About Us

“No one ever truly does anything on their own. Any success one actually attains can be attributed to the One who strategically placed others in one’s path at just the right time. We all have gifts—just not the same gifts and that’s why we need each other. No less so in the work the Institute does. The Institute networks with remarkable gifts; those with solid experience and knowledge coupled with the desire to accurately apply their discipline in joint pursuits and ongoing research.”   KRusso

Karen Russo: President and Founder of The Wrongful Death & Injury Institute. Over twenty years of experience and expertise in jail and prison policy and procedures, heath care policy, procedure and protocols, end of life issues and death issues within the correctional system nationwide and society at large. Avid speaker and author of the book Fighting for Life-Tricks and Traps of the Death Investigation System, A Guide for Families Navigating Through Death in Prisons, Hospitals, Nursing Homes & Jails. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science, attended two graduate schools simultaneously in criminal justice and theology, past adjunct professor in criminal evidence and criminal investigation.

Phillipa Chantry, Director of Research: Born in Melbourne, Australia, currently resides in Canberra, Australia. She holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree with Honors in English, a Graduate Degree in Education and pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Management. Her past positions of teaching refugees, working in community sector work and administering government youth programs, has equipped her well for her current work in the administration of Australian Government programs for remote areas.

Dr. Michael Finnegan: One of the nation’s leading forensic anthropology experts in the country. He is professor emeritus of anthropology at Kansas State University, and remains active as a consultant in the field. In 2005 he was named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution, studying paleopathology and non-metric variation for population studies and forensic science application. He taught and worked at Kansas State from 1973 until his retirement in 2011. He is a Fellow and past Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, a Diplomate, and past President of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and is a recipient of the "Kansas Attorney General's Certificate of Merit" in recognition of outstanding service rendered to law enforcement in and for the State of Kansas by a private citizen.

Dr. Finnegan has helped in the identification of downed American pilots in war zones, dissidents in Eastern Europe, and even the outlaw Jesse James. He has worked and lectured in Africa, Australia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, and North and South America.

He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado, and held pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution. Finnegan is a Distinguished Fellow of and served as a Director and Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He taught and worked at Kansas State from 1973 until his retirement in 2011.

Allan Jamieson - BSc PhD CBiol FIBiol MIBMS MIHM: Director of The Forensic Institute in Glasgow, Scotland, UK world renowned DNA expert who, coupled with extensive casework experience, is well known for his entertaining and informative lectures across the UK. Proficient in DNA and the biological sciences, he is a well-known consultant to attorneys in the UK and all over Europe. He was instrumental in the challenges to the use of the LCN DNA technique in the Omagh Bomb trial [R v Hoey] and in the English Appeal Court case of Reed. He has consistently challenged the abuse of the technique in Court.

Professor Jamieson is also the Co-Editor in Chief of Wileys Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences - a five volume work leaving no stone unturned or lacking in forensic examination.

Don Lock: Forensic Questioned Document Examiner and Latent Fingerprint Expert with over 30 years’ experience. Retired supervisor of the Questioned Document and Latent Print Sections of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab. Expertise includes but is not limited to: forensic questioned documents; latent fingerprint examination; and crime scene investigation. Instructor of specialized training programs and seminars. Publications and memberships in numerous professional organizations too numerous to mention.

Andre Moenssens: Professor Moenssens did pre-legal studies in his native Belgium. He received his J.D. cum laude in 1966 from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he was Associate Editor of the Chicago-Kent Law Review and won several scholarship awards. He received his LL.M. from Northwestern University in 1967. A member of the Illinois and Virginia bars, Professor Moenssens was a professor of law at IIT-Chicago-Kent College of Law from 1967-1973, and professor of law at the University of Richmond, Virginia from 1973-1995. The University of Richmond Trustees elected him Professor Emeritus in 1996. During the academic years 1993-1995 he was visiting professor at West Virginia University in Morgantown, in the William J. Maier Jr. Chair. He was invited to join the faculty of the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) in 1996 as the Douglas Stripp Professor of Law, and took emeritus status at the end of 2002.

He is the author, senior co-author, or editor of more than 15 books, among which are Cases and Comments on Criminal Law (in its sixth edition) and "Scientific Evidence in Civil and Criminal Cases," now in its fourth edition. He is Co-Editor of the Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science, 5 Volume Set. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, trial lawyer, and consultant on forensic evidence issues, he has also lectured internationally at continuing legal education and scientific evidence conferences. Professor Moenssens has taught Criminal Law, Advanced Trial Practice (Trial Advocacy IIR), Scientific and Expert Opinion Evidence, Applied Forensic Evidence Seminar, and Wrongful Convictions, and Current Issues on Criminal Justice (seminar) at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, School of Law. While he is retired he has fashioned his legacy as reflected in the multiple books and commentaries he has authored throughout his career to be utilized by attorneys, students and others.

James Simmerman: Executive Director of the Saline County Criminal Justice Training Center. Director/owner of Deer Creek Law Enforcement Training Center (in Crawford County, Missouri) and Creative Management Consultants.

Jim is a former St. Louis homicide detective and Chief Investigator for the St. Louis Medical Examiner. Having investigated or supervised the investigation of over 16,000 cases of violent or suspicious death, affords him an expertise that criss-crosses multiple disciplines. Jim has provided criminal justice and public safety training grants, lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, and other training materials to over 8,400 trainers and organizations, world-wide. Specialties: Homicide crime scene investigation, firearms and firearms safety instructor training, law enforcement training, emergency telecommunication, and instructor development training.

Gary Stephens: Over 44 years’ experience in traffic accident reconstruction. Training specialist for the Institute of Police Technology and Management Training in all phases of accident investigation and reconstruction. Attended the first organized reconstruction school held at Northwestern Traffic Institute. Formatted and conducted the first class in accident reconstruction nationwide. Mr. Stephens has been teaching in reconstruction school since the early days of reconstruction training. Numerous publications and memberships in professional organizations, too numerous to mention. Owner of Stephens & Associates, Inc.

* List above does not reflect all consultants and experts. If you’re in need of an expert for a specific discipline, contact us.

Contact Information

Wrongful Death & Injury Institute, LLC
 email:    deathinstitute@protonmail.com
 phone:     816.803.6262

LifeCare Interlock'sSM Website
 email:    lifecareInterlock@protonmail.com
 phone:     816.803.6262