Criminology Board Exam Reviewer

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Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation

Investigation - an inquiry, judicial or otherwise for the discovery and collection of facts concerning the matters involved.

- it is the process of inquiring, eliciting, soliciting and getting vital information, facts, circumstances in order to establish the truth.

Criminal Investigator - a public safety officer who is tasked to conduct the investigation of all criminal cases as provided for and embodied under the revised penal code, criminals laws and special laws which are criminal in nature.

- a well trained, disciplined and experienced professional in the field of criminal investigation.

Custodial Investigation - investigation conducted by law enforcement officers after a person has been arrested or deprived of his freedom of action.

Neighborhood Investigation - one of the most crucial steps in kidnap for ransom cases which is often overlooked. The objective is to identify and interview in person all individuals in the area where the victim was kidnapped or last known sighting area during the window of opportunity.(last time seen until the time discovered missing. Crime scene - a venue or place where the alleged crime/incident/event has been committed.

Corpus delicti - (latin for the body of the crime) - used to describe the physical or material evidence that a crime has been committed. ex. corpse of a murder victim.

Confession - is an express acknowledgement by the accused in acriminal prosecution of the truth of his guilt as to the offense charge.

Admission - refers to statement of facts not directly constituting an acknowledgement of guilt. Organized criminal group - a structured group of three or more persons existing

for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious crime or offenses. Organized crime - a combination of two or more persons who are engaged in a criminal or

virtual criminal activity on a continuing basis for the purpose of profit or power using gangland style to attain their purpose.

Physical evidence - evidenced addressed to the senses of the court that are capable of being exhibited, examined or viewed by the court. This includes but not limited to fingerprints, body fluid, explosives, hazardous chemicals, soil/burned debris, bombs, electronic parts used in the commission of the crime.

Victimology/victim profiling - a detailed account of the victims lifestyle and personality, assist in determining the nature of the disappearance, the risk level of the victim and the type of person who could have committed the crime. Complete information regarding the victims physical description, normal behavior patterns, the family dynamics and known friends and acquintances should be obtained as soon as possible.

Miranda vs. Arizona - Ernesto Miranda had confessed to rape and kidnapping, after two hour interrogation. Because the interrogators failed to inform Miranda of his right to counsel and remain silent, his conviction was overturned.

Waterboarding - refers to the practice of strapping a suspect to a board with his or her head lowered, then the face is covered and water is poured over it causing the suspect to gag and experience the sensation of drowning.

Chinese water torture - interrogation technique, repeatedly dripping water on the forehead of the suspect. The goal is to drive the suspect to near insanity thereby obtaining a confession.

Serial Killer - is someone who murders 3 or more people with "cooling off" periods in between.

Police Blotter - is an 18" x 12" logbook with hard bound cover that contains the daily register of all crime incident reports, official summary of arrests and other significant events reported in a police station. A separate police blotter shall be maintained for offenses requiring confidentiality like violence against women and children and those cases involving a child in conflict with the law to protect their privacy pursuant to RA 9262 (anti violence against women and children act of 2004) and RA 9344 ( juvenile justice and welfare act of 2006).


Actus Reus - proof that a criminal act has occurred.

Sketch - a rough drawing or painting, often made to assist in making a more finished picture. Types of Sketches

1. Floor plan (Birds Eye View) 2. Elevation Drawing

3. Exploded View 4. Respective Drawings

Allan Pinkerton - a Scottish american detective who created the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, the first detective agency in the US.Pinkerton foiled a plot to assassinate President Lincoln.

Rouges Gallery - is a police collection of pictures or photographs of criminals and suspects kept for identification purposes.A compilation of descriptions, methods of operation having places and names ofcriminal and their associates.

Mugshot - is a photographic portrait taken after one is arrested.

Criminal investigation - it is the collection of facts in order to accomplish the three fold aims: 3 Fold Aims Of Criminal Investigation

1. To identify the guilty party 2. To locate the guilty party 3. To provide evidence of his guilt

6 Cardinal points of investigation

1. What specific offense was committed 2. How the offense was committed 3. Who committed it

4. Where the offense was committed 5. When it was committed

6. Why it was committed

Tools of an investigator in gathering facts

1. Information - data gathered by an investigator and other person including the victim himself and from:

1. public records 2. private records 3. modus operandi file

2. Interview - skillful questioning of witness and suspects.

3. Instrumentation - scientific examination of real evidence, application of instruments and

method of physical sciences in detecting crime. Phases of investigations

1.Phase 1 - identify the suspect through: 1. confession

2. eyewitness testimony 3. circumstantial evidence 4. associate evidence

2. Phase 2 - locate and apprehend suspect. 3. Phase 3 - gather and provide evidence to establish the guilt of the accused.

Composition/Organization of an investigation team:

1. Team leader


3. Photographer 4. Evidence Custodian 5. Composite illustrator/Artist Equipment of an Investigator 1. Police line 2. Video camera 3. Voice recorder 4. Camera 5. Measuring device 6. Gloves 7. Flashlight 8. Fingerprint kit 9. Evidence bag 10. Evidence tag 11. Evidence bottles/vials 12. Investigators tickler Investigators Tickler 1. Investigators checklist 2. Anatomical diagram form 3. Evidence Checklist 4. Turn-over receipt

Standard Methods of Recording Investigative Data:

1. Photographs

2. Sketching crime scenes

3. Written notes (what you have seen/observed)

4. Developing and lifting fingerprints found at the crime scene. 5. Gathering physical evidence

6. Plaster cast

7. Tape recording of sounds 8. Video tape recording of objects

9. Written statement of objects and witnesses.

2 Kinds of Information

1. Regular sources - ex. citizen, company records 2. Cultivated sources - ex. paid informant

 Interrogation or questioning witness or suspect who is reluctant to divulge or reveal information with the

goal of extracting a confession or obtaining information while an Interview is simple questioning of a person who cooperate with the investigator.

How the Suspect is Identified

1. Confession or Admission - is a declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt.

2. Eyewitness testimony 3. Circumstantial evidence

How circumstantial Evidence Obtained 1. Motive

2. Opportunity

3. Associative Evidence Types of Interview


police/investigator at the crime scene to get description of criminal if seen.

2. Formal - interview conducted by the investigator assigned to the case.

Types of Formal Interview

1. Normal - for willing or cooperative witness. 2. Group/Pretext Interview - for hostile witness or witness who refuse to cooperate.

3. Follow Up - additional interview in addition to vital points if necessary. Qualifications of Interviewer 1. Salesman 2. Actor 3. Psychologist Requisites of an Interview 1. Establish rapport 2. Forcefulness of personality 3. Breadth of interest Setting of Interview

1. Background Interview - time and place of interview are not a consideration except for busy person.

2. Routine Criminal Cases - interview should be carefully planned. Busy person can be interviewed at night, privacy is important.

3. Important Criminal Cases - should be conducted in places other than the subjects home/office to prevent him/her feeling confident. Investigator should get interviewees respect.

4. Appropriate Time - General rule - (ASAP) as soon possible while facts are fresh in the memory of interviewees.

Methods of Crime Scene Search

1. Strip method - the area is blocked out in the form of a rectangle. The searchers (3 person is good) proceed slowly at the same pace along paths parallel to one side of the rectangle.

2. Double Strip Search Method - modification of the strip search method. The rectangle is traversed first parallel to the base then parallel to a side. 3. Spiral Search Method - The searchers (3 person is good) follow each other along the path of a spiral beginning on the outside and spiraling in towards the center.

4. Zone Search Method - one searcher is assigned to each subdivision of a quadrant and then each quadrant is cut into another set of quadrants. 5. Wheel Search Method - the area is considered to be approximately circular. The searchers gather at the center and proceed outward along radii or spokes. Procedure is repeated several times depending on the size of the circle and the number of searchers.

strip search method