About the Founder

Robert O'Block photo Born into an impoverished family, Dr. Robert O'Block learned at an early age the value of obtaining an education. No stranger to hard work, O'Block paid his way through college by working as a law enforcement officer. Through sheer determination he finished his bachelor's degree in three-and-a-half years. It was during this time O'Block became interested in criminology, a subject that would become a driving force in his life.

By the age of 24, Dr. O'Block had earned a bachelor's degree and three graduate degrees in different fields, including a PhD, all while working full-time in law enforcement. At the age of 25, Dr. O'Block became an assistant professor in the Department of Administration of Justice at Wichita State University. Dedicated to the field of law enforcement, Dr. O'Block continued to serve as a reserve sheriff deputy (without pay) as he taught criminal justice full time at the university. Working in law enforcement gave Dr. O'Block real world experience that would play a significant role in his ability to teach the science of criminology and write the criminal justice textbook Security and Crime Prevention.

Dr. O'Block later took the position of professor and chairman of the Department of Administration of Justice at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri. As department head he wanted to continue his education and focused on learning forensic handwriting analysis, but he soon found training opportunities were limited to a select few. Ever a crusader for justice and seeing the need for a scientific organization that provided training in questioned documents (forgery detection) that was open to all levels of practitioners and professionals, O'Block decided to create one himself in a spare bedroom of his home. The organization was named the American Board of Forensic Handwriting Analysts (ABFHA). By the end of the first year, ABFHA had 200 members.

Dr. O'Block continued his work as a professor while working nights and weekends to build the association, developing certification programs, and publishing the first edition of a newsletter that would later become The Forensic Examiner®. As the organization grew so did the needs of its members. The association focus was expanded to include other areas of forensic study and it was renamed the American Board of Forensic Examiners (ABFE). In 1993, after fifteen years of being a college professor, Dr. O'Block retired from teaching to devote all of his time and energy to being executive director of ABFE, which is known today as the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI). The association Dr. O'Block had started in his spare bedroom now ranks as the largest and fastest growing forensic associations in the world.

The Forensic Examiner® has come a long way from its inception as a utilitarian newsletter sent to association members. Its evolution has reflected the association's growth, but the journal has also come into its own as a quality and prized publication by members and non-members alike. The Forensic Examiner® is now a full-color, perfect-bound magazine found on select newsstands nationwide including Barnes & Noble. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles from the top professionals in their fields as well as exclusive interviews with nationally acknowledged experts to bring the most current research and trends to readers. Yet even in its successes, the publication is still true to its roots. The journal stands as one of the greatest benefits for membership in the association, and it proudly features member articles and highlights member accomplishments.

The Forensic Examiner® is the official peer-reviewed, quarterly journal of the American College of Forensic Examiners. The journal promotes the continued advancement of forensic examination and consultation across the many professional fields of our membership.

In addition to reaching forensic experts throughout the world, The Forensic Examiner® is also available to a general audience through subscriptions and newsstand sales. The publication is available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Hastings, and many other independent books retailers across the nation.

The Forensic Examiner® includes scientific articles, case studies, new research in the areas of forensic information, and interviews with forensic professionals. ACFEI members may earn continuing education credits by completing tests based on articles in The Forensic Examiner®.

Forensic specialists and members may contribute to the journal by submitting their articles for consideration. Please read our submission guidelines before sending an article.

Advertising space is available in the journal as well.

For more information, please e-mail the editor.