Private Investigators – Friend or Foe | ct9

Dean and Karen Beers 10152010-1 (Large) (1)Medicolegal / Death Investigation can provide a contextual view of the empirical evidence in both death and non-death cases. We have found that the use of a full medicolegal / death investigation is under utilized – from the investigator to the forensic pathologist.

Associates in Forensic Investigations  specialize in the expert medicolegal consultation and legal investigation of cases involving persons with traumatic injuries or death, as well as cases involving serious criminal charges. Whether you facing serious criminal charges, have been victimized by a traumatic event, are a family member of a victim or decedent, or a law firm representing a victim or family – their agency has the experience and subject matter expertise to assist with civil, criminal and probate cases involving personal injury, negligence and death. As an expert component, full investigative services, or both.

Their  team and affiliated experts include Forensic Investigators, a Forensic Pathologist and a Forensic Toxicologist, with experts in related fields available as needed. Everything from document, report and photograph reviews to scene investigation, and autopsy reviews and both second and private autopsies. We are your unique private sector medicolegal investigation agency.

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Dean A. Beers, CLI, CCDI

Dean is one of less than 80 Board Certified Legal Investigators (CLI) internationally and the only in northern Colorado. With his wife, Karen, he is also a Certified Criminal Defense Investigator (CCDI); they are one of three husband & wife CCDIs. Dean and Karen are also certified Medicolegal Death Investigators.

He has extensive background in medicolegal-forensic and factual Investigations with law enforcement education, experience and relationships. He has testified as an Expert in Forensic Investigations of Pattern Injury Analysis and Private Investigations, and is currently consulting nationwide as an expert in criminal defense homicide and civil equivocal death investigations for law firms, investigative colleagues and families.

As a death investigator Dean was involved in the investigations of all manners of deaths and incidents, training under six Forensic Pathologists. From 2003-2008 he investigated over 150 scenes, assisted with approximately 400 autopsies and investigated nearly 600 additional non-autopsied cases. This does not include over 1,100 additional cases not taken for jurisdiction, in training or as the backup investigator (frequently in homicides and child deaths).

Over 6,500 hours of experience specific to death investigation and related injuries, negligence and causation – from investigation to forensic autopsy assistance. Education and Training from 2000-2008 includes over 600 hours in the Law Enforcement Academy and 1200 hours of general and forensic investigative specific training in multiple disciplines.

Dean has written and presented extensively on multiple investigative topics, and has authored two books – ‘Practical Methods for Legal Investigations’ and ‘Professional Investigations: Individual Locates, Backgrounds and Assets & Liabilities’. With Karen he co-developed ‘Death Investigation for Private Investigators’, an online continuing education course at

Dean holds, or has held several board and committee positions, including:
Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado
Life Member (awarded 2012)
Board Chairman (2010-2012)
VP of Membership (2008-2010)
National Association of Legal Investigators
Certified Legal Investigator
Region 6 CLI Committee (CO, WY, MT, NM , AZ, UT & ID)
National Council of Investigation and Security Services
2nd Vice President (2014-Present)
3rd Vice President (2013-2014)
National Secretary (2012-2013)
Region 5A Director (CO, NE, WY & AZ – 2011-2012)
Membership Committee – Investigations (2010)
Criminal Defense Investigation Training Council
Certified Criminal Defense Investigator
Faculty Advisor – Forensic Investigations
World Association of Detectives
Governor of the Americas (2012-Present)
Ambassador – North America, West (2011-2012)

He is also a member of the National Defender Investigator Association, National Association of Medical Examiners and International Association for Identification.

In addition, membership in other state associations includes the Florida Association of Licensed Investigators, the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators
and the California Association of Licensed Investigators.

Karen S. Beers, BSW, CCDI

Karen earned her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Colorado State University (Magna Cum Laude). With her husband, Dean, she is also a Certified Criminal Defense Investigator (CCDI); they are one of three husband & wife CCDIs. Karen and Dean are also certified Medicolegal Death Investigators.

Her background, education and experience with victim advocacy and counseling are valuable assets in working with families and victims of traumatic events.

Possessing strong interpersonal skills and ability to reach out to people, she brings a unique perspective to cases, particularly lifestyle matters and mitigation. Her death investigation training and experience, together with her social work and general investigative skills and experience, are an asset to the medicolegal and criminal defense investigative processes.

As a death investigator Karen was involved in the investigations of all manners of deaths and incidents, training under three Forensic Pathologists. From 2004-2006 she investigated and assisted with numerous death cases and scenes, and assisted with forensic autopsies.

Following graduation from Colorado State University was an extensive internship at a youth counseling and rehabilitation facility. She is also a member of the Criminal Defense Investigations Training Council. Karen has been professionally published with ‘The Basics of an Autopsy Report’ (PI Magazine, Dec 2011) and ‘Understanding Suicide and its Prevention – Equivocal Death Investigations’ (, Dec 2011 and CALI Dec 2012), ‘Understanding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’ (CALI, Dec 2012), and ‘False Confessions and Accusations’ (, Feb 2012). With Dean she co-developed ‘Death Investigation for Private Investigators’, an online continuing education course for She also assisted with Dean’s revised book, ‘Professional Investigations: Individual Locates, Backgrounds and Assets & Liabilities’.

Karen is a member of the Criminal Defense Investigation Training Council and the National Defender Investigator Association.

“Equivocal Death Investigations/Analysis. Sometimes the death of a loved one leaves behind many unanswered questions. Helping clients understand the investigative process, answer questions to help ease their minds are the main goals of a death analysis. Due to the prevalence of Equivocal Death Analysis, we now offer a flat-fee to further help families in their time of need. Helping clients with lingering issues surrounding a loved ones death is difficult yet necessary to assist in resolving issues that can sometimes take years. Hearing the words, “Thank you, you have helped me to understand” whatever questions they may have had tucked inside their minds is very rewarding.”

About the Author
Darren is a 30 year veteran of law enforcement and criminal investigations. He currently serves as an investigator for the Crawford County Missouri coroner’s office. He holds credentials as an instructor for the Missouri Sheriff’s Training Academy, has served as president of the Missouri Medical Examiners and Coroners Association, and is certified and credentialed in numerous fields of investigation. He holds the position of lead instructor and facilitator for the Coroner Talk™ community as he speaks and writes in the area of death investigation and scene management.

One comment on “Private Investigators – Friend or Foe | ct9

  1. Joseph Bishop says:

    Having had the privilege of working investigations in both the Law Enforcement and in the private sector I could related with much of your interview. I just wanted to thank you both for sharing your expertise, I can see where this can provide  valuable information and insight to the profession. It’s folks like you help smooth out the wrinkles that can arise between agencies. Thanks and I’m looking forward to hearing your next interview on Coroner Talk podcast.

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