April 25, 2012

“Many questions were repeated (by interviewers in the McMartin Preschool case) even when the children had previously given unambiguous answers.

“For example, after a child responded that he/she did not remember any pictures of naked bodies, the interviewer repeated the question saying, ‘Can’t remember that part?’

“Even after the child again responded ‘no,’ the interviewer persisted, saying ‘Why don’t you think about that for awhile…. Your memory might come back to you.’ ”

 – From “Tell Me What Happened: Structured Investigative Interviews
of Child Victims and Witnesses” by Michael E. Lamb, et al. (2008)

There is every reason to believe this approach typified interviews in the Little Rascals case, but of course prosecutors ensured almost no record of those interviews survived.