Thursday, March 30, 2006


Remember the old Dick Tracy cartoons? Remember Dick Tracy’s wristwatch that he used to call for assistance? Well, it’s here. There is a digital voice recorder that also functions as an MP3 player – and a wrist watch! The fully functional watch is also a media player with 256MB flash memory built in which will allow you to record up to 9 hours of voice recording, as well as download MP3 music files. You can play back the recording with an easy USB plug and play, or play back via stereo headphones or window media player. Available for $189.95 at Imagine the investigative potential of recording a conversation from a wristwatch?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


As I have written in the past, many of the postings here should be credited to the writer of another Blog; Brooklynnorth. He is a Detective Commander and obviously a very knowledgable fellow, Lt. John Cornicello NYPD. Without his experience, knowledge and sense of humor this Blog would certainly be less than it is.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has created an online database consiting of motor vehicles or boats affected by Huricanes Katrina and Rita for the public to search in an effort to protect them from fraudulent sellers. The online data is made available to law enforcement, state fraud bureaus, insurance companies and state departments of motor vehicles. The NICB is also making the data available to the general public to help protect buyers against fraud. Effective immediately, anyone can log on to and query a suspected VIN free of charge, against the regularly updated database to find out if there is a match. For more information on NICB and disaster fraud, visit their web site. You can also call 1-800-TEL-NICB.

Here are some excerpts of actual conversations heard in and around Squad rooms. Some during interviews, some by… detectives?

They were all conversating.
We conversated telephonically.
They were living domesticatarly.
They’re habitating.
Seeking the location of his whereabouts.
He was of Jamaican assessment.
Seeking to identify his identification.
Identified a pattern of unrelated crimes.
He was wearing a multi-colored white t-shirt.
He is known to congregate by himself.
The eyewitness is blind and didn’t see anything.
They went into a feet pursuit.
He has numerical arrests on his rap sheet.
The bus driver was working off duty at the time.
The information was received from an anonymous CI.
His sister states she was not related to her brother.
The suspicious package was examined and determined to be not suspicious.
The unarmed security guard fired 2 shots at the perp.
All the calls that day happened another day.

There are a multitude of associations and organizations for investigators in the private sector. Some organized by specialty, others by geographic area. Here’s a listing of some of the more unusual.

There is a European Council of Detectives. You can check their web site

The Professional Investigators and Security AssociationBased in Charlottesville, VA, they can be found at:

National Defender Investigator

National Association of Legal Investigators.This association represents private investigators who conduct work for the defense. They also have a national accreditation

The Council of International Investigators, headquartered in Singapore.www.cii2.ord

World Association of Detectives. This international group hosts an annual convention that brings detectives from… all over the world (where else?)! Claim to be the largest and oldest association of its kind in the

Prosecutors and defense attorneys are facing the "CSI Effect"-high expectations from jurors because of media glamorization of the criminal-justice system.
Jurors believe forensic evidence can be found at every crime scene and is always admissible in court.
They also believe that expert witnesses may not be credible and that crimes can be solved in less than an hour.
Jurors have the inability to tell real life from entertainment.
Movies and television shows like "CSI," which began in 2000, take liberties with what is scientifically accepted and expand it, Clifford Strider, a prosecuter in an Ohio District said.
"On 'CSI,' someone was found stabbed and they poured plaster in the knife wound to get an image to match to the knife," he said. "You can't do that. Skin is elastic and changes as soon as a knife is removed."
But men and women, often walking into a courtroom for the first time when they are called to jury duty, don't know that.
"Jurors say the reality of the courtroom is disappointing and the evidence is not as appealing as expected," Strider said.
Police and court shows have entertained since the advent of radio and "Mr. District Attorney - the champion of people and defender of truth," Strider said.
But the three television networks available in those early days have ballooned to more than 100, with dozens of crime and court shows, 24-hour news coverage, trials of the century and re-enactments of major cases. Strider said people believe all police departments have helicopters, multiple criminal investigators and evidence that can be analyzed in hours.
When they get on a jury, they wonder why the evidence is not there.
"I think it is good for jurors to be demanding and expect proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but I think there are cases where the jury is out of control and gets angry," said Mark Godsey, a University of Cincinnati associate professor of law who directs the Ohio Innocence Project, which seeks to overturn wrongful convictions.
Godsey, a former federal prosecutor, said jurors should not expect DNA testing in a $100 theft.
"Hello - we are not actually 'CSI,' and the government and taxpayers are not putting those resources into every case," he said.

Partially Reprinted from Policeone

Monday, March 27, 2006

Police Humor

So you thought police officers didn't have a sense of humor....

The following were taken off of actual police car videos around the country.

#15 "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch out after you wear them awhile."
#14 "Take your hands off the car, or I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document.
"#13 "If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."
#12 "Can you run faster than 1,200 feet per second? In case you didn't know, that is the average speed of a 9mm bullet fired from my gun."
#11 "So you don't know how fast you were going. I guess that means I can write anything I want on the ticket, huh?"
#10 "Yes, Sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh .. did I mention that I am the shift supervisor?"
#9 "Warning! You want a warning? O.K., I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."
#8 "The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"
#7 "Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy."
#6 "Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."
#5 "In God we trust, all others we run through NCIC."
#4 "Just how big were those two beers?"
#3 "No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to have quotas but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we want."
#2 "I'm glad to hear the Chief of Police is a good personal friend of yours. At least you know someone who can post your bail."and the best one . .
#1 "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? . You're right, we don't. .. Sign here."

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Top Ten Signs The Guy Did It

1. He says he did it.
2. He says he didn’t do it.
3. He falls asleep during questioning.
4. You found a human suit made out of the guy he killed during the search.
5. There are 64 eye witnesses.
6. He left so much DNA at the crime scene that the lab was able to clone him.
7. At any point in the interview, the guy says, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” (At least that’s how it works on TV.)
8. His polygraph looks like an earthquake chart.
9. He says everything’s fine now because the bad voice in his teeth has been replaced with a pleasant “whooshing” sound.
10. That feeling you get when you look at him.

Reprinted from APB

What should you do when a suspect who waived his Miranda rights says he might want a lawyer? This is the question that the US Supreme Court recently ruled on.


A fairly common scenario, you obtain a valid Miranda waiver from a suspect in custody and begin interrogation. Part way through your questioning, the suspect begins to feel uneasy about going forward and says something about remaining silent or talking to a lawyer. What then? Must you stop interrogating? Do you need to clarify his wishes? Or can you keep talking? The US Supreme Court gave the answers in Davis v. U.S. The Supreme Court acknowledged its earlier ruling in Edwards v. Arizona that a statement obtained through police custodial interrogation will not be admitted to prove guilt at trial if it resulted from questioning that continued after the suspect’s request for an attorney. But where it is not necessarily clear that a suspect who has already waived his rights is asking for an attorney, the court declined to place the burden of resolving the ambiguity on the police.“If a suspect makes a reference to an attorney that is ambiguous or equivocal in that a reasonable officer in light of the circumstances would have understood only that the suspect might be invoking the right to counsel, our precedents do not require the cessation of questioning. Rather, the suspect must unambiguously request counsel. He must articulate his desire to have counsel present sufficiently clearly that a reasonable police officer in the circumstances would understand the statement to be a request for an attorney. ”Finding that the statement, “Maybe I should talk to a lawyer,” was not an unequivocal, unambiguous invocation of the right to counsel, the court upheld the admission of Davis’s statements and unanimously affirmed his conviction and sentence. The five-member majority held that it is not necessary for officers to stop an interrogation when the suspect makes an ambiguous reference to invoking his rights. There are no magic words that a suspect has to use to constitute a clear and unambiguous invocation of Miranda. Certainly a statement such as “No more questions”, or “I want a lawyer” are unambiguous. Wishy-washy qualifications such as “I think…” or “Maybe I should…” would normally be ambiguous enough to come within the Davis rule that there is no need to clarify the suspect’s wishes and no need to stop questioning. It is further noted that the Davis ruling only applies where the suspect initially gave a clear, unambiguous waiver when given initially given his Miranda rights. Once he has waived, the burden shifts to him to clearly, unambiguously assert his rights if he wants questioning to cease. For example, if the suspect responds to the Miranda admonishment by saying something like, “I think maybe I should get a lawyer,” you should not proceed without clarifying whether or not you have an invocation of counsel. It’s only after a clean waiver has been obtained that the Davis rule kicks in. NOTE: NOT all states follow the US Supreme Court rulings on exclusionary issues. States are free to interpret their own constitutions as providing greater protection to criminals than the US Constitution provides. Where do you suppose Florida falls??