Proving suicide can be a daunting task for the investigator due to factors such as family denials, scene interference, insurance issues, and the basic stigma surrounding an intentional self-inflected death. This course is specifically designed to help you overcome these difficulties by providing you with the skills necessary to thoroughly and properly investigate the death and to recognize and document all indicators of suicide. Your thorough investigation can be the sole basis for a Medical Examiner/Coroner to rule the manner-of-death as suicide.
The reasons one decides to take his or her own life can be psychological, biological, social or a combination of the three. We will explore each of these reasons in-depth. We will also cover the physical possibility of suicide – i.e. could the deceased have physically killed themselves, the most common methods employed, and the development of intent.
Classroom lectures and “case analysis” exercises will be used to teach you the proper steps to take when investigating suspected suicides. You will also be given a number of recommendations for dealing with the family of the victim of suicide.
• Reasons for family denial of suicide
• Dealing with the family of the decedent
• Determining the physical possibility of suicide
• Developing and detailing all indications of intent on the part of the decedent
• Developing motive
• The most common methods of suicide
• Importance of determining the body position when a firearm is utilized
• Differentiating between an intentional hanging and an autoerotic death
• Reasons why a person may commit suicide
• The biological, psychological and sociological perspectives of suicide
Audience: Patrol officers, newly assigned and seasoned detectives, investigations supervisors, crime scene technicians, medical examiner and coroner investigators, military investigative personnel
Course length: 16 hours
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