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Updates from Dr. Pope

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Arizona and Georgia in July 2017 IAAI Chapter Training

It is with a great honor that I have been asked to speak for the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) for the Arizona Chapter (July 20, 2017) in beautiful Prescott on the West Coast and for the Georgia Chapter (July 25, 2017) in Savannah for the East Coast. Good training will be provided and hopefully I will meet some new friends along the way. I will be presenting some new data from our 10th annual SLOFIST training conference. I look forward to traveling this summer and providing some cutting edge information to our finest fire investigators coast to coast! Thanks again for stopping by.



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Hello everyone! I just returned from our 10th annual SLOFIST training session in the Central Coast of California. We had an amazing course with 70 students from across the country and 1 special friend from across the pond. This year we conducted 14 burn experiments ranging from structure fires, vehicle fires, outdoor incendiary fires, and radiant heat testing. All of the experiments demonstrated unique burn patterns to their respective environments. The duration of the fires lasted from several minutes to over an hour, producing brittle calcined bone for the students to examine. This information enables the students to appreciate how the duration of the fire relates to the heat-related damage to the body as what the investigators see after the fire at actual crime scenes. This hands-on opportunity trains the students how to properly document, handle, and recover burned human remains from fatal fire scenes. Thanks again for the great memories, experiences, and friendships of the 10th annual SLOFIST course.

I happy to report that we had our best year ever (9th annual course) at SLOFIST in San Luis Obispo, California. We had 62 excellent students who were comprised of Fire Investigators, Law Enforcement, Coroner/Medical Examiner, Crime Scene Investigators, and several scientists. I met some really great people. We had a researcher from the UK and an accelerant dog team from Canada. We conducted 12 fire scenes ranging from structures to vehicles and outdoor environments, all producing good data of heat-related changes, time, and temperature. There was so much experience buzzing through the air, it was truly amazing to be apart of such a great course. 

After the course we went to Pismo Beach and enjoyed the ocean for all of its beauty. Then we went to the Cracked Crab for king crab, dungeness crab, and slipper lobster. I can still taste the butter.

Thank you everyone for making it the best year yet!!!


Well this is my second time in Las Vegas this year. I just got back from the Nevada Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators with Terry Taylor, Dan Heenan, and Dr. Ellen Clark, Medical Examiner of Reno, Nevada. Its always a pleasure to be in the company of these fine individuals.

Tomorrow I will be a guest lecture at VCU in Dr. Tal Simmons Forensic Anthropology class in Richmond, Virginia.

I will be taking a hiatus until the SLOFIST course June 20-24, 2016 in San Luis Obispo, California. 

Thanks for stopping by


I just got back from a string of trips across the country. In February, I traveled to Vegas for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and saw some good friends. In March, I drove to Columbia, South Carolina to lecture to Law Enforcement, Crime Scene Investigators, Coroners, and Medical Examiners. I got to catch up with Dr. Collins (author of Forensic Pathology of Infancy and Childhood), who is a wonderful colleague. Then I just returned from Watkins Glen, New York (outside of Elmira), which was on one of the beautiful lakes (Finger Lakes). I gave a 4 hour lecture to the New York Coroners Association. Then I got to see some beautiful waterfalls on our way to the New York State Fire Academy, where we watched a fire demonstration by Deputy Chief William McGovern (friend from 8 years ago). The views, food, and people were spectacular, I had a great time and made some new friends. I am home for a week and then I travel back to Las Vegas for the Nevada Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators. Then after that, I travel to Richmond, Virginia to lecture to a Forensic Anthropology class instructed by Dr. Tal Simmons. Whew! Thanks for stopping by. Elayne Pope 

Just got back from the 61st Ohio Arson School where I was invited to lecture to 100 Fire Investigators in Columbus, Ohio. They were a fun group with a lot of good questions. Everyone was so nice. The flight home was extra special since I got re-routed to JFK and had a fabulous hot pastrami on rye. Yum. Well, its back to work for me for a while. Take care. pope


I just returned from San Luis Obispo, California were we had another successful class with 64 students from across the United States and Canada, and one from Australia. It was very exciting to watch the teams of Fire Investigators, Law Enforcement, Coroners/Medical Examiner, Crime Scene Investigators, and scientists work together as a well-greased machine out in the field. Each team brought their investigative strenghts and techniques that really came together, especially during the presentations. I met a lot of great people and wish each of them well on their future cases.

California was beautiful, got to see the Pacific Ocean after class on Friday and eat some huge scallops down in Shell Beach.

I have an upcoming trip to Las Vegas July 30th for the Internation Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners.

Thanks for stopping by


I just returned from Manhattan, Kansas where there were over 100 in attendance, representing the states of Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. We had Fire Investigators, Coroners, Law Enforcement, and Crime Scene Investigators. Also, Dr. Michael Finnegan, from Kansas State University was in the audience. I had a wonderful time and learned that Kansas has hills, the Flint Hills, which were beautiful. Rose Rozmiarek  and her arson canine, Tana, were wonderful hosts who took good care of me during my stay.

Thanks Kansas!

I got to travel some in Biloxi, Mississippi, where I lectured last week on the beautiful Gulf Coast. The Mississippi Chapter of the IAAI were exceptional hosts and I had some of the best interaction/questions from the audience of mostly Fire Investigators, but also some Coroners and other Forensic Investigators. Good times were had with Mrs. Lisa Edwards, who put on a spectacular conference and we also had a visitor, Deborah Keeler who is the IAAI Executive Director on the national level. On the way back to the airport, I drove along Highway 90, which parallels the Gulf Coast and it was a beautiful day. Overall, I met some really great people in Biloxi who were obviously passionate about their jobs and eager to learn. In fact so many good questions were asked, that I had to lecture for an additional hour the following day to finish up the presentation. I received a beautiful award at the end of my lecture that is clear and has the IAAI logo that is in the shape of the state of Mississippi. Its awesome!!! I love awards. It was an absolute pleasure everyone!!!!



For those of you who have enjoyed my lectures or would like to know what my talks are like, listen to the new podcast on Coroner Talk Episode 18. Producer Darren Drake interviewed me about what Coroner/Medicolegal Death Investigators and Fire Investigators can expect to find at fatal fire scenes and the type of research that is conducted each year through SLOFIST Inc. during the Forensic Fire Death Investigation Course


Thanks for visiting and listening, I hope you find it educational.





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