Interrogating Suspects by Employing Psychological Manipulation

Kristeen Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe


THE REID METHOD uses advanced psychological and coerciveness techniques which appear simple on the surface, but have been likened to “brainwashing” by criminal defense attorneys. This method of questioning suspects is to assess their credibility in a three-phase process beginning with Fact Analysis, followed by the Behavior Analysis Interview (a non-accusatory interview designed to develop investigative and behavioral information), and followed by the Reid Nine Steps of Interrogation.

However Reid Method technique been proven it can elicit false confessions from innocent persons, especially children, the mentally ill and foreign language speakers.

An interrogator trained in psychological manipulation first talks with the subject a while and attempts to develop rapport prior to initiating any questioning. The interrogator may feign interest in some of the suspect’s hobbies or in the suspect’s lifestyle. By acting in such a manner, the interrogator leads the suspect to believe that he and the interrogator are similar in many ways. Once the suspect begins talking about any topic, it is harder for the suspect to stop talking about other topics–including crimes he may have committed. Suspects who like their interrogators and feel compelled to talk because they are already within the throes of conversation find it much harder to lie….

KINESIC INTERVIEWING: The next stage of the operation involves getting a “baseline” of the suspect’s normal behavior when asked non-stressful questions. These questions appear to be innocuous on the surface, but are not. The interrogator watches the subject’s facial expressions and body language prior to, during and after the suspect answers the question giving the interrogator a very good idea of how the suspect acts when he answers questions truthfully.

involves asking a suspect two types of questions. One set of questions requires the suspect to remember data, and the other requires the suspect to use his cognitive processes. The interrogator then watches the suspect’s body language to determine what type of changes take place when the suspect thinks of information, as opposed to remembering it.

Innocent people tend to answer questions differently than guilty suspects. a guilty suspect will show deceptive body language. experience has shown the police that the people who commit crimes will seize upon any excuse to mitigate the reason they committed a crime i.e. Victim Blaming. If the subject shows a propensity to blame his crime on someone else, or states that the crime was probably a mistake, these themes will be used later on.

1. Direct confrontation. Advise the suspect that the evidence has led the police to the individual as a suspect. Offer the person an early opportunity to explain why the offense took place.
2. Try to shift the blame away from the suspect to some other person or set of circumstances that prompted the suspect to commit the crime. That is, develop themes containing reasons that will psychologically justify or excuse the crime. Themes may be developed or changed to find one to which the accused is most responsive.
3. Try to discourage the suspect from denying his or her guilt.
4. At this point, the accused will often give a reason why he or she did not or could not commit the crime. Try to use this to move towards the confession.
5. Reinforce sincerity to ensure that the suspect is receptive.
6. The suspect will become quieter and listen. Move the theme discussion towards offering alternatives. If the suspect cries at this point, infer guilt.
7. Pose the “alternative question”, giving two choices for what happened; one more socially acceptable than the other. The suspect is expected to choose the easier option but whichever alternative the suspect chooses, guilt is admitted. There is always a third option which is to maintain that they did not commit the crime.
8. Lead the suspect to repeat the admission of guilt in front of witnesses and develop corroborating information to establish the validity of the confession.
9. Document the suspect’s admission or confession and have him or her prepare a recorded statement (audio, video or written).

The interrogator who utilizes these methods has a highly structured plan going into the interrogation. These techniques can be taught to virtually anyone. Even ordinary police officers are taught to use them in everyday police work.

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Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (