Insights and Attributes of the Modern Investigator

By Garry Maher

Walking down long corridor

Garry Maher (author of "Investigating Made Simple") says:

"Great minds in years gone by must have foreseen the necessary insights and attributes of the modern investigator. The following are a few that might be of interest. Every experienced investigator would experience one of these at some time or other."

The investigator must be able to discern the difference between facts and fantasy
'Ideas and theories are like the wings of birds; they allow a person to soar and climb to the heavens. But facts are like the atmosphere against which those wings must beat and without which the soaring bird will surely plummet back to earth'
Ivan Pavlov

The investigator must be able to appreciate that acting in their own interests, people can put their own spin on things to push their argument
'One of the most untruthful things possible, you know, is a collection of facts, because they can be made to appear so many different ways'
Dr. Karl Menninger

The investigator must not be selective in the fact gathering process
'Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored'
Aldous Leonard Huxley

The investigator must keep an open mind
'The mind is like a parachute - it's is only effective when it's open'
Police cliché

The investigator's thoughts during the investigation process
'I keep six honest serving men; they taught me all I know; their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who'
Rudyard Kipling

The investigator must be ready to produce the evidence in support of any assertion
'No matter how strong the evidence, is not evidence if it is lost'
Detective cliché

The investigator must be able to appreciate the notion of self-interest in parties they deal with
'Always expect everyone to act in a way that they perceive to be in their own interests and you'll never be disappointed'

The investigator must at least consider another person's point of view
'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'

The investigator must have an inquiring mind
'Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect'
Samuel Johnson

The investigator must be prepared to have their actions and background scrutinised by anyone
'Integrity is much easier retained that regained'
Thomas Paine

The investigator must always make some record of their dealings and observations
'The palest ink is better than the best memory'
Lao Tzu

The investigator must be patient and alert. Facts can be revealed at whim
'Any three people can keep a secret as long as two are dead'


Thank you to Garry Maher for your painstaking research. ed.


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