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Laura is the founder and CEO of Laura Pettler & Associates Death Investigations, the #1 victim-centered scientific death investigation firm in the world.

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After 18 years, Dr. Pettler’s commitment to using scientific mixed-method research-based methodologies like Pettler’s Crime Scene Staging Trilogy Method, Victim-Centered Death Investigation Methodology, and The Murder Room method to get closer to the most plausible manner of death. Dr. Pettler specializes in staged murders: murders made to look like suicides, made to look like accidents, naturals, or murders. Her area of expertise is focused in intimate partner and domestic violence hot and cold homicide cases, which in some cases extends to missing persons, serial homicide, and sexual homicide as well. Laura is the author of the first book in the world on crime scene staging entitled, Crime Scene Staging Dynamics in Homicide Cases. Laura is also the inventor of The Kaleidoscope System Shooting and Bloodstain Reconstruction System sold in more than 30 countries.

Laura analyzes the physical and behavioral evidence in death cases. She bloodstains, bullet paths, wound paths, evidence in the scene, along with personality traits, emotionality, cognition, and behaviors. 

Laura was the Director of North Carolina's first and only only Crime Scene Reconstruction and Behavioral Analysis program in history based in Prosecutorial District 20A and was the Director of its former Cold Case Task Force until 2010...then there's the flip-side: she's a Singer/Songwriter, French Bulldog and Doberman Pinscher Fancier, an avid Equestrian, Mounted Archer, and a relentless DIYer who loves home renovation her farm! Here are few highlights from her exciting career:


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Work with people who appreciate your vision in all its complexity,
don’t waste time with people who can’t see what they’re looking at...
— -Laura Pettler


From the time Laura was a child, Laura's father, Donald Pettler instilled the value of learning how to become a thinker. Laura's Dad would go on to help her develop her ideas to contribute to the Criminal Justice System for several decades to come before his death in April 2016. 

The Kaleidoscope System

Laura Pettler & Associates is the only manufacturer in the world of Laura’s invention, The Kaleidoscope system, the most comprehensive and versatile bullet path trajectory and impact spatter bloodstain reconstruction system in the world. Stemming from a 2008 homicide in Caroleen, NC, Laura and two colleagues developed what is known as Tubular Dowel Crime Scene Reconstruction, which Laura went on to embed as part of the Kaleidoscope System that is carried by 11 forensic product distributors who sell it in more than 30 countries. More...

Kaleidoscope System Shooting Reconstruction with Albemarle Police Department. Mock Scene for The Murder Room.

Kaleidoscope System Shooting Reconstruction with Albemarle Police Department. Mock Scene for The Murder Room.


  • Victim-Centered Death Investigation Methodology versions for

    • Field Investigators

    • Cold Case Investigators

    • Case Reviewers

  • Modified Triangulation for Research-Based Forensic Victimology

  • Research-Based Forensic Victimology using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as Theoretical Framework - - Analyzing all available information about a victim during the course of an investigation is critical to investigatory success. The concept of research-based forensic victimology is build using the framework of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and utilizes the two fundamental cornerstones of empirical research; validity and reliability as anchoring points for individual items of information in a victimological study. Validity is the structural soundness of the information gathering system and reliability is the applicable soundness of the information in part and as a whole.

Terms, Concepts & Theories

  • First to develop a four-prong theory on Crime Scene Behaviors of Crime Scene Stagers

  • Genoenvirosocioculturalism - the aggregate of the influence biological, environmental, societal, and cultural variables on murder

  • Intimicide - The killing of a former, current, or temporary intimate partner or a member of the intimate partner’s familial or social circle by another former, current, or temporary intimate partner. Intimicide includes the murders of former or current boyfriends, girlfriends or temporary sexual partners; husbands, wives, same sex domestic partners, and the friends and family of intimate partner violence victims who are murdered because they provided shelter and/or support for intimate partner violence victims. Intimicide includes the murders between individuals who just met and became sexually intimate, like for example two people who met at a bar, left together, and then one partner kills the other partner during the encounter. Intimicide also includes individuals who were dating only briefly at the time of the murder of one by another, or intimate partners who were originally strangers, but entered into a regular sex-only intimate relationship or an extra-marital affair. The definition of intimicide can also be extended to include intimate partners who solicit or conspire to have their intimate partners murdered, because without the initiation and whatever compensation might be agreed upon, the actual hired hit man most often would never even know the victim, ever target, and especially not murder the victim without prompting by the intimate partner wanting his or her partner dead. However, intimicide is not:

    • The murder of a victim by a serial killer

    • The murder of a victim engaged in prostitution killed by a patron

    • The murder of a victim by a stranger during the commission of non-consensual sexual act, such as rape (i.e., sexual homicide/rape-murder)

Dream up the impossible,
to dream up the possibilities...
— Laura Pettler


CRIME SCENE STAGING DYNAMICS IN HOMICIDE CASES, By Laura Pettler, PhD, Released August 6, 2015 by Laura Pettler & CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

CRIME SCENE STAGING DYNAMICS IN HOMICIDE CASES, By Laura Pettler, PhD, Released August 6, 2015 by Laura Pettler & CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.


Download the book's media kit

Click HERE to read renowned forensic psychologist, Dr. Katherine Ramsland's, author of 1000 articles and 46 books, review of Crime Scene Staging Dynamics in Homicide Cases

Crime Scene Staging Dynamics in Homicide Cases by Laura Pettler is the first book in the world dedicated to exploring crime scene staging phenomena, its relationship to intimate partner homicide, and the American Cold Case Epidemic. Laura’s new method for investigating staged homicides has shown promise for giving investigators new tools that can help strengthen the relationship between the physical, behavioral, and circumstantial evidence in these cases. 

It’s easy for everyone to think in black and white,
but critical thinkers see a 1000 shades of grey...
— Laura Pettler


Season 9

Season 9

Catch OzTeam Forensic Criminologist Dr. Laura Pettler in Season 11 on the NINE-TIME EMMY AWARD WINNING THE DR. OZ SHOW!

Melissa started working with Oz Team beginning of Season 8 on True Crime Tuesdays. The segments were so successful, Oz Team wanted to expand. Melissa suggested trying Laura out and it was a match! Laura started with Oz Team the end of Season 8, Emmy-Award Winning Season 9 was successful, Season 10 was great fun, and now Laura is full throttle in Season 11!

Season 9

Season 9

We love talking with all Dr. Oz’s True Crime Fans in Dr. Oz’s new facebook group Oz Investigates: Science Medicine, and Mystery. Read more about Emmy-WINNING Season 9 True Crime Tuesdays and Thursdays cases that Dr. Oz, Crime Correspondent Melissa Moore and the cases Laura discuss. Melissa works with lots of families and victims of crime as she was a victim of crime herself...her father is Keith Jesperson, The Smiley Faced Serial Killer. Laura reconstructs crime scenes for Oz Team and talks about victimology and victim-centered investigations. Dr. Oz brings awesome high-profile guests on like Marcia Clark, Drew Peterson’s sons, Nancy Grace, and others who have awesome stories to share. Tune in on Tuesdays and Thursdays to The Dr. Oz Show on Season 10 and soon catch them in Season 11!

Click Here for TheOzBlog, Dr. Oz’s True Crime Blog with co-Authors Dr. Laura Pettler & Melissa Moore

Season 11

Season 11


Strangling someone to death is the most intimate way to kill.
There’s nothing more personal between two people than holding one’s life and death
between one’s hands.
— Laura Pettler


Co-Executive Producer and Host of International Academy of Web Television Awards Nominated True Crime DocuWEB-SERIES "NOTORIOUS"

Premiered June 21, 2017

Directed by Award Nominated and Winning Director Gwen Titley,  "Notorious True Crime Stories with Laura Pettler" is a docuweb series about the most sensational, most compelling, most twisty and turning cases around. Beginning with alleged serial killer Edward Art Surratt, Season 1 launches the series telling the story of how Surratt terrorized Western PA in the late 1970s. Surratt accumulated 20 victims or more across Ohio and Pennsylvania before traveling south to South Carolina and Florida where he's in prison.  "Notorious" is set in Western Pennsylvania where Laura grew up, so hosting the show is a fun way to participate in the community she still loves to go home to today.

Like Notorious on Facebook click here

Notorious is produced by LPA's BlackHorse Production in partnership with The Times and Calkins Media.

Watch notorious Online:

Download "Shotgun Slayer" Theme Song:

My music is the way my feelings sound
and my lyrics are the words of my soul
— Laura Pettler


Album cover of Laura's 2018 record "Black Blood"

Album cover of Laura's 2018 record "Black Blood"

Although Laura retired from professional music in 2009, she will always be a musician at heart and still enjoys music as a hobby today. She loved recording four albums and three Christmas Albums and playing more than 50 venues on the Truck R4 Girls Tour. As a hobby, Laura is planning to record her new album titled "Black Blood" in 2020. The title of the album is a forensic metaphor about blood (of course). When a victim is blindsided and stabbed in the back perforating the plural cavity, the lung fills with blood. Simply speaking, oxygenated blood is red in color, but when blood leaves the body and is no longer receiving oxygen, it turns black or dark in color. Therefore, the album "Black Blood" is a metaphor that describes the feel, tone, and lyrics of the songs of the album. Written over the past decade or more, Laura has compiled 10 songs about pain, heartbreak, grief, growth, rising from the ashes, resilience, and survival. A dark step from her other jubilant albums of the previous decade, Laura hopes this album will emotionally connect with people and help to inspire them to fight harder, live free, and grow from pain. Overall the album is intended to inspire others in line with Laura's motto "Aspire to Inspire." 

My music is my favorite place to be...
— Laura Pettler

Laura's father passed away on April 20, 2016. For those who knew them, it was well known that Laura was the apple of her father's eye. He was her favorite person. An investment banker by profession, Laura's father's largest investment was in his daughter. He spent his life inspiring her to believe, shoot for the stars and "sock it to'em" as he told her every day. Laura wrote and recorded On Your Mark to honor her father on her 2007 Trucks R4 Girls Album on Lamon Records, Nashville, TN.

Appearance on Charlotte, NC-based TV Show "Kool Kat Ken & Friends." 


Cavalleria's Main Gates

Their health and happiness is the most important thing in my life. They are my world. My tribe. My family. They keepers of my whole heart.

- Laura Pettler

Cavalleria Rusticana is the name of Laura's family farm located in Waxhaw Horse Country, North Carolina. Nestled deep in the Piedmont, Laura enjoys "Cavalleria Life". Cavalleria Life consists of remodeling her 1980s house towards a medieval castle one room at a time, riding her horses, and raising her dogs. 

Friesian Horses, French Bulldogs & Doberman Pinschers

Laura has been obsessed with Friesian horses since she can remember. Her room was plastered with them as a kid and she was 36 when she got her first one as a gift from her husband. Friesians are medieval war horses, so what not better to do that to take up mounted archery. Laura makes her own arrows from steel tips, wooden shafts, feathers, and twine and shoots a primitive Mongolian recurve bow...from horseback. 

Additionally, Laura enjoys fox hunting these days when she can. An avid hunter for many years, Laura and her horses worked as Staff from the Hunt, that's right...traditional English Hunt complete with velvet caps, tall black boots and red coats. 

In additional to her obsession with her horses, Laura is equally obsessed with raising prized French Bulldogs and Doberman Pinschers. Laura's dogs are bred with some of the finest lines in the world and prove their pedigree by earning points in the AKC Conformation Show Circuit. Laura has two Frenchies: Ava Penelope and Sophia Claire and two Dobermans Gia and Giulia. 

Friesian Gelding Fortissimo and Dr. Laura Pettler on a morning Foxhunt

Friesian Gelding Fortissimo and Dr. Laura Pettler on a morning Foxhunt

Gia, Giulia, Ava, & Sophia Claire

Gia, Giulia, Ava, & Sophia Claire

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