|MURDER, MAYHEM AND
By Lt. Cmdr. Vernon J. Geberth, M.S., M.P.S.
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|Dealing with Man's Inhumanity to Man.
How does one cope? Police Work and specifically Homicide Investigation is
not for everyone. Nor should it be. As a Tactical Patrol Force (TPF) member we
were constantly exposed to non-stop senseless violence. We had the riots, the
drug dealing, the never ending crime scenes, murder and mayhem and working in
some of the worst crime-ridden areas of the city. This continued into my later
years while pursuing my career within the New York City Police Department as I
went up the ranks from detective to commander. I would often use the following
phrase to refocus my people and myself during some of these horrendous events.
"We are the Good Guys and We Work For God."
So, where did that leave the vicious criminals and some of the sleazy defense attorneys who defend them? Obviously, with the Devil. St. Michael The Archangel is my patron saint and my confirmation name. Roman Catholics refer to him as Saint Michael the Archangel and also simply as Saint Michael. He is generally presented as the Field Commander of the Army of God, who Cleared God's premises of all evildoers. St. Michael is considered the patron saint for a number of professions. Specifically Law Enforcement. Police officers like military officers, priests and/or ministers have a calling. A calling or vocation that often transcends their own careers and personal life. In fact, we in homicide have a mission. Our mission is to bring justice to the deceased and their surviving family.
Law Enforcement is an Honorable and Noble Profession. We do God's work in a different format. The Basis and Spirituality of Law Enforcement can be found in the Bible. Roman's 13, "Those who do Evil need fear the man in authority. For he is God's servant working for your own good."
The world of the homicide detective is permeated with human tragedies, comprised of a variety of sudden and violent death scenarios. Many of these events, needless to say, are seemingly beyond the comprehension of the average person. Professional homicide investigators become keenly aware of the reality of death. And the impact it has on our society and the surviving family.
The professional homicide investigator must learn to deal with death in a clinical manner. Detectives develop an emotional insulation and do not project a personality into the body. The professional homicide investigator must learn to deal with death in a clinical manner. Detectives develop an emotional insulation and do not project a personality into the body.
My theology as a practicing Catholic that there is a resurrection from the death to an everlasting life in the Kingdom of God. I also believe that when one dies or is murdered that the soul of that person has left the body. The body and/or portions of that body that we process in our crime scenes basically represents the forensic evidence.
I also believe in the concept of a "Psychology of Evil." There is "Good and Evil" in the world. There are many manifestations of evil in our world such as political, religious extremism, educational and corrupt business practices. The homicidal attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001 was Evil. An act of genocide perpetrated by religious fanatics. That Evil caused the deaths of 2,749 innocent persons and resulted in the largest crime scene in the history of the City of New York. Sexual psychopaths and serial murderers who "kill" because they "like to kill" are Evil. Murderers who target young children for sexual assault are evil. And family annihilators are Evil. Killers who murder their victims to prevent being identified are all examples of Evil. Many of the cases that I have investigated and consulted on are representative of EVIL.
My mission in life was clear. I had an expertise. I decided to dedicate my entire career to this vocation by providing, A comprehensive and practical resource text that will serve as an investigation guide to homicide professionals. The textbook Practical Homicide Investigation is the benchmark and "Best Practice" model and therefore continues to be the "Bible" of homicide investigation. That is why the motto of my program is "Remember, We Work for God."
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"We work for God."®