OctoJen's picture
OctoJen from Oklahoma is reading The Passage by Justin Cronin July 16, 2014 - 10:15am

I'm in the research phase of a crime novel I'm working on and I've been looking into experts on criminal psychology and forensics. The problem is, I'm writing from the point of view of the criminal and I'm worried my questions might come off as a bit odd. If I approach the local FBI field office, will I end up on a watch list if I ask them how best to avoid capture? I'd like to avoid that. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer July 16, 2014 - 12:27pm

If you tell them what you are doing, you are fine, although there may be questions that they won't answer. I don't think that asking how to best avoid capture will be as productive for you as asking what sort of things they do as part of their investigation. While we all think we would know what to do to not get caught, we are experts at catching people, not committing crimes. I would ask more specific questions.

One thing you might try is to approach retired law enforcement rather than their active bretheren. There are a lot of retired cops out there that are working in either consultant or private roles, particularly in those topics, and would be happy to share war stories with you. Regardless, agencies aren't going to be surveilling you unless they have solid reasons to believe you have or are about to commit a crime. They have policies against it, and quite frankly they just don't have the time to do that sort of thing.

You could also try the Oklahoma chapter if the International Association for Indentification. It's the state arm of the national criminal forensics organization.