Where is the body? Investigative interviewing strategies in missing body homicide cases

Nathan Ryan, Nina Westera, Mark R. Kebbell, Becky Milne, Harrison Mark

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Abstract

In some murder cases the location of the victim’s body is unknown. In these circumstances, the information provided by the murderer can be the key to locating the victim’s body. In this paper we report the findings of 11 semi-structured interviews with homicide investigators who have worked on missing body homicide cases. Investigators were asked about their critical decision points, and how interviews in these cases should be conducted. Four main themes were identified from the interviews. These were; (a) establishing rapport; (b) strategies for gaining information about the site location; (c) strategies for checking suspect veracity; and, (d) impediments to the interview process. This study provides a research base to inform how homicide interviews are conducted in these cases and suggests a lack of a direct evidence-base for interviewing in these cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-77
Number of pages17
JournalInvestigative Interviewing: Research and Practice
Volume10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

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