We Offer The Following Training Courses



* Development of Standard Operating Procedures Regarding the Suspicious Death Scene
* Defining and Explaining the Various Levels of Association that Exist Between the
* Homicide Victim and Offender (Pyramid of Association) (Solvability Factors)
* Initial Scene Responsibilities Covering Boundaries, Canvassing & Immediate Leads
* Proper Crime Scene Protocol as it Relates to Death Investigation & Homicide
* Cold Case Investigation Strategies & Review of Solvability Factors (Case Objectives)
* Cold Case Reviews
* Analysis of the 911 Call & Case Reviews
* Sources of Crime Scene Contamination & Prevention (Assessment Accountability)
* Categories of Circumstantial Evidence and Recognition of Contamination
* Victimology and Immediate Lead Indicators
* Medical-Legal Death Investigation (Victim I.D. / Time of Death / Injury Recognition)
* Primary & Secondary Crime Scenes (Proper Definition)
* Crime Scene Sequence Event Determination – Model Employing Scientific Method
* Crime Scene Evaluation (Execution of the Walk-thru)
* Crime Scene Indicators Related to Motive, Manner of Death & Method of Operation
* DNA Review and Touch Evidence
* Specific Types of Crime Scenes & Related Forensic Disciplines
* Case Review (To Change Each Course)
* Suicide and Equivocal Death Scene Investigation – Analysis of Equivocal Death
* SIDS Review and Infant Homicide Scene

This three day death investigation course instructs & consults fellow members of law enforcement at each level in the successful investigation and prosecution of violent offenders. Because of its unique presentation and course content, this continues to be one of the most requested and popular death investigation training courses available today.

Those who attend will learn to develop successful crime scene strategies that will afford them the best opportunity to properly document a violent crime scene and have analyzed the very probative evidence that will eventually lead them down that path of truth. Concentration is on the crime scene and the ability for the homicide detective to recognize various crime scene indicators coupled with victimology that will make it much easier to establish a proper motive.

 Successful prosecution always begins at the initial crime scene. The recognition of physical evidence and its documentation, collection and analysis are key to an accurate and reliable reconstruction. This course also teaches and stresses the importance of proper crime scene protocol that will ensure the thorough process and documentation of any homicide scene, which often is followed by arrest of the offender and successful prosecution.

Course Objectives:

  • Provide an understanding of crime scene management and control - to include personnel responsibilities and duties
  • Injury recognition and establishing time of death.
  • Increase knowledge of evidence recognition, documentation and recovery
  • Recognizing crime scene indicators and contaminants
  • Grain an understanding of equivocal death
  • Recognition of bloodstain patterns
  • Recognize SIDS deaths vs. potential infant homicide
  • Instilling confidence in those who are tasked with investigating the ultimate crime
  • The overall objective of this training course is simply to stress that there is a proper way to approach and document the homicide or suspicious death crime scene. Proper documentation also allows the investigator to identify and use all five categories of evidence to aid in scene reconstruction. There is no doubt that this course will have a great influence over those who attend on how they approach future death investigations and will help to establish the proper foundation by which every suspicious death scene should be approached.

Crime Scene Management & Individual Perception

The underlying theme of this course is to stress how important that a properly managed crime scene is to the presentation of the evidence to a judge or a jury. Circumstantial evidence presented to a jury to support any direct evidence is only as credible as the crime scene was managed. A properly managed scene is one where an in place SOP outlines individual duties and responsibilities which will make accountability and documentation much easier. 

Analysis of the 911 Call

As part of a homicide investigation, any and all 911 calls should be obtained and reviewed. Often time’s statements made by the 911 caller may offer insight to their possible involvement in a suspicious death or homicide. Several cases will be reviewed along with the analysis of the 911 call that will assist the investigator in developing a strategy to approach and interview the caller. Tracey Harpster’s words should never be overlooked when first responding to the homicide scene. The caller may be the killer.

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (Pattern Evidence Category)

Blood has three characteristics which will cause it to behave according to the laws of physics once it leaves the body. This allows the investigator to testify to its reliability and consistency as it is found and documented at the crime scene. Patterns covered are to include:·    

  • High velocity spatter
  • Medium velocity spatter
  • Low velocity spatter
  • Cast off patterns
  • Swipe patterns
  • Wipe patterns
  • Points of convergence
  • Points of origin
  • Blood photography & documentation
  • Bloodstain collection
  • Blood spatter analysis for crime scene reconstruction

Crime Scene Reconstruction

A crime scene reconstruction model is presented which allows the investigator to take and examine all categories of physical evidence and review the analysis along with the autopsy protocol, and place into a logical sequence the most likely order of events at the scene of a violent crime. The initial and final detailed reconstruction phases are covered in detail, and will explain the overall importance and objectives of having a detailed reconstruction completed. Actual case reviews are also incorporated in this phase to give a practical example as to how this reconstruction model can be used to not only make sense of a dynamic and confusing scene(s), but also place the order of events in a proper sequence supported by the physical evidence.

Specific Types of Crime Scenes

Several different types of crime scenes regarding settings and motives will be discussed along with the various forensic applications appropriate to each type of investigation. Types of scenes reviewed are to include:

Arson scenes and fire deaths

Autoerotic Death Scenes

Outdoor scenes and the buried and partially buried body

Sex related scenes to include rape

Domestic homicide scenes

Homosexually motivated scenes

Suicide & Equivocal Death Investigation

This block of instruction shows the investigator what crime scene indicators are normally present at suicides vs. homicides, and how to recognize and distinguish between the two. Victimology is always key to equivocal death investigation. Several case examples are shown to illustrate the difference in injuries and patterns.

SIDS & Infant Homicide

Several cases are reviewed in order to enable the investigator to recognize injuries associated with infant abuse and infant homicide. The investigator will also be taught how to manage SIDS and Infant Homicide Deaths. Other topics covered include:

  • Infanticide
  • Neonaticide
  • Filicide
  • Gentle Homicide
  • Angry or Impulse Homicide
  • Neglect by Act or Omission/Homicide vs. SIDS
  • Pedophilia

Cold Case Investigation

Strategies will be discussed that are important when a homicide or equivocal death investigation is to be re-examined in the hopes of bringing it to a successful conclusion. From evidence initially gathered, the crime scene and re-interviewing of witnesses a step by step approach is laid out that will enable the homicide detective to have guidance when working through these cases. The results of a long passage of time and possible DNA implications are also reviewed and attending agencies are encouraged to bring cold cases to the course for examination and review.

Cost: $275

This robbery investigation training course is a three day presentation directed to any member of law-enforcement who may encounter or have to respond to an initial robbery scene, or be involved in its investigation including the interview of witnesses and suspects. Each important area of the robbery scene and the overall investigation will be covered in detail to include the following categories of robberies:

Financial Institutions
Retail Commercial
Street Level Robberies
Delivery Driver Robberies
Taxi Cab Robberies
Home Invasions

Topics covered also include the management of the robbery scene by the first responder and the first arriving investigators, the proper interview of witnesses, suspect interrogations, preparing and executing both photographic and physical lineups and gang motivated robberies.

Cost: $275

2 day course training specifically in the area of scene photography, video taping and computer sketching. This two day documentation course also teaches photographic enhancement of the crime scene and proper evidence collection techniques. Outstanding training for those whose obligations involve the actual forensic process of a homicide scene. Instructed by Investigator Eric Henderson who is a 20 year veteran of the Norfolk Police Department.  The last 11 years he has been assigned to the Forensic unit as a crime scene investigator, where he is still assigned. Eric is the senior training officer of the Forensic unit and developed the training curriculum that is used for training new crime scene investigators. He has also received over a dozen police commendations.

Course Objectives:

  • Demonstrates the proper initial response and documentation of a homicide scene
  • Provides instruction on the use of digital photography and videotaping of the crime scene
  • Provide an understanding of the various types of crime scene sketches employed at a homicide scene based on evidence classification and scope of the scene
  • Demonstrate the use of crime scene photograph enhancement techniques
  • Describe through the use of actual case studies the proper techniques for evidence recognition and recovery within a homicide scene
  • To assist in providing an overall understanding of the crime scene as related to the trial judge or jury for prosecution

Course Topics:

  • Initial scene response, security and documentation
  • Methods of crime scene search
  • Photographic documentation to include overall, mid-range and close-ups
  • Proper photographic documentation of pattern evidence and recovery
  • Proper video taping documentation of the homicide scene
  • Preparation of the rough crime scene sketch at the scene
  • Final computer homicide scene sketch to include the floor plan, exploded, perspective and elevation
  • Methods of the homicide scene search, evidence recognition and recovery
  • Homicide scene photograph enhancement

Cost: $175

Crime Scene Investigation – This course is designed for the training of qualified crime scene search officers.  Students will learn the skills necessary, based on best practices, to properly recognize, document, collect, and preserve items of physical evidence found at crime scenes for laboratory examination.  Students will learn how a systematic approach to crime scene processing allows them to work even the most complex scene investigation in an effective and efficient manner.  The students will become familiar with the capabilities and limitations of the modern forensic laboratory in the examination of the broad spectrum of materials which can be collected as evidence in criminal cases. The course provides students with the necessary background information and practical application techniques which, when coupled with the student’s previous experience, permit maximum utilization of the forensic sciences in the apprehension and prosecution of criminals.  Students will be provided with a list of the recommended equipment necessary for completing most scene investigations, as well as, low cost strategies for procuring equipment.

Evidence Handling – This course is designed to give students an overview of general forensic laboratory procedures and capabilities, to include the submission of comparative samples needed by the laboratory in order for the laboratory to conduct meaningful examinations.  Students will learn best practices for evidence handling, packaging and preservation.  

Law Enforcement Photography – (Advanced)

The Advanced course is designed for students with moderate law enforcement photographic experience.  The Advanced course covers special lighting techniques, photography in low light and no light situations, macro photography, wound and pattern injury documentation, as well as, Alternate Light Source (ALS) photography and Luminol photography. 

Student Materials needed: Camera, Camera Lens / Accessories for close-up work.  Flash Unit, Flash Sync Cord, Tripod (and computer loaded with image processing software for their particular camera)      

Crime Scene Sketching and Field Note Taking

This course is designed for students with little to no crime scene sketching / note taking experience.  Students will learn the skills necessary, based on best practices, to properly document a crime scene and items of physical evidence found therein through field notes and rough sketches. Students will learn how the use of supplemental forms and worksheets can assist in the recording of critical data. Students will learn various measurement techniques and means to accurately record measurements.  Students will learn how to create high quality court presentations from rough notes and sketches recorded at the scene.   

Bloodstain Pattern Evidence

This course is designed for students will little to no experience with bloodstain analysis. Students will learn how the analysis of bloodstain evidence may have a direct bearing on the success or failure of an investigation, or how it can assist the investigator in determining the manner of injury or death in a particular case.  Students will learn the basic principles involved in the creation of bloodstain patterns, the many variables involved, and classification of general pattern types.  Students will learn the necessity for the proper documentation, collection and packaging of bloodstain related evidence. Students will be taught through lecture, demonstrations and hands-on activities. This course is not intended to meet the minimum requirements set forth by the IABPA or the IAI for training as a bloodstain pattern analyst.

Course objective is to train the patrol officer or first responder how to handle and approach a homicide or violent crime scene prior to the arrival of scene investigators. All too often mistakes are made at these types of scenes which can have a damaging ripple effect throughout the entire investigations. Many patrol officers lack the training and basic understanding of managing the scene of a homicide and avoiding too much traffic and cross contamination, while at the same time establishing safe boundaries that will encompass all of the physical evidence. Crime scene management begins with the arrival of the first officer on scene and continues on through both scene and homicide investigators. We all have certain responsibilities at various levels of a homicide investigation as it applies to the scene. The most important and often overlooked are the responsibilities of patrol. Know what to do before critical errors and possibly the loss of vital evidence takes place. It’s always been a simple rule in homicide investigation; how the initial scene is handled by patrol has a profound effect on the entire investigation. This one day class is designed to benefit those in patrol so they may understand what role they play not only in the initial securing of a homicide scene, but also provides them with a good understanding of physical evidence recognition, preservation and documentation. Because patrol officers cannot often times have days off for training resulting from manpower restrictions, this course has been condensed to 8 hours to make it easier for them to attend. The instructor for this course is Inv. David Newman (Ret.) from the Norfolk Police Department in Virginia.  

Course Outline

  • The Response To The Scene And Scene Safety
  • Fourth Amendment Issues And Cursory Searching Of The Scene
  • Recognizing Physical Evidence Within The Scene
  • Proper Marking Of Evidence At Outdoor Scenes
  • Recognizing & Pronouncing Death
  • Establishing Proper Boundaries For Both Indoor And Outdoor Scenes
  • Primary Scenes Versus Secondary Scenes
  • Notification Of Investigators And Determining Need For Manpower
  • Handling Witnesses, Suspects And The Media At The Initial Scene
  • Recognizing Exigent Circumstances And The Impact On Physical Evidence
  • Documenting The Initial Scene And Identifying Events Created By Rescue Personnel
  • Establishing The Scene Log And Accountability
  • Interaction With Supervisors At The Crime Scene
  • Practical Review Through Actual Cases And Identifying Contamination

Cost: $125

   printable flyer >















"Inside the Tape" Death Investigation & Crime Scene Management Training is designed to benefit members of law-enforcement from all branches and with all levels of experience. From rookie first responders all the way to the seasoned investigator, this course will provide a wealth of knowledge and information. Lead investigator's develop a sense of what their ultimate objective and goals are within the crime scene, and how to recognize what forensic application would be appropriate based on the evaluation of each scene.

Medical examiner investigators and coroners are also encouraged to take part in this training because of the important role each plays at the crime scene regarding the body and cooperation with the investigating agency.

Prosecutors also benefit from this training because it teaches them the proper process and protocol that should be developed and followed regarding violent crime scenes, and makes the process of preparing the prosecutions case for trial much easier. It also assists them in providing useful information regarding negative witnesses and evidence that is not uncovered, and how the education of the jury can go a long way to successful prosecution. (For example, a piece of evidence lacking latent prints or trace. Does this lack of evidence indicate the suspect did not have contact with the object?  A common argument presented by the defense, but one that can also be easily countered by the prosecution.

Supervisors also benefit tremendously from this training because they learn the various models for crime scene management and the various roles each investigator should have. They are exposed to the benefits of division of labor and the overall importance of managing the crime scene from the lead investigator's perspective. Proper protocol is discussed that can easily be adapted by the various models of management, based on each individual agencies needs and access to resources.

Newman and Wray examine evidence in Virginia Beach in the Adrian Robinson homicide

March of 2003, Adrian Robinson murdered his father in Hamilton Georgia. Not only was the level of violence horrific, but this act set off a chain of events that would a trail of crime scenes from Georgia to Norfolk. This case ended even more tragically in Norfolk with the abduction and murder of a Nun from Hamilton. This is an example of just one of the cases covered in detail throughout the course to illustrate not only the need for crime scene management at a local level, but cross jurisdictional also. Multiple crime scenes always present a challenge to Homicide Investigators, and the management and coordination of these scenes becomes an even greater challenge when involving multiple agencies. Adrian Robinson is currently serving a life sentence for the murders in Hamilton and Norfolk.



Become an instructor with Inside the Tape

Inside the Tape is expanding and now screening applicants to lecture and train in the following three fields. Crime scene process and evidence documentation, sexual assault and rape investigation, arson and fatal fire investigations. Applicants should have a minimum of 10 years experience in their field, be a DCJS certified instructor or previous experience teaching within their field, have been qualified as an expert and have already developed material for presentation and handouts. Training should cover a two-day or 14 hour period. Applicants can be active or recently retired law-enforcement, and be able to provide a minimum of 3 references. Interested applicants can contact Inv. David Newman at insidethetape@cox.net or call at 757-748-1991.




























           | Home | About Us | Contact Us | Classes | Calendar | Host A Class |