Main Criminal Investigation: A Method for Reconstructing the Past, 6th Edition

Criminal Investigation: A Method for Reconstructing the Past, 6th Edition

,
This text presents the fundamentals of criminal investigation and provides a sound method for reconstructing a past event (i.e., a crime) based on three major sources of information - people, physical evidence and records. More than a simplistic introductory text, yet written in an easy-to-read, user-friendly format, it offers a broad approach to criminal investigation.Dozens of photographs, graphics, table, charts and diagrams supplement the text.A glossary elaborates on terms found in the text, gathered into one handy reference.
Year: 2010
Edition: 6th
Publisher: Anderson
Language: english
Pages: 681
ISBN 10: 1422463281
ISBN 13: 9781422463284
File: PDF, 7.28 MB
Download (pdf, 7.28 MB)
Preview

Most frequently terms

 
 
You can write a book review and share your experiences. Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them.
1

Natural Food Flavors and Colorants (IFT Press Series)

Year: 2011
Language: english
File: PDF, 5.58 MB
2

The People of Sparks

Year: 2004
Language: english
File: EPUB, 362 KB
6

Sixth Edition

Criminal
INVESTIGATION
A Method for Reconstructing the Past

James W. Osterburg / Richard H. Ward
University of Illinois

University of New Haven

Criminal Investigation: A Method for Reconstructing the Past, Sixth Edition
Copyright © 1992, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2010
Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group
New Providence, NJ
ISBN: 978-1-4224-6328-4
Phone
877-374-2919
Web Site www.lexisnexis.com/anderson/criminaljustice
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical
means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher.
LexisNexis and the Knowledge Burst logo are trademarks of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc.
Anderson Publishing is a registered trademark of Anderson Publishing, a member of the LexisNexis Group.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Osterburg, James W.
Criminal investigation : a method for reconstructing the past / James W. Osterburg, Richard H. Ward.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4224-6328-4 (softbound)
1. Criminal investigation. 2. Criminal investigation--United States. I. Ward, Richard H. II. Title.
HV8073.O833 2010
363.25--dc22
Cover design by Tin Box Studio/Cincinnati, OH

2010003726
EDITOR Ellen S. Boyne
ACQUISITIONS EDITOR Michael C. Braswell

There is no accepted test of civilization. It is not wealth, or the degree
of comfort, or the average duration of life, or the increase of knowledge.
All such tests would be disputed. In default of any other measure, may
it not be suggested that as good a measure as any is the degree to which
justice is carried out, the degree to which men are sensitive to wrongdoing and desirous to right it?

Sir John Macdonell. Historical Trials. London: Oxford University Press, 1927, 148.

To Julia, wife and life-long companion since high school days, mother of our
children, and early copy editor of this book. She made it readable by refusing to
type any paragraph she could not understand. She is missed, having battled and
was felled by ovarian cancer. In loving memory of a remarkable woman—Julia
Mary Osterburg.
—Jim Osterburg

To the many students, friends, and colleagues who have enriched my life. To my
wife, Michelle, and our daughter, Michelle Sophia, my appreciation and love for
understanding the many hours in my den pursuing new ideas and new horizons.
And to our grandchildren, Declan and Keeley, their parents, Juli and Jon, and
our daughter, Jeanne. Finally, to our editor, Ellen Boyne, who has been there
since the first edition of this text in 1992.
—Dick Ward

In memory of friends and colleagues who have passed along the way, and to those
who serve in law enforcement and the military at home and on distant shores.
—DW and JO

This page intentionally left blank

$EDICATION
In the history of a field of study, landmark events chronicle the stages of its progress
toward a discipline. We have chosen to commemorate three such events in the evolution
of criminal justice: the establishing of university programs in the early 1940s, New York’s
Police Department joining with the City University in the 1950s, and the endowing of the
first research chair in 1980.
Well before the designation of our field as criminal justice a few universities were
prodded by a progressive police chief to set up departments centered largely on the study
of the police. Leading the way were the Departments of Police Administration at Indiana
University, Michigan State University, Washington State University, and the (now defunct)
School of Criminology at the University of California, Berkeley. The latter school’s demise
reflects an academic unwillingness to accept new departments, and the uneasy alliance
between some in academia and criminal justice.
The affiliation of the New York City Police Department with the City University of
New York (The Baruch School and John Jay College) was the first collaborative effort to
make a college education possible for on-duty police officers. Joining ranks in the belief that
higher education for sworn officers would humanize law enforcement, their conviction
sowed the seeds for the development of a profession. The implementation of the plan
fell on the shoulders of Donald H. Riddle; under his leadership, it was brought to fruition
a decade later.
Dr. Donald H. Riddle (1921-1999) was a distinguished leader and innovator in the
field of criminal justice education. When President of John Jay University, he was once
asked “How do you educate the police?” His answer, “Like everyone else,” became legendary and helped set the direction for curriculum and research in the field. His vision and
understanding of the special mission of an urban university was realized during his tenure
as Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago. His wisdom and dedication to higher
education and the field of criminal justice were an inspiration to faculty and students. The
authors were privileged to know Don Riddle as a friend and mentor and are honored to
dedicate this book to his memory.
Dr. Gordon Misner (1927-2006), a pioneer in criminal justice education, is remembered
as a good friend and mentor of Richard H. Ward. His contributions to the investigative
function and to his many students are recalled in this dedication.
We also honor (former) Dean Victor Strecher and the faculty of the School of Criminal
Justice at Sam Houston State University for securing the funding for the first endowed
chair in criminal justice—the George J. Beto Chair. Sam Houston remains an important
institution of higher learning that emphasizes and supports research in criminal justice.
James W. Osterburg
Richard H. Ward

v

This page intentionally left blank

!CKNOWLEDGMENTS
James Adkins

Chief, Brooksville Fire Department (Brooksville, FL)

Mike Ahearn

Assistant Director (retired), U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Ahmet Akici

Superintendent, Turkish National Police

James Albrecht

Captain, New York Police Department (retired)

Michael Bozeman

Sergeant (retired), Houston Police Department
Homicide Division

Jeff Builta

Defense Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense

J. David Coldren

Vice President and Director, Advanced Information Systems,
Office of International Criminal Justice.

Matt Casey

Deputy Superintendent (retired), Chicago Police Department

Tae J. Chung
John Conley

Special Agent (retired), FBI Academy (Quantico, VA)

Thomas Constantine

Director (retired), Drug Enforcement Administration

John DeHaan

Program Manager, Bureau of Forensic Services, Department
of Justice, State of California; author of Kirk’s Fire Investigation

Rolando del Carmen

Distinguished and Regents Professor, College of Criminal
Justice, Sam Houston State University

Duayne J. Dillon

Assistant Sheriff and Chief Executive Officer (retired), Sheriff’s
Department, Contra Costa County, CA; founder and former
Director, Criminalistics Laboratory, Contra Costa County, CA

Dave Donnersberger

Judge, Circuit Court, Cook County, IL

James Dozier

Associate Professor, Sam Houston State University

William Dyson

Supervisory Special Agent and Head of Joint FBI Terrorist
Task Force in Chicago (retired)

Robert Gaensslen

Professor of Forensic Science, University of Illinois at Chicago

Tony Grubisic

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Chris Hale

Assistant Professor, Sam Houston State University

Marshall J. Hartman

Public Defender, Lake County, IL

vii

viii

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

James Heironinus

Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards
and Education

Howard Henderson

Assistant Professor, Sam Houston State University

Sean Hill

Consultant

Cindy Moors-Hill

Consultant

Terry Hillard

Superintendent (retired), Chicago Police Department

Wayne A. Kerstetter

Professor of Criminal Justice (retired), University of Illinois
at Chicago

Kathleen Kiernan

Assistant Director (retired), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
and Firearms

Keith Killacky

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, St. Louis University;
Federal Bureau of Investigation (retired)

Joseph King

Associate Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

John C. Klotter

Professor Emeritus and former Dean, School of Justice
Administration, University of Louisville (deceased)

Henry C. Lee

Professor, University of New Haven

John J. Lentini

Fire Investigation Chemist, Applied Technical Services
(Marietta, GA)

Charles Lieberman

Assistant Professor, University of New Haven

Thomas Linkowski

Deputy Chief, Evanston Fire Department (Evanston, IL)

Daniel Mabrey

Assistant Professor, University of New Haven

Herbert L. MacDonell

Director, Laboratory of Forensic Science, Corning, NY;
Adjunct Professor, Corning Community College, Corning, NY

Debra Malinowski

Los Angeles Police Department

Sean Malinowski

Lieutenant, Los Angeles Police Department.

Michael D. Maltz

Professor of Criminal Justice and Professor of Information and
Decision Sciences (retired), University of Illinois at Chicago

Jian Ming Mei

Associate Professor, Chinese People’s Public Security
University

Jason Moore

Research Assistant, Cold Case Project, University of New Haven

Nathan Moran

Associate Professor, Midwestern State University

John Murray

Sergeant (retired), Chicago Police Department

Richard A. Myren

Professor Emeritus, School of Justice, American University
(Washington, DC); founding Dean, School of Criminal
Justice, SUNY at Albany

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Aziz Osman

Superintendent, Turkish National Police

Will Oliver

Associate Professor, Sam Houston State University

John O’Neill

Federal Bureau of Investigation (deceased)

Joseph L. Peterson

Professor of Criminal Justice, School of Criminal Justice
and Criminalistics, California State University

Frank Pierczynski

Sergeant (retired), Chicago Police Department

John E. Pless

Culbertson Professor of Pathology and Professor of Pathology,
School of Medicine, Indiana University

Michael A. Prieto

Director, American Institute of Applied Sciences (Syracuse, NY)

Charles Ramsey

Chief of Police, Philadelphia (PA) Police Department

Fred Rice

Superintendent (retired), Chicago Police Department;
Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Jack Ridges

Sergeant (retired), Central Homicide Evaluation
and Support Squad, Chicago Police Department

Benjamin Riley
Matt Rodriguez

Superintendent (retired), Chicago Police Department

Dennis Rowe

Chief Superintendent (deceased), Metropolitan Police, London

Joseph Ryan

Professor, Pace University, New York City

Jean Sanders

Public Safety Director and Chief of Police, Huntsville, Texas

Joseph D. Serio

Author of Investigating the Russian Mafia

Robert “Jerry” Simandl

Detective, Gang Unit, Chicago Police Department

Darrel Stephens

Chief of Police (retired), Charlotte, NC

Mark J. Stolorow

Manager, Forensic Sciences, Cellmark Diagnostics
(Germantown, MD); former Director, Research and
Development, Illinois State Police, Bureau of Forensic Science

Tim Stone

Federal Bureau of Investigation

William Tafoya

Federal Bureau of Investigation (retired);
Professor, University of New Haven

Vince Webb

Dean and Director, Sam Houston State University,
Criminal Justice Center

Jeffery D. Wells

Professor of Justice Sciences, University of Alabama
at Birmingham

Carl Williams

Assistant Commissioner, Jamaica Constabulary

Ed Worthington

Federal Bureau of Investigation (retired)

ix

x

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Steve Young

Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice Center, Sam Houston
State University

Joe Zhou

Lawyer, Vice President, Hope Technology, Shanghai, China

A special note of thanks to the University of New Haven, and to Sam Houston State
University, where much of the early planning and organization of the fifth edition was
undertaken, and to Harold Smith, a friend and colleague who passed away during the
preparation of an earlier edition. Our appreciation extends also to the many faculty and
trainers who use this text in their classes and have taken time to offer their suggestions over
the years. Their contributions have been important to the longevity of the book.
Many others offered their advice or otherwise helped to improve the quality of the
work; they are:
Hasan Arslan

Assistant Professor, University of New Haven

Mary Bartucci

Administrative Secretary (retired), Office of the Vice Chancellor
for Special Programs, University of Illinois at Chicago

Frank Bolz

Commander (retired), Hostage Negotiation Team,
New York Police Department

André Bossard

Former Executive Director, INTERPOL (Paris)

Tony Bouza

Chief (retired), Minneapolis Police Department

Harriet Brewster

Director, Graphic Arts, Criminal Justice Center,
Sam Houston State University

Kathy Brown

Assistant Professor, University of New Haven

Jane Buckwalter

Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (retired)
and former Associate Vice Chancellor, University of Illinois
at Chicago

Stan Delaney

Vice Chancellor for Administration (retired), University
of Illinois at Chicago

Jerry L. Dowling

Professor, College of Criminal Justice, Sam Houston
State University

Mario Gaboury

Associate Dean, University of New Haven

Mark Galazka

Graduate Assistant

Randy Garner

Professor, Sam Houston State University

Evynne Graveline

Graduate Assistant to Richard H. Ward

Wu Han

Professor, East China Institute of Politics and Law (Shanghai)

Josh Hill

Institute for the Study of Violent Groups

John Hitzeman

Computer Analyst, Institute for the Study of Violent Groups

Joyce Hornback

Editor

Wayne Johnson

Chief Investigator (retired), Chicago Crime Commission

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Wes Johnson

Doctoral Program Director, School of Criminal Justice,
University of Southern Mississippi

Robert Keppel

Professor, University of New Haven

Bruce Lewis

Chief of Police, Northwestern University

Ray Liu

Professor of Forensic Sciences, University of Alabama
at Birmingham

Cali Luco

Executive Assistant to Richard H. Ward (2007-2008),
Peace Corps Volunteer

Vesna Markovic

Director, Institute for the Study of Violent Groups,
Sam Houston State University

Peter Massey

Assistant Professor and Associate Director,
Henry C. Lee Institute, University of New Haven

Peter May

Author

Debra McCall

Executive Assistant to Richard H. Ward (1999-2006),
Criminal Justice Center, Sam Houston State University

Richard Natoli

Criminal Justice Consultant

Nathan Moran

Chair, Department of Criminal Justice, Midwestern
State University

Bette Naysmith

Chair, Committee on Ritual Abuse,
Cult Awareness Network

William Norton

Associate Dean, University of New Haven

Harry O’Reilly

Detective Sergeant (retired), New York Police Department

Tim Palmbach

Chair, Department of Forensic Science,
University of New Haven

Carlo Pecori

Institute for the Study of Violent Groups

Dave Peters

Deputy Chief, University of Illinois Police Department

Mitchell Roth

Professor, Sam Houston State University

Prapon Sahapattara

Colonel, Royal Thai Police

Gene Scaramella

Dean, Ellis University. Chicago Police Department (retired)

David Schroeder

Assistant Professor, University of New Haven

Larry St. Regis

Department of Public Safety, Sunnyvale California

Jay Stahle

Network Administrator, University of New Haven

Victor Strecher

Professor and former Dean, College of Criminal Justice,
Sam Houston State University (retired)

John Truitt

Criminal Justice Consultant

xi

xii

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Marie Tyse

Chief of Police (retired), University of Illinois at Chicago

Bruce Varga

Assistant Professor of Fire Science, University of New Haven

Rafal Wasniak

Major, Polish National Police

Rita Watkins

Director, Law Enforcement Management Institute,
Sam Houston State University

Dave Webb

Associate Director, Law Enforcement Management Institute,
Sam Houston State University

Hubert Williams

President, Police Foundation

Several firms that market equipment used in law enforcement generously provided
illustrative material. Our thanks to John Carrington of Sirchie Finger Print Laboratories
(Raleigh, NC); Elliot L. Parker of Instant Image Systems (Plainfield, NJ); Doug Peavey
of Lynn Peavey Company (Lenexa, KS); Michael A. Prieto of the American Institute of
Applied Sciences (Syracuse, NY); Robert Smith of UNISYS Corporation; and James D.
Werner of Cellmark Diagnostics (Germantown, MD).
Permission was granted to use material that first appeared in the publications of Clark
Boardman Co., Ltd. (New York, NY); the Journal of Police Science and Administration
(International Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD); and the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children (Arlington, VA). We thank Judge William S.
Sessions, former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for permission to reprint
“FBI Suggestions for Packaging Physical Evidence” in earlier editions of this text.
The collections of several libraries were available. We thank the staffs of the University
of Illinois at Chicago; Sam Houston State University; University of New Haven; Northwestern University; University of Alabama, Birmingham; University of South Florida;
Pasco-Hernando Community College; Lykes Memorial (Hernando) County Library; and
Evanston Public Library. Many members of the Institute for the Study of Violent Groups
(ISVG) were also helpful in a number of ways.
Our editor, Ellen S. Boyne, has been with us since the beginning and the first edition
in 1992. Her patience and fine editorial hand through numerous and major changes in
both organization and content, as well as her suggestions, have been an important part of
the success this book has enjoyed. We are truly indebted to her.
Cheerful editorial assistance and encouragement were provided by past and present colleagues from Anderson Publishing and LexisNexis: William L. Simon, Vice President, Anderson Publishing (retired); and Kelly Grondin, Director, Criminal Justice, LexisNexis. They have
been most patient and helpful in bringing this book to print. We also wish to acknowledge the
suggestions made by Professors Larry Miller of East Tennessee State University, Larry Myers
of Western Carolina University, and David L. Carter of Michigan State University.
Although we received numerous suggestions and acted upon most of them, we rejected
some; in the final analysis, therefore, the text is our responsibility and not that of any of
the readers listed above.
JWO
RHW

4ABLE OF #ONTENTS
Dedication .................................................................................................................... v
Acknowledgments ....................................................................................................... vii
Preface .......................................................................................................................xxv
SECTION I

THE FOUNDATION AND PRINCIPLES
OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION ................................................................................1
PART A

SOURCES AND USES OF INFORMATION ...........................................................................3
1

The Investigator: Responsibilities and Attributes;
Origins and Trends ......................................................................................... 5
Criminal Investigation Defined ............................................................................................ 5
Determine if a Crime Has Been Committed ................................................................. 6
Verify Jurisdiction ......................................................................................................... 6
Discover All Facts and Collect Physical Evidence. ......................................................... 7
Recover Stolen Property ................................................................................................ 7
Identify the Perpetrator ................................................................................................. 8
Locate and Apprehend the Perpetrator .......................................................................... 8
Aid the Prosecution by Providing Evidence of Guilt Admissible in Court ..................... 8
Testify Effectively as a Witness in Court ....................................................................... 9
Attributes Desirable in an Investigator .................................................................................. 9
Qualifications of Mind, Personality, Attitude, and Knowledge ................................... 10
Origins of Criminal Investigation ....................................................................................... 12
Shift in Investigative Methods .................................................................................... 16
Trends in Investigation........................................................................................................ 18
Notes .................................................................................................................................. 18
Supplemental Readings ....................................................................................................... 19

2

Physical Evidence:
Development, Interpretation, Investigative Value ....................................... 21
Forensic Science .................................................................................................................. 21
Criminalistics: The Development and Interpretation of Physical Evidence ................. 22
Basic Concepts—Details in Physical Evidence ............................................................ 29
Morphology ................................................................................................................ 30
Basic Concepts—Identification and Identity ............................................................... 36
The Role of the Crime Laboratory .............................................................................. 39
Are the Facts Consistent with the Story? ..................................................................... 40
The OJ Simpson Case: The Sock Evidence Reconstructed .......................................... 42
Forensic Medicine: Investigative Value ................................................................................ 43
Forensic Pathology ...................................................................................................... 44

xiii

xiv

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Toxicology .................................................................................................................. 44
Forensic Odontology ................................................................................................... 44
Forensic Psychiatry...................................................................................................... 44
Clue Materials as Information Sources ................................................................................ 46
Fingerprints ................................................................................................................ 47
Firearms ...................................................................................................................... 59
Blood .......................................................................................................................... 64
Semen, Other Biological Material, and DNA Profiling ............................................... 69
Documents.................................................................................................................. 78
Glass ........................................................................................................................... 79
Trace Evidence ............................................................................................................ 84
Conclusion .......................................................................................................................... 85
Notes .................................................................................................................................. 86
Supplemental Readings ....................................................................................................... 87

3

The Crime Scene: Discovery, Preservation, Collection,
and Transmission of Evidence ...................................................................... 91
Defining the Limits of the Crime Scene .............................................................................. 91
The Crime Scene as an Evidence Source .............................................................................. 92
The CSI Effect ............................................................................................................ 93
Opportunity for Discovery .................................................................................................. 93
Purpose of Search ................................................................................................................ 96
Arrival of the First Police Officer ........................................................................................ 97
Arrival of the Investigator ................................................................................................... 98
Other Sources of Physical Evidence ..................................................................................... 98
Discovery of Physical Evidence............................................................................................ 98
Overview, Walk-Through, and Search ......................................................................... 99
Recording Conditions and Evidence Found at the Crime Scene ........................................ 100
Notes ........................................................................................................................ 101
Photographs .............................................................................................................. 102
Sketches .................................................................................................................... 103
Collection and Preservation .............................................................................................. 103
Preservation—Legal Requirements............................................................................ 106
Preservation—Scientific Requirements and Means ................................................... 109
Collection—Scientific Requirements and Means .......................................................111
Transmission of Evidence to the Laboratory .......................................................................115
Finding Physical Evidence by Canvassing...........................................................................115
Notes .................................................................................................................................116
Supplemental Readings ......................................................................................................117

4

People as a Source of Information.............................................................. 119
The Criminal .....................................................................................................................119
Motive....................................................................................................................... 120
Modus Operandi (MO) .............................................................................................. 120
Psychological Profiling .............................................................................................. 121
Clues from Evidence Brought to Crime Scene ........................................................... 122
Confession ................................................................................................................ 123
The Victim ....................................................................................................................... 123
Witnesses .......................................................................................................................... 123
The Five Senses ......................................................................................................... 123
Describing the Perpetrator ........................................................................................ 124
Describing Vehicles or Weapons ................................................................................ 124

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Persons Acquainted with the Suspect ................................................................................ 125
Informants ................................................................................................................ 125
Follow-up Activities .......................................................................................................... 126
Surveillance............................................................................................................... 126
Concluding Existence of Probable Cause for Search Warrant—
Based on Behavior of Subject .......................................................................... 127
Obtaining Information for Interrogation .................................................................. 127
Lineup (Identification Parade) .................................................................................. 128
Neighborhood Canvass ............................................................................................. 128
Questioning People: Proposed Refinements .............................................................. 128
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 136
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 137
PART B

SEEKING AND OBTAINING INFORMATION: PEOPLE AND RECORDS .........................139
5

Records and Files: Investigative Uses and Sources ..................................... 141
Records as Investigative Aids ............................................................................................. 141
Follow Up or Provide New Leads .............................................................................. 142
Identify the Perpetrator ............................................................................................. 142
Trace and Locate a Suspect, Criminal, or Witness..................................................... 143
Recover Stolen or Lost Property ................................................................................ 143
Ascertain Information Concerning Physical Evidence ............................................... 144
Types and Sources of Recorded Information ..................................................................... 144
Law Enforcement Records ......................................................................................... 144
Public and Private Organizations ...............................................................................151
Miscellaneous Sources ............................................................................................... 157
Where to Find Records ..................................................................................................... 157
Case Illustration: Using Records and Files in Investigating the
Assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr...................................................... 158
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 161
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 161

6

Interviews: Obtaining Information from Witnesses .................................. 163
Questioning People ........................................................................................................... 163
Interviewing ...................................................................................................................... 163
Acquiring the Facts ........................................................................................................... 164
Describing the Offender ............................................................................................ 165
Describing Stolen or Lost Property............................................................................ 168
Dealing with the Reluctant, Fearful, or Unaware Witness................................................. 169
Securing Cooperation ............................................................................................... 169
The Reluctant Witness .............................................................................................. 169
The Fearful Witness .................................................................................................. 169
Generating Long-Term Cooperation ......................................................................... 170
The Unaware Witness ............................................................................................... 171
Canvass ..................................................................................................................... 171
Indifferent Complainants .......................................................................................... 171
Behavioral Analysis Interviews .......................................................................................... 172
Hypnosis ........................................................................................................................... 173
The Future of Hypnosis ............................................................................................ 175
Eyewitness Evidence: The Role of Perception and Memory ............................................... 175
Sensory Input ............................................................................................................ 175

xv

xvi

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Memory .................................................................................................................... 176
Information Retrieval................................................................................................ 177
Witness Errors................................................................................................................... 177
Environmental Conditions ........................................................................................ 177
Personal Factors ........................................................................................................ 177
The Cognitive Interview ................................................................................................... 177
Memory-Event Similarity .......................................................................................... 179
Focused Retrieval ...................................................................................................... 179
Extensive Retrieval .................................................................................................... 179
Witness-Compatible Questioning ............................................................................. 180
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 180
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 181

7

Informants: Cultivation and Motivation ................................................... 183
A Background on Informants ............................................................................................ 183
Usefulness ......................................................................................................................... 186
Types of Informants .......................................................................................................... 187
Motives for Informing ....................................................................................................... 187
Self-Serving Reasons ................................................................................................. 188
Mercenary Reasons ................................................................................................... 188
Self-Aggrandizement ................................................................................................. 189
Emotions ................................................................................................................... 189
Civic Duty ................................................................................................................ 190
Opportunity...................................................................................................................... 190
Cultivation of Informants ................................................................................................. 190
Dealing with Informants ................................................................................................... 190
The Investigator-Informant Relationship .................................................................. 190
Handling Informants ................................................................................................ 191
Interviewing Informants ........................................................................................... 192
Potential Problems and Precautions ........................................................................... 192
Similar Problems in Other Fields .............................................................................. 192
Guidelines for the Use of Informants ................................................................................ 193
Legality of Evidence Based on Informant-Supplied Information ....................................... 195
Probable Cause .......................................................................................................... 195
Preservation of Confidentiality ................................................................................. 196
Entrapment ............................................................................................................... 197
Retrospective..................................................................................................................... 198
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 199
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 200

PART C

FOLLOW-UP MEASURES: REAPING INFORMATION .....................................................201
8

Surveillance: A Fact-finding Tool—Legality and Practice ........................ 203
Kinds of Surveillance ........................................................................................................ 205
The Legality Issue ............................................................................................................. 205
Fixed and Moving Surveillance ................................................................................. 206
Electronic and Technical Surveillance and the USA PATRIOT Act .......................... 206
Practical Considerations .................................................................................................... 217
Tactics....................................................................................................................... 218
Procedure for Interception of Wire or Oral Communications ........................................... 220

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Computer Surveillance ...................................................................................................... 221
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 221
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 223

9

Eyewitness Identification: Guidelines and Procedures .............................. 225
Photo Files ........................................................................................................................ 225
Computerized Mug Photographs ............................................................................... 226
Using a Photo File ..................................................................................................... 226
Sketches and Composite Images ........................................................................................ 227
Using the Police Artist .............................................................................................. 227
Using Composite Kits ............................................................................................... 229
Lineups ............................................................................................................................. 229
Lineup Procedure ...................................................................................................... 229
Right to an Attorney ......................................................................................................... 233
Pictorial Identifications ............................................................................................. 233
Lineups ..................................................................................................................... 233
Advising the Suspect ................................................................................................. 233
Waiver of Right ......................................................................................................... 234
Role of the Suspect’s Attorney ................................................................................... 234
One-on-One Confrontations (Show-Ups) ......................................................................... 234
Reliability of Eyewitness Identifications ............................................................................ 235
Jury Instructions on Eyewitness Identification .......................................................... 235
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 237
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 238

10 Interrogation: Purpose and Principles ....................................................... 239
The Purpose of Interrogation ............................................................................................ 239
Why People Confess .......................................................................................................... 240
Horowitz: Basic Concepts ......................................................................................... 241
Pavlov: Basic Concepts .............................................................................................. 243
Why Some Do Not Confess .............................................................................................. 246
Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 246
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 247
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 248

11 Interrogation of Suspects and Hostile Witnesses:
Guidelines and Procedures ......................................................................... 249
Miranda Guidelines .......................................................................................................... 249
Congressional Action ................................................................................................ 252
Implementing the Miranda Warnings ............................................................................... 253
Waiving One’s Rights ........................................................................................................ 253
Interrogation in Practice ................................................................................................... 254
Preparation ............................................................................................................... 254
The Setting ............................................................................................................... 255
Creating the Tone ..................................................................................................... 257
Conducting the Interrogation ................................................................................... 258
Documenting the Interrogation ................................................................................ 261
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 264
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 265

xvii

xviii

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

SECTION II

APPLYING THE PRINCIPLES TO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION ..........................................267
12 Managing Criminal Investigations............................................................. 269
Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 269
Historical Antecedents ...................................................................................................... 270
Conventional Investigative Arrangements ......................................................................... 270
Managing Criminal Investigations (MCI) ......................................................................... 271
The Elements of MCI................................................................................................ 272
Potential Benefits of MCI ......................................................................................... 274
CompStat .......................................................................................................................... 275
Managing the Investigation of Crime ................................................................................ 275
The Psychology of Crime Investigation ............................................................................. 276
Social-Psychological Issues ........................................................................................ 277
Cognition.................................................................................................................. 277
Personality ................................................................................................................ 277
Observation .............................................................................................................. 278
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 279
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 279

13 Reconstructing the Past: Methods, Evidence, Examples ............................. 281
Methods of Inquiry ........................................................................................................... 281
The Scientific Method .............................................................................................. 282
Definitions ................................................................................................................ 283
Problem Identification .............................................................................................. 285
Scientific Reasoning Applied to a Criminal Investigation.................................................. 286
Reconstructing the Past—Sources of Information ............................................................. 287
People ....................................................................................................................... 287
Physical Evidence ...................................................................................................... 288
Records ..................................................................................................................... 288
Innovative Applications ............................................................................................. 289
Further Commentary on the Investigative Process ............................................................ 291
Luck or Creativity ..................................................................................................... 291
Investigative Mind-Set .............................................................................................. 293
The Development of Mind-Set .................................................................................. 295
Evidence and Proof ........................................................................................................... 295
Investigation—Art or Science? .................................................................................. 298
Summary of the Scientific Method and its Application to Criminal Investigation ............. 299
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 300
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 301

14 Crime and Constitutional Law:
The Foundations of Criminal Investigation............................................... 303
Crime ................................................................................................................................ 303
Criminal Law .................................................................................................................... 304
Substantive Criminal Law ......................................................................................... 304
Procedural Criminal Law .......................................................................................... 304
Case Law ........................................................................................................................... 305
The Model Penal Code...................................................................................................... 305
Sources of State Law.......................................................................................................... 305
Theories on Crime ............................................................................................................ 306

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Control Over Investigations Through Constitutional Law ................................................ 308
Criminal Justice in the Articles and Amendments ..................................................... 309
The Bill of Rights...................................................................................................... 310
The Supreme Court and Criminal Justice ......................................................................... 312
Incorporating the Bill of Rights through the Fourteenth Amendment ...................... 313
Milestone Decisions Affecting Investigative Practice ..........................................................315
Probable Cause: Its Evolution and Significance ................................................................. 316
Control Over Investigative Practice ....................................................................................319
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 321
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 323

15 Evidence and Effective Testimony .............................................................. 325
Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 325
What Is Evidence? ............................................................................................................. 326
Historical Background of the Rules of Evidence ................................................................ 327
Developments in the United States ............................................................................ 327
The Rules of Evidence ....................................................................................................... 328
Relevant Evidence ..................................................................................................... 329
Material Evidence ..................................................................................................... 329
Competent Evidence ................................................................................................. 330
What is Effective Testimony? ............................................................................................ 331
Understandable Testimony ........................................................................................ 331
Believable Testimony................................................................................................. 331
Behavior and Appearance .......................................................................................... 332
Cross-Examination............................................................................................................ 332
The Purpose .............................................................................................................. 332
Strategy and Tactics .................................................................................................. 333
Miscellaneous Comments ......................................................................................... 334
Objections as to Form and Substance ........................................................................ 334
Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 335
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 336
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 336

16 Homicide ..................................................................................................... 337
Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 337
Definitions ................................................................................................................ 338
Corpus Delicti ............................................................................................................ 339
Demographics ........................................................................................................... 339
Overview of Investigative Activities .................................................................................. 340
Partitioning Responsibilities.............................................................................................. 342
Motive............................................................................................................................... 343
Importance ............................................................................................................... 343
Categorizing Motives ................................................................................................ 343
Determining Motive ................................................................................................. 348
The Crimes Scene as the Focus of the Investigation .......................................................... 348
Is This an Unlawful Homicide? ................................................................................ 350
Is This Homicide Simulated as Suicide? .................................................................... 350
Who is the Deceased? ............................................................................................... 351
What Was the Motive? .............................................................................................. 352
Is There Associative Evidence Present? ...................................................................... 352
Reconstructing What Happened ............................................................................... 353

xix

xx

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

The Body as the Focus of the Investigation ....................................................................... 354
Who is the Deceased? ............................................................................................... 354
Establishing the Cause and Manner of Death—The Autopsy .................................... 355
Reconstructing the Crime ......................................................................................... 356
What Time or Times are Involved? ........................................................................... 358
What Occurred?—How Did It Occur? ..................................................................... 362
People: Those Who Knew the Victim ............................................................................... 376
Canvassing ................................................................................................................ 377
Informants ................................................................................................................ 377
Questioning Suspects ................................................................................................ 377
The Value of Records in Homicide Investigation ............................................................... 378
Insight into Motive ................................................................................................... 378
Tracing Ownership ................................................................................................... 378
Previously Recorded Activities .................................................................................. 379
Follow-Up Action...................................................................................................... 380
Cover-up Attempts ............................................................................................................ 380
Accidental Means ...................................................................................................... 380
Explainable Means .................................................................................................... 381
Diversionary Means .................................................................................................. 383
Partial Cover-ups ...................................................................................................... 384
Missing Persons ................................................................................................................. 384
Apparently Involuntary Disappearances .................................................................... 384
Misleading Reports ................................................................................................... 388
Multiple Deaths ................................................................................................................ 388
Several Mortalities—All Part of One Event ............................................................... 389
Multiple Killings—Separate Events Spread Over Time ............................................. 395
The Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP) ............................................ 398
Dying Declarations ........................................................................................................... 410
Concluding Commentary.................................................................................................. 411
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 412
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 414

17 Robbery ....................................................................................................... 417
Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 417
People ............................................................................................................................... 418
Victims and Witnesses .............................................................................................. 418
The Robbery Suspect ................................................................................................ 423
Conducting the Investigation ............................................................................................ 424
Physical Evidence ...................................................................................................... 424
Records and Other Sources of Information ............................................................... 425
Follow-Up Activities ......................................................................................................... 425
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 426
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 427

18 Rape and Other Sex Crimes ....................................................................... 429
Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 429
Definitions ................................................................................................................ 430
Corpus Delicti ............................................................................................................ 430
Stalking............................................................................................................................. 430
People ............................................................................................................................... 432
Victims and Witnesses .............................................................................................. 433
Follow-Up Interviews ........................................................................................................ 434
Interviewing Children ............................................................................................... 436

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Conducting the Investigation ............................................................................................ 436
Physical Evidence ...................................................................................................... 437
Records and Other Sources of Information ............................................................... 441
Profiling Offenders ................................................................................................... 442
Follow-Up Activities ......................................................................................................... 444
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 445
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 446

19 Burglary ...................................................................................................... 447
Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 447
Definitions ................................................................................................................ 448
People ............................................................................................................................... 448
Victims ..................................................................................................................... 448
The Public ................................................................................................................ 449
The Burglary Suspect ................................................................................................ 450
Conducting the Investigation ............................................................................................ 454
Physical Evidence ...................................................................................................... 456
Records and Other Sources of Information ............................................................... 457
Follow-Up Activities ......................................................................................................... 458
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 462
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 462

20 Arson and Explosives .................................................................................. 463
Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 463
Definitions ................................................................................................................ 464
Corpus Delicti ............................................................................................................ 464
Why is Arson Suspected? .................................................................................................. 465
People as a Source of Information ..................................................................................... 465
Who Discovered the Fire? ......................................................................................... 465
Firefighters ................................................................................................................ 466
Owner or Manager of the Structure .......................................................................... 466
Employees ................................................................................................................. 466
Insurance and Financial Personnel ............................................................................ 467
Business Competitors ................................................................................................ 467
Other Possible Witnesses ........................................................................................... 467
Conducting the Investigation ............................................................................................ 468
Physical Evidence .............................................................................................................. 468
Combustion .............................................................................................................. 469
Point of Origin .......................................................................................................... 473
Accelerants ................................................................................................................ 480
Motive............................................................................................................................... 482
Financial Gain .......................................................................................................... 482
Intimidation.............................................................................................................. 483
Emotional Reasons .................................................................................................... 484
Concealment of Another Crime ................................................................................ 485
Pyromania ................................................................................................................. 485
Recognition as a Hero ............................................................................................... 486
Vandalism ................................................................................................................. 486
Records ............................................................................................................................. 487
Fire Records .............................................................................................................. 487
Straw Owners ............................................................................................................ 487
Follow-Up Activities ......................................................................................................... 488

xxi

xxii

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Bombing Investigations ..................................................................................................... 489
Explosives.................................................................................................................. 489
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 491
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 492
SECTION III

SPECIAL TOPICS ..............................................................................................................493
21 Increasing Threats and Emerging Crime ................................................... 495
Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 495
Identity Theft ................................................................................................................... 495
Internet Fraud ................................................................................................................... 497
Exploitation of Women and Children................................................................................ 497
Home Invasions ................................................................................................................ 499
Con Games ....................................................................................................................... 500
Thefts of Paintings and Cultural Objects .......................................................................... 500
Copies and “Knockoffs” .................................................................................................... 501
Body Parts ......................................................................................................................... 501
School and Workplace Violence ........................................................................................ 502
Satanism, Cults, and Ritual Crime .................................................................................... 504
Satanic Cults ............................................................................................................. 505
Investigative Efforts .................................................................................................. 506
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 512
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 513

22 Terrorism and Urban Disorder.................................................................. 515
Introduction .......................................................................................................................515
Overview........................................................................................................................... 518
Defining Terrorism ....................................................................................................519
Legal Aspects .................................................................................................................... 521
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 ....................................... 521
Constraints on Intelligence-Gathering Activities....................................................... 524
Court Proceedings .................................................................................................... 524
Terrorism Investigations .................................................................................................... 525
Terrorist Suspects ...................................................................................................... 526
Physical Evidence ...................................................................................................... 529
Proactive Investigations ..................................................................................................... 531
Information and Intelligence ..................................................................................... 532
Conducting the Investigation .................................................................................... 532
Reactive Investigations ...................................................................................................... 533
Types of Terrorism and Violent Groups ............................................................................. 535
Supporters of al-Qaeda .............................................................................................. 535
Ecological Movements and Animal Rights Groups.................................................... 536
Agro-Terrorist Activities ............................................................................................ 537
Anti-Abortion Violent Offenders .............................................................................. 537
Urban Violence and Street Gang Investigations ................................................................ 538
Types of Attacks ................................................................................................................ 539
Assassination ............................................................................................................. 539
Kidnapping ............................................................................................................... 540
Random Violence ...................................................................................................... 541
Strategic Initiatives............................................................................................................ 542
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 543
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 545

TABLE OF CONTENTS

23 Computers and Technological Crime ......................................................... 547
Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 547
Cybercrime: Information Technology and Criminal Activity ............................................ 548
Systemic Components ....................................................................................................... 550
Legal Issues ....................................................................................................................... 551
Home Computers ...................................................................................................... 552
Workplace Computers ............................................................................................... 552
Internet Service Providers.......................................................................................... 553
Chat Rooms and Social Networking ......................................................................... 553
Web Sites .................................................................................................................. 554
Investigating High-Tech and IT Crime ............................................................................. 555
Child Exploitation .................................................................................................... 556
Stalking and Harassment .......................................................................................... 557
Economic Crimes—Fraud, Embezzlement, and Identity Theft ................................. 557
Computer Hacking/Cracking and Sabotage .............................................................. 559
Illegal Drug Activity ................................................................................................. 559
Terrorism .................................................................................................................. 559
Computer Crime Investigation and the Electronic Crime Scene ........................................ 561
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 566
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 567

24 Enterprise Crime: Organized, Economic, and White-Collar Crime ......... 569
Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 569
The Enterprise Criminal ................................................................................................... 570
Conducting the Investigation ............................................................................................ 571
Organization and Structure....................................................................................... 571
Membership .............................................................................................................. 572
Sphere of Influence ................................................................................................... 572
Goals and Means....................................................................................................... 573
A Typology of Enterprise Criminality ............................................................................... 573
The Mafia ................................................................................................................. 574
Drug-Trafficking Organizations................................................................................ 574
Jamaican Posses......................................................................................................... 575
Asian Criminal Groups ............................................................................................. 576
Government Corruption in the United States.................................................................... 578
New Developments in Crime ............................................................................................ 578
The Investigation of Illegal Drugs and Drug Trafficking .................................................. 579
Drugs ........................................................................................................................ 580
Traditional Investigations.......................................................................................... 581
Surveillance............................................................................................................... 582
Undercover and Informant Operations...................................................................... 582
Cooperative Investigations ........................................................................................ 582
International Investigations ....................................................................................... 583
RICO and Asset Forfeiture ....................................................................................... 583
Investigations of Government Corruption ................................................................. 584
Notes ................................................................................................................................ 585
Supplemental Readings ..................................................................................................... 586

Glossary ............................................................................................................. 587
Index .................................................................................................................. 605

xxiii

This page intentionally left blank

0REFACE
In this sixth edition of this book, we adhere to the principles of the first edition to
provide a fundamental text on criminal investigation. Much has changed over the years
in the field of criminal investigation, the law, and in society. Each edition has changed
significantly to stay abreast of the many developments, and this edition marks yet another
major revision of the book’s structure and content. Issues affecting law enforcement display
a combination of traditional concepts and terminology, and the emergence of new forms
of crime and criminal activity. Cybercrime, global crime, terrorism, violent gang activity,
complex fraud scandals, and enterprise crime are but a few of the issues that have taken
new form in the criminal justice process. Indeed, the scope of the information and data has
grown to the point that no single text can cover the field of criminal investigation. With
this in mind, the sixth edition has been designed to enable instructors to emphasize those
sections of the book that may be more relevant to their geographic location, of particular
interest to students studying in specialized areas, or where the expertise of the instructor
may go beyond the fundamentals of a particular type of investigation.
Another goal is to help the general reader understand how detective work should be
performed, and, most important, to demystify the investigative process. To the extent that
criminal investigation is perceived as part and parcel of a more universal kind of inquiry,
we will have succeeded. Human beings, it must be agreed, have always acknowledged their
need to understand the past. In the study of ancient history, this understanding relies
largely on what records survive from that era; in criminal investigation, on the other hand,
reconstructing a past event (i.e., a crime) is based on evidence developed by the forensic
laboratory, from questioning people, and from examining records.
There are numerous reminders throughout the text that criminal investigation must
be conducted within the framework of our democratic system. Hence, those U.S. Supreme
Court decisions that affect the investigative function are quoted extensively. They
reveal the inherent tension created by the state’s obligation to enforce the law while
protecting a citizen’s rights under the Constitution. In addition, the Court’s carefully crafted
opinions expose the student to legal reasoning at its best. Although courses in criminal
procedure are covered in the criminal justice curricula, we believe that issues that have
been or will be brought before the court are better comprehended when there is an awareness
of law enforcement’s perspective as well as that of the civil libertarian’s.
Whatever may be the need for information, it is fairly obvious that the ability to
conduct any type of inquiry can be honed by studying the investigative process. Perhaps one
of the most important changes in American life has been the expansive range of information
available through technology, research, and the media. Ultimately, the investigator relies
upon three sources of information—physical evidence, people, and records. The manner
in which this information is collected, compiled, and analyzed by the investigator involves
much more than a vocational or training emphasis, and relies in great measure on the
educational processes that emphasize knowledge, abstract reasoning, intellectual curiosity,
and a philosophy based on searching for the truth. Undoubtedly, one of the major events

xxv

xxvi

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

since the last edition of this book has been a report by the National Academy of Sciences:
Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. This report identifies
many of the problems associated with forensic examinations and laboratories in many parts
of the United States, and offers a set of recommendations, many of which have become
hotly debated topics within the forensic science and law enforcement communities. This is
discussed more fully in Chapter 2.
Over the years this text has had wide appeal. Its heuristic approach to the investigative
function serves to enlighten the average reader and the law enforcement investigator. But
in today’s world it will also serve many other kinds of investigators, including for example
public prosecutors, defense attorneys, public defenders, medical examiners, fraud examiners,
insurance investigators, private investigators, the media’s investigative reporters, and the
criminal investigation arms of the military. Each year we find new forms of investigative
specialization, especially at the federal level where most federal departments now have some
form of investigative unit.
The authors have reorganized parts of the text based on the suggestions of colleagues
and in an effort to better accommodate the text for a quarter or semester course of study. It
is now divided into three sections. The first discusses the basics of criminal investigation.
The second illustrates their application to many of the major felonies. Instructors and
students are given several kinds of specialized investigations and topics to choose from in
the remaining section. We believe that dividing the material in this fashion has not only
preserved the text’s comprehensiveness, but has also rendered the material eminently more
teachable. The first two sections constitute the heart of the investigative process; the last
offers enrichment on special topics—to be savored as time and desire permit. The chapters
on terrorism and computer crime have been substantially rewritten, and text throughout
the book has been updated where appropriate.
The Authors express their appreciation to Professor Tim Palmbach, Chair, Department
of Forensic Science, University of New Haven, for his assistance with Chapter 2.
The authors thank the many users who have commented on the readability of our text,
and trust that the new material is of similar quality. Suggestions from instructors and students alike are most welcome and can be addressed by e-mail to rward@newhaven.edu.

SECTION I
THE FOUNDATION AND PRINCIPLES
OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

This section on criminal investigation comprises three parts: the first emphasizes the
uses that can be made of the basic sources of information; the second is concerned with
the problems associated with obtaining information; and the third focuses on the kinds
of follow-through activities necessary for capitalizing on the efforts described in the first
two parts. Considered together, these three parts are the foundation and principles of
criminal investigation.

1

This page intentionally left blank

PART A
SOURCES AND USES OF INFORMATION

Part A begins with a discussion of the detective’s responsibilities and the personal
attributes that are required for success. A brief history of criminal investigation follows
(touching on a sometimes less-than-honorable past). Part A concludes with a look at the
trends and future developments that are likely to occur.
The three principal sources of information in criminal investigation (physical evidence,
people, and records) are studied first from the standpoint of what information may be
obtained and why it can be of help. Then, because understanding physical evidence—its
development, interpretation, and investigative use—is fundamental, some familiarity with
criminalistics is recommended. The crime scene—its limits, the purpose for a search, legal
constraints on the discovery of physical evidence—are presented next. Finally, the other
appropriate sources of information are considered: people (criminals, victims, witnesses,
friends) and records (public and private).
Given the impact of a rapidly changing society in such areas as transportation, communication, and globalization, the task of the criminal investigator has become more complex.
In addition to terrorism, there has been a greater focus on corporate crime, serial murder,
and technological crime. The result has been a greater need for investigators who are not
only familiar with basics but who have the ability to “think outside the box.”

3

This page intentionally left blank

CHAPTER 1

4HE )NVESTIGATOR
Responsibilities and Attributes;
Origins and Trends

The role and responsibilities of the criminal investigator have changed dramatically
over the past 10 years, largely as a result of changes in technology, the law, the media, and
new forms of communication—such as the Internet, cellular telephones, and imaging.
Perhaps most important has been the changing role of the investigator as a specialist,
educated and trained to be knowledgeable about complex systems, societal differences,
and organizational theory.
This chapter addresses the general framework associated with being a criminal investigator: the functional aspects of the job, necessary skills, tools of the trade, and the criteria necessary for success in what can be a challenging and rewarding career. Like most professional
occupations, criminal investigation encompasses a historical framework that continues to
evolve through new techniques and technology, as well as research. Thus, a brief description
of the history of investigating crime is included in this chapter. The one thing that has not
changed radically over time has been the definition of criminal investigation.

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DEFINED
The investigation of crime encompasses “the collection of information and evidence for
identifying, apprehending, and convicting suspected offenders,” or in the words of Professor
Ralph Turner, a pioneer in the field, “the reconstruction of a past event.”1,2 In essence, the
responsibilities of the investigator include the following:
1.

Determine whether a crime has been committed.

2.

Decide if the crime was committed within the investigator’s jurisdiction.

3.

Discover all facts pertaining to the complaint.
a. Gather and preserve physical evidence.
b. Develop and follow up all clues.

4.

Recover stolen property.

5.

Identify the perpetrator or eliminate a suspect as the perpetrator.

5

6

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

6.

Locate and apprehend the perpetrator.

7.

Aid in the prosecution of the offender by providing evidence of guilt
that is admissible in court.

8.

Testify effectively as a witness in court.

The date and time when each responsibility was carried out should be recorded. Being
unable to answer confidently “when” a task was carried out affords defense counsel the
opportunity to cast doubt on the investigator’s capability. If a witness repeatedly responds to
the question “At what time did you do________?” with “I don’t remember” or “as best as
I can recall,” defense counsel will use this technique to impugn a witness’s competence.

Determine if a Crime Has Been Committed
Determining whether a crime has been committed necessitates an understanding of the
criminal law and the elements of each criminal act. For this reason the investigator should
have in his or her possession copies of the penal and case law of the state or jurisdiction.
The jurisdiction of federal investigators may be broader in some cases, but it is limited by
legislation, and state and local investigators should be familiar with the crimes over which
federal statutes may apply.
Ideally, an investigator should have digital copies of the various legal texts on a
personal computer, making it easy to identify and answer questions. In more complex
cases, such as cybercrime or fraud, the investigator may contact the state prosecutor,
district attorney, or U.S. Attorney. In rare cases in which it is determined that a crime has
not been committed, or the issue is one for a civil court, law enforcement personnel do
not have responsibility.

Verify Jurisdiction
If a crime is not within the investigator’s jurisdiction, there is no responsibility for
its investigation, but the complainant may need to be referred to the proper authority.
Occasionally a crime is committed on the border line of two jurisdictions or involves more
than one jurisdiction. Depending on whether it has the potential for publicity (especially a
high-profile case), it affords the chance to make a “good arrest,” or it is inherently interesting or important, an investigator will seek to retain authority over the case, remain involved
in it; otherwise, talk the other jurisdiction into accepting it.
When two investigators have concurrent jurisdiction, the issue of who will handle the
case becomes complicated. Cases such as terrorism, cross-border fraud or Internet crime,
illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and other multiple-jurisdiction criminal activity may
involve joint investigative activities, and may require clarification by legal authority (such
as a U.S. Attorney or local prosecuting authority—district, city, or county attorney). In
other cases, such as serial murder in multiple jurisdictions, the place where the suspect is
apprehended (for the crime in that jurisdiction will usually have the right to prosecute).
In those cases in which there may be federal as well as state jurisdiction (such as bank
robbery), the U.S. Attorney has the first right of refusal, and relatively minor cases may be
prosecuted at a local level.

1 • THE INVESTIGATOR: RESPONSIBILITIES

AND

ATTRIBUTES; ORIGINS

AND

TRENDS

Discover All Facts and Collect Physical Evidence
The facts available to the first officer to arrive at a crime scene are provided by the
victim or complainant and any eyewitness(es). Except in departments with programs in
place for managing criminal investigations (see Chapter 12), they will be communicated
to the detective dispatched to investigate the crime. He or she may decide to verify and
pursue all of them, or to home in on specific details. At the outset, the investigator should
develop a preliminary record that addresses the following points:
•

When?

•

Where?

•

Who?

•

What?

•

How?

•

Why?

In addition, the detective will collect any physical evidence, or arrange for its collection
(preferably by an evidence technician) and examination in the appropriate crime laboratory.
Depending on the kind of information provided, immediate follow-up might be required
or the investigator may have to await laboratory results. In either event, it is essential at
this point to follow through on any clue that holds promise for the identification of the
perpetrator, and promptly exploit it.
Keeping in mind that information and records may be called into question during
a later court case, the investigator must take care to prepare a comprehensive record of
the crime scene, using notes, photographs, sketches, and in some cases video and voice
recording. Care must be taken not to rely on memory, which has shown to be notoriously
unreliable in many cases. Statements of victims, witnesses, and suspects should be recorded
accurately and verbatim where possible.
In longer investigations, the use of records is more likely to contribute to the solution.
If the victim furnishes the suspect’s name to the detective, the case may be solved promptly.
Then the chief problem is proving that the particular individual did in fact commit the
crime. If the identity of the perpetrator must be developed, the effort required is much
greater and, for certain crimes, often not successful. When it is, there comes a point not
unlike that reached in solving a jigsaw puzzle: when the crucial piece is found, those
remaining quickly fall into place.

Recover Stolen Property
The description and identification of stolen property is an important aspect of an
investigation, and may later be critical in establishing ownership. Stolen property may turn
up at a pawn shop, in the hands of secondhand dealers, or for sale on the Internet. The
ability to establish makes and models, serial numbers, or other distinguishing characteristics
of an item can contribute to a successful investigation. Pawn shops are common locations
for stolen property to turn up, and the investigator should be familiar with record keeping
and reports of these locations.

7

8

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Identify the Perpetrator
Identifying the perpetrator is, of course, the primary goal of a criminal investigation,
but the ability to bring a suspect to justice also depends on the evidence necessary for
conviction. This may take many forms, including physical evidence linking the suspect to
the scene (fingerprints, blood, DNA, toolmarks); possession of evidence from the scene
(property, fibers, hair); physical identification (tattoos, deformities, physical descriptors);
and eyewitness descriptions, which, incidentally, have proven to be highly unreliable when
the suspect is not known to victims or witnesses. Modus operandi, or method of operation,
is also an important consideration.
In addition to the identification of the perpetrator from records, physical evidence, and
eyewitnesses, the value of motive must be examined. Certain crimes, such as burglary, robbery, and rape, seem to have a universal motive; others, such as homicide, arson, and assault,
have what might be called “particularized motives,” because they often relate victim to
criminal. Once established, it would be practical to develop a short list of persons who might
have a particularized motive; then, if the investigator considers who had the opportunity
and the temperament to carry out the crime, one or perhaps a few suspects may remain on
the list. When physical evidence is available, as it often is in these crimes, this extends the
possibility of a solution beyond what can be accomplished by interrogation alone.

Locate and Apprehend the Perpetrator
When people who know the perpetrator are unwilling or unable to provide an address
or a clue to his or her whereabouts (should the suspect be elusive or have escaped), records
may provide the information. (See Chapters 5 and 7, which discuss the value and utilization
of records.) When the suspect is located, apprehension seldom presents difficulties; if it
does, a raid may be called for. Planning and staging a raid require coordination, but this is
essentially a police function rather than an investigative one. Owing, however, to several
raids that received worldwide attention and, to some extent, had a deleterious impact on
all law enforcement agencies, it is important to consider these events.

Aid the Prosecution by Providing Evidence
of Guilt Admissible in Court
Largely as a result of plea bargaining, only a few cases that are investigated and solved
eventually go to trial, but the detective must operate on the assumption that each will be
tried. This necessitates that the investigator follow correct procedures in conducting the
investigation, and not assume that the perpetrator will plead guilty and plea bargain, or
assume that other evidence will carry the case.
Because such a large number of cases are plea bargained, the number of times an
investigator may actually testify in a trial may be quite low. Problems concerning physical
evidence can arise needlessly when it is presumed that a case will involve plea bargaining.
One example is of a major city detective who had handled 75 burglary cases and none had
gone to trial (each defendant having pleaded guilty to a reduced charge). Based on this
experience, and because the suspect had confessed verbally, the detective believed that it
was but a needless exercise to submit the physical evidence to the laboratory. Unfortunately,
the prisoner was allowed to be placed in a police station cell wearing the incriminating
evidence; once there, he ripped incriminating crepe shoe soles into pieces and flushed them
down the toilet. He then repudiated the confession and demanded a trial.

1 • THE INVESTIGATOR: RESPONSIBILITIES

AND

ATTRIBUTES; ORIGINS

AND

TRENDS

Testify Effectively as a Witness in Court
Although few people are comfortable when called to the witness stand, the experienced
investigator who has testified often can appear jaded. Yet testimony is effective only when it
is credible. When sincerity, knowledge of the facts, and impartiality are projected, credibility
is established. In all events, it is helpful that the investigator be familiar with the rules of
evidence and the pitfalls of cross-examination (see Chapter 15)