Death Investigations and Scene Analysis

Investigating deaths can be very complex and demanding on departmental resources.  Every death investigation, no matter the cause, deserves a complete and thorough investigation. The focus of this course is to enhance investigators' ability to recognize and understand various causes and manners of death as well as to develop the skill set to execute a thorough investigation and collaborate with the Medical Examiner's Office.

Investigative Concepts, LLC. takes pride in designing each course with leading edge, accurate, and current information, bringing it to you by securing the most experienced, dynamic instructors, and is sure to take investigators' investigative capabilities to the next level. The speakers in this course share more than 125 years of personal experience in the field of death investigations. 


  • Initial Response to the Crime Scene (Mass Fatality)
  • Stages of decomposition and time of death
  • Identifying Natural vs Undetermined Deaths
  • Infant Death Investigations & Doll Scene Re-enactments
  • No-body Homicide Investigations and Prosecutions
  • Working with the Medical Examiner's Office
  • Disputed Suicide Investigations
  • Case Preparation, Courtroom Testimony, Protecting Witnesses, Legal Updates and Working with the Prosecutor.
  • Cold Case Investigations
  • Accidental & Industrial Deaths
  • In Custody Deaths
  • Virginia Beach Mass shooting and Virginia Tech Mass Shooting
  • ***Hillsborough Class 4th day Strategic Law Enforcement Interview Course (1 day)
  • Course Availability
  • April 23, 2024 - April 26, 2024 7 Seats Left
    Hillsborough Co. Sheriff's Office (Tampa, Fl.) Tampa, Fl
  • October 7, 2024 - October 9, 2024 35 Seats Left
    Cardinal Criminal Justice Training Academy - Salem, Va. Salem, Va
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.

Lena Sisco, Body Language Expert, Certified Military Interrogator, Author
Lena Sisco
Body Language Expert, Certified Military Interrogator, Author

Lena Sisco is a Certified Military Interrogator with an extensive background in interviewing and interrogation. While working in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, she was involved in interrogating members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Her ability to build a rapport, employ effective questioning techniques and accurately read body language led to numerous successes that saved American lives. She is the Founder of Concruency Group and since 2003 has shared her skills with both, law enforcement and military professions to include DEA, Border Patrol, Defense Intelligence Agency, Navy Special Warfare as well as other local, State and Federal Agencies. Her techniques have been used to assist these individuals in their personal and professional lives, apprehend criminals and gather necessary intelligence for our military. She holds a Master's Degree from Brown University and authored two books, titled "You're Lying," a book that describes the techniques of detecting deception Lena has developed and mastered as well as "Marine Scout Snipers." Ms. Sisco has been a keynote speaker for TED and several private sector businesses, and is recognized as a certified Expert in the art of enhanced communications.

James (Jamie) Thomas, Senior Homicide Detective, Chesapeake Police Department
James (Jamie) Thomas
Senior Homicide Detective, Chesapeake Police Department

James G. (Jamie) Thomas earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Leo University; graduating Cum Laude. Jamie is currently a dedicated Senior Homicide Detective with the Chesapeake Police Department. Twenty-two years with the CPD, has equipped Detective Thomas with a well-rounded background in proven investigative strategies and is recognized by many as an expert in the field of Cellular Survey Analysis; well versed and documented successful prosecutions using key facets of the technology, such as writing and effecting search warrants for cellular devices, call detail records and mapping. While he has demonstrated much success in effectively prosecuting cases of burglary, larceny, forgery, assault, missing persons, robbery, abduction, murder for hire, and homicide using his expertise in Cellular Analysis techniques, Detective Thomas’ was most proud when he solved a case of a twelve-year-old girl, kidnapped and taken to Mexico, using Cellular Analysis techniques and strategies; remarkably, the girl was returned to her family.  Jamie has received numerous Meritorious Service Awards; Hampton Roads Top Cop Award in 2004 and Great Bridge Ruritan Club Police Officer of the Year in 2000 are just two of many awarded to Detective James G. (Jamie) Thomas.

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.