Advanced Death Investigation


Course Description

After a period of decline, alarming reports of  spikes in homicides and other violent crime are daily front- page news in cities across America. 

This course will take homicide investigations to the next level, through a series of more advanced, unusual, or rare homicides. Attendees will learn advanced  techniques, insight, and advice for thorough investigations without duplicating mistakes.  A seasoned prosecutor will share the essential elements to “maximize” the chances of a successful prosecution and avoid critical mistakes. 

Retired Chief Medical Examiner for the State of  Virginia, Dr. Leah Bush, will share key information and her experiences performing autopsies and evidence recovery in gunshot and sex-related homicides. 

A State Police profiler will take attendees through the criminal’s mindset and discuss the victimology of victims. No-body homicides present a huge challenge for even the best investigator. An investigator will share how he has successfully solved and prosecuted several no-body homicides. 

Mass Fatalities may be rare but require sophisticated, immediate, advanced-level investigation skills including critical scene work. Attendees will hear from an investigator tasked with managing several of Virginia’s worst mass fatalities. 

Law enforcement professionals deal with the worst of society and witness the aftermath of devastating violent crime daily; and it takes a toll. The founder of Survival Mindset Training & Consulting shares his story and advice to manage a long, healthy career.

  • Virginia Beach Mass Shooting
  • False Confessions - "The Norfolk Four"
  • Behavioral aspects of Violent Crime Profiling, Victimology, Reconstruction and Targeting 
  • Cold Case Investigations and No-Body Homicide Investigation and Prosecution
  • Disputed Suicides
  • FIGG cases - Forensic Investigative Genetic Genealogy
  • Trauma, Resiliency and Self-care
  • Prosecution Considerations & Strategies-Maximize your Murder case in court
  • Unusual Death Investigations/Presentations
  • Gunshot Wound Identification
  • Sex Related Homicides
  • Multiple-case Presentations
  • Course Availability
  • Dates Coming Soon...
    Did you know that your department can receive free training by hosting a training seminar at your facility? Contact us today to find out how!
Donnie Norrell, Retired, Norfolk Police Department
Donnie Norrell
Retired, Norfolk Police Department

Donnie earned a BA in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University and served 26 years with the Norfolk Police Department before retiring. After graduating from the police academy, he was assigned to uniform patrol briefly before moving into Vice & Narcotics, where he spent 10 years. He was transferred to K-9, where he served as part of the emergency response team (ERT) for the next 5 years and completed his time in Norfolk, assigned to Homicide. During his 10 year stent in homicide, he was assigned to 77 “active” homicides, achieved a 100% clearance rate and brought to a close 7 “cold case” homicides. He’s received several letters of commendation and was awarded Police Officer of the Year in 1999. After retiring from the police department, Donnie continued his work in death investigations with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, in Norfolk, Virginia, where he served as the State’s Senior Investigator. He was certified by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators and has conducted over five thousand medicolegal death investigations. Donnie was a certified instructor with DCJS, a member of the Virginia Beach police “civilian” cold case squad and the NCIS cold case work group.

Philip G. Evans, Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney, Retired
Philip G. Evans
Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney, Retired

Philip G. Evans, recently retired after 27 years service as Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney, Norfolk, Virginia, 1994-2021.  Supervised the Adult Violent Crime Prosecution Team for 24 years and personally prosecuted all types of violent crime cases to include approximately 150 murder cases which included twenty-five defendants charged with capital murder; Recipient, 2018 Warren B. Von Schuch Award,  Distinguished Prosecutor Award; Recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Biometric Identification Award [Next Generation Identification System] in both 2019, Commonwealth v. Daniel Johnston: [Jury Trial, 1981 cold case homicide] and 2015, Commonwealth v. Amin Garcia, [Jury trial: cold case sexual assault]; Served as Faculty Instructor from 2004-2020 for the Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council (CASC) and/or Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys (VACA) for multiple instruction courses to include Prosecuting Homicides, Prosecuting Capital Murder Cases, Virginia DNA Procedures; Virginia Post-Conviction DNA Petitions/Evidence Retention; Member, 2016 Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) National Workgroup: “Police Officer Use of Force Project”; Instructor on Criminal Procedure, Norfolk Police Department, 1994-2021.  Served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, 1987-1994, as both prosecutor and defense counsel: 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg; United States Army Berlin, Germany; United States Army Trial Defense Service.  Juris Doctor [Law Degree], Loyola University of Chicago; Bachelor’s Degree: Journalism, The Pennsylvania State University.  Resident of Chesapeake, Virginia.    

Chris Humphries, Cpl. Detective, Chesterfield Co. Police, Unsolved Major Investigations Group
Chris Humphries
Cpl. Detective, Chesterfield Co. Police, Unsolved Major Investigations Group

Chris Humphries earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Virginia Commonwealth University and has been with the Chesterfield County Police Department since 1993. Chris has held positions within the department such as, Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Street Drug Enforcement Officer, Vice and Narcotics Detective, DEA Task Force Officer, Senior Detective, Master Detective, Career Detective, and Corporal Detective.

Chris is currently assigned to the Chesterfield County Criminal Investigations Division, Unsolved Major Investigations Group (UMIG). This elite group is tasked with investigating unsolved homicides, suspicious missing persons cases, serial violent offenders, officer involved use of force cases, and investigating high profile or sensitive violent crime involving political figures, elected officials, and judges should they arise.

Key Cold Cases Investigations

2007 – Investigation, arrest, trial preparation, and conviction of defendant for 1991, unsolved double homicide in Chesterfield County, Virginia

Commonwealth v. Wallace

2016 – Investigation, arrest, trial preparation, and conviction of a defendant in Chesterfield County’s first “no-body” homicide investigation.

Commonwealth v. Edwards

2017 – Investigation, arrest, trial preparation and conviction of a defendant in Chesterfield County’s second “no-body” homicide investigation.

Commonwealth v. Gibbs

2020 – Investigation into the 1986 murder and dismemberment of a 16-year-old Christy Lynn Floyd. Victim had remained unidentified from 1986 until March of 2020. Floyd identified but with use of DNA technology, testing, and genealogical research. (CASE PENDING AND LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE)

2021 – Investigation, arrest, and trial preparation of a defendant in Chesterfield County’s third “no-body” homicide investigation.

Commonwealth vs. Howard.

Kenneth R. Morris, Criminal Profiler Consultant, Virginia State Police
Kenneth R. Morris
Criminal Profiler Consultant, Virginia State Police

Kenneth R. Morris

Criminal Profiler Consultant, Virginia State Police

After 27 years as a sworn member of the Virginia Department of State Police, Ken retired from its behavioral unit on September 1, 2014. He returned to the State Police on October 26, 2015, in the same capacity as a criminal profiler but, as a civilian consultant. As one of only about 75 certified criminal profilers in the world, Ken continues to assist with violent crimes investigations for local and federal law enforcement agencies around the United States and internationally. Recently, he assisted with investigations in Virginia, Idaho, California, and Missouri.

Ken specializes in criminal investigative analysis, an investigative umbrella that includes determining personality traits and other characteristics of unknown offenders (criminal profiling), assessing threatening communications and actions, providing interview/interrogation techniques, and analyzing statements for truthfulness. He is also a crisis negotiator and court-certified expert in bloodstain pattern analysis. He lectures extensively on criminal profiling throughout the United States and has done so abroad in Canada, Germany, and South Africa.

Ken’s profiling certification was attained by completing a demanding training agenda mandated by the International Criminal Investigative Analysis Fellowship (ICIAF), a renowned group whose membership includes active and retired profilers from various elite law enforcement agencies from the US and around the world.

Ken, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, served in the U.S. Army as an armor officer before joining the Virginia State Police as a Trooper in 1987. He is a graduate of the Virginia State Police Basic Academy, the International Criminal Investigative Analysis Understudy Program, the Virginia Department of Forensic Science Academy, the National Fire Academy, and the FBI Basic Bomb and Hazardous Devices School at Redstone Arsenal. He served as a Board Member and Vice President of the Virginia Homicide Investigators’ Association for 16 years.