1.What are the methods of inquiry and how are they used in criminal investigation? The method of inquiry is based on gathering observable, empirical and measureable evidence. Basically, methods of inquiry are ways that an investigator gathers the information for the case that they are investigating. Methods of inquiry are used in criminal investigation by collecting evidence, statement collection, and going through electronic databases and even the internet. The methods of inquiry are all used in conjunction to reconstruct the crime scene.
The methods are also used by utilizing the five W’s, who, what, when, where, and why, and also how. There are three methods of inquiry that are used in an investigation and those are authority method, tenacity method, and intuition. For example of a method of inquiry, is when an investigator is collecting the statements from either the victims or witnesses. The investigator will take all the information and evidence that is collected, compile it all together and come up with the reconstruction of the crime that was committed.
2.What is the optimal mindset of an investigator and how are the concepts associated with the optimal mindset of an investigator manifest? The optimal mindset of an investigator is one that is able to look for the motive of the crime that is at hand and able to investigate all the possibilities of even the most obvious evidence that has been gathered. In my own opinion, I think that an optimal mindset is where the investigator can process all the evidence at hand, in their mind and come up with a conclusion of what occurred. Also I believe that the mindset is one that can be taught through training and experience.
3.What is the scientific method and how is it applied to criminal investigation by criminal investigators? Scientific method is defined by the World English Dictionary as “a method of investigation in which a problem is first identified and observations, experiments, or other relevant data are then used to construct or test hypotheses that purport to solve it” cited from http://dictonary.reference.com/browse/scientific+method. In my opinion, the investigators must apply the scientific method in every one of the investigations that they do.
The investigators must take all the information into their minds and ask themselves what happened, how did it happen, and why did this crime happen. Once the investigator comes up with the answers then will conduct experiments to see if their idea was the ultimate conclusion of what happened. So for an example, the investigator can say, this is a murder, the person was stabbed, and the motive was this person was caught having an affair. After the investigator comes up with his hypotheses he/she will then test it, if the evidence does not support his/her theory then he would start over on figuring out what, why and how it all occurred.
4.Discuss the three primary sources of information for criminal investigators and provide detailed practical examples of each source listed. The three primary sources of information are Physical Evidence and Scientific Examinations, Documentation, and information form people. Each source is valuable to an investigation in its own way. Physical evidence/scientific examinations is the evidence found at the scene of the crime. This can include clothing, blood, fingerprints, weapons and much more. An example of physical evidence could be any listed above but also a bloody knife or a casing from a bullet. Documentation can be found in logs, records, and electronic data that could be found at the crime scene.
The investigator may also have to go to certain agencies to get the documentation, although if the investigator does this they must know what that agency is able to provide. For example, the investigator could call a phone company and get the recent call log for the victims phone and find out who they have called in the past so many hours, or even go on the victims personal computer and see where they have been on the internet. Information from people could come from witnesses and or victims, libraries, informants, and even reporters. The investigators while interviewing individuals and will gather more information from them that will help reconstruct the crime scene. The investigators will also have to make sure that all the information that they receive from any of these individuals are correct and not trying to gain something for themselves.