Methods of Criminal Investigation

Midterm Essay Exam xxxxxxxxxxx Kaplan University CJ210-04 1. What are methods of inquiry and how are they used in criminal investigation? The main methods of inquiry are the reconstruction of the past and the discovery or creation of new knowledge. In order to reconstruct the past there are three sources available to the investigator. These are people, physical evidence and records. People are a good source of information once you learn the art of questioning and how to sift through the lies and deceptions. Physical evidence paints a picture or can accurately recreate a crime.

Records are used to show an investigator trends leading up to the crime. Now the discovery or creation of new knowledge is what separates the skilled investigator from the rest. This involves instinct, experience, an open mind and what some consider gut feelings. You need to think outside the box. 2. What is the optimal mindset of an investigator and how are the concepts associated with the optimal mindset of an investigator manifest? I believe the optimal mindset of an investigator is to be wary of all. An investigator needs to believe all suspects are guilty until proven otherwise.

Never dismiss a clue or lead and never let your guard down. The manifestation of this mindset comes with common sense, experience, training and traits that some people are just born with. I think some of these traits can be learned but the best of the best are born to be investigators. 3. What is the scientific method and how is it applied to criminal investigation by criminal investigators? “The scientific method is a way of observing, thinking about, and solving problems objectively and systematically. ” The criminal investigator uses this process much like a mathematician solves a problem.

They identify the problem then come up with a theory. Then they collect data through observations and experimentation. This then helps the investigator to draw conclusions. 4. Discuss the three primary sources of information for criminal investigators and provide detailed practical examples of each source listed. The three primary sources of information for criminal investigators are physical evidence, people and records. Physical evidence is comprised of things found at a crime scene such as fingerprints, tool marks, bullets, casings, hairs, fibers and many other things.

When it comes to people this includes friends, family, witnesses, victims, business associates and people that share the same recreational interests. An example of records could be phone calls, credit card purchases and video surveillance tapes from banks, parking lots, and just about anywhere you go anymore. References Osterburg, James & Ward, Richard (2010). Criminal Investigation: A Method for Reconstructing the Past. Sixth Edition. Anderson Publishing http://www. ncjrs. gov/App/Publications/abstract. aspx? ID=78300

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