Giving back

We care. We care about our world. We care about our country. We care about our state, our community, and all of our families. We believe in giving back because, well, quite simply, it is just the right thing to do. We stand for fair kind and respectful treatment of all people and we are dedicated to making sure we do our part to help make society safer. The "Carolina Forensics Cares" Program began in 2005 and now 11 years later has numerous events under its belt. Now LPA outreaches to community groups where we donate our time to teach for free overseas, speak to community groups and at schools, and offer shadowing experiences to young people interested in our field.

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Our international research team needs help gathering homicide cases with elements of crime scene staging! These will be used for a our brand new research project designed to come up with reliable red-flags that will help law enforcement recognize staging early in their investigations. Of course our results will be disseminated back to you to help you gather new leads or strengthen your existing work. The cases need to have been adjudicated and led to a conviction, and they need to have involved a murder staged as something else (like a suicide, accident, or home invasion). In this research project we are going to be looking at victim-offender relationships, conflict and domestic violence before the homicide, and offender planning-- all things which have been highlighted in our previous work as needing more explanation. We’re hoping to have a number of cases from across the US, so any case files you might be able to contribute would be really appreciated. 


Dr. Claire Ferguson is a Forensic Criminologist. She holds her honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario in Canada, her Masters degree in Criminology, and her PhD in Criminology, both from Bond University in Australia. Dr. Ferguson has worked for St. Leonard’s Society, as well as interned with Queensland Fire and Rescue services (Fire Investigation Unit). She also undertook an internship with Forensic Solutions in 2008. She is a Lecturer, Researcher Consultant and Project Manager in the area of criminology and forensic criminology. Dr. Ferguson’s doctorate (2010) was an analysis homicide cases internationally involving evidence manipulation, fabrication and staging. She has also worked on projects studying criminal profiling, sexual assault, domestic and intimate partner homicide, public punitiveness, copycat crimes, therapeutic jurisprudence, crime and deviance, false allegations, assault, arson, investigative relevance, forensic victimology, and sentencing issues.

Dr. Ferguson is committed to using her expertise to assist students, industry professionals and the general public in any way possible. She offers services relevant to all people, regardless of their involvement or experience with criminology. Claire believes the more value you can add to others through your experience, the more you will get back in return. In this light, Dr. Ferguson is happy to answer any question you may have whether it’s related to studying criminology and criminal justice; working in a criminological field; the specifics of any given case; or a media inquiry. As such, if there is information you require which is not listed in these pages, please do not hesitate to consult the ‘contact us’ page, and Dr. Ferguson will do her best to answer your inquiry, or direct you to someone who can.

Dr. Laura Pettler is a Forensic Criminologist, owner of LPA, VP of The American Investigative Society of Cold Cases, was cofounder/director of NC Prosecutorial District 20-A’s 2006-2010 Crime Scene Reconstruction and Behavioral Analysis Program, its Cold Case Task Force, and its 2009 International Forensic Institute. Dr. Pettler studies cold case, crime scene staging, DV homicide, and crime reconstruction, and is the inventor of The Kaleidoscope System. She holds degrees in psychology, criminal justice, and public safety, and authored new book: Crime Scene Staging Dynamics in Homicide Cases, dissertation: Crime Scene Behaviors of Crime Scene Stagers, and other staging publications. Pettler is a South Carolina Deputy Coroner, the former Chair of IAI’s BPA Subcommittee, and is a member of IAI’s Crime Scene Subcommittee.

Copyright Laura Pettler & Associates