We have three options for registration for the National Homicide Investigators Association (NHIA) 2023 Conference! To attend, you must be a current/actively employed or honorably retired LEO/CSI/MEO/SAO. 28 Hours of Continuing Education Accreditation by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI).
Attend as an individual:
$1,350 buys three, get one free!
If you would like to become a member of the NHIA, the membership fee is $35. Join today and save money on attending the conference as an individual!
Hotel Reservation Information:
If you are in need of accommodations, you can book a group rate with Orlando Marriott Lake Mary for $126 per night.
Reservations can be made via the Marriott website.
Start date for rooms is Sunday, November 12, 2023
End date for rooms is Friday, November 17, 2023
Last day to book is Friday, October 20, 2023
Check out past conference photos via the About Us section!
Dr. Elayne Pope is a Forensic Anthropologist and the President of Fatal Fire Forensics www.burnedbone.com. Dr. Pope’s research has focused on how the human body burns within in different types of fire environments (structures, vehicles, confined space, outdoor, and incendiary) and what types of physical evidence remains of the victim’s body at the fatal fire scene for crime scene and fire investigators. She completed her doctorate from the University of Arkansas in 2007 for “The Effects of Fire on Human Remains.” Dr. Pope worked as the Autopsy Supervisor and Forensic Anthropologist for 6 years at the Tidewater Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Norfolk, Virginia (2011-2017). Currently, Dr. Pope provides ongoing instructional course lectures and training, forensic expert consultation and examination of fatal fire casework for fire investigators, law enforcement, medical examiners/coroners, attorneys, and court testimony. She has conducted ongoing field research that examines the process of how human bodies burn under different fire scene conditions and environments in collaboration with the San Luis Obispo Fire Investigation Strike Team (SLO FIST) Fatal Fire Death Investigation Course (FFDIC) in San Luis Obispo, California where she has been an instructor since 2008 (www.slofist.org).
The Fatal Fire Investigation Course is based on the scientific approach of documenting how the human body burns and what remains as evidence of the victim’s body after the fire. This training is derived from 20+ years of experimental research that has documented how the human body burns within different fire environmental settings, the heat-related changes of the body’s layered soft tissues and bones, movements of the body and limb flexion (pugilistic posture), what survives the after fire, and what the investigator should look for as evidence of victim’s burned remains at the fatal fire scene, and the effective methods for search and recovery of burned human remains that are considered ‘burned beyond recognition.
This course presents the full spectrum of heat-related changes to the body based on scientific observations from human cadavers, that were burned in a variety of fire environments (structures, vehicles, confined spaces, outdoors, ignitable liquids, etc.), for varying burn durations of minutes to hours, with different fuel types/loads, and the post-fire conditions of both the scene and the fire victim to demonstrate what the investigator can expect to find as physical evidence of a burned human body at the fatal fire scene. The course presents the proper field methods of search, scene documentation with photography and mapping of the body within the fire scene, the importance of extensively examining/documenting burn patterns of both the body and the surrounding burn patterns on surfaces of furnishings/walls/materials in the fire scene prior to body removal efforts, excavation and recovery techniques at the scene, proper handling methods for moving the victim’s burned body and fragmentary burned bones from the scene, and the proper methods to prepare the burned body for transport from the fatal fire scene to the Medical Examiner/Coroner’s Office. This course is recommended for Fire Investigators, Homicide Investigators and Law Enforcement, Crime Scene Investigators, Medicolegal Death Investigators, Coroners/Medical Examiners, and other who are involved in fatal fire casework.
Lieutenant Barry Ward has over thirty-two years of law enforcement experience. He is originally from Kentucky and first began his law enforcement career in 1990 as a US Marine Corps military police officer. During this time, he served as an Honor Guard aboard the President’s helicopter, “Marine-One” in Quantico, VA. He moved to Louisiana after his enlistment and began as a uniformed patrol deputy with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office. After several years, he fulfilled his dream of becoming a state trooper and joined the Louisiana State Police in 1997. He started as a uniformed patrol trooper at Troop-B in New Orleans and was later selected to move into the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), Criminal Investigations Division (CID) Detectives. He initially investigated a variety of general crimes, but soon focused on homicides and officer involved shooting (OIS) investigations. He was promoted to Sergeant in CID Detectives in the Baton Rouge Field Office in 2019 and has been recognized with many awards and commendations for criminal investigations he has conducted. LT Ward was awarded the Trooper of the Year by the Hammond City Club in 2023 for closing a thirty-five-year-old cold case homicide with two convictions. LT Ward has investigated cold case homicides, assisted in several active serial killer investigations, and conducted multiple line of duty death investigations involving law enforcement officers. LT Ward is also an instructor for LSP’s Officer Involved Shooting Investigation course. In 2023 he was promoted to Lieutenant and currently serves as the statewide supervisor for the Special Investigations Unit for the Louisiana State Police.
Taylor Anthony is a 2008 graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University and a 2011 graduate of Southern University Law Center. He served as a senior level trial attorney in Orleans Parish and was a trial division supervisor, member of the Major Offense Trial unit, and Homicide Case Screener. Anthony was awarded the “Outstanding Prosecutor Award” in 2015 by the group Victim’s and Citizen’s Against Crimes, Inc. for his successful prosecution of serial rapist David Falgout. In March of 2018, Anthony convicted Travis Boys in the first degree murder of NOPD Officer Daryle Holloway. In May of 2018, Anthony returned to his home Parish of Tangipahoa and joined the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office. He spearheaded the offices prosecution of the 30 year cold case homicide of Selonia Reed, ultimately securing a conviction of Second Degree Murder against Selonia’s husband, Reginald Reed. Anthony resides in Ponchatoula, Louisiana with his two sons, Graham and Jacob.
ATF Special Agent Elizabeth Richards Morales has been with the Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for 21 years. Special Agent Morales, (SA), has worked in Miami Dade County and Broward County during her 21 years in the field and has been promoted to the rank of Supervisor in the ATF Miami Field Division in 2023. During SA Morales’ career she has been awarded numerous commendations and awards for a variety of Federal cases. SA Morales was nominated for the Attorney General’s award for a firearm’s trafficking case by the United States Attorney’s Office and has received additional awards from the United States Attorney’s Office for successful Federal prosecutions of Armed Robbery Cases, RICO, and firearms trafficking. SA Morales has taught courses on E-Trace, Hobbs Act Robbery, Firearms Trafficking, and Firearms DNA. A&E is currently in television production for a domestic terrorism case, SA Morales was one of the lead Agents on. During SA Morales career, she has been able to work with many state, local, and Federal partners to assist with many issues relating to firearms offenses, including homicide, and gang cases. SA Morales has garnered experience in the collection of DNA from firearms and has been able to apply the positive results in countless successful Federal prosecutions.
In this presentation, the attendees will learn about the most up to date methods of extracting DNA profiles from firearms. I will provide examples of swabbing locations on firearms to maximize the potential of recovering useful evidence. I will also discuss the importance of the separation of swabs and the significance of the different location of swabs with respect to different investigations. I will discuss which swabs can reduce the defense using secondary transfer or tertiary transfer as a defense in trial. The attendees will learn options of where to submit DNA swabs if their labs do not have equivalent capabilities. In addition, I will discuss best possible methods currently available for extracting DNA from casings and the implications of paring DNA profiles recovered from casings with NIBIN hits. I will show a short video so that the attendees will learn how to swab a firearm or request certain locations for their Crime Scene Unit to swab. They will learn what the approximate current rate of positive identification is from each swabbing location of firearms from a localized study. If they haven’t been receiving useful results from their lab and firearm swabs, I will discuss what some of the issues may be as to why they are not getting results consistent with this presentation.
John Lewin is a nationally recognized expert in the legal-investigative aspects, strategy, and prosecution of complex circumstantial homicides, particularly “cold case” homicides. Up until late 2022, he was one of two deputies assigned to investigate and prosecute “cold case” homicides for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. In this role, DDA Lewin served as a legal resource and assisted detectives in reinvestigating these cases and then assumed responsibility for their eventual filing and trial.
DDA Lewin also has substantial expertise in the areas of voir dire and cross-examination and their relation to the presentation of complex litigation.
DDA Lewin graduated ‘cum laude’ from the University of California at Irvine in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social ecology. He received his juris doctorate from Hastings College of Law in 1991.
DDA Lewin was appointed as a Deputy District Attorney for the county of Los Angeles in August, 1994. Prior to that, he volunteered as a Deputy City Attorney with the Anaheim City Attorney’s office and as a Deputy District Attorney with the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.
During his career with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, DDA Lewin has served in numerous trial positions and since 1999 has been exclusively involved in the investigation and prosecution of circumstantial, primarily “cold,” homicide cases. In 2001, he was selected as the founding member of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office’s “Cold Case Task Force” and continued this work in the Major Crimes Division from 2004 until late 2022 when in response to his vocal criticism of District Attorney George Gascon’s policies, he was involuntarily transferred to a position as a calendar deputy in Inglewood.
To date, DDA Lewin has successfully been involved in the investigation of an untold number of “cold” circumstantial homicide cases, and has obtained convictions for murder in all of the more than a dozen of these difficult cases that he has taken to jury trial. DDA Lewin has special expertise in the handling of “no body” cases having successfully prosecuted each of the half dozen of these cases he has helped to re-investigate and file. Due to the complexity of the cases that he handles, DDA Lewin’s trials are frequently profiled on the Dateline, 48 Hours and 20/20 television shows and DDA Lewin was previously a paid panelist for Dateline’s “Cold Case Squad.”
DDA Lewin has historically maintained a very busy trial calendar, but when not in court he works with prosecutors within his own agency and in addition has lectured for the National College of District Attorney’s and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
DDA Lewin’s wife, Sheryl, is a pediatric reconstructive plastic surgeon and they reside in Palos Verdes, CA with their son Geoff and daughter, Kaci, both of whom are attending USC as undergraduates. The Lewin family is rounded out by their Great Danes, Maus and Tiny and their Basset Hound, Chubbers.
DETECTIVE/SERGEANT JOSH DIRSKE
Josh Dirske is a Team Leader/Detective Sergeant with Michigan State Police and is assigned to the 3rd District Fugitive Team/Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team. Sergeant Dirkse has served with the Michigan State Police for over 24 years in multiple capacities such as General Patrol, Criminal Investigations, Secure Cities Partnership-Directed Patrol in Flint, MI, Community Service Trooper, and Patrol Sergeant. He recently appeared on “The Fatal Flaw: A Special Edition
of 20/20” which examined the homicide investigation of 47-year-old Jason Harris of Davison, who killed his wife Christina Harris by lacing her cereal with heroin in 2014.
DETECTIVE/SERGEANT JAMES MOORE
James Moore is a Detective/Sergeant with Michigan State Police and is currently assigned to the 3rd District Special Investigation Section serving the Flint and Shiawassee Posts. Sergeant Moore began his career with MSP in 1997 and was promoted to the Major Case Unit-Saginaw in 2014. There he worked several homicides, AWIM, and rape investigations. He notably led a serial rape investigation that resulted in a prison sentence of 700 years. In 2016, Sergeant Moore began his assignment in Cold Case Investigations and was assigned to the investigation of Jan Rohrer, a 13-year-old girl from Bay City, MI that went missing in 1973. He developed a suspect who ultimately confessed and re-enacted the murder. Throughout his career, Sergeant Moore has worked numerous cases including bank robberies, criminal sexual assaults, serial rape cases, AWIM cases, murder for hire, homicides, and officer involved shootings.
Presentation: Cannibal Killer
This presentation will discuss the investigation of Mark Latunski who was found guilty for the 2019 murder of Kevin Bacon. Bacon's family reported him missing and the investigators tracked him down to Latunski's house where they found him killed, hung, and dismembered. Latunski had fried and eaten Bacon’s testicles and planned to use his blood and bones to fertilize plants and his muscles for jerky. During the trial, Latunski was initially found incompetent, but a second evaluation was done and he was found competent and stood trial.
DETECTIVE TROOPER KEITH BIEGANSKI
Keith Bieganski is currently a Detective Trooper with the Michigan State Police and is assigned to the Flint Major Crimes Unit, a collaboration between the Michigan State Police and the Flint Police Department. D/Tpr. Bieganski has six years of service with the Michigan State Police and has investigated homicide cases for the last three years. He has been the officer in charge of ten homicides and has assisted his fellow detectives investigate over 100 homicide cases. D/Tpr. Bieganski has been the recipient of several awards including a professional excellence award for his work incriminal investigations.
DETECTIVE SERGEANT VICTORIA LAMBARIA-ROSS
Victoria Lambaria-Ross is currently a Detective Sergeant with the City of Flint Police Department located in Mid-Michigan. Victoria Lambaria-Ross has 6 years of service with the Flint police department. For the past 4 years, she has specialized in homicide in the Major Crimes Unit, a collaboration between the Michigan State police and Flint police department. She has actively assisted in over 100 homicides and has been the officer in charge of twelve, with a solve rate of 91.66%. She has been the recipient of several awards from the Flint Police Department and the community for excellence and outstanding service.
Presentation: Family Dollar Homicide
This presentation will walk the participants through the complete investigation commencing with the initial 911 call, and concluding with the sentencing of a mother, father, and son for the murder of a Family Dollar security guard. This case made National News in May of 2020 when the State of Michigan, along with many others, executed mandatory face mask orders at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic.
TEXAS RANGER DANNY BRILEY
Danny Briley is a Texas Ranger, assigned to the Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program (UCIP),
also known as Cold Case. He primarily works unsolved murders with a sexual nexus in 42
counties surrounding Dallas, Texas. Ranger Briley has 27 years law enforcement experience – 10 years in the Texas Highway Patrol, and 17 years as a Texas Ranger.
Before his assignment to UCIP, he was a Texas Ranger responsible for assisting local, state, and
federal agencies with major crimes – murder, rape, robbery, corruption, and border security.
Ranger Briley was a senior member of the Texas Rangers Special Operations Group –
Reconnaissance Unit & Special Response Team until his new appointment to UCIP in January
2022. He has led and carried out many high-risk tactical missions and high-profile murder
investigations throughout Texas, resulting in life sentences, including the American Sniper Case.
Briley has been credited for his criminal work with numerous commendations. He has Ivy League certification in Performance Leadership from the Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.
From February 2013-2015, Ranger Briley led the high-profile homicide of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, known as the American Sniper Case. His presentation helps criminal investigators and legal teams understand the behind-the-scenes truths/lessons learned and specifically how to be ready for the insanity defense. The presentation he provides throughout the nation and abroad is entitled “Evil Looks a Lot Like Crazy”.
Presentation: Murder of Decorated Navy Seal Christopher Kyle
Bruce Sackman served as the Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General, Criminal Investigations Division, 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 hundreds of investigations involving allegations of fraud, corruption, false claims, thefts, patient assaults, pharmaceutical drug diversions and suspicious hospital deaths. He was also responsible for supervising the successful investigation of the nation’s first homicide conviction in connection with pharmaceutical research. His cases involving medical professionals who have murdered their patients have been featured on the Discovery Health Channel, CNN, MSNBC, America’s Most Wanted 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 symposia.
He is the co-author of the book “Behind the Murder Curtain, Special Agent Bruce Sackman Hunts Doctors and Nurses Who Kill Our Veterans and the article “When the ICU becomes a Crime Scene” for Critical Care Nursing Quarterly. He is also the co-editor of the textbook the Art of Investigations with a second edition to be released in July. He was recently featured in an episode of the CNN/HLN special Dr. Death.
Mr. Sackman is recently retired self-employed licensed private investigator in New York City specializing in healthcare related matters. Under contract he had directed major investigations for a large New York metropolitan regional healthcare system.
He as appeared as a guest on over 35 podcasts and YouTube videos.
He served as the President of the Society of Professional Investigators in New York City from 2010 to 2019 and is a board member of the American Academy for Professional Law Enforcement. He is a frequent lecturer on the topic of medical serial killers having spoken through the United States, Great Britain, UAE, and Sweden.
Daron Wyatt began his law enforcement career in 1986 with the Tustin Police Department. Over the next 33 years, he worked for several Southern California police agencies. He retired from the Anaheim Police Department in December 2019 as a sergeant. As a police officer, Daron worked patrol, Special Enforcement, Crimes against Persons, SWAT, and Homicide. As a sergeant, he worked patrol, FTO Coordinator, SWAT, Special Enforcement, Family Protection, Major Incident Review Team (OIS Investigator), and as the Public Information Officer. Several of Daron’s homicide cases have been featured on Dateline and numerous True Crime tabloids.
Daron possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration, and a Master of Arts degree in Behavioral Science. He is certified as a Master Public Information Officer by FEMA, and is a certified Type 1 Public Information Officer in the Incident Command Qualification System.
Daron has been married to his wife, Misty, for 29 years. Misty is a retired stenographer from Los Angeles County Criminal Courts. They now live on a ranch near Laramie, Wyoming. Daron has a Private Investigators License and completes background investigations for several public safety agencies. For the past 18 months, Daron has also worked as a part-time detective for the Laguna Beach Police Department handling cold case homicides.