Criminal Investigation

A Method for Reconstructing the Past


  • James Osterburg
  • Richard Ward

This text presents the fundamentals of criminal investigation and provides a sound method for reconstructing a past event (i.e., a crime) based on three major sources of information - people, physical evidence and records. More than a simplistic introductory text, yet written in an easy-to-read, user-friendly format, it offers a broad approach to criminal investigation.
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Students and beginning professionals in the criminal justice field.


Book information

  • Published: April 2010
  • ISBN: 978-1-4224-6328-4

Table of Contents

Section I: The Foundation and Principles of Criminal Investigation

Part A: Sources and Uses of Information

1 The Investigator: Responsibilities and Attributes: Origins and Trends

2 Physical Evidence: Development, Interpretation, Investigative Value

3 The Crime Scene: Discovery, Preservation, Collection, and Transmission of Evidence

4 People as a Source of Information

Part B: Seeking and Obtaining Information: People and Records

5 Records and Files: Investigative Uses and Sources

6 Interviews: Obtaining Information from Witnesses

7 Informants: Cultivation and Motivation

Part C: Follow-Up Measures: Reaping Information

8 Surveillance: A Fact-finding Tool-Legality and Practice

9 Eyewitness Identification: Guidelines and Procedures

10 Interrogation: Purpose and Principles

11 Interrogation of Suspects and Hostile Witnesses: Guidelines and Procedures

Section II: Applying the Principles to Criminal Investigation

12 Managing Criminal Investigations

13 Reconstructing the Past: Methods, Evidence, Examples

14 Crime and Constitutional Law: The Foundations of Criminal Investigation

15 Evidence and Effective Testimony

16 Homicide

17 Robbery

18 Rape and Other Sex Crimes

19 Burglary

20 Arson and Explosives

Section III: Special Topics

21 Increasing Threats and Emerging Crime

22 Terrorism and Urban Disorder

23 Computers and Technological Crime

24 Enterprise Crime: Organized, Economic, and White-Collar Crime