Marine Investigations

Marine Investigations

Road to A Marine Investigator

by David Pascoe

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Chapter 11

Interrogation Techniques


Interviews, interrogations or taking statements, regardless of which term we use, means the same thing. It is a process by which we obtain information from witnesses.

I deliberately chose the term interrogation because it conveys the sense of trying to extract information from people who may be reluctant to give it.

Verbal information that constitutes evidence amounts to around one half of all evidence obtained during investigations, yet my experience is that the vast majority of marine investigators do not take formal statements. The end result is that their investigations are incomplete.

There are probably a number of reasons why they don't. In some states, licensing is required and they don't have the appropriate license. But probably the main reason is simply fear because they have no training, and because they are afraid of confrontations. This is much the same phenomenon as stage fright.

Certainly if one has never done it before, the prospect probably seems a little daunting, but the reality is that it is easy, far easier than one might imagine.

Let's first start with the understanding that relatively few people ever refuse a request to give a statement. Secondly, including witness statements with an investigation report provides credibility that it would not otherwise have.

Teaching yourself how to interrogate people effectively will improve your investigative effectiveness very substantially.

Throughout this chapter I discuss interrogation techniques primarily from the standpoint of interviewing policy holders or insureds, but not without recognition that the investigator will face many other kinds of subjects who are too numerous to deal with individually.

Some investigators will do nothing but insurance work, while others won't do any at all. While interrogation techniques remain essentially the same no matter who the subject is, it should be recognized that insureds, as interview subjects, have to be treated differently than other types of witnesses because they are customers of our clients.

Copyright© 2004 David H. Pascoe
(Additional spaces are added for easy screen reading.)

Table of Contents: Chapter Chapter 11

11. Interrogation Techniques 381

Getting Started 382
The Art of Listening 384
The Basis for Conducting Interviews 384
Types of Interviews 384
Informal Interviews 386
Statement Format 387
Conducting Interviews & Timing 388
Recording & Transcription 389
Court Reporters 390
Time and Place 390
Attitude 391
Background Information 391
Preparing Questions 392
Don't Be In a Hurry 392
The Pregnant Pause 393
Casual vs. Personal Witnesses 394
Reluctant Witnesses 396
Exposing the Lie 397
The Unobservant Witness - I Don't Remember 398
Testing Recall 398
Accepting the Lie 399
Mirroring Technique 400
Evasiveness 401
Testing for Truth 401
Trapping 402
The Turning Point 402
Big Lies, Little Lies 403
Out-of-Sequence Questions 405
Leading, Wordy and Clever Questions 406
Statements Under Oath 408
Order of Questioning 409
Golden Silence 410
Know the Answer before You Ask 411
No Response to Answers 412
New Information 412
Detecting Untruth 412
The Dumb Cop or Columbo Technique 414
Things We Never Say or Do 416

Copyright© 2004 David H. Pascoe


Expand Business!
Marine surveyors:
Expand your marine business!
Conducting marine investigations can help free you from the limitations of a seasonal business and expand your business opportunities and income.
Who Hires?
Who hires marine investigators?
In addition to insurance companies, specialist investigators merge their specialized pleasure craft knowledge with investigative abilities for a broad range of clientele.
These can range from boat owners with serious warranty claim disputes and faulty repair issues to being hired by lawyers as investigators as either fact witnesses or expert witnesses.
Marine investigators often work for boat owners who are having trouble with insurance claim issues, assisting the boat owner obtain a proper claims settlement.

Marine Investigations Marine Investigations
Soft Cover
544 pages
Publisher: D. H. Pascoe & Co., Inc.
Published: 2004
Language: English
ISBN-13: 9780965649650
Price: $44.50
In Stock



David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from over 70 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version

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