A false confession is an admission of guilt in which the confessor is not responsible for the crime. The Innocence Project states that “in about 25% of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or pled guilty.” They further state, “these cases show that confessions are not always prompted by internal knowledge or actual guilt, but are sometimes motivated by external influences.”
There are three categories of false confessions:
Voluntary false confessions are given freely. Sometimes they do so to cover for the person responsible, or to gain attention.
Compliant false confessions are given to avoid stressful situations, avoid punishment, or gain an implied or promised reward. Sometimes people confess to escape what feels like a helpless situation.
Internalized false confessions are those in which the person actually believes they committed the act.
It would be hard for any of us to imagine the many different fears or the strength of those fears a guilty subject must have during a well-planned interrogation. I think it would be very rare for a subject to have just one fear. Although there is probably one fear they are focused on most, I believe an interrogator
must plan on dealing with multiple fears. It must be noted that the fears a subject has during a business-related interrogation can be much different than during a police custodial interrogation. First, I will discuss the five most common fears during a business-related interrogation. Then, I will show the difference in the order and cause of the change in fears during a custodial interrogation.
1. In a business environment, the first two fears are relatively close. However, I have found that for the majority of employees, their greatest fear is embarrassment and what others will think of them. This is why it is so important that we give the subject the opportunity to save face. If you do everything else right, but fail to allow them to save face, you are very likely going to be dealing with denials. We must keep in mind that this fear reaches beyond the workplace to friends, family, church and community.
First and foremost, the fact that there appears to be somewhat of a “line in the sand” between the Human Resources and the Security Divisions is many things including sad, unnecessary, archaic, wasteful and wrong. Both divisions are equally important. Both divisions play an important and necessary role in the success of any organization, so both divisions must be on the same team for organizations to succeed. The one thing I’ve noticed more than anything is what they seem to have in common: a feeling that tenure inside their respective departments replaces the need for a thorough investigatory prep process (long before speaking to victims, witnesses and suspects). After a speaking engagement at another SHRM conference recently, we were asked to put together a Webinar that focuses on this critical topic, as well as utilize this as the next Blog topic. Well, mission accomplished on both fronts. There are so many things to consider prior to an actual investigatory interview, but let’s start with just five…….
1 – What resources can I use to learn who my subject is? Professional investigators understand that the more they know about the person with whom they are about to have a conversation, the better chance they have of painting a picture as to what potentially caused the act in question to take place.
IAI’s Nashville Elite Training Day provided a number of “Aha” moments within the packed house of attendees. But really, would you expect anything less from the Elite Training Day? It all started with the unveiling of the new IAI logo: a strong futuristic logo for a strong and future thinking organization.
Elite Training Day Content
Our speakers provided great content that can be used immediately upon leaving the event. And from what I saw, some of the content was being used during the event itself. I actually observed a few attendees run outside to call corporate to have them move on some of the items mentioned in the training.
The investigative and accusatory interview can be steeped with challenges throughout the process. One of the most difficult and tedious of those challenges is obtaining a solid written statement from your suspect following their interview; the anticlimactic conclusion to the zenith of your investigation.
In my years of working with WZ and spending time with the Directors and VPs around the world, there seems to be a common thread when asked about specific training needs for their investigative staff. Part of that common thread is the need to obtain better statements from their suspects following the interview process.
Chris, Chris Norris here…I just wanted to say I had a great time hosting the IAI Webinar “Guarding Against Complacency” yesterday with more than 200 people attending. What a great turnout from the IAI community!! I also wanted to pass along a very special “thanks” to InstaKey for sponsoring the training event! Don’t forget to check out InstaKey’s new blog: Access Intelligence.
During the Webinar we discussed some key points regarding rationalizations, ORC interviews and writing effective reports. Even Dave Zulawski made a special guest appearance! Thank you Dave. We hope everyone found some value in the Webinar and had some key take-aways from the training.
Like many of you, I have built a life that requires an extensive amount of travel. For those of you who don’t travel much, it’s not as glamorous as it appears and can be quite stressful at times. Because of this, I’ve decided to do what I do best: share what I’ve learned the hard way with all of you. However, it’s not quite my style to simply provide you with a list of things to remember when traveling. (Boring) That’s not me at all, and I think you know that. For me, I find it much more intriguing to list for you things you should NOT do when traveling. The shame of all of this, is that I’m speaking from experience – repetitive experience. Here we go (and you’re welcome):
1. Set 1 alarm clock. Guaranteed not to be set to the correct time zone, even with good intentions. And even if it is, your subconscious will have you waking every hour on the hour to ensure that it goes off when it’s supposed to. **Wake up call + Alarm clock * Mobile phone app = Decent shot of rising within an hour of when you had hoped….
2. Promise anyone you’ll call them next time you’re through their backyard. I know we all have good intentions when we tell colleagues “I’ll hunt you down next time I’m through your neck of the woods.” Problem is we get so far behind when we travel, we’re in a constant state of catch up. Evenings for professional travelers are typically spent in hotel rooms behind computers trying to accomplish everything they needed to do while spending time in the field. No sense in hurting anyone’s feelings by making promises that can’t be kept. **Worst case scenario: You promise a friend you’ll see them next time through LA. You (at no fault of your own of course) forget to let them know you’re heading that way. They send you an email that received your Out Of Office claiming “On the West Coast for assignments” They contact your Assistant asking for you and are told “Oh he’s actually out in LA this week for a speaking engagement at the XYZ Conference”. Let’s just say for the sake of argument this has happened once or twice in the past……
• Each week 18,000 personal assaults occur at work.
• One out of six employees has been so angry that he or she wanted to strike a coworker.
• Nonfatal assaults resulted in 876,000 lost work days and 16 million in lost wages.
It’s not a matter of if anymore …
When it comes to workplace violence, today the question is when will it happen and is our organization and Human Resources team prepared. Workplace violence has gained increasing attention and focus over the last 10 years with reports of disgruntled employees or former employees returning to their places of employment with violence in mind…
1. Greed – Wanting too much of something. Wanting the admission so much that one is unable to recognize behavioral clues as to other areas of theft the subject might be involved with. When the focus is just on the admission, it is common for an interviewer to get admissions only on the evidence they had when they walked in. If the first admission you get has anything to do with what you knew going in, chances are you told the subject in some way what you were looking for and that may be the only thing they were willing to admit to. To me there are two parts to the development phase: getting an admission on what we know and on what we don’t know. I always assume there is much more that I don’t know than what I do know. If you have a thief, the biggest question is how big of a thief do you have? If you are so focused on just getting the admission, it is likely you left a lot on the table. Continue reading Shane’s full post