Law enforcements agencies are tasked with investigating crimes against persons, to include sexual and non-sexual homicides, rape and abductions. The demand on the investigative abilities of law enforcement officers is put to the test to solve such heinous crimes. The goal of this high impact, interactive 2 ½ day course is to provide the participant with the knowledge, tools and investigative steps necessary to conduct thorough investigations.
To achieve this goal, the course will cover the key topical areas listed below. Additionally, the participants will be conducting actual case studies, reviewing crime scene photographs, participating in case practicums, utilizing investigative checklists and applying investigative techniques.
Homicide Crime Behaviors: Over the past three decades, research into violent crime behaviors has proven to be extremely helpful to investigators when trying to piece together “why” individuals fall victim to violent crime. In this course, participants will be provided an overview of the research findings that serve to assist in formalizing their investigative steps to get the case solved. Homicide and rape case studies as well as actual crime scene photographs will be provided to the participants to illustrate the research findings.
Homicide Victimology: One of the most important, yet often over looked steps an investigator can take to solving a homicide or violent crime is the development of Victimology. Often found within this information is “why” the person fell victim at the hands of an offender and “who” is the offender. Therefore, all aspects of the victim’s life must be looked into and properly documented. In this course of instruction, development of the relationship between the victim and offender will be explored and the participants will be provided a checklist that will assist them in developing and documenting the detailed information about the victim.
Suspect/Offender Checklist: As with Victimology, important to the investigation and an additional key step to solving the case is the gathering of any and all information about the suspect or offender. The participants will be provided a checklist that will assist them in developing and documenting the detailed information about a suspect or offender that will then be used in comparison with Victimology for potential leads to move the investigation forward.
Homicide and Violent Crime Scene Observations - Investigative Assessment Process: Interactions between victims and offenders during the commission of a crime can hold many clues for law enforcement investigators. By assessing those crime behaviors in stages, investigators are provided a clear picture of not only “what” happened, but most importantly “why” it happened. Achieving an understanding of “why” it happened moves the investigator ever so closer as to “who” committed the crime. Therefore, this process will assist in the identification of the offender based upon the examination of the offense and the manner in which it was committed. In this course of instruction, the participants will be provided an in-depth look at the key step of conducting an assessment of the crime scene through the use of case studies and crime scene photographs. Additionally, the participants will then develop additional steps that will assist them in the formulation of investigative strategies, interview strategies and even trial strategies.
Time Line Development: A critical step in the investigation is the development of a time line of the victim and if known, suspect or offender. Through the use of computer technology, proper documentation of pre crime, crime and post crime actions of the victim and suspect/offender become a key part of the investigative case file that is utilized by investigators and prosecutors at time of trial.
Sexual Deviancy- Laypersons Understanding of the Role It Plays in Homicide and Violent Crime: The presence of sexually related behaviors in violent crimes must be considered by investigators when conducting investigations. The participants will be provided an overview of various deviant behaviors and how it affects the investigative steps to be taken in solving violent crime. Additionally, the participants will be taught how to document this information in affidavits in support of execution of search warrants.
The Role of Fantasy Homicides: In many cases, particularly crimes with a sexual component, the acting out by an offender towards an unsuspecting victim can be influenced by his or her fantasies. In this course of instruction, the participants will learn how fantasy removes the “guilt factor” of the offender and thus allow him or her to commit violent crimes. Graphic crime scene photographs, inclusive of child abduction and rapes are used to illustrate critical teaching points.
Organized and Disorganized Crime Scenes: Just as not all criminals are alike, neither are crime scenes. The nature and manner of the offense and the demonstrated behaviors of the offenders left at the scene provide clues as to the offender. Understanding the differences in the characteristics of organized and disorganized offenders and the associated suspect profiles, the participants will use this valuable information as one of their key steps in narrowing the investigative focus towards a known suspect.
Offender Profiles: Through the research, we know that certain offenders commit certain violent crimes in the same manner but for different reasons. Crime scenes reflect those reasons or behavior. The participants, through the use of crime scene cases and crime scene photographs, will focus on the crime scene dynamics, homicidal patterns, and suspect profiles of the offenders as part of the key steps in solving violent crime cases.
Long Term Unsolved Homicide Cases: The investigative steps outlined throughout this course of instruction applies not only to incidents of violent crime that has just occurred, but also to long term unsolved cases as well. Utilizing the proposed steps the participants have been provided in this course of instruction, the participants will be given a long term unsolved case as a practicum.
Undetermined and Homicide Investigations: This session focuses on the criminal investigative process and the application of the victim and offender to move the status of a death investigation from the unknown to the known, thereby providing case resolution. Participants will consider case illustrations and participate in case practicums.
Autoerotic Death Investigations: Unique in nature, most autoerotic activity goes unreported. However, in those cases where the activity leads to death, investigators are faced with challenges associated with the manner of death. In this course of instruction, participants will be provided cases of autoerotic activity and the necessary steps to determine the manner of death and thus bring resolution to families left behind.
Management of Case Information: Violent crime investigations, when properly conducted, generate a lot of information that becomes data in the case file. This data must be properly managed to ensure all investigative steps are completed, evidence gathered is sent for forensic examination, etcetera. Through cases studies, the participants will see where critical investigative steps were missed as a direct result of the inability to manage the information in a criminal case files. The participants will then be directed to computer software programs that are specifically designed to provide the proper management of case file information.
Case Exercises: Throughout the course of instruction, the participants will review cases, inclusive of actual crimes scenes, and apply the key steps provided. The course of instruction will then culminate with the participants participating in a case exercise that will allow the participants to use their newly acquired knowledge.
NOTE: THIS TRAINING INCLUDES VERY GRAPHIC CRIME SCENE IMAGES FROM ACTUAL CASES.