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Forensic psychology
Forensic psychology

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3.1 DI Bullet shows the ID parades to Lila

Figure 8

DI Bullet has high hopes that Lila will provide the evidence he needs by identifying both of his prime suspects.

He constructs two identification parades each consisting of nine photographs – these being suspect and eight foils. Finding eight foils for The Sergeant is relatively easy, but he struggles to find sufficient matches for Fat Baz and so has to include three photos of middle-aged men and two teenagers.

To avoid cross-contamination of their evidence, DI Bullet shows the ID parades separately to Lila and Seth. He begins with Lila, placing the nine photos in The Sergeant’s identification parade in front of her and says:

Thank you for doing this Lila. You’ve been a star witness and I know you won’t let me down now. In front of you are nine photos, one of which may be the person you saw kidnap Liz. Look at the photos very carefully. When you think you have identified the perpetrator of the crime you witnessed, please point to him.

Lila looks very carefully and takes her time but eventually says she is not sure. DI Bullet responds:

Look. Don’t worry about identifying an innocent person. If you pick any of the eight foils I’ll just record this as a negative identification and nothing further will happen to that person. Nothing you can do will get anyone who isn’t guilty into any trouble so you’ve got nothing to lose.

Lila looks a second time, constantly looking to DI Bullet for reassurance that she is not taking too long. After over two minutes of looking she points to the image of The Sergeant and says she thinks it could be him.

Well done Lila, you’ve got the right one. Now let’s have a go at the other guy you saw.

DI Bullet puts down the photo of Fat Baz and the eight foils. This time Lila only looks for a few seconds before selecting the image of the suspect.

Great Lila, you got him too. Now remember you said in your statement that you were confident you could recognise the men again? You were right, you did recognise them. You just remember how good your memory is when you testify in court. The defence will try all sorts of games to mess with your head, but all you need to do is to keep repeating that you knew you would recognise them again, and you did. That’s all there is to it.