Criminal Investigative Failures

Criminal Investigative Failures

Book - 2009
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& Francis Publishing

Avoid Major Investigative Traps

What causes competent and dedicated investigators to make avoidable mistakes, jeopardizing the successful resolution of their cases? Authored by a 21-year police veteran and university research professor, Criminal Investigative Failures comprehensively defines and discusses the causes and problems most common to failed investigations. More importantly, it outlines realistic strategies for avoiding investigative pitfalls.

Illuminated with case studies, this practical resource examines three main reasons for investigative failure:

  • Cognitive biases, such as tunnel vision, that lead to mistakes in reasoning
  • Organizational traps, such as groupthink, that investigators fall prey to within their agencies
  • Probability errors, such as the prosecutor’s fallacy, in forensic science and criminal profiling

The Dangers of Assumptions and Organizational Ego

Authoritative contributors from a variety of disciplines elaborate on the aforementioned core points with commentary and case studies of well-known crimes. Written in a quick-to-grasp style, this useful text provides practical advice for avoiding investigative failures. It is an invaluable reference for investigators looking to prevent future failures of justice and find the truth.

Book News
For criminal investigators, police officers, and academics, Rossmo (criminology, Texas State U.), a former geographic profiler, assembles 16 chapters that outline the causes and problems involved in failed investigations and how to avoid them, with a focus on murder and other major crimes. Chapters describe cognitive biases, such as tunnel vision, that lead to mistakes in reasoning; organizational traps like groupthink, rumors, and ego; and probability errors in forensic science and criminal profiling, such as the prosecutor's fallacy. Studies of specific cases and recommendations for improvements are included. Contributors are investigators, criminologists, attorneys, psychologists, academics, and others from the US, Canada, and the UK. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Boca Raton, FL : Taylor & Francis Group, c2009
ISBN: 9781420047516
Characteristics: xxii, 376 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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