Those of us that follow true crime are well aware that sex crimes, including crimes against children, are an unfortunate reality of our time. We also know that after the crime has been reported one of the keys to identifying, apprehending and successfully prosecuting the perpetrator, are the police interviews of the victim and suspect. 

Investigators must gain the trust and cooperation of the victim. This can be especially difficult when the victim is a child; and even more so if the child’s family doesn’t want to expose their loved one to the emotionally difficult process of taking the case to trial.

And as the investigation moves forward, the suspect will need to be talked with. What can be learned in these sessions – especially before the suspect retains a lawyer – can be critical to the outcome of the case.

What techniques should the investigator use during interviews and interrogations? What methods have the best chance of gaining cooperation or eliciting a confession?

 On Wednesday, June 17, at 9 pm Eastern, I’ll ask those questions of retired Hunting Beach, California police detective Don Howell. As a detective for more than 15 years, he specialized in the investigation of sexual assaults and child abuse. He is a court certified expert in these areas and is a highly sought after consultant to agencies on complex cases. As a consultant to the California Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and training (P.O.S.T.), Don was considered to be one of the best in his field and was selected to assist in making a teleconference course on rape investigations. He has written three police procedurals on interview and interrogation techniques.

You can listen to the show at You’ll be able to ask questions or make comments via call in or through the show’s chat room.    


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