KILL THE TIGER
When you approach these witnesses, there is a tiger hiding in the bushes inside that house. They will come to you with the prejudice that you are trying to change their evidence and make them commit perjury. With family members, they think you are going to raise a lot of trouble for them with the newspapers again - it is going to agony again. These people know you are trouble!
These thoughts are like a tiger in the bushes. They are just waiting to pounce on you and kill you, along with what you are doing. How can you possibly not fall foul of the tiger? You must take it by the neck and kill it quickly before it can bite you.
Tell them that you have come not to get information from them - but to give them information. You want to tell them what is going on - things that they do not know about. And add that you are sure they think you want to provoke trouble for them, but that is the last thing on your mind. You want to make sure that there is no trouble. It is no skin off your nose if they do not want to hear anything of what's going on - but you just feel that it's the honest and proper thing to do.
Practice this beforehand- make your pitch at least twice as long as the above paragraph - you will need reserves because you have to keep talking until they let you in. If you are desperate, and have still not got inside, ask them for a glass of water- because you have come a long way and not had anything to eat. If, or when, you get in, prepare to stay for as long as you can. But give them a time frame - tell them that you are actually on your way to see someone else in about an hour, but you felt you just had to take the time off to visit them to tell them what is going on.
Talk like this until you feel sure that the tiger is dead and no longer dangerous to you.
You then start off with lines like " I suppose you've been wondering ever since the trial..." and then on to "I don't suppose you know much about .... do you?"
And then finally you should be able to get into the nitty-gritty - but always ask them along the lines of "I've always wondered about ..... what do you think"
This is not an interrogation, it is not an interview - it is a chat.
If your allotted hour ends, you can always extend it by saying that the person can wait, or you'll go without another meal - but can you have a cup of tea and a biscuit to make up?
However, the line should always be that you are helping them, not the reverse. If they do help you, that's very kind, but never push it.