PAMELA A. ASSID, MSN, RN, CEN, Major, USAFR NC
Pamela A. Assid started her nursing career in 1995 after graduating as the number one Distinguished Graduate from her USAF ROTC class at Texas Christian University. While on active duty with the Air Force, in 1997, she completed a Master's degree at the University of Wyoming and in 1999, received the Forensic Nursing Graduate Certificate from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Capitalizing on her forensic nursing education, Pam created the first abuse and neglect protocols for the USAF. After her most recent deployment to the Middle East, Pam transitioned to the USAF Reserve and established her own independent legal nurse and forensic nursing consulting firm, IPR Medical Legal Consulting, LLC. She has written legal nursing articles for nationally recognized publications such as The Journal of Emergency Nursing and Topics in Emergency Medicine, and has traveled the country lecturing to nursing leadership and management about forensic nursing protocols and standards of care. In addition to her extensive emergency nursing and critical care backgrounds, Pam has created and taught online courses including Child Maltreatment, Elder Mistreatment, Basic Evidence Collection and Documentation, and Patterned Injuries through Greenville Technical College.
She was a contributing author for Virginia A. Lynch's textbook, Forensic Nursing, and, an editor for the Emergency Nurses Association revised Core Curriculum. Pam is a not only a highly respected clinical manager at her civilian hospital, she is also the Chief Nurse for a new USAF Reserve medical squadron. Her numerous distinctions include the USAF Meritorious Service Medal and the USAF Academy's 2006 Individual Mobilization Augmentee Award. She is an active teacher for emergency nursing and disaster preparedness courses within her community and serves on a city council/county commission advisory board related to children and families, specifically offering advice on neglect and maltreatment issues within the local area. Pam is an active member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants, and the Society of Air Force Nurses.
LAURA BILLON, CFI, MFS
Laura Billion, is a certified fire investigator, and has over nineteen years in the fire service in various capacities. She received a Masters Degree in Forensic Science from National University, California, Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Protection Administration from CSULA and UCLA, and an Associate's Degree in Fire Technology from Rancho Santiago College in California.
She teaches for the Fire Technology Department at Miramar College in San Diego and is an instructor in the Arson Department at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She serves as an expert witness regarding fire science, motives of fire setters and fire investigation. She is certified as a hazardous materials technician and investigator and serves as a Peace Officer within the State of California. She is a senior evaluator specialist for the Center for Arson Research and teaches fire investigation, psychological motives of fire setters, forensic evidence collection and preservation and interview and interrogation technique classes around the country. Additionally, she instructs the San Diego Police Academy classes on arson and fire investigation. She conducts fire investigations for Regional Reporting Incorporated and is a regular contributor regarding motives of fire setters to NPR Radio, Los Angeles.
She has authored a chapter on Fire Investigation for a college text book entitled, Burns, the Medical and Forensic Model, by Dr. Alan Clark (published Jan, 2006), Junk Science Revisited, Forensic Digest, February, 2010; The Revocation of Junk Science, Forensic Digest, April, 2009; Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in California, Journal for Public Safety, Homeland Security Foundation of America, March, 2009; Samaritans, Good and Bad, Journal of Public Safety, January, 2010, March, 2009, Plan Your Escape, Journal For Public Safety, Homeland Security Foundation of America, September, 2008.
She is directly involved in forensic organizations such as the International Academy of Forensic Professionals where she serves on its Board of Directors, Academy of Forensic Nursing Professionals, The Working Group on Fire and Explosions, International Association of Arson Investigators, California State Firefighters Association, Greater Los Angeles Arson Area Network, California Fire Chief's Association of Fire Prevention Officers, the National Fire Protection Association, and is a past Board Member of the California Conference of Arson Investigators.
ANGELA ASARO GEIS, BSN, RN
Forensic Nurse Educator
Angela Asaro Geis has been a Registered nurse for over 28 years. Employment roles and responsibilities have included Operating Room and Employee Health Nurse, Case Manager, TB Control Nurse, Home Health Surveyor for the State Of Texas, Research Nurse, and Materials Use Evaluation Specialist. All of these positions contributed to her acumen in forensic nursing. Geis received extensive training in the application of ethical principles to patient care and nursing practice while serving as a Surveyor for the State of Texas. She has investigated or was involved in reporting: abuse, neglect, exploitation, death, fraud, and unlawful or unethical nurse /healthcare worker practices.
PATRICK BESANT-MATTHEWS, MD
Forensic Pathologist, Forensic Science Consultant
Dr. Besant-Matthews is an internationally renowned expert in forensic sciences and has lectured extensively to clinical and public service personnel on a wide variety of topics including forensic photography. He holds his doctorate in medicine from the University of London and has complete several residencies, including the highly respected Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Dr. Besant-Matthews has held numerous, prestigious positions in both academic and clinical medicine and serves frequently as both an expert and testifying witness. He is a well-known for his advanced skills in forensic photography as well as his ability to translate his knowledge and expertise to novices in an effective and entertaining style. He is a member of the Evidence Photographers International Council and serves on its Board of Directors. Dr. Besant-Matthews has written numerous papers on forensic photography and has contributed his work to several important textbooks. He was the recipient of the 1995 Distinguished Fellow Award given by the International Association of Forensic Nurses.
Criminalist, Forensic Chemist
Bob Blackledge, retired forensic chemist, has been involved with both the practice and teaching of forensic science for well over thirty years. He began his forensic science career in 1971 when he was hired to work as a chemist in the crime lab of the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement in Tallahassee. In 1977 Bob and his family moved to Frankfurt, Germany, where during the Cold War the U.S. Army had a crime lab that served all the U.S. Forces located in Europe. During an eleven-year period in Europe, Bob honed his expertise in trace evidence, and especially physical evidence related to sexual assaults. Just before the Berlin Wall came down, Bob accepted a position as the Senior Chemist in the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service Regional Forensic Laboratory in San Diego. Bob has published approximately 40 papers and book chapters in the forensic science literature. He is the editor for a book on trace evidence, Forensic Analysis on the Cutting Edge: New Methods for Trace Evidence Analysis, that soon will be published by Wiley Interscience. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Criminalistics Section), and also belongs to the California Association of Criminalists, the Southern Association of Forensic Scientists, and the American Chemical Society. In his retirement Bob will be a tour speaker for the American Chemical Society. The title of his presentation is GLITTER as Forensic Evidence. If asked: "Which of your contributions to forensic science have given you the most satisfaction?" Bob would immediately reply that it was his association with the many students that he has mentored as interns in his lab and as their thesis advisor as they prepared to embark on a career in forensic science.
ROBERT BYRD, DDS
Dr. Robert Byrd graduated with a Doctorate in Dental Surgery, he received a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, finishing his graduate studies in Zoology-Cell Biology in 1975. Licensed in 2 states and Board Certified on 3 different Boards, Dr. Byrd is currently Chief of Dental Service for the Sheridan VA Medical Center, the Deputy Coroner of Sheridan County, Dental Officer-Air Force Reserve Commission and on the Sheridan College Dental Programs Advisory Committee. He served as the Chief of Staff for VA Medical Center Sheridan, Wyoming, and the Base Dental Surgeon for the 153rd Airlift Wing Wyoming Air National Guard Cheyenne. Certified through the Wyoming Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission in Forensic Dentistry, Dr. Byrd has been a Forensic Odontology instructor for the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy.
He is a Fellow within the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American College of Forensic Examiners. He holds memberships in numerous professional and military affiliated associations, such as American Military Surgeons of the United States, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, American Society of Forensic Odontology and American Military Surgeons of the United States. He has served on the Board of Governors for AFSO (American Forensic Society Odontology), is a Forensic Consultant for the Department of Anatomical Sciences, and numerous committees such as Bioethics Committee, Long Term Care Quality Improvement Committee, Suicide and Violence Prevention Committee within the VA healthcare system.
He has presented on such subjects as, A Surgical Method for Accessing the Oral Structures during Autopsy without Facial Disfiguration, The Forensic Odontology Case File, Legal Documentation with Quality Assurance and has lectured to military, university and private audiences both nationally and internationally.
CARI CARUSO, RN, SANE-A
Forensic Educator, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
Cari Caruso, RN SANE-A, has been a registered nurse since 1974. Her experience is in emergency department, pediatrics, women's health, GI laboratory and post-surgery. Her introduction into sexual assault began in 1990, in Los Angeles County, at Olive View Medical Center, in the Pediatric Urgent Care. Ms. Caruso has worked in multiple sexual assault units including Los Angeles County, University of California Medical Center Violence Intervention Program, California Hospital Medical Center and Mission Community Hospital. She began a new forensic Program at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center in 2000, and at that time wrote policies, procedures and protocols for this newly established SANE program. Ms. Caruso has trained registered nurses, other medical professionals, legal professionals, sexual assault and domestic violence workers, law enforcement, students, community groups, and has presented at national and international conferences. She is active in various local community organizations providing her forensic expertise, focusing on sexual assault, domestic/interpersonal violence, cultural and legal issues. She is a charter member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), and sits as an advisor on its Board of Directors, Southern California Chapter. She is a member of the California Sexual Assault Investigators Association, Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council and has served on several committees for the Los Angeles County Sexual Assault Coordinating Council.
Ms. Caruso is President and founder of Forensic Nurse Professionals, Inc. (FNPI), an independent and privately owned center conducting forensic evidentiary examinations for victims and suspects of sexual assault. She also provides consulting services and expert testimony throughout the United States for the prosecution and defense in cases of sexual violence.
PAUL T. CLEMENTS, PhD, CNS-BC, CGS
Forensic Mental Health, Certified Gang Specialist, Forensic Educator
Dr. Paul T. Clements is a psychiatric / forensic specialist from Virginia Beach, VA, USA. He is a Certified Gang Specialist, and was formerly Assistant Director/Bereavement Therapist at The Homicide Bereavement Center at the Office of the Medical Examiner in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is an experienced therapist, trainer, consultant, and critical incident/trauma response specialist with almost 15 years experience in management and crisis intervention. Dr. Clements has provided counseling and crisis intervention to over 1500 families of murder victims, as well as to high numbers of surviving family members in the aftermath of suicide, industrial and occupational deaths, motor vehicle accidents, sudden infant death syndrome, and other types of sudden violent death, as well as to survivors of interpersonal violence such as sexual abuse, rape, stalking and arson. Dr. Clements has provided nationwide corporate and hospital consultation to establish workplace procedures for violence prevention and development of risk assessment / management teams. In addition, he has conducted training and stress management seminars designed for State Police, EMT's, Child Protective Agency personnel, trauma/emergency nurses, attorneys and corporate executives. Recently, Dr. Clements was involved in news media and National Public Radio (NPR) related discussions regarding the offender, victims and survivors of the Virginia Tech shootings. Dr. Clements has numerous publications and conference presentations regarding stress, trauma, violence and aggression, coping after violent death and exposure to interpersonal violence and crime. He is an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse (CNS-BC) with national board certification as a Specialist in Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Nursing. Dr. Clements holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychiatric Forensic Nursing from The University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Clements is a Distinguished Fellow in the International Association of Forensic Nurses (DF-IAFN), and Associate Editor of the Journal of Forensic Nursing.
GIANCARLO Di VELLA, MD, PhD
Dr. Giancarlo Di Vella is Associate Professor of Legal Medicine at the University of Bari, School of Medicine and School of Nursing. His major areas of professional interest and publication involve Forensic Pathology, Anthropology, Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic Nursing.
A native of Bari (Italy), he graduated with Distinction from D. Cirillo (Bari) high school specializing in classical studies. He obtained his Medical Degree from the University of Bari School of Medicine in 1990, the Doctoral Degree in 1995 from the University "La Sapienza" in Rome (Italy) about using Analytical Morphometry in Personal Identification. He obtained the Fellowship in Forensic Pathology in 1998 from the University of Bari. He was certified Associate Professor in Legal Medicine passing the examination of National Italian Board in the University of Udine (Italy).
Dr. Giancarlo Di Vella serves as instructor for such organizations as the Italian Association of Judges and State's Attorneys, as well as the Italian Armed Forces. He has been named the Director of the Masters Course in Forensic Nursing at the University of Bari, Italy. Dr. Di Vella is a consultant to several Italian Tribunals and Courts and to UNICRI, (the Exhumation Projects in the Year 2000, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kosovo). He is the medical examiner for the Office of Medical Examiner in Bari, Italy. Dr. Di Vella serves on several committees and has held offices in the International Association of Craniofacial Identification (President 2000-2002), the National Association of Medical Examiners (member of Ad Hoc Committee on International Relations), Italian Group of Forensic Pathologist (member of Executive Committee)
Dr. Di Vella participated in the following international meetings, workshops and intensive courses: the 10th I.A.C.I. Meeting, in 2003, A Practicuum in Forensic 3D replica of Skin and Bones (University of Bari and of Melbourne) in 2003; the International Forensic Nursing meeting (2004); The Investigation of Child Death (2005); and Personal Identification by Forensic Art (2006). He has authored several papers edited by the International and Italian forensic journals in field of the forensic sciences (Pathology,Anthropology,Crime investigation,Toxicology, Malpractice, Bioethic, Personal Identification and Forensic Nursing).
Honors/Awards: Mario Cappa Memorial Award for the Best Degree Thesis in Forensic Sciences in the University of Bari, in the period 1989-1992; Miembro Honorario Extranjero of the AsociaciUn Argentina de Farmacia y Bioqulmica Legal (2003, AsAFyBLe - Argentina); Fellow in Pathology and Biology of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (2003); Honorary Member of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologist (2006); and recipient of the Vision Award of the International Association of Forensic Nursing (2006).
BRIAN DONNELLY, PhD, RPh
Pharmacology Forensic Toxicology
Brian Donnelly is Director of the Americas Region, Global Security, Pfizer Inc. in New York, New York. He is currently responsible for coordinating investigations of counterfeit Pfizer pharmaceutical products in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Donnelly spent 21 years as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, during which time he was assigned to the FBI Laboratory and the New Haven Divisions. As a Special Agent Dr. Donnelly was responsible for the investigation of several high profile cases including: the Michael Swango, M.D. medical serial killer investigation, the Yale University bombing investigation and he was the Connecticut case agent for the Amerithrax (anthrax mailings) investigation. He has received several honors and awards from the FBI, the Department of Veterans Affairs and a number of United States Attorneys Offices.
Dr. Donnelly received his PhD in the areas of Pharmacology and Toxicology from Saint John's University, New York in 1990 and is also a registered Pharmacist in the state of New York. He has presented and published extensively in the field of Forensic Toxicology and lectures regularly to medical and law enforcement on the subject of Health Care Serial Killers.
NEAL HASKELL, PhD
Dr. Neal Haskell, after farming for over 15 years, entered a new graduate program at Purdue University to study how insects could be used to answer questions at murder scenes. His initial interest in "bugs" began with a 4-H project, age 11. He completed a Master's of Science Degree with the focus in Forensic Entomology in 1989 (the first such degree in the country) and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree with Forensic Entomology (also the first in U.S.) as the specific area of study in 1993. He has given hundreds of scientific lectures, seminars and training classes world wide to provide coroners, medical examiners, death scene investigators, and others with valuable information regarding entomological evidence from death scenes. Also several books and book chapters have been authored by Neal. Neal has been featured in a number of books and in over 150 news articles, books, and other news media. In a book by Dr. Michael Baden and Marion Roach, Dead Reckoning, an entire chapter is devoted to stories of Dr. Haskell, the pig research and training in Rensselaer, and interesting case studies.
Dr. Haskell is a Professor of Forensic Science and Biology at Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, IN and also continues as a private international forensic entomology consultant to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across North America and in Europe. He holds adjunct appointments at Michigan State University and the University of Nebraska. He has board certification as a Board Certified Entomologist and is one of nine members as a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Entomology. Some of the agencies that he has worked with over the years include the Indiana State Police, FBI, Office of the Chief Coroner, Ontario Canada, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, New York State Police, and Seattle Washington Medical Examiner's Office. During this work over the past 21 years he has assisted in nearly 700 cases which have had questions regarding insects. He has been accepted and recognized as an expert witness in both state and federal courts and has qualified as an expert in 27 states in the U.S. and regional and provincial courts in Canada. He has given testimony in approximately 100 trial and hearings, many were capital murder cases. Some of the most notable cases include the Bernardo/Homolca trial, the most highly publicized trial in Canadian history and the Westerfield trial in San Diego (Danielle Van Dam murder). He also assisted in insect collections at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco Texas and the criminal investigation of the Scientology Group in Clearwater, Florida. Research was conducted by Dr. Haskell and others at the University of Tennessee, "Body Farm" where actual human corpses were compared to pig corpses for establishing a replacement for humans in decomposition and forensic entomology studies needed across the U.S. This was the first major funding provided to forensic entomology by the US Justice Department in the U.S.
Due to the current interest in crime fighting by the general public (CSI and others), Dr. Haskell has been featured on over 15 television programs including "The New Detectives", Discovery Channel, "Secrets of Forensic Science", The Learning Channel, "How Things Work", A&E, and "Forensic Files" on Court TV and recent filming for National Geographic and the History Channel "Dead Reckoning".
Forensic Video/Image Analyst
Jim Hoerricks, A self confessed Photoshop fanatic since version 3 for Mac, Jim Hoerricks is an artist/designer/photographer and is a Forensic Video/Image Analyst for the Los Angeles Police Department's Scientific Investigation Division*. Jim specializes in blending techniques from the design world with the Forensic Workflow. Always an innovator, Jim established the LAPD's Forensic Video Lab in 2001, has been the lead analyst on many of the LAPD's high-profile cases, and helped set the standard by which video evidence is handled by the department. Jim has worked on loan to many local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and has testified as an expert in Forensic Video Analysis in courtrooms throughout California.
In addition to his work in law enforcement, Jim is the author of the Forensic Photoshop blog and a co-author of Best Practices for the Retrieval of Video Evidence from Digital CCTV Systems published by the Investigative Support & Forensics Subgroup of the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG). The TSWG is the US national forum that identifies, prioritizes, and coordinates interagency and international research and development requirements for combating terrorism.
As a CaPOST Certified Instructor, Jim has taught classes on Photoshop, Premier, and CCTV Evidence Retrieval for the National Association of Technical Investigators (NaTIA); Imaging Techniques for the Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association (LEVA); Using Microsoft's PowerPoint to Present Video Evidence in Court for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office; and has been a part time Photoshop Instructor in the Photography Department of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Ca.
NINA KING, MD, PhD
Molecular Pathologist - DNA
Dr. King has advanced technical expertise and extensive laboratory research experience in both molecular biology and biochemistry. Her passion lies in the development and implementation of new technologies and methodologies that are highly efficient, and designed to produce the most accurate DNA biological relationship testing. She serves as a national consultant in this field to the scientific, legal, and medical communities. Dr. King has authored a number of biotechnical patents and scientific publications.
Traumatic Grief/Bereavement Specialist
Walter Mikac lost his family at Australia's largest mass murder in 1996. Since then, Walter, a pharmacist, has become a professional speaker and an acclaimed author of several books relating to surviving sudden traumatic loss. He is also the founder of the Alannah and Madeleine Foundation, a charity established in memory of his wife and two daughters who were all killed in the spree shootings at Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia (during which a gunman took 35 lives within a matter of a few hours). Her Royal Highness, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, is the foundation's international patron. The AMF's chief function is to assist the victims of sudden crime and death. It also runs a highly successful anti-bullying program in primary schools throughout Australia.
ELIZABETH E. PANKE, MD, PhD
Molecular Pathologist - DNA
Dr. Elizabeth Panke is a nationally recognized expert and leader in the field of DNA identity, parentage and biological family relationship testing. Dr. Panke has been actively involved in the development of accreditation standards used by DNA testing laboratories in the United States and Canada. Dr. Panke has served as a member of the Molecular Pathology Resource Committee of the College of the American Pathologists and directed one of the first laboratories in the United States to be accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks for DNA parentage testing. She also served for over ten years on a Committee on Human Research at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati.
Dr. Panke developed the laboratory now known as Genetica DNA Laboratories, Inc. in 1988. Under her direction, Genetica DNA Laboratories, Inc. headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, annually performs thousands of DNA parentage tests for patients throughout the United States as well as around the world. Dr. Panke provides DNA parentage testing consultations, gives seminars and lectures on DNA testing, and has also authored many scientific publications. She has successfully served as a DNA expert witness in courts in many states.
Dr. Panke received her Ph.D. degree in Experimental Pathology from the University of Southern California and her M.D. degree from the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine. She has completed both an anatomic and clinical Pathology residency and a fellowship in Molecular Biology at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine.
BRUCE SACKMAN, MA
Special Agent, Retired, Criminal Investigations
Bruce T. Sackman served as the Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, and Northeast Field Office until May 2005 when he retired after 32 years service. In this capacity, he was responsible for all major criminal investigations involving VA from West Virginia to Maine. During his tenure he was involved in the investigation and prosecution of three medical serial killers and numerous medical related suspicious death inquiries. He was also responsible for supervising the successful investigation and Prosecution of the nations first homicide conviction in connection with pharmaceutical research. His cases have been featured on the Discovery Health Channel, CNN, MSNBC, and on Home Box Office. He is the recipient of many awards for his investigations and for his efforts in encouraging the profession of forensic nursing. Mr. Sackman has lectured at several forensic related conferences, State police organizations, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, universities and medical related symposiums.
Mr. Sackman is currently employed in the private sector as a licensed private investigator specializing in healthcare related matters in New York City.
DANNY SCALF, BA, MS, MC
Human Intelligence and National Secutiry Specialist
Danny B. Scalf has over twenty-five years of progressive experience in management, intelligence and diplomacy. He holds a baccalaureate degree in Political Theory and Asian studies from the University of Maryland, a master's degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Chaminade University, Honolulu, and a master's degree in Community Counseling from the University of Phoenix. His foreign language proficiencies include Russian, Chinese Mandarin, and Bahasa Indonesian. Scalf's demonstrated expertise in cross-cultural communication and negotiations has resulted in a long list of achievements within the military and civilian communities. In addition to his work within the Department of Defense, he has held numerous positions in business and industry, employing his expertise in risk assessments, forensic investigation and mediation. Scalf's work has resulted in exposing political corruption in a state's law enforcement organization and in confirming the presence of organized crime within business enterprises. In conjunction with the US Customs Service, he developed and implemented a program to identify travel by notorious individuals. As Operations Officer within the Army Intelligence Operations, he was the vital force in averting several international incidents that could have resulted in armed conflict or acts of terrorism. Scalf has received numerous awards and decorations for his work with sensitive intelligence operations that were of major significance to national security.
In 1994, he received the Exceptional Human Intelligence Collector Award from the Director of the United States Central Intelligence.
Professional organizational affiliations include Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminal Justice Honor Society), Chi Sigma Iota, (Counseling Honor Society), as well as the Arizona Chapters of the Association of Conflict Resolution and the American Counseling Association.
ERIC SCHURDAK, MS
Molecular Pathologist - DNA
Eric Schurdak is a highly regarded molecular biologist and an expert in DNA parentage and biological relationship testing. He has particular expertise in the area of genetic family reconstruction and, therefore, he serves as an invaluable consultant to the legal and medical professionals throughout the United States.
As a Chief Technologist and Research Associate he has directed the development and implementation of new DNA technologies and methodologies. Eric Schurdak also has directed scientific training in the statistical and genetic analyses employed in extended DNA family tests. With the reputation as a superb teacher, he is in high demand as lecturer at schools and local colleges.
PATTY SENESKI, RN, ENP
Bioterrorism and Disaster Planning
Patty Seneski Patty Seneski is a pioneer in the field of forensic nursing and is Past-President of the International Association of Forensic Nurses. Her areas of expertise include bioterrorism, sexual assault, and clinical forensic practice. Currently, Seneski holds the title of Emergency Preparedness Manager for Banner Desert Medical Center in the metropolitan Phoenix area and currently serves on the Arizona State Task force on Bio-Terrorism. Past appointments within Arizona include the Emergency Medical Services Council, Emergency Medical Services Board of Director. She was a founder for the Sexual Assault Response Team at Pomerado Hospital, (Poway, CA) and formerly served as an Emergency Nurse Practitioner in Denver, Colorado. She is a respected planner and consultant in bioterrorism, weapons of mass destruction and disaster preparedness, and is widely utilized as a faculty resource for local and regional programs within these areas of specialization.
Seneski received her education at Presbyterian Medical Center (Denver) and Colorado State College in Greeley. Professional affiliations include the International Association of Forensic Nurses, Emergency Nurses Association, the Arizona Emergency Services Association and the Association of Contingency Planners.
GIUSEPPE "JIMMY" TROCCOLI, MD
Dr. Giuseppe Troccoli completed his medical school training at the School of Medicine of the University of Bari, Italy, earning his M.D. in 1993 after completing his internship at the Department of Criminology and Forensic Psychiatry. Dr. Troccoli's professional expertise and topics of publication include forensic psychopathology, criminology in relation to sexual homicide, infanticide, juveniles who murder, rape trauma syndrome, malpractice and litigation in psychiatry and substance abuse / addiction.
In 1996 he completed his Residency in Criminology and Forensic Psychiatry, in which he received honors. He began teaching classes and seminars in the very same Residency Program, and, additionally, mentored students who were in the process of completing their graduation theses. His activity of scientific research and didactic collaboration with the Department of Criminology and Forensic Psychiatry of University of Bari, Italy, also included teaching at the School of Medicine from 1996 to present, and at the School of Jurisprudence from 1999 to 2002.
In 2000 Dr. Troccoli completed, with honors, a four years Residency in Legal Medicine with a focus on Forensic Psychiatric studies, also teaching in the medico-legal field. In 2000 and 2001 he was Teacher of Substances addiction and abuse at the Department of Justice and Correction of Bari, Italy. In 2002 and 2003 he was Professor of Forensic Psychopathology at the School of Medicine, University of Foggia, Italy and in 2006 completed a four-year residency in Psychiatry with honors. Since 1996 to present, Dr. Troccoli works as an Expert Forensic Psychiatrist in Regional Courts and is currently teaching classes on Criminology and Forensic Psychiatry at the Masters of Criminology Program of the University of Bari, Italy.
Dr. Troccoli is author of various published works and has presented at various Italian and International Scientific Meetings, including the Annual Scientific meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He is a member of the Italian Society of Criminology, the Italian Psychiatric Association and an international member of the Section of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
MELISS VESSIER-BATCHEN, DNS, RN, CFN
Author of Forensic Nurse Death Investigators, (FNDI)
Meliss Vessier-Batchen is a certified forensic nurse beginning her nursing career after graduation with her ASN from Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans, LA in 1991. Her education continued at the University of South Alabama where she completed her RN-to-BSN degree in 1993 and returned to embark on a master's degree in nursing education three months later. Dr. Vessier-Batchen began teaching at Charity School of Nursing/Delgado Community College in New Orleans, LA in 1994 while working on her master's, which was completed in 1995. Her clinical specialty was critical care until 2002 when she became interested in forensic nursing and death investigation. This interest led to secondary employment as a forensic nurse death investigator with the local coroner's office. The phenomena observed by Dr. Vessier-Batchen inspired her to begin a doctoral program in 2002. In 2005, Dr. Vessier-Batchen became a certified forensic nurse. After some interference from Hurricane Katrina, she received her doctor of nursing science degree in 2007 focusing her research on coping and symptoms of complicated grief in survivors of homicide and suicide decedents. Dr. Vessier-Batchen has worked as a nurse academe since 1994 and a forensic nurse death investigator since 2002 using her experiences from both roles as the catalyst for her doctoral research. She is an assistant professor of nursing at Texas A&M University-Texarkana working with RN-to-BSN and graduate students. She is an active member of IAFN and ACFEI.
DEBORAH KELLER St. GERMAIN, DNP, RN, CEN
Co-Author of the course, Forensic Nurse Death Investigators, (FNDI)
Deborah Keller St. Germain is a certified emergency nurse, forensic nurse, and legal nurse consultant. After completing her BSN in 1985 at Murray State University in Murray, KY, she moved to New Orleans to begin her nursing career in the intensive care unit and emergency department. In December 1990, she completed her Master's in Nursing as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, at Louisiana State University Medical Center (LSUMC), specializing in parent-child nursing and staff development. After graduation, she began teaching full time in the undergraduate nursing program at LSUMC, which she continues to do presently. In 2002, Dr. St. Germain became interested in death investigation and became a reserved death investigator at a local coroner's office, under the direction of Dr. Vessier-Batchen. This year, she graduated with her doctorate in forensic nursing from the University of Tennessee. She completed a year-long residency in child abuse at a local children's hospital, with a team of pediatricians specializing in forensic medicine. Her residency project focused on training nurses in the medical evaluation of abused children. She is actively involved in the International Association of Forensic Nursing.
CHARLES V. WELTI, MD
Dr. Charles Wetli graduated from the University of Notre Dame and the St. Louis University School of Medicine, completed his residency at the University of Miami School of Medicine, and is certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomical, Clinical, and Forensic Pathology. He served as a Pathologist in the United States Army for three years prior to joining the Medical Examiner Office in Miami, FL, in 1977 where he served as the Deputy Chief for over fifteen years. In 1995 he accepted the position as Chief Medical Examiner and Director of Forensic Sciences for Suffolk County (Eastern Long Island), NY, and retired from that position in the summer of 2006. Over the years he has taught extensively to law enforcement agencies, medical organizations, and medical students and residents, many of whom are now chief medical examiners throughout the country.
In his career, Dr. Wetli has personally performed thousands of autopsies and has supervised many thousands more. He has authored two forensic texts, numerous book chapters, and over 100 research articles in peer reviewed scientific journals. He has given numerous workshops and presentations on a variety of topics in Forensic Pathology, particularly in the area of drug related deaths and deaths in police custody. He has also testified on drug abuse for Congressional, Gubernatorial, and Presidential committees. Dr. Wetli was responsible for the medico-legal investigation of the crash of TransWorld Airlines, (TWA), flight 800 where, for the first time in commercial aviation history, all 230 victims were scientifically identified. His research interests have included deaths related to the abuse of cocaine and the impact of Afro-Caribbean religions on forensic investigations. He has often testified in various courts across the country and has written and conducted workshops on this topic ("The Art of Courtroom Testimony") for those who anticipate the potential for their own involvement in court as an expert witness. In 1995 he was featured in "The Scientist" as being the most cited author in forensic science from 1981-1993.
Dr. Wetli is currently a consultant in Forensic Pathology. He continues to serve on medical and editorial advisory boards, and is a foremost lecturer on Forensic Pathology for medical, legal, and law enforcement organizations.
DIAN WILLIAMS, PhD, RN, CLNC
Arson, Ethics in Criminal Justice Practice
Dr. Dian Williams lectures at home and abroad on firesetting, fire bombing and domestic terrorism. She appears regularly in the print and visual media and consults with federal, state and local criminal justice agencies throughout the United States and with the Home Office in the United Kingdom as well as other countries. During the mid-80's, Dian Williams appeared before the U.S. Senate as an expert on juvenile firesetters and violent juvenile offenders. She is a full-time member of the Criminal Justice Department faculty at West Chester University. Dr. Williams wrote a chapter on treatment strategies for firesetters for a forensic textbook published in 2005 and wrote a textbook entitled Understanding the arsonist: From assessment to confession available for sale through her office or Lawyers and Judges Publishing Company. A second, expanded edition of the text is currently underway. A future project involves comparative research on female firesetting behavior in the US and Australia. She is also a column editor on ethics and legal nurse consulting issues for the Journal of Forensic Nursing. In addition to her work on arson, Dr. Williams lectures on ethics in forensic practice for medical, nursing and criminal justice practitioners. Dr. Williams works as an expert witness (generally for the prosecution) throughout the US. She was awarded the honor of appointment as a Distinguished Fellow of the International Association of Forensic Nurses for outstanding contributions to the field.