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The suspect accused of siphoning his wife’s financial assets depicts a psychopath personality following his continuous extortion of women. As such, this man demands a specialized interview procedure to gather the intended information. Failing to understand the psychological nature of the accused individual results in a flawed exercise that can compromise the relevance of the case.

When preparing for the interrogation, the interviewer should examine the offender’s emotional stability to ensure that he is fit to record a statement. The Hare Psychopathic Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) method can study the character to determine if the man possesses psychological issues likely to hinder the questioning process (Perri, 2011). Upon realizing that the justice system has discovered his illegalities, the culprit may twist his testimony by presenting facts that contradict the physical evidence leading to flawed interview. Therefore, the interviewer should exercise caution by devising flexible ways to approach the suspect and attain a candid confession. Ideally, the suitable option for the suspect is the Reid technique, where investigators should control the questioning procedure and prevent him from denying the facts by eliminating unsatisfactory explanations (Perri, 2011). In addition, the interrogator can present two contrasting opinions referring to the siphoning crime as socially acceptable since the suspect has the right to the partner’s assets to trigger a confession and later declare the same action as morally unacceptable to charge him.

The psychopath mentality displays rigidity in thinking, emotions, and behavior that impairs standard functionality. Contrary to popular belief, this condition does not equate to cognitive ailments. It is a trait that offenders adopt to confuse investigators and give a fabricated testimony. According to Miller, Maples-Keller & Lynam (2016), the suspect is an intra-species predator that uses intimidation and manipulation to control the interview in his favor and get away with extorting his wives. He violates social values and lacks the conscience needed to show empathy for his illegal deed. However, this does not imply the culprit is disoriented or subjected to distress like emotional disorder victims; instead he can reason logically but prefers to act in a particular way to escape judgement (Miller, Maples-Keller & Lynam, 2016). Following his cunning character, the suspect can create fabricated scenarios to fool professionals; hence, forensic psychologists need to detect deceit and apply provocative techniques to acquire information.


Miller, J. D., Maples-Keller, J. L., & Lynam, D. R. (2016). An examination of the three components of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory: Profile comparisons and tests of moderation. Psychological Assessment, 28(6), 692-701. doi:10.1037/pas0000221

Perri, F. S. (2011). Case study: The flawed interview of a psychotic killer: What went wrong? Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 8(3), 41–57. doi: 10.1002/jip.128

Case Study: The Flawed Interview of a Psychotic Killer: What Went Wrong? by Perri, F.S., in Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, Vol. 8/Issue 3. Copyright 2011 by John Wiley & Sons – Journals. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley & Sons – Journals via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Teresa Bryant

Forensic Psychology


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