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August 19, 2019
For attorneys and other professionals, Plan B Forensics will provide a comprehensive picture of what happened to the victim. For families, we are you. We’ve been where you’ve been. The way we have processed our tragedies is to understand as much as possible what happened to our loved ones. We cannot change the outcome, we cannot undo what was done. But we are a collective voice for the victim and an advocate for the survivors. In memoriam. For closure, for peace. For all of us.   We put the whole story together for you to gain an accurate picture of how things went wrong and a life ended. We don’t guess, make assumptions or chase theories. We’re not on anyone’s side but the victim and truth. We start with the most important evidence and the best witness, the body. If a scenario does not match the injuries the victim sustained, then it’s wrong, so we start at the source and work our way out in an enlarging spiral. Dr. Entwistle’s extensive background and training in trauma surgery make it likely that she's seen these injuries before a fatality occurred and understands the mechanism required both before and after death -- a more comprehensive picture than a pathologist can give you. She was the real deal, “lifey-deathy” surgeon, for military and civilians, and will review medical records with the precision required in the operating room. Her certification as a medicolegal death investigator enables her to evaluate not just postmortem injuries but the process by which the death investigation was done. Ms. Turpen, a DNA Scientist and Evidence Analyst, will look at all the evidence collected and see avenues for further exploration.    
August 12, 2019
July 29, 2019
Are you a civilian crime writer who wants to use picture-perfect law enforcement details? Do you worry that your mystery novel or screenplay lacks credibility? Fiction and nonfiction author Sergeant Patrick O’Donnell has seen it all in his 24 years working for one of the largest police departments in the country. Now he’s here to help your writing honor the men and women who risk their lives in the line of duty. Cops and Writers: From the Academy to the Street is your in-depth field guide for navigating the path from new recruit to seasoned patrol officer. Through O’Donnell’s accounts, you’ll get up close and personal with day-to-day challenges and out-of-the-ordinary emergencies including homicides, hostage situations, and bomb threats. Armed with this invaluable resource for decoding police jargon, tactics, and standard-issue gear, you’ll be well equipped to breathe new life into your stories.In Cops and Writers, you’ll discover: Stories from O’Donnell’s years on the force to help give your book credibility How the academy and field training shapes rookies so you can mold convincing characters Patrol officers' daily routines and working conditions to infuse your fiction with added depth Different techniques for arresting and defending against criminal threats to bring readers even closer to the action Different patrol units such as SWAT, K-9, Air Support, and Bomb Squad to add another layer of realism, and much, much more!
July 22, 2019
The term “burnout” is a relatively new term, first coined in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger, in his book, Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement. He originally defined burnout as, “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one's devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.” Burnout is a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterized by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism (less identification with the job), and feelings of reduced professional ability. More simply put, if you feel exhausted, start to hate your job, and begin to feel less capable at work, you are showing signs of burnout. Signs and Symptoms While burnout isn’t a diagnosable psychological disorder, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be taken seriously. Here are some of the most common signs of burnout: Alienation from work-related activities: Individuals experiencing burnout view their jobs as increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may grow cynical about their working conditions and the people they work with. They may also emotionally distance themselves and begin to feel numb about their work. Physical symptoms: Chronic stress may lead to physical symptoms, like headaches and stomachaches or intestinal issues. Emotional exhaustion: Burnout causes people to feel drained, unable to cope, and tired. They often lack energy to get their work done. Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work—or in the home when someone's main job involves caring for family members. Individuals with burnout feel negative about tasks. They have difficulty concentrating and often lack creativity. It shares some similar symptoms of mental health conditions, such as depression. Individuals with depression experience negative feelings and thoughts about all aspects of life, not just at work. Depression symptoms may also include a loss of interest in things, feelings of hopelessness, cognitive and physical symptoms as well as thoughts of suicide. Individuals experiencing burnout may be at a higher risk of developing depression. Read More at:  coronertalk.com
July 8, 2019
Tactical Reload offers a road map for police and MDI professionals eager to succeed as America transitions from unrest to a new age of social enlightenment. Through honest personal stories and interviews with top police chiefs and thought leaders, Wilson thoroughly explores the present crisis of law enforcement and foreshadow a safer future. Embrace “Embarrassment School” as an important rite of passage Respect people who commit crimes as a humane strategy for building trust Reject Millennial entitlement and impatience or jeopardize rank promotions Win department and community accolades by behaving well in or out of uniform Discover why authentic cops don’t need to prove they are tough, but they had better heed mental fitness advice from a retired Navy Seal Learn how mandatory psychological tests for cops could remove the shame of vulnerability and decrease suicides Build character and improve advancement by blending new academic credentials with street smarts   Show Guest: Adam Wilson is a highly decorated 14-year law enforcement veteran. He was recognized in 2018 by the National Association of Police Organizations that sponsors the annual TOP COP awards for his handling of a human trafficking investigation in North Carolina. Sgt. Wilson has served as a SWAT senior operator and is trained to carry out specialized, military-style tactics in confrontations with violent criminals. He also collaborated with federal authorities in cases involving public corruption, sexual exploitation of minors and corrupt organizations. Concurrently, he served in a street crime unit that safeguarded against illegal guns, Gangs, and drugs. Adam has received five commendations for outstanding service and is a two-time winner of an Exceptional Service award. He earned his master’s in Criminal Justice, is an E.A. Morris Fellow for Emerging Leaders in North Carolina and was appointed to the state Human Relations Commission by former Governor Pat McCrory.
July 1, 2019
Amanda Beasler was a hard-working emergency management professional employed by the state of Wisconsin. Her dream was to be a Medicolegal Death Investigator and like many others could not get her foot in the door.  Although there is a loose connection between her “day job” and her dream job, she was not a boots on the ground investigators, or really anything to do with the Medicolegal Investigative process.   Amanda applied for an internship with her local Medical Examiner and was turned down, she applied for a part-time position and was also turned down. The reason given in each case was she did not have any experience or education in death investigation. Amanda understood the reason but did not expect it as the final decision. Through her persistence and determination, she started doing research on how to get the training and/or experience she would need. She reached out to connections on LinkedIn and started intense Google searches.  She knew she could not return to college for a degree and was that even necessary?  Through advice from peers and information found in her searches, she found the Death Investigation Training Academy.  After deeper research and a few phone calls to clarify some questions, she knew she had found the training she needed and enrolled in the next online Academy session. In this episode of the podcast, I speak to Amanda who tells her story in more detail and breaks down how the Online Academy course and subsequent Certification exam gave her the training and proof of knowledge she needed to land her part-time investigator position with her local Medical Examiner. We will talk about what’s good with the course and what she feels could use some improvement.  We talk very candidly and unscripted about the course, the process, and the exam.   If you are looking to enter the field of death investigation or need to have some good refreshers this course is what you are looking for.  Learn more at the Academy web site. https://deathinvestigation.com    
June 24, 2019
Due to the very nature of sudden and/or violent deaths, many things can and do go wrong in the first few hours of discovery.  Death scenes have a way of bringing together many individuals with various responsibilities and experience.  This unique group can consist of uniformed officers, detectives, CSI, and forensic experts, medical examiner and coroner investigators, as well as prosecutors and police administrative staff.  These scenes may also have fire and ems staff or other agencies trying to do their respective jobs. Not to mention families and onlookers Because of this scene, chaos errors can happen. Let's look at the ten most common mistakes of a death investigation. 1. Improper Response and Arrival to the Scene First, responding officers may not correctly respond to and secure the scene and the immediate surrounding area.  It's not uncommon for the uniformed officers to not stop or detain people leaving or milling around the scene. Further, it's common that while waiting for investigation and CSI teams to arrive, first responding officers gather and congregate to close to, or in the scene inadvertently contaminating evidence. Here are a few other examples of errors from first responding officers. They may fail to notify investigators soon enough, or at all, they may assume the death is a suicide or natural, and there is no need to establish a crime scene; they may fail to detain all persons present at the scene, which might include the suspect; or they may fail to separate possible witnesses and obtain initial statements.  Also, failing to make an initial determination of the scene boundaries leads to an insufficient area of protection. 2. Failing to protect the Crime Scene In all death investigations, but even more so in a Homicide investigation, crime scene contamination can be and is a significant problem.  No other aspect of these investigations is more open to mistakes than the preservation and protection of the scene and subsequent evidence. Paramount to any investigation is the assurance by the first officers on the scene to isolate and protect the scene as well as maintaining scene integrity as the investigation follows its standard path.  This includes the monitoring and supervising to paramedics and ems personnel in the scene. These personnel must be identified for a future interview.  Officers must also watch family members or others in the area to assure they are not contaminating the scene.  After a perimeter is established, the scene is locked down, and officers should start a log of everyone entering and leaving the scene and the reason why they are there.  Also, officers should be observing and taking notes of activities occurring in and around the scene. 3. Not Handling Suspicious Deaths and Homicides All unattended death should be looked at and treated as suspicious, and an experienced officer/investigator should go to the scene.  These deaths should be treated as a homicide and a crime scene until the facts prove otherwise.  Too many departments allow untrained patrol officers to conduct basic death investigation with the assumption of suicide or natural death and with the thinking that it is unlikely to be a homicide.  Without training, officers could likely miss-interpreted a staged or altered scene. If the scene is not handled correctly from the beginning and is later found to be a homicide, valuable evidence can be lost, and the integrity of the scene is compromised at best and at worst, non-existent. 4. Responding with a Preconceived Notion It is imperative that investigators not allow themselves to respond to a death scene with any preconceived conclusion about the case. It’s common for investigators to get sent to a scene and given information based on the initial call.  If the call came in as a suicide and the initial officer who responds arrives with the mindset of suicide, it is common to treat the scene as suicide and thus shortcut any other investigation.  It looks like a suicide, so it must be a suicide, and no other investigation is conducted.   This type of preconceived investigation results in fewer photographs being taken, witness statements not being completed, evidence not being searched for or collected, and the integrity of the scene is destroyed. It's not only suicide this can happen on, but reported natural deaths and accidents can also be shortcutting if responding officers make the conclusion of their investigation based upon the initial reported call.  If then, in fact, the death becomes suspicious at a later time officer reports and investigation will be lacking valuable information for future investigations.  The tendency is for the uniformed officer to write the final report and collect the evidence necessary to fit the narrative given to him by the initial call.  5. Failing to Take Sufficient Photographs In today's world of digital photography, photographs are cheap and easy to obtain. Back when I start in this business, we used Polaroid instant photography and 35mm film cameras.  These were expensive, and some departments wanted to limit "unnecessary" photographs in an attempt to stretch the budget. That's not the case today, hundreds of photographs can be taken and stored nearly free of charge. Photographs are a way to document the scene and to freeze that scene in time. They are used in court when necessary and will prove or disprove a fact in question.  Therefore, it is vital that photographs are taken of the entire scene, area, and location where the crime took place, including any sites connected to the original crime. Remember, you only get one chance and your first chance to document a scene. 6. Failing to Manage the Crime Scene Process The investigator in charge should oversee the investigation and scene documentation. He or she should ensure proper chain of custody and documentation of evidence. They are also in charge of maintaining scene integrity. Never allow officers to use the restroom within the residence, or take food or drink from the kitchen, never allow smoking in the investigative area, never bring food or drink into the scene from an outside source, and always keep non-essential personnel out of the scene area. Designate an area for them to congregate if needed, but it should never be inside your primary scene area. Lead investigators must also direct crime scene personnel on where and what are to collect. Many CSI staff are well trained and have a good idea of what needs to be done. However, each scene can have unique situations, and the investigator in charge must ensure evidence is adequately searched for and collected. The victim's body should always be inspected and searched for trace evidence prior to being moved or taken from the scene. Not doing so can result in loss of valuable evidence and can leave many unanswered questions.  Always stop and look around the scene; look up as much as around. See what is missing or what isn't.  What looks right about the scene, and what looks wrong?  Is what you are seeing matching what you are being told?   Never leave a scene until you are confident every answer to any question you may have has been answered or documented. Remember, this is your only chance and a first chance. 7. Failing to Evaluate Victimology It is imperative that investigators know the victim and completes a victimology study. You cannot properly investigate a death without victimology.  Failing to have a complete picture of the victim will preclude you from developing motives, suspects, and risk factors unique to the victim. These risk factors are usually regarded as high, moderate, or low and are based on lifestyle, living condition, job skills, neighborhood, or anything specific to the victim. Victimology is the collection and assessment of any significant information as it connects to the victim and his or her lifestyle, these include areas such as; personality, employment, education, friends, habits, hobbies, marital status, relationships, dating history, sexuality, reputation, criminal record, drug, and alcohol use, physical condition, and neighborhood of residence as well as where they grew up of different than where currently living. The bottom line is, who was the victim and what was going on at the time they became a victim. The best source of information will be friends, family, employers, and neighbors. You need to know the victim better than they knew themselves. 8. Failing to Conduct and Efficient Area Canvass Properly I will admit that conducting an area canvass can be tedious and very time-consuming. Sometimes hundreds of contacts are often made without one shred of usable information being unveiled. However, it is that one exhilarating jewel that is occasionally discovered that makes the process so rewarding.  Most criminal investigation courses and books talk little about an area canvass, other than to suggest doing one. There are right and wrong ways to conduct an area canvass that will yield better results for the efforts put out. Ideally, patrol personnel and plainclothes detectives should perform separate canvasses.  Some individuals respond more readily to an authority figure in a uniform, while others prefer the anonymity of the detective’s plain clothes.  Since it is impossible to know who will respond more willingly to either approach, both should be employed.  This technique will give the investigator the greatest chance of getting vital information.  First, understand the terms “area canvass” and “neighborhood canvass” may be used interchangeably.  They are interviews conducted in the field, as opposed to statements taken on the scene or in the station. The canvass may be conducted in an area near the crime scene or, conceivably, hundreds of miles away from it.  In the aftermath of a bank robbery, for example, the getaway vehicle may be located several counties, or even states, away.  Two canvasses should, therefore, be undertaken: one at the original crime scene (the bank) and one at the secondary scene (the vehicle).  If a suspect is developed, it may be advisable to perform an additional area canvass in the neighborhood where that person resides to learn about his/her reputation and habits.  A complex case may require that a number of area canvasses are completed at various locations.  The primary goal of a neighborhood canvass is, of course, to locate a witness to the crime. It is this promise of the elusive witness that motivates the investigator. However, it is not only the “eye” witness you seek.  On occasion, it may be just as significant to discover an “ear witness."  Someone who may have heard a threatening remark heard gunshots or even heard how and in which direction the perpetrator fled. This information can point the case in the right direction.  A witness who hears a homicide subject flee in a vehicle with a loud muffler, for example, could be furnishing a valuable lead.  Likewise, intimidating or threatening statements the witness may have overheard could refute a subsequent claim of self-defense.  In an officer-involved shooting incident, a witness who hears the officer yell "stop police" or "drop the gun" is invaluable to the investigation.   Just as crucial as the eye-witness or the ear-witness is the "witness-who-knows-a-witness."  Even though this person may not have first-hand knowledge of the crime, he or she can direct investigators to a person who does and is, therefore, of great value. Hearsay Rumors, innuendo, and gossip may not have a place in the courtroom, but they are certainly welcome tidbits that help navigate any investigation.   The type of approach the investigator uses to cultivate this information can often determine how successful he will be.  In certain situations, it may be necessary to coax and cajole the witness. In others, it may be beneficial to appear to confide in the witness and reveal some "inside scoop" about the investigation. This works particularly well with the neighborhood "busy body" who will derive motivation from being "included" in the case.  Also, remember that in certain situations, an area canvass may more resemble an interrogation than a simple interview.  Eliciting information from a witness, who is not predisposed to furnish it, is the essence of any area canvass.  In high crime, drug infested neighborhoods retaliation for "snitching" to the police is a real-life possibility that must be appreciated.  Witnesses who refuse or are reluctant to cooperate with authorities may have ample reason for their trepidation.  That is why each person approached should be provided with a contact number and assurances that they may remain anonymous. 9. Failing to Work Together as a Team As with any crime scene, cooperation is critical among differing agencies. But with a death scene, this cooperation is ever more important and ever more strained.  Due to the increased severity of the scene, the spotlight, and egos, these scenes can become a disaster quickly. Therefore teamwork is vital, and it is the lead investigators role to set a tone of cooperation and teamwork.  One of the most significant issues in a major case is the failure to communicate information to those working the case. Agencies seem to want to keep what they know to themselves. This occurs from egos and turf wars, which will compromise an effective outcome.  Everyone involved in the investigation is after the same conclusion. Each member has a job to do and has information gathered from that job; this information is combined and evaluated to set the direction and ultimate conclusion of the investigation. A baseball game is won when everyone playing does his or her job and supports every other player in getting their job done. 10. Command and Administrative Staff Interfering One of the most frustrating mistakes at a death scene investigation is when command staff shows up on the scene with their own agendas which have nothing to do with the actual investigation. Sometimes it's for political appearance or simple curiosity. But unless they are an actual part of the investigative team, they should not insert themselves into the investigation. In many instances, because they’re at the scene, command ranking personnel feel the need to direct the investigation. Consequently, they will have investigators running in different directions which have nothing to do with the primary investigation. The result is the loss of cohesive and central command and major miscommunication. Many times, in these situations no one is willing to step up and make decision and take control for fear of making the boss mad, so the chaos continues and the investigation is compromised, and when the outcome is delayed or not favorable, the command personnel directly the chaos will not see that they caused the confusion but rather the blame may fall on the lead investigator. Conclusion Death investigations are not always simple step by step cutouts. They require real attention and specific actions to protect the investigation integrity. Many of the mistakes mention here are from shortcutting and not taking seriously the gravity of the scene you are working.  Our job as death investigators, regardless of what function that is, is to get the truth for the victim and bring to justice to anyone responsible for their death, if in fact, anyone is responsible.  Developing and following strict procedures at every death scene will ensure that investigations are worked properly, and evidence is not missed.  Reference: Vernon J. Geberth, Practical Homicide Investigation Fifth Edition, (CRC Press 2015) . Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.
June 10, 2019
Postmortem fingerprint collection is a routine part of many forensic death investigations. Although the production of postmortem prints is usually straight forward, several obstacles and scenarios can make the collection difficult. A common challenge occurs when finger pads are mummified. Several current techniques allow for softening and rehydration of mummified finger pads; however, despite the employment of such techniques, the production of adequate postmortem fingerprints can remain difficult. The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner has earned national recognition for breakthrough work with fingerprinting unidentified bodies of people, including border crossers, who have died in the desert. In arid conditions such as Southern Arizona’s desert, it doesn't take long to run out of water. This, as well as sickness, injuries and other accidents, can lead to fatalities and the dehydration process doesn’t stop after death. Many of the bodies brought to the PCOME’s well lit, tiled hallways have begun to mummify. When nobody knows who the person was, mummification makes identification an even greater challenge. It's possible to rehydrate the tissue using sodium hydroxide. The process can take up to 72 hours and requires a mixture of attention and patience. If printing is attempted too soon, the prints are still distorted — but waiting too long can mean permanently losing the fingerprints. “The risk again is always you can dissolve the tissue if your solution's the wrong concentration or you leave the tissue in the solution for too long and that kind of thing,” Hess said. “So we have a fairly rigid process.” It was a process that Hernandez began helping to develop after he started working at the PCOME in 2000. This article was an excerpt from a full article by the Tucson Sentinel January 2014, read the full article HERE To hear the full story with Gene Hernandez with Pima County Arizona on how this process works listen to this episode.
May 27, 2019
On December 29, 1999, high school friends Lauria Jaylene Bible and Ashley Renae Freeman spent the evening together celebrating Freeman's sixteenth birthday. Bible received permission from her parents to spend the night at Freeman's home. Earlier that day, the girls had spent time at a local pizza restaurant with Kathy Freeman. At approximately 5:30 am on December 30, 1999, a passerby called 911 reporting that the Freeman home was engulfed in flames. Law enforcement determined the fire had been arson. Inside the home, the charred remains of Kathy Freeman were discovered lying on the floor of her bedroom; she had been shot in the head. Initially, no other remains were relocated, leading local law enforcement to believe Dan Freeman had killed his wife and fled with both teenage girls. Lauria's parked car was in the driveway of the home with the keys in the ignition. On December 31, Lauria's parents Lorene and Jay Bible returned to the scene, hoping to find additional clues law enforcement may have missed. While walking through the rubble, they discovered what appeared to be another body, and called police. The second body was determined to be that of Dan Freeman, Ashley's father; like his wife, he had also been shot in the head. After this discovery, the scene was reexamined, but no sign of Lauria Bible or Ashley Freeman was found. In 2010, the Freeman family initiated court proceedings to have Ashley declared legally dead Suspects and confessions In the decade following the disappearance of Bible of Freeman, two convicted killer—Tommy Lynn Sells and Jeremy Jones—confessed to murdering them, but subsequently recanted their admissions. Jones had claimed that he murdered Dan and Kathy Freeman as a favor for a friend over drug debt, then took the girls to Kansas, where he sot them and threw their bodies into an abandoned mine. Searches of the mine Jones identified proved unfruitful, however, and Jones subsequently admitted he had fabricated the story in order to get better food and additional phone privileges in prison In a 2001 profile on Unsolved Mysteries, it was mentioned that rumors had circulated among locals that the Craig County Police Department had been feuding with the Freemans at the time over the death of their son, Shane, who was shot by a deputy after stealing a car. While his death was ruled justifiable, the Freemans had threatened to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Dan Freeman's brother, Dwayne, claimed that Dan had confided that deputies had tried to intimidate him. Article/Info Credit:  Wikipedia This Episode In this episode, I talk with Jax Miller and Sarah Cailean as to their involvement in this ongoing investigation and how Jax, as a true crime writer, and Sarah, as a police investigator, team up to uncover new clues and sparked the attention of Law Enforcement which moves this case forward.
May 19, 2019
The term every scene every time is certainly not new and is not unique to me. This term is credited to Steven C. Clark, Ph.D. of Occupational Research and Assessment, Inc. The term was first used in a 1999 NIJ research study setting out guidelines for death scene investigation and has since been updated to a 2011 revision.  However, regardless of who first said it, the term is reelevate today as any time and needs to be explored regularly.  Many agencies have checklist and guidelines to help investigators properly complete an investigation and some are very detailed in their approach.  The NIJ guidelines are a bit broader and are meant to establish investigative tasks that should be performed at every death.  The direct quote from the publication is: The principal purpose of the study, initiated in June 1996, was to identify, delineate, and assemble a set of investigative tasks that should and could be performed at every death scene. These tasks would serve as the foundation of the guide for death scene investigators…….. In this podcast, I break down the areas outlined by the NIJ publication.  Each section has several points and will establish a path of investigation for every death scene.  With these basic foundations, an investigator can insert their local policies and ensure a complete and appropriate investigation every time.  
May 13, 2019
Every crime scene presents unique obstacles for the investigator, but in a death investigation, three elements will always exist to some degree. These three elements make up the investigative triangle. Although independent in nature – they are interdependent in the investigation. A complete and accurate investigation cannot be accomplished without weaving these three elements together. These elements are The Scene The Body The History The Scene The scene of every death contains facts of the story. Regardless of the amount of actual physical evidence, the scene does tell a portion of the story; every scene must be worked slowly and methodically. It is our responsibility to listen to that story and let the evidence and subsequent facts, complete the story.  The scene may be one location or many. Evidence can be overwhelming in scope, or minimal at best. Cooperation between police investigators and the  Coroner/ ME offices is critical. Each agency has a major,  and no less important, function in the overall investigation of any death scene. Agencies should have an attitude of cooperation and communication with each other’s roles prior to any scene presenting itself.  Neither agency can properly perform their function without the information and cooperation of the other. The Body The body is the most important piece of evidence of any death scene.  Without a body,  you do not a death scene, (even if the body is presumed dead and ordered so by the courts).  Information from the body is what directs the investigation.  First, there must be a body. Then a determination of cause and manner will direct further investigation.  Evidence such as; recovered bullets, wound patterns, DNA, wound type and trajectory, are just the basic information located within the body.  In most states, the Coroner/ME  investigators have complete control of the body and everything associated with it.  Although it is part of the scene, it is a scene within itself.  Here again, is where prior communication and complete cooperation is a must between agencies.  Questions such as collecting evidence, initial photographs, movement of the body, and access for the time of death determination needs to have an attitude of cooperation. History Decedent history is the third element of the investigative triangle and an equally important aspect of every death investigation. Anti-mortem activity should be known of every decedent to establish the activities immediately prior to death; although that time frame can be minutes or hours.  An effort must be made to obtain medical history, psychological history, as well as social and sexual history, any and all of these can yield information necessary to establish cause and manner, as well as establish a suspect. In this episode: This episode is a panel discussion of the three elements of the investigative triangle and how best to approach each one.  I have included two experts from different parts of the United States as well as differing primary roles of investigation as well as myself; to discuss at length this investigative triangle approach to death investigation. Everette Baxter Jr. Supervising Crime Scene Investigator  with the Oklahoma City, OK Police Department Paul Parker Los Angeles County Coroner Office
April 29, 2019
The human body burns predictably based it on its anatomical configuration of soft tissues and bones. Fire creates burn patterns to soft tissues: skin, fat, muscle, and then on select areas of the skeleton. These burn patterns convey how the body burned within its environment and if there was any traumatic injury present prior to the fire. Normal burn patterns of the body involve blisters, skin splits, color banding of skin, exposure and rendering of subcutaneous fat, followed by protection from thick bulky muscles that overlie the inner skeleton. After the outer skin splits, subcutaneous fat melts and liquefies into a fuel source that keeps the fire burning, and can do so for several hours under the right conditions. Muscles protect the skeleton but even they shrink and retract along the shafts of long bones when exposed to heat. Inner bones of the head, torso, and extremities gradually become exposed to the fire and they undergo color changes of blackened charring and calcination. Burned bone is durable and survives the fire when all of the other soft tissues have burned away, and therefore it stands as physical evidence of the body when all else is burned beyond recognition. Burn patterns in bone can convey how the body burned and if there was any traumatic injury present during the fire, which would produce abnormal burn patterns, along with the skeletal injury patterns from gunshot wounds, blunt force and sharp force trauma. These injuries remain present throughout all stages of burning and are reflected in the bones after the fire.
April 22, 2019
Hoarding is a psychological condition that results in a person accumulating an enormous amount of trash and things of little-to-no value, or worse, more animals than can be properly cared for. Hoarding of any kind can pose several dangers to the occupant and neighbors, and certainly to animals if they are involved. These hazards can be deadly, and all the more reason people with hoarding disorder should have professional help to restore them to healthy living conditions. If children and animals are in the home, exposed to these perilous dangers, hoarding is also a crime. Dangers of Hoarding Structural Integrity The weight of debris and hoarded items are often more than the floors are able to withhold. The sheer volume of debris in a room can push up against walls, not only damaging their integrity, but also putting the ceiling and roof at risk of collapse. Likewise, the collapse of walls, floors or ceilings can cause gas lines and water pipes to break, resulting in fire and flood damage. Fire Large amounts of paper, such as newspapers, books, boxes, and discarded food wrappers and packaging, or improperly stored combustibles can pose extreme fire dangers. If space heaters are used, close proximity to any debris can also cause a fire. Collapse of Debris Often, hoarders will create precarious paths between large piles of debris, or will crawl over mountains of trash to get around in the house. If these trash piles collapse, they could trap the hoarder underneath, burying the person alive. This could result in death from suffocation or inability to notify anyone they need help. Decay/Decomposition As is often the case, hoarders not only collect relatively useless items, but they tend to not dispose of much of anything. The decay of spoiled food stuffs and waste can lead to terrible odors and airborne pathogens that can be harmful or even deadly. In a very unusual case in San Francisco, the mummified body of a 90-year-old woman was found in an extreme hoarding case. Officials believe she died 5 years previously. Harmful Biohazards In almost all hoarding scenes, biohazards are present. Biohazards can be toxic or infectious, even deadly, and can lead to any range of illnesses and dangers to the resident or neighbors. Common biohazardous materials include spoiled food, feces and urine, blood, bodily fluids, pet waste and dead animals. Infestations The decay and decomposition of organic materials and biohazards, undoubtedly attract pests. Rodents will leave waste and very often get trapped and die within a hoarding residence. This further increases the potential harm to the hoarder, as well as neighbors. This is why hoarding goes beyond an individual and becomes a community problem. Personal Hygiene and Nutritional Issues A hoarding situation can become so extreme that debris blocks access to a kitchen and bathrooms. When the kitchen is blocked or is overwhelmed by harmful waste, proper food preparation becomes impossible. And when bathrooms become blocked, makeshift alternatives are used, with an absence of hygiene. In the extreme hoarding case in San Francisco, police found over 300 bottles of urine on the premises. If a loved one or a neighbor is a hoarder and living in unsafe conditions, we can help with the cleanup and refer you to other helpful resources. If animals or children are at risk, we can also put you in touch with law enforcement agencies that can assist. Episode Guest – Michelle Doscher Ph.D A forensic scientist specializing in investigative psychology and crime scene investigation. Diversified experience as an investigator, interviewer, instructor, expert witness, and an analyst. Currently conducting research in the transference of psycholinguistic cues to handwriting during deception. The current quantitative method unites psychological and physical evidence for more concise investigative leads, with expected applications for criminal interrogations and loss prevention interviews.
April 1, 2019
In this episode, I talk with Bill Patt. Bill has spent his career in EMS and for the last several years has been the supervisor of a large EMS district. Bill and I discuss the history of the EMS field in where the EMS field and the Coroner - death investigation field merge. We talk about the first call he ever had that resulted in a death, that happened also be the first call the local coroner. We also talk about scene control, personal decontamination, and mental fatigue of the job.  Bill is due to retire within a few months after a long 30-year career in the EMS field, this conversation is very real and at times can get very humorous. Bill is a fascinating paramedic supervisor and will add a lot to this industry to this conversation.      
March 18, 2019
Sworn Statement is a podcast exploring local cases and public safety issues here in Collier County. The first three episodes will focus on the case of the deceased hiker known as Mostly Harmless. Hikers found the man’s body in Big Cypress National Preserve in July 2018. Facebook tipsters quickly linked a composite image of the man to photos taken of him during his hike along the Appalachian Trail, beginning in 2017. But detectives have not yet made a positive ID. Sworn Statement will take a deep dive into the case with first-hand accounts from the 911 caller, hikers who met him on the trail and CCSO’s own investigators. Future episodes of the podcast will delve into other issues and cases taking place in our community. Listen to the first three episodes here.   The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.
March 12, 2019
Co-Hosted Training The Death Investigation Training Academy will gladly host most all of our offered courses at your agency.  Co-Hosted training is often referred to as “free training”. In a Co-Hosted seminar, DITA requests that an agency supply a meeting facility, coffee, tea, and their hospitality in exchange for free seats in the training. DITA and the hosting agency will market the class to surrounding agencies and DITA will handle all student registration.  DITA will then contract with our accredited instructors and supply all audio/visual equipment.  This saves you the expense of time and travel for your personnel and the personnel in your region. Training packages and details are negotiated on a per-request basis. Discounts and tuition credits are available for staff of hosting agencies.  Please contact us directly for quotes and package information. What DITA Provides: Assisted marketing to regional agencies On-Site national coordinator to support the training All student material including class roster, manual & handouts, and completion certificates  We handle student registration and payments Accredited instructors What Hosting Agency Provides Training Facility for 30+ students Audio/Video Equipment Notifying surrounding agencies of the scheduled training Benefits of Co-Hosting 2 free seats in training of 10 or more paying attendees 5 free seats for 20 or more paying attendees Saving in time and expense of travel and per diem expenses Acknowledgment on all marketing material Recognition as a leader in state certified training Virtual Classroom Bringing high quality, hyper-focused training, to your agency through the power of the internet. Capable of streaming around the world in real time saving you time and money without sacrificing quality and accreditation. Why Chose this option A virtual classroom is a great option for in-service training.  The virtual classroom allows you to have quality instructors and topics without the added cost of travel and lodging.  Plus, it opens the opportunity for shorter training sessions of up to 4 hours. How it Works Your agency hosts the training by providing a training room equipped with high-speed internet, monitor and/or projector, web camera, and audio.  If you can Skype from the room it can become a virtual classroom.  Your students see the instructor on the monitor or projected onto the screen and the instructor can see the students through your webcam.  Students can see and hear what is being presented – both in lecture and presentation slides or video. Interaction can take place between students and the instructor just like a Skype or facetime call,  so questions can be asked and answered in real time. Technical Issues Basic technical needs are low, again not much different than a skype or facetime call. However, you will need to ensure high-speed internet is present and not overburdened during the training session.  It is recommended someone with a good understanding of the equipment be present and can work directly with our producer during setup and if any issues occur during the stream. In most instances, the stream will be through the zoom.us platform streaming a broadcast from Wirecast studio.  This will require you to download the zoom application onto your system. There is no cost or danger in this download and it can be removed after the class session. When dealing with the internet we have all come to expect perfection and we get it most of the time. However, and usually when its most important, things happen and speeds slow down or are interrupted. Therefore, it is best to have someone present that can get the system reconnected and running should a problem occur. A second connection will be established prior to starting the live feed in case issues arise. This second connection will allow our producer and your onsite tech to communicate outside of the internet being used for steaming.  This connection, in most cases, will be cell phone calls and text messages which can be done without the internet. Firewalls Another issue to consider is your agencies firewall if you are hosting the training within your facility.  Some government facilities have strict firewall protection and would not allow for a live stream to be sent through.  Your IT professional can answer and/or test this for you and our producer is available to test the set up any time prior to scheduling a training. Accreditation Courses taught through virtual classroom can receive accredited continuing education credits for the students through Missouri POST and ABMDI if certain obligations are met.  Primarily we would have to have someone in supervision within your agency in the classroom during the training that can ensure the continued presence of students.  Also, a sign-in roster would have to be signed by all students and confirmed by the person of authority on site.  This roster would then need to be emailed to our academy and certificates would be sent to the agency. Cost Cost of virtual classroom training is at a fraction of traditional on-site training. In most instances training, will be $125 dollars plus $80 per training hour.  For example, if an agency wanted a 3-hour training on Injury and Wound Identification and Documentation.  The course would cost $125 plus $240 for a total of $365.  With 10 students present that would only be $36.50 per student, for three hours of accredited training. Cost is calculated based upon the number of accredited training hours, not actual streaming hours. Instructors consider 15-30 minutes after the presentation for additional questions or conversation that is included in the session cost. Additional Costs and Options Fees are based upon an average of 20 students. In as much as the number of students’ present does not affect cost, the certification and back-end work is affected.  So, any training that would require our agency to issue more than 25 certificates would be billed at $1 (one dollar) per certificate. Books and Manuals Some courses have the option of having a workbook or reference book that goes along with the course. These books are optional and can be purchased prior to the training session in any amount requested. Where to Begin The first set is to contact our academy and get the conversation started.  We will help you decide on tailored training topics to fit your needs and work with you on the technical issues.  It’s a simple and painless process that we will walk you through step by step. You can email us through the contact link in the top menu bar, or call us at 888-556-0177.
March 11, 2019
SteelFusion Labs SteelFusion offers rapid forensic and clinical toxicology testing utilizing Oral Fluid and Urine for the detection and quantification of illicit and prescription drugs. SteelFusion is the post-mortem Oral Fluid experts! Are you unsure about the interpretation of your toxicology results? Do you need an expert testimony witness to consult with? Do you know if your laboratory is using the most up-to-date procedures and has the proper accreditations?  Whether you are a coroner, deputy coroner, medical examiner, investigator or work for the judicial system, they can assist you with choosing the right sample and the right test to meet your specific needs. Codeine is one of the fastest opiates to leave your system. A blood drug test can detect it within 24 hours while urine tests work for 24-48 hours. Saliva testing for codeine is effective 1-4 days after. Testing blood, saliva, or urine can detect most drugs for 1 to 4 days after use. Oral fluid testing, in its similarity to blood, excels in the ability to detect drug use within the first moments of consumption. Urine testing must wait until the drugs have passed through the body. Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead, we owe only the truth.” Voltaire Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.
March 4, 2019
"We found that dispatchers report significant emotional distress related to handling duty-related calls, and this type of distress is associated with increased risk for developing PTSD or PTSD symptoms," said NIU Psychology Professor Michelle Lilly, one of the authors of the study. The #IAM911 movement is an effort to assist in the reclassification of public safety telecommunicators from "clerical" to "protective."  But its much more than that.  It's a movement that brings light to the job of 911 call takers and dispatchers who were previously all but forgotten about. 911 centers are the first line of communication with and for emergency service workers and their fields. If not for  the central hub of communications and good direction from a dispatch 'traffic cop', the rest of us could not do our jobs as efficiently if at all in some cases. __________  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas. Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.
February 25, 2019
911 emergency dispatchers often are the first people contacted when emergency assistance is needed.  They’re responsible for determining the nature of the calls they receive, as well as the location of the callers. They also are responsible for monitoring the location of emergency service personnel in their assigned territory. Using this information, 911 emergency dispatchers direct the appropriate type and number of emergency service units to emergency scenes. 911 emergency dispatchers must maintain communication with the dispatched units to monitor their response, in addition to maintaining communication with callers to monitor emergency situations and give first-aid instructions if necessary. Dispatcher Stress A May 2012 study, conducted by researchers at Northern Illinois University (NIU), linking on-the-job training exposure to trauma, placed dispatchers at risk for developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study was published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress. “We found that dispatchers report significant emotional distress related to handling duty-related calls, and this type of distress is associated with increased risk for developing PTSD or PTSD symptoms,” said NIU Psychology Professor Michelle Lilly, one of the authors of the study. Iam911 The #IAM911 movement is an effort to assist in the reclassification of public safety telecommunicators from “clerical” to “protective.”  But its much more than that.  It’s a movement that brings light to the job of 911 call takers and dispatchers who were previously all but forgotten about. 911 centers are the first line of communication with and for emergency service workers and their fields. If not for the central hub of communications and good direction from a dispatch ‘traffic cop’, the rest of us could not do our jobs as efficiently if at all in some cases.   Read More Here 
February 18, 2019
The Science of Forensic entomology is the study of insects for medico-legal purposes. There are many ways insects can be used to help solve a crime, but the primary purpose of forensic entomology is estimating time since death. Once a person dies his or her body starts to decompose. The decomposition of a dead body starts with the action of microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria, followed by the action of a series of insects (arthropods). Bodies decompose slowly or fast depending on weather conditions if they have been buried or are exposed to the elements, if there is a presence of insects or if they have a substance in their bodies that prevent their fast decomposition such as body size and weight, clothing. Read More Here:      
February 11, 2019
Reprint Article by Linda Cole The Bloodhound is usually unfairly ranked as less intelligent than many dogs, but that doesn’t mean the breed isn’t smart. Finding people is where a Bloodhound outshines most dog breeds. They may not be the easiest breed to train, but if you’re lost in the woods this dog can put his nose to the ground and find you with his unfaltering determination. In fact, the Bloodhound’s scenting ability is so legendary that he’s described as “a nose with a dog attached to it.” All dogs have an incredible sense of smell, but Bloodhounds were born to track. Their long, droopy ears and folds of loose, wrinkly skin around their neck enable these expert trackers to scoop up and trap a specific scent so they can follow it relentlessly, even if the trail has gone cold. Even the slits on the side of the dog’s nose provide extra time for exposure to smells, with a continuous stream of scent-filled air into the nostrils for up to 40 seconds or longer. Plus, each nostril can be moved independently of the other, making it easier to pinpoint where a specific smell is at based on which nostril picked up the scent. This is why a tracking dog will weave back and forth with his nose to the ground when following a trail. Once a Bloodhound has your scent, it’s almost impossible to throw him off your trail. So, how is a Bloodhound able to find a specific scent and follow it until he locates what he’s tracking? Read on! Tracking Basics Humans have around 40,000 pieces of tiny flakes called rafts that are constantly shed from the skin. These rafts consist of skin cells, hormones, enzymes, fungus, bacteria, parasites and hygiene products. No skin rafts are identical, not even from identical twins, which means we all have our own unique scent that our canine friends can smell. Because some rafts are lighter than air, they are picked up and carried in air currents. Heavier rafts are dispersed around the ground and vegetation as we pass by. We also leave behind scents from our breath and sweat. In a way, we leave a sort of “scent cocktail” of individual smells that rush into the nasal cavity of a dog. Bloodhounds can pick up a scent both in the air and on the ground. When a Bloodhound picks up and identifies an odor, an image of the scent is sent to his brain. Sniffing clothing or any other article touched by someone creates an image of that specific smell in a Bloodhound’s brain and is implanted in his brain as a scent photograph. To a tracking dog, a scent photo is more vivid to them than a photograph is to us. Once a Bloodhound has learned a certain scent he never forgets it and can follow it regardless of all of the other smells he may come across while on a trail. Powerful legs and a sturdy body give this exceptional hound the ability to track a scent over even brutal terrains when necessary. This super detective dog has been known to follow his nose for 130 miles or more in pursuit of his quarry, and he can pick up a cold trail that’s almost two weeks old. History of the Bloodhound Breed The exact origin of the Bloodhound is unknown. Many experts say this dog was well known in Mediterranean countries well before the Christian period began, but the breed is an ancient dog with documented evidence going back to the third century A.D. The dog we know today was developed in Great Britain. They were originally bred to follow a blood scent from wounded deer, wolves and other large animals. As the deer population began to decrease, hunters turned their attention to fox and the Bloodhound was replaced with the much faster Foxhound. That’s when the Bloodhound’s expertise was repurposed to tracking down poachers, criminals and people who were lost. Bloodhounds as Companions Bloodhounds are gentle and friendly dogs. They were never bred to be aggressive, and selective breeding has always been focused on creating a dog to simply find people without harming them. Because the breed can be headstrong at times, you might need some extra CANIDAE treats when training him. However, the Bloodhound’s laidback nature is well suited as a family pet if he has a consistent and confident owner who uses positive reinforcement training. Harsh treatment will backfire with this sensitive dog. On an interesting side note, Bloodhound does not refer to what a Bloodhound trails – it refers to the lengths early monastery and aristocratic breeders took in recording their ancestry, bloodlines, to keep the status of this “Blooded Hound” pure. Read more articles by Linda Cole https://www.canidae.com/blog/2017/07/how-do-bloodhounds-find-people/ Find Dry Creek Bloodhounds Here:     Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire         Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.   Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information     The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.    
February 4, 2019
Most Native American tribes believed that the souls of the dead passed into a spirit world and became part of the spiritual forces that influenced every aspect of their lives. Many tribes believed in two souls: one that died when the body died and one that might wander on and eventually die. Burial customs varied widely from tribe to tribe. Indians disposed of their dead in a variety of ways. Arctic tribes, for example, simply left their dead on the frozen ground for wild animals to devour. The ancient mound-building Hopewell societies of the Upper Midwest, by contrast, placed the dead in lavishly furnished tombs. Southeastern tribes practiced secondary bone burial. They dug up their corpses, cleansed the bones, and then reburied them. The Northeast Iroquois, before they formed the Five Nations Confederation in the seventeenth century, saved skeletons of the deceased for a final mass burial that included furs and ornaments for the dead spirits' use in the afterlife. Northwest coastal tribes put their dead in mortuary cabins or canoes fastened to poles. Further south, California tribes practiced cremation. In western mountain areas tribes often deposited their dead in caves or fissures in the rocks. Nomadic tribes in the Great Plains region either buried their dead, if the ground was soft, or left them on tree platforms or on scaffolds. Central and South Atlantic tribes embalmed and mummified their dead. But during outbreaks of smallpox or other diseases leading to the sudden deaths of many tribe members, survivors hurriedly cast the corpses into a mass grave or threw them into a river. Rites among Native Americans tended to focus on aiding the deceased in their afterlife. Some tribes left food and possessions of the dead person in or near the gravesite. Other groups, such as the Nez Perce of the Northwest, sacrificed wives, slaves, and a favorite horse of a dead warrior. Among many tribes, mourners, especially widows, cut their hair. Some Native Americans discarded personal ornaments or blacked their faces to honor the dead. Others gashed their arms and legs to express their grief. California tribes engaged in wailing staged long funeral ceremonies and held an anniversary mourning ritual after one or two years. Southwest Hopi wailed on the day of the death and cried a year later. Some Southwestern tribes, especially the Apache and Navajo, feared the ghosts of the deceased who were believed to resent the living. The nomadic Apache buried corpses swiftly and burned the deceased's house and possessions. The mourning family purified itself ritually and moved to a new place to escape their dead family member's ghost. The Navajo also buried their dead quickly with little ceremony. Navajos exposed to a corpse had to undergo a long and costly ritual purification treatment. Read more: http://www.deathreference.com/Me-Nu/Native-American-Religion.html#ixzz5d4EoTf6x   Choctaw Bonepickers Among the honored officials of the Choctaws were men - and possibly women - who were known as bonepickers. These undertakers were tattooed in a distinctive manner and allowed their fingernails to grow long for their revolting occupation. When the body had remained upon the scaffold the specified time, a bone-picker was summoned, and all the relatives and friends were invited for the last rites. These mourners surrounded the scaffold, wailing and weeping, while the grisly undertaker ascended the platform, and with his long fingernails thoroughly cleaned the bones of the putrefied flesh. The bones were then passed down to the waiting relatives, the skull was painted with vermilion, and they were carefully placed in a coffin curiously constructed of such materials as bark and cane. The flesh was left on the platform, which was set on fire; or was carried away and buried. Episode Guest Jonathan Henderson  Johnathan holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and has been researching Native American mortuary customs for three years. He is an old soul and generally prefers the company of animals. His unique visionary approach to the subject allows insightful understanding of history and anthropology. .   Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.
January 28, 2019
Coroner Recognition Week  January 27th - February 2nd with the focus day being January 29th.  The first American Coroner was Thomas Baldridge of St. Mary's, Maryland Colony appointed on 29 January 1637. The National Coroner Recognition week and the thin line color purple is a project focused on bringing awareness to the job of a Coroner and the need for better funding and training in the further development of the field. Dealing with the worst that death has to offer several times a month can take a toll on anyone and those working in the Coroner and MDI fields of investigation knows first-hand how mentally draining it can be. Often forgotten about or dismissed, the role and function of a Coroner or Medicolegal Death Investigation is vital in our criminal justice system as well as in identifying trends in causes of death and possible disease outbreaks. Coroner A coroner is a public official, appointed or elected, in a particular geographic jurisdiction, whose official duty is to make inquiry into deaths in certain categories. The office of the coroner (or “crowner”) dates back to medieval times in England when the crowner was responsible for looking into deaths to be sure death duties were paid to the king. The coroner's primary duty in contemporary times is to make inquiry into the death and complete the certificate of death. The coroner assigns a cause and manner of death and lists them on the certificate of death. The cause of death refers to the disease, injury, or poison that caused the death. The coroner also decides if death occurred under natural circumstances or was due to accident, homicide, suicide, or undetermined means or circumstances. Last Responder The can be found at www.lastresponder.org   Learn more about the National Recognition week and buy swag to show your support for Coroners and MDI's everywhere. .       Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.
January 21, 2019
Serial killers hold the fascination of the public, whether in true crime news accounts of individuals such as Ted Bundy or fictional depictions such as the television shows Dexter and Criminal Minds or popular movies such as the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” or “Silence of the Lambs.” Serial killers seem so purely predatory and unremorseful that our society cannot help but display a macabre interest in them. Although they account for no more than 1% of the approximately 15,000 homicides in the U.S. annually, serial killers receive a disproportionate amount of media attention due to the incomprehensible savagery of their deeds. Significantly, serial killers differ from mass murderers or spree murderers. Mass murder can be defined as the killing of multiple people at a single location where the victims may be either randomly selected or targeted. A mass murderer is often killed at the scene of the crime; sometimes by his/her own hand.  A spree murder is the killing of multiple people at different locations over a short period of time (the maximum duration is usually 7 days).  The killer in spree murders often but not always knows his/her victims, and most often targets family members or romantic partners. I use the following list of behavioral criteria to define serial homicide for the purposes of my research:             1. At least three murdered victims.             2. The murders take place in separate events, at different times.             3. The killer experiences an emotional cooling off period between murders. The key distinction between serial killers and mass or spree killers is this emotional cooling off period in which the killer blends back into his/her seemingly normal life. The predator reemerges to strike again when the urge to kill becomes overwhelming. The duration of the cooling off period can vary from weeks to months or even years, and varies by a killer. Dennis Rader or “Bind, Torture, Kill” (BTK) had 10 known victims over nearly 30 years!            There is some disagreement over the serial killer definition, mostly about the number of killings required. There is also debate as to whether organized crime hit-men should be considered serial killers.  Doc Bonn argues that they are not serial killers because their motivation is purely business and their killings fulfill no emotional needs.  Serial killers are driven to murder by urges and fantasies that they frequently do not comprehend.        Doc Bonn’s Research Doc Bonn is currently researching and writing a popular book on the public’s fascination with serial killers titled, "Why We Love Serial Killers," published by Skyhorse Press for release in 2014. This book examines the social processes through which serial killers often become morbid pop culture celebrities.  The book seeks to answer the following: What are the roles of the popular media, state officials and the killers themselves in the social construction of serial killers’ public identities?  Why are so many people fascinated with serial killers? What social-psychological needs do serial killers fulfill for the public?  In order to help answer these questions, Doc Bonn is exploring the mysterious, psychopathic criminal minds of infamous serial killers. Ironically, and perhaps shockingly, this book proposes that serial killers may actually serve a function in society by clarifying the meaning of “evil” and setting moral boundaries—that is, by helping to establish the outer limits of what one human being can do to others. Doc Bonn believes that it is quite natural for people to be fascinated by why serial killers commit their murders and for their grizzly exploits to become media spectacles.  Let us know what you think about this topic.      Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.    
January 14, 2019
A few years ago, the third Monday in January was labeled Blue Monday by many experts in the mental health field. But no matter what day of the week it occurs on, Anita Agers-Brooks, common trauma expert, and author of Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, believes January 21st is a good barometer to predict the most depressing day of the year. But why January 21st? If it takes twenty-one days for a mindset to change, earmarking January 21st as the most depressing day of the year may just make sense. According to Brooks, based on several pieces of research she’s studied, as well as based on extensive interviews she’s conducted with everyday people, there are several contributors that solely, or linked with others, can throw even the hardiest soul into the pit of depression on or around this date. Coming off the high of the holidays. Family member/friend goodbyes, after holiday reunions. Fewer activities to look forward to. Holiday bills coming in. Cabin fever. Less exposure to fresh air, and nature's other healing properties. Cold and windy weather. Less sunshine. Cold and flu season peak. Reduced amounts of exercise. Less exposure to the blues, greens, yellows, reds, pinks, and oranges, that are known energizers according to the spectrum of the psychology of color. Fewer face-to-face social interactions with other human beings. New Year's resolutions have now failed. So how do you personally off-set some of these melancholy contributors? When it comes to post-holiday blues, there are a few simple tips that can help. Intentionally focus your thoughts on something challenging, fresh and positive — a different kind of activity from anything you currently do. Take up a new hobby. It can be something you’ve always wanted to try, but choose something that requires concentrated effort. The human mind cannot think two distinctly different thoughts simultaneously, so for those used to the analytical world of left-brain work, try a creative right-brain project, like taking up drawing, painting, writing, or learning a musical instrument. If none of those sound appealing, take up a new kind of physical activity, different from anything you’ve tried in the past. Pick a change of pace in the martial arts, kick-boxing, training for a 5K or half-marathon, or if your spouse is willing, really think outside the box and rev up your marriage at the same time by taking up dancing lessons. Swing, ballroom, waltz, latino, whatever pushes you out of your comfort area, and requires your full attention. When sadness lingers long after your loved ones’ holiday visit is over, begin planning your next get-together. It’s been proven that anticipation is as good or better than an actual event. If you aren’t necessarily sad over missing a person, but boredom and the blahs are your nemeses, plan once-a-month mini-vacations or weekend getaways. Your destinations don’t have to be extravagant or costly, you can even transform your home into a tropical fantasy island for a couple of days. Just choose something you can outline to give you a positive event to work toward, and allow your mind to look forward to the big date. If holiday bills are stressing you out, take thirty minutes to an hour, and create a budget that you write on paper or a computer. By putting things in black and white, you’ll give yourself a true perspective. Often, a situation feels more overwhelming when we aren’t clear on the details. What we fear is often much worse than the facts. Cabin fever is a real malady. If you are beginning to feel cooped up, even though you’re getting out to do your job, take a mental break and get away for a day. Go someplace out of the ordinary, like a museum, science center, indoor sporting event, or even a long walk in a wooded area — especially if you can do it after a fresh, white snow. Nature has proven herself a powerful healing agent, increasing the benefits of physical exercise tremendously when we do it in a peaceful outside climate. Breathe in fresh air, and breathe in a fresh spirit. When it’s cold outside, heat yourself up by giving special treatment to your toes. Soak your feet in a warm Epsom salt bath. The magnesium and other minerals in Epsom salt have many healing properties, including natural anti-depressant chemicals, and when you warm your feet in water, you get an inside and outside boost of healing heat. Have your doctor check your Vitamin D levels to see if you need supplements to get you up to par. One of the reasons many people suffer from higher degrees of depression in the winter is due to less sun exposure, which offers natural infusions of Vitamin D, a known depression-buffering vitamin. One of the best preventative medicines for colds and flu also happen to be powerful anti-depressants. Citrus fruits and vegetables. Oranges, lemon, lime, grapefruit, kiwi, pomegranate, tomato, green peppers, green chile, or any other natural fruit or veggie that’s high in Vitamin C can help you kick a cold to the curb, as well as lift your mood. If you can’t exercise outside, don’t have a treadmill or other home equipment, can’t get to the gym, or can’t devote 20-60 minutes to an exercise regimen then do one-minute intervals when and where you can. Sixty seconds of jumping jacks, running in place, skipping an invisible rope, dancing, kicking, air boxing, or anything else that gets your limbs moving will work. If you do 20 intervals in a day, you’ve gotten twenty minutes of exercise in. Surround yourself with some color, the ones known to soothe and energize. Green, blue, yellow, will calm and lower blood pressure, while red, pink, and orange will elevate your energy. Change your computer screensaver, your telephone background, carry a photo or drawing, anything that lends to an uplifted spirit will work. Try to view at least once an hour to reframe your brain through the psychology of color. When you feel like avoiding everyone is precisely when you might need to be around people the most. Withdrawal from human interaction is a symptom of depression. If the black clouds of overwhelming emotions are causing you to pull back from other people, do what feels uncomfortable, make yourself do something social with others. Studies have shown that anxious or depressed people, those battling PTSD or other trauma-induced issues, assume that having conversations with others will make them feel worse when in actuality, the opposite is true. Those surveyed said they were surprised to discover that their fear of having a face-to-face interaction was unfounded, they actually felt better once it occurred. Anita stopped making New Year resolutions several years ago. Instead, she began to incorporate a One Word focus into her annual commitment to making a fresh start. This year, her One Word is Rise. This gives her a lens with which to look at her life through. She knows this word will help her rise above circumstances, but it is also a great word for application to the list of things that can lead to the most depressing day of the year. Anita said, “I can rise above my emotions, and act on what I can while accepting what I cannot change. Think the Serenity Prayer. There's something about a One Word focus that brushes the clouds of confusion back and adds clarity to chaotic situations. Much of depression is based on a sense of helplessness, but often, this is our emotions lying to us, versus absolute truth.” For those in the field working death investigations, what One Word could keep you motivated throughout the year? What word could inspire and energize you? Is there a One Word focus you can add this year, infusing you with a compass to move you away from depression and toward a happier outcome? Is there a word that will keep you focused on purpose, gratitude, productivity, or meeting your goals. When you review the list of areas that can lead to depression, ask yourself, what decisions can I make that will enable me to rise above my circumstances? Can I tweak something in my life to make me proactive versus reactive? We may not be able to change the factors that lead to depression, but we can certainly move our minds up. Investigating what’s going on in our own brains and bodies can give us the boost we need — and help us get through, no matter what challenges we face. Intentionality in the areas of our bodies, minds, and spirits can help us smile, even on the most depressing day of the year.   Anita Agers-Brooks Inspirational Business/Life Coach, International Speaker, Host of Fresh Faith Inspy on Periscope and YouTube, (as Anita Fresh Faith), and Author of...   Amazon Best Seller, Golden Scroll Finalist, and Readers' Favorite Award winner: Getting Through What You Can't Get Over -- Barbour Publishing   First Hired, Last Fired -- How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market -- Leafwood Publishers    "In business, as in life and love -- It's Never Too Late For a Fresh Start with Fresh Faith." www.anitabrooks.com   www.zenithzone.com       Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.    
January 7, 2019
January 9th, 2019 There are over 900,000 law enforcement officers in the United States, and they are honored on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.), being shown that the community recognizes the difficulty of their job and supports them as they provide a public service. The day is dedicated to all members of law enforcement, but the focus is on police and similar state and local agencies. It was started by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S), which partners with organizations across the country to make the day happen. First observed in 2015, National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day came about in the wake of the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri, officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown, at a time when there was much scrutinization of police officers and concerns about police brutality. Observants of the day spend it thanking police officers, wearing blue, and turning on blue lights at their homes. Having a police force is a relatively new concept in the scope of history. During colonial times, forces were part-time and privately funded. Volunteer night watches were also common. Boston started one in 1636, followed by New York City in 1658 and Philadelphia in 1700. These were not very efficient, and those who were put on duty were often put there for punishment. When cities grew larger, night watches were even more ineffective. The first full-time, publicly funded police force in the country was formed in Boston in 1838. Boston was a large shipping area and the need for policing grew out of the need to protect shipping. Merchants had long hired officers to watch over their goods, and then found a way to pass off the costs to the public by convincing them it was for the common good. In the south, slavery was the original driving force behind the creation of police forces. Beginning in the early eighteenth century, officers chased down runaway slaves and prevented slave revolts. Following Reconstruction, many local sheriffs did similar work to that of the earlier patrols, by enforcing segregation and the disenfranchisement of freed slaves. By the late 1880s, all major cities had police forces. Officers were there to protect public order, which meant different things to different people. Businessmen with connections to politicians did not want disruptions to their workforce from labor-union organizers and immigrants. Political machines were also rampant at the time, and heads of police were picked by political bosses. It was not until well into the twentieth century that there was a move towards the professionalization of police officers. National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, also known as L.E.A.D., is observed next on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019. It has been observed annually on January 9th since 2015.     Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.  
December 24, 2018
Post-Mortem Facial Reconstruction A Postmortem Reconstruction is developed by reconstructing facial characteristics of an unidentified deceased person with decomposed or damaged human tissue. The image will first show trauma to the victim and is repaired digitally or by applying paints directly to the photograph, covering the injured area making the features recognizable. The drawing repairs the trauma to the victim so that the final image will be more presentable when asking for law enforcement or the public's assistance in identification. The final reconstruction is used as an investigative aid for identification and can help to expedite an investigation to lead to the discovery of the unknown.   SketchCop® FACETTE Face Design System Software is arguably the first facial composite software capable of yielding the same quality product offered by that of a police sketch artist. It is designed to help produce a consistent end-product to assist in the reduction of investigative cycle times. SketchCop® FACETTE is portable and easy to use.   Our database is populated with sketched facial components.  This is especially helpful for non-artists who want to create high-quality facial composites.  Our Adobe® licensed editing tools allow users to fine-tune their composite images to make the same subtle changes a police artist would using a pencil and eraser.  Those who want to increase eyewitness satisfaction can use our latest version of SketchCop® FACETTE to import their composite images into Adobe® Photoshop® to further refine their images. With SketchCop® FACETTE, users can focus on the most important part of creating any facial composite – the eyewitness interview.                   Sergeant (Ret.) Michael W. Streed is an internationally-recognized forensic facial imaging expert providing facial identification services to America's largest police agencies. Web Site URL: www.sketchcop.com Public Email address: michael@sketchcop.com               Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.  
December 8, 2018
Many investigators are unaware of the extreme risks that are present when dealing with blood and bodily fluids. There are many bloodborne pathogens (BBP) infections that can be transmitted through contact with another person’s blood or bodily fluid that may contain blood including but not limited to, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Most exposures are caused by a lack of universal precautions on some level, whether they are the result of failure to use proper personal protective equipment (PPE) or are due to an unintentional sharp left in an inappropriate container for disposal. Once you look at some crime scene bio-hazards statistics you will have a new respect of crime scene protection.  The caution here is; don't let the day to day work desensitize you from the real dangers of blood and body fluids. Some Statistics 1 out of every 24 people has Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV. That’s a pretty sobering statistic, but very real. Here are the CDC stats to prove it: 1 in every 26 people has Hepatitis B. Approximately 12 million Americans have been infected with Hepatitis B. Over 1.4 million are chronically infected. About 50% of the people in the United States with Hepatitis B are unaware of their infection. Up to 100,000 new people will be infected each year. Approximately 5,000 people will die each year from Hepatitis B and its’ complications. Hepatitis B is 100 times more infectious than the AIDS virus. The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.   1 in every 77 people has Hepatitis C. Approximately 3.2 million people in the United States have Hepatitis C. Over 75% of the people in the United States with Hepatitis C are unaware of their infection. Hepatitis C is the most common bloodborne pathogen infection in the US. Hepatitis C is the most common cause of death from liver disease.   1 out of every 258 people has HIV. There are an estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States. 1 out of 5 are unaware of their infection. There are 50,000 new HIV diagnoses every year. Every 9.5 minutes someone in the United States is infected with HIV. Over 25% of people living with HIV or AIDS also has Hepatitis Sources: Centers for Disease Control, WHO          Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.  
December 3, 2018
I this episode I share the conversation  I had on the podcast Tending Your Dreams. The host draws out background information not regularly shared on this show. We also talk about the development of the Academy and the book CODE. This is an interesting episode because it gives a good behind the scenes look at this show and the Academy.   Find the Tending Your Dreams Podcast on  Apple Podcast or your favorite podcast directory.         Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.  
November 19, 2018
Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning, hyperhydration, overhydration, or water toxemia is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by excessive water intake. Under normal circumstances, accidentally consuming too much water is exceptionally rare. Nearly all deaths related to water intoxication in normal individuals have resulted either from water drinking contests, in which individuals attempt to consume large amounts of water or from long bouts of exercise during which excessive amounts of fluid were consumed. In addition, water cure, a method of torture in which the victim is forced to consume excessive amounts of water, can cause water intoxication. Water, just like any other substance, can be considered a poison when over-consumed in a specific period of time. Water intoxication mostly occurs when water is being consumed in a high quantity without adequate electrolyte intake. Pathophysiology At the onset of this condition, fluid outside the cells has an excessively low amount of solutes, such as sodium and other electrolytes, in comparison to fluid inside the cells, causing the fluid to move into the cells to balance its concentration. This causes the cells to swell. In the brain, this swelling increases intracranial pressure (ICP), which leads to the first observable symptoms of water intoxication:  headache, personality changes, changes in behavior, confusion, irritability, and drowsiness. These are sometimes followed by difficulty breathing during exertion, muscle weakness & pain, twitching, or cramping, nausea, vomiting, thirst, and a dulled ability to perceive and interpret sensory information. As the condition persists, papillary and vital signs may result including bradycardia and widened pulse pressure. The cells in the brain may swell to the point where blood flow is interrupted resulting in cerebral edema. Swollen brain cells may also apply pressure to the brain stem causing central nervous system dysfunction. Both cerebral edema and interference with the central nervous system are dangerous and could result in seizures, brain damage, coma or death.  Dr. Banerjee has been a practicing forensic pathologist for 6 years after training at the top programs such as The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.  She is board certified in both Anatomic and Forensic Pathology by the American Board of Pathology. In addition, she brings a unique perspective with insight into medical conditions as she completed a year of internal medicine training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. During her career, she has conducted over 1400 postmortem examinations including handling over 100 homicide cases. She also has been called to multiple crime scenes to provide immediate expertise. In addition to postmortem examinations, she prides herself in academic endeavors. Dr. Banerjee is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology at Brown University. She has also published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals.               Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigator.
November 5, 2018
Rules that Govern an Investigation The purpose of an investigation is to obtain information that will provide clues for further inquiry,  establish facts on which to base probable cause and develop enough evidence to convict the perpetrator All of these actions are governed by a number of rules that apply to all facets of the investigation. Those rules are commonly referred to as rules of evidence. If an investigator violates any of the rules of evidence during the investigation the evidence gathered may be declared inadmissible in court and therefore create an obstacle for the prosecution. Using Deception While there are times when it is permissible to use deception when performing an investigation, it is important to understand the limited times when deception is appropriate. Undercover operations employ deception when investigators pose as criminals to gain the confidence of suspects or suspect groups. However, the use of deception has its limitations and does not include the actual evidence, reports, or other types of information submitted to be true and accurate. If an investigator does any of the following it not only negates the value of the evidence but also may be the basis for the investigator to become the subject of a criminal investigation. Creating evidence or planting evidence Lying in court (testifying) Lying in reports, notebooks, or other administrative or investigative reports Lying in any administrative or civil proceedings Searches Investigators often must conduct searches to obtain physical evidence. Those searches must fall within the restrictions of the 4th amendment to be considered reasonable and the evidence obtained from the search to be admissible. Searches for evidence fall into two primary categories. 1.) A search pursuant to a duly executed search warrant; and 2.) A warrantless search.  Read More ad web site  coronertalk.com   Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire   .         Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.
October 29, 2018
In our society, Public support is key in every aspect of policing from the needed appropriations to fund a department to the cooperation of individuals on the street. It is important to consider public perception when examining both the role and consequences of police in a democratic society. How the public views the police can determine the legitimacy of police authority and citizen compliance with the law. Public perception has a tremendous impact on the success on an investigation in the interview process. Statements are more easily gotten when both the investigator and the agency present a positive and professional image. We live in an era where law enforcement is coming under greater scrutiny as advances in technology has armed members of the public with the ability to video record and publish law enforcement contacts through a variety of social media outlets. Sir Robert Peel said, “Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.” There are two major factors that influence the public’s perception of law enforcement. Those factors are: The investigator’s appearance The investigator’s behavior Investigator Appearance A well-groomed investigator can portray confidence, professionalism, and a command presence that helps to enlist the cooperation of those with whom the investigator must interview. Beards, long mustaches, offensive tattoos, morbid obesity and any other element of unprofessional appearance creates a negative image in conflict with the professional objective that the investigator is attempting to achieve. To enlist public support, an investigator must first earn the public’s respect. An investigator’s presence sends a message and the degree of support that the investigator receives depends on whether the message is positive or negative. The first level of force on the force continuum is often a police presence. A professional image that exudes confidence is an effective force and can be instrumental in maintaining control when interacting with members of the public. Investigator Behavior It is often said that investigators live in a glass house. It is certainly true that uniformed investigators draw the public’s attention and are often scrutinized more closely than the general public. The public holds investigators to a higher standard than that of other citizens and expects those investigators to be an example to the community. Any violation of the law will be noticed and likely reported. Investigators who have a reputation for even minor violations begin to lose their effectiveness as an investigator once the habitual violations become known. We are living in an era that encourages citizens to become more watchful of law enforcement and to report any violations. With today’s technology and the proliferation of cell phones with video capability, the report of such violations are often supported with video footage. Even the slightest indication of bias can have a negative effect on the professional image. The Impact of Public Perception In our society, Public support is key in every aspect of policing from the needed appropriations to fund a department to the cooperation of individuals on the street. It is important to consider public perception when examining both the role and consequences of police in a democratic society. How the public views the police can determine the legitimacy of police authority and citizen compliance with the law. Public perception has a tremendous impact on the success on an investigation in the interview process. Statements are more easily gotten when both the investigator and the agency present a positive and professional image. .         Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.  
October 15, 2018
    Todays Guest Summer Yancey Experienced Investigator with a demonstrated history of working in the executive office industry. Skilled in Emergency Management, Death Investigation, Private Investigations, Confidential Document Management, Event Management, Team Building, and Public Speaking. Strong mental/behavioral health and medicolegal professional with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), focused in Criminal Justice/Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage.   Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead, we only owe the truth.” Voltaire       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.          
October 1, 2018
A thousand questions littered my brain.  The three letter word everyone waited for was lodged in my throat.  My stomach wanted to heave.  My knees buckled.  Arms supported mine.  I was a marionette.  They waited patiently but no words came. The procedure was repeated.  I again faced the decomposing, torn mask of a face that used to smile at me, at a mouth that offered encouragement.  I finally blurted “Yes!” In her own words This arcane cavity was a vault, a cage, a bunker. I felt cooler and weaker with each footstep.  We stopped.  I tried not to breathe.  The pungent odor inside that chamber was a suffocating mix of used kitty litter, rotten eggs and unwashed Styrofoam meat tray from the market carelessly left out overnight.  Disinfectant did not neutralize the foulness of death, grief, or confusion.  He’d been submerged inside a desolate, warm, bog for a week before being exhumed.  My eyes closed reflexively. Detective Landeros leaned in and quietly said: “When you’re ready.”  I felt I’d never be ready.  How can a wife ever be prepared to gaze upon the bludgeoned, detached head of her spouse five feet away? Seconds passed like minutes. My eyes slowly opened whereupon I saw Al’s contorted face, supported by a white sheet wrapped tightly around his severed neck. His eyeglasses were missing.  His face was knotted, his eyes puffy and black, incongruent with his light gray skin. Wide lacerations crisscrossed his head like a network of roads. His mouth was open and round with a swollen tongue which protruded off to the right at an angle. A cavernous gash framed his badly swollen right eye where a section of scalp was missing. It was horrific. He was badly defaced. What did he do to deserve this viciousness?  What kind of monster inflicted this destruction? A thousand questions littered my brain.  The three letter word everyone waited for was lodged in my throat.  My stomach wanted to heave.  My knees buckled.  Arms supported mine.  I was a marionette.  They waited patiently but no words came. The procedure was repeated.  I again faced the decomposing, torn mask of a face that used to smile at me, at a mouth that offered encouragement.  I finally blurted “Yes!” News Report: On a summer day in July 1985, police made a grisly discovery in Northern Michigan: a satchel buried a mere couple of feet beneath the forest floor. A collection of garbage bags were inside, each one containing the severed limbs of a human body. The hands, feet, and head all belonged to Alan Canty—a local man who had disappeared the previous week. The rest of Canty's blood-encrusted remains would be found days later, scattered across the state. To his family and friends, Alan Canty was a married, successful psychologist from the affluent Grosse Pointe neighborhood. Behind closed doors, he was something else entirely: the "Sugar Daddy" to teenage sex worker Dawn Spens. Over the course of their two-year relationship, Canty showered her with gifts, shelling out thousands to support her and her pimp-boyfriend John Carl Fry—who was known as "Lucky." But even a man as wealthy as Alan Canty could not maintain such a lifestyle. When he revealed that his money had run out, Spens and Fry's patience had run thin. Furious that Canty wanted to end the relationship, Fry attacked the psychologist with a baseball bat. The grisly mutilation that followed, all done with a serrated Ginsu knife, was also Fry's handiwork. John Carl Fry received a life sentence for his crimes. Spens, who was just 19 at the time of the murder, escaped with dismemberment charges and probation. Today, she walks free.  Partial Reprint from https://the-line-up.com/murder-and-dismemberment-in-the-motor-city  Today's Guest Jan Canty, Ph.D. holds a Ph.D. in psychology. In 1985 her spouse was murdered and we were asked to identify his severed head in the morgue a week after he was exhumed. She has since written a yet-to-be-published book entitled Till Death We Did Part: Memoir of Deception, Murder, and Recovery               Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   "To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth." Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.        
September 24, 2018
In this episode, I talk with Malory, a new Medicolegal Death Investigator. Malory knew she wanted to be a Coroner Investigator at 16 years old. Her career path took her down the Surgical Technologist route but the investigation dream still smoldered inside.  Then, 20 years later, she was able to see her dream realized.  I talk with Malory about what lead her to this career choice and how she was able to find the education needed to pursue it.           Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   "To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth." Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.
September 10, 2018
Handwriting is more than a personality-type indicator. Handwriting is brain writing; the communication transaction concludes with a tangible time-stamped view of a person's inner thoughts and emotions Twenty Reasons why to use handwriting as a supplement to pre-employment screens, interviewing for internal positions, forensic interviews, recruiting screens, and investigations. Dr. Doscher's method ...is noninvasive ...is a screening tool for truthful and deceptive statements. ...recognizes and differentiates truth and deception from the truth and cognitive load. ...is not a subjective analysis based on correlations. ...is an individualized, measurable analysis, specific to the person writing the statement. ...is an analytical screening method. ...is brain activity on paper. ...is not language specific; it has been tested in 5 languages! ...addresses the unpredictable nature of human behavior. ...presents a time-stamped, tangible representation of a person’s cognitive responses. ...indirectly measure of neuro-psychological responses. ...is applied before initial interviews/interrogations. ...statements may be written on lined or unlined paper, with a pen or a pencil. ...statements may be written in cursive or print. ...baselines are obtained simultaneously with the written statement. ... is not tolerant to manipulative behaviors, found in sex offenders and repeat criminals. ...results are not race or gender dependent. ...results are based on intra-subject ratios. ...samples are not compared or based on other subjects’ behaviors. ...results are presented as court-ready documents. Full description and explanation during the full audio podcast Episode Quest Michelle Doscher, PhD has 25+ years combined experience in various areas of investigative work, encompassing chemical analyses, crime scene investigations, expert testimony, research and development, forensic interviewing, and instruction/training. https://www.mindsleuth.us/home.html           Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   "To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth." Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.             coroner,police training, darren dake,sheriff,deputy,coroner association,murder scenes,auto fatalities,csi,first responders,autoerotic fatalities,become a coroner,forensic science crime scene investigation,forensic science crime,scene investigator,forensic training,forensics training,how to be a crime scene investigator,how to become a death investigator,how to become a medical examiner,how to become a medical examiner investigator,medical examiner investigator training,medical investigator training,medicolegal death,medicolegal death investigator training,murder scenes,pictures of murder scenes,murder,real murder crime scenes,traffic deaths,traffic fatalities,what does it take to be a coroner,what does it take to be a criminal investigator,firefighter,fire training,firefighter training,autoerotic fatalities,become a coroner,coroner information,crime scene clean up training,crime scene cleaning training,crime scene cleanup training,crime scene investigation,crime scene investigation classes,crime scene investigator courses,crime scene investigator school,crime scene jobs,crime scene photography,crime scene photography training,crime scene technician,crime scene technician training,crime scene training,criminal investigation,criminal investigator,criminal justice,criminal justice forensic science,criminal justice forensics,criminal scene investigation,death crime scenes,death investigation training,death investigator training,death investigators,forensic death investigator,forensic investigator,forensic photography, crime scene clean up,crime scene bio-hazard, using plants in criminal investigation,forensic botany,dr.jane bock,death investigator magazine,dr judy melinek,badge of life,american college of forensic examiners,acfei,american board of medicolegal death investigators,abmdi,matthew lunn,underwater crime scene,mike berry,online learning,lopa,cultural diversity,anger de-escalation
September 3, 2018
Handwriting is more than a personality-type indicator. Handwriting is brain writing; the communication transaction concludes with a tangible time-stamped view of a person's inner thoughts and emotions Twenty Reasons why to use handwriting as a supplement to pre-employment screens, interviewing for internal positions, forensic interviews, recruiting screens, and investigations. Dr. Doscher's method ...is noninvasive ...is a screening tool for truthful and deceptive statements. ...recognizes and differentiates truth and deception from the truth and cognitive load. ...is not a subjective analysis based on correlations. ...is an individualized, measurable analysis, specific to the person writing the statement. ...is an analytical screening method. ...is brain activity on paper. ...is not language specific; it has been tested in 5 languages! ...addresses the unpredictable nature of human behavior. ...presents a time-stamped, tangible representation of a person’s cognitive responses. ...indirectly measure of neuro-psychological responses. ...is applied before initial interviews/interrogations. ...statements may be written on lined or unlined paper, with a pen or a pencil. ...statements may be written in cursive or print. ...baselines are obtained simultaneously with the written statement. ... is not tolerant to manipulative behaviors, found in sex offenders and repeat criminals. ...results are not race or gender dependent. ...results are based on intra-subject ratios. ...samples are not compared or based on other subjects’ behaviors. ...results are presented as court-ready documents. Full description and explanation during the full audio podcast Episode Quest Michelle Doscher, PhD has 25+ years combined experience in various areas of investigative work, encompassing chemical analyses, crime scene investigations, expert testimony, research and development, forensic interviewing, and instruction/training. https://www.mindsleuth.us/home.html           Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   "To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth." Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.        
August 20, 2018
Forensic Training Unlimited/Forensic Science Academy What is Forensic Training Unlimited? Forensic Training Unlimited and their flagship program, the Forensic Science Academy, provide hands-on training, seminars, workshops, online courses, and webinars. These courses are specific to students who are looking for forensic experience and training. The training students receive will help them enhance their formal education and help market their forensic career. http://forensicscienceacademy.org   In this episode  In this episode, I talk with Terri Armenta, the founder, and director of Forensic Science Unlimited and the Forensic Science Academy. I talk with Terri about what got her into the field of forensics and where she started.   We move through our conversation from how she started volunteering in a local animal clinic to where her career has taken her to train some of the words best criminal science investigators.    Links Mentioned in the Show: Certification Testing   https://ditacademy.org/certification  Online Training   https://ditacademy.org/education  MLDI Level-1   https://ditacademy.org/mldi     Death Investigator Magazine A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.   "To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth." Voltaire .       Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.                    
August 13, 2018
Hyperthermia is elevated body temperature due to failed thermoregulation that occurs when a body produces or absorbs more heat than it dissipates. The determination of the cause of death from exposure to extreme temperatures is a diagnosis of exclusion. Because both clinical and autopsy findings are nonspecific, a thorough investigation of the background and scene, evaluation of temporally relevant environmental conditions, and assessment of the victim's underlying state of health with appropriate laboratory studies, which frequently include autopsy, are essential to establish the cause of injury and/or death with reasonable medical probability. Individuals may encounter environmental extremes in many settings during any season. The normal human body temperature can be as high as 37.7 °C (99.9 °F) in the late afternoon. Hyperthermia requires an elevation from the temperature that would otherwise be expected. Such elevations range from mild to extreme; body temperatures above 40 °C (104 °F) can be life-threatening. Hyperthermia—as distinguished from fever (temperature > baseline euthermia) and hyperpyrexia (temperature >106.7°F [>41.5°C]), which characteristically occur in concert with an increased hypothalamic set point from severe infection or central nervous system hemorrhage— is diagnosed clinically by a core body temperature more than 104°F (>40°C) and occurs when the body's thermoregulatory mechanisms are no longer capable of effectively dissipating heat. In high ambient temperatures, evaporation is the most efficient mechanism for mediating heat loss, yet it is ineffective with humidity levels of more than 75%. Excessive heat retention results in hyperthermia or heat illness of varying degrees of severity. Links Death Investigator Magazine  Coroner Talk Podcast Death Investigation Academy  MLDI Online Academy   
July 30, 2018
Most forensic archaeological investigations take place outdoors, where considerations of scene location and weather must be made. One must make carefully consider logistics to determine what equipment is necessary and potentially useful. A consideration of logistics also implies planning for broader issues such as how to approach the site and how to delimit the area under investigation. In the case of buried evidence, a forensic archaeologist will excavate. Excavation refers to the process of digging out or uncovering objects in the ground. In a forensic investigation, an archaeologist may be called to excavate a grave. Before the destructive process of excavating a grave begins, all evidence on the ground surface must be documented and collected. Surface evidence can include plants, insects, objects such as clothing or a weapon, and human remains. All evidence should be photographed and mapped, showing the location of each item in relation to other evidence as well as to other important features such as buildings, streams, roads or fences. Once the location of evidence is documented, investigators may collect it. How each piece of evidence is collected and cared for depends on various factors, explained in the section: Inventory of Evidence. Excavation is destructive, so careful documentation of the work is very important. At a scene with a grave, the forensic archaeologist's first task is to define the shape and size of the grave. Then, they remove the soil inside the grave carefully - documenting, photographing and collecting everything that is found that might help understand how that person died, was buried and who they are. Excavated soil is often screened to look for small objects, bones, insects or other evidence that can help with the investigation. Read More at website: https://coronertalk.com   Important Links: Magazine Link:  https://deathinvestigatormagazine.com/ Online Training Options  http://ditacademy.org/education/
July 16, 2018
Forensic anthropology is the analysis of skeletal, badly decomposed, or otherwise, unidentified human remains, and is important in both legal and humanitarian contexts. Forensic anthropologists apply standard scientific techniques developed in physical anthropology to analyze human remains, and to aid in the detection of crime. In addition to assisting in locating and recovering human skeletal remains, forensic anthropologists work to assess the age, sex, ancestry, stature, and unique features of a decedent from the skeleton. Forensic anthropologists frequently work in conjunction with forensic pathologists, odontologists, and homicide investigators to identify a decedent, document trauma to the skeleton, and/or estimate the postmortem interval. In this episode  In this episode, I talk with Dr.MariaTeresa A. Tersigni-Tarrant about what is forensic anthropology and how it can help you in solving your case or answering the unanswered. We dive into the how-tos of scene work and the obstacles that come with recovering and packaging skeletal remains.   Links Membership Subscription   ditacademy.org/membership Online Education Options   ditacademy.org/education Certification Exam             ditacademy.org/certification    
July 4, 2018
Membership has its privileges! At the Death Investigation Training  Academy, we believe education is a lifelong pursuit, and we want to empower you to achieve your goals throughout your life and career. We’re continually working to improve our courses and platform to give you access to relevant content, and to help you learn more efficiently and effectively. We’re excited to announce Academy Membership– a new payment model that allows you to purchase access to all content in the online Academy on a month-by-month basis, with no long-term commitment required. Learn More at:  https://ditacademy.org/membership/
July 1, 2018
New Medicolegal Investigator Certification   The Medicolegal Death Investigator certificate is designed to give the graduate a recognized credential that can translate into greater recognition within their respective field.  Successful completion of the exam demonstrates the student has an understanding of the death investigation process and has met the minimum knowledge standard.  The scope of knowledge for the certification exam is defined in the National Institute of Justice publication Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator. This certification is intended to fill a gap in certification and basic knowledge of death investigation not previously available. Many professionals working death investigation or those wanting to enter the field of death investigation do not yet qualify for the Registry Certification of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators  ABMDI. Therefore no standardized minimum knowledge certificate exists.   Learn More Here    Monthly Training Membership - Click Here    At the Death Investigation Training  Academy, we believe education is a lifelong pursuit, and we want to empower you to achieve your goals throughout your life and career. We’re continually working to improve our courses and platform to give you access to relevant content, and to help you learn more efficiently and effectively. We’re excited to announce Academy Membership– a new payment model that allows you to purchase access to all content in the online Academy on a month-by-month basis, with no long-term commitment required.  Death Investigation Academy  The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.      
June 18, 2018
For a split moment, Josie’s imagination tried to take over her mind. Is it someone I know? My niece, Stephie just got her license and she’s a blonde. Josie took an intentional deep breath and admonished herself. Stop. Get a grip. Stay focused on the job. “Okay sir, I know this is difficult, but I need you to hold it together. Help is on the way.” “Tell them to hurry. Except I’m afraid it’s too late for her.” Josie forced herself to maintain a professional composure, though adrenalin flooded her veins and her blood pressure pumped more powerfully than it did during most calls. Something about this one felt different. And it was more than location, something in Josie’s gut told her she wasn’t going to like the outcome. She would soon find out her gut was absolutely right. The caller hung up after the first responders arrived on scene, but the tension in the air of the 9-1-1 office did not dissipate. Across squawking radios, it was evident in all of the voices attending the accident; county deputies, state highway patrol, and EMS, something wasn’t being said. There was a vibe that said there was something uniquely wrong. Moments like this made the physical disconnect between 9-1-1 and those who worked directly with victims feel like a punch in the stomach. Josie wished she could know exactly what was going on. It would take over an hour before she found out why everyone seemed exceptionally on edge. Sergeant Troy Matthews walked into the office, his face so low it appeared as if his chin might drag the ground. Sergeant Matthews made his way directly to Josie. “You took the call about the girl out on 49?” Tears pooled in Josie’s eyes. “Yes.” Troy, whose own eyes glistened, placed his hand on Josie’s shoulder.”It was Mandy Sellers’ daughter, Bella.” Josie raised out of her chair instinctively, “What? No. Not Bella! She—we— all of us loved. . . .” “I know,” Troy broke in. “It was like she belonged to all of us, like she was our own daughter.” Josie fell back onto the seat, Mandy was a well-respected sheriff’s deputy who had been on the force for over fifteen years. “I—we. We practically raised her with Mandy. After she started school, she came every day when they let out. In the summer, she ran and got us lunch, or on really hot days, a small vanilla cone for both of us. From the time she was a little thing, she had been a bright light and energizing force that lifted our spirits on mundane or difficult days. We all looked forward to her visits, I can’t imagine her not bouncing through the door.” Troy nodded his head in agreement. “I know what you mean. Her innocence made you remember the good in this world — something it’s easy to forget in this line of work.” The 9-1-1 line lit up requiring Josie’s immediate attention. In that instant, Josie knew the expectation. Turn your feelings off and turn the calm on. She had no choice but to delay her grief until later. But one thought disturbed Josie the most as she turned to take the call. How did Bella die? ** For Complete Story go the CoronerTalk.com ep183 **    
June 11, 2018
Police work and in particular, death investigation,   is one of the most stressful jobs in this country. Day after day, investigators see the worst of humanity; absorb the world’s negativity, and come home to families who love them. How can you not expect this to have an effect on your mind, body, and soul? Not to mention the effect it has on your family, so ask yourself the question; is your job destroying your family? We need to recognize the warning signs of stress and how it can affect our lives and the lives of our family.  The biggest danger in law enforcement related stress is ignoring it!  Children According to a 2002 study led by Rudy Arredondo, law enforcement children “can develop traumatic stress vicariously” through watching and listening to their parents experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This exposure can cause symptoms such as hyperarousal, intrusive thoughts, eating disorders and aggressive agitated behaviors. Children can even share the same memories or re-enact the LEO’s trauma by knowing that a traumatic event was experienced by the parent. Spouses The research conducted on law enforcement marriage rates has mixed conclusions. Matthews (2011) indicates that some studies have law enforcement divorce rates as high as 75% while other studies indicate law enforcement divorce rates to be lower than the national average. Tips for Strengthening a Law Enforcement Marriage:   Leave the stress of the job, at the job. Learn to switch gears and pay attention to your spouse when you walk in the front door at home. Become an active listener to your spouse’s needs. Avoid the law enforcement culture and do not accept that the workaholic lifestyle is acceptable to your spouse. It is not healthy for a marriage to spend limited time together. Emotional detachment is needed for the job, but learn to turn it off at home. Make a Planned Date Night around your work schedule… and do it often! Do not allow “Partner Envy” or a feeling of competition for your time to enter your home. Be spontaneous, let your spouse know you care and think about him/her often. Keep your civilian friends (not everything needs to be cop, cop, and cop). Share the workload around the house and partner with your partner (hint-hint) Seek the help of a marriage counselor or help with PTSD if needed. Tips from an article written by Mark Bond- for full article click here:   Married to the Badge Protecting Yourself Police officers have one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, possibly the highest. They have a high divorce rate, about second in the nation. They are problem drinkers about twice as often as the general population. These facts are warning signals for unseen problems that are not being handled. Researchers use suicide, divorce and alcoholism rates as three key indexes of stress in a group of people. Clearly, police work is stressful. Hans Selye, the foremost researcher in stress in the world, said that police work is “the most stressful occupation in America even surpassing the formidable stresses of air traffic control.” We need to recognize the warning signs of stress and how it can affect our lives and the lives of our families.  The biggest danger in law enforcement related stress is ignoring it. Police stress is not always unique nor obvious. Almost any single stressor in police work can be found in another occupation. What is unique is all the different stressors in one job. Many people see the dangers of acute stressors such as post-shooting trauma and have programs dealing with them. These stressors are easy to see because of the intense emotional strain a person suffers. But what about the not so obvious, chronic stressors; are they important? Chronic Stress Chronic stress has at least two effects on people. First, prolonged stress causes people to regress. Their psychological growth reverses, and they become more immature. They rapidly become more childish and primitive. A common example is a sick person who is miserable and in pain for several days. Any wife will agree that her husband becomes self-centered, whiny and irritable; he expects constant attention and care. He behaves like a young, selfish child. People naturally regress during chronic discomfort. Second, chronic stress numbs people’s sensitivity. They can’t stand to continually see human misery. They must stop feeling or they won’t survive. The mind has this defense mechanism so people can continue working in horrible situations. If they kept their normal sensitivity, they would fall apart. As they become insensitive to their own suffering, they become insensitive to the suffering of others. When treated with indignity they lose not only a sense of their own dignity but also the dignity of others. The pain of others stops bothering them, and they are no longer bothered when they hurt others. Police officers and death investigators encounter stressors in call after call which saps their strength. Debilitation from this daily stress accumulates making officers more vulnerable to traumatic incidents and normal pressures of life. The weakening process is often too slow to see; neither a person nor his friends are aware of the damage being done. Excerpt of article shared with permission from Not So Obvious Police Stress         Anita Brooks anitabrooks.com  Anita Brooks motivates others to dynamic break-throughs. Blending mind, heart, body, and spirit, as an Inspirational Business/Life Coach, International Speaker, and Common Trauma Expert. Anita is also an award-winning author. Her titles include Amazon bestseller: Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, Barbour Publishing, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market, Leafwood Publishing,Death Defied-Life Defined: A Miracle Man’s Memoir, and contributor to The Change: Insights Into Self Empowerment Book #4. Her books are available at major and independent bookstores, Amazon, plus several online retailers.         Medicolegal Death Investigation – Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.
June 4, 2018
One thing you can count on in life is the fact that you are going to die. How’s that for a buzzkill? Most people diligently ignore the reality of their future demise. Thinking about death somehow seems wrong. Luckily, a real-life coroner challenged a few thousand internet strangers to do the thinking for you. The result is a collection of morbid and slightly embarrassing questions all about The End. Honest, and often hilarious, answers from a woman who has made a career out of death will leave you with a new perspective on life. This is a meaningful and sincere book with a lighthearted, funny feel. Truly something only a coroner could write. In addition to answering all of your (umm, rather interesting) questions about death, we have laid out all of the options available to you when you die as well as a comprehensive list of key information to help your loved ones (and coroner!) handle your passing. This book is the perfect place to begin thinking about death, and life, in an entirely new way. It all starts with this book! Spoiler Alert: You’re Gonna Die is a collection of questions provided by thousands of people just like you, and answers from our favorite coroner, Jacquie.     About the Authors Jacquie Purcell is a Deputy Coroner from Yorkville, Illinois, with over 20 years of experience (and an abundance of fancy titles) in the death industry, ranging from funeral service to death investigations. In addition to being a national board certified Funeral Director and Embalmer, Jacquie is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. Korttany Finn is from Camano Island, Washington. With a unique flair for shaping stories, she helped bring this book about death, to life. It is their combined hope that this book will help people to think about death in an entirely new (and important) way. Death happens and we need to be talking about it as well as preparing. If the conversation starts with all the intriguing or funny aspects, well, all the better! Visit their  web site at askacoroner.com     Medicolegal Death Investigation - Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.    
May 21, 2018
TOTAL EM is an educational website.  It stands for "Tools Of the Trade and Academic Learning in Emergency Medicine."  The main focus is to provide training to all of those in emergency medicine, especially those practicing in a rural or remote setting and those who are PAs (but we also love our NP and physician colleagues).   They believe in the importance of education.  Their website is divided into three main sections.  One is devoted to medical professionals and the information offered directly by the TOTAL EM project.  A second section is devoted to layperson education in emergency medicine which covers mostly basic topics.  The final section is an access to multiple projects that we support and use frequently.   TOTAL EM is a project devoted to increasing emergency medicine knowledge both to providers and the public.  As demonstrated with previous studies, it can take too long for information to reach the bedside.  The Leaky Pipe model has been suggested as reasons why this happens.   They want to do our part to help shorten the period of time it takes for important medical knowledge in emergency medicine to reach the provider and the patient.  They also want to help educate people across the world in how emergency medicine is an important and lifesaving profession. Total EM's  goal is to provide regularly updated information through the method of FOAMED or Free and Open Access to Medical EDucation.  The plan is to do this with blogs and podcasts.  With your help, we plan to accomplish just that. TOTAL EM is an educational website.  It stands for "Tools Of the Trade and Academic Learning in Emergency Medicine."  The main focus is to provide training to all of those in emergency medicine, especially those practicing in a rural or remote setting and those who are PAs (but we also love our NP and physician colleagues).     Training Links discussed on the show: eLearning Classroom      . Medicolegal Death Investigation - Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.   Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information     The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.        
May 7, 2018
On December 29, 1999, high school friends Lauria Jaylene Bible and Ashley Renae Freeman spent the evening together celebrating Freeman's sixteenth birthday. Bible received permission from her parents to spend the night at Freeman's home. Earlier that day, the girls had spent time at a local pizza restaurant with Kathy Freeman. At approximately 5:30 am on December 30, 1999, a passerby called 911 reporting that the Freeman home was engulfed in flames. Law enforcement determined the fire had been an arson. Inside the home, the charred remains of Kathy Freeman were discovered lying on the floor of her bedroom; she had been shot in the head. Initially, no other remains were relocated, leading local law enforcement to believe Dan Freeman had killed his wife and fled with both teenage girls. Lauria's parked car was in the driveway of the home with the keys in the ignition. On December 31, Lauria's parents Lorene and Jay Bible returned to the scene, hoping to find additional clues law enforcement may have missed. While walking through the rubble, they discovered what appeared to be another body, and called police. The second body was determined to be that of Dan Freeman, Ashley's father; like his wife, he had also been shot in the head. After this discovery, the scene was reexamined, but no sign of Lauria Bible or Ashley Freeman was found This Episode In this episode, I talk with Jax Miller and Sarah Cailean as to their involvement in this ongoing investigation and how Jax, as a true crime writer, and Sarah, as a police investigator, team up to uncover new clues and sparked the attention of Law Enforcement which moves this case forward. . . Death Investigator Magazine    Subscribe Here
April 29, 2018
Coroner and Medical Examiner Offices play an important role in the organ and tissue donation process. Since all unexpected deaths require Coroner or Medical Examiner review, their cooperation and support is vital for ensuring successful organ and tissue donations, benefiting thousands of transplant recipients each year. What is an OPO? In the United States, an organ procurement organization (OPO) is a non-profit organization that is responsible for the evaluation and procurement of deceased-donor organs for organ transplantation. There are 58 such organizations in the United States, each responsible for organ procurement in a specific region, and each a member of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), a federally mandated network created by and overseen by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). The individual OPOs represent the front-line of organ procurement, having direct contact with the hospital and the family of the recently deceased donor. Once the OPO receives the consent of the decedent's family, it works with UNOS to identify the best candidates for the available organs and coordinates with the surgical team for each organ recipient. OPOs are also charged with educating the public to increase awareness of and participation in the organ donation process. Episode Guest In this episode, I talk with Midwest Transplant Network about the need the C/ME system to work closely together and what that can mean to the people needing a donation.   We discuss what types of donation can be made and what most OPO's are wanting to see from the C/ME network across the country. Medicolegal Death Investigation - Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.        
April 23, 2018
A prevalent concern, but under-recognized, a public health problem of distressing and harmful resident-to-resident interactions in dementia in long-term care homes (LTC) (such as nursing homes and assisted living residences), is a major issue facing many countries today.  This increase can, in part, be attributed to the growing population of older adults from the Baby Boom generation. These resident-to-resident incidents frequently lead to injurious and fatal consequences for vulnerable and frail elder residents. Incidents Underreported For various reasons, these incidents are often underreported inside and outside the LTC home (such as to the Department of Health/state regulatory agency, police, and Coroners/Medical Examiners). Death investigators should play a critical role in timely and skilled investigations of these incidents. However, serious gaps in resources and training are a major barrier to change as they are the reality for many Coroner and Medical Examiner Offices and Law Enforcement Departments in the U.S. and abroad. Partial Solution Improved communication and timely collaboration between external agencies is essential to addressing this phenomenon more effectively. A timely and skilled investigation can assist tremendously in determining the cause of death (which is critically important to family members of the deceased) and can also inform policy, legislation, systemic efforts, and training programs aimed at preventing similar tragic incidents in the future. Death of Elders Due to Resident-to-Resident Incidents research findings poster. Download your copy HERE  *  Eilon Caspi, Ph.D., is a Gerontologist and Dementia Behavior Specialist. He started working in the aging field in 1994 as a nurse aide in a nursing home where his grandfather lived. Both of his grandmothers had dementia. He later worked as a social worker with elders with low income at the Department of Social Services for Elders, Tel Aviv Municipality, and then at a long-term care home for elders with dementia in the city of Jaffa. His work applied research, volunteering, and advocacy focuses on enhancing the quality of care, quality of life, and safety of people living with dementia as well as supporting and educating their family and professional care partners. His passion is in bridging between academia/research and practice.     Medicolegal Death Investigation - Online Academy  Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, Police, and Forensic students. This hybrid course looks at death investigation from a combined perspective of law enforcement and medicolegal death investigations. MLDI online Academy is a Nationally Accredited online training designed to teach all aspects of death investigation and scene management. Unlike any other coroner training today,  this course offers a blended learning style combining online self-paced video training, along with opportunities for live interaction with instructors several times throughout the program, and a unique private Facebook group open only to students of Coroner School™ where everyone can interact and ask questions. MLDI online Academy is a six-week guided course with certified instructors. However, at the end of the six weeks, you still have access to all videos, downloadable material, and the private Facebook group. You can return to the online school anytime to finish up the courses or as a refresher in certain topic areas.     Medicolegal Death Investigation Scene Kit This exclusive first of its kind Medicolegal Death Investigation (MLDI) kit contains all the items you need to document and collect evidence from the most important piece of evidence at any death scene – The Body. Designed for Coroners, Medical Examiner Investigators, and anyone responsible to investigate and process a death. This kit is equipped to collect fragile evidence such as DNA and fibers, take post-mortem temperatures, document the scene through photography and sketching, as well as properly collect transport, and store material evidence. This MLDI Kit can be used in large agencies for multiple MDI’s or one single kit for smaller agencies. Packaged in a sturdy Pelican carry case with custom dividers and a pocketed pouch system. Built strong to withstand the demands from scene to scene. Click HERE for more information       The Death Investigation Training Academy was founded to play an integral role in the death investigation community.  The need for quality accredited training is in short supply and high demand. Using a combination of classroom training, live on site scenario exercises,  and web-based training, the Death Investigation Training Academy is filling the need of 21st-century investigators.              
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