Speakers and Instructors

The brains and talent behind the Writers' Police Academy - MurderCon

Guest of Honor - David Baldacci

david baldacci

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world’s favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million copies sold worldwide. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. He has also published seven novels for young readers.

David is also the cofounder, along with his wife, Michelle, of the Wish You Well Foundation®, which is dedicated to supporting adult and family literacy programs in the United States.

David is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He lives in Virginia.

Photo credit - Guy Bell

Special Guest Speaker - Ray Krone

ray krone witness to innocence

Ray Krone is co-founder of Witness to Innocence. Before his exoneration in 2002, Ray spent more than 10 years in Arizona prisons, including nearly three years on death row, for a murder he did not commit.

His world was turned upside down in 1991, when Kim Ancona was murdered in a Phoenix bar where Ray was an occasional customer, and he was arrested for the crime. The case against him was based largely on circumstantial evidence and the testimony of a supposedly “expert” witness, later discredited, who claimed bite marks found on the victim matched Ray’s teeth. He was sentenced to death in 1992.

Special Guest Speakers - Dr. Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell

melinik and mitchell

Judy Melinek, M.D. was an assistant medical examiner in San Francisco for nine years, and today works as a forensic pathologist in Oakland and as CEO of PathologyExpert Inc. She and T.J. Mitchell met as undergraduates at Harvard, after which she studied medicine and practiced pathology at UCLA. Her training in forensics at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner is the subject of their first book, the memoir Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner.

T.J. Mitchell is a writer with an English degree from Harvard, and worked in the film industry before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad. He is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner with his wife, Judy Melinek.

David Alford

David Alford

FBI Evidence Response Team Founding Member and Special Agent, retired

David Alford is a retired FBI Special Agent with 21 years of experience investigating violent crimes, terrorism and other cases.

goffin and belongea

Jill Goffin & Colleen Belongea

Wisconsin Licensed Private Investigators and Co-owners of Assured Private Investigations

Jill Goffin is a Wisconsin Licensed Private Investigator and Co-owner of Assured Private Investigations established in 2016.  Her specialty is criminal defense investigations but has offered a variety of other services such as, process serving, surveillance, accident reviews, fraud investigations, backgrounds and locates.  Prior to becoming a private investigator, she was in Operations Management and Continuous Improvement for…

paul bishop

Paul Bishop

Novelist, Screenwriter, and Television Personality

Novelist, screenwriter, and television personality, Paul Bishop is a nationally recognized behaviorist and expert in deception detection. Paul, a 35-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, is the author of fifteen novels, including the award-winning Lie Catchers and five books in his LAPD Homicide Detective Fey Croaker series.

Marco Conelli

Marco Conelli

Writer, Retired NYPD Detective

Retired NYPD Detective Marco Conelli and his tactics for success earned him the youngest promotion to Detective in the history of the NYPD. His work as an undercover in the Organized Crime Control Bureau not only infiltrated major criminal organizations, it hung the murder rap on many of its members.

angela cruise

Angela Cruise

Angela Cruise is a forensic entomologist with expertise in chemical ecology, insect ecology, and insect behavior.

Jim Gocke

Jim Gocke

Sirchie Vice President/General Counsel and Director of Education and Training, retired

Jim Gocke is a graduate of West Virginia University and West Virginia College of Law. In addition, he completed a Fellowship in Forensic Medicine at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and earned a Master of Science in Forensic Sciences from The George Washington University.


Will Gregory

Will Gregory, a 30-year veteran in surveillance both law enforcement and private.

heather hanna

Heather Hanna

Forensic Geologist

Heather Hanna is a forensic geologist specializing in the analysis of rock fragments and mineral grains in soils as trace evidence.

jeff locklear

Jeff Locklear

Homicide Police Specialist and Training Officer

Detective Sergeant Jeff Locklear, a 21-year veteran law enforcement officer, currently works with the Fayetteville North Carolina Police Department as a homicide police specialist and training officer. 

Rick McMahan

Rick McMahan

Instructor, Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training

Rick McMahan spent over a quarter of a century as a Special Agent for the ATF. During his career, Rick investigated a wide range of crimes from violent militant extremists to outlaw motorcycle gangs to murder for hire plots. Currently, he serves as Instructor for Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training.

David Pauly

David Pauly

Director, Applied Forensic Science Program, Methodist University, Fayetteville, NC

David Pauly retired from The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command as a Special Agent-in-Charge/Commander and Forensic Science Officer.

stephen pearson

Stephen Pearson

Founder of High Tech Crime Institute

Stephen Pearson combines more than 29 years of law-enforcement experience with in-depth expertise in today’s most pervasive Internet, computer, and digital device technologies.

charles siebert

Charles F. Siebert Jr., M.D.

President of CFS Forensic Services

Dr. Siebert is currently President of CFS Forensic Services and serves as an Assistant Medical Examiner for Gloucester, Salem, Camden, Ocean and Burlington Counties of New Jersey.

merrideth tice

Dr. Meredith Tise


Meredith Tise earned her PhD. In Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida. She currently works with the Pinellas County (FL) Sheriff’s Office and consults with the Medical Examiner’s office in Largo, FL, where she assists in remains recovery and analysis.

Sergeant James Yowell

James Yowell

Sergeant, Instructor Fayetteville, NC PD

Sergeant James Yowell is a twenty year veteran of the Fayetteville, North Carolina, Police Department.

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