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Summer Break 2021


I wish you all a very happy and fun summer 2021.  We are taking a break this year through the summer months and will return in September with an all-new line-up and shows. 

Be a blessing and be safe

Truth in Podcasting ep 290


In this episode, I give my opinion on the Derek Chauvin Trial and I talk about truth in journalism and podcasting in particular.  With permission, I play a portion of a podcast from my good friend Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting Podcast about media bias and how podcasting can help correct mistruth.  

The school of podcasting can be found at: https://schoolofpodcasting.com/

I also introduce a new survey being conducted by RTI International that addresses work-related stress in MDI jobs.  This is a topic I have spent years discussing and I am so glad that it is starting to gain needed attention.

Link to MDI work-related stress survey: https://forensicrti.org/understanding-work-related-stress-mdi-professionals/?fbclid=IwAR05eTElTSE7xNrL128nJBjdeKXd57kESN0vBBK6LoD2jSFooi6uC7obXnY

Establishing Decedent Identification


Several methods exist to properly identify a deceased person. It is critical that positive and accurate identification is made. This podcast is a portion of an online course about the identification of the deceased. This episode will give you several methods of identification and will warn you of pitfalls and mistakes to avoid in wrongful identification.

If you would like to check out the full course you can follow the link below to learn more.

https://www.ditacademyonline.org/courses/deceased-identification

Detecting Deception Part 2 – Classroom Training


In this episode, you get to listen in to a live classroom training where Mark Bailey is teaching on detecting deception by talking with witnesses or suspects. This is the second part of the training.

Detecting Deception Part 1 – Classroom Training



In this episode, you get to listen in to a live classroom training where Mark Bailey is teaching on detecting deception with talking with witness or suspects. This is the first part of the training and part two will follow next week

Listener / Student QandA

In this episode, I read and give my answers to several questions that students in the MDI Academy or listeners have submitted relating to death investigation and scene management topics.

Questions with several topics such as Dry Drowning, Next-of-Kin Notification, Evidence, Purge Fluid, Scene cooperation, and many more topics.


Submit your Question

If you have a question that you would like answered and possibly shared on the show simply click on the contact link and send us your question. I will answer your question directly by email and it may be shared on a future show. I will be careful not to reveal your name if shared on air.

Investigating Abusive Head Trauma ep285



Abusive head trauma (AHT), which includes shaken baby syndrome, is a preventable and severe form of physical child abuse that results in an injury to the brain of a child. AHT often happens when a parent or caregiver becomes angry or frustrated because of a child’s crying. It is caused by violent shaking and/or with blunt impact. The resulting injury can cause bleeding around the brain or on the inside back layer of the eyes. Data shows:

  • AHT is a leading cause of physical child abuse deaths in children under 5 in the United States.
  • Babies less than one-year-old are at greatest risk of injury from AHT.
  • AHT accounts for about one-third of all child maltreatment deaths.

Crying, including long periods of inconsolable crying, is a normal behavior in infants. Shaking, throwing, or hitting a baby is never the right response to crying.

Todays Guest

Jim Twardesky

https://twardeskyconsulting.weebly.com/

Jim has worked in law enforcement since 1999, serving as a cadet, patrol officer, field training officer, defensive tactics instructor, & detective. Since 2014, he has worked as a detective investigating violent crime, specializing in sexual assault & violent crimes against children. In that capacity, he has investigated hundreds of cases including multiple child homicides and serial rapists. A number of cases have received extensive local & national media coverage.

Since 2017, he has lectured regularly at police academies, colleges, and professional conferences throughout the State of Michigan on the subjects of sexual assault, child molestation, child abuse & child homicide. Audiences have included; prosecutors, police officers, detectives, nurses, child protective services workers, social workers, and college students. Jim has also written articles for PoliceOne.com & ILEETA on those topics as well.

Finally, Jim is an adjunct faculty member for the Macomb Community College Public Service Institute teaching undergraduate criminal justice classes both online & in-person. In addition, he has developed & taught advanced police training seminars for the Macomb Criminal Justice Training Center focusing on child abuse and sexual assault.

Lisa Mayhew-Child Death Investigation


Understanding the Problem

About 4,300 US infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year. We often refer to these deaths as sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID). Although the causes of death in many of these children can’t be explained, most occur while the infant is sleeping in an unsafe sleeping environment.

Researchers can’t be sure how often these deaths happen because of accidental suffocation from soft bedding or overlay (another person rolling on top of or against the infant while sleeping). Often, no one sees these deaths, and there are no tests to tell sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) apart from suffocation.

To complicate matters, people who investigate SUIDs may report the cause of death in different ways and may not include enough information about the circumstances of the event from the death scene.

Interpreting Infant Death

Law enforcement, first responders, death scene investigators, medical examiners, coroners, and forensic pathologists all play a role in carrying out the case investigation.

A thorough case investigation includes

  • An examination of the death scene.
  • An autopsy (medical examination of the body after death).
  • A review of the infant’s medical history.

Most SUIDs are reported as one of three types of infant deaths.

Types of SUID

  1. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
    SIDS is defined as the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, the examination of the death scene, and a review of the clinical history. About 1,500 infants died of SIDS in 2014. SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants 1 to 12 months old.
  2. Unknown Cause
    The sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age cannot be explained because a thorough investigation was not conducted and cause of death could not be determined.
  3. Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed
    Mechanisms that lead to accidental suffocation include:  
    • Suffocation by soft bedding—for example, when a pillow or waterbed mattress covers an infant’s nose and mouth.
    • Overlay—for example, when another person rolls on top of or against the infant while sleeping.
    • Wedging or entrapment—for example, when an infant is wedged between two objects such as a mattress and wall, bed frame, or furniture.
    • Strangulation—for example, when an infant’s head and neck become caught between crib railings.

Even after a thorough investigation, it is hard to tell SIDS apart from other sleep-related infant deaths such as overlay or suffocation in soft bedding. While an observed overlay may be considered an explained infant death, no autopsy tests can tell for certain that suffocation was the cause of death.

Arrival on the scene

It is important an investigator take some immediate action upon first arriving on the scene. Unlike most death investigations, the decedent in an infant death has almost always been moved since discovery. Therefore, it is essential that the investigator uses this first opportunity to locate and evaluate the location(s) within the scene where the infant was reported to have been moved between placement and discovery. While also noting existing environmental conditions that may have affected the infant.

Upon arrival an investigator should:

  • Identify the lead investigator at the scene and present your identification
  • Identify other essential officials at the scene (e.g., EMS, emergency department personnel, childcare providers, social/child protective services).
  • Explain your role in the investigation.
  • Identify and document the first essential official(s) to the scene for identification for future follow up.
  • Determine if the scene is safe to enter

To establish scene parameters and become familiar with the environment, the investigator should:

  • Locate the first responder and/or lead investigator.
  • Determine the location where the infant was discovered dead or unresponsive.
  • Determine the location where the infant was last known alive.
  • Determine the location where the infant was placed.
  • Identify visible physical and fragile evidence.
  • Document and photograph fragile evidence immediately and collect, if appropriate.
  • Observe the physical living environment.
  • Locate and view the decedent, if possible.

Todays Guest – Lisa Mayhew

Lisa Mayhew, with both her bachelor and master degrees in Child Development, has worked as a child development specialist in North Carolina since 1992. She has provided direct therapy services to children, as well as providing consultation and training within North Carolina and across the US in areas related to child development. She specializes in the 0-3 year population, children with special needs and interdisciplinary collaboration. She has served as the Child Death Investigator/Trainer for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner since 2000 conducting investigations of child deaths statewide, and providing assistance in investigations to local and state agencies. In addition, Lisa operates the Child Death Investigation Training Program in conjunction with the North Carolina Justice Academy to agencies statewide involved in the investigation of child fatalities. She provides training to local and state law enforcement agencies across the US, and is the author of Child Death Investigations: Interdisciplinary Techniques from Cradle to Court available through Carolina Academic Press. She served as a consultant in the development of the Infant/Child Death Investigation Kit with Tri Tech Forensics and is an instructor for their training institute.

Listener-Student Questions Answered


In this episode, I read and give my answers to several questions that students in the MDI Academy or listeners have submitted relating to death investigation and scene management topics.

Questions with several topics such as Dry Drowning, Next-of-Kin Notification, Evidence, Purge Fluid, Scene cooperation, and many more topics.

Submit your Question

If you have a question that you would like answered and possibly shared on the show simply click on the contact link and send us your question. I will answer your question directly by email and it may be shared on a future show. I will be careful not to reveal your name if shared on air.

Student Chat

In this episode, I highlight a conversation I had with a student of the MDI Academy where we discuss the training, finding internship programs, and general topics about the Medicolegal Field.

This recording was made during a live office hours session where students can log in and ask questions or discuss topics they need help with. This recording is used at the permission of the student.