Homicide Investigation

80 Hour Training Course / 8.0 CEUs / KLEC Approved
$1195.00 If paid by cash/check / $1240.00 If paid by Visa/MC/Discover

Course Description:

Since 1955, the Southern Police Institute has provided law enforcement officers worldwide with quality homicide investigative training. SPI’s HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION course provides participants with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to conduct competent and complete homicide/death investigations.

Carefully selected case studies are used throughout the program to explore every aspect of homicide/death investigations, including autoerotic fatalities, and suicides.   An expert in a specific field of specialization leads each program segment.   Court certified, these experts provide the participant valuable exposure to years of field experience and a variety of investigative techniques.  The course is an intensive eighty-hour program delivered over 10 days.  Each participant is granted the opportunity to individually interact with the instructors and review cases, including their own cold cases and active investigations.  Cases will be examined through discussion, questions, and answers as well as an evaluation of evidence by participants and instructors.  The learning environment and assignments, including practical and scenario-based exercises, is highly interactive with frequent group discussions in order to draw on the experience and expertise of the participants themselves as well as from the experience the instructors being to the classroom.   At the completion of the program participants have the ability to differentiate between accidental, suicidal, and homicidal death.

Course Topics and Areas of Study:

  • Scene Response & Protocol
  • Scene Analysis with Student Case Study
  • Law Enforcement Tools & Technology
  • Case Management & Small Group Case Work
  • Suicide Investigation
  • Court Preparation & Testimony
  • Criminal Profiling Techniques for Homicide Detectives: Introduction
  • Application of Methodology Utilized When Analyzing Violent Crimes
  • Criminal Investigative Analysis Program
  • Equivocal Death Evaluations
  • Cold Case Analysis - Forensic Linguistic Examination
  • Cold Case Analysis - Missing Persons Case
  • Statement Analysis
  • Crime Scene Reconstruction - Sexual Homicide
  • Legal Issues in Homicide Investigations and Prosecution of Homicide Cases
  • Forensic Evidence and Crime Scene Collection
  • Trace & Biological Evidence
  • Identification of Blood - Small Group Practical
  • DNA Evidence
  • Bloodstain Pattern: Analysis, Recognition & Classification, Mechanics in the Crime Scene, and Documentation
  • Clandestine Graves
  • Introduction to Forensic Pathology
  • Blunt and Sharp Force Injuries
  • Deaths Associated With Fire and Electricity
  • Deaths From Asphyxia
  • Injury and Death Associated With Gunshot Wounds
  • Death in Childhood: SIDS/SUID/SUDI
  • Death in Childhood - Common Causes of Accidental and Homicidal Death in Children

    Who Should Attend:

    Enrollment is limited to law enforcement officers, (uniform or detective), investigators, supervisors, and other authorized officials who are responsible for investigating homicides (crime scene technicians, medical examine/coroner investigators, military investigators, criminal analysts, or prosecutors).


    Whitney Collins

    Ryane Conroy, J.D.

    Tracey Corey, M.D.

    Gregory J. Davis, M.D.

    Dean A. Hawley, M.D.

    Robert J Morton

    William Ralston

    Peter Smerick

    Laura Sudkamp

    Patrick Welsh

    Erin White

    John Yerardi

    Upcoming Training and Lodging:

    If this course is not currently scheduled, it can be brought to your region by a co-hosting agency or through a contract. Learn more.


    Please visit the Register for Courses link in the toolbar or by clicking here.

    What Our Graduates Are Saying:

    "Very good class. Valuable information for all types of investigation not just homicide. Enjoyed all the speakers and their information."

    "The quality of instruction was excellent. I have been in law enforcement for 10 years. As a detective, I felt the courses and material were perfect for my level of experience and will enable me to grow and continue in my career."

    "The course overall was exceptional....I would recommend this class to anyone who is a seasoned homicide investigator or a new Homicide investigator."

    "This course was absolutely one of the best and most worthwhile training courses I've been too. The instructors were highly skilled. I have no doubt the skills and techniques I've learned will be a great benefit to my career."

    "Excellent course with relevant topics. Learned much more than I could ever imagine."

    "The course was definitely worth it. The overall information was basic enough for new investigators and advanced enough for experienced investigators."

    "Overall a great 2 weeks of training! I found the course to be very informative with interesting case studies and personal experience shared by the instructors."

    "The class was very informative and provided a wealth of knowledge. I will recommend it to others in my agency."

    "I wish I would have come to this course 10 years ago and will recommend this course to any new investigator."

    "Very good class overall. I've taken other Homicide courses that didn't even come close to this one. Good balance of lecture, case study, and practical exercise.

    "Great class! Very informative. Learned things to apply to all investigations...not just homicide."

    "I found this course to be very thorough. All subject matter was clearly articulated and easily understood."

    “I learned more in this course than I have learned in other classes. I think the reason for this is (the) instructors….I really appreciate the enthusiasm the instructors brought and their willingness to explain things at a very simple level.”

    “Rare to get multiple excellent instructors in a class, albeit two weeks. The instructors complimented each other and all did a good job of maintaining class interest which is usually difficult in such a long course.”

    “This course provided a comprehensive overview of homicide investigations, while also adding details that I had not previously obtained. The expertise and vast knowledge of the instructors is apparent.”

    “Overall a very good class which will have an impact on my future investigations.”

    “This course was an excellent refresher of topics utilized regularly as a detective. It included many topics that, I believe, will make me a better, more thorough investigator. All instructors were very knowledgeable in their respective fields. I
    will recommend this course to others.”

    “Course was very informative and understandable. SPI staff should be commended for their professionalism and dedication to this course and finding such an excellent staff of instructors.”

    “An outstanding course. All police officers with 5 years or more of experience should take this course. I wish I could have taken this course 10-15 years sooner!”

    “Great course. I have learned so much to apply in my work. I am more confident as an investigator from this course.”

    “Course was well organized. I truly enjoyed the presentations and material provided. I’ve learned things that I’ve never thought about in crime scene investigation and will utilize it in the field.”

    “Very worthwhile class and a must have course needed in the profession of Homicide detectives.”

    “Great course. One of the best schools that I have attended. All material was presented well and I liked the group exercises to break up the lectures. I was recommended by other detectives to attend this class and I will recommend it to others when I get back to my agency.”

    “I cannot say enough how valuable this course will be for me.”

    "The course was worthwhile. As a new detective I have learned a lot about investigations over the past 2 weeks. The selection of instructors was very important to facilitate the learning experience. The different levels of experience from those attending is also a benefit. The instructors are very passionate about what they do and they relay the importance of this course."

    "I have attended several classes regarding subjects taught in this class, however this class was more detailed and very well taught. The instructors were well prepared and motivated to teach. They took some hard subjects and made them interesting. The instructors were able to keep the class's attention throughout."

    "The entire course was informative and useful. The course was comprehensive and should be required prior to an investigator that will conduct death investigations."

    "Initially feared that boredom would set in attending a two-week course, but found the format to work well thanks to the knowledgeable instructors and the useful information that they provided, not only for homicide investigations but information that can be used in everyday investigations."

    "...blown away by the experience and credentials of all the instructors and am truly humbled that I got to learn and study under all of them."

    "This was an excellent course and I would highly recommend it for co-workers."

    “I’ve been in law enforcement for approximately 10 years and have attended countless training courses/classes.  I would vote the SPI Homicide course to be one of my favorite, more comprehensive and informative classes I’ve attended throughout my career.”

    “I was just recently assigned to my Department’s Investigations Division so the information and knowledge gained in this class will be beneficial in my current assignment.  It provided a good broad view of the investigative process and was presented in an understandable fashion.  I really enjoyed this school.”

    “Overall this was an excellent course that provided a good base of knowledge for the novice homicide investigator and helpful additional knowledge for more experienced investigators. I would definitely recommend it for other investigators.”

    “This course was highly informative.  As a newer detective, and having this as one of my first major training classes, I learned a lot of new techniques and “tricks of the trade” that I will take back to my department and use during investigation.”

    "In June of 2003, I attended the SPI Homicide Investigation Course.  At the time I was assigned to Investigations as Det/Sgt.  The instruction was dynamic and relevant. Shortly upon my return from the course, I was assigned to an extremely stressful case  involving the death of a one year old female. The child had been brought to the emergency room by rescue squad. Reports indicated the child had been crying and vomiting for days and the mother had taken her to the emergency room the previous night for treatment and was released. Interviews with family, babysitters and the mother of the child indicated the baby came from a loving home, but the question remained. Did mom stress out because the baby wouldn’t stop crying and possibly shake her?  This was the type of case you lose sleep over. Mom either committed homicide or she was a mother in mourning. There was no room for error in this case. We had to get this right. A  post-mortem examination was scheduled and the results were pending examination by a pathologist whom I did not know.  I telephoned Lucy Houck, who at the time served as an SPI Forensic Consultant and Tracey Corey, who taught Pediatric Forensics. Both instructors provided guidance and assured me that the pathologist conducting the post mortem was considered an expert in the field of pediatric forensics, one of the best.  Subsequently, the pathologist determined the cause of death to be related to an anomaly on the child’s brainstem which existed from birth.  The information provided by SPI proved to be a tremendous resource to this investigation. When the staff and instructors from Southern Police Institute provide their phone numbers and emails and urge students to call, they really mean it.  Hats off to SPI, thank you for providing solid instruction and support to the law enforcement community."

    -Craig Somerville Sr. Chief of Police-Antioch Police Dept.