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LibertyYou will find in this section hot News articles which we feel are of national importance to all folks. This article is brought to you as a free service from AAJTS. 



    A lack of morals but some social values play a larger role on Suicide then the general perception would allow.  Bizarre twists in logic could cause one to commit Suicide for insurance benefits to go to “the secret person”. 

     In most districts because of the unbelievable yet true jealousy that exists between various levels of Law Enforcement, Local, District, Territorial, State, Federal, Senate Subcommittees and so forth, a bizarre boundary line between the work of the criminologist and the medical examiner or coroner is difficult to know.  Obviously this would concern issues I taught in Murder Parts 1-4.  These were all forensic scientific principals, which would given burden of proof issues immediately bring one to the culprit.  However, this examiner has lobbied for Medically educated personal to be used as investigators for over 26 years and the most success I have witnessed was on the cases of task forces I was a member.  No matter the type of doctor you are, the investigative mind set in many is relative to crime solving methods of the 1800’s.  In theory, the criminologist should confine themselves to traces of the murder, while the forensic medical examiner or coroner would give the exterior descriptions of the body and perform the autopsy. 

    History demonstrates that such as strict limitation of duties gives very limited results.  For example some pathologists confine their formal dictation of the exterior of the body in such a medical yet professional manner, that the average detective or investigator finds very little use for it.  Look at the O.J. Simpson Trial.  Well never know if he did or he didn’t as the criminal trial indicated he did not yet the civil indicated he did!  This occurred because there investigators found little help in not only the coroners testimony, but in the failures of everything I taught you in Murder Parts 1-4 relative to protecting the evidence and the quick interpretation for the quality investigators on the case.  I opine that if a medical investigator would have been sent out with the detectives from the get go, the outcome of that case and most murder or suicide case would come out with investigational findings which would stand the test of Judicial Review no matter civil or criminal.

   Conversely if the coroner happens to be personally respects the difficult task of the operant, agent, investigator or detective, experience shows, the Forensic Medical Examiner is of tremendous benefits and service to the investigator.   

     Just as stated in the mission statement our purpose is to bridge the gap between the egocentric of mankind and let the tenants of the best of law and science work together to retake the streets, homes and hearts of America.  For example in the exterior examination of a corpus delecti we find the vague boundary line between police science and legal medicine.  Of course this is where the most difficult problems in homicide investigations are encountered.  For example was it Suicide or was it Murder.  Team cooperation between the Forensic Medical Examiner and the skilled Agent or investigator is the best means of solving such problems.  From my teachings, it is my goal to make familiar the understanding of the problems of the work of the investigator to the Forensic Medical Fraud Examiner and to make the work of the Forensic Medical Fraud Examiner familiar with the difficult tasks ahead for the skilled Agent or investigator. 



   These are based on laws of the Central District, as that is where this author originally wrote this section of the "Textbook For Forensic Criminal Investigations".  In any event, always master the laws of the land.  Remember my BA is from the University of Minnesota, one of my Masters Degrees is from the University of Boca Raton in Florida, and my other five (5) degrees were earned in California.  Now as I make this addition I have moved to another state because of its offers the greatest learning experience and wisdom in the area of Orthodox Medicine that our nation has to offer; the great state of Illinois.  Thus, in other Districts or States simply check the penal codes of the particular Jurisdiction. 

1.     Excusable Homicide _ Penal Code Section 195

     A Homicide is excusable in the following cases:

a.   When the homicide was an accident or misfortune, or in doing any other lawful act by lawful means, with usual and customary caution, and without and unlawful intent.

b.   When the accident was committed in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or upon a sudden combat, when no undue advantage is taken, nor any dangerous weapon used, and when the killing is not done in a cruel and unusual manner.

 2.     Justifiable Homicide – Penal Code Section 196.

     Public officers may by acting in their command in their aid and assistance, either:

a.   In obedience to any judgment of a competent court; or

b.   When necessarily committed in overcoming actual resistance to the execution of legal process, or in the discharge of any other legal duty.

c.  When necessarily committed in retaking felons who have been rescued or have escaped, or when necessarily committed in arresting persons charged with felony, and who are fleeing from justice or resisting such arrest, such as pulling a gun and shooting an Agent, Investigator, Detective or Officer.

Homicide is justifiable when committed by any person pursuant to Penal Code Section 197 when:

a.   When resting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, to do great Bodily injury upon any person.

b.   When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person, against one who           intends by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends a Violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another with intent to Cause violence to any person therein.

c.   When committing a lawful defense of a wife or husband, parent, child, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend intent to commit a felony or to murder.  If the defender engaged in combat, they must in good faith, have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed.

d.    When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully preserving the peace.

      Justification for homicide is absent where more force than was necessary to resist the other party’s misconduct. 



    Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or fetus with malice intent.  P.C. 187.  Such malice may be implied.  It is expressed when there is deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a fellow creature.  P.C. 188 While still retained in the concept of “abandoned and malignant heart” is in judicial disrepute.  In the People vs. Phillips, 64 C. 2d 574, 587 found this concept to be “unnecessary and undesirable” in an instruction.  In fact this tem has been eliminated from the new codes. 

     Any murder perpetrated by an (P.C. 189) explosive device, poison, lying in wait, torture and premeditated killing even if the methods were arson, rape, robbery, burglary, mayhem are punishable under Section 2288, which is murder in the first degree; all other kinds of murders are in the second degree. 

     Penal code Section 192.1 (Felony) indicates that Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being, without malice.  The tree types follow:

1.     Voluntary which would be a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.

a.   Corpus Delecti

The corpus delecti for voluntary manslaughter is the same as for 2nd degree murder, with the exception of malice aforethought.

2.     In order for a killing which would otherwise be  murder to be reduced to manslaughter, under The “rule of provocation”.

3.     Killing which would otherwise be murder to be reduced to manslaughter would be under the “rule of provocation”.



      It may be no surprise that a familial history of suicide assist the investigator.  I f suicide has occurred before in the family this is an indictor that support the theory of suicide.  Sometimes threats to commit suicide were reported to police to cover a homicide.  It also happens that relatives who want to show that the suicide was committed “while of unsound mind” need suicide threats.  The reasons will be come clear shortly. 

     A Suicide note is a strong indication of suicide, particularly if written by hand and the identity of the handwriting can be proved.  Remember that a weapon may be put into the hand of a dead body and retained there by the actions of rigor mortis, and that in spite of the fact that a door is locked from the inside of a room, this can be accomplished from the outside.  Thus look into the circumstances in which the act was committed.  Remember from Murder 2-4 you learned what happens to body parts close to a hard surface.  Look a color of the skin surrounding the weapon.  In held during suicide there may be a purplish color.  If the gun was placed in the hand after some time look for a brownish light purple striated appearance. 

     Remember your success depends on commons sense, good judgment based on experience, Professional curiosity based on desire, and not easily satisfied, and knowledge of the evidence. 

      This brings you to study the findings of the Autopsy.  The Autopsy is conducted by the medical examiner whose investigation may disclose the cause of death as well as if there are hidden wounds and often the manner of infliction.  Thus locate or know the location of any wounds, conditions of clothing, and surrounding property as well as diaries or notes left hidden in a bank vault security box.  Notices any stains found upon the person or clothing and note these things for the Coroner. 

     In the next section Suicide or Murder Part 2 we will discuss ballistics and Shooting Deaths.  Further you will study how one may leave a room with a body in it where to all investigators the exits appear to be locked from the inside could have been escape routes from a fleeing Murderer.

“Every man of courage

is a man of his word”.

Pierre Corneille

by Dr. Scott David Neff Chiropractic Orthopedist, MSOM, MPS-BT, CFE, DABFE © TEXTBOOK FOR FORENSIC CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS 1999  

© & TM 1998 American Academy for Justice Through Science. All rights reserved.

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