Many people have asked how many homicides I have investigated. Before answering this question, let me first define homicide. A homicide is an unattended death of a human being. This is defined in police terminology as any person who dies without being attended by medical personnel. Regardless of factors such as age, injury or illness, apparent suicide, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), or one who died in their sleep, a complete investigation is conducted including forensic evidence collection, photography, documentation, sketching the scene, and interviews.
Some cases were straight forward such as an elderly person with a medical condition dying in their sleep. As long as my investigation detected no foul play and the patient’s doctor signed the death certificate, no further investigation was warranted. Suicides required more intensive investigations for obvious reasons. By far, investigating SIDS was the most emotionally taxing for me. While having compassion for the grieving parents, a complete investigation including an autopsy still had to be conducted to rule out murder.
Although I have worked many homicides investigations, I chose not to keep count. However, memories of them resurface in my mind as I write.
Daniel Pastre, author of Justice and Closure