Cover image of Coroner Talk™ | Death Investigation Training | Police and Law Enforcement
(105)

Rank #173 in Courses category

Education
Courses
True Crime

Coroner Talk™ | Death Investigation Training | Police and Law Enforcement

Updated 3 days ago

Rank #173 in Courses category

Education
Courses
True Crime
Read more

We are a community of professionals in the field of death investigation. Whether you’re a coroner, a member of local police or county law enforcement, an EMS professional, or medical examiner – or frankly, anyone in between, Coroner Talk™ is the right community for you. We provide training and resources to coroners and death investigators by and from professionals around the world, a peer to peer training environment. I recognized that the training available for coroners and small department investigators was limited by resources such as time away from department and expense. So, I developed Coroner Talk™. Darren is a 30 year veteran of law enforcement and criminal investigations. He currently serves as an investigator for the Crawford County Missouri coroner’s office. He holds credentials as an instructor for the Missouri Sheriff’s Training Academy (MSA), Law Enforcement Training Institute (LETI). Has served as president of the Missouri Medical Examiners and Coroners Association, and is certified and credentialed in numerous fields of investigation. He holds the position of lead instructor and facilitator for the Death Investigation Training Academy (DITA) and for the Coroner Talk™ community as he speaks and writes in the area of death investigation and scene management.

Read more

We are a community of professionals in the field of death investigation. Whether you’re a coroner, a member of local police or county law enforcement, an EMS professional, or medical examiner – or frankly, anyone in between, Coroner Talk™ is the right community for you. We provide training and resources to coroners and death investigators by and from professionals around the world, a peer to peer training environment. I recognized that the training available for coroners and small department investigators was limited by resources such as time away from department and expense. So, I developed Coroner Talk™. Darren is a 30 year veteran of law enforcement and criminal investigations. He currently serves as an investigator for the Crawford County Missouri coroner’s office. He holds credentials as an instructor for the Missouri Sheriff’s Training Academy (MSA), Law Enforcement Training Institute (LETI). Has served as president of the Missouri Medical Examiners and Coroners Association, and is certified and credentialed in numerous fields of investigation. He holds the position of lead instructor and facilitator for the Death Investigation Training Academy (DITA) and for the Coroner Talk™ community as he speaks and writes in the area of death investigation and scene management.

iTunes Ratings

105 Ratings
Average Ratings
87
6
2
3
7

Coroner Talk podcast is EXCELLENT

By Sjuris514 - Dec 30 2019
Read more
I have nothing whatsoever to do with the field of crime investigation yet I never miss an episode. As a social worker by training and a fan of true-crime programming I have gained tons of knowledge listening to Darren Dake’s teachings. He has countless hours of experience throughout the field of law enforcement and he even offers to share that knowledge with others for free. Who does that? He seems that devoted to ensuring quality standards throughout the field. Thanks for educating us Mr. Dake.

Phenomenal!

By Bbrinxx - Oct 30 2019
Read more
This podcast is exactly what I needed. The knowledge and stories shared are top notch. There needs to be more resources like these, so we can all help each other succeed. I have learned an obscene amount from this podcast and I am only on the ones from 2015. I will surely be listening to this multiple times and sharing with friends. Thank you Darren!

iTunes Ratings

105 Ratings
Average Ratings
87
6
2
3
7

Coroner Talk podcast is EXCELLENT

By Sjuris514 - Dec 30 2019
Read more
I have nothing whatsoever to do with the field of crime investigation yet I never miss an episode. As a social worker by training and a fan of true-crime programming I have gained tons of knowledge listening to Darren Dake’s teachings. He has countless hours of experience throughout the field of law enforcement and he even offers to share that knowledge with others for free. Who does that? He seems that devoted to ensuring quality standards throughout the field. Thanks for educating us Mr. Dake.

Phenomenal!

By Bbrinxx - Oct 30 2019
Read more
This podcast is exactly what I needed. The knowledge and stories shared are top notch. There needs to be more resources like these, so we can all help each other succeed. I have learned an obscene amount from this podcast and I am only on the ones from 2015. I will surely be listening to this multiple times and sharing with friends. Thank you Darren!
Cover image of Coroner Talk™ | Death Investigation Training | Police and Law Enforcement

Coroner Talk™ | Death Investigation Training | Police and Law Enforcement

Latest release on Jan 27, 2020

Read more

We are a community of professionals in the field of death investigation. Whether you’re a coroner, a member of local police or county law enforcement, an EMS professional, or medical examiner – or frankly, anyone in between, Coroner Talk™ is the right community for you. We provide training and resources to coroners and death investigators by and from professionals around the world, a peer to peer training environment. I recognized that the training available for coroners and small department investigators was limited by resources such as time away from department and expense. So, I developed Coroner Talk™. Darren is a 30 year veteran of law enforcement and criminal investigations. He currently serves as an investigator for the Crawford County Missouri coroner’s office. He holds credentials as an instructor for the Missouri Sheriff’s Training Academy (MSA), Law Enforcement Training Institute (LETI). Has served as president of the Missouri Medical Examiners and Coroners Association, and is certified and credentialed in numerous fields of investigation. He holds the position of lead instructor and facilitator for the Death Investigation Training Academy (DITA) and for the Coroner Talk™ community as he speaks and writes in the area of death investigation and scene management.

Rank #1: Fire Scene Incident Command - Coroner Talk™ | Death Investigation Training | Police and Law Enforcement

Podcast cover
Read more

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 […]

The post Fire Scene Incident Command appeared first on Coroner Talk™.

Aug 07 2017

59mins

Play

Rank #2: Controlling Odor - Coroner Talk™ | Death Investigation Training | Police and Law Enforcement

Podcast cover
Read more

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 […]

The post Controlling Odor appeared first on Coroner Talk™.

Sep 09 2017

41mins

Play

Rank #3: Hell in the Heartland

Podcast cover
Read more

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 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.

May 27 2019

1hr

Play

Rank #4: I had to identify my husbands head

Podcast cover
Read more

A thousand questions littered my brain.  The three letter word everyone waited for was lodged in my throat.  My stomach wanted to heave.  My knees buckled.  Arms supported mine.  I was a marionette.  They waited patiently but no words came. The procedure was repeated.  I again faced the decomposing, torn mask of a face that used to smile at me, at a mouth that offered encouragement.  I finally blurted “Yes!”

In her own words

This arcane cavity was a vault, a cage, a bunker. I felt cooler and weaker with each footstep.  We stopped.  I tried not to breathe.  The pungent odor inside that chamber was a suffocating mix of used kitty litter, rotten eggs and unwashed Styrofoam meat tray from the market carelessly left out overnight.  Disinfectant did not neutralize the foulness of death, grief, or confusion.  He’d been submerged inside a desolate, warm, bog for a week before being exhumed.

My eyes closed reflexively. Detective Landeros leaned in and quietly said: “When you’re ready.”

 I felt I’d never be ready.  How can a wife ever be prepared to gaze upon the bludgeoned, detached head of her spouse five feet away? Seconds passed like minutes. My eyes slowly opened whereupon I saw Al’s contorted face, supported by a white sheet wrapped tightly around his severed neck. His eyeglasses were missing.  His face was knotted, his eyes puffy and black, incongruent with his light gray skin. Wide lacerations crisscrossed his head like a network of roads. His mouth was open and round with a swollen tongue which protruded off to the right at an angle. A cavernous gash framed his badly swollen right eye where a section of scalp was missing.

It was horrific. He was badly defaced. What did he do to deserve this viciousness?  What kind of monster inflicted this destruction?

A thousand questions littered my brain.  The three letter word everyone waited for was lodged in my throat.  My stomach wanted to heave.  My knees buckled.  Arms supported mine.  I was a marionette.  They waited patiently but no words came. The procedure was repeated.  I again faced the decomposing, torn mask of a face that used to smile at me, at a mouth that offered encouragement.  I finally blurted “Yes!”

News Report:

On a summer day in July 1985, police made a grisly discovery in Northern Michigan: a satchel buried a mere couple of feet beneath the forest floor. A collection of garbage bags were inside, each one containing the severed limbs of a human body. The hands, feet, and head all belonged to Alan Canty—a local man who had disappeared the previous week. The rest of Canty's blood-encrusted remains would be found days later, scattered across the state.

To his family and friends, Alan Canty was a married, successful psychologist from the affluent Grosse Pointe neighborhood. Behind closed doors, he was something else entirely: the "Sugar Daddy" to teenage sex worker Dawn Spens. Over the course of their two-year relationship, Canty showered her with gifts, shelling out thousands to support her and her pimp-boyfriend John Carl Fry—who was known as "Lucky."

But even a man as wealthy as Alan Canty could not maintain such a lifestyle. When he revealed that his money had run out, Spens and Fry's patience had run thin. Furious that Canty wanted to end the relationship, Fry attacked the psychologist with a baseball bat. The grisly mutilation that followed, all done with a serrated Ginsu knife, was also Fry's handiwork.

John Carl Fry received a life sentence for his crimes. Spens, who was just 19 at the time of the murder, escaped with dismemberment charges and probation. Today, she walks free.  Partial Reprint from https://the-line-up.com/murder-and-dismemberment-in-the-motor-city 

Today's Guest

Jan Canty, Ph.D. holds a Ph.D. in psychology. In 1985 her spouse was murdered and we were asked to identify his severed head in the morgue a week after he was exhumed. She has since written a yet-to-be-published book entitled Till Death We Did Part: Memoir of Deception, Murder, and Recovery

Death Investigator Magazine

A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.

  "To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth." Voltaire

.

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.

Oct 01 2018

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #5: The Basics of Asphyxial Death

Podcast cover
Read more

An asphyxial death refers to a multi-etiologic set of conditions in which there is inadequate delivery, uptake and/or utilization of oxygen by the body’s tissues/cells, often accompanied by carbon dioxide retention. This episode will introduce the listener to the four primary classifications of asphyxial deaths, which are; mechanical, inert-gas, environmental, and pathological.   The podcast will cover each classification and describe how the deaths occur and what investigators need to know to properly determine death due to asphyxial means.

A common form of suicidal asphyxia is caused by the use of inert-gas.  These deaths may also be accidental when located in an area compromised by a high level of gas.  An inert gas is a gas that has no toxic or anesthetic properties and does not act upon the heart or hemoglobin. Instead, the gas acts simply to reduced oxygen concentration in the blood to dangerously low levels, thereby eventually depriving all cells in the body of oxygen.

Some common inert gases are;

  • Argon
  • Halon
  • Helium
  • Nitrogen
  • Methane

This podcast also covers the asphyxial death classification of environmental asphyxial death. Environmental Asphyxia is due to insufficient oxygen in the environment. Deaths are almost always accidental. An oxygen concentration of 16% or less is dangerous, and with 5% concentration, consciousness is lost rapidly and death occurs within a few minutes. Environmental asphyxia deaths are typed in four manners:

  1. Confined Space
  2. Positional
  3. Compression
  4. Entrapment or Engulfment

The final classification discussed in this course is pathological asphyxia. Pathological is dealing with or attributable to disease or medical condition.  These asphyxial deaths are caused by such things as anaphylaxis, pulmonary edema, and COPD.

Nov 25 2019

57mins

Play

Rank #6: 10 Common Mistakes at Death Scenes

Podcast cover
Read more

Due to the very nature of sudden and/or violent deaths, many things can and do go wrong in the first few hours of discovery.  Death scenes have a way of bringing together many individuals with various responsibilities and experience.  This unique group can consist of uniformed officers, detectives, CSI, and forensic experts, medical examiner and coroner investigators, as well as prosecutors and police administrative staff. 

These scenes may also have fire and ems staff or other agencies trying to do their respective jobs. Not to mention families and onlookers Because of this scene, chaos errors can happen. Let's look at the ten most common mistakes of a death investigation.

1. Improper Response and Arrival to the Scene

First, responding officers may not correctly respond to and secure the scene and the immediate surrounding area.  It's not uncommon for the uniformed officers to not stop or detain people leaving or milling around the scene. Further, it's common that while waiting for investigation and CSI teams to arrive, first responding officers gather and congregate to close to, or in the scene inadvertently contaminating evidence.

Here are a few other examples of errors from first responding officers. They may fail to notify investigators soon enough, or at all, they may assume the death is a suicide or natural, and there is no need to establish a crime scene; they may fail to detain all persons present at the scene, which might include the suspect; or they may fail to separate possible witnesses and obtain initial statements.  Also, failing to make an initial determination of the scene boundaries leads to an insufficient area of protection.

2. Failing to protect the Crime Scene

In all death investigations, but even more so in a Homicide investigation, crime scene contamination can be and is a significant problem.  No other aspect of these investigations is more open to mistakes than the preservation and protection of the scene and subsequent evidence.

Paramount to any investigation is the assurance by the first officers on the scene to isolate and protect the scene as well as maintaining scene integrity as the investigation follows its standard path.  This includes the monitoring and supervising to paramedics and ems personnel in the scene. These personnel must be identified for a future interview.  Officers must also watch family members or others in the area to assure they are not contaminating the scene.  After a perimeter is established, the scene is locked down, and officers should start a log of everyone entering and leaving the scene and the reason why they are there.  Also, officers should be observing and taking notes of activities occurring in and around the scene.

3. Not Handling Suspicious Deaths and Homicides

All unattended death should be looked at and treated as suspicious, and an experienced officer/investigator should go to the scene.  These deaths should be treated as a homicide and a crime scene until the facts prove otherwise.  Too many departments allow untrained patrol officers to conduct basic death investigation with the assumption of suicide or natural death and with the thinking that it is unlikely to be a homicide.  Without training, officers could likely miss-interpreted a staged or altered scene.

If the scene is not handled correctly from the beginning and is later found to be a homicide, valuable evidence can be lost, and the integrity of the scene is compromised at best and at worst, non-existent.

4. Responding with a Preconceived Notion

It is imperative that investigators not allow themselves to respond to a death scene with any preconceived conclusion about the case. It’s common for investigators to get sent to a scene and given information based on the initial call.  If the call came in as a suicide and the initial officer who responds arrives with the mindset of suicide, it is common to treat the scene as suicide and thus shortcut any other investigation.  It looks like a suicide, so it must be a suicide, and no other investigation is conducted.  

This type of preconceived investigation results in fewer photographs being taken, witness statements not being completed, evidence not being searched for or collected, and the integrity of the scene is destroyed.

It's not only suicide this can happen on, but reported natural deaths and accidents can also be shortcutting if responding officers make the conclusion of their investigation based upon the initial reported call.  If then, in fact, the death becomes suspicious at a later time officer reports and investigation will be lacking valuable information for future investigations.  The tendency is for the uniformed officer to write the final report and collect the evidence necessary to fit the narrative given to him by the initial call. 

5. Failing to Take Sufficient Photographs

In today's world of digital photography, photographs are cheap and easy to obtain. Back when I start in this business, we used Polaroid instant photography and 35mm film cameras.  These were expensive, and some departments wanted to limit "unnecessary" photographs in an attempt to stretch the budget. That's not the case today, hundreds of photographs can be taken and stored nearly free of charge.

Photographs are a way to document the scene and to freeze that scene in time. They are used in court when necessary and will prove or disprove a fact in question.  Therefore, it is vital that photographs are taken of the entire scene, area, and location where the crime took place, including any sites connected to the original crime. Remember, you only get one chance and your first chance to document a scene.

6. Failing to Manage the Crime Scene Process

The investigator in charge should oversee the investigation and scene documentation. He or she should ensure proper chain of custody and documentation of evidence. They are also in charge of maintaining scene integrity. Never allow officers to use the restroom within the residence, or take food or drink from the kitchen, never allow smoking in the investigative area, never bring food or drink into the scene from an outside source, and always keep non-essential personnel out of the scene area. Designate an area for them to congregate if needed, but it should never be inside your primary scene area.

Lead investigators must also direct crime scene personnel on where and what are to collect. Many CSI staff are well trained and have a good idea of what needs to be done. However, each scene can have unique situations, and the investigator in charge must ensure evidence is adequately searched for and collected.

The victim's body should always be inspected and searched for trace evidence prior to being moved or taken from the scene. Not doing so can result in loss of valuable evidence and can leave many unanswered questions. 

Always stop and look around the scene; look up as much as around. See what is missing or what isn't.  What looks right about the scene, and what looks wrong?  Is what you are seeing matching what you are being told?   Never leave a scene until you are confident every answer to any question you may have has been answered or documented. Remember, this is your only chance and a first chance.

7. Failing to Evaluate Victimology

It is imperative that investigators know the victim and completes a victimology study. You cannot properly investigate a death without victimology.  Failing to have a complete picture of the victim will preclude you from developing motives, suspects, and risk factors unique to the victim. These risk factors are usually regarded as high, moderate, or low and are based on lifestyle, living condition, job skills, neighborhood, or anything specific to the victim.

Victimology is the collection and assessment of any significant information as it connects to the victim and his or her lifestyle, these include areas such as; personality, employment, education, friends, habits, hobbies, marital status, relationships, dating history, sexuality, reputation, criminal record, drug, and alcohol use, physical condition, and neighborhood of residence as well as where they grew up of different than where currently living.

The bottom line is, who was the victim and what was going on at the time they became a victim. The best source of information will be friends, family, employers, and neighbors. You need to know the victim better than they knew themselves.

8. Failing to Conduct and Efficient Area Canvass Properly

I will admit that conducting an area canvass can be tedious and very time-consuming. Sometimes hundreds of contacts are often made without one shred of usable information being unveiled. However, it is that one exhilarating jewel that is occasionally discovered that makes the process so rewarding. 

Most criminal investigation courses and books talk little about an area canvass, other than to suggest doing one. There are right and wrong ways to conduct an area canvass that will yield better results for the efforts put out.

Ideally, patrol personnel and plainclothes detectives should perform separate canvasses.  Some individuals respond more readily to an authority figure in a uniform, while others prefer the anonymity of the detective’s plain clothes.  Since it is impossible to know who will respond more willingly to either approach, both should be employed.  This technique will give the investigator the greatest chance of getting vital information. 

First, understand the terms “area canvass” and “neighborhood canvass” may be used interchangeably.  They are interviews conducted in the field, as opposed to statements taken on the scene or in the station. The canvass may be conducted in an area near the crime scene or, conceivably, hundreds of miles away from it.  In the aftermath of a bank robbery, for example, the getaway vehicle may be located several counties, or even states, away.  Two canvasses should, therefore, be undertaken: one at the original crime scene (the bank) and one at the secondary scene (the vehicle).  If a suspect is developed, it may be advisable to perform an additional area canvass in the neighborhood where that person resides to learn about his/her reputation and habits.  A complex case may require that a number of area canvasses are completed at various locations.

 The primary goal of a neighborhood canvass is, of course, to locate a witness to the crime. It is this promise of the elusive witness that motivates the investigator. However, it is not only the “eye” witness you seek.  On occasion, it may be just as significant to discover an “ear witness."  Someone who may have heard a threatening remark heard gunshots or even heard how and in which direction the perpetrator fled.

This information can point the case in the right direction.  A witness who hears a homicide subject flee in a vehicle with a loud muffler, for example, could be furnishing a valuable lead.  Likewise, intimidating or threatening statements the witness may have overheard could refute a subsequent claim of self-defense.  In an officer-involved shooting incident, a witness who hears the officer yell "stop police" or "drop the gun" is invaluable to the investigation.   Just as crucial as the eye-witness or the ear-witness is the "witness-who-knows-a-witness."  Even though this person may not have first-hand knowledge of the crime, he or she can direct investigators to a person who does and is, therefore, of great value.

Hearsay

Rumors, innuendo, and gossip may not have a place in the courtroom, but they are certainly welcome tidbits that help navigate any investigation.   The type of approach the investigator uses to cultivate this information can often determine how successful he will be.  In certain situations, it may be necessary to coax and cajole the witness. In others, it may be beneficial to appear to confide in the witness and reveal some "inside scoop" about the investigation. This works particularly well with the neighborhood "busy body" who will derive motivation from being "included" in the case.  Also, remember that in certain situations, an area canvass may more resemble an interrogation than a simple interview.  Eliciting information from a witness, who is not predisposed to furnish it, is the essence of any area canvass.

 In high crime, drug infested neighborhoods retaliation for "snitching" to the police is a real-life possibility that must be appreciated.  Witnesses who refuse or are reluctant to cooperate with authorities may have ample reason for their trepidation.  That is why each person approached should be provided with a contact number and assurances that they may remain anonymous.

9. Failing to Work Together as a Team

As with any crime scene, cooperation is critical among differing agencies. But with a death scene, this cooperation is ever more important and ever more strained.  Due to the increased severity of the scene, the spotlight, and egos, these scenes can become a disaster quickly. Therefore teamwork is vital, and it is the lead investigators role to set a tone of cooperation and teamwork. 

One of the most significant issues in a major case is the failure to communicate information to those working the case. Agencies seem to want to keep what they know to themselves. This occurs from egos and turf wars, which will compromise an effective outcome.  Everyone involved in the investigation is after the same conclusion. Each member has a job to do and has information gathered from that job; this information is combined and evaluated to set the direction and ultimate conclusion of the investigation.

A baseball game is won when everyone playing does his or her job and supports every other player in getting their job done.

10. Command and Administrative Staff Interfering

One of the most frustrating mistakes at a death scene investigation is when command staff shows up on the scene with their own agendas which have nothing to do with the actual investigation. Sometimes it's for political appearance or simple curiosity. But unless they are an actual part of the investigative team, they should not insert themselves into the investigation.

In many instances, because they’re at the scene, command ranking personnel feel the need to direct the investigation. Consequently, they will have investigators running in different directions which have nothing to do with the primary investigation. The result is the loss of cohesive and central command and major miscommunication. Many times, in these situations no one is willing to step up and make decision and take control for fear of making the boss mad, so the chaos continues and the investigation is compromised, and when the outcome is delayed or not favorable, the command personnel directly the chaos will not see that they caused the confusion but rather the blame may fall on the lead investigator.

Conclusion

Death investigations are not always simple step by step cutouts. They require real attention and specific actions to protect the investigation integrity. Many of the mistakes mention here are from shortcutting and not taking seriously the gravity of the scene you are working.  Our job as death investigators, regardless of what function that is, is to get the truth for the victim and bring to justice to anyone responsible for their death, if in fact, anyone is responsible.  Developing and following strict procedures at every death scene will ensure that investigations are worked properly, and evidence is not missed. 

Reference: Vernon J. Geberth, Practical Homicide Investigation Fifth Edition, (CRC Press 2015)

.

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.

Jun 24 2019

1hr

Play

Rank #7: Water Intoxication Death

Podcast cover
Read more

Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning, hyperhydration, overhydration, or water toxemia is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by excessive water intake.

Under normal circumstances, accidentally consuming too much water is exceptionally rare. Nearly all deaths related to water intoxication in normal individuals have resulted either from water drinking contests, in which individuals attempt to consume large amounts of water or from long bouts of exercise during which excessive amounts of fluid were consumed. In addition, water cure, a method of torture in which the victim is forced to consume excessive amounts of water, can cause water intoxication.

Water, just like any other substance, can be considered a poison when over-consumed in a specific period of time. Water intoxication mostly occurs when water is being consumed in a high quantity without adequate electrolyte intake.

Pathophysiology

At the onset of this condition, fluid outside the cells has an excessively low amount of solutes, such as sodium and other electrolytes, in comparison to fluid inside the cells, causing the fluid to move into the cells to balance its concentration. This causes the cells to swell. In the brain, this swelling increases intracranial pressure (ICP), which leads to the first observable symptoms of water intoxication:  headache, personality changes, changes in behavior, confusion, irritability, and drowsiness.

These are sometimes followed by difficulty breathing during exertion, muscle weakness & pain, twitching, or cramping, nausea, vomiting, thirst, and a dulled ability to perceive and interpret sensory information. As the condition persists, papillary and vital signs may result including bradycardia and widened pulse pressure. The cells in the brain may swell to the point where blood flow is interrupted resulting in cerebral edema. Swollen brain cells may also apply pressure to the brain stem causing central nervous system dysfunction. Both cerebral edema and interference with the central nervous system are dangerous and could result in seizures, brain damage, coma or death.

 Dr. Banerjee has been a practicing forensic pathologist for 6 years after training at the top programs such as The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.  She is board certified in both Anatomic and Forensic Pathology by the American Board of Pathology. In addition, she brings a unique perspective with insight into medical conditions as she completed a year of internal medicine training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

During her career, she has conducted over 1400 postmortem examinations including handling over 100 homicide cases. She also has been called to multiple crime scenes to provide immediate expertise.

In addition to postmortem examinations, she prides herself in academic endeavors. Dr. Banerjee is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology at Brown University. She has also published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Death Investigator Magazine

A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.

  “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire

.

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 investigator.

Nov 19 2018

35mins

Play

Rank #8: 171 Suicide Journals- The writings of a 14 year old boy

Podcast cover
Read more
In this Episode 

We reveal letters and journal entries written by a 14-year-old boy who suffered deep depression and ultimately chose to end his life.  Through these letters, written in a personal journal, the investigator could see a downward spiral in emotions and past attempts.

This episode is raw and very real!

One in five teenagers in the U.S. seriously considers suicide annually, according to data collected by the CDC. In 2003, 8 percent of adolescents attempted suicide, representing approximately 1 million teenagers, of whom nearly 300,000 receive medical attention for their attempt; and approximately 1,700 teenagers died by suicide each year. Currently, the most effective suicide prevention programs equip mental health professionals and other community educators and leaders with sufficient resources to recognize who is at risk and who has access to mental health care.

To see full post go to:   coronertalk.com

Feb 26 2018

16mins

Play

Rank #9: Death and Transgender – The Laws v. Reality - Coroner Talk™ | Death Investigation Training | Police and Law Enforcement

Podcast cover
Read more

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 […]

The post Death and Transgender – The Laws v. Reality appeared first on Coroner Talk™.

Oct 16 2017

54mins

Play

Rank #10: Iam911 - Coroner Talk™ | Death Investigation Training | Police and Law Enforcement

Podcast cover
Read more

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 […]

The post Iam911 appeared first on Coroner Talk™.

Jan 01 2018

1hr 6mins

Play

Rank #11: 168 External Exam on Scene | Panel Discussion

Podcast cover
Read more

An external body examination of a decedent is essential at two stages in the forensic science process. The first time an external examination is carried out is upon discovery of a corpse. At this point, the body should be checked for visible signs of injury and those injuries that are most likely to have caused subsequent death. At this stage both the medicolegal death investigator or coroner and authorized police personnel are present, and the body is checked over in what is known as a preliminary external examination.

Jan 30 2018

1hr 4mins

Play

Rank #12: Psychology of Investigations

Podcast cover
Read more

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 surprising ways.

In an estimated 10–20% of cases, the manner of death cannot be determined, or worse, has been erroneously categorized.

In this episode, I spoke to Dr. Katherin Ramsland about the Psychology of Death Investigations. Both from the investigators perspective as well as the decedent and victim.

Sep 02 2019

53mins

Play

Rank #13: Psychology of Moms Who Kill Their Children

Podcast cover
Read more

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.  Read More on Website Show Notes:  

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:   coronertalk.com/investigator _________   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.

___________

Apr 09 2018

59mins

Play

Rank #14: By Dawns Early Light - The Ashley Freeman and Lauri Bible Case

Podcast cover
Read more

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

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.

.

.

Death Investigator Magazine    Subscribe Here

May 07 2018

1hr 6mins

Play

Rank #15: Dr. Maggot

Podcast cover
Read more

The Science of Forensic entomology is the study of insects for medico-legal purposes. There are many ways insects can be used to help solve a crime, but the primary purpose of forensic entomology is estimating time since death.

Once a person dies his or her body starts to decompose. The decomposition of a dead body starts with the action of microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria, followed by the action of a series of insects (arthropods). Bodies decompose slowly or fast depending on weather conditions if they have been buried or are exposed to the elements, if there is a presence of insects or if they have a substance in their bodies that prevent their fast decomposition such as body size and weight, clothing.

Read More Here:  

Feb 18 2019

1hr 5mins

Play

Rank #16: 170 Warming up a Cold Case

Podcast cover
Read more

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 on clearing these cases didn’t originate until the 1980’s.

The Beginnings - Cold Case Investigation  The first cold case investigation unit is widely credited to detectives within the Miami-Dade police in the 1980’s. In 1995, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) used the Miami-Dade cold case protocols to staff and investigate the death of a U.S. Navy crew member in a two-year-old homicide in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. A task force of six NCIS Special Agents, five local detectives and a Deputy U.S. Marshal worked around the clock on this unresolved murder and 27 days later, the killer was taken into custody.

Following this success, NCIS initiated a full-time cold case investigation program in 1995 based on the Miami-Dade protocols. This was the first cold case unit commissioned by a federal agency. Seasoned special agents were trained in the methodologies, forensics, and concepts. Since 1995, NCIS agents, along with local police partners, have resolved 62 cold murders. NCIS began teaching the cold case protocols to other federal, state and local police, as well as international partners with hundreds of officers trained each year.  (excerpt from Law Officer Magazine)

Cold cases are among the most difficult that investigators confront. For a variety of reasons— lack of evidence, strained resources, ineffective investigation—a case becomes cold when initial efforts to solve it prove futile. Clearance rates for homicides and other serious crimes are far below what they were 50 years ago. Lackluster rates of solution, combined with new technologies, such as  (DNA) and automated fingerprint matching, have prompted the police to form cold-case units, designed to address cases that stubbornly resist solution.

Todays Guest

Joseph Giacalone - is a retired New York City Detective Sergeant and Commander of the Bronx Cold Case Squad. He is currently serving as a professor or criminal investigations and the author of The Criminal Investigative Function: A Guide for New Investigators.  More about Joe and how he can help your agency can be found on his website at:  joegiacalone.net

On this show, Joe and I talk about the steps to take in opening and investigating a cold case. We discuss obstacles and management principles that are required to solve these old cases.  Joe brings years of experience to the conversation and our discussion of actual cases.

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:

coronertalk.com/investigator 

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.

 

coroner,police training, darren dake,sheriff,deputy,coroner association,murder scenes,auto fatalities,csi,first responders,autoerotic fatalities,become a coroner,forensic science crime scene investigation,forensic science crime,scene investigator,forensic training,forensics training,how to be a crime scene investigator,how to become a death investigator,how to become a medical examiner,how to become a medical examiner investigator,medical examiner investigator training,medical investigator training,medicolegal death,medicolegal death investigator training,murder scenes,pictures of murder scenes,murder,real murder crime scenes,traffic deaths,traffic fatalities,what does it take to be a coroner,what does it take to be a criminal investigator,firefighter,fire training,firefighter training,autoerotic fatalities,become a coroner,coroner information,crime scene clean up training,crime scene cleaning training,crime scene cleanup training,crime scene investigation,crime scene investigation classes,crime scene investigator courses,crime scene investigator school,crime scene jobs,crime scene photography,crime scene photography training,crime scene technician,crime scene technician training,crime scene training,criminal investigation,criminal investigator,criminal justice,criminal justice forensic science,criminal justice forensics,criminal scene investigation,death crime scenes,death investigation training,death investigator training,death investigators,forensic death investigator,forensic investigator,forensic photography, crime scene clean up,crime scene bio-hazard, using plants in criminal investigation,forensic botany,dr.jane bock,death investigator magazine,dr judy melinek,badge of life,american college of forensic examiners,acfei,american board of medicolegal death investigators,abmdi,matthew lunn,underwater crime scene,mike berry,online learning,lopa

Feb 12 2018

1hr 8mins

Play

Rank #17: William Jenkins Story - What to do After the Police Leave

Podcast cover
Read more

In August 1997, sixteen year-old William Jenkins was on his second day of work at a fast-

food restaurant in suburban Richmond, Virginia when the restaurant was robbed at closing time.

While cooperating fully with the robber, William was shot and died instantly. His father, Bill Jenkins, quickly found that there were virtually no readily available resources that could answer his many questions as a survivor of a traumatic loss.

He began looking for help and found it, after a fashion, scattered in the bookstores, on the

Internet, and in support groups and agencies. But nowhere was there a single, concise, practical, and eminently useful resource for bereaved families written by victims for victims containing the advice and guidance that he and his family needed following their loss. Several months later, using the information he had collected for his own personal well-being, this experienced teacher and speaker sat down to write the book that he should have received the night he was notified of his son’s death, What to do When the Police Leave: A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss.

This landmark book on grief and bereavement quickly became an important resource for families dealing with the sudden or traumatic death of a loved one and the caregivers who work with them. Now, a recognized expert on victims and trauma, Bill has served on the boards of directors for Murder Victims for Human Rights, the National Coalition of Victims in Action, and is the founder, along with his wife, Jennifer Bishop, of IllinoisVictims.org, a statewide victim rights watchdog group. He is also active in many other victims’ rights and support activities and organizations, has been an instructor with the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, leads seminars on victims’ perspectives for national organizations such as the National Center for Victims of Crime, the National Organization of Victim Assistance, and Parents of Murdered Children and also addresses local and regional conferences for law enforcement and victim advocates. He and his wife also speak at victim impact panels for youthful offenders and in support of funding for programs for children and young people that are proven to decrease crime.

In 2006, Bill received the Edith Surgan Victim Activist of the Year award from the National

Organization of Victim Assistance, a singular honor that recognizes to his expertise in the field and his commitment to making society more sensitive to victims’ rights and needs. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious John Gillis Leadership Award by Parents of Murdered Children.

Bill has also written a full-length play, Hearts Full of Tears, that has been produced by two

professional theatre companies so far. It deals with the emotional struggle of a family dealing with the shooting death of their teen-aged son. Critical and audience reviews have been very positive.

Returning to his educational roots and love of biology, his latest research is in the neurobiology of trauma and stress, how our brains respond to traumatic experiences, and what treatments are most helpful to victims and their families. He hopes that his own personal perspective and unique voice using the latest authoritative scientific discoveries will help victims understand how their brains respond to crisis and inform caregivers how best to help trauma victims in their work. Bill is a professional artist and educator at the college level for over 25 years, he currently teaches and designs for the theatre program at Dominican University near Chicago, IL.

Dec 16 2019

59mins

Play

Rank #18: ep186 Training Yourself in Body Recovery

Podcast cover
Read more

Most forensic archaeological investigations take place outdoors, where considerations of scene location and weather must be made. One must make carefully consider logistics to determine what equipment is necessary and potentially useful. A consideration of logistics also implies planning for broader issues such as how to approach the site and how to delimit the area under investigation.

In the case of buried evidence, a forensic archaeologist will excavate. Excavation refers to the process of digging out or uncovering objects in the ground. In a forensic investigation, an archaeologist may be called to excavate a grave.

Before the destructive process of excavating a grave begins, all evidence on the ground surface must be documented and collected. Surface evidence can include plants, insects, objects such as clothing or a weapon, and human remains.

All evidence should be photographed and mapped, showing the location of each item in relation to other evidence as well as to other important features such as buildings, streams, roads or fences. Once the location of evidence is documented, investigators may collect it. How each piece of evidence is collected and cared for depends on various factors, explained in the section: Inventory of Evidence.

Excavation is destructive, so careful documentation of the work is very important. At a scene with a grave, the forensic archaeologist's first task is to define the shape and size of the grave. Then, they remove the soil inside the grave carefully - documenting, photographing and collecting everything that is found that might help understand how that person died, was buried and who they are. Excavated soil is often screened to look for small objects, bones, insects or other evidence that can help with the investigation.

Read More at website: https://coronertalk.com

Important Links:

Magazine Link:  https://deathinvestigatormagazine.com/

Online Training Options  http://ditacademy.org/education/

Jul 30 2018

44mins

Play

Rank #19: Is it okay not to be okay? - Coroner Talk™ | Death Investigation Training | Police and Law Enforcement

Podcast cover
Read more

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 […]

The post Is it okay not to be okay? appeared first on Coroner Talk™.

Dec 04 2017

1hr 2mins

Play

Rank #20: PostMortem Facial Reconstruction ep199

Podcast cover
Read more
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 repairs the trauma to the victim so that the final image will be more presentable when asking for law enforcement or the public's assistance in identification. The final reconstruction is used as an investigative aid for identification and can help to expedite an investigation to lead to the discovery of the unknown.

SketchCop® FACETTE Face Design System Software is arguably the first facial composite software capable of yielding the same quality product offered by that of a police sketch artist. It is designed to help produce a consistent end-product to assist in the reduction of investigative cycle times.

SketchCop® FACETTE is portable and easy to use.   Our database is populated with sketched facial components.  This is especially helpful for non-artists who want to create high-quality facial composites.  Our Adobe® licensed editing tools allow users to fine-tune their composite images to make the same subtle changes a police artist would using a pencil and eraser.  Those who want to increase eyewitness satisfaction can use our latest version of SketchCop® FACETTE to import their composite images into Adobe® Photoshop® to further refine their images. With SketchCop® FACETTE, users can focus on the most important part of creating any facial composite – the eyewitness interview.

Sergeant (Ret.) Michael W. Streed is an internationally-recognized forensic facial imaging expert providing facial identification services to America's largest police agencies.

Web Site URL: www.sketchcop.com

Public Email address: michael@sketchcop.com

Death Investigator Magazine

A digital magazine focused on the death investigation community. Dedicated to improving skills and enriching lives of investigators.

  “To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we only owe the truth.” Voltaire

.

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.

Dec 24 2018

58mins

Play

After the Police Leave

Podcast cover
Read more

In August 1997, sixteen-year-old William Jenkins was on his second day of work at a fast-food restaurant in suburban Richmond, Virginia when the restaurant was robbed at closing time.

While cooperating fully with the robber, William was shot and died instantly. His father, Bill Jenkins, quickly found that there were virtually no readily available resources that could answer his many questions as a survivor of a traumatic loss.

He began looking for help and found it, after a fashion, scattered in the bookstores, on the

Internet, and in support groups and agencies. But nowhere was there a single, concise, practical, and eminently useful resource for bereaved families written by victims for victims containing the advice and guidance that he and his family needed following their loss. Several months later, using the information he had collected for his own personal well-being, this experienced teacher and speaker sat down to write the book that he should have received the night he was notified of his son’s death, What to do When the Police Leave: A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss.

This landmark book on grief and bereavement quickly became an important resource for families dealing with the sudden or traumatic death of a loved one and the caregivers who work with them. Now, a recognized expert on victims and trauma, Bill has served on the boards of directors for Murder Victims for Human Rights, the National Coalition of Victims in Action, and is the founder, along with his wife, Jennifer Bishop, of IllinoisVictims.org, a statewide victim rights watchdog group. He is also active in many other victims’ rights and support activities and organizations, has been an instructor with the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, leads seminars on victims’ perspectives for national organizations such as the National Center for Victims of Crime, the National Organization of Victim Assistance, and Parents of Murdered Children and also addresses local and regional conferences for law enforcement and victim advocates. He and his wife also speak at victim impact panels for youthful offenders and in support of funding for programs for children and young

people that are proven to decrease crime.

In 2006, Bill received the Edith Surgan Victim Activist of the Year award from the National

Organization of Victim Assistance, a singular honor that recognizes to his expertise in the field and his commitment to making society more sensitive to victims’ rights and needs. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious John Gillis Leadership Award by Parents of Murdered Children.

Bill has also written a full-length play, Hearts Full of Tears, that has been produced by two

professional theatre companies so far. It deals with the emotional struggle of a family dealing with the shooting death of their teen-aged son. Critical and audience reviews have been very positive.

Returning to his educational roots and love of biology, his latest research is in the

neurobiology of trauma and stress, how our brains respond to traumatic experiences, and what

treatments are most helpful to victims and their families. He hopes that his own personal perspective and unique voice using the latest authoritative scientific discoveries will help victims understand how their brains respond to crisis and inform caregivers how best to help trauma victims in their work. Bill is a professional artist and educator at the college level for over 25 years, he currently teaches and designs for the theatre program at Dominican University near Chicago, IL.

You can buy the book What to do When the Police Leave: A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss. By clicking on the title link.

Jan 27 2020

58mins

Play

Humanizing Grief

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode, I have a conversation with Anita Brooks about the real human side of grief and death notification. As investigators, we can become hardened and not see the real grief associated with the news we are delivering. We try to sound like we care and have compassion, but is it really coming out the way it should?

The 5 stages of grief and loss are: 1. Denial and isolation; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; 5. Acceptance. People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them

Read More

Learn more about online and classroom training at the links below.

https://ditacademy.org/

Jan 20 2020

56mins

Play

They told me my son died

Podcast cover
Read more

Her son died in a car accident. The highway patrol came to her house to notify her and her husband of the accident and the death of their child. She states, "I remember them telling me like it was yesterday, but it has been 16 years".

In this episode, I speak to a mother about the night her son died and what went right and what went wrong with the notification process. This conversation gets very real and raw at times and this mother has some great advice for you as to how best to make notification to a loved one.

Jan 13 2020

31mins

Play

Death Notification - Best Practices

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode, we will kick off the theme for the month of January of proper death notification procedures. This episode is a replay of an online course that described the proper procedure for notifying families of the death of a loved one.

Death notification is acknowledged to be one of the most difficult tasks faced by law enforcement officers and other professionals because learning of the death of a loved one often is the most traumatic event in a person’s life. The moment of notification is one that most people remember very vividly for the rest of their life -- sometimes with pain and anger.

Basic Death Notification Procedures

These are some of the cardinal principles of death notification. Some of the points overlap, and all will be refined by the notifier’s experience and judgment.

Read the complete article at https://coronertalk.com/death-notification---best-practices‎

Jan 06 2020

41mins

Play

20/20 Vision-What we do Matter!

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode, the last of 2019, I discuss changes that are taking place in the new year. The podcast will go to monthly themes so we can dive deeper into training topics rather than bounce around through random unconnected topics.

We also discuss the improvements and changes being made to the Medicolegal Death Investigator Online Academy Course. This course has been moved to a new platform and many improvements have been made to the course design and available material. Check out the course at this link: https://www.ditacademyonline.org/

Also, I talk about the thought that "What we do Matter". What I do matters and what you do matters in the work we do. Everyone at the Coroner Talk Podcast understands that we make a significate influence in the area of death investigation and we do not take that lightly. What we do matter to investigators, families, and case outcomes. What you do everyday matters fo the same reasons.

Welcome to 2020, the year of clear vision. I truly thank you for coming along in the ride with me and look forward to a great year.

Dec 30 2019

23mins

Play

Merry Christmas 2019

Podcast cover
Read more

This Christmas and during this season I would like to wish every one of you a Blessed Christmas and Holiday Season. Regardless of your religious faith Christmas is a season for giving and giving back. Its a season to remember those less fortunate than us and to bring some happiness to someone's life.

I would also like the thank each of you listening and reading alike. It is because of you that I do what I do. I truly thank you and want to help in any way I am able.

Merry Christmas and God Bless.

Darren

Dec 23 2019

8mins

Play

William Jenkins Story - What to do After the Police Leave

Podcast cover
Read more

In August 1997, sixteen year-old William Jenkins was on his second day of work at a fast-

food restaurant in suburban Richmond, Virginia when the restaurant was robbed at closing time.

While cooperating fully with the robber, William was shot and died instantly. His father, Bill Jenkins, quickly found that there were virtually no readily available resources that could answer his many questions as a survivor of a traumatic loss.

He began looking for help and found it, after a fashion, scattered in the bookstores, on the

Internet, and in support groups and agencies. But nowhere was there a single, concise, practical, and eminently useful resource for bereaved families written by victims for victims containing the advice and guidance that he and his family needed following their loss. Several months later, using the information he had collected for his own personal well-being, this experienced teacher and speaker sat down to write the book that he should have received the night he was notified of his son’s death, What to do When the Police Leave: A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss.

This landmark book on grief and bereavement quickly became an important resource for families dealing with the sudden or traumatic death of a loved one and the caregivers who work with them. Now, a recognized expert on victims and trauma, Bill has served on the boards of directors for Murder Victims for Human Rights, the National Coalition of Victims in Action, and is the founder, along with his wife, Jennifer Bishop, of IllinoisVictims.org, a statewide victim rights watchdog group. He is also active in many other victims’ rights and support activities and organizations, has been an instructor with the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, leads seminars on victims’ perspectives for national organizations such as the National Center for Victims of Crime, the National Organization of Victim Assistance, and Parents of Murdered Children and also addresses local and regional conferences for law enforcement and victim advocates. He and his wife also speak at victim impact panels for youthful offenders and in support of funding for programs for children and young people that are proven to decrease crime.

In 2006, Bill received the Edith Surgan Victim Activist of the Year award from the National

Organization of Victim Assistance, a singular honor that recognizes to his expertise in the field and his commitment to making society more sensitive to victims’ rights and needs. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious John Gillis Leadership Award by Parents of Murdered Children.

Bill has also written a full-length play, Hearts Full of Tears, that has been produced by two

professional theatre companies so far. It deals with the emotional struggle of a family dealing with the shooting death of their teen-aged son. Critical and audience reviews have been very positive.

Returning to his educational roots and love of biology, his latest research is in the neurobiology of trauma and stress, how our brains respond to traumatic experiences, and what treatments are most helpful to victims and their families. He hopes that his own personal perspective and unique voice using the latest authoritative scientific discoveries will help victims understand how their brains respond to crisis and inform caregivers how best to help trauma victims in their work. Bill is a professional artist and educator at the college level for over 25 years, he currently teaches and designs for the theatre program at Dominican University near Chicago, IL.

Dec 16 2019

59mins

Play

Samantha Keyes - Student Success Story

Podcast cover
Read more

Dec 02 2019

34mins

Play

The Basics of Asphyxial Death

Podcast cover
Read more

An asphyxial death refers to a multi-etiologic set of conditions in which there is inadequate delivery, uptake and/or utilization of oxygen by the body’s tissues/cells, often accompanied by carbon dioxide retention. This episode will introduce the listener to the four primary classifications of asphyxial deaths, which are; mechanical, inert-gas, environmental, and pathological.   The podcast will cover each classification and describe how the deaths occur and what investigators need to know to properly determine death due to asphyxial means.

A common form of suicidal asphyxia is caused by the use of inert-gas.  These deaths may also be accidental when located in an area compromised by a high level of gas.  An inert gas is a gas that has no toxic or anesthetic properties and does not act upon the heart or hemoglobin. Instead, the gas acts simply to reduced oxygen concentration in the blood to dangerously low levels, thereby eventually depriving all cells in the body of oxygen.

Some common inert gases are;

  • Argon
  • Halon
  • Helium
  • Nitrogen
  • Methane

This podcast also covers the asphyxial death classification of environmental asphyxial death. Environmental Asphyxia is due to insufficient oxygen in the environment. Deaths are almost always accidental. An oxygen concentration of 16% or less is dangerous, and with 5% concentration, consciousness is lost rapidly and death occurs within a few minutes. Environmental asphyxia deaths are typed in four manners:

  1. Confined Space
  2. Positional
  3. Compression
  4. Entrapment or Engulfment

The final classification discussed in this course is pathological asphyxia. Pathological is dealing with or attributable to disease or medical condition.  These asphyxial deaths are caused by such things as anaphylaxis, pulmonary edema, and COPD.

Nov 25 2019

57mins

Play

Time to Train the Trainer

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode, I answer several listener questions and discuss some upcoming training that I will be a student in.  Plus, we look forward to the 2020 training schedule.

Nov 11 2019

27mins

Play

Venessa Tanner Story - Student Success

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode I speak with Venessa Tanner. Venessa shares her story of becoming a Death Investigator and getting a job with the local Sheriff’s office as a DI. Her story is one that many can relate to as she struggled to find an open door and anyone who would listen to her.

Through research and conversation with local agencies she found the online training at the Death Investigation Academy and through that training and interaction with instructors, doors started to open for her.

I may enjoy her story and may find a little of your own journey in their too.

*

Also, in this episode I give my opinion to the question; Did Epstein commit suicide.

Find out more about the training you can get at the Death Investigation Academy by clicking this link:   trainingme

Nov 04 2019

41mins

Play

Live From True Crime Conference

Podcast cover
Read more

In this episode I play for you a recording from a presentation I gave at a session of the True Crime Conference in St. Charles Missouri. 

Oct 28 2019

58mins

Play

Nursing Home Interactions

Podcast cover
Read more

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.

Oct 21 2019

1hr 14mins

Play

Bulletproof Spirit

Podcast cover
Read more

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 shifts can lead to:

  • Alcohol and/or drug abuse
  • Problems with personal relationships
  • Self-rejection,
  • Disillusionment and Depression
  • Job loss
  • Even suicide.

If asked what bothers them the most about their profession, many will offer concerns such as a lack of public respect, lack of manpower or equipment to do their job effectively, or a general frustration over the perceived ineffectiveness of the judicial system. Seldom will officers open their hearts to discuss the pain and frustration that stems from dealing with the injury, anguish, and distress suffered by the victims? Many officers are haunted by the effects of trying to resolve problems they encounter in their communities and with their victims only to find that the solution is beyond their control.

Officers do not discuss the sorrow they feel after having to notify loved ones about the loss of their spouse or child because of a vehicle collision. Nor do they discuss the tears that follow officers after having held an infant in their hands trying to breathe life back into the tiny body only to find that despite all of their training and practice their efforts are futile. Or the frustration of dealing with the children of a crack addict or an abusive parent who time after time evades the help of a system overburdened with cases that, left unresolved, ensure continued problems for generation after generation to come.

These unresolved and un-dealt with feelings will lead an officer or investigator to suffer a form of PTSD called ‘Secondary PTSD’ or compassion fatigue.

Suicide, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, and many more emotional and stress-related problems plague the first-responder community. Hundreds of thousands of these brave public servants have unwittingly become victims of the professions they once loved. However, the suffering that results from a professional life of sacrifice and service can be prevented and mitigated.

Find Your Copy Here!

As a thirty-year law-enforcement veteran, retired police captain, and police academy instructor, Dan Willis has witnessed the damage of emotional trauma and has made it his personal mission to safeguard and enhance the wellness and wholeness of police officers, firefighters, EMTs, emergency-room personnel, and soldiers. Bulletproof Spirit offers field-tested expertise designed to be used by all first responders — and their families — to heal themselves and continue serving with compassion and strength.

Oct 14 2019

45mins

Play

Respect is Earned

Podcast cover
Read more

If you want to be seen as a professional, you must present a professional image and attitude that will command respect.   You WILL NOT get the respect you need simply by your title. Respect is earned not granted.    

There has been a long history of perceived and actual unprofessionalism in the Coroner industry. This has spilled over into Medical Examiners office and police agencies as well.  But by and large many coroners struggle with being accepted as a professional.   Is it industry bias, or a reality of the image the coroner is projecting?

Five Areas You Must Address

1. Need for written policy

  •   All staff from top-down

  •     Procedures for all to follow

  •        Victim families

  •        Property

  •       Report deadlines

2. Attitude of cooperation

  •    With co-workers

  •    Other Agencies    Stop power pulls

  •    Interactions with families        

3. Office Organization

  •   Office area appearance
  •   Filing

  •    Reporting

  •    Returning messages   Voice and Email

4. Dress code standards

  •   At office/morgue

  •    On scenes

  •            Proper Dress    Proper Id on clothing

  •     On duty and in public

  •             This includes automobiles

  •                   Is it marked

  •                   Even Magnetic logos

  •                   What type of vehicle

5. Training    

  •       How trained are you    

  •      Can you talk and understand the field

  •      Your responsibility  to get it

  •               This podcast

  •               Reading

  •               Courses   -  local Sheriff Office

  •               ABMDI

  •               Use your ME

Sep 23 2019

46mins

Play

Listener Q and A

Podcast cover
Read more

Sep 09 2019

30mins

Play

Psychology of Investigations

Podcast cover
Read more

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 surprising ways.

In an estimated 10–20% of cases, the manner of death cannot be determined, or worse, has been erroneously categorized.

In this episode, I spoke to Dr. Katherin Ramsland about the Psychology of Death Investigations. Both from the investigators perspective as well as the decedent and victim.

Sep 02 2019

53mins

Play

Plan B Forensics

Podcast cover
Read more

For attorneys and other professionals, Plan B Forensics will provide a comprehensive picture of what happened to the victim. For families, we are you. We’ve been where you’ve been. The way we have processed our tragedies is to understand as much as possible what happened to our loved ones. We cannot change the outcome, we cannot undo what was done. But we are a collective voice for the victim and an advocate for the survivors. In memoriam. For closure, for peace. For all of us.

We put the whole story together for you to gain an accurate picture of how things went wrong and a life ended. We don’t guess, make assumptions or chase theories. We’re not on anyone’s side but the victim and truth. We start with the most important evidence and the best witness, the body. If a scenario does not match the injuries the victim sustained, then it’s wrong, so we start at the source and work our way out in an enlarging spiral.

Dr. Entwistle’s extensive background and training in trauma surgery make it likely that she's seen these injuries before a fatality occurred and understands the mechanism required both before and after death -- a more comprehensive picture than a pathologist can give you. She was the real deal, “lifey-deathy” surgeon, for military and civilians, and will review medical records with the precision required in the operating room. Her certification as a medicolegal death investigator enables her to evaluate not just postmortem injuries but the process by which the death investigation was done.

Ms. Turpen, a DNA Scientist and Evidence Analyst, will look at all the evidence collected and see avenues for further exploration.  

Aug 19 2019

1hr 4mins

Play

Cardiac Delay

Podcast cover
Read more

Aug 12 2019

19mins

Play

Cops and Writers Sgt. Patrick O'Donnel

Podcast cover
Read more

Are you a civilian crime writer who wants to use picture-perfect law enforcement details? Do you worry that your mystery novel or screenplay lacks credibility? Fiction and nonfiction author Sergeant Patrick O’Donnell has seen it all in his 24 years working for one of the largest police departments in the country. Now he’s here to help your writing honor the men and women who risk their lives in the line of duty.

Cops and Writers: From the Academy to the Street is your in-depth field guide for navigating the path from new recruit to seasoned patrol officer. Through O’Donnell’s accounts, you’ll get up close and personal with day-to-day challenges and out-of-the-ordinary emergencies including homicides, hostage situations, and bomb threats. Armed with this invaluable resource for decoding police jargon, tactics, and standard-issue gear, you’ll be well equipped to breathe new life into your stories.In Cops and Writers, you’ll discover: Stories from O’Donnell’s years on the force to help give your book credibility How the academy and field training shapes rookies so you can mold convincing characters Patrol officers' daily routines and working conditions to infuse your fiction with added depth Different techniques for arresting and defending against criminal threats to bring readers even closer to the action Different patrol units such as SWAT, K-9, Air Support, and Bomb Squad to add another layer of realism, and much, much more!

Jul 29 2019

58mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

105 Ratings
Average Ratings
87
6
2
3
7

Coroner Talk podcast is EXCELLENT

By Sjuris514 - Dec 30 2019
Read more
I have nothing whatsoever to do with the field of crime investigation yet I never miss an episode. As a social worker by training and a fan of true-crime programming I have gained tons of knowledge listening to Darren Dake’s teachings. He has countless hours of experience throughout the field of law enforcement and he even offers to share that knowledge with others for free. Who does that? He seems that devoted to ensuring quality standards throughout the field. Thanks for educating us Mr. Dake.

Phenomenal!

By Bbrinxx - Oct 30 2019
Read more
This podcast is exactly what I needed. The knowledge and stories shared are top notch. There needs to be more resources like these, so we can all help each other succeed. I have learned an obscene amount from this podcast and I am only on the ones from 2015. I will surely be listening to this multiple times and sharing with friends. Thank you Darren!