Fire Death & Arson Investigations

The feature speaker, Dr. Elayne Pope, will share her videos of burning human cadavers during her extensive research with the San Luis Obispo, California Fire Dept. 

This course will introduce attendees to the best practices of the "team concept" for collaboration with fire, law enforcement, and the Medical Examiners Office to ensure the most accurate and thorough investigations.

Even the most thorough and best performed investigations can fall short if investigators are not equipped with what's needed to successfully prosecute the case. Court preparation is essential to fire-related death cases.

Covered Topics:

  • Effects of Fire on Human Remains
  • Burn Patterns to the Human Body 
  • Exposing Pre-existing Trauma
  • Effects of Accelerants
  • Structure and Vehicular Fires
  • Excavation of Fire Scenes   
  • Dual Fire Death/Arson Homicide Investigations
  • The “Team Concept” in Fire Death/Arson Investigations
  • Common Mistakes in Fire Death/Arson Case Prosecutions
  • The Importance of Thorough Trial Preparation
  • Working in Cooperation with Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Current Medical Examiner’s Office Autopsy Procedures
  • Hotel Link for Virginia Beach school, Double Tree:
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    Palm Harbor CSA , Hosted by Palm Harbor Fire Dept. Palm Harbor, Fl
  • September 23, 2024 - September 24, 2024 25 Seats Left
    City of Norwich Fire Department Norwich, CT
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.    

Dr. Elayne Pope, Forensic Anthropologist/Fatal Fire Expert
Dr. Elayne Pope
Forensic Anthropologist/Fatal Fire Expert

Dr. Elayne Pope is a Forensic Anthropologist and the Director of Fatal Fire Forensics 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 (