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Criminal Justice Articles

Conducting a Homicide Investigation the Right Way

Every minute is important when a homicide investigation is getting started.  It is absolutely critical to make sure that those in charge of the investigation have the proper training to learn how to assess the scene, gather the evidence, and talk to possible witnesses.  The more quickly that you can act upon each of those items coincides with how much easier it can be to put the “case solved” seal on the file.  People who are interested in learning investigative skills that have to do with homicide cases go to school to get the training they need to be excellent investigators who find the answers and solve the investigation. 

Investigators Need to Learn How to Assess the Scene of a Homicide.

When people first arrive at a crime scene they need to immediately make sure that nobody else is in immediate danger at that moment.  After that is done it is time to look through everything as thoroughly and quickly as possible.  When fewer people are walking around a homicide investigation the chances of doing a more effective assessment are better.  It does take practice and technique to master this.  Many schools that teach criminal justice programs have the specific classes to help teach future investigators the skills that are so critical in assessing a homicide scene.

Investigators Need to Gather Evidence so it Stays Intact and Useful.

It is not uncommon to hear about investigations running into problems because evidence was not handled properly.  Everybody is human and even the best investigators can have mistakes happen on their crime scenes.  The goal is to make those occurrences rare or non-existent.  The proper education in procedures is very important to make that goal happen.  There is different equipment and methods that are used to handle various types of evidence.  Forensic scientists are often part of homicide investigations now because they have equipment and special procedures to follow to get evidence that may have not been discovered just a few decades back.

Talking to Witnesses Is an Important Part of Conducting a Homicide Investigation.

People who go to school or training to learn investigative skills will spend a lot of time focusing on interviewing skills for witnesses.  It is important to talk to witnesses as soon as possible when they are available.  If there are multiple witnesses they need to be separated.  They were just a part of something that is a terrible tragedy and they will want to talk about it.  To get fresh information and a point of view that hasn’t been swayed by other people’s perspectives you need to be the first to talk with and question these people.  Despite the crazier questioning techniques we have all seen in the movies you need to know that it is not really done that way.  Witnesses who have seen or experienced something traumatic need to be questioned directly but with consideration to what they’ve just been through.  Statistically, that is how many investigators get the best results.

There is a sense of urgency with every homicide investigation.  The people who are on the scene and responsible for coming up with answers need to be knowledgeable, thorough, efficient, and dedicated to the entire process.  The classes and programs that are available to help them learn those skills have played a huge role in solving many of the cases that happen in the world today.  We should all be thankful for the people who are not afraid to go into those traumatic situations and find the answers that people need to put closure on a case.

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