Article Categories

Pre-conception: An Interrogation Assassin.

by Stan B. Walters, CSP
“The Lie Guy®”

There can be many ways and reasons an interrogation can fail. Among the many possible scenarios, we can fail to get a confession, we may get a false confession, or the subject just may plain flat refuse to talk or cooperate in any form.  One of the most deadly enemies of a successful interview or interrogation is the ‘pre-conception assassin.’  Let’s look at three tactics the ‘pre- conception assassin’ can use to kill your interview or interrogation.


One tactic employed by the pre-conception assassin is to convince the interviewer that the subject will be totally credible and has absolutely no intention of being misleading or deceptive.  This is an easy kill.  The assassin gets the interviewer to just simply ignore any and all signs of possible stress response to any questions and ultimately any lie signs.  If you can’t see the signs then any negative perceptions about the person’s honesty just simply go away.  Just cover your brain with the magic sheet and the scary deception monster goes away because if you can’t see it, it just doesn’t exist.


The second tactic our assassin employs is to turn the interviewer into a raving paranoid.  This requires the interviewer to assume the mind set that everyone is guilty of something, he just hasn’t figured out yet of what crime. Now the interviewer has to identify symptoms of evasion and deception that don’t exist but every movement and every answer has some hidden nefarious meaning. The interviewer is convinced the subject has got to be lying he just has to get the subject to believe the same thing and confess.


Finally, our pre-conception assassin has to  the interviewer’s control question formulation and presentation.  The interviewer should never ask a question whose answer may contradict his preconceived beliefs.  Ignorance will truly be bliss.  Only ask those questions that further support your conclusions and don’t give up until you get the answer you want.  Truth is not really your objective in either case – just get a confession or exonerate the subject at any and all costs. These are the interviewers who proclaim they have a 100% percent confession rate or a 100% cleared case rate.


Look at your mind set before you enter the interview room.  Are you an accomplice to the ‘pre-conception assassin?’ Is your ultimate objective for any interview and interrogation finding the truth no matter how disturbing, disappointing, or unpopular that may be?  When we stop searching for the truth, we’ve stopped serving justice.

Comments are closed.