Episodes

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

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...

Play Episode

Pt2-Forensic Pathology and Death Investigation

What does a medical examiner do? What is the responsibility of the Medicolegal Investigator?  Do you know how to properly answer questions on a death certificate relating to cause of death v. mechanism. Forensic Pathology and Death Investigation This episode is an audio version of a presentation by Dr. Judy Melinek in March 2014. Dr....

Play Episode

Forensic Pathology and Death Investigation-Part 1

What does a medical examiner do? What is the responsibility of the Medicolegal Investigator?  Do you know how to properly answer questions on a death certificate relating to cause of death v. mechanism. Forensic Pathology and Death Investigation This episode is an audio version of a presentation by Dr. Judy Melinek in March 2014. Dr....

Play Episode

Qualifications For a Death Investigator – No Consistency

OVERVIEW OF THE MEDICOLEGAL DEATH INVESTIGATION SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES Randy Hanzlick The medicolegal death investigation system is responsible for conducting death investigations and certifying the cause and manner of unnatural and unexplained deaths. Unnatural and unexplained deaths include homicides, suicides, unintentional injuries, drug-related deaths, and other deaths that are sudden or unexpected. Approximately...

Play Episode

10 Tips For Professional Image

If you want to be seen and respected as a professional, might I say you need to act like a professional first.  In this episode I  talk about  what I believe are the ten most important areas you should guard and improve if you want to build a professional image.   These are not in...

Play Episode

Euthanasia in America

Euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, physician-assisted suicide (dying), doctor-assisted dying (suicide), and more loosely termed mercy killing, means to take a deliberate action with the express intention of ending a life to relieve intractable (persistent, unstoppable) suffering. Some interpret euthanasia as the practice of ending a life in a painless manner. Many disagree with...

Play Episode

Medicolegal Death Investigations – 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...

Play Episode

Medical Error – Case Reviews

This Episode is part 2 of last weeks conversation about medical errors being the third leading cause of death in the United States. This week I set down with medical expert  Shawn Parcells of National Autopsy Serivices and discussed  a few actualcases concerning medical errors. Medical error has been defined as an unintended act (either...

Play Episode

Medical Errors – Third Leading Cause of Death in USA

Medical error has been defined as an unintended act (either of omission or commission) or one that does not achieve its intended outcome,3 the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended (an error of execution), the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim (an error of planning),4 or a deviation...

Play Episode

Conflict in the work place – “Sometimes it’s like we are babysitters”

In the real world, not everything goes well, not everyone is happy, there is always bad news as well as good, troubled waters as well as smooth. Very few investigators  fail because of their inability to deal with success. Typically, failure in this industry results from an inability to deal with problems. Conflict  resolution within the police...

Play Episode

Las Vegas Coroner – John Fudenberg

“Our medicolegal death investigators are 50 percent detectives and the other 50 percent of the job they’re social workers. In one minute they’re investigating a horrific homicide and the next minute they’re notifying the family members of the victim of that homicide. The family may be embracing them and crying on their shoulder. It takes...

Play Episode

From a Mother – When my Child Died

 In this episode I talk with a mother of  who’s son died in a car accident.  She shares what happened the night she was notified and what she remembers.  This episode is real and depicts real life after loosing a child.     Link to: A Letter to You    askacoroner.com   Register today –...

Play Episode

Nursing Home Deaths | Are we missing anything?

Nursing home residents comprise a large and rapidly growing segment of the national population. Despite this fact, the majority of deaths occurring in nursing homes are not investigated because of the significant medical illnesses suffered by most residents.  In some deaths, there could be an attempted concealment of the cause and manner of death. Fearing criminal...

Play Episode

Violent Crime Increase | Serial Killers

Violent crime increased 3.9 percent last year, and appear to be on the same upward trend in 2016. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter surged 10.8 percent in 2015, according to the FBI analysis collected by the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. The estimated number of murders across the United States was 15,696. Serial killers hold the fascination...

Play Episode

Identifying Evidence in Infant Deaths

Evidence in infant and child death cases is many times very different than in older children and adult deaths,  infants die differently than adults, in most cases; so the evidence surrounding their death will  be different. Understanding what is potential evidence is critical  as well as knowing how and what to collect. Remember – If you think it...

Play Episode

Tool and impression evidence

The basic theory behind footwear and tire track analysis is that, much like fingerprints, shoes and tires may leave behind either prints (referred to as “imprints”) or impressions that can be examined by investigators. The type of evidence left behind depends largely on the type of surface traveled. For example, a shoe will leave an...

Play Episode

Code of Silence

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...

Play Episode

Overcoming the ‘Good Ol’ Boys Club’

It is believe by many, and often lived out in reality, that entering the death investigation field is not easy. In fact, its not even a ‘start at the bottom and work your way up system’.  I understand that some agencies, like Clark County NV. are doing it right and has a bottom up training program.  However,...

Play Episode

Part 2 – Cultural Diversity and Anger De-escalation

Secrets to Handling Cultural Diversity Effectively When you hear complaints, resolve not to tune out, but to tune in. Respond positively and productively — don’t allow yourself to become sucked into a defensive attitude or emotional altercation. Communication and understanding are salvaged and restored when we listen fully, with ears, eyes, and heart. Excellence is doing...

Play Episode

Cultural Diversity and Anger De-escalation Part 1

What is Culture Culture includes the beliefs, customs, and arts of a particular society, group, or place. Cultural background, as well as individual personalities, directly affects how people respond to death and dying. Sensitivity to cultural, ethnic, religious, gender, personality, and language diversities will help you as you. strive to work effectively with families who...

Play Episode

Bare Bones – Cold case

Can BlueStar be used to solve a 50 year old case? In this episode I talk with Karen Smith of Bare Bones Forensics about her work in a cold case murder. Karen has had her research published in the Journal of Forensic Identification. The overview of that research and how BlueStar played a role can...

Play Episode

Testifying in Court – How Credible Do You Appear ?

  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...

Play Episode

Professional Ethics

  Professional Ethics Professional Ethics encompass the personal, organizational and corporate standards of behavior expected of professionals. Professionals, and those working in acknowledged professions, exercise specialist knowledge and skill. Most professions have internally enforced codes of practice that members of the profession must follow to prevent exploitation of the client and to preserve the integrity of...

Play Episode

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to receive info on our latest news and episodes

[mc4wp_form id="22"]