The ABC of Homicide
Assume nothing – don’t go to a crime scene with a preconceived idea. Keep your mind open. Believe nothing – don’t immediately accept everything you are told. Check everything. Go away and check everything you have seen and heard at the crime scene. You’ll often find not all the initial information was accurate, so always dig further. Assume nothing, Believe nothing, Check everything. ABC of Homicide.
It Costs Nothing to Listen
The greatest gift you can give somebody is the ability to listen. Don’t interrupt – let them tell their story. An interview is a conversation. It’s not a race, it is a journey. Whether they are a suspect or a witness, you must show genuine empathy. Not sympathy, but empathy. Put yourself in their shoes, and try to come down to their level. Listening is one of the most valuable tools of a good homicide detective.
Every Family Deserves Answers
Every family, regardless of their criminal background, history, race or religion, has the right to a thorough and thoughtful investigation into the death of their loved one. There is no such thing as closure, but giving a family a reason why the victim was murdered can at least give them some peace of mind.
Failure Is Not an Option
Don’t set out with a negative attitude. Plan properly and follow every possible lead as far as you can. Sometimes this might take years or even decades, but it is all about digging deep and finding answers for the families involved.
The Answer’s in the File
Looking back through an old file with new eyes gives a fresh perspective. And more often than not, the killer’s name is there in the file.
Don’t Make Your Facts Fit Your Theory
It’s important not to have tunnel vision in homicide. When you first assess a crime scene, some investigators start assuming too much and that leads them down the wrong path. They start to ignore any evidence that doesn’t match their assumptions. You must let all the facts speak for themselves without having a pre-conceived idea. Don’t make your facts fit your theory.