CLICK here for info on new 5th edition of Criminal Interrogation and Confessions
  10/09/2020The Norfolk Four
The Sun newspaper printed an article on October 6, 2020: “Shocking case of four Navy sailors wrongly convicted of rape & murder shows anyone can be forced to falsely confess” in which they discussed the threats that were made to the subjects in this case “to make them confess."  We discussed this case in detail in March 2011 in our Investigator Tip, “The Danger of Threatening Inevitable Consequences During and Interrogation” and pointed out the inappropriate investigator behaviors involved in the case.  For a more detailed discuss on false confession issues view our video presentation on our YouTube channel: False Confessions - The Issues to be Considered, Parts One and Two.  You can also download a a document from our website detailing these issue.
Click Here For More Information

  10/07/2020The Reid Technique for Pre-Employment Interviewing Strategies – a new online video training program
We are excited to announce a new online video training program entitled The Reid Technique for Pre-Employment Interviewing Strategies. The program includes a 20-page Study Guide and an optional exam that you can take to earn 1.5 hours of Continuing Professional Education.  Once you purchase the program you have unlimited access to it for 30 days.   Here are the details:

In this new online video training program, we discuss a variety of strategies to enhance your skills conducting a pre-employment interview, including, how to:

• Properly phrase interview questions
• Recognize when an applicant is withholding or fabricating relevant information
• Develop truthful information when the candidate initially tried to conceal it
• Assess the overall integrity and trustworthiness of the candidate
The skills that you will learn will substantially increase your ability to identify high risk job applicants before they become employees.

In this program we detail how to:

• Use an Introductory Statement to create an environment conducive to truth telling
• Develop a list of questions that will be asked of every applicant applying for the position
• Evaluate the applicant’s verbal and nonverbal behavior for indications of editing, withholding or fabricating relevant information
• Respond to the applicant’s behavior by asking the appropriate follow-up and clarification questions
Click here for additional information.

We also have two other online video training programs: The Reid Technique for Patrol Officers and The Reid Technique for Telephone Investigative Interviews.    

Click Here For More Information

  09/04/2020Reid Litigation With Netflix Ends
“The following statement is from John E. Reid & Associates (‘Reid’): 

Reid sued Netflix for defamation regarding a reference to the Reid Technique of interrogation in the program, WhenThey See Us, in connection with alleged abusive interrogations and coerced confessions of juveniles, known as the Central Park 5, by New York City police in 1989 . The district court dismissed Reid’s case and found that the statements were not defamatory because they were hyperbole rather than factual.  The court also found that the statements did not disparage the Reid Technique because what the New York City detective portrayed to be responsible for the alleged abuse and coercion did ‘was not the Reid Technique and could not have been because Sheehan (the detective) did not know what the Reid Technique was.’ 

The litigation has ended. 

Reid has made clear that abusive interrogations and coercive confessions have never been condoned by the Reid Technique, which specifically prohibits physical deprivations, intimidation, unduly long interrogations, threats of consequences, and promises of leniency. Instruction in the Reid Technique has always cautioned that special care should be taken during interrogations of juveniles, including parental supervision. 

Netflix and Reid have agreed to a joint statement which is as follows, ‘Netflix and Reid agree that abusive interrogations and coercive confessions have no place in law enforcement’.”

  09/01/2020False Confessions - Causes and Remedies
We recently posted on our YouTube channel - The Reid Technique Tips - a two part video presentation: False Confessions - The Issues to be Considered in which we discuss the causes of and contributing factors to false confessions, as well as the Best Practices that the investigator should adopt so as to minimize the possibility of obtaining a false confession.  We ave prepared a written document that supplements the video presentation the you can:
Download Here

  09/01/2020September October 2020 Investigator Tip
The September/October 2020 Investigator Tip provides you with links to 25 Reid Video Tips that will help you to enhance your interviewing and interrogation (positive persuasion) skills.
Click Here for the Tip.

  08/06/2020Reid Youtube Channel - The Reid Technique Tips
Visit our Youtube channel - The Reid Technique Tips - where we have posted a number of short video presentations (most are 3-5 minutes) which address such topics as: 

  • Description of the Reid Technique
  • The Core Principles of the Reid Technique
  • Best Practices
  • How the Courts View the Reid Technique
  • What is the Non-Confrontational Approach?
  • There is no behavior unique to lying
  • Questioning Juvenile Offenders
  • Projection and Rationalization
  • Guilt presumptive Approach, Privacy and  the Purpose of an Interrogation
  • Minimization and Contamination
  • Is it permissible to lie to a suspect about evidence?
  • What Questions should be asked to determine the Voluntariness and Validity of a Subject’s Confession
  • Research Confirming the Reid Technique Process
  • Reid is the Benchmark for Proper Procedure
  • Investigator Tips
  • Cognitive Interviewing
  • The Reid P.E.A.C.E. Method of Investigative Interviews

Visit our Youtube channel

  08/05/2020Professor Alan Hirsch Misrepresents the Reid Technique Again
In the case, State v. Kincaid, (August 2020) Professor Hirsch testified that the Reid Technique uses two pillars for interrogation - the first being confrontation, the second minimization. “So with (those) they are designed to convince the subject of two things…..One, maintaining innocence is futile, and it will get you nowhere. Two, if you confess, things won’t be that bad. It will be the way to escape this awful situation. Anyone who believes those two things would be very tempted to confess and might very well do it even if they didn’t commit the crime.” 

The Reid Technique always starts with a non-accusatory, non-confrontational investigative interview in which the investigator is a neutral, objective fact finder.  It is only when the information developed during the investigation indicates the subject’s probable involvement in the commission of the crime that an interrogation becomes appropriate - see our Youtube channel for videos describing the Reid Technique process.

Furthermore, we teach never to threaten inevitable consequences and never to promise leniency during the interrogation - see The Core Principles of the Reid Technique.  In the Kincaid case our company president, Mr. Joseph Buckley, testified on behalf of the prosecution that there was nothing improper about the questioning of the defendant.  The defendant was found guilty by the jury.

This is not the first time professor Hirsch has misrepresented the Reid Technique - see our entry below dated September 16, 2009. As one federal court has stated about Professor Hirsch’s testimony, "Although Professor Hirsch insisted that “there is a wealth of information about the risks of the Reid technique,” he could point to none.” 

  06/18/2020Reid announces two new online video training programs
We are excited to announce two new one-hour online video training programs: The Reid Technique for Patrol Officers and The Reid Technique for Telephone Investigative Interviews. Each program comes with a Study Guide and an optional exam that you can take to earn 1 hour of Continuing Professional Education.  Once you purchase either of these programs you have unlimited access to it for 30 days.   Here are the details:

The Reid Technique for Patrol Officers

This online training program is designed to present tactics from THE REID TECHNIQUE OF INTERVIEWING AND INTERROGATION® for first responders who conduct interviews on the street; including patrol officers, boarder patrol, homeland security, fire fighters etc.  The program will isolate those tactics from our 4-day program that can be used on the street. These tactics will help you identify when a suspect is lying and how to get more information from suspects on the street.  Click here for additional details.

The Reid Technique for Telephone Investigative Interviews

This online program is designed for anyone that conducts investigative interviews over the phone.  In the program we detail how the core elements of the Reid Technique can be applied to telephone investigative interviews, covering the following topics: Identifying the Goals of the Interview, Preparation for the Interview, Investigator Demeanor, The Structure of the Interview.  You will learn strategies that will help you illicit more information from subjects on the phone and help you identify whether a subject is being truthful. Click here for additional details.

  05/26/2020What questions should I ask during the investigative interview?

In an effort to assist investigators in determining the type of investigative and behavior provoking questions to ask during an interview, as well as the themes and alternative questions that can be used if an interrogation is appropriate, we have developed the following information for you to have at your fingertips. 

For each of the crimes listed below we will provide you with suggestions as to the type of investigative information to develop during the interview, how to phrase the behavior provoking questions, and if an interrogation is warranted, what themes and alternatives may be appropriate. As an example, here is the information for Arson cases:

Click Here for the Tip.

  04/24/2020Interviewing Strategy For Intelligence Gathering

Obtaining information about another's unlawful activities (or planned misconduct that has not yet been executed) can be more challenging than asking one to acknowledge their own prior misdeeds. The code of silence, or omerta, is a powerful deterrent, because disclosure creates fear of retribution or being branded as untrustworthy.

Intelligence gathering for events such as espionage, narcotics distribution, human 􏰍counter-intel or military operations prioritizes identification of co-conspirators, source and disposition of contraband, safe house locations, informant credibility, as well as preemptive discovery of impending future illicit behavior.

How does one approach tactical questioning, debriefing, or interrogation when the mission is to determine what a person knows versus what they’ve already done? 

Click here for the complete article

  4/13/2020‘Virus of hate’ spotlights importance of interrogation themes

by Louis C. Senese  VP of John E. Reid and Associates   (published online at

Amid an uptick in coronavirus-related hate crimes, investigators can use empathy to relate to offenders  

It appears that the number of hate crimes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is increasing at an alarming rate.

"People are worried about the coronavirus, which we're watching in this state – there's also a virus of hate, and it's spreading, and it's spreading quickly,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in Albany, New York.

New York Attorney General Letitia James launched a hotline for victims of coronavirus-related bias crimes.

California Governor Gavin Newsom described a "huge increase" in assaults targeting the Asian-American community in his state.

When an individual is identified as an alleged COVID-19 hate crime offender, selecting the proper interrogation theme is critical in soliciting the truth. In Anatomy of Interrogation Themes, I address many hate crimes against persons and property, as well as bullying. However, I would like to offer more specific interrogation themes addressing this topic as it relates to the COVID-19 outbreak.   

Click here for the complete article.

  4/10/2020Investigator Tips by Category

In an effort to make it more convenient for our readers to enhance the learning experience, we have organized the Investigator Tips that we have published on our website since 1998 by category.  The first list will be Tips that address Interviewing topics.  Subsequent postings will be the following topics: Interrgoation  -  Behavior Symptom Analysis  -  and, False Confession Issues.

Click here for Interviewing Investigator Tips

  4/10/2020Legal Updates Winter 2020
The Legal Updates Winter 2020 column contains cases which address the following issues:

  • Incriminating statements were made in violation of Miranda 
  • Confession voluntariness: ambiguous request to terminate the questioning and over stating the evidence is not coercive 
  • The value of recording the interrogation
  • Criteria to determine custody
  • Miranda waiver requirements for a juvenile

Click here to view the updates.

  3/10/2020Telephone Interviewing Techniques Part Two
When conducting a telephone interview, the investigator is always trying to assess the credibility of the information that the subject is providing by comparing the information to known case facts and evidence, as well as evaluating the verbal characteristics of the subject’s responses.  In part Two of this Telephone Interviewing Techniques Investigator Tip we will focus on the verbal and paralinguistic behaviors that the investigator should listen for as indications of truth or deception.  Click Here for the March/April Tip

Click Here for the March/April Tip

  2/12/2020 Clarifying Misrepresentations About Law Enforcement Interrogation Techniques
Over the years social psychologists, defenses attorneys and some academicians have offered a number of criticisms of current law enforcement interrogation practices, and, in particular, the Reid Technique. Some of these criticisms are that:
  • the goal of an interrogation is to get a confession whether it is true or not
  • investigators use minimization tactics in which they offer the suspect leniency if he confesses, and harsher punishment (maximization) if he does not
  • investigators oftentimes interrogate innocent people whom they have erroneously classified as guilty
  • investigators use coercive tactics and procedures to secure confessions
  • investigators feed crime details to the suspect so that the authenticity of their incriminating statements is difficult to assess
  • investigators lie to the suspect about evidence
  • investigators do not modify their tactics when questioning juveniles or mentally impaired individuals
  • the interrogation is designed to make the suspect feel isolated and hopeless so that he sees no way out except to confess
  • the Reid Technique is a guilt presumptive approach
In this paper we will address each of these criticisms and set the record straight as to exactly what we teach with respect to law enforcement interrogation techniques, and the Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation in particular.  (Updated February 2020)

Click Here

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