PDA

View Full Version : Q re homicide investigation procedural details...



Jill_Blake
08-06-2016, 09:40 AM
Setting: L.A., present day
Situation: MC going through contentious divorce. Wife living w new partner. MC has girlfriend. Wife and MC are seen arguing in public place. A week later, MC spends part of night w GF at her place, but leaves while she is sleeping. That night, wife and her new partner are shot dead in their apartment. Homicide investigation ensues. Security camera footage shows 2 unidentified men entering the apartment building just before murder (shots heard by neighbors shortly thereafter) and exiting a few minutes later. Neither matches physical appearance of MC.

Questions:
1. At what point in investigation the police interview the MC? Would they treat him as a suspect and arrest him, or how would the interview be handled? If there is no physical evidence implicating him, but he doesn't have a solid alibi, would he be called a suspect or person of interest? Can police monitor his activities/phone calls etc?
2. At what point would they interview the MC's girlfriend? She's a teacher, would they go to the school and ask q's there? How would they frame the introduction/explain to GF why they're there and asking her questions?
3. How does a homicide detective typically introduce himself to a potential witness he wants to interview (in person)?
4. Do detectives always go on these interviews w a partner, or can one do an interview solo?
5. Does interview (in the field) get recorded somehow? Does detective ask for permission to record it?
6. Do detectives still use paper/pencil to take notes during field interview, or is this done digitally?
7. Can the GF decline to be interviewed at that time and ask for later appointment? If she tries to communicate w the MC, is that communication monitored by police (e.g. phone call, text, in-person visit)?

thanks!

cornflake
08-06-2016, 10:17 AM
Setting: L.A., present day
Situation: MC going through contentious divorce. Wife living w new partner. MC has girlfriend. Wife and MC are seen arguing in public place. A week later, MC spends part of night w GF at her place, but leaves while she is sleeping. That night, wife and her new partner are shot dead in their apartment. Homicide investigation ensues. Security camera footage shows 2 unidentified men entering the apartment building just before murder (shots heard by neighbors shortly thereafter) and exiting a few minutes later. Neither matches physical appearance of MC.

Doesn't match how?

Questions:
1. At what point in investigation the police interview the MC? Would they treat him as a suspect and arrest him, or how would the interview be handled? If there is no physical evidence implicating him, but he doesn't have a solid alibi, would he be called a suspect or person of interest? Can police monitor his activities/phone calls etc? He's likely an immediate suspect, but you don't generally get arrested for that. They'd investigate. They'd probably not want to call him anything specific - is there some big media attention on this for some reason?


2. At what point would they interview the MC's girlfriend? She's a teacher, would they go to the school and ask q's there? How would they frame the introduction/explain to GF why they're there and asking her questions? Depends - they might call her, ask her to come there. Would she? They'd say they want to ask her some questions about her bf, whose ex wife was murdered.

3. How does a homicide detective typically introduce himself to a potential witness he wants to interview (in person)? Hi, I'm detective Bob?

4. Do detectives always go on these interviews w a partner, or can one do an interview solo? Sure - depends on the point, who's got what, who's doing what, size of the department, what else is going on.

5. Does interview (in the field) get recorded somehow? Does detective ask for permission to record it? Depends on the detective, department and the state. I dunno CA recording laws.

6. Do detectives still use paper/pencil to take notes during field interview, or is this done digitally? Sure, Depends on the person but lots of detectives have notebooks.

7. Can the GF decline to be interviewed at that time and ask for later appointment? If she tries to communicate w the MC, is that communication monitored by police (e.g. phone call, text, in-person visit)? You don't have to speak to the cops, close to ever, save basic identifying information. They need a warrant to tap your phone, etc., and that seems like an unlikely get.

thanks!

Basic life tip - if the cops come to your door and ask to come in, or want you to talk to them, and you're not the one who called them, or if they want you to come to the station to ask you questions about something and you're not the victim in the case? Say no.

jclarkdawe
08-06-2016, 06:28 PM
Cornflake is right that you shouldn't talk to the police. That's where most people get into trouble.

The security video would probably be seen first. If the MC is clearly not a match for what's on the video, the questioning of him would be for background and to get a feel as to whether he might have hired hitmen. The police aren't going to do much with the MC but will focus their main effort on the two people in the video. After all, if they were hired, the police are going to probably find that out pretty quickly after they arrest them.

Police operate in a wide variety of ways. You act based upon your training and what the case needs.

Jim Clark-Dawe

Jill_Blake
08-07-2016, 07:56 AM
Thanks, Cornflake & Jim!

cmhbob
08-07-2016, 10:16 PM
If you're just getting into police procedures/crime writing and don't have easy access to a cop, I highly recommend Lee Lofland's Police Police Procedure & Investigation (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00506VMZ6/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1) and his blog at www.leelofland.com.

Jill_Blake
08-08-2016, 01:55 AM
Thanks, Bob - I just ordered the book. I appreciate the tip! - jill