Amanda Knox: Why Do Innocent Women Confess to Crimes They Didn’t Commit?

“What we think in this situation,” said the first detective, “the other babies are screaming, crying, whatever. You’re taking care of them by yourself. You have Ben in your hands, he starts acting up and, you get mad at him and you throw him on the floor.”

“You threw him on the floor?” asked the second detective.

Transfixed by her accusers, Melissa nodded, “Yeah.”
What a great example of inappropriate investigative interviewing, particularly impactive when interviewing a vulnerable interviewee, yet advocated, indeed even encouraged, by some interviewing models preferred in many countries.
By all means have (and try to verify) a working hypothesis but to frame it in such a forensically inappropriate (leading) question is wrong.
Some interview ‘models’ encourage confession culture, permitting deceit to secure it, a most dangerous place without checks and balances.
The PEACE framework (for framework is what it is) originating in the UK in the early 1990s goes some way to secure against this but exponents of the framework who are neither current nor understand its subtleties are misguided to take a view that it is a ‘cure-all’ for global miscarriages of justice. It is not a ‘one size fits all’, ‘one stop’ solution, but a framework within which several models of interviewing are practised by the skilled and competent flexible interviewer.
“Melissa’s arrest, prosecution, and conviction relied exclusively upon her false confession,” Kathleen Zellner, Calusinski’s post-conviction attorney, explains.
In February 2016, when asked why she confessed, Calusinski struggled to explain: “The only way for me to get out of there was basically what they wanted.”
At Intersol we take enormous pride in our global reputation, in continuing to develop and practice cutting edge empirically proven techniques. We don’t treat interviewing as simply an adjunct to the investigation but as a golden-thread woven through the entire case management process, so if you really want to understand the complexities of PEACE, of investigative interviewing and its impact on any investigation process, we are your ‘go-to’ entity.



Are non-technical skill-sets of value to auditors?

Nobody doubts the technical skills of auditors (internal or external), they’re inevitably highly qualified and competent in accountancy, economics, or law, perhaps an IT degree or business skill. They undoubtedly have that technical knowledge but have they been supported with the non-technical (dare I say ‘soft’?) skill development that complements and effectively applies the former in the workplace during the fieldwork, meeting, and reporting phases?

Our global experience is an emphatic ‘NO’! Until now that is. At the end of a week that has now seen us train over 500 auditors globally in the skill of effectively managing audit meetings (investigative fact-finding conversations), Canada, North America, and Ireland this week alone, the universal feedback of auditors is that they ‘wished they’d had this training years ago’ at the outset of their audit career.

Our world-class team of associates and partners have developed a series of training courses and workshops that add significant value to the audit role meaning that at last they can be perceived as a business essential, an asset that adds real and tangible value to an organisation not just unwelcome cost.

But we didn’t stop there, we haven’t simply mapped over and force-fed the audit community a solution that had little relevance and meaning, we added context mixed with proportionality, relevance, and added subject matter expertise, securing feedback that has been universally and without exception excellent.

Neither did we stop here! Not satisfied with that, and taking notice of auditors feedback that they didn’t need any more degrees but would relish a vocational and transferrable skill to enhance their careers, we’ve developed and released one!

Harnessing the many and varied skills of Intersol associates we have now released the first global qualification for auditors to achieve a level 3 in managing audit conversations (investigative interviewing for auditors). No, it’s not a degree, it’s not purely academic, but it is a fascinating mix of real life conversation management, the psychology of human interaction, life skills, blended with a bit of investigative competence, forensic questioning techniques, listening skills, and models, finished off with a light touch of detecting deceit and lies, all underpinned by cutting edge empirical research, decades of practical experience, and the imperative to work within an institution and provide added value and worth (and to be seen by ALL stakeholders to be doing so!).

Did we stop there? NO! Not satisfied with that, and listening intently to our clients, we invested in a virtual learning platform and put as much as we could into a blended virtual learning environment to enable flexibility of delivery, minimise workplace abstraction, and maximise value. All this accredited (and audited ironically!) by Ofqual in the UK and supported by Skillsfirst. We became an officially accredited virtual adult learning centre and added more qualifications for investigators and workplace (HR) interviewers and will grow the centre to be a resource of excellence for any entity that puts a value on Extraordinary Case Management (ECM®) with interviews (meeting conversations) at their core.

If you’d like to know more, perhaps be one of the first to set yourselves apart from global competition, if you want the ‘gold standard’ please feel free to drop us a line at and we’d be delighted to explain more.

Best wishes,

All at IG.

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The Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats – CREST, have just launched their first issue of a digest and encourage us to share the work with our network. It is with their express permission that we circulate links and promote their publications and will continue to support their sterling work wherever possible, enabling the latest innovation in the science to be applied in practice.

The monthly CREST Digest aims to provide a round-up of research relevant to understanding and countering security threats. Every edition is broken down into summaries of the key research, including:

  • New Research – a scan of the current research on security threats
  • Special issue feature – our featured article of the month
  • Articles that caught our eye – other articles we think you’ll find of interest
  • New journal issues – the latest publications as well as new books.
  • Beyond the peer-reviewed literature – reports from journalists, researchers, think tanks and governments.

In the first issue they include research about popular lie detection (and why the techniques come under scrutiny) as well as the role of trust in deciding which terrorist faction to join, summarising the contents of a journal special issue on complex and ambitious engineering efforts by violent non-state actors.

Link to the digest subscription here



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Intersols Operations Director, Mick Confrey, travels to Canada to launch a new training course for internal audit.

Recognising the value added to the business of healthy, ethical, and robust internal audit a Canadian based global bank has commissioned a new and contemporary immersive training package to complement technical skills with non-technical audit meeting skills. Managing audit meetings effectively and confidently, building upon the fieldwork, this training will better enable the securing of checkable fact and detail from the audit meeting, in turn identifying and mitigating risk(s) and accurately informing decision-makers. It reinforces the importance of planning and preparing, clear and clinical objective setting, and provides auditors with a framework that reduces the numbers of meetings, improves confidence and reassures stakeholders.

If you or your business is interested in knowing more and understanding how a properly managed audit meeting achieves significant business benefit and outcome please contact us for an informal but strictly confidential consultation.

Child victim or brutal warlord? ICC weighs the fate of Dominic Ongwen. Victim or Offender? An interesting perspective on the impact of victimisation as a child on criminal culpability in later life.

The trial of Dominic Ongwen before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is like none other springing from the killing fields of the Great Lakes of Africa. These include the prosecution of the first person ever to be convicted by the ICC, Thomas Lubanga. He was accused of mass human rights violations as a rebel leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Also ongoing is the trial of Bosco Ntaganda, another Congolese.

Ongwen is a former commander of the, Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) a particularly brutal rebel group in Uganda. Its ruthless campaigns in Uganda and in neighbouring countries since the late 1980s encompassed murder, rape, and torture. The organisation also recruited child soldiers and engaged in sexual slavery, including forcibly abducting young girls to act as “bush wives” for LRA fighters.

Full article courtesy of The Conversation here.


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Intersol Global will be exhibiting and are pleased to support the 2017 annual conference and the essential work the group does a a centre of expertise for those engaged in this arena and that of human trafficking and modern day slavery

A few sponsorship opportunities remain and this is an ideal opportunity  for businesses concerned about supply chain to learn about some of the threats they face and what resources that are out there to support them. The charity is commissioned by central government as the centre of expertise but has to be able to sustain itself. Please take this opportunity to leverage their services support the conference if you feel able.

More details available here:

NWG Conference 2017 – Sponsorship Opportunities (1)



Intersols CEO, Ian Hynes, is delighted to have been invited to present later this year at the annual Food and Drink safety conference, 10th – 11th October in Oxford.

Ian was invited following excellent feedback from the IOSH rail industry safety conference at the end of 2016 and will present on the topic of workplace investigation and interviewing, introducing some simple to use tools for investigators.

Intersol are world leaders in investigation techniques and the science of investigative interviewing and have recently launched excellent training and development for HR and workplace investigation, adding real value and mitigating risk for industry.

If you’d like to know more about their full range of offerings and their world class team of associates don’t hesitate to contact or email for a free confidential informal consultation.


Listen without prejudice

“How can we encourage people to talk to us?” asked Ian Hynes, chief executive of investigative interview training and consultancy outfit Intersol Global.

IOSH Rail Conference Ian Hynes

Ian Hynes

In a former career as a police investigator, Hynes conducted interviews in some of the first cases brought under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act. He offered a quick guide to techniques that he said could be applied to accident investigation interviews or conduct hearings.

Planning and preparation before an interview were critical. Spending time understanding the “fine grain detail” of any evidence or documents that will inform the interview is never time wasted, he argued. Hynes also suggested carrying out a “wants analysis”, deciding what you want and why you want it before framing questions.

Full article and copy of the IOSH publication can be found here:

Intersol Global can help you mitigate health and safety risk. Don’t be the director who ends up ‘holding the baby’ if something goes wrong. Contact us for a discreet consultation at no cost.



F.B.I. Arrests Volkswagen Executive on Conspiracy Charge in Emissions Scandal

Whilst an engineer has been arrested already this takes the investigation into the senior executive ranks of VW.


North America developments and rulings on restricting whistleblowers actions.

SEC says NeuStar tried to impede whistleblowing.

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined a Virginia-based technology company $180,000 Monday for using severance agreements that impeded former employees from communicating information to the SEC.

The SEC said NeuStar Inc. routinely put language in severance agreements forbidding departing employees from sending regulators “any communication that disparages, denigrates, maligns or impugns” the company.

The employees could forfeit all but $100 of their severance pay for breaching the clause.

Link to full article courtesy of the FCPA Blog here