Introduction to Criminal Investigation: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Introduction to Criminal Investigation

1st Edition

Edited by Michael Birzer, Cliff Roberson

CRC Press

400 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-09-26
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The manner in which criminal investigators are trained is neither uniform nor consistent, ranging from sophisticated training protocols in some departments to on-the-job experience alongside senior investigators in others. Ideal for students taking a first course in the subject as well as professionals in need of a refresher, Introduction to Criminal Investigation uses an accessible format to convey concepts in practical, concrete terms.

Topics discussed include

  • The history of criminal investigation in Western society
  • Qualifications for becoming an investigator, the selection process, and ideal training requirements
  • Crime scene search techniques, including planning and post-search debriefing
  • Preparing effective field notes and investigative reports
  • Interviewing and interrogating
  • Types of evidence found at the crime scene and how to collect, package, and preserve it
  • The contributions of forensic science to criminal investigations and the equipment used in crime labs
  • Investigative protocol for a range of crimes, including property crimes, auto theft, arson, financial crimes, homicide, assault, sex crimes, and robbery
  • Specialized investigations, including drug trafficking, cybercrime, and gang-related crime
  • Legal issues involved in criminal investigations and preparing a case for trial

Bringing together contributions from law enforcement personnel, academics, and attorneys, the book combines practical and theoretical elements to provide a comprehensive examination of today’s criminal investigative process. The accessible manner in which the information is conveyed makes this an ideal text for a wide-ranging audience.

Table of Contents


A Brief History of Criminal Investigation; John A. Eterno

Introducing Criminal Investigation; Bryan Courtney

Preliminary Considerations

Crime Scene Search; Michael L. Birzer

Report Writing; Gene L. Scaramella

Interview and Interrogation; Scott M. Mire and Robert D. Hanser

Evidence; Cory Rodivich

The Role of Forensic Science; Cory Rodivich

Property Crimes and Financial Investigations

Vandalism; Matthew O’Deane

Larceny and Burglary; Walt J. Wywadis

Auto Theft; Donald Munday

Arson Investigations; Cliff Roberson

Financial Investigation; Michael J. Palmiotto

Crimes against Persons

Homicide and Assault; Gregg W. Etter and Roger L. Pennel

Sex Crimes; John Padgett

Robbery; J. Harrison Watts

Specialized Investigations

Narcotics Investigation; Donald F. Vess

Cybercrime; Mark R. McCoy

Gang Investigation; Gregg W. Etter

Putting It All Together

Legal Issues in Criminal Investigations; Frank DiMarino

Preparing the Case for Court; Cliff Roberson and Gwynne Birzer


About the Editors

Michael Birzer, EdD, is a professor of criminal justice and director of the School of Community Affairs at Wichita State University. His research interests include police behavior, advancing the adult learning theory of andragogy into criminal justice education and training, the intersection of race and police contacts, and qualitative research methods (phenomenology, ethnomethodology, and ethnography). His non-academic experience includes over 18 years of service with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department in Wichita, KS, where he obtained the rank of lieutenant. Books he has co-authored with Cliff Roberson include Introduction to Private Security: Theory Meets Practice (Prentice Hall, 2010); Police Field Operations: Theory Meets Practice (Allyn & Bacon, 2008); and Policing Today and Tomorrow (Prentice Hall, 2007).

Cliff Roberson, LLM, PhD, is a professor emeritus at Washburn University and academic chair, Graduate School of Criminal Justice, Kaplan University. He is also managing editor of Police Practices and Research, an international journal.He has written numerous texts and articles on criminal justice and has over 30 years’ experience in academia as a professor, dean, and associate vice president. His non-academic experience includes service as Director of Programs, National College of District Attorneys; chief defense counsel for offenders, Texas Board of Criminal Justice; head, Military Law Branch, U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters; and Marine judge advocate.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Forensic Science