I am reading a true crime novel and wonder just how to get started doing that. To be successful you would have to interview  everyone identified with the case in any capacity as well as the family of the victim and family of the perpetrator. You would need to talk to the defense and to the prosecutor's office. You need to interview the accused.

How do you get people to cooperate? I don't suppose most would fully trust the writer to portray them as they see themselves. Most would not want to be publicly scrutinized.

I do try new things to stretch my abilities and so I may try this sometime, but not today.

Saundra Crum Akers

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Comment by John Pappan on May 3, 2014 at 7:25pm

Are you asking how one would gain cooperation from a writer's perspective? Or from an actual interrogator's view?

If I were writing a scene that needed a person's cooperation (who wasn't willing to give it), I'd try to understand why they were stonewalling. Were they protecting someone they knew? Threaten them with aiding and abetting. Maybe assure them their anonymous somebody would be doing the right thing. Or them. Most people want to do the right thing.

Were they protecting themselves? Use logic to explain to them the benefits of coming clean, or the detriments of staying mum. Nobody wants to be in trouble if they don't have to be.

Maybe they simply don't like cops, and won't cooperate on principle. Damning evidence on the tabletop can turn the tide, perhaps. Some interrogators would consider stepping up hollow (or dismissed) threats with something physical.

I'm not sure if I'm answering well enough, but here are my thoughts.

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