Podcast

ep183 Texting Tragedy


Excerpt from C.OD.E   (A Real Story)

Josie answered the familiar notes of an incoming call. “9-1-1. What is your emergency?”

“Accident. I need help. There’s been an accident.”

“Okay sir, stay calm. Are you hurt? Were you in the accident?”

“No ma’am. I just drove up on it. Looks like it just happened. Single car. It looks like it drove right off the highway and plowed into a tree. I don’t see skid marks or anything.”

Josie typed as the man provided details, dispatching fire, ambulance, and law enforcement. “Can you tell if anyone is in the vehicle, sir?”

The man huffed as he spoke, indicating movement. “I’m walking up to it now.”

“What’s your  location, sir?”

“I’m on Highway 49, about four miles out of Maddox.”

Josie didn’t have to pull up the map. Maddox was her own hometown suburb, small enough where almost everybody knew everybody, and the headquarters for their county’s 9-1-1 dispatch office. This caller was about four miles from where Josie sat right then. Her heart sped up.

Suddenly, the caller half gasped and half cried. “Oh no. O God. How awful.”

“Sir? What’s happening, sir?” Josie spoke silently to herself. Please don’t let it be any of my family or close friends.

The man spoke through tears, “It’s a girl. She looks young.”

A single, loud sob heaved across the phone line. Then, under weighted breaths he continued, “She’s torn up. Bad. Oh man. I think she might be dead. She’s not moving and there’s blood everywhere. She has blonde hair, but right now, most of it’s dripping with red.”

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?

Josie shoveled her emotions deep into the recesses of her soul and pushed past her thoughts to make it through the rest of her shift. It was when she climbed into her car that everything bubbled up and washed over her. Right before leaving, Josie’s supervisor told her how the accident had happened. Bella’s eyes must have left the road — she likely veered off while typing the unfinished text they found on her phone.

Josie clutched the steering wheel, unable to make her hand turn the ignition to start her car. Her sobs ricocheted off the interior windows and dashboard, her own cries pelting her ears.

After several minutes, Josie transitioned to hiccups. She shouted through them at the roof.“Why Bella? Honey, we talked about texting and driving so many times. I know your mom had those conversations with you too. You promised.” Josie dropped her chin toward her chest and whispered, “You promised.”

A somber cloud hung over the community in the weeks following Bella’s death. But for Josie and her 9-1-1 teammates, as well as local ambulance and fire crews, plus city, county, and many state law enforcement officers, the gray cloud refused to blow away so quickly.

Though everyone struggled to screw on a mask of normalcy, no one could bear its heavy weight for long periods of time. When one slipped, sadness, anger, or denial would spill from the person, causing an awkwardness to fill the room — yet few would talk about it. Instead, everyone ducked their heads and tried to pretend the slip never occurred. Mostly, no one mentioned Bella’s name.

Sometimes, Josie pondered why they all avoided talking about the beautiful young ray of light was extinguished too soon. She guessed that everyone wrestled with the same confusing emotions she did.

Many days, Josie denied her anger at Bella for doing one of the most dangerous things she was warned against. Sadness crept in when Josie imagined all of the things Bella might have done with her life if she’d lived. But the most painful occurred when Josie forgot Bella was gone, glanced at the clock, and momentarily thought she would breeze in the door just to say hi.

Josie always adapted and resolved to make it through her shift, but there were a handful of instances when she had to take a bathroom break, so she could have another solid cry. She often longed to talk to someone, but few seemed willing and no professional help was offered. Josie coped the only way she knew how. She swallowed her grief, hoping it would eventually go away — and in some form it did. Temporarily.

Eight years later, after the umpteenth time of driving past Bella’s crash site, triggered by vivid imaginings of those horrific final moments, Josie finally woke up. She realized there was a pattern to her bouts of insomnia, nightmares, anxiety attacks, and erratic eating. She needed professional help.

Josie gave herself permission to seek out a grief counselor, and began weekly sessions. Ready to heal, she made rapid progress, and the counselor soon shifted Josie to monthly visits. Within six months, she felt like a new person and felt she had processed the unresolved grief she’d tried to avoid for so long.

The sun hung low on a warm summer evening when Josie sat at the foot of Bella’s grave. She held two small vanilla cones in her hands, symbols of a special bond and a sign of Josie’s forgiveness. After finally asking for help, Josie was able to let go.  

Profiling Josie’s Reactions

The fact that Josie’s painful memories surfaced weeks, months, or years after experiencing a loss or traumatic event, is actually normal. If you think of people as being like volcanoes, and human feelings like magma, you can see how pushing emotional pain down builds pressure that at some point, must escape.

If you don’t intentionally find healthy vents to release steams of anger, sadness, frustration, grief, etc., at some point, you can expect an emotional explosion. Sadly, these eruptions often happen at an inopportune time. Intentionality is the key to protecting yourself and others from the damage of painful experiences on the job.

Questions to Consider

  • What symptoms did Josie have that mirror Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
  • How might Josie and her colleagues have supported each other and strengthened their departmental work in the process?
  • Where could Josie have turned to work through her grief sooner?

C.O.D.E. Conduct

Communication — Many counselors say grief is what you feel inside, and mourning is the outward expression of grief. In order to truly heal from loss or trauma, you must both grieve and mourn. Share your emotions by talking with a safe person you can trust.

Objectiveness — If you find you are often emotionally triggered by environment, scent, sounds, or other connections to past events, allow yourself to face and deal with the origin of that pain. Are you struggling to sleep at night? Eating poorly? Lethargic? Anxious? Try to view yourself as an outsider might, or pretend these things are happening to someone close to you. What kind of advice would you give them? Now take it yourself.

Dedication — Memorializing a loss through volunteerism or founding a social cause can provide a sense of purpose born from the pain. Dedicating time and energy for the benefit of others takes nothing away from the person(s) who are gone, but can honor them and keep their memory alive indefinitely.

Engagement — Participate in conversations and activities that honor the dead. Don’t run from reminders or avoid sharing grief. Openness helps us heal faster and more deeply. Don’t let a loss stop you from connecting to other people. We all need someone. If you feel like you don’t, that’s a waving red flag pointing to the likelihood of a past that’s holding you hostage.

Click the Cover, Get Your Copy!

 

 

 

 


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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ep182 PTS with or without the D

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:  

  1. 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.
  2. Become an active listener to your spouse’s needs.
  3. 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.
  4. Emotional detachment is needed for the job, but learn to turn it off at home.
  5. Make a Planned Date Night around your work schedule… and do it often!
  6. Do not allow “Partner Envy” or a feeling of competition for your time to enter your home.
  7. Be spontaneous, let your spouse know you care and think about him/her often.
  8. Keep your civilian friends (not everything needs to be cop, cop, and cop).
  9. Share the workload around the house and partner with your partner (hint-hint)
  10. 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

 

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Anita Brook-corner talk-secondary stressAnita 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.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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ep181 Ask a Coroner

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.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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ep180 TotalEM

TOTAL EM is a project devoted to increasing emergency medicine knowledge both to providers and the public.  As demonstrated by 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 their 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.

Their 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, they 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).

They believe in the importance of education.  Thier 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 most basic topics.  The final section is our access to multiple projects that we support and use frequently.


Todays Guest:   Chip Lange

Chip Lange is an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant (EMPA) working primarily in rural Missouri community hospitals.  He has international experience in critical care and emergency medicine.  At his main facility, he acts as a preceptor to both medical and PA students.  He is board certified via the NCCPA by having passed both his PANCE and the EM CAQ.  Special interests include bedside ultrasound, critical care management, and medical education.

 


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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ep179 By Dawns Early Light – The Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible Case


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. 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.


.

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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ep178 Working with OPO’s

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.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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ep177 Resident-to-resident incidents

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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ep176-Psychology of Moms Who Kill Their Children

The act of killing one’s child is unthinkable for any parent, but owing to long-standing cultural, emotional and biological factors, a mother who kills her offspring has the power to inspire special shock and revulsion. Such a mother is seen as someone who is not only guilty of a crime but has violated a law of nature and rebelled against instinct.

But the motives behind maternal filicide, as it is known, are much more complex, even counterintuitive — and troubling, even for those professionals who have devoted their careers to trying to understand them.

“Momma is the loving person, the giving person, the sacrificed person — for them to do something like that is like denying God or something,” said Bobby Hicks, former Union County deputy sheriff who was the first to interview Susan V. Smith, a South Carolina woman who killed her two children in 1994 by letting her car roll into a lake with the toddlers inside. “How could a mother do that to her children?”

Phillip J. Resnick, a professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University’s Medical School who is considered to be an expert in the study of filicide, distinguishes between neonaticide, a term he coined to describe the killing of an infant by its parents within the first 24 hours of birth; infanticide, which involves a parent’s killing of a child less than 1 year old; and filicide, which is the killing of a child up to 18 years old by a parent, stepparent or guardian. Resnick also categorized five basic motives. There is “altruistic filicide,” when a mother kills in the belief she is saving her child from a fate worse than death; “acutely psychotic filicide,” in which a mother obeys voices or hallucinations commanding her to do so; “fatal maltreatment filicide,” in which a child dies from abuse or neglect; and “unwanted child filicide,” in which a mother rids herself of a child perceived as a hindrance. The rarest motive involves a mother seeking revenge against her spouse — like Medea, a figure in Greek myth who killed her children to avenge herself against their father after he had abandoned her for another woman.

 September 27, 2014 – 


 

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.

http://mindsleuth.net/ 



 Free 12 week email course.  Receive a new training and video to your inbox every week for 12 weeks.  This is real training and will give in detailed actionable steps to becoming a better investigator. Sign up today at:

 


 

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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ep175 Murdering Moms – Real Stories


Filicide is the deliberate act of a parent killing their own child. The word filicide derives from the Latin words filius meaning “son” or filia meaning daughter, and the suffix -cide meaning to kill, murder, or cause death.

“Filicide” may refer both to the parent who killed his or her child, as well as to the criminal act that the parent committed.

Episode

 

In this episode, I share a conversation I had with  Ron Martinelli Ph.D on his radio show A Thread of Evidence. In the conversation, I detail three cases where mothers killed their children and how the investigation was conducted and the truth was revealed.

 

Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., CMI-V, BCFT, CFA

America’s Forensic Expert

ron-sun-glasses-best“Dr. Ron Martinelli is a nationally renowned forensic criminologist who is the only police expert in the country who is also a Certified Medical Investigator at the physician’s level.

Dr. Martinelli directs the nation’s only multidisciplinary Forensic Death Investigations & Independent Review Team and specializes in forensic investigations including officer-involved and civilian self-defense death cases.

Dr. Martinelli is a retired San Jose (CA) Police Department detective with a background in investigations, medicine and applied sciences including forensics, psychology & psychological profiling; physiology and human factors; violent crimes and death scene investigations. He has been referred to in the forensics and legal community as the “expert’s expert.”

Dr. Martinelli provides forensic expert services to several State Attorney Generals’ Offices, major metropolitan cities, the USMC Judge Advocate General’s Office and numerous nationally prominent private law firms. He is also a contributing forensic investigations expert for FOX News, CNN, OANN, Discovery, History and Investigations Discovery channels and is a contributing writer to USA TODAY, POLICE Magazine, Law & Order Magazine, The Forensic Examiner, The Law Enforcement Executive Journal, PoliceOne.com and Officer.com.


 

 


Free 12 week email course.  Receive a new training and video to your inbox every week for 12 weeks.  This is real training and will give in detailed actionable steps to becoming a better investigator

 

Sign up today at:

 


 

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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174 Professional Legal Investigators

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 underutilized – 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 a 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.


 

Dean A. Beers, CLI, CCDI
beersda@DeathCaseReview.com

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 an 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 include 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 www.MedicolegalDeathInvestigations.com.

 

Karen S. Beers, BSW, CCDI
beersks@DeathCaseReview.com

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.


 


Free 12 week email course.  Receive a new training and video to your inbox every week for 12 weeks.  This is real training and will give in detailed actionable steps to becoming a better investigator

 

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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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