Book Proposal Approved!

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Crime Scene Staging by Dr. Laura Pettler


Crime scene staging could be defined as broadly as anything an offender does to hide the truth, anything he or she changes about a crime, or anything he or she changes about or in a crime scene before the police arrive towards self-preservation and ultimately to avoid apprehension.

​The treachery of the crime scene stager knows no boundaries. From the wealthy to the disadvantaged, the smallest town to the largest urban city, crime scene staging affects us all because victims and families are deprived of justice when staged crime scenes go undetected and violent offenders remain in society with the potential opportunity to victimize others and to reoffend.



-Dr. Herbert Leon MacDonell, 1996 is the first repository to list all crime scene staging literary references, crime scene staging related cases, and to publish ongoing empirical research articles. This website is updated almost on a daily basis. Please contact us with anything you would like contribute. We appreciate everyone’s partnership in this effort. is dedicated to the pursuit of truth and justice for all victims and their families of staged crimes and crime scenes, to the diligent law enforcement professionals who tirelessly pursue the crime scene stager, to the fair and impartial judicial gatekeepers who carefully preside over countess staged cases, to the crime scene reconstructionists who methodically and systematically reveal glimpses of the truth, to the scholar-practitioners who desperately seek and desire to partner with and assist the law enforcement community by conducting and publishing highly sophisticated empirical research, and to society towards making our world a better, safer place for our children, our parents, our future, and ourselves.

In Your Service,

​We Are…

Holding them Accountable

Seven Colombian Nationals Charged in Connection with the Murder of a DEA Agent Extradited to the United States

JULY 2, 2014 – (WASHINGTON) – Seven Colombian nationals were extradited to the United States to face charges relating to the kidnapping and murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent James Terry Watson.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart and Director Bill A. Miller of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) made the announcement.

“DEA Special Agent James ‘Terry’ Watson was a brave and talented special agent who represented everything good about federal law enforcement and our DEA family,” said DEA Administrator Leonhart. “We will never forget Terry’s sacrifice on behalf of the American people during his 13 years of service, nor will DEA ever forget the outstanding work of the Colombian National Police and our other law enforcement partners. Their efforts quickly led to the arrest and extradition of those accused of committing this heinous act.”

“With the extradition of these suspects, we are one step closer to ensuring that justice is served for the kidnapping and murder of an American hero,” said Attorney General Holder. “Special Agent Watson gave his life in the service of his country. We owe him, and his family, a debt of gratitude we can never fully repay. The Justice Department will never waver in our commitment to ensure that those who commit acts of violence against our best and bravest can be caught and held accountable.”

All of the defendants were indicted by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia on July 18, 2013. Gerardo Figueroa Sepulveda, 39; Omar Fabian Valdes Gualtero, 27; Edgar Javier Bello Murillo, 27; Hector Leonardo Lopez, 34; Julio Estiven Gracia Ramirez, 31; and Andrés Alvaro Oviedo-Garcia, 22, were each charged with two counts of second degree murder, one count of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to kidnap. Oviedo-Garcia was also charged with two counts of assault. Additionally, the grand jury indicted Wilson Daniel Peralta-Bocachica, 31, also a Colombian national, for his alleged efforts to destroy evidence associated with the murder of Special Agent Watson.

The defendants arrived in the United States on July 1, 2014, and made their initial appearance in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, today before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas Rawles Jones Jr. A detention hearing is scheduled for July 9, 2014, before United States Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis.

According to the indictment, Figueroa, Valdes, Bello, Lopez, Gracia and Oviedo-Garcia were part of a kidnapping and robbery conspiracy that utilized taxi cabs in Bogotá, Colombia, to lure victims into a position where they could be attacked and robbed. Once an intended victim entered a taxi cab, the driver of the taxi cab would signal other conspirators to commence the robbery and kidnapping operation.

The indictment alleges that on June 20, 2013, while he was working for the U.S. Mission in Colombia, Special Agent Watson entered a taxi cab operated by one of the defendants. Special Agent Watson was then allegedly attacked by two other defendants – one who stunned Special Agent Watson with a stun gun and another who stabbed Special Agent Watson with a knife, resulting in his death.

On July 1, 2014, the Government of Colombia extradited the defendants to the United States.

This case was investigated by the FBI, DEA and DSS, including the Office of Special Investigations and the Regional Security Office at Embassy Bogatá, in close cooperation with Colombian authorities, and with assistance from INTERPOL and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs. The case is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Stacy Luck of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Ben’Ary from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The Department of Justice gratefully acknowledges the Colombian Attorney General’s Office, Colombian National Police, Colombian Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Interpol (DIJIN), DIJIN Special Investigative Unit, Bogotá Metropolitan Police, Bogotá Police Intelligence Body (CIPOL) Unit and Colombian Technical Investigation Team for their extraordinary efforts, support and professionalism in responding to this incident.

The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.