Meet the Trainer – Laura Pettler

“Aspire to inspire…”

On February 22, 1985, 9-year-old Cherrie Mahan got off her school bus in Butler, PA, but never made it home. A blue van painted with a mural of a downhill skier on a mountainside was trailing the bus that day – Laura Pettler, just 11-years-old began looking and has never stopped looking for that van. “Then on May 1, 1992 when I was 17 years old, a 19-year-old high school acquaintance, Jennifer Diamond, was shot in the head by her boyfriend at a local gas station and I knew I wanted to do something in this field”, Laura recalled.

Laura holds a bachelor of science degree in pre-professional psychology from Geneva College, a master of science degree in criminal justice specializing in forensic psychology and forensic science from Youngstown State University, a doctor of philosophy degree in criminal justice specializing in criminal justice focused on crime scene staging in intimate partner homicide hot and cold cases from Capella University. She also spent 8-years in postgraduate experience, research and publication in bullet path and bloodstain pattern reconstruction in homicide cases, along with 9-years postdoctoral experience, research, and publication in crime scene staging dynamics in intimate partner homicide hot and cold cases.

Dr. Laura Pettler is also the founder and CEO of Laura Pettler & Associates Death Investigations, the #1 victim-centered scientific death investigation firm in the world. Within the scope of the firm, Laura founded and is the director of the LPA International Forensics Institute School of Forensic Criminology, a ground and online continuing education center built like a university with interlocking courses focused on unique topics not typically found in traditional continuing education catalogs for private investigators, detectives, attorneys, and students. “I enjoy sharing empirical and anecdotal information with others towards strengthening homicide investigations,” said Laura.

Laura is the author of the first book in the world on crime scene staging entitled, Crime Scene Staging Dynamics in Homicide Cases. Stemming from a 2008 homicide in Caroleen, NC, Laura and two colleagues initially developed Tubular Dowel Shooting Incident Reconstruction then Laura went on to invent the mot versatile and comprehensive The Kaleidoscope System Shooting and Bloodstain Reconstruction System that includes tubular dowels and bloodstain trajectory reconstruction equipment sold in more than 30 countries.

You may recognize Laura as the Forensic Criminologist on The Dr. Oz Show, her regular appearances on the Oxygen network, from ID, Starz, Reels, Spike, or her Web Television Series “Notorious: True Crime Stories with Laura Pettler.” Additionally, Laura is an accomplished Musician/Singer/Songwriter who retired from professional music in 2009 after recording four albums and three Christmas albums. Stay tuned because Laura is planning to record a new album titled in 2020.

In her spare time, Laura said “I enjoy mounted fox hunting with fox hounds and mounted archery on Friesian horses. I also participate in AKC Confirmation Dog Shows and my French Bulldog won the 2019 Best Female of the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show.” She also enjoys various DIY projects on her farm.

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