Saint Louis University

ST. LOUIS - More than 200 death scene investigators from across North America convened this week at Saint Louis University School of Medicine to learn the latest advancements in forensic sciences.

Death Investigators
Mr. Paul Kish discusses bloodstain pattern analysis with
conference attendees on July 24.

Mary Case, M.D., professor of pathology at Saint Louis University and co-director of the conference, said the meeting was specifically designed for veteran, trained medicolegal death investigators and is offered every other year.

"The Masters Death Investigation Course at SLU is the preeminent death investigation course that goes beyond the basic level and covers all the recent developments and happenings in the forensic science world," Case said.

"This is an opportunity to hear from forensic science experts in a lot of different fields."

Crime scene investigators, forensic pathologists, scientists, coroners, emergency personnel, police officers and administrators learn the latest methods of documenting and interpreting crime scenes at the largest meeting of its kind in North America, added Case, who also is St. Louis County's chief medical examiner.

This year's conference included talks ripped from the headlines, such as the Drew Peterson, Chris Coleman and Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell cases. Attendees also learned the most current information about taser-related deaths, preserving evidence in firearms deaths, analyzing bloods stains, investigating fatal child neglect cases, chemical warfare agents and drug abuse trends.

Saint Louis University has the oldest formalized death investigator training in the U.S. Since 1978, the University's Division of Forensic Pathology has offered three death investigator courses annually, taught by University and local faculty. The division began offering its bi-annual Masters Death Investigation Course in 1985, adding faculty from beyond the SLU and St. Louis community who are top experts in their fields to share the most recent information about investigating crime scenes.