To best understand direct action, study those who chase direct action people – homicide detectives. In assembling this list, the best sources were their own remarks on the subject.
This will be a dense post. I suggest reading it several times over a period of time to absorb it better. HD means homicide detective.
– The average HD is male, aged from 27-57. He has no life outside of work. It is a young man’s game. Older detectives typically work in slower districts, where they can focus on one case at a time.
– The hours a HD works are killer. He may work 48 hours straight after getting a case. 120 hours/week is not unheard of. The number one reason people don’t want to become HDs is the unpredictable and numerous hours. This is an “on call”, do it until it’s done job. It destroys marriages and relationships.
– The average HD will work 100 homicides in his career. Experts recommend a caseload of no more than 6-8 homicides per year to….…… maximize clearance rate. In places with many homicides, a detective’s caseload may be 15-20 per year.
– The 60 dayer or 60 day report describes the activity of a case 2 months since it occured. It can be 30 pages and take 3 days to write. Almost zero is the chance of clearing such a case, and the 60 days is essentially an admission of defeat.
– Most witnesses are reluctant to talk to a detective. Few will want to sign a witness statement. Even fewer will actually testify in court.
– HDs come in two flavors. One is slow and deliberate, making sure to wrap a case tight once a suspect is found. The other is quick and impulsive, who just wants to charge in and solve the case willy-nilly.
– There is a typical career path for detective. 5 years patrol, a few years vice drugs or sex crimes, a few years of robbery investigation. Homicide investigation is where the very best police minds belong, because death is the ultimate crime.
– Forensic labs have three priorities. First priority is cases with a trial date. Then cases with a suspect in custody. Finally, unsolved cases. All labs have a line or queue. And everyone always wants a rush put on THEIR evidence.
– “No leverage, no confession.” The holy trio is evidence, witnesses and confessions. Evidence and witnesses lead to confessions.
– “Props.” A detective can fabricate evidence to gain a confession. He can construct a variety of real looking evidence for the interrogation. He can bring fake test results into the interrogation room or “box.” The polygraph expert can lie to a suspect in order to gain a confession.
– Nothing is a coincidence with detectives. When they interview, when they raid, how they act is all calculated to gain an advantage.