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

The Kaleidoscope system is 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...

Dream up the impossible,
to dream up the possibilities...
— Laura Pettler
The addition of The Murder Room to VCDIM is Dr. Pettler's newest invention for helping to solve cold cases. Tune in January 2918 to LPA's new podcast, "The Murder Room" hosted by LPA's Expert Roundtable. 

The addition of The Murder Room to VCDIM is Dr. Pettler's newest invention for helping to solve cold cases. Tune in January 2918 to LPA's new podcast, "The Murder Room" hosted by LPA's Expert Roundtable. 




PETTLER'S Victim-Centered Death Investigation Methodology

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Pettler's Conflict-Resolution-benefit homicide theory

The Conflict-Resolution-Benefit Homicide Theory and its accompanying matrix identifies the preceding Conflict between the victim and the offender, how the offender resolves the conflict with murder, and then how the offender benefits from the victim's death. This matrix is extremely useful when specifically investigating Domestic Violence Homicide and some types of cold cases. It might not be useful when investigating Serial Homicide cases or other types of homicide.


Victim-Centered Modified Triangulation

Victim-Centered Modified Triangulation is a field-friendly method investigators can use to categorize information gathered during victimology. It can also be used in the same way to categorize suspectology information and overall Synthesis information as well. Victim-Centered Modified Triangulation is anchored by Validity and Reliability (see top left green triangle above). Anything you can prove meaning you have two anchoring pieces of information that make your item valid and reliable, give a green triangle. Anything you can partially prove or that may be party valid and/or reliable, give a yellow triangle. Anything you cannot prove, give red. While it might be assumed that the green triangles are most valuable, this is only true at one given moment because yellow triangles and even red triangles turn green in cold case investigations all the time.

PETTLER'S Crime Scene STaging Trilogy

The Crime Scene Staging Trilogy is composed of three of the themes that have been identified in the empirical crime scene stage research. The trilogy is used by investigators at the beginning of an investigation to help raise awareness of crime scene staging related issues.


PETTLER'S genoEnvirosocioculturalism

The confluence of biological, environmental, social, and cultural conditions on the life of an individual combined with the circumstances by which one is surrounded as part of a community distinguishable by particular ways of living within the social construct and its unique identity as seen in its beliefs, customs, religion, lifestyle, professions, interpersonal relationships, and routine activities. This definition was expanded in 2018 to include biological influences as well.

pettler's Terms and Concepts

  • 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)
  • Research-Based Forensic Victimology - 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.

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