Robert OBlock, famously identified as the emperor of junk science was the founder as well as CEO of the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute (ACFEI). Dr. OBlock was also the founder of other organizations that were inclusive of the American Psychotherapy Association (APA), AAIM, and ABCHS. The organizations are indicative of the idea that he was a prime mover in several sectors. These sectors include integrative medicine, homeland security, forensics, as well as psychotherapy. Through the institutions, it was possible for OBlock to lay the foundations necessary for encouraging educational, comprehensive, and open association in criminology, forensic science, psychology and integrative medicine, among other fields.
According to Radley Balko (n.p), OBlock claimed that ACFEI was one of the largest forensic institutions in the world. This body altered the manner in which the American criminal justice system used forensics. It is identified as one of the most impressive accomplishments that OBlock had attained in his career. Before the organization was founded, OBlock was working as an instructor on criminal justice at the Appalachian State University (Balko n.p). However, he was fired from the institution a decade after he began teaching there since some of the college officials alleged that he falsely claimed that he had co-authored some academic articles. The College of the Ozarks then hired him to work at their criminal justice department, after which he founded the American Board of Forensic Handwriting Analysts a year later.
The fundamental reason for indicating that OBlock was well known could be related to his interest in forensic science. In this case, he founded several forensics organizations, most of which could assist different agencies in the American criminal justice system with their investigations. As he indicates in his book, United for Truth, the American public hungered for more information regarding forensics (OBlock 1). He used examples such as the television shows that promoted the use of information from forensic science to reveal the craving that the American public displayed (1). For this reason, OBlock took the initiative to introduce the idea that scientific evidence could be admissible in court. Through the growth of the membership in the organizations that he founded, the idea that scientific evidence could be admissible in court gained acceptance in the different fields. The market responded to the certifying organizations that came up, consequently compelling OBlock to expand his group to include the different fields that were coming up in the field.
The case in contention relates to the questioning regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of OBlock and his 27-year-old girlfriend, Ms. Tiffany Fleming. The bodies of the two individuals were found in Highland Springs, each of them having a single gunshot wound. (Gounley n.p). The primary issue that the investigators are interested in uncovering relates to whether the deaths were murder-suicide related since most of the evidence collected lead to this assumption. Thomas Gounley cites the information received from Jim Arnott, Greene County Sherriff, to indicate that the facts and evidence they had collected reveal that O'Block committed suicide after murdering Ms. Fleming. However, he points out that the evidence is inconclusive, which means that it would be essential to carry out further investigations to ensure that the final determination is accurate.
Murder-suicide cases, such as OBlock and Flemings bring about several issues that are inclusive of the evidence that could be used in making the conclusions of the case. Conversely, the motive behind such cases could be difficult to determine. However, the evidence leading to definitive conclusions could be derived from DNA evidence as well as the revelations obtained from firearms and ballistics evidence. According to Orthmann and Hess, the other problem that investigators might face would be the announcement of this case as a double suicide since determining the individual that inflicted the fatal wounds would be difficult (266). However, when looking for clues, it would be essential for the investigators to look for signs of a possible struggle. Conversely, it would be vital to assess the possibility of victimology, which is achievable through studying the lifestyles and the character traits of the victims (Orthmann and Hess 266). These provisions are essential for informing the direction of the conclusions to be made from the investigations.
In relation to OBlocks case, the findings used by the Sherriff to announce the deaths as murder-suicide are not entirely conclusive. Even though the spokesperson for the Sherriffs office indicated that the investigators did not find any illicit substance in the couples home, the Sherriff revealed that they are yet to receive the toxicology results. The results would significantly assist in such a case since it would influence the conclusions to be made since they form part of the autopsy report that would provide investigators with the information they need to know about the case. Regardless of the identified provision, the information received from the investigators involved in the case indicates that OBlock and Ms. Flemings deaths were murder-suicide related.
Balko, Radley. "Opinion | The Emperor Of Junk Science Forensics Has Died." Washington Post. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Oct. 2017.
Gounley, Thomas. "Sheriff: Highland Springs Deaths Were Murder-Suicide; O'block Murdered Fleming." USA TODAY. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Oct. 2017.
O'Block, Robert. United For Truth: A History. 4th ed. ACFEI Media, 2011. Print.
Orthmann, Christine Hess, and Karen M. Hess. Criminal Investigation. 10th ed. Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
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