Laura Pettler & Associates

Eye of the Phoenix

Inside LPA

Welcome to Eye of the Phoenix: LPA's New Blog!

Greetings from Inside LPA Headquarters

I hope you are doing well this fine Sunday morning. My name is Dr. Laura Pettler. Today is a big day for us…

Today we launch our new blog: eye of the phoenix!

Our blog will be multi-dimensional. We’ll talk about services, products, behind the scenes at LPA, behind the scenes on show appearances, how-to’s, feature associates, consultants, operatives, and staff. But what we really want to know is what do you want to read from LPA? Let us know!

To get us started, let me introduce myself. I am a forensic criminologist. Lots of people have questions about what that means. It’s pretty simple actually: I’m 1/3 forensic scientist, 1/3 forensic psychologist, and 1/3 forensic sociologist. I study the physical, behavioral, and sociological evidence in my speciality area, homicide and murder cases. My work has evolved over time. I used to say a forensic criminologist was 1/2 forensic scientist and 1/2 forensic psychologist. Because so many things influence murder, such as environment, society, culture, weather, geography, religion, as I’ve moved through my career I learned how important taking all those variables into consideration was in every case. Inside LPA, we use a method called The Murder Room to work our cases. Within the Murder Room is an area where we sort out what I call…big word coming…genoenvirosocioculturalism (GESC). Oh yeah, huge word right? GESC is how the biology (genealogy), environment, society, and culture influence the death of the victim. Killers comes in all shapes and sizes, religions, colors, creeds, nationalities, ethnicities, etc. Therefore, all of that influences murder.

The Murder of Toni Henthorn


Can you kill someone in a staged surfing accident in the Rocky Mountains? Can you kill someone in a staged mountain climbing accident in Miami?

Harold Henthorn is a man convicted of killing his second wife, Toni. Harold asked Toni to go on a hike in the Rocky Mountains with him to celebrate their anniversary. The hike ended with Toni allegedly falling off a cliff to her death. Harold made multiple phone calls from the mountain side along with calling 911. Regardless Harold Henthorn was found guilty of murder by pushing Toni off the cliff causing her death.

But that’s the the only accident Harold Henthorn was every involved in. His first wife Sandra also died in an accident. Harold and Sandra were traveling by car in a remote area like the Rockies when Harold said their car got a flat. While fixing the flat, a tool rolled under the car, Lynne went under to retrieve it then the car fell on top of her killing her. Her death was examined for a mere seven days before it was closed as an accidental death. (Victimology in the first 48 every time).


  • GENO - Harold Henthorn’s personality, emotionality, cognition, and behavior was reported by friends and family to be selfish and deceptive. Harold hadn’t held a job or had a steady source of income for years (Toni was a doctor). Harold was greedy. Toni had a $4.5 million life insurance policy. Harold’s personality, emotionality, cognition, and behavior got the best of him. Toni had knee problems. For Harold to invite Toni to go on a hike met the needs of the offender. It certainly did not have anything to do with what would have been best for Toni.

  • ENVIRO - The Henthorn’s lived near the Rockies. The environment and the geography would play a major role in the staged accidental death of Toni Henthorn.

  • SOCIO - Society in the Rockies is outdoor, live-off-the-land, earthy type people. People whose recreational activities include hiking.

  • CULTURE - World-class skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, hunting, gardening. These are all very common cultural activities of people living in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain life. Harold Henthorn knew it would not be odd to invite his wife on a hiking trip, even though it wasn’t something they did often.


The murder of Toni Henthorn was influenced by the biology (personality, emotionality, cognition, and behavior), environment, society, and culture of living in Colorado near the Rockies. Harold Henthorn exploited the beautiful terrain of the Rocky Mountains by weaponizing it as a murder weapon to kill Toni Henthorn with the help of his push.

Harold Henthorn is serving a life sentence for the murder of Toni Henthorn.

#HerNameWasToni #HerNameWasSandra

Laura Pettler