Law enforcement trains in forensic hypnosis - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Law enforcement trains in forensic hypnosis

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- It's a little know facet of Texas law enforcement agencies: forensic hypnosis. Officers train to use hypnosis, and possibly solve crimes using those methods. A class at the Woodruff Center in Kilgore is all about hypnosis, with law enforcement agents learning to unlock information hidden in people's subconscious.

"We're on the fourth day of a 50 hour course. We will teach them how to hypnotize an individual, we teach specific memory retrieval techniques," says forensic hypnosis instructor Marx Howell.

Hypnosis is not an unconscious state, but rather an extremely relaxed state.

"Refreshment of memory and the actual memory will be quite important when you're looking into a case; even something as simple as someone losing their car keys," says student John Kneller, who came from Dubai to attend the class.

The technique is to get to information locked away in the mind.

"We would use it as an investigative tool, basically a last chance effort in an investigation, we would use it for recall or refreshing of someone's memory," says Johnson county sheriff's office investigator Leona Yocham.

Though the eye processes images, the mind doesn't always recall them. Investigation hinges on getting the person to recall a face, an image, or even a number.

"Such as a license plate number , drivers license number or a face they might have seen," Yochan says.

"Sometimes a person will experience amnesia due to psychological shock of being a victim of armed robbery; it's this trauma or fear that causes it to go to subconscious," Howell says.

DPS, Texas rangers and scores of county and city law enforcement agencies in Texas use forensic hypnosis in applicable cases.

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