Empathy Based Suspect Interviewing – Part 2

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90 Minutes

Originally Aired
October 31, 2019

Mike Milnor
Mike Milnor
Chief of Police (Ret.), Consultant, Co-Founder, Justice3D
Nancy Oglesby, JD
Consultant, Co-Founder, Justice3D

This webinar will dive into the history of suspect interview techniques in the United States and the motivation behind the development of confrontational interviews. The presenters will discuss how empathy can enhance a sexual violence suspect’s willingness to talk in an interview, resulting in enhanced potential for confession and increased opportunity for corroboration and leads. Participants will learn about the benefits of using a “soft” interview room and look at the research behind current use of empathy-based suspect interviews. Participants will also learn about a prosecutor-specific strategy for suspect interviews that requires suspects to “flip their perspective” about an event and answer questions from the victim’s view. These unexpected questions then lay the foundation for the development of a successful cross-examination at trial.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Demonstrate empathy and how that can be conducive in sexual assault suspect interview.
  • Develop interview themes that increase the likelihood a suspect will talk to an investigator.
  • Recognize why having a conversation is much more successful than a confrontational interview in soliciting confession.
  • Develop “perspective-flipping” questions with a prosecutor to lay a foundation for a successful cross-examination at trial.


EVAWI is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing to provide Continuing Education contact hours for nurses (Provider #15641). 

Registered Nurses may purchase 1.5 contact hours after completing this webinar.

This project is supported by Grant No. 2018-TA-AX-K032 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.