Episode Archives

Genealogical DNA – Solving Cases

Genetic or forensic genealogy combines direct-to-consumer DNA tests — like those purchased through 23andMe or Ancestry.com — with the age-old hobby of tracing a family tree with public records, such as birth certificates and land deeds.

The technique relies on the simple principle that, if you go back far enough in history, everyone is related, and therefore has thousands of relatives. Assuming that an average family has 2 to 3 kids, then a typical person would — statistically speaking — have nearly 200 third cousins, 950 fourth cousins and 4,700 fifth cousins.

If a genealogist can find a cousin of an unknown suspect who has left behind DNA at a crime scene, then they can use old school family trees — sometimes literally drawn on paper or white boards — to track down the perp.

That’s how the Golden State Killer and about 70 other suspects behind brutal cold cases — rapes, murders and assaults — have been caught since April 2018

AdvanceDNA Services

Learn more and contact AdvanceDNA at the link below:


AdvanceDNA Forensic Genealogy Research

Providing information leading to the identification of DNA contributors from violent crime. This may include the identification of victim and/or assailant DNA contributors.

Decedent Identification

Leverage our team of forensic genealogists to reunite an unknown decedent, such as a John or Jane Doe, with their identity. Our team accepts recommendations from the community, contact us to recommend a case.

Living Identification

Our team supports the effort to end human trafficking. Our team applies AdvanceDNA techniques to support victim identification for both reunification and law enforcement adjudication purposes.


AdvanceDNA supports small and large scale projects within the community that aligns with our values and mission. Contact us today with your ideas!

Education & Training

With combined training experience in both law enforcement and genealogy, AdvanceDNA can provide training tailored  to meet the needs of our clients. 

Speaking & Events

AdvanceDNA welcomes invitations to private or public events, contact us with your event details to learn more.

ILET Network – Its time to change the narrative about training

In this episode, I talk with Adam Kinakin of the ILET Network. Adam and I discuss the current state of law enforcement and public service professionals training, and what the future of training looks like. We go in-depth as to what we should all be expected when it comes to training going forward in the post CoVid world.

ILET Mission

Our goal is to create a collaborative network of instructors, trainers, organizations, businesses, and agencies around the world.  

Everything we do is to benefit our Men and Women of the Law Enforcement, Emergency Response, and Military Community. 

It’s time to change the narrative about training. It’s time to cut out the red tape and get the most practical, actionable training and knowledge out to the people who need it. 

Contact for ILET Network

To contact the ILET Network or anyone on their team visit the web site at: https://www.ilet.network/

The Shoebox Effect

Many of us have one–a place where we store mementos that remind us of an earlier period in our lives–either happy or sad. Those ties to our past are commonly found in a similar place, hidden in a shoebox buried at the back of a closet shelf. It’s called The Shoebox Effect–where you “forget”, intentionally or unintentionally, about the contents of the box and what they represent.

Marcie Keithley’s shoebox contained a secret, one she kept for decades, one released when her shoebox was unexpectedly revealed in a moment of grief. A flood of memories and emotions were unleashed when the lid was knocked off. No longer able to deny what she had sequestered away in her closet and in her spirit, the revelation created challenges for Marcie, but it also did something positively unexpected. Releasing the truth began a cascade that resulted in a freedom Marcie did not know was possible.

The dramatic story of this long-kept secret, which has been reported globally on major networks and in newspapers across America, will intrigue and enthrall you. But Marcie Keithley doesn’t just make her story all about her. Now known as The Shoebox Sherpa, she helps people unpack their own shoeboxes, and teaches us how to face our truths, heal our pasts, and find the freedom we deeply desire. Be prepared to consider Marcie’s question to all of us, “What’s in your shoebox?”

You can contact Marcie at her web site: https://marciejkeithley.com/

Pick up your copy here.

About Marcie

Marcie J. Keithley is a national speaker, author, coach, and, Co-Founder of Indiana Adoptee Network, she is also a member of the National Association of Memoir Writers and The Non-Fiction Writers Association.

Keithley retired from the world of high finance after 32 years to write her story after discovering a 30-year-old shoebox in her closet. In The ShoeBox Effect, Marcie offers a transparent look at a life filled with family secrets and shame, released by the power of truth and forgiveness. Her story has been covered globally, including a guest appearance on The Daily Mail TV in New York and Great Day Live in Louisville.

Top 5 books you should own and should C/ME’s carry guns.

In this episode, I discuss my current top five books I recommend every investigator should own or have access to. That list can be found below. I also talk at length about whether C/ME investigators should carry guns. I make the case for why they should and address some known objections to the contrary.

Top Five Recommended Books to Own

Effects of Mass Media on Police ep275

In this growing attack on law enforcement by the far left and the mass media is it any wonder that police officers are suffering more mental health issues than ever before.  Since the Michael Brown incident of 2014 in Ferguson Missouri, and the systematic destruction and division of the public trust toward police by then President Obama and his staff, there has been a steady and growing attack on law enforcement by mass media.

Truth is not necessary to the media companies when their goal is to destroy and divide a nation.  The best place to start is race baiting and making the very men and women who protect society the enemy.   Combine the two along with a strong bend toward a socialist society and they have all the tools they need to start the fire.

Law enforcement and other related role are suffering attacks both physical and mental at a rate never seen before. This buildup of hate and threats as well as actual harm is causing many officers to quit or at least back off from the front lines knowing they are not supported in their job duties.  It’s not long before this weighs heavy on the minds and health of a person.

In the episode Anita Brooks and Darren Dake at length about this issue and how the media is adding to if not orchestrating this attack on law enforcement.  This show contains strong opinions back by facts.

Medicolegal Death Investigations – With Dr. Mary Dudley

The role of the medicolegal death investigator is to investigate any death that falls under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner or coroner, including all suspicious, violent, unexplained and unexpected deaths.

A death investigation is a process whereby a coroner or forensic pathologist seeks to understand how and why a person died. A coroner or forensic pathologist must answer five questions when investigating a death:

  • Who (identity of the deceased)
  • When (date of death)
  • Where (location of death)
  • How (medical cause of death)
  • By what means (natural causes, accident, homicide, suicide or undetermined)

Information may be obtained from several sources including, but not limited to family, co-workers, neighbors, doctors, hospital records, police and other emergency service workers. Contact with family is vital as they often have important information that can aid the investigation.

In This Episode – Medicolegal Death Investigations

In this episode I talk with Dr Mary Dudley about the field of Medicolegal Death Investigations and where the field  is progressing.  We discuss  some ‘best practices’ and obstacles faced by medicolegal death investigators  across the country, as well as what new and up coming investigators need to do to have a better chance of entering the field.

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Mary H. Dudley, MD, is the chief medical examiner (retired 2015)  for Jackson County in Kansas City, MO. She is board certified in Anatomic and Forensic Pathology by the American Board of Pathology. She completed a two-year fellowship in Forensic Pathology at the University of New Mexico following a four-year Anatomic and Clinical Pathology residency at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. She has a diploma, BS, and MS in nursing and also founded the first forensic nursing certificate program in the United States in 1994. Dr. Dudley originated the first Forensic Medical Investigation course in the United States in 1996.

Dr. Dudley is a Board Member of the National Association of Medical Examiners, Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Science, co-chair of the Medical Examiner Advisory Board of Musculotissue Foundation, member of the Missouri Child Fatality Review Board, and member of the National Disaster Medical Systems (Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team). She is also an Associate Professor of Clinical Pathology – University of Missouri-Kansas City and on the teaching faculty at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley Campus in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Click Image to learn more or to purchase 


  • Includes an extensive section on injury recognition covering blunt, sharp, and patterned injury, forensic odontology, gunshot wounds, and craniocerebral injury
  • Covers all the essential aspects relating to death investigations as well as investigations involving abuse and injury
  • Illustrates concepts with graphic images throughout


Introducing the basic concepts of clinical forensic medicine and death investigation, this bookcovers the main areas of forensic investigation . It provides an introduction to forensic science and coverage of injury patterns, natural disease, accidental trauma, child injury and fatalities, and domestic violence. Anyone who has direct contact with death, crime, and the medicolegal system, including nurses, physicians, attorneys, death investigators, forensic pathologists, and police detectives, will find this an invaluable reference.

Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries

Nearly 40,000 people are killed in car crashes each year. In each of these crashes, there is evidence on the body in the form of injuries.  It is important for investigators to understand vehicle crash dynamics and how impact and movement cause injury to a human body.

Knowledge of the dynamics of these injuries and how they are inflicted will help the investigator come to some conclusions as to injury cause, seating position, and the crash type.

Aurora Theater Shooting Radio Traffic – Rewind

On July 20, 2012, a mass shooting occurred inside of a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises. A gunman, dressed in tactical clothing, set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience with multiple firearms, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others. The sole suspect, James Eagan Holmes, was arrested outside the cinema minutes later. It was the deadliest shooting in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.

The shooting occurred in theater 9 at the Century 16 multiplex (operated by Cinemark), located at the Town Center at Aurora shopping mall at 14300 E. Alameda Avenue. Police said the shooter bought a ticket, entered the theater, and sat in the front row; about 20 minutes into the film, he left the building through an emergency exit door, which he propped open with a plastic tablecloth holder.

He allegedly then went to his car, which was parked near the exit door, changed into protective clothing, and retrieved his guns. About 30 minutes into the film, police say, around 12:30 am, he reentered the theater through the exit door. He was dressed in black and wore a gas mask, a load-bearing vest (not to be confused with a bulletproof vest), a ballistic helmet, bullet-resistant leggings, a bullet-resistant throat protector, a groin protector and tactical gloves. Initially, few in the audience considered the masked figure a threat. He appeared to be wearing a costume, like other audience members who had dressed up for the screening. Some believed that the gunman was playing a prank, while others thought that he was part of a special effects installation set up for the film’s premiere as a publicity stunt by the studio or theater management.

It was also said that the gunman threw two canisters emitting a gas or smoke, partially obscuring the audience members’ vision, making their throats and skin itch, and causing eye irritation. He then fired a 12-gauge Remington 870 Express Tactical shotgun, first at the ceiling and then at the audience. He also fired a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle with a 100-round drum magazine, which malfunctioned after reportedly firing about 45 rounds. Finally, he fired a Glock 22 40-caliber handgun. He shot first to the back of the room, and then toward people in the aisles. A bullet passed through the wall and hit three people in the adjacent theater 8, which was screening the same film. Witnesses said the multiplex’s fire alarm system began sounding soon after the attack began and staff told people in theater 8 to evacuate. One witness said that she was hesitant to leave because someone yelled that there was someone shooting in the lobby and that they should not leave.

The first phone calls to emergency services via 9-1-1 were made at 12:39 am. Police arrived within 90 seconds and found at least three .40-caliber handgun magazines, a shotgun and a large drum magazine on the floor of the theater. Some people reported the shooting via tweets or text messaging rather than calling the police. Sgt. Stephen Redfearn, one of the first police officers on the scene, decided not to wait for ambulances and sent victims to area hospitals in squad cars.

About 12:45 am, police apprehended Holmes behind the cinema, next to his car, without resistance. He was initially mistaken as another police officer because of the tactical clothing he was wearing. According to two federal officials, he had dyed his hair red and called himself “the Joker”, although authorities later declined to confirm this. Three days later, at his first court appearance in Centennial, Colorado, Holmes had reddish-orange hair. The officers found several firearms in the theater and inside the car, including another Glock 22 handgun.Following his arrest, he was initially jailed at Arapahoe County Detention Center, under suicide watch. The police interviewed more than 200 witnesses. Investigators say that the shooter acted alone and was not part of a larger group or terrorist organization.

Explosive devices
When apprehended, Holmes told the police that he had booby-trapped his apartment with explosive devices before heading to the movie theater. Police then evacuated five buildings surrounding his Aurora residence, about 5 miles (8 km) north of the cinema. The apartment complex is limited to University of Colorado Medical Center students, patients, and employees. One day after the shooting, officials disarmed an explosive device wired to the apartment’s front entrance, allowing a remotely controlled robot to enter and disable other explosives. The apartment held more than 30 homemade grenades, wired to a control box in the kitchen, and 10 gallons of gasoline.

Neighbors reported loud music from the apartment around midnight on the night of the massacre, and one went to his door to tell him she was calling the police; she stated that the door seemed to be unlocked, but she chose not to open it. A law enforcement official said that a Batman mask was found inside the apartment. On July 23, police finished collecting evidence from the apartment. Two days later, residents were allowed to return to the four surrounding buildings, and six days later, residents were allowed to move back into the formerly booby-trapped building.

Eighty-two people were shot or otherwise wounded, reported by mainstream news as the most victims of any mass shooting in United States history. Four people’s eyes were irritated by the tear gas grenades, and eight others injured themselves while fleeing the theater. The massacre was the deadliest shooting in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999.

Twelve people were killed in the shooting. Ten died at the scene and two more in local hospitals. Those killed were:

  • Jonathan Blunk, age 26
  • Alexander J. Boik, age 18
  • Jesse Childress, age 29
  • Gordon Cowden, age 51
  • Jessica Ghawi, age 24
  • John Larimer, age 27
  • Matt McQuinn, age 27
  • Micayla Medek, age 23
  • Veronica Moser-Sullivan, age 6
  • Alex Sullivan, age 27
  • Alexander C. Teves, age 24
  • Rebecca Wingo, age 31

Almost two months earlier, Jessica Ghawi narrowly avoided a shooting at the Eaton Centre in Toronto, which killed two people and injured several others.

The youngest person injured during the shooting was a four-month-old boy who was not shot. Ashley Moser, Veronica Moser-Sullivan’s mother, was critically injured in the shooting and miscarried a week after the attack.

The injured were treated at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health Medical Center, The Medical Center of Aurora, Parker Adventist Hospital, Rose Medical Center, Swedish Hospital, and University Hospital. On July 25, three of the five hospitals treating victims announced that they would limit medical bills or forgive them entirely.

The Community First Foundation collected more than $5 million for a fund for victims and their families. In September, victims and their families received surveys asking about their preferences for how collected funds should be distributed, either by dividing it equally among victims or through a needs-assessment process.On November 16, 2012, the Aurora Victim Relief Fund announced each claimant will receive $220,000.

Information in this written post was obtained from wikipedia and is only as valid as that site reports.

Using Plantes to Solve Crime -Rewind

We have all heard about the science of Botany, but have you ever considered just how important it can be in solving your case? For instance;  how plant cells from stomach contents can discredit an alibi, or how one seed in the shoe lace of a suspect can bring an unknown serial murderer to justice, or just exactly what plant DNA can tell us about our victims last location. Using plants in criminal investigations is an underused forensic science , this may be that there are few forensic botanist in the United States, but it is certainly a science we all need to be reintroduced to.

Forensic Botany

Forensic botany applies the knowledge and techniques of plant science to legal matters. Here, the term macroscopic plant remains is given to those plant materials not included within forensic palynology or microbiology. Research centered on spores, pollen, and certain microorganisms is well developed and will not be discussed here. For decades, these materials have been used successfully by archaeologists, geologists, anthropologists, and botanists to determine the cause of death for prehistoric or modern humans. 

One of the early documented cases of forensic botany connected with macroscopic plant materials was the suicide death of Socrates. Plato described the death of his mentor as he attended the legally imposed suicide of Socrates. He was convicted of corrupting youth and disrespecting the state religion. Because Socrates was of high social standing, he was allowed to choose his own manner of death. He selected a deadly tea made from poison hemlock (Conium maculatum L.: Apiaceae). In Plato’s Phaedo (Plato and Gallop, 2009), we read of Socrates’ symptoms after he drank the fatal brew. This narration agrees with contemporary descriptions of poison hemlock’s effect on humans (Lewis and Elvin-Lewis, 1977). From that time to this, in most of the world’s societies the knowledge of plants’ effects on humans has appeared in courts (Simoons, 1998). Forensic botany became accredited in the courts of the United States in the trial of Bruno Hauptman who was accused of kidnapping and killing Charles and Anne M. Lindbergh’s baby son in 1932 (Graham, 1997, 2006). Arthur Koehler, a wood anatomist with the US Forest Service, matched the wood from the ladder used to get into the second floor Lindbergh nursery with wood from Hauptman’s attic. Hauptman was convicted of the crime and executed. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation called Koehler’s evidence ‘critical.’ This crime also resulted in kidnapping becoming a federal offense.

Collection of Evidence

The collection of plant material for use in criminal investigations differs from techniques taught in plant systematic courses. Forensic collections are assumed to be legal evidence. Such materials need to be collected, if possible, either by officers of law enforcement organizations or by a botanist in the presence of officers. Rules surrounding evidence are strict. When significant vegetation is collected, a chain of evidence must be established at once.

Notebook records of time and place and case numbers are required. It is wise, but not required, to assign your personal case number that will be linked to the number that will be used in court. This information must always remain attached to the evidence. Each person in possession of evidence must be clearly documented as the evidence passes among those involved in a case. Plant collections should be placed either in paper or cloth bags unless pollen analysis also is to be undertaken.

Bags need to be the smallest size to accommodate the material. Evidence can be stored in laboratories or evidence lockers for long periods of time, even years. Evidence rooms always are short of space, so economy of collection without minimizing the value of the specimens is essential. Plastic bags, glass jars, and tin cans are unacceptable for long-term storage because they encourage decay.

Download Full Paper Here:  The Use of Macroscopic Plant Remains In Forensic Science 

J H Bock, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA ã 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Episode Guest


Jane Bock, PhD  University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.

Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Member of Botanical Society of America.
Founding member of Necrosearch International.
80+ refereed publications, 3 books. Book in press, Forensic Plant Science – Academic Press. publication 2015 or 2016.


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Murdering Moms ep270

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.


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


“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.