ABC PRIMETIME NEWS Inside the Interrogation Room
Houston Homicide Detective Sgt. Brian Harris knows how to fire a pistol and work a crime scene, like all cops do. But his real talent comes out in the interrogation room -- or as police like to call it -- "The Box."
"[The Box] is the place where it all happens," Harris says. "It can save a lot of families a lot of heartache. It makes sense out of all the nonsense and craziness of some of the deaths that we deal with."
Harris, who is considered the grand inquisitor of Houston Homicide Division, teaches his interrogation technique at the Houston Police Department academy and to other departments around the country.
ABC News' "Primetime: Crime" was granted unprecedented access to the inner-workings of the Houston Homicide Division, to explore how Harris plies his trade.
The police interrogation has been a staple of television cop shows for generations. From "Dragnet" to "Law & Order: SVU," there's something about the belligerent interrogations that keep you on the edge of your seat. But Harris says there's a big difference between Hollywood-style interrogations and the real thing.
"Yelling at 'em, smacking 'em, making 'em feel like a piece of dirt...at least here in Houston, Texas, it's not gonna work," he says.
Instead, Harris is known for a decidedly different technique.
"I treat them with dignity," he told ABC News' Chris Cuomo. "If they can see me as a person that views them with dignity, the chances of communicating are starting to open up."
Read the full story and watch the whole segment here.