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Friday, June 7 • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
The Art of Interrogation: A Serial Killer Confesses

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Special Agent Jeff Rinek was known within the FBI as someone who was particularly adept at getting criminals to confess: from murderers to terrorists to hardcore child predators. He is perhaps best known for getting a serial killer named Cary Stayner to confess in extraordinary detail to the murders of four women and girls in Northern California: a string of sexually-motivated killings known as the Yosemite Murders, one of the cases outlined in his recent book In the Name of the Children. The confession was all the more remarkable in that Rinek's FBI superiors had wrongfully arrested others for Stayner's crimes, leaving him free and clear to kill again.

Rinek will play excerpts from the confession and show crime scene photos of the evidence the killer led them to, allowing the audience to follow along minute by tension-filled minute, as the process of obtaining a confession unfolds before their eyes. Amateur sleuths and true-crime aficionados will be amazed by the astonishing amount of detail and self-reflection Rinek was able to elicit from Stayner about the evolution of a serial killer, getting him to talk about the impulses that drove him, the twisted and very specific fantasy that took root inside him at an early age, the evolution from fantasy into a concrete kidnap and murder plan, the steps he followed to make it a reality, and the study and preparation he took to try to avoid getting caught. The presentation will illustrate Rinek's unorthodox and humanistic approach to interviewing suspects, an approach with which he has had much success despite it being the almost polar opposite of the Reid Technique taught and used in most law enforcement agencies. Rinek will also describe how fraught with peril the interrogation process can be and how he managed to overcome the seemingly impossible-to-navigate terms Stayner demanded in exchange for confessing.

avatar for Jeff Rinek

Jeff Rinek

Former FBI Investigator
Jeffrey Rinek spent most of his 30 years with the FBI investigating crimes against children. Serving out of the Bureau's Sacramento office he was the primary investigator for cases involving missing, murdered, and sexually exploited children, both current and cold cases, in much of... Read More →
avatar for Marilee Strong

Marilee Strong

Marilee Strong, co-author with Jeff of the 2018 book, In the Name of the Children, is a journalist who specializes in the reporting of crime, the human costs of violence and trauma, and other psychological and social issues. She is the recipient of more than a dozen reporting and... Read More →

Friday June 7, 2019 12:30pm - 1:30pm CDT
Breakout 2 (St. James)