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


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.


Confessions False confession Police undercover operations Mr. Big undercover operation 


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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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