Academia

Qualifications - Member may possess degree or no degree, AA, BS/BA, MS/MA, PhD, etc., or any other degree whose contributions are important to the overall process of cold case investigation, such as but not limited to: journalism, accounting, history, literature, research, etc., but who are not practitioners in the criminal justice field.

Lee Mellor, BA, Chair

Lee Mellor is a Montreal-based PhD candidate studying violent offenders using a combined psychological/sociological approach. He is mentored by Dr. Eric Hickey of Alliant International University, one of the world's foremost experts on serial killers.Lee's research focuses include (i) the psychopathic personality and crime scene behavior, (ii) sex crimes and paraphilia (specifically necrophiliaand necrophilic-spectrum disorders), (iii) offender profiling, (iv)signature analysis, and (v) the sociological aspects of serial murder. He has attended workshops and training seminars under Dr. Robert Hare and Dr.Mary Ellen O'Toole. Outside of academia, Lee has authored two popular true crime books on the topic of multicide in Canada - "Cold North Killers: Canadian Serial Killers" and "Rampage: Canadian Mass Murder and Spree Killing". Currently, he is a contributor to and primary editor of the forthcoming textbook "Necrophilia: Global and Interdisciplinary Perspectives" alongside Dr.Anil Aggrawal and Dr. Eric Hickey. Lee has consulted with the London Police Service on several unsolved cases, providing them with an offender profile, and has made numerous appearances on radio and television to discuss the topic of multiple and bizarre homicides.He is also the founder of The Concord Group - a listserv dedicated to connecting police, forensic psychologists, criminologists, sociologists and other related professionals across Canada, and a member of the Multidisciplinary Collaborative on Sexual Crime and Violence.

Members

Terri Earnest, PhD - Terri Earnest received her PhD from Mississippi State University in 2003.  Prior to her current position as Graduate Advisory and lecturer for the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, she was a faculty member at Arkansas Tech University (2002-2007) and Francis Marion University (2007-2010), where she taught various courses on criminology, violence, and deviance, and was actively involved in research.  Research projects that she played a major part in during this time include the River Valley Meth Project and the Drug Court Planning Initiative of the 5th Judicial District of the State of Arkansas.  Prior to completing her doctoral program, Terri worked as a Research Associate at the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University (1996-2002).  While there, she served as the data manager and Co-Principal Investigator for the Mississippi Crime and Justice Research Unit (MCJRU) and received funding for several projects, including:  the Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force Evaluation, the Drug Control and Violent Crime Evaluation, the Delinquency and Risk/Needs Management and Equitable Treatment of Juveniles in Mississippi, the Drug Program Evaluation Project, and the Felony Criminal History Records Survey. Dr. Earnest was appointed as the National Coordinator for the University Student Chapters.

Claire Ferguson, PhD - Dr. Ferguson is a Lecturer, researcher and consultant in forensic criminology in Australia. Her doctorate (2011) was an analysis of staged crime scenes in homicide cases. Her recent work has continued to examine offender evidence manipulation in homicide cases and other forms of violent crime. Claire offers assistance to law enforcement on these types of cases, and also contributes to detective training courses. She is a board member of the Journal of Forensic Social Sciences (JFSS), a committee member for Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law (ANZAPPL), and a member of the ASC’s Homicide Research Working Group (HRWG). 

Gary Lowe, LCSW - Gary retired from youth and adult corrections in California in 2000 after over 30 years of service. He specialized in sex offender treatment and community supervision for sex offenders on parole. While working in the correctional setting Mr. Lowe also developed and managed a community based treatment program for victims of sexual assault. Mr. Lowe is a licensed clinical social worker and marriage, family and child counselor. He is a well-known lecturer and trainer in the United States and Canada. Mr. Lowe has written numerous articles for professional publications and has served on the board of the California Coalition on Sex Offending (CCOSO) and the California Sexual Assault Investigators Association (CSAIA). He also was a participating member of the national task force on juvenile sexual offenders.Mr. Lowe recently retired from the faculty of the California State University Sacramento, Division of Criminal Justice. He is a consultant to and instructor for the California Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) and the Presley Institute of Criminal Investigation (ICI) where he specializes in homicide, child abuse and sex crime investigation and officer wellness.

Silvia Pettem, BA - Silvia Pettem is a historical researcher and author of more than a dozen books including Cold Case Research: Resources for Unidentified, Missing, and Cold Homicide Cases. Originally from Pennsylvania, she graduated from the University of Colorado and made Colorado her home. Her introduction to cold case research began when she entered into a successful partnership with forensic experts and her local sheriff to determine the identity of a Jane Doe murder victim from 1954. Now an associate member of the Vidocq Society (and one of its Medal of Honor recipients), Silvia is a volunteer in the Detectives Section of the Boulder Police Department and is a NamUs instructor in classes sponsored by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Christine Sarteschi, PhD - Dr. Sarteschi is an Assistant Professor of Social Work and Criminology at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sarteschi holds a PhD in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, has approximately 10 years of post-master's clinical social work experience and is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Pennsylvania. She teaches courses in behavioral science that cover a wide range of topics including: human behavior, juvenile justice, mental illness and crime, cold case research, problem solving courts, mass murder, and violent and predatory offenders. Additionally, she has developed research collaborations with federal law enforcement in the area of threat assessment and the prevention of targeted mass violence. Her specialties include: the intersection of the mental health and criminal justice systems, mental health courts, involuntary hospitalization, severe mental illnesses, homicidal ideation and is actively working to develop intervention strategies to prevent mass violence. Her research has appeared in The British Journal of Social Work, Research on Social Work Practice, the Journal of Forensic Social Work, the Journal of Criminal Justice, and others. Dr. Sarteschi also has served as a peer reviewer for the National Science Foundation as well as several journals including: Criminal Justice and Behavior, The Sociological Quarterly, The Journal of Forensic Social Work, Victims & Offenders, Law and Human Behavior, and the Journal of Criminal Justice.

Bethany Walters, BS - Walters is a graduate student at Alliant International University, pursuing her PhD in Forensic Psychology.  She actively researches psychopathy, and it's relationship to violent predatory offenders, utilizing Patrick's Triarchic Model of Psychopathy. Additional areas of emphasis include serial murder, violent paraphilias, and victimology.  Her work with offenders include practicum training at a maximum security prison and performing psychological evaluations for a public defender's office.