Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 39–40

High-Risk Interrogation: Using the “Mr. Big Technique” to Elicit Confessions

  • Steven M. Smith
  • Veronica Stinson
  • Marc W. Patry
Original Article

Abstract

Kassin et al. (Police-Induced Confessions: Risk Factors and Recommendation, 2009) provide a detailed and thoughtful analysis of how police interrogation practices might elicit false confessions from innocent suspects. The purpose of this commentary is to provide a brief review of a relatively recent development in Canadian police investigation practice and discuss how this procedure may increase the likelihood of police-induced false confessions. The so-called “Mr. Big Technique” is a non-custodial interrogation tactic wherein suspects are drawn into a supposed criminal organization (actually an elaborate police sting) and subsequently told that to move up in the organization, they must confess to a crime. In this article, we describe this remarkable interrogation technique and discuss issues relevant to the potential induction of false confessions.

Keywords

Confessions False confession Police undercover operations Mr. Big undercover operation 

References

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Copyright information

© American Psychology-Law Society/Division 41 of the American Psychological Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven M. Smith
    • 1
  • Veronica Stinson
    • 1
  • Marc W. Patry
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

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