“A good investigator can connect the dots. A great investigator can find the dots to connect.”
—Charles E. Piper, CFE
Every investigation can be taken to the next level. If catching one bad guy is good, catching two is even better. If finding evidence that suspects committed one crime is good, then finding evidence they committed more crimes is even better. It has been my experience that the most common mistake made by many investigators is thinking singular instead of plural when conducting investigations.
All too often investigators try to solve just the case they were assigned—and that's it! The reason many investigate in that manner is because that's how they were taught to investigate. Others who know how to conduct more thorough investigations sometimes rationalize not doing so because of other concerns (often because they have too heavy a caseload or have other personal commitments).
War Story 4.1
Over the years, I've worked for several supervisors who possessed a bean-counter mentality when it came to assigning cases and monitoring case progress. Those bosses seemed to think that all cases required the same amount of time and effort. In reality, some cases take longer to complete than others, and some have better results than others. When I worked general crime investigations, I had as many as 50 open cases at any given time. Each case was actively investigated for approximately one week to three months.
When I worked drug cases, ...