Critical Conversations The real world of crime investigation

The real world of crime investigation explores the realities of criminal investigation and questioning through the lens of seasoned experts. Known for their innovative methods in police investigation, speakers will illuminate the intricacies of solving crimes and obtaining crucial information from suspects. From decoding behavioural cues to navigating legal boundaries, those participating in the session will gain valuable insights into the dynamic and often intense world of criminal investigation, and the actual procedures involved in solving crimes in the 21st century.


Kerry Watkins B.A., M.A., LL.M. is a former criminal investigator and investigative trainer. He conducted more than two thousand interviews of suspects, victims, and witnesses during his 30-year police career in which the majority of his time was spent in specialized units investigating a wide range of matters including police corruption, corporate fraud, and homicide. As the principal interviewing instructor at the Toronto Police College from 2012 to 2018, he developed and taught innovative courses, earning the Chief of Police Award of Excellence in 2017. He has authored key texts on interviewing and investigation, with his work recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada. Kerry holds degrees in psychology, criminology, and law, and is pursuing a doctorate examining interrogation practices. Currently, he is a professor at Humber College and an expert commentator on investigative interviewing.

Ralph Steinberg was called to the bar in 1977 and has practised exclusively criminal and professional discipline law since that time. He has been certified as a specialist in criminal law by the Law Society of Ontario since 1996. He is a past president of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and a past co-president of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (now Innocence Canada). In addition to his criminal defence practice he has acted as a member and alternate chairperson of the Ontario Review Board for several years.

David Perry is the founding chairperson of ISN (Investigative Solutions Network), a private investigation firm headquartered in Pickering, Ontario. For the past 10 years he has worked diligently with his partners and colleagues to establish ISN as an industry leader. With offices in Canada and the U.S.A, David has established a sophisticated network of skilled investigators on a global scale. Prior to starting his firm, David had a 28-year decorated career with the Toronto Police Service. He retired at the rank of Detective Sergeant after being in charge of and solving some of Canada’s most complicated and high profile cases. The majority of his police career was spent in the investigative field where he established a level of expertise in homicide, sexual assault, and other violent crime investigations. He credits the success of his current business on the ability to transition those unique skills into the private sector. David is often called upon by news agencies for his expert opinion on issues involving crime and policing. He has participated in local and national news stories, documentaries, as well as print publications and books. After a 40-year career, David remains passionate about the investigative profession and prides himself and his firm on delivering a standard of excellence to all of his clients.

Moderator: Arshy Mann is an award-winning journalist and the host of COMMONS, one of Canada’s most popular documentary podcasts. While working at Canadaland, Xtra, the Toronto Star and numerous other publications, he has reported on a wide range of issues, including the Toronto Gay Village serial murders, police misconduct and white-collar crime.

Part of the MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival.

Presented in partnership wth the Toronto International Festival of Authors.

Sunday, June 9 • 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

Habourfont Centre

Brigantine Room

235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON

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