Facial Recognition Technologies with FBI Senior Photographic Technologist Richard W. Vorder Bruegge



Can the faces of suspects be recognized by computer programs that review images of crowds? What are the possibilities and problems with facial recognition technology? We talk to FBI expert Richard Vorder Bruegge about the realities of this new frontier in identifying and locating suspects.



Richard W. Vorder Bruegge is a Senior Photographic Technologist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he is responsible for overseeing science and technology developments in the imaging sciences.  He has an Sc.B. in Engineering, and an Sc.M. and Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Brown University. He has been with the FBI since 1995, where he has performed forensic analysis of image and video evidence, testifying in state, federal and international courts as an expert witness over 60 times.  Dr. Vorder Bruegge was chair of the Scientific Working Group on Imaging Technology (SWGIT) from 2000 to 2006 and chair of the Facial Identification Scientific Working Group (FISWG) from 2009 to the present.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) in the Digital and Multimedia Sciences Section.  In 2010 he was named a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Science and Technology Fellow for his work in facial recognition.  He is currently Chair of the Digital/Multimedia Scientific Area Committee in the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC).


Biometric Center For Excellence (BCOE): https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/fingerprints-and-other-biometrics/biometric-center-of-excellence/modalities

Facial Identification Scientific Working Group (FISWG): https://www.fiswg.org

FBI Caught On Camera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5Oj2FDwLXs

Dangerous Instincts: An Interview with Senior FBI Profiler (Ret) Mary Ellen O’Toole Ph.D.


We talk to a retired FBI profiler who has worked on some of the country’s most infamous criminal cases.  This expert in criminal behavior has many insights to offer.


BIO: Mary Ellen O’Toole, Ph.D. has spent her career studying the criminal mind. One of the most senior profilers for the FBI until her retirement in 2009, Dr. O’Toole has helped capture, interview and understand some of the world’s most infamous criminals and worked on well-known cases including:

•Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer
•Derrick Todd Lee and Sean Vincent Gillis, both serial killers in Baton Rouge
•The Collar Bomb Case, a bank robbery and murder of a pizza delivery man
•Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber
•The Polly Klaas child abduction
•David Parker Ray, a serial sexual sadist
•The Red Lake School Shooting
•The Monster of Florence serial murder case
•The Zodiac serial murder case
•The bombing during the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT
•The mass murder in Florence, Montana in 2001

Dr. O’Toole also worked the Elizabeth Smart and Natalee Holloway disappearances, the Columbine shootings and many other high profile cases.

Her law enforcement career spanned 32 years, beginning in the San Francisco’s District Attorney’s Office when she was a Criminal Investigator. Dr. O’Toole worked as an FBI agent for 28 years, spending more than half of her Bureau career in the organization’s prestigious Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU)—the very unit that is the focus of the hit crime series “Criminal Minds.”
During her time in the unit, Dr. O’Toole developed an expertise in Criminal Investigative Analysis (CIA) as well as offender behavior. She has provided assistance to law enforcement and prosecutors on a wide range of violent and criminal behavior including serial and single homicides, sexual assaults, kidnappings, product tampering, school shootings, arsons and bombings and extortions. Dr. O’Toole is also a trained FBI hostage negotiator and has a unique expertise in the areas of targeted school violence, workplace violence and threat assessment.
Dr. O’Toole is recognized as the FBI’s leading expert in the area of “psychopathy.”  Her work in psychopathy has put her on the forefront of mental health and law enforcement efforts to apply the concepts of this personality disorder to both violent and white collar offenders and their behavior and crime scenes. She lectures internationally on the application of the theory of psychopathy to real life situations. She continues to lecture at the FBI Academy on psychopathy and interviewing. She has served as adjunct faculty to the FBI’s Prestigious Leadership Development Institute (LDI) at the FBI Academy and also frequently lectures at the Smithsonian Institution about everything from Sherlock Holmes to personal safety. She is a Fellow with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Feelings Betray Ushttps://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Instincts-How-Feelings-Betray/dp/1594630836



Mary Ellen O’Toole is the editor-in-chief of Violence and Gender, “the first and only peer-reviewed journal focusing on the understanding, prediction, and prevention of acts of violence.” For more information about this publication, visit





Mary Ellen’s Website: http://maryellenotoole.com

Mary Ellen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drmaryellenotoole/

Mary Ellen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/maryellenotoole

Dangerous Instincts: The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/dangerous-instincts-fbi-profiler-explains-the-dangers-of-that-nice-neighbor/2011/10/17/gIQAkvNCDM_story.html

Learning How To Read People: http://www.theironjen.com/learning-how-to-read-people-dr-mary-ellen-otoole/

Psychopathy: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin: https://leb.fbi.gov/2012/july/psychopathy-an-important-forensic-concept-for-the-21st-century

Orlando Shooter Profile: CCTV America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhTjGAsUuzk

Why Are American Cops So Bad At Catching Killers?: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/04/02/why-are-american-cops-so-bad-at-catching-killers#.PFh6oYRhF

Vintage Computer Games, Missing Aircraft, and an Amazing Forensic Resource: An Interview with Douglas White of the National Institute of Science and Technology’s National Software Reference Library (NSRL)


What do vintage computer games have to do with missing aircraft? Enter the amazing world of the National Software Reference Library, thanks to our guide, Douglas White!



Douglas White leads the National Software Reference Library project for the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  He has 25 years of experience with distributed systems, distributed databases and telecommunication protocols, real time biomonitoring, real time videoprocessing, system administration and network monitoring. He holds both a B.A and M.S. in computer science from Hood College. He has given lectures for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the High Technology Crime Investigation Association, the Digital Forensic Research Workshop and other digital forensic conferences.




www.nsrl.nist.gov – NSRL website

www.nist.gov/forensics – NIST Forensics topics

https://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/tops/white/white.html – Video lecture on the Cabrinety-NSRL effort

https://blogs.loc.gov/thesignal/2012/05/life-saving-the-national-software-reference-library/ – interview that includes the FDA story

https://Howtheygotgame.stanford.edu – Blogs by SUL staff including Henry Lowood and Charlotte Thai



Planning & Research Manager

Greg Collins

Can police use statistics about traffic problems to develop methods of lowering crime rates in a given area? Listen to the authors of a fascinating study on this topic, and learn more about the Smart Policing Initiative.



Greg Collins is the Research and Analysis Manager for the Shawnee, KS Police Department. He is primarily responsible for CALEA accreditation, policy review and updating, grant management, overseeing the Crime Analysis function, and managing police department volunteers.

Greg joined the Shawnee Police Department as a sworn officer in 1991. In addition to road patrol duties, Greg has worked as a D.A.R.E. officer, detective, patrol sergeant, training sergeant, and traffic safety unit supervisor. Greg has also been a member of the department’s Special Tactics and Response team, and a field training officer. Greg transitioned to his current civilian position in June 2008.

Greg holds a B.A. in Management and Human Relations from MidAmerica Nazarene University and is an IACP Associate member.

Dr. Kevin M Bryant is a professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Benedictine College in Atchinson, Kansas. Bryant completed training and was certified in advanced crime mapping by the National Institute of Justice.


Hot Spots Policing https://www.crimesolutions.gov/PracticeDetails.aspx?ID=8

Smart Policing Initiative http://www.smartpolicinginitiative.com/

NIJ Overview of Program Profile: Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) in Kansas

National Institute of Justice http://www.nij.gov


NamUs: Naming The Unidentified, Finding The Missing – An Interview With J. Todd Matthews



We loved talking to Todd Matthews last year, but there was much more to learn, so we invited him back for some important updates on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, also known as NamUs.

Todd is the Director of Case Management and Communications for NamUs. He  joined the NamUs management team in 2011 as the program transitioned to the UNT Health Science Center. In his current role, he manages the NamUs Regional System Administrator staff, oversees quality assurance and quality control of NamUs data, performs outreach and training, coordinates all NamUs print and broadcast media, and serves as the media spokesperson for NamUs.

Todd Matthews previously served as a NamUs Regional System Administrator and was a member of the NamUs Advisory Board for the development of the NamUs database and program. In those roles, he piloted efforts to coordinate data exchanges between NamUs and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

He has also served as the Media Director for two important volunteer programs related to missing and unidentified persons: The Doe Network and Project EDAN. He has worked as a blogger for Discovery ID and served as a consultant for Jerry Brukheimer on “The Forgotten” and Dick Wolf on “Lost & Found”, two scripted series related to missing and unidentified persons.



NamUs: National Missing and Unidentified Persons System http://www.namus.gov

University of North Texas Health Science Center’s Center for Human Identification/Forensic Science Unit  http://www.untfsu.com/index.html

Todd Matthews on UNT site: http://www.untfsu.com/Staff/ToddMatthews.html

Crime and Science Radio 2015 Interview With Todd Matthews https://crimeandscienceradio.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=615&action=edit

Billy’s Law http://lostnmissing.org/billys-law/

The Dead Unknown: Part 1 Mountain Jane Doe (Reveal Films)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0vNQXsvrRU

 The Dead Unknown: Part 2 The Exhumation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN4ZsjgUO-4
The Dead Unknown: Part 3 What Secrets Lie Beneath https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05KRjEqEcl8
The Dead Unknown: Part 4 She Always Had a Name https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRK7muHRXJ4
Mountain Jane Doe Identified https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hugiLiKi-RA
NY legislators want unidentified dead in federal database, Daily Freeman (from the Associated Press) July 6, 2016
“Who Killed Jane Doe #59? The Case of Reet Jurvetson – the fifth estate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTyQhn1MjX8

Project EDAN http://www.untfsu.com/forensicArt.html

“Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains: The Nation’s Silent Mass Disaster,” NIJ report by Nancy Ritter. http://www.nij.gov/journals/256/pages/missing-persons.aspx

“Identifying Missing Persons and Unidentified Decedents” NIJ Website Law Enforcement topics http://nij.gov/topics/law-enforcement/investigations/missing-persons/Pages/welcome.aspx

The Doe Network: http://doenetwork.org

Black and Missing Foundatation  http://www.blackandmissinginc.com/cdad/

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children http://www.missingkids.com/home

PBS Frontline‘s “Post Mortem” series map of death investigation in the U.S. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/post-mortem/map-death-in-america/

“Uniform Protocol to Address Unidentified Human Remains and Missing Persons,” Marzena H. Mulawka, Ismail M. Sebetan, and Paul C. Stein, in The Journal of Forensic Identification, available through NCJRS https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=254866

“Resolving Missing and Unidentified Person Cases Using Today’s Technologies,” Dustin Driscoll, National Missing and Unidentified Persons (NamUs) Analyst, in The Police Chief Magazine, May 2013 http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=2925&issue_id=52013

Unidentified remains: What’s known about some of the nameless dead (database); Cleveland Plain Dealer August 8, 2016http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/08/unidentified_remains_whats_kno.html

How Kathy Thornton solved her sister’s 39-year-old murder case; Miami Herald, November 23, 2016 http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article116796023.html

Meet Iris, the FBI’s Only Electronic-Sniffing Dog: An Interview with Jeffrey Calandra



Criminals and terrorists often hide data on electronic devices and then hide these devices. And they re often very clever about doing so. In such search situations, many subjects hide flash drives, hard drives, and other electronic components so if the police come, the instruments of their crimes may not be found. Take the example of a child pornography case where a subject will put pictures of innocent children on a thumb drive and hide it in the yard, behind walls, and all sorts of other places. In a normal search, a human investigator may not find the media.

What’s the FBI to do? Enter Iris, a young, eager, lab who is the FBI’s only canine capable of sniffing out these devices. And she’s one of only five in the world. How does she do it? How was she trained for such specialized work?

In this episode we talk with Jeffrey Chandra and he can tell us how all this accomplished, as well as how dogs are used in other criminal detection activities.


BIO: Jeffrey Calandra possesses a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Masters in Criminal Justice with concentration in Computer Forensics. He spent 6-1/2 years as a special agent working child pornography, criminal computer intrusions, fraud, and bomb threat cases. HE has also assisted on Counter Intelligence, Counter-Terrorism, Drug, and Gang cases and has served as a member of the Hostage Negotiator team. He is currently a K9 handler for the FBI Electronic Scent Detection K9 Iris.

Iris, a 20 month-old black lab, is the first of her type in the FBI and one of 5 in the world. She will be the future of law enforcement. Already we are getting requests from across the country for her assistance. For a little background, Iris was trained as a seeing eye dog for a year and then was selected to be a law enforcement dog.

To Learn and Die in LA: Crime Scenes, Criminalistics, and the Cutting Edge in Los Angeles: An Interview with Former LASD Criminalist Professor Donald Johnson of CSULA

Don Johnson sm



This episode brought about a first for us. We recorded this program before a live audience — a meeting of the Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, at the Tam O’Shanter Restaurant.

Professor Johnson provided many insights on the work of those who scientifically examine crime scenes and the evidence gathered from them. He talked about changes in forensic science, new frontiers, and forensic science education. We know our listeners will love this episode!


Professor Donald James Johnson is an expert on criminalistics, with emphasis on crime scene investigation and reconstruction (homicides and sexual assaults), and forensic biology. His research interests include the application of new technologies to the field of criminalistics. He was formerly a senior criminalist at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where he was involved in the scientific investigation of violent crimes.

California Forensic Science Institute: http://www.calstatela.edu/hhs/cfsi
School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics at CSULA: http://www.calstatela.edu/hhs/crim
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Scientific Services video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SboLJ7WwnXQ
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department: http://sheriff.lacounty.gov
American Academy of Forensic Sciences http://www.aafs.org

We’d like to thank Craig Faustus Buck, president of the So Cal Chapter of MWA, for his kind invitation to record a live program at a meeting, and Timothy Burke for his technical assistance.