United States of America
A Global Threat Mitigation Firm
CJIA International Policing– “Train the Trainer” series:
HUMAN LIFE-, the most precious gift to our small planet the phenomena known as “femicide.”

Volume 2 Issue 001

29 September 2011

HOMICIDE and Major Case mental synthesis
HUMAN LIFE is, and must continue to be, the most precious gift to our small planet, MURDER is the crime that has historically galvanized necessary world attention to those that must determine the culpability of those that have taken life. Internationally, on a grand scale, unsolved murders abound in low solution rates, that are significantly attributed to a serious deficiency in training and necessary professional and cognitive development. In the majority of these instances there is perhaps a myriad of mitigating factors; lack of human resources, funding, equipment, training, and most importantly– quality leadership and case management that must be deeply inherent within the organization. One would be horrified to think that simple apathy could be a contributing cause in a majority of cases. A coherent and fluid upper management strategy must exist and permeate the minds of those that have the overwhelming and awesome task, of perhaps bringing justice to those that have tragically lost their lives. Three essential ingredients and fundamental building blocks of progressive management strategy, are planning, direction, and control. It is important for upper management to include in their mission statement- that is made public, that “We value human life.”

dynamic crime scene may include multiple victims, bizarre circumstances, ritualism,… mental synthesis- much like a game of chess

Inside this issue:

Unsolved murders abound... Mitigating factors in solvability Management strategy




Dynamics of ma- 2 jor case homicide Crime scene and command issues Mental synthesis “team” approach Administrative versus bureaucratic 3

HOMICIDE and Major Case mental synthesis contd.
Probably no better case example currently exists than the graphic murdering carnage that is occurring within Mexico with impunity. Although overwhelmingly attributed to the “drug war,” murder there even includes the phenomena known as “femicide.” A new word for an old crisis. It refers to an epidemic of rapes and murders of women in the region that for years have gone unsolved and unpunished. In Ciudad Juarez, more than 800 bodies of women have been found as of February 2005, and over 3,000 women are still missing. The picture is almost identical in Guatemala. In Guatemala City. Guatemala’s femicide has claimed the lives of nearly 2,200 women and young girls since 2001. There have been few arrests and even fewer convictions. The women go on dying.



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HOMICIDE and Major Case mental synthesis contd.
Last August 72 bodies of (migrants) murdered men and women were found on a ranch in Northeastern Mexico (State of Tamaulipas). Even the leading detective of that investigation was eventually found murdered. There have been many mass graves found throughout Mexico alone. Almost all cases unsolved. A National Human Rights Commission estimates about 10,000 migrants were kidnapped in Mexico over a six -month period last year. The dynamics of major case homicide are not much different than the relentless and implacable basics of a routine homicide. The four major considerations are: crime scene protection and security, case coordination, the case investigation, and post investigation activities. A major case strategy requires an enhanced and acute focus on modus operandi, as well as a tempo that allows for quality case assurance, and meticulous patience and attention to detail. THIS dynamic crime scene may include multiple victims, bizarre circumstances, ritualism, unusual murder techniques, a series of similar homicides, and usually an abnormal media/ press interest. Consequently, a major case criteria must be established with the appropriate organizational strategies, as well as all responding/at scene personnel understanding these procedures in support.

HOMICIDE and Major Case mental synthesis contd.
The dissimilar dynamics of a major case crime scene to traditional approaches to investigation show that the traditional approach does not significantly affect the rate at which cases are solved. The major case, based on proper organizational criteria, has a better chance of success based on the application of routine administrative procedures. Through recursive supervisory routine, the major case may concentrate on information and information management. Much of this gained through the expertise of those skilled in examining crime scenes, interpreting physical evidence, and interviewing/interrogating hostile suspects and fearful witnesses. Traditional investigations (generalists) are preponderantly bogged down routinely in reviewing reports, attempting to locate and interview witnesses/victims, and documenting files. Case load also is a factor for the generalist who is usually assigned individual case(s), and time constraints and priorities can become clouded. The major case “team,” is a fluid

Bodies of slain migrants

HOMICIDE and Major Case mental synthesis contd.
and focused dynamic entity that is “information driven,” rather than personally mired in collecting far more evidence that they can productively process. The support element becomes a major strength in this capacity. Although sustained investigative effort is necessary; both in pre and post arrest phases; an arrest(s) usually comes from routine processing of information available at the scene. In essence, the major case mental synthesis is an investigative performance conceived and executed through organizational expertise via organizational form, staffing, detailed procedures, outstanding communication, quality control of the overall effort, and intense evaluation/results of the opera tion. All of this in contrast to antiquated investigative time that has shown that more than half of all serious reported crimes “received no more than superficial attention from investigators.” These assigned investigative tasks by team leaders– rather than an individual having the responsibility for the entire case, creates “team owner-

Caption describing picture or graphic.

Volume 2 Issue 001

Page 3

HOMICIDE and Major Case mental synthesis contd.
ship,” and solid team effort. This, theoretically, is a major case investigative management system for serious crimes that is focused on clearing cases that are suitable for prosecutable arrests, but also for victories that lead to extended incarceration. This goal is achieved by proper management in assigning, coordinating, directing, monitoring and evaluating the overall investigative effort. Adherence to sound organizational principles is just as important in the structure of the investigative function, as it is in any other area of the law enforcement organization. In fact, part of the reason for some of the relative ineffectiveness of investigative leadership and management, is the tendency for investigative supervisors to deemphasize management principles, while stressing the importance of operational skills and experience. It is all too common for police administrators to focus on the day to day operations of the investigative function, while ignoring the management aspects upon which so much of investigative success is based. The major case personnel and leader’s deployment at a major crime scene will be faced with several critical issues. Upon careful assessment of the extent of the crime scene, management decisions will require the determination of the type
“To catch the reader's attention, place

HOMICIDE and Major Case mental synthesis contd.
of operation that will be conducted. Contingency planning will now instantly begin to address such issues such as logistics and financial considerations. Upon establishing a command post and assessing security requirements of the area, as well as crime scene perimeters; prioritized objectives will need to be formulated. The resources that will be needed, organized and deployed will be the next order of business. The solid foundation of what will become the true measure of competent management of the major case event will be the “manageable span of control.” This is quite simply the number of subordinates one supervisor/team leader can lead or manage effectively. In some cases there will be a rapid buildup of this incident response and require immediate coordination. The structure of this event will be based on the event’s needs, and not its size. Staffing needs will be a fluid assessment phase until the scene is stabilized. An information officer will be designated and assigned a point of command contact to determine what will be expected of these duties, and what information may be released or not.

an interesting sentence or quote from the story here.”

HOMICIDE and Major Case mental synthesis contd.
The command post (size determined by the incident’s size and complexity) will be the central location for the necessary coordination and communication of the operation. It should not be imbedded in or near the critical crime scene perimeter (s). Establishing command and assessing incident priorities, as well as necessary revisions, as needed, will be the barometer to which success or failure will be attributed. There should be a separate staging area, for critical personnel, equipment, and related resources; outside of normal public view and scrutiny. Also, security must be established for overall protection of everyone at or near the event. Safe entrance and exit routes must be established and areas isolated as needed. CRIME SCENE The crime scene is a rapidly changing environment requiring controlled isolation. from contamination. All nonessential persons not participating in the crime scene search, collection, and documentation process must be removed. Those participating and entering must be properly documented. A strategic and systematic approach in crime scene process-


ing will be required, along with a limited number of collection agents. The crime scene team’s operational acts are without a doubt the single most important phase of the major case. Investigators must first attempt to establish the facts of the event based on the dynamics of the crime. IDENTIFICATION and victimology of the deceased becomes a critically important first step in the investigation. Ascertaining a potential motive early may give clear direction and focus. At this juncture through analysis and assessment, the investigation should be directed towards proactive energy in developing intelligence information networks related to the initial findings, and correlated with/against similar case(s) modus operandi, suspects, and related operational intelligence. The mental synthesis of this major case is now adjusted with the preliminary clarity- based on a team approach, that is rooted at the secured and protected crime scene; managed and led administratively; focused on the “scene” evidence; and accelerated towards clearance and arrests via “intelligence led policing” strategies. Situation and board-room styles of conference, with key investigative/scene participants and upper management/leadership must be a frequent priority as possible, for strategic case continuity and further decision-making. The homicide/major case mental synthesis system is much like a game of chess. It requires an intellect deeply rooted in cognitive and critical thinking and logic skills; creative and sound reasoning, and a unique “perceptive speed.” Cases require the options of flexibility and “at scene” common sense decision-making. This is due to the complexities and unpredictable aspects of murder. For this reason, this crime scene operational team must be “administratively-based” for decision-making with fluid strategic and proactive direction.


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HOMICIDE and Major Case mental synthesis- conclusion
This system, albeit “administratively oriented;” must not become a bureaucratic instrument, compared to day to day police operations that are deeply mired in operational uniformity, and rigid control. Major cases require the options of flexibility and “at scene” common sense decision-making. This is due to the complexities and unpredictable aspects of murder. For this reason, this crime scene operational team must be “administratively-based” for decision-making with fluid strategic and proactive direction. The requisite skills, knowledge, and abilities (SKAs) for Major Case Mental Synthesis can be acquired through special CJIA training/consultant/expert courses/projects/think tanks, and related curriculum.
-end of textShort list of many of our major overseas (OCONUS) assignments: Sarajevo, Bosnia; Amman, Jordan; Athens, Greece; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Khartoum, Sudan; and Tokyo, Japan, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel; Beirut, Lebanon; Kuwait; Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt; Karachi, Peshawar, Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistan; Pristina, Kosovo; Jakarta, Indonesia; Ulaan Bator, Mongolia; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Abuja, Nigeria; Niamey, Niger; Rwanda and Burundi; Bahrain; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Caracas, Venezuela; La Paz, Bolivia; and many cities in Mexico.

-Jerry Brewer

CRIMINAL JUSTICE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATES LLC (CJIA) is a global threat mitigation firm. We are practitioners, senior trainers, consultants, and experts in a vast array of counterterrorism measures and intelligence related issues; as well as law enforcement trainingranging from operational and command/administration, investigation, to police- led intelligence systems.

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