snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Crime

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 23 January 2015, 06:40 PM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 11,758
Default Hypnotic memory recovery and criminal investigations

I'm reading a book right now (Spider Woman's Daughter, by Anne Hillerman, daughter of famous Navaho crime mystery author Tony Hillerman), and as a plot point the main character is hypnotized during an FBI investigation into the crime she witnessed in an attempt to help recover details.

From my understanding, hypnotic memory recovery isn't regarded as a valid investigation technique anymore due to how easy it is for false memories to get implanted during the hypnotic session. Did the author just make this up (or have a research failure), or are there actually law enforcement agencies in the US that still use this?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23 January 2015, 06:59 PM
fitz1980 fitz1980 is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,625
Default

How recently was the book written? As recently as the 90s it was commonly used. I'd imagine that in po-dunk police departments it probably still is.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 23 January 2015, 08:38 PM
erwins's Avatar
erwins erwins is offline
 
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,655
Default

In a majority of jurisdictions in the US, including federal courts, a witness can't testify about something they learned under hypnosis. So I don't think the FBI likely uses hypnosis much from anyone they expect to have to testify later, although there are ways that the prehypnosis knowledge can be documented, if they really are desperate to try it for other purposes, like maybe to aid evidence recovery. https://books.google.com/books?id=Ng...otized&f=false
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 24 January 2015, 12:34 AM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 11,758
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitz1980 View Post
How recently was the book written? As recently as the 90s it was commonly used. I'd imagine that in po-dunk police departments it probably still is.
It was written last year. I'm not sure precisely when it's supposed to be set, but some time in the 21 Century.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 30 January 2015, 10:04 PM
ASL's Avatar
ASL ASL is offline
 
Join Date: 04 July 2003
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 5,283
Default

I'm going with not so much a "research" failure as a "don't care, it 'll make for a good story that sells novels" success. Happens all the time with military-themed fiction (and with journalism and with things that are supposed to be factual) so it stands to reason it happens with crime novels too.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 31 January 2015, 12:11 AM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 11,758
Default

I suppose. It was a funny scene since it was a pretty big deal but ultimately pointless in helping to solve the case.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lawful Interception Recovery Fee snopes Fauxtography 0 11 August 2013 05:35 PM
$2 Trillion Underground Economy May Be Recovery's Savior A Turtle Named Mack Business Bytes 1 26 April 2013 01:19 AM
Three-second fish memory 'a myth' snopes Critter Country 9 16 January 2010 09:42 PM
Ike was a war criminal snopes Military 20 04 April 2009 06:21 AM
Another manufactured memory snopes Urban Legends 25 30 June 2008 10:39 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.