This will be a brief post because I’m attending the ThrillerFest conference this weekend. I just wanted to share a tidbit I got from one of the FBI agents who spoke to the thriller writers assembled at the Grand Hyatt this morning. An agent who works out of the FBI’s New York City field office said he was investigating someone he suspected of stealing an extremely valuable vintage baseball card, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The agent went to the suspect’s house without any warning and the first thing the agent said was, “You know why I’m here?” The suspect looked stricken and said, “It’s about the children, right?” It turned out he was a child molester in addition to being a baseball-card thief.
The agent said he uses that opening line all the time, “You know why I’m here?” Contrary to popular belief, most criminals aren’t devious masterminds. Tormented and corrupted by their sins, most of them secretly want to talk about what they did, and will do so if you give them an opening.