Laura Pettler & Associates

Investigating Staged Homicides Class

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand. These are the concepts taught by Dr. Laura Pettler. Crime scene staging has been taking place since Joseph’s death was staged by his brothers in the Bible. Dr. Pettler will show how criminal are creatures of habit and they live the way they kill.”

— Bill LaPradd, Special Agent, Alabama State Bureau of Investigation

We are moving forward! Introducing "Investigating Staged Homicides Part I"

Formerly known as "Laura Pettler's Crime Scene Staging Symposium", Investigating Staged Homicides Part I is the only courses in the world that focuses on introducing forensic criminology to investigators. Forensic criminology marries the physical evidence with the behavioral evidence, which is necessary in many staged homicide case investigations. Our class connects you through personal interaction, multimedia, and through real-world experience all at the same time.

What is crime scene staging?

Crime scene staging in homicide cases is the deliberate manipulation of physical and behavioral evidence for the purpose of misdirecting a death investigation. Many times the challenge with these cases is that the crime scene and physical evidence do not put the weapon back in the hand of the offender. This situation might leave investigators concerned about the case going cold. While it would be great to have physical evidence in every allegedly staged death case, many staged homicide cases lack sufficient physical evidence or contain weak physical evidence at best. 

Investigating Staged Homicides Part I 

Dr. Pettler is an engaging and knowledgeable, researcher and instructor, with a true passion for the advancement criminalistics research as a whole and crime scene analysis in particular. I would highly recommend Dr. Pettler’s classes.
— — Patrick Sigafoos, Forensic Specialist at The City of Greensboro Police Department

...using field-friendly techniques that help YOU detect staging early in an investigation, what to do once you discover a crime has been staged, how to organize and categorize all the relevant pieces of the investigation, and much more. The class is presented in an easy-to-understand format designed for the 21st Century Professional. Innovative technology is the name of the game so attendees should bring Smartphones, Tablets, or their Laptop. Prepare to learn how to use Laura’s Crime Scene Staging Trilogy App and analyze 911 Call Transcripts of Crime Scene Stagers using a live worksheet you can use right on your phone.  Live Audience Polling in our large audiences helps us help you by enabling attendees to view live poll results that help stimulate discussion. Don’t like to ask questions out loud? No problem. We encourage back-channeling via Twitter and through our live polling App right from your phone so you can anonymously post a question to Laura she can answer for the whole group.

Dear Laura,
As I mentioned to you before, I could listen to you all day. Your subject matter is quite interesting and I can’t wait until you learn more about homicides and trash dumps. I had a couple people come up to me and say your presentation was awesome and that they wished they they’d known you before now. THANKS! I look forward to seeing you in April.
— Laura Church, Program Coordinator S.T.O.P. Violence Against Women Office of the Attorney GeneralState of South Carolina

Materials Included

  • Morning & Afternoon Presentation
  • Books for Attendees (optional)
  • Book Signing Event
  • Digital Class Handouts
  • Staging Detection App

Class FAQS:

  • Time: 9am-12pm, Lunch Noon-1pm, 1pm-5pm 
  • Dress Code: Casual
  • What to bring: Computer or Laptop or Smartphone, Notebook, Pen


Download the book's media kit

Crime Scene Staging Dynamics in Homicide Cases by Laura Pettler is the first book in the world dedicated to exploring crime scene staging phenomena, its relationship to intimate partner homicide, and the American Cold Case Epidemic. Laura’s new method for investigating staged homicides has shown promise for giving investigators new tools that can help strengthen the relationship between the physical, behavioral, and circumstantial evidence in these cases. 

Crime Scene Staging Dynamics in Homicide Cases is the first book to look at this practice, providing a methodology of identifying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating the evidence of each case by learning to marry the physical evidence to the behavioral evidence.

The book begins with the history of crime scene staging and includes many case examples that illustrate how, when, and why criminals stage crime scenes. The characteristics of crime scene stagers and their victims are examined along with the intent of crime scene staging and dynamics of the staged crime scene. In addition, coverage of forensic victimology explores the reasons why a person might become a victim and why, based on this, staging may be performed.

The book emphasizes the importance of recognizing behavioral red flags which are often present in staged crime scenes. These indicators can be commonly overlooked by investigators when they focus only on the physical evidence of a crime scene. Early detection, crime scene analysis, and crime scene reconstruction of the staged crime scene are each supported—by the full body of literature and latest published research on staging as well as by proven real-world, field-based methodologies.

The book identifies and describes various types of crime scene staging behavioral patterns, presenting the complications and challenges that crime scene staging presents for investigators. This book will be an invaluable tool for forensic scientists, investigators, homicide detectives, and law enforcement to understand all aspects of crime scene staging dynamics. Please visit for everything crime scene staging. We collect articles and cases and post them on there for students and criminal justice professionals to resource.