David Bradley

“So much information in this course. Clear, to the point, and very useful information. ”

“So much information in this course. Clear, to the point, and very useful information. ”

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Course Summary

This course is approved for 3 hours of continuing education credits by Missouri POST, American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI)

Who Should Take This Course

  • Law Enforcement Patrol Officers/ Supervisors
  • Detectives and Investigators
  • Medicolegal Death Investigators
  • Coroners
  • Interested Students 

This course is an advanced overview of the investigation of suicide and self-harm death. The course is specifically designed for patrol officers, investigators, and coroners who have the duties of responding to and/ or investigating a death.

The course assumes the students basic understanding of a crime scene and evidence collection methods. It goes beyond the preliminary death scene and targets what suicide deaths are and what they are not. It also gives insight into the mental aspect of suicide and self-harm behaviors. Participants will learn how to evaluate a scene, obtain evidence specific to making a determination of suicide, as well as how to properly document the scene and obtain vital victim history information and family statements.

This course will cover specific causes of suicide deaths such as self-inflicted gunshot wounds; which are the most common form of suicide in the United States. Also covered in this course is drug overdose deaths, which may be ruled; accidental, homicide, or suicide and only a complete investigation will determine the true manner of death. Another area covered in this course is hanging and asphyxia deaths. It is important for the investigator to know that most hanging deaths do not occur from a full suspension position. Other self-harm deaths covered in this course are   Helium inhalation deaths, as well as planned and assisted suicides.

Students will learn the best practices and standards for investigating suicides and self-harm deaths. This course is not intended to set department policy but rather focuses on generally approved methods of criminal investigations as it applies to a death scene involving the possibility of suicide and self-harm.

This is an online video training and is designed to be interactive with students by random quizzes and a final exam. Student login and time are tracked per student to verify the time spent in the course if needed.   Testing cannot be done until the videos are watched.  Many of the videos have a unique symbol or picture that will appear prominently in the video and is part of the test questions, this will ensure the video has been watched. Certificates will only be available for print after the successful completion of the course material. 

Each certificate will indicate that it was an online training and will note the approval control number and the CLEE hours given.


Course curriculum

  • 01

    Course Introduction and Welcome

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    • Content Integrity and Copyright Notice

    • Content and Copyright Notice Acknowledgment

    • Welcome to your new course

  • 02

    Suicide Investigation and Scene Assessment

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    • Section Introduction

    • Investigating Suicide Defining Suicide and Initial Response

    • Investigating Suicide - Scene Assessment and Equivocal Deaths

  • 03

    Section One Quiz

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    • Quiz: Investigating Suicide Part 1

  • 04

    Investigating Gunshot, Overdoes, and Helium Suicide

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    • Investigating Suicide - Gun Shot Injuries

    • Investigating Suicide - Overdose and Helium

  • 05

    Section Two Quiz

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    • Investigating Suicide Part 2

  • 06

    Case Review

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    • Investigating Suicide - Case Review

  • 07

    Downloads and Resources

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    • Investigating Suicide eBook

    • Forensic Body Exam Charts

    • Journal Writings of a Suicidal Teen

    • 10 Most Common Mistake Made at a Death Scene

    • Law Enforcement CLEE Request


  • I’m not currently in this field, can I still take the course?

    Yes. This course is open to students who are wanting to enter the field of death investigation as well as working professionals. It is our goal to help you prepare for the job you are wanting by providing nationally accepted training.

  • How long do I have access to the course?

    You will have access to the course material for six months. This, however, does not take into account natural disasters or a major interruption in business.

  • Do we get a certificate at the end?

    The course is an all-inclusive course. So, each student will receive a certificate at the end of all course work denoting credits and approval numbers along with the date of completion.

  • What if I want to talk to someone before I register?

    If you have other questions, please email us or call our academy directly at 1-888-556-0177.


Darren Dake is a law enforcement professional with over 30 years’ experience in criminal and medicolegal death investigation. Darren has worked in both the law enforcement realm of investigations as well as in the role of senior investigator with the Coroner’s office for over 20 years. This combined investigative experience has uniquely established Darren as an expert in investigations which allows him to consult and teach internationally on investigation practices and procedures.

Darren Dake, D-ABMDI, CI, CCI

Senior Instructor