The Forensic Examiner® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute. This site serves as your source of information for all aspects of the journal, including article archives, contact information, and of course, advertising information.

The Forensic Examiner® is increasingly being accessed from the internet. As such, The Forensic Examiner® has transitioned to an online, continuously published journal.  As The Forensic Examiner® has gained popularity and recognition as the world's leading forensic magazine, demand for access along with submission rates have greatly increased. The Examiner's transition from print to online availability was a response to the changing nature of journalism and scholarly publication, as well as a move to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by advances in technology and social media.  This is an exciting time for the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute® as the transition to online, continuous publication has drastically increased our readership, while enabling the ACFEI to rapidly review and publish articles.  We are now only offering The Forensic Examiner® online.  To learn more, please visit our submissions page.

Thank you for visiting, and remember to check out www.acfei.com for questions about membership, certification, and other opportunities!

Current Articles

August, 2015

The Use of Acoustical Forensic Evidence in High Profile Criminal Cases

Edward J. Primeau, CCI, CFC


This article uses four major United States historical events to explore and apply forensic science and its progress regarding acoustical forensic evidence. The learning objectives in the following article are to help the reader better understand the role of Acoustical Evidence for gunshot assessment as well as the overall concept of acoustical forensic evidence.The author has chosen four major historical events of the 20th century that have been the objects of conspiracy theorists and provided the historical foundations of each event, followed by a discussion of the use of acoustical forensic evidence for each event. Serving as case studies for the following paper are three assassinations, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, plus the 18-minute gap in the Watergate tapes.

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Skeletal Remains of Ubagesner Chaves Sosa and Fernando Miranda:
Victims of a Dictatorial Regime in Uruguay

Horacio E. Solla, PhD
Mehmet Yaşar Îşcan, PhD
Barbara McCabe, BA


Scientists make unique contributions to human rights cases through the application of scientific and forensic techniques to crime investigations. In human rights cases, evidence is often based solely on verbal testimonies from victims or witnesses. There is little doubt concerning the importance of oral testimonies; however, spoken evidence is much more effective when it is corroborated by physical confirmation. Experts such as forensic anthropologists, pathologists, and archaeologists contribute to human rights cases by aiding in death investigations and in the identification of victims. It is the forensic anthropologist who is often called in cases where trauma analysis and personal identification of human skeletal remains is necessary. In March 2005, the Socialist Government of President Tabaré Vázquez Rosas sought to execute Article 4 of Law 15.848 concerning the investigation of the final destination of the persons missing during the last dictatorial regime in Uruguay (1973-1984). The purpose of this study is to present forensic anthropological procedures used in the excavation (and later, the identification) of skeletal remains of missing individuals who are thought to have been killed during that period. With the permission of the government, a team of archaeologists was finally assembled after four previous democratic administrations to carry out a scientific investigation to examine previously restricted areas. The team entered the military headquarters where the offenses were presumed to have occurred and where the clandestine burials were assumed to be located. This archaeological team was supported by forensic scientists of the Judicial Morgue of Montevideo and members of the Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense. Two nearly complete skeletons were recovered and identified. A left radius, representing a third individual, was also found inside the 13th Infantry Headquarters. Presented here is the study of the forensic anthropological identification of missing skeletal remains and skull-photograph superimposition assisted by the computer of Ubagesner Chaves Sosa and Fernando Miranda, both members of the Communist Bureau of Uruguay.

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Archive

July, 2015

How Dangerous Is It That This Man Goes Loose!

By Kendra M. Devor
G.I. Wilson


Shakespeare’s King Claudius opines in Hamlet, “How dangerous is it that this man goes loose! Yet must not we put the strong law on him.”  Indeed, “this is a question to which the courts, lawyers, mental health professionals and the general public all want to know the answer” (Hucker, 2005, p. 1).  Violence involves a host of dynamic...

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Psychological Assessment Protocol for Asylum Applications in Federal Immigration Courts

By Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor, Ph.D., FACFEI, DABPS, FAPA


The unique challenge posed to immigration authorities by asylum applications creates a demand for psychological evaluations to provide accurate assessment of asylum seekers and their claims of persecution. The psychological evaluation in asylum cases requires forensic psychology experts to become familiar with the terms and procedures used to adjudicate asylum applications...

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CE course...

June, 2015

The Relationship of Identity to the Organizational Development of FLECHAS: Perceptions of Race from a Puerto Rican Perspective

By Raul Avila


In this article, Raul Avila explores the relationship of identity to the organizational development of Feast of Loiza in Connecticut in Honor of Saint James the Apostle (FLECHAS) and perceptions of race from a Puerto Rican perspective.

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Psychological Assessment Protocol for Asylum Applications in Federal Immigration Courts

By Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor, Ph.D., FACFEI, DABPS, FAPA


The unique challenge posed to immigration authorities by asylum applications creates a demand for psychological evaluations to provide accurate assessment of asylum seekers and their claims of persecution. The psychological evaluation in asylum cases requires forensic psychology experts to become familiar with the terms and procedures used to adjudicate asylum applications...

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CE course...

April, 2015

The "Hillside Strangler" Speaks for the First Time in 35 Years

The Interview with Kenneth Bianchi
By Criminal Profiler Anthony Meoli, MA, JD, DACFEI


Kenneth Alessio Bianchi, long known for his moniker, the”Hillside Strangler,” finally agreed to explain his version of events that left at least 12 women dead in California and Washington State. Bianchi has never agreed to a printed interview during his 35 years behind bars. This interview came about through hundreds of pages of written correspondence and nearly two dozen video visitations (which translates to approximately 24 hours of face-to-face time, via an inmate video conferencing website) between us.

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March, 2015

Domestic Minor Human Trafficking

By Kim Basinger RN, CA-CP SANE, SANE-A, SANE-P, CFN, DABFN, DABLEE


This paper will increase the knowledge and awareness of readers in assessing victims or patients for the possibility they may be victims of Domestic Minor Human Trafficking (DMHT). I will explore how healthcare professionals should assess all patients for abuse, make the appropriate assessment, and...

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CE course...

PTSD and Forensic Psychology: A Continuum of Care and Multi-Modality Approach (CCMM)

By Brock Kilbourne, PhD
Samantha Kilbourne, PsyD
Jerry Goodman, PhD


There has been a recent surge of interest in PTSD that can be attributed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ironically, this surge in interest has helped forensic psychologists to better appreciate the full range and depth of PTSD in contemporary American society...

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NBCC CE...

February, 2015

Psychological Assessment Protocol For Asylum Applications in Federal Immigration Courts

By Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor, PhD, FACFEI, DABPS, FAPA


The unique challenge posed to immigration authorities by asylum applications creates a demand for psychological evaluations to provide accurate assessment of asylum seekers and their claims of persecution. The psychological evaluation in asylum cases requires forensic psychology...

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CE course...

Improving Reasoning in Medicolegal Evaluations

By Mark Schroeder MD


This paper presents a systematic approach to analysis in medicolegal evaluations in light of recent challenges within the type of reasoning that medical experts use. I identify a form of reasoning that is used within a specific argumentation structure as being the most appropriate to the goals of medicolegal evaluations. This approach to analysis addresses the legal system’s need for...

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CE course...

January, 2015

Perspective on Sensory Deprication Techniques

By G. I. Wilson


The impact of sensory deprivation on physical and mental well-being is of great interest to mental health and legal professionals, especially as it pertains to solitary confinement, supermax housing units, and isolation. Extreme sensory deprivation and solitary confinement may result in hallucinations and cognitive miscues eroding one’s ability to participate in judicial...

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Forensic Evaluations in Capitol Cases

By Gerald Cooke, PhD


This article focuses on how psychological-neuropsychological testing can be utilized in capital cases. Statutory and case law provide the legal parameters regarding the application of test findings to assessment of the mitigating factors a jury or judge must consider in determining whether to impose the death sentence. The article also discusses what background...

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CE course...

December, 2014

Caught On Video
Cameras, Computers, and Control: Convenience or Conspiracy?

By Edward J Primeau


This article provides an inside look at the ever-expanding role of today’s security cameras and surveillance videos, used as a means of monitoring public activity and protecting citizens. I include a basic overview of the types of surveillance applications and compare their functional capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. I also examine...

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CE course...

Psychopathy, Antisocial Personality, & Sociopathy: The Basics
A History Review

By Paula M. MacKenzie, PsyD, MSEd


The concept and use of the word psychopath has a rather long history all of its own, yet, in spite of its history, a good deal of conceptual confusion remains. Many authors have honed in on a very specific type of deviant behavior that at its core is distinctly different from mental illness or psychosis-related behavior.

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CE course...

November, 2014

An Anthropological Comparison of Two Children's Photographs

By Horacio E. Solla, PhD


The two most popular theories about the nationality of the famous tango singer, Carlos Gardel, are presented here. These are the Uruguayan and French theories. Both arguments are exposed according to documentation, witness testimonies, and Gardel's declarations to the media. A study and anthropological comparison of two children´s photographs...

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CE course...

Integrative Clinician Part 2:
Integrative Awareness in PTSD Treatment:
Avoiding Unseen Risks of a Provider-Initiated Drug Withdrawal

By Rev. Dr. Chrys L. Parker, J.D.


In "The Integrative Clinician" series, the author discusses the importance of exercising integrative awareness when treating patients with PTSD. Through integrative approaches, clinicians can develop a heightened awareness of...

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October, 2014

Forensic Psychological Reports: Medical Records or Confidential Employment Documents?

By George A. Harris and Martin Zehr

This article explores ethical, legal, and practical problems related to disclosure and release of documents and reports in fitness for duty, forensic, and pre-employment evaluations. Regulations developed for state licensing boards often do not take into account the complexities of evaluations not done in a strictly clinical context. It is often unclear who has the right to authorize...

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CE course...

An Expert’s Honor is Not an Oxymoron

By Paul D. Friedman, MA, PhD, JD

“Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.” William Shakespeare wrote about the internal need for honesty, integrity and honor over five hundred years ago and the same principles withstand the test of time.

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Chargemaster: How it is Ruining Healthcare for Americans

By John Haberströh

This paper will explore the ramifications of the nation’s systemic, overzealous overbilling for every conceivable medical service available as well as the laughable mythology of “non-profit” hospitals. There will be a brief discussion on the history Universal Health Care in the United States. We will also discuss what is so wrong with this system, why so many Americans are dying no matter how much money is thrown at the problem...

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CE course...

Integrative Clinician PT 1

By Rev. Dr. Chrys L. Parker, JD

This article contains a brief discussion of (l) the author's concept of practice as an integrative professional, (2) an overview of what integrative care does and does not involve, (3) why integrative approaches may play an important role in the creation of vital linkages between caregiving professions, and (4) how the regular series The Integrative Clinician will operate to enhance integrative knowledge among professionals. The article also introduces the topic of integrative care by outlining three scenarios...

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September, 2014


Small Cues – Major Effect: How an Auditor Training Exercise Revealed a Multi-Generational Fraud

By Dr. Eddward T. Herron, CPA
Dr. Katherene P. Terrell, CPA
Dr. Robert L. Terrell, CPA, CIA

Research has shown that forensic accountants and auditors must possess certain skills and abilities that discourage reliance on routine behavior in audits.

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The Psychological Forensic Expert Witness: Ethical Considerations

By Michael S. Cardwell MD, JD, MPH, MBA

Psychologists are often called upon to provide testimony and evidence in judicial matters. In these roles the professional psychologist is either a psychological expert witness or providing their services as a forensic psychologist (American Psychological Association [APA], 2003).

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Transnational Terrorism: The Role of Financial Intelligence Examined

By Dale Duchesne

Transnational terrorism remains at the forefront of concern on the part of most security agencies throughout the Western World and indeed in many other parts of the world as well, particularly the Middle East, North Africa, Pacific Rim, South and Central Asia.

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Professionals Need Protection in Child Custody Evaluations and Social Studies for the Court

By Donna R. Milburn, PhD

As a clinical psychologist who has been providing evaluations for the family court system in Texas for over twenty years, this evaluator has witnessed what appears to be a deterioration of services being provided to the courts and to the attorneys and their clients over the years.

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August, 2014

Psychopharmacologic Treatment for Substance Abuse & Dependency: What the Literature Has to Say (A Meta-Analysis)

By Scott A., Johnson, MA, LP

This article will primarily focus on psychopharmacologic interventions for alcohol abuse and dependence. The implications for other types of substance abuse and dependence will be addressed in a more summative fashion and will address Nicotine, Marijuana, and Cocaine abuse/dependence...

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CE course...

Air Bag Deployment Criteria

By Jesse Kendall, PE
Kenneth Alvin Solomon, PhD, PE

An introduction to air bag systems and inflation processes will be followed by a brief history of crash sensors. Variables used in air bag deployment algorithms will be described, and examples of several patented systems compared. Estimated ranges of speed, deceleration, and displacement thresholds for air bag deployment will also be provided.

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Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infections

By Arthur D Hallstrom

To some extent, controlling infection transfer is similar to the field of noise control. In both, it is hard to control the source and very hard to control the receiver. Some receivers are more sensitive than others. So the focus in both disciplines is on path control. For noise, you path attenuate the noise to the desired level. For infections, you clean the air so that the airborne path does not contribute to creating infections.

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July, 2014

Small Cues – Major Effect: How an Auditor Training Exercise Revealed a Multi-Generational Fraud

By Dr. Eddward T. Herron, CPA
Dr. Katherene P. Terrell, CPA
Dr. Robert L. Terrell, CPA, CIA

In this issue we bring you part two of this piece concerning a series of bank frauds at the Farmers and Merchants Bank. The frauds took place over the span of 60 years. It is hypothesized that the fraud was able to be carried out for so long because auditors were predictable in their methodology. The authors explore the idea that small changes in procedure may be just the ticket to catch fraudsters.

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The Operational Police Behavioral Health Specialist© as a Member of the Hostage and Crisis Negotiations Team

By James L. Greenstone, EdD, JD, DABECI

In this article, Dr. Greenstone suggests a role that may be needed on Police Ops. Teams. It is the role of a behavioral health specialist. It would allow for a behavioral health specialist to be present when needed without affecting the cohesion necessary for high stakes situations. 

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SMOKE: Effective Cognitive and Field Training for IED Detection

By Matthew J. Sharps, PhD
Millie G. Herrera, BA
Amanda L. Lodeesen, BA

In this article the authors describe a new manner of training individuals to detect IEDs. The authors highlight the need to use cognitively based training in both public and private sectors, due to its effectiveness.

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The Need for Medical and Forensic Scientific Expert Testimony

By Cyril H. Wecht, MD, JD

Cyril Wecht wrote these comments about the need for quality expert testimony in the areas of medical and forensic science. Dr. Wecht discusses the concerns some physicians and scientists have in regards to the adversarial legal system we have.

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