 10. 26 

Corroboration, 10. 28 

Force and coercion, use in, 10. 27 

Photographs, use to corroborate, 10. 29 

Age of victim, determination, 10. 6 

Cleveland Homicide Unit, cooperation with, 9. 22 

Cooperation with homicide unit, 9. 4, 9. 22 

Deputies, homicide unit members as, 9. 4 

Jumping to conclusions, danger, 10.20 

Pathological examination by, 9. 14, 9.15 

Preservation of evidence by, 1. 17, 9. 15 

Responsibility for, 9. 3 

Dental chart of, 10. 6 

Examination for clues, 1. 13, 9. 10 to 9. 14, 10. 3 

Fingernails ( See Fingernails, herein) 

Identification other than by fingerprints, 10. 8 

Morgue, examination at, 9. 14, 9. 15 

Moving of, 1.9,1.10, 9.5, 9.12 

485 INDEX Murder 

Corpse (Continued) 

Personal papers, 9. 14 

Photographs of, 9. 9, 9. 12 

Scars and tattoos on, 9. 14, 10. 19 

Stab wounds on, 10, 21 

Stomach' s contents as identification aid, 10. 19 

Touching of, 1.9, 1.10, 9.5, 9.12 

Underside, examination of, 9. 12 
Dust, samples of, 1.22, 9.10 

Experts, importance of calling immediately, 13. 29 

Corpse, examination for clues, 9. 10 

Examination for clues, 9. 10, 10. 3 

Injured persons, examination of, 1.8 

Missing, 10.21 

Expert, role of, 1.18, 9.7 

FBI, cooperation of, 10. 7, 10. 9 

Firearms, on, 1.6, 1.10 

Identification of victim through, 10. 4 

Photographs of, 11. 15 

Police officers, of, 1.5, 1.10 

Suspect, identification through, 10. 10 

Victim, of, 10.21 

Distance fired, 1. 13 

Fingerprints on, preservation, 1.6, 1,10 

Transfer at scene, 1.6 
First officer at scene, duties, 1. 3 to 1. 10 

At scene, 1. 19 

Preservation of, 1. 19 

Search for, 1. 19, 9.7 

General rules of procedure. 

Establishment of, 9. 5 

Number of investigators, 9. 8 
Glass, samples of, 1.22 

Clothing, on, preservation, 1. 22, 9. 10 

Weapons, on, preservation, 1.22 

Murder index 486 


Handwriting, suspect' s , comparison of, 10. 11 
Hanging body. 

Artificial respiration for, 1. 9, 1. 10 

Preservation of knot, 1. 9, 1. 10 
Hat found at scene. 

Name and address in, 14. 5 
Hearsay evidence, fallacy of relying on, 10. 17 
Injured person. 

Fingernails, examination for clues, 1.8 

Hair, examination for clues, 1.8 

Removal of, 1.8, 1. 10 
Measurements, 1. 15 
Morgue, at, 9. 14, 9. 15 
Murder bag, Scotland Yard' s, 1. 16, 1. 17 

Articles seized, list of, 1.23 

Changing conditions, of, 1.7, 1.10, 1.15 

Clothing of victim, material, 1.22 

Clothing, state of, 1. 13 

Corpse, location of, 1.9, 1.10, 9.11 

Hanging bodies, position, 1.9, 1.10 

Injured person, position of body, 1. 8 

Junior officer, by, 1.11 

Running account of investigation, 1. 11, 9. 11 
Objects left at scene, officers, by, 1.6, 1.10 
Officer in charge of. 

Notations by junior officer, 1. 11 

Report from first officer, 1.11 
Paint fragments, samples of, 1.22 
Papers found at scene, preservation of, 1. 19 
Pathological examination, 1.13, 9.3, 9.4 

Cause of death, determination, 1. 13 

Coroner, by, 9.14, 9.15, 10.3 

Time of death, determination, 1. 13 
Pawn ticket, tracing suspect through, 10. 15 
Photographers, newspaper, control at scene of, 9. 6 

Accurate reproduction of scene, 9. 18, 9. 19 

Aerial, 10.23 

Body of deceased, 9. 9, 9. 12 

Confessions, use to corroborate, 10. 29 

487 INDEX Murder 

Photographs (Continued) 

Direction by investigating officer, 9. 7, 9. 18 

Extraneous evidence near body, 9. 9 

Fingerprints, of, 11. 15 

Moving objects prior to taking, 9. 18 

Outer perimeter, from, 9. 7 

Photographic study of case, 14. 1 to 14. 15 ( See 
also Tailor Murder Case) 

Retouching, effect, 9. 19 

Scale and conditions when taken, 1. 12 

Scene, of crime, 1. 12, 9. 7 

Suspect, identification through, 10. 16 

Testimony of photographer, 1. 12, 9. 11 

Trial, use at, 9. 17, 9. 19 
Place of crime, determination from evidence, 9. 13 
Poisoning, search for storage place, 1. 19 
Police forces, co-operation of, 13. 29 
Police reports, improper, 10. 24 
Prescriptions, tracing victim through, 10. 18 
Preservation of evidence. 

Coroner, by, 9. 15 

First officers at scene, by, 1. 2, 9. 5, 9. 23 

Identification marks, 9. 16 

Packaging and sealing, 9.15, 9. 16 

Samples of clues, 1. 17 

Trial, for presentation at, 9. 15 
Public, co-operation of, 13.29 
Reporters, control of, 1.4, 1.10, 9.6 
Responsibility for. 

Coroner, when, 9. 3 

Number of investigators, 9. 8 

Officer in charge of, 1. 11 et seq 

Police investigators, 9. 3 
Robbery during, 10. 13 

Discussion of case with, 1. 23 

Objects examined by, 1. 19 

Proof of evidence by, 1. 23 

Role in solving crime, 9. 1, 9. 20 
Searching, system of, 9. 9 
Securing the scene, 1.4,1.10,9.6, 10.17,10.18,13.29 

Murder index 488 


Sightseers, control of, 1. 4, 1.10, 9.6 
Ten fallacies of, 10. 1 
Time involved in, 9.3 

Tire prints, place of crime determined from, 9. 13 
Weapons ( See Potters Bar Golf Course Murder Case , 
at Murder weapon; SheilaAnnTuUey Murder Case ) 

Clues on, 1.22 

Examination of, 9. 14 

Inability to locate, 10. 22 

Detention at scene of crime, 1. 10, 1. 11, 9. 6 

Names and addresses, obtaining, 1. 10, 1. 11, 9. 6 
Wood splinters. 

Samples of, 1.22 

NAMES, 17.8 


NARCOTICS, 1.1 ( See Truth Serum ) 




NOTES ( See Murder Investigation, at Notations ) 
Body, found near, 10. 2 
Interviewer, taken by, 25. 17 
Observations, of, 2.2 
State of victim' s clothing, 1. 13 
Surveillance, use in, 2. 13 

NUMBER TEST, 18. 28 

OBSERVATION ( See Description; Interrogation; Interview ; 
Lie Detection; Surveillance ) 

Ambiguous terminology in descriptions, 3.21 

489 INDEX Oxyacetylene 

OBSERVATION (Continued) 

Clothing, visible signs on, 2. 7 

Color-blindness, 3. 12 

Conclusions from, drawing, 3. 10 

Conditions necessary for, 3. 10 

Defined, 2.2, 3. 10 

Developing powers of, 2.6 

Discriminations, fine, inability to make, 3. 19 

Distracting influences, effect, 3. 15 to 3. 18 

Emotional poise, lack of, in, 3.21 

Faulty observation demonstration. 

First reporter, 3. 3, 3. 4 

Second reporter, 3. 5, 3. 6 

Summary of three reports, 3. 9 

Third reporter, 3. 7, 3. 8 
Inadequate knowledge of the field, 3. 19 
Inferences and facts, differentiation of, 3. 10, 3. 20 
Keeping observation, 2.8 

License numbers on motor vehicles, faulty, 3. 12 
Mental image, change in, 3. 10 
Mental or emotional poise, lack of, 3.21 
Notation of, 2.2 
Objectives in, 3. 10 

Past experience patterns as obstacle to, 3. 14 
Physical limitations, 3. 12 
Point of view as obstacle to, 3. 13 
Prejudice as obstacle to, 3.11 
Profession or trade, characteristics of, 2.7 
System of, 2.2 
Warehouses, of, 6. 16 

OIL SPOTS ( See Hearne-Trendle Murder Case ) 
OPEN-END QUESTION, 15.39, 25.9, 25.10 
OPIATES, 19.6 


OXYACETYLENE APPARATUS (See Burglary Investigation) 

Paint INDEX 490 

PAINT ( See Burglary Investigation; Murder Investigation ; 
Potters~Bar Golf Course Murder Case ) 


PATHOLOGICAL EXAMINATION ( See Murder Investigation ) 

PATIENCE, 16.23 

PAWN TICKETS ( See Murder Investigation; Turnpike Mur- 
ders ) 





PHOTOGRAPHS ( See Burglary Investigation; Hearne-Trendle 
Murder Case; June Anne Devaney Murder Case; Murder 
Investigation; Sam Sheppard Murder Case; Selma Arvel 
Murder Case; Sheila Ann TuUey Murder Case; Tailor 
Murder Case ) 

Description of, 2. 3 



PLASTER CASTS (See Hearne-Trendle Murder Case, at Tire 
prints; Tailor Murder Case, at Shoe print ) 

POISONING ( See Murder Investigation ) 


POLYGRAPH (See Lie Detection, at Polygraph) 

491 INDEX Preliminary 

POST-MORTEM EXAMINATIONS, 11.4, 11.6, 13.12 


Blood stains on murder weapon, 12. 2 

Cause of death, 12. 3 

Conclusion, 12. 13 

Confession of suspect, 12. 11 

Corpse, 12.2, 12.3 

Hair on murder weapon, 12. 2 

House-to-house canvass, 12. 8 


Mental institution escapees, 12.7 

Parents of suspect, 12. 8 

Residents of area, 12. 8 

Sexual offenders, 12.7 

Suspect, of, 12. 11 
Motive, 12.3, 12.5, 12.6 
Murder weapon, 12. 2 
Paint, on skull of corpse, 12.2 
Palm prints, 

Factory workers, of, 12.9 

Files, comparison with, 12.6 

Identical print found, 12. 10 

Murder weapon, on, 12. 2 

Residents of, 12. 9 
Sexual motive for crime, 12. 2, 12. 3 
Sexual offenders, interviews of, 12. 7 
Statement of suspect, 12. 12 

PRE -INVESTIGATION, 23. 13 ( See Lie Detection ) 



Defined, 3. 11 

Observation, as obstacle to, 3. 11 


Burglary scene, of, 4. 2, 5. 1 

Judges Rules, under, 21.7, 21.10, 23.2, 23.3 

Preliminary index 492 

Subject of interrogation, 16. 4 

PRESCRIPTIONS ( See Murder Investigation ) 

PRIDE, 25.3 


PRIVACY, 15.37, 24.9 


PRY MARKS, 5.4, 5.11 



Interrogator compared with, 15. 1 

PSYCHOSIS, 19.4, 19.7 




Definition, 8.28 

Female, 8. 30 

Robert Segee, 8. 29 

Sexual maladjustment, connection with, 8. 20, 8. 29, 

Surveillance of suspects, 8. 31 

REED' S POLYGRAPH, 18.1, 18.9 



RENTER' S RECORD, 7. 3, 7. 4 

493 INDEX Safes 



REPORTERS, CONTROL OF, 1. 4, 1. 10, 9. 6 


Search of, 7.8 

RIP JOB, 4.4, 4.16, 4.17, 4.32 

ROBBERY ( See Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Robbery; Mur- 
der Investigation; Turnpike Murders ) 


Downspout, climbing to gain entry, 5.6 

Entry for, 4. 11, 4.34 

Footprints, 5.6 

Grappling hook used in, 4. 11 

ROPE, 5.6 


Entry and escape, tracing of ( See June Anne Devaney 

Murder Case, at Route of entry and escape ) 
Motor vehicle, tracing of, 11.9 


Arson, kindred crime to, 8. 16 

Federal Bureau of Investigation, jurisdiction, 8. 16 

SAFECRACKING ( See Burglary Investigation ) 


Ballast ( See Burglary Investigation, at Safe ballast ) 

Defined, 4.24 

Design of, 5. 14 

Double door, 4.27 

False keys, 5. 14 

Kieselguhr, use as ballast, 5. 15 

Round door, 4. 28 

Sam INDEX 494 

Bloodstains, 10.30, 10.31 
Burglary motive destroyed, 10. 31 
Cleveland Homicide Unit, participation in, 10.30, 10.31 

Blood surrounding, 10. 30 

Blood stains, 10. 30, 10. 31 

Couch where suspect slept, 10. 30 

Robbery motive destroyed by, 10. 30 
Story of suspect, 10. 30 
Time of death, 10. 30 

SCARS, 9.14 

SCHIZOPHRENIA, 11.20, 13.18 

SCIENTISTS ( See Murder Investigation ) 



SELF-INCRIMINATION, 20. 12, 20. 14 


Conclusion, 26. 14 

Interview, next door neighbor, of, 26. 9 

Photographic study of case, 26. 11 

Problem to be solved, 26. 11 

Scene of crime. 

Note left by Helen, 26. 7 


Blood spots, study of, 26. 12 (1) 
Car, checking position of front seat, 26. 12 (8) 
Denver police, check for glass cuts, 26. 12 (7) 
Handwriting sample from Helen, 26.12 (5) 
Interrogation of George, 26. 12 (11) 

495 INDEX Sheila 

Solution (Continued) 

Knife, check for fingerprints, 26. 12 (9) 
Long-distance call from Gertrude to Helen, 26. 12 

Neighborhood of Arvel residence, check, 26. 12(2) 
Physician attending Helen, report of, 26. 12 (6) 
Police records of Gertrude Baird' s accident, 

26. 12 (3) 
True story, 26. 13 
Type of blood on George' s clothes, 26. 12 (10) 

SEMANTICS, 17. 1 to 17. 25 



Determination from footprints, 5. 1 
Juvenile fires, relation to, 8. 20 
Molestation, as motive, 12.2, 12.3, 13.4 
Pyromania, connection with, 8. 20, 8. 29, 8. 31 

SEX OFFENDERS, 12.7, 13.18, 23.10 

Background, 10.21 
Blood stains, discovery of, 10. 22 
Cause of death, 10. 22 
Cleveland Homicide Unit, participation in, 10.21 to 

Confession of suspect, 10.25, 10.28 
Corpse, 10.21 

Criminal record of suspect, 10. 25 
Fingernails, missing, 10.21 
Fingerprints, 10.21 

Murder weapon, inability to locate, 10. 22 
Neighborhood interviews, 10. 23 
Photographs, aerial, 10. 23 
Police reports, improper, 10. 24 
Search of area, 10. 22 

Sheila index 496 

Trial of suspect, 10. 28 

SHOE PRINTS, 9.27, 9.29 

SHOES, 5.12, 5.25 

SHOPBREAKERS ( See Burglary Investigation, at Shops ) 
Defined, 6. 1 


SIGHTSEERS, CONTROL OF, 1.4, 1.10, 9.6 


Confession, written warning before, 23. 4 
Statements, of ( See Statements ) 

SILENCE, 15.8 

SKETCH, 23.19 


SLEEP, 20.4, 20.5, 22.14 

SMOKING, 22. 14 


STAB WOUNDS, 10.21, 11.4 


Admissibility, 21.13, 23.2 

Clearing suspects, used to, 21.12, 21.13, 23.2 

Closing affidavit, 23.23 

Conditions taken under, notation of, 23.23 

Corrections of errors, by accused, 10. 26 

Corroboration of, 23. 24 

Judges Rules for admissibility, 21. 16, 23.2 

Leading questions, avoiding, 23. 23 

497 INDEX Suicide 

STATEMENTS (Continued) 

Correction by accused, 23. 23 

Intentional, making of, 23. 23 
Reading prior to signature, 10. 26 

Accused, of, 10. 26 

Judges Rules for admissibility, 21. 16, 23. 2 

Time for, 23. 23 
Sketch or diagram, attaching to, 23. 19 
Stenographer as witness, 10. 26 
Validity of, protecting, 23. 23 
Voluntary, 21.11, 23.2, 23.4 

Warning, made before, admissibility, 21.13,23.2 
Witnesses to, 10. 26 
Writing, reducing to, 23.23 
Written, 10.26 

Judges Rules for admissibility, 21. 16, 23. 2 

Arson, none for, 8. 4 

STENOGRAPHER ( See Interrogation ) 
Delay in obtaining, effect, 22. 12 
Interrogation, presence at, 23. 12 
Witness to confession, as, 10. 26 

STILDING'S POLYGRAPH, 18.9, 18.11, 18.13 

STOLEN PROPERTY ( See Turnpike Murders ) 
Description, 5. 18 


STRONG BOX, 4. 20 


Fire marshal, power of, 8. 32 


Surveillance index 498 

SURVEILLANCE ( See Description; Observation ) 
Briefing of officer, importance, 2.8 
Building, from, 2. 13 

Change for phone calls, importance of, 2. 12 
Clothing of observing officer, 2. 12 
Concentration of observer, 2. 8 
Description of suspect, 2.2, 2.3 
Discovery of observer by suspect, 2.13 
Disguises, use in, 2. 12 

Hatton Garden safe deposit custodians, of, 7.6 
Motor vehicles, use in, 2. 11 
Neighborhood, suitability of observer to, 2.9 
Notations of observations, 2. 13 
Observation of suspect, defined, 2.2 
Pyromaniacs, of, 8.31 
Strange neighborhood, in, 2. 13 
Supervision by senior officer, 2. 8, 2. 13 
Trailing on foot, 2. 13 
Two officers, by, 2. 13 
Undercover officers, by, 2.9 
Walkie-talkie, use in, 2.11 
Women detectives, by, 2. 8, 2. 10 


Alibi of suspect, 9. 29 
Automobile of suspect. 

Discovery of, 9. 26 

Location, 14. 6 

Tracing, 14. 9 

Tracing to girl friend, 9. 28 
Background, 9. 23 
Blood stains. 

Clothing of suspect, on, 9. 29, 14. 12 

Scene of crime, at, 9.23, 14.3 
Cause of death. 

Bullet wound, 14. 4 

Coroner, determination by, 9. 24 

False conclusion by police, 9. 24 

Snap judgement of, 14. 4 
Circumstantial evidence, confrontation of suspect with, 

499 INDEX Teams 


Clothing, bloodstains on suspect's, 9. 29, 14.12, 14.13 

Confession of suspect, 9. 29, 14. 14 


Cause of death, determination by, 14. 4 

Socks of victim, examination by, 14. 12 

Condition of, 14. 3 

Examination of, 9. 24 

Location of, 9. 23, 9. 24, 14. 3 
Firearms, murder weapon, as, 9. 24 
First officer at scene, duties, 14. 2 

Comparison with suspect, 14. 13 

Grease from, comparison, 14. 13 

Picket fence, on, 14. 7 

Plaster cast of, 14. 8 

Scene of crime, near, 14. 7 

Unusual shoe and heel markings, 14. 8 
Hat left at scene. 

Discovery, 9. 25 

Photograph of, 14. 5 

Raindrops on, 9. 25, 9. 29 

Suspect, trying on, 9. 29 

Trying on suspect, 14. 13 

Water spots on, 14. 5 
Interview, suspect, of, 14. 10, 14. 13 
Neighborhood check, 9. 26, 9. 27 

Automobile of suspect, location, 14. 6 

Demonstration of case, 14. 1 et seq 

Scene of crime, of, 14. 2 
Scratch marks on suspect' s face, 14. 10, 14.12, 14.13 
Search of suspect' s residence, 14. 11 
Shoe print. 

Comparison with suspect' s, 9. 29 

Plaster cast of, 9. 27 

Unusual characteristics, 9. 27 

TATTOOS, 9. 14 


Tear index 500 


TEARS, 15.47 





THIRST, 15.45 

THREATS, 15.50 


Interview, for, 25. 12 

Judgment of, 23. 18 

Lie detection examination, for, 18. 19 to 18.21 

Murder investigation, for, 9. 3 

Record of, 23.23 

TIRE PRINTS, 5. 2 ( See Hearne-Trendle Murder Case; Mur- 
der Investigation ) 

TOOLS (See Burglary Investigation) 

TRAMPS, 13. 18 


TRAPS ( See Interrogation ) 

TREMORS, 15.46 


Confession, introduction at, 21.2 

Hatton Garden Safe Deposit robbers, 7. 12, 7. 13 


501 INDEX Turnpike 

TRUTH SERUM ( See Lie Detection ) 
Accusation of others, 19. 8 
Aggressive feelings released by, 19. 8 

Comparison of effects, 19. 11 

Substitute for, as, 19. 6 
Analogous measures, 19. 6 
Barbiturates, use as, 19. 1 
Battle fatigue, treatment by, 19.8 

Clues obtained from, 19. 7 

Spurious, 19. 7 
Demoralization procedures, 19. 6 
Ethical considerations, 19. 4, 19. 12 
Examiner, competency of, 19. 10 
Impairment of brain function, 19. 3 
Incriminating facts, inability to use, 19. 3 
Medical examination, use in, 19. 4 
Mental illness. 

Effect on, 19. 4 

Feigned by subject, 19. 5 
Narco-synthesis, 19. 8 
Opiates as substitute for, 19. 6 
Phenobarbital, use as, 19. 1 
Physician, ethical role in use of, 19. 4, 19. 12 
Psychosis or hysteria, effect on, 19. 4, 19. 7 
Reactions to, 

Breathing difficulty, 19. 2 

Excitement, extreme, 19. 2 

Individual, 19. 11 

Sleep, 19. 1 
Threatened use to encourage talking, 19. 5 
Withholding information, 19.9, 19.11 


Arrest of suspect, 10. 16 

Background, 10. 13 

Ballistics tests. 

Cartridge cases, comparison, 10. 14 
Murder pellets, similarity, 10. 14 
Confession to inmate by suspect, 10. 16 
Conviction of suspect, 10. 16 

Turnpike index 502 


Detention of suspect in Pennsylvania, 10. 16 

Pawn ticket, 10. 15, 10. 16 

Photograph of suspect, identification through, 10. 16 

Robberies committed during, 10. 13 

Search of suspect' s former residence, 10. 16 

Stolen property, 

Identification by wounded victim, 10. 16 
Location of, 10. 15 




Defined, 4.24 
Double door safe, 4. 27 
Relocking device on, 4. 25 
Tear gas arrangement in, 4. 29 
Walk-in vault, 4. 26 



VISE GRIPS, 4. 12 



Use in commission of, 6. 20 
Surveillance, use in, 2.11 


WAREHOUSES ( See Burglary Investigation; Observation ) 

WEAPONS ( See Hearne-Trendle Murder Case; Murder In- 
vestigation; Potters Bar Golf Course Murder Case) 

503 INDEX Yale 

WINCHESTER BOTTLE ( See June Anne Devaney Murder 
Case ) 

WINDOWS, 24.8 


WITNESSES (See Burglary Investigation; Interrogation ; 
Interview; Murder Investigation; Statements ) 
Detectives as, 10. 26 
Incendiary origin of fire, 8. 10 
Interrogation, to, 24. 9 
Relationship with, establishing, 15.5 
Seats for, in interrogation, 24. 9 


Decoys, used as, 2. 10 
Interview of, setting, 22. 13 
Officers (See Women Officers) 
Sex offense interviews, 23. 10 
Surveillance by, 2.8, 2.10 


WORDS ( See Interrogation, at Communication problems ) 

YALE LOCKS, 6. 11 

Free Library of Philadelphia 

351.74 G313C 

Gerber, Samuel R. 

Criminal investigation and int 

3 2222 03314 3761 

351.74 G313C ^/:, <r 




65-^ 5561?