Basic Death & Homicide Investigation

40 Hour Training Course / KLEC Certified
Tuition: $900

Course Description:

The investigation of death is one of the most important responsibilities a law enforcement agency can undertake. This 40-hour course will prepare the student to properly investigate all death cases. The focus will be on homicide investigation and students will be working investigative cases as part of participative and interactive small groups (teams).

The areas specifically covered in this course of instruction will include the following topical areas:  the police role in the investigation of natural and accidental death cases; the proper response of uniform officers; control and protection of the crime scene; DNA evidence; suicide investigation; working with the Medical Examiner; examination of the body; the time of death window; blunt force trauma; sharp force trauma; gunshot wounds; asphyxia deaths; autoerotic deaths; crime scene analysis; forensics and physical evidence; case preparation and courtroom testimony.

Course Topics and Areas of Study:

  • The Investigations of Natural and Accidental Death Cases
  • Investigative Approach to Death Cases
  • Suicide investigation
  • Specific Duties of the First Responding Officer
  • Working With the Medical Examiner and Examination of the Body
  • Establishing the "Time of Death Window"
  • Blunt Force Trauma
  • Sharp Force Trauma
  • Gunshot Wounds
  • Recognizing and Understanding Asphyxia
  • Homicide Protocol - The Pyramid Approach to Investigation
  • Utilizing Law Enforcement Tools
  • Autoerotic Death Cases
  • Case Studies and Analysis
  • Small Group (Team) Work Projects
  • Case Trial Preparation and the Detective in Court

    Course Materials and Equipment


    Course materials (i.e., Powerpoint presentations, handouts, articles, etc.) will be provided electronically for this course on a computerized access link provided to registered students prior to the class.   It is highly recommended that students download course materials to a laptop, tablet or other device  prior to the first day of class and bring the device with them to the course.  Otherwise, students should print SPI-provided course materials from the access link and bring printed materials with them to class.

    In order to download course materials from the access link, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel software (Office Suite) should be installed on laptop, tablet or other device.

    Who Should Attend:

    Enrollment is limited to law enforcement officers (uniform or detective), investigators and other authorized officials responsible for investigating the deaths of human beings.


    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.


    Click here to register for courses.

    What Our Graduates Are Saying:

    "The course was very comprehensive and contained a lot of valuable information. The structure of the course with actual scene photos was very helpful in making all the info make sense."

    "The course gave a good overview of the basics of a homicide investigation. The subject matter was pertinent and covered all aspects from the call-out to court."

    "The problem-solving investigative methods are also very applicable to other types of investigations. I enjoyed this class so much, I would take it again just for fun!"

    "Great review and reminders of processes we should be doing, but have wished away. Also, a lot of new information and techniques I will take into the field."  

    "This course was very good. I feel I learned new ways to conduct my investigations, better ways to identify potential death investigations, and to identify the appropriate case -- whether it be suicide, homicide, accidental, or natural."