Develop skills and practical techniques used by professionals in the fields of Crime Scene Investigation and Forensic Analysis.
High profile cases like the O.J. Simpson trial and the unsolved Black Dahlia murders captured national and worldwide attention. There’s something fascinating about following the facts, cracking a case, and catching a criminal. In this course, gain hands-on experience with laboratory equipment and essential forensics techniques. Start your field training by discovering how to secure and process a crime scene—place evidence markers, properly photograph the scene, and take precise measurements. Learn the current methods and approaches involved in the collection, documentation, storage of physical evidence and how to limit evidence contamination. Dig deep into the evidence itself: measure blood spatter patterns, analyze fingerprints and footprints, and conduct gait analysis. Use evidence and deductive reasoning to fit the pieces of a crime together and develop a logical hypothesis, and learn how to establish time of death based on different stages of insect development in a corpse. Delve into the science of actual forensic case studies by reconstructing crime scenes. Every forensics case brings together a team of individuals each with vital roles in solving crimes. From crime lab scientists and scene investigators to medical examiners to prosecutors, few other disciplines call upon as many diverse fields in their work.
All students will be required to bring a laptop.
Does your eye pick up details that others overlook? Do you enjoy piecing together information to solve complex puzzles? Learn to investigate a crime scene, inspect blood spatter and fingerprints, and analyze forensic evidence with the scientific methods used by professional crime scene investigators. Take your analysis from the crime scene to the lab to the courtroom as you immerse yourself in each step of the investigation process.
Professional Crime Scene Analysis
Learn best practices from professionals such as Chicago FBI agents, Illinois State Police Forensic Services, and professional criminologists, and practice analyzing crime scenes as professionals do.
Tour a Crime Lab
Go behind the scenes at a professional crime lab. Meet with forensics professionals and learn about the latest in forensics technology.
Collect Impression + Pattern Evidence
Use fluorescent reagents to analyze fingerprints and take tire mark impressions, then compare the evidence against a database of information to help link potential suspects to the crime.
Identify an Unknown Victim
Analyze anatomical markers to determine age, sex, ancestry, and height of an unknown victim by examining skeletal remains. Identify skeletal abnormalities that reveal past traumas and/or cause of death. Compare observational data and DNA analysis to a database of missing persons and make a match.
Prepare Testimony for Court
With a team of colleagues, prepare a full forensic expert testimony by compiling evidence and completing a professional report. Present clear analysis and interpretation using scientifically accurate and legally appropriate terminology.
Dr. Casey Jordan is a criminologist, behavioral analyst, and attorney in private practice. She is currently the host-interviewer for Investigation Discovery’s Wives with Knives and serves as a consultant crime analyst for several other shows. She has contributed to more than 1000 television stories on crime and legal issues, serving as the in-house CNN Criminologist during the 2002 D.C. Sniper Event. She has appeared on all the major networks and has analyzed more than 100 cases for Court TV. Jordan has been a professor at Western Connecticut State University, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Iona College, Queens College, and St. Joseph’s College. Jordan has interviewed dozens of violent offenders and has authored dozens of scholarly articles and four books.
Matthew Steiner is a First Grade Detective with the New York City Police Department’s Crime Scene Unit. He is a twenty-two-year veteran with over seventeen years of experience as a crime scene investigator. Matthew is the lead instructor for the Crime Scene Unit. He teaches several courses with students from city, state and federal agencies. Matthew is an instructor for the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, teaching their Advanced Forensic Investigations for Hazardous Environments course. He also works with the U.S. Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance Program teaching Terrorist Crime Scene Investigations course.
Detective Steiner has investigated over 2000 Crime Scenes. He has been deemed an expert witness in Latent Prints, Crime Scene Investigation, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, Shooting Reconstruction and Crime Scene Reconstruction in New York City, State and Federal Courts. Matthew is also a Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst with the International Association of Identification.
Tianyin Yu is a Research Assistant at the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science which links scholars, researchers, students, forensic scientists, law enforcement, the legal community and professional practitioners in many fields in order to address the scientific and social issues confronting forensic science and the criminal justice system throughout the world. The Institute is a leader in the arena of public safety and forensic science and specializes in interdisciplinary research, training, testing, consulting and education.
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