Noted Forensics Author To Teach Online

Columbus State Universitys continuing education division will launch Demystifying Forensic Science: A Writer's Guide, an online writing course revealing how forensic scientists unravel the complexities of criminal cases. This course, with a $79 fee, will be taught by Phillip Jones, a former science and medicine instructor who has published more than 100 articles that blend science, law and history.

The course represents the first time CSU has offered a course that will give students great insight into forensic science as a writing tool.

Jones, who holds both a doctorate and a law degree, has written both fiction and nonfiction works about the scientific side of criminal investigations. His six-week course surveys the scientific procedures that investigators use to uncover clues from a pathologists traditional autopsy methods to a cyber-sleuths tricks for coaxing incriminating data from a computer. My course helps writers slash the time they spend researching forensic science so that they can better concentrate on developing plot and characters, said Jones.

Participants may choose from sections beginning on the dates Feb. 16, March 16, April 20 or May 18. The course may be worked on from the convenience of home or office, and at any time of the day or night.

Students will explore methods for processing a crime scene, how to glean information from bloodstain patterns, controversies in DNA profiling, analysis of arson evidence and explosive residues, headline-grabbing cases cracked by forensic accountants, fingerprints, ear prints, brain fingerprinting and forensic scrutiny of firearm evidence. Well also discuss some misconceptions about forensic science that you often find in films and novels the type of errors that all good writers will want to avoid, said Jones.

Throughout the course, students will meet the major players of a criminal investigation: the first responder, the lead investigator, and the crime scene experts just the sort of people who make great characters. Well also explore the history of forensic science and forensic pioneers who have provided models for detectives in fiction, Jones said.

Jones has earned a certificate in forensics and has published articles on forensic science and historically prominent criminal investigators in Forensic Nurse Magazine, The Strand Magazine, The Forensic Center Newsletter, Today's Science, Forensic Magazine, and Law and Order Magazine, as well as a mystery story in Futuristic. His writings in forensic science earned him associate membership with the Mystery Writers of America.

To register for the course or for more information, contact CSU Continuing Education at 568-2023 or visit the Web site at


Contact: Kristin Barker, 568-2023;