Episodes

170 Warming up a Cold Case

Subsequent to the original murder case Cain vs. Abel, there has always been a small percentage of murders that were unsolved for a variety of case-specific reasons. There have also always been detectives who’d occasionally look back at “the one that got away,” but the idea of dedicating a group of professionals to work solely...

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We are on the move

We are on the move.  We have moved into our new facility and moving forward and upward.  The new location combines three locations into one. The training center, audio-video production,  and business office all in one location.  Upcoming Training March 19-21, 2018 Medicolegal Death Investigation Level-1  (Classroom) April 14th, 2018 Medicolegal Death Investigation Online Academy...

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Las Vegas Shooting | Trauma Recovery Yoga

  When Joyce Bosen was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2012 after losing her son, a doctor prescribed medication. When it didn’t help, she turned to yoga. Now she’s helping the first responders who saved lives the night of the Oct. 1 shooting and Clark County coroner’s office employees who dealt with its horrific...

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Blue Monday 🙁

A few years ago, the third Monday in January was labeled Blue Monday by many experts in the mental health field. But no matter what day of the week it occurs on, Anita Agers-Brooks, common trauma expert, and author of Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, believes the third week is a good barometer to...

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The Psychology of Death Investigation

In order to determine the direction of an investigation and to prioritize leads, if necessary, death investigators must establish the manner of a death: natural, accident, homicide or suicide. The most overlooked aspect of death investigation is the psychological dimension, which can provide unique leads, correct false assumptions, enhance investigative awareness, and solve cases in...

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Iam911

911 Call Takers and Dispatchers are often the first investigators involved in death calls 911 emergency dispatchers often are the first people contacted when emergency assistance is needed.  They’re responsible for determining the nature of the calls they receive, as well as the location of the callers. They also are responsible for monitoring the location...

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KUSA 9News – Attacks Colorado Coroners | Bonus Episode

According to a recent Gallup poll, only 32% of Americans say they have a “fair amount” of trust with news media, (website HERE.)   KUSA Chanel 9 in Colorado has demonstrated they are an example of why Americans are lacking trust in Media.  A 9News staff reporter by the name of Kevin Vaughan has decided to go on...

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Thin Line C.O.D.E

  C.O.D.E. addresses this reality in a real, raw, and relevant way, telling stories inspired by true events and authentic cases.   Horrific accidents, savage beatings, murder, suicide, autoerotic deaths, overdoses, burned and mutilated bodies: these are nearly every day occurrences for the extraordinary women and men who work in emergency services fields. These selfless...

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HRD Dogs

Cadaver dogs. Also known as human remains detection dogs,  have been trained to smell death. Specifically, the dogs are trained to smell decomposition, which means they can locate body parts, tissue, blood, and bone A trained human cadaver dog will not signal a living person or an animal (except pigs), but it will signal a recently deceased,...

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Psychological Autopsy | Living and Dead

Psychological autopsy is one of the most valuable tools of research on completed suicide as well as many other types of death. The method involves collecting all available information on the deceased via structured interviews of family members, relatives or friends as well as attending health care personnel. In addition, information is collected from available...

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Is it okay not to be okay?

The burden of dealing with tragedies associated with the day-to-day duties of police officers, coroners, and medicolegal death investigators, often remains unspoken and follows the officers into their off-duty and personal lives. Failure to recognize and provide an acceptable outlet for the disappointment and frustration felt by officers and investigators  at the end of their...

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Crime Scene Phone Apps

The number of forensic apps available for mobile phones appears to be growing with many current technologies focusing on document and evidence collection. As death investigators we many times cannot afford bigger equipment, but now these apps bring the otherwise ‘out of reach’ technology into every investigator’s pocket. Crime scene investigators are using smartphone apps...

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Hoarding Behavior

Hoarding is a psychological condition that results in a person accumulating an enormous amount of trash and things of little-to-no value, or worse, more animals than can be properly cared for. Hoarding of any kind can pose several dangers to the occupant and neighbors, and certainly to animals if they are involved. These hazards can be deadly, and...

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Infant Loss Resources | Affiliate Instructors

Infant Loss Resources serves as a source of information and support for healthcare professionals, childcare providers, parent educators, and police and other emergency workers who are the first to respond to a family who has experienced an infant death. Ongoing educational programs are presented both to students and working professionals throughout Missouri, and in surrounding counties...

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BoneID.net and 31 Genders

BoneID is a visual guide for forensic anthropologists, law enforcement, naturalists, and the simply curious. This site’s extensive and easy-to-use database will help you identify bones from many common species regardless of your academic training.” The need for an online osteological database became apparent due to the overwhelming amount of faunal material– mistaken to be...

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Death and Transgender – The Laws v. Reality

This year a law goes in effect in California that will require Coroners and  Medical Examiners to record the gender the deceased ‘wants to be’ rather than what the actual physiologic gender is. Many other states will likely follow.  This means the deceased can have an intact penis proudly displayed under his skirt and still...

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Using unconventional technology in death investigations

Technology has advanced the ease and quality of life immeasurably. Smartphones are handheld computers that can surf the internet; deliver emails, texts, and phone calls; take videos and pictures; make dinner reservations and track your every movement through various apps. Our cars can almost drive themselves with lane change warnings; infrared cameras; heads-up displays, cruise...

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WaukBoard

Have you ever had to do a removal from a tight space or crowded house.  Cots wont’ fit and back boards get heavy.  In this episode I introduce you to a better way. The WauK® board is lighter and narrower than standard cots. With a 500‑pound capacity, this lightweight 30‑pound tool gives funeral directors and coroners...

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LIVE Q and A – STS-Conflict-Culture

This episode is a recording of a live Q and A session that was held for the MLDI online Academy.  It’s interesting because we are able to talk with Anita Brooks on the topic of Secondary Traumatic Stress, Conflict Resolution, and culture issues. Joining us are two Academy students who participate in the discussion. Five...

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Controlling Odor

A decomposing body goes through four stages: autolysis, bloat, active decay, and skeletonization. During the second stage, trapped gases that are generated primarily by bacteria in the intestinal tract begin to build up and release odors. “A dead body, specifically a human corpse has a rank and pungent smell mixed with a tinge of sickening sweetness. Imagine a rotting piece of meat with a...

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Thin Lines, New York Standards, and Training

New York updates Coroner Standards A new law signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday requires elected county coroners across the state to complete medical-legal investigation courses prior to taking office. This makes New York the 17th state to require training for coroners, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while...

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Solar Eclipse and Opioids

How Does a Heroin Overdose Kill? Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs in the world, and thousands will die every year from a heroin overdose. Used for centuries for anything from a cough to pain relief, the potential for addiction and death was not fully realized until 1900. Heroin was made illegal in...

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Opioid Epidemic – How is it effecting you?

Soaring numbers of overdose deaths are adding to woes already plaguing medical examiner and coroner offices, resulting in a shortage of places to store bodies and long delays in autopsies and toxicology testing. The Connecticut medical examiner’s office has considered renting a refrigerated truck to store extra bodies because its storage area has neared capacity...

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Fire Scene Incident Command

As death investigators, a time will come when you must work a death related to a structure fire.  You have a job to do and evidence needs to be secured and protected. However, in these circumstances command and access issues can arise and “egos” can disrupt the calm flow of an investigation. One way, and...

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Part 2 -Dealing with the “jerk” at work –

Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is :   Workplace Bullying Is driven by perpetrators’ need to control the targeted individual(s). Is initiated by bullies who choose their targets, timing, location, and methods. Is a set of acts of commission...

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Dealing with the “jerk” at work – Part 1

Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is :   Workplace Bullying Is driven by perpetrators’ need to control the targeted individual(s). Is initiated by bullies who choose their targets, timing, location, and methods. Is a set of acts of commission...

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Science Used in Death Investigations

In the job of investigating death, the investigator may use the resources of several different sciences to help determine many aspects of the death and subsequent  investigation. It is sometimes necessary to bring in expertise from outside an agency. The field of forensic science is so broad today no agency will have every form of specialty...

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True Murder

This first hand true account of one of the most horrific  murders in Canadian history gives us an insight rarely gained into the mind of a murderer  and the forensics and documentation that goes into the prosecution of a murder of this caliber.  Dan Zupanksy was a prime witness in this case because of his...

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Your day in court

  Article Credit: Caliber Press 2007 – Are You Ready to Testify Policeone.com “When you’re testifying in court, the jury, the judge, the prosecutor, the defense, the public–all eyes are on you! Your reputation and that of your department may be enhanced or destroyed by your courtroom presentation,” says VanBrocklin. “There’s another equally important reason...

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How to Become a Death Investigator

What is a Medicolegal Death Investigator? 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. The medicolegal death investigator is responsible for the dead person, whereas the local law enforcement jurisdiction is responsible...

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911 Call Takers and Coroner School

  The stress of 911 call-takers Mark Bond Thursday, January 15, 2015   In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recommended that police departments have a single number for the public to call when they need police services. In 1968, Haleyville, Alabama, became the first city in the United...

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Environmental Temperature Deaths

The determination of the cause of death from exposure to extreme temperatures is a diagnosis of exclusion. Because both clinical and autopsy findings are nonspecific, a thorough investigation of the background and scene, evaluation of temporally relevant environmental conditions, and assessment of the victim’s underlying state of health with appropriate laboratory studies, which frequently include...

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Basics of Blood Pattern Evidence

Because blood behaves according to certain scientific principles, trained bloodstain pattern analysts can examine the blood evidence left behind and draw conclusions as to how the blood may have been shed. From what may appear to be a random distribution of bloodstains at a crime scene, analysts can categorize the stains by gathering information from...

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Forensic Anthropology – The Story is in the Bones

Forensic anthropology is the analysis of skeletal, badly decomposed, or otherwise unidentified human remains, and  is important in both legal and humanitarian contexts. Forensic anthropologists apply standard scientific techniques developed in physical anthropology to analyze human remains, and to aid in the detection of crime. In addition to assisting in locating and recovering human skeletal remains, forensic anthropologists...

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Professional Conduct – Skills and Attributes

Ethical behavior goes beyond simply knowing the difference between right and wrong; it is doing what is right. The purpose of promoting ethical investigation practices is to establish and promote clearly defined standards of conduct for investigators. These standards assist in protecting the investigator and the public. While some practices may be legal, the investigator...

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Pt. 3 Cocaine, Killing and Coverup – Pathology

The question in this series is whether law enforcement ignored certain facts because it did not fit a pre-textual narrative or were simply instructed to look the other way resulting in  known facts and evidence never being considered. All this goes into the question of cocaine, killing, and coverup. This Episode In this episode I...

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Pt.2-Cocaine, Killing, and Coverup

The question in this series is whether law enforcement ignored certain facts because it did not fit a pre-textual narrative or were simply instructed to look the other way resulting in  known facts and evidence never being considered. All this goes into the question of cocaine, killing, and coverup. This Episode In this episode I...

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Pt. 1-Cocaine, Killing, and Coverup –

The question in this series is whether law enforcement ignored certain facts because it did not fit a pre-textual narrative or were simply instructed to look the other way resulting in  known facts and evidence never being considered. All this goes into the question of cocaine, killing, and coverup. Facts of case as reported by...

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Three Elements of the Scene – Panel Discussion

Every crime scene presents unique obstacles for the investigator, but in a death investigation three elements will always exists to  some degree. These three elements make up the investigative triangle. Although independent in nature – they are interdependent in the investigation. A complete and accurate investigation can not be accomplished without weaving these three elements...

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Integrated Biometrics

Today, the term “biometrics” is not limited to fingerprints. It also includes palm prints, irises, and facial recognition. In an effort to harness new technologies, and to improve the application of tenprint and latent fingerprint searches, the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division developed and incrementally integrated a new system to replace the Integrated...

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Implications in Cause and Manner Rulings

Even if we do the best investigation possible, there will often be disagreement in our cause and manner rulings.  This could  apply to any manner of death; suicide, accident, even in a ruling of natural death. The article below from Detroit Free Press is a great example of the implications that can arise from a...

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Determining Time of Death

Defining Time of Death    There are several times of death. Let me repeat that—there are several times of death. Time of death seems to be a simple and straight forward term that obviously means the exact time that the victim drew his last breath. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. There are actually three...

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Crime Fiction – Real Life

How does our profession  influence crime writers? In the western world, crime fiction – mystery, thrillers, suspense, etc. – makes up somewhere between 25 and 40 percent of all fiction book sales. Why is the crime genre so popular? Crime is fascinating, to be sure, because most of us  don’t commit it. But the popularity of...

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Forensic Odontology

Forensic odontology is the application of dental science to legal investigations, primarily involving the identification of the offender by comparing dental records to a bite mark left on the victim or at the scene, or identification of human remains based on dental records. A forensic dentist is an informal title for a forensic odontologist, a...

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SketchCop Solutions

Post Mortem Facial Reconstruction A Postmortem Reconstruction is developed by reconstructing facial characteristics of an unidentified deceased person with decomposed or damaged human tissue. The image will first show trauma to the victim and is repaired digitally or by applying paints directly to the photograph, covering the injured area making the features recognizable. The drawing...

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The Criminal Investigative Function

Crime wreaks havoc on the very framework of our society, no one is immune from it.  Regardless of race, background, or financial status, crime can and will touch your life in a negative way.  The role of the criminal investigator is to fill the gap from suspect to victim.  The investigative function centers around the...

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Toxicology Interpretation and Obstacles

Toxicology testing is a vital piece of  the post mortem investigative puzzle.  Many investigators confuse the importance of toxicology in cases where no autopsy is being conducted. An even greater danger is submitting fluids for testing but then making an incorrect determination because of the miss-interpretations of the results. To better understand the dangers and...

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Courtroom Testimony and Preparation

Work law enforcement or ME/C  death investigations long enough and you will end up in court. Whether you are testifying in a criminal case or a civil proceeding, there are things you can do to prepare for testimony.  Done correctly, you will leave the stand with your integrity and professional image intact.  Done wrong, it...

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Fatal Resident to Resident Incidents

  A  prevalent concern, but under-recognized, 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...

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Medicolegal AI and Investigator Goal Setting

As we begin 2017 I want to thank you for a great 2016 and look forward to everything possible in 2017.  I plan to expand training options and continue to develop online training through video and podcast.  As a death investigator, or whatever career you are in, goals and action plans are vital if you...

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