If you are called upon to work any type of homicide investigation, including a suicide, don't forget the basics. A lot of times law enforcement agencies focus on the "suspect' and the crime and they often forget to do the basics of a homicide investigation.
Homicide 101: You track down the victim's last 24 hours.
Every detective knows this is the basics. However, I have been called in on more than one occasion where this is not done. Sometimes it is because the police feel they have a slam dunk case. Other times they do not see the relevance of doing this basic step in the investigation.
There are a lot of things that may or may not turn up in this process. However, forgetting or just ignoring this process can leave out a lot of critical information. This process often leads to more witnesses and more evidence that can make the case for either the state or the defendant.
It seems in today's world with surveillance cameras and other technology, basic investigative work is overlooked again and again. I know police agencies are strapped budget-wise, but not doing the basics can be an embarrassment later.
Canvassing, interviews, tracking down the last 24 hours are all things you need to do in your investigation. If you leave any of these out - you may not just have egg on your face - but you just may lose your case.
Whatever you do - Stay safe!