Announcing the Criminology Research Tutorials series.

I’ve expanded the original scope of this site from bullying and discrimination to include criminal justice, starting with this Criminology Research Tutorials series. I am a criminology professor, so I have a lot of great info to share. Today I’m excited to announce a new series of tutorials on criminology research. Expect genuinely useful tips for writers, journalists and criminal justice students…mixed in with gallows humor from time to time.

Not sold? Here are seven reasons you should subscribe to my series of Criminology Research Tutorials.

  1. Learn the truth about crime scene investigations

Criminology research tutorial. Pic collage from Making a Murderer, Netflix

Making a Murderer, Netflix

You’ve probably heard that shows like CSI aren’t accurate, but how does it really work? Coroners know the difference between algo mortis and rigor mortis (often used to determine the time of death). Do you? How about how to tell the difference between a suicide and a strangling?

The forensic tutorials—I call these the bloodstained blogs—will reveal some of the secrets behind forensic technology and science These tutorials will teach you about cracking codes, safes, and spy identities—from the Zodiac Killer to the spies on the TV show, The Americans. Learn the whys and wherefores of blood work, fingerprints, and tire prints. We’ll demystify DNA, the tattle-tale double helix…and the Boston Strangler.

  1. Learn to research like a pro

All the info and tips in the Criminology Research Tutorials are designed to save you time. And time is money, as the pros always say. In this series you’ll learn how to research crime statistics and crime rates. We’ll go over how to: get police reports for a particular crime, get someone’s arrest record, get the case file number of a court case, and how to utilize the pleadings, exhibits, orders, and transcripts in a court file.


    “I read a report that said 88% of adults trust their doctors—well, 100% of dead people don’t!”

    ― Stewart Stafford

    The delicious fun of morbid curiosity

We all need an escape from time to time in our hecka busy lives. Learn scintillating details about the criminal underworld, from the likes of hustlers, pyromaniacs, shoplifters, and joyriders. Learn what it feels like to be stabbed or shot. Get a peek at the basics of autopsies, or rarified info about the code-breaking tricks of cyber-sleuths.

  1. Learn useful life skills that could save you money or even save your life

Look for advice for maintaining the meager income of most of us writers and students. Learn to recognize fences, imposters, forgers, and art thieves. Or, if it comes to it, become an apprentice “skilled” criminal to supplement your dwindling income. Also, learn useful info about weapons, firearms, and gunshot wounds.

  1. Find out how to conduct a police investigation

True crime writers, cozy mystery writers, working cops, and criminology students all need to know about the role and functions of police detectives. Heck, all of us who are confronted with complicated problems need to know how to research, investigate, and solve problems. So  the “investigation” tutorials may assist homeowners, small business people, and the like. Look forward,  too, to tutorials on how police conduct searches, preserve evidence, mark up a crime scene, and more.

  1. Learn to research people like a private investigator

Criminology research tutorial - crime researcher working at computerThe info you gain from these steps will allow you to write your novel, memoir, or even term paper with confidence you’ve got “the facts, ma’am,” as radio Detective Joe Friday used to say. Find out the name, rank, and serial number of someone you are including in research…or (be honest) you may be looking for info about someone you’re dating, a newcomer to the neighborhood, or an employee entrusted to work with your children. You’ll learn how to find out if someone has been to prison, or is listed in the sexual offender database, even if it was many years go.

  1. Learn how criminals think

The MO, AKA modus operandi, is the all important “Why.”  The MO establishes the motive and means necessary to get convictions in court. The peculiarities of the perpetrator (gestures, attitudes actions, behavior) can help to distinguish him from others. Learn how the choice of weapon, the way they attack, and even how they enter a building can all be used to expose the mind of the killer.

My Background

Besides med school where I got a grounding in some of the forensic sciences, I studied for years at the foremost criminology center in the country at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. I earned a PhD there and had classes with Marvin Wolfgang and Thorsten Sellin, respectively the Dean and Father of American Criminology. I ‘m a professor and specialize  in the Law Enforcement part of the field (not the other two areas, Courts and Corrections). I’ve written five academic books and taught thousands of students.

How to Subscribe to the Criminology Research Tutorials

In order to be alerted by email each time I post a new tutorial, subscribe here:


(You can also subscribe via RSS, or get updates via Facebook.)

This will allow you to subscribe to my website and get a free topical essay or three about important issues of the day. Also, subscribing will allow me to notify you about other blog posts on topics such as discrimination and criminal justice.

Just like collecting baseball trading cards, be the first on your block to get each of the dozen plus tutorials as they’re issued. Your readers, instructors, fellow criminal justice reformers will applaud you for it.



To learn about CLEFT HEART: Chasing Normal, click the Amazon or Barnes & Noble buttons in the margins. Or click the image of the book cover. My coming-of-age memoir has intertwining love stories, mystery, tragedy, and triumph.


  1. Nice article!

  2. Great content for those thinking of pursuing this career!

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